Re: the mom who had had 12 reports, again, unless the reporter can say "This is what mom is doing and this is how it's hurting her kids", even with 12 reports it's hard for CPS to legally respond. As you said kathymuggle, it took mom doing something really erratic for police to come and then when she resisted arrest, that triggered everything. In a way, as sucky as it is to have to live with a mentally ill mom, unless someone can explain how her mental issues are hurting her kids in a tangible way, it's very hard for CPS to intervene. It comes up a lot with alcohol and pot - ok, it would be an ideal world if no one used either while parenting... but one is legal and the other is very very common even if illegal. CPS has increasingly started examining not just what is the parent doing that seems like a bad idea, but what is the impact - if any - on the kids? Some parents can drink and still parent fantastically... others alcohol makes them neglectful or abusive and their kids' needs are not met. CPS should only get involved in the 2nd situation, even though both parents are using the same substance (alcohol). So if there werent details about how the mom's mental illness was having a negative impact on her kids, what could CPS do? Even if there was evidence mom was wacky, if the kids were fed, clothed, doing ok in school and seemed socially and emotionally ok, should CPS intervene further than assessing the situation (which is the only way to find out the kids are fed, clothed and emotionally ok)?
These ones are so complicated. You and I have talked before, LROM, so you know I'm not the biggest fan of CPS, in many ways. This kind of scenario is part of the reason why - but I also realize that it must be incredibly frustrating to deal with, and very hard to know the best way to deal with it. I'm familiar with several cases of mental illness making for less than wonderful parenting, but overall situations that really aren't abusive, yk? If CPS gets a call on those people, then the "what should we do?" question is really complicated, and probably also very frustrating.
Magali: It's always a good idea to take a good look at the threads. I find that many of them say "CPS", but if you look inside, you'll find Canadian specific content. I just use "CPS" myself. Most posters here know what I'm talking about, and I can never remember what it's called here, anyway. I'm pretty sure the name has changed at least twice since my teens...the great Canadian (or at least British Columbian) game of "change the name, but leave the substance alone" gets played pretty hard here.