Department of Children and Family Services

To request an appeal of a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) child protective investigation finding, please click here

 

If you are unable to attend your scheduled hearing with DCFS, please submit a Motion for Continuance Form.

 

Child Welfare – Child Protective Services Investigation Appeals

La. R.S. 46:1414.1 and LAC 67:V.1111 establish an administrative appeal process with DAL to provide individuals the right to appeal (DCFS) Child Protective Services investigation findings of justified/valid. Any individual with a justified/valid finding of child abuse or neglect may request an appeal of their justified/valid finding directly with DAL.  An individual will have 20 days from the date of the written notification from DCFS to request an appeal, unless an expedited hearing is requested. 

 

Expedited hearings are available for: 

      • Current/prospective employees in a licensed/registered child care facility licensed or regulated by the Louisiana Department of Education;

      • Current/prospective employees of an Office of Juvenile Justice juvenile facility;

      • Current/prospective employees in a specialized provider, juvenile detention facility provider licensed by DCFS; or

      • Current/prospective employees of DCFS in a position whose duties include the investigation of child abuse or neglect, supervisory or disciplinary authority over children, direct care of a child, or performance of licensing surveys.

A request for an expedited appeal must be submitted to DAL within 10 days of the date of the written notification from DCFS. If the expedited appeal is not submitted within 10 days, the individual has 20 days from the date of the written notification from DCFS to request a non-expedited appeal.  For more information on administrative appeals of justified/valid child protection investigations, please visit DCFS's website.

  

Economic Stability Programs

The Economic Stability Section of DCFS assists families with needed assistance programs, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly Food Stamps), Kinship Care Subsidy Program (KCSP), and the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP)LAC 67:III.305 gives every applicant/recipient who believes he/she has been unjustly treated regarding benefits or services under any program administered by DCFS the right to request a fair hearing before an administrative law judge. The time limits for requesting a fair hearing are as follows:

      • FITAP – 30 days from the date of the notice from DCFS;

      • KCSP – 30 days from the date of the notice from DCFS; and,

      • SNAP – 90 days from the date of the notice from DCFS.

   

Child Support Enforcement (License Suspension)

Child support is an obligation of a parent to provide emotional, financial, and medical support for a child. Pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.1.1, et seq., and LAC 67:III.2545, et seq., DCFS provides child support enforcement services for families. Citizens may be entitled to assistance and support to enforce a parent’s obligation to provide financial and medical support for a child.    Child Support Enforcement (CSE) may administratively suspend licenses (occupational, professional, driver's, hunting, and fishing) of any person who is not in compliance with an order for support. License suspension will be considered if a person is delinquent at least 90 days in the payment of support or in making periodic payments on a support arrearage pursuant to a court order or written agreement with DCFS; or has failed to provide and/or maintain health insurance ordered by a court.  Within 20 days of receipt of the notice from DCFS, a person may file a written objection requesting an administrative hearing at DAL to determine whether he/she is in compliance with an order of support. 

 

Child Support Enforcement (Seizure of Assets)

Pursuant to La. R.S. 46:236.15, if a person owes outstanding child support or has received an overpayment of child support, DCFS has the authority to intercept, encumber, freeze, or seize payments, including but not limited to unemployment compensation benefits, workers' compensation, and other benefits, judgments, settlements, lottery winnings, progressive slot machine annuities beginning with the second annuity payment, cash gaming winnings, assets held in financial institutions, and public and private retirement funds. However, child support overpayments are excluded from recovery from unemployment compensation benefits. After DCFS encumbers, intercepts, or freezes any assets, a person has 30 days to advise DCFS that he/she wishes to appeal the seizing of the assets.  Upon receipt of such notice, DCFS must either release the property or schedule a hearing to be held at DAL.  Such hearing may be conducted by telephone.  The sole issue at the hearing will be whether a person is in compliance with an order of support or whether the person owes an overpayment of support.  Failure to file an appeal within 30 days, may result in DCFS instituting additional proceedings. 

 

Residential Care & Special Population Licensees

Pursuant to La. R.S. 46:1401, et seq., (Specialized Provider Licensing Act) and LAC 67:V.6701, et seq., DCFS licenses Type IV residential homes, Class B child residential care facilities, maternity homes, child placing agencies, and juvenile detention centers.  DAL conducts hearings for appeals of denials and terminations of licenses and for sanctions imposed on licensees. 

