when would you call CPS? - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-19-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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One thing about this thread and others is the suggestion about calling CPS and how its for the good of the child. And how any type of name calling and yelling is verbal abuse and criminal. And CIO is certainly neglect. And so on and so forth.

But what I never see if what the "call CPS" bandwagon posters expect is going to happen? Where do all the children who have those less than optimal parents (to borrow from a PP) - the ones who never lose their patience, the ones who follow every AP parenting guideline, the ones who can never need personal time bc they are perfect - going to go if they are removed from the home of the less than optimal parents? The presumption seems to be that foster parents are perfect and would never engage in less than optimal parenting practices.
Also, I always wonder why those who claim that every last litte thing is "abuse" (which btw I personally find offensive considering I believe it demeans the actual experience of children who are truly abused) and that they themselves would never engage in any less than optimal parenting practice are never themselves foster parents. If they are so perfect, why are they not offering their home to these children when they are in need?

The OP - grow up. Life happens. People yell and scream at each other - even at their own kids. Its not nice but its reality.

And some parents need a break bc if they don't get one they will probably reach a breaking point and start hurting their child so they go outside and so they can calm down and get it together. Because they are adults, and they are parents, and they are doing the responsible thing. Not because they are negligent. If I had to guess, CPS would rather have them do this then starting smack and hitting their child.

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Old 05-19-2007, 10:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by m9m9m9 View Post
One thing about this thread and others is the suggestion about calling CPS and how its for the good of the child. And how any type of name calling and yelling is verbal abuse and criminal. And CIO is certainly neglect. And so on and so forth.

But what I never see if what the "call CPS" bandwagon posters expect is going to happen? Where do all the children who have those less than optimal parents (to borrow from a PP) - the ones who never lose their patience, the ones who follow every AP parenting guideline, the ones who can never need personal time bc they are perfect - going to go if they are removed from the home of the less than optimal parents? The presumption seems to be that foster parents are perfect and would never engage in less than optimal parenting practices.
Also, I always wonder why those who claim that every last litte thing is "abuse" (which btw I personally find offensive considering I believe it demeans the actual experience of children who are truly abused) and that they themselves would never engage in any less than optimal parenting practice are never themselves foster parents. If they are so perfect, why are they not offering their home to these children when they are in need?

The OP - grow up. Life happens. People yell and scream at each other - even at their own kids. Its not nice but its reality.

And some parents need a break bc if they don't get one they will probably reach a breaking point and start hurting their child so they go outside and so they can calm down and get it together. Because they are adults, and they are parents, and they are doing the responsible thing. Not because they are negligent. If I had to guess, CPS would rather have them do this then starting smack and hitting their child.

Maggie

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Old 05-19-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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I was physically and verbally abused as a child, and the damage of the verbal abuse has long outlived that of the physical abuse.
Me too, but I still don't think the government should concern itself with verbal/emotional interactions between family members, even children. I think enforcement against child abuse should limit itself to things that are physical and objectively confirmable. Because everybody yells at their kids at one time or another. Making it a reason for kids to get taken away amounts to declaring open season for the social workers. It's too much of an invasion and it's not going to help. You think the foster parents (or group-home attendants) where they get sent are going to be all full of tenderness and kind words for these kids? If the physical abuse rates in foster care are as high as they are, I can only imagine what the verbal/emotional abuse rate must be. Also factor in the trauma of being separated not just from the parent, but from extended family, friends, your school, the whole familiar context of life. Your whole support network. Because your mother freaked out and called you a bad name. It's just not how I want the government spending my money, arbitrarily separating families as punishment for emotional imperfection.
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Old 05-19-2007, 02:41 PM
 
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And even when they don't get separated, the CPS intervention itself is a form of abuse, or can be. With my friends I previously shared about, the whole long drawn-out investigation seemed more about trying to persuade my friends that it would be in their "best interests" to just go along with whatever the worker wanted, because CPS "could" force them to do all these things, but they'd rather not "have" to. It seemed more about the worker's desire to inspire "respect" (read "cowed intimidation") in the hearts of these particular parents who knew their rights and said "No," than it was about concern for my friends' children.

