or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I want to call CPS on my ILs
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I want to call CPS on my ILs - Page 4

post #61 of 135
The reason I think the "not being fed" might not be an issue- is that many older toddlers in some communities are allowed to keep bottles of milk as main nutrition. Since there is the mention of 5 bottles, I think the idea is that the toddler was having milk *instead* of solids. Could be a finicky kid, could be a medical thing, who knows.

-Angela
post #62 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by leosmommy View Post

-he is often hit, slapped, screamed at, pulled around by his hair
This is why you should call. I say this as someone who works with children, who frequently has contact with Children's Aid (Ontario's CPS), as I am obligated by law to make a report if I come into any information that would indicate physical abuse (or other types of abuse, of course). The other things that you mention are part of a bigger picture, as PP's said, and paint a picture of parenting difference and neglectful parenting in some instances. Maybe CPS, if they investigated, would see all of these other things going on and intervene in the areas that they could. But the physical abuse is not acceptable and the child deserves to be protected. When you call, I would focus on the concerns that relate to physical safety, and I would give specific examples of what you have seen or heard.
post #63 of 135
Some of the stuff does sound bad but I would not call. It is not to far outside mainstream norms.
post #64 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spirit Dancer View Post
Some of the stuff does sound bad but I would not call. It is not to far outside mainstream norms.
I will say again: being hit, slapped and dragged around by the hair is VERY outside of the "norm" (and abusive, regardless of whether it is "normal"). Not being put in a carseat is both outside the norm and illegal. These ARE things that CPS investigates.

If the OP is that concerned, given what she's posted, I think she should call CPS and discuss her concerns. If these things are truly "no big deal", CPS will not get involved. Honestly, I'm a little shocked at some of the things that people on this thread are saying are "normal."
post #65 of 135
nak
ok i read most of fthe replies, but not all..is there a reason you can't talk to them about this? or have someone else do so?
i mean, do you really want cps involved right off, with your dh's siblings?
post #66 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
Honestly, I'm a little shocked at some of the things that people on this thread are saying are "normal."
The word "mainstream" really confuses me on this thread. Is "mainstream" meant to mean "majority" or "middle-of-the-road" or "underclass" or "evil" or what, exactly?

I would never characterize the treatment of this child as mainstream, but maybe I have just lived a privileged and sheltered life--and I am totally willing to believe that is the case.
post #67 of 135
Actually I re-read the thread and people aren't really using "mainstream" but rather "the norm" and in quotation marks too, but since I think of the two as synonyms I now have a new insight into the use of the word "mainstream" on MDC. I mean, I always thought I was mainstream until I found this site.

To the OP: I'm so sorry you have to witness this and have such an array of different advice to confuse you.
post #68 of 135
I think you should call, but only mention the stuff that CPS is going to care about--the physical abuse and neglect. The food stuff just makes it sound like you have a vendetta against them.
post #69 of 135
I think "the norm" in this thread refers to "common and legal." In some regions, some of these things (like the carseat issue) are very common.
post #70 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
Y'know, chances are a call to CPS isn't going to make this situation any better. I know you stated that you no longer have a relationship with these people, but perhaps you may want to revisit that. If you did develop a relationship with them, then you'd be in a better position to truely help them - pointing out that you didn't want them to get in trouble with the police if they ever got pulled over simply because they weren't using the carseat or booster (heck, take the kid out and let him pick out a new one, they aren't very expensive for the basics, and that's better than nothing, then HE will be asking to use it as a reminder for them as well!). Also, you could offer to call them every day or set up a timer alarm to remind them to give him his medications. Are you sure it's not a money issue either? Meds can get prohibitively expensive for daily use. It's often been said that the best way to teach is through example, and showing them how a lack of violence can still get positive results may eventually get through. As for the other stuff, I'm sorry but a lot of it seems petty and simply the result of different parenting styles. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

K.
I was thinking about this too.

Maybe you can help more with contact and interaction then you can with a CPS call.

