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Greenwich Risk of Injury Arrest Process Involving DCF

If there is an accusation of the potential abuse and neglect of a child, the Greenwich Police Department would make a referral to DCF. If you are in the middle of the Greenwich risk of injury arrest process involving DCF, it may be critical to contact a distinguished child abuse attorney to represent you. 

Following an Arrest

Once the arrest has been reported, DCF searches their records to see if the family has ever worked with DCF before. Then DCF will initiate contact with the family before determining how quickly DCF needs to act on a case. In really severe cases, they might go to the court to seek temporary custody of the children if DCF thinks they are in danger.

What are Mandated Reporters under Greenwich law?

Mandated reporters are required to contact DCF of any abuse they may expect. These roles include teachers, caretakers, any kind of daycare teachers, doctors, dentists, anyone in the medical field, nurses, anyone in school, guidance counselors, and anyone that has contact with the children.

Cooperation with the DCF

It is usually beneficial to cooperate as much as possible, which is why it is important to hire an experienced lawyer right away to help guide the family and work with DCF to show that the family is not dangerous and is compliant. While families are not technically required to cooperate with DCF, the organization can threaten to, and actually can, escalate their case and take it to court if the family does not cooperate.

Immediate Arrests

Immediate arrests for risk of injury can occur if the police are called to the scene of a dispute. Immediate arrest can occur if law enforcement has been called because a child is left in a car, or called because a child is potentially being abused. In any of those cases, a Greenwich risk of injury arrest process involving DCF would likely begin right away. The accused individual may be given a summons or be taken down to the Greenwich Police station. The bottom line is that if the police have probable cause at the scene of the alleged incident, an arrest is likely to happen right then and there.

Arrests Following an Investigation

If DCF has the ability to involve law enforcement if they uncover that past abuse, serious neglect, or domestic violence incidents in the home. The DCF social worker could make a police report on behalf of the child and initiate an investigation, which might eventually lead to an arrest warrant being signed.

Requirements to Substantiating an Allegation

DCF's guidelines are pretty broad. If the DCF social worker subjectively feels that any of the alleged incidents could have happened, they may substantiate the allegation, especially when there is no attorney present to protect the alleged offenders. Oftentimes, attorneys are hired to appeal the substantiation, as the standard for substantiation is broad, vague and can seem arbitrary.

Family Assistance Response System

Family Assistance Response occurs for accusations that are lower risk or less serious. An investigation is still performed, but it is not a full investigation leading to a substantiation at the end. In a FAR, at the end of the 45 days, DCF will close out its case and, while they might offer additional services, such services are not typically mandated.