Role of a Wilton DCF Attorney
If the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is investigating you for suspected child abuse or neglect, the help of a skilled DCF lawyer can be beneficial. The role of a Wilton DCF attorney is to protect your family’s rights and interests.
How do Wilton DCF Investigations Begin?
DCF may launch an investigation in response to an anonymous complaint submitted via a hotline. If the police are called to a domestic violence situation when children are nearby, that may also trigger a DCF investigation.
In some cases, the complaint initiates from a professional who works with children regularly, such as doctors and teachers. These professionals are referred to as mandated reporters, and they face criminal liability if they fail to report abuse or neglect. Therefore, they have an incentive to err on the side of caution and report situations where the evidence of abuse may be quite minimal.
What Happens During a DCF Investigation?
The intensity of a DCF investigation could differ depending on the source of the complaint and the allegations involved. If investigators believe there is an immediate risk, children could be removed right away, and a full investigation would be launched. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the agency conducts lower-key investigations they refer to as Family Risk Assessments or FARs.
Regardless of the intensity, investigators will want to interview every member of the family individually, including children. The role of a Wilton DCF lawyer could include supervising interviews to redirect questioning if it becomes too invasive. An attorney could also provide advice on how to answer questions without making statements that could be taken out of context and used against you.
What Happens When DCF Finishes the Investigation?
In most cases, DCF is required to complete an investigation and issue findings within 45 days. The findings may describe allegations of abuse or neglect as “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated.” If the findings are substantiated, a Wilton DCF lawyer could help appeal the decision.
At the first stage of an appeal, the agency will conduct an internal review and may interview those involved. If the review confirms the earlier findings, then the accused may request a hearing, which will be conducted much like a court trial.
Learn How a Wilton DCF Attorney Can Help
In their zeal to protect children from all possible abuse or neglect, DCF agents may see signs of problems that do not actually exist. A Wilton DCF attorney could help protect the privacy and interests of your family during and after a DCF investigation.
A Wilton DCF lawyer could provide advice at any stage in the process, even if a complaint has not yet been filed. Or, if findings have been substantiated and children were removed from your home, a DCF lawyer could fight to restore the family and have an individual’s name removed from the Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. For a consultation to learn how a DCF lawyer could help in your case, call Mark Sherman Law today.