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how to deal with cps/dss?

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
well, a lady from dss < department of social services, more commonly refered to as cps > just came by, i told my dh to tell her it wasnt a good time, i was in the bathtub.
in any case, im 99.9% certain my dd's father called them, as this past weekend
i upset him by informing him that our current visitation was changing < as it stands legally, its "as agreed upon by both parents" >. i can write more on that if neccessary.
the lady insists on coming back tomorrow. i of course have no desire to deal with this, but i guess its inevitable. my family insists that just letting them in and telling them what they want is the best thing, but its hard for me to give in that easy.
i would love some advice. experiance stories. whatever youve got.
thanks.
post #2 of 47
Read this http://www.geocities.com/family_righ...nts_guide.html

from start to finish.

You do not need to let them in without a warrant/court order.
post #3 of 47
Do you have any idea under what circumstance your ex called them?
post #4 of 47
When we had CPS called it was a major headache. At first we refused to let her in at all. Finally, we decided to let her walk into our living room and talk to my children at my kitchen table (she insisted that she had to speak to them privately, but I adamantly refused), and then she finally left.

Quite simple really, and our case was technically closed, however SHE felt we could benefit from further 'assistance' from them and passed our information onto another worker who 'insisted' that we HAD to comply with their 'recommendations' and allow them to 'help' us for 12 full months. It took months to get them out of our lives. We told them over and over our case was closed and we did not WANT their 'offered assistance' but the refused to take no for an answer.

I had no idea that one case could be closed and another opened with only one visit. If was finally finished because we refused to sign any papers at all (which is our right), we refused to allow them back into our house (they had no warrant and no right), we refused to allow them to talk to our children again, we refused to do anything beyond standing on our doorstep and telling them we did not want their 'assistance'.

I will never willingly open my door for them again. Without a court order, they will never speak to my children or see the inside of my home.
post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Do you have any idea under what circumstance your ex called them?
the only thing i know of is he said my daughter told him that my dh sat on her.

my dh hovered over her legs one day, while holding his weight with his feet and hands, to keep her from kicking.

anything else he or his family would have told them to open a case im unsure of.

i hope that answers the question.
post #6 of 47
Good advice. You do not have to do ANYTHING they tell you to do unless they have a warrant or court order. Protect your rights.

-Angela
post #7 of 47
Thread Starter 
dear eclipse, thank you for the wonderful link. if i can find some nc specific laws ill be doing really good. but for now ill just worry about the search warrant thing as i would be suprised if she were able to get a search warrant.

hopefully i can convince my daughter that talking to anyone, even if shes with her father, is not a good idea. i dont want to scare her though.

kidzaplenty, thank you for your story, its helpful and motivating.
post #8 of 47
Can the visitation arrangements be worked out to suit both you and your ex?
post #9 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Can the visitation arrangements be worked out to suit both you and your ex?
in short, no.
this is a whole long, involved story in itself. as vein as it sounds my ex's concerns have less to do with spending time with his daughter, and more to do with controlling my life. that sounds silly, but youd have to know what ive gone through for the past 6.5 < and more specifically 3.5 > years.

and to make it a little more simple < just a little >. he lives at home, his mother is the one that wants the visitation, but her son who coincidentally lives in her house is much more likely to be awarded whatever < from visitation to custody > so he plays a mean puppet.

i dont know, this is all to be dealt with in the court room. i just dont want cps, or any unnecessary authorities involved.
post #10 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebottle View Post
that doesn't seem to me to be the best idea.. you want your kids talking to you and telling you what's happening, and i certainly want my son to feel like if anything ever actually happened to him at home he could talk to someone else about it (not that that's an issue, but it does happen, all the time, to lots of kids). your ex overreacting and / or spitefully calling cps on you is totally unrelated.

xoa
right. i know, its hard for me to know exactly how to explain whats ok and whats not. etc.
i think she knows, as well as a fairly reserved 6 year old could, that she can talk to me about whatever, and i know she has no problem talking to her father or his mother.
im not trying to scare her out of talking to people, just certain people.
i simply explained that anytime someone she doesnt personally know < i.e. is related to > asks her a question that makes her feel odd/uncomfortable, she does not have to answer it, and she can always tell anyone that she wants her mommy around, or even for her mom to answer the questions.

if you, or anyone, has suggestions on how to explain this better, or what have you, feel free to let me know. as ive never even spoke much of strangers to my child until now. we live in a small town, and shes very shy and reserved, the things id worry about happening to her with a "stereotypical" stranger would likely happen regardless of what i teach her. if that makes sense. but this isnt a "stereotypical" stranger im trying to vaugely warn her about.

someone at the store asking your name and address, is a little different than someone coming into a home you know and asking what you eat for dinner, or if your parents get angry. ive learned to trust noone, and question everything. as paranoid as that sounds, id like for her to have the same idea, as if i would have felt this way sooner in life i would have saved myself alot of mental and physical pain.
post #11 of 47
My advice would be the opposite. When we were "abusing" our DS and our concerned neighbors called it in, despite my shock and terror, I let the case worker in and was as open and helpful as humanly possible. Neither DS nor DH were home or reachable, so I spent what felt like days talking to her, showing her pictures of DS, letting her talk to our ped over the phone, and letting her inspect our home. Yes, it was humiliating and horrible, but it left her confident that I had nothing to hide. By the time they got home, all she had to do was take a quick cursory look at DS and close the case.

