Who Advocates for the Parent in Child Welfare Proceedings?

Who Advocates for the Parent in Child Welfare Proceedings?Protecting the Parent

When the state initiates child welfare proceedings, protecting the welfare of the child is the primary objective. The state will appoint a law guardian (a lawyer for your child) to represent the best interests of the child. Although child welfare agencies are tasked with the responsibility of making reasonable efforts to keep families together and united with their children, these “reasonable” efforts are not necessarily made with the best interests of the parent in mind. In fact, many parents facing child welfare proceedings feel, and rightfully so, that no one is advocating for them or the unity of their family. Accordingly, many parents feel as if the system is against them and feel at a lost as to what to do.

Obtaining Advocacy

Once the court becomes involved, the very nature of the case is adversarial, pitting the state against the parent. For a parent facing such proceedings, it is essential to find an advocate who can protect his or her best interests. Typically, this advocacy comes from a child welfare litigation defense attorney. The defense attorney can advocate for the parent in many ways. He or she can:

  • Inform the parent of his or her rights
  • Help the parent defend those rights
  • Work with the parent to identify his or her case goals and help that parent achieve them
  • Provide educational guidance throughout the case proceedings by explaining how the proceedings work and the law behind the court’s actions
  • Ensure the court does not make unreasonable demands of the parent or ask for justification for the orders issued. This can help increase the parent’s chance of meeting the requirements for reunification.

Consider working with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney if you are involved in child welfare proceedings. Your child will be appointed an advocate (the law guardian) who will represent his or her best interests and wishes to the court. But your child’s law guardian will not work on your behalf or protect your best interests. Don’t expect the DCP&P or the court to look out for your best interests either. A knowledgeable attorney can serve as your advocate during this trying time and help you stay informed and involved every step of the way.

If you have questions about child welfare proceedings, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can help you navigate your child welfare case and serve as your advocate. 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 info@awilliamslawgroup.com, 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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