Somehwat OT, maybe-SCARED of CPS! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have always kind of had this fear in the back of my head. I would literally die if anyone took my children away from me. But I'm constantly told I'm a wonderful mother. I don't hit my kids, I feed them when they are hungry, they have a bed time, and they bathe, etc. I'm serious, my doctor, dentist, random people everywhere are always catching me in a mothering moment I never knew they saw and then telling me how great I'm doing. So, I've felt pretty darned good about myself.

But, I'm "different". I not only homeschool, I unschool. Gasp! I'm not teaching my children anything! And I don't vax, or take my kids to the doc for routine visits. And I cosleep, and extended breastfeed, and cloth diaper. And my kids are VERY skinny, despite eating like there's no tomorrow (food allergies contribute to this, too, on top of just their natural body types, I think). And we're going to be UCing with this baby. And we're "poor" (around poverty level). Mostly because we have 4.5 kids (we used to live GREAT on the same amount of money when it was just the 2 of us). We keep the utilities on and bellies full, so I think we're doing just fine.

Now, I don't think any of the above makes us bad parents. The only thing I do know for sure is 1. I yell. Not often, but I do yell. And 2. my house is NEVER, EVER, EVER clean. I really do try, but always being pregnant, having many small children, and having almost no help makes it extremely difficult to ever keep anything clean. I honestly and literally a-l-w-a-y-s have more than one load of dishes in the sink and more than one load of laundry to do, at the very least. I know a lot of people say relax and enjoy your kids. Lower your standards, etc, but I also know CPS wouldn't say this.

There is a family that is local to us in a long battle with CPS. I don't know really anything about their parenting, as far as abuse, etc, though I find it highly unlikely having observed them on several occasions in public settings. They have made many of the same choices as us. They have 7 children, they don't vax, cosleep, extended bf, UC birth, etc. I just found out tonight that their children were taken from them this week. I don't know the specifics about why, but the cleanliness of their home was cited as one of the reasons.

I'm seriously freaking out right now. It sure seems like CPS investigations are Salem witch trials. Someone, anyone, for any reason makes that one call and you are guilty and your children are taken, no matter what they have to make up or exaggerate. It scares me more than anything but illness or death to one of my family members. I really need somebody to talk me down. I don't know how I am going to sleep tonight.

ETA: Oh no! You can't edit a typo in the topic heading. What a bummer...

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#2 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 08:04 AM
 
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someone called CPS on my neighbor. of all the parents in this neighborhood to get called! just crazy!!

anyway, she might not be the perfect mom... but she quit her day job to be home with her 3 year old (she single). she works at a bar a few nights a week while her BF watches her son. her mom (who is a mandated reporter) was so upset that she quit her "good" job to go back to working in a bar, that she called and reported the 3 year old as unsupervised.

nothing came of it. they came, checked on her son, asked her some questions and turned over the case to a worker who only called her on the phone.

in cases where the children are removed, there is usually something going on that others not privy to the case don't know about.

anyway, don't buy yourself trouble. living in fear sucks all the joy out of your life.

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#3 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I can relate to feeling bad about the state of your house. Have you tried the flylady system? I'm not a flylady success story, but the program is good, and there's plenty there for you to take what works for you, and it may help you get to a place where you feel ok with the state of your home.

Try not to worry-- CPS has a lot to do, they aren't likely to go after a good mom like you. You don't know the whole story about that other family. I imagine you need to be more than a little behind on the dishes and the laundry to lose your kids. They don't act on every complaint, and they don't take everyone's kids. It doesn't sound like you have anything to worry about.
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#4 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 10:45 AM
 
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I understand the fear. The local newspaper here reported a story of some children being taken away "from shocking neglect!" and amongst the things that were listed as shocking neglect were that the toddler was playing in the yard with no pants on. Umm, all the time around here. That one of the children was a heamophiliac and her medicines were kept locked up - uh, there were four other small children in the house, keeping drugs locked up sounds like a good safety precaution. That they all slept in one room and that there was laundry everywhere. Uh huh. Most of my friends with more than one child have laundry everywhere most of the time.

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#5 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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I can relate to this post. I have had this fear in the back of my mind from time to time. Sometimes it's CPS sometimes it is the "school" people (we have a crazy superintendent who has harassed homeschoolers in the past.)

