What happens when a 51A is filed in Massachusetts?

Once the a 51A report is filed, MA DCF will decide if they want to investigate the allegations. The Department will start an investigation into a family only when the child abuse or neglect allegations are screened-in.

What is a 51A in Mass?

A 51A report is generated when DCF receives a report of alleged abuse and/or neglect of a child somewhere in Massachusetts. As previously discussed in this space, the individual reporting neglect abuse can be either a mandated reporter, such as a teacher or doctor, or a layperson, such as a neighbor.

How long do you have to file a 51A in Massachusetts?

within 48 hours
(Ch. 119, § 51A) Under the law, mandated reporters are protected from liability in any civil or criminal action and from any discriminatory or retaliatory actions by an employer. The written report must be submitted to DCF within 48 hours after the oral report has been made.

Can you file a 51A anonymously in MA?

If you call the Department of Children and Families hotline because you are concerned about a child’s safety, you are making a 51A report. DCF will “screen” your report. You can make a report anonymously – And DCF must not include your name in the report.

How long does DCF case stay open in Massachusetts?

At the end of the assessment, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (MA DCF) will review their original “supported for abuse/neglect” decision. After the forty-five (45) days of the assessment, DCF can do three (3) things: keep the case open. close the case and overturn the allegations.

What is considered child neglect in Massachusetts?

Child Neglect is the failure, by a parent, guardian or caretaker, either deliberately or through negligence or inability, to take actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care.

What is a 51B in Massachusetts?

Section 51B Investigation of report of abuse filed under Sec. 51A; removal of child; transmission and filing of written reports; notice to district attorney; disclosure of information by mandated reporter.

Can you sue DCF in Massachusetts?

Yes, in certain situations you may be able to sue the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF). You would need to show either that DCF violated your civil rights or was grossly negligent. This is hard, but not impossible, to do. These cases are more complicated than your typical personal injury case.

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