Within the purview of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) is meant to support families and ensure children’s well-being and safety. DCPP, once called the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), is the state government entity that investigates allegations of neglect and child abuse.
Being involved with DCPP can be stressful and confusing without guidance from an experienced family lawyer. If you are dealing with the child welfare system, a Montclair DCPP/DYFS lawyer could help assert your parental rights and protect your family.
DCPP may become involved if the agency has received a report that a child might have been neglected or abused. As defined by DCPP, child abuse or neglect is when a caregiver or parent allows a child to be put at risk of or experience severe harm.
Examples of serious allegations that DCPP investigates include:
Families that are under investigation for any allegations are recommended to seek counsel from a Montclair DCPP/DYFS attorney as soon as possible.
If a family is under investigation by DCPP or is awaiting a decision in the hearings process, the parents or guardians have rights in dealing with the agency. For example, parents or guardians have a right to full disclosure from DCPP about why it has become involved in the family. They also deserve a clear explanation from the agency about what it expects from them. A dedicated local attorney could help facilitate communication with DCPP to ensure that a family’s rights are protected.
DCPP is also responsible for informing parents and guardians about all available services. As long as it is not court-ordered, a parent or guardian has the right to either accept or refuse any service. If the family is not comfortable communicating in English, they have the right to request a professional interpreter’s services at no cost. Those who are going through DCPP proceedings should consult a nearby lawyer for more information about their rights and available options.
One of the most fundamental rights for parents and guardians involved with DCPP is the freedom to consult with and be represented by an attorney. A skilled legal advocate could be crucial in preparing for court appearances and seeking a positive outcome to your case.
If your parental rights are at risk of termination, discuss your circumstances with a Montclair DCPP/DYFS. Our legal team could work tirelessly to represent your family’s best interests in court, as well as assist with the appeals process if necessary. Call us today to learn how we could assist you.