CPS showed up at my door today. - Page 4 - Mothering Forums
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Parenting > CPS showed up at my door today.
Jwebbal's Avatar Jwebbal 11:20 PM 06-12-2007
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First of all age developement is not clear cut. One child may be more advanced than another. Like my oldest who started walking at 6 months of age compared to the rest of mine who averaged around the 12 mo mark. So even if you secure for supposed age and appropriate development for that age does not mean that the child is past that supposed mile marker or even behind!
I never said age, I said development, and development is pretty standard. We can anticipate development for the most part. You know when your kid starts crawling you need to do certain things, you know when they start walking you need to do certain things, and so on and so on. That's the thing, one kid might do this at 2, another at 4, but you can anticipate most of this if you study child development. Each child is different to their own degree, but not all that different.

Like I said, get an alarm. Then you know immediately when someone leaves the house, and if the older children cannot leave without being responsible about doors, they aren't responsible enough to leave the house.

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A secondary caregiver may not always be up to date on these developmental changes as a parent is.
I would definitely fault a daycare provider for not being up on child development, and not insuring my child cannot escape their facility. I was a teacher for 10 years, in a school that cared for 60 children. We only had push to exit doors, and only very rarely in those 10 years did a child ever get to push those doors, and once they did they never got more than 3 steps. We did what we had to do to always monitor that door, and the gates that led out to the parking lot. I think you have gotten a lot of ideas on how to do this for your own children, I hope you take their advice so you can eliminate your children getting away from your home unmonitored.


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I don't believe it is the secondary caregiver's fault if they are proactive (this is the main point) in keeping a child safe and OF COURSE it's not the child's fault for adapting, that was my point.
That's not how I read it at all. That's not what I read in the rest of your post. Do you honestly fault the child for escaping? You said this
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Who's fault is it then? The daycare or grandmother's who are literally doing their best to keep a child safe or the child's who adapts and adjusts and still finds new ways to escape and endanger himself?
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But why does it have to be ANYBODY's fault. Oh I get it we have to fault someone and it might as well be someone who is older even though they aren't psychic. It's a fault based world. "I'm fat so it's fast food's fault." "I have lung cancer, it was the cigarette company's fault."
It's called personal responsibility, and your statements about smoking and fast food make no sense here. You are the parent, you are the one supervising your own children in your home. I think the previous question posed about how angry folks would be if this was happening at a preschool or by a secondary caregiver are on point. We would be livid and wonder if the child needed to be removed from that care situation. That's what some have tried to discuss, perhaps in a way that definitely puts you on the defense, and I can understand that given your situation. I think blaming a person who calls on a questionable situation (in their mind) isn't taking personal responsibility, I think saying it's no one's fault if a young child escapes their home unnoticed in a timely manner is not taking personal responsibility, I think advocating for retribution against someone regardless of whether you know for sure or not if they reported you is unwise and again focusing blame on others (not that you need blaming), and I definitely think blaming a child for said escaping isn't taking personal responsibility.

I feel for you in your situation, no one wants to be there, whether at fault or not (again, not saying you are at fault). I hope things get rectified quickly, nothing dire happens to you or your children, and I appreciate you are getting help. I hope the best for you and your family. But please, do more to insure they don't escape, for their sake and your own as a mother, and please, don't ever use that Adam and Eve story again. I know parenting isn't easy and we don't always live up to our standards or others, but a simple, I am going to try harder instead of blaming children is sufficient in this situation and would garner you more respect and support. It was a concern for some of us, that's all. No one wishes you harm.

