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Thread: So what does CPS look for? Can they inestigate over any concerned call from someone? I'm in Canada. Reply to Thread
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01-21-2013 12:33 PM
mammal_mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by zora1112 View Post

Ah sounds like an overwhelming situation. Chickens seem fun though.
Thanks. it's been tough. If I had any kids though I think it would be a wonderful experience

 

Here's hoping and believing you'll get to enjoy that experience very soon!

 

About the chickens, yes, they are a lot of fun and we really miss them. We actually hope to start caring for chickens again in the hopefullly not too distant future, but want to make sure we have everything in order this time before bringing the chickens home.

01-21-2013 12:28 PM
mammal_mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post

Did you have the mandatory 2month business, where they keep checking on you for 2 months, and visit your childs school and ask all sorts of intrusive  questions?  Maybe that was just an 'assessment'. How did they conduct the assessment in your state?

 

In Missouri (in my experience), an assessment is just a short visit to the home where they walk through the house and chat in a non-intrusive way with the kids with the parents present, and, of course, ask the parent about issues related directly to whatever kind of call was made. The purpose of the assessment is to decide whether there is any evidence of child abuse or neglect. If they feel they have reason to suspect either abuse or neglect, then that is when they open a case and you get more visits.

 

In extreme cases where they feel the child's health and wellbeing is in imminent danger, they will remove the child, but CPS here is very knowledgeable and concerned about RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder), so this only happens when they believe that separating the child from the parents is the lesser of two evils -- meaning, the child is likely to suffer greater harm than RAD if left with the parents.

 

If either of my children had been in school at the time that either of the calls were made, I imagine that the assessment might have included a visit to the school. I mean, I suppose schools can be accused of educational neglect, too -- but I'm not sure how it would really work for a school, since I assume they already get regular evaluations regarding how well they are meeting the needs of their students. With regard to the police officer's report about cleanliness, I'm sure they still would have needed to see the house, but I suppose they might also have wanted to check in with teachers to see what the girls' cleanliness and personal appearance was like every day at school.

 

Since we've always homeschooled up to this point, my only experience has been with them coming to my house, and they were not at all intimidating toward the children or me, and did not try to isolate my children from me. My overall impression of CPS in Missouri is that they really have a full plate and they don't want to spend any more time than necessary on any family that is clearly doing okay without them.

01-21-2013 11:55 AM
contactmaya
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

Well, in my state, there were two different reports made on us, three years apart. in both cases, we were told that no case was even opened. What they did was an assessment as to whether there was a need to open a case, not an investigation. So if no case is opened, no case can be left open.

 

Of course, I'm sure they still have some sort of a record of the calls and the visits. and it's possible that if the calls had been closer together, a case might have been opened simply because there were two calls close together.

 

I live in Missouri, though, and they don't seem to discriminate against you just because someone made a prior call. For us, one call was because we homeschool and my sister didn't think we were giving an adequate education, and one call was concern over a messy house.

Did you have the mandatory 2month business, where they keep checking on you for 2 months, and visit your childs school and ask all sorts of intrusive  questions?  Maybe that was just an 'assessment'. How did they conduct the assessment in your state?

01-21-2013 09:24 AM
zora1112 Ah sounds like an overwhelming situation. Chickens seem fun though.
Thanks. it's been tough. If I had any kids though I think it would be a wonderful experience
01-21-2013 07:42 AM
mammal_mama
IQuote:
Originally Posted by zora1112 View Post

Because of homeschooling. That's not right.
I don't personally have any children yet. Miscarried so taking a break. It's just hard to not over hear somethings when your out and about. i guess every state is different though.

 

I'm so sorry about your miscarriage! Having been through that experience, I know it's not fun.

 

But please don't let my stories scare you. CPS didn't come because we were homeschooling, but because my sister accused us of educational neglect. And while many homeschoolers do have to deal with concerned relatives who are worried about their children's educations and socialization, it's not all that common for those relatives to make a call to CPS. How involved CPS will get in educational neglect reports also highly varies from state to state. If you end up deciding to homeschool, you'll be able to find lots of information about educational requirements in your state and just make sure you're doing whatever you need to be doing to meet those requirements.

 

As far as the messy house report that was made on us, I was in a hurry earlier and neglected to add all the extenuating factors. We had been keeping chickens without bothering to get signatures from neighbors, because it's fairly common for people to keep chickens in our neighborhood, or to buy a live turkey or goose and keep it in their yard until they are going to use it in a meal. 

 

Then one day, some city officials made a visit to our neighbor because he'd been buying old cars cheaply and taking them apart and selling the parts; he'd been doing it right out on the street and our street is not zoned for business.

