Preparing for a DCF Administrative Appeal Hearing in Connecticut

  • After a DCF abuse or neglect substantiation, you may file for an appeal.
  • You have the right to representation by a dedicated attorney at this administrative hearing.
  • As with most things, preparation is key.
  • If you have a DCF substantiation appeal administrative hearing coming up, contact a top Connecticut DCF defense attorney today.

How can I Appeal a DCF Substantiation?

After a Connecticut Department of Children and Families substantiation for abuse or neglect, there are avenues for appeal. However, you must assert your right to an appeal in a timely manner. Appeals are multiple steps, first DCF will perform an internal review where they look over their file and make a preliminary determination whether or not to uphold the substantiation. If DCF decides to uphold the substantiation, you can file again for an administrative appeal. This is the first opportunity to fully prepare and advocate for a reversal of your substantiation.

To learn more about the process of an appeal in Connecticut, click here.

What is a DCF Administrative Hearing?

DCF is a state administrative agency tasked with protecting the safety and wellbeing of children and families across Connecticut. DCF investigations and substantiations are separate and distinct from criminal arrests and trials. The adjudicatory proceeding for meting out a DCF issue is an administrative hearing. This hearing occurs at a DCF office in Connecticut before a “Hearing Officer” who also works for the Department. Both you and DCF will have the opportunity to question witnesses and present evidence. DCF will be represented by a staff attorney who has made their career out of these kinds of cases. While you may have ample evidence on your side, it could still be extremely helpful to have a lawyer representing you who knows the ins and outs of these hearings.

How can a Lawyer Help Me Prepare?

The first way a lawyer can help is in making sure you are filing for your appeal within the deadlines set by the DCF regulations. You only have a certain amount of time after a substantiation to file for an internal review, and a certain amount of time after that to file for an administrative hearing. If you miss these windows, you may be out of luck. Further, an attorney who has handled DCF substantiation appeals in the past can help you gather information to present as evidence that speaks directly to why you did not commit the abuse or neglect alleged.

What Happens if I Lose a DCF Administrative Hearing?

If you lose your administrative hearing, meaning the Hearing Officer has decided to uphold the substantiation, there is one more route you can take. Once administrative remedies like the hearing are exhausted, you can appeal your case to the Connecticut Superior Court. Any top Connecticut DCF lawyer will tell you that when it comes to protecting your family, asserting all rights provided to you by the law is of key importance and an attorney can help you in the most effective manner.

Hire a Top Connecticut DCF Defense Attorney Today

Without legal representation a DCF administrative appeal can be intimidating. Knowing how to best prepare can make a huge difference in your future. Read our hundreds of certified reviews from past clients on, and then call the dedicated attorneys at Mark Sherman Law today.

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