Are You Facing An Investigation By DCF In Connecticut?
If you’re under investigation by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (DCF), it can be an intimidating and confusing experience. It is essential to have a criminal defense attorney on your side to explain the process, protect your rights, and steer you through the system to ensure your family’s peace of mind. You can find the help you need by contacting The Maddox Law Firm, Inc. Just call 203-298-3154 to schedule an initial consultation at one of our office locations in New Canaan, Bridgeport, Stamford and Norwalk.
When And Why Reports Are Made To The Department Of Children And Families
The DCF investigations process commences with a referral through phone or written report. If Connecticut police respond to a domestic violence call and children are present, they must inform DCF. If a child describes a potential abuse or neglect to a “mandated reporter,” such as a teacher, therapist, or doctor, they must report it to DCF.
Moreover, DCF has an anonymous hotline for concerned individuals to report potential abuse or neglect. Mandated reporters must report even suspected abuse or neglect of minors. For instance, a bruise on a child received during sports or on the playground could trigger a DCF report if the reporter is suspicious that abuse may be involved.
DCF reports can also originate from children’s imaginations, who may seek attention and tell tall tales to their friends or others. This isn’t to say that children aren’t sometimes neglected or abused. It does mean, however, that a single phone call to DCF by a mandated reporter will initiate the investigation, regardless of the story’s believability.
Mandated reporters must err on the side of caution when making reports, as failure to report can result in criminal or civil penalties against them. Upon receiving a report, DCF will initiate an investigation within a few hours and typically conduct a visit within the following days.
What To Expect From A Department Of Children And Families Investigation
If a DCF investigation is launched, it will lead to an intrusion into every aspect of your, your family’s and your child’s life. DCF investigations can lead to frequent visits to your home and interviews with your child’s care providers, including teachers, pediatricians, dentists and mental health providers. Even neighbors and family members will likely be contacted.
Failure to protect your privacy rights can damage your family and reputation and unnecessarily expand the investigation. While DCF investigators may have good intentions, you must meet with an experienced Connecticut DCF investigations lawyer before providing DCF unrestricted access to your child’s caregivers and their educational and health care records.
How Long Is A Department Of Children And Families Investigation?
Upon receiving a report, DCF is expected to complete the investigation within 45 days and come to a conclusion. DCF will then review the results of their investigation and issue a finding as to whether, in their opinion, a child was subjected to abuse or neglect.
Potential Problems From The Start
How DCF investigators handle cases involving families presents two significant issues as soon as you are contacted. First, you have the right to remain silent. You must understand that anything you say can be documented and shared with other parties involved in the case, such as the police, judge or prosecutor. Second, and hand-in-hand with the first, DCF will ask you to sign documents, ranging from authorizations to service agreements or consequences. Before you sign anything, it is in your best interests to consult with a knowledgeable defense attorney. “Agreements” and “safety plans” can be used against you and your family if you are alleged to be “noncompliant.”
Protect Your Privacy And Your Family – Contact Us Today
Our lawyers at The Maddox Law Firm are ready to assist you as soon as we are hired. Don’t wait for the “dust to settle” or the investigation to “play out.” It is imperative that you have the advice and representation of a highly experienced attorney. To schedule your initial consultation, please call 203-298-3154 or submit an online contact form. Hablamos español. Nous parlons français.