The state of Connecticut takes the investigation of domestic violence or child neglect very seriously. After an incident such as a domestic violence arrest or an accusation of neglect, the state's Department of Children and Families (DCF) gets involved. They investigate the circumstances of the event and dig deeper into relations between members of the household. To help you achieve the best outcome, it’s important to hire an experienced lawyer with experience in these cases. If you or a family member is under investigation by the DCF, here’s what to expect.

What Happens During a DCF Investigation?

lawyerBecause the welfare of children is at stake, investigators with the Department of Children and Families leave no stone unturned when seeking evidence of abuse or neglect. They’ll assess your home environment and interview your kids and everyone involved with them. This can include doctors, teachers, coaches, and neighbors. However, keep in mind that they are only after the truth and have the best interests of your children at heart.

The investigation must conclude within 45 days of the referral. The DCF will decide whether reports of abuse or neglect were substantiated or not, whether further action needs to be taken to protect the children, and whether the findings should be made public in the DCF central registry.

Filing an Appeal

If they find that the children are at risk of physical or emotional harm, the DCF may attempt to remove them from the household. They have to get a court order to do so, but this can happen very quickly in cases of dire need.

Meanwhile, you and your lawyer have 60 days to appeal a DCF substantiation finding. Along with the findings report, you'll receive DCF Form 2210b, which you can submit to request an appeal. Unlike during the original investigation, you can defend yourself in front of an impartial judge during the appeal. Your lawyer can put incriminating evidence in context, present evidence for your side, bring forth character witnesses, and more. 


If you need an experienced lawyer to help you with a DCF case, contact The Law Offices of Conti, Levy and Salerno, LLC in Torrington, CT. The partners have more than 70 years of combined legal experience. In addition to family law, they also specialize in personal injury, civil litigation, criminal defense, and educational law. Visit their website to read what their clients have to say about them or call (860) 482-4451 to arrange a lawyer consultation.