treqi's Avatar treqi 11:31 PM 06-12-2007
My suggestion for the fence would be to (I guess get your landlords permission) and then make your fence double sided with no foot holds if its a chain link maybe get some barbed wire to spool along the bottom? no maybe some chicken wire to eliminate foot holds.
PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 12:18 AM 06-13-2007
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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
Well, my argument would be, the child was unsupervised. I would never let my toddler play in the front yard without supervision. I get nervous at my friend's house with the three kids playing outside without supervision. Sure, stuff can happen, ever very unlikely things.
Okay, and what if the mama was outside shovelling the drive, saw the plow approaching on the road, thought nothing of it (which I did until I was told this story), and the snow was dropped on her child anyway? Should she have been crawling in the tunnel too so as not to lose sight? Then of course, they both would have been crushed, but I suppose that's beside the point, or not- maybe then she would be accused of negligence for not being on the lookout for possible problems. I just think there are too many variables to consider and act upon every conceivable one, and keep in mind that the more people there are in a home, the more variables there are- they increase exponentially with each addition. I am more inclined to assume that a mother IS taking care of her children until it is proven otherwise by VERY clear means. That and how hard is it to ask a question?

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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
... but arguing that any call to CPS is asking for a child to be removed and not just having CPS "check in" is just wrong on so many counts.
Really?

The following is the link to the children's aid 'eligibility spectrum' for my province. You may be living with different laws, but I suspect there isn't too much difference from the perspective of the cpws.

http://www.oacas.org/resources/eligi...trum06nov1.pdf

You'll notice that early on in the document, page 5, it lists the levels of abuse on the chart. You'll also notice that because cpws are required to investigate claims, and there is no category for NO ABUSE (!), the best a reported parent can 'score' on the chart is 'not severe' abuse. If you don't think the child would be better off with someone else, why do you call the people whose job it is to find homes for abused children? They don't exist to go to family bbqs, chat up the parents and encourage their good choices in parenting. That's what good friends and good neighbours do.


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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
I have called CPS as a mandated reporter, I took that title very seriously. If I were to see anything that looks like neglect or abuse it was my MANDATED job to report to CPS and have them sort it out. I don't make judgements as to the causes or reasons for the situation looking the way it does, that's not my job, that's the job of CPS. It isn't my job or anyone else's imo to figure out whether the situation necessitates a child needing removal, or to help in the situation (not that I don't help if I can). I can see a situation in my neighborhood where it may or may not be abuse or neglect, but me calling doesn't mean I want that child removed. CPS's job is to figure that out.
I disagree very strongly with your perspective as you've expressed it here. Essentially you've said, "I use my eyes and ears and if I see something that I could conclude based upon no judgment of mine and no peripheral evidence might be considered abuse by cps, I call them out of my sense of duty to them and the title they have granted me. I am in no way obligated once I have made my observations known to substantiate any evidence or lack thereof and cannot be held liable or responsible for what cps does with the observations I have reported." This is very Orwellian and thereby, to me, creepy. Stating in the end that your reporting doesn't mean that you ipso facto wanted the child removed smacks of a strange sort of ignorance or a washing of your hands.

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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
When I called on the two cases, one was a child with strap marks on his back and a dark looking area that I took to be a bruise. I found out later it was mongolian spots, but he was indeed beat with a belt previously, and the mother thanked me for caring about her son. I didn't want that child removed, it just wasn't my job to investigate and MAKE JUDGEMENT as to whether he was being abused.
So my question is why didn't you ask the child's mother if indeed you had contact with her? She could have told you about the spots and might even have told you about the belting. Then you could have discussed how gentle discipline is a respectful manner of guiding a child and given her some specific examples to deal with the explanation she no doubt would volunteer for why her child was belted. Does this not seem at all like a better route than tattling on her with the very real possibility of destroying her family when all that was needed was education? Why does this come down to whose 'job' it is? You've accepted the 'job' of mandated reporter but feel that you'd be overstepping your title by offering support to the mother in question? I think that's bizarre.

