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got a letter from cps, now what? - Page 9

post #161 of 244

I just want to tell you all thanks for this thread. 

 

Edited by 4myfinn - 4/11/11 at 8:36am
post #162 of 244

In Texas, they can only investigate what the complaint was about, they cannot enter your home without a warrant or your permission, and they cannot investigate complaints about home schooling. I am not sure which state you are in. but THSC and HSLDA has advice on their sites regarding how to handle CPS. There is another site that is very complete. The letter is concerning to me because it says they had someone request they do a complete assessment. That does not sound appropriate. In Texas, they are not allowed to just "assess" a family. They have to look at a specific complaint. Even then, only certain complaints can be looked in to. Also, I had a doctor threaten me with CPS over a VBAC. I did not know my rights then and spoke with the social worker and all. In the end, she said the doctor was out of line and such. But I feel like it is a crap shoot so you are going to want to know your rights going in to this. I am so sorry you are dealing with this!

post #163 of 244

There have been cases like this. I do not think they are in my area, they seem to be in specific areas where they have specific problems with CPS being given too much leeway. Maybe they have happened in my area. I read in the news a long time ago about times it used to happen, but laws have been tightened up on CPS, but that it still happens in some states. Regardless, the home school legal groups maintain not to let the social worker in. Too much personal opinion gets injected in to these things so if the social worker is anti home school, or something else, she might see something as a sign of abuse that is not.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post

I sure would like to see some proof, in legal print, that CPS has the right to stay in my home, against my will, simply because I voluntarily let them in. It is my home; if you are there by my consent, I have the right to revoke my consent and let you leave, unless you have a warrant.

 

Moreover, I have no idea what else might have been going on in those situations you are describing. There could have been abuse, neglect, or other issues that you may be unaware of. I doubt that CPS builds a case based on "mom left a dish on the table" and "baby crawls into bed with mommy in the middle of the night." I also don't hold those experiences as typical and standard.



 

post #164 of 244

Thing is also, since it did not come certified and they did not come to your home, it does not sound like they are too concerned. They might not even have a valid case to investigate. I would not even respond to them and I would contact a lawyer in the meantime to ask what to do, as well as follow up on those websites.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabearkea View Post

it was not a certified letter. it just came regular post.  I am reading up on laws etc.   And sadly, I think it was a woman from church who called but I cant be sure :(



 

post #165 of 244

Was it on state letter head? Are you sure this letter is real, and not just some jerk trying to scare you? There was someone here a while ago whose MIL or somebody wanted to scare them out of home birth or home school or something and sent them a threatening letter trying to make it look official. I seem to recall that eventually, the relative admitted to doing it because they were so angry about the homeschooling and could not get child abuse to investigate.

post #166 of 244

By the time you revoke consent. They may already have quite a "case" built against you. Whether or not the information and evidence is fair and truthful. Why chance it if you have a choice not to? Just seems foolish to me. Let them "think" what they want to.

 

I have a relative that is such a dead beat mother. She's in and out of jail/prison. Does immoral acts in front of her kids. She physically and verbally abuses them in public and at home. She sells drugs. Is constantly on probabtion which she violates openly and consistently. Yet she maintains custody of her 3 kids inspite of attempts made by relatives to get CPS invovled to have the children removed. I guess CPS doesn't think they are in enough danger.

post #167 of 244

As this scenario doesn't fall into the two cases mentioned, I will waive my right to a warrant and revoke my consent if they begin rummaging through my things or crossing the line--and I'll be sure to be clear, rather than simply expressing annoyance. I won't pass up a chance to show there is no cause for concern simply on the highly unlikely possibility that the caseworker may be suffering from a raging case of biotchitis.

 

I understand that you don't understand my choice, but then I don't really understanding not cooperating unless ordered, out of fear of unreasonable persecution.

post #168 of 244



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preggers5 View Post

By the time you revoke consent. They may already have quite a "case" built against you. Whether or not the information and evidence is fair and truthful. Why chance it if you have a choice not to? Just seems foolish to me. Let them "think" what they want to.

