Parental Substance Use as Child Abuse - New Jersey

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Citation: Admin. Code § 3A:26-1.1 

The Division of Child Protection and Permanency shall receive reports of substance-affected infants that ambulatory care facilities submit pursuant to Admin. Code § 8:43A-28.7 and that hospitals submit pursuant to § 8:43G-2.13.

Upon receipt of a report, the division shall first determine if the report is an allegation of child abuse or neglect pursuant to Ann. Stat. § 9:6-1, et seq., and if a determination that a report is an allegation of child abuse or neglect, respond in accordance with applicable law, including Admin. Code § 3A:10.

For reports that are determined not to be allegations of child abuse or neglect, the division representative shall offer services to the parent of each substance-affected infant on a voluntary basis. If the parent accepts, the division shall provide the services.

All reports made pursuant to this chapter shall be considered child abuse investigative records and treated as confidential.

Citation: Admin. Code § 3A:26-1.2 

The term 'substance-affected' infant means the following:

  • An infant whose mother had a positive toxicology screen for a controlled substance or metabolite thereof during pregnancy or at the time of delivery
  • An infant who has a positive toxicology screen for a controlled substance after birth that is reasonably attributable to maternal substance use during pregnancy
  • An infant who displays the effects of prenatal controlled substance exposure or symptoms of withdrawal resulting from prenatal controlled substance exposure
  • An infant who displays the effects of a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

Citation: Admin. Code § 3A:26-1.3

Reports must include the following information:

  • The name of the substance-affected infant, if known
  • The names of the substance-affected infant's mother and father, if known
  • The home addresses of the substance-affected infant's mother and father, if known
  • The types of substances affecting the substance-affected infant, and the harm, if any, caused to the substance-affected infant resulting from his or her exposure to the substances
  • Circumstances known to the reporter that would affect an evaluation of the situation, including, but not limited to, awareness of medications prescribed to the mother of the substance-affected infant