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when would you call CPS? - Page 9

post #161 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I've been quite frustrated by CPS, actually. As a teacher there have been times when I've reported sexual abuse that I had no question occured and nothing happened. Last year I called, the counselor called, the principal called, nothing happened. Oh, I mean, sure they probably talked to the mother, but the situation did not change and they were not following up.
What about calling the police instead? If you're absolutely sure the sexual abuse occurred -- this is something the police would actually prosecute. It's a crime, and the perpetrators need jail-time, not counseling.

See, situations like these make me think CPS is really ineffectual when it comes to dealing with criminal behavior (and that's what child abuse is: criminal behavior, not some distraught mom screaming -- or even cussing -- at her kids outside a store). I agree there's undesirable behavior that doesn't warrant jail-time, but it's not a matter for government intrusion. Those are situations where caring individuals need to befriend those families.

On the one hand, CPS seems ineffectual in dealing with criminal child abuse.On the other hand, CPS workers have power to harass families for things police wouldn't even care about, like a messy house. I think if police were the ones called for suspected child abuse, we'd see more criminal child abusers going to jail, and more children who've been victimized by these people getting the protection they need.

At the same time, we'd see lots of other people being left alone and allowed to continue their lives without harassment. Some friends of mine finally, after some months of harassment, received a letter saying CPS has closed a ridiculous case on them. My friend had been called in for letting her children, ranging in age from 7 to 3, play in the yard while she was in the house, keeping an eye on them through the window.

When the worker arrived, my friend called in her 3yo who was her only child still in the yard, and stood in the doorway to talk to the worker. He was angry that she wouldn't let him into the house; he said he needed to see the children's bedrooms and make sure she had food in the fridge (he didn't explain what that had to do with her letting them play in their own yard). She continued to (cordially) refuse him entry (similar to the experience of a pp, the caseworker seemed angry that my friend knew her rights), though she did call all her children to the door so he could look at them and see they were okay.

My friends got a lawyer who handled all communications with CPS for them. At that point, CPS wasn't able to have any direct dealings with my friends, it all had to be done through the lawyer. They did attend one or two interviews with CPS (without their children), accompanied by their lawyer, where they answered various questions. CPS kept pushing for access to the children, and my friends kept refusing. The workers were rather patronizing, saying they "could" get a warrant and force the issue, but they were trying to be "nice."

At one interview, CPS said they had a right to simply go to the children's schools, pull them out of class, and talk to them. Then they asked the names of the children's schools, and found out my friends home-schooled. They were none too happy about that, and kept saying it would be so much "easier" for my friends if they just cooperated and let them have the children for an interview -- that they could go before a judge and have something "court-ordered," etcetera.

My friends stood their ground, and it's finally over. None of the threats ever materialized. But you can bet it was still very stressful to my friends, wondering what might happen.

While I realize the pp's are right who say that calling CPS doesn't necessarily mean the kids will be taken and put in foster-care -- I agree more strongly with the pp's who say a call can result in untold trauma to the family, as it has for my friends. No, they haven't been destroyed by the call -- but they've been badly hurt.

That's why if I saw something that concerned me, I'd ask myself, "Is this criminal abuse (i.e. beating, sexual abuse, severe neglect)?" If it was, I'd call the police, not CPS. If it wasn't sufficient to warrant police intervention -- I wouldn't call anyone. I'd just see how I could be a friend to the family -- or butt out.
post #162 of 251
Oh, in contrast to the CPS case I just shared about -- another friend recently didn't realize her 3yo was outside until she looked out and saw him in the middle of the street. She rushed out and brought him in, and some lady sitting in a car thought my friend might have abducted the little boy, that he might not really be her son.

Thankfully, the lady called the police and not CPS. The officer wasn't at all intrusive, and certainly didn't invite himself in. He just wanted to make sure that little boy really belonged in that house. My friend's 3yo was upstairs taking a bath, so the officer was content to look at a family photo, and could see the 3yo in the picture matched the description given by the lady.

My friend never heard from anyone again.

