Child welfare caseworkers watch a parent’s every move. Caseworkers will study you from the time they first contact you to when they close your case. CPS caseworkers are trained to observe parents and note traits or behaviors that could be harmful to a child. The parent’s character is one of these important considerations. Thus, it is essential that parents involved with CPS demonstrate good character to the caseworkers.
New Jersey’s CPS agency is the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). The DCP&P is supposed to train caseworkers on methods of observation so they can assess the parent’s fitness. This isn’t a scientific process. Thus, it’s important to demonstrate good character and make a good impression on the caseworkers.
Aside from the personal efforts you make to do so, consider getting a character statement. A character statement should state the relationship between the writer and the parent, the credentials of the writer (if any are relevant), the writer’s impression of the relationship between the parent and child, and an affirmation that the parent is of good character, good moral standing, and able to provide his or her child with a safe home. You might need a character statement if your case goes to court.
Aside from the statement, be mindful whenever in contact with DCP&P caseworkers. Be polite and cooperate to the extent that you must. Show up to meetings on time and prepared. Go to your court proceedings and participate. Be adamant about visiting your child and staying involved in his or her life. And show your caseworker you are fully dedicated to providing a safe home for your child.
Keep in mind that your child’s safety is your caseworker’s number one concern. Try to remain genuine throughout your involvement with the DCP&P, but always be cautious. Caseworkers will be considering your character—whether good or bad—when developing a case plan. Working closely with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney can ensure you make all the right moves in your case. Providing a character statement could help some parents, but you need to work with an attorney to figure out what will help in your particular case.
Are you involved in child welfare litigation? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you defend yourself against the DCP&P. 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.