IS IT TIME TO REIGN IN THE HEAVY HAND OF THE CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY AGENCY? (DCPP Formerly Known as DYFS)
Society’s interest in the protection of children is a significant and legitimate interest of the State. That interest still has to be balanced with the constitutional rights of those being investigated by child welfare agencies.
The Division of Child Protection and Permanency (DCPP), formerly known as the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) has been granted broad powers both from State statute and the New Jersey Administrative Code. The question becomes whether agents of the State acting under those powers, exceed their scope, and violate the due process rights of those parents and families that they are meant to protect? The CPP’s investigatory broad power flows from the structure of statutes and administrative code. The overzealous application of such power, even if intended in good faith, can be intrusive and damaging to the family unit the laws were intended to protect.