got a letter from cps, now what? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, just over a week ago we had a beautiful UC..

 

I got a letter in the mail a week to the day from his birth that says "A report has been received requesting that we complete an assesment regarding your family and your new baby. Please contact me as soon as possible..."  and then the social worker's info.

 

Any of you deal with this before?

 

I don't know where to go first. Obviously I'm freaking out, I have 3 kids, a 6 yr old, a 3 yr old, and a newborn, we homeschool and we live in a small, old house. I am deep cleaning and trying to stay on top of things at the house just in case someone shows up at my door. I guess Im' just looking for some been there/done that advice.

 

(also this is not my original SN at MDC but to protect my family I needed to change to post this)

 

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#2 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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I haven't dealt with that before, but I have heard of it. I would contact a family law type lawyer before I did anything else. I would probably also be deep cleaning! But that would be my (justifiable I feel) fear working more than my brain. I would find out what I was legally required to do and legally within my rights NOT to do before I called the social worker, but I *would* call them - I wouldn't want to appear as though I had anything to hide. And really you don't, as far as I know there's nothing illegal about giving birth. Try to remember to breathe and enjoy your baby in the middle of this. I'm so sorry your babymoon was ambushed by some ignorant twit!

 

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Was it a certified letter? Can they prove you received it?


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#3 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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Congratulations on your UC!  Absolutely fantastic!

 

I agree with the PP.  Do know your rights and call them.  Shows that you are not negligent (which you are not)  ... but in their freakin eyes...  urgh. 

 

Play the game. 

 

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I am interested in who contacted them about your birth.  Why is it anyone's business (including myself too.. sorry) ....  man.


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#4 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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it was not a certified letter. it just came regular post.  I am reading up on laws etc.   And sadly, I think it was a woman from church who called but I cant be sure :(

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#5 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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A woman from church?! OMG what a jerk!

 

Can you just say it was an "oops" baby? Did you do any prenatal care with an OB or MW?

 

What state are you in?


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#6 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

A woman from church?! OMG what a jerk!

 

Can you just say it was an "oops" baby? Did you do any prenatal care with an OB or MW?

 

What state are you in?

we are in AL and we did UP as well. so that is a no go  there
 

 

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#7 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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It's actually nice to get the note in the door rather than being home when they come, and taken by surprise.  At least now you have some "advance notice" and can prepare at bit.  But once you know they are wanting to talk to you, keep in mind that they will be back, and soon.  In the meantime, have the house as clean as possible to make a good first impression.  They are allowed to inspect your living quarters if they feel it is necessary to their investigation, that includes living/family rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms.  They will not look into your closets or garage.  If they do look into your living conditions, they may be expecting to see a crib for the baby.  I don't know if you use one or if the baby sleeps with you, and I don't know CPS' official policy on cosleeping vs family bed.  It's just something that may come up.

 

Have you taken your baby to a pediatrician yet?  If not, find one and make an appointment ASAP.  They will want to know that you are providing medical care for your child, especially if the call was related to an unassisted birth.  Having the baby assessed on your own and being able to provide medical records will save them the hassle of doing it themselves - and they will too, if they believe you have been negligent. 

 

Be as cooperative as possible, fighting them won't help you.  CPS social workers know they are seen as the "bad guys", they deal with a lot of uncooperative people.  You are much more likely to be seen as mature and responsible, and be respected by the social worker, if you are willing to work with them and accept what services they offer.  A positive attitude may be a welcome relief to a social worker who is used to people who are defensive and resisting them, and they are more likely to listen to you in turn.

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#8 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:08 PM
 
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Edited.


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#9 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:10 PM
 
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Quote:
 They are allowed to inspect your living quarters if they feel it is necessary to their investigation, that includes living/family rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

I'm sorry, but this is not the case. You can always allow them to look through your home if you feel okay with it, but they are in no way legally allowed to "inspect" any areas without a warrant/judicial order and a police officer present to enforce it.

 

Now, if you allow them in to chat, they can make notes on what they can see in their immediate area in order to obtain a warrant, but no, they aren't just allowed to inspect living quarters without a warrant. This isn't the gestapo.


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#10 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tumble Bumbles View Post

 

I'm sorry, but this is not the case. You can always allow them to look through your home if you feel okay with it, but they are in no way legally allowed to "inspect" any areas without a warrant and a police officer present.

