Process of a Wilton DCF Investigation
Are you under investigation by the Department of Children and Families (DCF)? Talk to our team to learn more about the process of a Wilton DCF investigation and how to protect your family.
How Does a DCF Investigation Begin?
A DCF investigation in Wilton could start with an anonymous complaint submitted through the agency’s hotline. Since anyone can file a complaint without fear of repercussion, a complaint of this type may be based on completely speculative allegations.
Some people who work with children, such as doctors and teachers, are required by law to report any suspicions of child neglect or abuse. These individuals are referred to as “mandated reporters.” They can face criminal charges if they fail to report abuse, so they have an incentive to report suspicions even if the evidence to support those suspicions is tenuous.
Finally, a DCF investigation may also be triggered by an arrest, most commonly in a domestic violence situation when children are nearby.
What Happens During a DCF Investigation?
In many cases, the DCF must respond right away to determine whether children are in any immediate danger. After a quick assessment, an investigator may determine that there is little risk. The agency will continue to investigate, although they refer to the process as a Family Assessment Response program.
If an investigator determines that a family situation could pose a danger, then they will conduct a full investigation. As part of the process of a Wilton DCF investigation, the agency will interview your children. While parental consent is usually necessary, refusal to grant permission can be taken as a sign that your family has something to hide.
It is a good idea to meet with a DCF attorney before answering any questions. A knowledgeable lawyer could provide advice to help you avoid self-incrimination and prevent an interview from becoming unnecessarily invasive.
When Does a DCF Investigation End?
In most cases, DCF is required to complete the investigation process and issue a report within 45 days. Based on the recommendations of the investigator, the agency will notify a person accused of child abuse or neglect that the allegations are either “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated.”
When allegations are substantiated, it means the agency found evidence indicating abuse or neglect. The agency will also determine whether the accused person could injure the child’s physical or emotional health and whether to list them on the Central Registry of child abusers.
Seek Representation During the Process of a Wilton DCF Investigation
DCF has the power to remove your child from the home. It is important to take the process of a Wilton DCF investigation seriously and learn how to protect the rights of everyone involved.
An experienced attorney could help your family prepare for the investigation and guide you through the process to help you reach a positive outcome. If an investigation results in a finding substantiating allegations of abuse or neglect, our team could help appeal the decision. Call the lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today to learn more.