A Child Safety Protection Plan is a legal document created by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) that outlines conditions and requirements caregivers and parents must meet to prevent further investigation or removal of a child from the home. The plan allows a child at risk to remain in the home while DCPP investigators decide how to proceed with charges of abuse made against the parent or caregiver.
Establishing a Child Safety Protection Plan
When the DCPP office receives notification of suspected child abuse or neglect, investigators must act quickly to assess the potential risk to the child. When DCPP officials determine a child is at risk, they must either remove the child from the home while investigating the situation, or they can develop a Child Safety Protection Plan that allows the child to stay in the home under certain conditions that guarantee their safety.
DCPP workers keep the safety and well-being of a child as their top priority and will work with parents and caregivers as much as possible before removing a child from the home. The following steps in creating a Child Safety Protection Plan will enable parents to know exactly what they have to do to continue to keep their child with them.
- DCPP workers inform parents of their risk assessment
- Parents are presented with a plan that outlines requirements and goals established by DCPP
- Parents agree to and sign the Child Safety Protection Plan
- DCPP investigators remain in close contact with the family and monitor their compliance with the terms of the Child Safety Protection Plan
Parents or guardians who fail to maintain their commitment to the requirements of the Child Safety Protection Plan risk loss of parental rights and removal of the child from the home. DCPP can bring court action against the parents and limit their access to and visitation with the child.
Consultation with an Experienced DCPP Lawyer
DCPP holds the power to decide whether a child stays with their parents, and what conditions must improve for reunification to take place. Consultation with an experienced DCPP lawyer is imperative as soon as a parent becomes aware of their involvement.
A knowledgeable DCPP lawyer understands the laws surrounding child protection and how to successfully navigate through the system. The risk of making mistakes while being investigated by DCPP is high. Signing a Child Safety Protection Plan without consultation with a lawyer can leave parents vulnerable to unfortunate consequences.
Parents agree to all allegations and conditions set forth in the Child Safety Protection Plan when they sign it. If there is incriminating information in the document, parents risk this information being used against them in the future. An experienced DCPP lawyer can review the plan to confirm that the requirements and conditions stated are reasonable. They can also negotiate terms that are realistic for the family to meet to ensure their child remains in the home or is returned to the home in the shortest time possible.
South Jersey DCPP Lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Provide Counsel and Representation for Child Safety Protection Plans
If you are facing charges or an investigation by DCPP, contact a South Jersey DCPP lawyer at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker by calling 856-210-9776, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Cherry Hill offices serve clients throughout the South Jersey area, including the communities of Haddonfield, Marlton, Medford, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, and Voorhees, New Jersey.