Nothing is more heartbreaking or stressful than learning that you are being investigated by New Jersey child protective services. As a parent, your children are of the utmost importance to you and the thought of losing them can be catastrophic. The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) plays a crucial role in protecting children’s rights in the state as well as in deciding parental fitness. This agency has the ultimate say in whether you are a fit parent or if your children should be removed from your home permanently.
Our goal is to ensure that your family is not unnecessarily ripped apart and that your children’s best interests are fully represented. We highly recommend that you bring in one of our Trenton DCPP investigation attorneys as soon as you are aware of any complaint made against you as a parent.
If you are under an investigation by the DCPP, you need the protection and advocacy of an attorney experienced in this matter. At Davé Law Firm, we can provide the dedicated and tenacious assistance you need throughout the entire investigation process.
How Does a DCPP Investigation Start?
A child welfare check and investigation begins when someone reports concerns about the safety and wellbeing of a child. Once this report is received, the Department of Children and Family Services will visit the child’s home to conduct a welfare check. This is done to determine if the report contains at least one true allegation. DCPP has 24 hours to make an in-home visit once any allegations of abuse have been reported.
Common Reasons for a DCPP Investigation
Various behaviors of neglect or abuse allegedly suspected by others and reported to DCPP can trigger an investigation. Anyone can make such reports and they do not have to provide proof of the allegations. These individuals can also make reports anonymously to the New Jersey Child Abuse/Neglect hotline. In fact, anyone who fails to do so in good faith may be legally subject to a misdemeanor charge.
Common reasons for a resulting investigation can be based on suspicions of the following:
- Children left unsupervised for long periods of time
- Signs of abuse, such as burns or evidence of intentional injuries
- Neglect, such as lack of food, shelter, or clothing
- Lack of medical attention
- School-aged children deprived of an education
If evidence exists that abuse is happening in the home, DCPP will report their findings to the court and, in some cases, immediately request removal of the children if they are in imminent danger. As a parent, you have the right to legal counsel as the case could be brought to trial. Our skilled family law attorneys will aggressively fight for your rights and use our experience with New Jersey family law to pursue fair judgement in every case.
Defend Your Rights as a Parent
You have the right to refuse a DCPP investigation of your home. You can also refuse to sign a safety protection plan presented by a DCPP agent unless DCPP has petitioned the court to order you to comply with their investigation.
At Davé Law Firm, we encourage you to immediately reach out to our experienced Trenton DCPP investigation attorneys at the first signs of an investigation so that we can help protect your rights as a parent. DCPP does have the authority to take custody of your children and terminate your parental rights. However, we can aggressively work on your behalf to fight for and protect those rights throughout all court proceedings.
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