You can ask the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to change their decision by asking for a Fair Hearing. Ask for a Fair Hearing if:
- You disagree with a DCF “support” decision after a child abuse or neglect investigation.
- You disagree with a DCF decision to record your name in the Registry of Alleged Perpetrators. See What Can I Do If I Disagree With Being Listed in the “Registry of Alleged Perpetrators”?
- DCF caused you substantial harm because they did not follow a regulation or law. Or
- DCF caused you substantial harm because they were unreasonable.
Asking DCF to change their decision is called "appealing" the decision. You need to ask for a Fair Hearing when you appeal. See What is a Fair Hearing?
You can use DCF’s "Grievance Process" for other kinds of complaints, like
- The conduct of a DCF employee, or
- Your Action Plan.
DCF Office of the Ombudsman
DCF has an "Office of the Ombudsman." An “ombudsman” is a person who looks into complaints. The DCF Office of the Ombudsman helps parents who feel DCF treated them unfairly. If you tried to solve a problem with your local DCF office and you are still unhappy, staff at the Ombudsman's Office can work with you and your local DCF office to solve problems. Their phone number is (617) 748-2444.