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Old 05-19-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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CIO is the norm, mainstream standard, so it wouldn't be considered neglect 'legally.' Verbal abuse would; it's just not taken as seriously as physical abuse. All parents lose their patience, but they don't all call their children names when they do. As for the defintion of abuse, look it up. Verbal abuse includes name calling. I disagree about government intervention. Verbal abuse isn't just about emotional interactions. Verbal abuse is as devastating as physical abuse. The foster parents may not be perfect, but they aren't going to be allowed to abuse the kids either. I hate CPS as much as anyone here, but when a parent is verbally or physically abusing their kid, I think it's worth the investigation. And btw, I know of plenty of folks who have had investigations that weren't complete traumatic nightmares. I know many who have had terrible experiences, but that's not always true. If you want to say a CPS investigation is always traumatic, go ahead, but its happened to someone in my family -- and no one involved was traumatized by having a social worker look through the house and talk to them, which is what was done.

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Old 05-19-2007, 06:16 PM
 
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moonfirefaery, I guess I just see a difference between Mom yelling, "Get in the f'ing car you f'ing brat" -- and what I perceive as criminal verbal abuse. Criminal verbal abuse may or may not involve cussing. It's where a parent continually insults and belittles a child. You can't really know if this is being done by witnessing one incident in a parking lot.

I know you realize this: your perspective is that, if you see behavior that you think might indicate an abusive pattern, you think an investigation is warranted. I (and some others) think if there's ANY room for the possibility that this parent is really stressed and doesn't normally berate and belittle her children 24/7, we'd rather respect the family's privacy and butt out (unless we see a way to befriend and help the family).

I'm glad you know at least one family that was investigated by CPS without being traumatized -- but even you say you "know many who have had terrible experiences." Which experience do you think is more common?

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Old 05-19-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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neither of these even comes anywhere close to the legal definition of abuse.

Cry it out is legal, sitting in your back yard while your kids are awake is legal (they were probably in cribs and therefore reletively safe), and swearing at your kids is perfectly legal.

not nice. but legal.

there is no point in reporting any of this.
true. when I worked with people with handicaps, I was told that a coworker telling one to 'get her a$$ out of the car' was not legally considered abusive.

I can't fathom the earplug thing, but I agree with you it's abusive, just not enough to get CPS to do anything about it.

I am still fighting swearing around my kids. After working in warehouses and bars I noticed you almost become immune to foul language when you hear it all the time. It's a constant battle.

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Old 05-19-2007, 07:35 PM
 
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I'm having trouble finding a reputable site that discusses verbal abuse as a crime under law. Could someone point me to a link?
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Old 05-19-2007, 10:03 PM
 
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Look under the state by state statures about child abuse. Verbal abuse is a form of abuse. Many states talk about emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse in their statues about child abuse, and also about varying degrees of neglect. You could also look up the laws on emancipation which sometimes talk about those things.

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Old 05-19-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by moonfirefaery View Post
Look under the state by state statures about child abuse. Verbal abuse is a form of abuse. Many states talk about emotional, verbal, physical, and sexual abuse in their statues about child abuse, and also about varying degrees of neglect. You could also look up the laws on emancipation which sometimes talk about those things.
In my state, verbal abuse fits within the category of emotional abuse, and is simply referred to as "verbal abuse and belittlement." It seems nonspecific enough to allow room for an observer to make his/her own judgment call as to whether there's an actual pattern of "verbal abuse and belittlement" -- or whether there's ANY possibility we may just be witnessing a stressed-out incident that doesn't reflect the parent's usual behavior.

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Old 05-19-2007, 11:52 PM
 
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But you can't know whether it was a really bad day or if it happens all the time just from observing. Some would thus do nothing, and some would do something. It depends on what you think is the better option personally. Having been verbally abused I might have a different opinion on the matter than you, in that situation, about which would be better, you know?
True. Having never personally seen CPS make a positive difference in anyone's life, and having seen them make a negative difference in many lives, my views will probably be different than yours. Without some really solid indications that someone is being abusive - physically, emotionally, sexually, verbally, I choose not to call CPS down on them and their families. Every child I've seen deal with CPS has had a really bad time. None of them had great parents...but none of them were any better off for the investigation.

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I am still fighting swearing around my kids. After working in warehouses and bars I noticed you almost become immune to foul language when you hear it all the time. It's a constant battle.
Yeah - I started swearing "like a longshoreman" (as I was told repeatedly) when I was about 13. Then, I got an office job and it got worse. It took me a lot of work to break the habit of swearing around - or even at - ds1. At that time, "get in the f'ing car" was no different to me than "get in the car" in a slightly impatient tone of voice. Since I didn't want ds1 to speak the same way, I trained myself out of it...but it took time.

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