What To Do If DCF Knocks On My Door
The involvement of DCF (The Department of Children and Family Services) https://portal.ct.gov/dcf in your family can come about as a result of many different scenarios, including (1) you and your spouse being involved in a domestic violence incident when your child is home; (2) a therapist, teacher, coach or other mandated reporter contacts DCF as a result of something your child reported; or (3) your child being reported as truant by the school. If a DCF caseworker contacts you by phone or comes to your home, it’s important to know your rights!
What are my rights if DCF contacts me?
- You have the right to have a third person present when your child is interviewed by a DCF caseworker and when you are interviewed as well. That third person can be your attorney.
- You have the right to say “no” when the DCF caseworker asks you to sign authorizations allowing DCF to secure records from the school, a therapist or your child’s pediatrician.
- You have the right to secure a copy of the DCF caseworker’s file when the investigation is concluded.
- You have a right to appeal the “substantiation” of an abuse or neglect finding.
A DCF investigation can be stressful and may result in ongoing involvement with your family. Contact your attorney as soon as you are notified that a report has been made to DCF so that you can get the best guidance for your particular situation.