The Department of Children and Families has changed the way they respond to allegations of abuse or neglect.
Previously, all accepted referrals to the DCF Hotline triggered an active DCF Investigation. These Investigations are often intrusive. In addition, the Investigations can last as long as 45 days resulting in uneasiness for the family.
Under the new initiative, DCF will classify reports into one of three categories based on the perceived risk. In cases involving low or medium risk, DCF will refer the family to community-based resources in an effort to address the presenting issue. For those "high risk" cases, a full Investigation will be required.
Some allegations are so serious it will be obvious that the case will deemed "high risk." Examples would include physical abuse, severe neglect and sexual abuse. However, the cases in the middle (i.e. medium risk) will present DCF with some discretion. I bet two considerations will be whether the family has history with DCF and the volume of open Investigations in a given DCF office at that time.
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