or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › so embarrassing, social workers detained me in the subway threatening to call the police
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

so embarrassing, social workers detained me in the subway threatening to call the police - Page 3

post #41 of 87
I'm a mandated reporter. I hope that schools of social work are training in perspective taking (as in what's seen on the outside may not be what's going on on the inside), thinking critically about language used (as in OP said "threw" the coat, when I suspect she meant tossed - who hasn't tossed something into the stroller when it's the 15th time in two days you've had to pick up what Mr. Cause and Effect is testing with lately), and leveled response. Never mind critical thinking about what the legislation and the policies that flow from it intend.

Having done field work with families, nuance, intention and perspective are integral. It's also important to first assume that parents are doing the best they can and mean well.

Angelpie, great post.
post #42 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
Okay, whether they were real social workers or not aside, I am absolutely stunned at people's reactions to this thread! How many times on here has someone come on and said something like, "I was on the subway today and there was this adorable little 2 year old in a stroller and he kept throwing his jacket out (which is TOTALLY age appropriate!) and his mother picked it up, threw it right at him and yelled at him!!!!! I think she poked him as well! I could not believe it! And what is even worse is that no one around her even tried to intervene. If she acts like this in public I can't even begin to imagine what she is doing to that poor child at home." Many, many, many times! Everyone would be responding, "Oh that poor child," or "that must have been terrible to witness mama!" But because it's "one of our own" then all of a sudden it's no big deal? What a horrible double standard! I am not even saying it is a big deal. Have I lost it on my kids? You betcha! Everyone has bad days and everyone does and says things that they regret. That is not my point. My point is that I am just appalled at the double standard. And I am a mandatory reporter (and a student studying to be a social worker) and if I saw someone looking very angry, yelling and throwing a jacket at a BABY, yes I would be obligated to report. It is illegal (at least in Ontario) to strike a child with an object and throwing a jacket at one qualifies.
A lot of what appear to be double standards on MDC are because there are a lot of people posting here. I wouldn't be freaked out by seeing what happened in the OP, and I wouldn't be thinking "what's she like in private??" (I hate that attitude) - I'd be thinking, "yeah - btdt - toddlers are frustrating". I suspect most of the people posting in this thread are much like me.

And, I find it much scarier that someone throwing a coat at a toddler in frustration is report-worthy than I do thatsomeone threw a coat at a toddler.
post #43 of 87
A lot of Social Workers have nothing whatsoever to do with children.

My friend's sister is a SW and I wouldn't let her watch my dog but she deals with financial aid and not children.

If someone said they were a SW I wouldn't assume they know what they are doing because they might not ever see kids or have been trained in that area.

I would have called the police if someone restrained me.
post #44 of 87
If they were social workers and really thought it was a dangerous situation they would have had security detain you while they called. It sounds like you all had a horrible day and they made it much worse. I would have whipped out my cell phone and called the police at that point and reported them for kidnapping, which is essentially what they were doing when they prevented you from leaving.
post #45 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
I have said stuff to other mothers twice. Once I followed a mother into the bathroom after she called him vile names, grabbed his arm and pulled him into the bathroom. I did not detain her, I stood in the bathroom so that she wouldn't be alone in there and then I asked her to calm down and asked if she needed anything. She calmed down, said she was fine and left. I would never dream of physically detaining her. Another time, I did call the police when I saw two little children sweating in a hot/unattended car. Either it's police worthy (and you call the police) or it's just bothersome and you offer to help, but you don't make up a fake title and physically restrain a stranger.

I don't think it's a double standard at all for the OP to be supported here. You don't threaten to call the police. Either you do it or you don't. And you don't make up a fake title to give yourself perceived authority
post #46 of 87
OP, what a horrible experience. I was once stopped in the parking lot of a department store as I was holding DD by the hand and taking her to the car as she was melting down and unable to recentre. I wasn't punishing her, or dragging her or anything, she was just out of control and we needed the calm of the car to restore her equilibrium - but she was loud as we went there. A woman stopped me and asked what was happening, what was I doing to this child? I told her she was my DD, having a meltdown in the store and we were going to the car to regroup. The woman told me she felt really uncomfortable with it and was worried for DD. I stopped and talked with her because I respected her bravery and willingness to intercede on behalf of a child. I asked DD to acknowledge that I was her mom and she was ok, which she managed through her crying. At some point this woman felt reassured and we parted. I went to the car and cried with mortification, right along with DD!

Who knows what motivated these women. I don't think they were professionals as they should have ID and protocols around identifying themselves formally. Maybe they really believed they were doing the right thing, however awkwardly. I prefer that version over them just being jerks, but who knows.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JessicaS View Post
A lot of Social Workers have nothing whatsoever to do with children.

My friend's sister is a SW and I wouldn't let her watch my dog but she deals with financial aid and not children.

If someone said they were a SW I wouldn't assume they know what they are doing because they might not ever see kids or have been trained in that area.

