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Our experienced child abuse attorneys know how the system is supposed to work. Social services agencies are expected to remove abused and neglected children from dangerous homes and help them get placed in foster care before they’re severely injured or killed. Unfortunately, the system is flawed and often fails. That’s when the experience of a Chicago child abuse lawyer is needed to demand justice.

All children deserve to live in a safe and loving environment. Too many kids end up being victims of child abuse or child neglect and live in a constant state of terror. If an alleged case of child abuse or child neglect was reported to social services and the child was injured or killed because they weren’t removed from that home, a child abuse attorney from our Chicago law firm can hold social services accountable for its negligence. Contact us today for a free consultation.

A child’s life can quickly turn into a never-ending nightmare if they are the victim of physical, emotional, sexual, or neglectful abuse in their home.

In Illinois and most states, if a social services agency receives a report of child abuse or child neglect, they are supposed to launch an investigation and determine whether or not the child should be removed from that home.

Unfortunately, children who should be removed from abusive or neglectful homes don’t always get taken away from those dangerous environments. As a result of the agency’s negligence, the child suffers a severe injury ─ or in some tragic cases ─ death. That kind of reckless disregard for the health and well-being of a child is unacceptable. The child abuse lawyers from Deratany & Kosner can work tirelessly to hold social services accountable for their negligence.


Child abuse and child neglect impacts millions of children every year in the U.S. It’s an epidemic that the child abuse attorneys from Deratany & Kosner want to end. Child abuse occurs when a parent or caregiver causes or puts a child at risk for injury, emotional harm or death. There are different types of child abuse, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect.

Physical abuse is usually characterized by injuries that were intentionally inflicted by a parent or caregiver, such as cuts, bruises, welts, and fractures as a result of being hit, punched, kicked, thrown, choked, beaten or burned. If a child reports being physically abused by a parent or caregiver, take them seriously and report it to the police or a social services agency right away. Common warning signs of physical abuse include:

  • Unexplained injuries such as bruises, bites, burns, black eyes or broken bones
  • Noticeable marks, such as fading bruises or cuts
  • Flinching, cowering, or showing fear around adults
  • Being frightened or crying when the child has to go home
  • Parents/caregivers having unrealistic or no explanation for the child’s injury
  • Parents/caregivers describing the child negatively to others
  • Parents/caregivers using severe discipline with the child

Emotional abuse takes place when a parent or caregiver negatively impacts a child’s mental health or social development. While emotional abuse can happen once, it’s usually characterized as a pattern of abuse that takes place over time. Emotional abuse includes everything from insults to telling a child they aren’t wanted or loved. Things like threatening violence or severe punishment, rejecting a child’s affection, mocking, terrorizing, isolating, ignoring, blaming, bullying, corrupting or manipulating are all forms of emotional abuse that can have lasting negative effects on a child. Common indicators of emotional abuse include:

  • Poor performance in school
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Being overly passive or aggressive
  • Inappropriate behavior for their age (acting like an adult or acting like an infant)
  • Anxiety
  • Habits that involve biting, sucking, or rocking
  • Problems with sleep
  • Developmental delays
  • Destructive behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts

Sexual abuse happens when a parent or caregiver engages a child in sexual behavior or exploitation. This can include molestation, rape, and possession/production/distribution of child pornography. If a child reports being sexually abused or you think a child may be the victim of sexual abuse, contact the police immediately. Common warning signs of sexual abuse include:

  • Stained or ripped undergarments
  • Difficulty sitting or walking
  • Problems with sleep, including frequent bed wetting or nightmares
  • Pain, itching, swelling or other injuries to the genitals
  • Recurring urinary tract or yeast infections
  • Advanced knowledge of sexual behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Recklessness
  • Eating disorders or being obsessed with body image
  • Fear of removing clothes, such as not wanting to change for physical education

Child neglect happens when a parent or caregiver fails to meet a child’s basic needs on a physical, medical, educational, or emotional level. Parents or caregivers who fail to take action to meet those needs are being neglectful and putting the child at risk for severe harm.

Physical neglect can include things like not feeding a child, failure to provide them with proper clothing, or having an unsafe or unclean home. Medical neglect means a child isn’t receiving necessary medical or dental care. This can include things like not getting a child prescribed glasses or medications, or something as simple as never taking the child to a dentist.

Educational neglect happens when a parent or caregiver fails to enroll their child in school or allows them to miss an excessive amount of school. Emotional neglect takes place when a child doesn’t receive love, affection, or support from their parent or caregiver. Common signs of child neglect include:

  • Bad hygiene, severe body odor
  • Wearing clothes that are the wrong size, tattered, or not weather appropriate
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Constant hunger
  • Substance abuse
  • No apparent supervision at home
  • Problems with school, including excessive absences


It’s important to know the warning signs of child abuse and child neglect. Even when reports get made, social services agencies don’t always follow through and do what’s best for the child. If a social services agency was notified about possible child abuse or child neglect and their lack of action resulted in a child being severely injured or killed, it’s time to hold that agency accountable. The child abuse and negligence attorneys from Deratany & Kosner are strong advocates for children’s rights. Our lawyers will demand justice for children who were injured or killed when they should have been removed from their homes by social services and placed in foster care. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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