Greenwich DCF Lawyer
The Department of Children and Families is contacted anytime there is a charge or accusation of risk of injury to a minor. By law, DCF has to open an investigation following an accusation. All police officers are mandated reporters. This means that once there is a risk of injury charge or a suspicion of child abuse or neglect, they are required to make a report by law. Because DCF investigations are required after an accusation has been made, it may be critical to contact a skilled defense attorney. A Greenwich DCF lawyer could help you protect your rights and prepare you for this legal process.
How Does DCF Respond to Risk of Injury Claims?
In such an instance, the Department of Children and Families would open a file and, depending on how severe the allegations are, would determine how fast they would respond. In some cases involving extreme abuse or neglect, they would get involved right away and may seek to remove the children from the home immediately. In less serious cases, DCF might contact the family within 48 hours or even a few days, rather than immediately.
Stages of a Greenwich DCF Investigation
DCF investigations typically start when the case social worker contacts the family to get some background information about them to observe the children and see how they are doing, to let the parents know what DCF’s role is, and to inform the family about how the investigation will proceed. A few more home visits are made within the first month or so, depending on the allegations. At the end of a 45-day period, this agency has to make a conclusion to the investigation.
To make that conclusion, they first need to determine if the allegations are substantiated against the person or people. Secondly, they need to determine if the person’s name is going to be placed in DCF central registry and, if it is, that means investigators have found that the person is a threat to the safety and well-being of children. Typically, these investigations last for 45 days. After that period is over, DCF can also try to remain involved with the family and try to impose services, any additional counseling, additional meetings, and a new social worker. Therefore, it is important to hire an attorney in Greenwich to handle the DCF investigation so that the situation doesn’t get blown out of proportion.
How is Information Collected?
They will usually collect background information on both parents. They want to know if there are any mental health issues, substance abuse issues, or any history of domestic violence-related to either side of the family. They also want to make sure the kids are being taken care of including confirming that they are in school without excessive absences, are going to the doctor, visit the dentist, and are generally well cared for. DCF will also want to speak to the children (if they are verbal at that point) and get more information just to see in the status of the home from the kid’s point of view. A lawyer in Greenwich could walk you through how a DCF investigation might go.
Speak with a Greenwich DCF Attorney
For most low-risk referrals, especially if there’s no serious allegation of abuse or neglect and if the family has never been through such a process before, DCF will conduct a FAR rather than a full investigation. Even if an investigation starts as a FAR investigation, it can easily be raised to full DCF investigations at any time throughout the process. Because of this, it is important to contact a Greenwich DCF lawyer as soon as possible if you have been accused of potential abuse.