It’s frightening that DCF can remove children without court order

DCF can remove children without court order

Re “More checks urged on DCF” (Page A1, Jan. 18): It is prudent and right for the Department of Children and Families to remove children who are in imminent danger from their families. However, there is no doubt that it is traumatic and harmful for children to be ripped from their parents’ care, especially when there is no imminent threat.

Representative Joan Meschino’s bill to amend the law governing such actions should receive careful consideration. There should be some check on the DCF’s unlimited power to remove children from their homes without a court order. It is indeed a frightening truth that the agency can do this. Just as judges are available after business hours for an emergency restraining order, they should be available by telephone for potential after-hours child removals.

There are thousands of children in foster care, which is costly to the state and ultimately the taxpayers. Absent exigent circumstances, the DCF should make every effort to keep families together.

It is true that judges will be reluctant to leave a child in an untenable situation. It is also true that the DCF will be more circumspect about removing children if they know their decision will be reviewed by a judge.

Kevin Patrick Seaver


The writer has been a defense attorney in DCF cases since 1991.

Photo: Josh Sabey and Sarah Perkins played with their children at a park in Waltham in October 2022. The couple had their children taken away in the middle of the night last summer over a rib injury to one that they could not immediately explain. Vanessa Leroy/For The Washington Post


One thought on “It’s frightening that DCF can remove children without court order

  1. Aileen Dodge says:

    My Grandson will soon leave the custody of youth services and he will be allowed to return home. Now I could type a novel length email to you giving you the history of all my grandchildren that have been victimized and unnecessarily traumatized because of DCF Involvement. But it wouldn’t really change the answer to the question I am asking. That question is that when my grandson has been allowed to go home and is not longer involved with DCF in any way. I want to hire an attorney that will bring a lawsuit against the state of Massachusetts DCF for the irreparable trauma and the total devastation of these children’s futures due to DCF’s negligence and knowingly violating the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations of DCF. I want to know if you take cases like this and what kind of cost I am looking at because one way or another I want to make the State of Massachusetts Department of children and family Servies acknowledge that they knowingly traumatize these children and have caused such emotional trauma that it will take these kids a lifetime to get over. If they ever do. So, it is my intention to hire an attorney who is well aware of all the nasty underhanded actions DCF takes to keep their name out of the media with not a thought of what would be in a child’s best interest. That has Never in my opinion been the concern top concern of anyone who works for the Massachusetts Department of children and families’ services. Some has to make the public fully aware of the monetary cost of this intentional lifelong trauma caused by DCF social workers who basically do what they want and not what the CMR actually directs them to do. The taxpayer doesn ‘t just foot the bill while DCF has custody of the children. A very high percentage of these children end up need state services when they become adults because they cannot pay for the help they need. And over time can forcibly cause the state (Taxpayer) to have to pay a hell of a lot more for treatment or care if the trauma wasn’t caused in the first place. The is a great percentage of adult children who come out of the care of the state or had involuntary involvement with DCF who fail in life as responsible independent adults. And eventually the Taxpay does end up paying. So, if you take cases like this I would like to know because I do intend to let all that happened become public knowledge when I have a case filed against DCF.

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