Representing Parents Confronting DCPP Investigations In New Jersey
When a doctor or teacher senses that a child may be in danger at home either via neglect or abuse, they are required to alert the Department of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP). New Jersey law recognizes a concept often referred to as the “parens patriae” doctrine. This long-standing concept provides the government with the responsibility to protect those who may not be able to protect themselves. In DCPP matters, the statutes allow the state to step in when allegations arise that may pose an imminent risk of harm to the child.
While New Jersey recognizes the sanctity of the family, as well as parental rights, the law seeks to balance the conflict between parental rights and potential harms to children. For that reason, New Jersey law includes the medical or educational professionals to report their opinions of potential abuse or neglect to the authorities.
However, those subject to mandatory reporting requirements may make rash decisions, and are not required to investigate the circumstances before making a report. Shortly following these accusations, DCPP personnel will perform an intense investigation that could ultimately result in losing custody of your children. This is a scary time for a parent.
As children age, they are likely to misinterpret your actions or fabricate issues as they experiment with the consequences of their actions. When taken too far, however, the results can be devastating. This is a highly complicated area of law, and it requires the experience of a knowledgeable attorney.
Notably, alleged perpetrators who may pose a risk of imminent harm to children within the context of DCPP investigations have historically included an unmarried, non-parent, of the child who is in a significant relationship with a parent. Occasionally, this romantic partner is referred to as a paramour in the context of child welfare, DCPP investigations. In these situations, as with any DCPP-NJ investigations, parents should seek the guidance of family attorneys who have well-rounded experience across the spectrum of child custody, parenting time, and similar parental rights issues to help ensure their rights are protected. The legal team at Cipriano Law Offices, P.C., is that family law firm.
How We Can Help
At Cipriano Law Offices, P.C., our team of lawyers has decades of experience working with parents and their children after they have become involved in the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. We can help you remove the DCPP from your life, so you can return to more important things, like raising your children.