When a parent is under investigation by New Jersey’s child welfare agency (the Division of Child Protection and Permanency or DCPP), the well-being of all children in the household will be of concern. Caseworkers have to investigate and ensure the safety of all children in the household. This usually means that even if the child abuse or neglect complaint may be regarding one child, caseworkers can take steps to protect that child’s siblings as well. When developing a safety plan, caseworkers can address the safety risks of all children in the household. If both children are found to be at risk of immediate harm, they may both be removed from the home. When more than one child is removed from a home, a Short Hills sibling visitation lawyer could help facilitate visits between brothers and sisters in the foster care system.
Unfortunately, and despite best efforts, siblings can’t always be placed with the same foster family. The availability of foster families, their willingness to take on multiple children, the schools of origin of both siblings, and many other factors can influence the placement of your children. When this occurs, siblings should be able to visit with each other regularly. Coordinating sibling visitation will be a group effort on the part of the children’s respective foster families, the parent under investigation, and child welfare caseworkers. This is an important component of keeping children comfortable while in foster placement, and caseworkers should be trying to facilitate sibling visits. Regular contact with siblings is very important for children in foster placement, and facilitating frequent visits can help your child cope with foster placement and maintain the bond with his or her sibling. A dedicated Short Hills attorney could help coordinate visits between siblings who were separated in the foster care system.
Consider working with an experienced attorney if you have an open child welfare case. Knowing and understanding your rights and the rights of your family as a whole during this time is the key to making it through the process and bringing your family back together. An attorney can work with you so you can defend your rights and the rights of your children. You have a right to see your child and look after his or her welfare, and your child has a right to spend time with his or her siblings. It is important to have an advocate of your own when you are trying to advocate for your child and his or her siblings during a child welfare case. Our Short Hills sibling visitation lawyers could be that advocate. Call our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney.