New Jersey’s CPS agency, DCPP (formerly DYFS), has the authority to remove your child and terminate your parental rights. Because DCPP has so much power, it’s important to learn about how to protect your rights. But don’t expect caseworkers to give you personalized guidance. They want to get their job done as quickly as possible, which often comes at the expense of the parent. Protecting your rights takes learning about what you are up against, so here are five facts about DCPP that will help you protect your family.
DCPP caseworkers might be nice and say they want to help you. But what they aren’t telling you is their ability to help is limited. And chances are when they say help they mean figure out what you did wrong so they can provide you with services. Sounds helpful, right? But those services come with strings. So take their kindness with a grain of salt, and remember who they are and what they’re paid to do.
CPS agencies have one agenda: to protect children from harm. DCPP is not there to protect you, only your child. That means caseworkers can take your child at a moment’s notice if they believe your child could be harmed.
Parents facing DCPP litigation in the family court have a right to legal counsel. You may be advised of that right, but caseworkers won’t help you pick the best attorney for you. The Office of Parental Representation provides parents with legal counsel if they cannot afford a private attorney. But you should shop around and consult with several attorneys. So much is at stake; it’s crucial to get the best attorney possible.
DCPP representatives will suggest you cooperate and agree to the allegations. In fact, caseworkers are known for pressuring parents into waiving their rights. They want to get you in a position of vulnerability so they can do their job.
Think DCPP will leave you alone if you just address your safety issues? Unfortunately, too many parents have been disappointed when they follow their safety plan and still can’t get their child back. DCPP caseworkers won’t go above and beyond for your family. They will not work with you closely so you can reunite with your child. They will make the statutory efforts to keep your family whole, but beyond that, they are just doing their job.
If you want protection, advice, and guidance beyond the bare minimum, you need an advocate outside of DCPP. The first step is finding a trusted New Jersey child abuse defense lawyer to consult with. DCPP often gives parents brief explanations and minimal guidance according to agency protocol. But if left at that, many parents aren’t able to reunite with their child. A seasoned attorney can give you the support you need to fight your allegations and reunify your family.
Are you facing child abuse allegations? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you protect them, your child’s best interests, and your family. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.