URGENT: Tell your legislators that child abuse is on the rise in New Jersey. Help advocate for the restoration of an additional $1.5 million in funds to be used strictly to support programs and services provided by New Jersey Children’s Alliance and the state’s Child Advocacy Centers.
The funds are intended to meet the demand in services during the COVID-19 pandemic for children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse. In addition, there has been a disproportionate impact on children of color and children that are from families that are undocumented.
Each year, thousands of children throughout all 21 counties benefit from the services NJCA and the state’s Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) provide. In 2019, over 3,500 cases were reviewed by multidisciplinary teams, resulting in 2,114 children who were referred for mental health services and 1,273 who received medical exams and/or treatment. Wynona’s House in particular is the only fully co-located CAC in New Jersey, serving over 800,000 Essex County residents and providing direct services to more than 950 abused/neglected children each year.
The additional $2 million in funds will enable CACs to provide high quality medical, mental health and advocacy support, and better assist clients struggling with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn, protests for racial justice and other current issues. This funding will help address the encroaching psychological and emotional impact on children, helping to avert a mental health crisis in children.
The New Jersey Children’s Alliance supports all 21 county-based Child Advocacy Centers. Proposed budget cuts will directly impact your county’s CAC and the services it provides to child abuse victims and their families.