I don't share with (just about) anyone what method of homeschooling we do. In this community, they just wouldn't get it. If people inquire I say something like, "oh, we use many different books." It's true.

Knowing my rights has been very empowering to me. My right to not vaccinate. My right to breastfeed. Especially my right to homeschool. I have copies of the laws in a safe place and I know what protection I have under these laws. (I am in Illinois - I suppose your laws might leave you feeling like your behind is not covered.)

I have read the scenario in the back of Mary Pride's Book about a social worker knocking at the door many times. The SW does not have the right to come inside my home. Or talk to my children. The book advises you on what to say and how to say it.

Feeling prepared and knowing the law is on my side (at least for now) has put my mind at ease. What I am doing and you are doing is not illegal - thank god we don't live in Germany.... your concerns about losing your children would be very legitimate in that climate. I don't know if this helps. Sounds like you are doing a great job. Keep your chin up!

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#6 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 11:31 AM
 
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I thought that every neighbour that knocked on my door would see the mess and call to report us. I thought that someone driving by my house and seeing my kids riding their bikes during school hours would report us. I worried that the family physician would note that vax schedules were off and we hadn't been in more than a while and we'd be turned in. The fears were very real. That fact is, it is an unconventional lifestyle that can, at times, look like neglect from someone who doesn't see all that we do get done.

I did a few things, to make me feel better, like if that call did come, I would have tons of evidence that we do a lot of great things with our kids that truly neglectful parents wouldn't do. Take photos of the kids having fun, of the projects their working on or have completed, of any schoolish things they happen to do. Keep any worksheets,artwork etc. Maybe keep a private blog. You could probably find 10 minutes at night to update what one kid or another discovered, said, learned...whatever. Even small things add up.

And the house may not be neat every minute of the day - I don't think they would expect this anyway, but it can be cleaned before a scheduled visit if they were to make one, even if it means tossing everything you see into a laundry basket (or 27 ) and tucking it into a closet. (My MIL trick)

(((hugs)))
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#7 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Wow, it really saddens me that there are parts of the "civilized world" where mothers have to worry about this. I don't know whether it's naivete on my part, but it has never even occurred to me to worry about having my kids taken away from me b/c of the choices we've made.

I suppose if I'm honest with myself about that, it's because I'm a professional, white, "upper middle class" (if such a thing can be defined) woman. But I also believe that I live in a very wonderful part of the world. Canada is a much more liberal place than the US in many ways (which is why we returned here after starting a family in the US) and my province in particular is probably the most liberal in the country.

I suppose if I had good reason to believe my local government would step in and take away my kids just for doing things like unschooling or selective vaxing, I would seriously look at moving somewhere else. Easier said than done, I know.

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#8 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 12:58 PM
 
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Yes Piglet, it saddens me too. I think that the "professional, upper-middle class" part of your story makes a huge difference. I am also Canadian, (on the opposite coast) and there's a stigma about those living below or near the poverty line and their parenting, I hear many people imply they just don't deserve the same trust or freedom as the rest of us. It's disgusting. And though I'm not anywhere near the poverty line, (thank you, God) I have that as part of my history and some members of my family are still there. There is definitely a double standard, even here in Canada. Coming from where I come from, you learn to CYA. Sad, but true.

I don't think the gov't would take away kids for just unschooling, or just not vaxing or just co sleeping, (you get the idea), but combine these things with poverty or near poverty, and I think they're more likely to jump to conclusions that these decisions were not informed decisions but rather the parent not knowing protocol and requiring intervention. I think there's some prejudgement that upper class, white collar folks wouldn't even think about. And I'm not saying they would remove kids in these cases, but they may feel like some other sorts of intervention are necessary like parenting classes.

I had a physician neighbour probe more than I was comfortable with about my dks schooling, and I felt the need to mislead him about just how much formal stuff is going on, because I just didn't trust his motives for inquiring, iykwim. Okay, I didn't actually lie, I just said we HAVE a boxed curriculum, which we do, we just don't necessarily use it the way it was intended. I could have said, "oh, no, curriculum isn't necessary", but I didn't want to substantiate his concerns. Maybe in a few more years, I'll be brave enough to 'come out', but right now, I just feel there's too much at stake.
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#9 of 34 Old 07-09-2010, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I really think the fact that we're considered poor, combined with all the other factors, makes us more of a suspect case. I don't know if it would matter to them that I have a college degree, or that I'm currently attaining my masters in child development/elementary education, but I would hope it would at least make it evident that I have made informed decisions.

