Weston DCF Lawyer
If you are being investigated by the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), you should seek legal help immediately. A qualified Weston DCF lawyer could work tenaciously to defend your rights and mitigate the long-term repercussions this kind of investigation can lead to.
When Do DCF Investigations Occur?
The Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) is a state agency with the broad responsibility of ensuring children are not stuck in harmful or neglectful situations. Oftentimes a DCF investigation arises after an alleged instance of domestic abuse. To learn more about domestic violence arrests, click here
Generally, one of two circumstances leads to a DCF investigation: either an arrest for a domestic violence crime that allegedly occurred near or in front of children, or a report filed with the DCF by someone concerned about child abuse or neglect, often one of the “mandated reporters” defined by Connecticut General Statutes §17a-101. Depending on the circumstances, the DCF may engage in a “Family Assessment Response” or a full investigation. To learn more about the Family Assessment Response, click here.
What is the General Process of a DCF Investigation?
In any case, a DCF caseworker will make home visits, interview all household members, speak with children who allegedly have suffered mistreatment, and conclude their investigation within 45 days of the initial referral. Following a FAR investigation, though, the DCF will not file a report detailing whether the claims in the initial referral were “substantiated” or “unsubstantiated.” The DCF has the authority to advance an FAR into a full investigation if they find grounds to substantiate a referral’s claims.
After a full investigation, if a claim is substantiated, the DCF may order a child’s immediate removal from imminently dangerous circumstances or continue with a court case to determine whether removal is appropriate. A Weston DCF attorney could provide crucial assistance managing either type of investigation, as well as ensuing cases pursued by the DCF.
How Can Legal Counsel Help During This Process?
Needless to say, being investigated by the DCF is an immensely stressful experience for everyone involved, especially individuals who are unsure of their rights. Neither adults nor children are obligated by law to cooperate with a DCF investigation if they do not wish to do so, but failing to work with investigators could also hinder an investigated party’s ability to defend themselves from allegations.
During a DCF investigation in Weston, a skilled lawyer could tirelessly advocate for a family’s best interests and, in many situations, interact with investigators on their behalf, ensuring that the DCF can understand all sides of the story without prying unnecessarily deeply into a family’s private affairs. Additionally, if a DCF investigation ends with a “substantiated” finding, legal counsel could help the implicated party appeal that ruling through a court hearing.
Contact a Weston DCF Attorney Today
Whether it stems from a domestic violence arrest, an allegation of abusive behavior at home, or any other situation, finding out the Connecticut Department of Children and Families has opened an investigation into you can be a uniquely nerve-wracking experience.
Retaining a Weston DCF lawyer could be the best decision you ever make. Check out Avvo.com to learn more about working with the lawyers at Mark Sherman Law. Call today to schedule a consultation.