Anyone else fear CPS? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-16-2008, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My son is accident prone...to keep him from doing something incredibly dangerous/reckless/daredevil I'd have to nail his feet to the floor and wrap him in bubble tape.

And he inherited my uncanny ability to bruise at the slightest thing.

I fear taking him in for WBV (which we very rarely do)...WIC appts and anything else because he is constantly covered in bruises and scrapes.

Not only that but I've had him in the ER FIVE times for injuries. All within the last 2.5 years.

1) He got ahold of the food processor blade (thank you DH for not putting it up where it belonged) and sliced off half his thumb nail. After 15 minutes of constant pressure DH and I weren't able to get the bleeding stopped so we went to the ER where they eventually had to use a rubber band and 8 sticks of silver nitrate (I refused a tetanus shot)

2) He fell and split his lip open and got 6 stitches (I refused a tetanus shot)

3) He fell off a chair and after 15 minutes he was having a hard time bearing weight and his ankle swelled...X-rays confirmed just a minor sprain

4) Was a year ago Thursday he was playing at the county fair and cut his foot on a barn door and received 7 stitches. (Again I refused a tetanus shot)

5) And the latest was yesterday he ran through the living room and tripped over a piece of lint (or his shadow or something...) and soared through the air to face plant into the coffee table...

Another trip to the ER after SEVERE bruising and horrid swelling...I was sure he broke his face...

Another round of X-rays showed just a nasty bruise.

Now I'm *assuming* if they suspected abuse they wouldn't have let us leave right?

But after 3 cut/wounds and 3 tetanus shot refusals I'm a bit scared. I'm sure I'm on the radar somewhere...if it matters we're in a VERY small town so all but one of these trips have been to the same local ER...

Is my fear completely unfounded??

Please tell me CPS workers and drs realize my son is just a dare devil little boy and accidents happen...right???

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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yikes! but yeah, some kids are just like that. Though in your shoes I might make sure I had a really friendly and understanding ped. on record.

-Angela
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Our Ped sucks...but she's the one assigned to me by Title 19...so she's the one I have to use. Really young...no kids of her own...but she seems to get that kids are kids...last time we had him in for a 'check up' was for a physical prior to his dental surgery and she commented on his bruises but simply said "You're ALL boy aren't you?" and I said "Yeah, he's rough and tumble with the best of 'em...but by the grace of God he hasn't ended up with broken bones yet." And she just laughed...

My grandma keeps telling me that she had her kids in the ER usually more than once a month (on average, 6 kids)...the joke was that if she didn't show up for 4 or 5 weeks they called to make sure everything was okay. Her favorite story is when over the course of a month she had ever single one in the ER once and two of them twice (K fell off something, then K accidentally drove over E's foot, then R1 slammed hand in car door, D pushed R2 out of a tree, R2 retaliated by dropping a 5 gal bucket full of gravel on D's head, A (my mom) stepped on a rusty nail and it went right through her foot, E fell and got hand through a window) all this was in a MONTH. of course times have changed...

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Old 07-16-2008, 03:18 AM
 
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We had ds in to a pediatric orthopedic surgeon because ds is pretty pigeon-toed (he said we really didn't want to operate since the only solution was to break the femur and reset it!). He had an intern with him and the surgeon pointed out the bruises that were up and down ds' shins. What did he say? "Here's the mark of an active child."

A lot of it is WHERE the bruises are. There are certain places/types of injuries that are difficult to self inflict. Some of it is whether the parent's story makes sense and is consistent.

I wouldn't worry. I might develop a good relationship with a ped that you can trust, however. And, I'd get rid of the coffee table. My dh describes coffee tables as "accidents waiting to happen".

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Old 07-16-2008, 10:40 AM
 
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I fear CPS because I'm a foster parent and I see kids removed for some stuff that I agree looks questionable--but they remove first and ask questions later. Even from foster homes.

And some of the things are not really questionable as much as they're outside of mainstream thought--like nursing my 4-1/2yo and homeschooling a child in the autism spectrum (which mainstream and educators would--and do--insist is killing his need for social skill development .

I keep wondering if my good record as a great foster parent will save me, or simply make me look all the more suspect.

Add to it that my little guy has a horrible temperament. He is just such a miserable little guy and some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth disturbs ME and DH--to the point where we worry sometimes what others might think about our home (I posted this in another thread).