Regardless, I just do my best with my housekeeping, and I'm reading up on my rights. Someone on the UC board posted a few links about it recently, so I've been reading up. I did just learn that you do not have to allow them in without a warrant, etc, but we rent in a complex and I'm betting the complex would let them in without a warrant if we were not here. It's just plain terrifying that you can do what you believe is best for your kids, and they can still be taken. Even if only for a day I know it would absolutely traumatize my children. I would die for them every day they were gone.

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#10 of 34 Old 07-10-2010, 01:43 AM
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i find it helpful to come up with phrases that people are comfortable with:

vax--"he gets vaxed as needed." which is to say, he's had one vax as we felt the disease was a real threat, but otherwise, we don't do it on a schedule or in general. legally, we are allowed to do this, of course, but i don't want to get into discussions about it.

cosleeping--"he sleeps in his bed." people often ask me where and how he sleeps. he sleeps all night in his bed. his bed also happens to be my bed. oh well, no one asked where i sleep and how i sleep.

extended breastfeeding--"every child is different." i find this helps appease any issues because it's usually "she must be judging me" scenario. so, i just put that out there.

unschooling--"we homeschool." people understand it. no need to tell them more. if a person asks about the curricula we prefer, i say the one closest to what we are--waldorf/steiner inspired. if a person is a homeschooler who would know about that, i'll tell them that i like this or that curricula (i like christopherus). it's true, but that doesn't mean i actually use it in a formal way. it is likely that you have a curricula out there that looks like what you do--reggio, sunbury, democratic, montessori, whatever. just pick one or two. all of my statements are true, they're just not precise.

now, aside from this, it's a good idea to enlist your kids to do chores at their level, and i find using the rhythm processes of steiner helps me *so much* because there are times every day for chores, tidying up, prepping and cleaning up after meals. it helps keep the house in order--seriously, *life saving*.

for us, we wake, straighten up after dad has gone to work (pick up after dad), then make breakfast and clean up after breakfast, then do our daily chore. then we get cleaned up and dressed, and then we start our activity for the day (inside or outside depending upon the day). i only have one child, and he's nearly two, but you hae older children who can do chores, and two younger children who can help you with your chores.

so, our morning from 7-8:30 is cleaning, eating, getting ready for the day. by 9, we are out of the house if going out. so, it scrunches cleaning into very little time.

kind of goes like this, really:

1. wake, make bed, clean up PJs left by DH, wash up dishes in kitchen left by DH, then make breakfast, eat breakfast, and clean up breakfast dishes.

2. chore of the day

3. clean up and get dressed (start load of laundry)

4. activity for the morning (outside or inside)

5. if inside, tidy up before transitioning to snack and quiet time (putting toys and art supplies and instruments away; i also transition the laundry to the dryer)

6. snack, followed by reading, usually then DS naps

7. DH comes home and we have lunch, then i get ready for work.

8. DS wakes and DH feeds him, then they do their activity, their quiet time, their snack/dinner; i'm at work until 7ish. DH takes the laundry out of the dryer and leaves it in a pile on the bed.

9. i return home and put the 2 yr old down to bed (typically 7:30 these days)

10. DH and i have dinner, then we tidy up again (toys away, laundry away).

11. 10:00 we go to bed too.

-----

chores by day of the week:

Monday: Bathroom
Tuesday: Ferment, soak beans/nuts/seeds,
Wednesday: Dust/vacuum
Thursday: baking day (just starting this)
Friday: Kitchen
Saturday:
Sunday:

So, your older children can do their rooms and also the bathroom (i started cleaning the bathroom in our house at age 7, kitchen at 9). all can help fold laundry and put them away. my son (2) is excellent at tidying away his toys, shoes, coats, etc. when we come in, we tidy them away unless they need to be washed or dried.

by having a rhythm, tidying times are set for roughly the same times every day,, and so it's expected. takes about a week to get all kids on a rhythm.

but, you get a lot done. moms wiht more children tend to do even better than those of us with just one or two.

anyway, hope that helps.
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#11 of 34 Old 07-10-2010, 02:34 PM
 
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That one of the children was a heamophiliac and her medicines were kept locked up - uh, there were four other small children in the house, keeping drugs locked up sounds like a good safety precaution.
Ironically, this is a licensing REQUIREMENT for foster parents in most states.