Now, I'm sure if there were repeated calls to the police, reporting that same 3yo standing alone in the middle of the street, the police would probably feel concerned about possible neglect. They might start watching the house; if they suspected drug use they'd get a warrant and search the house.

But, over one isolated incident, police give parents the benefit of the doubt. They don't ask to see the refrigerator, or get offended if they're not invited in. They check to make sure all's well, maybe say something cautionary to the parent, and move on because they have work to do.

In my experience, police officers are so bogged down with work they prefer not to fill out any paperwork if it's not absolutely necessary. They have better uses for their time. So, if in question, call the police -- not CPS
post #163 of 251
If child protection was made explicitely and entirely the domain of the police their approach would likely change. Now, they can walk away because they figure CPS will catch it if it's a chronic problem - the risk is not as great as it would be if they were the final arbiters.

If the police were entirely responsible for child protection, there would still need to be some support and foster system in place for those cases where children were removed.

How good a job have the police done wrt domestic violence?

The examples you cite are awful. I don't know where you live, but that's a messed up system or you've encountered some particularly bad workers.

All the stories I've read on MDC point to the crux of the problem - human beings making judgement calls. There are going to be mistakes made, whether it's to not protect when it's necessary, or to over-protect. Both have awful consequences.

My head is swimming at the number of jurisdictions where the workers apparently have the time to care about parenting decisions like homeschooling and cosleeping. And I'd say speaking angrily to a child or CIO fall into that whole parenting stream. Sure, we all have varying opinions about what's optimal for children (ie children need to be attached versus they need to be independent), but child protection shouldn't extend it's reach to this, and should stay within the domains of explicitely harmful.
post #164 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by joensally View Post
My head is swimming at the number of jurisdictions where the workers apparently have the time to care about parenting decisions like homeschooling and cosleeping. And I'd say speaking angrily to a child or CIO fall into that whole parenting stream. Sure, we all have varying opinions about what's optimal for children (ie children need to be attached versus they need to be independent), but child protection shouldn't extend it's reach to this, and should stay within the domains of explicitely harmful.
That's why I recommend calling the police when I see actual criminal behavior directed at children (or anyone) -- and minding my own business (or just trying to be a friend) when there are lesser issues.

I prefer our justice system's approach of considering the accused "innocent until proven guilty." In my indirect experience, if CPS workers respond to a call, they want to invade the accused person's home and conduct a "thorough search" whether they have sufficient evidence for a warrant or not. They don't take kindly to ANYone who refuses them entry.

Police are compelled to inform the accused of their rights, but CPS workers seem to have no such mandate. I've heard of cases where a child answered the door, and the workers just pushed past the child and let themselves in. Once they were in, they had free reign and the parents couldn't make them leave 'til they were "done."

Maybe you're right that police would be more concerned if they were the last line of defense. I'm still inclined to think they'd give people like my friend who -- gasp! -- let her kids play in their own yard the benefit of the doubt, rather than nosily pushing to see the kids' bedrooms and check the refrigerator. I actually think if police got a call that children were playing in their own yard, they wouldn't even follow that up. My friend's children never even LEFT their yard -- how could this by any stretch be considered neglect?

I can't see police ever changing their approach to the extent of becoming as invasive and petty as CPS. And I already mentioned there'd still be some need for foster-care, for children of parents convicted of criminal abuse, who don't have other family members able to care for them -- just as children of parents convicted of other crimes sometimes need foster-care.

I just think the "innocent 'til proven guilty" stance would protect children of parents who haven't been convicted of criminal child abuse, and actually haven't done anything they could be convicted of in a court of law, from being wrongfully removed from their homes. Such as the breastfeeding 6yo who spent, what was it?, 6 months in foster-care?

