Process for DCF Substantiation Appeals in Connecticut

After an investigation, DCF may decide to substantiate the allegations made against you. To have allegations “substantiated” means that there is reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred. This is a low standard and can be satisfied by documentary evidence, witness statements, or a combination of the two. To learn more about what constitutes child abuse or neglect, click here.

What Does “Substantiation” Mean During a DCF Investigation?

Substantiation determinations are specific to the allegation and to the child. Say, for example, someone is accused of physically abusing and morally neglecting child A, and only morally neglecting child B. The determination may be to substantiate the physical abuse of child A, and not substantiating, or dismissing, the allegations of moral neglect as to both child A and child B. It all depends on what information DCF uncovers during their investigation. If DCF decides there is not enough reliable evidence to substantiate an allegation, the allegation is dismissed and no further action is taken.

What is the DCF Central Registry?

In addition to making a decision to substantiate, DCF at the conclusion of an investigation may also recommend the individual for placement on DCF’s Central Child Abuse Registry.

This database is run by DCF and though it is not public, certain people can access it, including some employers during background checks, criminal background checks, to name a few. Some people are automatically recommended for placement, like those who have allegations substantiated for sexual abuse.

Can I Appeal DCF’s Decision?

Yes. If you have allegations substantiated against you, or if you are recommended for placement on the central registry, you have the right to appeal the decision. A DCF substantiation appeal is kind of like a mine-trial. You have the right to hire a top Connecticut DCF appeal lawyer attorney, you can call witnesses to testify on your behalf, and you can cross-examine witnesses that DCF may call. To learn more about DCF substantiation appeals, click here.

Should I Hire a Connecticut DCF Attorney?

If you are being investigated by DCF it’s important to understand your rights, the duties of DCF, and how to go about best protecting you and your family. An attorney who is familiar with the process for DCF substantiation appeals in Connecticut can be by your side the whole way. To learn more about how a lawyer can help out in your situation, call Mark Sherman Law for a consult today.

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