I'm a licensed foster parent and trained as a CASA (court-appointed special advocate for kids in foster care). Let me share this: CPS DOES NOT WANT YOUR KIDS. And it's disgusting to say, but with state budget cuts being what they are, the overzealous cps workers are being reigned in because the states simply can't afford to take kids that TRULY do not need to be removed (with the accompanying court costs, foster care costs, etc.). It's been quite the hotpoint in the foster parenting community that placements have slowed down. But many of us feel that the budget cuts are really only pushing what should've been the case all along: leave the kids alone unless they are in imminent danger.

There is something called "minimum sufficient level of care" (MSL). It is shocking to people who live mainstream and more upper-middle class what MLC translates to and how cps could "allow kids to live like that". What it states essentially is that if the kids are fed and have access to healthcare in emergencies (and are kept healthy), live in a safe environment and have access to education--there's nothing to be done.

In terms of cleanliness of your home, this means that there is no uneaten food all over the place (to invite rodents/pests that then bring illness/disease) and that there are clear pathways to all fire exits. The water works for cleaning hands/flushing toilet/washing food/bathing.

Safety is pretty basic, too.

Could they question you about all of these things? Yeah--they could. Anything "off" from mainstream is always a problem for the state. zoebird's replies are EXCELLENT. But keep in mind that when cps appears at the door, it doesn't equate to "taking your kids or not". In most states, they COULD feel that they don't love how you're living and rather than take your kids--they'll put in "support services". In most states, by law they have to make every effort to remedy their issue and keep the kids in the house.

Don't get me wrong: we have all heard the horror stories about things that have gone awry. I'm not saying they don't happen. But I am saying that you usually hear about the worst of the worst of anything despite it usually being the exception vs. the rule.

I have a really good relationship with CPS and even I worry. We live VERY much like you do. I have had the misfortune of being at the mercy of a power monger cps supervisor. But I have also seen that logic and a relatively well-informed parent who is able to advocate for themselves in a calm but direct manner usually prevails.

JMO...

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#12 of 34 Old 07-10-2010, 09:03 PM
 
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There is something called "minimum sufficient level of care" (MSL). It is shocking to people who live mainstream and more upper-middle class what MLC translates to and how cps could "allow kids to live like that". What it states essentially is that if the kids are fed and have access to healthcare in emergencies (and are kept healthy), live in a safe environment and have access to education--there's nothing to be done.
I agree with your whole post.

The one thing I'd add though is that I think UC is a CPS risk in a way that the rest of the poster's concerns are not. It falls into the category of behavior that I do think is possible to trigger a CPS investigation especially if you end up needing to be transported to the hospital. I'm not saying that it should, but I'm saying that it the risk is there in the way that I'd not mention in the same sentence with I've got a basketful of dirty laundry.
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#13 of 34 Old 07-11-2010, 01:01 PM
 
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I don't have anything useful to add but I wanted to say that I too have this fear. Sometimes its very intense. I've had times that I just go into a crazy cleaning panic instead of playing with my children because I just have this horrible feeling CPS will come knocking. I just heard to many CPS horror stories.

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#14 of 34 Old 07-11-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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I don't have anything useful to add but I wanted to say that I too have this fear. Sometimes its very intense. I've had times that I just go into a crazy cleaning panic instead of playing with my children because I just have this horrible feeling CPS will come knocking. I just heard to many CPS horror stories.
This whole thread reinforces my belief that those of us who live outside the mainstream benefit from doing some mainstream actions.

I take my kids for annual exams at the doctors. I personally think it's good to just make sure there's someone besides me making sure they're developing on track. I am an intelligent person who is able to monitor my kids' growth and development. However, it's nice to have someone I trust (and I do trust my pediatrician) keeping another eye on them. There are two additional benefits to this. 1. If my kids ever get truly sick and need to see the doctor, they will have been to her office enough that they know who she is so they won't be totally freaked out by the experience when they're not feeling well. 2. No one will ever be able to accuse me of not getting my kids appropriate healthcare. My kids have never missed a well child visit. My pediatrician respects me because I talk about my kids and their needs in an intelligent manner. She knows my decisions are based on research (and there is a lot of research supporting alternative ways of healthcare.) We disagree about vaccinations, but she's okay with that. If anyone ever questioned my medical choices for my kids, all they'd have to do is call my pediatrician and see that I am proactive in their healthcare.

