49 Kids and the Law • Determining the condition of any other children in the household. • An evaluation of the parent or guardian and the home environment. DCF will then make a decision whether to “support,” “unsupport,” or find a “substantiated concern.” DCF supports a report when it has reasonable cause to believe that an incident of abuse or neglect by a caretaker did occur. The DCF investigator does not have to decide that the specific act of abuse or ne- glect that was reported actually occurred. DCF must only decide that there is reasonable cause to believe some caretaker in some way abused or neglected the child.  A determination of “substantiated concern” means DCF has reasonable cause to believe the child was neglected and that the caretaker’s action (or inaction) create the potential for neglect, but there is no immediate danger to the child’s safety or well-being. During the investigation the parent or guardian must be told what has been reported to DCF. However, the parent or guardian is not told the name of the person who reported the abuse or neglect to DCF. When may DCF remove the child from the home? DCF has the authority to remove the child from the home and take immediate temporary custody of a child without prior court approval if it has reasonable cause to believe that it must protect the child from further abuse or neglect. This is an emergency response. In making its decision, DCF should consider the harm that the child may suffer if removed from the home, as well as the risk of harm to the child if not removed immediately from the home. If DCF takes emergency custody, it must immediately file a Care and Protection Petition in court (see next chapter). If the court is not open, DCF must file the Petition the next day the court is open. Laws related to child abuse and neglect are found in Massachusetts General Laws chapters 119 and 210. Abused and Neglected Children 5