Medical Neglect in a Connecticut DCF Case

  • Connecticut’s Department of Children & Families, or “DCF,” will launch investigations into reports of child abuse or neglect.
  • You may face a child abuse or neglect substantiation at the end of a full DCF investigation.
  • If DCF thinks you pose a risk to children, DCF may even seek to put your name on its Central Registry.
  • If a DCF agent comes to your door, be sure to get in touch with a top DCF defense lawyer before speaking with them.

What is Medical Neglect in Connecticut DCF Investigations?

What qualifies as “medical neglect” according to the Department of Children & Families is not only incredibly broad, but also incredibly subjective. Essentially, medical neglect in Connecticut is described as an “unreasonable delay, refusal, or failure” to get your child necessary medical, dental, or even mental health treatment. The question is: Who decides what’s necessary? Who decides what’s unreasonable? Top Connecticut DCF attorneys know that these “definitions” leave DCF agents with way too much discretion, often to your detriment.

What does DCF Look for During an Investigation?

If DCF is investigating you or your family for medical neglect, the agents will be looking to see if your child missed any appointments at his or her doctor’s office, or for other therapy or treatment. DCF will also try to speak with your child’s doctors to see if you’re following all recommendations or if you’re refusing to get treatment for your child.

How does a DCF Investigation Start?

In Connecticut, a DCF investigation usually starts when DCF receives a report. In Medical Neglect investigations, the report might come from a doctor. Experienced DCF attorneys often see doctors make reports of suspected child neglect to DCF if you miss appointments – especially if you miss more than one and especially if your child is an infant or toddler. For more on what happens during the investigation itself, check out this post.

Will DCF Talk to my Children’s’ Doctors?

DCF will want to. In fact, the very first time DCF shows up at your door, the agent will hand you releases and ask you to sign them. In most cases – especially when you don’t have an attorney by your side – DCF will be looking for unfettered access to your kids’ doctors, dentists, and even their school. For many families, this can feel very intrusive. Often, your DCF attorney can work with DCF to get them enough information to avoid any additional concerns without having to allow complete access.

When does a DCF Investigation End?

In most cases, DCF has 45 days to conclude its investigation. In some cases, DCF will try to stay involved in your family for longer as part of “ongoing services,”which your attorney can work to avoid. If DCF conducts a full or intake investigation into your family, it will either substantiate or dismiss allegations against you at the end of the 45 days. It will also decide whether to put your name on its Central Registry as someone who poses a risk to children.

Call a Connecticut DCF Defense Attorney Today

Remember, you have the right to an experienced DCF defense lawyer at every single stage of a DCF investigation – from the very first time DCF contacts you until the conclusion of the investigation. Even if you don’t believe you’ve done anything wrong, it’s important to get in touch with an attorney to make sure your rights are protected. You can check out hundreds of reviews from our past clients here. Then get in touch to learn more about medical neglect in a Connecticut DCF case.

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