DCFS Investigation Consultation

The state of Illinois has recently made many changes to the mental health system. NO ONE has to do a psychiatric lockout of a child for mental health reasons. Contact me to find more about the Custody Relinquishment Prevention Act and the Specialized Family Support Program if you are facing a psychiatric lockout, hospital lockout, police lockout, or DCFS lockout.

Being the target of a DCFS investigation is a frightening and degrading experience for everyone. It can be difficult to prove your innocence when you are falsely accused.


As your consultant, I will not advise nor influence your decisions, nor represent you in any court of law. For information regarding your civil rights during a DCFS investigation, please direct your questions to an attorney experienced in child welfare law. In my role as consultant, I will explain the processes and procedures of a DCFS abuse or neglect investigation, including the definitions, timeframes, and appeal process for indicated and unfounded reports. I will also provide you with a copy of the DCFS rules regarding the allegations filed against you, so that you may better understand how to help yourself.  As noted above, I may refer you to experienced attorneys upon request. Click here for DCFS CONSULTATION INTAKE FORM and email to me at tonihoy@gmail.com

Area of Expertise

As an advocate, I have a niche area of expertise with regard to psychiatric lockout cases and cases where child mental health concerns intersect with the child protection system, which consists of DCFS, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and CASA.

I do not accept cases where a child had an accidental or unexplained physical injury or physical or unexplained illness. If your ordeal falls outside the realm of my expertise, I’m happy to refer you to competent attorney who represent general DCFS investigation cases.

I do not engage with clients regarding finding alternative placements for children via 3rd party guardianship or “rehoming” practices.

 Once your case is resolved, I can also provide you with information regarding how to file a complaint against DCFS, if you wish.


Psychiatric Lockout

Being the target of a DCFS investigation is a frightening and degrading experience for everyone. It can be difficult to prove your innocence when you are falsely accused.

Some children have brain disorders that manifest in symptoms which are violent or aggressive towards others in the home, school, and community.  Even when parents have availed themselves of seemingly every therapy and medication available, some parents have reached their limits in their ability to safely maintain their child in their homes. Lack of system coordination and access to funding for residential services may lead a parent to the difficult decision of whether to pick a child up from a psychiatric hospital after repeated, failed hospitalizations. Such a situation is called a “psychiatric lockout.”

You will gain better understanding of the system’s response to this practice by reading my best-selling book “Second Time Foster Child.”

A psychiatric lockout case can result in charges of neglect, abuse or dependency. Even if a case is deemed a dependency “by no fault or lack of concern by the parent or guardian,” dependency cases often carry the same stigma of an abuse or neglect case. While your case carries the title “no fault dependency,” you should be aware that the vast majority of cases streaming through the juvenile courts are cases of serious child abuse. The very design and equipping of the child protection system (DCFS, DJJ, and CASA) may result in a judge, attorney, caseworker or CASA volunteer to perceive your case as an abuse case and respond to you accordingly.

If you have engaged in a psychiatric lockout, you will need a lawyer with expertise in child welfare cases. Feel free to contact me for a private, confidential consultation to provide with information about your concerns of dealing with a case which lands in juvenile court due to lack of response by clinical serving systems.