Our pedi turned us to the Child Protective Services - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 55 Old 01-07-2010, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Our 2 year old was bit by a dog about a month ago, minor cut, was OK 5 minutes later. The dog was more or less playing with it, not seriously attacking our son.

My spouse called our pedi and apparently scared her. I think she really blew it out of proption. She wanted to schedule something (a week later), but I canceled it since there was no reason. It was a tiny scratch that has since healed. She got mad and turned us over to CPS. Now our pedi has never seen our son, so it's totally over the phone stuff.

Now CPS contacted me, wants to come over, I said no. I heard that a lot of times they will try to build a case against you based on info they fish out from such visits. Then they demand that we come to them.

Do they have that right, to demand a meeting one way or another?
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#2 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I think you want to avoid being branded as 'uncooperative' without reason. I'd offer to meet with them, explain the situation, and go from there.
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#3 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 12:15 AM
 
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I'd be making an appointment with that doctor. (Not to see my kid either....)
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#4 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 12:31 AM
 
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I'm a cps worker. Believe me (or at least where I work) we don't walk around looking for cases. We have enough bad stuff to deal with... And unless there truly is something that is creating an abuse or neglect situation, there won't be anything to build a case on.
I would think it would just be simpler to meet the worker, explain the situation, and just be done with it. As I have explained before... We can get two seemingly similar calls into our hotline: "child bit by dog, parents refusing medical treatment". One case could be like yours and there is absolutely nothing going on- heck my grandmother's dog nipped my DD and broke the skin a tiny amount (15 year old dashhound) and we didn't seek treatment.
OR... The same call "child bit by dog, parents refusing medical treatment" and we get there and a 2 year old has been attacked by a pit bull because its parents were operating an illegal dog fighting ring and dealing drugs. The 2 year old was left alone with several dogs while the mom was high...

That's the nature of the job. Sometimes we have to investigate the situations where nothing is going on... And as soon as we realize that the quicker we can get on with our day...

IMO I would just talk to the CPS worker and get it all cleared up. No need to get all up in arms over nothing.
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#5 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 12:47 AM
 
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Health care providers are mandated reporters, so if your doctor was under the impression that there was a serious bite, and you were not coming in to have it treated, then she has to call CPS or she can get in biiiig trouble. Especially if all this was happening over the phone and she has now way of knowing what's really going on.

As far as CPS, I'm sure you could refuse to meet with them, but it might just be easier to say "Ok, look we'll come in for five minutes and you can see the 'bite' we're talking about" so they know there isn't a problem, rather than having them keep trying to follow up on a non-existent issue.
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#6 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 12:57 AM
 
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Actually, in this case, I'd go ahead and have them come over and just not let them in the house. Why drive in the snow to take 5 seconds to show them a healed scratch?
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#7 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 01:02 AM
 
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I'd be making an appointment with that doctor. (Not to see my kid either....)
Exactly!
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#8 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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Not sure where you are located, but I would also just contact the worker, and tell them you are more than willing to stop by and allow them to see the alleged bite, or they can come to your home and you will bring the child out to the porch for them to look at the bite.

My dog is very friendly (my daughter can walk up, pull its bowl of food out from under its face while eating, and then hand feed the dog), but while playing a bit rough the dog will sometimes scratch the skin with her claws of even accidentally graze the skin with teeth while playing with a toy.
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#9 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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My spouse called our pedi and apparently scared her. I think she really blew it out of proption. She wanted to schedule something (a week later), but I canceled it since there was no reason. It was a tiny scratch that has since healed. She got mad and turned us over to CPS. Now our pedi has never seen our son, so it's totally over the phone stuff.
You have a reported dog bite of a minor... you said your self that your spouse really scared the ped.... but are refusing treatment or even a visit... the Ped would be very irresponsible to not report a situation of this nature, and could loose her license over something like this if not reported.

She is doing her job.

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#10 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 01:26 AM
 
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could you make an appointment at their office?

also if you have insurance I would recommend taking your child in to the ped (perhaps one that does not freak out so easily - honestly her over reaction and lack of trust would signal to me a deeper continuing issue. I need my Dr. to believe when I say my child "is doing better, just fine, we just wanted to get you opinion on that" ) and getting an official clean bill of health in writing.(government agencies are so stupid about this. in order to get dds birth certificate we had to get a note from a random ped telling them it was indeed a live baby. no crap. they couldn't just look at her and see "yep, she is alive" only a Dr.s word would do. I also had to get a random OBs letter stating I had given birth to a live baby and this was her. even though he had never met me and was not at my birth. but because he said it it muct be true. because Dr.s are special).

