Siblings and the Child Welfare Process
When a parent is under investigation by New Jersey’s child welfare agency (the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), the well-being of all children in the household will be of concern. Caseworkers have to investigate and ensure the safety of all children in the household. This usually means that even if the child abuse or neglect complaint may be regarding one child, caseworkers can take steps to protect that child’s siblings as well. When developing a safety plan, caseworkers can address the safety risks of all children in the household. If both children are found to be at risk of immediate harm, they may both be removed from the home.
When Siblings Separate
Unfortunately, and despite best efforts, siblings can’t always be placed with the same foster family. The availability of foster families, their willingness to take on multiple children, the schools of origin of both siblings, and many other factors can influence the placement of your children. When this occurs, siblings should be able to visit with each other regularly. Coordinating sibling visitation will be a group effort on the part of the children’s respective foster families, the parent under investigation, and child welfare caseworkers. This is an important component of keeping children comfortable while in foster placement, and caseworkers should be trying to facilitate sibling visits. Regular contact with siblings is very important for children in foster placement, and facilitating frequent visits can help your child cope with foster placement and maintain the bond with his or her sibling.
How We Can Help
Consider working with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney if you have an open child welfare case. Knowing and understanding your rights and the rights of your family as a whole during this time is the key to making it through the process and bringing your family back together. An attorney can work with you so you can defend your rights and the rights of your children. You have a right to see your child and look after his or her welfare, and your child has a right to spend time with his or her siblings. It is important to have an advocate of your own when you are trying to advocate for you child and his or her siblings during a child welfare case.
If you have questions about child welfare cases, the Williams Law Group is here to help. The experienced attorneys at Williams Law Group can help you make sure your child and his or her sibling are able to stay close and connected while in foster placement. Located in Union, New Jersey, Williams Law Group 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 protected], 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.