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Update pg 10. Yay!-The ever-present CPS fears have materialized for us - Page 6

post #101 of 192



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

I dont understand why they keep coming back after the initial visit when the worker commented that everything looked ok. Why do they keep harassing you? What a waste of taxpayers money to say the least.  Are they obligated to harass you for the minimum of 60 days even if in that time it is clear you  and especially your kids dont need their help? Or is the main worry that you are homeschooling?

 

For every  loving family they harass, children who really need their help are being ignored. I detest the cps, it should be abolished. 



 Everyone is entitled to their opinion about CPS.  I just want to remind you all though that pretty much every family - even those with obvious, horrific problems - feels like they are being unnecessarily engaged by CPS at some point in their engagement.

 

You only know what is said on the screen.  The CPS worker is not here (and nor should they be!) to tell you what THEIR concerns are, why they're asking what they are, etc.  As someone who has worked with CPS for decades, I wanna re-state *again* that the number of either unnecessary or totally wrong engagements of families compared with the gigantic number of families CPS is mandated to respond to is TINY.  Seriously, TINY. 

 

I don't know why it would ever, ever be considered a waste of taxpayer money for a CPS worker to follow up on concerns they have about the wellbeing and safety of a child/children.  But what I do know is, we only - all of us - get one side on this board and it boggles my mind how quickly people can jump to assuming there's nothing else.  I'm NOT saying I think OP is lying or hiding something from us, not at all.  I AM saying that OP may not have a clear understanding of the worker's current concerns, and she's entitled to that, which is why I posted what I did directly to her.

 

Contactmaya, you have a right to detest CPS and wish it to be abolished.  I just hope, on behalf of the literally hundreds of thousands of defenseless, innocent children whose basic needs are not being met or who are being abused on a daily basis, that your wish doesn't come true.  CPS mostly UNDERresponds.  And once a family comes to CPS attention, it can take time to make sure there are no additional concerns and that the case can be closed.  Some see that as harassment... but as someone who's seen way way WAY too many of the opposite cases where a child eventually died and the family had been reported to CPS before but CPS hadn't picked up on the clues that things were more serious than they appeared, I'd always rather - where there is an initial report of something that fits our definitions of neglect or abuse - that we risk engaging those rare families that have nothing going on, so that the vast majority of families who DO have something not ok happening with their kids are identified.

 

This board is full of adults who, as kids, had no one protect them.  There are also some here who had bad stuff happened but someone (a parent, a relative, a friend, CPS) did intervene and they were spared more bad stuff.  Even before I ever worked for CPS I wanted my tax dollars to go to helping kids who can't help themselves... I honestly can't think of a better use of my tax dollars (other than educating kids as well and helping parents who are struggling).

post #102 of 192

I had in mind an article that made a very cogent argument about how children in need of protection could find it in other ways than through an organization like the cps. For a start, if parents are breaking the law, then call the police, and go from there. I would post a link to that article if i had it. But the whole thing about how tidy a house is is so arbitrary.

 

Ive never heard anything but negativity from these boards when it comes to the cps.

post #103 of 192

Then I can simply say that you aren't reading every post or you're being selective about what you absorb.  I've seen several CPS threads even in the last 6 months where people who do NOT work for CPS chime in about times they either called or knew of a family who was called on (and even a couple where CPS was called on them) and they had good things to say overall even though obviously when it's a situation CPS is getting called on at all... it's already a really sticky, icky type of situation (including when it's someone making a malicious call that the caller knows is untrue - not only is it illegal but it's also obviously some nasty interpersonal relations going on there).

 

But you feel what you feel, and that's pretty much that.

 

Re: if parents are breaking the law, call the police... I wouldn't even know where to start with explaining why from even just a logistical/resource perspective - given the number of calls specifically about alleged child abuse/neglect that are received nationally and the state of our police resources all over the country where they're dealing with all sorts of crimes - that is beyond untenable.

 

But again, if you're already convinced all things CPS are evil, you're not going to see any other way, so I'm not going to try to explain why abused/neglected children would be in even more dire straights without some person/agency mandated to respond to those kinds of complaints.

