The process by which a child is placed in a foster setting is determined—initially—by DCPP protocol and the suitable placement options those working on the case can identify. DCPP is New Jersey’s child protective services (CPS) agency. DCPP caseworkers are required first to try to find relatives with whom to place a child before resorting to traditional foster families. The DCPP recognizes that many children fare better when placed with relatives or family friends than with foster families. If a caseworker cannot find an appropriate relative placement, he or she may place the child with a foster family.
Foster placements are meant to be temporary living situations. The goal in most cases is to find the child a permanent placement, ideally in their home. Foster parents do not become the child’s parents. A foster parent must go through a lengthy and protracted process to adopt a child in New Jersey. If a suitable relative placement were not identified when a child was removed from his or her home, DCPP would identify a temporary foster placement. But that doesn’t mean the child must remain with his or her foster family. Foster children in New Jersey do not always stay with one foster family for the duration of their out of home placement.
A relative who wishes to care for a child in foster care should reach out to the DCPP case managers early on to communicate their wishes. The DCPP may screen a relative wishing to assume caretaking responsibilities for a child or eventually gain New Jersey kinship legal guardianship. Thus, the sooner a relative steps forward, the less time the child will be with a foster family.
This process doesn’t always happen overnight. If you are in this situation, make sure you are working with the child’s parents. With their cooperation, you might be able to make replacement happen sooner, as you’ll need information about who is managing the case. Next, speak with a New Jersey DCPP defense attorney. Experienced attorneys have worked with parents and other relatives alike. The adage that it takes a village to raise a child is true for many families in New Jersey. When a child is at risk of harm, it is not at all unusual for caring relatives to step forward to become involved. An attorney can help you be involved and offer help to benefit the child.
If you are dealing with the DCPP in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child abuse defense attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you defend your rights and protect your privacy. 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.