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We are a non-partisan, volunteer driven initiative established to help children thrive. We work with legislators to address issues in the child welfare system to help secure safety and permanency for children at risk.  
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OUR GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Computer Class

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.

APPROPRIATE ACTION

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.

Mother and a Child
Happy Family

PERMANENCY

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.

FAMILY-BASED SOLUTIONS

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.

Happy Family
Father and Son
BEST INTERESTS

Laws and polices should prioritize the best interests of the child. The Child Advocacy Network (CAN) is committed to advocating for legislation and policies to help achieve this goal and to promote awareness about current issues. 

Mother and Daughter Hugging

"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 CAN's top legislative priority. Are you willing to help?

Miriam’s Heart, the New Jersey CarePortal Network, and the Child Advocacy Network (CAN), 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. Children need all of us to speak up on their behalf. Our network gives you an easy way to learn about issues relating to child welfare and to take action to ensure our elected officials put kids' safety at the forefront of decisions. You’ll receive periodic news and updates (a total of 2-4 emails per month) as well as actionables to start advocating now. We do not share your information.

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