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The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP, formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services, or DYFS), is New Jersey's child protection and child welfare agency within the Department of Children and Families. Its mission is to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children and to support families. DCPP is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, arranging for the child's protection and the family's treatment.
DCPP is required to thoroughly investigate all accusations to ensure that actions are taken to protect the child(ren). DCPP may come to your home, and may try to question you or your children about a situation. If you do not cooperate, DCPP may seek a court order (an Order to Investigate) and force your cooperation. In that case, it is imperative to contact an attorney familiar with these matters as soon as possible. The consequences for parents accused of abuse and neglect can be severe and may even involve the termination of parental rights.
Anyone can contact DCPP anonymously to report abuse or neglect. DCPP investigations can also begin with reports of abuse or neglect from mandatory reporters like teachers or school nurses. Actions that follow can include:
A good defense is vital. This area of litigation requires intimate knowledge of the agency and the family court system, as the two are often intertwined. No parent should attempt to negotiate with DCPP without an experienced attorney and advocate.
For more information or to set up a divorce consultation with a lawyer at Gebhardt & Kiefer, P.C., call 908-735-5161, or fill out the contact form on this site. With offices in Clinton Township (Annandale) and Bridgewater, our firm serves clients throughout central and northwest New Jersey.