Wilton DCF Lawyer
If the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is asking questions about your family, it is a good idea to consult a Wilton DCF lawyer for advice. An attorney could help protect your rights and privacy while DCF investigates your family.
What Prompts a DCF Investigation?
DCF initiates investigations after receiving reports of potentially dangerous conditions either from mandated reporters, such as doctors, teachers, and police or from an anonymous hotline. Additionally, since police are mandated reporters, if children are in the vicinity when police make an arrest for domestic violence or any criminal act, it will often prompt an investigation.
What Happens After DCF Receives a Report?
After receiving a report, the agency conducts an investigation over the course of approximately six weeks. In the end, investigators make recommendations to DCF, and the agency issues a report.
The findings may either indicate that there is evidence to substantiate findings of abuse or neglect or that the allegations are unsubstantiated. Substantiation findings may be appealed. A Wilton attorney could provide advice and representation during every stage of the DCF process, from initial interviews to appeals.
What is the DCF Central Registry?
Connecticut maintains a Child Abuse and Neglect Registry that is accessible by the public. When the Department of Children and Families conducts an investigation, it may conclude that an individual accused of child neglect or abuse should have their name added to the register.
Listing on the Registry means DCF determined that an individual is “deemed to pose a risk to the health, safety or well-being of children.” Unlike a criminal case, the Department of Children and Families does not need to prove this “beyond a reasonable doubt”, their burden is much lower. Placement on the registry is not only embarrassing, but it can also cause serious damage to your personal and professional reputation. A Wilton lawyer with experience handling DCF cases could help you appeal the decision to place your name on the Central Registry or assist with the requirements to remove it.
Should I Retain an Attorney for Assistance with DCF Investigations?
Yes. It is important to realize that any information shared with DCF investigators may be used against your family later, even in criminal proceedings. At the same time, refusing to cooperate can also have undesirable results.
Consulting a Wilton lawyer before speaking with the DCF can often help families devise a moderate approach that protects their rights and interests while avoiding actions that could give the agency cause to believe they have something to hide. An attorney can be present during interviews to redirect lines of questioning that become too invasive.
Contact an Experienced Wilton DCF Attorney
DCF investigations can be frightening and confusing experiences. Advice and counsel from an experienced legal advocate can reduce your worry as you work toward a positive conclusion.