Interacting with DCF in Greenwich
Interacting with DCF in Greenwich is complicated, and there are pros and cons to cooperating that you should be aware of before deciding how to respond. A top DCF attorney could provide advice and guidance through every step of your DCF investigation.
What is DCF?
The Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect in Connecticut. These investigations may begin when someone reports that a child is suffering from abuse or neglect or if children are present when police respond to the scene of a domestic dispute.
Will DCF Come to My Home?
DCF investigators often try to conduct surprise visits so that they can get a candid picture of home life. However, because information from a home visit can be taken out of context and used against the family, it is wise to consult an experienced DCF defense attorney before speaking with DCF investigators in Greenwich. If an investigator arrives unannounced, it is a good idea to try to reschedule a meeting for a mutually convenient time in the future.
Should I Hire an Attorney to Help During a DCF Investigation?
Yes. A DCF investigation can be invasive, and if you do not understand how to assert your rights, you may end up forfeiting those rights. Moreover, you may also make statements or take actions that will be used against you by the DCF.
You have a right to legal representation, so you may tell investigators that a time should be scheduled when an attorney can be present. Although investigators may insist that a lawyer is not necessary, you are acting within your rights when you insist on waiting.
Should I Cooperate With DCF?
If you fully cooperate with the DCF without first consulting an attorney, you risk doing something that could be held against you in either the DCF investigation or a criminal investigation. However, failure to cooperate also carries the potential for negative consequences.
When an individual refuses to speak with the DCF, investigators could draw their own conclusions based on allegations and other evidence, and simply enter a finding substantiating abuse accusations. A DCF investigator could seek a court order to enter your home or speak with teachers and others who come into contact with your child, asking questions that could embarrass your family.
When interacting with DCF in Greenwich, it is wise to be prepared and strike a balance. It is possible to cooperate to a certain degree and provide information without sacrificing your family’s right to privacy.
Should I Sign a DCF Service Agreement?
DCF investigators frequently ask those under investigation to sign a form described as a “safety plan” or “service agreement”. On the surface, the request seems simple, and since everyone is in favor of keeping children safe, it may make sense to sign the agreement when interacting with DCF in Greenwich.
It is important, however, to realize that the agreement is a binding contract. Failure to abide by any term of the agreement provides the DCF with grounds to take further action and could be used as evidence of abuse or neglect.
Reach Out to a DCF Attorney in Greenwich
An experienced attorney could provide valuable guidance about the best ways to respond to the DCF in a particular situation. Regardless of the circumstances, however, it is always advisable to be polite when dealing with DCF investigators because rude or hostile behavior could be taken as a sign of a potentially harmful environment.
Interacting with DCF in Greenwich is often a balancing act. Call Mark Sherman Law today to begin working towards a positive resolution of your DCF case.