I want to call CPS on my ILs - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's a list of why I would call CPS on my ILs...

-they introduced food at 3 months to both kids, one is 3 1/2, one 9 months
-3 1/2 y/o has severe asthma and allergies, and they forget his meds more often than he actually gets them (he goes to the ER at least once a month for a severe asthma/allergy attack)
-they take him many places that make his allergies/asthma act up, knowing in advance this will happen, but do it anyway (example: to people's homes with pets/outdoor mold issues)
-the 9 month old was fed the following at Xmas dinner: lemon meringue pie, mashed potatoes made with cream and butter with gravy on them, hawaiian punch from a sippy cup, chocolate chip cookies, cake, and not a single bottle of formula for the 8 hours that we were there
-the 3 1/2 year old is often left alone in the bath tub with the bathroom door shut while they go downstairs/outside for a few minutes/to another room
-he has gotten on the lawn mower, started it up, and driven it across the yard by himself (all of this unsupervised until they saw him zipping across the back yard as they were in the front)
-he recently jumped off a 2nd story balcony (they were having a party downstairs and didn't notice he had left the room)
-he is often hit, slapped, screamed at, pulled around by his hair
-he is always ridiculed when he has an "accident"
-they rarely use a car seat for either child in their minivan
-sometimes they will come over to visit at 4 pm, and the 3 1/2 year old will still not have been fed ALL DAY, or will have only had bottles (up to 5 in one day) of cow's milk
-the 9 month old has fallen down the stairs at least 3 times
-3 1/2 year old is left to play outside, by himself, no supervision or even an eye on him from a window. they live on a busy street and do not have a fence.
-regular meals are almost always eaten (for all of the family) at fast food restaurants (McDonald's, pizza shops), a typical meal is a burger, french fries, and a milkshake (this is for both children, they each get their own kids meal)
-the children watch anything and everything on t.v., the 3 1/2 year old swears in almost every sentence
-he still uses a pacifier, and his chin is always red, irritated, and sometimes raw from the constant drool
-he doesn't like to have his hair washed in the bath tub, and so it never gets done

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting. What would you do? We don't have a relationship with them (wonder why?) and I'm pretty sure if I report them I can remain anonymous (and if I couldn't I would do it anyway).

We've tried talking to them, they don't think they do anything wrong. We have tried talking to others in the family, and nobody seems to care. They know that the children are in obvious danger, but no one wants to be the "bad guy" and do anything about it.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by leosmommy View Post
Here's a list of why I would call CPS on my ILs...

-they introduced food at 3 months to both kids, one is 3 1/2, one 9 months
-3 1/2 y/o has severe asthma and allergies, and they forget his meds more often than he actually gets them (he goes to the ER at least once a month for a severe asthma/allergy attack)
-they take him many places that make his allergies/asthma act up, knowing in advance this will happen, but do it anyway (example: to people's homes with pets/outdoor mold issues)

-the 9 month old was fed the following at Xmas dinner: lemon meringue pie, mashed potatoes made with cream and butter with gravy on them, hawaiian punch from a sippy cup, chocolate chip cookies, cake, and not a single bottle of formula for the 8 hours that we were there
-the 3 1/2 year old is often left alone in the bath tub with the bathroom door shut while they go downstairs/outside for a few minutes/to another room
-he has gotten on the lawn mower, started it up, and driven it across the yard by himself (all of this unsupervised until they saw him zipping across the back yard as they were in the front)
-he recently jumped off a 2nd story balcony (they were having a party downstairs and didn't notice he had left the room)
-he is often hit, slapped, screamed at, pulled around by his hair

-he is always ridiculed when he has an "accident"
-they rarely use a car seat for either child in their minivan
-sometimes they will come over to visit at 4 pm, and the 3 1/2 year old will still not have been fed ALL DAY, or will have only had bottles (up to 5 in one day) of cow's milk
-the 9 month old has fallen down the stairs at least 3 times
-3 1/2 year old is left to play outside, by himself, no supervision or even an eye on him from a window. they live on a busy street and do not have a fence.