 

Now, if you allow them in to chat, they can make notes on what they can see in their immediate area in order to obtain a warrant, but no, they aren't just allowed to inspect living quarters without a warrant. This isn't the gestapo.



I've had them come and ask to see our house.  This may vary per state, though.  The parent rights manual I recieved explained what they are and are not allowed to inspect.

 

From what I've heard, if you refuse, they may come back with police escort because they don't know what you are hiding.  It may depend on what the reason for the investigation is, as to whether they will get the police involved.  I've never met anyone who has refused to let them enter, so I don't know what actually happens.

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#11 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Yes, they can ask to see your house. You can agree, you can refuse. You can say, I'm not comfortable with that without a warrant in place and my husband home (or whatever). You can also videotape their visit.  Yes, they can come back with a police escort, the police officer would be to enforce the warrant or judicial order.

 

On one hand, I can see where if you refuse that may cause some 'suspicion' but at the same time, a warrant ensures that they can only look in very specific areas (the specific areas need to be named in writing in the warrant) and exactly why they are looking in those areas. So, I would think a warrant would protect the family more, because inside it would have to say something like:

 

Area to inspect: refrigerator to ensure family has adequate food for children  (or whatever).

 

So, unlike the worker who has had carte blanche permission from you to "look around" -- one with a warrant can't just inspect and note anything in cabinets, under the kitchen sink, inside the pantry, whatever -- but has to stick directly to specific areas for specific reasons. So, she couldn't even remark that the fridge was a HUGE MESS inside her notes unless the reasoning in the warrant was to inspect adequate food and cleanliness of fridge. Of course, they could always tack on "and cleanliness" in the warrant or whatever, but if it's not there, they can't remark on it (or the remarks couldn't hold up in court).

 

Personally, I think a warrant (though more scary in theory for the parents) protects them more in many cases.

 


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#12 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:43 PM
 
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It just makes me sick that this is an issue for this mama.  I am grateful for the mamas here on MDC to support. 


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#13 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Additionally, they need to have just/probable cause to obtain a warrant to search -- which is why most CPS workers will ask to look around (as if they have a "right"). They don't. If they got a search warrant every single time someone called CPS about someone "possibly" abusing or neglecting a child, the system would be on complete overload (more than usual). Now, I believe they take mandated reporters a bit more seriously, but a random church lady calling may get a visit but unlikely will get a judge to sign a warrant to search the home.

 

Sadly, I think many cases of CPS abusing thier alleged "power" has to do with people being afraid and not knowing their rights. Obviously I'd be terrified if that happened to me so I'm not judging, just saying. Once you allow them into your home, the ball gets rolling and your rights quickly get buried because you "consented" to basically let them build a case against you.

 

 

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#14 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone for your input. we are definately comforted by the fact that they sent a letter, not show up at the house, but now I'm living in fear they WILL show up. *sigh* we have already taken the babe to the pedi, he has another appt this week and I've already put in a request for the medical records of all 3 of my kids be sent to me asap so that I will have a copy of those on hand should I need them.

 

ugh I just hate feeling like I'm trapped in my own home cleaning and scrubbing and wondering if they'll come knocking any minute.   and I'm scared to call them for fear that will happen as soon as I do, but that it won't if I just let it go.

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#15 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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I know :(   ...but that's why they sent a letter. It's not illegal to have a baby at home unassisted. They know that. They also have to make an effort to "follow-up" on every call they get, no matter how bogus -- for legal/liability reasons. I think the OP has absolutely zero reason to be worried. That's obviously so much easier said than done, but there's no case here. None.

 

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It just makes me sick that this is an issue for this mama.  I am grateful for the mamas here on MDC to support. 
 


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#16 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:48 PM
 
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Everytime my evil ex-SIL comes to town (custody battle, she lives out of state and comes here for court every so often) she gets angry at the court's rulings and calls the CPS hotline. She announces it to everyone in the court room that she plans on doing this, citing one lie or another as the reason...so my BIL has gotten used to CPS coming into his home. Not only that they go to the school and talk to his three children each time she calls. We are in New York, and the way it works in our county, they send you a letter in the mail and ask that you call the social worker to set up an appointment to visit the house. However, they do not notify him that they will be going to the school and speaking to the kids, you just plan on it happening when you get the letter. He makes the appointment, they come to the house and look around to make sure that the kids have their own sleeping quarters and that there is food in the house and everything is in safe working order within the house. He ends up chatting with them, since there are only 2 social workers in the county, he has gotten to know them pretty well. It always ends up being less of a deal than you think it's going to be.

