What is a DCF Internal Review in Connecticut?

  • At the end of a full investigation, DCF may substantiate abuse or neglect against you.
  • The Connecticut Department of Children & Families can put your name on its Central Registry.
  • If you request a hearing to appeal DCF’s findings, your case will first be reviewed by the Legal Unit.
  • If DCF substantiated allegations against you, an experienced attorney can help you appeal.
Why You Need a Lawyer in a CT DCF Internal Review

A Connecticut DCF Internal Review is what happens between your request for an appeal of DCF findings and your appeal hearing itself. When you submit a request for an appeal of a Connecticut DCF decision, the local DCF legal unit will first review your case to see if they actually even have a case. Sometimes DCF will overturn your substantiation during the Internal Review process. But, if not, you will get a notice scheduling your hearing.

Can my Lawyer Participate in the Internal Review?

Yes. DCF agents won’t go out of their way to invite you, but top Connecticut DCF lawyers know that you can submit additional information to the Legal Unit and even set up a meeting or call to give them more information. Not only that, but your lawyer is entitled to have access to everything that DCF relied on during its investigation, which can help prepare for your hearing.

What Happens During a Connecticut DCF Investigation?

During an investigation, whether it’s a Family Assessment Response, or a “full” or “intake” investigation, DCF agents will want to talk to everyone in your house. They will also want you to sign releases so that they can speak to your kids’ providers, like their doctors, dentist, and teachers. For more on what happens during the investigation itself, check out this post.

What Happens at the end of a Connecticut DCF Investigation?

First of all, DCF may try to convert your investigation into ongoing services, during which DCF could remain involved in your family for months. If you’re facing a full investigation, DCF will send you a “Notification of Investigation Results” form at the end of its 45-day investigation. That form will tell you whether the Department of Children and Families is substantiating any form of child abuse or neglect against you, and whether it’s recommending that your name be placed on its Central Registry of people who it decides present a risk to the safety or well-being of children.

How do I Request a DCF Appeal in Connecticut?

Once you get that “Notification of Investigation Results” form from DCF, you have 30 days to file a written request for an appeal. Your DCF attorney can fill out the form and submit the request on your behalf. From there, DCF has another 30 days to conduct the Internal Review and then schedule your appeal hearing. Click here for more on what happens during the appeal hearing.

Call a Connecticut DCF Defense Lawyer Today

DCF showing up at your door is overwhelming and stressful. Receiving a Notification that they decided to substantiate allegations against you is even worse. If you’re in this position, get a team of attorneys that can help you throughout the entire Department of Children & Families process – from investigation to Internal Review to appeal hearing. You can see hundreds of reviews from our past clients at Avvo.com. Then get in touch at (203) 358-4700.

Client Reviews
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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 he quickly addressed our issue with a recommended course of action. My wife and I left his office feeling much better and confident in our situation. His fee was well worth the investment and I highly recommend his services. Robert E.
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