Chicago Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) Defense Attorney
An investigation by the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) is serious, and the person investigated can be subject to a host of consequences, from the loss of parental rights to criminal charges. It is not something that should be faced without legal counsel, and our lawyer is prepared to fight hard to defend parents’ rights.
Call (708) 742-7334 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
How a DCFS Investigation Begins
The typical reason these investigation begin is that a phone call is made to DCFS reporting abuse, neglect, or both. There are professions that are designated as mandated reporters, including teachers, medical professionals, and others who may work with children. If they see any sign of abuse or neglect, they are legally obligated to make a call to DCFS.
It’s possible for a DCFS report to be filed in good faith by the mandated reporter but be completely unreflective of what happened. The bruise on a child’s face might really be because they fell and not because they suffered physical abuse. Perhaps a conversation between a child and their teacher about home life led the teacher to an inaccurate perception of what was happening.
These are normal misunderstandings, and our mandated reporters are legally bound to comply, but that still means parents need an attorney who understands how the authorities will investigate the matter and what information needs to be presented to clear things up.
Moreover, not all DCFS reports are made with good intent. An unfortunate reality of divorce and disputes over child custody is that sometimes a parent will file a DCFS report that is either blatantly false or exaggerated in an attempt to bar the other parent from seeing the child.
This is a terrible situation for the accused parent to be in, but they should know that the burden of proof lies with the authorities to prove that the allegations of abuse and neglect are true. The burden of protecting the client’s rights lies with our Chicago DCFS defense attorney.
Contact Attorney Nicole M. Scott by calling (708) 742-7334 or filling out our online contact form.
What Happens in an Illinois DCFS Investigation
Within 24 hours of the report, DCFS will have someone out to the house to investigate the claim. They have 60 days to complete the investigation. It should be assumed that DCFS will talk to everyone involved in the child’s life, including neighbors and family members, along with teachers and others who may have regular contact with the child.
The investigation will conclude as either “indicated”, which means that abuse and/or neglect is likely present. Or it will end up labeled “unfounded”, meaning there is no evidence of abuse or neglect. Conclusions of “indicated” can be challenged in an appeals process.
Get in Touch with Us
Being accused of child neglect or abuse is terrible for any parent to have to go through. They can feel pre-judged by their community, neighbors, and perhaps even their family. They have to be able to confide in their attorney.
At NMS Family Law Firm, we know that simply because the charges being made are awful does not mean that person being accused is guilty. We believe in due process and the right to be presumed innocent. And we fight for that right in any DCFS investigation. Located in Hyde Park, we serve clients throughout the South Side and into the south suburbs.
Call today at (708) 742-7334 or contact us online to set up a consultation.