 

I would schedule a well baby visit with a midwife (if that is available to you) as soon as you can....or at least have an appointment with someone when you call the social worker so you can answer them with something if they ask about medical care. Also, any prenatal care records that you may (or may not) have would probably be good.

 

 

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#17 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:52 PM
 
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Don't live in fear, mama! You're not trapped. If they do show up, here's what you do:

 

Thank them for coming (I know, I know). Apologize that someone has wasted their time because you know how hard they work! Let them know you aren't comfortable letting them in your home, thank them for understanding ...but you are more than happy to come out on the porch with the children so he/she can see they are all safe/sound. Be respectful, calm, and leave it at that. If they feel they have probable cause to seek a warrant, they will. HOWEVER, there needs to be probable cause. "She didn't let us in, what's she hiding" isn't probable cause.
 

Or, another mama on here DID let them in because she intuitively felt the worker was kind and reasonable and it would work it. In their case, it did work out. So if you feel that way, use your judgment of course.
 

Try not to be fearful.

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thanks everyone for your input. we are definately comforted by the fact that they sent a letter, not show up at the house, but now I'm living in fear they WILL show up. *sigh* we have already taken the babe to the pedi, he has another appt this week and I've already put in a request for the medical records of all 3 of my kids be sent to me asap so that I will have a copy of those on hand should I need them.

 

ugh I just hate feeling like I'm trapped in my own home cleaning and scrubbing and wondering if they'll come knocking any minute.   and I'm scared to call them for fear that will happen as soon as I do, but that it won't if I just let it go.



 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabearkea View Post

thanks everyone for your input. we are definately comforted by the fact that they sent a letter, not show up at the house, but now I'm living in fear they WILL show up. *sigh* we have already taken the babe to the pedi, he has another appt this week and I've already put in a request for the medical records of all 3 of my kids be sent to me asap so that I will have a copy of those on hand should I need them.

 

ugh I just hate feeling like I'm trapped in my own home cleaning and scrubbing and wondering if they'll come knocking any minute.   and I'm scared to call them for fear that will happen as soon as I do, but that it won't if I just let it go.


Good work on all your efforts. 

 

I hope you can get out and at least take a walk with your new LO.  Fresh air is so good for the soul. 

 


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#19 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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Congrats on the arrival of your little one and your UC!!!

Please call a lawyer! Please! I am sure that, regardless of your financial situation, they can offer some friendly advice or put you in contact with civil rights/family law groups that can help you out. Do not call them without having spoken to someone. I know that CPS is not an evil organization - I know that in many cases they have removed children from harmful situations - but yours is not a harmful situation and you need to have all the information possible about how to handle the conversation when you talk to them. Knowledge is your ally in this and all situations!

Good luck, mama, and let us know how everything goes. We are here for you!

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#20 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 04:11 PM
 
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Literally I called CPS (DCF here) and reported a possible molestation and they WOULD NOT check it out. (even had a thread going about it) They told me I needed more proof or have had to have witnessed the molestation but they are harassing you about having an all natural UC?! Ugh!!!


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#21 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
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Literally I called CPS (DCF here) and reported a possible molestation and they WOULD NOT check it out. (even had a thread going about it) They told me I needed more proof or have had to have witnessed the molestation but they are harassing you about having an all natural UC?! Ugh!!!



Yes, I've had this happen too - twice.  Once they didn't even talk to the child in question, even though she was very open about what happened and was even talking to neighbors about the incident.  But child sexual abuse is almost impossible to prove because there is no physical evidence.  There is the word of a child against the word of an adult, and no witnesses or physical marks.  It's pretty clear cut - kids lie a lot just to get attention or because an adult planted a false memory into their impressionable little minds, and real sexual abuse doesn't actually exist.  I don't believe this, but the legal system enforces this idea.

 

I don't think CPS is trying to "harrass" the OP about a UC.  But this is the type of case where there may be tangible evidence of neglect, or measurable evidence of appropriate medical care.  It is a more objective investigation for them, they can collect information that is not based on hearsay or a child's testimony.  It may also be easily closed if they find what they are looking for.