I don't think it's unfounded to worry about CPS for any of this. Fortunately, your incidents are more readily explainable than my stuff.

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Old 07-16-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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DD just had her 2-yr well visit, and she's a real bruiser, both in the literal and figurative sense. She keeps up with her 4-yo brother, who is "all boy". So her shins are a mess, her arms have bruises from them wrestling together, ad she has a nice bruise on the small of her back from backing into the bathtub faucet a few days ago. Yeah, that was a fun one to explain to the ped. I'm just happy she knows us pretty well and knows that I'm a decent person with active kids! She made a comment about a lot of bruises, and I said, "Spend a half a day watching my kids playing together and every bruise will make sense." And she laughed. Whew.

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Old 07-16-2008, 10:52 AM
 
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I have always been scared of CPS and DSS before I ever had kids. I was homeschooled here in SC before homeschooling was legal. We had social workers come to our door and had to go to court. Of course, we won which is part of why hs-ers in SC now have an easier time. I am SO happy that my parents were willing to do that and I wouldn't trade my experience homeschooling K-12th for anything! Still, CPS has a bad track record with homeschoolers. I always thought they were out to get us. I realize that there is a place and time for their intervention but I think they often WAY overstep their bounds. I strongly suggest anyone who homeschools to join Homeschool Legal Defense, they can step in if there is ever a question. I think the very fact that we are having this conversation shows that we are responsible and loving parents...so there!
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I have, but normally, no. My son was alot like that, he still is and he bruises very easily, just like I do. The only time I was really worried was when he was 3ish and started to fall and reached out grabbed the fireplace to stop himself. He wasn't burned badly, but the ped (who I dislike anyways) interrogated me on it.

My boys are very active little boys and usually one or the other has a least 3-4 bruises at any given time. But that was the only time I've been questioned about it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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I've had these fears, too -- especially as both my girls had fractures as babies, my oldest broke one arm when she was one, and the other when she was two, and then my youngest fractured her elbow at 17 months.

People were shocked that we didn't have CPS beating down our door -- we were never even treated suspiciously. When my oldest had her second fracture, a friend of mine told me a horror story about her cousin being hassled because her 2yo was jumping on the bed, and jumped off and somehow landed in such a way that his leg broke in a spiral fracture.

Apparently spiral fractures are seen as a red flag for child abuse, so I feel blessed that none of my girls' fractures were ever spirals, and the injuries were always totally consistent with my accounts of the accidents, so we were always treated just fine.

About using the same ER, that's actually the best thing to do, as one of the "red flags" CPS looks for is parents going to different emergency rooms, so no one hospital realizes how often a child is getting injured. With our oldest dd's fracture, we'd actually gone to the hospital where she was born for emergency care, but were then referred to our local children's hospital for follow-up, and so with her second fracture, as well as our younger daughter's one fracture, we automatically went to the children's hospital.

We also automatically used the children's hospital when our youngest cut herself and needed stitches, and also when our oldest (our little climber) recently jumped from our deck-railing (where she likes to balance like a tightrope-walker) onto our deck, and landed in a squatting position, and got a splinter from the deck embedded straight into her finger, so that only one end-point was visible. On both these occasions we declined tetatus vaccine, and there was no pressure.

From what I've heard, other hospitals in our area now have instructions to refer all child-injury cases to this same children's hospital. I'd heard from someone previously, that there was an automatic policy for this hospital to call CPS anytime a child came to the ER for injuries more than once in one year. So we were a little scared when our youngest cut herself, because it hadn't been quite a year since her fractured elbow.

I actually laid low for a couple of days after that accident. We played indoors with the shades drawn: My plan was not to answer the door to anyone -- I'd heard that CPS workers will leave a note on the door, and figured I'd just get that note and call the number later, and agree to meet with them (with my lawyer) in a neutral location to answer any questions they wanted to ask me, rather than opening up my (perpetually messy) home to an investigation.

Anyhow, we never got a call or a visit for any of our daughters' injuries. I'm guessing that we may have got called in after our second daughter had two injuries in one year, but if so then the workers chose not to investigate it.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-16-2008, 01:29 PM
 
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I think fears of CPS are common. My mom does childcare and my mom in law is a psychologist, so they are both mandated reporters.
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks mama's...at least I'm not the only one!!

