Families first: Families should stay together.
Nothing about us without us.
Parents with disabilities should not be discriminated against, they need help and support.
No one should parent alone.
No one should judge.
About The Department of Children & Families, We Believe:
Sometimes things in a family change and they need extra support, like if a parent is sad or someone becomes homeless.
These are not usually reasons to take away children, unless the problems are so big that the children are unsafe.
DCF should respect families' choices to make things work for them. No one should be judged on the size of a home or if a parent uses child care so he/she could work. Not everyone has access to transportation. These are not reasons to take away children.
DCF should teach professionals that allegations should not be made unless there are very good reasons, such as drug use, abuse, or neglect.
Questions should be asked, for example, "Is the child dirty due to neglect, or is the child simply dirty from having fun while playing outside?"
If an agency thinks a family needs help, they should help them. If DCF is called, DCF should listen to what the parents want and need.
Then DCF should help them be a good, safe family.
Agencies or DCF should help families get the things they need like food, clothes, diapers, new doctors, or transportation.
If children are removed by DCF, parents clearly need to understand why and what needs to be done to have their children returned. Documents, directions, and legal actions should all be clearly explained and written in plain language.
If parents have to take parenting classes or training, they should be taught in a way that is best for them. There should be training in specific topics that are meaningful, for example money management, expressing emotions, or discipline.
If parents are having difficulty learning, then different kinds of teaching should be offered to find their best learning style.
If children are in DCF care, parents have a right to see them, to continue to make decisions, and to continue to be an important part of their lives.
If transportation is a problem, video calls, phone calls, or other options should be used to maintain contact.
If a parent's rights are terminated for good reasons, it is still best for them to be a part of their children's lives in some way.
About Children We Believe:
Children deserve to live in loving homes. When children cannot stay with their families, they should live with people they know instead of strangers.
If children are in DCF care, they have a right to see their parents.
Brothers and sisters should stay together whenever possible. If brothers and sisters are split up, they have a right to see each other. visits should be comfortable for everyone, for example, a park where the kids can play.
If parents decide not to raise their children, children need to go to loving homes. It is best if they live with people they already know. Children should not have to live in group homes, residential schools, or institutions.
Children are treated with respect. They are not neglected. They are not abused. They are not given medication or restrained to control behavior. If any of these things happen and DCF has to remove children, DCF must help the parents so the family could try to get back together as soon as possible.