need some CPS advice - if we call would they do anything? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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so, i have a SIL who is divorced with 3 boys (9, 11, 16).  her XH was a terrible husband, but a pretty good dad, involved and fought for custody.  

3 weeks ago she met a man who has 3 kids (boy-17, girl-15, boy anywhere from 8-12).  SIL let this guy move into her house. she took the 9 and 11 year olds out of their rooms.  she gave their rooms to BF's 17 and 15 y.o.  now her two younger boys and the youngest boy of BF share her bed.  she and BF sleep on couches.  let me say that again: SHE HAS HER 2 SONS SHARING A BED WITH A BOY THEY DON"T KNOW.

 

two days ago two of her sisters found out and went to talk to her. they had an argument about it and she kicked them out of the house.  another brother went to talk to her and they fought and she kicked him out of the house.  this has only been going on for about 2 weeks.  when the brother was there he talked to her 11 year old son. the son said he didn't tell his dad because they didn't want his dad to be mad at his mom.  SIL's XH left for a two week vacation last week.  it turns out that the brother who spoke with SIL is going to the same place and has made plans to meet up with him in the next 2 days to tell him what is going on.  He is also going to tell him that the family will support him going to court to fight for custody because of this.  

 

but, even if he gets his lawyer on the phone immediately, it may take some time to get the kids out.  DH and i are thinking about calling CPS.  would CPS investigate over this? would they take the boys out over this? there are enough family members who would take the boys till their father got back (he is over seas in a very remote area and the earliest he could be back would be next weekend). but the question is: would CPS do anything?

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#2 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and obviously, if we are willing to side with SIL's XH in court, then we aren't worried about her being mad about CPS, we just want the boys to be safe.

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#3 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Unless there's evidence of abuse, I don't see what CPS could do. Yeah it sucks to be ousted from your room and have to share a bed, but I can't see how this is abuse or neglect. I think someone in your family needs to keep the connection with your nephews open so if something happens they have someone to tell. Telling Dad is fine. He needs to know. But CPS? I don't think so.
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#4 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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Even if CPS did remove the kids...that doesn't mean that they would get placed immediately with family.  It can take many, many months for family members to get approved sometimes.  And you don't get to pick which family members they would go to, if they would be separated, etc.  It's all in the hands of the government at that point.  And if no homes can take the kids, they can end up in a group home, mental home, or other random places until CPS gets around to placing them somewhere better.

 

I can't tell you if CPS would intervene or not because it varies so much by county.  But I've seen people call cps on other people expecting for things to then go their way or in their favor...and it doesn't always work like that.  Calling cps is not a way to get parents to do what you want.  In this case, it sounds like you could do a lot more harm than good by calling.  It seems like this could be worked through in your family (maybe with the help of a lawyer), with out involving cps.


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#5 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Even if CPS did remove the kids...that doesn't mean that they would get placed immediately with family.  It can take many, many months for family members to get approved sometimes.  And you don't get to pick which family members they would go to, if they would be separated, etc.  It's all in the hands of the government at that point.  And if no homes can take the kids, they can end up in a group home, mental home, or other random places until CPS gets around to placing them somewhere better.

 

I can't tell you if CPS would intervene or not because it varies so much by county.  But I've seen people call cps on other people expecting for things to then go their way or in their favor...and it doesn't always work like that.  Calling cps is not a way to get parents to do what you want.  In this case, it sounds like you could do a lot more harm than good by calling.  It seems like this could be worked through in your family (maybe with the help of a lawyer), with out involving cps.


thanks. that is what we were thinking (that once you call it is out of your hands, that there is nothing you can do.  i was just checking all avenues. thanks

 

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#6 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 02:01 PM
 
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It would be nice if they had more bedrooms, but I don't see what the abusive situation is in this case?
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#7 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 02:50 PM
 
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I agree.  Sounds like mom might be making poor choices that make her kids uncomfortable but not dangerous ones.  And I don't see anything abusive.  I would be very scared to put kids who are not feeling scared or being hurt into "the system" because things might be worse for them if you do, kwim?  It does sound like it'll be good for the kids to have dad around when he gets back, though.

