Defending Connecticut Doctors in DCF Investigations

  • In Connecticut, many professionals who work with children frequently are considered mandated reporters of child abuse or neglect.
  • All doctors and nurses are mandated reporters in the state of Connecticut.
  • If mandated reporters fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect, they can face civil and criminal liability.
  • If you’re a doctor and nurse facing a Connecticut DCF investigation, contact a top DCF investigation defense lawyer.

Can a Doctor Be Arrested for Failing to Report Child Abuse or Neglect?

Connecticut law requires doctors to report abuse within 12 hours of the moment they first suspect abuse or neglect of occurring. Failure to make a report of suspected abuse or neglect can result in a criminal arrest for Risk of Injury to a Child and potential action against a doctor’s practitioner’s license. Contact an experienced DCF defense attorney before making a statement if you are a doctor who has been contacted by DCF or a law enforcement agency for failing to report.

Can I Appeal a DCF Finding?

After DCF conducts an investigation, the department can substantiate abuse or neglect against you. If the department finds that abuse or neglect occurred and there was a failure to report, you can expect a substantiation against you. A DCF substantiation can land you on the central registry and can have a negative impact on practitioner licenses and future job searches. If DCF has substantiated abuse or neglect against you, be aware that you have the right to a hearing to appeal DCF’s findings. Click here to read more about DCF appeals, and call an attorney today to discuss how you can have your substantiation reversed.

Who is a Mandated Reporter in Connecticut?

Under Connecticut General Statute § 17a-101, a mandated reporter is a health professional that is mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect to the Department of Children and Families (“DCF”). Common examples of mandated reporters are police officers, physicians, teachers, nurses, therapists, psychologists, social workers, and school guidance counselors. Under Connecticut law, if a doctor has reasonable cause to suspect or believe that a child has been abused or neglected, they are mandated to report the abuse to DCF or a law enforcement agency.

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

Typically, DCF has up to 45 days to conduct an investigation into a report of abuse or neglect before making a finding or substantiation. DCF may close the investigation earlier than the 45 days or may stay involved even longer than the mandated time period. If DCF substantiates abuse or neglect, you can expect DCF to make a recommendation that you be placed on a central child abuse and DCF registry.

Can DCF Tell my Employer about my DCF Investigation?

If you are being investigated for suspected child abuse or neglect, or failure to report abuse or neglect, DCF can legally tell your employer about the investigation. We often see this occur any time DCF investigates a doctor, nurse or schoolteacher, regardless of the results of DCF’s investigation. Typically, these professionals will be put on leave and not allowed to work pending the results of the investigation.

Contact a DCF Defense Attorney Today

If you are a Connecticut doctor who is the subject of a DCF investigation for suspected child abuse or neglect, or are being investigated for failing to make a report of abuse or neglect, contact an experienced DCF defense attorney today to learn how you can protect your career and get DCF out of your life quickly. Read certified reviews from prior DCF clients here and call the attorneys at Mark Sherman Law today.

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