I can't see any mom being convicted in a criminal court for extended breastfeeding -- so I don't think cases like the one above could happen if accused parents weren't treated as guilty 'til they were proved guilty. CPS expects the accused to jump through hoops to prove their innocence -- but the criminal justice system puts all the burden on the accusers. That just seems more fair, and more respectful of human rights (and human privacy), to me.
post #165 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
CPS expects the accused to jump through hoops to prove their innocence -- but the criminal justice system puts all the burden on the accusers. That just seems more fair, and more respectful of human rights (and human privacy), to me.
Absolutely. This is one of the changes that I would love to see happen within the system.
post #166 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
Where the children were removed for AP reasons only (not ugly divorces and MILs) by CPS and put into foster care? That which everyone is so worried about on here? Do you have some links?
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here as I'm candadian, but in states where midwifery is illegal, is it not automaticlaly reportable if someone finds out (ie: you transfer?) that you were trying to have a homebirth or deliver a baby at home?
post #167 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by anarchamama View Post
Someone can correct me if I'm wrong here as I'm candadian, but in states where midwifery is illegal, is it not automaticlaly reportable if someone finds out (ie: you transfer?) that you were trying to have a homebirth or deliver a baby at home?
It's not automatic by any means. It would be left up to the worker on the case I would think.

I know of people here who have been reported for UC.

-Angela
post #168 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
So, are there no circumstances that you feel warrant "butting in?" What if you overheard a man beating his wife? Or his dog? Or his child? Is the child less deserving of protection because I don't normally know how he parents?

"Well, he seems like a good husband normally, I'm sure she deserves that beating. I'm not one to judge. I'll just put my earplugs in like a good neighbor."

And when that kid ends up dead, then I guess I'll sleep soundly, because at least I never made any accusations that could cause him to be torn from his father's loving arms.

ETA:
1,500 children die every year from child abuse and neglect. That is just over 4 fatalities every day.
http://www.childhelp.org/resources/l...ter/statistics

The most dangerous time? The first year of life.

The website is great - they also have a toll-free anonymous hotline parents can call when they feel they're about to hurt their child or are stressed. How about having that number on hand next time you see a parent being violent to their child?
Unfortunatly here in canada at least kids also have a nasty habit of dying while in care of the state. Now I don't think there are never tmes when state intervention is neccassary, I have a few friends who were in and out of foster care and say it was better than the alternative (though not good by any standard). Unfortunatly I also have friends who are young/poor/not white, who are afraid to parent more gently becuase they have experience with fear repercussion from the state. So it's adouble edged sword, that is to say I think there should be lots of resources for parents and a focus on familes and children should be aprehended as a last resort. I do not believe the OP examples warrent investigation both becuae I don't believe they are illegal and because they are not bad enough for state intervention IMHO.

I am uncomfortable giving the state powers without very good reason, there are lots of things people here at MDC do which at one time were or still are illegal which I do not think are grounds for intervention. So while I don't ever swear at my kids I really don't think it even warrents investigation.
The provincial government launched two reviews into the child-welfare system this week, after police laid murder charges in the disappearance of five-year-old Phoenix Sinclair, who had spent most of her life in and out of the care of Child and Family Services.


In Manitoba:
The case raised concern about the state of the child-welfare system generally. Three children have died while in the care of Child and Family Services agencies in the past year. Another six children who died last year had received assistance from CFS in the past.

In Alberta:
CBC News EDMONTON – The province will now release the reviews done when a child who has had contact with Children’s Services dies. “We do want to make sure that our processes are transparent,” Children’s Services spokeswoman Jody Korchinski said. “But, as well, we do have a responsibility to the children that are in our care and protecting their privacy and their rights.” Until this change – brought about in part by the death of 13-year-old Nina Courtepatte, who was found dead on a golf course in April – the ministry wouldn’t release that a child in care had died, how the case was handled or any recommendations made. Even relatives weren’t allowed to see the results of any investigation. “I really understand that we need privacy laws,” Liberal children’s services critic Weslyn Mather said. “They’re necessary to protect the privacy and rights of children. But not to cover up information to protect children’s services.” When Nina Courtepatte died – five people, unrelated to her, have been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping – Children’s Services wouldn’t say whether they had ever had contact with her. Her parents had last seen her April 1, last spoke to her late on April 3 and her body was found April 4. Nina was not reported missing until two days after she was found on the fourth fairway of the Edmonton Springs Golf Resort, two days after police had released descriptions in hopes of identifying her.
post #169 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I pretty much agree with this. In most cases kids should be kept with family members either pparents, or other relatives, but I don't see what that has to do with calling CPS. CPS agrees with you, too.

