When allegations are made against caregivers of a child, the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) may conduct an investigation.
During the course of the investigation, DCS may seek to interview the child that is the subject of the investigation. Absent exigent circumstances including the safety of the child, parental consent is required. If parental consent is not given and DCS intends to pursue the matter, DCS will request a court order to grant them permission to interview the child.
In the course of attempting to interview the child, DCS may seek access to the home in question. DCS is required to seek permission to enter a home for the purpose of conducting interviews and/or assessing the home’s condition. Permission to enter must be given by an adult living in the home. Children under the age of 18 years cannot give permission to enter the home.
DCS will also seek to interview other children living in the home, children not living in the home that may have been present at an alleged incident, the parent, guardian, or custodian, the individual who made the report, identified witnesses, any alleged perpetrators, and professionals.
Investigations of abuse or neglect may be substantiated or unsubstantiated. Substantiated investigations may result in DCS filing a Child in Need of Services (ChINS) action against the caregiver.
If you are the subject of a DCS investigation, Call Homan and Zentz, P.C. immediately.