Child Protective Services Attorneys Bergen County, NJ
Family Law Firm Protecting the Legal Rights of NJ Families & Their Children
In New Jersey, Child Protective Services is known as the New Jersey Department of Child Protection and Permanency often shortened to DCP&P. Until 2012, it was called the “Division of Youth and Family Services” (DYFS). The mission statement of the DCP&P is to “ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children and to support families”.
The DCP&P is an institution that works to keep our children happy, healthy, and most importantly, safe. When they are called upon in a case of domestic violence or child endangerment, the stakes are extremely high for children and their parents as well. Whether you fear for your child’s safety around another caregiver or you have been falsely accused of wrongdoing, taking the proper steps is critical in ensuring your child’s best interests are being cared for.
At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our experienced family attorneys, understand how the DCP&P operates. Many of our attorneys have held positions in the New Jersey Family Court System as well. Our 75 years of combined legal experience across New Jersey has helped our clients protect both they and their children’s legal rights. Our partners are also parents, and we understand the pain and uncertainty that comes with cases involving the DCP&P. Contact our firm to discuss your individual needs and concerns regarding your rights as a parent or guardian in a free and confidential consultation.
Who are the DCP&P and When Should I Contact Them?
The Department of Child Protection and Permanency is an organization dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect. They also assist in finding permanent homes for children in need, as the name implies. It is important to understand that the DCP&P is an advocate for children first, but it also is intended to serve and support families.
The DCP&P offers services including investigating child abuse or neglect, case management for affected victims, providing a living arrangement for children removed from their family homes, medical services, and more.
If you have reason to believe that a child is in danger, has been physically abused, or is a victim of neglect, you should call the Child Abuse Hotline as soon as possible. This hotline is toll-free and calls are answered 24/7. If you believe a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
You do not need to have any special relationship with the parents or the child to make this call. If there is any reasonable indication that a child is in danger, please make the call today. You may make a report anonymously without legal repercussions. Deliberate and knowing failure to report child abuse or neglect is illegal.
Child Abuse Hotline
1-877 NJ ABUSE
What Authority Does the DCP&P Have Regarding My Child?
If the Department of Child Protection and Permanency has been called to investigate a report of domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect, some regulations govern what they can and cannot do in New Jersey.
- You are entitled to see identification
- You are not entitled to know who reported the initial issue
- You are entitled to some details about the initial report, including general information about what type of abuse and/or neglect was reported, as well as the contact information for investigators and their supervisors
- Investigators from the DCP&P are not required to give warning before they come to your house or the child’s school without a warrant
- Investigators do not have the right to arrest you or charge you with any crimes. Any police involvement will be handled separately, but it may come as a result of the investigation’s findings
- You are not required to answer any questions. If you do not answer investigators’ questions, they may request a court order to further investigate and set a date for a hearing to determine if further investigation is warranted
- Investigators have the right to interview your child in private. You may request to stay in the room for the comfort of the child, but investigators are not obliged to grant that request
- You are not required to sign any documents
If you are concerned about the wellbeing of your child and have filed a complaint with the DCP&P, or if you are a parent or guardian accused of child abuse or neglect, please contact our Paramus parents’ rights lawyers today to better understand your legal situation.
Contact our Hackensack, NJ Family Law Firm Today
Issues involving domestic violence, child abuse, or child neglect require the utmost attention from both parents and any witnesses. Whether you are concerned for your child’s safety or believe you are being wrongfully accused of wrongdoing, our team of experienced lawyers is here to protect you and your family’s future. We have assisted clients to retain their legal standing and protect their children from dangerous situations across New Jersey. Contact our office today.