The Strengths That Matter
Many parents feel threatened when undergoing child welfare investigations. The stakes are very high, and, understandably, some parents go on the defensive. It’s important to remember no parent is perfect, not even the child welfare caseworkers themselves. Raising a child is not a science by any means, and all parents make mistakes. That being said, certain parenting strengths matter more than others in child welfare cases, and those are the strengths that you should focus on.
It can be overwhelming to think you have to suddenly become a perfect parent in order to get your child back or to have your child stay at home, but child welfare caseworkers can give parents this impression. In reality, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), New Jersey’s child welfare agency, is looking to see if you have certain key parenting strengths that can ensure your child a home free from harm. Let’s take a look at some of these important parenting strengths.
Advocacy for the Child
Caseworkers want to see that you are concerned for your child’s well being and that you want to be his or her advocate. You can demonstrate this even while undergoing a child welfare investigation by asking about services the agency can provide your child and by staying involved in your child’s care while he or she is in foster placement. Don’t let the allegations against you keep you from displaying your concern for your child and your desire to be his or her advocate.
Resilient parents are better able to cope with the everyday stressors of life, persevere through hard times, and still provide their child with a safe home. Going to counseling or therapy can help you build up the skills you need to be resilient in the face of adversity and change.
Ability to Seek Help and Practice Self-Care
A parent who needs help is less able to help his or her child. Parents who struggle with personal problems such as substance abuse or domestic violence are not inherently bad parents, but it’s more difficult for them to care for their child when they need help themselves. Thus, the ability to recognize when you need help and know how to seek it is a strength that can go a long way toward contributing to both your resilience and your ability to care for your child long term. If you need help with an area of your life, talk to caseworkers about what services they can provide.
Caseworkers are interested in all the strengths you have to offer. In fact, one of the jobs of the caseworker is to identify the parent’s strengths and help that parent leverage resources and take advantage of services to provide a safe home for his or her child. Usually, this means the parent will have some areas to improve on, but child welfare caseworkers may have resources to offer to help the parent do just that.
Consider speaking with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney if you are concerned about your parenting strengths. It is difficult to navigate the child welfare investigation process while knowing exactly what caseworkers and the court are looking for. A skilled attorney can serve as your advocate and assist you with your case every step of the way.
Do you have questions about a child welfare case? If so, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. Our skilled attorneys can help you identify your strengths and will advocate on your behalf. Located in Union, 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.