good luck

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#11 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 02:02 AM - Thread Starter
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#12 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 02:15 AM
 
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could you make an appointment at their office?

also if you have insurance I would recommend taking your child in to the ped (perhaps one that does not freak out so easily - honestly her over reaction and lack of trust would signal to me a deeper continuing issue. I need my Dr. to believe when I say my child "is doing better, just fine, we just wanted to get you opinion on that" ) and getting an official clean bill of health in writing.(government agencies are so stupid about this. in order to get dds birth certificate we had to get a note from a random ped telling them it was indeed a live baby. no crap. they couldn't just look at her and see "yep, she is alive" only a Dr.s word would do. I also had to get a random OBs letter stating I had given birth to a live baby and this was her. even though he had never met me and was not at my birth. but because he said it it muct be true. because Dr.s are special).

good luck

I once had to get a doctor's note saying that I was overweight in order to get a regular desk at my University When they told me I actually blurted out "Can't you just take a picture?" because it seemed so strange to me that they couldn't just *see* that I was heavy!

OP: I agree that I would probably just let them do a check to get it done with. I am sorry this is happening though, it sounds very stressful

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#13 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 03:14 AM
 
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Wow I have to wonder if this is a relatively new pediatrician. With our old dr before we moved, if I'd called back and told them it was already healed and just a scratch, they wouldn't have thought a thing about it - but that's because they knew us pretty well and trusted our judgement. I'd probably find a new dr personally though after this. As for the CPS worker, let her see that the bite really was nothing, explain your DH overreacted, and let it drop. You've done nothing wrong but the more you stall on something like this the more it gives the appearance of guilt imo.
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#14 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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I understand why you're unhappy, but I agree with others that even if the laws in your jurisdiction don't compel you to meet with them, you should. A meeting will probably clear things up quickly. Otherwise, the only way for them to investigate is to talk to your neighbours, school teachers, etc.

Without knowing exactly what your dh said to the doctor, I'm not going to label her as over-reacting. The law requires her to report suspected cases of abuse and neglect. I'd be surprised if she reports every dog bite case she gets or every untreated problem. If your dh really scared her (your words) and then the child is untreated, I agree with the others that she may feel she had no choice.
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#15 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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#16 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

also if you have insurance I would recommend taking your child in to the ped (perhaps one that does not freak out so easily - honestly her over reaction and lack of trust would signal to me a deeper continuing issue. I need my Dr. to believe when I say my child "is doing better, just fine, we just wanted to get you opinion on that" ) and getting an official clean bill of health in writing.(government agencies are so stupid about this.

good luck
Unfortunately good doctors are skeptical because abusive people are more likely to lie than they are to come out and say they are abusive and neglectful parents. Good doctors care more about the kid than they do about the parents feelings. I think this doctor was a good doctor who did her job. A parent called and made the dog bite seem like a big deal then the parents didn't bother to bring the child in, that seems neglectful and a pediatrician would be very careless to let that go. I wish all parents were good and honest so doctors wouldn't have to be suspicious, but they aren't.
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#17 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I'm not sure the ped over-reacted. When you say the ped has never seen your son, do you mean never ever, or not for this issue? If you mean never-ever then I can see the reporting because she has no personal history on which to base her opinion of you and no personal knowledge of your son's overall health. So as a mandated reporter she'd have to go with the worst case scenario while hoping she's wrong.

I think the easiest thing at this point would be to let CPS see that your kid is fine whether you go to them or allow them to come to you. Personally. I'd go to them.

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#18 of 55 Old 01-08-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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I agree with what the other posters have said. She is a mandatory notifier and in so depending on your states statutes regarding dog bites she may have had to report it.

IMO I would meet with the CPS but at their office. That way you are not labeled "uncooperative" I would also prior to the visit take my child to another pediatrician and have them write out a well child report regarding the bite. Its healed, not dangerous..blah blah blah. Make a copy to keep and take the other to your CPS visit. It may be beneficial to write out a letter a sort of statement of what occured that way you can have in your words what happened. In case the mtg goes down hill you can always say "this is my statement." "please refer to my statement for the answer" its a CYA move but sometimes in moments it helps to have it written out. Leave emotion out of the statement, plus it leaves no interpretation betwwen what you are saying and what the worker is writing down.
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#19 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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I would show them the child, but I likely wouldn't allow them in my home.

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#20 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 09:09 AM
 
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I'd meet with them in my home and show them the bite, and explain the situation. Since the Ped is new, she's doing what she is supposed to do in a situation like that. I'm sure if you had an established relationship, this wouldn't be an issue.
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#21 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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Will you be getting a new pediatrician after you've dealt with cps?