 


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#8 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 03:15 PM
 
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While sharing a bed with basically 'strangers' may be less than ideal, they will probably be much worse off being abruptly removed from their home & their parents... Are there other things going on that you are worried about, or is it just the sleeping arrangements?

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#9 of 30 Old 07-11-2011, 09:37 PM
 
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so what you are saying is that a 9 year old and a 11 year old sharing a bed with a 8-12 year old? all boys. 

 

is there something wrong with that?

 

are the 9 and 11 year old uncomfortable with this situation? how do they feel about the 8-12 year old?


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#10 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 09:16 AM
 
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I would be much more concerned that a man that your SIL has only known for 3 weeks has now moved in. Still not CPS worthy -- but can family members invite her boys to visit for a while until their dad comes back? Very poor judgment, if nothing else.


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#11 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 09:24 AM
 
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I wouldn't involve CPS in this situation(it would take a hell of alot for me to call cps on anyone after what I've seen), but I don't see how 3 kids in one bed are sleeping properly. Some can't sleep properly with even just 2 in a bed. I think that is a bad decision. I hope they consider moving to a larger home and buy some more beds.


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#12 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 09:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

I wouldn't involve CPS in this situation(it would take a hell of alot for me to call cps on anyone after what I've seen), but I don't see how 3 kids in one bed are sleeping properly. Some can't sleep properly with even just 2 in a bed. I think that is a bad decision. I hope they consider moving to a larger home and buy some more beds.


There are children all over the world sleeping 3 or more to a bed, it did it myself as a child for some periods of time. We slept just fine.

 

I don't think I would call CPS with this "first world problem".
 

 

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#13 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 02:15 PM
 
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I am not at all understanding why CPS should be called. I'm sure all the kids involved would much rather stay together with their family even if it means sharing a room/bed with other kids they just met. If they were uncomfortable, they would be complaining or sleeping on the couch or floor.


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#14 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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I would not call.  The kids are not in an unsafe situation.  They are in an uncomfortable situation and I really feel for them.  Certainly a serious lack of judgement by the adults involved as well.  You will have much better luck encouraging them to have the kids in separate beds than cutting off communication by calling CPS.  Having worked in child welfare, the chances of them investigating are slim to none.  Chances are they won't even write down a single note about the call. I wouldn't waste my time there.  I would try to work towards a solution.  If there are so many family members willing to care for these kids were CPS to pull them, are there also family members willing to step in and buy a bed or a blow up mattress to throw on the floor?  Ignore your feelings about these adults making poor decisions and do what you can to make the kids a bit more comfortable. 

 

ETA:  I would also agree with you regardless on supporting SIL's XH in the custody arrangements if mom is going to continue to allow men she's known for three weeks to live with her kids.  In my mind, THAT puts the kids at much greater risk than sharing a bed with another boy the same age.  Emotionally I can understand how the whole thing is going to be very difficult for these kids regardless.  Being kicked out of your room and forced to sleep three in a bed so that mom's new BF can move in is insane and probably pretty traumatic for these kids. 

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#15 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 02:41 PM
 
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I'd hold off because the dad is being notified in the next day or so. I think there's a way of getting an emergency hearing, if a parent is worried about their kids well-being, and he could get a temporary order to have the kids live with him while they sort things out. If these were my kids, I'd be extremely concerned about the situation, even without the bed-sharing factor. If the dad doesn't come back to deal with it immediately, I'd probably call CPS at that point.


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#16 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 08:58 PM
 
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Yeah, CPS are not going to remove the children from the home unless there is physical evidence of harm, abuse, or neglect. It is actually REALLY extreme to be pulled out of a home on a first visit much less NO visit. Yeah, it is unusual and sudden and is probably not helping the children transition with the situation of their biological parents - however, it is not illegal nor is it really harming the kids. I agree with pps - there are children who don't have their own rooms or a house. While I feel for your situation; it is low on the CPS totem pole.