 

So anyhow, the city officials noticed our free range chickens roaming around in our fenced-in yard and called animal control. And they came and just told dh that they had to take them; there wasn't even a chance to get into compliance because they said we should have been in compliance when we got them. The girls were crying and dh was very upset and started yelling. And someone felt like backup was needed and radioed the police.

 

One of the police officers felt very concerned when she looked through our open front door and noticed how messy our house was. Our girls had also been playing out in the dirt, digging in it and stuff, and were very dirty. And their hair hadn't been combed since the day before. She insisted that we were lying about them having been clean before they went out in the dirt that day, because she had children herself and they never got that dirty, so she felt sure that she was looking at several days of caked on dirt.

 

When the social worker came, she said she felt that the police officer was just overwhelmed by all the information she was taking in, about the chickens and so on. She determined that our home was a safe place for our girls, and that they were safe and there were no signs of abuse or neglect.

 

As you can see, these two situations are not exactly run of the mill or things that most families would need to be concerned about. Most people don't have such vindictive relatives, and there's not that much likelihood of a police officer being in your front yard on a day when your house just happens to be a total mess and your children just happens to be very dirty, and animal control just happens to be telling your very upset husband that he can't keep his birds.

 

And even if someone actually does make a report on you that CPS feels a need to look into (and for all I know, there could have been numerous other calls made on us by my vindictive sister that I know nothing about because no one ever felt any need to follow up on those calls), the most likely result is that a social worker will come and see that your children are safe, happy, and healthy and are not scared of you, and that social worker will tick off all the boxes that s/he needs to tick off and move on to a situation where some intervention is actually needed.

01-21-2013 06:20 AM
zora1112 Because of homeschooling. That's not right.
I don't personally have any children yet. Miscarried so taking a break. It's just hard to not over hear somethings when your out and about. i guess every state is different though.
01-21-2013 06:16 AM
crunchy_mommy
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

zora1112, as far as the two scenarios you mentioned, I would think that someone called and said, "A mother yelled at her child to shut up and come here!" -- I would think that if a social worker wen to that woman's home, things must be awfully slow at CPS.

As far as the child yelling "Don't bite me!" -- I don't know.

I agree. (And if I were that social worker, I would assume the "Don't bite me!" was directed at a sibling or something, if no one witnessed what happened.) Without any other information, neither of those events really sound like reasons to call CPS, nor like reasons for CPS to open a case or track them down. But I do realize something more may be going on that hasn't been communicated here.
01-21-2013 04:59 AM
mammal_mama

zora1112, as far as the two scenarios you mentioned, I would think that someone called and said, "A mother yelled at her child to shut up and come here!" -- I would think that if a social worker wen to that woman's home, things must be awfully slow at CPS.

 

As far as the child yelling "Don't bite me!" -- I don't know.

01-21-2013 03:47 AM
mammal_mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by contactmaya View Post
 

Well, in my state, there were two different reports made on us, three years apart. in both cases, we were told that no case was even opened. What they did was an assessment as to whether there was a need to open a case, not an investigation. So if no case is opened, no case can be left open.

 

Of course, I'm sure they still have some sort of a record of the calls and the visits. and it's possible that if the calls had been closer together, a case might have been opened simply because there were two calls close together.

 

I live in Missouri, though, and they don't seem to discriminate against you just because someone made a prior call. For us, one call was because we homeschool and my sister didn't think we were giving an adequate education, and one call was concern over a messy house.

01-20-2013 09:13 AM
zora1112 Nnew York
01-20-2013 07:06 AM
contactmaya

As far as i know, in  New York State.

 

 

A person can call the cps for any reason, hopefully because they are truly concerned for the well being of the child. (sometimes calls are made maliciously). However, if you do not know where the person lives, im not sure what cps can do. You could call and ask them. If you feel a call is warranted, that is sufficient reason to call, whether you witnessed it or not. (as far as i know anyway) I mean, if you hear your neighbors abusing their kids, you would call both the police and the cps. 

 

It sounds like you are concerned  about children  living near enough to you that you can hear them, but you dont know which apartment they live in,  i would call cps and ask them. It is their job once they make the visit to compile evidence, not yours.

01-19-2013 04:09 PM
zora1112 What state is that?
01-19-2013 02:53 PM
contactmaya

In my state, they keep the case open for a mandatory 2 months irrespective of evidence found. 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

 

No, they will come if someone reports a concern that leads them to think that there may be child abuse or neglect going on. They come to see whether there is actually any evidence of possible abuse or neglect. If they think there is sufficient evidence, they open a case. In my state, it seems that they only remove the children if they have reason to suspect that they're in immediate danger. In most cases in my state, an open case simply means that they will keep visiting, and providing counseling or other services, until such time as they feel assured that the children will be well taken care of.

