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#61 of 71 Old 07-29-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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Well, we are supposed to have CPS come today to talk to my husband and she asked if I could be there so he wont be so defensive (she just wants to ask him about parenting courses for him). I mentioned in a previous post about why they were called (it was bogus, and I think prejudice was involved even CPS said they should not have been called) so I wont get into that again. Hubby is from Iraq and I dont think he took the idea of CPS seriously until I told him about a few examples where they took the children away....I dont think they have the Iraqi equivalant there so he didnt understand it

One of his friends sons is autistic and someone called about his behavior (they didnt bother to find out first whether there was a medical reason for his behavior) and the guy actually told CPS to take the kids My husband thought that was funny and how you should talk to them.....until I straightened him out a bit ( I am Canadian of english/scottish background so am a bit more familar with our society here)......so if you can wish me luck that the man will be reasonable and realize they are not attacking him but that they do have to respond and talk to him (apparently the person who called made up some things and even tried to tell CPS I was physically abused) I would greatly appreciate it.
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#62 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 12:29 PM
 
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Well, CPS came yesterday and she told me that they always ask the wife/woman if she is physically abused....is that true?
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#63 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by veronicalynne View Post
Well, CPS came yesterday and she told me that they always ask the wife/woman if she is physically abused....is that true?
It might be standard, because statistically children are more likely to be abused if they are in a home where spousal abuse is taking place. They also might ask it to cover their arses, because I could see the media making a huge deal if there was a situation where they missed spousal abuse and something happened.

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#64 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 09:48 PM
 
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Threads like this make me upset. I am currently in school to get my degree as a social worker and I cannot believe how many stereotypes there are of the "evil social workers." I quite honestly, do not want to work in CPS as a social worker. Many people do not realize that there are social workers in dang near every aspect of life. They work within hospitals, with people with disabilities, the elderly, in schools, in private practice (counseling), they work with communities, in political realms, in nonprofit agencies, within the court systems, in substance abuse programs, and in so many other realms. CPS is just a tiny sliver of the areas that social workers can be found.

I can tell you from my personal experience in school that we are not taught to seek out messy houses, extended breastfeeding, non-vaxing, homeschooling, high or low income, or any other characteristic that has been mentioned in this thread. We in fact are taught the complete opposite... to be able to look past the the differences in lives from our own and be able to pick out actual problems that affect a child's well-being. The big things are substance abuse, a history of physical or sexual abuse within the family, and neglectful behaviors (which could focus on the cleanliness of a home, but only in a way that would be toxic and could bring illness to the child).

Threads like this make me want to go into CPS just so that I can prove that it is not like everyone thinks it is. The unfortunate thing is that I would never be able to prove anything due to the little bit about confidentiality. Confidentiality is what causes the rumors to start and to grow. A social worker cannot give out the true information and thus stories start flying.

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#65 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 10:30 PM
 
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From what CPS told me yesterday, they think the call was malicious also and that prejudice was possibly also involved. They advised me I could call a lawyer about what the YMCA did. I asked about the physical abuse question because a friend of mine had CPS called and they never asked that question at all.....I explained my story in a previous post. I am not disappointed in CPS....they were told a bogus revenge story and had to investigate but I am disappointed in people who have a stereotype about others and use CPS for revenge. CPS is there for a good reason kwim?
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#66 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 10:54 PM
 
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I don't fear CPS. One of my close friends actually works for our local DFACS. I took my 3rd dd to the ER 3 times in 2 months for sticking beads up her nose. The 3rd time resulted in her having to be put under to get it out. My mom said they were going to call CPS on me. Yeah because people love to torture their children by stuffing beads up their noses and then taking them to the ER to pay to have them removed. I have a ped who is very supportive of natural parenting and selective or delayed vaxing. I have 7 kids so I've been to the ER quite a bit. 3 kids have had to have stitches or dermabond, one of them twice. Moira broke her collarbone when she fell out of a chair when she was 2 years old. The one who stuck the beads up her nose is also very accident prone and one time at a WBV I asked the pediatrician about it and how I was worried they would think I abused them. He said no way, that kids who are being abused and neglected have injuries that are far different than the normal cuts and bruises that children get from just playing and being kids. But I do have a friend who went through a horrible ordeal with CPS because her dh is vision impaired and their baby somehow got a fractured rib and the hospital said the ONLY way it could happen was from intentional abuse and then when they couldn't prove it they tried to blame it on his vision impairment. They finally had their final hearing and are waiting to see what happens although all charges have been dropped.
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#67 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 11:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
I take issue with the flat statements some are making that "if someone calls, they have to investigate." This is simply inaccurate. I am a foster parent and a mandatory reporter. I am very familiar with the system. In all the states I have lived in, calls are screened, and not every call leads to an investigation.