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#17 of 30 Old 07-12-2011, 10:42 PM
 
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I wouldnt call. There is no reason to.

Have you asked the boys if they are uncomfortable?
Has anyone even asked the mom why this is happening or how long she plans to do this for? (she might be letting him stay there for a month, or they might move in a couple of months into a bigger place)
Is there any reason to believe that it is unsafe, unsanitary, or abusive?
Do you think the mom talked to her kids before she made this decision and included them in it?


There is just way too much missing information for me to think to call cps. I would def. be asking some questions, but knowing that she has every right to tell me its none of my business. Honestly, 3 boys in the 8-12 age range sharing a room is not really uncommon. Its kinda weird that they barely know the boy, but for all we know they might get along great and have asked to all sleep in the same room.

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#18 of 30 Old 07-13-2011, 05:49 AM
 
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I'm not sure how you think the sleeping situation constitutes neglect or abuse?  It sounds uncomfortable &/or like something you don't approve of, but child services tends to investigate things like neglect situations where children aren't eating and physical or sexual abuse.


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#19 of 30 Old 07-13-2011, 06:06 AM
 
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I wouldn't call. Seems more like a uncomfortable situation but nothing really neglectful or abusive. Sometimes things are done and people just have to suck it up. Sure it seems like some bad choices are being made but at the same time no one knows what it really going on. The guy could really be a decent guy and it all could be temporary. Who knows. Really not CPS worthy at all. 

 

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#20 of 30 Old 07-13-2011, 07:29 AM
 
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Do you have personal experience with CPS or children who have been under their "care"? I wouldnt call unless the children indicate something more than just sharing a bed with another kid. Getting CPS involved in a case where you actually want the kids to stay in the family is not a good idea. Remember, they get paid to take children from families.  (Of course some caseworkers are saints, but not all of them!!)

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#21 of 30 Old 07-13-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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Would it make the family more comfortable if the boys shared a room but not beds? Could the concerned family members pool $$ and buy 3 cots, air matresses, or bunks for the boys to replace the big bed?


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#22 of 30 Old 07-13-2011, 08:46 AM
 
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Would it make the family more comfortable if the boys shared a room but not beds? Could the concerned family members pool $$ and buy 3 cots, air mattresses, or bunks for the boys to replace the big bed?


Yeah, a little more energy and $ spent toward helping might get better ultimate results than calling CPS.  You can often find bunk beds (or loft beds or trundles) on Craigslist, or even freecycle, if anyone has the time and a vehicle to check the ads and pickup the beds.

 


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#23 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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False.  They get paid to investigate and determine whether kids are in safe or unsafe situations, and then to find a safe situation if the kids are not safe.  This includes supporting the child's family of origin through all sorts of services designed to help the children remain in their homes.  What a judgemental and inaccurate statement.   
 

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 Remember, they get paid to take children from families.

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#24 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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This has not been my experience.  At all.  Nothing about my home was unsafe, and yet my daughter was still taken.  And I know for darn sure that she isn't any safer or better off with my crazy/elderly ex-MIL.  Not a single service has ever been offered to me.  It has been all on me to come up with the money, time, and resources needed to even be allowed to remain in touch with my daughter.  If I weren't as blessed as I am with family to help, and the ability to model for extra money...I would have had to given up completely on ever seeing or getting my daughter back by now.  Because the system has done nothing to help her or me, and everything they can to make it almost impossible for me to win this.
 

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False.  They get paid to investigate and determine whether kids are in safe or unsafe situations, and then to find a safe situation if the kids are not safe.  This includes supporting the child's family of origin through all sorts of services designed to help the children remain in their homes.  What a judgemental and inaccurate statement.   
 



