Emotional Neglect in a Connecticut DCF Case

  • The Department of Children & Families investigates reports of child abuse or neglect in CT.
  • It doesn’t take much for DCF to try to substantiate emotional neglect against you.
  • You have the right to an attorney during every step of a Connecticut DCF investigation.
  • If DCF is investigating you or your family, be sure to get in touch with a top Connecticut DCF defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What is Emotional Neglect?

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families has its own – very broad – definition of emotional neglect. Basically, if you’re accused of not giving your child proper care or attention and it has a negative impact on your child, DCF may try to substantiate emotional neglect against you

What does DCF look for during an Investigation?

If you’re being investigated by DCF for emotional neglect, DCF will look to see if you’ve failed to provide your child with “appropriate support, attention, and affection.” Obviously, those definitions are not only extremely broad, but they’re extremely subjective. During its investigation, DCF agents might look to see if you or anyone in your home is engaging in substance abuse, has psychiatric issues, or is engaging in domestic violence and, if so, whether it’s having a negative emotional impact on your child.

What Happens during a DCF Investigation?

You might first receive notice that you’re being investigated when a DCF agent shows up at your door or calls you unexpectedly. The investigation may start because your child said something at school and either a teacher or other staff member became concerned and called in a referral, or perhaps the police were called to your home and made a referral based on an arrest or report. No matter how it starts, DCF investigations can be overwhelming and intrusive. For more on how to handle an investigation, click here.

What if DCF Substantiates Allegations against me?

At the end of a full or intake investigation, you’ll get a letter, where DCF will tell you whether it is substantiating any allegations against you and whether it plans on putting your name on its Central Registry. You will have a limited period of time during which you can appeal those decisions. DCF will first conduct its own internal review of the allegations and, after that, will schedule an appeal hearing.

Do I need a Lawyer for a DCF Investigation?

While you’re not required to have an attorney, experienced DCF lawyers in Connecticut know the nuances of DCF investigations and can work to get your DCF case closed as quickly as possible. In the event that DCF substantiates against you, top DCF attorneys will be able to represent you during DCF’s internal review and in an appeal hearing.

Call a Connecticut DCF Defense Attorney Today

If DCF shows up at your door, or you’re already under investigation, make sure that your rights are protected. Remember, nothing you say to DCF is confidential and you have the right to have an attorney represent you every step of the way. At Mark Sherman Law, we have a team of lawyers ready to help. You can see hundreds of past reviews at Avvo.com. Then get in touch today to learn more about emotional neglect in a Connecticut DCF case and what you can do to defend against these allegations.

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