Update pg 10. Yay!-The ever-present CPS fears have materialized for us - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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#121 of 192 Old 10-21-2011, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We had to postpone our atty visit. We met with her late yesterday. Fortunately she is intimately acquainted with our local CPS agency. Unfortunately, since she knows how they work, she suggested we go along with whatever they want. If we play their game they'll let us sail through. If we fight, they'll drag us through the mud and we obviously can't afford it. :( She said there is always a public defender, but that a public defender will not get a good outcome. We'll be in worst straits than if we just went along now.

 

She agreed that it seemed to be a simple accident, and that the original worker assessed it correctly and should have closed it. She was extremely irritated that the supervisor kept the case open. She said it's typical in our county and it frustrates her to no end; that the worker is there and uses her good judgement and then the supervisor undermines the worker when they don't know anything about it and weren't there. She also said the original worker is wishy-washy and wouldn't have stood up for her original assessment, and that's why the supervisor won out and the case is still open. Sigh.

 

We've been referred to an "ongoing worker" now and she seems to want to set up scheduled times for visits, so that's good. I haven't actually spoken to her yet, just phone tag. Fingers crossed she just drops the referred "program" and we get out in 7 weeks, as scheduled.


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#122 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 04:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post

We had to postpone our atty visit. We met with her late yesterday. Fortunately she is intimately acquainted with our local CPS agency. Unfortunately, since she knows how they work, she suggested we go along with whatever they want. If we play their game they'll let us sail through. If we fight, they'll drag us through the mud and we obviously can't afford it. :( She said there is always a public defender, but that a public defender will not get a good outcome. We'll be in worst straits than if we just went along now.

 

She agreed that it seemed to be a simple accident, and that the original worker assessed it correctly and should have closed it. She was extremely irritated that the supervisor kept the case open. She said it's typical in our county and it frustrates her to no end; that the worker is there and uses her good judgement and then the supervisor undermines the worker when they don't know anything about it and weren't there. She also said the original worker is wishy-washy and wouldn't have stood up for her original assessment, and that's why the supervisor won out and the case is still open. Sigh.

 

We've been referred to an "ongoing worker" now and she seems to want to set up scheduled times for visits, so that's good. I haven't actually spoken to her yet, just phone tag. Fingers crossed she just drops the referred "program" and we get out in 7 weeks, as scheduled.


This update fills me with anger. You just have to go along with it and HOPE that these people turn you loose in SEVEN WEEKS??? That is INSANE.

 

So do you see this, CPS lovers?? Look at the power this organization has over the lives of perfectly law abiding parents!! THIS IS RIDICULOUS!!!! Look on as these poor people have to deal with the presence of CPS in their life, take time out of their freaking days and family life to take a goddamn "parenting program".  ONGOING WORKER???? This is SUCH bullcrap. I'm irate at this update.

 

OP, these people are hindering you in your ability to live peacefully and it sucks. This is just ridiculous. I just can't even say everything I want to say, because it would be inappropriate and offensive. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. This is absolutely ridiculous.

 

Again, I'm just not able to say what is on my mind in any kind of respectful way, so I'm just not going to open this can of worms....suffice it to say, I'm absolutely PISSED for you, that you are dealing with this crap.

 

So are you going to sign that paperwork? Is that what the lawyer is telling you to do??? I wouldn't sign that vague, right waiving, bullcrap piece of paper for all the tea in china. I cannot imagine a world where my attorney would allow me to sign something so vague for an organization that was obviously so intent on staying in my life and messing with me...tell them you;ll agree to the program verbally, or in a specific signed statement or whatever....but please don't sign that paperwork. It just gives them too much room to screw you...and considering what they are already putting you through FOR NO REASON, they may be more than inclined to screw you some more.

 

LIVID.

 

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#123 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 04:40 AM
 
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SERIOUSLY....all you people who sit around like "oh CPS is so great!" - look at this, seriously. "If we play their game, they;ll let us sail through....if we don't (WHICH REALLY MEANS: If we advocate for our rights as parents and demand fair and constitutionally sound treatment) - we get dragged through the mud" - this is a disgusting abuse. Anyone involved in this situation knows that these are good parents who are doing their best. This is absolutely insane. OP, I'm so sorry.


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#124 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 05:00 AM
 
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I'm certainly no CPS lover. I know there are times when the system doesn't work as it should but that's not the norm (in my experience as a foster parent and having worked with at-risk families for years.) It sucks being involved with CPS. That's a fact. No matter if you are "innocent" or "guilty" of the allegations.

 

OP, I've worked with many wonderful "public defenders." I actually don't think that's the proper term but that doesn't matter. DD's birth mother's lawyer is a state senator. And her birth father's lawyer was a pit bull (in a good way- I was impressed.) I would ask for representation and talk to someone who deals with this stuff EVERY DAY.I can't imagine that they would suggest that you accept a parenting plan If everything you've told us is true (and I have no reason to doubt that,) then then all this isn't necessary and you should be able to get people (neighbors, teachers, employers, etc) to support your case.

 

 

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#125 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 05:34 AM
 
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http://fightcps.com/2010/04/09/what-to-do-if-child-protective-services-social-workers-are-investigating-you/ For all the times CP

 

 

For all the time CPS does well, there are just as many times they don't.  And when they don't, and I mean I know of a few situations where kids were left in bad situations and kids were taken out of good situations.  I've once seen CPS do right by a kid and CPS leave kids to fend for themselves. 

 

There are a lot of women in my own family that do not need to be mothers.  My cousin had 5 girls she didn't take care of, her sister would come by every day and look after them for her until she had had enough and told her either to give her custody or straighten up.  She chose to take of with the ones she like and left her oldest by her self in a crappy apartment.  She was 9.  CPS had been called on her over 12 times.  The meth head got to keep her other kids but her sister was able to get custody of the oldest.  Now the other 4... nobody knows where they are. 

 

There was a situation at work a few years back where a mother was obviously off her rocker.  My DH was her supervisor and he sent someone out to her home to make sure her kids were ok.  She left them alone while she was at work.  Two toddlers and an infant.  They were locked in a room with a bag of suckers.  The bathroom was full of dirty diapers (bathtub was used as a trash can) and the fridge had a pint of milk.  That was it.  The home was filthy, animal feces everywhere.  The situation continued to get worse and CPS would drop by and leave.  She kept her kids and she never lost custody.  She was never sent to parenting classes and she eventually moved away.  

 

Our old neighbors had a boy they werefostering, the kid went to school smelling like patchouli... they apparently decided that the mother was using patchouli to cover the smell of weed.  She's been trying to get her son back since they took him from school.  Not her home, from school.  They never went to her house.  The family doesn't see a reason why the boy shouldn't go back to his mother.  From all their interactions with her and from their time with the boy the relationship is obviously healthy. 

 

By the way I grow patchouli at my house.  I love the smell. 

