According to the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, the Department of Children and Family Services in the state received over 200,000 hotline calls, and it ended up investigating over 85,000 of those reported instances. If DCFS has contacted you regarding an indicated finding, it means they believe child abuse or neglect has occurred.
An indicated finding from the DCFS can be a daunting phrase for any parent or caregiver to hear. Knowing what this entails and how it can impact you is important.
What does an indicated finding mean?
When DCFS investigates a report of child abuse or neglect, it classifies its findings as either “indicated” or “unfounded”. An “indicated” finding means that the investigator has determined, based on credible evidence, that abuse or neglect has occurred.
How does DCFS reach an indicated finding?
A DCFS investigator conducts an investigation upon receiving a report of potential child abuse or neglect. The investigator collects information by interviewing the child, parents or caregivers and other relevant individuals. They may also review documents and visit the child’s home. If the collected information suggests child abuse or neglect, DCFS will indicate the report.
What happens after an indicated finding?
If DCFS indicates a report, it enters your name into the State Central Register as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect. This status can affect your employment, especially if you work with children. It can also affect your ability to foster or adopt children.
Can you challenge an indicated finding?
Yes, you can appeal an indicated finding from DCFS. You must request an appeal within 60 days of receiving the notification. The appeal involves a hearing where you have the opportunity to present evidence and challenge the findings.
Understanding what an indicated finding is and its implications can better equip you to handle the situation. Whether you agree or disagree with the finding, know that you can take action and seek a review of the decision. Stay informed, know your rights and do not hesitate to ask for assistance if you need it.