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Undergoing an Abuse or Neglect Investigation: What You Need to Know

Posted on in Children

child abuse, child neglect, DCFS, DCFS investigation, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois family law attorney, child safetyThe prospect of having to undergo a DCFS child abuse or neglect investigation is a horrifying thought to every loving parent out there. Unfortunately, false accusations do occur. If you find yourself facing the prospect of an abuse or neglect investigation, here is what you need to know.

According to the DCFS fact sheet, an investigation is launched 24 hours from the time a report is received. If the allegation is one of neglect or inadequate shelter, an investigative specialist will be dispatched to view the child’s living space. Initially, the specialist’s concern will be for the immediate safety of the child. The child in question and other children in the household will be interviewed along with other household members, extended family members, and other professionals, depending on the allegation. It’s always best to be completely honest and provide complete information to the specialist. In cases where the allegation is of serious physical or sexual abuse, the state law requires the investigative specialist to notify both the local police and the State’s Attorney. In these cases, the police may choose to conduct a joint investigation, or the police may conduct their own investigation. The police may also be contacted if the investigative specialist feels that family members or other concerned individuals are refusing to cooperate with their investigation. The state has a maximum of 60 days to complete their investigation, though most are completed in 30 days. In certain cases, a 60 day extension may be requested, particularly when the state is waiting on medical or police reports. You will be notified in writing of DCFS’ final findings, and the investigative specialist may also contact you. If the allegations are unfounded, the DCFS State Central Register will maintain the information pertaining to the investigation for one to three years. Facing an abuse or neglect allegation can be a frightening experience. Having a qualified family attorney at your side can help. Contact the experienced Lombard, Illinois family attorneys at A. Traub & Associates today for a consultation on your case. We have years of experience defending clients against unfounded abuse and neglect investigations can help you prove your innocence.

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