 

 

 

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#126 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 06:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know it's hard to believe anyone you "meet" on the internet, but I swear I'm the best parent I know irl. I had all natural births for my babies. If it could be proven that drugs did nothing to your babies I'd never have given it a second thought! Bring on the drugs! But I had to protect my babies. When my first had food allergies as a baby I didn't switch to forumla like everybody on the internet, I removed the foods from my diet. Allergy diets have been the hardest thing I have ever done as a parent, but I've done it 5 times (eating nothing but chicken and oranges for 6 weeks while we worked out the 14 things my 4th is allergic to). I began researching immunity and nutrition. I stepped up my efforts last winter and this year I have read over 100 books on the subjects. My entire family has a very specific diet and supplement program that I designed MYSELF and ran past my doctor (DO, very naturally-minded) to check for my accuracy. I'm trying to HEAL my kids so that they can have better lives. If it was just me getting a headache from corn, or a stuffy nose from milk, I'd have never changed a thing. One of the things that worries me the most about them being taken is that NOBODY'S going to take care of them and feed them the way I do. Nobody's making all their meals from scratch, from grass-fed animals and herbs and probiotic-rich foods/drinks. Sigh... I've never met anyone as dedicated to their kids and their well-being, and that's the part most disturbing to me.

 

I literally drove past Payless on my way home, just days after this started. 2 very large women left the store with 5 children between them (aged maybe 2-7 yrs old). I saw only one car in the parking lot, so I watched as I sat at the light. They piled the kids in the back of the car, cuffing the last one in the head I assume because she wasn't moving fast enough, no car seats what-so-ever. They still had their kids.


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#127 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 10:22 AM
 
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I don't like to go into my dealings with CPS (I'm trying to forget that nightmare), so I've stayed out of this topic so far, but if they do continue to push for you to sign that paper, you might be able to get it changed a little. I did that with a couple different things. I was sweet as pie and told them that I really wanted to work with them, but that I just wasn't comfortable with some of the language in what they wanted me to sign. I pointed out the specific sentences that made me uncomfortable, the worker went over it with her supervisor, then came back to me with some of the sentences removed, and others changed. It still wasn't completely what I wanted, but it was enough for me to feel more comfortable signing, and I wasn't about to nitpick. Gotta pick your battles. Might be worth a shot.

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#128 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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Good for you, gabbyraja, for getting a lawyer who knows all the players involved here. Yes, what she told you was frustrating (enraging, in fact). But AT LEAST SHE KNOWS THE SCORE. If she's telling you that they'll abuse their power if you stand up for yourself, then you have every reason to believe her. After all, she makes more money if you fight :-(

 

Chin up, mama. You've gotten your legal advice. You should probably follow it unless your gut is still screaming "noooo!" to signing that horrible paper. 

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#129 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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gabbyraja, I'm so sorry this is happening to you. I know you are a dedicated mother and advocate for your children and it's making me sick that you are going through this. Nobody is going to take your kids, don't worry.  I think Tooraloora made an AWESOME suggestion...do everything you can to get that language changed and try and be sweet as you can without giving them anything that isn't good for you. I'm sick you have to play their games....this is horrible. It's just AWFUL. That an OBVIOUSLY good mother who didn't actually do ANYTHING wrong is having to jump through these kinds of hoops to prove to the state that she is a fit parent is disgusting.

 

What have they actually CHARGED you with? What is the actual determination?? Unfit? Somewhat unfit? Negligent? WHAT? Ugh. I've seen this so many times, just so so many times. I don't understand it. It sickens me so deeply. We must protect children, yes, obviously....but how much power do we give this kind of organization? Why do they have the power to hold anyone they want in such a precarious place....the threat of losing your kids cuts so deep. CPS shouldn't have the power to just decide that anyone, no matter how lacking they are in evidence of any actual abuse, has to PROVE that they are suitable parents.

 


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#130 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post

We had to postpone our atty visit. We met with her late yesterday. Fortunately she is intimately acquainted with our local CPS agency. Unfortunately, since she knows how they work, she suggested we go along with whatever they want. If we play their game they'll let us sail through. If we fight, they'll drag us through the mud and we obviously can't afford it. :( She said there is always a public defender, but that a public defender will not get a good outcome. We'll be in worst straits than if we just went along now.


I'm sorry you're having to go through this.  I cannot imagine the stress.  Having worked in child welfare, I think your attorney gave you excellent advice (and I am thinking it is similar to what others in child welfare have suggested).  Going along with "the game" will get you through this much much more quickly, and yes, if you fight, they probably will drag you through the mud.  Another way to think of it though is this-- If you are cooperative with them in allowing them into your home to see with their own eyes that your children are well cared for, that you're nurturing, not neglectful or abusive, and if you seem willing to take their suggestions for parenting classes, etc., proving to them that you are interested in parenting your children to the best of your abilities (nevermind that you already know you've read tons of books and done tons of research--they don't know that), then they can close your case in a few weeks with the satisfaction of knowing that your kids are safe and well cared for.  After all, the majority of social workers truly want this for all children and families, which is why they do the job in the first place. 

 

On the other hand, if you don't cooperate, through their eyes, they are going to see the lack of cooperation as an indication that you have something to hide, aren't interested in doing what you have to do to keep your kids, can't follow through, etc.  So then they "drag you through the mud."  Which to them isn't some sort of punishment for you.  They feel they *must* ensure your children are safe through whatever means necessary.  They aren't trying to be punitive, punish, drag you through the mud.  They're trying to do a job they take very seriously.  If you don't cooperate and provide access and seem interested in "learning" from them (even if you already know more than them), they assume they are still needed and will not close your case because they won't be satisfied that your kids are okay. 

 

I promise you, that is how the vast majority of social workers think.  When I see all sorts of wild suggestions on MDC about not providing access, etc., I seriously am distressed because I *know* the best way to get CPS out of your life is to *show them* your kids are fine.  When they cannot verify that fully, they cannot close your case with a clear conscience. 

 

I truly believe that if everything you have posted on MDC is a full and accurate portrait of what your home is like and your parenting is like (and I do believe you are telling the truth), that you have nothing to fear in terms of them taking your kids.  Yes, it will be a long few weeks.  It could drag on a few months.  It will be stressful and there will be very difficult days for you emotionally as you worry about the what-ifs.  But I really believe you are strong enough to endure everything that you will have to deal with, and that in a few months this will be nothing more than a horrible memory for you.  Good luck, mama. 

 

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#131 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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Hi APToddlerMom: Here's the problem....if you've been around MDC long enough (which I know you have, BTW, HI! Nice to see you!) and have been paying attention to the CPS threads as they come up......then you are aware of the RIDICULOUS things that have happened to people who DO let them in, thinking "what's the worst that could happen, I want to prove I have nothing to hide" - only to have the CPS worker cite "stained floors" and "not enough beds" (in a co-sleeping household) or other COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS things and end up having people dragged through long battles to prove that they aren't really secret monsters who abuse their children.

