Mandated by Law
New Jersey enforces a mandatory child abuse reporting law. Those who knowingly fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect can be charged as a disorderly person. In addition to this law, many professionals—such as teachers, nurses, and doctors—are held to a higher standard of reporting. They could lose their job and face criminal charges if they fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect. In many cases, their employers enforce regulations on reporting, too.
What Are the Results?
The effects of New Jersey’s mandatory child abuse reporting law are evident. Many people feel pressured to report whenever they suspect a child was abused or neglected. And because every child abuse report is taken seriously, even the smallest bruise or bump on a child can send a family into the most traumatic ordeal of their lives. In custody cases, it is not uncommon for a parent to take advantage of this and make false allegations of child abuse. This sometimes provides the accusing parent the upper hand regarding custody but ends up hurting the whole family—especially the child—instead.
Unfortunately, once a family becomes involved with CPS, it can take a while before that family is whole again. While it could have been a well-meaning neighbor or teacher who submitted the report, some families find themselves suddenly having to defend themselves against other issues caseworkers discover during the investigation. As we’ve said before in this blog, reporting child abuse to CPS is like opening Pandora’s box, which is why the mandatory child abuse reporting law has the potential to impact healthy families.
What You Can Do
Facing child abuse allegations can be devastating. At this time, do not lose hope. Not all allegations are true. And while caseworkers should know that, they have to treat every case as if the child were actually in danger. They might take precautions you don’t agree with, such as removing your child. What’s important now is finding an advocate. Working with a New Jersey child abuse defense attorney can help you navigate your case knowing your rights and how to defend them.
Are you facing allegations of child abuse? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you defend yourself against the DCP&P. 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.