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So what does CPS look for? Can they inestigate over any concerned call from someone? I'm in Canada. - Page 6

post #101 of 143

I didnt know who "Sen. Nancy Shaefer" was so i looked her up. Turns out she was a STATE sen. who was a champion of right wing causes who wrote the report beedum references above. When i went to do an internet search of her findings, the first page of results were on "anti-CPS/anti adoption" type websites. Lots of conspiracy theories surrounding her death as well (apparently she was killed by her husband in a murder/suicide)...so...all im saying is look at the source. I dont think we should take one report by one state senator (who, it sounds like, i would disagree with on all of her other positions given the description i read on wikipedia) as gospel.

 

Are there abuses in the CPS system? No doubt. Are children sometimes taken from parents unjustifiably and even adopted? No doubt.


But is there a widespread, national conspiracy to "steal" children away from fit parents in order to make "big bucks" through federal adoption incentives? Um...no. That is crazy. The financial incentives states get for adoption are to encourage permanency for the children who wait the longest. In my state the people doing the removals are not even the people in charge of the foster homes the children will go to, and the foster workers arent even the ones in charge of adoption if the case gets that far! Not to mention it is the JUDGE who terminates parental rights. What beedum (and the late sen.) is suggesting is that there is a vast conspiracy between CPS investigators, judges, public and private agencies, adoption workers, etc....heck, i could never even get my agency to keep track of my mileage reports or pay me clothing stipends in a timely manner, so i think thats giving all of these people WAY to much credit.

 

I feel like we've had this conversation before (maybe even in this thread LOL)...and there is always a low-count poster who seems to have come to MDC solely to promote their agenda. We get this all.the.time on the Adoptive Parents board. Post about, say, attachment disorder and here come the 1 post count people to say how evil attach. therapy is and link to all sorts of extreme and paranoid sites.

 

I do think people should be aware that things can spiral out of control quickly when it comes to social services and things can get blown WAY out of proportion. I've experienced this myself. Best to know your rights and dont give your rights away.

post #102 of 143

A few days ago I had a DHFS worker come and knock on my door gloomy.gif (I assume they are, or fall under the same umbrella, as CPS).

 

I was petrified, but of course let them in immediately (I was far too shocked to even think about the 4th amendment). My house was a "total mess" (I put this in quotes because it was messy, DP had just been sick and I was getting sick, but it certainly wasn't dirty- maybe the kitchen was a tiny bit Sheepish.gif- and nothing like what I've read about on this thread). 

 

Luckily I had a very understanding sw who seemed to realize it was a nonsense call almost immediately. She even said she loved this type of call, where she could just close it out immediately. Someone called saying my 9 mo only weighed 12-13 lbs (she is skinny, but weighs at least 15 lbs, and her pediatrician is not concerned), that I only breastfeed her and REFUSE to feed her solids (more like she's barely interested), she's only been to the doctor's once, and I never treated her for an ear infection (been to all her wbv and had actually just been on Mon for a rash lol).... A bunch of nonsense. There was some truth in report- she wears an amber teething necklace (not sure how that's abuse), I follow a natural mothering approach...

and then the big one: Cosleeping. 

Yes, I cosleep, no there is no crib in the house. Although she did make a passing comment about co-sleeping being the number one cause of infant death (I just kept my mouth shut) she then just ordered us a crib, and it was no problem. No lectures, no parenting classes or safety concerns. 

 

It was terrifying and mortifying but overall a relatively painless experience (although the case is not closed yet so send good vibes my way!). The worst part of it was the lack of trust I now have for everyone around me. I wish that for junk reports you could find out who reported you. Why would someone lie about things that are so easily proven? All DHFS needs to do is talk to my pediatrician (which I wish they had done before they came out) and everything is cleared up. 

 

It makes me want to stop going to all of my groups/classes for DD. I have no idea who it could have been, and why someone would lie about our family greensad.gif

post #103 of 143

Wow, I had no idea that facts I brought to light were not considered due to the fact that I am new to this site.  I was mentioned by name and labeled a "liberal" by this person who thinks that name calling, or as we like to say:  mudd slinging would negate facts.

