Information for Educators
By law in New Jersey and the Department of Education regulations, any person having reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected by a parent or caregiver is required to immediately notify the Department of Children and Families. After reporting to DCF, any school district employee, volunteer or intern must inform the principal or other designated school official so that law enforcement authorities can be notified.
School personnel play an important role as reporters since they closely observe and interact with children on a daily basis. The name of the reporter is kept confidential and reports to DCF can be made anonymously. However, the investigator may need to clarify information with the reporter or may have additional questions.
Teachers should never confront a suspected abuser. It is best for the safety of themselves and the welfare of the child to report their concerns to the proper authorities. It is equally important that teachers refrain from conducting their own investigation. Asking the child too many detailed questions can harm instead of help the case later on. For information on how to handle a disclosure (click here) or consult with your designated school official for protocols within your district.
If you need help deciding whether to report a specific situation, you can contact the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877 652-2873.
Teacher's Desk Reference on Child Abuse and Neglect
Ocean County Child Advocacy Center Brochure