If the allegations of abuse or neglect only involved one child, caseworkers won’t necessarily remove all your children. But the agency is required to assess the safety of all children in the household, whether the allegation involved them or not.
During a child welfare investigation, caseworkers will interview all children in the household, including the alleged victim, siblings, and other minor occupants. Caseworkers observe nonverbal children. What they will be trying to assess is whether your other children are at risk of harm, and, if so, whether they can remain safely in the home or not. It is more likely that caseworkers will remove all the children from the home if they are all subject to the same risks. If the allegation involves the abuse of only one child, however, caseworkers will assess the safety of all children before making a decision.
One factor caseworkers will take into consideration is whether the parent is fit. All children in a household would at risk of harm if their caregiver was unfit. But these types of cases involve many factors, and child welfare investigators must follow certain protocol to ensure all children are in safe custody.
If caseworkers decide to remove the alleged victim from the home, it doesn’t necessarily mean all other children in the household will be taken as well. But if caseworkers do take all your children, you have a right to know why even if the allegations pertained to just one child. You also have a right to know where they are going, what services they will be provided, and ask that they are kept together. If at all possible, the agency will work to place all your children in the same household. If they cannot all be placed together, they have a right to regular visitation with their siblings.
Speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney if you are under investigation for child abuse. It’s important to understand your rights and those of your child or children and also understand what the agency is going to do. An attorney can keep you informed and work hard to ensure your children aren’t taken unnecessarily and that you have frequent contact with all of them.
Are you worried about your rights being violated? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Our skilled attorneys can help ensure you can enforce your special rights as a parent. 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.