 

As for the mischaracterization of The Adoption and Safe Families Act:  Perhaps this is legislature put into affect with the best of intentions, but the facts remain that there is monetary incentive to remove, and keep children removed from their homes.  I am not against adoption, nor do I believe that a families don't need help sometimes, but the facts remain. 

 

Where there is monetary incentive, there is always going to be a risk for abuse in order to exploit that incentive.  I don't believe in any of the "conspiracy theories" that surrounded the late Senator, but I do believe the facts that she uncovered make well-meaning adoptive parents like youself uneasy-and rightly so.  No one wants to think that a child taken into their home and "saved" could have possibly been unjustifiably removed from their birth parent.

 

My best friend was adopted.  She was born to a single sixteen year old mom, and was taken from her at birth.  This was (whether people like to acknowledge it or not) very common practice amongst different religious groups throughout the fifties and sixties.  She was raised by a loving adoptive family, and as an adult was able to find (through a private investigator) her birth mother, and meet her brothers and sisters for the first time.  I am slightly unnerved by the practice of closed adoption because there is a very real possibility (no matter how remote) of meeting and marrying a relative.

 

As for the facts brought to light by the late Senator's investigation:  Despite a "liberal" nametag being put on anyone questioning authoritative bodies that accept any kind of "bonus", the late Senator had a very long career and was a very pronounced conservative.

 

As with any societal issues, the answers are never simple ones.  Just as there are great parents accused without grounds, there are bad ones that need intervention.  Just as there are great social workers who are there to make the world a better place, there are those that follow their own agenda.  Just as there are wonderful people that become adoptive parents with their eyes open, there are those that would prefer to turn a blind eye to the possibility of these travesties. 

 

I urge all people to educate themselves.  Children statistically are more likely to be abused in the foster care system-therefor it should be a last resort to remove a child.  This doesn't mean turning a blind eye to abusive parents either, but there has to be a limitation of a social workers power for those that don't understand dishes in the sink are not abuse.  Hope you all have a great day.

post #104 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by beedum View Post

I urge all people to educate themselves.  Children statistically are more likely to be abused in the foster care system-therefor it should be a last resort to remove a child.  

I'm having a heard time understanding this bit. More likely to be abused in a foster home then where, in their parent's home? I'm sure children get removed for bad reasons *very* occasionally, but children usually get removed from homes because of abuse. Therefore it makes no sense to say they are more likely to get abused in the foster system. Maybe I'm missing something. 

 

 

 

 

-I just wanted to add it is terrible that children are EVER abused, especially when they are supposed to be in a safe place now (ie foster system). This is neither here nor there however. 

 

*edited for spelling

post #105 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

A few days ago I had a DHFS worker come and knock on my door gloomy.gif (I assume they are, or fall under the same umbrella, as CPS).

 

 

Amanda i'm sorry you had to go through all that! I totally understand how horrible it feels, i've had similar things happen to me and it makes you all sorts of paranoid...i still dont totally trust my neighbors and i've lived here for a couple of years now. I hope everything wraps up quickly and positively for you!!!

post #106 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by beedum View Post

Wow, I had no idea that facts I brought to light were not considered due to the fact that I am new to this site.  I was mentioned by name and labeled a "liberal" by this person who thinks that name calling, or as we like to say:  mudd slinging would negate facts.

 

What are you talking about?

 

The reason i mention being "new to the site" is that very often when there is a post on a "controversial" topic, a poster will come and post solely on THAT topic, and they happen to have a very extreme view. You arent "new to the site"...you havent contributed anywhere but on this thread. I welcome new members but when someone clearly seems to have an agenda, yes i question that. I would be MUCH more likely to listen to the view of someone i have grown to know and respect on this site rather than a "drive by poster"...and who labeled you a "liberal"?? My point was exactly the opposite, that the senator apparently was a staunch supporter of the religion right, was anti abortion, anti gay, etc etc...therefore since she seemed to believe the polar OPPOSITE to everything i believe in and stand for, im much more likely to disregard her opinion on everything else.

