Hi, I'm the OP from the "We've been hotlined" thread. When it happened to me, I responded way differently than the way I thought I'd respond, and the way I've encouraged others to respond if it ever happened to them. The following comment is a good springboard for me to share what I've learned --
Originally Posted by applejuice
Just as a person should prepare to protect their family in the event of a catastrophe as hurricane/earthquake/tornado/flood/fire, so should a person be prepared for the unlikely event that a government agent in the form of a CPS person would present themselves at their door.
Yes, we should learn everything we can ahead of time and be prepared. But, in the event of any catastrophe, we should also have the flexibility to respond to the actual situation at hand -- which may or may not totally fit with the "protocol" we've learned.
When it happened to me, although I'd always heard (and advised others to) "Never let them in without a warrant, never sign anything" -- all I can say is my gut told me that letting her come in and do her assessment felt like the best thing in that particular situation.
I guess I won't know for sure 'til it's all over, but in my case it looks like not letting her in would have caused her to send the report of suspected educational neglect to the school board, who would have sent it on to the prosecuting attorney. This may still happen, but I'm hopeful that maybe her assessment gave her the assurance that this was unnecessary.
And if I'd refused to sign her assessment-finding, I wouldn't now have the copy of this paper stating that our home is safe for our children.
|A person should know their rights in such a situation. If a person knows their rights, that person is likely to be more prepared in such a situation. I wish I had known. Things would have been more contentious, but more satisfactory FOR ME!
Yes, I totally agree that we all need to know our rights!
I knew I had a right to refuse the assessment -- but I'm glad I followed my gut-instinct to go along with it this time.
I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that if one of my relatives made another bogus call tomorrow, with this social worker having just assessed me and found no concern, they'd be more likely to disregard that call.
My friend who refused to let the social worker in, did eventually get a case-closed letter -- but it took about 6 months, during which time she had to meet with CPS about 3 times, and jump through numerous paperwork-hoops.
It looks like I should expect my case-closed letter within about 1 1/2 months -- and by that time if I still haven't heard anything from the school board or prosecuting attorney, I'll feel pretty safe in assuming that they were never contacted.
But I can't say for sure what I'd do if this happened again. I now think each case is different, and, as I've just said, we should all arm ourselves with the facts and know our rights -- but then allow ourselves room to be flexible and assess the situation at hand.
I know I've said this before, but I am so sorry about all you've been through!