 

I will say this though... given the feelings you've expressed about how CPS workers approach parents, I'd be, well... interested to see how you'd respond to cops being the mandated response to a CPS report on your family.  I see how many cops (not all of them, not even most, but many)  treat kids, parents, domestic violence victims, rape victims... you must either have the warmest, fuzziest cops where you live that you think entrusting the response to them is better than CPS, or you just are *so* anti-CPS you really don't care how others would respond to families, you just want it not to be CPS.  Because given how I've seen some cops respond to rape victims or DV victims and even some kids in CPS cases... ESPECIALLY if you were wrongly accused, the cops would be one othe last groups I'd want as first response.

 

In the end, I judge this by what I'd want for my child if she were in danger and someone else knew about it.  I'd want CPS called and want to take the chances that we'd get an average or great worker who  - if nothing else - followed the basic protocols in trying to help my child and assess whether there is real danger or not.  I have called the police for many things and been glad I did, but I would not want a cop who's got muggers and rapists and reckless drivers to worry about to be expected to take the time and patient approach to explain to me, my child, her teachers, and anyone else: why there's concern, what the options are, etc... that is simply not what cops are trained to do or how they're trained to engage.  Not even the community policing cops who are usually really awesome to talk to about crime.  I want the cops to go after anyone who hurts loved ones, but I'd much rather have a social worker talk to my kid and others about what happened.

 

There is a reason there are special interviewers of children for most serious crimes against children, and cops aren't supposed to do that part of the investigation... if you really want to get the best info from kids, you need to be trained to know how to ask and how to engage them so they feel safe. 

 

Cops as the response to all child abuse and neglect reports?  I don't even know any cops who would think that was a good idea - I hear COPS even say they are glad we are here to do this work.

post #104 of 192

**


Edited by BroodyWoodsgal - 10/15/11 at 3:40am
post #105 of 192

I agree. CPS might very well have saved my children's lives. I've been fostering for almost six years and have rarely heard of a situation in which the children were taken without reason. It happens but much less often than this board would lead people to believe.

 

OP, definitely get a lawyer's advice. It sounds like a pretty standard parenting plan but you need clarification about the specifics. The wording isn't particularly clear. And you need to know if there really are current concerns that need to be addressed or if the worker is just following procedure.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LROM View Post

Then I can simply say that you aren't reading every post or you're being selective about what you absorb.  I've seen several CPS threads even in the last 6 months where people who do NOT work for CPS chime in about times they either called or knew of a family who was called on (and even a couple where CPS was called on them) and they had good things to say overall even though obviously when it's a situation CPS is getting called on at all... it's already a really sticky, icky type of situation (including when it's someone making a malicious call that the caller knows is untrue - not only is it illegal but it's also obviously some nasty interpersonal relations going on there).

 

But you feel what you feel, and that's pretty much that.

 

Re: if parents are breaking the law, call the police... I wouldn't even know where to start with explaining why from even just a logistical/resource perspective - given the number of calls specifically about alleged child abuse/neglect that are received nationally and the state of our police resources all over the country where they're dealing with all sorts of crimes - that is beyond untenable.

 

But again, if you're already convinced all things CPS are evil, you're not going to see any other way, so I'm not going to try to explain why abused/neglected children would be in even more dire straights without some person/agency mandated to respond to those kinds of complaints.

 

I will say this though... given the feelings you've expressed about how CPS workers approach parents, I'd be, well... interested to see how you'd respond to cops being the mandated response to a CPS report on your family.  I see how many cops (not all of them, not even most, but many)  treat kids, parents, domestic violence victims, rape victims... you must either have the warmest, fuzziest cops where you live that you think entrusting the response to them is better than CPS, or you just are *so* anti-CPS you really don't care how others would respond to families, you just want it not to be CPS.  Because given how I've seen some cops respond to rape victims or DV victims and even some kids in CPS cases... ESPECIALLY if you were wrongly accused, the cops would be one othe last groups I'd want as first response.