I'm doing a speed clean of my house, making sure his bedroom looks 'sleepable' (usually his bed is piled up with toys...with his pillow and blanket and all that jazz. Making sure the cupboard is well stocked (it always is)...making sure the sink is empy of dishes, the bathroom is kept moderately sanitary, keeping up on laundry and making sure Aldria's bed also looks 'sleepable' we have a crib and a pack & play...clean laundry lives there generally.

We're also inside, but mostly because it's 95 degrees outside today...

The dr never said anything about CPS...but I don't know what the 'rules' are there since it was less than a year since our last visit (and the visit before that was also less than a year to the one prior. There was 8 months between 3 and 4 and just under a year between 4 and 5...in all honesty he SHOULD have gone to the ER a 6th time in January...he fell and cut his eyebrow on a toy, but the bleeding stopped...he has a wicked scar but no stitches, he probably would have gotten 3 possibly 4 stitches there, but we never took him in...the bleeding stopped, DH (who is an EMT) cleaned it well so we just bandaided it and called it good)

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Old 07-16-2008, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here is a pic of his face when we got home from ER

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a82...m/100_4641.jpg

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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Old 07-16-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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Like a previous poster said, a lot of it is where the bruises are. My three oldest oldest kids legs are always covered in bruises because they run around outside all day. We still go to all our appointments because I know that a good doctor/professional will know what to look for and what isn't a cause for worry.

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:33 PM
 
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My ped specifically checked for bruises and acted happy that DS's shins are completely covered with them. She said that's how she knows they're having enough fun.

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Old 07-16-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JennTheMomma View Post
I think fears of CPS are common. My mom does childcare and my mom in law is a psychologist, so they are both mandated reporters.
By "mandated reporter" -- does that just mean that you call it in anytime you suspect a child is being abused or neglected? Or does it mean something more sinister?

About 20 years ago, I was working in a childcare center, and my co-workers and me (including our director) turned in our notices, following a workshop with a CPS-worker who said we needed to call in about every bruise or marking on a child, even if we personally were satisfied that it wasn't abuse.

We weren't willing to call in every bruise, so we were going to quit our jobs. Then the regional director re-clarified our responsibility, and said we teachers should mention every bruise or marking to the director, and it would be up to her discretion whether to call it in. But I've always wondered what "mandated reporter" really means.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:12 PM
 
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Quote:
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By "mandated reporter" -- does that just mean that you call it in anytime you suspect a child is being abused or neglected? Or does it mean something more sinister?
Mandatory reporting laws in the U.S. vary by state. However, in general, they have to do with reporting "reasonable suspicion" of abuse. That is, not reporting any bruise, scrape, or whatever (use common sense), but definitely reporting when there is reason to believe that an injury is suspicious.

Mandatory reporters are generally specifically instructed to use common sense and knowledge of our own fields (what type of bruises on kids are typical for example), but NOT investigate on our own in order to make the determination about calling. Most of us are not qualified to make an accurate determination on whether abuse is occurring, and checking into a situation can also spoil the integrity of future investigations by the professionals.

In other words, if something seems off, we are instructed to call and report and let the screeners do their job rather than deciding first whether we really believe abuse is occurring. In my experience, the screeners where I come from have been fantastic about screening out anything not worthy of further investigation. In fact, they've sadly screened out stuff that I really felt needed to be looked into further (for example, when one of my dw's students told her-- after having been her student for two full years-- that his father regularly beats him with a clothing hanger...this was most likely the tip of a very large iceberg and it was clear to dw that this child was being abused in other ways as well). The cases have to meet a particular standard before being investigated. And in the county I come from, even once an investigation has occurred, only about 1% of investigations result in the (temporary or permanent) removal of a child from his or her home.

A lot has changed in 20 years in this arena for sure.

