Defending Against Allegations Of Child Abuse And Neglect
All states have agencies to protect the safety and well-being of children and offer assistance to families in need of services. In New Jersey, this agency is known as the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P), formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS). The law requires that any person who suspects abuse or neglect of a child must notify DCP&P or the authorities. Once a referral of abuse or neglect is made, DCP&P must investigate. DCP&P must interview the accused parent.
If you have an attorney or are in the middle of a divorce or custody case, you should speak with your attorney prior to agreeing to an interview. You also have the right to have an attorney present for the interview if you choose.
Call Wernik and Salvatore at 732-201-3888 to get help with your child abuse or neglect case in Monmouth County.
Understanding The Legal Process
Procedurally, if a determination is made that the child is in immediate danger, a police officer or DCP&P can remove the child from his or her home. This happens only in extreme situations.
The following day, the court must have a hearing regarding the removal. In most cases, if the child is not removed from the home, DCP&P can — with the parents’ cooperation — provide services to the family to help improve the family situation.
If DCP&P determines it necessary, they can file an order to show cause with the court requesting the court to decide whether the child has been abused or neglected. A guardian will be appointed for child to represent the child’s interest.
A finding of abuse or neglect will permanently remain on your record with DCP&P and may affect your ability to secure employment in the future or adopt a child. Such a finding may also affect your custody case. A finding of abuse or neglect can be appealed. However, there is a limited time during which an appeal can be filed.
How We Can Help
Our attorneys have extensive experience handling these types of cases in New Jersey. We understand how traumatic the experience can be for children and parents alike. Our attorneys will work diligently to help you resolve these legal issues and avoid additional damage to your record and your family. Turn to us for the support and guidance you need.