Weston DCF Lawyer
It can be embarrassing and frightening to be contacted by the Weston, Connecticut Department of Children and Families, known as DCF. In today’s world of CYA, the reality is that many people are quick to make accusations of child abuse or neglect and will quickly report even the tiniest suspicion that a child may be subject to neglect or abuse.
Many families do not realize that they have many legal rights when DCF comes knocking on your front door. Most importantly, you are permitted to have an attorney present with you and your family during any questioning and it is highly advisable to have an experienced domestic violence attorney review any paperwork from DCF before signing. If you have been contacted by the DCF, remember that a Weston DCF lawyer can help protect your family’s rights and work toward a quick and positive resolution and dismissal, based on the circumstances of your case.
Reports of Suspected Child Abuse
The law makes it simple for anyone to quickly file a report if they witness circumstances that they believe may indicate that a minor may be neglected or abused. Families should contact a Weston DCF attorney if that report is made. Certain categories of professionals are mandated by state law to file a report or call a 24/7 hotline if they feel a minor is suffering the potential for harm or has suffered from abuse, neglect, or a non-accidental injury. These professionals are referred to as “mandated reporters” and can be subject to serious criminal penalties if they fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect, so they are even more motivated to report any suspicion, no matter how slight the evidence.
Who are Connecticut DCF Mandated Reporters?
Mandated reporters are described as:
- Social workers
- Medical professionals
- Daycare staff
- School employees
- Athletic coaches
- Pastors and clergy
- Mental health professionals
DCF Investigation Procedures & Appeals
When a DCF investigation is launched, the Department has a limited amount of time to conduct proceedings and reach an outcome. Often investigators will show up unannounced seeking to interview family members, including all of your children. They may also try to conduct interviews with school staff, doctors, therapists, neighbors and more. It is helpful to have an attorney present during those interviews to avoid an unnecessary invasion of family privacy and to help ensure that questions are not making you or your young children uncomfortable or traumatized. If the outcome of a Weston, Connecticut DCF investigation is unfavorable, the family has a right to make an appeal. A Weston DCF attorney can help collect and present evidence on behalf of the family and advocate for the desired result.
Contact a Weston DCF Attorney for Legal Guidance
While some investigations are initiated by reports filed by the general public or mandated reporters, investigations also often originate during domestic violence arrests. If police make an arrest in a domestic violence case and children are present or nearby, DCF is required to investigate your family for at least 45 days.When your family faces the potential for an invasive DCF investigation or assessment, and when there’s a possibility that DCF is going to interfere with your parental rights, you need to work with a Weston DCF lawyer who understands how to pursue the best possible outcome for your family.