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Going through the process of foster care can be a confusing process under the best of circumstances. It can be even more confusing when there are incidents of abuse or neglect. The foster care abuse and negligence attorneys at Deratany & Kosner are passionate about protecting the rights of children and the families that take them in.

Here are common questions people often have about adoption and foster care negligence. If you have any questions, contact us at 800-529-7285. We offer a free case consultation.

Why are children placed in foster care?

Children are placed in foster care when their regular parents are no longer able to take care of them, or if they are in danger of being harmed by staying. About half of foster care children are returned to their families within a year. But in some cases that’s not possible or considered safe for the child, and the Department of Children and Family Services will try to find them an adoptive home. Deratany & Kosner fights for the rights of children in foster care if they are being abused or neglected.

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What are the requirements for being a foster parent?

Foster parents must be 21 years old and financially stable. In addition, they must take part in a home inspection and social assessment, and must undergo a criminal background check. They must complete 27 hours of training about foster care and the needs of children, and complete a health screening. If a foster parent did not meet any of these requirements, our attorneys work hard to hold these agencies responsible.

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What kind of background checks must be done on foster parents?

The state of Illinois requires all potential foster parents to undergo a thorough background check. This includes:

  • Checking state or local criminal records
  • Checking federal criminal records
  • Fingerprinting and name-based checks
  • Child abuse and neglect record checks
  • Sex offender registry checks
  • Criminal record checks for all adult members of the household

However, sometimes adoption agencies don’t complete all of these checks, and a child gets hurt. When that happens, our attorneys fight to hold those agencies responsible.

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What happens when the suspected abuse or neglect of a child is reported?

When the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services receive a call reporting suspected abuse, trained social workers first determine whether the report sounds credible. If they think it does, they launch an investigation. Police may also be involved. If they determine there is abuse of neglect, the next step would be a criminal investigation and the removal of the child from the home. But things don’t always work out that way, and children end up being left in abusive or neglectful homes. Our attorneys fight for the rights of foster care children to protect them from abuse and neglect.

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Do children who were abused or neglected have special needs?

Yes. They require more intense services and families who take them in must have specific skills to help meet the child’s needs. This usually involves getting additional training or becoming part of a specialized program. That’s why it’s so important for agencies to share information about the background of children with potential foster care families. When they withhold this information, abused or neglected children can be placed with families who aren’t equipped to handle them. We fight for those families when they get hurt as a result.

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