Connecticut Substantiation of Abuse & Neglect Appeals

Facing false accusations of child abuse can have devastating consequences on your life. Accusations of this nature can affect your career, your family, your social life, and your sanity. If the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, also known as the DCF, files for substantiation, you may have a chance at getting it appealed so you won’t have to suffer the consequences. If you live in the West Haven, Bridgeport, Middletown, or Hartford area and are looking for an appeal, let DeMatteo Legal Solutions help you.

Investigation Processes for Abuse & Neglect Cases

If the DCF or Child Protective Services has reason to believe that a child or children in your home have been abused or neglected, they will pursue an investigation. False child abuse and neglect accussations are common during the divorce proceedings, especially if your ex-spouse doesn’t want your children around you for any given reason. This investigation will then identify the evidence found as unsubstantiated, indicated, or substantiated.

Unsubstantiated vs. Indicated vs. Substantiated Proof

Unsubstantiated proof means there was no evidence for abuse or neglect. Indicated proof means they found evidence for low to moderately severe abuse or neglect. Substantiated proof means that the evidence brought in reveals that severe abuse or neglect is occurring within a household.

Substantiation only results from approximately 30% of investigations, but they don’t investigate very extensively. In other words, not much concrete evidence is needed to come to this conclusion. DCF investigators often rely on hearsay, speculation, and gossip to drive their reports, so false accusations can slip through the cracks and remain as such. My job as a juvenile law attorney is to bring in evidence that will prove you were incorrectly accused of child abuse or neglect.

Who Has Access to Your Record?

If the DCF finds substantiated evidence that you are abusive or neglectful, your name will be put on what is called the Child Abuse & Neglect Registry. This list, in Connecticut, is limited to a few individuals and entities, including your current or potential employer and Child Protective Services. There is no reason for you to be on this list when you have been wrongly accused of child abuse or neglect. To avoid this situation, work with a criminal defense attorney to appeal your case and get your record expunged.

How Can You Appeal a Substantiation?

As mentioned before, not much investigation or effort goes into proving that you were actually acting abusively. As a result, it is common to appeal those decisions. When you appeal, a more in-depth investigation will happen. You may request a review ONLY if your name isn’t required to be on the Sex Offender Registry, otherwise you’re welcome to hire a DCF investigation attorney like me to help you clear your name. My years of experience working with cases similar to yours will give you an upper hand in your defense.

What If Your Substantiation is Older?

You may appeal your substantiation if:

  • It happened before November of 2003 and you never received a notice
  • You were substantiated on grounds of a rule or law that is no longer in place
  • Your Child Protective case was dismissed without findings of jeopardy to the child

To see if you qualify for an appeal for an older substantiation, contact my office today to get started.

How Attorney Chris DeMatteo Can Help

When I work on your case, I will strive to prove that you are no longer a continued risk for abuse or neglect OR that you were never a risk in the first place. An example for a strategy I may use will be to bring in witnesses to attest to your character and approach to parenting. This will provide evidence to the court that you either didn’t act in an abusive or neglectful way, or if you did, you have learned your lesson and will never do it again.

No matter your situation, I have the resources that can help your case. I use my legal knowledge to help clients all over Connecticut. Whether you’re in Bridgeport, Milford, Derby, West Haven, New Haven, Middletown, New Britain, or Hartford, trust me to do everything in my power to get you the best possible result for you. Don’t let a false accusation take control of your life. Call Christopher DeMatteo, Attorney at Law, today to schedule your consultation.


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