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Wheaton family law attorneysParents and guardians who experience an investigation from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are often caught in a whirlwind of emotion. Worry, fear, and anxiety may plague them both night and day. Little can be done to truly ease these worries, but with proper legal representation and an in-depth understanding of your rights, it is possible to increase your family’s chances of a favorable outcome during a DCFS investigation.

An Overview of the DCFS Investigation Process

DCFS investigations can occur for a number of reasons, but they tend to fall into one of three categories: abuse, neglect, or dependency. These are defined as follows: 

Abuse and neglect cases: Can be filed, even if only one parent is thought to be abusive or neglectful to the child. Cases may also be filed based on what is known as “anticipatory neglect,” in which children are considered to be at significant risk of abuse; and 

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DuPage County family law attorneys, Illinois DCFS investigationsWhen you receive word that you are being investigated for child abuse allegations by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), it can seem like your world has been turned on its head. While there are plenty of horrific cases handled by DCFS, there are also many that are unfounded or simply a misunderstanding. If your matter falls within one of those categories, you are no doubt overwhelmed and distraught. Fortunately, you can fight the allegations and it is best to do so with an Illinois DCFS hearings lawyer by your side.

Call-in to the DCFS Hotline

Investigations into child abuse and/or neglect start with a call into the State Central Register Hotline, a call center in Springfield, IL, that is dedicated to dealing with child abuse situations. An employee for DCFS answers the call and takes information from the caller, in an attempt to determine whether the facts support the possibility of harm or risk of harm to a child. Anyone can make a call to the Hotline, including family members, friends, teachers, neighbors, and other individuals. After the DCFS staff member completes the call and necessary paperwork, he or she forwards the information to the agency county office where the child resides to officially initiate the investigation.

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