How to Prepare
|Department of Children, Youth & Families Hearings
General Hearing Information
How can I request a hearing?
If you disagree with a DCYF notice, read it carefully. It has instructions on how to request a hearing. It is your responsibility to make sure you request a hearing correctly. If you do not, you may lose your right to a hearing. Questions should be directed to the agency that issued your notice.
Do I need a lawyer?
No. You do not need a lawyer. Most people represent themselves. You may have a lawyer, family member or friend represent you as long as they do not work for DCYF. The state will not pay for your lawyer.
Can I change my pre-hearing or hearing date?
Yes. You can change the pre-hearing or hearing date if you have a good reason. Before calling OAH, you must call the Agency Representative listed on your Notice of Hearing. Do this as soon as possible.
Call OAH to make your request at 360-407-2700. The judge will decide if the date or time may be changed. You still need to appear and be prepared for your hearing, unless you are notified the date is changed. If it is changed, you will receive another written notice with the new date and time.
What if I need an interpreter?
If you want an interpreter, click Interpreter Request or call OAH as soon as possible. The state will pay for the interpreter. Family members and friends cannot be your interpreter at the hearing.
For a free translation of OAH documents, call 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.
What if I need an accommodation?
If you need an accommodation, use this Accommodation Request request or call OAH as soon as possible at 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271.
What if my phone number or address changes?
If your phone number or address changes, call OAH as soon as possible at 360-407-2700 or 800-583-8271. You should also call DCYF.
What if I want to cancel my hearing?
To cancel your hearing, call the Agency Representative. You may also send a written statement to DCYF or OAH. Please include your name and docket number or client ID.
Can I reapply for benefits?
Yes. If your benefits have been denied or terminated, you may reapply at any time. Your hearing with OAH will not affect your new application. Contact your Agency Representative for more information.
What documents will I receive?
DCYF will mail you a copy of the documents they will present at the hearing. Read these documents carefully. You should have these documents with you during the hearing.
If you have documents you want to present at the hearing, you must submit them to OAH before the hearing. You must also provide a copy to the Agency Representative. If you think DCYF has documents that will help you, contact them before the hearing. Their address and phone number can be found at the end of your Notice of Hearing.
Write your docket number on all documents so they are put into your file. Do not wait to submit your documents. If you attended a pre-hearing conference, follow the instructions from your order. If you do not, your documents may not be considered.