What to Do if the DCF Comes Calling
Investigators from the Department of Children and Families tend to show up out of the blue. They are not interested in giving you time to prepare for their arrival. They rarely call ahead to give you warning that they will be stopping by to observe your home situation and interrogate you and your child.
The Department of Children and Families is responsible for child protection. They act on the information they receive from a variety of parties, such as a teacher, guidance counselor, child therapist or person in a similar position. People in these roles are very sensitive to any signs of child abuse or neglect. They have to be. They can face very serious consequences if they fail to report a case. These consequences, unfortunately, tend to make them a bit trigger happy when it comes to calling DCF.
That doesn't mean you don't have rights. I am Connecticut child protection lawyer Brian D. Kaschel. I often hear from parents who were blindsided by the DCF. The sense of surprise, discouragement and fear can be overwhelming. If you have been contacted by the DCF, don't panic - call my law firm immediately.
Here are some suggestions for what to do when DCF comes calling:
- You do not need to speak with the DCF.
- Your do not have to allow your children to speak to them.
- Do not sign anything.
- Do not even discuss the issue with the DCF until you speak to an experienced attorney.
The types of cases in which the DCF becomes involved include accusations of:
- Sexual abuse
- Allegations of physical abuse or neglect
- Accusations of domestic violence in the household
- Allegations of drug abuse on the part of one or both parents
No matter what has caused DCF to investigate your household, I can help. I am committed to helping you keep your family together. I know how to navigate the juvenile court system in Fairfield and the surrounding parts of Connecticut to see that your rights are protected.