Navigating the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters can be challenging and frustrating for families. As a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist and attorney with extensive experience with DCF cases, I know how daunting dealing with DCF can be. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, foster parent, or pre-adoptive parent, I will take the time to listen to you, explain the law and your legal options, and provide aggressive yet compassionate legal representation.

Being wrongfully accused of abusing or neglecting your children is devastating.  Because DCF involvement can result in removal of your children, it is important to take allegations seriously and seek legal assistance early in the process.  As a certified child welfare law specialist, I represent parents throughout DCF proceedings, from investigation to trial.

I also represent parents of children who have been abused or neglected by others entrusted with their care, such as coaches, teachers, or staff in a residential treatment facility. When a child is abused by a trusted adult, the impact on the child and family is profound. Parents are faced not only with helping their child and family heal but also with the investigations and the associated administrative and legal proceedings that may follow. Parents often find that they are provided with very little information about the DCF investigation. I help families navigate through the process and get the information they are entitled to.

Representation may include:

  • Explaining your legal rights;
  • Assisting with obtaining access to information;
  • Advising parents throughout DCF investigations, including “Family Assessment Response” (FAR) cases;
  • Communications with DCF case workers;
  • Representation in DCF administrative hearings to contest substantiation and/or registry findings;
  • Representation in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters; and
  • Representation in appeals of child abuse and neglect cases before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts.

For useful links please click here.

I represent foster and pre-adoptive parents in matters related to children in DCF custody. I understand the legal rights of foster parents and pre-adoptive parents and take the time to understand your concerns, explain your legal rights, and outline the options available to you.

Representation of foster and pre-adoptive parents may include:

  • Assistance with communicating and negotiating with DCF;
  • Appearance at placement disruption conferences;
  • Appearance at removal hearings and substantiation hearings;
  • Assistance entering into open adoption agreements through DCF; and
  • Appearance in court on behalf of foster and pre-adoptive parents.

For useful links please click here.

When DCF takes custody of a family member, it is important that grandparents and relatives know their rights and act quickly to seek visitation or custody.  I understand grandparents’ rights and the rights of other family members of children in DCF custody and takes the time to understand your concerns, explain your legal rights, and explain the options available to you.

Representation may include:

  • Communication and negotiation with DCF;
  • Appearance in DCF hearings;
  • Appearance in Court on behalf of grandparents’ and other family members of children in DCF custody;
  • Assisting relatives who are seeking to intervene in child abuse and neglect matters pending before the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters; and
  • Assisting relatives who want to seek guardianship of children through the Probate Court.

For useful links please click here.