About a year ago, Connecticut lawmakers enacted a new Risk of Injury / Child Endangerment law requiring Connecticut mandated reporters (teachers, coaches, therapists) to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to DCF within 24 hours. If they didn’t, they could be arrested in Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut for Risk of Injury to a Minor / CGS 53-21 for failing to call DCF.
As a result, there has been a surge of DCF investigations in Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut, many of which are unnecessary, intrusive and triggered more as a result of Greenwich and Stamford schools and teachers going into “CYA” mode rather than having a genuine concern for a child’s safety.
What’s worse is that after the teachers and schools make the call to DCF, their lives go on business-as-usual. But as the top DCF investigation lawyers in Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut know all too well, the detrimental impact these DCF investigations can have on a target family can drag on for months while DCF deep dives into their private and professional lives.
Here’s how you can short-circuit these investigations and keep DCF out of your lives…
As soon as a Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut mandated reporter like a teacher, coach, or school principal calls DCF with a report of abuse or neglect, DCF is required by law to begin their investigation within 12 to 72 hours, depending on the seriousness of the accusations. Allegations of sex assault or physical abuse typically requires an emergency response of 12 hours; emotional neglect or verbal abuse complaints are responded to in 72 hours. In either case, Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut DCF investigators prefer to just show up unannounced at your front door, hoping to catch you and your family off-guard and unprepared for what is usually a lengthy and invasive interview of each member of your family.
Unlike a police interview, DCF investigators are NOT required to advise you that you have the right to remain silent or that you have a right to an attorney. This is probably one of the most unfair procedural loopholes in Connecticut law, and many of the top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut DCF lawyers and attorneys have been fighting for years to have this advisement be included in DCF protocols.
The bottom line is that no matter what the Greenwich or Stamford DCF investigator says, you do have the right to a DCF lawyer attorney to advise you during your investigation and to be by your side and your family’s side during the interview process. So when a Connecticut DCF investigator shows up at your door unannounced, politely take their business card and tell them you will call them back to set up an appointment. Politely tell them that you need a few days (or hours in extreme cases) to consult with a top Connecticut DCF lawyer attorney and that you will have your lawyer call them to set up an interview.
Most Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut DCF investigations last 45-60 days. The risks of not having any of the best Stamford or Greenwich DCF lawyers assisting you with your case is that DCF often tries to extend their involvement with your family by pressuring you to agree to continuing services and monitoring of your family for 6-12 months. And if you don’t have a lawyer advising you, it’s often tough for a family to say “no” to DCF, especially if DCF tells you what they “could” do if you’re non-compliant. As soon as you hear the laundry list of remedies and rights that DCF has over your family (such as removing your kids from you home, putting them in foster care, taking you to court), parents basically give DCF carte blanche to trample their parental rights and do whatever they want with their family.
Understand that these hypothetical situations rarely take place. Don’t be scared into giving up your right to say NO to Connecticut DCF. There’s plenty of room to compromise and advocate with DCF and DCF lawyers for a quick dismissal of your case.