It’s not just parents who face child abuse allegations. Others involved in a child’s life, such as a caregiver or guardian, can be accused of child abuse, too. These cases are handled a little differently; so let’s take a look at what a non-parent caregiver should know when facing allegations of child abuse or neglect.
First, it’s important to know the child’s parent can be involved if you are facing allegations, whether or not he or she has custody. Sometimes DCP&P (New Jersey’s CPS agency) considers placing children with non-custodial parents instead of foster families. Unfortunately, some non-custodial parents take advantage of this and make false allegations of child abuse to regain control of the child. Know that this is typically a short-term solution DCP&P will consider. DCP&P may also place children with foster families instead of non-custodial parents if such a placement were not appropriate.
Second, the outcome of your case will depend—in part—on your legal relationship with the child and what rights you have. Are you a non-parent with custodial rights? Are you a relative with visitation rights? Were you a temporary caregiver of the child? DCP&P will first consider your legal relationship with the child and your legal rights before making any decisions. You will need to discuss your case in detail with a knowledgeable New Jersey child abuse and child custody attorney to get a better idea of what can happen to your role as a caregiver. Unfortunately, caregivers without legal rights may find DCP&P a more difficult adversary than those with custody.
If you are a caregiver facing abuse allegations, your first step should be to contact an attorney to discuss your case. Go over your rights and your role in the child’s life. An attorney can explain what could happen next in your case and your options for dealing with CPS. Being a non-parent caregiver puts you in a more vulnerable position with CPS, but a savvy child welfare attorney can help you demonstrate your desire to provide a safe home for the child.
Are you facing child abuse allegations? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can advise you of your rights and help you protect them, your child’s best interests, and your family. 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.