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What Happens If I Report Child Abuse?Feeling the need to report child abuse is a serious and uncomfortable situation to encounter. Many people will ignore signs that may resemble abuse because they do not want to misinterpret what actually happened. Reports state that of incidents of abuse go unreported, leaving most abused children in dangerous homes. While it can feel as if you are intruding on someone else’s business, reporting suspected abuse can save a child from a lifetime of trauma.

 

Types of Abuse

  1. Physical Abuse: This form of abuse is fairly self-explanatory and easier to spot than others. Any form of physical injury that is not accidental is considered physical abuse. Some children may be able to hide their injuries as “playing rough outside”; however, constant bodily injuries could be a sign that the child may be suffering from physical harm at home.
  2. Sexual Abuse: Sexual abuse can be performed by a parent or an older child. This can be difficult to detect as children do not fully understand the problems with the assaults. That is one of the many reasons why sexual abuse goes unreported. According to Childhelp, 20.7 percent of adults report having been sexually abused as a child.
  3. Emotional Abuse: Many adults may think it is questionable to report this form of abuse; however, it is just as detrimental to children as other forms of abuse. Emotional abuse can include name calling, insulting, threatening violence, or withholding love or support. Some may see this as “tough parenting,” but repeated abuse can cause damage to a child over time.

What Happens If I Report a Parent?

If you suspect a child is being abused, it is important to specify the type of abuse and provide the child’s information. Child Protective Services will meet with the parents to assess the situation and see if a problem is going on. One report does not result in a child’s removal from their home. CPS will provide the family with resources such as counseling, mental health/drug abuse services, training on financial responsibility, and parental education. If the child is in serious danger, they will be removed from the household for their own safety. While it may seem that you are breaking a family apart, the child’s safety is most important.

I Was Reported to DCFS – What Do I Do Next?

Being reported to the Department of Child and Family Services can be extremely stressful and frustrating for a responsible parent. It may seem like the reporter is out to get you or that DCFS is disregarding your history as a good parent. Many reports do not continue past the initial checkup, but it is important to be prepared if the case goes to court. If you have been accused of child abuse and need legal assistance, contact our experienced Glen Ellyn, Illinois, DCFS lawyers at A. Traub & Associates. Call 630-426-0196 for a free consultation. 

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DCFS, investigation, Illinois family law attorneysOne of the most frightening things a parent can experience is learning that the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) is investigating them for child abuse or neglect. If you have received a notice from DCFS you need to understand the process and how to protect your family.

DCFS Investigations

DCFS investigations are not criminal investigations, but a case may be referred to law enforcement depending on the circumstances. An investigation starts when someone makes a report through the hotline. If the report is credible and meets all the agency guidelines, a formal investigation is opened.

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