 

Other than a right wing conservative deceased senator's report from years ago....what other proof do you have that there is a widespread agenda amongst foster care agencies to unjustifiably remove children in order to make a profit off of federal incentives? As i've explained to you, in my state there are MANY people in the mix by the time a child is available for adoption. Who makes the profit? its NOT the person who initially removes the child.

 

 

Quote:
I do believe the facts that she uncovered make well-meaning adoptive parents like youself uneasy-and rightly so.  No one wants to think that a child taken into their home and "saved" could have possibly been unjustifiably removed from their birth parent.

 

Again, what are you talking about? Your "facts" do not make me uneasy...hysterical conspiracy theorists irritate me though. And your second sentence...i do not feel i "saved" my children. And the facts of each of my children's removals were disclosed to me as is (i believe) required by law. I know exactly why/how/when they were removed, and in fact with my last two children (the first's bmom did not contest removal or termination) i spoke extensively with the bmom over the course of several months (and we still have some contact.) My situation is not unique.

 

The JUDGE was the one who ultimately terminated parental rights. Did SHE get kickbacks from the federal govt too? Oh and wait....a three-judge panel with the state Supreme Court upheld her decision....what profit did THEY make??

 

Again, i will say that i do think its possible that in certain areas or some circumstances workers are overzealous in the removal of children, and in some limited places there may actually be a monetary reason to that, and i hope thats investigated and changed. But one report by one state senator does not a national agenda make. It just doesnt.

post #107 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaT View Post

I'm having a heard time understanding this bit. More likely to be abused in a foster home then where, in their parent's home? I'm sure children get removed for bad reasons *very* occasionally, but children usually get removed from homes because of abuse. Therefore it makes no sense to say they are more likely to get abused in the foster system. Maybe I'm missing something. 

 

 

 

this so called statistic "chidren are more likely to be abused in foster care" is repeated a lot by anti-fc and anti-adoption folks. I havent researched it a lot but found a blog article that summed up nicely the problems with such a statement: http://joshuaallenonline.com/2010/11/19/on-the-high-rates-of-abuse-in-foster-care-%E2%80%9Clies-damn-lies-and-statistics-%E2%80%9D/  I dont know the author or what his interest in foster care is, but he did make some interesting points....that foster homes are often very highly scrutinized so if they uncover a higher rate of abuse than in the general population it may be because no one is going into most homes looking for abuse. As a foster parent i had a worker in my home each month, sometimes surprise visits, my children had to visit the doctor regularly, every little scratch was questioned by the worker. She even called CPS on me because my two toddlers scuffled and one put scratches on the other's forehead, then the next week he fell and bumped his head...she called that a "pattern" and said it had to be reported as possible abuse. The CPS worker thought it was silly but we got to have a nice chat for an hour on how screwed up the system is. Also, the author points out that when you foster, often bparents are making allegations against you because they are upset their child is in foster care (and think somehow if the child is removed from you the child will go back to them)...and of course some children have issues and make allegations. And he also says that in some areas things like leaving a teen alone for a couple of hours is logged as "neglect" by the foster parent....so that can all add up to LOOK like more abuse when there isnt really. I also think sometimes that foster care DOES attract abusive people and i am not saying kids are NOT abused in some foster homes...my own daughter was hit with a belt or extension cord in a foster home. it happens, unfortunately.

post #108 of 143

 

The JUDGE was the one who ultimately terminated parental rights. Did SHE get kickbacks from the federal govt too? Oh and wait....a three-judge panel with the state Supreme Court upheld her decision....what profit did THEY make??

 

Again, i will say that i do think its possible that in certain areas or some circumstances workers are overzealous in the removal of children, and in some limited places there may actually be a monetary reason to that, and i hope thats investigated and changed. But one report by one state senator does not a national agenda make. It just doesnt.

