DCF Vs. Parents: Unfair Tactics? -- Courant.com

Full story: Hartford Courant

Three years after a Superior Court judge chastised the Department of Children and Families for deliberately distorting facts in a child abuse and neglect case, concerns about the agency's fairness toward ...
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Tom Smith

Groton, CT

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#1
Jul 16, 2007
 
Ive been a Foster Parent for 10 years and DCF is pathetic. They only see and hear what they want. I have 1 foster son who has been with me since February and Ive never met his DCF worker and have only spoken with her on the phone twice.
Just ed

Lebanon, CT

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#3
Jul 16, 2007
 
still trying to figure out what we pay them for Its another case of money spent on taking kids from people who try to survive and allowing others to make kids and do drugs and ingore their kids See it all the time in Willi!!
Mrs-Pat

Granby, CT

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#5
Jul 16, 2007
 

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I agree with the article, "this is just the tip of the ice-berg". DCF needs a major overhaul from the clerical workers right up to the top. If the AG's office initiated an investigation into DCF's unwillingness to be fair and unbiased, I am sure the investigation would reveal many horror stories.
Former Foster Parent

Paramus, NJ

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#7
Jul 16, 2007
 
The one thing obvious to foster parents is that DCF treats them like the enemy. Even when DCF admits that the complaintant might be lying or has a history of lying, they pursue the foster parents with a vengence. And they don't hesitate to lie in front of a judge because they believe something. But what happens if what they believe is totally wrong?
mike

Norwich, CT

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#8
Jul 16, 2007
 

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Gee... maybe i a, not crazy i have been telling people for years about the way these people ( DCF) operate!
Been There

Paramus, NJ

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#9
Jul 16, 2007
 

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What is really fascinating about this article is how, in response, DCF seems to indicate that they think they're doing nothing wrong! Go ahead workers, lie all you want!

DgD

“Angel of Justice”

Since: Jul 07

military town,usa

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#10
Jul 16, 2007
 

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DCF= Disfuntional Connecticut Facility
Former Juvie Attorney

AOL

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#11
Jul 16, 2007
 

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I worked as a juvenile court attorney for eight years. I felt the work I did was very important as it protected children and protected parents from being overrun by a massive agency who had all the power as well as custody of their children.

Unfortunately I had to quit when the state reconfigured the compensation level and was paying me $300 for the first thirty hours, or the rough equivalent of $11.66 per hour. The less one worked, the more they got paid as the $300 was an upfront lump sum. I know, it's hard to feel sorry for a lawyer getting the financial shaft, but if you had your children removed from you, would you want a lawyer who had a financial disincentive to do as little as possible.

And I saw those lawyers in court. But mostly, I saw men and women who were very dedicated to the work they were doing. They would would together if someone had a difficult problem they had never dealt with before and lend a helping hand to the newer lawyers.

I had to quit as I was being paid less than I paid my paralegal. I understand the compensation rate has gone up slightly, but it is still a gross underpayment. There are great lawyers willing, and most importantly able, to be David against the Goliath that is DCF and all they ask is a decent wage, or at least what the social workers get paid.
Joe Middletown CT

United States

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#12
Jul 16, 2007
 
Incompetency on behalf of the entire agency,their lawyers,and everyone else involved on their behalf.
Steven_G_Erickso n

Holyoke, MA

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#13
Jul 16, 2007
 
There is lying, laziness, incompetance, and rampant abuse in the DCF, DMR, DOC, police, in the courts, with the police, and in the legislature.

Lawyers such as Michael H. Agranoff can completely botch real estate transactions or just wrack up hours, never intending to defend clients and there is no punishment or disbarment.

Lawyers and the courts are the problem. Unfairness means lawyers make more money. Practicing lawyers can make up as much as two thirds of a legislative committee deciding on ethics, the courts, and police. Lawyers are out for all they can get, not for us.

http://thegetjusticecoalition.blogspot.com/
Disgusted

Hartford, CT

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#14
Jul 16, 2007
 
It's a real shame that this kind of thing is still happening. When is society going to care about the children and their future? This is why there is so much crime and violence these days, society pushes these kids to it by ignoring their needs.

Since: Apr 07

Location hidden

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#15
Jul 16, 2007
 
After reading this and other related articles I was thinking that the DCF spokespeople can somehow subsidize their department by publishing a book of excuses.
DCF Not Your Friend

East Hartford, CT

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#19
Jul 16, 2007
 

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When my wife went insane the DCF was brought in by her mental health workers who at first believed her delusions about me and then the DCF believed her delusions about me and eventually we split and I got the kid full time but meanwhile had my lawyer get a copy of the DCF file and they included a lot of third-party speculation that was completely wrong but the social workers duly reported it and made me out to look very bad when it simply wasn't true. Luckily the 3rd or 4th DCF worker (they kept changing) was better than the others and actually seemed to care about getting it right and she looked deeper and decided my wife really was the incompetent one and she saw that I really am devoted to our son and she got them to close the case and she even expressed relief that it was straightened out and the kid staying with me. I'm "grateful" enough to that last caseworker I guess but before that the DCF was like the Soviet Secret Police making a case without any restrictions on who or what they would use or twist into a fact or a source and it was outrageously false. I do not trust or respect DCF as a result.
checkers