 

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#22 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 04:30 PM
 
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I second the get a lawyer suggestion. What TumbleBumbles says may be true in the letter of the law, but they KNOW the local law enforcement and judges. They CAN make your life a living hell if they so choose. Been there, done that. We went the way she suggests and it was BAD. Course we were in a SMALL town and they work a little different. :)

 

Now, every worker/office will be different. That's what makes it hard to give advice online like this. A good lawyer is your best bet. They know exactly what CPS can and can't do and how to counter the 'legal' but uncalled for actions that may be used by CPS. I would say most of the time, it's no big deal, they aren't out to get people, but there are those few! I know, I'm paranoid, but I've been through the wringer with these people before over nothing more than a personal grudge by a new worker.

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#23 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 04:48 PM
 
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Did you have prenatal care? Was there any emergency plan in place? If so, have the "proof".

Cleaning up and stocking the fridge and pantry with good, healthy foods is a plus.

Does your house have any odor? if you are not sure.. cause we used to our own house.. have a neighbor you trust tell you what she smells. Any lingering animal odors or feces of any kind generally makes CPS nervous.

CPS IS NOT EVIL. They protect children.
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#24 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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Ive delt with this not for UC but other BS and CPS was so anti natural parenting anti co sleep and such

 

get a crib or pack and play keep your house clean and DONT GIVE THEM anymore info then you have to ! bare minimum to seem friendly have a witness there if possibley and rember that you are guilty untill proven insocent

I ended up with an atorney and should have done it way sooner they didnt follow threre own rules untill someone besides me called them on it . PM me if you need

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#25 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 05:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kythe View Post

I've had them come and ask to see our house.  This may vary per state, though.



They can always, ask :) But you can say no! Like when a cop asks to search your car, you can say yes, he searches it and then leaves you alone, or you say no, and he write you a ticket for your license plate light out.

 

I would go to them! I don't like sitting around. I would find out who the social worker is, and either make an appointment or just go to her office. I would talk about it, and "show" that I wasn't a bumpkin who just kept having kids fall out of me.

 

May not be the best advice, but it's what I would do in your situation.

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#26 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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I have a very close friend who's a police officer who works closely with CPS (due to being a woman...sounds sexist but it's pretty right on as far as who they call to assist in these situations) and thank God for her talking me down about CPS several times, because I do have somewhat of a paranoia about them due to our practices that go outside of the mainstream. She has never once in her over seven years as a police officer been:

 

a. called about a home birth or UC

b. removed a child due to a home-birth or UC (police have to be present to remove a child as well as to enforce a search warrant)

c. removed a child or been present at a domestic due to cosleeping, home-birthing, breastfeeding, not-vaxxing, or homeschooling

d. removed a child or been present at a search by CPS at a house that was "messy". To remove a child, the house has to have like, feces on the floor and children in diapers that haven't been changed for DAYS.

 

Granted, we do live in a large metropolitan area but her actual assigned area isn't the 'big city'.

 

I realize some people have negative experiences with them and I'm not minimizing that, but I do think it's way more rare than it appears on a place like MDC. Please, don't act in fear OP and I really urge you not to reliquish your rights because you fear someone may form a witch hunt against your family. You have acted within the law... I see absolutely no reason for a case! America may have it's problems but people can't just storm in your home and remove your children without cause because some lady from church made a random phone call.

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#27 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabearkea View Post

I got a letter in the mail a week to the day from his birth that says "A report has been received requesting that we complete an assesment regarding your family and your new baby. Please contact me as soon as possible..."  and then the social worker's info.


I just saw this, and while I haven't ever had a UC or HB (my ds was born in a FSBC), I have, unfortunately, had CPS called on me.

 

Since you have the social workers name and phone number, call HER, and set up a time at HER office to meet.  That way, YOU control the meeting place, time, and how you look/feel/present yourself at the meeting.  Dress nicely (no need to wear a suit, or a dress, but no holes, and make sure its clean).  Start out by explaining that you got the letter, and were really concerned b/c "my children are all loved and very well taken care of, right now they are with a sitter, but would you like to meet us at the park tomorrow?"

