15th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect
ACYF Commissioner's Award Book
Maura Somers Dughi
New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect
Maura Somers Dughi has been a tireless advocate on behalf of children for the past 28 years. From her college years to her current role as a member of the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect and Chair of the Prevention Subcommittee, she persists as a voice and a force on behalf of abused and neglected children.
For four years following graduation from law school, Ms. Dughi worked for the Manhattan City Court on cases involving juvenile delinquents and victims of child abuse. Most notable for her were the images of children in need, in trouble, and in perilous situations. Seeing children she had helped in abuse cases appear before her in criminal offenses proved a sobering experience, one which shaped her belief in prevention and her current focus. Ms. Dughi's passion to prevent child abuse led to her work with Prevent Child Abuse New Jersey. Since 1987, she has been on virtually every committee, as well as served as president for six years. In 1993, she moved on to the national parent organization where she served as President of the Board.
Through her work with Prevent Child Abuse, as Chair of the Prevention Subcommittee of the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse, and testimonies before the State Assembly and Senate, Ms. Dughi has been involved in policy changing efforts that give prevention the attention it deserves in the State of New Jersey. Her role in the area of prevention has helped to produce the Prevention Subcommittee's publication, The Standards for Prevention Programs: Building Success through Family Support. She also played a vital role in ensuring prevention to be a prominent factor in New Jersey's Child Welfare Reform Plan. To Maura Somers Dughi, preventing child abuse truly has become her life's work.