It seems like whereas there was a swing of the pendulum for a while to over-reporting, now things are much more balanced. Most docs who are accustomed to working with children will have a good sense of what is normal. And most will "get" that some children are more prone to injuries than others (When I was a kid, my parents were [nearly?] investigated when one of my sisters broke her arm three times in a row...she has an *extremely* high pain tolerance and has always been very private about pain, so it became obvious her arm was broken only upon the third time. My parents knew she had gotten hurt previously on the same arm, but were not aware she had broken anything until the third. At that point, my parents could see the bone out of place and took her in. Of course, the ER folks were mortified because on x-ray they discovered two prior untreated breaks. What you have on your side especially is that you are taking your kid in for treatment as the injuries occur [and as someone mentioned, to the same ER]...a lot of abusers would try to hide injuries and take kids in only when it was beyond the point of BAD, and in that case to varying hospitals.)

As a foster parent, most of the cases I have seen have been pretty straight-forward and very real cases of abuse. However, occassionally there are questionable social workers who make questionable decisions, and yes, I would be lying if I said I never worried. There is EVERYTHING at stake when it comes to our children, and it is normal I think to have worries about this kind of thing.

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Old 07-16-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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Maybe this will help you feel better? A friend of mine has 2 boys and when they were ages about 4 and 5.5 she visited the ER 3 times in 3 weeks! Son #1 was playing outside and fell and cracked open head, ER visit, stitches in forehead. Son #2 about a week later was swinging between 2 chairs, slipped, ER visit, stitches in chin. Few days after that, son #1 again, this time for stitches in chin. This was in a small town and going to a small town ER clinic - same docs, same nurses. She was sure they would call CPS and even said something jokingly about it. The nurse said nope these were typical childhood injuries and they were just unlucky they all happened at once. They pay more attention to untreated old injuries or weird things that happen (like broken ribs from falls down stairs, etc.).

Of course, I would like to add that her boys were HIGH ENERGY. And a few years later her son #2 sprayed himself with her mace - ER trip and eye wash out. And yes a few days later he did it again (that time she just called the doc and washed his eyes out at home)! Some kids are just like that!
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Old 07-16-2008, 07:34 PM
 
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I have 3 boys. My youngest is very accident prone, and is always covered head to toe w/ bruises (having von Willebrand Disease and VERY pale skin doesn't help!) I have had people make nasty comments at the grocery store, etc, but his ped has never said anyhting abou this bruises. I actually told him one time that someone had made a nasty comment to me about MY being the one bruising my kid, and he looked mad. He told me that bruising in the places my ds has it--forehead, chin, shins, and forearms mostly, w/ some smaller bruises in other places-- were a sign that he was allowed to be active and play and was most likely outside a lot, all GOOD things from his perspective. He said that abused kids had bruising in other places and their parents tried to hide them. It was VERY obvious to him, as a health professional, that my son was just a healthy VERY active little boy, nothing more.

I dont worry about it, never have really. I just get made when strangers make comments about his bruises insinuating we abuse him. They're stupid, imo. He's a healthy, happy, very friendly little boy.
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:20 PM
 
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I don't spend a lot of time worrying about it, no. But, because we are rather out of the mainstream on several issues, I do take a few precautions. We homebirth, cosleep, and ebf (ds1 is 4.5 and still nursing at night). For instance, we have a good, long-standing relationship with our family doctor. Do we need to go to well baby visits? No, but it looks good on paper (and, we just like our doc). Plus, we've participated in a Parents-as-Teachers group since ds1 was small, and have a long-standing relationship w/ the teacher who comes to our home once a month. We do this because we enjoy it, not because of fear of CPS, but it is reassuring to know that I have professionals who could vouch for me if an investigation ever came up, kwim?

I've also been a mandated reporter when I was teaching. Never did anyone say we should call about every bruise. The training was basically to call if you suspected abuse, and included some possible signs. But, a lot was left up to our judgment and common sense. And, they were clear about what was NOT abuse, such as spanking on the bottom with a hand.

