Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Substantial Risk/Environment Injurious" No Longer a Basis for an Indicated Finding of Neglect by DCFS

     In Julie Q. v. DCFS, 2011 Ill App (2d) 100643, the appellate court held that the DCFS allegation of neglect No. 10/60 "Substantial Risk of Physical Injury/Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare" can not  be a basis for an indicated finding. 
     The Abuse and Neglected Child Reporting Act ("ANCRA), 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq., allows DCFS to create a registry of all people DCFS has found to have abused or neglected a child.  When ANCRA was enacted in July 1975, the legislature included substantial risk/environment injurious in the definition of neglect.  Five years later the legislature deleted that definition  because the meaning was too nebulous.    Howevever, DCFS regulations continued to include substantial risk/environment injurious in its definition of neglect. In Julie Q. the appellate court found that DCFS had exceeded the scope of its authority granted under ANCRA by maintaining this definition of neglect. ANCRA serves as a reporting act requiring mandated reporters to notify DCFS whenever they have reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused or neglected.  The vague meaning of environment injurious "creates shadows wherein fit parents and functional families could suffer debilitating consequences, including the loss of custody, harm to reputation, and needless destruction of stable family units."  (Para. 41).  Thus, the allegation No. 10/60 is void ab initio


  1. Dcfs told me that since that since my children were made a ward of the court from these allegations they cannot and will not return my children back to me. But theses wee the inly allegations that were made against me. Since I present thus to them dcfs is trying to make it almost impossible for me to get my children back. Dcfs has lied to the judge whch I have proof yet williamson county illinois does not want to hear it. If anyone can help me you can contact me me at any advice would help. Thank you.