Connecticut DCF Investigations: What to Do if the DCF Comes Calling
Connecticut DCF Investigations can often catch a family off guard. Investigators from the Connecticut 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 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
- Arrests for risk of injury to a minor
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 Connecticut DCF Investigations and the juvenile court system in Connecticut to see that your rights are protected. I have handled DCF cases since 1996 including Investigations and all Juvenile Court matters.
Other lawyers may claim to know the DCF process but really only dabble in these cases.
Many of these attorneys rarely, if ever, appear in Juvenile Court.
Always ask a lawyer you may wish to potentially hire about their DCF experience:
- Are they really criminal defense attorneys with an online presence but with no real experience in Juvenile Court?
- Have they challenged an Order of Temporary Custody (OTC)?
- Or litigated a Neglect Petition?
- What is the lawyer’s Juvenile Court trial experience?
- How often do they appear in Juvenile Court?
- Are they appointed by judges as an attorney for a minor in a DCF case?
- Are they appointed by judges as a guardian ad litem for a minor in a DCF case?
I recently saw an attorney in the Stamford Juvenile Court who has claimed “online” to be a DCF expert. Had an assistant in tow. Seemed impressive. Except he/she checked in at the Clerk’s Office and didn’t know where the court room was.
It was obviously the first the case he/she handled in Stamford Juvenile Court.
Would you want to be that client?
Don’t be a “test” case. Get the right experience on your side.
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I represent clients throughout Fairfield County including Easton, Fairfield, Monroe, Trumbull, Stratford, Bridgeport, Westport, Weston, New Canaan, Wilton, Norwalk, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.
For a consultation about a case involving the Department of Children and Families, contact me today online or call me in my Stamford office at (203) 356-1475 or in my Fairfield office at (203) 259-5251 to discuss your options when dealing with DCF.