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Child Protection Division

The Child Protection Division has jurisdiction over all allegations of child abuse, child neglect, child dependency, private guardianship and termination of parental rights.

Records Maintained

Case Types: Cases involve children under the age of 18 requiring authoritative intervention including addicted minors, dependent and neglected or abused children.
Dates: 1899-1926 with gaps, 1926-1964 destroyed (only a sample preserved thereafter), 1964-present
Courts: Juvenile Court, 1899-1964; Family Division 1964-1970; Juvenile Division 1970-1994; Child Protection Division 1995-Present

Adjudication Hearing
The adjudication hearing is a trial at which the court determines whether allegations of abuse or neglect concerning a child are sustained by the evidence presented, and if so, whether those allegations are legally sufficient to support state intervention on behalf of the child. If the petition seeking court intervention on behalf of the child is sustained, the court may proceed to the disposition stage of the case.
Disposition Hearing
The disposition hearing allows the court to determine, after a finding that the child has been abused and/or neglected, whether it would be in the best interest of the child that the child be made a ward of the court. At the hearing, the court determines who shall have custody and control of the child, and whether out-of-home temporary placement should continue, based upon, in part, the child care agency's plan to protect the child from further harm.
Permanency Hearings
Permanency hearings allow the court to determine the permanent placement of a child. The court decides whether a child should be permanently returned home, or whether efforts to return the child home should cease. When a family has made substantial progress for the child to be returned home prior to the permanency planning hearing, the court may authorize the return home of the child within a short time after the hearing. When the decision at the permanency planning hearing is not to send the child home, the court may consider adoption before accepting a lower priority option of placement, such as extended foster care or long-term custody. 
Status Hearings
Status hearings take place after the disposition hearing and allow the court to review the progress made by the parties since the conclusion of the disposition hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to make sure that the case progresses and the child spends as short a time as possible in temporary placement.
Temporary Custody Hearing
The temporary custody hearing (TC) is a preliminary protective hearing to determine if a minor(s) should be immediately removed from the custody of the accused parent(s) or caretaker(s) and placed under the temporary and protective care of the State of Illinois based on evidence presented which indicates that the child has been unlawfully harmed or will be unlawfully harmed.
Termination of Parental Rights Hearings
Termination of parental rights hearings allow the court to determine whether the custodial and all other legal rights of a parent(s) to their child should be severed based upon evidence clearly showing that the parent is unable or unwilling to provide for the safe care of the child.

Q: Where is the Child Support Division located?
A: Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Child Support Division
Richard J. Daley Ctr
55 West Washington Room 802
Chicago, IL 60602

Q: What are the hours of operation of the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Child Protection Division?
A: The hours of operation for the Child Protection Division are 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding Court Holidays.

Q: What types of cases are heard in the Child Protection Division?
A: Cases heard in the Child Protection Division involve: child abuse, child neglect, child dependency, private guardianship and termination of parental rights.

Note: Child support cases are NOT heard in the Child Protection Division. For information regarding child support matters, please call the Child Support Division of the Clerk of the Circuit Court at (312)345-4188.

Q: What are the responsiblities of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County?
A: The Clerk of the Circuit Court is, by law, the official keeper of records for all judicial matters brought into the Circuit Court of Cook County. Pursuant to the Clerk's capacity as the keeper of the records, the Clerk cannot provide legal advice.

Q: Where can an Order of Protection be obtained?
A: The Illinois Domestic Violence Act (IDVA) recognizes domestic violence as a serious crime. It creates a legal remedy for domestic violence victims called an Order of Protection, and requires that law enforcement officers provide specific types of assistance to victims. An Order of Protection is a written order signed by a judge, which requires an abuser to stop further abuse and/or prevent the abuser from entering the shared home for a period of time. Requests for Orders of Protection in which there have been criminal charges filed or criminal acts reported to the Chicago Police Department, can be processed at the Centralized Domestic Violence Court, 555 West Harrison Street, Chicago, IL.

View All Child Protection Division Frequently Asked Questions

Article: Notice of Appeal

The parent of the minor representing himself/herself (Pro Se Litigant) must come to the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court, Child Protection Division located at Cook County Juvenile Center, 1100 S. Hamilton (Ground  Level) to request to file a Notice of Appeal.

Article: Motion for Change of Venue

A written request presented to the judge asking that the case matter be transferred out of the present jurisdiction and into another jurisdiction because of certain and significant factors existing in the present jurisdiction that may unduly prejudice the case.

Article: Substitution of Judge

A written or oral request presented to the judge asking that the case matter be transferred before another judge. When a case is first filed, the motion can be transferred for any reason(s) and the reason(s) do not have to be disclosed to the court. However, if the judge has already rendered a significant ruling in the matter, the motion for substitution of judge must be "for cause" in that the person making the motion has to provide the court with a significant reason as to why the case will be unduly prejudiced if it remains before the current judge.

Article: Release of Records and Release of Impounded Records

A written or oral request to the judge that records sealed from the public be released to the person requesting the records or to a person or persons named by the requestor. Impounded records can only be released pursuant to a court order.

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