I was picky about the pediatrician I chose. So when my daughter had an ear infection she didn't hassle me when I wanted to hold off on giving her antibiotics (though I ultimately did give them to her because she would not get better despite multiple days of high fever and lethargy.)

I'm an RN. I know there are a bunch of jerk doctors out there. There are also some good ones. I think there is benefit to having an ongoing relationship with a doctor you trust.

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#15 of 34 Old 07-11-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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I don't have time right now to read everything that everyone else has said, so I will just give you my experience as a foster parent.

CPS DOES NOT CARE if your house is clutter-messy. During the time that we had our first foster baby, the house was n e v e r clean. Ever. And I had to have 34908 visitors associated w/ this baby coming in and out of the house. With taking care of two babies, every single one of them understood. I have talked to my own caseworker about household cleanliness & he said that they can tell the difference between normal messy and neglect messy. You are talking about workers who go into houses filled w/ feces, moldy food/plates, no running water, obscene piles of dirty clothes, etc. My caseworker has come over for inspection many a time when there is a load of dishes in the sink & crap all over the living room floor. My laundry pile is out of site b/c we have a chute. He's not dumb, he knows what he is looking for. You can tell that our house is messy but not nasty ~ no bad smell, mold, bugs, hair everywhere, etc.

The AP stuff is also not important. Hello, cloth diapers are clean and legal. So is unschooling. It is not against the law to skip vaxes or to birth 3498237 children. As far as the legalities, CPS is required to respond, in person, to a call w/in a certain number of hours if there is a child under the age of three living there. This is b/c the under-three age group is considered to be the most vulnerable b/c of their general lack of interaction w/ the rest of society. CPS can get called on you for *anything* by *anyone*. For a child to be removed, there must be a huge infraction b/c it is a pita to place a child & go thru all that rigamaroll.

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#16 of 34 Old 07-11-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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I agree with your whole post.

The one thing I'd add though is that I think UC is a CPS risk in a way that the rest of the poster's concerns are not. It falls into the category of behavior that I do think is possible to trigger a CPS investigation especially if you end up needing to be transported to the hospital. I'm not saying that it should, but I'm saying that it the risk is there in the way that I'd not mention in the same sentence with I've got a basketful of dirty laundry.
Totally missed that OP still had one UC to go and figured "they don't need to know about the priors"... but yeah--I agree with you.

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#17 of 34 Old 07-13-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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the cleanliness of their home was cited as one of the reasons.
This is something fixable though. Unlike unschooling or extended nursing, which are perfectly fine lifestyle choices, having a home that's unsanitary or overcluttered can pose a risk to the people living in it.

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#18 of 34 Old 07-14-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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well, to be honest it has not occurred to me to be afraid of CPS though reading all of the above has motivated me to be a little prepared.

i *love* campbell soup's answer wrt the "what curriculum?" question i am going to bring that into play a lot more often and reserve unschooling discussions for times when I feel like getting into them :-)

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#19 of 34 Old 07-16-2010, 12:11 AM
 
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You and I have a lot in common. My house is messy. We unschool. We birthed our second child at home. We don't vax. We are near the poverty level; our girls are on Medicaid and we also get food stamps. And... my sister called CPS on us nearly two years ago.

It's taken me a while to gradually let go of my fears -- even though, truth be told, the social worker was really nice and saw absolutely no reason to open a case. It was over really quickly.

The people are right who say that CPS doesn't want our kids. They have enough on their plates.

Now, I do think it's a good idea to take the kids to doctors for a yearly checkup. We had actually gone for a while without using doctors (our youngest saw a doctor for the first time when she was 17 months old) -- but, a couple of years before the CPS visit, we had gotten the girls on Medicaid and resumed doctor visits, and I think it probably helped dampen any potential "red flags" when we were able to give the doctor's phone # and say they'd been seen recently.

