What Are My Rights?
If your child is taken from you by New Jersey’s child welfare agency, you retain valuable rights you should exercise. You have a right to know why your child is being taken from you and to suggest friends or family member with whom your child may be placed. You also have a right to visit with your child, but many parents aren’t made aware of this right or aren’t encouraged to exercise it. When dealing with child welfare caseworkers, many parents feel intimidated, guilty, and as if they have no voice. Unfortunately, this leads to unexercised visitation rights and prolonged separation between parent and child.
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), New Jersey’s child welfare agency, must make reasonable efforts to keep a child within the home. When caseworkers believe a child is in immediate danger of harm, however, they may remove the child before a full investigation. During the investigation, caseworkers should make arrangements for you to visit with your child. These visitations may be limited to an hour a week and may be held at the DCP&P office. Your contact throughout the week via phone or email may be restricted as well. If you want less restrictive visitation with your child, an attorney may be able to help you. An attorney may be able to get you longer visitations, more frequent visitations, or arrange to have your visitations takes place outside of the DCP&P office. If caseworkers believe you should suspend all contact with your child because of the magnitude of harm to them you pose, you may be asked to consent. If this occurs, speak with an attorney before you agree to anything.
Visiting with your child is crucial. Staying involved in your child’s life and spending as much time as possible with him or her can demonstrate to the DCP&P and the court that you are a dedicated and involved parent. Children need to know their parents love them, especially while they are in foster placement. Thus, when caseworkers make visitation difficult, they are harming both the parent and the child.
Every parent needs an advocate. Facing child welfare litigation alone can be scary and seem insurmountable. You should speak with an attorney if you want to ensure you are protecting your child’s best interests. Working with an experienced New Jersey child welfare and child custody attorney can give you peace of mind throughout the case process, knowing that you can defend all your rights to have access to your child.
Has your child been taken from you? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC know how important your child is to you and have the experience needed to defend your rights as a parent and protect your child’s best interests. Located in Union, 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.