New Haven DCF Lawyer

An investigation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) can be extremely intimidating. If you are facing a DCF inquiry, you may significantly benefit from contacting a top defense attorney. a New Haven DCF lawyer could serve as your advocate during the investigation and help resolving any associated criminal cases.

What is The Department of Children and Families?

Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) is a state agency. Its general responsibilities include protecting children from harm or neglect and investigating instances where it may have occurred. Typically, under state law the Department of Children and Families is required to investigate whenever there is a domestic violence dispute that involves children. Additionally, they are generally required to investigate when receiving a report that a child may have been hurt or neglected.

Who is Considered a Mandated Reporter in New Haven?

Connecticut General Statute § 17a-101(a) names certain groups of people, referred to as “mandated reporters”, who are legally required to report cases to DCF.  These individuals are usually required to contact the DCF if they suspect or have reason to believe that a minor is experiencing abuse, neglect, or may be in imminent danger of serious harm. Mandated reporters typically include teachers or health professionals.

What to Know about DCF Investigations

In most situations, an open investigation typically involves a home visit by a DCF caseworker to talk with family members, assess the living situation, and examine the child in question for potential physical and emotional signs of abuse or neglect.

Generally, DCF has 45 days from the initial referral to complete its investigation. After an investigation is completed, DCF may issue a report that either concludes the claims were “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated.” Additionally, it may describe whether there was a physical or emotional threat to the child. In the most severe cases of a substantiated claim, DCF could seek judicial remedies that may affect parental rights.

Can DCF Remove Children from a Home?

In some cases, children could be removed from the home while a more in-depth investigation occurs. When this happens, a person may receive multiple home visits following the removal and a caseworker may interview teachers, health care professionals, extended family members and neighbors.

How to Fight a DCF Determination

It is important to note that if the investigation leads to a “substantiated” finding, a person can file an appeal of the decision. During an appeals process, a person can typically call witnesses, present evidence and offer testimony to an objective judge.

When Should You Discuss Your Case with a New Haven DCF Attorney?

Immediately after being contacted by DCF. Understanding parental rights and how the Department of Children and Families operates could positively impact a person’s case when dealing with an investigation. Our skilled New Haven DCF lawyers can help explain the DCF process and how to navigate it effectively. Call today to set up a consultation.

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