I think my sister was actually under the impression that the girls -- gasp -- "weren't getting any medical care!" so it probably helped to make us look more normal, and her look more like the lying idiot she was, for me to just calmly provide the doctor's info.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#20 of 34 Old 07-16-2010, 12:15 AM
 
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From what I've heard, when a CPS worker gets a messy house call, it's customary to notify the family that someone will be coming in three days to check the house. CPS is only concerned about situations of such extreme filth, layers upon layers of it, that it would be impossible to make a dent in that filth even after three days of intensive cleaning.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#21 of 34 Old 07-18-2010, 10:28 AM
 
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mammal_mama. I remember reading your story when I first came to mdc.

grateful Mama to DD May '06 and DS May '09
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#22 of 34 Old 07-18-2010, 07:18 PM
 
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Thanks greenmamapagan!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#23 of 34 Old 07-18-2010, 09:21 PM
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mammal-mama, it is distressing to have CPS called.

i hope that your sister is no longer in your life. when i was threatened with a CPS call (by my ILs), i told them that they would never, ever see their grandson if they did that. i told them that we were within every legal right to raise our child in these ways, and our house was clean and tidy (and still is), and so on. seriously, there was no reason for them to call or to threaten to call.

she never called, but instead had the pastor talk to us. we do not belong to their church (or any) so it had no force to it really. and honestly, he felt the whole thing was silly when he came to our house, talked with us, and said that we sounded like really educated, loving parents. we even gave him all of the AP information that we gave ILs, and he, in turn, gave that to his pregnant daughter, who in turn is now AP herself. LOL *backfire*

anyway, no way would i have people around who called CPS.
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#24 of 34 Old 07-18-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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But I also believe that I live in a very wonderful part of the world. Canada is a much more liberal place than the US in many ways (which is why we returned here after starting a family in the US) and my province in particular is probably the most liberal in the country.

I suppose if I had good reason to believe my local government would step in and take away my kids just for doing things like unschooling or selective vaxing, I would seriously look at moving somewhere else. Easier said than done, I know.
Interesting assumption, but in the US many of the most conservative states are the ones with the least amount of restrictions on personal freedoms. I'll just mention TX and Arizona both of which have very little requirements to HS, heck in TX you don't even have to notify anyone, in Arizona you only notify once and you are covered until they reach 18. Unlike states like WA or NY for example.
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#25 of 34 Old 07-18-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I had a physician neighbour probe more than I was comfortable with about my dks schooling, and I felt the need to mislead him about just how much formal stuff is going on, because I just didn't trust his motives for inquiring, iykwim. Okay, I didn't actually lie, I just said we HAVE a boxed curriculum, which we do, we just don't necessarily use it the way it was intended. I could have said, "oh, no, curriculum isn't necessary", but I didn't want to substantiate his concerns. Maybe in a few more years, I'll be brave enough to 'come out', but right now, I just feel there's too much at stake.
It's none of his business anyway, you don't own him any explanations about what you are doing. So even if you lied you have nothing to feel guilty for.
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#26 of 34 Old 07-18-2010, 10:12 PM
 
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Being liberal-leaning myself, I'd love to think that "liberal" always meant "live and let live." But my sister who called CPS on me is also very liberal.

I think there are liberals who mind their own business and liberals who think the children belong to "the village." It's such a wide spectrum really.

I have a conservative friend who I used to be very close to, but over the last couple of years she has felt a need to distance herself and her family from me and my family. She feels that the way I'm raising my kids runs counter to the way she's raising hers to believe that you reap what you sow.

She feels like I'm allowing my children to sow poison ivy and reap watermelons...and she wants her kids to see that whenever you sow poison ivy you reap poison ivy. LOL, I just feel the natural consequence to not cleaning your room is you have a messy room, not that you can't go to a friend's house or have friends over.

This friend would never call CPS on me though; she's just basically stepped away and left me to my own devices; I imagine she prays for me to see the light. I think when conservatives strongly disagree with someone's parenting practices, they're more likely to just distance themselves and pray (after maybe making some attempt to show the other parent where they're wrong).

Liberals like me are cool with disagreeing with someone and minding our own business; I might share my 2 cents with a parent who seems to want some help, but I don't believe in pushing it. Other liberals feel it's their social responsibility to call CPS.