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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
The second time, a child had several severe accidents in a very short of time, the last two involving serious burns. One was when his brother shoved him into the wall heater and he burned his bare skin, the second was a burn caused by a cigarette, and both were very bad. They both happened the same week. I wasn't sure if there was abuse involved (we had suspicions the mother was using drugs), or even if there was neglect, but certainly an argument for neglect could be made, two serious burns in the same week, with the mother saying she didn't witness either.
I would be concerned seeing this as well, but I am now confused about your perceived title. Here you have expressed your ability to make an arguement for neglect. Why would you want to do that? Why would that be your first response, aside from calling the people who would obviously remove the child if they made the argument? I really hope there is more to the story here. You have claimed that you make no judgements, but clearly you had to have made some and implied them at least or you wouldn't have this story to tell.

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Originally Posted by Jwebbal View Post
As a person who has reported to CPS, while my report may be unfounded, or at least upon investigation may just be filed, if more things happen in the future and my report isn't there, then the next report might just be pooh poohed, when it could be a serious case. I don't want to not report when it looks like neglect or abuse might be possible, because a pattern would not be shown if there was indeed one.
This is the line I am concerned about most in this last paragraph: "I don't want to not report when it looks like neglect or abuse might be possible... (underlining mine for emphasis)"

This is Big Brother, through and through. "See something unusual? Report it! Remember, it's your duty." OR, maybe you'll file the complaint against the woman whose child has mongolian spots and a belt mark, and maybe she completely reforms her discipline and never hits the child again, BUT someone else who thinks like you do reports her for the spots and now, and only for your foresight here, cps can indeed make a case for abuse because of her history, regardless of the spots- they are not the issue anymore.

Your mentality on this issue is reminiscent of the young spies brainwashed into reporting hiding jews during the nazi regime. I'm sure I'll be flamed for this comparison, but I think it is warranted, and I am no stranger to the effect those spies had on the families who perished and those who escaped inspite of them. I am not calling you a nazi, I'm equating the mentality that you have embraced as you admit it was told to you, sealed with your 'title' as mandated reporter which you take seriously. I hope you will reconsider where your views conclude; please do not take this lightly. You have completely overstepped the boundaries of the freedom of others to live peacefully just by your belief that you are required to report your observations regardless of whether or not they are reasonable (in fact, not theory- which you seem to think is adequate motivation), and only if they can be understood as 'looking like' something they may or may not be. I would be very concerned about living near you because you seem to feel entitled to the private life of others. I know there are children who are genuinely in need of help, but your foremost concerns are your title/duty, how things look/can be argued, and that you do not take responsibility for where the cps chips fall. You might counter that you're most concerned about the children, but if you have thought through this at all, you would already know that the places they would be taken if cps went ahead with removal, wouldn't necessarily be even adequate. I am not suggesting ignoring actual abuse because of the possibility of poor foster care, but at least consider that a removed child is going to be put into a poorly regulated, paid care home, possibly much much worse than the one he/she came from. I know you think you are not judging; does that mean that you are also free to not consider the consequences to the child whose life you have directly impacted? There are foster children who have been placd in the care of bootleggers and alcoholics in the town where I live (for those children, this was actually a step up); cps knows this information but has made it impossible for others who would provide good care for these children to be chosen for fostering because of a cultural mandate. There are a lot of variables. I don't think it's wise at all to just throw your hands up as if it's not your responsibility to consider the likely stopping place of the proverbial ball you've started rolling.

I do know something about this, and I could very easily have been taken from my parents and I am sure a case would have been easily substantiated in fact, but nobody called; I was a very good secret keeper as a child. You seem to have been able to find out the concluding information about the families you disrupted rather easily, and probably could have asked the mothers questions before calling. Many if not most children who are actually abused are much better at hiding it than to allow you such free access to observe them.