 

Then just be honest.  Little itty bitty white lies are OK - things like, "Yes, the baby sleeps in a bassinet/pack n play/crib in our room.  She's very close to me - I always worry about being able to hear her in case she wakes up"

 

If they don't bring up the UC or the birth, don't bring it up yourself.  If they do ask, be honest, but make sure that you have a pediatrician for the little one that can say they've seen the baby.  Even better if its your family Dr. or family ped that has seen all your children (I would even say a naturopath would be fine if thats what you use).  Just be honest.  If they ask to come to your home, you have the absolute right to say  "No" unless they get a search warrant.  They likely won't get one if you are pro-active and call to set up a meeting with them before they come back out to your house.  Bad parents aren't generally pro-active about dealing with CPS.

 

It'll all work out!!

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#28 of 244 Old 03-28-2011, 06:18 PM
 
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I think that's pretty sound advice too.

 

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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




I just saw this, and while I haven't ever had a UC or HB (my ds was born in a FSBC), I have, unfortunately, had CPS called on me.

 

Since you have the social workers name and phone number, call HER, and set up a time at HER office to meet.  That way, YOU control the meeting place, time, and how you look/feel/present yourself at the meeting.  Dress nicely (no need to wear a suit, or a dress, but no holes, and make sure its clean).  Start out by explaining that you got the letter, and were really concerned b/c "my children are all loved and very well taken care of, right now they are with a sitter, but would you like to meet us at the park tomorrow?"

 

Then just be honest.  Little itty bitty white lies are OK - things like, "Yes, the baby sleeps in a bassinet/pack n play/crib in our room.  She's very close to me - I always worry about being able to hear her in case she wakes up"

 

If they don't bring up the UC or the birth, don't bring it up yourself.  If they do ask, be honest, but make sure that you have a pediatrician for the little one that can say they've seen the baby.  Even better if its your family Dr. or family ped that has seen all your children (I would even say a naturopath would be fine if thats what you use).  Just be honest.  If they ask to come to your home, you have the absolute right to say  "No" unless they get a search warrant.  They likely won't get one if you are pro-active and call to set up a meeting with them before they come back out to your house.  Bad parents aren't generally pro-active about dealing with CPS.

 

It'll all work out!!



 


Christ-centered loving wife & mama to 2 miracles! One & one . We live simply and mindfully. Expecting another blessing Feb 2015
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#29 of 244 Old 03-29-2011, 08:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post




I just saw this, and while I haven't ever had a UC or HB (my ds was born in a FSBC), I have, unfortunately, had CPS called on me.

 

Since you have the social workers name and phone number, call HER, and set up a time at HER office to meet.  That way, YOU control the meeting place, time, and how you look/feel/present yourself at the meeting.  Dress nicely (no need to wear a suit, or a dress, but no holes, and make sure its clean).  Start out by explaining that you got the letter, and were really concerned b/c "my children are all loved and very well taken care of, right now they are with a sitter, but would you like to meet us at the park tomorrow?"

 

Then just be honest.  Little itty bitty white lies are OK - things like, "Yes, the baby sleeps in a bassinet/pack n play/crib in our room.  She's very close to me - I always worry about being able to hear her in case she wakes up"

 

If they don't bring up the UC or the birth, don't bring it up yourself.  If they do ask, be honest, but make sure that you have a pediatrician for the little one that can say they've seen the baby.  Even better if its your family Dr. or family ped that has seen all your children (I would even say a naturopath would be fine if thats what you use).  Just be honest.  If they ask to come to your home, you have the absolute right to say  "No" unless they get a search warrant.  They likely won't get one if you are pro-active and call to set up a meeting with them before they come back out to your house.  Bad parents aren't generally pro-active about dealing with CPS.

 

It'll all work out!!




I think that's a good way to go too.... And I would still call a lawyer or family law org first. You just never know who's going to have a bee in their bonnet or for what reason, regardless of how well you handle this. I'm always able to come off much more confidently and relaxed when I know just what I can and can't & should or shouldn't be doing or saying, and I'm sure this person's first impression of you will go a very long way in determining how far their "case" goes. You coming to them, willing to calmly help them move past you and your non-case is probably just what they're hoping for, and will make you look very good.

 

ETA: Keep forgetting to congratulate you on your wonderful UC! :)


It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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#30 of 244 Old 03-29-2011, 01:07 PM
 
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Okay so- and here I am. :)
I read the title of this thread and my heart jumped INTO my throat and made me contract. DO NOT LET THEM IN.!!!!
If they do not have a warrant, DO NOT let them in...period. Letting them in waives your rights and allows them to come up with whatever they want to make an investigation 'necissary' and then they have the right to make surprise visits and you HAVE to let them in.