I've called seven times and 6 times the child remained in the home and wasn't taken away from the parents for longer than the interview. In the seventh case, it was very extreme and many, many people had called. I call when I have a hunch because if there is just one call on a family, they just "check in" with them, which has even happened with my family, so I don't take it lightly. But, if several people have had a hunch, there might be something going on.

In several cases when I have called, they have not even taken a report. I encourage people to call if they suspect abuse and let CPS decide if it is a valid "reportable" concern. For example, one time I called because I knew a 9 year old who was left home to babysit his 12 month old brother for 8 hours daily in the summer. This particular 9 year old was very immature and not equipped for this, but they said it wasn't reportable unless there was more known danger and they sent me a pamphlet on babysitting guidlines. When you call, the don't immediatly make a report. First, they ask you to tell them the situation, then if it is reportable they start asking for the names and addresses of the people involved.

In many cases, I feel like they haven't done enough. I get a letter back a few weeks later saying that they found nothing which is crazy to me. Another example, a 12 year old girl whose mother had moved away with her boyfriend and left the daughter in the care of the daughters boyfriend who was 21. CPS told me that this boyfriend was actually the child's gaurdian. Ok, she's sleeping with her guardian! What kind of power dynamic is that? They said she seemed mature for her age.

So, in general, I believe that it is usually best for the child to remain with family. I call CPS when I suspect abuse.

I do find it odd that on TAO right now there is a thread that if you hear a man and a woman fighting and you suspect violence you have a moral obligation to call the police, but with children and parents we should butt out because we don't know the situation. I figure that whatever a parent is willing to do in the parking lot is 100% nicer/kinder/gentler than what is going on in the privacy of the home.
But you are a teacher of said kids, no? I would be far more inclined to take seriosuly concerns of other adults who are in regular contact/trust relationships with children (or parents) than someone who witness one bad parenting moment. Totally different situation IMO. And I think it's wierd that everyone is saying that people who say they are hesitant to call are seeing startved/beaten children rolling around an hemming and hawing, the OP gave very specific situations to which many people have said they wouldn't call. She didn't say I'm a teacher and a kid in my class told me her dad beats her. It was I saw someone swearing at their kids. They are just saying getting intervention is serious for everyone and not something to be done whenever someone is mean to their kids.
post #170 of 251
Urgh.

I just read through most of this thread while rocking my 6 week old foster son to sleep.

To the OP: as some have said, feel free to call, it isn't *your* job to decide if it is abuse, if it is totally non-reportable, *nothing* will be done, the family in question will never hear about it. But, as many have pointed out, we *don't* know the full situation. When my foster kids go back to their mom, I hope to h*ll if she is swearing at them like that in a parking lot, someone calls her in -- she has serious anger managment problems, and that would be an indicator to the social worker that she is backsliding, and the kids are probably in real danger again.

And, as a foster parent, I've got to say, I'm SOOO freaking tired of hearing how kids are better off in abusive homes than they are in foster care. There are many many good and loving foster home in this country, and yes, a few really crappy ones. If you want to make a difference in the system, why don't *you* become a foster parent? Seriously. I've heard *all* the excuses everyone has for why they could never be a foster parent (usually said to me right after telling me how wonderful it is that I am one), and I'm sick of it.

Sorry. Rant over now:
post #171 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by gus'smama View Post
Urgh.

I just read through most of this thread while rocking my 6 week old foster son to sleep.

To the OP: as some have said, feel free to call, it isn't *your* job to decide if it is abuse, if it is totally non-reportable, *nothing* will be done, the family in question will never hear about it. But, as many have pointed out, we *don't* know the full situation. When my foster kids go back to their mom, I hope to h*ll if she is swearing at them like that in a parking lot, someone calls her in -- she has serious anger managment problems, and that would be an indicator to the social worker that she is backsliding, and the kids are probably in real danger again.

