Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) Cases Advocacy for Children and Families
At The Christie Law Firm, LLC, our experienced attorneys are passionate about providing family-centric services that make our clients feel cared for and prioritized. As a lawyer who has been working with families for years, both in and outside of the legal system, Attorney Nicole Christie understands what you’re going through when involved in a pending Department of Children and Families (DCF) case. For the legal help and advocacy you need when involved in a DCF case, please call The Christie Law Firm directly today.
Types of DCF Cases We Work On
Our law firm wants to reassure you that we are here to provide a high level of advocacy and support when you are involved in a DCF case. The Connecticut Department of Children and Families is a state agency that works on a variety of family law and protective issues, including child abuse and neglect cases, foster care and adoption cases, and other juvenile court cases. Our firm can provide assistance with a multitude of DCF cases, including:
If the DCF receives notice of domestic violence arrests that involve children, or allegations of child abuse or child neglect, the department is obligated to conduct a full investigation. After the full investigation is completed, the DCF will issue its conclusions and a determination about whether or not the initial allegations of child abuse/neglect are substantiated or unsubstantiated. If the findings are substantiated, which means that the DCF has determined that there is evidence to suggest that the child’s physical or emotional/psychological health is at risk, the department will file a petition at the juvenile court.
When findings are substantiated, parents or legal guardians have a right to appeal the findings in what’s known as a DCF substantiation hearing. If a finding of abuse/neglect has been against you, a DCF substantiation hearing is a critical step in the process of ensuring that your child is not taken from you. You’ll need an experienced, competent lawyer to represent you during the process.
Rather than referring to juvenile criminal court cases, a juvenile court case involving the Department of Children and Families is a child protection case. In this type of case, the DCF files a petition with the court that contains evidence of allegations that the child has been abused or neglected. The court will then hear evidence on the issue and, if the allegations are determined to be accurate, the court may decide to remove the child from the home.
Even when the court does not make this decision, if there is a finding of neglect or abuse, the child will be in the juvenile system and the court will monitor the child’s well being moving forward; a child protection case such as this will typically close at the time that the child is emancipated, reaches the age of majority (18), or is permanently placed within a home. If you are a parent or caregiver who has had allegations of abuse or neglect brought against you, you are entitled to legal representation during the juvenile court process.
As stated above, it is the duty of DCF to investigate any allegations of abuse or neglect of a minor child. For parents and caregivers, this process can feel extremely invasive and unfair. During an investigation, DCF may make frequent and unscheduled visits to your home; may interview your child; may talk with teachers, friends, neighbors, and other relatives; and more.
While the process can be frustrating, it’s important to remember that the DCF is acting with the best interests of the child in mind. However, you do have rights during the process, and if you are being investigated by DCF, it’s important to speak with an attorney who can advise you of those rights and help you to navigate the process in a manner that helps you to achieve a favorable case outcome.
How Our Experienced DCF Cases Attorney Can Help
For parents and other caregivers of children, there is nothing more frightening than the idea of losing the custody of your child, even temporarily. Not only is having your child taken from you a heartbreaking experience, but it’s also one that can be embarrassing and lead to feelings of shame. While our law deeply respects the role of DCF, we also know that certain scenarios and circumstances can be blown out of proportion, that evidence can be misinterpreted, and that emotions and fear can often get the best of parents in a DCF case, leading to adverse results.
If you are being investigated by DCF, are called to a child abuse or neglect hearing, or have received notice of substantiation of evidence of abuse or neglect, you need a skilled attorney on your side. Ways an attorney can help include:
- Explaining the law, DCF’s roles and responsibility, your rights, the rights of your child, and what the potential outcomes you’re facing are;
- Helping you navigate the complexities of a DCF Safety Plan;
- Advising you on how to best cooperate with a DCF investigation, what to do if you disagree with an investigator’s actions, what DCF can demand of you and what you can (and cannot) say no to, etc.;
- Helping you to prepare favorable evidence;
- Helping you file an appeal to a DCF substantiation finding;
- Representing you during your hearing;
- Representing you if your children have been taken from you and you want to get them back;
- Advocating for you and your family every step of the way.
One of the most important reasons to hire an attorney is so that you have someone who knows the law and who is committed to be by your side throughout the entire process. This can be a huge relief and comfort as you deal with the Department of Children and Families.
Call The Christie Law Firm, LLC Today
At The Christie Law Firm, LLC, we understand how much is on the line when you’re involved in a Department of Children and Families case. For the advocacy and support you both need and deserve, call The Christie Law Firm, LLC directly today at (860) 461-7494, or send us a message telling us more about your case today.