AOL

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#20
Jul 16, 2007
 
I am a mental health worker that is in contact with DCF. I quake when they call. Usually just before a court hearing and only hear what they want to hear. In Westport they can lawyer up to protect themselves but the poor get the shaft.
anonymous

Willimantic, CT

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#22
Jul 16, 2007
 

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I would say Destruction of Children and Families

Since: Jul 07

Granby, CT

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#23
Jul 16, 2007
 
DCF Not Your Friend wrote:
When my wife went insane the DCF was brought in by her mental health workers who at first believed her delusions about me and then the DCF believed her delusions about me and eventually we split and I got the kid full time but meanwhile had my lawyer get a copy of the DCF file and they included a lot of third-party speculation that was completely wrong but the social workers duly reported it and made me out to look very bad when it simply wasn't true. Luckily the 3rd or 4th DCF worker (they kept changing) was better than the others and actually seemed to care about getting it right and she looked deeper and decided my wife really was the incompetent one and she saw that I really am devoted to our son and she got them to close the case and she even expressed relief that it was straightened out and the kid staying with me. I'm "grateful" enough to that last caseworker I guess but before that the DCF was like the Soviet Secret Police making a case without any restrictions on who or what they would use or twist into a fact or a source and it was outrageously false. I do not trust or respect DCF as a result.
I know of more cases like this one. what will it take to get the right people to stop DCF from acting like the "Soviet Secret Police"..will it take another child killed because of the lies, misrepresations, and fabrications, DCF continues to perpetrate?
wrtaylor

Palo Alto, CA

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#24
Jul 16, 2007
 
Being underpaid or overworked is no excuse for falsifying records and documents when it pertains to legal investigations involving families and children . I think Florida has it right: bring felony charges against ANYONE who chooses to take the lazy way out and not thoroughly review their cases or check the facts. It's well-understood by those folks of integrity who elect to work in this profession that you either enter it to serve people period or find something else to do.
Linda

Somers, CT

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#25
Jul 16, 2007
 
Parents aren't the only ones abused by DCF workers. Although they claim to act with in best interest of the child, they repeatedly do just the oposite. They decide to whom a child should go, and then build their case with little or no regard to the facts. They are very powerful, and do whatever they please. There is a tremendous need for a watchdog group here in Connecticut to supervise DCF. They are incompetant and poorly trained at best. Everyone who comes into contact with DCF suffers, especially the children.
Hartford College Student

Washington, DC

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#26
Jul 16, 2007
 
wrtaylor wrote:
Being underpaid or overworked is no excuse for falsifying records and documents when it pertains to legal investigations involving families and children . I think Florida has it right: bring felony charges against ANYONE who chooses to take the lazy way out and not thoroughly review their cases or check the facts. It's well-understood by those folks of integrity who elect to work in this profession that you either enter it to serve people period or find something else to do.
I agree completely. But I'd like to add:

I think that it would also help if working conditions were better for the people at DCF.

I'm going to take some heat for this, I know... but it seems like social work is a thankless job any way you cut it. These people are criticized for, essentially, not being thorough in their work on any level. They take short cuts and they don't spend enough time with the kids they're supposed to protect to make a fair or unbiased judgement about the parents they're attacking. Although having a heavy case load is not an excuse for negligence... maybe if the case-load for individual social workers was lessened, they'd be able to do a better job?

As you mentioned, people who go into this kind of work are doing it to serve the public... because, frankly, there's no other incentive. It's crappy and thankless work and you're not going to be paid well.

It always astounds me that people claim that children are our most precious natural resource... but when it comes to funding the services necessary to protect our kids and help parents (teaching, childcare, social work, etc.) people won't put their money where their mouths are. Rather than an excuse, perhaps we should take the arguments of DCF as a symptom of the larger ststematic issue: that the government is not committed to funding the vital services that will help and protect families (and neither are the tax payers).

DCF exists for a reason - to protect the interests of children who are in unstable and possibly dangerous home situations. That's a good thing. The fact that it is mismanaged and employs underpaid, overworked employees who don't have enough time or motivation to do their jobs correctly is the problem. Yes, punish the bad guys who falsify records... but we're punishing people for giving into the stresses of a work environment that we created. I'm not saying that I sympathize more with DCF workers than I do with the families who have suffered at their hands... I simply think that just punishing negligent case workers will not eradicate the problem. Punishment without reforming the system will only lead to less people wanting to get involved in social work - which will stress the remaining workers even more, leaving them with even larger case loads and even more incentives to take short cuts... which will lead to more families victimized by the system.

A drastic overhaul of DCF is called for: both in the area of punishment for negligent workers AND an improvement of work conditions so that social workers will be able to actually do their jobs.

Many of my friends in college want to go into social work. They're good people... committed to helping families. I'm sure every DCF worker starts out that way... what happens to them over the years that makes them turn out to be the bad guys?
Seeing both sides

Longmeadow, MA

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#27
Jul 16, 2007
 
I think because of the microscope these case workers are under, they are being more sceptical. If this case worker said he belongs with the dad etc etc...then the father with his anger issues did something to hurt this kid, the case worker would have to justify herself again. it's a toough job. i think it mostly is run but gut instinct. Not that that's right either.

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