The Process of a DCF Investigation in Connecticut

After a visit from the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, you might be wondering what happens next. A Connecticut DCF investigation can be invasive and it is important to know what to expect during the process.

How Does a DCF Investigation Start?

DCF can be notified of potential abuse and neglect in a variety of ways. If the police respond to a call for domestic violence and children are home, the police will let DCF know. If a child makes a statement to a teacher, doctor, or other statutorily defined mandated reporter about something that can be seen as abuse or neglect that mandated reporter is required to call DCF and let them know as well. Additionally, DCF maintains an anonymous hotline whereby concerned individuals can report suspected abuse or neglect.

Very shortly after a report is made, sometimes in just several hours, DCF will begin investigating. A file will be opened, and you can expect a visit in the following days.

This is when you need to contact a top Connecticut DCF attorney lawyer.

How Long is a DCF Investigation?

DCF typically has 45 days from the receipt of the report to perform and conclude their investigation. At the conclusion of their investigation, the DCF commissioner will determine if the child was in fact abused or neglected based on reasonable evidence.

What Happens During a DCF Investigation?

During DCF’s investigation they will make a home visit to observe the living situation of the child and to talk to him or her. They will also look into any previous investigations by DCF as well as police reports involving the parents. To get a full picture, DCF may also want to speak with the child’s teacher, with family members, or with others who often spend time with the child. To learn more about interacting with DCF, click here.

What Happens at the End of a DCF Investigation?

The Commissioner will decide whether or not to substantiate the allegations of abuse and neglect, who to substantiate against, and they may make a recommendation for placement on the central child abuse and DCF Central Registry. To learn more about appealing a substantiation finding or a registry placement recommendation, click here.

Should I Hire a DCF Attorney?

If you are being investigated by DCF, it can be a scary and confusing time. Having a Connecticut DCF attorney in your corner to explain the process for you, advocate for your rights, and help you navigate the system to best protect your family is highly encouraged. Check out our reviews on, and then call Mark Sherman Law today to learn more.

Client Reviews


I found Mark Sherman after doing an extensive search for DCF attorneys on the internet. He is without a doubt the most honest and straightforward attorney I have ever met. Rather than trying to push us towards an expensive engagement...

- Robert E
Submit a Law Firm Client Review