Queenjane, since you seem to know alot about the system. I would appreciate it (if you have the time) to give a concise reply the question i asked upthread, about what exactly is in place to  keep  families intact when a cps worker comes knocking, other than my right to refuse entry to a cps worker.(oh, and when it goes to court, can you imagine having to do that? a judge who does their job)

 

In the above paragraph, you  sort of answered my question, but as a single mom with three kids

(and AmandaT my a baby also wears an amber necklace;-), not to mention we practise EC), i get attention from others, usually positive, but not always. I want to know what is in place to protect my rights, and the rights of my children.   I wont be answering the door to a cps worker unless i have a concrete answer to that question.

 

A malicious neighbor called the cps on me once.  I answered the door. Once a person calls, they have to keep the case open for a mandatory 2months.

I find this an invasion of my privacy, and a waste of my time. They even came to my sons school and interviewed him without my consent. Fortunately our school psychologist was smart enough to be present in the interview.  

 

The worker wanted to close the case immediately, but as i said, they have to keep it open for 2months.

 

I never received an official letter to say the case was closed, though i was told repeatedly it was. Am i on a computer somewhere because of one malicious neighbor? 

 

I felt like i was at the complete mercy of the cps worker, (who was a nice person thank goodness) 


Edited by contactmaya - 10/16/12 at 7:25am
post #109 of 143

They even came to my sons school and interviewed him without my consent.

 

 

jaw.gif

 

 

As I think I mentioned upthread, I was involved in a case this year where children were removed inappropriately - a preschooler and a newborn baby. They had a teenage sister who was removed for some small amount of cause, but could definitely have avoided removal if the family had been given access to outpatient mental health resources. Instead, they swooped in and took them all.

 

What the mom needed to do to get them back was complete a parenting class, go to counseling and get a letter from the counselor stating that she was not looney tunes, and present a clean and safe home when she was visited. She did those things easily. She also had to find a decent lawyer and an interpreter - I don't think either of those cost her money but she did need to look around a bit for them. It took her about four months to get the children back into her home - they spent two months with strangers and two months with a family friend. 

 

Had she not opened the door for the home investigator that day, and instead contacted a lawyer immediately who could have arranged for a supervised inspection with a translator present, I don't think she would have had her children removed. Every case is different, but my resolve to keep my door closed and call my lawyer was greatly increased by her experience.

post #110 of 143

Having read through this thread, i suppose i would demand a warrant before opening the door.  And following your example, i would call a lawyer.

 

When the cps came previously, someone else (my room mate) opened the door for them, so i did not have the chance to protect myself in this way.

 

I suppose the answer to my own question is,  be aware of your rights, lest they be violated.  I just find it hard to believe that ones rights could so easily be violated. 

post #111 of 143

I work in a school (school psychologist, but I do testing, not counseling).  Also a mom of 3.  I think it is completely understandable and fine that DHS can come to school and interview a child without a family's consent.

 

Case in point... 5 years ago a 10 year old girl in school seemed off and on sad and getting more and more difficult to work with in school.  Family/school contact, not much to work with, and her behavior wasn't awful or anything that set up huge red flags, just a kid who seemed to be "off" and not really herself.  Family was appropriate with us, seemed glad that the school counselor was touching base with her, wanted extra help in math, etc.  A few months go by, and a couple of disturbing things show up in her writng journal (one that she turns in to her teacher, so nothing private, she turns it in and knows it is being read) that hint at sexual abuse.  The counselor talks to her (and then they come together to talk to me) and she says that her brother has been raping her for two years.  And that her parents know about it.  Her brother is 19 years old, living in the home, and she is afraid to go home... school ends in 3 hours.  Mandated reporting, etc... a DHS worker comes out within a half hour, we already know from our 1st phone contact that the girl can't be sent home before they meet with her... long story short, they come out, the girl NEVER GOES HOME AGAIN.  She goes directly to a therapeutic group home, then to a foster home (and that's all I know of for the next 2 years when she graduated from the school)... at which point her brother and BOTH PARENTS are in JAIL.