 

In the end, I judge this by what I'd want for my child if she were in danger and someone else knew about it.  I'd want CPS called and want to take the chances that we'd get an average or great worker who  - if nothing else - followed the basic protocols in trying to help my child and assess whether there is real danger or not.  I have called the police for many things and been glad I did, but I would not want a cop who's got muggers and rapists and reckless drivers to worry about to be expected to take the time and patient approach to explain to me, my child, her teachers, and anyone else: why there's concern, what the options are, etc... that is simply not what cops are trained to do or how they're trained to engage.  Not even the community policing cops who are usually really awesome to talk to about crime.  I want the cops to go after anyone who hurts loved ones, but I'd much rather have a social worker talk to my kid and others about what happened.

 

There is a reason there are special interviewers of children for most serious crimes against children, and cops aren't supposed to do that part of the investigation... if you really want to get the best info from kids, you need to be trained to know how to ask and how to engage them so they feel safe. 

 

Cops as the response to all child abuse and neglect reports?  I don't even know any cops who would think that was a good idea - I hear COPS even say they are glad we are here to do this work.



 

post #106 of 192
Thread Starter 

Yes, in my VM I mentioned I've been implementing several ideas from flylady and some books I've been reading about organization when you have a large family. Dh worked long yesterday, so he was able to get out early today and we did a LOT of straightening and organizing on the main floor. Because we have so many kids we are "low income", so our furniture is beaten-up (though I am lucky to have several great consignment stores and 2 good thrift stores near us, so we all dress well). And we don't have as many organizational tools as I'd like to have, like bins and shelving units. Therefore it can look cluttered, because 8 people's worth of stuff doesn't fit well into 1400 sq ft with an especially tiny kitchen. (MAN, I can't wait to move)

 

But it's always clean. It's just difficult for someone who had 2 kids to come into my house and see what looks like months of laundry in baskets in the basement. In reality, it's about 3 days' worth. Or 2 sinks full of dishes. Well, that just means we only did TWO loads in the dishwasher today, instead of our usual 4. KWIM? It's logistics and expectations. Now, her comment about "for 5 kids" made me think she's dealt with a lot of large families and has realistic expectations, so that's good at least. I really do get a vibe from her like she is not concerned about us but has to dot her Is and cross her Ts. She said again this week that she's trying to get the case transferred to an "ongoing worker", like it's just a "checklist complete, see you next week" kind of thing, but this form just threw up red flags for me.

 

As Averysmomma eluded to, I think they probably get reports more often of low income families neglecting or abusing, because it is assumed that low income families are uneducated, cognitively impaired, or otherwise incapable, or just plain uncaring about presumably unwanted children. My atty asked me to bring a resume with me, showing my multiple degrees and professional history, and some other things just to illuminate my background showing I don't fit the "profile" of a neglectful parent. They also feel it is relevant that we wanted and tried for all of our children, sought parenting training before ever having children, and that I was recently receiving child development training (I was training to be an early education teacher, but I couldn't see working for a school system when I don't really like school systems, so I switched my major). I know all the "right" ways to do it, and my children proved to them that I do all those right things (I wasn't allowed in the room while they were questioned, but was allowed to listen from the next room as long as the kids didn't know I was there). So, I really don't see why I couldn't slide right through this. If she'll just let this parent aid thing slide...

 

Smithie, thank you for the tip on what to include with the kids. I've only ever seen CPS come for kids on TV, in a dramatic scene where the parent(s) also go to jail, so I didn't even really know they would allow you to pack things up for the kids. I probably assumed too much, just like my kids, that it would be a "right now", ripping them from my arms kind of thing I couldn't prepare them for.

 

I just keep counting. 8 more weeks...

post #107 of 192

"I wanna re-state *again* that the number of either unnecessary or totally wrong engagements of families compared with the gigantic number of families CPS is mandated to respond to is TINY.  Seriously, TINY."

 

I agree with that. But when you're the OP and dealing with the unmerited engagement, the chances of it happening to you are 100%.

