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Situations Requiring Authoritative Intervention

Posted on in Family Law

delinquent, protecting juveniles, Illinois family law attorney,Sometimes, no matter how hard parents try, their child might be beyond their control. This may occur after a troubling divorce, during a child custody dispute, or even in the absence of these circumstances.. Such situations call for government (authoritative) intervention. Under Illinois law, authoritative intervention is required for children under the age of 18 if the child:

  • Is absent from home without parental consent; or
  • Is beyond the parent’s or guardian’s control and in physical danger; and
  • Refuses to return home after crisis services have been offered and the child and parents/guardians cannot agree to alternative placement.

If law enforcement reasonably believes that the minor is absent from home without parental consent or is beyond the parents’ control and in physical danger, then the officer may take the minor into limited custody. The officer must immediately inform the minor why he is being taken into limited custody. He must also make a reasonable effort to inform the minor’s parents about the situation.

Being taken into limited custody is not synonymous with being arrested. There is no police record, and the minor may not be placed in a jail or detention center. Moreover, if the minor is involuntarily taken, he cannot be held for more than six hours.

Crisis Intervention

The officer will not release the minor to his parents without the minor’s consent. If consent is given, he will arrange for the minor’s release. The officer may also discuss appropriate supportive or crisis services to the minor and parent and connect them to such services if asked. If the officer cannot reach the parent, the minor refuses to be returned to the parent, or it is geographically unreasonable to release the minor to his parent, then the officer will take the minor to a crisis services agency.

The agency may shelter the minor temporarily but must try to return the minor home as soon as possible. Generally, an agency cannot hold a minor for more than 48 hours without parental consent, unless the agency is unable to reach a parent. In that case, the agency may shelter the minor for up to 21 days.

It might constitute child neglect if the parent refuses to let the minor return home but will not agree on an alternative placement. The agency must report the situation to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, which will determine whether the minor is being neglected. If the department determines that the minor has not been neglected but is a physical danger, the minor might be admitted to a mental health facility or taken into custody. That is a safety precaution for both the minor and anyone living in the minor’s home.

Authoritative intervention is a sensitive issue. If your family requires professional help, or if you have questions regarding your rights and responsibilities under Illinois law, contact one of our experienced Kane County family law attorneys today for a free consultation. We can assist those in the St. Charles area.
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