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Fighting DCF Investigations in Stamford, Connecticut (Part 1 of 3)

Fighting DCF Investigations in Stamford, Connecticut
(Part 1 of 3)

The top Stamford Connecticut DCF investigation lawyers and attorneys know that all Stamford DCF investigations begin with a “referral.” These referrals typically originate from someone who is mandated by Connecticut law to report child abuse or neglect. They are called “mandated reporters.” Examples of mandated reporters include police officers, teachers, therapists, family relations officers, domestic violence social workers, doctors, and nurses. If these professionals suspect or receive a report of any kind of abuse or neglect of a child under 18 (or of a high school student regardless of age), they are required to make a referral to the Connecticut DCF emergency hotline.

The best Connecticut DCF lawyers know that Connecticut law requires DCF to respond to a report of abuse or neglect within 12 to 72 hours, depending on how severe the accusations are against you and your family. Once a report gets called into DCF’s abuse and neglect hotline, it gets assigned to one of the agency’s investigative social workers. The Stamford Connecticut DCF worker then shows up at your front door, unannounced, or leaves a letter in your mailbox, hoping to catch you and your family unprepared and off-guard. The investigation is invasive and comprehensive, requiring home inspections, private interviews with your children, calls to your children’s schools, doctors, therapists, and sometimes requiring questioning of your neighbors. So if you find yourself targeted by a Stamford Connecticut DCF investigation, you should call any of the best Stamford Connecticut DCF law firms to help you set boundaries with DCF, protect your family’s privacy, and get DCF out of your life as soon as possible.

What is a Stamford Connecticut DCF Investigation Anyway?

There are 2 kinds of Stamford Connecticut DCF investigations. The first is a lower-risk investigation called a Family Assessment Response (often called a “FAR”). The second is a “Full Investigation” designed to investigate higher risk families and more serious Connecticut DCF allegations of abuse or neglect. The most serious Stamford Connecticut DCF Full Investigations are accompanied by a Connecticut Superior Court DCF Neglect Petition or Order of Temporary Removal (called an “OTR”).

What Should I Do When a Stamford Connecticut DCF Worker Shows Up at My House?

Any of the top Stamford Connecticut DCF attorneys will acknowledge that DCF investigators do not give you a heads up before they show up. They do this because DCF investigators believe they will get the truest picture of your family when they catch you by surprise. Know, however, that you are under no obligation to submit to the interview at that moment. Stay calm. And politely ask them to reschedule their interview and home inspection for a more convenient time. They may give you reasons why it’s important to go forward at that very moment, but realize that you have the right to say no and reschedule.

Whether the Stamford Connecticut DCF investigator is conducting a FAR or a Full Investigation, ask the investigator to come back after you have had a chance to consult with a top Connecticut DCF lawyer. Do not be disarmed by their lack of police uniform and polite exchange – DCF workers are law enforcement officers. While they cannot arrest you, they can share anything they learn with the police. Stamford Connecticut DCF workers even have the power to take you to court to modify your parental rights. So remember to always be polite and ask the investigator for a business card. Be sure to let them know you will be in contact once you speak to a top Stamford Connecticut DCF attorney lawyer. They may respond with some sort of threat that if you do not let them in, then they have the power to go to court to try to remove your children from your home. True, but having the power to go to court, and actually going to court are two different scenarios. Don’t be intimidated. DCF will usually give you the time to speak with any of the best Stamford Connecticut DCF lawyers and attorneys, as Stamford DCF interviews can usually wait a few hours—or even a couple of days—until you are better prepared for your Stamford Connecticut DCF investigation home interview and assessment.

A DCF Family Assessment Response (“FAR”) Investigation in Stamford Connecticut

A Family Assessment Response (or “FAR”) is a 45-day risk assessment conducted by a Connecticut DCF investigator. While a FAR investigation is similar to a Full Investigation in many ways, it does not end with any findings of abuse or neglect. The best Stamford Connecticut DCF lawyers and attorneys know that this is the most desirable DCF investigative track because it is the easiest to manage. However, a FAR is not a one-way ticket out of DCF – a wrong move, or too much information shared with DCF, can quickly escalate your FAR into a Full Investigation. It is critical to understand that DCF can elevate your FAR case into a Full Investigation at their sole discretion, especially when Stamford Connecticut DCF thinks you are not fully cooperating or uncovers issues or concerns during the 45-day investigation such as a failed drug test, domestic violence history, or new information from interviews. That is why you should let your top Stamford Connecticut DCF attorney handle your Stamford DCF case from day one.

Continue Reading…Stamford Connecticut DCF Investigations, Part 2 of 3
(Fighting “Full” DCF Investigations, Appealing Your Stamford DCF Case, and much more)