Father was indicated by DCFS for abusing the Mother of the minor children. This was done in the presence of the minor children.  A DCFS indication is the equivalent of a conviction. The DCFS court is an administrative court.

DCFS investigates reports of neglect.  DCFS must determine whether the report is “indicated,” “unfounded,” or “undetermined.”  A report is “indicated” if “an investigation determines that credible evidence of the alleged abuse or neglect exists.”

The evidence was great. Father abused Mother many times. His abuse was severe. The children were very young.  They saw and heard Father abusing the Mother. The Judge found that the children’s home environment would likely harm the children’s well-being.

Father wanted to expunge the record of the indication.  He had the right to ask that his indication be expunged. He filed an administrative appeal.

Father argued that his record should be expunged. He had not physically hurt the children. He had acted against the mother, he argued. He believed that his actions did not injure his minor children in any way.

The Court stated that two conditions must exist to find that a child is neglected due to an injurious environment.  First, the child must be subject to an environment that creates “a likelihood of harm to the child’s health, physical well-being, or welfare.” Second, the likely harm to the child must result from “a blatant disregard of parent *** responsibilities.”

The Court denied Father’s request for expungement.

Plowman v. The Department of Children and Family Services, 2017 IL App (1st) 160860, July 28, 2017

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