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What can I do if the Department of Children and Families is investigating my family?

Produced by an AmeriCorps Project of Western Massachusetts Legal Services updated and revised Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed May 2010

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) has a very serious job - protecting children. Sometimes DCF takes children away from their parents to try to keep the children safe. It is important to remember that DCF can take your child from you.  They have to go to court to take your child, but they can get a court order very quickly if they need to.

Try not to upset your DCF worker. It is best to speak nicely to the worker. Do not swear or yell at the worker. This is a difficult time. You may be angry at what you feel are false statements and judgments by strangers. Remember what the worker is trying to do - protect your child. Remember what the worker is able to do – go to court to take your child away from you.

Try to cooperate with DCF. Go to your appointments. Call your worker back when she calls. If you need to miss an appointment, call your worker to tell her why. If you do not cooperate, DCF may hold this against you.


What you say to DCF is not "confidential." This means that your DCF worker can tell a judge everything that you say to her.

DCF cares about everything that affects your child. DCF cares about the party your sister throws while babysitting your child. DCF cares about how the person who abused you has treated your child. DCF wants to know what you are doing to try to protect your child.

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