Fighting DCF Investigations in Westport Connecticut (Part 3 of 4)
Fighting DCF Investigations in Westport Connecticut
(Part 3 of 4)
Absolutely. If you and your family are the target of a DCF Investigation in Westport Connecticut, you are probably wondering whether it’s necessary to hire an attorney to represent you, and the answer is yes. Having any of the best Westport Connecticut DCF attorneys and lawyers by your side throughout the process can help you get the case closed as quickly as possible and can help you contain the case so it doesn’t unnecessarily escalate and become even more serious and intrusive than it already is.Insist Your Westport DCF Lawyer Be Present for all DCF Interviews
Interviews with DCF investigators – especially without an experienced attorney to guide you – can be overwhelming. Right from the start, the DCF social worker will ask you questions about your entire life, mental health history, marriage history and your kids’ health and medical histories. Many families just want to cooperate and give the DCF worker all relevant information with the hope that they go away. But, while no top Westport Connecticut DCF attorney would advise you to lie to DCF, keep in mind that everything you or your family says to DCF can be used against you. DCF agents are specifically trained to fish for red flag issues like addiction history and domestic violence issues, all with the goal of determining whether DCF needs to get more involved in your family.Don’t Let Westport Connecticut DCF Agents Go On a Fishing Expedition
DCF agents will search for information about you or your family members’ substance abuse problems, criminal or domestic violence history, mental health diagnoses, past therapy and counseling for anxiety, depression, or any other issues that may cause them to keep their case open longer than necessary. But, more often than not, these issues are so dated, and have been resolved so many years ago, that they don’t even affect your family anymore. A top Westport DCF attorney can help guide you through the interview without being dishonest.Don’t Sign Connecticut DCF Release Paperwork So Quickly
On top of the interview that delves deep into your past, DCF will want to contact your kids’ teachers, doctors, dentists, therapists, and even neighbors if they feel it would help their investigation. The DCF social worker will ask you to sign release forms so they can freely talk to each provider. Without a top Westport DCF worker present, you might feel as though you must sign the releases. Know, however, that you have a choice and can say no to DCF to keep third parties out of their investigation. If you are being investigated by DCF in Westport, get in touch with a top Connecticut DCF Investigation law firm as soon as possible.Can DCF Speak to My Kids Without a Parent Present?
Yes. DCF will want to speak to your kids without you there. But, a top Westport DCF Investigation lawyer can sit next to your child during this interview, take notes during the interview, record the interview if you’d like, and end it at anytime if your child becomes upset.Should I Sign a DCF Safety Plan or DCF Service Agreement?
Not until you contact a top Westport DCF attorney or law firm to review it. During a Westport Connecticut DCF FAR or FULL investigation, DCF officers may pressure you to sign a DCF Service Agreement or a DCF Safety plan immediately after the initial interview. The DCF worker will typically handwrite conditions on a yellow or pink sheet of paper and then hand it to you for your signature. Stop right there.
You should not sign anything without first getting legal advice from a top, experienced Connecticut DCF investigation lawyer. The conditions in the Safety Plan often put a huge burden on Westport families, as they can be overly broad, subject to different interpretations, and usually do not include an end date. They can include mandates for supervised visitation with your children, the removal of one parent from the family home, substance abuse evaluations, drug testing, anger management counseling, or participate in parenting skills courses.Don’t Be Pressured into Signing a Westport Connecticut DCF Safety Plan
Most often, the Safety Plan is drafted quickly and parents feel that they have to sign it. Yet DCF may not go over the legal consequences of agreeing to a DCF Service Agreement of Safety Plan. If parents hesitate to sign, DCF workers will often bring up “possibilities” of foster care, temporary transfers of custody, or Connecticut Superior Court intervention. Know, however, that these extreme consequences are typically reserved for the most severe cases; however, the mere mention of them will scare most families into signing anything that the DCF worker puts in front of a target family. Your top Westport Connecticut DCF attorney lawyer will take the time to explain that a Connecticut DCF Safety Plan or Service Agreement is essentially a legally binding contract, and by signing it you waive your constitutional rights to due process against DCF.
So if you are handed a Safety Plan or Service Agreement by a DCF worker in Westport Connecticut, then let the DCF investigator know that you need a few hours to get in touch with a Westport Connecticut DCF Investigation attorney before signing.
Continue Reading…Westport Connecticut DCF Investigations, Part 4 of 4
(Westport CT DCF Appeals, DCF Cases & the Criminal Courts, and much more)