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Old 07-17-2008, 12:50 AM
 
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Yes I fear CPS because we have had the unfortunate experience of having someone in our neighborhood call and report us to them, not once but twice. It is a horrifying and humiliating experience. I dont fear them in the sense that I have done anything wrong and don't want to get caught but I fear what they can do to families. It was nothing really serious and once the social worker came and went through everything she closed the case because the information was unfounded and no wrongdoing was found. Then just as we were getting over the shock of it and moving on I get another phone call from the social worker with the bad news that someone called on us again! I started crying immediately saying that this was very unfair to us and asked if it was the same person. Of course she could not tell me that (and I do not know who did it the first time) and reminded me that they do take note if its the same person calling in each time. So she has to come out again and again it will be closed because we did absolutely nothing wrong and we know it and have nothing to hide. Yet it still is a painful thing to have your parenting skills questioned to that extreme. We just moved into this neighborhood in March and our children are 7 and 3. I fear how much this can happen to us and how much we can endure as it is such a horrific thing for us to go through. We wonder what recourse we have and what we can do to protect ourselves from this other than completely shut ourselves off from people in the neighborhood. In my heart I believe it is an overzealous person or someone who just has it out for us. But it is very disheartening when it is so uncalled for. So it is a very real fear that will always be in the back of my mind whenever my kids play outside, get hurt or anything they say that could get misconstrued by the wrong person. I myself am a mandatory reporter and I would be very careful with anything I ever reported. It would have to be so blatent and obvious and fall into the category of neglect or abuse or risk to the child. I would never report on anything I heard from a 2nd or 3rd party that I myself did not hear or witness or my child was not involved in.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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Originally Posted by 32bolt View Post
Yes I fear CPS because we have had the unfortunate experience of having someone in our neighborhood call and report us to them, not once but twice. It is a horrifying and humiliating experience. I dont fear them in the sense that I have done anything wrong and don't want to get caught but I fear what they can do to families. It was nothing really serious and once the social worker came and went through everything she closed the case because the information was unfounded and no wrongdoing was found. Then just as we were getting over the shock of it and moving on I get another phone call from the social worker with the bad news that someone called on us again! I started crying immediately saying that this was very unfair to us and asked if it was the same person. Of course she could not tell me that (and I do not know who did it the first time) and reminded me that they do take note if its the same person calling in each time. So she has to come out again and again it will be closed because we did absolutely nothing wrong and we know it and have nothing to hide. Yet it still is a painful thing to have your parenting skills questioned to that extreme. We just moved into this neighborhood in March and our children are 7 and 3. I fear how much this can happen to us and how much we can endure as it is such a horrific thing for us to go through. We wonder what recourse we have and what we can do to protect ourselves from this other than completely shut ourselves off from people in the neighborhood. In my heart I believe it is an overzealous person or someone who just has it out for us. But it is very disheartening when it is so uncalled for. So it is a very real fear that will always be in the back of my mind whenever my kids play outside, get hurt or anything they say that could get misconstrued by the wrong person. I myself am a mandatory reporter and I would be very careful with anything I ever reported. It would have to be so blatent and obvious and fall into the category of neglect or abuse or risk to the child. I would never report on anything I heard from a 2nd or 3rd party that I myself did not hear or witness or my child was not involved in.

I had the same thing happen to me because of my husband which is why I left him.....it is terribly embarrassing that is for sure. In his case, he is guilty of stupid parenting. The first time, I had to go to the emergency room because of hyperemesis (I am now 8 months pregnant) and while I was in the e.r....there was an incident. Dd1 tried to run into traffic and he actually grabbed her by the hair to pull her back to safety....and yelled at her....a lady saw him yelling but didnt know she ran into traffic and he made the bad decision to yell at her too so she called CPS. I gave him hell for it ( I am the primary caregiver and I had her try to run into traffic one time and I had to pull her back....needless to say it was not by the hair). The next time CPS actually told us the person was wrong to call them but they have to automatically investigate which I understand but is still embarrassing. We were at the YMCA to take the kids swimming (I was just watching outside since I cant go in the water) and he did a stupid thing I told him for 4 years not to do....he lifted (mind you it was gentle but u just dont do it) dd2 by one arm to move her from his left side to his right side not in anger but slowly so the lifeguards reported him to CPS. I should also add that they were already ticked off because they had to keep reminding him to stay in the same pool with both daughters. I talked to CPS about it (thankfully they came to me alone but are going to visit him on Monday to see him apparently) and told them some of the irresponsible things he has done:

1. Leave dd1 in supermarket toy section alone while he shops
2. Tried to leave them alone outside to play in backyard close to traffic with no supevision
3. Tried to go without car seat

