Are You Being Investigated By DCFS For Child Abuse Or Neglect?

Have you been 'indicated' for child abuse or neglect? Are you being taken to juvenile court for child abuse or neglect allegations? We are experienced child welfare attorneys on your side.

It is frightening and upsetting to be accused of abusing or neglecting a child – particularly a child whom you love and are responsible for. Mothers, fathers, teachers and other caregivers who are facing these allegations have to confront multiple concerns:

  • The fear of a parent losing custody of a child
  • The fear of having a career ruined in the case of a teacher or other professional who works with children
  • The fear of DCFS intrusion into one's life, and the loss of control over basic parenting decisions with regard to a child
  • The fear of being brought to juvenile court to deal with alleged abuse or neglect
  • In some circumstances, even the fear of facing criminal charges and the possibility of a criminal record or even jail time

There May Be A Good Defense

Accusations of juvenile abuse or neglect come about because other people report what they consider to be 'red flags' to DCFS via the child abuse hotline. Many people are 'mandated reporters' and are legally required to call DCFS if there is any suspicion of abuse or neglect. A dirty house, a bruise, excessive crying or an unkempt appearance can lead to an investigation. Many of these alleged symptoms of trouble at home, school or daycare may have legitimate explanations. Physical symptoms may be related to a medical condition, a bruise may have come from roughhousing with peers. People caring for a child at home, school or daycare may be completely innocent of wrongdoing.

Behind-The-Scenes Difficulties May Give An Appearance Of Neglect Although A Child Is Well Loved

Sometimes a parent or caregiver disciplines a child who is hard to manage. Corporal punishment in and of itself is not neglect or abuse, so long as it is reasonable. Familial financial situations may contribute to an appearance that others interpret as neglect (such as when a child wears worn-out clothes), but that does not actually constitute neglect. In some circumstances, the decision whether or not to administer medicine to a child may be based in religious or other strongly held beliefs emphasizing aversion to medical intervention.

Child Abuse or Neglect Allegations Come In Many Variations

Generally speaking, 'neglect' is the failure to provide basic needs, including safety from harm, to a child. 'Abuse' toward a child on the other hand typically stems from allegations that are usually criminal in nature. Abuse or neglect allegations can include:

  • Violence resulting in injuries to a child, even if accidental
  • Sexual assault of a child
  • Allowing physical abuse or sexual exploitation to continue without reporting it to authorities
  • Withholding proper medical care
  • Inadequate supervision
  • 'Environment injurious' –an especially broad category used frequently by DCFS

Every Case Is Unique And Requires Individualized Defense Strategies

Whatever the circumstances, if you are accused of child abuse or neglect, or face juvenile or criminal court allegations, qualified legal representation is a necessity. At the Law Offices of Charles Rohde, P.C. you will find experienced lawyers who can help you defend your case. Our goal in these cases is to work to reunify children with parents as soon as is possible and to make a strong case to keep or return custody of a child to a parent. Avoidance of a criminal record or an indicated finding is also a focus of our representation.

Attorneys Charles (Chuck) Rohde  started private practice in 1999 with an emphasis on criminal defense and juvenile law. Prior to this time, each handled juvenile cases as prosecutors. Both attorneys have years of experience successfully defending juvenile cases from the very beginning of an investigation and hearings all the way through the final appeal.

For a free consultation on any aspect of a DCFS case or any other juvenile law related matter, call The Law Offices of Charles Rohde, P.C  in Addison, Illinois, at 630-478-9924 or email us. We represent foster parents as well as other family members and caregivers.