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Following an investigation, the New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formally known as the Division of Youth & Family Services (DYFS), will issue its findings. In tragic cases, a person could see their children removed from their home and have their information permanently included in the Child Abuse Registry.
If you and your family disagree with DCPP’s decision and are unsatisfied with the outcome, you have the right to appeal and seek reconsideration. However, because there are strict procedures in place for DCPP appeals, it is often necessary to work with an experienced attorney throughout the process. If you plan to challenge a decision, a lawyer who focuses on DCPP appeals in Montclair could help increase your chances of success and work to reunite your family.
Following an unsatisfactory DCPP decision, an individual should first notify their caseworker and that person’s supervisor about the disagreement with the outcome. Some Montclair DCPP appeals can be resolved at this stage, but many require additional steps to seek reconsideration of the outcome. If neither the caseworker nor their supervisor can resolve the problem, a person should escalate their discontent by contacting personnel in the following order:
Some DCPP decision disagreements need further assistance for resolution. In cases where none of the parties listed above can remedy the situation, a person may reach out to the Department of Children and Families’ Office of Advocacy.
Beginning in 2017, New Jersey’s Appellate Division created a procedure for appealing DCPP/DFYS findings. If the Department of Children and Families’ Office of Advocacy is unable to provide a suitable solution, or if a person wishes to move directly to legal procedures, aggrieved individuals have the right to appeal in certain circumstances.
Following an unsatisfactory DCPP decision in Montclair, an individual should make a request in writing for reconsideration to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families Administrative Hearings Unit. Upon receiving this request, this department can schedule an administrative hearing conducted by an Office of Administrative Law judge. A local DCPP appeals attorney could help an individual file their request and prepare for the hearing.
An administrative hearing is a type of trial. Participants are entitled, and encouraged, to seek representation from a skilled lawyer with experience handling DCPP appeals. At the hearing’s conclusion, the administrative judge will issue an opinion. DCPP will review the opinion and either reject it or approve it.
If DCPP fails to modify or overturn the original disputed outcome, the aggrieved individual may appeal the case to the state’s Appellate Division. A knowledgeable attorney could further advise Montclair residents on the next steps to take at this stage in the DCPP appeals process.
Seeking reconsideration of a DCPP decision that directly impacts your family can be a stressful and emotionally charged situation. When dealing with such important matters, it is crucial to seek dedicated legal support.
DCPP/DYFS appeals in Montclair can be complicated and have long-lasting consequences for you and your family. Call our firm today to learn how working with a seasoned lawyer could improve your chances of reaching an agreeable outcome.