The list goes on....Needless to say none of the above things happen because I put my foot down when I found out and I never left them alone with him. You should be able to leave your children safely with your husband kwim? I left because he was refusing to meet with CPS which u just dont do. All they want to suggest to him is maybe a parenting course for him. I just left because I am afraid they will try to take my children from me even though they have been called about his behavior...I am still his wife kwim?.........even though they seem to think the problem is him and it is not an abuse situation but very bad parenting skills. So yeah, I am afraid of CPS now though I know on my own there will be no problems.
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
By "mandated reporter" -- does that just mean that you call it in anytime you suspect a child is being abused or neglected? Or does it mean something more sinister?
Every job I've worked as a nurse has required me to be a mandated reporter. I've signed a statement that I have been informed on what constitutes abuse/neglect and what steps I have to take to report suspected abuse. I work primarily with adults/geriatrics so I'm mostly trained on what abuse/neglect looks like in those population. If I see something that I suspect is abuse I am required to report it. Usually the ER catches things before they get to me though.

On topic: I know plenty of family docs and pediatricians that have the whole "if they aren't scraped and bruised they aren't really being a kid" mentality (obviously within reason).
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:14 PM
 
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to 32bold and veronicalynne! I hope it's all over soon!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:41 PM
 
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Every job I've worked as a nurse has required me to be a mandated reporter. I've signed a statement that I have been informed on what constitutes abuse/neglect and what steps I have to take to report suspected abuse. I work primarily with adults/geriatrics so I'm mostly trained on what abuse/neglect looks like in those population. If I see something that I suspect is abuse I am required to report it. Usually the ER catches things before they get to me though.

On topic: I know plenty of family docs and pediatricians that have the whole "if they aren't scraped and bruised they aren't really being a kid" mentality (obviously within reason).
Yeah, I'm wondering if the CPS-worker who did the training for child-care staff, was being such a butt because she didn't perceive us as "educated" enough to know when to be suspicious and when a bruise was no big deal.

Plus it was mid-80's, and from what I've heard, this was a time-period when people were suddenly becoming aware of the prevalence of abuse, and how seemingly-"nice" people are often secretly beating and molesting their children "behind closed doors" (I sometimes hear a carry-over of that on parenting message-boards, when people talk about the stressed-out mama screaming at her kids in the grocery store parking-lot, and say, "If she acts like that out in public, who knows what she does at home "behind closed doors?!").

Anyhow, a few years' back I read an article about a young woman, who was imprisoned for several years because a boy in the daycare she'd worked in told his doctor she'd done something to his bottom, and the doctor thought she'd taken a rectal temperature -- which she said she'd never done, she was never sure what the child was getting at, but anyhow it turned into her greatest nightmare, as she got convicted of child sexual abuse and locked up.

But then a law student was looking into old cases, and got interested in hers because of how she got convicted with so little evidence (similar, I guess, to many cases from that time-period). He represented her and I think got a re-trial, where her conviction was overturned and she was released. In the meantime, the two of them had fallen in love and so they got married. I wish I could remember their names so I could see how they're doing now.

I know that when I worked in childcare, there were occasionally men who loved working with small children -- but they always had to get a female teacher to handle toileting and diaper-changes, I guess because of the greater likelihood of them getting accused of wrongdoing. But, judging from the above case, I guess female childcare workers who assist with toileting, aren't always immune from such accusations.

At one preschool where I worked at 19, one of the teachers expressed great concern that I was showing too much affection to the children, which she thought could be "misconstrued." But, apart from that one situation, at every other place where I worked it was seen as a plus that I was so affectionate.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:58 PM
 
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to 32bold and veronicalynne! I hope it's all over soon!
Thanks for the support. It has been so hard and embarrassing not to mention stressful. I mean, they were called because of my husbands stupid parenting behavior but I feel judged too.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:53 AM
 
