Take Action: Advocate for Criminal Background Checks for Behavior Analysts
December 14, 2023
A message from Autism New Jersey’s Public Policy Director
As strong advocates for the professional licensing of the practice of ABA, Autism New Jersey has been monitoring the implementation of the Applied Behavior Analysis Licensing Act. Months ago, we learned that neither the ABA Licensing Act nor the Uniform Enforcement Act (N.J.S.A. 45:1-1 et seq.) includes a criminal background check requirement for ABA license applicants. The absence of a criminal background check requirement to obtain a professional license to practice behavior analysis is an oversight that must be corrected, as it could jeopardize the safety and well-being of individuals with autism and their families.
On October 30, 2023, Autism New Jersey advised that we would be advocating for a statutory fix to require criminal background checks for licensed behavior analysts. We engaged the Office of the Attorney General and the Legislature to successfully advocate for the introduction of a bill to make this statutory fix in the most expeditious manner. Assembly Bill 5864 (A5864)* amends the Uniform Enforcement Act to include the State Board of Applied Behavior Analyst Examiners and will therefore require behavior analysts to undergo a criminal background check prior to the issuance of a license.
How You Can Help
We must continue to advocate for the bill’s swift enactment to ensure that criminal background checks are included in the adoption of final regulations and the initial application process.
If you would like to support this bill, you can find your local legislators n the New Jersey Legislature’s website. Your legislative district page will include a link that says, “Contact Your Legislator(s).” From there, you can submit a written request asking your legislator to support the immediate enactment of A5864.*
Subject: Require Criminal Background Checks to Protect the Autism Community
Dear Senator/Assemblymember ___,
My name is ___, and I am a constituent in Legislative District ___.
I am asking you to support the immediate enactment of legislation (A5864)* to require behavior analysts to undergo a criminal background check prior to the issuance of a license. Currently, this background check is required of other healthcare professionals in New Jersey. The licensure board’s ability to fully assess the character and fitness of applicants for an ABA license is of paramount importance to the safety and well-being of individuals with autism.
Questions? If you have any questions, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.