Perception is not reality and we are responsible for our actions even if we decide to act on them by proxy through a government agency.
PreggieUBA2C's Avatar PreggieUBA2C 12:31 AM 06-13-2007
Jwebbal, I find your appeal to the idea of personal responsibility to be contradictory to the views you hold for yourself regarding your role as 'mandated reporter.' Is it that others must take personal responsibility or you will report them without having to take any personal responsibility for your report?
offwing's Avatar offwing 12:55 AM 06-13-2007
Pardon me, but I think that is kind of inappropriate here. if you want to take direct issue with Jwebbal, you should do it in PM or email. Or maybe start a thread about Mandatory Reporting where the issue can be discussed.
CaraNicole's Avatar CaraNicole 01:15 AM 06-13-2007
momma i am so sorry your having to deal w/CPS and THE SNARK!!! i myself have a 7mo ESCAPE artist...it can be very frustrating but you can get through this i KNOW you are going to find a system that works for you.... great for you for NOT letting them in...i do like the idea of a chime on all the doors and do the windows to *just in case*

your in my thoughts and prayers!
dis's Avatar dis 01:25 AM 06-13-2007
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The following is the link to the children's aid 'eligibility spectrum' for my province. You may be living with different laws, but I suspect there isn't too much difference from the perspective of the cpws.

http://www.oacas.org/resources/eligi...trum06nov1.pdf

You'll notice that early on in the document, page 5, it lists the levels of abuse on the chart. You'll also notice that because cpws are required to investigate claims, and there is no category for NO ABUSE (!), the best a reported parent can 'score' on the chart is 'not severe' abuse. If you don't think the child would be better off with someone else, why do you call the people whose job it is to find homes for abused children? They don't exist to go to family bbqs, chat up the parents and encourage their good choices in parenting. That's what good friends and good neighbours do.
My mother is a social worker in Ontario, and I actually called her to ask about this - with the forms they use, there is a spot for 'no finding' or 'no abuse'. Those scales in that PDF are only used when abuse is present, to rate the severity.
Meg Murry.'s Avatar Meg Murry. 02:59 AM 06-13-2007
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Originally Posted by Belleweather View Post
So then, what are you supposed to do, return a few? Do you get a full refund with a receipt or just store credit?

I'm sorry to be flip, but this is so exceedingly unhelpful it amazes me. Yeah, it's nice to say "get more help or change how you're doing things", but it seems to me that unless you're willing to BE more help or have some actual and concrete ideas about what to try next, you're just being nasty to be nasty.
Would it be possible, I wonder, for the OP to hire someone like a neighborhood teenager or a family member to help her during the day? I think it seems clear to me that although she's clearly attempting to respond to the situation of the escape artist kids, their efforts are periodically more successful than hers and she may be overwhelmed and need help. What if she could hire someone to just help her keep an eye on the kids?
Aliviasmom's Avatar Aliviasmom 04:16 AM 06-13-2007
Oh, OP, I'm sorry for all the emotional turmoil that CPS brought, and the ADDED turmoil that this thread, inadvertantly, brought about! : It is so wonderful to be a perfect parent, isn't it?!

I'm sure you are trying your hardest! My child isn't an escape artist, but she is smart as the dickens and I could child proof until the cows came home and she would STILL surprise me with something. (The other day, she brought me the wash bin out of the sink!? I don't know HOW she managed to do that, as her head doesn't even reach the counter, and I don't think standing on the cupboard below would give her enough added height, maybe though....)

What about those plastic slats they put in fences? Like here: http://www.patrician1.com/pvt.htm I've tried to climb those before, and I couldn't get my foot in far enough. PLUS, it will give you some added privacy....

And I agree, I think some sort of chime/bell/alarm system would be smart.

And if feasible...I'd move too.

Good luck!
BelovedK's Avatar BelovedK 08:26 AM 06-13-2007
This thread has been closed to new posts. The UA states:
[PHP] Do not start a thread to discuss member behavior or statements of members made in other threads or to criticize another discussion on the boards. Do not post to a thread to take direct issue with a member. If you feel a member has posted or behaved inappropriately in a discussion, communicate directly with the member, moderator or administrator privately and refrain from potentially defaming discussion in a thread.

If anyone has any constructive ideas for the OP, it would be a better idea to PM at this point. Thank you.
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