Milford DCF Lawyer
If you have been in contact with the Department of Children and Families (DCF), a Milford lawyer can help you defend against allegations of child abuse or neglect. Working with a defense lawyer could help protect your family’s privacy and bring about a positive outcome.
What Happens at the Start of a DCF Investigation?
Often, complaints of alleged child abuse or neglect come from teachers, doctors, and other professionals who work with children . Under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.). §17a-101, these professionals are considered “mandated reporters.” A mandated reporter may be prosecuted under C.G.S. §17a-101a if he or she fails to report a suspicion of abuse or neglect. Therefore, they have an incentive to err on the side of caution and submit a report even if the evidence of a problem is slim.
DCF may also be called to investigate if police respond to a domestic violence incident or other potential crime scenario where children are in the vicinity. Regardless of the reason for DCF intervention, it is wise to consult a Milford DCF lawyer before making any statements to DCF or allowing them to inspect the home.
What Are The Types of DCF Investigations?
The intensity level of a Connecticut DCF investigation can vary according to the circumstances. If the agency feels the risk of harm to children is low, it may initiate a “Family Assessment Response” action. As part of this scenario, the agency may recommend counseling and other services to aid the family. However, it is important to realize that throughout the process, DCF is conducting an ongoing investigation and looking for signs of potential trouble.
In situations where DCF believes the children in a home may be in more danger, they can conduct a full investigation. Either way, DCF will want to tour the family home and interview each child without parents or siblings. It can be helpful to have a Milford DCF lawyer present to redirect questioning if it becomes unnecessarily invasive.
What Are Service Agreements and Safety Plans?
DCF agents often ask families under investigation to agree to the terms of a document described as a “safety plan” or “service agreement.” It is essential to read and understand all the terms in this document before signing because it will become a legally binding contract.
A DCF lawyer in Milford can explain the language of the document and help decide whether it makes sense to agree to the terms. If parents sign the agreement and violate any of the terms, the violation is considered a breach of contract and can give the agency the right to take unwelcome action against the family.
Consult an Experienced Milford DCF Attorney
Although DCF operates with the best of motives, in the real world, sometimes the methods employed by the agency can cause more harm than good to families in Milford. DCF could seek to limit parents’ custody or even have children removed from the home.
A Milford DCF lawyer can help protect the rights and integrity of the family. It may be possible to receive services suggested by DCF without giving the agency complete control over family affairs. To learn more about how a DCF attorney could assist in your situation, call Mark Sherman Law for a consultation.