 


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#25 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 08:58 AM
 
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I would be much more concerned that a man that your SIL has only known for 3 weeks has now moved in. Still not CPS worthy -- but can family members invite her boys to visit for a while until their dad comes back? Very poor judgment, if nothing else.

This.  Why would you move a man you just met into your house?  Why does a grown man need a place to live that bad?  Why doesn't he have his own home?  

 

I wish the kid's father hadn't gone out of town for two weeks right now.  He should cut his vacation short and come home to deal with the fact that their mother let a man she just met move in.

 

The three boys sharing a bed shouldn't be an issue.  I know boys this age who have sleep overs with lots of boys in one room, and as far as I know, none of them have ever been molested by the other kids at the sleepover.  The kids of the same age sharing a bed probably doesn't have anything to do with sex.  I think that is totally safe.  

 

I just think it's weird that a man and women who just met would want to live together. 
 

 

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#26 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 09:26 AM
 
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This has not been my experience.  At all.  Nothing about my home was unsafe, and yet my daughter was still taken.  And I know for darn sure that she isn't any safer or better off with my crazy/elderly ex-MIL.  Not a single service has ever been offered to me.  It has been all on me to come up with the money, time, and resources needed to even be allowed to remain in touch with my daughter.  If I weren't as blessed as I am with family to help, and the ability to model for extra money...I would have had to given up completely on ever seeing or getting my daughter back by now.  Because the system has done nothing to help her or me, and everything they can to make it almost impossible for me to win this.
 



I wouldn't in a billion years make a judgement on the outcome of a CPS case with only details from the internet, but I will say that my heart breaks for anyone who has had their child removed from a home that was loving and safe.  I know it happens, though in all my years of working in child welfare, I have never personally encountered it.  What I have encountered is hundreds of children who have been left in unsafe, abusive, and neglectful homes.  That is the true failure of the child welfare system--that child are left in terrible situations on a regular basis, and frequently also placed in foster or kinship homes that are sickeningly awful.  Social workers are not eager to remove kids from homes in most situations because we know how bad some foster homes can be too (not all obviously as there are some fabulous, outstanding, loving foster families and I don't want to minimize that).  The child welfare system is not perfect and mistakes are made on a regular basis.  BUT, the majority of social workers are in it to make a difference.  We don't get paid jack, the hours suck, you're always "on call", and you spend your days in filthy and heart-wrenching situations. 

 

To say that social workers are paid to remove kids from homes is completely false.  If a social worker is doing their job, they are helping families access resources to strengthen the family and allow children to remain in the home, or be reunified with their parents if possible.  Sadly, this is not always possible, but then there is a strong push to get kids into loving adoptive homes too. Not all social workers are doing their jobs, and not all states and counties are set up in a way to facilitate families getting the resources they may need to remain in tact, but that is the goal.  There is absolutely no *goal* to remove children from homes.  In fact, in the state I worked in, there were stats we were required to meet for *keeping* kids in homes and reunifying families.  This has resulted in kids languishing in abusive/neglectful homes...

 

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#27 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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Well I have been told by numerous lawyers that if I lived even 5 minutes away in a different county...that none of this would have ever been allowed to happen.  Supposedly where I lived when she was removed, the CPS system there is very bored and very corrupt.  So I don't doubt anything you are saying.  I just always feel the need to speak up when someone insists that CPS is always slow to remove kids, and that their goal is to first keep families together.  Because even though that may be true the large majority of the time.  It is not always the case, and my situation is an example of that.  And if it's happened to me, then it has to have happened to others. 

 

Sorry OP for letting the thread get off topic.  I hope your family is able to work something out that can make everyone happy/comfortable.
 

