State and Statute: New Jersey, Stats. §§ 9:6-8.9 et seq.
What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical, sexual, or mental or emotional abuse or neglect by a child’s parent, guardian, or other person having his custody and control. [9:6-8.21]
Mandatory Reporters: “Any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been subjected to child abuse.” [9:6-8.10]
How and Where to Report: Orally by phone or written report to Division of Child Protection and Permanency or via the state’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline (1-877-652-2873). [9:6-8.10 and 9:6-8.12].
Timeline to Report: Immediately. [9:6-8.10]
Clergy Privilege: No reference.
Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Constitutes a “disorderly person.” [9.6-8.14(a)] Any person who fails to report child sexual abuse is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree [9.6-8.14(b)]
Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? No statute recognizes civil liability. Consult with legal counsel to ensure no recent court decisions in New Jersey have recognized civil liability.
Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Anyone acting pursuant to this act in the making of a report under this act shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.” [9:6-8.13]
Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Statutory disclosure of confidential information allowed only under specific circumstances, provided nothing disclosed would endanger the life or safety of any other person. [9:6-8.10a]
Additional Information for New Jersey:
- 24-hour, toll-free hotline: 1-877-652-2873*
- Online resources: http://www.state.nj.us/dcf/reporting/how/index.html
All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.