DCF Substantiation Appeals in Greenwich

If you have recently received a letter in the mail indicating that an investigation into your household undertaken by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has concluded with a “substantiation,” you do not have to simply accept that decision and the consequences or court orders which may come with it. Instead, you can formally contest the Department’s conclusion in court and potentially get it overturned—although in order to get a favorable result from a DCF substantiation appeal in Greenwich, you will almost certainly benefit from the support of a knowledgeable DCF defense lawyer who has gotten good results from situations like yours in the past.

What Is a “Substantiation” During a DCF Investigation?

A substantiation is not the same as a criminal conviction or a civil finding of liability, it is a finding of a Connecticut administrative department. If you have a job working with children, this can have adverse consequences on employment. Additionally, if you’ve been substantiated in the past, you could face potential removal proceedings.

To substantiate child abuse or neglect following an investigation, the DCF must find enough evidence to support a finding that the child abuse or neglect occurred. This evidence can include objective items like doctor’s reports, school records, or video / audio footage of any alleged abuse or neglect. It can also include subjective items like the opinions of DCF investigators and statements made by witnesses.

There is no determination of a judge, arbitrator, or lawyer during a DCF investigation, however, on appeal you can have a hearing before an administrative hearing officer or a judge when the evidence can be questioned and ruled upon by a neutral third party.

How to Appeal a DCF Substantiation

The DCF substantiation appeals process in Greenwich and throughout Connecticut begins with the prospective appellant(s) filling out and mailing an Appeal Request form—a copy of which should be included with the notice they received informing them of the DCF’s “substantiation” decision—to the DCF, making sure to check the box on the form indicating that they wish to appeal. Sometimes, the DCF will acknowledge an error during an ensuing internal investigation and reverse their decision fairly quickly, but most of the time it will be necessary to progress to a formal appeal hearing.

At this hearing, which will take place at a local DCF office and be overseen by a Hearing Officer, both sides will have opportunities to present evidence in support of their own case and cross-examine evidence presented by the other side. A decision in favor of the appellant(s) here will result in the investigation ending and the “substantiation” being dismissed.

Knowing the ins and outs of the applicable Connecticut regulations and how to best present a defense is extremely important, which is where a skilled attorney can help.

Let Our Greenwich Attorneys Help With a DCF Substantiation Appeal

Just like the DCF “substantiating” allegations of child abuse or neglect made against you does not mean their verdict will hold up in court, filing an appeal against this type of investigation outcome does not guarantee a ruling in your favor. Fortunately, you have help available with your DCF substantiation appeal in Greenwich from legal professionals who know how difficult it can be to deal with this sort of situation and who can help you progress past it in the most proactive way possible. Call today to learn more about your options.

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