How confidential is any information I share with my attorney?
In general, what you tell your attorney in confidence (when no one else is around) must remain confidential. However, your attorney is obligated to go to the police if you say that you are going to commit a crime in the future.
Will the general public be able to access information from the court hearings?
No. Both information at the hearings and also information contained in DCP&P’s files must remain confidential.
What are some tips and strategies for how to handle your DCP&P caseworker?
First off, keep records of who your caseworker is and what happens in various meetings. As the Chinese saying goes, the faintest ink is clearer than strongest memory. Track information, such as the person’s name, email, telephone number, supervisor, etc. Track the dates and times of any conversations or emails with DCP&P representatives (including covering workers, supervisors, etc.). Include failed attempts to reach the agency, such as voice mails or emails that don’t get returned. Your attorney can also help you organize and orchestrate these communications.
Be your best self when interacting with DCP&P. Avoid getting heated or overly defensive, even if you feel understandably emotional about the situation. Yelling at people or making inappropriate emotional appeals will not serve your interests. Instead, be business like. Be diligent. Be clear. Understand precisely what your responsibilities are and what kinds of deadlines you have to meet during the process. Stick with facts instead of generalities.
What responsibilities does DCP&P have to you and your child?
In an ideal world, DCP&P is supposed to try to keep families intact, to create action plans to solve underlying issues and to provide needed support. The reality, as we’ve discussed, can be often quite different and more adversarial. But that’s at least the mission statement.
DCP&P, at minimum, must provide a case plan for you and your family, offer services that can restore your family or keep it intact, and keep you up-to-date about the case. If your child is placed in care, DCP&P must set up times for a visit with your child and also inform you about what’s going on with your child educationally, developmentally, medically, and so forth.
Is DCP&P obligated to help you?
In severe situations, DCP&P can ask the judge to be excused from assisting you, because your parental rights have been ended or because you seriously hurt the child.
For skillful, experienced assistance battling back against untrue allegations of child abuse or neglect, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.