 

I think MDC posters dealing with CPS are more likely than the general population to be embroiled in a baseless/vindictive report. We are people who make remarkable (as in, outsiders remark upon them) parenting choices. Our incomes are often low. Our family size is often high. We often refuse to follow the guidance of recognized experts. None of this, of course, makes us more likely to abuse or neglect our children, but I do think that socially deviant parents are more likely to be reported, and more likely to be investigated when reported. (Deviant in this context is a compliment smile.gif.)

post #108 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I think MDC posters dealing with CPS are more likely than the general population to be embroiled in a baseless/vindictive report. We are people who make remarkable (as in, outsiders remark upon them) parenting choices. Our incomes are often low. Our family size is often high. We often refuse to follow the guidance of recognized experts. None of this, of course, makes us more likely to abuse or neglect our children, but I do think that socially deviant parents are more likely to be reported, and more likely to be investigated when reported. (Deviant in this context is a compliment smile.gif.)


I was thinking this, too, that we are an "at risk group" for baseless CPS involvement.  And more mainstream folks don't have to worry about things like how many beds they have in their homes or if their 2 1/2 year old will want to nurse while the caseworker is there.  

 

I always wonder whether these kinds of discussions even come up on mainstream parenting forums.

 

OP, I hope this passes as soon as possible without any further trauma to your family.  I can't imagine how hard it must be.  

 

post #109 of 192

I've just read parts of this thread. I am grateful CPS exists. They are not a perfect group and they need much improvement, but I have seen many abused children aided by CPS.

 

When my son was 7 months old I was wearing him in a front pack while I was rolling pie crust. I turned around in my small kitchen and pressed his leg against our beautiful, but underinsulated, antique stove. He screamed and a huge blister immediately formed on his leg. Since my MIL had just been in the burn unit with a 93% chance of dying (she did just fine) I was even more sensitive to the burn and pretty much freaked out and rushed him to the hospital.

 

Wouldn't you know it, it was laundry day. I was wearing cutoffs and the old t-shirt a boyfriend had given me...you know the shirt, he cut the sleeves off it. Plus I got both of us wet putting the baby in the water to stop the burn. So I show up at the ER in ragged wet clothes with an infant with a suspicious burn on his leg. 

 

I'm an RN. If I was working in the ER that day I'd be very concerned about that baby.

 

I just accepted that everyone who asked what happened was just doing their job. I didn't get paranoid. I knew that the wrong person with the wrong attitude could get CPS involved and life could go down from there. But I wanted them to screen me and my baby. I wanted them to make sure he was okay. (I also wanted them to know it was an accident and that I'm a good mama.) 

 

When the burn unit's child life person came into the waiting room, I was the most nervous. It is her specific job to screen for abuse. (When I was a nursing student I spent time in that unit. We had a 3 year old whose family had set it in a pan of hot grease. People do really bad things to their kids.) I knew this woman was key to me taking my baby home. It's also her job to attend to the emotional well-being of children with burns. I was gracious with her and without saying anything told her she wasn't necessary. When they took my son to treat his burn they said to lay him down and they would mummy wrap him with just his leg exposed. I said, "No. I will nurse him while you treat the wound." Then when the nurse prepared to pop the blister, the childlife person started to play "this little piggy" with his toes. I sang his favorite song to him. The childlife person pulled her hand back and just watched. She saw that, even in my tattered clothes, I was caring for my child's needs. She said, "Don't worry. Children this well cared for always heal fast." BINGO. No CPS report. Because my actions told the worker everything she needed to know.

 

Our daughter is adopted. The adoption worker that certified us is an older, mainstream Hispanic woman. About as far as you can get from MDC. Since there was only one bed in our house and our son was 2.5, we had no choice but to discuss co-sleeping. And since he nursed in front of her, I told her that I would adoptive nurse our new baby. She had concerns and I told her about all the scientific evidence supporting every choice we make. She asked for info and boy did I give it to her. And it was all from respected "experts." I even gave her something off the Aetna insurance website. It says it was approved by the Harvard Medical School. It's about the benefits of tandem nursing. She went from doubtful to fully supportive and often joked about how much I research every decision I make.

