For parents facing an investigation from the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), the experience can be incredibly frightening. They likely fear the fallout of saying or doing the wrong thing, worried their children will be removed and placed in a foster home. Unfortunately, some DCPP workers use that fear to their advantage, intimidating parents into complying with requests they may actually be under no obligation to cooperate with.
This is what you should know about DCPP inquiries:
Make no mistake, DCPP and the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) both play an invaluable role in protecting vulnerable youth across the country. Yet when their efforts are unwarranted or misinformed, good parents can lose their children indefinitely. Parents need to know their rights when dealing with DCPP investigations so they can advocate for themselves and their families.
Unless DCPP has a court order requiring you to comply, you are under no obligation to:
- Speak with DCPP employees
- Allow DCPP employees in your home
- Submit to any DCPP drug tests or evaluations
Most importantly, you do not have to give DCPP access to your children unless court-ordered to do so.
With that said, it should be stressed that every situation is unique. While you are not required by law to comply with an inquiry, in some cases it makes sense to do so. A skilled South Jersey DCPP lawyer can evaluate your family law matter and recommend the best course of action to protect your rights and keep your family together.
DCPP Court Orders
DCPP may take your case further and petition the court for a court order requiring you to comply with their requests. At this stage, DCPP can ask the court to order evaluations, tests, parental restrictions, and even removal of the children from the family home. It is generally not in your best interest to fight a court order.
The best way to handle a DCPP investigation is to resolve it before it gets to court. That requires the guidance of a qualified South Jersey DCPP lawyer who knows what the investigator is and is not allowed to do under the law. Your lawyer understands what they are looking for and if it makes sense for you to comply or fight the matter in court.
If the allegations are completely unfounded, it may be best to cooperate and end the inquiry quickly. If there are concerns that abuse or neglect has occurred, going to court may be the best option.
New Jersey DCPP Lawyer at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Advocates for New Jersey Families
When your ability to care for your child is in question, your whole world can feel like it is crumbling. Allegations of abuse or neglect are devastating, especially when they may mean the possibility of losing your children. There is never a more important time to enlist the representation of a caring and experienced New Jersey DCPP lawyer at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker.
We know that every interaction with DCPP or DYFS is incredibly stressful. But you are not alone. Let your South Jersey DCPP lawyer explain your rights and empower you to make smart decisions to protect your rights as a parent and make your child’s well-being the top priority.
With offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Mr. Baker serves clients in and around Haddonfield, Marlton, Medford, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, Voorhees, and across South Jersey. To schedule an appointment, call 856-210-9776 or complete the convenient online contact form today.