Okay so- and here I am. :)
I read the title of this thread and my heart jumped INTO my throat and made me contract. DO NOT LET THEM IN.!!!!
If they do not have a warrant, DO NOT let them in...period. Letting them in waives your rights and allows them to come up with whatever they want to make an investigation 'necissary' and then they have the right to make surprise visits and you HAVE to let them in.
I had an OCD neighbor call CPS on us 2 years ago almost to the week, reporting that we had feces around the house and that I left my kids home alone unattended. HOW they would know this- is beyond me. I was 5 mos pregnant with my 6th and it was spring vacation/spring cleaning week- so they CHOSE that specifically to surprise us when all the kids would be home and make a visit. NO LETTER, no call. I had 2 CPS workers AND an officer, no warrant- just a report.
Hey, I have nothing to hide! COME ON IN!!! The WORST THING I could have ever done.
Listen, they are NOT there to exonerate you. They are there to build a case. There is very little regulation on what prevents them from removing your kids from your home, and MOST of their abilities lie on their own 'personal recommendation'. Do not take this lightly, I am not kidding. If they are appauled at natural birthing, even home births- they can make a case to remove all your children.
CPS was made to protect our kids but there is an OUTRAGIOUS reformation that needs to be done to prevent their 'recommendations' from ruling how we raise our children and choose to live. I have a DEAR friend who works for CPS here now, and she can testify that CPS routinely have people who go to work for them for the mear POWER and not for good intentions. She has been threatened to LIE or 'else' by her superiors. She is one of the good guys. She said she has gone to homes where there was 2 feet of rubbish and never had to remove the kids, that she has NEVER had to bring an officer to a home to remove them either or for any reports. She HAS had to remove kids but usually it's due to mental illness that prevents the parents from taking care of the children (severe lice infestations and fleas, laundry never done to the point where kids had to bathe at school, skin infections starting in, etc).
Before their visit, I had done photography for child abuse organizations. My DAUGHTER is on the front of the friggen' Oregon WIC pamphlet as a model. I write articles on parenting and advise parents on better ways of communicating with their kids- yet here we were. The minute these officials saw me, they made up in their mind that I looked TOO young to have all these kids, and here I was pregnant again. There is no way I could be managing them as I 'needed' to. It was a complete witchhunt.
They went through my house, making my children PULL DOWN THEIR PANTS to show they did not have bruises (which only occurs in reports of physical abuse) and interviewing my 5 and 6 yr old boys alone (yeah RIGHT , try getting a full story out of them without it totally going wacko was near impossible).
One of the officers taking pictures was in my upstairs hallway (we were living in a middle-class 4 yr old townhouse) and my daughter dragged her suitcase out of the room to show him she had packed for a church trip. My kids were all excited police were visiting, as we all teach our kids that officers are the good guys, right? I was coming up the stairs as she did this and she left her suitcase in the middle of the hallway in front of the officer. I instructed her to 'please put her suitcase away now' and he said, "No, this is not the time to start cleaning up". "Officer..."I replied, " she just abandoned her suitcase at your feet, I would like her to put it away." "Please go downstairs, Ma'am." he told me and proceeded to TAKE A PICTURE of the suitcase in the hallway with his camera. I am not making this up!!! I was DEVASTATED!
They deemed my home unnacceptable and had them REMOVED FOR 3 DAYS. They had 0 real evidence, just went on their 'gut' instinct. Know what they were charging me with?
1. Each of the kids rooms (3) had garbage bags they were putting their old school papers and trash in while they cleaned and a pile of dirty laundry. Deemed 'unnacceptable to 'store' garbage bags in kids rooms'. I told them I wasn't storing the bags there- they didnt care.
2. Chair in my 3 yr old's room under her light switch deemed 'unsafe because she could potentially push it across the room to the window'.
3. Laundry on the laundryroom floor waiting to be washed was deemed 'fire hazzard'
4. Hermit crab cage on the kitchen counter next to our sink (closed terrarium with lid) was seemed 'unsanitary creatures in the kitchen'.
5. A Jelly smear on the inside of our fridge was deemed 'unsanitary fridge'
6. The 2 younger boys told the officials that we had left them home alone once when 'mama and papa walked to Target to play in the toy aisle'. They believed them. We actually joked around about this with the the boys when we went to get the mail once as we were going out the door but we had walked to the mailbox 3 houses down. It was, of course, untrue. We didnt know the boys actually believed us or that CPS would be so STUPID to think that was something we would actually do.
