Types of Referrals: Child Abuse Allegations NJ
DCP&P Defense Lawyers with offices in Newark, NJ
Child abuse allegations in NJ: An allegation of child abuse can be devastating to an individual, a family and a community. But it doesn’t have to be. Our experienced DCP&P defense lawyers have been involved in the system for many years. In fact, one of our attorneys is a former NJ Attorney General who used to prosecute child abuse cases for the state. He now uses that experience and knowledge to protect and defend our clients facing similar allegations. If you or a loved one is involved in a DYFS case and needs help, contact our offices anytime for immediate assistance at 201-556-1570. We have multiple office locations throughout New Jersey including in Morristown, Hackensack, and Newark and our experienced attorneys will always provide you with a free initial consultation regarding your case.
Here is a review from one of our many satisfied DCPP (DYFS) clients:
Child Abuse Allegations in NJ: Types of Referrals to DCP&P (formerly known as “DYFS”)
FAQ: How long does it take for DCP&P to respond to a call?
That depends on how the Division codes the allegation, or the referral. The timeframe may be immediate or up to seventy-two hours.
After someone calls the Division to report child abuse, neglect, or child welfare concerns, the Division will screen the call and code the referral into one of three categories: Child Protective Services (“CPS”), Child Welfare Services (“CWS”), or Related Information (“RI”). Basically, the Division assesses the severity of the allegation and decides whether there is an emergency that needs to be investigated immediately, a less serious situation that can be addressed in a few days, or simply information regarding an existing case. DCP&P staff is on-call twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to respond to allegations of abuse or neglect, no exceptions. The Division Special Response Unit (“SPRU”) will respond in the middle of the night, on weekends and holidays.
CPS referrals require an immediate investigation because the allegation is that a child has been abused or neglected and needs protection right away. In other words, the Division determined that the allegation is one of either severe abuse or of an ongoing risk of substantial harm to your child. For example, if DCP&P gets a call alleging that there is a current domestic dispute in your home and that the child has been physically assaulted, the Division will immediately come to your home to ensure your child is safe.
CWS referrals need to be addressed within 72 hours because the allegation is not one of severe abuse or neglect, but rather one of child welfare concerns that do not pose an immediate danger to your child’s health and safety. For example, if the Division receives a call that your child is always late for school or has too many unexplained absences, the Division will probably not be concerned that your child is at an immediate risk of harm but DCP&P will certainly take steps over the next few days, such as obtaining attendance records and interviewing your child at school, to determine the underlying cause of your child’s educational issues.
RI referrals will not result in a new investigation because the information relates to an already opened investigation or an open case. In other words, there isn’t a new allegation of abuse or neglect or welfare concern. For example, once a case is opened a relative may call the Division to provide information about your family or request that the Division assess their home for placement of your child.
Contact our Essex County NJ DCP&P Lawyers Now for Immediate Assistance
Case coding can be upgraded during or after an investigation and if DCP&P becomes involved with you and your child, regardless of the kind of referral, you should consider contacting an attorney. Just because a case is coded CWS, the Division may determine that there are other possible issues that need to be addressed and began a more intrusive investigation. Our Essex County NJ DYFS lawyers handle cases in Bloomfield, West Orange, East Orange, Irvington, and Newark. For more information regarding your DYFS case, contact our offices anytime for a free initial consultation at 201-556-1570.