Accusations of child abuse, even when false, can have a profound and harmful effect upon many aspects of a person’s life. For that reason, properly handling such false abuse accusations that are investigated by Iowa DHS or Illinois DCFS is of great importance.
Iowa DHS and Illinois DCFS workers are often in a hurry to speak with a person who is being investigated for child abuse or neglect. There is a reason for that rush, and it is not something that benefits justice or the person who is under investigation.
Foster parents are often the subject of child abuse investigations by DHS (in Iowa) or DCFS (in Illinois). Properly handing such an investigation is especially important.
A recent article from the Chicago Tribune about a report the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services shows what many people have known for some time – Illinois DCFS is riddled with problems.
In situations where Illinois DCFS has become involved, there may be an allegation that a child has been subjected to a Substantial Risk of Physical Injury / Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare. That allegation in Illinois (DCFS Allegation #60) is defined as follows:
In many cases these days, a child is endangered or harmed by a the new spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend of an ex. Properly addressing such a situation is vital to ensuring the safety of the child.
When a DHS (in Iowa) or DCFS (in Illinois) become involved in a person’s life due to child abuse or neglect allegations, they often do so by making an unannounced visit and requesting that a person speak with them. How that conversation is handled can have a significant impact upon the rest of the case.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) in Iowa, and its counterpart the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in Illinois, are responsible for investigating child abuse accusations. Sadly, many of their reports inaccurately assign blame for child abuse, or claim that abuse exists when there has not been any abuse at all.
A person who is charged with a crime relating to child abuse will often find themselves also facing a DHS or DCFS child abuse report, a custody case, and/or a juvenile abuse/neglect case.
At Puryear Law, we understand that many legal situations become emergencies outside of a law firm’s normal business hours. Those situations often include criminal defense, divorce, child custody, emergency injunctions, DHS/DCFS accusations, and protective orders. For situations that cannot wait, we offer emergency phone consultations for potential clients who have cases in Iowa or Illinois (in either state or federal court).
In Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services is the state agency that handles the investigation of child abuse and child neglect accusations. In situations where the DCFS worker assigned to the case believes that child abuse or neglect has occurred, a “founded” report will be produced. In some cases, such a founded report will result in a person being added to Illinois’ child abuse database, called the State Central Register, which can have significant negative
Each state has its own child protective services agency. In Illinois, that agency is called the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS). In Iowa, it goes by the name Department of Human Services (DHS). A person who finds themselves facing a DHS or DCFS investigation, no matter how baseless that investigation may be, is wise to promptly seek an attorney and avoid saying or doing anything until that attorney can review the situation and provide