Common Questions Regarding Juvenile Law in Connecticut
What is the difference between an adult, a child and a minor?
An adult is anyone 18 years of age or older. A minor is any person under the age of 18. Anyone under 18 years old is considered a child when determining cases of abuse and neglect.
What is a "neglect" case in the state of Connecticut?
Usually a neglect case is started by a DCF petition. A petition is filed when DCF believes that a child is in need of protection from his or her parents, guardians or other person responsible for the child.
In these situations neglect could refer to physical or emotional abuse, abandonment, dangerous living situations, or denial of proper care.
What does DCF stand for?
DCF refers to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families.
How should suspected abuse or neglect be reported?
Call your local DCF office, local police, or the DCF hotline (1-800-842-2288).
Is it necessary for the child to have a lawyer in all juvenile cases?
Yes. It is mandatory for the child to have an attorney in all juvenile cases. The Court will appoint a lawyer for the child, normally at state expense. A Guardian Ad Litem might also be appointed.
What types of cases go to Juvenile Court?
The major types of cases that go to Juvenile Court are Emancipation of Minors, Abuse or Neglect, Termination of Parental Rights (TPR), Deliquincy, and Family with Service Needs (FWSN) cases. Emancipation of minors cases involve youths ages 16 to 17 that wish to be "emancipated" from parental control and authority. Abuse or Neglect, and TPR cases refer to cases where a child needs protection from improper behavior by a parent or guardian. Delinquincy or FWSN cases are situations where the child's improper behavior requires state intervention.
Please contact us at (203) 368-4201 to find out more about how Attorney Diane Belinkie can help in cases involving juvenile matters.