State CPS agencies have ample rights when it comes to investigating child abuse or neglect reports. One of these rights is the right to interview the child in question.
New Jersey’s CPS agency, the DCPP (formerly the DYFS), has the right to go to your child’s school or childcare provider and talk with him or her. They can do this without your permission or even your knowledge. Many parents are outraged to find out this is legal. The State of New Jersey grants certain rights to DCPP. Some of those rights are necessary to ensure the safety of children at risk of harm. In fact, DCPP caseworkers often contact the child first because parents sometimes “coach” their children on what to say. Likewise, children are sometimes less likely to answer questions honestly in front of their parents or caregivers, especially when they were mistreated.
The good news is New Jersey schools know how to work with DCPP on interviews to minimize the disruption to the child. The interviews with children are not as traumatic as you would think, and caseworkers are supposed to take their time and let the child open up to them instead of prying. This is not to say it can feel like a violation of privacy to have someone from the State come and talk to your child behind your back. In reality, this is a routine procedure. Also, caseworkers do not end investigations after one talk with the child in question. Interviews with the child are just one component of a lengthy investigation process. DCPP will also want to talk to you and any other members of your household before making any findings.
Protecting your right to privacy and confidentiality is sometimes a balancing act when dealing with DCPP. You want to cooperate so as not to appear guilty, but you also know caseworkers have been known to mislead parents, upset children, and traumatize families in their efforts to do their job. For this reason, it’s crucial you speak with a New Jersey child abuse defense attorney about your case if DCPP has contacted you or your child. From day one, you should learn about your rights so you can protect them from start to finish.
If you are dealing with the DCPP in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child abuse defense attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you defend your rights and protect your privacy. 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.