The Safe Child Fund
Caring for Our Children Is Everyone's Business
James M. Davy
Commissioner, Department of Human Services
The Department of Human Services recently launched a new fund and consortium that
Department of Human Services Commissioner James M. Davy announces a new Fund and consortium to support the state's efforts to prevent child abuse and promote child welfare.
raises donations and in-kind contributions as part of the historic effort to reform the state's child welfare system.
Corporate contributions totaling $700,000 to help fund programs that prevent abuse and neglect have already been made to the Safe Child Fund since it was created in mid-December.
But monetary contributions are not the only way corporations and municipal governments can help, according to Safe Child Consortium Chairman Laurence Downes, who also is Chairman and CEO of New Jersey Resources.
There are a variety of ways that local governments can help us spread the word about aspects of our new reform plan. Municipalities can include information about reform programs in their mailings or on their websites.
The whole idea is to involve everybody,
to make caring for our children everyone's business.
DHS will provide interested corporations and governing bodies with "tool kits" with promotional materials and suggestions.
As Acting Governor Richard Codey said when we launched the fund, this system has been broken for a long time and we need all of the help we can get to fix it so that it better protects and serves our children and families.
Other reform efforts in New Jersey have failed, but the thing that distinguishes this one is that everyone has a chance to "buy in" to increase resources for our neediest citizens and children instead of relying only on government and tax dollars.
The court-approved Child Welfare Reform Plan calls for the development of a consortium of at least five corporate and foundation leaders to identify and promote steps businesses and foundations can take to help the Department of Human Services prevent child abuse and neglect. Representatives from more than 20 corporations and
The Safe Child Fund of New Jersey will not replace government funds dedicated to child welfare reform implementation.
foundations have joined together as a working group.
The whole idea is to involve everybody, to make caring for our children everyone's business. The future of our children is entwined with the future of New Jersey, its neighborhoods, workforce and businesses.
I can't say how grateful I am to the companies that have contributed so far.
NJR pledged a total of $500,000-- $380,000 to the Safe Child Fund and $120,000 for Leadership Development within the department. Prudential Foundation has contributed $200,000 to the Safe Child Fund.
The Safe Child Consortium is partnering with the Department of Human Services and the Office of Children's Services. The Safe Child Fund of New Jersey will not replace government funds dedicated to child welfare reform implementation. This is an opportunity for "value-added endeavors" for groups and agencies committed to stronger communities, secure families and safe children.
We are running a marathon here, not a sprint. A lot of hard work is ahead of us and we need many partners for this noble purpose.
The Safe Child Fund of New Jersey will be managed by the Princeton Area Community Foundation. All donations are tax deductible and should be made payable to Safe Child Fund/PACF and mailed to the Princeton Area Community Foundation, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648 ; call 609-219-1800 or visit www.pacf.org .
Grantmaking will begin once the fund's procedures and criteria for soliciting and reviewing grant applications are established by its Advisory Committee, which will be established in early 2005.
How Companies and
Municipalities Can Help
* Make financial contributions to the Safe Child Fund or to agencies that conduct prevention programs
*Include information about reform efforts on corporate or government web sites and in newsletters
* Help publicize the new central hotline for allegations of child abuse, 1-800- NJABUSE, and the hotline number 1-877- NJ-FOSTER for people interested in becoming resource families in mailings or billings
* Offer individual or company in-kind professional and support services
* Provide employee benefits to foster parents as well as adoptive parents commensurate to those provided to parents of newborn biological children
* Provide space for meetings or events or help state find space
Article published in April 2005, New Jersey Municipalities