OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES
SAFETY & STABILITY
Every child has the right to a safe and stable childhood. We believe that this right is no less important than parental rights. It is unacceptable to undermine the needs and safety of individual children for the sake of quotas, budgets, or statistics.
We emphasize the importance of rapid responses to child abuse, the development of best practices to accurately detect abuse, and the use of evidence-based practices to help minimize the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) like abuse and neglect and to help children heal from these experiences.
We prioritize a child's right to permanency because secure attachment to safe, healthy, loving caregivers is the cornerstone of healthy development and life-long relational capacity. Families and children should have swift access to justice, and the permanency timelines codified in state and federal laws should be followed.
We promote and encourage family-based solutions whenever possible to help children thrive. However, perpetuating cycles of abuse on children for the sake of keeping them in their biological family is not necessarily in their best interests. The best long-term environment for development is a safe, stable, nurturing, structured, permanent family capable of providing for the child's needs.
Laws and polices should prioritize the best interests of the child. The Child Advocacy Association of New Jersey (CAANJ) is committed to advocating for legislation and policies to help achieve this goal and to promote awareness about current issues.
"Ombudsman" is a Swedish word meaning "representative." An ombudsman assists individuals and groups in the resolution of conflicts or concerns.
Public ombudsmen exist to help the mentally ill, elderly, and disabled, but children have no such advocate and their rights to safety are being undermined. Families are left with limited options short of suing the State of New Jersey, putting a greater burden on our judicial system. Creating an Office of Ombudsman for Children is CAANJ's top legislative priority. There is also an urgent need for more family court judges, as children are waiting for permanency years longer than necessary. Are you willing to help?
Miriam’s Heart, the New Jersey CarePortal Network, and the Child Advocacy Association of New Jersey (CAANJ), serve diverse constituents, including government agencies, churches, businesses, schools, and other faith-based and secular organizations with a focus on helping to support children and families in crisis regardless of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, political leanings or any other reason that might otherwise be used to withhold help from those in need.