 

I don't trust CPS workers...I don't trust any government employee when they are engaging me in their official capacity. The CPS worker is trying to decide if you are a good parent. The cop is trying to decide if you're a criminal. The IRS worker is trying to decide if you are in any way dodging paying what they think is "your fair share" - the list goes on. Never help a government employee with any information that could be used to hang you in a court of law. The burden of proof is supposed to lie with the state....so why is that so different with CPS? They can open a file on you, NOT find ANY proof...and demand certain things of you to prove that you aren't an unfit parent ANYWAY. Any lawyer worth their salt is going to explain to you that CPS workers are like cops...and that unless they have a warrant or a damned good -emergent- reason, they shouldn't be allowed to just waltz into your house to "check things out".

 

Mamas who KNOW they are good mamas, have let CPS into their home to check things out, open the fridge, etc....because THEY think that the CPS worker is looking for signs that the children in the household are living in filth, not being fed, etc....when really, some of these agents just don't like their lifestyle and are looking for ANY reason to keep a case open and make a family "pay".

 

It's insane. Telling women here that they should just "play the game" with CPS is dangerous. I can think of two mamas off the top of my head, who would have avoided months of extreme stress for themselves and their children, ongoing problems with CPS and in one case, temporarily losing custody of their children, if they had said "no thank you, CPS worker, I need to speak with a lawyer before you come in my house" - but they didn't have anything to hide.....so they opened the door and invited CPS right into their lives. One of the ladies was reported by a nurse at her doctors office for "medical neglect" (yeah, non-vaxxing) and the other was reported by a nosy neighbor who thought their two year old was naked in the yard too much. Those are just the two who come to mind...there have been ---so--- many mamas over the years who have had minor or MAJOR brushes with CPS for little to NO reason.

 

CPS has too much power to ruin the lives of people who are not, by any means or definition, abusers or neglectors of children. It's insane. The fact that this women should just have to "go along with it to be done with it" even though everyone involved knows her children are FINE, flies in the face of everything that it is supposed to mean to live in the USA.

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#132 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 02:49 PM
 
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Mamas who KNOW they are good mamas, have let CPS into their home to check things out, open the fridge, etc....because THEY think that the CPS worker is looking for signs that the children in the household are living in filth, not being fed, etc....when really, some of these agents just don't like their lifestyle and are looking for ANY reason to keep a case open and make a family "pay".



I could totally see this happening. 

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#133 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 03:06 PM
 
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Hi Averysmomma.  There have been lots of threads I've agreed with you on, but I just totally disagree with you on this one.  Yes, I've seen the billion threads on MDC about CPS and yes I do think that on occassion workers make very poor decisions regarding pulling kids from homes when it should not happen.  I just happen to think that the majority of bad decisions made by social workers are leaving kids in dangerous situations.  I think you and I view CPS very differently.  My opinion is that their job and the work they do is protecting children and supporting families who would otherwise not be capable of parenting their children safely.  You view them as an entity that walks all over parents'rights.  Maybe if you saw .1% of the situations I've seen up close and personal, you would understand why ensuring child safety is a bigger priority than a parents' "rights" not to have to deal with CPS, have intrusive visits, go to therapy, take classes, etc.  It sucks for those who go through the process without good reason, but probably for every time that happens, 100 kids in disgustingly abusive and neglectful situations are saved more heartache, pain, and hardship.  To me, the benefits of CPS outweigh the negatives.  Also, all those intrusive things CPS requires....like making parents do education...is really CPS doing its best to keep kids where they belong--with their families.  Child safety within the biological family home is the absolute goal of CPS.  "Ongoing workers" are assigned solely to help the family with any and all resources possible to strengthen the family unit and allow the children to remain in the family home.  Yes, it sucks if you are like OP and don't need it, but the vast majority of families who work with an ongoing worker truly do need assistance.  Ongoing workers regularly help connect families with WIC, food stamps, MA, childcare, employment, housing, parenting education, therapy, addiction services, etc.  I've worked with many families who have ended up really liking me (imagine that) and being so grateful for the assistance they've received because so many of them really couldn't do it on their own.  The outside stressors majorly impacted their parenting, and they were happy to have those stressors removed so they could become better parents. 

 

Also, this is definitely in NO way a reference to OP, but I will tell you I have seen other posters on MDC posting about the horrific things CPS has done to them, claiming they are "perfect" and CPS had no justification for their actions.  However, I've seen other threads by these same exact posters in which extremely serious safety issues have been brought up.  I am not going to list names, obviously, and will not even get into the details of what they themselves wrote on MDC in other threads because I don't want to get "warned" or anything, but feel free to pm me if you want me to provide you with some examples.  Without a doubt, there have been posters on here who had absolutely no business parenting their children and CPS, but more importantly, their CHILDREN, had every right in the world to have CPS intruding on their lives.  Horrific, dangerous, and sickening things.  So, while there are threads in which I wholeheartedly believe the MDC member has been the victim of really bad luck (like OP in this case), there are also posters claiming CPS is so awful who are not telling the whole story in their "scare the pants off of everyone else at MDC" threads.  You also have been around long enough to have picked up on some of these cases...  This is the internet afterall, and being an MDC mama does not mean someone isn't neglectful or abusive. 

 

Even being a social worker, I'll agree with you on this...CPS sucks.  They do a bad job in general of protecting children.  I just am of the belief that their major flaw is underreacting, not overreacting.  Social workers, for the most part, do not have the attitude like a cop or IRS worker that they want to catch you being bad.  They want to ensure children are safe.  Period.  Those who do the work without those values are screwed up.  We all think teachers are great, right?  Nobody says all teachers are terrible people who want to abuse children just because we occassionally hear on the news that a teacher has done so.  Why paint all social workers with the same brush?  We're massively underpaid (think literally half of what teachers make and no summer breaks), work long hours and are frequently on call nights when there is any sort of emergency, go into dangerous and disgusting situations, sit up awake at night grieving for the children we see in such horrible situations (frequently with no way to truly improve things for them),and are viewed as people who ruin families, take children away from good families, leave them with bad families, etc.  I mean, really... Do you think most workers take on those responsibilities because they want to yank kids from good families, or do you think, just maybe, we actually care about kids being safe? 

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Hi APToddlerMom: Here's the problem....if you've been around MDC long enough (which I know you have, BTW, HI! Nice to see you!) and have been paying attention to the CPS threads as they come up......then you are aware of the RIDICULOUS things that have happened to people who DO let them in, thinking "what's the worst that could happen, I want to prove I have nothing to hide" - only to have the CPS worker cite "stained floors" and "not enough beds" (in a co-sleeping household) or other COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS things and end up having people dragged through long battles to prove that they aren't really secret monsters who abuse their children.