 

So, definitely the exception.  Definitely NOT what I believe is happening in even 1 out of 1,000 cases.  Not what is happening when an angry, crazy neighbor or right-wing friend calls DHS because breast feeding after 12 months makes them feel icky or because your house doesn't look like a magazine.  But I still think about that kid all the time and I don't give a flying fudge if her parents feel that that it wasn't "fair" for the DHS worker to speak to their daughter without their permission.  Because that conversation may have saved her life....it definitely saved her in a lot of other ways.  And until the conversation happened, there was no way to know if that kid was being raped by her adult brother for 2 years with her parents knowledge or whether she was cosleeping with loving and misunderstood parents. Seems like a reasonable risk to take... and as a parent who would NEVER harm my kids, I know that some parents would and I'm willing to take some possible lumps to maybe do my tiny, ineffective bit to protect those kids who are already being abused by the people who should be protecting them.

post #112 of 143

But in this case there was a red flag, there was some evidence!  In my case, none at all! Yes, a nasty neighbour called the cps on me (if you knew the full story, you would be disgusted, but its not relevant now), the cps worker came, and there was nothing to back up the allegations (it was of neglect, and they could see this wasnt the case)

 

Then interviewing a child without the consent of the parent-  where do you draw the line? I am sorry,  but without my consent, there is alot of things you CANNOT do to my children.

 

In the above case it would have been sufficient for the school psychologist to interview the child based on the CLEAR EVIDENCE  presented by the child.  Once there was more evidence of sexual abuse   stemming from the talk with the psychologist, then the CPS could be called in, and then the police.

 

It turns out, i did give my consent to interview  my son, by signing a long form, which i signed to appear co operative with a person who appeared, and did, have my family  at her complete mercy. 

 

 

She obtained my consent,  but what she should have done, is  inform the school that SOMEONE ELSE needed to present at the interview with my child. She didnt do that. It was the school psychologist, who knows me, and my child, and knows that i am a dedicated  and loving parent, whose son has presented no symptoms or signs of abuse whatsoever,  she was the one who demanded to be present at the interview.

 

 

It is one thing for a school employee, to talk to a child for whatever reason, and this happens all the time. It is another thing for someone with the power to take children from their parents  to do so.

post #113 of 143

Neighbor was a mandated reporter by co incidence. She was also a very disrespectful and manipulative person in general. She had been  rude to me once or twice, so i tried o ignore her, but then she would sweet talk my children (and offer them sugary food). One day, i just told her i didnt want  her to speak to my children. She did not like that. She later knocked on my door and i opened it. She saw a living room with toys strewn over the floor. On these grounds, she called the cps, on the same day, so it was easy to make the connection. Since she was a mandated reporter, the cps came running.  By then i had actually tidied up. But come on.....this is the sort of slippery slope we are talking about.  

 

Someone vindictive+ cash bonus +  one parent without the knowledge of or resources to protect their rights=children taken from a loving family, which is something they would never forget, and a form of abuse in itself.

 

I just wanted to know what is in place to protect families,  refusal to answer the door seems to be about all there is.  People who are very in favor of the cps, dont seem to know or want to answer that question.

 

I think when a problem is suspected, the police should be called, not the cps. 

post #114 of 143
I have a cousin who married an alcoholic. They had three different foster kids, and adopted a child. That child was later removed from their home and placed in foster care because the child ended up in the hospital. I don't know the whole story, as I was a child, myself, at the time. I do know we never saw my cousin, his wife, or the child again, because my cousin was so embarrassed. Reading this page of this thread reminded me of what happened all those years ago. How did the alcoholism get missed? What happened to that little boy? I heard the adults talking about the alcoholism after the incident. I didn't know about it before, but they knew.

I don't think the cps system is working very well. But I don't know what can be done to fix it. There needs to be some way to protect children, but we must also protect good parents who are just out of the mainstream.

I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.
post #115 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post
 
I don't think the cps system is working very well. But I don't know what can be done to fix it. There needs to be some way to protect children, but we must also protect good parents who are just out of the mainstream.
 

 

Definitely.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post
 
I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.

