Step by Step
CPS investigations must be completed within a certain timeframe, typically within 60 days. During those 60 days, investigating caseworkers must follow certain guidelines and protocol as set forth by the CPS agency. The investigation process is thorough, involving steps such as interviews with family members, home visits, and reviewing records. The point of the investigation process is to ensure accuracy and validity of the findings. But when CPS takes your child, those 60 days can feel like an eternity.
To make matters worse, your caseworkers might not be able to provide you with a lot of guidance during this time. You may be given notices from the court and New Jersey’s CPS agency, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P). You may also have to undergo several assessments, interviews, and case meetings. You will also likely be asked to agree to a safety plan before you can even get your bearings.
Also, caseworkers investigate allegations using many methods. These methods may extend beyond the scope of the allegations, opening you up to new vulnerabilities. For example, a caseworker may inspect the cleanliness of your home, even if responding to physical abuse allegations. While simply a matter of thoroughness, an unkempt home may be noted and could affect your case. Similarly, a caseworker could contact a collateral source—such as your child’s pediatrician—who may then inadvertently bring up past injuries. Suddenly, a baseless allegation is turning into something much more serious.
How to Remain Calm During the Investigation
The CPS investigation process is thorough and could extend to many areas of your life. Thus, it’s crucial you learn about your rights so you can minimize the invasion of your privacy. Parents facing child abuse allegations cannot be too careful about what they do and say around caseworkers. Likewise, they need to work to maintain as much privacy as they can. Make sure you consult with a knowledgeable New Jersey child abuse defense attorney to discuss your rights. An attorney can outline your rights, explain why they’re important, and tell you exactly how and when to exercise them.
Are you being investigated for child abuse? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you navigate the investigation process while defending your rights. 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.