Westport Risk of Injury to a Minor Investigations

The Department of Children and Families responds to claims of risk of injury to a minor in Westport by first conducting an assessment of the family. DCF will contact the person who is arrested or the caretaker of the child who is the alleged victim in the risk of injury case, and they will contact them within 24 hours and try to set up a meeting. During the meeting, the DCF will come to the home, take a look around the home, interview the person who is arrested, and interview the child. DCF does this to assess the child’s safety in the home.

If you want to know more about Westport risk of injury to a minor investigations or you are under investigation yourself, consult a knowledgeable risk of injury attorney that could devote the time and resources necessary to build your defense.

Process of an Investigation

There are two stages to Westport risk of injury to a minor investigations. The first stage is that DCF will report for the risk assessment. They will come to the home within 24 hours, take a look around, interview the person who is arrested, and interview the child to see if the child’s in danger. After they do the risk assessment, they will recommend one of two options. If they think that the case is of low-risk, they will recommend the Family Assessment Response system, and this is typically referred to as a FAR for short.

A FAR means that DCF has conducted their assessment and they do not think that the child is in any sort of danger, but they think that the family might be able to benefit from some services. They do not place the case on an investigative track. Instead, they will just set up additional meetings with the investigator and the investigator will come back to the home to check on the family and the child a couple more times, and they will often advise that the family complete some Connecticut-offered services.

Substantiating Investigations

The other option is that DCF can substantiate their investigation. DCF has 45 days to either substantiate or un-substantiate the abuse allegations. If they do not think that it is low-risk and they think that there is reasonable cause to believe that abuse or neglect has occurred in a home, they will substantiate their investigation, which ultimately leads to the family member or the person who was arrested being placed on the DCF registry. In these cases, if it is increasingly high-risk, DCF can petition the court to remove the child from the home and can also ask the court to issue other sorts of protective services for the child.

Types of Information DCF Investigators Collect

DCF tries to collect as much relevant information as possible during Westport risk of injury to a minor investigations. Typically, when they come to the home, they will sit down with the parents and the child together and they will just ask general questions. These can include questions about what the parents do for a living, what do they do with the family, what are some family activities that they all do together, etc. Then, DCF will want to question the child. Sometimes, they want to do it alone without the parents present, and that is just to make sure they can get an unbiased answer from the child, especially if they think that the child may be scared of the parents or does not want to give an honest answer in front of the parents. So, the questions that they would ask the child separately would probably be,  what they like doing with their parents, and so on. They just want to get a sense of how the child feels about the parents if the child feels safe in the home, and how the child feels overall.

The next bit of information that DCF tries to collect when visiting a home is to take a tour around the home just to make sure that it is clean, the child has a place to sleep, everything seems to be in order, and there is nothing that would pose a risk to the child in the home. They are looking for any relevant information that they can get by asking or just observing the home. The important thing for anyone in Westport charged with risk of injury and being investigated by DCF to remember is that nothing said to DCF is off-the-record and everything that is said to DCF can be shared with the police department and can be used in the risk of injury case in court. The other thing to remember is that in the risk of injury cases in court, it is often imperative that DCF clear the person before the risk of injury case can be disposed of or handled at all. The judge is really interested in DCF’s input when they are handling the criminal aspect of the case.

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