The Facts About New Jersey’s Child Welfare System

A Struggling System

The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) operates as New Jersey’s child welfare agency or CPS. The DCP&P looks out for the safety and well-being of all children in New Jersey and can take action if a child is abused or neglected. Recently, the DCP&P has undergone reform to correct oversights, reduce inconsistencies, and increase efficiency and efficacy in child placement and monitoring. If you are a parent with a child welfare case, learning this may be cause for concern.

The Strengths and Limitations of the System

The agency investigates reports of abuse and neglect and has the authority to take steps to make sure all children have a safe place to live, both temporarily and permanently. The DCP&P is responsible for monitoring children in foster placement and working with families to reunify them with their children. The agency is required to make reasonable efforts to keep children safe in their home or work with the parents to bring a child back home safely after being in foster placement. The DCP&P does not directly terminate parental rights and must ask the court to make such decisions. And all these requirements must be done in a timely manner so as to minimize the period of time children are in foster placement.

In the past, the DCP&P has been underfunded and understaffed. This has led to overloaded caseworkers, fewer resources to go around, and ultimately inconsistencies in the care and protection children receive. Some of the improvements the federal government has required the DCP&P to make have been accomplished and some are still in progress. What this means for families and parents like you is your involvement in your case is very important. Staying informed and involved in your case is the key to ensuring you can be reunited with your child as soon as possible.

Staying informed and involved is difficult when caseworkers don’t have the time to give you personal assistance. Speak with a New Jersey child welfare attorney if you have a child welfare case open. It is important that you stay involved, informed, and educated throughout the process to ensure your child and your family receives the assistance needed to reunite safely. While the DCP&P continues to work toward meeting the required improvements, you can help ensure your child does not suffer as a result if you have a skilled legal advocate on your side.

Do you have questions about CPS? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you make sure your child’s best interests are protected and your rights are defended. 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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