Can DCF Really Take my Kids for a 96-Hour Hold?

Protecting Your Children from the Department of Children and Families
  • The Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) will contact if a report of child abuse or neglect is lodged against you.
  • DCF can take your children from your home if they believe your child is in imminent danger.
  • If your children are taken from you, DCF can file a motion to terminate your parental rights in the juvenile court.
  • Click here to read more about your rights as a parent during a DCF investigation and contact a Connecticut DCF attorney today to learn how to protect your family.
Can DCF Take my Children?

Under Connecticut General Statute § 17a-101g, DCF has the right to remove a child from a home without parental consent or court action if DCF finds that the child is in imminent risk of physical harm and that immediate remove from the home is necessary to ensure the child’s safety. This means that DCF does not need to conduct any investigation before they can yank your children from your home and take you to court to terminate your parental rights.

When Can DCF Put a 96-Hour Hold on my Children?

In order to remove your children from your home, there must be a dangerous situation threatening your child’s safety. DCF’s criteria of dangerous situations includes situations where a child has been abandoned or not properly supervised, situations where a parent or guardian is dangerous to the child, and situations where the child is a surrounding that is physically dangerous.

What is a DCF Order of Temporary Custody?

If DCF believes there is a need to remove your child from your home longer than the initial 96-hour hold, the department will petition the court for an Order of Temporary Custody of your child. Parents can request a hearing to fight the removal of their child. Any parent threatened with the removal of their child should consult an experienced DCF defense attorney prior to going to court.

How Long Does DCF Have to Investigate a Case in Connecticut?

DCF investigations can either be classified as a Family Assessment Response (“FAR”) or a Full Investigation (“Full”). A Full is a much more intrusive and will lead to more services and DCF involvement than a FAR. No matter which investigation DCF launched against you, it must conclude within 45-days. Click here to read more about Family Assessment Response investigations.

Does DCF Need a Warrant to Enter my Home?

Parents often ask if DCF needs a warrant to enter their home or speak to their children. While DCF is a government agency, they are not entitled to search your home or enter unlawfully. DCF is entitled to come to your home on their own volition to speak to your children and check on their well-being. Importantly, parents are entitled to legal representation during the entire DCF investigation and court process.

Do I Have to Cooperate with DCF?

Parents often ask if they are legally obligated to cooperate with DCF or comply with DCF demands. No one is obligated to cooperate with DCF, unless they sign a legally binding service agreement or safety plan, agreeing to complete DCF services or allow DCF to remain involved with the family. Consult with an experienced DCF attorney prior to speaking with DCF or signing any documents, as you may be waiving important rights or allowing DCF.

Contact a Top Connecticut DCF Defense Attorney Today

If you have been contacted by DCF regarding allegations of suspected abuse or neglect, contact an experienced DCF defense attorney before you face the real possibility of DCF removing your child from your home. Click here to read hundreds of certified reviews from past clients and call us today to discuss your case at (203) 569-3599.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I found Mark Sherman after doing an extensive search for DCF attorneys on the internet. He is without a doubt the most honest and straightforward attorney I have ever met. Rather than trying to push us towards an expensive engagement he quickly addressed our issue with a recommended course of action. My wife and I left his office feeling much better and confident in our situation. His fee was well worth the investment and I highly recommend his services. Robert E.
★★★★★