What Happens During a DCPP Interview in New Jersey?
What to Know if DYFS Wants to Question You in NJ
Any time the Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCP&P) receives a compliant, the agency must initiate an investigation. No matter how frivolous the claim may be, the Division has to contact the family and question anyone who may have been involved.
What Case Workers Typically Ask Parents
Generally, child protective services in New Jersey will want to speak to the parents and their child. The investigator will ask the parents whether they drink alcohol and whether they do drugs or are taking any medication. The Division will also inquire if the parents have been involved in any domestic violence disputes. The caseworker will also likely ask whether you have ever been investigated by the Division before and whether you have ever been arrested. If so, the caseworker will want to know the details and results of those cases.
DCP&P will also want to focus on how the parents care for their child. They will question whether your child regularly sees a pediatrician and how the child is performing in school. The investigator will inquire about any behavior issues your child may be having and ask how you discipline your child. At some point, the investigator will question the parents about the underlying complaint.
What Child Protective Services May Ask Your Child
After speaking to the parents, the Division will want to speak to the child or children. The overall purpose of questioning the child is to confirm that the child is safe and well taken care of, and also to confirm whether the parents were being truthful. As such, the investigator will ask the child whether they see a doctor and whether they are attending school. They will also be asked if they notice their parents consuming alcohol or acting in an unusual manner. The investigator will further inquire if their parents strike each other or yell at each other. DCP&P will also ask the child whether he or she is hit by his or her parents. Lastly, the investigator will question the child about the underlying claim.
In addition to the questioning, the Division will likely request that the parents submit to engaging in services such as counseling or treatment. For instance, if DCP&P receives a complaint the parents are consuming drugs in the household. The investigator may ask the parents to submit to a drug test and further ask that the parents undergo substance abuse counseling. On top of services, the Division will also likely ask the parents to execute releases so they may interview their physicians and speak to their child’s pediatrician.
Have an Interview with DCPP in New Jersey, Now What?
It’s important to remember if you are being investigated by DCP&P that you are under no legal obligation to cooperate. You do not have to speak to the investigator nor do you have to allow him or her to speak to your child. In addition, you do not have to allow them into your home and you are under no duty to sign any paperwork presented by the Division. Also, you have a right to any attorney during the investigation process who can advocate on your behalf during this stressful process. If you have an upcoming interview with a case worker from child services in New Jersey, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (908)-356-6900 to speak with an experienced NJ Child Abuse Attorney who can help.