"DCFS was operating under an old, invalid rule that is void as a matter of law. This victory is a tribute to why the Family Defense Center was created – so that abuses of power can be legally challenged in support of loving families," said Diane Redleaf, FDC Executive Director.
The legislature re-inserted the term "environment-injurious" into the statute in 2012, but with much clearer, new limitations, she said.
FDC launched its Mother's Defense Project, in part, to challenge "environment-injurious" cases, which disproportionately impact women under what FDC considers "gender-plus discrimination." Advocates hail the decision as a breakthrough for wrongly accused parents, including domestic violence victims.
"There are a lot of things that need to be considered when you're trying to protect children. DCFS will have to be much more thoughtful about what 'injurious environment' means," said Vickie Smith, CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV). "I want to congratulate the Family Defense Center and its network of attorneys for their work."SOURCE Family Defense Center