Should I sign Releases that DCF is asking me to sign?
It depends. Sometimes it makes sense to sign all Release with no restrictions. Sometimes it makes sense to sign no Releases. Sometimes it makes sense to do a “Limited Release” where you will agree to allow DCF to speak to certain people, but only about certain subjects or for a certain time period. It is important to discuss with an attorney the advantages and disadvantages and if you are unsure whether or not to sign any paperwork including Releases, it would be important for you to tell DCF that you need to think about it or talk to your attorney about it, but not to make necessarily a decision immediately that you might regret at a later point.
How do I handle a DCF Investigation?
I might have a self-interest as an attorney, but it is important to have an attorney or an advocate with you in most cases and if you need time to ask to tell them that you would be glad to schedule an appointment but would like to contact an attorney first.
If you are unable to do so, one of the things that you should ask is what are the specific allegations against you. You should take notes. It is good to have a 3rd party present that might help take the notes with you and make sure if there is a dispute that they can be a witness. Sometimes DCF uses the interview as a fishing expedition and it goes beyond what the allegations are, and they are trying to find out a lot of different information.
DCF can also trigger a lot of emotions and it is important not to lose your temper and to be polite as possible. Again, if you are not comfortable or not sure answering something do not answer it or let them know that you will get back to them or your attorney will get back to them.
If you do agree to sign any paperwork; which again, I mainly advise to consider waiting and going over it with an attorney, but if you do sign any paperwork ask to have a copy of it. It is important to ask to have the items reviewed by an attorney before signing it and certainly do not sign anything that you do not fully understand.