The myth that all calls=an investigation is one of the reasons people turn a blind eye when they are concerned. They worry what will happen if it is no big deal or if they are wrong. I think kids wait longer for help in legitimate abuse cases because people are afraid to call.

The fact of the matter is, many calls are screened out with no investigation ever completed. The reasons for this are many and varied. It may be that the described situation doesn't meet some standard of "what counts." For example, I have mentioned on other threads and maybe on this one about my dw calling when a kid she had taught for a couple of years finally told her his father beat him regularly with a clothing hanger. She had a very strong feeling (based on other hints the child had given) that this was the tip of the iceberg, and that an investigation would turn up much greater abuse. BUT, when she called, she was informed that hitting a child with a hanger doesn't constitute a need for an investigation, particularly as no bruising was evident to my dw (though it may have been under clothing). In that state, the defining factor in when a beating becomes abuse is when it leaves a mark on a child for more than a half hour.

In other cases, investigations are screened out for reasons such as proper support in the home. I once made a cooperative call with a mother of a young mom who was neglecting her baby (the mother's grandchild). Because the young mom was living with her own mother (the child's grandmother), the grandmother was able to "make up" for the neglect issues, protecting the child from the consequences. Thus, the screener for the call screened it out for the purposes of investigation. However, on our request, she did send this young mom a letter informing her of the concerns, giving her information on some medical issues that had been neglected, and referring her to a number of support resources in the community. In that case, even if it had been investigated, I doubt it would have constituted a removal of the child from her home. But I do think it would have led the mother to greater resources and given her the push to UTILIZE the resources she needed.

Recently, a member right here at MDC called out of concern regarding her BIL's abusive behavior with his kids. The call was screened out for investigation, by the account given to us, in part because the mother was present and seemed to provide the children with some protection.

At least in the places I have lived, MOST calls don't go anywhere. A minority percentage result in investigation, and still a greater minority result in removal of a child from the home.

Yes, there are abuses within the system. I've seen them first hand. And being on the receiving end of an unwarranted investigation I can only imagine is heartbreaking and absolutely destructive (I already posted that I do fear this). But I think it is important that we have our facts straight here, and the notion that all calls lead to investigation is simply a misnomer in many locations. Also, while there are awful anecdotal stories of abuses within the system, statistically speaking, there are so many children who are removed from truly abusive and neglectful situations while parents get it back together. And many parents do get it back together. In the places I've lived, only a minority of foster care cases ever result in any kind of termination of parental rights and longterm alternative to the child going back home.



This is absolutely true, and I think where the concern comes from.

Most (not all, but most) of the social workers I have worked with over the years have had good common sense about this. I get worried even before our regular home visits when we have a foster kido with us. I always make sure to do a good cleaning of the house. But one of our social workers even said to me about himself: "The big joke around the office is how if anyone ever called CPS on me, my kids would get removed because of what a disaster my house is. Don't worry. I have kids too. I know what it is like. Just relax."

I know there are social workers who don't have a good grasp on reality. I have certainly worked with a few. I will never feel comfortable with some social workers when they are in my home. So I am not trying to downplay this.

But I think we ought to honor the many smart, common sense, decent social workers who are out there every.single.day visiting homes and making good, supportive decisions that help families.



Yup! Myth #2 is that investigation always=removal of a child. In many cases, this simply doesn't happen. I don't remember the exact figures, but the statistics are striking...like, maybe 1% of investigations result in removal or something??? In many cases, the investigations lead no where and the cases are closed. In some cases, support services are made available to families and removal of children is prevented through intervention.

The foster kids who have come into my care have almost 100% been cases of very straight-forward abuse or neglect, and have definitely been severe enough to warrant removal of the child from the home.



Absolutely. I think this is deserving of our consideration. When I got trained as a foster mom, we were told, "It isn't a matter of IF you will be investigated. Statistically, as a foster parent, there is a good chance you WILL be investigated, and it is more of question of how and why and when." I live with a high degree of fear as a result. As foster parents, we have all kinds of regulatory folks in our lives...we have angry and hurt birthparents...we have constant home visits...we have children who are processing a lot of hurt from their pasts and who sometimes are very mixed up...

