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DuPage County child abuse defense attorney

One of the main duties parents have is to protect their children from any harm or danger, such as abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional). This can also include neglect, which means not meeting a child’s basic needs, such as providing him or her with adequate food, housing, or medical care. Abuse can also include excessive corporal punishment or leaving a child alone at home, at a park, or in a vehicle. That is why certain people are required by law to immediately report any suspected abuse or neglect of a person under 18 years of age to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Even if you are not a parent or legal guardian of a child, you still may be responsible for a child’s welfare if you are a caregiver for that child. 

What Is a Mandated Reporter?

While there are many Illinois laws regarding child protection and welfare, the most important one is the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA). Under this law, a wide array of professionals and other individuals are required to report suspected abuse or neglect if they witness it or have knowledge of it. A mandated reporter is a person who, as a result of his or her profession, is legally obligated to report any suspicion of child abuse or neglect to the authorities. These laws are in place to prevent children from being abused and to stop any further abuse or neglect as soon as possible.

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DuPage County DCFS child abuse neglect defense lawyerThe Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) maintains a stated mission of protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. DCFS receives thousands of calls each year from citizens reporting child neglect or abuse, and it starts an investigation into each allegation within 24 hours. 

Many calls come from family members who are directly affected as well as outside witnesses. Some cases involve teachers or other individuals who believe abuse or neglect may have occurred. If you are being investigated by DCFS, it is critical to secure legal representation from a skilled defense attorney who can protect your rights, and, if necessary, appeal the findings of a DCFS report. 

Here are the steps included in the DCFS investigation process:

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