Interacting with DCF in Stamford
You and your family have rights when interacting with the Department of Children and Families (DCF). If you are under investigation, guidance from an experienced DCF attorney can be tremendously helpful.
Should I Sign a Service Agreement or Safety Plan?
If you are being investigated for child abuse, it is wise to be wary of documents presented by the agency. Often during an investigation, the DCF will produce a “safety plan” or “service agreement” and ask that those being investigated agree to the terms and sign the dotted line.
Although it may seem like a good idea to cooperate and sign a document intended to protect the safety of a child, it is essential to study every aspect of the agreement before signing. If someone agrees to the terms and then violates one of those terms, even unintentionally, they will be considered to be in breach of contract.
Failure to comply with the agreement may be used as evidence of potential harm to the child, and the breach may allow the DCF to take action in response. To avoid these pitfalls, it is advisable to have an experienced legal professional review any document before signing.
Should I Cooperate With DCF?
First and foremost, it is wise when dealing with the DCF to be as polite as possible. Hostility is likely to result in a negative report and often gives the appearance of having something to hide.
It is possible to be polite, however, without giving in to every demand. In fact, it is often a good idea to try to reschedule a meeting if an investigator shows up unannounced seeking entrance.
Before answering questions or otherwise interacting with DCF in Stamford, it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney. A lawyer could be present during an interview to keep questions from becoming too invasive or prevent someone from forfeiting their rights.
Refusing to cooperate at all with investigators often proves to be a mistake. The DCF could enter a finding substantiating child abuse allegations without even hearing from the person accused. The agency could seek a court order granting them access to the home and other spaces of private interaction. Limited cooperation is frequently the best course of action.
Seek Help from a Stamford Attorney Before Interacting with the DCF
It may be tempting to avoid interacting with DCF in Stamford. However, the agency operates under legal mandates, and once they begin an investigation, they are required to finish it. The DCF will draw conclusions with or without your input, so a certain amount of cooperation is wise to keep the agency from forming an entirely negative impression.
It is vital to understand how your statements may be interpreted and used later, as well as the importance of adhering to any service agreements or safety plans. An experienced attorney can provide advice and advocate on your behalf to protect your rights when interacting with the DCF. Call Mark Sherman Law today to see how a skilled lawyer could help.