 

And if they don't find any evidence of child abuse or neglect on that first visit, they don't even open a case. At least in my state.

01-19-2013 12:23 PM
zora1112 Mandadted 2 months?
01-19-2013 07:55 AM
mammal_mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by zora1112 View Post

So if I'm understanding correctly CPS will only come if they have enough evidence to start with correct?

 

No, they will come if someone reports a concern that leads them to think that there may be child abuse or neglect going on. They come to see whether there is actually any evidence of possible abuse or neglect. If they think there is sufficient evidence, they open a case. In my state, it seems that they only remove the children if they have reason to suspect that they're in immediate danger. In most cases in my state, an open case simply means that they will keep visiting, and providing counseling or other services, until such time as they feel assured that the children will be well taken care of.

 

And if they don't find any evidence of child abuse or neglect on that first visit, they don't even open a case. At least in my state.

01-19-2013 04:26 AM
zora1112 So if I'm understanding correctly CPS will only come if they have enough evidence to start with correct?
10-22-2012 02:54 PM
contactmaya
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefmir View Post
 

 

The parents' rights to decide if the child got interviewed or if they were in the room with her (or if someone else was (I don't honestly know if the school counselor was or if she was allowed to be or if the girl refused or what the situation was, just taht I wasn't asked to be) can't be as important as the girl's right to be allowed to have a safe place to be  . 

 

Just to clarify,  having someone in the room during the interview is to protect the childs rights, as much as the parents.  Otherwise, all you have is the word of the person doing the interviewing. There needs to be a witness to the interview to ensure its conducted properly.  

10-22-2012 02:22 PM
Pookietooth
Quote:

 

I am not against adoption in any way, but there are many instances where adoptions are "closed".  This is proven to be detrimental to all parties:  There are many documented psychological articles on this, if you go to your library you'll find TONS.  A real "open" adoption for anyone familiar with the term is a different ballgame altogether.  Being disclosed "facts" as an adoptive parent that have the possibility of being falsified, exagerated, or just plain made up doesn't really say much about the disclosure received.  That is where my skepticism arises.  That is not putting adoptive parents in a bad light, but the system charged with protecting all parties involved.

 

I actually know someone whose child was adopted, and the adoption closed without her (the birth mother's) consent. She was told it was an open adoption but that was a lie. She wasn't a teen, but was single. She grieves for her child every day.

10-22-2012 11:53 AM
beedum

Hello all,

 

Haven't been able to get back online for a while, and found a lot of new posts.  This is a topic I find very interesting.  Apparently, there was questions as to my last post upthread as to why I would mention a friends adoption.  I mentioned it because during that time in history it was widely and forcefully denied that children were being taken from teen mothers for no other reason than them being young single mothers.  Although historically speaking we now know it is a factual occurance, it doesn't change the fact that while it was happening it was denied.  Of course there were many loving homes they were adopted into, but does the end really justify the means?

 

As for being accused by apparently the "queen" of this site of being a right wing liberalist, or was it left wing, or was it a conservative?:  I don't really remember or care.  I don't put a lot of weight in any kind of political propaganda.  I do respect those such as the Senator I mentioned upthread no matter what their political affiliations for standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  There doesn't have to be an elaborate plot, or secretive "conspiracy theory" to know that these things can and do occur, and that anywhere there is monetary incentive there is the possibility of abuse and extortion.

 

As for children being more likely to be abused while in the care of a foster family than in the general population (in their own homes), please see The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect statistics on www.nrccwdt.org.  This is an organization that reports without bias the incidents of child abuse and neglect for the sake of research, and education.  It is not affiliated with any state agency.  It sites in 1998 the likelihood for foster children to be abused sexually or otherwise 6 to 1.  The numbers vary year by year, but it is consistently higher for children living in the system.

Is that because they were prior victims?  Who is to say.  That is the statistics.  Considering many children are removed from their homes under questionable circumstances, I don't find those numbers comforting.

 

I am not against adoption in any way, but there are many instances where adoptions are "closed".  This is proven to be detrimental to all parties:  There are many documented psychological articles on this, if you go to your library you'll find TONS.  A real "open" adoption for anyone familiar with the term is a different ballgame altogether.  Being disclosed "facts" as an adoptive parent that have the possibility of being falsified, exagerated, or just plain made up doesn't really say much about the disclosure received.  That is where my skepticism arises.  That is not putting adoptive parents in a bad light, but the system charged with protecting all parties involved.

