Division of Child Protection and Permanency
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), is a division of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families and is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect. In addition to investigating, the DCPP is charged with ensuring the welfare and protection of children and arranging certain services for the family if necessary. The DCPP operates a 24/7 hotline for reporting child abuse.
While the protection of children is of the utmost importance, sometimes families get caught in a nightmare of false allegations, which can result in months of being dragged through the court system. Misunderstandings by well-intentioned teachers or neighbors unfamiliar with your family could lead to the DCPP showing up on your doorstep to investigate you. Reports can also stem from New Jersey police or physicians who are obligated to notify the Division of any suspected acts of child abuse or negligence. Regardless of the nature and legitimacy of allegations made against you, you have the right to defend yourself.
Know Your Rights
Many parents do not realize that they do not have to allow investigators into their home and can refuse to sign safety protections plans that are presented to you. There is no legal obligation to cooperate unless the DCPP has petitioned the Court to order you to do so. Obtaining experienced counsel at this point can be crucial as investigations can move quickly and spin out of control, and conclude within 60 days or less. The DCPP has the authority to take custody of your children and terminate your parental rights. There is also a risk of jail time if you are found guilty of child endangerment or child abuse in a related criminal matter. Other actions that the DCPP can take include making regular home visits, imposing mandatory supervision of your time with your children, and forcing you to undergo a psychological evaluation. Once it has concluded an investigation and acted, you will be forced down a lengthy road of court hearing and appeals and other legal maneuvers to change your situation.
Defend Your Rights with Trusted and Knowledgeable Legal Help
Trying to navigate the bureaucracy of the DCPP system while under the extreme emotional duress of possibly losing your family can seem overwhelming. Additionally, getting angry about it in front of the authorities interviewing you and your children could put your case at risk. Finding a skilled South Jersey DCPP/DYFS lawyer can help you succeed in reaching a fair and successful outcome for your family. The DCPP takes every allegation of child abuse and neglect seriously and will go to great lengths to protect a child once sufficient evidence is found. It is important that anyone facing such allegations act quickly.
South Jersey DCPP/DYFS Lawyer Ted Baker Handles DCPP Cases With Understanding and Compassion
If you have questions about your situation with the DCPP, contact the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker for a consultation with a compassionate and experienced South Jersey DCPP/DYFS lawyer. Call us at 856-795-9400 or complete the online form to schedule your appointment today. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey.