The Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) is legally obligated to investigate every report of child abuse or neglect. This means if someone accuses you of abusing or neglecting your children, the DCPP may show up at your doorstep. If you are under investigation, it’s important to make sure that the DCPP respects your rights. What are your rights when dealing with the DCPP? Here’s what parents should know:
The Allegations and Outcome of the Investigations
The DCPP will not tell parents that are under investigation who filed the report against them. However, the agency will tell parents about the allegations against them. You have the right to hear specific details regarding the allegations of child abuse or neglect, so do not be afraid to ask.
Parents in this situation also have the right to know what the DCPP found during their investigation. After the investigation is over, the DCPP should send you a letter in the mail that outlines their major findings.
Access to DCPP Services
The DCPP offers a number of services to families, including parenting classes, mental health services, substance abuse treatment, foster care, and help for victims of domestic violence. You have the right to know about these services. The caseworker from the DCPP should tell you about the services offered in your community and explain how your family could benefit from them. The DCPP may even recommend certain services to your family.
However, it is up to the parents to decide whether or not they want to use these services. The only exception to this rule is when the court has ordered a parent to use certain DCPP services. In this case, the parent can face legal consequences for refusing DCPP services.
Every parent that is accused of abuse or neglect has the right to hire an attorney. You can hire an attorney at any point in the process. Some parents choose to hire an attorney as soon as DCPP shows up at their doorstep, while others wait until their child has been taken away. It’s in your best interests to hire an attorney as soon as you find out that you are being investigated. An attorney can protect your rights and fight to keep your children in your home.
Are you being investigated by DCPP? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Let our team of experienced attorneys protect your rights throughout the investigation so you are treated fairly by the DCPP. 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.