Child in Need of Care

Child in Need of Care (CINC) cases often begin with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) receiving a report that a child has been neglected, abused, abandoned, or who is endangered because their parents have been convicted of a crime against the child. 

After investigating, if DCFS determines the child’s safety and well-being can only be guarded by immediately removing the child from the home, DCFS will request an emergency order (Instanter Order) from the judge to remove the child. If the judge grants the request, the child’s parents will be given a court date to appear in Juvenile Court for a continued custody hearing. 

At this hearing, the parents will be advised of their rights, including the right to have an attorney. If the judge determines the parents cannot afford an attorney, an attorney with the Indigent Parent Program will be appointed to represent them. Additionally, if the court determines the child should remain in the custody of DCFS, the general CINC process (PDF) begins.