-regular meals are almost always eaten (for all of the family) at fast food restaurants (McDonald's, pizza shops), a typical meal is a burger, french fries, and a milkshake (this is for both children, they each get their own kids meal)
-the children watch anything and everything on t.v., the 3 1/2 year old swears in almost every sentence
-he still uses a pacifier, and his chin is always red, irritated, and sometimes raw from the constant drool
-he doesn't like to have his hair washed in the bath tub, and so it never gets done

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting. What would you do? We don't have a relationship with them (wonder why?) and I'm pretty sure if I report them I can remain anonymous (and if I couldn't I would do it anyway).

We've tried talking to them, they don't think they do anything wrong. We have tried talking to others in the family, and nobody seems to care. They know that the children are in obvious danger, but no one wants to be the "bad guy" and do anything about it.
I bolded the things that, from my understanding, would be within the jurisdiction of CPS's concern. The un-bolded things might be unpleasant parenting, but would probably not be considered neglect or abuse. (From my lay-person's understanding; I used to be a mandated reporter and so did DH when we were teaching school, so that's the level of knowledge I have.) Actually with the car seat thing, you might also get somewhere with the police as well; but that very much depends on their state and city.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:35 PM
 
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To me the only things warrented for a CPS call in that loong list is the bath tub thing and the riding lawn mower thing. and the physical abuse, the rest just makes it seems like your on a mission to get the kids out of there, cps will see that too.

CPS will not go look into things because someone thinks they don't feed baby right.

and remember that just because they say it is anonymous doesn't mean it is. I onced called on someone for some very bad abuse going on, and it was suppose to be anonymous well it wasn't.

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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Unfortunately, a lot of the food issues are non-issues. I don't think it's against the law to feed your kid crap.

So, if you do call CPS, stick to the issues of neglect (leaving him alone in the tub, to jump off the balcony, not feeding him, not washing his hair (though I have to say, my dd's hair gets washed about every 2 weeks - it's dry, her skin is dry and we're all happier with a brush every day and a wash infrequently), and abuse (dragging him by his hair).

The other question is: What do you want to happen? Do you want someone to force them to take parenting classes? The kids removed? A personality transplant? (Ok, so the latter is a bit extreme!)

If they really are dragging the poor kids by the hair, not using carseats and generally neglecting the kids, yes, I'd call. But I'm probably in a minority here.

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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Just to clarify, I myself WOULD call CPS in the situation you describe. But I would stick to the bolded parts (which are basically the non-food-related parts) in my report.
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
Just to clarify, I myself WOULD call CPS in the situation you describe. But I would stick to the bolded parts (which are basically the non-food-related parts) in my report.

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Old 01-15-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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I think mashed potatoes with cream and gravy is an excellent food for a 9 month old.

There are some things in your list that bring up real concern, but some are just lifestyle choices that others may see as fine.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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Keep all the fluff out. Feeding a 3 month old solids hardly warrants a CPS call. Exposing kids to allergens would be extremely hard to prove, and I'm not sure they could even do anything about it.

You can remain anonymous, but you will not get updates. If you choose to reveal your identity, then they will/can give you updates. If your willing to take the kids in for at least a short period of time, you'd have to reveal your identity, or call back later after a case has been opened.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:24 PM
 
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I would butt out. Very little on your list is even outside the "norm" in most places.

-Angela
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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oops. wrong click.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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Stick with the bolded parts, and make the report clear and concise. The repeated incidents of neglect as well as the physical abuse need emphasized. Stick with things you have seen and things the parents have told you- don't go on about things other people have told you or things that are assumed.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:51 AM
 
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A great deal of it isn't worth of CPS involvement. Stick with the real issues.
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Old 01-16-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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Moved to Parenting.

This is an advance reminder to keep this thread within the MDC User Agreement. Any UAV's may result in the removal of this thread.

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Old 01-16-2009, 02:46 AM
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Constant exposure to allergens and not using his meds (they could check how often they've been refilled i.e daily meds not refilled for 4 months and still half in the bottle ) Is medical neglect. The food issues CPS won't care about. But jumping of the balcony, riding the mower, bathing alone, dirty, abuse. They may do a welfare check.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:59 AM
 
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I would really think long and hard about weather their lifestyle choices really warrant CPS. Would those children benefit from being taken away from their parents and put into a foster system...being separated? Given to a abusive foster home, or a loving foster home with abusive foster children? (im not saying that these are the only options of foster care or the outcome of the CPS investigation, i just think its something to consider and a high likley rate that one of these scenarios will be reality of the children are indeed taken out of the home)

I am a firm believer that children should stay with their parents in most cases. I think that maybe you should try to give the parents the resources that they need to make healthier and safer choices.