: Tough situation to be in either way.
post #71 of 135
CPS can and does mandate parenting classes, and they don't always take children into care. i would hope that anyone who knew a child was being abused like that would call. and quite frankly, it just might be healthier if they DID take the kid into custody.
post #72 of 135
I read the list of concerns and my initial response was I felt horrified that there are parents out there, but then I recalled being accused of neglect for my parenting decisions. I went over to a friend's house and her mother was horrified that I almost exclusively breastfeed my 12 month old. She suggested several times that I was neglectful for not giving her 3 meals a day of solids. She offered infant cereal made with formula 4 or 5 times and was clearly offended when I turned it down. At the time I was feeding DD about half a container of organic fruit each day at noon (more if she wanted, but usually that was all she'd eat) and after that just breastmilk for the day. I went to her house at about 1pm until late in the evening, and she truly saw my parenting as neglect. Now I'm not at all advocating the parenting style the OP is complaining about, but being on the other end of it having been called neglectful and abusive (apparently cosleeping and EC is harmful), I can't imagine how frustrating it would be to deal with CPS over my parenting decisions. I disagree very much with giving a 3 month old solids but I also understand that many people find that completely normal and even expected. My mother put soda in my bottle when I was an infant and she thinks it's horrible that DD is mostly breastfed and not allowed to watch TV.

I think the best thing to do at this point is perhaps get closer to them and see if the physical abuse is an ongoing thing and try to offer advice/information. Perhaps you could invite them to a class on parenting or nutrition and if you will be there as well they may feel less criticized for their lifestyle. The abuse and neglect may simply be a case of ignorance and encouraging them to become informed may make a difference. I'd give it a little more time and if the abuse continues then you can always call CPS later.
post #73 of 135
i think everyone posting likely has the children's best interest in mind.

whether to involve cps is often a tough issue though because the possibility of forced removal into foster care, for whatever length of time, in many people's minds is possibly more dangerous/damaging than all but the most extreme abuses (malnutrition where there is wasting, rape, broken bones, etc) partly because of the separation from primary attachment figures and partly because of the extreme abuses that have been documented to occur in *some* foster placements. the mortality rate of children in foster care far exceeds that of the general population, for instance. that in and of itself is scary.

no child should be neglected or abused. it does suck that there is not a state option that is less risky.

anecdotally speaking here, in terms of the food thing, when i worked at an age 0-12 live in assessment program for foster kids, one of the things that consistently happened at mealtimes was foster kids praising our not too extraordinary menu/meal offerings. lots of stories of not being fed enough in foster care. lots of too thin kids coming in. not the majority--but it was an issue. you can't assume foster care will solve the food problem, honestly.

heck, 2 of my three kids joined my family by way of foster-to-adopt care because of the failures of foster care. the boys were staying at the facility where i worked and their social worker came out 2 days before their discharge and when i asked why there was no placement identified yet he sighed and said it was because he couldn't find anywhere safe for them at the moment. they were so little--7 months and 5 years old. the worker was forced to put them into emergency care--24 four hour placements that change every day. i applied to foster them until their mama got into substance abuse treatment. i really wanted to help her out so that her kids weren't too traumatized by more (unsafe) moves to stabilize when she got them back. she ended up deciding not to work for custody and i eventually adopted the boys. i grieve with them not just for the loss of their mama but also for their experiences bouncing around in care.

i know there are lots of wonderful foster families and also some great services that cps can offer parents working to become better able to care for their kids. no denying. some systems are better than others and sometimes good things happen even in the more stressed systems. but there are also lots of not so wonderful foster families, social workers, and mismatched placements that occur (3 of the 10 placements my oldest was in spoke only spanish in the home though my son spoke no spanish at all, for instance) even in good foster homes.

all that said, there are times when i do feel involving cps is appropriate, even if you are not a mandated reporter. it is rife with abuses but it is the only system we have when peer to peer support falls apart. if you know a child is in immediate danger, i think you should look at all your options.

