The Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) may initiate investigations into child abuse or neglect allegations, but the DCPP is not the only party that is involved in the process. The police department also can get involved in DCPP investigations, but only under certain circumstances. Here’s what parents need to know:
Requests for Police Assistance
The DCPP can ask the police for assistance while they are conducting the investigation. For example, if the DCPP caseworker believes his role in the investigation puts him in danger, he can ask the police for protection. Law enforcement must also step in when the DCPP believes a child is in a life-threatening situation. In these cases, a police officer’s presence could save the child’s life.
If the DCPP asks the police for assistance, this does not mean they are handing the investigation over to law enforcement. It simply means that they need a trained law enforcement officer by their side due to the nature of the case.
Substantiated Claims of Abuse and Neglect
At the end of the investigation, the DCPP may conclude that there is enough evidence to establish that the allegations of abuse or neglect are true. These cases are referred to as substantiated claims, and they must be reported to law enforcement right away. The DCPP caseworker will notify the local authorities within 10 days of reaching the conclusion that the allegations are more than likely true. The caseworker will need to submit a detailed summary of the case to the local authorities so they have the information they need to keep the child safe and open a criminal case against the parents.
The Roles Are Often Reversed
Sometimes, it is the police that reach out to DCPP for assistance, not the other way around. The police only contact DCPP for assistance in emergency situations involving abused or neglected minors. For instance, let’s say the police have taken a child into custody for breaking a law, but are unable to contact his parents. In this case, the police may contact the DCPP and ask them to supervise the child until the parents have been located.
Don’t wait for the police to get involved—contact Williams Law Group, LLC as soon as the DCPP arrives at your house. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you are not permanently separated from your child. 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.