If DCF supports a 51A and you are considering an appeal, be aware that there are requirements and timetables. You’ll need to send a written request within 30 calendar days of the supported decision or of receipt of the decision (if notice of the decision is required). If you are unsure whether or not to have a hearing, you can always request it and later decide to withdraw the request.

You’ll need to send the written request to the DCF fair hearing office and to the director of the area office and include: the appellant’s name, address and phone number; the name and address of the area office in which the decision was made; and the date the action happened and the decision being appealed. There also needs to be a request for a review of the decision and a copy must be sent to the director of the area office where the decision was made.

Your attorney can make this request. You should also request a copy of the 51A/B and other DCF records.