What Should I Do If DCPP Takes My Child?
Having DCPP, which was formerly known as DYFS, come to your front door is a scary thing, and it often makes people’s emotions run wild. If child welfare workers end up taking your child from your home, you may get the sense of helplessness, loneliness, and anger. These emotions cause people to do things without thinking, especially when it involved your child. Before reacting without thinking, it is important to understand what your first steps should be in order to get your child back sooner.
While speaking to one of our NJ DCPP attorneys is always the safest move, we have listed a few steps below that you can do right away:
Step 1: Find a Place For Your Child to Go
Oftentimes, child welfare workers will ask you if you have any friends or family who would be able to take care of your child for the time being. Most of the time, putting your child in the hands of family or friends is preferred over putting your child in foster care. So, if a child welfare worker asks you if you know anyone who can temporarily take care of your child, call around and try to find a safe and comfortable place for your child.
Step 2: Pick up the Phone, and Call an Attorney
If DCPP has taken your child from your home, then they have already issued a court order, or they will be pursuing one immediately. This order allows DCPP workers to to remove your child from your home. Once this occurs, contact our attorneys, as they will help you understand your rights and how to defend them. Not only that, but we will also explain how the child welfare process works and what you can expect, so that your mind is at ease going forward.
Step 3: Stay on Top of the Investigation
Before any big decisions are made on the final placement of your child, DCPP will investigate your case. It is important for you to stay involved throughout this process. Be sure to discuss your rights with an attorney, and bring your child back home by working with DCPP to develop a safety plan. It doesn’t matter if you feel like the child welfare workers are with or against you, staying involved and being cooperative will help DCPP make the decision which is best for your child.
Step 4: If You Don’t Like It, Don’t Agree to It
One of your rights is to disagree with the decisions DCPP makes. It is possible to appeal decisions that were made such as substantiated findings, as well as services DCPP would want you to use. While you have the opportunity to work with your case workers to ensure your child comes back home by devising safety plans, sometimes they make requests that are unreasonable and unfair. This is just one reason as to why an attorney is so important, as they can advise you on whether or not you should agree to any decisions or requests.
If your child was taken from you, and you are not sure what the next steps may be, it is important to remain calm and to not overreact. If you are unsure what to do, call our team of dedicated and smart New Jersey DCPP attorneys our 24/7 toll free hotline at 1-855-9JEFLAW (1-855-953-3529). We will be more than happy to help!