7. A-frame Ladder in hallway to fix a light earlier was deemed 'unsafe around kids'
Not ONCE did they find evidence of feces in the house.
As they were waiting for my mother to come pick them up, they commented to me on how bright and polite my kids were. Of course, Jerkfaces- that's because WE'RE GOOD PARENTS! The house was SPOTLESS in a few hours, yet they wouldnt even come inspect to bring them back. They wouldnt even let my mother let us take them to their regular kid's Bible study functions they go to every week even though there were NO SET instructions on our paper that we couldnt take them out- only that they couldn't enter our home until it was authorized.
They said there would be an investigation of 60-90 days and surprise visits every month to determine abuse charges.
We hired maids to come twice a month to clean. Their first visit they were dumbfounded that there would be an accusation of unsanitary neglect and the company actually WROTE TO CPS on our behalf voluntarily that the evidence they saw at ours house showed no such thing. We purchased new beds, new drawers to appease them as they commented on the fact my daughter preferred to have her mattress on the floor (it was made with sheets, everything, mind you).
I wanted to DIE for those 3 days. I was absolutely devastated and 5 mos pregnant. I had nightmares that I was going to have my little girl and they were going to show up and remove her.
We kept our home in HOTEL CLEAN condition. I was exhausted. I personally feel that ANYONE with 5 kids who was as pregnant as I was with a house as clean as OURS was, should be investigated for neglect. Quality time was almost nill. My husband and I argued ALL THE TIME over who didnt get the dishes done as soon as they touched the sink.. who didnt flush the toilette, who left that article of clothing on the floor. My home was destroyed emotionally. The kids would ask me constantly if they were going to have to have a new mama and papa. There was no story time, no time for anything but cleaning and nagging and mom passing out in bed at night. Kids could NOT play outside, curtains were closed, it was a dark dark space.
The first time they visited in April, my face drained of blood as the doorbell rang. They went through the house and then as he left he said he would have to deem the case as 'unable to determine' if the house was a detriment to the safety of the kids. He said he would be seeing us the next month.
He visited in May- came the day AFTER the maids had cleaned. Same story, deemed 'unable to determine'.
June's visit, the same- unable to determine. Okay, it's been 90 days.. this should be it, right? Nope.
I wanted to SCREAM. WHEN WOULD THIS BE OVER? They had not found ONE SINGLE thing in 3 mos yet they were STILL COMING. They came July 21st during my son's 7th birthday party.
DING DONG! "Oh you you havent had the baby yet...." he said utterly surprised and made a note. "Nope, sorry to dissapoint you." I thought. "Oh I see you are having a birthday party, well I wont be long..." he said and pushed past me past our guests with his clipboard.
After he was done, he said, "Well from here we are still deeming this 'unable to determine', but we will be bringing this investigation to a close and we will send you a copy of our report. My supervisor is VERY THOROUGH, so if she finds anything else we will be contacting you."
"Actually, I would like a letter stating when everything is closed and I WONT be hearing from you, please." I said.
I still have post traumatic stress over this and have nightmares. I started up a blog on http://www.kidjacked.com and received TONS of responses from similar situations. Some were, meh iffy situations- but many were not. I PRAY TO GOD you live in an officer friendly environment.
I know this is a long post- mostly because I am VERY passionate about my experience and the experiences I see and hear around me EVERY DAY from people. Do not naively assume that CPS will be on your side or that they will not judge you and purposefully try and sabbatoge your rights to suit their opinions. They REALLY need to be there to protect the kids that have no help, but their policies and regulations NEED REFORM!!!!!
Here is my blog... http://my.kidjacked.com/naiveinnocence/ the site is good for information and legal help on CPS and how to deal with them. I do not recommend being rude to them- but they, by law have to know their rights and are not required to tell you yours. They can even threaten you as long as they don't lie. The only thing that would give them permission to take your kids was PROOF you were hurting them, a fire or some other iminent danger, or a warrant. Judges dont just PASS out warrants without evidence, but once you are under investigation it's REALLY hard to go back. Please know your rights... do NOT offer any information, no matter how 'common sense' it may seem to you, and try if you can to meet them in a neutral place. If they do have to come, have a witness with you.