What is the DCF and What is a DCF Case
The DFC is the Department of Children and Families in Florida. Any child abuse, abandonment and neglect must be reported to the DFC. The DFC works in the best interest of the children to make sure their homes are safe and to place them somewhere that is safe if they are in any danger. If you suspect a child is being abused, neglected or has been abandoned it is your legal duty to report it to the DFC.
Florida Department of Children and Families Services
The DCF’s goal is to shelter children who are in imminent danger of abuse, neglect or abandonment. In these cases, the child will be removed from their parent of legal caregiver if the DCF believe they are in danger. This often happens when the child’s parents use drugs in the presence of the child, in corporal punishment cases and when the child does not have health care provided to them in a timely manner. The DCF may shelter a child even if the state’s attorney doesn’t file criminal charges or if the criminal case is dismissed.
Florida DCF Investigations
DCF investigations can involve a number of methods. The situation is typically reported to the DCF and the reporter remains confidential. During investigation the police may threaten to take the children away if the parent or guardian under question does not cooperate. They may also have the other parent or boyfriend or girlfriend of the parent testify against the parent in question. The DCF may also question the child outside of the home, relatives or any other people in the child’s life.
Private Dependency Petitions
A private dependency petition is a judicial dependency case that is filed by someone other than the DCF and is filed when the DCF is taking too long to investigate or remedy abuse allegations. They are usually filed by the extended family of the parents but anyone with facts supporting the case can file one.
If you’d like to speak to a lawyer about a DCF case, contact us here.