What feeling does a case worker get by you denying her entry? She's already looking for trouble, and you are giving her more reason to suspect that it may actually exist. I would NOT want to give them any extra reason to think something might be fishy, no matter how innocent I may be.
post #12 of 47
I agree with this advice. As the adoptive parent of a child who was removed from her birthfamily's home, I can tell you that the extent of abuse and neglect needed for cps to get involved (at least in my state) is very high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
My advice would be the opposite. When we were "abusing" our DS and our concerned neighbors called it in, despite my shock and terror, I let the case worker in and was as open and helpful as humanly possible.

What feeling does a case worker get by you denying her entry? She's already looking for trouble, and you are giving her more reason to suspect that it may actually exist. I would NOT want to give them any extra reason to think something might be fishy, no matter how innocent I may be.
post #13 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
My advice would be the opposite. When we were "abusing" our DS and our concerned neighbors called it in, despite my shock and terror, I let the case worker in and was as open and helpful as humanly possible. Neither DS nor DH were home or reachable, so I spent what felt like days talking to her, showing her pictures of DS, letting her talk to our ped over the phone, and letting her inspect our home. Yes, it was humiliating and horrible, but it left her confident that I had nothing to hide. By the time they got home, all she had to do was take a quick cursory look at DS and close the case.

What feeling does a case worker get by you denying her entry? She's already looking for trouble, and you are giving her more reason to suspect that it may actually exist. I would NOT want to give them any extra reason to think something might be fishy, no matter how innocent I may be.
this was alot like my familys advice, but the fact that its not a concerned neighbor, and it is her father, i want to avoid anyone working to his advantage, as they already have quite a bit more money to spend on a lawyer than i do < for our custody case > and this is relative, despite what cps has been told.

i know there are friendly, helpful workers out there. there are also those less helpful, with ill intent. i feel powerless in this country and im willing to do whatever i have to do to maintain what little power i have as a citizen.

why is it that as our country ages, were looked down upon more and more for exercising our rights? what were supposed to be so proud of in the first place. whats left to appreciate here? it sure as hell isnt the freedom.
post #14 of 47
Because we are an alternative family (3 parents that live together), we have had to deal with CPS. They questioned us together and seperately, they questioned the children but only with us right there. When questioning the teens, they tried to put words in the teens mouths and turn their words around (from worker: you are on birth control you are sexually active; Daughter 16: no i am not sexually active, but I have thought about it, and want to be prepared when the time comes).

So no matter what the case, because of how words get turned around, I really believe that a parent needs to stay with the child. CPS visited the children at school, scared the hell out of them, refused to allow a school rep to be with them, yea, you can imagine I was not a happy mama!
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by toyarmy View Post
i know there are friendly, helpful workers out there. there are also those less helpful, with ill intent.
Even the friendliest case worker may well end up your enemy if you antagonize her or make her job harder. Being polite and gentle with her will only work in your favor. Be the one she sees as rational and calm, not secretive or combative. Let your ex be the one she sees as irrational.

I understand your anger. I really do.
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnloves2 View Post
Because we are an alternative family (3 parents that live together), we have had to deal with CPS.

Okay, I'm thinking how lucky your kids are! All the conservatives who say kids "deserve" a mother and a father should be thanking you for giving your kids a bonus parent. Clearly if two are better than one, three are better than two.

I need me a wife . . . .
post #17 of 47
if you did nothing then prove it open the door give her a cup of tea and chat with her show her that there is nothing wrong and all is well and that it was just misinformation from dd or dxh not asking her to explain herself beter (what do you mean he sat on you) get them in and out of your life as fast as posiable
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemizflava View Post
if you did nothing then prove it open the door give her a cup of tea and chat with her show her that there is nothing wrong and all is well and that it was just misinformation from dd or dxh not asking her to explain herself beter (what do you mean he sat on you) get them in and out of your life as fast as posiable
Well, you see, that is the exact line of thought that kept them IN my life for months. I had nothing to hide, I did nothing wrong. I was very polite. And she caused the problems. She called the police and tried to get them to force their way into my house without a warrant. She tried to threaten us. She made the accusations, even after all the claims had been proven to be false.

Unfortunately, I have now had to deal with CPS several times, in several different states, due to different issues. I now know my rights and will stand firm on them.

Opening my door to these workers, even though they had no legal right to enter my house, gave them enough room to enter our lives and make a nightmare out of it.

Never again for us.
post #19 of 47
Be polite. Yes. BUT DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS. Yes, you may have the best caseworker in the world. Ask that they play by the rules.

You are NOT required to do ANYTHING unless they have a warrant or court order.

Abandon those rights and risk losing your children.

-Angela
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen View Post
My advice would be the opposite. When we were "abusing" our DS and our concerned neighbors called it in, despite my shock and terror, I let the case worker in and was as open and helpful as humanly possible. Neither DS nor DH were home or reachable, so I spent what felt like days talking to her, showing her pictures of DS, letting her talk to our ped over the phone, and letting her inspect our home. Yes, it was humiliating and horrible, but it left her confident that I had nothing to hide. By the time they got home, all she had to do was take a quick cursory look at DS and close the case.

What feeling does a case worker get by you denying her entry? She's already looking for trouble, and you are giving her more reason to suspect that it may actually exist. I would NOT want to give them any extra reason to think something might be fishy, no matter how innocent I may be.
Great point. Plus, I think that if you invite them in and get them on your side, you might get an ally. Let them know that your MIL wants custody and she's using your ex as a puppet. If the worker has a MIL, she's likely to get behind you and be helpful.
Good luck.
Lisa
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