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How Does Illinois Define Abuse and Neglect?

Posted on in Domestic Violence

DuPage County DCFS hearing attorneys, child abuse, child neglectIt is every parent’s worst nightmare: you receive a knock on the door and the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) is there to investigate a call of child abuse and neglect. In order to protect children, DCFS takes reports of suspected child abuse and neglect very seriously and will investigate any credible reports. However, just because DCFS is called does not necessarily mean that there is abuse or neglect taking place. Still, it is their job to investigate credible reports. If you are accused of child abuse or neglect, you should contact a knowledgeable DCFS hearing attorney

Definition of Child Abuse

The Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act defines child abuse as when a parent, immediate family member, anyone else residing in the house with the child, or any person who is responsible for the welfare of the child inflicts physical injury on a child or allows physical injury to be inflicted on a child. This injury must cause death, disfigurement, loss of a body part, impairment of a body part, or impairment of physical or emotional health. There is a specific exception in the statute for accidents. It is also child abuse to create a substantial risk of these kinds of injuries happening to a child. Child abuse also includes excessive corporal punishment.

Other kinds of child abuse include sexual abuse, which is commission of a sex offense against a child, female genital mutilation, sex trafficking, torture, and giving controlled substances to a minor other than in accordance with a valid prescription. 

Definition of Neglect

Neglect can sometimes be more difficult to understand—instead of an affirmative act it is the absence of necessary nutrition, medical care, and other health and safety needs. Neglect is defined as when the child’s environment makes it likely that the child’s health will be harmed. Or, there is a likelihood of harm to the welfare or well-being of the child, and the likelihood of harm is caused by a blatant disregard of parental responsibilities or the responsibilities of someone else that is responsible for the child.

DCFS Process

There are many professionals who are designated as “mandated reporters.” Therefore, if they suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, then they are required to make a report to DCFS. These professionals include doctors, teachers, social workers, and most other professionals that frequently come into contact with children.

If You are Being Investigated for Abuse or Neglect, Call Our DuPage County DCFS Hearing Attorneys Today 

Being investigated by DCFS or charged with child abuse can be very stressful and traumatizing. It is crucial that you have a skilled DCFS hearing attorney on your side to defend you against the charges in court. Our DuPage County DCFS hearing attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help to represent you in these important family matters.



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