 

I have a relative that is such a dead beat mother. She's in and out of jail/prison. Does immoral acts in front of her kids. She physically and verbally abuses them in public and at home. She sells drugs. Is constantly on probabtion which she violates openly and consistently. Yet she maintains custody of her 3 kids inspite of attempts made by relatives to get CPS invovled to have the children removed. I guess CPS doesn't think they are in enough danger.



 As none of that goes on in my house, and it's kept clean, I don't think I'm in any danger of a case being built against me...

post #169 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post



 



 As none of that goes on in my house, and it's kept clean, I don't think I'm in any danger of a case being built against me...

 

 

Oh I so hope that is the case. I once had CPS called on me by a hateful neighbor. I thought the same thing and let them in. After the investigation, I got a letter in the mail that I had been found guilty of child neglect because of "inadequate clothing". (My infant son wasn't wearing socks, in June, while playing on a futon on the floor.) I was found guilty of "environmental neglect", because I owned one of those oil-filled electric space heaters, and I did not have a separate crib for my son. (I coslept)

 

They did not take my children, but the information stays on my record. It will come up when someone does a background check on me. No working with kids for me. It infuriates me because of how ludicrous it is. I could never understand what I did to make the CPS want to accuse me of such obviously ridiculous charges. Needless to say, I would always now exercise my 4th amendment rights, not just because of my own experience, but to help those who would try to abuse their authority learn that citizens have rights.

 

This website has some really useful information: 

 

http://www.flexyourrights.org/

 

Good luck-
 

 

post #170 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jynuine View Post

 

The point is that they are there to build a case- not to exonerate you. You are technically innocent (legally) until you allow them into your home to gather whatever proof they can find to make you guilty- but this does not mean you are not already guilty in their mind. All it takes is anything they might disagree with in your parenting style or how you look or even their personality style. Have you ever read the commentary from readers on online news articles referring to children's issues? People are bloodthirsty. Without having any details of a case they will slit the throat of anyone even under scrutiny of a child abuse organization. Workers can be the same way going on a report, depending on the person.

 

As a social worker and an MDC mama, I just have to say that this website has an incredible amount of misinformation and fear surrounding CPS.  No, CPS is not there to build a case.  This is not the criminal justice system, it is the *child protection system.*   They are there specifically to check on the safety of your children, and assuming they are not being neglected nor abused, close your case.  Contrary to popular belief on these forums, CPS doesn't want your kids.  We know that kids are almost categorically, except in the absolute worst of circumstances, better off with their parents.  We also know that kids experiences in foster care are always traumatic and frequently fairly low quality.  We don't want people's kids.  We want their kids to be safe with them.  OP--it sounds like your kids are perfectly safe and sound and well cared for.  I would have zero hesitation at calling them back and allowing them in my home.  If you call them back, there is a substantial chance that they will close your case without even coming out.  There are much worse things to deal with than a baby being born unassisted.  Much, much, worse.  They are following up because they have to and because the system is "working" where you live.  Once they feel comfortable that your kids are cared for and fed, they will leave you alone.  Please do not get overly fearful and worried.  Yes, there are rare cases where CPS majorly screws up.  99.9999% of the time when they screw up, it is because they leave a kid in a home where they end up seriously abused or killed, NOT where they remove a child who shouldn't be removed.  Yes, it happens, but I would be more concerned about being struck by lightening.  The odds are in your favor.  Best of luck to you OP.  Hang in there.  I am sure you are stressed beyond belief, but I really think you will be okay. 

post #171 of 244

No, I don't understand the choice to waive constitutional rights due to a fear of being seen as "more suspicious" when you haven't done anything wrong in the first place.

 

 Exercising my rights is not a fear-based decision <-- please read this over and over because I keep getting accused of having some great fear. I exercise them (in any case) because they're mine to exercise, and because I am under no obligation (either legally, morally or otherwise) to allow a government agency into my home to question me, my children, and search my premisis without probable cause or a warrant. If you feel some sort of need to "prove" your innocence by waiving your rights as a US citizen (which may not have the intended effect)... that is fully your choice (no one has argued that). The only argument is that from a legal perspective (I mean you can ask any lawyer) it is not ever a wise choice...irrespective of "innocence" or potentially "favorable" outcome.  

