Anderson Attorneys & Advisors

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DCFS Wants to Talk to Me and My Children. What Should I Do?

Wheaton Criminal Defense Attorneys for DCFS Investigations

Because children who are abused or neglected can suffer serious physical and emotional harm, accusations of child abuse or neglect are taken very seriously. When suspected neglect or abuse is reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), this will trigger an investigation to determine whether action needs to be taken to protect children from harm. If you are the subject of a DCFS investigation, you may be worried about how it will affect your reputation, your family relationships, and your career, and you may be concerned that your children will be removed from your home. It is important to understand your rights during this type of investigation and take legal action to protect your rights as a parent.

Do I Have to Talk to DCFS?

If you are contacted by a DCFS investigator, you are not required to speak to them, and you are not required to allow them to speak to your child. In some cases, an investigator may come to your home and ask to come inside to speak to you or your family members, or they may ask to perform an inspection of the premises to determine whether there are any safety issues that may affect your child. In these cases, you are not required to allow an investigator to enter your home or speak with your children.

When speaking to DCFS, saying the wrong thing can have dire consequences. Even if there has been no physical harm to a child, DCFS may believe that loud verbal arguments or physical confrontations between parents could lead to an environment that is hazardous to the child. This may be true even if a child was not present in the room during an argument and even if the police have never been notified or called to the home. A DCFS investigator may ask confusing questions or use a variety of tactics to prove that the behavior of one or both parents is harmful to a child, and this may be used as a pretext to place the child in protective custody. Because of the high stakes involved when speaking to an investigator, it is highly recommended to have an attorney present during these conversations.

If you do not wish to speak to a DCFS investigator, you can politely decline their requests, and you can inform them that they are not permitted to speak to your children. If a DCFS representative comes to your door, you can refuse to allow them into your residence. As soon as you are aware that you and your family are under investigation by DCFS, you should contact an attorney who has experience addressing these matters and representing clients in cases involving accusations of child abuse or neglect.

Contact a DuPage County Child Abuse Defense Lawyer

At Anderson Attorneys & Advisors, we understand the sensitive nature of DCFS investigations and the effects they can have on your relationship with your children, your standing in the community, and your life as a whole. Attorney Audriana Anderson previously served as the Supervisor of the Juvenile and Family Justice Unit of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she participated in hundreds of DCFS investigations. With this experience and our record of success representing clients in DCFS cases, we can help you understand the best ways to respond to DCFS, and we will work to protect your rights and ensure that you can maintain rightful custody of your children. To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, contact our office at 630-877-5800.

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