Stamford DCF Lawyer
If an investigator arrives at your door, it may be tough to know what to do and how to respond. You may wonder why an investigator was called, and whether it is necessary or advisable to answer any questions or even allow the investigator into your home. The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), has the power to initiate investigations and court proceedings that can disrupt your family and interfere with your parental/custodial rights in more serious cases.
A Stamford DCF lawyer who is familiar with the local procedures and investigations can advise you on how to move forward. An experienced domestic violence attorney can help you seek quick closure of your DCF case with no findings being made against you or your family.
What are some Types of DCF Investigations?
Our Stamford lawyers have seen generally two types of DCF investigations. A Full Investigation is more comprehensive and is initiated in cases considered to be “high risk.” A Family Assessment Response (or “FAR”) is initiated in lower-risk cases. In each of these investigations, DCF investigators are obligated to conduct one-on-one interviews with all family members in the home, educators, health care professionals, and possibly neighbors. After a full DCF Investigation, the Department then renders a decision as to whether the allegations of neglect or abuse are substantiated by the evidence.
How Do People Appeal DCF Substantiation Findings?
The DCF makes a substantiation finding regarding any possible threat to the minor’s safety posed by the living situation and what if anything should be recorded in the public central registry maintained by DCF. In any investigation, but especially in a Full Investigation, the risk of damage to family integrity is great. During a Family Assessment Response, the Department has 45 days to assess whether there are grounds to launch a Full Investigation or whether the case should be closed. Often families will work with a Stamford attorney to help ensure that a simple Family Assessment Response does not turn into a full DCF investigation.
Role of a Potential Client
Investigators from the Connecticut DCF will seek to conduct interviews with all adults and children and they want to meet individually to avoid one family member having an influence on another. At this point, the family should be polite, but potential clients should tell them they would like to schedule an interview at a later date. It is wise to consult a top Stamford attorney who can advise everyone involved about the most effective manner in which to deal with DCF investigators.
It is a good idea to avoid signing any documents or enter any agreements before discussing the ramifications with a lawyer. Failure to follow the exact terms of an agreement or an agency “Safety Plan” can have disastrous results and may give the Department grounds to substantiate a finding of abuse or neglect.
Role of a Stamford DCF Attorney
When you work with a top Stamford DCF lawyer, they can often stand up to and push back against overly aggressive investigators who are making your family uncomfortable. It is vital to remember that communications made to DCF investigators are recorded in writing or digitally, so it is important to have an attorney present for counseling during interviews.
Our lawyers can prevent the interview from becoming too invasive or damaging to your case. In addition, an experienced attorney can work to limit interference with your children’s lives and try to resolve your case as favorably as possible. If you are being investigated by DCF investigators, contact a lawyer today. They will immediately reach out to DCF on your behalf and will begin protecting your family’s privacy.