And, as a foster parent, I've got to say, I'm SOOO freaking tired of hearing how kids are better off in abusive homes than they are in foster care. There are many many good and loving foster home in this country, and yes, a few really crappy ones. If you want to make a difference in the system, why don't *you* become a foster parent? Seriously. I've heard *all* the excuses everyone has for why they could never be a foster parent (usually said to me right after telling me how wonderful it is that I am one), and I'm sick of it.

Sorry. Rant over now:

Well, it was quite a good rant. Although I am sorry we have to have such conversation at all.

The statistics are clear: Children are killed at a far greater clip at the hands of bio parents than are killed in foster care.

More childre are sexually abused by parents and boyfriends of their mothers than in foster homes.

if those stats are incorrect, I would like to read more.

Children are at risk-- they are vulnerable and little. Even a foster parent can harm, no doubt about that.

But kids are most often killed by their parents. Period.
post #172 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotusdebi View Post
I wouldn't call CPS in either case.
me neither. You don't really know if the kids are maybe watching a movie inside while the parents relax outside, or playing. and maybe she was having a bad day and said those words. I think it's definitely over reacting and it would most likely create many problems and trauma for the children to involve CPS.
post #173 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by gus'smama View Post
And, as a foster parent, I've got to say, I'm SOOO freaking tired of hearing how kids are better off in abusive homes than they are in foster care.
I certainly don't think children are better off being abused. I just think if it's not abuse the parents would be convicted of, by a jury of their peers, in a court of law -- it doesn't warrant taking the child from the parents and placing the child in foster care.

If accused parents were treated as "innocent 'til proven guilty(according to criminal justice standards)," maybe there wouldn't be such a shortage of foster homes. No one would be shunted off to foster care based on the decision of one judge. If a jury of peers agree that the parents are criminally abusive, and the children need foster-care placement, this seems much more likely to be a fair decision.
post #174 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
What about calling the police instead? If you're absolutely sure the sexual abuse occurred -- this is something the police would actually prosecute. It's a crime, and the perpetrators need jail-time, not counseling.

See, situations like these make me think CPS is really ineffectual when it comes to dealing with criminal behavior (and that's what child abuse is: criminal behavior, not some distraught mom screaming -- or even cussing -- at her kids outside a store). I agree there's undesirable behavior that doesn't warrant jail-time, but it's not a matter for government intrusion. Those are situations where caring individuals need to befriend those families.

On the one hand, CPS seems ineffectual in dealing with criminal child abuse.On the other hand, CPS workers have power to harass families for things police wouldn't even care about, like a messy house. I think if police were the ones called for suspected child abuse, we'd see more criminal child abusers going to jail, and more children who've been victimized by these people getting the protection they need.

At the same time, we'd see lots of other people being left alone and allowed to continue their lives without harassment. Some friends of mine finally, after some months of harassment, received a letter saying CPS has closed a ridiculous case on them. My friend had been called in for letting her children, ranging in age from 7 to 3, play in the yard while she was in the house, keeping an eye on them through the window.

When the worker arrived, my friend called in her 3yo who was her only child still in the yard, and stood in the doorway to talk to the worker. He was angry that she wouldn't let him into the house; he said he needed to see the children's bedrooms and make sure she had food in the fridge (he didn't explain what that had to do with her letting them play in their own yard). She continued to (cordially) refuse him entry (similar to the experience of a pp, the caseworker seemed angry that my friend knew her rights), though she did call all her children to the door so he could look at them and see they were okay.

My friends got a lawyer who handled all communications with CPS for them. At that point, CPS wasn't able to have any direct dealings with my friends, it all had to be done through the lawyer. They did attend one or two interviews with CPS (without their children), accompanied by their lawyer, where they answered various questions. CPS kept pushing for access to the children, and my friends kept refusing. The workers were rather patronizing, saying they "could" get a warrant and force the issue, but they were trying to be "nice."

