Among the several placement options available when a child is removed from the home, being placed with relatives is sometimes the best. Children can cope better when placed with relatives than with a new family. But once a child is placed with relatives, what happens next? This is an important question because, as with any foster placement, placement with relatives is meant to be short-term.
New Jersey treats relative caregivers the same as foster families. When a child is put in kinship care with a relative, that relative must then become a licensed resource family (i.e., foster family.) New Jersey’s CPS agency (the Division of Child Protection and Permanency), or the DCP&P, will license the relative through the same process it licenses traditional foster families. By doing this, the DCP&P can fulfill its duty to keep children safe from harm. This also gives the agency means to oversee the placement as the ultimate goal may still be to return the child to his or her parents.
The DCP&P will make sure the kinship care arrangement is in your child’s best interests. The foster family licensing process involves home visits, and your child may be checked on periodically by caseworkers (although checking on children in their own homes is a bigger priority.) You can also visit your child in the relative’s home. Remember that foster placement—even when with relatives—is temporary. It’s important to stay involved in your child’s life during this time so reunification will be easier.
If caseworkers find the arrangement is not in your child’s best interests, they may attempt to find another resource family with whom your child can be placed. Again, the State views relative caregivers and resource families the same and thus holds both to the same standards.
Speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare defense attorney if you are involved with CPS. You may want to have your child placed with relatives to ease the transition, and an attorney can explain how you can make that happen. An attorney can also explain what your relative will need to do to care for your child and what CPS caseworkers will do to monitor your child.
Have you become involved with New Jersey’s CPS agency? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and tell you what you can do to get your child back. 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.