Westport DCF Investigations
If the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, or “DCF,” shows up at your door, contact an experienced attorney, who can assist you and represent you throughout the investigation.
How Does a DCF Investigation Begin?
Most DCF investigations begin with a report. Many individuals who work with children, including teachers and doctors, are required to report any suspected child abuse or neglect. Reports are either made directly with DCF’s hotline or are forwarded to the Department from local police.
When DCF receives a report, it launches an investigation to ascertain the degree of risk posed by the child’s current situation. Westport DCF investigations involve interviews with family members and often with doctors, teachers, and others who come into contact with the family.
What Happens if DCF Believes a Child is in Danger?
If DCF believes the child is in immediate danger, it can initiate removal proceedings to remove the child from the home, or require another adult to live in the home.
If DCF initiates removal proceedings against you, you should get in touch with an experienced DCF attorney immediately to protect your rights.
What are the Possible Outcomes of a DCF Removal Hearing?
After the judge has heard evidence from both sides, the court may order that the child should be returned to the parent, sometimes under DCF supervision. Alternatively, the court may determine that custody should be given to a relative or friend known to the child.
In some cases, the court may decide instead to grant custody to DCF, and DCF may eventually receive guardianship through the commitment process. When this happens, parents retain their parental rights for the time being, but they lose legal and physical custody of the child. Decisions regarding the child’s wellbeing fall into the hands of DCF staff and are often delegated to foster parents.
Westport DCF investigations continue as the agency seeks to develop a long-term plan for the child. Statements made during the investigation become part of the official record and are therefore extremely important.
How can an Experienced Legal Advocate Help?
Once DCF decides to take action in a child’s life, the agency sets off a chain reaction of government procedures that can be overwhelming to parents. Families that do not understand how to protect their rights in the process may unintentionally forfeit those rights.
Accordingly, if a Westport family is under investigation by DCF, it is wise to consult a top lawyer for advice as soon as possible. Assistance from an attorney could prevent family members from making statements or taking actions that could hurt their cause. Additionally, a lawyer who understands how DCF operates could take advantage of every available opportunity to make a strong case to have the investigation concluded in a positive manner.
Contact an Experienced DCF Attorney for Help
An attorney with experience assisting families during Westport DCF investigations could help protect the family’s rights while working to ensure compliance with agency requirements. For help with a DCF investigation, call Mark Sherman Law today.