When the report is supported and The Department of Children and Families (DCF) seeks an assessment, DCF has 45 working days (3 months) to do an “assessment” of your family. The assessment is to see if your family needs services.
The assessment includes:
- Face to face contact with you as the client.
- Collateral contacts with such persons as the social worker deems necessary, including but not limited to extended family, previous or current service providers, and any other resources identified by you as the client.
During the assessment, the social worker will have a minimum of three in person interactions with you and your children, as well as with other individuals residing at the house. All children are visited a minimum of two times during the assessment. The first face-to-face contact is supposed to occur within five (5) working days from day the case was assigned to the social worker.
When a DCF assessment is being completed and the family refuses to cooperate, the worker may talk with his/her supervisor and the Area Director to determine risk to the children and if any legal action needs to be taken. Taking custody of your child may be required.
At the end of the 45-working day (3 month) DCF assessment, the social worker and supervisor will determine whether the case will stay open or closed. When DCF determines that the case is staying open, DCF will decide who in the family will receive services and be included in the service plan after the assessment. You may receive verbal or written notification from the DCF social worker with the outcome.
In the DCF family policy at the end of the DCF assessment there is a question for the DCF assessment worker to answer. At the end of the DCF assessment, the social worker must answer the following question: should this supported decision be overturned and the allegation be unsupported against you? This now requires the DCF Area Office to consider whether the DCF child abuse report should be overturned, and therefore unsupported at the close of the assessment period.