Parents can sometimes feel like they are fighting an uphill battle when involved in child welfare litigation. The stakes are great, and you are up against a formidable adversary: the State of New Jersey. It might seem impossible to stay on top of your case, especially if you feel you aren’t being kept in the loop, so here are some quick tips on staying proactive every step of the way.
Stay informed. If your caseworkers aren’t providing you with the information you need, contact an attorney. An attorney can work to gather all the documents and information you need to stay proactive. Agency response times can be slow, and busy caseworkers might not have the time to follow every protocol and hold your hand throughout your case. But the more you know, the better you will be able to meet the requests of the agency and the court so your case can be resolved. When parents are kept in the dark, cases tend to linger for too long. Get copies, keep records, review them thoroughly, and ask questions.
Keep making progress as a parent. Just because your child is living somewhere else doesn’t mean you aren’t a parent anymore. Stay informed of your child’s progress, insist on frequent visitation, and, again, ask questions. Some parents make the mistake of not staying involved in their child’s life for many reasons such as guilt or shame, but this doesn’t reflect well on you if you want to reunite with your child.
Stay on top of timelines. To minimize the time a child spends in a temporary home, the State of New Jersey has timelines that all child welfare cases must adhere to. Unfortunately, there are also leniencies and exceptions that are frequently taken advantage of, meaning the timelines—which are there to protect your child—can easily be stretched. Learn about the timelines and do what you can to enforce them.
Perhaps most importantly, make sure you speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney. An attorney can help you stay proactive by getting you the information you need, informing you of your rights and the rights of your child, and helping you enforce them and hold caseworkers, the agency, and the court accountable.
Are you under investigation for child abuse or neglect? The knowledgeable attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can defend you and ensure your rights are protected. 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 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.