What happens when DCF enters your family life? Did you know that if you have an argument with your spouse or partner and kids are in the house and the cops get called, the police are mandated to report the situation to DCF? If DCF believes that a child is in danger, they can remove the child from the home. Legally, in order for DCF to remove your child from your care they must show either that;
1. the child is without necessary and proper physical or educational care and
2.the child is growing up under conditions or circumstances damaging to the child’s
sound character and development;
3.the child lacks the proper attention of a parent or guardian; or
4.the child’s parents are incompetent, unwilling, or unavailable to provide care,
discipline, or attention to the child.
BUT, this initial showing is done ex parte, meaning that the Judge only hears one side of the story, DCF’s. You are not there and the decision is made without you having an opportunity to explain the situation. Pretty scary huh? Your child is removed and you have no power to do anything except prepare for the 72 hour hearing. At the 72-hour hearing which may or not be within 72 hours of removal, DCF must establish by a preponderance of evidence that:
1. the child is suffering or is in immediate danger of serious abuse or neglect, and
2. immediate removal is necessary to protect the child from serious abuse or neglect
Briones Law Group has extensive experience dealing with DCF and advocating for scared parents. It is imperative that you have an experienced and skilled attorney to guide you through this heart wrenching and stressful process. The sooner you have an attorney on your side the better. Briones Law Group can assist you in all matters that involve DCF including but not limited to initial interviews, ongoing case work, Fair Hearings, 72-hour hearings, Care and Protection cases etc…
DCF is scary! You need someone on your side! Trust me on this!