As its name suggests, the mission of the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) in New Jersey is to ensure the safety and well-being of children throughout the state. The agency is committed to serving all children in need, along with their families. But, what happens when a child under DCPP supervision turns 18? Will the DCPP continue to help?
What the DCPP Does After A Child’s 18thBirthday
The DCPP primarily deals with children under the age of 18, however they recognize that some children are not ready to face the world alone on their 18thbirthday. For this reason, the DCPP does not automatically cut off services when a child under supervision turns 18 years old. Instead, the DCPP analyzes each case to determine whether the child’s case should be kept open or closed.
The DCPP conducts an assessment about six months prior to the child’s 18thbirthday. The goal of this assessment is to determine whether or not the child needs additional services in order to live independently. At the end of the assessment, the case worker will either recommend closing the case or continuing services.
Who Receives Continuing Services?
Children must meet certain requirements in order to receive services past their 18thbirthday. For example, children that received services from the DCPP at age 16 or older qualify for these continuing services. The DCPP can also decide to offer continuing services for clinical reasons. For instance, the DCPP may offer continuing services to someone who is suffering from severe depression. These are some of the many reasons why the DCPP may offer services to a child who is about to become a legal adult.
How Long Will Continuing Services Last?
If the DCPP believes a child’s case should remain open, the child can continue to receive services until his 21stbirthday. However, some children may decide that they are not interested in receiving services once they become legal adults. If the child refuses to participate, the DCPP will have no choice but to close the case. If the child initially accepts services, he can decide to stop the services if he feels he has finally achieved his goals and is no longer in need of the DCPP’s help.
Are you being investigated by the DCPP? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC as soon as possible. Our skilled attorneys will work tirelessly to protect your rights and keep your family together. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at [email protected], or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.