With its storied past, many parents wonder if DCFS is meant to help or hinder
When Utah DCFS shows up on your doorstep, you can safely bet that it’s not going to be a good time. Even the world’s best parents can have nightmarish experiences with DCFS. And, tragically, many abused and neglected children fall through the cracks. With a track record like that, many people are wondering, What is DCFS actually looking for when they stop by for a visit? And, what can you do to protect your family?
They Want to Make Sure the Child Is Safe
DCFS stands for Division of Child and Family Services. The thing most people understand about DCFS is also the thing most people don’t understand about DCFS: their primary objective is looking out for the safety of the child. Obviously, case workers want to know that a child isn’t being physically or sexually abused, or neglected. However, the way DCFS goes about collecting that evidence seems to leave a lot of people scratching their heads. A case worker may thoroughly search your home to make sure a child is being provided for. They may also ask questions that you feel are invasive. A lot of people feel as though they’re being judged by their case worker. However, the case worker’s main concern is that the child in question is not experiencing any abuse or neglect.
They Want to Make Sure the Environment Is Safe
Though it varies from state to state, Utah DCFS workers are specifically looking at the environment in which the child lives. They’ll want to see that home is clean and free of hazards or dangerous substances. For example, cleaners like bleach or Windex need to be out of a child’s reach. They’ll also want to make sure that the parents, and anyone living in the home, is drug free and does not pose a danger to the child. They may check your fridge to ensure there is food for the minor child. If someone in your home has a history of harming children, DCFS may decide to remove that child from the home. They’ll want to make sure that the child has food, clean clothes, and their own bed. In short, DCFS wants to leave your home knowing that the child is not in any imminent danger.
How Long Does a DCFS Investigation Last?
If you’re looking to get rid of DCFS, you may have to wait a very long time for them to complete their investigation. DCFS often stops by the home unannounced at the beginning of their investigation. And, they may continue to drop by unannounced until they’ve concluded that there is no abuse occurring. Even if a case worker shows up to a home and finds no signs of abuse, they may continue investigating your family just to be certain. Furthermore, they may require drug tests or demand entry to your home. The length of a DCFS investigation will vary from case to case.
Do You Have to Let DCFS In?
If DCFS is at your doorstep, you do not have to let them in. However, depending on the case, they may come back with a warrant. At that point, you will have to let them in. A lot of people feel uncomfortable with DCFS because they’ve made so many mistakes in the past. Fighting Utah DCFS can be very difficult, and you may need to hire a family law attorney to help you navigate the case. Reversing DCFS decisions is not always easy and straightforward. Also, many good parents find themselves the subject of a DCFS investigation.
Protect Your Family Today
If you need help protecting your family, CoilLaw is here for you. At CoilLaw, our family law attorneys are experts in handling DCFS cases. Our firm is committed to fighting for the rights of the parents while protecting the best interests of the child. If you need help fighting Utah DCFS, CoilLaw is ready to fight for you. You can also check out our DCFS guide. Contact us today for more information on how we help families stay together.