DCFS Investigations and Child Custody

 Posted on December 23, 2015 in Child Abuse

DCFS-investigationIn Illinois, reports of child abuse and neglect are handled by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Allegations of child abuse and neglect are taken very seriously. All calls to the department are screened by trained social workers who can determine the correct action to take – not all calls warrant full in-home investigations. But when a report is made about an individual or family, that call is recorded and can haunt the parent in future interactions with the court and his or her former partner.

If you have had to interact with DCFS in any way, whether you were the subject of a report or you have had to report your former partner, tell your attorney. This will have an impact on your child custody or visitation order and your attorney will be able to determine the steps you need to make to ensure that that impact is a productive, healthy one.

Your Custody Order Could be Changed

If DCFS finds that your child is in danger in your household, it could recommend that the court modify your custody or visitation agreement. This might mean changing your visitation agreement so all visits happen in your child's custodial parent's home or, in the most egregious cases of abuse or neglect, cease contact between you and your child.

This will not happen without a thorough investigation, though. If DCFS suspects that your child is in danger, it will organize meetings with counselors and social workers to investigate the home and interview you, your child, and any other parties who might be present in the home or who play a role in the report, such as your child's other parent or teacher, to determine whether there is credible evidence to support the reporter's claim.

It Could Be Used to Help You

Having DCFS investigate your child's living conditions does not mean that your child will be whisked away from you and placed in foster care, never to see you again. The goal of DCFS is to keep Illinois families intact – children are only removed from their parents' homes if it is absolutely necessary because the child's life is in danger.

If DCFS finds that you or another member of your household is experiencing issues that affect your child's health or safety, it might require you to take a parenting class or attend counseling sessions. These are known as intact services and often follow DCFS investigations.

Kane County Child Custody Attorneys

Any time the Department of Children and Family Services becomes involved in your child custody case, it is important that you discuss the investigation with an experienced family attorney. Contact our team of Kane County child custody attorneys at Goostree Law Group today to schedule your free legal consultation with our firm. We can answer your questions about the investigation and what it means for your case and advise you on how to interact with the Department of Children and Family Services in the future so your case is not misrepresented or misunderstood.




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