It can be devastating for a parent to be faced with a false accusation of child neglect or abuse. Even if you are certain there is no evidence to support the allegation, the mere suggestion has the potential to negatively affect your family and your reputation.
It is the expressed mission of the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP) to investigate every claim of abuse or neglect. From the outset of the investigation, the DCPP will proceed with the singular interest to protect the child. With this priority in mind, the investigators will be collecting information and conducting interviews that may end up being used as evidence to support a case against you.
It is routine for the investigators to ask you to sign paperwork and agree to terms that you may not fully understand. An innocent person will often aim to be agreeable and accommodating to officials with such sway over their family’s future. This arrangement creates an unfair disadvantage that may work against a parent who has little understanding of the process or of their rights. The fear of losing custody of your child or parental rights may cause you to make concessions that could hurt your case.
It is not against the law to prevent the DCPP from entering your home on their initial visit. The DCPP may be forced to obtain a court order to compel you to allow access to your home. Alternatively, you do not have the right to be present when your child is interviewed as part of the investigation. If you attempt to prevent the interview, investigators can petition the court to order it.
It is important to understand that you have the right to consult with a legal professional. The DCPP may recommend a parental advocate within the agency. However, it may be wise to seek advice from an attorney outside of the DCPP.
Repercussions of an Accusation
Besides the obvious fear of losing custody of your child or the embarrassment of a tarnished reputation, the personal cost of becoming the target of a DCPP investigation are many. Even if the case ends without implicating you as an abuser, clearing your name completely may be an ongoing problem. You may experience issues with friends and neighbors who may wonder if they know the whole story. You may also suffer possibly being passed over for a promotion by a boss who remains suspicious of your character.
The only way to keep the allegations from taking over your life is to find a knowledgeable DCPP attorney who can keep you informed of your rights to fight the false claims against you.
Cherry Hill DCPP Lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Represent Falsely Accused Clients
If you find yourself the subject of a DCPP investigation, it is critical to have someone on your side who has experience in representing those accused of child abuse and neglect. A Cherry Hill DCPP lawyer at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker can help protect your rights and your family. To get started, contact us online or call us at 856-795-9400 today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout South Jersey.