DCF Internal Reviews in Rowayton

If the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) determines after investigating allegations that you abused or neglected your children that there is enough evidence to “substantiate” those allegations, you have a right to appeal that conclusion and potentially get it overturned. Before you can formally file an appeal, though, you will need to request and then allow the DCF to conduct its own internal review into your case.

While DCF internal reviews in Rowayton mostly happen outside of your direct control, that does not mean you have no say whatsoever in this part of the process. In fact, you can actually participate directly in this review process if you know the proper procedures for doing so and have help from a knowledgeable DCF defense attorney in enforcing your rights.

How to Request a DCF Internal Review

At the conclusion of the DCF’s investigation into you, they will send you a Notification of Investigation Results in the mail detailing whether their investigation has ended in a finding of “Substantiation” and/or whether they have recommended that you be placed in their publicly viewable Central Registry. From the moment you receive that notice in the mail, you have 30 days to fill out and submit an Internal Review request form, which the DCF will generally include alongside a Substantiation notice.

Once the DCF receives your Internal Review request, they will assign the case to the appropriate local DCF Legal Unit for Rowayton, which will review all the evidence and information provided by the investigators who handled your claim and determine whether there were any legal and/or factual problems with the conclusion those investigators made. After a maximum of 30 days, the DCF will send you another letter explaining whether their Internal Review has resulted in their original decision being reversed or upheld. In the latter scenario, you then have another 30 days to petition for an appeal hearing before an administrative hearing officer.

How to Participate in the DCF Internal Review Process

While the DCF should inform you of your right to request an internal review and to continue an appeal beyond that review if applicable, the Department will typically not tell you outright that you can participate in the Internal Review process in much the same way you would participate in an appeal hearing. Specifically, you are allowed to submit additional documentation and evidence to the DCF which you believe is relevant to your case.

On top of that, you may also be able to get the DCF to schedule an informal phone call or meeting with you to discuss your case during an Internal Review in Rowayton, which could give you another opportunity to explain your side of the story. Making effective use of this right can be extremely difficult without help from professional legal counsel, though, so you should still make retaining a qualified DCF defense lawyer your top priority after receiving notice of a Substantiation.

A Rowayton Attorney Can Help With DCF Internal Reviews

A DCF Internal Review is just the first step of several in the appeal process against a “Substantiation” of child abuse or neglect allegations. However, while you do have the right to continue your appeal past this point if needed, it is virtually always preferable to resolve and end a case like this as quickly as possible.

The experienced legal professionals at Mark Sherman Law can provide the custom-tailored support you need to get the best possible result from your DCF Internal Review in Rowayton. Call today to learn more about your options from a member of our team, and click here to read what hundreds of previous clients have said about their experiences working with us.

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