Montgomery County ChildLine Appeal Attorney

Being charged with a crime involving a minor or the suspected abuse or neglect of a child could lead a person to be “childlined,” or put on a statewide registry that severely limits your opportunities. In Pennsylvania, a criminal conviction is not required to justify being placed on the list, the determination is left under the discretion of ChildLine specialists.

If you have received notification that your name is being placed on the registry, it's important you act fast. For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) what ChildLine is, (2) the ChildLine registry, and (3) the appeals process applicants will undergo to get these allegations expunged.

What is ChildLine?

Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare hosts the ChildLine agency. Its role is to offer protection for minors who have been neglected and abused, while simultaneously holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. Through the use of a toll-free, 24-hour hotline, the agency encourages the public to report instances of abuse if witnessed. Once a report is called in, ChildLine specialists are trained to gauge whether or not a report will be pursued. Factors like the relationship between the accuser and the accused, the details in a report and other relevant factors are considered by these specialists. If a report is deemed plausible, a countywide investigation conducted by ChildLine and Montgomery's Children and Youth Services will be launched to seek more evidence to support the report. If enough evidence is obtained (by the judgment of an agency), an alleged perpetrator will be notified of these findings and listed on the ChildLine Registry.

The ChildLine Registry

There are harsh consequences for being listed on the ChildLine Registry. Pennsylvania law dictates that individuals on the registry are forbidden from being around children in private, social and professional settings. This severely limits access to potential careers, hinders your involvement in your child's education and can prevent you from partaking in activities that you enjoy.

The Appeals Process

People facing ChildLine allegations are granted a specific timeframe towards appealing and ultimately expunging these allegations. The method of appealing consists of requesting a hearing. It's important to note that the deadlines for appealing a determination are strict, and untimely hearing requests - an appeal that is submitted outside of the given time frame - are rarely considered and allowed. Montgomery County ChildLine cases will be heard at the applicable Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) Bureau of Hearings and Appeals (BHA) office; most often at the Southeastern Region office in Philadelphia at the following location:

Philadelphia State Office Building
Commonwealth of PA
Department of Human Services

In the event that a hearing request is received and granted, a hearing officer will then revisit the facts of a report, taking into account the basis of an appeal. The burden of proving with clear and convincing evidence that an alleged perpetrator committed the actions detailed in a report will be placed on the ChildLine agency. If the agency fails to do so, the perpetrator will be granted an expungement.

Montgomery County ChildLine Appeal Attorney

If you have been notified that the child abuse allegations against you are “founded,” you have every right to challenge this determination. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento is dedicated to helping you provide a solid defense to get these findings expunged. Contact him today for assistance.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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