We focus attention on the role poverty, prejudice, and perception play in decisions made by child welfare authorities to separate families.
The Family Defense Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advocate justice for families in the child welfare system. We advocate for families who need our help the most: families threatened with losing their children to foster care.Read more
The Family Defense Center has brought a number of important cases which have established invaluable precedents and protections for children and families in the child welfare system.
We represent families of all kinds who have one thing in common: they deserve fair treatment and due process in the child welfare system.
Resources for individuals and professionals include manuals and articles on various facets of the Department of Children and Family Services.
Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell to moderate Family Defense Center panel on May 7
CHICAGO, April 23, 2015 – For its annual Mother’s Defense Breakfast, the Family Defense Center will welcome three former victims of domestic violence, legal experts and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell for a pre-Mother’s Day program focusing on the maltreatment of domestic violence victims by the state child welfare system. The breakfast comes just one month after DCFS was ordered to expunge thousands of names from its register of parents wrongly labeled as child neglectors under a void rule that allowed domestic violence victims to be blamed for violence against them.
Rachel O’Konis Ruttenberg, a Chicago-Kent law grad, has worked extensively with organizations serving children and families
What our clients say:
Thank you for all your help in the DCFS case involving my daughter. We had no idea what was involved, what the process was, the implications of the potential case on my daughter's career and the need for a Dupuy letter and, finally, how to find out why and how to follow-up to get a final letter from DCFS showing the case was "unfounded."
I have had a successful nursing career for almost eight years and love caring for people but most of all love caring for my daughter and to have DCFS "called on us" when we did nothing wrong was such a shattering life experience. Calling your office was the best thing we could have done! You gave us support and guidance in a time when it was hard to find our way. We never knew of the problems with the system until we were involved personally with it.
So many times, in my opinion, the law is twisted around to prosecute victimless crimes and people that shouldn't be imprisoned, or defends those who should. Your legal talents have righted a wrong, and relieved so much anxiety for my family.
Thank you so much for everything you did for our family, your dedication to help families like us is simply exceptional and outstanding. We forever will be grateful, because we know without you this would of taken a different route, much harder and more painful.