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Fighting DCF Investigations in Westport Connecticut (Part 1 of 4)

Fighting DCF Investigations in Westport Connecticut
(Part 1 of 4)

All too often, top Westport Connecticut DCF attorneys and lawyers get calls from panicked parents who have been contacted by Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families, more commonly known as “DCF.” In most cases, Westport parents find out that they are being investigated for abuse or neglect when a DCF social worker shows up at their door, sends them a letter, or calls them unexpectedly. Once an allegation is made against you or a member of your family, DCF must respond within either 12 or 72 hours, depending on how serious the allegations are against you and your family.

How Does a Westport Connecticut DCF Investigation Start?

The first question most Westport families facing a DCF investigation ask is why and how. How and why did this Westport Connecticut DCF investigation start? The best Westport DCF defense lawyers can explain that DCF investigations begin with a referral, which is a report to DCF’s hotline. Connecticut laws classify certain people as “mandated reporters,” meaning that they are required by law to report suspected child abuse or neglect to DCF. Mandated reporters in Connecticut include doctors, teachers and school staff, coaches, pediatricians, therapists, and police officers. The mandated reporter rule applies regardless of whether the child is in public or private school, and trumps any kind of doctor / therapist confidentiality privilege.

Connecticut DCF Agents Sweep Into Your Home Quickly

Experienced Westport Connecticut DCF defense attorneys know that once a referral is made, a DCF worker will be assigned to your case. This person is an investigation social worker, who usually works out of DCF’s Norwalk Connecticut headquarters. In many cases, the Westport Connecticut investigation can feel intrusive and uncomfortable for Westport families. The investigation launches with a home inspection, an extensive interview with the parents, and an interview with your children without you being permitted to be in the room. From there, DCF will want to speak to your children’s doctors, dentists, and teachers, family therapists, and sometimes even your neighbors. So, if you or your family is the subject of a Westport Connecticut DCF investigation, you should immediately seek assistance from a top Westport DCF investigation lawyer or law firm who can help you through the DCF investigation process and help get your Westport DCF case closed as soon as possible.

What Do I Do When Connecticut DCF Shows Up at my Door?

As any of the top Westport Connecticut DCF investigation lawyers attorneys would tell you, families rarely receive a heads up when a referral is made to DCF’s hotline. Instead, a DCF investigation social worker will just show up at your door.

Why? Because DCF thinks that it will be able to get the most genuine and authentic picture of your private home life by taking you by surprise, rather than giving you time to prepare. What many Westport families do not realize is that they can ask the DCF worker to come back at another time. While it can be intimidating with a stranger standing on your doorstep, don’t be afraid to reschedule or to ask the DCF worker to come back later that day to give yourself a chance to consult with a top Westport DCF Investigation lawyer or attorney.

You Have the Right to a Westport Connecticut DCF Attorney

Many families get nervous and think that they must let DCF into their home immediately. Especially when the DCF worker will seem friendly and won’t be wearing a badge or uniform. But, don’t forget that DCF social workers and investigators are law enforcement officers who are there to enforce the law. While Westport DCF investigators are not able to put you in handcuffs and arrest you, they are able to communicate with the Westport Police Department about your family and take you and your family to court to seek orders that could impact your parental rights. So, if DCF shows up at your door, be courteous and ask them for their contact information. Tell them that you will be in touch later that same day to reschedule, but you first need a chance to talk to an experienced Connecticut DCF attorney. Some DCF workers will threaten that they can go to court and file a petition if you don’t speak with them immediately. Don’t let them bully you. Ninety-nine percent of the time the initial interview and assessment can usually wait until the next day.

Continue Reading…Westport Connecticut DCF Investigations, Part 2 of 4

(Fighting Your DCF Case, Dangers of Signing DCF Safety Agreements / Service Plans, and much more)