Question & Answers Regarding Ct DCF Investigation
Questions and answers for regarding Connecticut DCF investigations. A social worker is contacting you because the Department received a report that your child may have been abused or neglected, or may be at risk of being abused. State law
(Connecticut General Statutes Sec. 17a-101) requires DCF to investigate all reports of suspected child abuse or neglect. The social worker will want to talk to you about
the report and your child well-being.
Who reported my child as abused or neglected?
Anyone – a friend, neighbor, family member, or stranger can make a report of suspected abuse or neglect. Any reporter may remain anonymous. However, the reporter identity may be disclosed under certain limited circumstances. Some professionals are required by law to report suspected abuse or neglect and are called
mandated reporters. Mandated reporters include teachers, physicians, nurses, social workers, police officers, mental health counselors, clergy, daycare workers, and
Why would a report be made?
Children are reported for a variety of reasons. Mandated reporters, for example, must contact the Department if they suspect a child:has been neglected, which means the child has been abandoned, is being denied proper care and attention,
or is being permitted to live under circumstances which harm his or her well-being;
has non-accidental physical injuries; has physical injuries that are inconsistent with an
explanation of the injuries; has a condition resulting from maltreatment, such as
malnutrition, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, deprivation of necessities like food, clothing, shelter, and emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment; and is placed at imminent risk of serious harm.
Children have a right to be safe from these conditions.
What happens when DCF receives a report regarding my child? Each accepted report of suspected abuse or neglect is assigned to a social worker who is responsible for conducting an investigation. It is the social worker responsibility to investigate the report and determine if ongoing DCF involvement is required.
Who will the social worker talk to?
First and foremost, the social worker will talk to you, your child(ren), and other family members. It is important to hear from you so the Department can offer help, if needed,
to your family. The social worker will contact physicians, teachers, daycare staff, baby-sitters, neighbors, relatives, or other people who have first-hand knowledge of you and your child(ren). You may also suggest others who you feel have information concerning your child. In certain situations, the worker may contact people without the
parents consent. The police must be contacted if the report indicates sexual abuse or serious physical abuse or neglect.
Does the social worker have to talk to my child?
Yes. The social worker must see and talk with your child, and will need to see and talk with other children in the home. In certain circumstances, the social worker may talk with your child before contacting you. He or she may talk with your child at school or at daycare.
What if I don’t want to talk to the social worker?
DCF encourages parents to cooperate with an investigation. This provides parents with the opportunity to tell their story. You can choose not to speak with the social worker,
but the Department is still required by law to investigate the report. If DCF believes your child is in immediate danger of serious harm, we will contact the police and, if
necessary, file a petition with the court to see your child.
Will my children be taken away from me?
The great majority of children served by Ct DCF remain at home with their parents. DCF’S goal is to keep families together whenever possible. When support services are
needed, your social worker will help arrange them. There are times when it is determined that the risk to a child’s safety requires out-of-home placement. Connecticut DCF may authorize a child’s removal if there is probable cause to believe that the child is at imminent risk of physical harm and that immediate removal is necessary to ensure the child’s safety. An emergency administrative removal is called a 96-hour hold. The parent should receive in writing the reason for the Departments actions and the legal basis for the removal. Within 96 hours after such removal, the Department must seek an Order of Temporary Custody (OTC) from the Court if it is necessary to maintain the child in out-of-home placement. If that is the case, you will be entitled to a Court hearing within 10 days and have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for you. Your child(ren) will be represented by an attorney as well. When a child must be placed in out-of-home care, DCF’s
goal is his or her safe return as soon as the family situation is determined to be stable and safe.
What happens after an investigation?
If DCF finds that your child has not been abused or neglected, the report is unsubstantiated.This means that there is insufficient evidence to prove that your child was, in fact, abused or neglected. Many “unsubstantiated” cases are immediately closed. However, DCF may determine that there are risk factors present that warrant keeping the case open to provide services to you and your family.
If DCF finds that your child has been abused or neglected, the report is substantiated, and your case will most likely remain open with DCF for services. Your social worker will then work with you to develop whats called a case plan. The social worker will discuss the services you can receive and how DCF will work with you to improve your family’s situation.
If a child has been seriously abused or neglected, or sexually abused, DCF is required to refer the case to the police. At times, Ct DCF’S involvement begins after a call from
a police department to help investigate a situation involving children.
Can I disagree with the Departments finding? Yes. If at any time you disagree with a finding of substantiated abuse or neglect, you may: Request in writing a review of the finding addressed to the area director. If you disagree with the results of the review, you can request an administrative hearing. You are not required by law to talk to the social worker during the investigation. But if you choose not to say anything, the hearing officer may not be able to consider your side of the story at the administrative
Corruptct Comments: If a social worker or a investigator from The Department of Children and Families calls you, or shows up at your home, you do not have to speak to them, or sign anything such as medical releases You do not have to let them in your home. The best thing to do is call a DCF defense attorney and, get advice.
Speaking to a DCF social worker or DCF investigator, only gives them information to use against you. Even if you have nothing to hide, they have a history of twisting words and putting statements in that were never said.
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