 

Wow, that is frightening. I forgot to make the point, that by the simple exercise of one's legal rights  (and  it appears there is no other way to protect your family), ie, demanding a warrant,  that a parent is seen as bad.  I bent over backwards to be accomodating to the cps worker, scared out of my wits of what she could do, having seen how one mandated reporter could exact her revenge on me because i told her not to speak to my children. 

post #116 of 143

I work in a school (school psychologist, but I do testing, not counseling).  Also a mom of 3.  I think it is completely understandable and fine that DHS can come to school and interview a child without a family's consent.

 

I understand that you were dealing with a very exceptional situation, and I also understand why you don't regret that in this particular case, agents of the government were permitted to interview a minor without her parents being present. 

 

But that's not the way the law works, and for good reason. Until and unless a sufficient reason has been established to abrogate parental rights (and nothing a 10-year-old says or writes constitutes sufficient evidence in the absence of corroborating testimony or physical evidence), it is not appropriate for DHS or law enforcement personnel to interview a child without parental consent. If this had happened to my child, I would have sued the school district. 

 

The appropriate thing to do in your situation was to report the incident (which you did) and for a DHS investigator to either go to the home and assess the situation, and/or take the child to a hospital to obtain physical evidence. If they feel the child is unsafe in the home after conducting a home visit, they can remove the child immediately. But nobody should ever have to send their kids to a public school under the implicit threat of never seeing them again. 

post #117 of 143

I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.

 

This varies hugely, depending on where you live and who happens to be assigned to your case. 

post #118 of 143

Hmm, when I was abused, the only evidence to my knowledge was that a neighbor called (I suppose it may have been multiple neighbors? My step-dad blew up outdoors, so a variety of people probably heard me screaming), and a few days later, the school nurse called me in to ask a couple vague questions about the quality of my home life. I panicked and lied to her, she said I could always let her know if something was wrong, hint hint, and nothing ever came of it. I always assumed my parents never knew of this, and I would have preferred it that way. Can't say I feel bad for my poor disenfranchised parents.... Even though I would have lied either way, it would have totally defeated the point if my parents had to agree or even if they knew about it.

 

But it seems like the school psychologist should be there for that sort of thing as a matter of policy....

post #119 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.


This varies hugely, depending on where you live and who happens to be assigned to your case. 

Can you elaborate on this? By where you live, do you mean country or state? And are you saying the individual makes that decision, and it is not policy?

What I heard is the six months is policy in the US in PA, because cps has to pay for that process (getting a warrent), and they get federal funds for each six month contract they have, so you have to sign a six month contract so they can get the federal funds to replace what was paid to get the warrent.
post #120 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

(and nothing a 10-year-old says or writes constitutes sufficient evidence in the absence of corroborating testimony or physical evidence)

 

This is rather shocking to me, because if either one of my girls, at any age, described a physical act -- whether it was hitting, inappropriate touching, or rape, and said that someone had done this to her, I would believe her. Mind you, I'm talking about an actual description of what happened and not just the word "sex" or "rape;" if she did use one of these words I would definitely stop what I was doing and have her explain what this word meant to her.

 

So I honestly can't see why, if a 10 year old is telling her teacher or school counselor that she's being raped -- and is able to give an accurate definition of rape -- I can't see why she wouldn't be taken just as seriously as an adult would be. She has the right to report being the victim of a crime and to seek justice, irregardless of whether her parents give their permission.

 

And I say this as an "out of the mainstream" parent who has had CPS called on her twice without any case ever having been opened. I am definitely leery of people who seem to be too abnormally concerned about other people's kids and too eager to see abuse, even though I do understand that maybe it's not their fault that they're like that; maybe their own childhood has them convinced that abusive parents and abusive relationships are the norm and they just can't get past that. That said, I may feel sorry for them but I feel like people like that are toxic and I don't want them around me or my kids.

 

Still and yet, if a child of any age tells someone about criminal acts being committed against him or her, this child has the same right that any adult has to talk to the legal authorities. Hopefully the parents would feel that way, too, but even if they don't, the child is still a human being and still has the right.

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