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CPS says we can't homeschool. FINAL UPDATE (for real) POST #189 - Page 3

post #41 of 202
I'm sorry you're going through this.

I agree with the PPs who have suggested having the girls evaluated by a therapist or someone else who can verify that they are up to speed on schoolwork. In addition, can you also have DD's doctor provide support that homeschooling is preferable to public school? Is there anything about her medical conditions that make a large group setting potentially risky, or would her illness cause her to miss too much school, etc.?

I would just work on getting as many statements of support as you can—from your doctors, the kids' doctors, neighbors, homeschool friends, librarians, activity teachers—basically anyone who can verify that your kids are indeed doing well with you and DH as their teachers.

Good luck!
post #42 of 202
I agree that you need to get some sort of representation. . .but from the meeting you described, I kind of get the feeling that they're trying to get you to agree to somethig that they know a judge won't force you to comply with. Why would they say they would come back with a "softer" offer? If they're really worried about the kids, that doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I would also find out if they're allowed to spring a new agreement on you in court, or if you have the right to see it ahead of time to see if it's something you can live with.

Lastly, if they end up somehow enforcing the "public school" thing, you might consider a virtual school. I just checked, and Kentucky has a virtual academy ( http://www.k12.com/kyva/ ). I don't know if it's available where you are, and I know that it's not ideal for someone who is used to doing everything in their own way on their own time - but it satisfies the "public school" requirement while also keeping them at home. Since there is contact with a "teacher" on a regular basis through phone and in person meetings, it might satisfy their need for "oversight." Also, I would imagine that since one of your children has health problems, you would need flexible schooling that allows for doctors visits and potential hospitalizations. That's something that can be accomodated through a virtual school in a way that can't be in a brick and mortar school. I would fight before letting it come to that, though.

I'm sorry you're going through this. As a fellow anxiety disorder sufferer, this story makes me really, really angry. As someone stated a few posts up, I hope you're taking care of yourself the best you can.
post #43 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishmommy View Post
If a family does that while still involved with CPS, that is a surefire way to have the kids taken. Once a file is fully closed, then no issue (but if it was me, I'd make sure I had it in writing from them that the file was closed, and I was free).
Completely. Do NOT do this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
I would also find out if they're allowed to spring a new agreement on you in court, or if you have the right to see it ahead of time to see if it's something you can live with.
I have to tell you, I've worked with CPS for 4 years as a foster parent and standard operating procedure is NOT to blindside families like this. They want everyone to know what's coming at them in court--so this is HIGHLY suspicious.

ITA with the poster who laid out their ideas of what they want in the way of getting them into public school and requesting records, etc. Not to mention that MANY teachers have a SERIOUS distaste for homeschoolers and it's not far-fetched to think they would be quick to point out anything that is different from the ps kids and exploit it as "problematic". I'm a former teacher who is now hsing my 6yo but we go to the school for therapy. I'm dealing with this pretty regularly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Lastly, if they end up somehow enforcing the "public school" thing, you might consider a virtual school. I just checked, and Kentucky has a virtual academy ( http://www.k12.com/kyva/ ).
Unfortunately the OP stated that the kids education is not the issue, the mother's "inability to foster separation" from the kids as evidenced by keeping them home for hsing. So a virtual school would be good if their education was questioned, but it's the relationship that's questioned.

I would challenge them to tell you what would be evidence of "fostering separation" in a homeschooling family...?

Furthermore, this is neither abuse or neglect... even if it's true. As a result, I honestly can't see how they could substantiate putting the kids in school. There are a number of states filing legislation under the "Children's Bill of Rights". The draft in NJ makes the state the default parent of every child and therefore able to intervene beyond cases of neglect or abuse--but when the parent is not acting "in the child's best interest". That is HIGHLY subjective.

Since KY was referenced in the posts, I looked and can't see a Children's Bill of Rights there, but admittedly--I don't know if I'm looking in the wrong places.
post #44 of 202
Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you and your family and hope all turns out well for you. I think you've gotten some good ideas about refererences and possible evals for your dd's. Good luck to you and your family.
post #45 of 202
I can't begin to imagine how overwhelming this whole situation is. I think you've gotten a LOT of good advice here! What I would do is go through the thread and write down all the suggestions, cross off any you don't think are possible and go over it with your dh. Even with an attorney on your side, I do think a lot of things mentioned are valid and should be pursued so you have additional documentation in your corner. Then I'd just go through the list one by one - request document from xx Check! That would make it a lot easier to keep from getting overwhelmed with it all and not forget anything or feel too scattered about it (a problem I often have, don't know if you do or not). I have to say though I would definitely also be talking with DH about relocating once the case is completely closed- but there's absolutely no need to tell anyone else that!