If a social worker showed up unexpectedly at my door and told me I was being investigated, you can bet I would be too scared and too hurt and too angry and too sad and too shaken up to benefit at all from the experience. Seriously, just talking about it scares the living daylights out of me. But, on the other hand, I do understand that:



and I even in all that fear I can recognize that:



That said, veronicalynne, it does sound like prejudice and bigotry where a part of the impetus for the call YMCA made to CPS in your case, and that is awful. And to all parents who have experienced unecessary investigations, my heart breaks for you and I am so sorry.
Good post. A while back when my kids were 2,4,5,6, and 9 the oldest 2 were in school and my 5 year old was in PreK about a 5 min drive from my house. The preK and elementary school get out at the same time. Well the elementary bus got to the bus stop which was down the street in sight of our house at 2:50 and preK got out at 2:30 with no bus so I had to go pick her up. One day, my car broke down when I went to pick up my 5 year old. I called everybody close by I knew and no one was home to meet the school bus. I always let my 9 year old keep a key just in case. So my 9 year old and 6 year old got home before I did by about 10-15 mins. I felt horrible that the oldest 2 were home alone for even a little while. They were safe. My 9 year old knew to go inside, lock the doors and start homework. But the next day my 6 year old told her teacher that I left them home alone "all the time". when they got home that day my oldest told me that the principal had called her and my 6 year old to the office separately and asked them questions about whether I let them stay at home alone all the time, etc. I was so worried. So I called my friend who works at DFACS and asked her about it. She said not to worry that leaving a 6 year old and a 9 year old home alone was not going to open an investigation on me. That unless there had been complaints from neighbors or obvious signs of abuse or neglect in the past there were no grounds for an investigation. She also said that even if they did come to the house that they would judge such things on a case to case basis and I had nothing to worry about but that she's never heard of investigating someone for leaving a 9 year old and 6 year old home alone for 15 mins. I talked to my friend about it and she said teachers know kids say crazy things and blow things out of proportion that her dd went to school one day and told her teacher that her dad had killed her brother and stuffed him under the bed. So, I don't fear CPS. I think they have more common sense than they're given credit for. Obviously not the case all the time but for the most part I think it probably is.
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#68 of 71 Old 07-31-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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wemoon, I understand your frustration about this thread.

At the same time, as loving, attached parents, only a couple things seem more heartbreaking than a child leaving our care and protection. It is one of a few absolute nightmares we can imagine as parents. And yet many here are going against the mainstream, putting us in a bit more vulnerable position. So I think it makes a lot of sense that people would experience fear and anxiety...and yes, even be a little irrational (think of how many parents are afraid of stranger abduction and abuse of children in relationship to how the vast, vast majority of children who are abducted and/or abused have these things occur with someone they know and trust...you can point that out to the fearful mom who thinks even her oldest child can't play in the yard without 100% constant supervision, but she is not going to hear it).

None of us want to experience our worst nightmares, so we experience fear even if the chance of being victimized by CPS is statistically VERY small. Sure you read stories on the internet, but look, I am a foster parent and until the very end when a parent has really started to get his or life back together, do you think any of the parents of my foster children have been the first to admit wrong-doing? Of course not! More than one would be the type to get online and start posting that they have been wrongfully targeted and are being attacked for really no reason at all. They won't be telling you about the crap they have done or allowed to be done or neglected to do to, with, or for their children. It's only when parents start taking responsibility that the real stories start coming out, and you aren't likely to read that on the internet.

Nonetheless, wemoon, have you ever been afraid after hearing a ghost story? I'm not comparing CPS to ghost stories because frankly, I do know first hand of a couple of social workers who didn't have common sense and whose training in differentiating the big stuff from the little apparently did nothing for them, but think about it...

Surely you have been afraid on occassion late at night when you run across a spooky story on the net or something. Surely you have felt heart-pounding fear even when you have known it was irrational. Afterall, has there ever been a genuine, documented case in which a ghost physically harmed or killed a person?!

That said, I hope you have been comforted in this thread by the number of people who have posted with nothing but compassion and support for social workers who work for CPS. For example, in post 44 (I hope you'll go back and read it a second time: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...3&postcount=48), I said "I think we ought to honor the many smart, common sense, decent social workers who are out there every.single.day visiting homes and making good, supportive decisions that help families."

veronicalynne, glad it sounds like CPS is dealing with the situation decently and recognizing the problem with the original call. I do know that if something like domestic violence is mentioned in a reporting call, it would generally be the kind of thing they'd have to ask about. They need to cover the subject matter of the original phone call.

