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Policy Manual

CHILD PROTECTIVE INVESTIGATIONS

34-2-2
Investigation Process

Investigation Process An investigation of a report of child abuse or neglect continues the process of gathering facts and information already begun during the report-taking phase.

The investigator must acquire and analyze information to determine whether a child has been abused or neglected and is in need of protective services or other services offered by the Department or the community.

 Purpose An investigation of child abuse, neglect or in danger of abuse is a fact finding process to
  • substantiate or not substantiate reported allegations of abuse, neglect, or in danger of abuse
  • assure the safety and well-being of children who have been abused or neglected
  • begin the Department’s relationship with a family by providing information about the Department’s mandate and the investigation process
  • gather evidence in a responsible and professional manner within the law
  • provide adequate information on substantiated reports in order to facilitate a complete assessment by child protective service staff.
Who Conducts Investigations? Investigations of child abuse, neglect or in danger of abuse are conducted by the following DCF staff:
  • child protective investigators located in the Department’s regional offices throughout the state who respond to reports of abuse and neglect when the regional offices are open

or

  • child protective Hotline investigators who are on-call to respond to reports of abuse and neglect when the regional offices are not open.
Coordination with Law Enforcement The DCF investigator may request the assistance of police, as needed,
  • when there is a concern for the safety of the investigator
  • to gain access to the child; e.g., to enter the home, for a 96-hour hold, or an Order of Temporary Custody (OTC).

DCF shall always notify the police in cases of

  • sexual abuse
  • severe physical abuse
  • severe neglect
  • death of a child.

In these situations, efforts shall be made to conduct a joint investigation with the police.

Cross-References:

  • 33-6-18, "Notification to State or Local Police..."
  • 34-6, "Entrance to Client’s Home"
Investigation Tool The investigator shall utilize the Department’s computer system (LINK), including the Investigation Protocol (DCF-2074) to guide and document the investigation activity.
Investigation Determination To complete an investigation, the investigator must make a determination that the allegation is either substantiated or not substantiated as child abuse or neglect.

Note: An allegation of "in danger of abuse" must be substantiated or not substantiated as "abuse" or "neglect".

Investigation Determination Condition
Substantiated Reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred.
Not Substantiated Lack of reasonable cause to believe that child abuse or neglect has occurred.

 

Connecticut Department of Children and Families                               Effective Date: October 1, 1996 (Revised)