The media is filled with stories of CPS caseworkers that lied to parents under investigation for child maltreatment. Some CPS caseworkers have even lied under oath in court, which is a criminal offense. We’re not going to delve into why caseworkers lie because what’s more important is what you should do when they lie. The goal should always be to protect the sanctity of your family and your child. To do that, here’s what you should do if your New Jersey CPS caseworker lied.
New Jersey CPS caseworkers may say they want to help your family stay together. But it should go without saying it’s their job to uncover abuse and neglect. For this reason, don’t take everything they say as fact. Rather, take what they say as a starting point for your own research. Your caseworker, who works for the DCPP, New Jersey’s CPS agency, may indeed give you important information about your case. But it’s a good idea to record or write down everything they say and run it by an attorney. An attorney can help you separate myth from fact, so you can make decisions informed by logic and not fear.
Along those same lines, your DCPP caseworker may try to say you have to let him or her in your home and answer all the questions. In reality, your caseworker needs a warrant to force entry into your home, and you do not have to answer any and all questions. Keep in mind that some questions may be intentionally misleading. Your caseworker may ask you things that seem unrelated to the allegation. Just know that the questions may be aimed at trying to get you to admit something you did wrong. It’s best to only answer questions with an attorney present. While this isn’t always feasible, try to limit the questions you answer until you can consult with an attorney.
Learn about your rights and the New Jersey DCPP case process. You will have to speak with an experienced New Jersey child abuse defense attorney to do this, but your time will be very well spent. The more you know, the fewer chances your caseworker has of misleading or lying to you. Once you know your rights, you can confidentially cooperate when necessary and decline questioning or cooperation when you know it’s not.
If you catch your caseworker in a lie, bring it to your attorney’s attention. You might be able to submit a complaint and ask for a new caseworker. At the very least, an attorney can walk you through the steps of gathering evidence of the lie, so that in court you will have something to back up your claim. Remember, in Title 9 and Title 30 proceedings (court actions regarding the placement of your child and your parental rights initiated by the DCPP), you have a right to legal counsel. You also have the right to present evidence. Take advantage of these rights.
The bottom line is if you know your New Jersey CPS caseworker lied, you may have to prove it. Otherwise, what they say could be held up in court. While a seasoned attorney can significantly reduce the chance this happens to you, know that you are up against a formidable adversary: the DCPP. The DCPP is a state agency responsible for investigating child abuse and neglect referrals. It is notoriously overburdened by too many cases with too few resources to manage them. As a result, caseworkers cut corners, which may involve using deception to get you to cooperate. The best thing you can do is to find an experienced New Jersey child abuse defense attorney whom you can trust and always be on guard by enforcing your rights.
Do you need child abuse defense in New Jersey? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help you in matters involving the DCPP. 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.