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#22 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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I'm not sure the ped over-reacted. When you say the ped has never seen your son, do you mean never ever, or not for this issue? If you mean never-ever then I can see the reporting because she has no personal history on which to base her opinion of you and no personal knowledge of your son's overall health. So as a mandated reporter she'd have to go with the worst case scenario while hoping she's wrong.

I think the easiest thing at this point would be to let CPS see that your kid is fine whether you go to them or allow them to come to you. Personally. I'd go to them.
Thats a good point. Our ped knows us very very well. So if I called in and said "ya know what, their dad was freaking out. it really just a scratch" he would know for certain that it really was just a scratch. he trusts my judgment and knows my kids are healthy and happy. but that is why we have taken the time to take our kids in for well checks, both so the Dr. will know us and in an emergancy our kids will know their Dr.

I can imagine how he handled a situation like this would vary depending on if he knew us or not.

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#23 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 11:52 AM
 
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Do they have that right, to demand a meeting one way or another?
Not without a court order and I would never allow a CPS worker into my home without a warrant. Personally I would be speaking to our lawyers at this point and having them handle all communications.

I do think you need to have your child assessed by a doctor who can write a note for CPS to let them know that his is okay.
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#24 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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Not without a court order and I would never allow a CPS worker into my home without a warrant. Personally I would be speaking to our lawyers at this point and having them handle all communications.

I do think you need to have your child assessed by a doctor who can write a note for CPS to let them know that his is okay.
Isn't this a bit over the top?

Personally I would let the CPS worker come into my house and visit with my child. But then again I would know the CPS worker was there for my childs benefit and that I had nothing to hide.
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#25 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 12:47 PM
 
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Isn't this a bit over the top?
No, it isn't 'over the top' to protect my children and my home. The 4th amendment gives me this right.


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Personally I would let the CPS worker come into my house and visit with my child. But then again I would know the CPS worker was there for my childs benefit and that I had nothing to hide.
Personally, I prefer to take legal counsel from actual lawyers who have been working on cases involving CPS for over 20 years and know the ins and outs of the law and how best to protect my children. It doesn't really matter whether I have something to hide or not. If a police officer showed up demanding entrance to my home to see if I was growing pot or if their were illegal pictures on my computer or what not, they would be given the same treatment.
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#26 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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I actually am going to go out on a limb here and say it sounds like you MAY have found a pediatrician who really cares, is thoughtful, and is ready to go the extra mile for her patients.

You said she "got mad" - now if she was rude to you or something, that would change my opinion. But seriously I think the person here who needs to apologize is your partner. If you call up a doctor and say you think something is serious, it's a GOOD doctor who listens to that.

For CPS, I'd meet with them. Why not? It's the same thing; they're doing their job to protect kids. If you don't want them in your home, just schedule a neutral spot.

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#27 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 05:51 PM
 
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Not without a court order and I would never allow a CPS worker into my home without a warrant. Personally I would be speaking to our lawyers at this point and having them handle all communications.

I do think you need to have your child assessed by a doctor who can write a note for CPS to let them know that his is okay.
Do you have a family lawyer familiar with CPS on retainer? I would bet 99.9% of people don't.
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#28 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 06:33 PM
 
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I NOW have a family lawyer who is quite familiar with CPS available to me should I need one after my experience this summer with my child.

I also will never walk into an unfamiliar medical setting without a digital voice recorder on the table and a copy of the laws which allow me to record any conversation which I am a party to.

Being forced to consent to known non-benign procedures to prove you have not abused your child - or temporarily lose custody - is not fun. It creates a defensive parent and one who learns the laws, their rights and becomes educated in how to protect them in order to protect their child and the integrity of their family.

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#29 of 55 Old 01-09-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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Also, in regards to dog bites, since dogs can carry rabies, any dog bite is a public health concern in terms of potential rabies transmission. As far as I know, when a bite becomes known to health care providers, they have to inform the health department so they can follow up on the vaccination status of the dog.

I don't think CPS falls into this equation generally.

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#30 of 55 Old 01-10-2010, 12:13 PM
 
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In some states, all dog bites are required to be reported by mandatory reporters, which include peds. So even if you had gone in, she may have been legally obligated to report the dog bite anyway. And in some cases, the dog would then be required to have a vet appointment to prove it's not dangerous/vicious according to state statute.
Yes, but those reports do not get made to Children's Protective Services. Rather they are made to the Animal Shelter/Humane Society for the County who regulates the animals (ie issues the dog licenses, etc).
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