Numerous studies have shown that parents with substance abuse problems are more likely to abuse or neglect their children than parents without substance abuse issues. Based on this information, it’s not surprising that many reports of child abuse and neglect submitted to the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) contain allegations of substance abuse. Part of the investigation into these allegations involves asking the parents of the alleged victim to take a drug test. But, are you required to take this test? Here’s what you need to know:
The DCPP has the right to ask a parent who allegedly has substance abuse issues to take a drug test. In most cases, the DCPP cannot force you to take a test. However, the DCPP could ask the court to issue an order to investigate if you refuse to take the test. If the judge believes a drug test is necessary, he will issue an order to investigate that requires you to take the test.
The DCPP will not always go through the trouble of obtaining an order to investigate to force you to take a drug test. But, it’s important to note that the DCPP could use the fact that you refused to take the test against you.
Drug testing is not the only tool that used to identify parents with substance abuse problems. The DCPP can also ask parents to undergo a substance abuse evaluation during the course of an investigation. The evaluation is performed by a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC), who will ask the parent to perform a series of tests. The tests are designed to evaluate whether or not the parent is engaging in risky behaviors that put their child in harm’s way.
The results of the test will determine the DCPP’s next steps. If the parent performs well, the DCPP may conclude that the child is not in danger and close the case. If the LCADC identifies high-risk behaviors, the DCPP could remove the child from the home until the parent has completed substance abuse treatment.
If you are under investigation for child abuse or neglect, get in touch with Williams Law Group, LLC as soon as possible. Our attorneys are passionate about fighting to keep parents and children together. We will go the extra mile to protect your rights as a parent. 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.