 

Licensing

Upon the refusal of DCFS to grant a license or upon the revocation of a license, the agency, institution, society, corporation, person or persons, or other group having been refused a license or having had a license revoked has the right to appeal such action by submitting a written request to the secretary of DCFS within 30 days after receipt of the notification, in the case of the refusal of the license or, in the case of revocation, within 15 calendar days after receipt of the notification of the revocation.

 

Sanctions

For violations related to supervision, criminal history record checks, the state central registry disclosure process, staff-to-child ratios, motor vehicle checks, or failure to report critical incidents, DCFS may assess civil fines to providers. If, after a  request for DCFS reconsideration, DCFS finds that the assessment of the fine is justified, the provider has 15 calendar days from the receipt of the reconsideration letter to appeal the decision to DAL. A request for appeal must include a copy of the letter from DCFS that notes the reasons for assessment of the fine and a copy of the reconsideration decision letter, together with the specific areas of the decision the appellant believes to be erroneous and/or the specific reasons the decision is believed to have been reached in error, and must be mailed to DCFS, Appeals Section, P.O. Box 2944, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70821-9118.  

   

Department of Education

If you are unable to attend your scheduled hearing with the Department of Education, please submit a Motion for Continuance Form.

 

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Pursuant to La. R.S. 17:1941, et seq., and LAC 28:XLIII.501, et seq., the parent of a child with a disability, an attorney representing the parent, or a school district, may file a request for due process hearing on any matters relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student with a disability, or the provision of free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student.  A due process hearing is a formal proceeding in which evidence is presented to an independent hearing officer at DAL to resolve a dispute between the parents of a child with a disability and the school district. A request for a due process hearing must be made within one-year of the date that the alleged action forming the basis of the hearing request was known or should have been known. This one-year limit does not apply if the parents were prevented from requesting the hearing because the school district specifically misrepresented that it had resolved the problem or the school district withheld pertinent information from the parent that it was required to provide under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

 

To request a due process hearing, parents or school districts must submit a signed, written request with the required information to the Louisiana Department of Education, Attention Legal Division, Post Office Box 94064, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9064; the request must also be provided to the responding party. The written request must include the requestor’s name, address, and telephone number; the child’s name and address (if different); the name of the child’s resident school district, and the school district the child attends; a statement of the reason for the hearing request, including a description of the problem and a statement of the facts relating to the problem; and a proposal for resolution to the problem, to the extent known.  Once a request for a hearing is received, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) will issue an acknowledgement of receipt and forward the request to DAL.  For more information, please visit LDOE's website

 

Child Nutrition Program Licensing

Pursuant to La. R.S. 17:191, et seq., and 7 C.F.R. § 210.1, et seq., LDOE administers the following federally funded child nutrition programs: National School Lunch Program (NSLP); School Breakfast Program (SBP); Summer Food Service Program (SFSP); and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).  A participant or applicant may request a fair hearing upon a determination by LDOE to deny, revoke, or restrict an institution’s license to participate in a nutrition program. 

 

Early Learning Centers (Licensing)

Pursuant to La. R.S. 17:407.31, et seq., and LAC 28:CLXI.101, et seq., upon the refusal of LDOE to grant or renew a license or upon the revocation of a license, an applicant or licensee has the right to appeal such action to DAL by submitting a written request for an appeal to LDOE within 30 calendar days after receipt of the notification of the refusal to grant a license, or within 15 calendar days after receipt of the notification of the refusal to renew or revocation.

 

Early Learning Centers (Violations/Penalties)

Pursuant to La R.S. 17:407.46 and LAC 28:CLXI.1109, violations related to supervision, criminal history record checks, the state central registry disclosure form, staff-to-child ratios, motor vehicle checks, or failure to report critical incidents, may result in the assessment of a civil fine by LDOE. A request for LDOE to  reconsider the assessment of a fine for a violation of the licensing standards must be received by LDOE within 10 calendar days of the center's receipt of a written notice of assessment of fine.  A written request for a suspensive appeal to DAL of a civil fine for a violation must be received by LDOE within 15 calendar days of the center's receipt of notice of LDOE's decision upon reconsideration.  The written request for an appeal to DAL must include a copy of the original assessment of fine, a copy of the decision from LDOE upon reconsideration, and the specific reasons the center believes the decision of LDOE was reached in error.

 

Child Care Assistance Program

Pursuant to LAC 67:III.5101, et seq., DAL conducts hearings when a Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) recipient or provider appeals their disqualification from the program.