 

The very act of someone arriving at your door is reason enough to know you are being accused of something. In a perfect world (the world in which a tiny minority of posters in this thread live) everyone working for every government agency is of the most ethical, unbiased variety who not only understand your parenting practices but have the same cleanliness standards as you... in addition to having an even-tempered, humble spirit... in addition to the wisdom and discernment to believe your word over the word of who has accused you (they believed the accusation enough to show up though, didn't they...they have screeners that screen out "bogus" complaints)...in addition to absolutely no biases whatsoever of any class, race, parenting practice, age and no assumptions whatsoever of how they believe children should appear/act/sound/live... Not only that, anyone who would show up would immediately and happily search only areas which you have expressly dictated,  not looking at or noting anything else -- and only ask questions of your children which you've approved and then happily leave with nary a hard feeling or plans to return.  In that world, I may consent to waiving any rights I had just so I could appear compliant (and complacent).

 

In my world though, my rights (while I still have them that is) will be exercised and government workers still have to actually earn the salaries my tax dollars pay them.

post #172 of 244

...and in this world, no one ever gets ill, has an ill family member, depression, a newborn, PPD, a broken leg, no one is packing to move, has a child with special needs, a plumbing problem, a puppy (who has accidents or chews things up) or any of the many, many reasons one's home may not (temporarily) be up to it's normal levels of cleanliness or orderliness. Let's hope no one ever comes knocking then either ... lol

post #173 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumble Bumbles View Post

...and in this world, no one ever gets ill, has an ill family member, depression, a newborn, PPD, a broken leg, no one is packing to move, has a child with special needs, a plumbing problem, a puppy (who has accidents or chews things up) or any of the many, many reasons one's home may not (temporarily) be up to it's normal levels of cleanliness or orderliness. Let's hope no one ever comes knocking then either ... lol



Social workers are human beings too.  We have messy houses, and have all these things happen to us.  A messy house isn't going to get a kid taken away.  A house has to be way beyond disgusting to be considered a problem.  It has to be unsafe to live in.  Very *very* few people live in these sorts of houses. 

post #174 of 244

zensven42 - Someone threatened to call CPS on me once because my son got off the bus, left his bookbag on the bug containing the jacket he refuses to wear especially when I'm not there to put it on him, and was wearing jeans he ripped to rags in class on a cold winter day. I explained that his bookbag had a jacket in it, which he left on the bus, and that the jeans weren't ripped when he got on the bus that morning. Corbin was saying he did it at home, which I knew wasn't true, but of course, they didn't believe me. The school principal called me later to tell me that she had told him several times while observing his class to stop, but he ripped them up anyway right in front of her.  I explained that to the people who had been concerned, and they didn't call CPS. I imagine that if they had called CPS, it would have ended the same way seeing as how I had the principal to confirm I didn't send him to school in ripped pants and the teacher to confirm there was a jacket in his bookbag that morning.

I imagine if I had documented evidence that myself or my children were suffering from a medical condition or that I was working to fix a plumping problem, etc, I wouldn't have to worry about being persecuted over it.

post #175 of 244

Tumble Bumbles - I've never said they would show up and happily search only areas I have dictated and only ask questions I've approved. I'ver stated that I would allow them to come inside. Giving them consent to come in, look around, and ask me some questions is not the same as consenting for them to interview my children or rummage through my belongings. I don't appreciate the mocking way you refer to the hypothetical situation of my allowing a CPS worker to enter my home. I have also never said that I had any concern about appearing compliant. I have said that I would like to exonerate myself: show them they have nothing to worry about, so that the whole situation can end immediately.

post #176 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by insidevoice View Post



It took forever to sort my life back out, and while we did manage to protect my child from the trauma, I had to deal with horrible flashbacks whenever someone was at the door, and I still live in fear and will sacrifice playtime for a few minutes to maintain a stepford-wife-esque level of clean in our home.   Also, since I work in human services, I have to explain a lot, and background checks show that I have been investigated- that alone prevents me from a few job offers.  A closed case found in your favor can still show up. 
 

