What are my rights when dealing with DCF?
When DCF is conducting an investigation, the investigative social worker is legally required to give you DCF's "right to know" pamphlet. The pamphlet does not have to be given to you before you speak with the investigator though. The investigator does not have to tell you what your rights are. Many times, the investigator will only give you the pamphlet at the end of your meeting, after you've been questioned and after the investigator has obtained the information DCF needs to help substantiate the allegations made against you.
Here is some of the most important information in the pamphlet. You can view the entire "right to know" pamphlet by clicking here.
- You are not required to allow a DCF employee to enter your home.
- You are not required to speak with a DCF employee.
- You are entitled to seek the advice of an attorney and to have that attorney with you when a DCF employee questions you.
- Any statement that you or your family members make to a DCF employee may be used against you in court or in administrative proceedings.
- A DCF social worker is not an attorney and cannot provide you legal advice.
- You are not required to sign any document presented to you by a DCF employee and you are entitled to have your attorney review any documen before you sign it. This includes, for example, a release of claims or a service agreement.
This is the most important part of the "right to know" pamphlet -
Please be advised that choosing not to communicate with a DCF employee may have serious consequences, which may include DCF filing a petition to remove your child from your home. It is, therefore, in your best interests to either speak with the DCF employee or immediately seek the advice of an attorney.