DCFS ATTORNEYS - Joliet, IL
Will County DFCS Lawyers
Serving Will County & Grundy County
DCFS Lawyers Handling Administrative Appeals & Investigations
It is not uncommon for a child to go to school with scrapes and bruises which are noticed by the teacher or a classroom worker. This adult at the school must report the suspected abuse or allegations of sexual abuse to a school social worker who is mandated to report it. DCFS has the right to question the child at school without the parent's notice. DCFS will conduct an investigation. Generally, this is marked by a series of meetings, both scheduled and unannounced. After building a case, they may recommend to juvenile court that the child be removed from the home. In some instances the state may even take immediate action and take the child.
Your rights have time limits - it is important to seek counsel immediately before making any statements.
**Attorney Jeannine Parker-Ross has experience as a Child Protective Services Investigator and as a Social Work Supervisor in a foster care program. Let her experience and knowledge work for you and your loved ones!**
ATTORNEYS FOR DCFS ADMINISTRATIVE APPEALS OF INDICATED FINDINGS & REMOVAL OF UNFOUNDED REPORTS
If you or someone in your family has been accused of abuse or child neglect, you are more than likely feeling overwhelmed. During this disturbance, you may be subjected to a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigation. In the event that your children are taken into protective custody, you will have hearings in juvenile court. Sound legal advice is essential during this time. It is important that you understand your rights, and you need to take the steps to protect your family's future.
A DCFS investigation will end in either a unfounded or indicated finding.
Unfounded - if DCFS does not find evidence of abuse or neglect, then accusations against you will be ruled unfounded.
Indicated - an indicated finding means that the DCFS has found credible signs or indications, of abuse or neglect. This will cause your name to be placed on the State Central Register (SCR) of child abusers, where it will remain for anywhere from five to 50 years depending on the allegations. Additionally, being listed on the SCR will stop you from working with children or adults with mental disabilities and can be used against you in any future DCFS proceedings.
You have the right to appeal an indicated finding. We can file an administrative appeal and represent you at the administrative hearing. DCFS will have an experienced attorney on their side – it is important that you also have an experienced DCFS attorney on your side to help you fight for your rights.
Criminal Proceedings – if DCFS believes that a child has suffered physical injury or sexual abuse - they are required by law to notify law enforcement. A police investigation can result in criminal charges and allegations – we can defend you and help you with these criminal accusations.
Juvenile Court Hearings - Child in Protective Custody
If DCFS takes a child into protective custody, one or more of the below hearings will follow:
Adjudicatory hearing - takes place 3 – 4 months after temporary custody hearing. The judge is presented with facts and evidence and decides whether the child was abused or neglected. If the accusation is judged unfounded, the child can go home
Dispositional hearing - takes place 4 – 5 months after temporary custody hearing. The Judge decides if the child should remain in foster care, can be returned home with ongoing monitoring, or can be returned home without further court monitoring
Temporary custody hearing - must take place within 48 hours of a child's removal from their home. The judge then determines whether the child should be allowed to go back home
We help people and families with DCFS cases, we will help you find the truth among the allegations. We are committed to helping children grow up in healthy situations and environments, preferably with their parents and families.
There are no secrets to success. It is a combination of hard work, thoroughness, preparation, passion and compassion.