New Jersey Administrative Code
Title 3A - CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
Chapter 10 - CHILD PROTECTION INVESTIGATIONS
Subchapter 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
Section 3A:10-1.3 - Definitions
The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
"Abused or neglected child" means a child:
1. Less than 18 years of age:
i. Whose parent or guardian inflicts, or allows to be inflicted upon such child, physical injury by other than accidental means, which causes or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted impairment of physical or emotional health or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
ii. Whose parent or guardian creates or allows to be created a substantial or ongoing risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means which would be likely to cause death or serious or protracted disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
iii. Whose parent or guardian commits or allows to be committed an act of sexual abuse against the child;
iv. Whose physical, mental, or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as the result of the failure of his or her parent or guardian to exercise a minimum degree of care:
(1) In supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care, though financially able to do so, or though offered financial or other reasonable means to do so; or
(2) In providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship, by unreasonably inflicting or allowing to be inflicted harm, or substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment; or by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court;
v. Who has been willfully abandoned by his or her parent or guardian;
vi. Upon whom excessive physical restraint has been used under circumstances which do not indicate that the child's behavior is harmful to himself or herself, others or property; or
vii. Who is in an institution other than a day school, and:
(1) Has been placed there inappropriately for a continued period of time with the knowledge that the placement has resulted or may continue to result in harm to the child's mental or physical well-being; or
(2) Who has been willfully isolated from ordinary social contact under circumstances which indicate emotional or social deprivation.
2. No child who in good faith is under treatment by spiritual means alone, through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof, shall, for this reason alone, be considered to be abused or neglected.
"Assessment of physical harm" means assessment, including visual inspection, used by a child protective investigator, made by either the child protective investigator or by another professional on the request of the child protective investigator, to determine the existence of and the extent of an alleged child victim's physical injury or condition.
"Call" means contact made by a reporter to the State Central Registry through a phone call or other means of communication.
"Caregiver" means any person who has physical custody of a child, including a parent, stepparent, resource parent, or any person who has assumed responsibility for the care, custody, or control of a child.
"Child" means a person from birth to his or her 18th birthday.
"Child Abuse Record Information" or "CARI" means the information in the child abuse registry as established in NJ.S.A. 9:6-8.11, which may be released to a person or agency outside the Department's Division of Child Protection and Permanency or Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit only as prescribed by law.
"Child advocacy center" means a county-based center, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.1 04, which provides abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services to children, who are victims of abuse or neglect.
"Child protective investigator" means a Department representative who performs a child protection investigation including a representative of the Office of the Public Defender acting as the Department's agent.
"Core service" means any one of the mandated services that a regional diagnostic and treatment center may provide to or on behalf of an alleged child victim, and his or her parent or family member whom a center is evaluating in the context of a child protection investigation or treatment of abuse or neglect, as specified in 9:6-8.9 9.
"Criminal History Record Information" or "CHRI" means the information collected by the Department through State and Federal criminal background checks.
"Department" means the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
"Department representative" means a professional employee of the Department, including a child protective investigator.
"Division" or "CP&P" means the Division of Child Protection and Permanency at the New Jersey Department of Children and Families.
"Established" has the meaning given in 3A:10-7.3(c).
"Expunction" means the destruction, erasure and complete eradication of a record and applies to the destruction of computer files and corresponding paper files.
"Finding" means the final determination made by a child protective investigator of the results of a child protection investigation.
"Immediate response" means an in-person contact with a child victim made by an assigned child protective investigator no later than the end of the work day in which the State Central Registry assigns the report to the local office or Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit for response.
"Institution" means any facility, public or private, in-State, which provides children with out-of-home care, supervision, or maintenance. "Institution" includes, but is not limited to, a correctional facility, detention facility, residential child care facility, hospital, camp, child care center that is licensed or should be licensed, group home, and registered family child care home.
"Institutional Abuse Investigation Unit (IAIU)" means a child protective service agency within the Department of Children and Families, dedicated solely to investigating allegations of abuse or neglect in child care facilities, resource homes, and other out-of-home care settings.
"Institutional caregiver" means an employee or volunteer, whether compensated or uncompensated, of an institution who is responsible for the child's welfare and any other staff person of an institution, regardless of whether or not the person is responsible for the care or supervision of the child. "Institutional caregiver" also includes the chief administrator responsible for the operation of an institution or facility.
"Investigation" or "child protection investigation" means the activity of gathering all information relevant to making a determination as to whether abuse or neglect occurred.
"Local office" means an office of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, which provides direct services and referrals to clients within a limited geographic area of New Jersey. The services provided may be child welfare services, child protective services, and adoption services.
"Multidisciplinary team" means an investigation and case management team comprised of professionals from law enforcement, medicine, child protective services, mental health and substance abuse identification and treatment, and a core service provider from a regional diagnostic and treatment center.
"Not established" has the meaning given in 3A:10-7.3(c).
"Paramour" means a parent's or guardian's partner, other than his or her spouse, who is in a care-giving role for the alleged child victim. This definition is applicable whether the paramour resides in the home, frequents the home, is a same-sex partner, or is a current or ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.
"Parent" means a person who is the mother or father of a child through birth or adoption.
"Parent or guardian" means any birth parent, adoptive parent, resource parent, stepparent, paramour, or any person, who has assumed responsibility for the care, custody or control of a child or upon whom there is a legal duty for such care. "Parent or guardian" includes a teacher, employee or volunteer, whether compensated or uncompensated, of an institution who is responsible for the child's welfare and any other staff person of an institution regardless of whether or not the person is responsible for the care or supervision of the child. Parent or guardian also includes a teaching staff member or other employee, whether compensated or uncompensated, of a day school as defined in N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21.
"Permanency worker" means a Department representative, other than the child protective investigator, who is responsible for providing and monitoring services to a child and his or her family involved with the Department.
"Perpetrator" means a person who has been determined by the Department to have inflicted or allowed to be inflicted abuse or neglect.
"PROMIS/GAVEL" means the New Jersey courts' computer criminal record check.
"Regional diagnostic and treatment center" or "center" means a regional diagnostic and treatment center, as established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.99, to provide for the medical and mental health diagnostic and treatment needs of abused or neglected children in the geographic region in which the center is located, through a multidisciplinary approach to abuse and neglect.
"Report" means an account or statement describing a specific incident or set of circumstances of suspected abuse or neglect.
"Reporter" means an individual who contacts the State Central Registry to make a child protective services report, a child welfare service referral, or a request for social services.
"Risk assessment" means a structured process that uses a tool to determine the likelihood that the alleged child victim will be abused or neglected in the future.
"Safety assessment" means a structured process that uses a tool to determine whether the alleged child victim is in imminent danger of harm.
"State Central Registry" means the centralized operation within the Department of Children and Families responsible for screening incoming calls to the State of New Jersey to gather information about an alleged incident or set of circumstances suggesting suspected abuse or neglect or a child welfare service need.
"Substantiated" has the meaning given in 3A:10-7.3(c).
"Temporary caregiver" means a person who has assumed temporary care, custody, or control of a child, including a babysitter, but does not include an institutional caregiver or a police officer acting in an official capacity.
"Unfounded" has the meaning given in 3A:10-7.3(c).
Administrative Change, 49 N.J.R. 98a.
Amended by 51 N.J.R. 825(b), effective 6/3/2019