 

My advice to anyone who has to deal with CPS. Be confident in yourself. Be grateful they exist. Be willing to share scientific information about your parenting choices. Pretty much every common choice on MDC (with the probable exception of UC) is supported by the scientific literature. Co-sleeping? cite James McKenna and William Sears. Extended Breastfeeding? cite WHO. Somewhere I even have a study showing homebirths are as safe as hospital births. Homeschooling? tons of research out there. Oh, regarding co-sleeping. I even talk about how in "Pediatrics" (the journal of the american academy of pediatrics) there were tons of editorials against the co-sleeping statement. (Turns out only 5 people came up with that decision and at least one of them had ties to the crib mattress making industry.) Jaws drop when they realize that I read the journal meant for pediatricians. 

 

And thank the CPS worker for caring about your children. That's what this is all about. They care about your kids. And really, I feel better knowing that in our imperfect world someone, usually an overworked, underpaid someone, is trying to help kids. Like the baby I cared for whose parents picked it up by the feet and hit it's head against the wall. Or the little girl whose mother fed her once a day and never held her the first year of her life. Or the 3 year old I mentioned before that was set in grease. Or the three year old that drug her two little siblings under the bed while her father shot up the motel room. Or the girl who told me about when she was 5 and her grandmother put her in a closet then hit her in the nose causing it to bleed. Shall I go on?

post #110 of 192

SundayCrepes,  Your post makes it sound like as long as you're a loving mama and can site research to support how you parent, there's no need to worry.  But that seems a little naive to me.  I definitely don't think that CPS is out to get people and I do agree that there needs to be some government body that is dedicated to helping children who's parents are abusive and/or neglectful, but I would be so horrified and scared if CPS were to come knocking on my door, even though I know that I'm a loving mama and I know that there's good reason to believe that it's in my child's best interest to be sleeping in my bed.  There is still someone standing there in your doorway who has the power to destroy your family.  I don't think it is "paranoid" to be worried that things will turn out badly.  

 

I also think it's naive to think that you can always convince the professionals that your way is the best or even a good way to parent.  I've been seeing a therapist  --  who, ya know, has a Ph.D. in psychology and *knows about these things*  --  for well over a year now and I have no doubt that he thinks I'm a good mom, but he feels quite strongly that 2 1/2 is way too old for my son to be nursing and that it's not good for my children to have them sleeping in our bed, and that I'm only doing those things for my own benefit, though he would concede that he believes that I think it's good for them.  I haven't come in with Harvard studies to back myself up, but even if I did...  he knows that stuff already.  He has a degree in that stuff.  He's not going to be open to me bringing in studies.  There are, I'm sure, many more studies that will back him up.  If you get the wrong caseworker, I don't think it matters how many studies you have or what glorious institutions of higher learning they come from.  And if your case worker doesn't want to see how loving you are it doesn't matter how sincerely loving you are to your child in front of him or her, they are not going to see it that way.  

 

And what if you just happen to be a shy or inarticulate or abrasive person?  Maybe you are an awesomely sweet mama, but not likable for some reason.  What if you're not attractive?  If especially tall men are more likely to get the job or if overweight women have a lesser chance of getting a position, I wonder how those things affect CPS interviews.  Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm starting to wonder if the wet t-shirt wasn't such a bad idea, iykwim.  It sounds to me like *you did everything right* in front of the people who were assessing you.  But are all sweet loving mamas really capable of doing that even when they're feeling scared and freaked out because their baby is hurt?

 

I wish that you were right that all you had to do was site the research and show them how much you love your child, but I just don't think that jives with reality.  

 

eta:  Of course, I think 99% of the time, whoever is assessing is going to do it fairly well.  But the stakes are so high that I cannot see how someone could be expected to not be fearful even with that very small chance of the system not working in your case.

post #111 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

"I wanna re-state *again* that the number of either unnecessary or totally wrong engagements of families compared with the gigantic number of families CPS is mandated to respond to is TINY.  Seriously, TINY."

