There are many factors that could impact the length of a child abuse or neglect case. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) has a set amount of time to complete investigations, but various circumstances could speed up or slow down the process.
If you are being denied a prompt resolution to your case, a dedicated lawyer could help you contact the appropriate parties and ask for a deadline. For more information on the length of DCPP cases in Short Hills, it is recommended that you consult the Williams Law Group.
Generally speaking, Division cases take approximately one year to resolve from start to finish, particularly if your child was removed from your custody at the outset. If your child was not removed from your custody, the time period can be less. If both parents have impairments such as mental health concerns or substances issues that lead DCPP to file a case in court, the process can be much longer.
DCPP technically has 60 days to complete its investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect. However, the investigating worker can go to the local office manager to seek an extension if they can demonstrate a good reason. Extensions are not uncommon.
If the Division requires additional time to complete examinations such as substance abuse evaluations or psychological tests, you should make sure that that you are given an end date for your investigation. Do not allow the Division to initiate its investigation and leave its case open for months at a time without giving you some idea of when the matter is going to be resolved. If you are not getting a prompt resolution of your division investigation, you should contact a local attorney for help requesting a deadline from your local office manager.
The first step is to contact the supervisor of your DCPP worker, advise that you have been involved in the investigation for more than 60 days, and ask what you can do to get it resolved. If that does not give you a prompt resolution, you should contact a local office manager and notify them that your investigation is taking longer than is required by law. If you do not receive a notification in writing as to what the final steps are, you can advise that you will no longer cooperate with the investigation.
Before deciding not to cooperate with DCPP, it is critical that you consult an experienced attorney to determine whether or not that is an appropriate step to take. If DCPP does not receive your cooperation, they could remove your child if they believe that there is an imminent risk of harm.
If your case has been litigated over an extended period of time and you ultimately win, it is not likely that your child is going to be immediately sent home. If the child has been in foster care, the court will typically want to know that they will not be unduly harmed by returning home without some period of transition.
If your child is safely in the care of a relative, they may be transitioned into returning home by increasing your time with them, either unsupervised or supervised. However, there is not normally an abrupt change of residence after a DCPP case ends because that is considered disruptive to the child.
If you are wondering when an ongoing investigation will be resolved, discuss the length of DCPP cases in Short Hills with a knowledgeable legal advisor. One of our skilled attorneys could explain the factors that may impact your proceedings and help you pursue a timely end to your case. Call today to schedule a consultation about your circumstances.