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    Role of The Greenwich DCF in Risk of Injury to a Minor Cases

    In risk of injury to a minor cases, DCF investigators may collect background information on both parents. They may 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. If there is an arrest made that involves a potential abuse and neglect of a child, then the Greenwich Police Department would make a referral to DCF.

    They may also want to make sure that the children 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. Contact a knowledgeable attorney for more information on the role of the Greenwich DCF in risk of injury to a minor cases.

    What is a Greenwich DCF Service Agreement?

    A DCF service agreement is a contract between a family and DCF. The agreement asks the family to agree to do or refrain from doing certain things. For example, if there was an arrest between a husband and wife for domestic violence coupled with risk of injury charges because the child was in the room, the service agreement may be something as simple as not engaging in domestic violence in front of the child.

    Another example would be when DCF is trying to take one or both parents out of the house or trying to get the parents to agree to put the children in the custody of someone else for a period of time. For service agreements, it is important to have an attorney present, because it is viewed as a binding contract.

    Requirements for DCF to Substantiate an Allegation

    DCF’s guidelines are broad. If the DCF social worker feels (subjectively) that any of the alleged incidents could have happened, typically you may see DCF substantiating the allegation, especially when there is no attorney present to protect the alleged offenders. Oftentimes, attorneys are hired to appeal the substantiation, as the standard for substantiation is broad, vague and can seem arbitrary.

    What is the DCF’s Family Assistance Response System?

    Family Assistance Response occurs for accusations that are lower risk or less serious. An investigation is still performed, but it is not a full investigation leading to a substantiation at the end. In a FAR, at the end of the 45 days, DCF will close out its case and, while they might offer additional services, such services are not typically mandated.

    Methods DCF May Use when Handling Low-Risk Referrals

    For most low-risk referrals, especially if there is no serious allegation of abuse or neglect and if the family has never been through such a process before, DCF may conduct a FAR rather than a full investigation. Experienced Greenwich attorneys always may agree that even if an investigation starts as a FAR rather than a full investigation, it can easily be raised to a full investigation at anytime though out the process. Speak with a lawyer to find out more about role of the Greenwich DCF in risk of injury to a minor cases.

    Pros and Cons of Signing a DCF Agreement

    One pro of signing a DCF agreement is that it shows the party being cooperative. The cons are that DCF can take action against the family if they violate the contract. For example, if the family violates the contract, the role of the Greenwich DCF in risk of injury to a minor cases is to take action and potentially try to seek custody of the children. It is always a good idea to have an attorney look over the agreement before any paperwork is signed.