 

I agree with that. But when you're the OP and dealing with the unmerited engagement, the chances of it happening to you are 100%.

 

I think MDC posters dealing with CPS are more likely than the general population to be embroiled in a baseless/vindictive report. We are people who make remarkable (as in, outsiders remark upon them) parenting choices. Our incomes are often low. Our family size is often high. We often refuse to follow the guidance of recognized experts. None of this, of course, makes us more likely to abuse or neglect our children, but I do think that socially deviant parents are more likely to be reported, and more likely to be investigated when reported. (Deviant in this context is a compliment smile.gif.)



Thank you so much for pointing out the obvious here Smithie.  And mama's going through this kind of harassment/hell need support.  Lots of it.  Not to be told that they must be lying or hiding something from MDC.  And especially not that "well, CPS is usually a great program".  Because honestly, anyone could be lying about anything when on MDC.  Yet we still offer a supportive place and lots of advice.  When it comes to CPS threads though, that's not always the case because many members are either hinting at, or out loud accusing the OP of keeping something hidden.  That kind of suspicion doesn't exist in most other threads and it shouldn't exist here.  I never started any threads and I've kept most of the details surrounding my cps case to myself because I didn't want to go through that hurt on MDC on top of everything else terrible that was going on in my life during that time.  Which is a shame because MDC can offer some great advice and perspective during hard times.

 

I guess all I am here to add is that very wrong cps cases do happen.  Maybe even more often than any of us realize.  I think they are more likely to happen to MDC type members.  And I really wish that MDC would be more supportive to the members that it happens to.  Or at least keep the CPS love to themselves during that horrible time in a OP's life.  Since stating personal opinion on how often CPS "normally" really helps people, does nothing to help a scared or grieving mother at the time.  And now I'll step out of this thread because I am taking it too personal.

 

Feel free to pm me if you ever need anything OP. hug2.gif

post #112 of 192

And for what it's worth, I am college educated and can be very well spoken in real life.  That meant absolutely nothing to CPS here because no matter how educated you are, if they don't like your choices, they will just come up with somebody even more educated/experienced to discredit you in front of a judge or in the report.  I also had a head full of purple hair and five facial piercings at the time which really turned off the cps worker that started all of this (her hatred of how I looked was even mentioned in the reports). 

 

And I'm sure being sweet and smart can charm some workers.  Really, I don't doubt that at all.  But to insist that it will always get you out of trouble when it comes to cps is just nowhere near true.  To say something like that and have people believe it...will be very hurtful when those people may be in a place someday where cps comes to investigate them.  And that particular worker isn't so nice or she doesn't want to listen to anything you have to say.  Because I can speak from experience, to how rude and horrible of an awaking that is.  Especially after being told for years on MDC how "nice" and "helpful" cps really is.  So I definitely think it's better to prepare parents for the worst and tell them to hope for the best when it comes to working with CPS workers than it is to only fill their head with the good and the positive.  There is definitely a bad side that people should at least be aware of if nothing else.

post #113 of 192
Thread Starter 

I mostly came to MDC for advice because it's pretty anonymous. I'm incredibly ashamed to tell anyone I know irl about this. Because most people assume you must have done something really wrong. Much in the way people believe that if you were arrested you did something wrong, and even go so far as to assume you are a "bad guy". Gosh I have a lot of conversations with my kids about "bad guys". Doesn't matter if you're eventually exonerated, you've lost most of your life and all respect in the process.

post #114 of 192

"SundayCrepes,  Your post makes it sound like as long as you're a loving mama and can site research to support how you parent, there's no need to worry.  But that seems a little naive to me.  I definitely don't think that CPS is out to get people and I do agree that there needs to be some government body that is dedicated to helping children who's parents are abusive and/or neglectful, but I would be so horrified and scared if CPS were to come knocking on my door, even though I know that I'm a loving mama and I know that there's good reason to believe that it's in my child's best interest to be sleeping in my bed.  There is still someone standing there in your doorway who has the power to destroy your family.  I don't think it is "paranoid" to be worried that things will turn out badly."