I had an OCD neighbor call CPS on us 2 years ago almost to the week, reporting that we had feces around the house and that I left my kids home alone unattended. HOW they would know this- is beyond me. I was 5 mos pregnant with my 6th and it was spring vacation/spring cleaning week- so they CHOSE that specifically to surprise us when all the kids would be home and make a visit. NO LETTER, no call. I had 2 CPS workers AND an officer, no warrant- just a report.

Hey, I have nothing to hide! COME ON IN!!! The WORST THING I could have ever done.

Listen, they are NOT there to exonerate you. They are there to build a case. There is very little regulation on what prevents them from removing your kids from your home, and MOST of their abilities lie on their own 'personal recommendation'. Do not take this lightly, I am not kidding. If they are appauled at natural birthing, even home births- they can make a case to remove all your children.

 

CPS was made to protect our kids but there is an OUTRAGIOUS reformation that needs to be done to prevent their 'recommendations' from ruling how we raise our children and choose to live. I have a DEAR friend who works for CPS here now, and she can testify that CPS routinely have people who go to work for them for the mear POWER and not for good intentions. She has been threatened to LIE or 'else' by her superiors. She is one of the good guys. She said she has gone to homes where there was 2 feet of rubbish and never had to remove the kids, that she has NEVER had to bring an officer to a home to remove them either or for any reports. She HAS had to remove kids but usually it's due to mental illness that prevents the parents from taking care of the children (severe lice infestations and fleas, laundry never done to the point where kids had to bathe at school, skin infections starting in, etc).

Before their visit, I had done photography for child abuse organizations. My DAUGHTER is on the front of the friggen' Oregon WIC pamphlet as a model. I write articles on parenting and advise parents on better ways of communicating with their kids- yet here we were. The minute these officials saw me, they made up in their mind that I looked TOO young to have all these kids, and here I was pregnant again. There is no way I could be managing them as I  'needed' to. It was a complete witchhunt.

They went through my house, making my children PULL DOWN THEIR PANTS to show they did not have bruises (which only occurs in reports of physical abuse) and interviewing my 5 and 6 yr old boys alone (yeah RIGHT , try getting a full story out of them without it totally going wacko was near impossible).

One of the officers taking pictures was in my upstairs hallway (we were living in a middle-class 4 yr old townhouse) and my daughter dragged her suitcase out of the room to show him she had packed for a church trip. My kids were all excited police were visiting, as we all teach our kids that officers are the good guys, right? I was coming up the stairs as she did this and she left her suitcase in the middle of the hallway in front of the officer. I instructed her to 'please put her suitcase away now' and he said, "No, this is not the time to start cleaning up". "Officer..."I replied, " she just abandoned her suitcase at your feet, I would like her to put it away." "Please go downstairs, Ma'am." he told me and proceeded to TAKE A PICTURE of the suitcase in the hallway with his camera. I am not making this up!!! I was DEVASTATED!

 

They deemed my home unnacceptable and had them REMOVED FOR 3 DAYS. They had 0 real evidence, just went on their 'gut' instinct. Know what they were charging me with?

    1.    Each of the kids rooms (3) had garbage bags they were putting their old school papers and trash in while they cleaned and a pile of dirty laundry. Deemed 'unnacceptable to 'store' garbage bags in kids rooms'. I told them I wasn't storing the bags there- they didnt care.

    2.    Chair in my 3 yr old's room under her light switch deemed 'unsafe because she could potentially push it across the room to the window'.

    3.    Laundry on the laundryroom floor waiting to be washed was deemed 'fire hazzard'

    4.    Hermit crab cage on the kitchen counter next to our sink (closed terrarium with lid) was seemed 'unsanitary creatures in the kitchen'.

    5.    A Jelly smear on the inside of our fridge was deemed 'unsanitary fridge'

    6.    The 2 younger boys told the officials that we had left them home alone once when 'mama and papa walked to Target to play in the toy aisle'. They believed them. We actually joked around about this with the the boys when we went to get the mail once as we were going out the door but we had walked to the mailbox 3 houses down. It was, of course, untrue. We didnt know the boys actually believed us or that CPS would be so STUPID to think that was something we would actually do.

    7.    A-frame Ladder in hallway to fix a light earlier was deemed 'unsafe around kids'


Not ONCE did they find evidence of feces in the house.