But maybe liberals in Canada are different from liberals in the U.S. That might make for an interesting discussion.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#27 of 34 Old 07-19-2010, 02:56 AM
 
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I am an RN so I am a mandatory reporter. It is the law that I must call in any suspicions. More importantly, it is the moral thing to do.

It is not my job to determine if there is actual abuse/neglect going on. If I see a red flag I have to report it. End of story. I've done so twice.

The second call I made was on a good mom. I know she was a good mom. I would have allowed her to babysit my kids. However, she'd had it with her daughter one night, picked up a belt, hit her, and left a bruise on her leg. The next day the little girl came up to me and said, "See what my mom did to me."

I have no doubt this mom was remorseful and was unlikely to do anything like that ever again. However, that was not my judgement to make. I was obligated to call CPS. I tried to do the right thing by telling the mom I was calling. She was a mandatory reporter herself and knew my requirements. And still she was cold to me after that. You would have thought I was the one to hit her daughter by the way she treated me.

So even though it is painful to have CPS call on you, please be lenient with the people who make the calls. They are trying to do what is best for the kids. Maybe they don't understand. Maybe they're misinterpreting. But I would rather live in a society where people are watching out for kids than in a place where the little ones go with no protection.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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#28 of 34 Old 07-19-2010, 04:26 AM
 
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I understand that if you think a child's in danger, calling CPS is the morally right thing to do. It's possible that this is what my sister thought, because of her strong belief in vaxing, adult-led education, and hospital birth.

She may very well have thought my girls were "in danger," because they weren't getting regularly seen by professionals who'd been specially trained to detect learning disabilities or symptoms of rare but deadly childhood diseases.

In our case, though, I felt a need to cut things off because she has known me all my life, so I figured if she didn't believe in me by the time I was 44, it was a lost cause.

Now, I'm not stalking my sister or attempting to exact any kind of revenge on her, so I guess I'm pretty lenient. But, honestly, I think any parent would feel a need to cool things down with someone who'd hotlined them.

Still, I really admire you for doing the right thing by telling the mother ahead of time. My sister never warned me so I was totally taken by surprise; I'd have more respect for someone who was willing to look me in the eye and be honest about what she was about to do. I still wouldn't associate with this person anymore but I'd respect her.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#29 of 34 Old 07-19-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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I am an RN so I am a mandatory reporter. It is the law that I must call in any suspicions. More importantly, it is the moral thing to do.

It is not my job to determine if there is actual abuse/neglect going on. If I see a red flag I have to report it. End of story. I've done so twice.

The second call I made was on a good mom. I know she was a good mom. I would have allowed her to babysit my kids. However, she'd had it with her daughter one night, picked up a belt, hit her, and left a bruise on her leg. The next day the little girl came up to me and said, "See what my mom did to me."

I have no doubt this mom was remorseful and was unlikely to do anything like that ever again. However, that was not my judgement to make. I was obligated to call CPS. I tried to do the right thing by telling the mom I was calling. She was a mandatory reporter herself and knew my requirements. And still she was cold to me after that. You would have thought I was the one to hit her daughter by the way she treated me.

So even though it is painful to have CPS call on you, please be lenient with the people who make the calls. They are trying to do what is best for the kids. Maybe they don't understand. Maybe they're misinterpreting. But I would rather live in a society where people are watching out for kids than in a place where the little ones go with no protection.
What does any of that have to do with USing though?



mammal mama I'd have cut my sister off too. People call CPS for the craziest stuff sometimes.
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#30 of 34 Old 07-19-2010, 10:59 AM
 
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I wanted to concur with the other posters who said UC was a more serious concern.

I have a good friend who had a UC with her second child. He was born healthy. She was recovering nicely. The next morning they realized her tear was worse than they had previously thought. So they calmly went into the hospital to have her stitched up. The entire family went with their healthy 10 1/2 lb baby.

Even though the doctor was not a jerk, CPS was called on them. A case worker came to their home to interview them. I was one of the references they had to fill out on their paperwork. The social worker called me and it was a short conversation. Anyhow..... everything worked out and nothing came of it (I think they had bigger fish to fry) but my friend was traumatized by the whole experience. The whole intervention stretched over a period of two weeks and I believe a moment did not go by when she was imagining the worst.... that her kids would be taken.

Baker's Wife and Catholic Unschooling Mama to Simeon (12), James (9), Amos (7) and Annie (4) and Jonah (2)
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