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Illinois DCFS accused of shackling children during transports

Children hold our hopes for the future, and we always want the best we can provide for them. Many parents that are in the process of separating or divorcing may feel like the children who came from their relationship are the only remaining things worth saving from it.

Working out child custody and visitation in Illinois may involve the Department of Child and Foster Services (DCFS). This is the division of the government that is responsible for caring for children when their custody or placement is in dispute or in transition. But the department has faced some recent accusations of improper child handling policies.

DCFS is facing accusations that employees shackled a child during a transport. Although soft restraints like straps and belts may be required for the safety of children and the workers near them, shackles are considered too extreme for minors who are not in the custody of the criminal justice system.

“This is not a question of policy – this is about common decency,” said the head of the institutional reform efforts of Illinois’ chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “People should not need training or elaborate approval protocols to know that you don’t shackle children.”

Parents concerned about these incidents may want to reduce the time in which child custody is in dispute between separating spouses. An attorney can help parents protect their rights and interests in family court as well as work out alternatives to conflicts in court. Mediation and collaborative divorce may make it easier to share out the rights and responsibilities of parenting.

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