Hugs! You've already "beat" them this far, you can do this!
post #46 of 202
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunshineJ View Post
I can't begin to imagine how overwhelming this whole situation is. I think you've gotten a LOT of good advice here! What I would do is go through the thread and write down all the suggestions, cross off any you don't think are possible and go over it with your dh. Even with an attorney on your side, I do think a lot of things mentioned are valid and should be pursued so you have additional documentation in your corner. Then I'd just go through the list one by one - request document from xx Check! That would make it a lot easier to keep from getting overwhelmed with it all and not forget anything or feel too scattered about it (a problem I often have, don't know if you do or not). I have to say though I would definitely also be talking with DH about relocating once the case is completely closed- but there's absolutely no need to tell anyone else that!
Thanks. This is absolutely helpful advice.

This biggest problem I'm facing is that I am afraid if I stand up or make waves that somehow I will lose my kids.

They seem to think the harm that was done to DD by seeking unnecessary medical treatment is huge. IT ISN'T. They aren't looking at any other balancing factors in her life. They aren't looking at her. And they completely don't recognize that the anxiety-caused hypervigilance is different now. Nobody in the system seems to get that. So when I fight for my rights and stand up for myself, they think that I am not appropriately sorry for putting DD through what I did. I am. That's why I changed it. The thought that she and my other DD had a moment of suffering caused by my anxiety is something I will carry with me. But it's been different for a while now. My therapist will testify to this and agrees wholeheartedly.

And as for homeschooling and separation, I just wish that they would look at our life and my kids. I'm sitting here knitting and now typing. While younger DD messes around on the trumpet and ukulele imitating her daddy. And older DD is reading a design book with her daddy and planning ways to apply the concepts to our Valentine's cards. I'm not involved in any of this learning. I could go on and on.

This has been the worst week I can remember - as on top of it all we've all been throwing up and DH's hours got cut in half.

I feel so powerless. And all of you are encouraging me to take some power and not get walked all over. Let me ask you wise and supportive mamas this - what would you do with the fear, the huge fear that maybe the "softening" they bring back would be ok and rocking the boat would make it worse for us?

Oh! Also, pigpokey, I loved your reply - it made me laugh. A really valuable thing right now.
post #47 of 202
I just had a thought. OP, is your DD on Medicaid? Are you being punished for racking up bills that the State had to pay? It might be something useful to consider, just to understand the position of the agents of the State as they look at your case.

Apart from that, I really, REALLY think you need a lawyer. Really. I think your fears of losing your kids are being played on in the hopes of making you comply in a situation where compliance is not legally or morally obligatory. Wouldn't it be quite amazing if you showed up in court with a lawyer and their "demands" vanished into thin air? It's not unlikely. Unless there is something huge that you're not telling us, this is one stinker of a CPS case, and if it weren't for the mental illness and/or Medicaid issues, you would probably not have run afoul of the social workers in the first place.

And I reiterate, once the case is closed, MOVE and stay off the radar. Create a public persona as the sanest mama ever and stick to it like glue in public. It's not fair that mental illness carries such a stigma, but it's a sad fact of life.
post #48 of 202

!

Unnecessary medical treatment... um, what mom HASN'T dragged her kid to the doctors or the ER unnecessarily? What mom HASN'T panicked over a "rash" that turned out to be red ink, or rushed to the ER after a 1-foot fall? I don't understand how they can say this is damaging to your kids, even if it's a little more frequent or extreme in your case.

I hope that a lawyer could bring up points such as this & convince CPS to back off.

As far as your fear, take it one step at a time. Have a private consultation with lawyers or NAMI or your local homeschooling association (or all of these!) and just see what they say, what their approach would be, and decide from there. No one at CPS has to even know you're "rocking the boat" by consulting lawyers etc. and these professionals should be able to help guide you in the right direction. Unless there's something you're not telling us, they have no grounds for taking your kids!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
And I reiterate, once the case is closed, MOVE and stay off the radar. Create a public persona as the sanest mama ever and stick to it like glue in public. It's not fair that mental illness carries such a stigma, but it's a sad fact of life.
I have to agree. I've found out time & again the hard way, that this stigma does exist. I can't tell you how many little incidents I've had due to a history of mental illness... so I tell no one now. I'm reluctant to even tell doctors etc. unless it's critically relevant.
post #49 of 202
I've been of you and your dd's all day today. I hope that this is resolved quickly, and in your favor. I'm so sorry that you and your family have to go through this.
post #50 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuestMama42 View Post
I feel so powerless. And all of you are encouraging me to take some power and not get walked all over. Let me ask you wise and supportive mamas this - what would you do with the fear, the huge fear that maybe the "softening" they bring back would be ok and rocking the boat would make it worse for us?
Well, bearing in mind that I do not suffer from anxiety disorder, what I would do is to be ANGRY, not afraid. And I would hire a lawyer to help me protect my family and our rights.

