The Case Planning Stage in DCP&P Cases

The Case Planning Stage in DCP&P CasesPlanning for Permanency

Case plans are required whenever a child is placed out of his or her home, be it with a resource family (i.e. foster family), a relative or other kinship caregiver, or a residential treatment program. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (New Jersey’s child welfare agency) is responsible for formulating the case plan when it is required.

The State of New Jersey must involve the parents in the case planning unless there is good cause to believe this wouldn’t be in the best interests of the child. The child’s foster parents, Guardian ad Litem, CASAs (court appointed special advocates), family members, and others who are close to the child and have a direct interest in caring for the child may also be involved in the case planning stage. In some cases, older children who’ve demonstrated appropriate maturity may be involved as well.

The case planning stage involves the identification of placement goals and the formulation and execution of a case plan to reach those goals. Case plans are comprehensive documents that provide information regarding the facts and circumstances of the case and the plan for the placement of the child. The intent is to work toward finding a safe and permanent home for the child, and part of the case plan’s purpose is to document the stages in that search by reviewing the goals and the efforts made to reach them. Periodic reviews of the case plan may be held to ensure sufficient progress toward permanent placement is made. Typically, the case planning stage ends once the child is placed in a safe and permanent home.

If you are involved in a child welfare case and are in the case planning stage, you need to speak with an attorney right away. Consult with a knowledgeable New Jersey child custody and child welfare attorney to discuss your case and your role in the case. You have a right to be involved in this process and contributing what knowledge and resources you have to ensure your child’s best interests are protected. An attorney can help you stay involved without compromising your chance of getting your child back during this very difficult time.

Do you have questions about child welfare case planning? If so, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. Our skilled attorneys can defend your rights and protect your best interests. Located in Union, 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, 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.

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