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May 07, 2012

CONTACT:   Kristine Brown
DCF Press Office:  609-633-8507

Christie Administration Awards Funding to Thirteen Counties to Improve Response to Child Abuse and Neglect
$244,445 in Grants Will Help Counties Conduct Multidisciplinary Training to Identify and Report Suspected Child Abuse

TRENTON, N.J. –On the heels of Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in collaboration with the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect (NJTFCAN) announced today that thirteen counties have been awarded funding to conduct a multidisciplinary training to strengthen the identification and reporting of suspected child abuse across the State.

The goal of this one-time funding initiative, which was made available through the Children’s Justice Act (CJA), is to assist States in developing programs to improve their response to child abuse and neglect.

“The safety and well-being of every child is our number one priority”, said DCF Commissioner Allison Blake.  “But it’s important to understand that we cannot do this work alone, and at the same time we must ensure that our community partners are well trained in how to identify and report suspected child abuse as required by law.”

The initiative requires Counties to target their training to a wide array of audiences, including the education community, as well as child protection, health, law enforcement and Regional Diagnostic Treatment Centers (RDTC).

Commissioner Blake said, “We see this as yet another opportunity for us to collaborate with individuals and professionals from a variety of fields and strengthen their capacity to protect kids from abuse and neglect right in their respective communities.”  DCF and NJTFCAN anticipate that counties will conduct the multidisciplinary training in ways that best fits the unique needs of their communities.

Depending on their needs, the thirteen counties that participated in this initiative had the option of individually receiving full or the partial funding or in conjunction with a neighboring County.  The participating counties and the funding awarded them include: Camden ($19,385.00); Cape May ($19,385.00); Essex ($19,385.00); Mercer ($18,860.00); Middlesex ($19,385.00); Monmouth ($19,385.00); Morris ($19,385.00); Ocean ($19,385.00); Passaic ($19,385.00); Salem ($12,350.00); Sussex ($19,385.00); and Hunterdon/Warren ($38,770.00). 

The Department of Children and Families (DCF), New Jersey’s state child welfare agency, was created in July 2006 as the state’s first Cabinet agency devoted exclusively to serving and safeguarding the most vulnerable children and families in New Jersey. DCF includes the Division of Youth and Family Services, Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships and Division of Child Behavioral Health Services, and is focused on strengthening families and achieving safety, well-being and permanency for New Jersey's children. For more information about DCF please visit the Department’s website at

The purpose of the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect (NJTFCAN) is to study and develop recommendations regarding the most effective means of improving the quality and scope of child protective and preventative services provided or supported by State government, including a review of the practices and policies utilized by the Division of Youth and Family Services and Division of Prevention and Community Partnerships in the Department of Children and Families. For more information about NJTFCAN please visit the website at

The Children's Justice Act is a federally funded program that helps States develop, establish, and operate programs to improve the investigation and prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases, particularly cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation, and to improve the handling of cases of suspected child abuse or neglect fatalities. For more information please visit CJA’s website at


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