 

I don't trust CPS workers...I don't trust any government employee when they are engaging me in their official capacity. The CPS worker is trying to decide if you are a good parent. The cop is trying to decide if you're a criminal. The IRS worker is trying to decide if you are in any way dodging paying what they think is "your fair share" - the list goes on. Never help a government employee with any information that could be used to hang you in a court of law. The burden of proof is supposed to lie with the state....so why is that so different with CPS? They can open a file on you, NOT find ANY proof...and demand certain things of you to prove that you aren't an unfit parent ANYWAY. Any lawyer worth their salt is going to explain to you that CPS workers are like cops...and that unless they have a warrant or a damned good -emergent- reason, they shouldn't be allowed to just waltz into your house to "check things out".

 

Mamas who KNOW they are good mamas, have let CPS into their home to check things out, open the fridge, etc....because THEY think that the CPS worker is looking for signs that the children in the household are living in filth, not being fed, etc....when really, some of these agents just don't like their lifestyle and are looking for ANY reason to keep a case open and make a family "pay".

 

It's insane. Telling women here that they should just "play the game" with CPS is dangerous. I can think of two mamas off the top of my head, who would have avoided months of extreme stress for themselves and their children, ongoing problems with CPS and in one case, temporarily losing custody of their children, if they had said "no thank you, CPS worker, I need to speak with a lawyer before you come in my house" - but they didn't have anything to hide.....so they opened the door and invited CPS right into their lives. One of the ladies was reported by a nurse at her doctors office for "medical neglect" (yeah, non-vaxxing) and the other was reported by a nosy neighbor who thought their two year old was naked in the yard too much. Those are just the two who come to mind...there have been ---so--- many mamas over the years who have had minor or MAJOR brushes with CPS for little to NO reason.

 

CPS has too much power to ruin the lives of people who are not, by any means or definition, abusers or neglectors of children. It's insane. The fact that this women should just have to "go along with it to be done with it" even though everyone involved knows her children are FINE, flies in the face of everything that it is supposed to mean to live in the USA.



 

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#135 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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I had to thumbs up yours too...

 

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Hi Averysmomma.  There have been lots of threads I've agreed with you on, but I just totally disagree with you on this one.  Yes, I've seen the billion threads on MDC about CPS and yes I do think that on occassion workers make very poor decisions regarding pulling kids from homes when it should not happen.  I just happen to think that the majority of bad decisions made by social workers are leaving kids in dangerous situations.  I think you and I view CPS very differently.  My opinion is that their job and the work they do is protecting children and supporting families who would otherwise not be capable of parenting their children safely.  You view them as an entity that walks all over parents'rights.  Maybe if you saw .1% of the situations I've seen up close and personal, you would understand why ensuring child safety is a bigger priority than a parents' "rights" not to have to deal with CPS, have intrusive visits, go to therapy, take classes, etc.  It sucks for those who go through the process without good reason, but probably for every time that happens, 100 kids in disgustingly abusive and neglectful situations are saved more heartache, pain, and hardship.  To me, the benefits of CPS outweigh the negatives.  Also, all those intrusive things CPS requires....like making parents do education...is really CPS doing its best to keep kids where they belong--with their families.  Child safety within the biological family home is the absolute goal of CPS.  "Ongoing workers" are assigned solely to help the family with any and all resources possible to strengthen the family unit and allow the children to remain in the family home.  Yes, it sucks if you are like OP and don't need it, but the vast majority of families who work with an ongoing worker truly do need assistance.  Ongoing workers regularly help connect families with WIC, food stamps, MA, childcare, employment, housing, parenting education, therapy, addiction services, etc.  I've worked with many families who have ended up really liking me (imagine that) and being so grateful for the assistance they've received because so many of them really couldn't do it on their own.  The outside stressors majorly impacted their parenting, and they were happy to have those stressors removed so they could become better parents. 

 

Also, this is definitely in NO way a reference to OP, but I will tell you I have seen other posters on MDC posting about the horrific things CPS has done to them, claiming they are "perfect" and CPS had no justification for their actions.  However, I've seen other threads by these same exact posters in which extremely serious safety issues have been brought up.  I am not going to list names, obviously, and will not even get into the details of what they themselves wrote on MDC in other threads because I don't want to get "warned" or anything, but feel free to pm me if you want me to provide you with some examples.  Without a doubt, there have been posters on here who had absolutely no business parenting their children and CPS, but more importantly, their CHILDREN, had every right in the world to have CPS intruding on their lives.  Horrific, dangerous, and sickening things.  So, while there are threads in which I wholeheartedly believe the MDC member has been the victim of really bad luck (like OP in this case), there are also posters claiming CPS is so awful who are not telling the whole story in their "scare the pants off of everyone else at MDC" threads.  You also have been around long enough to have picked up on some of these cases...  This is the internet afterall, and being an MDC mama does not mean someone isn't neglectful or abusive. 

 

Even being a social worker, I'll agree with you on this...CPS sucks.  They do a bad job in general of protecting children.  I just am of the belief that their major flaw is underreacting, not overreacting.  Social workers, for the most part, do not have the attitude like a cop or IRS worker that they want to catch you being bad.  They want to ensure children are safe.  Period.  Those who do the work without those values are screwed up.  We all think teachers are great, right?  Nobody says all teachers are terrible people who want to abuse children just because we occassionally hear on the news that a teacher has done so.  Why paint all social workers with the same brush?  We're massively underpaid (think literally half of what teachers make and no summer breaks), work long hours and are frequently on call nights when there is any sort of emergency, go into dangerous and disgusting situations, sit up awake at night grieving for the children we see in such horrible situations (frequently with no way to truly improve things for them),and are viewed as people who ruin families, take children away from good families, leave them with bad families, etc.  I mean, really... Do you think most workers take on those responsibilities because they want to yank kids from good families, or do you think, just maybe, we actually care about kids being safe? 



 

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I think the main reason MDC mamas are fearful of CPS is just b/c most of us don't live a very mainstream America life. I have an irrational fear of CPS based on my nursing my toddler (and now I'm pregnant too), co-sleep, I don't have any "kids snack/junk food", we don't vax, we have FC, we EC so yeah my kid is naked quite a bit or at least bottomless (with babylegs in the cold)...etc so the way we live I love and feel confident and comfortable with it, but I def know people who think I'm a total nut job. Some people view nursing a toddler as sexual abuse even...I guess I am just afraid of what the CPS workers opinion would be of our lifestyle.

 

When someone has so much power in their hands and you have no clue what they will think of your "unconventional" ways (even though they are really closer to real traditional ways..) you can't help but have some fear. I know Alma in Spain lost her baby for Bfing her at 15 m/o! Now true it's not America but I don't really believe this country is all that free and you just never know what will happen next...

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#137 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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Like lmacerka, I'm giving a big thumbs-up to both both POVs here.

