Should You Trust CPS?
CPS caseworkers must conduct investigations honestly and in good faith. They cannot lie to you to get information or lie under oath. However, communications between parents and caseworkers aren’t always truthful. Parents often feel coerced and lied to. Caseworkers often feel lied to, as well. New Jersey Child Protective Services (CPS) agency, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P, formerly the DYFS), has its weaknesses, too. Thus, parents should always be on guard and have an advocate who can spot dishonesty and deception.
New Jersey’s DCP&P policy limits what caseworkers can tell parents. They cannot disclose the source of the report or share certain pieces of information about a child’s foster family. At the same time, caseworkers can ask parents for any information relevant to the allegations. Often, this leaves parents facing child abuse allegations feeling like the system is against them. They may feel like they have no option other than to do exactly what caseworkers say. Then, when that doesn’t work, they feel like they’ve been used, tricked, and coerced. Consequently, many parents who’ve dealt with DCP&P view it as a corrupt system that preys on good families who face challenges. And unfortunately, this view isn’t entirely unfounded.
The Good News
The good news is you don’t have to feel taken advantage of, and you can interact with DCP&P without feeling tricked. To do this, always have a legal advocate to whom you can talk to about what caseworkers did and said. It’s important to catch caseworkers and hold them accountable if they violate policy or your rights. Even better, work with an attorney who can handle some interactions with DCP&P for you. Caseworkers are much less likely to intentionally mislead an attorney and often are more motivated to close a case as soon as possible when faced with the potential for litigation.
The System Isn’t Perfect
CPS caseworkers have a job to do, and that job is protecting the children of New Jersey. Sometimes, this end goal causes them to lose sight of what’s just as important: keeping families together. Working with an attorney can help you reach your end goal—that of keeping your child.
Do you need a New Jersey child abuse defense attorney? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can explain how the laws apply to your case, advise you of your rights, and help you protect them. 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 email@example.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.