Downey Bill Expanding Access to Child Abuse Prevention Resources Passes Assembly

OCEAN TOWNSHIP - Legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Joann Downey that aims to spread awareness of resources to stop or prevent child abuse was approved Thursday by the State Assembly.

“It does no good to have resources prepared to prevent child abuse if nobody knows where to find them, or that they even exist,” Downey (D-Freehold) said.

“By broadly advertising the State’s child abuse hotline, we can make sure that teachers and students alike know how to recognize the signs of abuse and are able to take immediate action to report it. In doing so, we can empower children and educators to fight back against abusive environments and relationships.”

This bill (S-2489/A-425) would require each Board of Education in New Jersey to display information about the Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) State Central Registry, a toll-free hotline for reporting child abuse, in each school of the district.

A board must include instructions to call 911 in emergencies, and must include directions for accessing the DCF’s website or social media pages for more information on reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation. A poster containing this information must be displayed in at least one high-traffic, clearly visible public area within each school.

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