An Unexpected Visit
Becoming involved with CPS is every parent’s worst nightmare. Caseworkers might be threatening to take your child away. Worst yet, they might not be explaining the situation to you or giving you the details you need to make the best decisions. You have valuable rights during DCP&P investigations, but let’s start with the one you should exercise first: the right to know why the DCP&P is investigating you.
New Jersey’s CPS agency is operated by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P.) The DCP&P must follow state and federal law when investigating parents. Under the law, parents have a right to full disclosure. This means they have a right to know why they are being the DCP&P has contacted them. Now, let’s go over when to exercise this right and why it’s important to do so.
Getting the Details
On the first contact by the DCP&P—either by mail, phone, or in person—you should ask for the details of the allegation. If the caseworker only says you are suspected of child abuse or neglect, politely cite your right to full disclosure. Caseworkers must provide a reason for why you are under investigation. The caseworker does not have to disclose who made the report as that information is confidential. But he or she must tell you what the specific allegations are.
It’s important to understand the allegations against you to be able to defend yourself. From the time when the report is made to the time when the case is fully closed, your every move could be monitored. Knowing the specific allegation can help you understand what you need to do to defend yourself and your rights. A general allegation of child abuse doesn’t give you much direction when trying to decide how to handle your case.
Speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare defense attorney if you are facing child abuse or neglect allegations. All child abuse reports must be thoroughly investigated before action can be taken against your parental rights or before your child can be placed permanently with another family. You have a right to know the specific allegations against you, so you have a fair opportunity to defend yourself against them. An attorney can help you get the information you need to present your side of the story, protect your rights, and protect your child’s best interests.
Are you facing child abuse allegations? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can explain how the investigation process works and help you make informed decisions about your case. 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 connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.