Never one to be labeled stagnant, our Child Welfare agency in New Jersey, formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), will now be known as the Department of Children Protection and Permanency (DCPP). What does this means for those of us in the trenches? And most importantly, what does this mean for the families of New Jersey?
A change in an agency name may signify a change in perspective – perhaps, a change in the objectives that will be pursued. But, this may or may not be a good thing. The prior name encompassed both Youth and Family. Youth, i.e., Children, came first, but linked to Youth were their families. Oftentimes, parents ask why DYFS is only concerned about the “youth” and not the “family”. One can only imagine how that query will fester now that “Family” is taken out of the name altogether.
Child Welfare Advocates may posit that DYFS was always directed, first and foremost, toward “Child Protection and Permanency”, so codifying those goals in the agency name makes sense. However, this position overlooks the reality for many families involved with the child welfare agency.
When the State steps in, accuses parents of wrongdoing, critiques every aspect of their lives and their very being, sometimes removing their children from their care, many times restricting their access to their children, parents’ responses often range from Fight to Flight, long before submission emerges. At the inception of the case, the child welfare advocate many times engenders a sense of helplessness in the parent that causes the parent to obfuscate issues in defensiveness, to such an extent that feigned concerns by the agency become as real in the eyes of the Court as the legitimate concerns that may, or may not, rise to the level of abuse or neglect of children. When that occurs, the antagonistic relationship between the parent and the agency becomes yet another obstacle to be overcome by the parent in order to achieve reunification. Yet, when this process of overcoming takes longer than a year, the State may proceed with an action to terminate parental rights.
Parents, quite justifiably, fear the agency. Its involvement signifies the beginning of a very short (1 year) journey toward eliminating lifelong problems that took decades to present. Met with this nearly impossible standard, families can be eviscerated. Parents realize their ill-fated circumstances through all contacts with the agency – even by seeing its name and all that its name represents.
Do we really want “Permanency” (often equated with anti-reunification) to be the symbol of New Jersey’s Child Welfare agency? Should “Family” have been removed from the name of the agency charged with “rehabilitating and improving family life N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.50(e)”?
This agency and its psychiatrista are sick narcissistic personality disordeers. Go ahead and laugh but if someone had told me this went on in this country, I would have said they’re crazy. The Talaban are right trying to get the Americans out of Afghanistan. The Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, commented that the Americans are arrogant. That is being reserved and kind, This agency is a terrorist organization waging war on the family for personal power. I’m a Vietnam veteran and they turned my stomach. Even the police are scared of them and will make absurd charges on their orders. I saw one judge start to laugh when the word DYFS was mentioned in court. They all know there is something wrong but no one is able to do anything because they are pretending to protect children and in some cases probably do, rationalizing all their abuses. It’s the people that burned and tortured witches to confess as proof that they were protecting us.They even have a seperate agency called Family Intervention to fool you into believing in confidential counciling and heaven help you if you mention having suicidal thoughts because your wife is cheating and lying to get you thrown out of the house so she can conduct an affair at home, Expect this to be on a police report after your wife is dragged to the police station, the pollice are told to write down lies dictated by the DYFS case worker and your wife is told to sign under the theat that the the children will be taken away because your a threat to them and on top of this your wife doesn’t understand english and needs an interpreter in court. My point is your in Afghanistan talking about freedom and justice and this is going on in this country. Psychiatry is not an objective science and here is where fantasy beats reallity, in a court of law no less. I witnessed a kabuki theater with the paychiatric report saying I had delusions of having been fallowed by the FBI and need to take 2 psychotripoic to have supervised visitations with my children. The doctor had no bounds to his technical knowledge, which probably consisted of running a choo choo train around a christmas tree. The case revolved around what was the largest Soviet spy operation on communications uncovered at that time. Later Hansen, FBI counterspy chief, got busted and he was running the Newark NJ office at the time.
i love this post.I could not agree more.i THINK THE CP&P, DYFS,DCF,DCPP need to be the ones investigated,not the innocent loving hard-working American GOOD Families.I am just glad its individual workers and the agency itself is being sued much more,this shall be a much needed change and accountability.Good post sir.I work in the legal field.Degree-Level in legal studies B.A. and going for law degree.Paralegal Specialist ..Expert Consultant,in helping those file timely pro-se suit,for so many who have been violated…I pray for more to be able to sue and hold DYFS timely accountable.To bring effective change….as i see it doing for a few up close…Happy New Year to all.God Speed…from Heather-Marie ext. 102
Student of Law for pro-se self file litigants against CPS.
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You are very welcome. While I devote my career and law practice to assisting parents embroiled with the child welfare agency, I also consider it to be a duty of all attorneys to engage in activities that improve society. To the extent that the information I have provided on this site has assisted your family, I am greatly rewarded for knowing that. I ask only that you share of your talents and time for others, as has been my practice throughout my career.
Allison C. Williams
I had a dyfs worker lie to us he said if we open a case they’ll pay 6 months of our rent,utilities,etc… Then he handed our case over to somebody else i asked that lady about what he said she said dyfs hasnt done that in years. Just makes no sense why he would even lie about something like that??? If dyfs paid peoples rent and utilities everybody with kids would be opening a case for free rent can dyfs be sued for lying? Thank you
Many worker do lie. It is very unfortunate and simply wrong. However, there are times when workers are mistaken, believe something to be true and then speak without verifying it with their supervisors. The best practice is always to disbelieve what is represented to you by the agency unless a supervisor confirms what is claimed.