Connecticut Attorney General's Office
Child Protection Section

Frequently Asked Questions
I am concerned about a child in my neighborhood who appears to be neglected. Who should I contact and will I be required to identify myself?

We all share responsibility for protecting children. If you believe a child is being neglected, you should contact the DCF Hotline at 1-800-842-2288. Anonymous reports are accepted.

My child has been removed from my home. How do I get my child back?

If your child was removed through juvenile court, an attorney will be appointed for you, if you can't afford to hire one. The attorney can explain to you the legal process involved. The Attorney General's Office can not represent you.

I've applied for a job working with children, but I have learned that DCF has me listed on their registry for something that happened many years ago. What can I do?

The Department of Children and Families is mandated by statute to maintain a Central Registry of substantiated perpetrators of child abuse and/or neglect. The names of the perpetrators are kept on the Department's computer system. Prospective employers or licensing authorities are permitted to request background checks for any person, provided they submit a release signed by the subject of the background check.

A person substantiated as a perpetrator of abuse and/or neglect may wish to appeal the substantiation. If a person wishes to request a substantiation hearing, a request must be made within thirty(30) days of the person's receiving written notice from the regional DCF office or sixty(60) days after the denial of employment or licensure.

My child is ten years old. Can I leave her alone to baby-sit for her younger siblings or is that against the law?

Connecticut law does not specify at what age a child may be left home alone. When deciding whether or not to leave a child home alone, a parent should consider the child's age. Many experts believe that a children should be at least 12 years of age before they are allowed to stay home alone. Experts also believe that children should be over the age of 15 before caring for a younger sibling.

Additionally, parents should consider other factor's when deciding if their child is ready to stay at home alone. A child's maturity should be considered. Also, a child's ability to handle urgent situations should be reviewed. A parent should also take into account the environment in which the child will be alone, and the child's feelings about being alone.

My child has been diagnosed with a mental illness, but my insurance has run out and I can't get treatment. What options do I have?

The Department of Children and Families offers voluntary services to children with mental health problems. Also, the statewide Kidcare program provides a wide variety of community based services to families with children who require mental health treatment. Contact your local DCF office or visit the The Department of Children and Families.

My child is being bullied in school. What can I do about it?

Unfortunately, bullying is a widespread problem in public schools. The first step for a parent trying to assist their child who is a victim of bullying would be to call the school which their child attends. It is important to identify the problem, and to let the school know that the behavior of the bully will not be tolerated. A parent can speak with school psychologists, school counselors, school nurses and school social workers, as well as teachers and school administration. For more information, you can contact the Connecticut Department of Education at The Connecticut Department of Education Website.