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The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formerly the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), is New Jersey’s child protection and child welfare agency. Housed within the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, the Division of Child Protection and Permanency is tasked with, “ensur[ing] the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and support families . . . [and] investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, arranging for the child's protection and the family's treatment.”
At Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., our family lawyers represent parents in Haddon Heights in all matters involving the Division of Child Protection and Permanency. False allegations based upon misperceptions and faulty assumptions can lead to severe negative consequences for parents and their children; and, unfortunately, intentional attempts to entangle parents in DCPP proceedings are common as well. With these proceedings often taking months, if not years, to come to a resolution, the sooner you can take action to protect yourself, the better off you and your family are likely to be.
Division of Child Protection and Permanency investigations can happen quickly. Working with state or county law enforcement, DCPP agents can come to your house and seize your children in order to place them in foster care with less than 10 minutes’ notice. The DCPP’s role is to ensure that children are safe in their homes; and, while this type of action is sometimes necessary, children are often pulled from their parents’ custody without a complete and accurate understanding of the circumstances involved. If you have lost custody of your children, your only recourse may be to challenge the DCPP’s preliminary findings in court; and, to do this effectively, you will need an experienced Haddon Heights family attorney on your side.
When dealing with allegations that trigger action by the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, there are some important steps you can take to help protect your relationship with your children. These include:
Do not retaliate against the person who filed a report with the DCPP. You need to present yourself in the best light possible, and you need to avoid any action that may appear to validate the allegations against you.
If you have been accused of abuse or neglect by a former spouse or partner, it is extremely important that you not violate your custody or visitation order. This is another mistake that can potentially have serious consequences, including loss of your parental rights and even jail time.
In a DCPP investigation, it is important to cooperate to the extent required; however, you also need to avoid voluntarily sharing too much information. You do not want to unknowingly and unnecessarily say something or provide documentation that ends up being used against you.
When dealing with the DCPP, the single most important thing you can do is seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with DCPP matters; and, if necessary, we can take action immediately to protect your parental rights.
To speak with a Haddon Heights family attorney at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. about your situation involving the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, please call (877) 435-6371 or contact us online. We will schedule your initial consultation as soon as possible.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.