As part of your CPS case, your caseworkers may ask you to accept certain services. These services vary, but their general purpose is to fix problems your DCP&P caseworkers think put your child at risk. Common services a parent may be asked to accept include parenting assessments or evaluations, drug and alcohol counseling, drug treatment, or anger management classes.
Services and Your Safety Plan
Typically, these services will be part of your safety plan that you create with your caseworkers. These plans are voluntary. You do not have to sign and follow the safety plan if you do not want to, but there could be consequences to refusal. Likewise, you can refuse certain services the DCP&P asks you to accept, but the DCP&P can then involve the family court.
The Consequence of Refusal
Unlike the DCP&P, the family court has the authority to order you to do certain things. The DCP&P largely only cooperates with parents and has limited authority to force you to do things. It can, however, turn to the court, which can then issue a court order. You have to follow court orders. If you disobey court orders, you could be brought back to court, fined, or even be found in contempt of court.
The Potential Benefit of Going to Court
The good news is that while you may have to go to court if you refuse services offered by the DCP&P, you will have a chance to talk to the judge about the services. If you disagree with one that you don’t feel is reasonable or that you need, you can explain that to the judge, who will then decide whether or not the service is necessary. The court holds both the parent and the DCP&P accountable in that it ensures the DCP&P is fair to you and that you do accept the services necessary to keep your child safe.
If the DCP&P is asking you to accept services, consider speaking with an experienced New Jersey child abuse defense attorney. An attorney can review the services you are being asked to accept and advise you on whether or not refusing them—and possibly going to court—is worth it. A good attorney can make sure the services in your safety plan are reasonable and necessary.
Are you worried about your rights being violated? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help ensure you aren’t made to do anything unreasonable or unnecessary. 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 email@example.com, 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.