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How Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Affected DCFS Visitation in Illinois?

Posted on in DCFS Issues

Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney DCFS investigation

In March 2020, the State of Illinois banned all visitation between parents and children in the DCFS system with the intent of keeping kids and parents healthy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitation guidelines have changed over time, and if you are a parent who plans on visiting your child anytime soon, it is important to stay up to date with the evolving DCFS coronavirus guidelines. For any remaining questions regarding family law and the DCFS, consult a knowledgeable family law attorney in your area.

DCFS COVID-19 Guidelines 

Initially, all in-person visits between parents and children through the DCFS were banned. Remote visits were still allowed. For a couple of months, many parents were separated even from newborn children. This policy was heavily criticized, and as COVID-19 guidelines have evolved in the last few months, the ban has been lifted as well. However, there are some new rules to follow if you are planning for an upcoming visit. 

Before a DCFS visit, a caseworker will first need to verify that several conditions are met. Some of these conditions are the same now as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, so you will have to discuss the following issues: 

  • The time, place, and duration of a meeting

  • Who can be present

  • Input from both parents on permissible activities

In addition, a DCFS caseworker will need to remind you of any policies that could result in the meeting ending prematurely, and they will ask you a series of pre-screening questions. With the new COVID-19 guidelines, the caseworker will also need to ensure that you and your child will wear face coverings during the visit. Most importantly, although parents who have not seen their child in some time will undoubtedly want to show physical affection, this is highly discouraged to prevent spreading the virus.

A caseworker will explain the dangers for you and your child of not maintaining proper social distancing. As a result, caseworkers have adapted any discussions they have with children before a visit to include how a lack of physical displays of affection is not a sign of a distant parent as it relates to coronavirus.

Contact an Arlington Heights, IL DCFS Lawyer

As a parent, you should exercise your visitation rights to their fullest extent. For any disputes regarding the DCFS, seek the help of an accomplished Arlington Heights, IL family law attorney to aggressively support your case. At A. Traub & Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have years of experience helping clients resolve family law and divorce disputes. To learn more about how we can help you in your case, schedule your first session by calling our Arlington Heights office today at 847-749-4182.

 

Sources:

https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/Documents/coronavirus/Caseworker_Pre-visit_Checklist_%286-15-2020%29.pdf

https://www.injusticewatch.org/news/2020/illinois-dcfs-visitation-ban-may-cause-lasting-harm/

https://chicago.suntimes.com/coronavirus/2020/5/3/21245798/social-distancing-hits-hard-families-dcfs-system

 

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