If your family member, ex-spouse, or anyone else thinks your child is in danger, they may contact the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). Being accused of child abuse is a very shocking and devastating experience to go through. The DCFS has the authority to remove a child from their parent’s home in certain situations, so if you are facing a DCFS investigation or have been accused of harming yoru child, it is crucial to secure qualify legal represenation.
The DCFS must investigate any claim that a child is being abused or neglected in a household. They often work with local law enforcement to look for evidence that the child:
Was neglected and abused
Is at risk of being abused and neglected in the home
Or the family need DCFS services
A DCFS officer typically investigates the claim by visiting the house and meeting the parents and child. They also meet with the claimant.
Parents have at least 60 days to file an appeal against a DCFS decision and attend a hearing with an attorney. The judge will hear both arguments and evaluate evidence from the parents and the DCFS. As a parent, you can also bring in witnesses to testify for you.
Once the hearing is over, the judge will provide a written report with their recommendation to the DCFS on whether their decision is upheld. The recommendation is then reviewed by the DCFS director, who then decides.
If they believe their evidence regarding child abuse and neglect is unsatisfactory, the report will be erased from their database. In this case, parents will not face any adverse consequences.
An indication of child neglect or abuse will impact the outcome of parenting time and child custody cases even if the child is not removed from the home. One of the factors that the court considers when deciding parenting time and custody is if there is any indication of abuse, either against the child or anyone else in the household.
If DCFS indicates that the child has been neglected or abused in your care, the judge may not side in your favor when making decisions regarding parenting time. If you think there are errors in the DCFS report, contact an attorney who can aid you in appealing it.
A DCFS investigation and process can be overwhelming and scary for anyone. If they have been in touch with you regarding suspected child neglect or abuse, you should speak with a DuPage County DCFS appeal lawyer at J. Aldrich Law, P.C.
We offer compassionate and thorough consultations that can clarify your legal options and will guide you through each step of the process. Contact us by dialing 630-953-3000.