 

In light of all of these facts:  I have only meant to enlighten unsuspecting parents as to what they may (or may not) be facing if a member of the "CPS" comes to their door.  Something my mom used to tell me comes to mind.  To keep peace, you have to be prepared to go to war.  In other words, know your rights, and defend them.  They're there for a reason.  Have a great week everyone :)

10-22-2012 08:49 AM
chiefmir

I'm not saying that the parents were never interviewed, in fact, I'm fairly certain that they were interviewed extremely heavily if they were eventually incarcerated.  I'm actually fairly certain they were contacted THAT day, that afternoon, by the time the child should have gotten off the bus and was expected home.  I don't think there is any concern that the child was "whisked away" without the mother or the father being asked if there were mitigating factors.  The child was interviewed without parents being allowed to be there because there was some possible evidence (and yes, I believe it is fine to err on the side of the child's "word" here) that the parents may have been complicit in  her abuse and may not have been able/willing to make give consent based on her best interests.  The DHS worker had to know if it was safe for her to go home THAT AFTERNOON.  For all they knew, she could have been killed by said brother. Or by the parents.  Who knew?  They needed to whisk her away somewhere for that night/weekend to buy time to give the mother and father time to explain those mitigating circumstances, were there some.

 

There weren't, obviously. 

 

The parents' rights to decide if the child got interviewed or if they were in the room with her (or if someone else was (I don't honestly know if the school counselor was or if she was allowed to be or if the girl refused or what the situation was, just taht I wasn't asked to be) can't be as important as the girl's right to be allowed to have a safe place to be for the few hours it took to give the parents a chance to explain their mitigating circumstances if there wre some. 

 

Again, I get that this is, by far, the more extreme end of the spectrum....but these are some of the kids that we are trying to protect, no?  Not just the iffy, grey cases that are parenting style choices.  But the kids chained to radiators in basements or starved to death, or raped by their brothers. 

10-22-2012 03:00 AM
mammal_mama

Smithie, I'd definitely want to be present at such an interview. But maybe I'm misunderstanding what you said before...were you saying that if the parents refused for their child to be be interviewed, the child should lose her right to report this crime?

 

I'm certainly not in favor of anyone's child just being whisked away -- I just have a hard time picturing my own children saying that something like this happened if it really didn't.

10-22-2012 02:10 AM
pek64 Even if a decent lawyer can get you out of it, who wants to risk having the children taken away in the meantime? It's all well and good to talk tough, but if someone had a child removed because of it....
10-20-2012 05:13 PM
Smithie

pek64: the policy you cite from PA is a nasty, unjust, extralegal mockery that a decent lawyer would chew up and spit out in court. It's something that bullies can use as threat when the people they are investigating don't agree to make their day easier by completely forfeiting their legal rights. It's not a law. It's just a policy, one that makes it easier for CPS workers to coerce families into signing things they shouldn't sign. 

 

In other places, the standard length of time for keeping a case open often has nothing to do with whether or not a warrant was served, and it is always open to negotiation. But generally speaking, only people who can afford lawyers can successfully negotiate. 

 

 

mammal_mama: I'd believe a ten-year-old as well, in the absence of a major mitigating factor such a documented history of mental illness or false allegations. But belief is not proof, and the job of CPS is to investigate allegations and obtain proof. Imagine that such an accusation were made against your husband by one of your daughters - do you want the school to allow your daughter to be interviewed without you there? To be whisked away to a foster home without anybody even coming out to interview YOU and ascertain if you were aware of the situation, or if there is an unknown mitigating factor such as your daughter having a mental illness or a history of abuse by somebody else that you have already discovered and reported? I'm not saying this child shouldn't have been taken into custody, I'm saying that a CPS worker could have protected the rights of both the child and the parents more effectively by proceeding in a different manner. 

10-20-2012 09:58 AM
mammal_mama
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

(and nothing a 10-year-old says or writes constitutes sufficient evidence in the absence of corroborating testimony or physical evidence)

 

This is rather shocking to me, because if either one of my girls, at any age, described a physical act -- whether it was hitting, inappropriate touching, or rape, and said that someone had done this to her, I would believe her. Mind you, I'm talking about an actual description of what happened and not just the word "sex" or "rape;" if she did use one of these words I would definitely stop what I was doing and have her explain what this word meant to her.

 

So I honestly can't see why, if a 10 year old is telling her teacher or school counselor that she's being raped -- and is able to give an accurate definition of rape -- I can't see why she wouldn't be taken just as seriously as an adult would be. She has the right to report being the victim of a crime and to seek justice, irregardless of whether her parents give their permission.