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i am scared to death of CPS being called on us again. i have 4 boys, with varying degrees of special needs. the first time was at our old house. i suspect it was the school, b/c it was right after a home visit from the special ed teacher. i had been sick, 2 of the kids sick, dh was working doubles, and i had a new baby. the house was a disaster. a few days later the guy from cps showed up and said that they had a report of "child neglect and unsanitary living conditions". i was completely shocked. yeah, dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, a weeks worth of laundry not done, a couple pop cans on the end table, that kind of thing. it certainly wasn't layers of filth! the guy was a real hard a$$ too, telling me that i had a week to get it together or he was going to come back and take my kids from me. the door closed behind him and i had hysterics. literally. i nearly fainted. i called every friend and family member i had and we worked our tails off. you could have licked the floor by the time he came back. i also got signed letters from the county home visitor, the kids doctors, and the in-home therapists, that they had never seen any signs of neglect or abuse. he came back, poked around a bit, and told me i was free and clear

a few months later, here comes CPS again. same charges. different worker, just as tough as the first one. at this point, we were starting to pack and move, so, once again, it was a disaster. again, not dirty, just stuff not in place, y'know? this time, however, she said something about ds#3 not being potty trained as evidence of "neglect". he was only 3 and he's autistic fer cryin' out loud!! even my most "typical" boy was only potty trained just after he turned 4! same basic thing, "get it cleaned up, i'll be visiting you at the new place", etc. ok, all sorted out, she came back, poked around, told us all was closed and done.

at the end of last summer, i sent my then-6yo ds with his older brother to a church day camp thing. this ds is also on the autism spectrum. he says random things that don't make any sense, quotes from movies, etc. he goes to the camp and announces "my mommy and daddy tie me up in my room at night!" oh.my.god. the same social worker came back and she landed on us like a ton of bricks. interviewed the kids at school, contacted their dr's and therapists, interviewed their teachers... i really and truly thought i was going to lose my children. she finally acknowledged that we are not the horrible people she came in thinking that we were and stopped harassing us. i have never been so scared in my life.

my point to all this is that now, if one of the kids is hurt, or i lose my temper and yell, or one of my boys on the spectrum runs away from me or screams something that is not child-appropriate, i live in fear for days. none of the accusations had any real basis in fact (other than a messy house), and i am terrified that this will happen again. i really, truly am.

the other day, my youngest son broke his front tooth by jumping off of my bed. even tho i knew they wouldn't do anything at the clinic, i took him in b/c i wanted to be sure that it was documented. i hate feeling like i'm waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time. i saw the social worker here at the complex a few weeks ago, as i was leaving, and i called my dh and told him and he ran around and swept the floor and made sure the kids were all dressed and everything, just in case. i hate this feeling.

anyway, sorry for the long ramble, i hope somewhere in there was the thought that "i hope things go better for everyone else than they have for me" or something like that. good grief, it's 5am?? no wonder i'm babbling!

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Old 07-22-2008, 11:15 AM
 
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damona, It's experiences like yours that make me think social workers must have too much time on their hands, to be giving someone such a hard time about a messy house.

My 3yo still wears diapers, too. She sometimes uses the potty, and seems to be quite good at sensing when she needs to go, 'cause she'll sometimes announce what she's about to do. But for some reason, she still usually prefers going in her diapers, and I don't see a reason to turn it into a struggle. I feel confident that she'll eventually want to use the potty like other kids her age are doing.

But right now, she also wants to be called "Baby" instead of her given name -- so I think she's just more in a phase of wanting to identify herself as the baby, and she's not so much identifying with other kids her age yet. I don't see it as a problem, and when the doctor asked me about the potty-training, I just told her she goes sometimes but doesn't always want to, and still wants to wear a diaper. And the doctor was okay about it.

But I know what you mean, about always wondering how it's going to be perceived, if your child diverges from the "norm" in some way.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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Old 07-22-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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i am scared to death of CPS being called on us again. i have 4 boys, with varying degrees of special needs. the first time was at our old house. i suspect it was the school, b/c it was right after a home visit from the special ed teacher. i had been sick, 2 of the kids sick, dh was working doubles, and i had a new baby. the house was a disaster. a few days later the guy from cps showed up and said that they had a report of "child neglect and unsanitary living conditions". i was completely shocked. yeah, dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, a weeks worth of laundry not done, a couple pop cans on the end table, that kind of thing. it certainly wasn't layers of filth! the guy was a real hard a$$ too, telling me that i had a week to get it together or he was going to come back and take my kids from me. the door closed behind him and i had hysterics. literally. i nearly fainted. i called every friend and family member i had and we worked our tails off. you could have licked the floor by the time he came back. i also got signed letters from the county home visitor, the kids doctors, and the in-home therapists, that they had never seen any signs of neglect or abuse. he came back, poked around a bit, and told me i was free and clear

a few months later, here comes CPS again. same charges. different worker, just as tough as the first one. at this point, we were starting to pack and move, so, once again, it was a disaster. again, not dirty, just stuff not in place, y'know? this time, however, she said something about ds#3 not being potty trained as evidence of "neglect". he was only 3 and he's autistic fer cryin' out loud!! even my most "typical" boy was only potty trained just after he turned 4! same basic thing, "get it cleaned up, i'll be visiting you at the new place", etc. ok, all sorted out, she came back, poked around, told us all was closed and done.