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I wouldn't in a billion years make a judgement on the outcome of a CPS case with only details from the internet, but I will say that my heart breaks for anyone who has had their child removed from a home that was loving and safe.  I know it happens, though in all my years of working in child welfare, I have never personally encountered it.  What I have encountered is hundreds of children who have been left in unsafe, abusive, and neglectful homes.  That is the true failure of the child welfare system--that child are left in terrible situations on a regular basis, and frequently also placed in foster or kinship homes that are sickeningly awful.  Social workers are not eager to remove kids from homes in most situations because we know how bad some foster homes can be too (not all obviously as there are some fabulous, outstanding, loving foster families and I don't want to minimize that).  The child welfare system is not perfect and mistakes are made on a regular basis.  BUT, the majority of social workers are in it to make a difference.  We don't get paid jack, the hours suck, you're always "on call", and you spend your days in filthy and heart-wrenching situations. 

 

To say that social workers are paid to remove kids from homes is completely false.  If a social worker is doing their job, they are helping families access resources to strengthen the family and allow children to remain in the home, or be reunified with their parents if possible.  Sadly, this is not always possible, but then there is a strong push to get kids into loving adoptive homes too. Not all social workers are doing their jobs, and not all states and counties are set up in a way to facilitate families getting the resources they may need to remain in tact, but that is the goal.  There is absolutely no *goal* to remove children from homes.  In fact, in the state I worked in, there were stats we were required to meet for *keeping* kids in homes and reunifying families.  This has resulted in kids languishing in abusive/neglectful homes...

 



 


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#28 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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I feel bad for the kids, first their Father moves out, then some guy moves in, next they're ousted from their bedrooms (rooms that most likely provided them with comfort, privacy and security) so strangers could move in - which says to me that the kids are pretty much lowest on the scale of importance in that household - then they're made to share a bed with yet another stranger, albeit one they're age who is playing the role of what? Stepbrother? 

Anyone who's saying it's no big deal, kids share beds all the time obviously haven't read the entire post.

 

OP, I'd keep a sharp eye on the kids and the goings on in the house. It just boggles my mind why and how a grown man would just up and move in with a woman he just met. And drag his kids along while he's at it. And stand by and let her own kids, the ones who actually LIVE there get kicked out of their rooms. Sounds like a real winner.

And a PP mentioned pooling money to buy some bunk beds, I think that's a great idea.

 

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#29 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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This.  Why would you move a man you just met into your house?  Why does a grown man need a place to live that bad?  Why doesn't he have his own home?  

 

I wish the kid's father hadn't gone out of town for two weeks right now.  He should cut his vacation short and come home to deal with the fact that their mother let a man she just met move in.

 

The three boys sharing a bed shouldn't be an issue.  I know boys this age who have sleep overs with lots of boys in one room, and as far as I know, none of them have ever been molested by the other kids at the sleepover.  The kids of the same age sharing a bed probably doesn't have anything to do with sex.  I think that is totally safe.  

 

I just think it's weird that a man and women who just met would want to live together. 
 

 



Really, I knew that I wanted to live with DH within the first few days of meeting him. We were a lot younger, and we had time to spare. If I was 40 and I felt like I was spending my life alone and I met a man that I knew I was head over heels in love with, I could totally see wanting to move in immediately. However, I cant see how you could not think of how it would impact your children, or not sit down with exH and explain what you were introducing his kids into.

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#30 of 30 Old 07-14-2011, 05:50 PM
 
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Do you have personal experience with CPS or children who have been under their "care"? I wouldnt call unless the children indicate something more than just sharing a bed with another kid. Getting CPS involved in a case where you actually want the kids to stay in the family is not a good idea. Remember, they get paid to take children from families.  (Of course some caseworkers are saints, but not all of them!!)



No they do NOT get paid to take children away from their families. They are paid to help families provide the best care and situation possible for the children involved. Many times that means therapy, home visits, parenting classes and rehab. It is a common misconception to think that CPS likes/or their only purpose is to "take children away from their families". That is a last resort measure when parents become uncompliant or unwilling to change or the child is in some sort of mortal danger. Many times they will relocate the child to another family member if one is suitable. I am social worker and there is nothing more frustrating than when people say that CPS/DHS wants to take their children. People do not realize how traumatizing that is to the child.

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