Your child welfare caseworker can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Unfortunately, many parents find them to be the latter. Caseworkers from New Jersey’s child welfare agency (the DCP&P) are notoriously overworked and at times undertrained to handle the wide variety of challenges they face on the job. As a result, parents find working with them difficult and unpleasant. Having a difficult caseworker might be a common conundrum, but you can mitigate any difficulties you face with these tips.
First, don’t take it personally if your caseworker is rude or unaccommodating. CPS agencies typically have high turnover for these roles because the hours are long and the demands are great. Coupled with pay that doesn’t compensate for those challenges and inadequate training, and it’s no wonder many caseworkers don’t last long. They have a job to do, but it’s not an easy one. You should still expect their help, but don’t let curt interactions ruin your day or bring out the worst in you.
Second, be patient yet firm. Don’t expect quick results or personal guidance. But do expect the chance to exercise your rights. Learn about your rights as a parent and enforce them. If your caseworker prevents you from doing so, be firm and cite your legal rights and the agency standards they must meet. Remember, it’s their job to ensure the safety of your child and help your family. It’s OK to remind them of that duty, so you can all stay focused on what’s important.
Third, know who to turn to if things get worse. You can ask to speak with your caseworker’s supervisor or even be assigned a new caseworker. Unfortunately, neither of these steps will necessarily make a difference. Many authorities argue the child welfare system in New Jersey is flawed, meaning a change in caseworker might not resolve the issue. If you have spoken with the supervisor and are still not getting the results you want or the information you need, your next step should be to call an attorney.
Dealing with CPS caseworkers is no picnic, but these are the people who will be instrumental in helping you reunite with your family. If you repeatedly run into problems, know when to turn to an attorney for help. Not surprisingly, caseworkers will work a little harder when an attorney is on the case.
Are you having difficulties working with your caseworker? The attorneys at the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you exercise your rights during the child welfare case process and negotiate with difficult caseworkers. 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 so you can work with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.