As one result of that workgroup, DCF’s State Central Registry (SCR) supervisors are reviewing child-on-child referrals in order to ensure the appropriate response. Of course, there may be growing pains with this change in the reporting system.
Nydia Monagas, NJCA’s Director of Training and Statewide Initiatives, and co-chair of the workgroup, recently issued the following missive encouraging anyone aware of inadequate responses from SCR to notify designated high-level DCF/DCFF staff members:
“As you know, the Child-on-child Sexual Abuse/Activity (COCSA) Statewide Response Workgroup was convened February 2022 to ensure that both the child victim and the child initiator/actor in these cases have access to appropriate medical and mental health assessment and treatment services. Regular meetings of the Workgroup and various subcommittees since February 2022 resulted in a framework for a statewide coordinated and consistent response to families involved in these cases. As part of the statewide response, the State Central Registry (SCR) is developing a specialized unit within SCR to handle cases involving COCSA concerns. In the interim (since Spring 2022), all cases involving COCSA concerns have been reviewed by a supervisor to ensure that the case is receiving the correct SCR response, to include an assessment (CWS) or investigation (CPS) when appropriate. Between February 2022 and February 2023, SCR opened almost 1,000 cases for CWS assessments alone. This number does not include those opened for CPS investigations due to concerns of abuse and neglect in addition to or related to the COCSA allegation.
As per Commissioner Beyer, if you are aware of cases involving COCSA that you believe are not receiving an adequate response from SCR, please email both Laura Jamet, Asst. Commissioner at DCPP (email@example.com) and Christine Idland, Special Asst to the Commissioner (Christine.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please reach out with any questions. [email@example.com]