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CPS took my children...please help me - Page 2

post #21 of 34
I'm so sorry this is happening to you! I don't live in the US and don't know the legal specifics, but I do know that in situations like this, you should focus on cooperating with the CPS. Never mind the church, school and things like that for the moment, they are of minor importance compared to getting your children home as soon as possible. I would make sure I had a trustworthy, calm, adult person with me to meetings with the CPS to act as my support. Apart from that I would do whatever they told me to do in order to get my children home.

I hope it all works out for you as soon as possible.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDorsey86 View Post
Ok so one week into my private school for my son and I need to get all of my documents in order. I guess I should have known better than to excersice my civil rights in a county with a personal grudge.
What do you mean by saying that the county has a personal grudge...have you had trouble with CPS there before ? Or is the county notoriously hard on homeschoolers ?

IMO you need to retain a family law attorney who has experience with homeschooling clients ASAP. Perhaps there is a homeschooling association in your state that has a list of attorneys who are recommended.

Here, I found this:

http://www.hsc.org/contactbycps.php

"If you ever have any hostile contacts regarding homeschooling, please inform an HSC board member. HSC maintains a list of attorneys and experts with experience in these areas or can assist your attorney with homeschooling questions."

Here is the link to the page to email the board members:

http://www.hsc.org/boardofdirectors.php

I would email them all as this is an emergency, so you can get lawyer info ASAP and start leaving phone messages to retain a lawyer as quickly as possible. Just having an attorney retained to show up at the hearing might be a big help.
post #23 of 34
SDorsey86, I understand that you are in a really scary situation and are very concerned about your children. I really think, though, that homeschooling has nothing to do with it. Only one of your kids is of school age, and the social worker told you that wasn't the issue.

You've said the county has a grudge against you. Laundrycrisis already asked, and I am also wondering what makes you think that. Has your household had a lot of interaction with county agencies for any reason?
post #24 of 34
OP- Please ASAP get a video camera, even if you have to borrow one, and have it on hand and charged. If they show up on your doorstep VIDEOTAPE EVERYTHING make sure you post a note on your front door that videotaping in process to basically "CYA" if someone later says they didnt know. If cps/police seem interested in one thing in particular (i.e cleanliness of kitchen) make sure you tape every.single.thing in that kitchen.

like others have stated you need a lawyer ASAP. Did they give you an indication of what their "concerns" were (you mentioned the seeds) what else? If you are not able to get a lawyer by your hearing I would make sure that at the least you make huge efforts to show the judge that you have addressed those issues (even if you think they are bs). For instance if they said the house was dirty I would make sure that you literally scrub down the house, ask friends to help see how much it would be to have someone come over to clean professsionally at least to help you along. Take tons of pics to show the judge the home now. Take pics of your fully stocked fridge heck even the clothes closet/drawers. They think your doing drugs because of the "seeds" take a drug test most labs will be able to give you results within 24hrs and proof. My line is that I'd do everything in my power to get my kids now before they trully enter the system, statistically it is much easier at this point to squash the cps giant (coming from a FP)
post #25 of 34
What a scary story! You are in California, right? I remember you posted the other night about a name for your private school. Stories like this make me so worried, because CA is supposed to be a relatively easy state to homeschool in, and I live in a state that is supposed to be very difficult to homeschool in.

I hope that everything works out, and that you keep us updated. I am not a big fan of the HSLDA, but this sounds like exactly the kind of case they can help you with. I would call them as soon as possible.

The social worker's actions seem so overboard! Calling in eight police officers? Wow, that must have been so scary for you. Does anyone know if that is normal, even in cases where drugs are suspected? Maybe she thought that the broken window was a sign of violence in your house? I'm not saying that it was, but maybe that's how it appeared to her. Do you live with a partner who might be suspected of domestic violence?

Hugs, Mama. I hope that everything works out for the best.
post #26 of 34
I wish I could help you,
Stephanie . Maybe you should cross post this in Parenting, you'd probably get a lot more responses/advice.
post #27 of 34
I'm returning this with some edits. Please remember to avoid casting suspicion on the OP and keep future posts to suggestions of things she can do now and in the future.
post #28 of 34
OP, I'm thinking of you today and hoping you are able to enlist some legal help with getting your kids back.
post #29 of 34
Quote:
They wouldnt tell me what I have to do to get them back. They said to go to court Tuesday and the judge will decide.
Yes, I believe that the court date is to officially tell you what you need to do so it is on the books for both you and the courts and CPS to refer to.

Quote:
My oldest boy has mental illnesses that make public school not an option. He has been diagnosed and is even on medication. My youngest daughter was born at 28 weeks and is considerably behind for her age.
I know you have more than one early preemie based on your posts here. I'm a mom of special kids, too. From my understanding, one preemie automatically puts a child in a medical high-risk category in the minds of CPS. Two preemies increases the medical risk level. And your oldest having mental issues increases the medical risk level to three. I suggest getting records of all your pregnancies & births, any early intervention services your kids receive, their doctor's appointments, medication lists, etc so you can give them to your lawyer to use as evidence of those medical concerns already being addressed every day.

If they even suspect drugs in a home with that many pre-existing perceived risks, I believe they have to act on it immediately using whatever their protocol is (in this case it was remove the children from a perceived risk first, investigate what specifically needs to be repaired second). The believed drugs added a fourth 'risk' to their list. And when they found not only a broken window, but the glass left out/not cleaned up with developmentally delayed children whose understanding of danger may not be good enough to stay safe, it is very likely that added a fifth risk in their eyes.

Quote:
she and now 8 police officers walked thru the house searching through things. They went to my room and found a couple empty button type baggies in a box full of seeds. The bags came with seeds in them. The seperated them and layed them on the bed and took pictures of them saying "look drug parifinalia"
I'm confused/concerned. What kind of seeds were in the baggies that made them immediately think drugs? Are they something we could help you look up online for comparison/debunking info that you can provide your lawyer?

Quote:
I dont know what to do..or who to talk to.. Anyone have any ideas about what my rights are? can I stop the school and church attendance?
Like the others have said, definitely get a lawyer. Also, since there are only so many hours in a day, and since lawyers are expensive, I strongly suggest focusing all of your time on working with your lawyer to get a list of what specifically you need to do with your home and your daily routine to get yourself deemed 'safe' again. Then start doing them right away and contact your lawyer again when you are done to make sure you've met all the conditions 'just right.'

Right now, you only have control over yourself and what you need to do. Don't waste precious time and effort on things like trying to change someone else's routine/block school attendance. Yes, it's not what you want, but you can always homeschool again when you get them back home. But you've got to prioritize what to do first because you won't get them back home until you change whatever it is that has your home environment or life situation labeled inappropriate and unsafe. KWIM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SDorsey86 View Post
I guess I should have known better than to excersice my civil rights in a county with a personal grudge.
Can you be more specific about this? What state and county are you in? What do you feel is the personal grudge against you? With more info we may have better suggestions of what to ask your lawyer.
post #30 of 34
I'm with the other poster who said to cross post to parenting. Perhaps you could ask the mods to move this.. I think i'ts more than a homeschooling issue.

Best of luck. KUP.
post #31 of 34
So how did things go at the courthouse today?
post #32 of 34
Wondering the same thing, OP.
post #33 of 34
Me, too. I've been thinking about you and hoping that all is going well. Please update when you can!
post #34 of 34
Also wondering about an update. Hope things went well and that you are back with your children....
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