VAINIERI HUTTLE: PLAN TO ELIMINATE CHILD ADVOCATE REQUIRES SERIOUS REVIEW

Says N.J. Cannot Turn its Back on Abused Children

(TRENTON) — Assembly Human Services Chairwoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) on Friday released the following statement on Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to eliminate the Office of the Child Advocate:

“Gov. Christie’s decision to abolish an office that has protected thousands of abused children raises serious questions about our values as a state and the direction we’re headed.

“Amid this difficult economy, spending cuts are clearly necessary, but we cannot blindly cut without considering the impacts on our most vulnerable, especially neglected children.

“The Office of the Child Advocate has proven effective in uncovering dysfunction within child welfare services and protecting and defending mistreated children.

“Many of the improvements New Jersey has seen in child welfare can be attributed to the advocate’s watchdog role.

“Any plan to eliminate it requires a serious discussion and review of the many possible negative implications that could cost taxpayers even more money down the road. “We cannot turn our backs on abused children, even in the most difficult times.”

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