Your Rights When Your Child Is Removed From the Home

You Do Have Rights

Having your child removed from your home is one of the most frightening experiences you can have as a parent. You may feel as if your parental rights have been violated, but child welfare workers can take your child if he or she is at substantial risk of harm. But even then, you still have rights if your child is removed from your home by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), New Jersey’s child welfare service agency. It is important to know and understand these rights so you can make the best decisions for your family during this trying time.

If DCP&P workers come to your home and take your child away, they must try to place your child in care with a relative or else, they will elect to place in non-relative foster care. This does not mean that your parental rights will be terminated or even that you will lose custody permanently. You have many rights in this situation, including the right to:

  • Know the specifics of why your child is being taken from you
  • Know what the DCP&P will do with your child (though you are not entitled to know the location of non-relative foster placements)
  • Know what the DCP&P expects of you and your child
  • Speak with your own attorney (if you are indigent, the court may appoint you an attorney)
  • Refute the DCP&Ps decision to take your child
  • Work with the DPC&P to create a safety plan that will allow your child to stay in the home

You also have the right to an interpreter at no cost to you if needed. In the majority of cases, the parent and the DCP&P can create a safety plan that will keep the child safe in the home. You will have periodic review hearings to evaluate the success of the plan. If you comply, and the plan works, your child can remain in the home.

Your rights as a parent are important. Even if your child is removed from your home, you retain some rights although they may be more limited. If you have questions about your parental rights, speak with an experienced New Jersey child welfare attorney right away. It is important for you to know and exercise the rights you still do have during a child welfare investigation. An attorney can advise you of your rights and help you do what you can to have your child returned to you.

Do you have questions about your parental rights? Williams Law Group, LLC is here to assist you with your child welfare case, helping ensure your child’s best interests are protected. 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, 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.

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