I would have called the police if someone restrained me.
This bears repeating. The title "social worker" doesn't not equal "child welfare worker". In fact, it used to be (I'm not sure if it's still the case) that not all child weflare workers are even social workers. There is a lady in my CSO who has the job title "social worker" (at least on paper), but she only has a BA in sociology. To be professionally considered a social worker across the board, you have to be licensed as a social worker (at least in my state), and you either have a BA or MBA in social work. You are correct that many social workers do not work with children, or have any idea of what goes on in the child welfare system. My good friends' ex-step grandmother is a social worker who works with developmentally disabled adults. I'm going into child welfare, so I tried to pick her brain a bit about the job. She had no clue about the child welfare system but she was able to give me a general idea about what social work itself is like.
post #48 of 87
I agree that they don't sound like real social workers. When they threatened to call the police I would have said please do. If they didn't I might have asked another passenger to inform the conductor/driver that I need help. If this was NYC, there is usually an MTA cop on board the train some where. If there didn't happen to be one on the train, then they can arrange for one to be waiting at the next station.
post #49 of 87
Ok, everyone has told you good things, well most everyone. But, I would suggest that you call up the social work service, whatever it is called there and tell them about the incident. If it is their employees, then they need to be dealt with. If not, at least they can let you know that this was not an official act. I am just in school right now, but we have learned a few things, and one of those is that a police officer cannot even detain you without cause. From what little I know about social workers from reading up on from hslda, a social worker has to have a police accompany them to follow through on a warrant, and a social worker has no standing to detain you. They have to call the police to do that. If they didn't show you ID first thing, then either they are truly in the wrong, or they were lying their butts off.
post #50 of 87
OP, your restraint with those two alleged social workers was great because if someone refused to let my stroller go, I would have given them a legitimate reason to call the police on me. Were you on the subway in NY? I ask because as a New Yorker, I believe the proper protocol would have been to tell the train conducter to get a police officer if they believed your children were in danger. I also don't believe social workers in NYC are allowed to physically restrain a parent, their child or property.

Yes, you lost your cool. Could you have handled the situation differently? Of course but you've acnowledged that already.

I recently had a stranger interfere with my parenting but confrontation is my weakness so I said something. DD went ballistic because I removed something from her hand she picked up in the 99 cent store. She refused to put it back so I put it back where it belonged. She was already tired and started crying very loudly. A woman bent down and looked in her stroller. I asked her if she wanted something and she told me she was checking on the little one because she was crying "like you beat her or something." I told her I don't beat my daughter but if I did what on earth was she going to do about it, to mind her own business and continue shopping.
post #51 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heavenly View Post
It is illegal (at least in Ontario) to strike a child with an object and throwing a jacket at one qualifies.


I guess our pillowfights over here are a serious form of abuse, then.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
If someone was here complainingg about seeing what the mom described herself doing, I'd probably tell that person to mind their own business, too. And I really doubt tossing a jacket at a child would be considered striking them with an object, but I don't live in Canada, so who knows?
But it's all about perception. If the ladies thought that what they saw was a child being hit with a jacket and then pushed, that's what they were reacting to.
post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I can see how it might have looked from their side of the fence. Someone who is a mandated reporter felt that this was a moment to intervene in what she perceived as a situation of potential danger to a child. We've all seen less-than-stellar parenting moments when out and about (witness all the "Should I have said something?" threads.) So she wanted to talk to you. So far, so good.
Mandated reporters aren't _supposed_ to intervene. They are _supposed_ to have a lower burden of proof required to report.
post #54 of 87
I am a social worker, and as a PP said, not all social workers work with children. I work with people living with HIV/AIDS (some of which ARE children, but beside the point).

A social worker would not behave that way. If a social worker behaves that way, you can report them to your state social work board. We have pretty extensive ethical requirements placed upon us and I would say that was unethical practice.

Would say more, but gotta go...
post #55 of 87
FWIW, I don't think the authorities in Ontario would be terribly interested in this incident either.
post #56 of 87
If someone touched my kid's stroller there would definitely be police involvement! OP only the police can detain you and even they have to have probable cause.

I'm with the "they were'nt social workers" crowd. And I hope your day is better.
post #57 of 87
IF they were social workers they sound like they were on a serious power trip
post #58 of 87
Wow...I can see that a few people would have reported ME by now. I'm that mom forcing her screaming toddler into the carseat when he doesn't want to go home (and yes, sometimes it is FORCING HIM IN)

FWIW, when I read the "I saw a mom doing XYZ" threads I'm usually one that goes, "Ugh, been there. Having a toddler is tough. Poor mom." and doesnt' post.
post #59 of 87
I have to report, and I've worked in child protective services. I CANNOT detain someone like that on a subway. I would not, it would break numerous rules, get me fired and possibly put myself and the child at risk. If I saw a parent melting down, I'd talk to them in an effort to get them to calm down. In a situation like yours and if I thought it warranted an investigation, my course is to call the police, then a file can be opened, by someone not myself since I am a witness and someone who is doing the calling in. In my city, there are things to alert the conductor of the subway if there is trouble, no one can get off the train, I'm sure they're on other trains too.
post #60 of 87
Wow, that must have been really scary. In my opinion those women who approached you were way out of line- they had no right to do that and especially to put their hands on your child's stroller. I would have been so shaken by that. It sounds to me like they were far more aggressive and harmful than you were. From how you describe it you were just stressed and a little snappy- and that is a far stretch from abusive, in my opinion. I am sorry that happened to you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › so embarrassing, social workers detained me in the subway threatening to call the police