Since children witnessing domestic violence would in many cases, in many states, be considered a form of child abuse (the abusive spouse being the one who is abusing the child through the violence toward the child's other parent)...and as someone mentioned, can also be a risk factor for the abuse of a child, I would be surprised if they didn't ask as long as it was part of the original accusation. So my guess is they don't ask in EVERY case they investigate, but they do ask if it was mentioned by the person who first reported.

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#69 of 71 Old 08-01-2008, 07:55 AM
 
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[QUOTE

veronicalynne, glad it sounds like CPS is dealing with the situation decently and recognizing the problem with the original call. I do know that if something like domestic violence is mentioned in a reporting call, it would generally be the kind of thing they'd have to ask about. They need to cover the subject matter of the original phone call.

Since children witnessing domestic violence would in many cases, in many states, be considered a form of child abuse (the abusive spouse being the one who is abusing the child through the violence toward the child's other parent)...and as someone mentioned, can also be a risk factor for the abuse of a child, I would be surprised if they didn't ask as long as it was part of the original accusation. So my guess is they don't ask in EVERY case they investigate, but they do ask if it was mentioned by the person who first reported.[/QUOTE]

That is what I thought. I remember the 2 lifeguards watching me and following me to the washroom to ask if I was abused and even when I laughed and then firmly told them no and assured them I was not they later sent their supervisor to talk to me. I know they were irritated at my husbands not understanding them but to use CPS that way? I dont know what I am more upset about: using CPS that way (as if they have time for bogus calls), or the prejudice. At least the workers I met seemed to have it together and noticed something didnt seem right about the poor battered wife thing, and I also have a good friend who works with abused children who visits usually 2x a week. I gave her number to CPS and invited them to call her for confirmation. I mean, there is a good reason CPS exists, and it bothers me to see them having to waste their time kwim? My next step is to have a meeting with the head of the local YMCA. After that, I am not sure what to do. Maybe write letters to my local mps, the paper, a lawyer.....I really hate hate hate prejudice and I did notice a big difference when I put the hijab on (people tend to assume I am lebanese....I am a convert of english/scottish background), and I have seen how people have treated my husband who is Iraqi (looks very "arabic"). Unfortunately, the city we live in is very intolerant.
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#70 of 71 Old 08-01-2008, 09:11 AM
 
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Sierra, I have followed your posts and you make very sound statements and arguments on both sides. I appreciate your thoughts and think that they reflect the truth of CPS more than the irrational fears.

Yes, I have had irrational fears, but not so much that I focus on how to make sure my house looks the 'right' way. I can talk myself down from the irrational fears after researching facts. Maybe it would be wise for those who deeply fear social workers to actually meet one and discuss their fears?

As a social worker to be, we follow the National Association of Social Workers code of ethics. It explicitly states that we are to value human relationships, respect the inherent dignity and worth of individuals, practice in areas of competency, provide service to oppressed populations, promote social justice, and practice with integrity. A social worker that maliciously removes a child from a home would be breaking every single one of the ethical standards that they are bound to. The ultimate goal that the social worker needs to work towards is restoring the family to a functioning system. This requires A LOT of work on the parents part. Someone who abuses alcohol or drugs is not going to be able to recover in a short amount of time. A social worker is also supposed to work on goals WITH the client, as in the client makes the goals and the social worker helps the client reach those goals.

I get the fear. No one wants to have their children taken away from them. That is why I am suggesting that people take the time to learn more about their fear and how founded it is. The National Association of Social Workers website is: http://www.naswdc.org/ Here is the issue fact sheet on children and families: http://www.naswdc.org/pressroom/feat...e/children.asp The second to the last paragraph is important. Social workers are to PRESERVE the family, which is why in many cases people are wondering why a child remains in the home when the situation is bad.

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#71 of 71 Old 08-01-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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veronicalynne -- The more you share, the more I think it really was a prejudice-thing. It sounds like the lifeguards were making all kinds of assumptions, simply based on you wearing a covering and not being in the pool with your husband and kids.

Yet my dh doesn't especially enjoy swimming, and will sometimes sit and watch the kids and me, rather than swim himself. I don't think anyone's ever followed him into the washroom to ask if I abused him!

It sounds like they were being awfully nosy, and maybe assuming that your reason for not being in the water might be that your husband didn't "allow" you to "bathe in public," or some such nonsense.

I'm glad the CPS-workers seem to recognize it for what it is.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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