 

And I say this as an "out of the mainstream" parent who has had CPS called on her twice without any case ever having been opened. I am definitely leery of people who seem to be too abnormally concerned about other people's kids and too eager to see abuse, even though I do understand that maybe it's not their fault that they're like that; maybe their own childhood has them convinced that abusive parents and abusive relationships are the norm and they just can't get past that. That said, I may feel sorry for them but I feel like people like that are toxic and I don't want them around me or my kids.

 

Still and yet, if a child of any age tells someone about criminal acts being committed against him or her, this child has the same right that any adult has to talk to the legal authorities. Hopefully the parents would feel that way, too, but even if they don't, the child is still a human being and still has the right.

10-20-2012 07:56 AM
pek64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post

I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.


This varies hugely, depending on where you live and who happens to be assigned to your case. 

Can you elaborate on this? By where you live, do you mean country or state? And are you saying the individual makes that decision, and it is not policy?

What I heard is the six months is policy in the US in PA, because cps has to pay for that process (getting a warrent), and they get federal funds for each six month contract they have, so you have to sign a six month contract so they can get the federal funds to replace what was paid to get the warrent.
10-19-2012 09:39 PM
Cyllya

Hmm, when I was abused, the only evidence to my knowledge was that a neighbor called (I suppose it may have been multiple neighbors? My step-dad blew up outdoors, so a variety of people probably heard me screaming), and a few days later, the school nurse called me in to ask a couple vague questions about the quality of my home life. I panicked and lied to her, she said I could always let her know if something was wrong, hint hint, and nothing ever came of it. I always assumed my parents never knew of this, and I would have preferred it that way. Can't say I feel bad for my poor disenfranchised parents.... Even though I would have lied either way, it would have totally defeated the point if my parents had to agree or even if they knew about it.

 

But it seems like the school psychologist should be there for that sort of thing as a matter of policy....

10-19-2012 04:46 PM
Smithie

I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.

 

This varies hugely, depending on where you live and who happens to be assigned to your case. 

10-19-2012 04:44 PM
Smithie

I work in a school (school psychologist, but I do testing, not counseling).  Also a mom of 3.  I think it is completely understandable and fine that DHS can come to school and interview a child without a family's consent.

 

I understand that you were dealing with a very exceptional situation, and I also understand why you don't regret that in this particular case, agents of the government were permitted to interview a minor without her parents being present. 

 

But that's not the way the law works, and for good reason. Until and unless a sufficient reason has been established to abrogate parental rights (and nothing a 10-year-old says or writes constitutes sufficient evidence in the absence of corroborating testimony or physical evidence), it is not appropriate for DHS or law enforcement personnel to interview a child without parental consent. If this had happened to my child, I would have sued the school district. 

 

The appropriate thing to do in your situation was to report the incident (which you did) and for a DHS investigator to either go to the home and assess the situation, and/or take the child to a hospital to obtain physical evidence. If they feel the child is unsafe in the home after conducting a home visit, they can remove the child immediately. But nobody should ever have to send their kids to a public school under the implicit threat of never seeing them again. 

10-19-2012 02:40 PM
contactmaya
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post
 
I don't think the cps system is working very well. But I don't know what can be done to fix it. There needs to be some way to protect children, but we must also protect good parents who are just out of the mainstream.
 

 

Definitely.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post
 
I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.

 

Wow, that is frightening. I forgot to make the point, that by the simple exercise of one's legal rights  (and  it appears there is no other way to protect your family), ie, demanding a warrant,  that a parent is seen as bad.  I bent over backwards to be accomodating to the cps worker, scared out of my wits of what she could do, having seen how one mandated reporter could exact her revenge on me because i told her not to speak to my children. 

10-19-2012 08:25 AM
pek64 I have a cousin who married an alcoholic. They had three different foster kids, and adopted a child. That child was later removed from their home and placed in foster care because the child ended up in the hospital. I don't know the whole story, as I was a child, myself, at the time. I do know we never saw my cousin, his wife, or the child again, because my cousin was so embarrassed. Reading this page of this thread reminded me of what happened all those years ago. How did the alcoholism get missed? What happened to that little boy? I heard the adults talking about the alcoholism after the incident. I didn't know about it before, but they knew.

I don't think the cps system is working very well. But I don't know what can be done to fix it. There needs to be some way to protect children, but we must also protect good parents who are just out of the mainstream.

I've heard that if they have to get a warrent, you will be under surveillance for 6 months to a year, even if the allegations turn out to be false.
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