Private industry is being asked to help the state reform its child welfare system. Corporations may contribute to the Safe Child Consortium and Safe Child Fund of New Jersey, managed by the Princeton Area Community Foundation (609-219-1800 or visit www.pacf.org).

More than 20 representatives from corporations, foundations and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce are already involved in planning for this initiative. Donations totaling $700,000 have been made by the Prudential Foundation, New Jersey Resources, Comcast, Conectiv, the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, MWW Group, New Jersey Business and Industry Association, New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Group, NJ State AFL-CIO, PSE&G, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Sun Bancorp and others.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Safe Child Fund/PACF and mailed to the Princeton Area Community Foundation, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, 08648. Other ways that companies can help:

Contribute to agencies that conduct prevention programs

Include information on corporate websites and in newsletters about reform efforts, about the new central hotline for allegations of child abuse, 800-NJABUSE, and the hotline number 877-NJ-FOSTER for people interested in becoming resource families in mailings or billings.

Volunteer time with programs that address abuse and neglect.

Offer individual or company in-kind professional and support services.

Provide employee benefits to foster parents as well as adoptive parents commensurate to those provided to parents of newborn biological children.

Encourage employees and customers who are foster parents to share their success stories.

Help establish community collaboratives in customer areas throughout the state.

Provide space for meetings or events.

“Other reform efforts in New Jersey have failed, but the thing that distinguishes this one is that everyone has a chance to buy in to increase resources for our neediest citizens and children instead of relying only on government and tax dollars,” says James M. Davy, former commissioner of the Department of Human Services. “Individuals, providers and businesses can buy-in by promoting the neighborhood collaboratives aimed at linking and enhancing prevention services.”

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