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NJ DCF Continues Work to Strengthen Families and Prevent Child Abuse

$6.4 Million in Grant Funding to Support Community Based

Prevention Programs for Child Abuse and Neglect

TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Children and Families (NJ DCF) Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer today announced the availability of $6.4 million in American Rescue Plan Supplemental grant funding for Community Based Prevention Programs to help strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment.   

“A hallmark of a successful twenty-first century child- and family-serving system is the inclusion of primary prevention,” said Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer.  “Providing opportunities for families to build on their inherent strengths, develop parental protective factors, and receive supportive services, before a crisis occurs, is how we reduce incidents of child maltreatment.”  

Over 3,000 New Jersey children are victims of abuse or neglect every year, with the most common forms of child maltreatment being neglect. According to the New Jersey Child Welfare Hub, children under the age of 1 are the most at risk for maltreatment when compared to older children.  

“We know the long-standing data demonstrates that child abuse and neglect are more likely among families with the youngest children,” said NJ DCF Family and Community Partnerships (FCP) Assistant Commissioner Sanford Starr.  “It’s normal for young parents to experience higher levels of stress, especially if they are adapting to and coping with the demands of a newborn.  Add to that the everyday worries and concerns of today’s families, and it can quickly feel like too much to handle without a good network of friends, family and community supports.  Through this funding, NJ DCF will be able to enhance the network of community-based prevention supports to help prevent child abuse before it ever happens.”

Two separate Requests for Proposals (RFPs) have been sent out, with specific goals for each RFP.  One RFP is aimed at strengthening the network of primary and secondary prevention programs in communities to further the goal of reducing child abuse and neglect. Specific community need and target population will vary across applications.  The second RFP, which is similar, will target families with children aged 0 to 5. Grant funding will be awarded to four to eight applicants per RFP, ranging from $400,000 to $800,000 for each 36-month project.   The funding is made possible through the Federal Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CBCAP) program, of which NJ DCF is the state agency lead. A total of $6,400,000 in funding is available, to be divided evenly between each RFP.

The FCP primary and secondary prevention program models are grounded in the evidenced-based Strengthening Families Framework Approach which focuses on five protective factors, including building: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence for children.  Prevention infrastructure is informed and guided by a Statewide Child Abuse Prevention Plan developed in partnership between NJ DCF and the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect – the NJTFCAN Prevention Plan is available for review at 

To learn more about these and other NJ DCF funding opportunities, please visit the department’s website at .

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