to the op--I am so sorry you are having to witness these children's misfortune. if you know that the older child is being dragged around by the hair and and hit (assumedly in your presence)--have you asked the child about what goes on when you are *not* around? when there are no witnesses? have there ever been unexplained broken bones, black eyes, etc? that would be something to consider/explore. you might be able to work with the parents to get them to use carseats, etc, but physical abuse is a difficult behavior to unlearn and these children are very young.

assuming the kids do not actually appear malnourished, the physical abuse and the carseats, imo, stand out as the most dangerous elements of the story to me.

could you tell the family your concerns, tell them you are worried enough that you are considering calling cps, and work towards solutions from there?
post #74 of 135
I know there are tons of responses on here, but I just wanted to add to my previous post, since I was thinking about this a lot last night. It seems that some posters may be concerned about the children being placed in care. Maybe it's a case of the devil you know ... or the child's right to not go into a presumed crappy foster home vs his right to not live in an abusive or neglectful home (if that is indeed the case). Maybe it's hesitation to "judge" another parent when none of us are perfect or to jeopardize the relationship with the other parent.

IME putting children into care is at the far end of a long continuum of interventions, and even at that, there is a continuum within that option (kinship care, foster home, treatment, etc.). In my area there has been a recent push for CAS to consider family/friend placement before anything else. However, children aren't removed at all unless there is immediate danger or after long term interventions that aren't successful. Most of the time families are given support and access to resources they otherwise wouldn't have.

Again I say, this sounds like possible physical abuse and the child deserves to be protected above all else. The longer that abuse continues, the more likely that a child will come to more serious harm. That's my 2 cents.
post #75 of 135
Sierra's posts have been exactly in line with my experience and training in the mental health field, and as a mandated reporter working with children.

I would disregard the advice to think about what you want to accomplish by calling. It can tear you up to try to make judgements about what actions CPS ought to take, and its really not your job and not a decision you can even be a part of. If you have concerns, then you should call CPS and leave it to them to decide if your concerns are legitimate or not.

That said, if I were in your shoes I would consider the following from your list worth reporting, but I would try my best to cite very specific examples of these behaviors along with dates:

Quote:
-he is often hit, slapped, screamed at, pulled around by his hair
This indicates physical abuse, and I think they will ask you to describe the incidents that you witnessed this and to give details, so be prepared with that information.
Quote:
-he is always ridiculed when he has an "accident"
This shows that he may be subject to emotional abuse. Add to that, some huge percentage of child abuse occurs around the issue of toilet training. I think this is important to mention.

Quote:
-they rarely use a car seat for either child in their minivan
This is an obvious legal issue. I would be prepared again, to mention specific incidents where you witnessed their failure to use a car seat.

Quote:
-sometimes they will come over to visit at 4 pm, and the 3 1/2 year old will still not have been fed ALL DAY, or will have only had bottles (up to 5 in one day) of cow's milk
-the 9 month old has fallen down the stairs at least 3 times
-3 1/2 year old is left to play outside, by himself, no supervision or even an eye on him from a window. they live on a busy street and do not have a fence.
-he doesn't like to have his hair washed in the bath tub, and so it never gets done
All of this indicates neglect. I think it is important to mention the fact that he is often dirty -- this is an indicator that tends to get the attention of CPS.

They will ask you further questions. Some of the other things on your list may come up in the course of the conversation.

Keep in mind that while CPS does not follow-up on every individual report, they are more likely to follow-up if there have been previous reports. As a mandated reporter, I have had CPS intervene in situations simply because I was the 2nd or 3rd person to file a report. Your report may well provide validation for someone else's (or vice-versa.)
post #76 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCVeg View Post
I will say again: being hit, slapped and dragged around by the hair is VERY outside of the "norm" (and abusive, regardless of whether it is "normal"). Not being put in a carseat is both outside the norm and illegal. These ARE things that CPS investigates.

Yep. For those alone, call, and damn the anonymity. Those kids are in trouble, and you have a duty to report, as far as I'm concerned.
post #77 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
While philosophically, I agree 110%.... the state does not.