 


Completely OT - but you should find out if it can be expunged.  Once my case was closed it was also expunged, only to be re-opened if another complaint was made (I live in NY so it could be that not all places do that, but you should contact someone and find out).

 

post #177 of 244



The words in below in bold letters is taking quite a risk. Just thinking they won't build a case against you does not protect you. Excercising your rights will give you a much better chance to protect yourself and your child/ren.

 

Many government agencies are very deceitful in their tactics. They honestly don't care about you and your family (in many cases). They may show some type of sympathy or emotion. But to say they really care would be stretching it. They are merely doing their job. My relatives children are proof of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post



 



 As none of that goes on in my house, and it's kept clean, I don't think I'm in any danger of a case being built against me...

 

post #178 of 244

They can try to build a case, but they won't because they won't be able to find anything to build a case with.

 

I don't believe CPS workers don't care. There may be a few bad eggs, but people become social workers to help people -- not out of a sadistic desire to ruin families.


Edited by moonfirefaery - 4/7/11 at 4:56am
post #179 of 244
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post

They can try to build a case, but they won't because they won't be able to find anything to build a case with.

 

Clearly, that's what you've chosen to believe despite evidence to the contrary. The evidence of course being that if the complaint about you didn't get dismissed by the initial screening process and your 'case' (yes, it's a case before they even show up, even if they immediately 'close' it) has garnered enough attention to send a worker physically to your door --- you are indeed, suspected of something and the case workers are trained to look for that something.

 

I've never once suggested social workers are evil people out to take children but that's a convenient label you wish to place on me in order to discredit anything I'm saying (it's obvious, since I've repeated about 14 times that I don't feel that way and yet you keep accusing me of it).

 

However, when someone specifically comes to your door after the screener has determined there is enough cause to show up at your door (so, they've already in essence found "something") they don't show up with the mindset of , "I am so certain this person is a wonderful, loving mother and I know I am here for absolutely no reason whatsoever!!". Now, that may be the outcome after all is said and done, but that's never been the point of my comments.  

 

Police don't respond to a call of someone screaming "Help me, they're trying to kill me!!" with the mindset of "we're just so secure everything's awesome and safe here but we have to check it out!" either. It doesn't mean the police are "evil" nor does it mean CPS is "evil" -- but they are trained to respond to problematic situations -- and will be looking for a problematic situation before they are looking for a hunky-dory one -- because they have already been told a problematic situation exists. Believing otherwise is naive at best.

 

I personally believe if CPS showed up here they would be pissed someone wasted their time because we do have a clean, loving, safe home with zero issues -- but I still wouldn't let them in. It's not about fear they'd find something (they wouldn't), it's about my right to privacy and right to not have people parading through my home and speaking to my children when there is absolutely no reason or cause to. What's so confusing about that?

 

Would you let the freaking mailman in your home to rifle through your belongings because he found a suspicious package?... or the grocery store clerk rummage through your purse because she "heard" you may not have enough money to pay?  ...some posters actually would, so I'm probably asking in the wrong thread.

 

post #180 of 244

Well personally I don't know what to think of CPS b/c again and again I have seen ABUSED children left in homes (at least 10 times and this is people I have physically known and even family members) and deemed as "safe" and their cases closed. Right now I know 3 heroine addicts who's children do not live in clean nice homes and a woman who literally locks her children in their room the entire day (whom I called CPS on b/c she is friends with my SIL and while I was their with SIL her kids were locked up and crying for a drink and the mother said no and then the 5 y/o peed her pants and the mom left her in them, but CPS thought her home was fine!?!)

 

My family (and most of my friends) come from a rough background. We grew up in the "hood" and actually we only moved from it 6 months ago...everyone we know/knew always said CPS takes the kids from the good homes and leave them in the bad, b/c it always seemed to run true.

 

I have read articles about kids being taken I found bogus. I just read an article the other day about a woman who refused a c-section and they took her baby even though it was born perfectly healthy with not one complication! It ha been 5 years and they still have not given the child back!

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