NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY VS. V.E. IN THE MATTER OF R.S.
Effective April 1, 2013, administrative findings of child abuse or neglect have been expanded, allowing the Department of Children and Families to render one of four findings at the conclusion of an investigation, determining abuse or neglect is: "substantiated," "established," "not established," or "unfounded." N.J.A.C. 3A:10-7.3(c). An "established" finding of abuse or neglect appears to apply to less egregious conduct; however, regulations make clear "[a] finding of either established or substantiated shall constitute a determination by the Department that a child is an abused or neglected child pursuant to N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21." N.J.A.C. 3A:10-7.3(d) (emphasis added).
The Division administratively "established" a finding of abuse or neglect against appellant, but denied appellant's request for an adjudicatory hearing. Concluding the result of an established finding is accompanied by adverse consequences, which, in part, matches effects of a substantiated finding, we hold a party challenging an "established" finding of abuse or neglect shall be entitled to an administrative hearing.