DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES (DCFS) LAW FIRM, BELLEVILLE, ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS DCFS EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS, AVAILABLE TO REPRESENT CLIENTS FROM JACKSONVILLE, MORGAN COUNTY, SPRINGFIELD, SANGAMON COUNTY AND DECATUR, MACON COUNTY, ILLINOIS. FORMAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE USED TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE IS “CREDIBLE EVIDENCE” THAT THE CHILD WAS ABUSED OR NEGLECTED AND TO DECIDE IF THE CHILD IS IN DANGER IN THE HOME. DCFS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TAKE YOUR CHILD FROM YOU, UNLESS IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE. BEFORE TAKING YOUR CHILD FROM THE HOME, DCFS MUST TRY OTHER WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE, SUCH AS CREATING A SAFETY PLAN. A SAFETY PLAN SHOULD BE IN WRITING AND MAY INVOLVE YOU OR YOUR CHILD STAYING WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHILE DCFS COMPLETES ITS INVESTIGATION. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE TO A SAFETY PLAN, BUT IF YOU DON’T AGREE TO A SAFETY PLAN, DCFS MAY TAKE PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILD FOR 48 HOURS. DURING THIS 48-HOUR PERIOD, DCFS MAY ASK THE COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY TO FILE COURT PAPERS ASKING A JUDGE TO GIVE DCFS TEMPORARY LEGAL CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILD, SO IT CAN PLACE YOUR CHILD IN FOSTER CARE. SOMETIMES DCFS ASKS A PARENT TO GIVE SOMEONE ELSE FORMAL LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP OF THE CHILD. BEFORE YOU AGREE OR SIGN ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTS, YOU SHOULD TALK TO A LAWYER ABOUT THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP. YOU SHOULDN’T RELY ON WHAT DCFS WORKERS TELL YOU ABOUT LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP. IF THE STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE DOESN’T THINK THERE IS ENOUGH PROOF TO BRING A CASE ALLEGING ABUSE OR NEGLECT, IT USUALLY REJECTS DCFS’S REQUEST TO FILE COURT PAPERS. IF IT AGREES TO FILE THE COURT PAPERS, YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED.

DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES (DCFS) LAW FIRM, BELLEVILLE, ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS DCFS EXPERIENCED ATTORNEYS, AVAILABLE TO REPRESENT CLIENTS FROM JACKSONVILLE, MORGAN COUNTY, SPRINGFIELD, SANGAMON COUNTY AND DECATUR, MACON COUNTY, ILLINOIS. FORMAL INVESTIGATIONS ARE USED TO FIGURE OUT IF THERE IS “CREDIBLE EVIDENCE” THAT THE CHILD WAS ABUSED OR NEGLECTED AND TO DECIDE IF THE CHILD IS IN DANGER IN THE HOME. DCFS IS NOT SUPPOSED TO TAKE YOUR CHILD FROM YOU, UNLESS IT IS THE ONLY WAY TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE. BEFORE TAKING YOUR CHILD FROM THE HOME, DCFS MUST TRY OTHER WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHILD SAFE, SUCH AS CREATING A SAFETY PLAN. A SAFETY PLAN SHOULD BE IN WRITING AND MAY INVOLVE YOU OR YOUR CHILD STAYING WITH SOMEONE ELSE WHILE DCFS COMPLETES ITS INVESTIGATION. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE TO A SAFETY PLAN, BUT IF YOU DON’T AGREE TO A SAFETY PLAN, DCFS MAY TAKE PROTECTIVE CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILD FOR 48 HOURS. DURING THIS 48-HOUR PERIOD, DCFS MAY ASK THE COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY TO FILE COURT PAPERS ASKING A JUDGE TO GIVE DCFS TEMPORARY LEGAL CUSTODY OF YOUR CHILD, SO IT CAN PLACE YOUR CHILD IN FOSTER CARE. SOMETIMES DCFS ASKS A PARENT TO GIVE SOMEONE ELSE FORMAL LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP OF THE CHILD. BEFORE YOU AGREE OR SIGN ANY LEGAL DOCUMENTS, YOU SHOULD TALK TO A LAWYER ABOUT THE RISKS AND BENEFITS OF LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP. YOU SHOULDN’T RELY ON WHAT DCFS WORKERS TELL YOU ABOUT LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP. IF THE STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE DOESN’T THINK THERE IS ENOUGH PROOF TO BRING A CASE ALLEGING ABUSE OR NEGLECT, IT USUALLY REJECTS DCFS’S REQUEST TO FILE COURT PAPERS. IF IT AGREES TO FILE THE COURT PAPERS, YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED.

WE HAVE EXPERIENCE IN REGARD TO THE HANDLING OF PRE-DCFS, DCFS AND POST-DCFS MATTERS.

Blake Behme Gilbreth Links, P.C.