A DCF Education Professional Investigation will be handled differently in Connecticut. In the past, the Investigations were handled just as any other DCF referral. But effective immediately, Investigations involving schools and school personnel will handled more swiftly and subject to higher scrunity.
DCF has now created two Investigative Units specifically for school-based investigations. Apparently, the new units will be formed by reassigning existing personnel, not hiring new DCF staff. These special units will be dedicated exclusively to investigating allegations of abuse/neglect against school employees. Each unit will consist of ten social workers (five in each unit) charged with investigating allegations against school employees in a more “expedient manner” and finalizing investigations in 33 business days. The current timeline for completing an investigation is 45 days.
Under the current protocol, Investigators at local DCF offices handle a range of referrals, including school and family investigations. This new system will allow workers to focus on specialized areas. It is also intended to lighten the caseload for school investigators, as those cases are often larger and more time-consuming than family cases.
According to the DCF press release, “The EPIU will complete the investigations in a more expedient manner — a standard of 33 business days compared to 45 days under the existing process. In addition, the centralized supervision and management will lead to more consistent procedures and findings.”
Under the new protocol, DCF will communicate the results of each investigation to the State Department of Education and the Superintendent of Schools of the district where the investigation occurred.
This change only impacts how DCF handles a school based Investigation. Mandating reporting laws and the process for reporting allegations of abuse/neglect by a school employee remains unchanged.
Read the DCF Memo on this subject here: DCF Education-Professional-Investigation-Unit-Memo-022720
I represent clients in all DCF related matters though out Fairfield County including those who reside in Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.
Contact me online or call me in my Fairfield office at (203) 259-5251 or in my Stamford office at (203) 356-1475 to discuss your DCF case or to find out more information about a DCF Education Professional Investigation.