 

Under-reaction by social workers IS far more common then over-reaction. Keeping a child in the home if the home is remotely acceptable IS the goal of almost all social workers. 

 

Even so, providing any information or access to an agent of the government when you're not legally obligated to do so IS morally revolting and potentially very dangerous. But we do it, sometimes, because CPS swings a very big club and we're afraid.

 

Social workers are mostly nice people working within a large bureaucracy who don't want to rock the boat, deviate from the plan, or do anything outside what they consider "normal." The OP's lawyer is advising her to "play along" because she knows that the OP's first priority is to get CPS out of her life. She knows that the supervisor in this case tends to second-guess her workers, and that the worker in question is a wimp. The lawyer doesn't think it's right. I don't think it's right. But the OP needs to protect her children, and in this case, that means that she is going to self-abrogate her civil rights. 

 

I don't trust CPS workers...I don't trust any government employee when they are engaging me in their official capacity. The CPS worker is trying to decide if you are a good parent. The cop is trying to decide if you're a criminal. The IRS worker is trying to decide if you are in any way dodging paying what they think is "your fair share" - the list goes on. Never help a government employee with any information that could be used to hang you in a court of law.

 

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#138 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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APToddlerMama, I could not agree more.  I think CPS is being unfairly maligned here.  By law, they have to check up on every single report that gets made.  They don't do this because they want to harass you, they do it because their job is to look out for children.  And it's ridiculous to take the attitude that all they want to do is take kids away from their mothers.  That's not true at all.  It takes a lot of evidence to even begin to remove a child from the home, and most of the time CPS works hard to keep kids with their families. 

 

People don't go into social work because they want to hurt people, they do it because they are trying to do some good in this world.  The last thing they want to do is put more kids into the foster care system.  And really, they're damned if they do, damned if they don't when it comes to taking children out of the home.

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#139 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 06:20 PM
 
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Also, there seems to be a misconception that CPS itself has the power to take your children away from you.  In reality, you'd go to court over it and a judge would decide.  CPS would share whatever evidence they had (which, if everything you say is true, they don't have any), but the judge would ultimately decide.  I don't see them wanting someone to follow up within seven weeks as them "holding you" or anything of the sort.  It will likely be a phone call or a short visit.  The chance of them taking your children is very very slim.  If they had reason and proof to do that, they'd have done it by now.

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Also, there seems to be a misconception that CPS itself has the power to take your children away from you.  In reality, you'd go to court over it and a judge would decide.  CPS would share whatever evidence they had (which, if everything you say is true, they don't have any), but the judge would ultimately decide.  I don't see them wanting someone to follow up within seven weeks as them "holding you" or anything of the sort.  It will likely be a phone call or a short visit.  The chance of them taking your children is very very slim.  If they had reason and proof to do that, they'd have done it by now.



I've seen two situations where the children were removed at an initial visit, with no order. I'm in Canada, and I'm sure the rules are somewhat different, but I've never read anything that suggests this can't happen. I know CPS can't keep kids without an order, but I've seen them take them without an order. (Neither situation was a wonderful living environment, in one way or another...but there was no hint of immediate danger to the children in either case.)


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#141 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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Also, there seems to be a misconception that CPS itself has the power to take your children away from you.  In reality, you'd go to court over it and a judge would decide.  CPS would share whatever evidence they had (which, if everything you say is true, they don't have any), but the judge would ultimately decide.  I don't see them wanting someone to follow up within seven weeks as them "holding you" or anything of the sort.  It will likely be a phone call or a short visit.  The chance of them taking your children is very very slim.  If they had reason and proof to do that, they'd have done it by now.

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I've seen two situations where the children were removed at an initial visit, with no order. I'm in Canada, and I'm sure the rules are somewhat different, but I've never read anything that suggests this can't happen. I know CPS can't keep kids without an order, but I've seen them take them without an order. (Neither situation was a wonderful living environment, in one way or another...but there was no hint of immediate danger to the children in either case.)


In the US, social workers only remove kids immediately when there is a huge, immediate, pressing safety issue.  Parents who refuse access to their children can be lumped into this category because the worker cannot verify that there isn't a huge issue and may have to rely on the initial report until they have access to the children.  But, certainly judges are making a lot of decisions, and quickly, so if a child truly is not in danger, that child would be returned home per the judge's order or per the social worker realizing once they had access to the child that the child was safe.  It isn't like a social worker can yank a kid out of a home and then have no courts and no judge, GAL, parents involved for months. 

 

Also, Storm Bride, respectfully, you have no idea really what the report was that ended with those two families having CPS involvement.  The vast majority of people don't air their dirty laundry.  They cover it up.  So, if mom got really ticked off and had a hard time controlling her anger, and happened to burn Junior with a cigarette, but feels nothing but shame and remorse about this, do you really think she's going to fess up to you?  I can count on one hand the number of parents I've worked with who haven't truly loved their children and who haven't felt shame and remorse at the things they did that landed their family in "the system."  I highly doubt the majority are willing to share secrets from their darkest moments.  So, unless you lived with them, and shadowed their children 24/7, you cannot possibly be even close to certain that you know why they had contact with the CPS system.  Assuming that you know the real circumstances when it is impossible for you to be certain, and assuming CPS is the big bad monster at fault for their childrens' removal does nothing but provoke worry in the people you share this story with and in you as well.  Do yourself and everyone and favor and leave room for the probability that these parents weren't giving you a complete and accurate portrait of what occurred. 
 

 

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#142 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 08:34 PM
 
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OP,  Did you feel confident that the lawyer was looking out for your best interests and reasonably effective?  If so I think I'd sign if I was you.  It's really sucky, though, and very scary.  :(  I'm sorry this is happening and I hope, hope, hope it's over at the end of the seven weeks.  
 

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Also, there seems to be a misconception that CPS itself has the power to take your children away from you.  In reality, you'd go to court over it and a judge would decide.  CPS would share whatever evidence they had (which, if everything you say is true, they don't have any), but the judge would ultimately decide.  I don't see them wanting someone to follow up within seven weeks as them "holding you" or anything of the sort.  It will likely be a phone call or a short visit.  The chance of them taking your children is very very slim.  If they had reason and proof to do that, they'd have done it by now.


I think storm bride is right.  They aren't going to leave a child in a situation they think is dangerous until they can get a court date.  They'd take the child and then start proceedings, but I bet it would be days or weeks before it'd be before a judge.  For those who know...  I'm curious what sort of findings have to be made before a child is removed.  Can a social worker look around a house, see the condition of a child, and just walk out with them?  Or are there procedures to ensure that it is only done fairly (like maybe more than one CPS employee involved or an outside observer)?  


