I am a New York OCFS Attorney with offices located in Brooklyn. The name of my firm is the Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC and I represent parents, foster parents and Day Care facilities in hearings at the Office of Children’s and Family Services (OCFS). I have twenty years of experience and a very high success rate in resolving SCR, Licensing and Foster Home issues at the Bureau of Special Hearings.


A SCR hearing involves two issues. First there are hearings requests involving amending or expunging/sealing an indicated report of child abuse and maltreatment. [Social Services Law § 422(8)].  Also some hearings involve the rights of people with indicated reports seeking employment in child care when a prospective agency or employer seeks a clearance request.

Prior to a hearing being held the subject of a report is entitled to an administrative review of the case by the SCR. The standard of review here is wether substantial evidence exists to support the investigator’s findings. 

If the matter is not overturned by an Administrative Review you will have the right to a hearing held pursuant to Social Services Law § 422(8) which seeks to overturn the indicated report against you. When you are indicated it means that the investigation has determined that some credible evidence of abuse or maltreatment exists.

You will be considered the appellant in the matter and be scheduled for an initial appearance (a conference) or full hearing. If you are scheduled for an initial appearance you will meet with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and a representative of the Administration for Children’s Services to discuss what will happen at the hearing. You will then be scheduled for the full hearing.

At the hearing the agency has the burden of proving by the fair preponderance of evidence that the abuse or maltreatment occurred. If your hearing is held pursuant to SSL § 422, you have the burden of proving whether the abuse or maltreatment, if proven, is no longer relevant and reasonably related to child care issues.

As a New York ACS Defense Attorney the Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC will represent you at this hearing.  The agency may present evidence against you in the form of witness testimony or documents obtained during the investigation. Your are entitled to copies of all of the evidence. You will have the opportunity to cross examine witnesses, bring your own witnesses, object to evidence and dispute what is contained in the records. The agency will have the same ability. Prior to your hearing you should receive what they call the SCR Packet and if you haven’t received this packet by the time of the initial appearance you need to let the ALJ know.



As a New York based OCFS Defense attorney the Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC represents parents contesting the decision of the social services agency to remove your foster children from your home. Hearings are held pursuant to Section 400 of the SSL.

The Agency must provide written notice 10 days before the removal unless it’s an emergency. The notice must state the reason for removal. You can request an Independent Review within 10 days of the removal or you can request a hearing with the Bureau. If you lose the Independent Review you can also request a hearing. You have 60 days to request a hearing after removal or 60 days after the Review made its decision.

The issue to be decided at the hearing is wether the Agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious. If you win the Judge may return the child to your household if the hearing is held lose to the time of the removal. If the decision in your favor is a long time after the removal it will be up to the agency to decide wether the child is to be returned to your home. 





As a New York OCFS Defense Attorney the Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC represents Day Care service providers in appealing  the action of suspending, revoking or terminating a Day Care’s License. These hearings are also scheduled before an ALJ.

If the agency decides to take an enforcement action against your day care (like suspending or revoking your license), you are entitled to notice of this decision in writing. This is called a charging letter and you will be advised of what regulation your day care has violated. 

You are entitled to a hearing to appeal the decision to revoke or terminate your child care license and 10 days to do so if there is a suspension. Both sides are are to provide to each other documents intended to submit at the hearing and a list of any witnesses that may testify. As with a SCR hearing a conference may be held first and then a hearing will be scheduled. At the hearing the Agency has the burden to prove that it did not act arbitrarily or capriciously or beyond its scope of authority in taking the enforcement action. The Agency must prove this by the preponderance of evidence.

If you are facing any of the above actions contact me, a Brooklyn, New York based OCFS Defense attorney to handle your needs. I have a very high success rate and I will fight for you.  Please call for a free phone consultation at 718-864-2021. Written by the Gilmer Law Firm, PLLC.