The Washington Post is reporting that two Maryland parents are under investigation by their local Child Protective Services (what we call DCFS in Illinois) for “neglect after letting kids walk home alone” from a park one mile from their home. Whether or not you agree that a 10-year-old child can safely escort his 6-year-old sister home safely from the neighborhood park, the heavy-handed response to threaten the parents’ custody of their children from CPS is frightening:
The Meitivs say that on Dec. 20, a CPS worker required Alexander to sign a safety plan pledging he would not leave his children unsupervised until the following Monday, when CPS would follow up. At first he refused, saying he needed to talk to a lawyer, his wife said, but changed his mind when he was told his children would be removed if he did not comply.
Don’t get me wrong. DCFS and other child protective advocates do their jobs correctly 99.999% of the time, but it’s the 0.001% of the cases where child custody is botched that send chills down your spine.
What to do if DCFS is seeking a finding that your children are abused or neglected or is seeking termination of your parenting rights?
Speak to a lawyer in person immediately. For low risk matters, I have no problem providing self-help information on this website for the benefit of people who cannot afford a lawyer. Involuntary termination of your parental rights and child custody is not one of those low risk types of cases. These cases are heard on an expedited basis, and you will get steamrolled by DCFS’s attorneys if you do not seek the counsel of an attorney from the beginning. I handle DCFS investigation cases and temporary custody hearings in child abuse and neglect cases in McHenry County, Illinois and surrounding areas.