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#143 of 192 Old 10-22-2011, 08:53 PM
 
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In the US, social workers only remove kids immediately when there is a huge, immediate, pressing safety issue.  Parents who refuse access to their children can be lumped into this category because the worker cannot verify that there isn't a huge issue and may have to rely on the initial report until they have access to the children.  But, certainly judges are making a lot of decisions, and quickly, so if a child truly is not in danger, that child would be returned home per the judge's order or per the social worker realizing once they had access to the child that the child was safe.  It isn't like a social worker can yank a kid out of a home and then have no courts and no judge, GAL, parents involved for months. 

 

Also, Storm Bride, respectfully, you have no idea really what the report was that ended with those two families having CPS involvement.  The vast majority of people don't air their dirty laundry.  They cover it up.  So, if mom got really ticked off and had a hard time controlling her anger, and happened to burn Junior with a cigarette, but feels nothing but shame and remorse about this, do you really think she's going to fess up to you? 

 

With respect, you have no idea what you're talking about, and are jumping to conclusions. I know exactly what happened, and what the allegations were, in both cases. In one of them, I was in court during the proceedings and also read the affidavit from the key "witness" in the case. In the other, I was interviewed by the case worker when they were trying to determine whether the children could safely be returned to their home, and she was discussing the "reasons" for their concerns. The entire thing was a pathetic joke, and those kids went through a whole lot of unnecessary emotional turmoil.

 

I can count on one hand the number of parents I've worked with who haven't truly loved their children and who haven't felt shame and remorse at the things they did that landed their family in "the system."  I highly doubt the majority are willing to share secrets from their darkest moments.  So, unless you lived with them, and shadowed their children 24/7, you cannot possibly be even close to certain that you know why they had contact with the CPS system.  Assuming that you know the real circumstances when it is impossible for you to be certain, and assuming CPS is the big bad monster at fault for their childrens' removal does nothing but provoke worry in the people you share this story with and in you as well.  Do yourself and everyone and favor and leave room for the probability that these parents weren't giving you a complete and accurate portrait of what occurred.  

 

Oops - hadn't read your post. I actually do know the "secrets from the their darkest moments", and I don't happen to think either of these situations were terrific for the kids. I also happen to be absolutely sure, knowing the families before, during and after their involvement with CPS, that the "help" they received did them a lot of damage. Do yourself and everyone you share the "social workers are wonderful people" spiel with a favour, and consider that maybe they do a whole lot of damage that they never see. I have good reasons to be concerned about CPS (and have had my own very negative experience with them...and all they did was come to my door, at the worst possible moment for me - no file was ever even opened). The social workers I've interacted with have been a mixed bag, and some of them were, admittedly, wonderful people. Some of them were on an obvious power trip, and were obviously punishing families who didn't live the way they thought those famlies should live. That scares me. They are out there, and they're not the tiny little minority that many seem to think.

 

 



 

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OP,  Did you feel confident that the lawyer was looking out for your best interests and reasonably effective?



Well, I wouldn't necessarily say looking out for our best interests, maybe, as much as everyone's (hers included, I guess). Something about her made me feel like she was just giving us the amount of time she thought we could afford (the half hour consult at $25) and sending us on our way with the advice we'd been able to afford...? But she was brutally realistic. On the intake form we were asked to give our monthly income. At that point she knew exactly what we needed to do. Sad, but true.

 

She did try to make it all go away for us. She tried to get a particular supervisor on the phone, and if she'd been able to she might have gotten to the bottom of the case and gotten her to just close it, I think. But she was unable to reach her while we were there, and she basically told us we'd have to retain her in order for her to work on it. Instead she gave us advice to ask penetrating questions about every single thing they say and that they want, to write it all down, to be vigilant and like we're looking out for ourselves. And to feel free to mention her and/or that we have spoken with an atty. Things that will show that we can't be pushed around and won't just blindly go for everything w/o doing our due diligence, etc. Also to ask the parent aid people when they think we'll be done with their services and try to push for sooner rather than later.

 

She did say that she is the only atty in our area that has been successful at fighting one particular dept/worker/type of case (something I can't quite remember). The man lost literally everything he had, but got his child back. It took 6 months and many tens of thousands of dollars. I could probably scrape together 4K. :(


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#145 of 192 Old 10-23-2011, 03:21 AM
 
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Well, I wouldn't necessarily say looking out for our best interests, maybe, as much as everyone's (hers included, I guess). Something about her made me feel like she was just giving us the amount of time she thought we could afford (the half hour consult at $25) and sending us on our way with the advice we'd been able to afford...? But she was brutally realistic. On the intake form we were asked to give our monthly income. At that point she knew exactly what we needed to do. Sad, but true.

 

She did try to make it all go away for us. She tried to get a particular supervisor on the phone, and if she'd been able to she might have gotten to the bottom of the case and gotten her to just close it, I think. But she was unable to reach her while we were there, and she basically told us we'd have to retain her in order for her to work on it. Instead she gave us advice to ask penetrating questions about every single thing they say and that they want, to write it all down, to be vigilant and like we're looking out for ourselves. And to feel free to mention her and/or that we have spoken with an atty. Things that will show that we can't be pushed around and won't just blindly go for everything w/o doing our due diligence, etc. Also to ask the parent aid people when they think we'll be done with their services and try to push for sooner rather than later.

 

She did say that she is the only atty in our area that has been successful at fighting one particular dept/worker/type of case (something I can't quite remember). The man lost literally everything he had, but got his child back. It took 6 months and many tens of thousands of dollars. I could probably scrape together 4K. :(


 

Based on what you just said, I would beg, borrow or steal to get the retainer and let her help you make it go away. She's telling you the folks involved in your case are not the most trust worthy people to deal with, and then telling you to sign the BS form and do your best to advocate for your self, basically hope for the best. No way would I feel comfortable doing that.

 

I don't understand why you are assuming that the lawyer was just giving you the advice she thinks you can afford and leaving it at that. Are you saying that you can only afford $25 dollars to deal with all of this? Is her retainer $4000?

 

From our recent experience (the one and only experience) with lawyers and navigating a bankruptcy, I can tell you the best thing we did was fork over a $500 retainer, and let the lawyer guide us through the process. Everyone that knew we were going through this process thought we were nuts for spending the last of our savings to pay for a lawyer (total $1500) when we could have filed ourselves and spent only $150 (and who knows if that is all it would have cost to do it ourselves.) What did we learn? So much of the law does not make moral sense. So many weird issues come up that you just can't predict that a lawyer can shield you from. Some of those things may be in the future, not even on anyone's radar right now. A lawyer that is truly in your corner will let you sleep at night. DH and I were truly giddy on the way home from our appointment after we paid our retainer because the huge weight of stress was lifted.

 

Do you have family you can borrow from? A credit card? Valuables you can sell? A church group you can ask for help? 