The only people I know who ever had trouble with CPS did hire a lawyer, and it was amazingly helpful. It ought not to be necessary, but it seems to me that CPS often completely oversteps their authority. With the best of intentions, I'm sure, but it's still wrong.
post #51 of 202
mama my heart breaks for you...my family is in ky and i wish i were up there to help you.
post #52 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuestMama42 View Post
I feel so powerless. And all of you are encouraging me to take some power and not get walked all over. Let me ask you wise and supportive mamas this - what would you do with the fear, the huge fear that maybe the "softening" they bring back would be ok and rocking the boat would make it worse for us?
The perspective that you're looking at it from is this: If we play nice and do what they say, they'll let us live in relative peace with a few minor changes. Now there is something to be said for that, yes, but I think what the rest of us are seeing is this: If you play nice with them, don't fight, and let them have their stipulations you will be dealing with them in your lives forever. If there are additional requirements put on you and your family, they will be required to continue to check in with your family on a regular basis. Every time your DD is sick, they can question it. Was she really sick? Can you prove it? Or was it your anxiety causing you to over-react? What happens if she gives every indication of being ill but you call it wrong? What if you, fearing just that case, delay taking her in a couple days and she gets worse and they use that against you? If you move you may be required to tell them so they can make arrangements with the new county you're in. If you don't tell them then you could be in contempt of their actions once you're found. With all that extra access to you and your family they could choose to open a new case on a whim if they wanted to. It just goes on and on. They've already established that they are not taking your children away thank goodness. Now you're fighting for your right to parent your children on your own. This isn't about not being walked all over imo, but about getting them out of your lives so you can move past the fear of their involvement and get back to the business of living normally.
post #53 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
Unnecessary medical treatment... um, what mom HASN'T dragged her kid to the doctors or the ER unnecessarily? What mom HASN'T panicked over a "rash" that turned out to be red ink, or rushed to the ER after a 1-foot fall? I don't understand how they can say this is damaging to your kids, even if it's a little more frequent or extreme in your case.
I agree with this. Crazy. It doesnt seem fair when I have a sis who spent days with an untreated broken arm b/c our parents thought she was faking it . I have been thinking of you and wishing I knew what to tell you. I have mental health issues too so it hits home for me

It brings to mind a situation my husband had years ago. His ex applied for and began receiving financial assistance. My dh was paying her child support and he got a letter from the state saying they would start to pull the money from his check automatically. He said no thanks, she wrote a letter saying he always paid and on time but STILL he had to get a lawyer and go to court. When the judge asked them why they wanted to do that they basically said "because we can; we have that power". He was able to keep paying and not have his wages garnished but it was a big pain!

I have to say I am in the camp where I would get a lawyer.

I am so sorry you are dealing with this!
post #54 of 202
What to do with the fear.... hmmmm I think that is a question for your therapist! You might well want to ask if they would get a lawyer in your shoes while your at it.

My thinking is, should one be making choices in life based on fear? That sounds like an anxiety issue right?

What is the first thing you think about when someone mentions court? To me, I think Lawyer. It seems logical. Your entering a world that many spend 8 plus years learning to navigate and you expect to go in and have your side represented with no experience at all and just hope it works out?

Thinking of you and all the mothers you could be that I care deeply for. You fight not just for your family but us all I think.

(I remember when baby was a year old she fell off a changing table and I freaked and called 911, the cops and fire department came and then the emts Of course by then baby was happy and find and laughing. No one blinked and eye about me calling and they took us to the hospital in the ambulance even with no issues. It happens. Better safe than sorry!)
post #55 of 202
Getting a lawyer isn't rocking the boat. It's standard procedure anytime you have to appear in court.

I'd be scared in your place too - I don't know what to tell you, except to believe in yourself and your family and not give up.
post #56 of 202
maybe try posting here
http://forum.freeadvice.com/child-cu...visitation-37/

it's a free legal advice board, and i know there's at least one attorney that actively posts...
good luck - i'd be angry (and scared) too!
post #57 of 202
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catherine12 View Post
Getting a lawyer isn't rocking the boat. It's standard procedure anytime you have to appear in court.
I think this is good advice. In some instances, in my state, which is not KY, the plaintiff is actually REQUIRED to have representation by an attorney - court appointed or otherwise - before things can proceed. I don't doubt that you are frightened - and in your shoes, I would be too - but I don't believe that "playing nice" is in your family's best interest in this situation. Normally, I'm a fan of the catching more flies with honey approach, but not in your case. As another poster said, going along with the CPS plan has the potential to have them in your lives for long, long time - which is the opposite of what you need.

Call HSLDA and speak with them over the phone. With the information you've given us, I have a feeling that odds are better than even that they can make this whole thing go away. Or at a minimum, they can help level the playing field.

Good luck to you!!
post #58 of 202


I would contact your state homeschooling organization, they could have a network of lawyers, advocates, etc, that could better advise on your best course of action.
post #59 of 202
I personally think that if your dd has some serious medical condition, then it would be difficult to move and then stay off the radar.. Her new doctors or whatever are going to need her records, and who knows whats in teh record, kwim? I think you are better off using an attorney to put this to bed right now, where you live. Why should you have to live somewhere else in "secret"? I would contact HSLDA and at least see what they say. I am so so sorry you are dealing with this. Good luck and peace to you.
post #60 of 202
What if you enrolled your children in a virtual academy, it seems that most states have a free one, and CPS might be satisfied that you have them enrolled in a school and there would be solid proof of what you have been doing with them? It may not be ideal because you won't have much freedom in curriculum but it might be better than sending them out to a school if they'll allow it.
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