At one interview, CPS said they had a right to simply go to the children's schools, pull them out of class, and talk to them. Then they asked the names of the children's schools, and found out my friends home-schooled. They were none too happy about that, and kept saying it would be so much "easier" for my friends if they just cooperated and let them have the children for an interview -- that they could go before a judge and have something "court-ordered," etcetera.

My friends stood their ground, and it's finally over. None of the threats ever materialized. But you can bet it was still very stressful to my friends, wondering what might happen.

While I realize the pp's are right who say that calling CPS doesn't necessarily mean the kids will be taken and put in foster-care -- I agree more strongly with the pp's who say a call can result in untold trauma to the family, as it has for my friends. No, they haven't been destroyed by the call -- but they've been badly hurt.

That's why if I saw something that concerned me, I'd ask myself, "Is this criminal abuse (i.e. beating, sexual abuse, severe neglect)?" If it was, I'd call the police, not CPS. If it wasn't sufficient to warrant police intervention -- I wouldn't call anyone. I'd just see how I could be a friend to the family -- or butt out.
I agree with every single word.
post #175 of 251
Speaking from the point of someone who has had CPS called on them, I think that what other people have said about being absolutely sure there is REAL abuse and not just your opinion of what should or shouldn't be done is really important. I have had CPS called on my 4 times for idiotic things. Every time the charges have been unfounded. I have 2 special needs children and outsiders have no idea what life is like so when they see something they don't like they jump to the conclusion that I am a bad parent. They don't see the 10 dr. appts. a week that I take them to or the $480 a month we pay for treatments that aren't covered by insurance that may or may not work. By looking at my children you can't tell that they are disabled so people just assume that I am a bad parent because of their actions. I even had a therapist call them because one of them hit me so I was investigated for neglectful supervision. HELLO!!! I was right there when he hit me so obviusly I was doing my job!

It is not a day in the park to have CPS involved inyour life and the stress of having to deal with them can make the family environment much worse. My son started talking about killing himself after the CPS was called last time. YOu should definitely be careful what you call them for.

Just a word about CPS too. I have reported serious cases of abuse in which they didn't even respond. My children's school told me that they have had the same situation happen to them. If they spend all their time responding to cases of cussing or allowing a child to CIO, then they don't have time to deal with serious abuse like physical and sexual abuse. Be very careful what you decide to do.

Also, a previous poster mentioned that they can pick at little things like a messy house. I am in my first trimester and I am sick alot so when they came the house wasn't susy homemaker like but it was by no means a danger to my children. There were just some blankets and toys on the floor and dishes in the sink. They said my house was messy and needed to be rechecked. They can and sometimes do whatever they want even if it is unwarranted. Like I said, be very careful.
post #176 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirk_heidi View Post
It is not a day in the park to have CPS involved inyour life and the stress of having to deal with them can make the family environment much worse. My son started talking about killing himself after the CPS was called last time. YOu should definitely be careful what you call them for.
Yes! I'm so sorry about what you and your dear ones have been through. When people say things like, "Don't decide for yourself if something's reportable: just call it in, whatever it is, and let CPS decide" -- I seriously wonder what reality they're living in, that they don't even consider how a call like this can impact a family.

And what you share, which I quote below, about the "messy house" issue, is just one more case for calling the police, not CPS, if there's actual criminal abuse (the ONLY abuse that warrants ANY kind of a call in my opinion). Police will kick butt when it comes to protecting children who are being beaten, sexually assaulted, or severely neglected and malnourished -- and they'll seriously not care about clutter.

I've had police at our messy house a few times (we've had an attempted break-in and a couple of other incidents over the past few years) and they truly seemed oblivious to the mess, even though we have small children who are "living in it," so to speak. Police have other, more important, fish to fry.