 

 

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#146 of 192 Old 10-23-2011, 04:47 AM
 
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I think it's safe to say we do all have a small amount of fear due to CPS.  When my girls were little we had scheduled their well baby appointments at the same time and were given two different doctors.  One that was our normal Ped and the other was new.  DH went with our oldest to see the new one while I went with our youngest to see the old Ped.  The rooms were side by side.  Halfway through our visits the new Ped came over to talk to the old Ped while I was in there about her concerns.  DD1 had bruises on her shins, scrapes on her feet, and no tan lines.  She told the Old ped she was calling "it" in.  She felt something was not right with the situation.  Our old Ped asked her the name of the patient.  She said DD1's name.  The old Peds' face got red and he marched out into the hallway for privacy I guess, but instead berrated her for jumping to conclusions.  DD1 had an issue with her left foot, it rolled under at the toes and our old Ped had suggested we keep her in soft leather shoes, (robeez) to allow the foot to form with out pressure.  This did cause her some issues in the beginning but eventually her foot grew properly and her 5 yr check up with x-rays showed the foot was the same as the other.  The shin bruises were from our deck.  The no tan lines... she was allowed to run around the back yard nude.  She didn't potty train completely til almost 6.  He knew this, he had been through it all with us, calmed our worries and advised us every step of the way.  At the time DD2 had just started to walk and she was 2.  Again something he had helped us through.  Turned out she was lazy, seriously just didn't feel like it.  However the new Ped wasn't convinced and was going to call anyway.  Thus began a decent fight in the hallway between a rotund old asian man and a scrawny wet behind the ears female. 

 

Two people.  Both viewed the issues differently, one didn't know all the facts the other put two and two together and knew DD1 her entire life.  He knew the why to everything.  I'm trying to point out how easy it is for someone to come up with all sorts of terrible things and literally jump to conclusions.  Had the old Ped not been there we would have been waiting for MP's to show up.  Instead he asked us to leave against her will and told us he'd be calling us to apologize for the stress the new Dr. had put on DD1.  Gave DD1 a hug asked her how his little "warrior" was doing and sent us on our way. 

 

People have power of your life in ways you can't shake.  Why shouldn't that be an issue?  Why should we just take it?  We are allowed to call BS, if you tell people to sit back and enjoy the ride you're telling people they have no power over their own lives.  Government workers are not all good nor are they all bad.  They may be over worked or they may not be.  My friend who is now a Capt in the Army was a Social worker in Floridia during the time social workers lost track of one too many kids.  He admitted most people would come into work show their face then take off for the day.  Of course that was his office.  Not all may be that way.  But if just one office is that way that's one too many.  My kids do not need to get lost in the system.  My kids do not need to be part of the system.  My grandmother is a foster and from her reports of 30 yrs of fostering the hard to place, most of the damage was done after the kids were put in foster care. 

 

Paint the whole system pretty if you like, but the rest of us know it's not.  There are too many factors to consider. 

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#147 of 192 Old 10-23-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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Ugh...  I only have a minute and I'm gonna be gone all day, but I just wanted to say...  You should do a little more work on maybe getting a lawyer.  Are you near a law school (or is there even one in your state)?  If you are, you should call them and see if they have a clinic.  Clinics are free and a great resource.  If they don't have the right kind of clinic for you, you might be able to talk to someone in whatever clinic they do have and ask their opinion of the "public defender" (I don't think that's quite what it's called, either, that would be for criminal cases).  Ime (and I'm a lawyer) public defenders are often quite good.  I actually haven't run into a public defender office that wasn't top notch.  (Otoh, I've mostly been in pretty big cities, so I'm not sure outside of NY, DC, LA...)   There are also sometimes other public interest-y organizations that can help you (ask the law school if they know, also you can call the criminal public defender and ask them, and also ask their opinion about using whatever the "public defender" is for family cases).  


Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#148 of 192 Old 10-23-2011, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gabbyraja View Post

 Instead she gave us advice to ask penetrating questions about every single thing they say and that they want, to write it all down, to be vigilant and like we're looking out for ourselves. And to feel free to mention her and/or that we have spoken with an atty. Things that will show that we can't be pushed around and won't just blindly go for everything w/o doing our due diligence, etc. Also to ask the parent aid people when they think we'll be done with their services and try to push for sooner rather than later.

 

She did say that she is the only atty in our area that has been successful at fighting one particular dept/worker/type of case (something I can't quite remember). The man lost literally everything he had, but got his child back. It took 6 months and many tens of thousands of dollars. I could probably scrape together 4K. :(


OP, she has given you fantastic advice.  The man who "lost" his child and got him back was in a different situation from you in that his child was out of the home already.  Quite frankly, it is really hard to say if this attorney deserves credit for him being returned home or not.   The majority of children who are placed in foster care are reunified with their families.  This is the norm.  Permanent foster care/adoption is the exception to the rule.  Can't recall stats off the top of my head, but I want to say 80% of kids go home.  So it is really hard to say if this boy would have been in the 20% and the attorney really helped, or if he would have gone home anyhow.  Personally, if I had been this guy, I would have used my energy to meet CPS's conditions rather than fight it in court.  They basically have a checklist for families to complete to have children returned.  Anyhow, If I were in your shoes, I would put that in the back of my mind and keep my money in my pocket unless it became very clear I really needed it.

 

Right now, you are looking at having to do 7 weeks of ongoing services, no?  So 7 weeks from now, you should be done with this process if you play along.  If it makes you feel better, don't sign the document, or cross out the parts that make you feel uncomfortable.  I would ask this attorney what the purpose would be in hiring her today.  Everyone is screaming from MDC get a lawyer get a lawyer.  Okay.  So what would she do for you today?  Get your case closed immediately?  How?  How fast?  In less than 7 weeks?  No way.  That will not happen.

 

CPS isn't going to be easily pushed by an attorney when all ("all" to them, obviously it is a way bigger deal to you understandably) they are asking is to be allowed in your home and do their little parenting plan.  A judge is highly unlikely to see a point in closing your case immediately no matter what your attorney says because he has to cover his own behind too.  Don't forget that like CPS, judges are personally responsible for outcomes.  So when the CPS worker says she feels she needs to keep your case open for two months or whatnot to ensure your childrens' safety, the judge is almost undoubtedly going to say "okay" regardless of what sort of argument your lawyer has prepared.  And what argument would she prepare?  I'd ask that.  The judge is not going to want to feel personally responsible for having a case closed two months early because if he/she regularly does this, it is sure to come back to haunt him/her as CPS typically truly does have very good reason to keep a case open.  Not only that, but social workers spend a lot of time in court.  Many judges really respect the social worker's opinion and understand that they have studied child welfare and that lawyers have studied *law.*  I haven't personally seen any successful cases unless CPS majorly screwed up.  I would like to say they have in your case, but really they have not at this point.  They've totally overreacted, stressed you out, majorly inconvenienced you, intruded on your life, stressed out your kids, kept you up nights worrying--but they have not taken your children from you without reason.  From the judge's POV, your children are remaining in your home and you are being inconvenienced as everyone ensures your children are safe so s/he and your worker can feel good about closing your case in a couple months.  They would rather put you through the stress of this and ensure your kids are really safe than close your case and end up with a bad outcome. 

