How to Appeal the DCPP’s Decision to Remove Your Children From Your Home
Very few things will strike fear in the heart of a parent faster than the thought of being forcibly separated from their children. Parents work hard to provide for their children and make sure that they are happy, healthy, and in a stable environment. The New Jersey Department of Children Protection and Permanency is similarly tasked with making sure that children in the state of New Jersey are safe and not being subjected to abuse or neglect. In some situations, the DCPP may have to intervene when parents are failing or seen to be failing to live up to that obligation. In extreme cases, the DCPP may even remove the children from the parents’ home and custody. If this has happened to you, you will likely want to know how to appeal the DCPP’s decision to remove the children from your home.
Before you get to the appeal process, you need to have a basic understanding on how the case arrived in this situation. A DCPP case begins when the DCPP receives an allegation of abuse or neglect against the children. The DCPP will then assign a caseworker to investigate the allegation. There are several ways that a caseworker can conclude the investigation. Most relevant here, the caseworker can “substantiate” the allegation of abuse or neglect. A finding that the allegations are “substantiated” means that the caseworker had determined that there is sufficient evidence to support the truth of the allegations. The repercussions can be severe, including removal of your children from your care and placement of your name on a permanent child abuse registry.
If you do not agree with the substantiated finding, you should act quickly to appeal this finding. You can appeal this finding by contacting the office listed on the notice your received notifying you of the claim being substantiated. If you successfully appeal the substantiated finding, this will make it simpler for you to seek the return of your children.
In addition to appealing the substantiated finding, there are other essential steps in appealing the removal of your children. First, you should be aware that if you are indigent and unable to afford your own attorney, you can request that an attorney be appointed to your case. Although children can be removed from your home on an emergency basis, at some point, you are entitled to a hearing regarding the removal. At that hearing, you and your attorney can present evidence to dispute the DCPP’s allegations and demonstrate that you were providing a totally suitable and safe environment for your children. If you are not successful in having your children returned after that hearing, you should talk to your attorney about certain very limited avenues of appeal that may be available by taking your appeal to the New Jersey court of appeals.
We have extensive experience assisting our clients with all types of DCPP cases. Call us today about how we can help protect your rights.
Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at[email protected], or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation. Download our free resource guide today.