So, you're now involved in a Pennsylvania child abuse dispute. You may have made the abuse allegation against your child's other parent or against another individual you suspect of abuse. Or you may be defending an abuse allegation while trying to protect your relationship with your child and your reputation.
Either way, whether you are the complaining party or defending party, if you are now in a Pennsylvania ChildLine abuse registry proceeding, you need premier ChildLine attorney representation for your best outcome.
If you are making or defending child abuse allegations in a Pennsylvania ChildLine dispute, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Family Law Team and Pennsylvania family law attorney Joseph D. Lento. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for skilled and experienced ChildLine attorney representation.
Pennsylvania's ChildLine Abuse Registry
Pennsylvania's ChildLine is the state's child abuse registry system. ChildLine's laudable purpose is to protect Pennsylvania children from abuse and neglect. ChildLine pursues that goal in two main ways. ChildLine first ensures a fair and reliable process for determining whether an individual has committed child abuse. ChildLine is thus a lot about procedures. ChildLine then maintains a child abuse registry alerting law enforcement officers, court officials, and other agencies and officials to restrict the rights of individuals determined to have committed child abuse. Step one involves ChildLine procedures. Step two involves the effects of the entry of an alleged child abuser's name in ChildLine's abuse registry.
ChildLine maintains a toll-free child abuse hotline. Any parent, guardian, or other individual may report suspected child abuse or neglect using the ChildLine hotline. Mandated child-abuse reporters like physicians, teachers, and social workers use ChildLine's electronic entry system. ChildLine officials then promptly assign credible child abuse and neglect allegations for local investigation, typically to county protective services caseworkers or investigators. Those investigators generally visit the child's home and interview the complainant or others caring for the child. Investigators then find whether the allegations are indicated, founded, or unfounded. When the investigator's report indicates or finds child abuse or neglect, the individual receives notice of the entry of the individual's name in the ChildLine abuse registry.
The Effect of a Pennsylvania ChildLine Entry on a Family
Entry of an individual's name in Pennsylvania's ChildLine abuse registry can have several immediate or long-term effects. First, the individual may lose child custody and visitation or parenting time rights. Family courts maintaining child custody orders may modify those orders to protect a child or children from a parent whose name ChildLine officials have entered in the registry. The family court may restrict the individual from any contact with the child. For sole caretakers who don't have another available parent or guardian, the state could remove the children to foster care. Individuals facing a ChildLine investigation or learning of their name's entry into the ChildLine abuse registry need to take the matter seriously by hiring experienced representation.
Personal and Professional Effects of a Pennsylvania ChildLine Entry
Entry of an individual's name in Pennsylvania's ChildLine abuse registry can also have personal and professional effects. The individual whose name appears in the ChildLine registry could lose the opportunity to enroll or continue in a program of education, especially if that program prepares students for entry into a field, like teaching or pediatrics, bringing workers into contact with children. The individual whose name appears in the ChildLine registry could lose a job or even a career, especially if that employment brings the individual into contact with children. And the individual could lose volunteer opportunities, whether coaching, camps, school aides, or religious instruction, with children. Again, individuals facing a ChildLine investigation or learning of their name's entry into the ChildLine registry need to take the matter seriously by hiring skilled defense representation.
ChildLine's Relationship to a Criminal Charge
ChildLine investigations are not criminal investigations. They are instead child protective services investigations. But the ChildLine caseworker assigned to investigate a ChildLine abuse allegation may request police assistance when visiting the home. And ChildLine caseworkers may share their investigation results and their concerns with local law enforcement investigators who might determine to pursue criminal abuse and neglect charges. Individuals facing ChildLine investigations need to be aware of the risk of facing criminal charges and proceedings.
Appealing a ChildLine Finding
Fortunately, ChildLine procedures include the accused individual's right to appeal the entry of the individual's name in ChildLine. The individual has ninety days within which to appeal, once an individual receives notice that the individual's name is in the ChildLine registry due to a substantiated (indicated or founded) result to the investigation. Depending on the nature of the finding, the individual may have a full hearing at which to present testimony and documentary evidence disputing the caseworker's finding.
Why Do I Need a ChildLine Attorney?
You can benefit greatly from skilled and experienced attorney representation in your ChildLine matter, whether you have complained of your child's abuse or face a complaint alleging that you abused or neglected a child. If you need to take a ChildLine appeal, you need to know that ChildLine appeals are through a complex administrative system. The procedures even differ depending on the nature of the caseworker's finding. Don't risk losing an appeal on procedural grounds or for lack of evidence and advocacy. Retain ChildLine attorney representation for your appeal. If instead, you are facing challenges getting ChildLine officials to acknowledge and investigate your abuse complaint, or you are concerned that an appeal could reverse a finding that is protecting your child, then retain skilled ChildLine attorney representation.
Premier Pennsylvania ChildLine Attorney
Retain the Lento Law Firm's Family Law Team and Pennsylvania family law attorney Joseph D. Lento if you are making or defending child abuse allegations in a Pennsylvania ChildLine matter. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now for the skilled and experienced ChildLine representation you need for your best outcome.