 

By all means, if things sour along the way with this ongoing worker and there is any indication that you truly are at risk of losing your kids, I would do anything in my power to hire this attorney.  Anything.  I just don't think you are there yet.  Breathe.  You can get through these weeks of ongoing services by being cooperative.  99% chance your case will be closed.  If it is not, then think about plan B.  But right now realize you're a loving and capable mama, who has been put in a terrible spot, but that if you can just hang on a little while longer, your life will almost undoubtedly go back to normal without you forking over 10k. 
 

 

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#149 of 192 Old 10-23-2011, 03:44 PM
 
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With respect, you have no idea what you're talking about, and are jumping to conclusions. I know exactly what happened, and what the allegations were, in both cases. In one of them, I was in court during the proceedings and also read the affidavit from the key "witness" in the case. In the other, I was interviewed by the case worker when they were trying to determine whether the children could safely be returned to their home, and she was discussing the "reasons" for their concerns. The entire thing was a pathetic joke, and those kids went through a whole lot of unnecessary emotional turmoil.

 

Oops - hadn't read your post. I actually do know the "secrets from the their darkest moments", and I don't happen to think either of these situations were terrific for the kids. I also happen to be absolutely sure, knowing the families before, during and after their involvement with CPS, that the "help" they received did them a lot of damage. Do yourself and everyone you share the "social workers are wonderful people" spiel with a favour, and consider that maybe they do a whole lot of damage that they never see. I have good reasons to be concerned about CPS (and have had my own very negative experience with them...and all they did was come to my door, at the worst possible moment for me - no file was ever even opened). The social workers I've interacted with have been a mixed bag, and some of them were, admittedly, wonderful people. Some of them were on an obvious power trip, and were obviously punishing families who didn't live the way they thought those famlies should live. That scares me. They are out there, and they're not the tiny little minority that many seem to think.

 

 



Sorry.  I just don't really buy it.  You were in court?  For 20 minutes as a witness or the entire time?  I cannot imagine you would have been present for the duration of the proceedings as I have never heard of anything but a closed hearing in cases like this with children.  Which would mean you did not hear everything.

 

As for knowing their deepest secrets, I don't buy that either.  It is possible, I'm sure, but you will never know what you don't know, nor will I.  So you say the situations were not "terrific" for kids?  That is another thing.  There can be widely varying opinions on what is unacceptable in a situation or not.  For instance, the mother of a good friend of mine felt it was okay for the two of them to live with a sex predator who sexually abused my friend, as long as she (the mother) tried to "cure" him.  I know people who think that it is okay to beat the crap out of your kids, leave bruises, etc., as long as it is part of a punishment and not just for "no reason."  So when you state that in your eyes, you don't think these kids were in terrific situations but they shouldn't have been pulled out of their homes, it is hard for me to understand what that means.  Does it mean they ate Cheetos for all their meals or does it mean mom left 1 year old Junior to go out drinking every night but she did leave him in his crib where he couldn't get out and get hurt, so it was okay?  I'm not looking for an answer from you.  I'm just making the point that your judgement may be very different from someone else's on what is and is not acceptable. 

 

You're right.  Social workers are a definite mixed bag.  Luckily they work within a system.  Nothing happens in a vacuum.  They have supervisors.  The child has a GAL.  Therapists make recommendations.  The judge ultimately decides the fate of these cases.  So, while it is possible to get a really crappy social worker (though I think that is a small number), there are luckily safeguards in place that make truly unfair negative outcomes the exception to the rule. 

 

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#150 of 192 Old 10-23-2011, 04:39 PM
 
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Random people have been in court, for the entire time (the whole five minutes they give you), during my cps case.  So there is no reason to assume that StormBride is lying.  My ex husband's family likes to come and be nosy during my court hearings.  The judge allows it as long as you state your name and relation to the child (and family friend seems to be good enough). 

 

Just because you know how things work in your area...doesn't mean that all of CPS everywhere else works like that too.

 

My child has a GAL who has never met or spoken with her, and just repeats what CPS wants him to say.  He says stuff that anyone who actually knows her, knows isn't how she feels or what she thinks.  There is also a judge who I have never once been allowed to speak to.  Not say a word, submit a statement, nothing.  Everyone else is allowed to speak to her except for me.  She has also never met my child.  I have a public defender who is allowed to speak for me, but he never has much to say (too busy, too many cases).  He didn't feel it was important to correct the social workers lies (blatant lies that she could have never proven, even if she wanted to), and since I am not allowed to say anything at all, the judge just believes whatever she reads in the report (which apparently can be any kind of fiction that someone feels like writing down).  So yeah...in my case it kind of did all happen in a vacuum.  Everybody is busy covering the original social workers butt, and their own.  All while nobody actually listened to anything that my daughter or I had to say.  Where is the justice in that?

 

Oh but I must be lying or secretly burning my kid with cigarettes since she was removed from my home. irked.gif Because social workers are just awesome, loving people, who never screw up.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

Sorry.  I just don't really buy it.  You were in court?  For 20 minutes as a witness or the entire time?  I cannot imagine you would have been present for the duration of the proceedings as I have never heard of anything but a closed hearing in cases like this with children.  Which would mean you did not hear everything.

 

As for knowing their deepest secrets, I don't buy that either.  It is possible, I'm sure, but you will never know what you don't know, nor will I.  So you say the situations were not "terrific" for kids?  That is another thing.  There can be widely varying opinions on what is unacceptable in a situation or not.  For instance, the mother of a good friend of mine felt it was okay for the two of them to live with a sex predator who sexually abused my friend, as long as she (the mother) tried to "cure" him.  I know people who think that it is okay to beat the crap out of your kids, leave bruises, etc., as long as it is part of a punishment and not just for "no reason."  So when you state that in your eyes, you don't think these kids were in terrific situations but they shouldn't have been pulled out of their homes, it is hard for me to understand what that means.  Does it mean they ate Cheetos for all their meals or does it mean mom left 1 year old Junior to go out drinking every night but she did leave him in his crib where he couldn't get out and get hurt, so it was okay?  I'm not looking for an answer from you.  I'm just making the point that your judgement may be very different from someone else's on what is and is not acceptable. 

 

You're right.  Social workers are a definite mixed bag.  Luckily they work within a system.  Nothing happens in a vacuum.  They have supervisors.  The child has a GAL.  Therapists make recommendations.  The judge ultimately decides the fate of these cases.  So, while it is possible to get a really crappy social worker (though I think that is a small number), there are luckily safeguards in place that make truly unfair negative outcomes the exception to the rule. 

 



 

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