DCPP stands for the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. It is the state child welfare agency in New Jersey that is in charge of investigating allegations of abuse or neglect.
Dealing with an ongoing investigation by the Division can be a stressful experience, especially since most parents do not fully understand the legal proceedings or their rights. As such, it is recommended that you consult an experienced attorney on navigating DCPP investigations in Short Hills. Legal guidance could be key to a successful outcome in your case.
Under New Jersey law, DCPP is not required to have a warrant in order to come to your home to investigate an allegation of child abuse and neglect. When they come to your house, the one requirement is that they must see that your children are safe. If you do not want to allow DCPP into your home, you can bring your children to the door so that the worker can ensure that they are physically okay.
Depending on the nature of the investigation, the Division may choose to come back with a police warrant if the allegation is serious enough. Alternatively, they may simply ask that you schedule a time to come into the office to speak with them regarding the alleged child abuse and neglect. Before denying access to DCPP, you should consult with a Short Hills attorney regarding the likelihood that the Division will take further action in investigating your case.
You are not required to participate in DCPP services, but they are required to offer them to you. When they offer you services, their goal is to unify you and your child. However, if you do not agree with what DCPP is alleging, you have the right to a trial. At a trial, you and your attorney can demonstrate to the court that you do not need any services.
However, if your child is removed from your care, you are only given a limited window of time to address the issue before your child may be free for adoption. If you do not engage in DCPP services, you still need to get your own services to make sure that you can still be reunified if you ultimately do not win the case.
You should not simply cooperate with DCPP and expect your child to be returned to you. That may happen, but there are times when cooperating with DCPP is only to their power. It is in your best interests to consult a skilled attorney to determine what is appropriate in any given case.
If you need access to DCPP records, you must file an application with the court on notice through the Attorney General’s Office. When you file that application, an Attorney General will come to court and advise on whether the agency has any objection to you receiving the records. You can only receive them if the information may be relevant to an issue before the court. The court will review the records in chambers outside of your presence and determine what you are entitled to receive.
If you are under investigation by DCPP, it is crucial that you reach out to nearby legal assistance as soon as possible. The lawyers at the Williams Law Group have experience in these proceedings and could explain everything you need to know about navigating DCPP investigations in Short Hills. Call today to set up a consultation.