-Angela
for the record, i differentiate between spanking-in-'mainstream'-culture, and being pulled around by your hair. i'm not saying CPS is a magical unicorn warrior, but how can you know that a child is being abused and not call?
post #78 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by leosmommy View Post
Here's a list of why I would call CPS on my ILs...

-they introduced food at 3 months to both kids, one is 3 1/2, one 9 months
-3 1/2 y/o has severe asthma and allergies, and they forget his meds more often than he actually gets them (he goes to the ER at least once a month for a severe asthma/allergy attack)
-they take him many places that make his allergies/asthma act up, knowing in advance this will happen, but do it anyway (example: to people's homes with pets/outdoor mold issues)
-the 9 month old was fed the following at Xmas dinner: lemon meringue pie, mashed potatoes made with cream and butter with gravy on them, hawaiian punch from a sippy cup, chocolate chip cookies, cake, and not a single bottle of formula for the 8 hours that we were there
-the 3 1/2 year old is often left alone in the bath tub with the bathroom door shut while they go downstairs/outside for a few minutes/to another room
-he has gotten on the lawn mower, started it up, and driven it across the yard by himself (all of this unsupervised until they saw him zipping across the back yard as they were in the front)
-he recently jumped off a 2nd story balcony (they were having a party downstairs and didn't notice he had left the room)
-he is often hit, slapped, screamed at, pulled around by his hair
-he is always ridiculed when he has an "accident"
-they rarely use a car seat for either child in their minivan
-sometimes they will come over to visit at 4 pm, and the 3 1/2 year old will still not have been fed ALL DAY, or will have only had bottles (up to 5 in one day) of cow's milk
-the 9 month old has fallen down the stairs at least 3 times
-3 1/2 year old is left to play outside, by himself, no supervision or even an eye on him from a window. they live on a busy street and do not have a fence.
-regular meals are almost always eaten (for all of the family) at fast food restaurants (McDonald's, pizza shops), a typical meal is a burger, french fries, and a milkshake (this is for both children, they each get their own kids meal)
-the children watch anything and everything on t.v., the 3 1/2 year old swears in almost every sentence
-he still uses a pacifier, and his chin is always red, irritated, and sometimes raw from the constant drool
-he doesn't like to have his hair washed in the bath tub, and so it never gets done

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting. What would you do? We don't have a relationship with them (wonder why?) and I'm pretty sure if I report them I can remain anonymous (and if I couldn't I would do it anyway).

We've tried talking to them, they don't think they do anything wrong. We have tried talking to others in the family, and nobody seems to care. They know that the children are in obvious danger, but no one wants to be the "bad guy" and do anything about it.
I'm posting without reading what everyone else wrote....

the only things that you can call cps for are the things listed I bolded. and honestly, as bad as it sounds like they are, the kids could be even worse off in the system. i wouldn't call, personall.y but i WOULD warn them that if i saw the children out of their carseats I would be required to report it. But I am a mandated reporter, so this would not be a lie.

Everything else is a parenting choice. I live in a neighborhood full of people jsut like this. Some of them are foster parnets. everyone is not the same, and I have to respect that, even if it reeeeaaaally bothers me.
post #79 of 135

I vote call

I'm surprised that some people are saying "butt out."
Not using a car seat is a big deal. I wasn't allowed to leave the hospital until I showed the nurse that I had a car seat.
Also, someone in my building got a call for letting their child play too near the stairs so playing alone on a street would warrent a call in my opinion.
if you call it's not like cps is going to pluck them away and place them in foster care, they investigate the situation first.
Call. the "bad guys" are the ones who stand by and don't do anything.
post #80 of 135
I would absolutely call. There are several troublesome things in your list. Hopefully CPS takes the opportunity to educate the parents.

And, for what it's worth, the food issues, especially the long periods of time without offering food, will most likely be a concern to CPS. I knew of a family who had CPS called on them for only feeding their baby 3 times per day. They seriously would only offer her food(formula) when they were eating themselves(breakfast, lunch, dinner). CPS took it seriously.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › I want to call CPS on my ILs