The only things i see a really big issue with are the physical abuse, and leaving thier child outside alone, and the no car seat.

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:03 AM
 
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The bathtub one scares the hell out of me, but I say go with your gut and stick to the obvious (car seat, abuse, bathtub, balcony fall, dirty).

Would you be willing to care for these children?
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:05 AM
 
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I would butt out. Very little on your list is even outside the "norm" in most places.

-Angela

I totally agree.

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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I too would like to know what you hope to accomplish by calling CPS. Do you want the kids to be removed? Do you hope to see your IL's get in trouble so they will shape up?

I agree with all of the PP's that there are MAYBE two things on your list that CPS would even care about. If CPS in your area is slow, it MIGHT initiate a welfare check, but if they go out there and see nothing blatantly wrong, they are going to write you off as a person with a family vendetta.

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:11 AM
 
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You would CALL CPS over feeding a 3 month old solids? For real? Why?

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lolar2 View Post
I bolded the things that, from my understanding, would be within the jurisdiction of CPS's concern. The un-bolded things might be unpleasant parenting, but would probably not be considered neglect or abuse. (From my lay-person's understanding; I used to be a mandated reporter and so did DH when we were teaching school, so that's the level of knowledge I have.) Actually with the car seat thing, you might also get somewhere with the police as well; but that very much depends on their state and city.
stick with what the above poster bolded. Everything else is not something worthy of CPS. Most of the rest is just differeing ideas of parenting.

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:32 AM
 
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Ditto on the bolded things, that is terrible...but seeeriously, you'd call CPS on someone for feeding a 9 month old baby solids? Lock me up!
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:21 AM
 
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i'll only call the cps becuase of the abuse...

the rest, is none of you business, imo. I think we should get all the parents that give their kids fastfood

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Old 01-16-2009, 04:44 AM
 
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I would hate to have to witness such disturbing parenting. It must weigh on your mind and heart a lot.

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Old 01-16-2009, 04:51 AM
 
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You would CALL CPS over feeding a 3 month old solids? For real? Why?
I would never feed a 3mo solids but I would think CPS would laugh. 4mo is reccomended/ok'd by most peds and many parents start at 3mo. If you look at high chairs and many other feeding items they are marked "3mo - x number of years".

Some stuff really worries me.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:55 AM
 
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People have done a good job of helping you determine what is "CPS appropriate." I too would report the bolded information. If you can, try to remember some specific examples with dates or other details that will help the person taking the report.

As a foster mom (in a loving home where we don't have abusive older children-- a common type of foster home, especially among foster parents who take very young children), the one that I personally would give the most "air time" in my report is that the child is not consistently being fed. A child going hungry (that is, not being offered any food) until at least 4pm (might be later if child wasn't dropped off at your house?) is severe neglect. I am really shocked someone here considered this within the "norm."

So, in summary, you would be reporting:
1. Neglect (child not being fed, inconsistent and completely inadequate supervision, medical neglect in administration of meds, rare use of car seats)
2. Physical abuse (I would focus primarily on the child being dragged around by the hair unless you have seen bruises and other marks from the hitting, though you could mention the hitting too)
3. Emotional abuse (constant screaming)

Keep your report organized.

Assuming you will report, and I think it is well warranted, the exact response will vary by state (if you are in the U.S.) and even county. However, it will probably look something like this:

1. The person who takes the report over the phone will gather the details and then (usually in coordination with a supervisor) make a determination of whether an investigation is warranted.

2. If it is not warranted, they may choose to simply record the report but do nothing, or in some cases they will send the family a letter to serve as a type of warning.

3. If they do screen the call "in" for investigation, they will complete some type of check on the welfare of the children.

