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A Closer Look at DCFS Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

Posted on in DCFS

DuPage County DCFS attorneyChild abuse and neglect is a sensitive topic that can often be misunderstood. These situations go much deeper than just physical abuse or harm done by neglectful parents. There are a variety of caretakers that can be involved in child neglect or abuse cases, including a parent or romantic partner, an immediate relative, someone living at home, a caretaker, educators, coaches, or anyone else who is responsible for the child’s welfare. According to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), over 70 percent of child abuse goes unreported, and on average, abused or neglected children voice their situation to seven adults before an official report is made.

What Is Considered Neglect or Abuse?

Child neglect and abuse are two different forms of mistreatment. Child neglect is the failure of a parent to meet minimal parenting standards. This includes providing proper supervision, medical care, food, clothing, shelter, and other basic needs. Child abuse occurs when a child is mistreated directly, and it can be broken down into three different categories: physical, sexual, or mental (emotional or psychological) abuse. Often, children who live in abusive households experience multiple forms of abuse. 

An Obligation to Report

Reporting child abuse is a stressful societal obligation that is required of anyone who suspects that it is occurring. Many feel as if a child’s home life is none of their business; however, it is important to the child’s life and safety to have an advocate. Those who suspect that a child may be enduring neglect or abuse should contact DCFS immediately. 

Though it is a moral obligation to report abuse, some occupations are mandated by law to report any suspicions of abuse. These are known as mandated reporters, and they include most professionals within the fields of education, health care, law enforcement, and social work. 

A call to DCFS will not necessarily result in a child’s removal from their home. Sometimes, families in these situations are provided with resources and programs aimed at ending abuse. Whether or not you are sure that a child is enduring neglect or abuse, it is better to alert DCFS in case the situation is harmful for the child.

Contact a Lombard DCFS Lawyer

As previously mentioned, not all child neglect suspicions are true. Though many who report to DCFS have the child’s best interests at heart, some have a personal agenda in mind. Being accused of child neglect or abuse is a serious matter and can result in the division of your family. If you or a loved one are involved in a DCFS investigation, it is crucial to have an experienced attorney on your side. At A. Traub & Associates, our DuPage County family law attorneys fight to ensure that healthy families stay together. Contact us at 630-426-0196.


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