 

That's my perspective as well. Of course I want CPS to exist. Of course I think they save children who need saving. I believe in the system enough to get myself involved as a foster parent! 

 

But the relationship between a parent and a CPS worker is hugely imbalanced in terms of power, and in terms of what the two parties have invested in the outcome. That's why it's always, always best for parents being investigated by CPS to seek legal counsel, maintain their social boundaries to the greatest extent possible, and remember that the CPS worker is not their ally or their friend. 

post #115 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

SundayCrepes,  Your post makes it sound like as long as you're a loving mama and can site research to support how you parent, there's no need to worry.  But that seems a little naive to me.  I definitely don't think that CPS is out to get people and I do agree that there needs to be some government body that is dedicated to helping children who's parents are abusive and/or neglectful, but I would be so horrified and scared if CPS were to come knocking on my door, even though I know that I'm a loving mama and I know that there's good reason to believe that it's in my child's best interest to be sleeping in my bed.  There is still someone standing there in your doorway who has the power to destroy your family.  I don't think it is "paranoid" to be worried that things will turn out badly.  


I don't think it's paranoid to be afraid of CPS. I guess what I was trying to say is they are on your door, your family is threatened, now what do you do? It seems to me the best you can do is be confident, without being arrogant. If you start looking over your shoulder and apologizing and acting guilty or aggressive like they are evil-doers it seems you're more likely to rub them the wrong way. If you take the attitude that they have the best interest of children in their heart, it will likely be better for you. 

 

I know my experience in the ER/burn unit was not the same as CPS showing up on my door. In my case I took a child with a minor injury for treatment and was subjected to appraisal. That is MUCH different from someone having a reason to think I'm doing something wrong showing up on my doorstep. However, what else do you have to do? Yes, call a lawyer, but beyond that the best you can do is not alienate these folks. And assuming they want what is best for your child is possibly your best defense.

 

And I do think most of them want what is best for the child. How that is defined is another question. I'm also sure that the burnout in the job is beyond horrible. I've seen way too many abused kids and that's not even my specialty. I've thought about being a CPS worker just to have an open-minded person doing the job, but I just can't do the work. Which is awful because I am putting my needs before the needs of these poor kids. My parents knew (and I met) a CPS worker who killed herself because of the stress in her job.

 

I think it helps if when they come knocking on someone's door, they are treated as child-advocates and not family destroyers. That difference could make a huge difference in the glasses they are wearing.

 

post #116 of 192

It seems to me that parents are guilty until proven innocent. Cps has the power to remove your children, and parents none whatsoever. Wow, this isnt how things work in a democratic society. Anyone can make an accusation,  arbitrary in nature, and the cps is at your door.  If a mandated reporter makes a report, and their reports can be no less arbitrary,  the cps seems obligated to come whatever the accusation, and however baseless it is. Some of these so called mandated reporters thrive on their power, and especially because it can be so easily used against the least powerful in society. Ive seen this, and ive seen plenty of  those type of 'mandated' reporters. 

 

Everyone wants to protect abused children, but there has to be a better way than this. There needs to be a better balance of power. And frankly, when the cps comes to your door, and sees nothing to worry about other than a pregnant mom of 4 or 5 kids, who is a little disorganized, thats not a reason to keep coming back and harassing her. I am not seeing anything whatsoever in   the OP's account that merits a return visit from the cps.

 

That is why i am asking, why  do they keep coming back, and why the mandatory 60 days?