Quote:
Also, a previous poster mentioned that they can pick at little things like a messy house. I am in my first trimester and I am sick alot so when they came the house wasn't susy homemaker like but it was by no means a danger to my children. There were just some blankets and toys on the floor and dishes in the sink. They said my house was messy and needed to be rechecked. They can and sometimes do whatever they want even if it is unwarranted. Like I said, be very careful.
That's just ridiculous! I honestly wonder if there's really as much severe child abuse as people keep saying: if there was, WHY would CPS even care about going back to "recheck" and make sure the dishes get washed and the toys and blankets picked up??? Is this worth YOUR tax money? It sure isn't worth OURS!
post #177 of 251
I certainly don't think children are better off being abused. I just think if it's not abuse the parents would be convicted of, by a jury of their peers, in a court of law -- it doesn't warrant taking the child from the parents and placing the child in foster care.


But where are the kids to stay during the typical 18-months/ 2years until a case goes to trial?
post #178 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspaghettimama View Post
So, it's better for a three year old girl to keep living with her sexually abusive father, in the name of family preservation? A mother who's selling her daughter on the Internet? Is that realling throwing them into the lion's den, to remove them from that home?

I don't know about where you live, but where I live, there's such an emphasis on family preservation that children are routinely returned home...and then killed a short time later.
Neither is the solution. The abusive father can be kept away from the child without foster care in most cases. They need to place children with other family members without making the kids go into foster care for 30-60 days first. Foster care should be reserved for kids that don't have other family members and are in immediate danger.

Edited to add: hopefully this would free the system up a bit to keep better tabs on the kids in foster care. The agency we were going to go through does weekly visits..and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
post #179 of 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaNosBest View Post
I certainly don't think children are better off being abused. I just think if it's not abuse the parents would be convicted of, by a jury of their peers, in a court of law -- it doesn't warrant taking the child from the parents and placing the child in foster care.


But where are the kids to stay during the typical 18-months/ 2years until a case goes to trial?
When a parent's being tried for criminal abuse, the court definitely should take precautions to make sure the abuser has no access to the child -- or ANY children, for that matter.

In the criminal courts right now -- people being tried for really heinous crimes are usually held in jail without bond, until trial. For less heinous (but still criminal) crimes, the defendant may be released until trial, that's true. In these cases I think there needs to be a restraining order so the defendant has no access to the child. And, of course, many criminals disregard restraining orders, so child and caregivers may need to be relocated to a safe place, where the abuser can't find them.

I think the court's first choice should be to have the child stay with the non-abusive parent, if the other parent really isn't abusive and can be trusted not to allow the abuser any access. Second choice should be a safe family member or family friend, who has a bond with the child. Third choice should be foster care.

See, the system I'm advocating wouldn't "do away" with foster-care altogether: it would limit foster-care placements to situations where parents have committed abuse they could actually go to jail for (and where children have no safe relative or family friend to care for them). I don't know the current percentages as to how many children now in foster-care, are there because parents have committed crimes against them -- and how many are there while CPS "interviews" and "investigates" and "deliberates" over whether there really is a case or not.

I do know that at least SOME foster-care placements are of the latter kind. I've even heard of overweight children being taken from their parents so CPS can see if the child loses weight in foster care. And, of course, the 6yo already mentioned who was taken because of breastfeeding and co-sleeping. Obviously a parent can't go to jail for having an overweight child, or for breastfeeding or co-sleeping. So, in my system, those cases wouldn't even BE cases, and those homes would never be disrupted.
post #180 of 251
Neither is the solution. The abusive father can be kept away from the child without foster care in most cases. They need to place children with other family members without making the kids go into foster care for 30-60 days first. Foster care should be reserved for kids that don't have other family members and are in immediate danger.

Fwiw, in court we very, very seldom see children that have gone into foster care when there was an alternate, safe family caregiver available. Very frequently both parents are abusive, or one parent is abusive (mothers as often as fathers) and the spouse is in denial and protects them, so the child can't stay with the presumed nonabuser.

Remember, we're talking about (if you want a jury trial for, say, severe neglect) in many cases 2 YEARS (plus appeals) before a sentence is reached.
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