Planning for Safety
A child protection safety plan is an arrangement between the caretakers of the child and a child protection agency. In New Jersey, this agency is the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). Child protection safety plans establish guidelines for caretaking and set forth requirements of the parents. A good safety plan can allow a child to remain in the home while still ensuring protection under the DCP&P.
Creating Child Protection Safety Plans
Creating a beneficial child protection safety plan first requires taking an accurate assessment of the risk of harm the child faces. A child protection investigation will be conducted to assess these risks. Once the risks are identified and if the child is determined to be unsafe, the DCP&P may remove the child from the home. Reasonable efforts must be made, however, to help the child remain in the home. If the child is deemed unsafe but the DCP&P feels he or she can remain in the home under certain conditions, a safety plan will be developed.
The parents or caretakers of the child will be informed of why the agency finds the child to be unsafe before they are asked to agree to the plan. The DCP&P will try to make use of family resources first to help the family ensure the safety of the child. In this respect, it can be a collaborative effort between the parents and the child’s family and the DCP&P. More formal measures may be taken if the resources within the family are not sufficient to ensure the safety of the child. For example, if there is no one in the family’s support network who could watch the child during certain times, alternative arrangements may be made.
Once the plan is agreed upon by the parents, it will require them to adhere to certain guidelines and meet certain requirements to keep the child safe. Each plan is unique as it is tailored to the specific circumstances of the case.
If the parents follow the plan, the child may remain in the home, and the DCP&P will not remove the child. If the plan is not followed, however, the DCP&P may take action in court to have the child removed from the home. You may still be allowed visitation with your child at this point, but it will be limited and restricted.
It is very important to understand how a child protection safety plan can affect you and your family. If you have a child protection safety plan, you may want to consult with a skilled New Jersey child welfare attorney. An attorney can advise you on whether or not the plan is reasonable and necessary. A child welfare attorney can also help you have your child returned to you if your child was removed from the home.
Do you have questions about child protection safety plans? Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help you make the best decisions for you and your family and can help you with your child welfare case. 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 so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.