at the end of last summer, i sent my then-6yo ds with his older brother to a church day camp thing. this ds is also on the autism spectrum. he says random things that don't make any sense, quotes from movies, etc. he goes to the camp and announces "my mommy and daddy tie me up in my room at night!" oh.my.god. the same social worker came back and she landed on us like a ton of bricks. interviewed the kids at school, contacted their dr's and therapists, interviewed their teachers... i really and truly thought i was going to lose my children. she finally acknowledged that we are not the horrible people she came in thinking that we were and stopped harassing us. i have never been so scared in my life.

my point to all this is that now, if one of the kids is hurt, or i lose my temper and yell, or one of my boys on the spectrum runs away from me or screams something that is not child-appropriate, i live in fear for days. none of the accusations had any real basis in fact (other than a messy house), and i am terrified that this will happen again. i really, truly am.

the other day, my youngest son broke his front tooth by jumping off of my bed. even tho i knew they wouldn't do anything at the clinic, i took him in b/c i wanted to be sure that it was documented. i hate feeling like i'm waiting for the other shoe to drop all the time. i saw the social worker here at the complex a few weeks ago, as i was leaving, and i called my dh and told him and he ran around and swept the floor and made sure the kids were all dressed and everything, just in case. i hate this feeling.

anyway, sorry for the long ramble, i hope somewhere in there was the thought that "i hope things go better for everyone else than they have for me" or something like that. good grief, it's 5am?? no wonder i'm babbling!

As another pp said, they must have too much time on their hands....and seem to like abusing their power. They would have been horrified at my house then....I had hyperemesis and was in and out of the hospital 6 times in 2 months and dh was overwhelmed by the kids and household duties. We had CPS come to our house because dh lifted dd2 by one arm to move her to his other side (not in anger but it is wrong to lift that way), he kept trying to go to the other pool leaving dd1 alone (he thought she was safe with just the floater arm things...again wrong as i tried to tell him), and because he didnt run to pick dd2 up fast enough for them. I am in the process of lodging a formal complaint because I feel the ymca went too far when they asked me out of the blue if I was abused.
CPS also thought they were out of line calling but had to investigate. They saw my house....carpet not vacuumed and kitchen floor disgusting....I explained I am 8 months pregnant and they understood. One is supposed to come back on the 30 to speak to my husband.....we had agreed that he needs a parenting course. Sounds like you had really nasty extreme ones visit you....i was nervous enough and threw up after they left....I cant imagine my reaction if they had treated me like they did you: Btw, I was impressed when I read your post...you have alot on your plate looking after special needs children. I think that is great
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Old 07-22-2008, 02:54 PM
 
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I'm very sorry to hear about families being harassed for trivial reasons. I'm sure I would be terrified, too.

However, I don't think in general social workers have too much time on their hands. I think it's the reverse. They are overworked and underpaid. They see horrible things in their line of work. Of course they're going to get jaded and be suspicious of everything. I can't imagine doing such a tough job, myself. That doesn't excuse them from being nasty and horrible, of course. But I think that attitude comes from stress, time-constraints, and fear that they will miss something that will result in a child dying. How many of us work in a job where the decisions we make will ultimately determine whether a child lives or dies, or whether a child is abused or emotionally traumatized from being taken from their parents? It makes my stomach hurt just thinking of the responsibility.

Of course, in any situation you can run across someone on a power trip who is just trying to throw their weight around. And when they really DO have power over you and your children, that is truly terrifying.

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Old 07-22-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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I would have a good family doc. To make you feel a little better, my husband and his mom were on a first name basis with the er. He even "shot" himself in the leg with a bullet and a hammer when she was at work!!! This of course was reported in the newspaper! She had a good understanding family doc. Not a ped.
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