4. During the check on the children, a few things can happen:
  • They may decide at that point that the situation doesn't fit the abuse and neglect laws of your area. In this case, they will close the case within some short time period (a few days, a couple of weeks, or something like that). The record will show the concern as "unfounded."
  • They may decide that the situation doesn't fit the abuse and neglect laws of your area, but that the child is at significant enough risk that the case should remain open for a little while so they can monitor the situation and provide referrals, etc.
  • They may determine that the case is one of abuse and neglect, and will provide services and support while the children remain in the home and they monitor how things are going.
  • They may determine the case is one of abuse and neglect, and that there is an immediate danger to the children should they remain in the home. This may end up being very short-term. There are some kids who come into care for just a weekend-long period while the most immediate concerns get sorted out. Other times, kids remain in foster care for a longer period, but statistically, the majority return home within 6 months or less, and the vast, vast majority are returned by the one year mark. Meanwhile, the parents will receive services to support improvement in the areas of concern and will have visitations with the kids (#, length, and degree of supervision if any is determined by regional standards and the specifics of the case). If children are removed from a home, relative/kinship placements by law must be considered before "standard" foster care placements, though if the child is removed quickly, the child may go to a "standard" placement until a relative background check is completed.

It varies from area to area, but statistically, most calls to CPS do not result in even a temporary removal of children from their homes. The idea that a CPS call automatically means foster care is a misnomer. I've had kids come into my care who literally spent years prior in *horrendously* abusive or neglectful situations while multiple calls were made but didn't result in removal until finally during an investigation, something changed.

I don't know why it is important for you to ask yourself what your goal is in calling. The fact is, what you are describing is abuse and neglect, and the state will determine how bad it is and what that means for the future. You really have nothing to do with that. Most wrongful reports don't result in actions against the family, despite all the stuff on the internet from folks claiming their children are wrongfully in care (I know there are some folks honestly saying this, and I grieve for them, but some of the parents of foster kids I've had in my home were on the internet saying similar things when in fact they really were abusing and neglecting their children to the point that the child was very, very much in danger...knowing how often that has been true, I pay little mind to those stories).

Quote:
but seeeriously, you'd call CPS on someone for feeding a 9 month old baby solids? Lock me up!
Sounds like the OP feels she needs to report not based on one thing alone, but a collection of things...the bigger picture. I think there are enough very serious safety issues in her post that override any concern that she might be reporting for feeding alone. Clearly she is not.

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Old 01-16-2009, 05:12 AM
 
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I didn't think OP was going to call cps due to feeding a 3mo solids- but more the WHOLE picture. While I don't agree with what they are feeding these children it IS within the 'norm' in many areas. I would think long and hard before you call. I DO think there are reasons TO call, just organize your reasons...thoughts and feelings before you call. I think you have gotten some very great constructive critism from these other mommas.

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Old 01-16-2009, 09:39 AM
 
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A child going hungry (that is, not being offered any food) until at least 4pm (might be later if child wasn't dropped off at your house?) is severe neglect. I am really shocked someone here considered this within the "norm."
But what about the big picture? How is the family's lifestyle?

Because I tell ya, my family is a bunch of nightowls. Many times we don't wake up until near noon. And sometimes my DD (also 3.5) gets caught up with playing that she doesn't eat until the late afternoon. There were times my DD hadn't really eaten until 4pm, and that's without the 5 bottles of milk this other kid had.

So while this kid should probably be checked up on, I wouldn't call it "severe abuse" just on principle.

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Old 01-16-2009, 10:12 AM
 
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Unfortunately, a lot of the food issues are non-issues. I don't think it's against the law to feed your kid crap. .....
.....
Unfortunately.

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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would butt out. Very little on your list is even outside the "norm" in most places.

-Angela
Also, unfortunate, but true. Makes me want to cry.

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Old 01-16-2009, 10:33 AM
 
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Yeah, I think live the solids issue out. I'm not sure about the falling down the stairs thing either. My middle kid did that around 1 yo, and yes, three times. And yes, we had a gate. And yes, we are attentive, loving parents. Alone, that's not an abuse issue. But in the context of the other things, it might be a symptom of neglict.

What I might call for
--lack of care for the asthma
--not using carseats
--being left alone in the bath
--the lawnmower incident

But before you call, are you absolutely certain that these children would be better served in the foster system than with their parents, as unfortunate as their parenting choices may be?
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:40 PM
 
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CPS might not even care about the car seats. I had a social worker who never ever used car seats correctly when she picked up my foster kids (who should have been harnessed at the time, being in just a booster, not just by size, but by LAW). No amount of speaking to her or her supervisors, or the director changed anything.
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