Child neglect allegations can leave you feeling shocked and overwhelmed. When the DCPP (formerly the DYFS) investigates you for neglect, it helps to know what to do and where to turn. Because our firm has helped so many parents face allegations as serious as child neglect, here are five tips that can help you navigate the DCPP/DYFS process in front of you.
Before you know it, caseworkers can knock at your door demanding answers and possibly making threats. In this situation, it’s crucial you speak with an attorney who can help you defend your rights and protect your child’s best interests. Always be polite to caseworkers, no matter their demeanor. Some caseworkers may be stern or pushy. Stay calm and know this is just one of their strategies.
DCPP caseworkers will contact you to investigate the referral. It’s important to first speak with an attorney before answering questions. Make sure you get the specific allegation, which can help you protect your rights. Other than providing necessary information (e.g. your name, phone number), politely decline to answer. until you can consult with your attorney.
Caseworkers are notorious for noting small oversights like dirty dishes in the sink or piles of laundry. In reality, these are common in all households. Make sure caseworkers don’t get the wrong impression about you and your home. This can help ensure they don’t fabricate evidence of neglect.
This is where knowing the specific allegation helps. If you are accused of not providing your child with enough food, gather medical records that can show your child doesn’t show any clinical signs of malnourishment. Produce grocery receipts. Speak with people who’re familiar with your family and can testify on your behalf. Don’t be ashamed for having to broach this subject. Many child abuse and neglect reports are unfounded. Someone who cares about your child’s well-being may have made a report, but that doesn’t mean you are guilty of neglect.
DCPP caseworkers might need to obtain medical histories or have your child evaluated by a physician to investigate a neglect referral. These steps can prolong investigations. Be patient, and stand your ground. It’s important for you to stay resolute during this time. Don’t cave and agree to allegations just to get caseworkers out of your life. That move will guarantee DCPP will be involved with your family for some time.
Neglect allegations are hard to face. Not only do you need to deal with the investigation process, but you also have to continue to be a parent to your child. But don’t give up hope just yet. There are steps you can take to reduce the time DCPP is involved with your family and cooperate with caseworkers without agreeing to allegations. Work with a seasoned New Jersey child neglect defense attorney if DCPP has contacted you to learn about your rights and how you can best protect them.
Are you facing allegations of child neglect? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you defend yourself against DCPP. 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.