 

Btw, i grew up in a big family, and things were disorganized but i had a happy childhood. Wow, someone should have called the cps to harrass my mom for not being the perfect housewife.

post #117 of 192

I'm a mandatory reporter (twice over, actually.) I've made probably a dozen CPS calls that were actually taken as reports and a few more dozen where I called to find out if something was reportable. I take that responsibility very seriously. I've also probably listened to a hundred cases in family court sessions. Most reports are not acted upon. Often, the situation isn't deemed serious enough that action doesn't need to be taken but the information is recorded in case it's needed in the future. And in cases in which the situation is deemed founded and there's enough of a concern that action is taken, a parenting plan (therapy, cleaning, family support, respite, whatever) is usually developed first. I've seen parenting plans (for children who are in care and for those who are at home with their families.) They are pretty standard forms but usually worded in such a way that people take them seriously. Some families really need the concreteness, and formality, of that to get the seriousness. The OP's plan is voluntary. Whether she accepts that, or not, is between her and a lawyer who is experienced with family court/social services.

 

I'm eternally grateful to the mandatory reporters who contacted social services my children's (and their sibling's) behalf.

post #118 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

Thank you so much for pointing out the obvious here Smithie.  And mama's going through this kind of harassment/hell need support.  Lots of it.  Not to be told that they must be lying or hiding something from MDC.  And especially not that "well, CPS is usually a great program".  Because honestly, anyone could be lying about anything when on MDC.  Yet we still offer a supportive place and lots of advice.  . hug2.gif



This.

 

This thread was started for support and advice by a mama who has CPS involved in her life.  I do think explaining how CPS works is beneficial - but going off on tangents about how wonderful or evil CPS is, is probably not helpful.

 

I also think it is fair to say that no matter how wonderful a worker may be, CPS is a trial for the family and a judgemental invasion.  


Edited by purslaine - 10/17/11 at 12:47pm
post #119 of 192



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyCatLady View Post

And for what it's worth, I am college educated and can be very well spoken in real life.  That meant absolutely nothing to CPS here because no matter how educated you are, if they don't like your choices, they will just come up with somebody even more educated/experienced to discredit you in front of a judge or in the report.  I also had a head full of purple hair and five facial piercings at the time which really turned off the cps worker that started all of this (her hatred of how I looked was even mentioned in the reports). 

 

And I'm sure being sweet and smart can charm some workers.  Really, I don't doubt that at all.  But to insist that it will always get you out of trouble when it comes to cps is just nowhere near true.  To say something like that and have people believe it...will be very hurtful when those people may be in a place someday where cps comes to investigate them.  And that particular worker isn't so nice or she doesn't want to listen to anything you have to say.  Because I can speak from experience, to how rude and horrible of an awaking that is.  Especially after being told for years on MDC how "nice" and "helpful" cps really is.  So I definitely think it's better to prepare parents for the worst and tell them to hope for the best when it comes to working with CPS workers than it is to only fill their head with the good and the positive.  There is definitely a bad side that people should at least be aware of if nothing else.


Hmm, I must've missed a post, because I've not seen anyone say that education is or should be a determining factor (looks like someone told OP that and to get her resume, but I missed the post if it was said here... but aside from that...).  I also haven't seen anyone say you can be sweet and charm workers and that that is always a winning strategy.

 

And it's good that neither of those are true for the most part, because they shouldn't be true.  Education should have NOTHING to do with whether a child is perceived to be at risk or not.  Sure, we live in the real world and I know as well as anyone that often educated/well-spoken people are not looked at as carefully etc.  But level of education or well-spokenness has zero to do with whether a child is actually at risk/in danger or not.  And good CPS workers know that and are not judging on education or charm etc. 

 

Goes without saying that for the worker to comment on your physical appearance is inappropriate and sucks, and I am not doubting *your* particular experience was awful.  I just don't see anyone saying what you're saying they do about CPS "always" being one way or another.

 

I must've also missed the posts that CPS is "nice".  I'm the first to say (and have in this thread already) that no matter how good the worker or how in crisis the family, CPS involvement is by definition a sticky, hard, crappy situation to be in.  But whether it can ultimately be helpful is up to both the worker and the family, working together. 

 

OP have you been able to talk to your lawyer yet?
 

 

post #120 of 192

Just wondering if there are any more updates to this...

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Update pg 10. Yay!-The ever-present CPS fears have materialized for us