A finding of abuse, neglect or sexual acts against a child may impact the career and life of the alleged perpetrator. The Department maintains the State Central Registry of persons who it has found against. How long a person may be on the registry is determined by the severity of the finding by the Department. These findings may be appealed through a process of administrative review.
As with any serious legal matter, it is important to retain experienced counsel in pursuing a DCFS appeal. Counsel may review the file and contact the Department's lawyer to seek a dismissal prior to a hearing before the Administrative Law Judge. Should the matter go to hearing, counsel can question witnesses as well as help the appellant present his or her case.
DCFS appeals are not a simple ratification of the child protection worker's findings. The Department bears the burden of proof to maintain its finding. Following the hearing, which is tape recorded, the Administrative Law Judge makes a recommendation and findings which are forwarded to the Director of DCFS who issues a decision.
A successful administrative appeal may alter the formerly accused's life for the better. I have achieved such results for clients.
Lori G. Levin
Attorney at Law
180 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 3700
Chicago, IL 60601