Interacting with New Canaan DCF
Before interacting with New Canaan DCF, you should speak with a top DCF attorney. A skilled lawyer could protect your family’s interest and help work toward a positive resolution of your DCF investigation.
What Should I Do if DCF Asks Me to Sign a Safety Plan and Service Agreement?
Some of the most crucial questions that arise when interacting with New Canaan DCF concern documents known as service agreements or safety plans. Agency representatives will often ask families to agree to terms in a written document with the stated purpose of protecting children in the home.
However, it is important to read every section and ensure full comprehension before signing. A DCF safety plan or service agreement becomes a binding contract once signed. If a family violates any of the terms, even accidentally, it is a breach of contract.
The agreement may specify that in the event of a violation, DCF has the right to take action against the family. In addition, evidence of a breach may be used to demonstrate that the family home poses risks to children. It is advisable to have an attorney review and explain this type of document and help evaluate whether the terms are reasonable before signing. To learn more about New Canaan DCF investigations, click here.
Will DCF Interview My Children?
As part of a DCF investigation, investigators usually want to interview everyone in a home. In many cases, however, they must obtain permission from parents or guardians before they can interview minors.
Although parents have the right to withhold permission, it can send up a red flag indicating a potential problem in the home. Ideally, interviews should be conducted with a lawyer present to ensure that questioning does not become overly invasive.
What is a Family Assessment Response?
DCF considers a Family Assessment Response (FAR) a program rather than an investigation. Although the agency may assert that they are simply trying to find the best resources to help a family meet their needs, representatives are closely watching to see whether the family situation could put children at risk. A FAR could turn into a full investigation if DCF believes there is a danger of child abuse or neglect.
Whether an investigation proceeds as a FAR or a full in-depth investigation, DCF will want to tour the home, interview all family members, and possibly speak with others such as neighbors, doctors, and teachers. While it is advisable to remain polite, it is not necessary to agree to every request made by investigators.
Speak to an Attorney Before Interacting with New Canaan DCF
Investigators from DCF will be looking to gather as much information as possible. To avoid misinterpretation and protect the rights of a family, it is wise to seek guidance from an experienced attorney before interacting with New Canaan DCF.
The goal is to strike a balance that gives the appearance of cooperation without doing anything that could jeopardize a family’s interests. With the right preparation, the outcome of a DCF investigation can be positive for everyone involved. Contact Mark Sherman Law to learn how an attorney could help in your case.