In a DCF or a Care and Protection Case, How Does my Attorney or myself get a copy of the DCF File and Service Plan and why are there so many Restrictions?

 Your attorney or yourself; if you are representing yourself, is entitled to a copy of your entire social service file related to the case. However, DCF can redact certain information from it and your attorney is entitled to a copy of the Service or what is now called the “Action Plan”, but there needs to be a written request for this; which includes that no information disclosed will be divulged to anyone outside of the case.

If your attorney has not received it, a Motion to Compel Productions and copying of the DCF records can be requested as well.  There are some restrictions in terms of copying or giving anyone copies of the file or divulging the information.

In a DCF for a Care and Protection case in Massachusetts, can you Hire Experts or have an Independent Evaluation?

Sometimes the court can order some clinical pieces by the court clinician or DCF can have it requested as part of your Service or Action Plan to have psychological or other evaluations done.

However, you are entitled to obtain your own expert and your own independent evaluations; which you or your attorney can do. In addition, if you are indigent, you can request funds from the court for that.  You do have to make sure that the experts that you are finding are appropriate and if you are indigent whether they will be able to except the payments from the state.