 

As they were waiting for my mother to come pick them up, they commented to me on how bright and polite my kids were. Of course, Jerkfaces- that's because WE'RE GOOD PARENTS! The house was SPOTLESS in a few hours, yet they wouldnt even come inspect to bring them back. They wouldnt even let my mother let us take them to their regular kid's Bible study functions they go to every week even though there were NO SET instructions on our paper that we couldnt take them out- only that they couldn't enter our home until it was authorized.

They said there would be an investigation of 60-90 days and surprise visits every month to determine abuse charges.

We hired maids to come twice a month to clean. Their first visit they were dumbfounded that there would be an accusation of unsanitary neglect and the company actually WROTE TO CPS on our behalf voluntarily that the evidence they saw at ours house showed no such thing. We purchased new beds, new drawers to appease them as they commented on the fact my daughter preferred to have her mattress on the floor (it was made with sheets, everything, mind you).

 

I wanted to DIE for those 3 days. I was absolutely devastated and 5 mos pregnant. I had nightmares that I was going to have my little girl and they were going to show up and remove her.

 

We kept our home in HOTEL CLEAN condition. I was exhausted. I personally feel that ANYONE with 5 kids who was as pregnant as I was with a house as clean as OURS was, should be investigated for neglect. Quality time was almost nill. My husband and I argued ALL THE TIME over who didnt get the dishes done as soon as they touched the sink.. who didnt flush the toilette, who left that article of clothing on the floor. My home was destroyed emotionally. The kids would ask me constantly if they were going to have to have a new mama and papa. There was no story time, no time for anything but cleaning and nagging and mom passing out in bed at night. Kids could NOT play outside, curtains were closed, it was a dark dark space.

 

The first time they visited in April, my face drained of blood as the doorbell rang. They went through the house and then as he left he said he would have to deem the case as 'unable to determine' if the house was a detriment to the safety of the kids. He said he would be seeing us the next month.

He visited in May- came the day AFTER the maids had cleaned. Same story, deemed 'unable to determine'.

June's visit, the same- unable to determine. Okay, it's been 90 days.. this should be it, right? Nope.

I wanted to SCREAM. WHEN WOULD THIS BE OVER? They had not found ONE SINGLE thing in 3 mos yet they were STILL COMING. They came July 21st during my son's 7th birthday party.

DING DONG! "Oh you you havent had the baby yet...." he said utterly surprised and made a note. "Nope, sorry to dissapoint you." I thought. "Oh I see you are having a birthday party, well I wont be long..." he said and pushed past me past our guests with his clipboard.

After he was done, he said, "Well from here we are still deeming this 'unable to determine', but we will be bringing this investigation to a close and we will send you a copy of our report. My supervisor is VERY THOROUGH, so if she finds anything else we will be contacting you."
"Actually, I would like a letter stating when everything is closed and I WONT be hearing from you, please." I said.

 

I still have post traumatic stress over this and have nightmares. I started up a blog on http://www.kidjacked.com and received TONS of responses from similar situations. Some were, meh iffy situations- but many were not. I PRAY TO GOD you live in an officer friendly environment. 

 

I know this is a long post- mostly because I am VERY passionate about my experience and the experiences I see and hear around me EVERY DAY from people. Do not naively assume that CPS will be on your side or that they will not judge you and purposefully try and sabbatoge your rights to suit their opinions. They REALLY need to be there to protect the kids that have no help, but their policies and regulations NEED REFORM!!!!!

 

Here is my blog... http://my.kidjacked.com/naiveinnocence/ the site is good for information and legal help on CPS and how to deal with them. I do not recommend being rude to them- but they, by law have to know their rights and are not required to tell you yours. They can even threaten you as long as they don't lie. The only thing that would give them permission to take your kids was PROOF you were hurting them, a fire or some other iminent danger, or a warrant. Judges dont just PASS out warrants without evidence, but once you are under investigation it's REALLY hard to go back. Please know your rights... do NOT offer any information, no matter how 'common sense' it may seem to you, and try if you can to meet them in a neutral place. If they do have to come, have a witness with you.

(hugs)


 
-Jyn, Blessed mom of Abbie ('99), Gracie ('00), AngelBaby ('01), Danny ('02), Jacob ('03), Eva Bella ('06), Angel-Baby2 ('07), Emmalia ('09), Justus John Mark ('11), Jude Ellias Due 7-16-13
 

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