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Person I talked to yesterday almost reported their hs'ing neighbor to SS!


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A very distant acquaintance-someone I buy second-hand clothes from (met through local Craigslist, lives in a very well-to-do neighborhood) knows we homeschool and when I was buying clothes yesterday she said someone in her neighborhood homeschools and although they see the dad around and "he's very nice, always waves from the car", they've only "seen" the mother and 7 yr old dd "twice" in 8 yrs. She said she was going to call Social Services on them after she saw the story on the news about the girl who was hidden by that man for years!

 

But then I guess the dh of this woman saw the husband of that household and was talking to him and he stepped into the house with him for a minute and "everything looked okay." Plus they had recently adopted a baby so she figured the adoption agency must have checked them out and they were probably okay.

 

I knew it was important not to verbally rip her apart, knowing she'd just put me in her "crazy homeschooler" category, but as nicely as I could through clenched teeth, I told her that she doesn't know their situation; maybe the lady has a medical condition, or the daughter does, and they can't leave home much, or whatever. And I reiterated that the adoption agency would have uncovered if there was something going on. She laughed and said she's been "watching too much Dateline." I told her that calling SS is VERY serious and not to be trifled with-they take the kids and ask questions later. And it could happen to anyone, even her-suppose she let her kids cross the street w/out an adult because she felt they were able to, but someone else called SS on her because she did so, she would lose her kids to a foster home, even temporarily. I told her it's VERY important to have FACTS before doing such a thing!!!!!

 

She was so cavalier about it, it was unbelievable!!!!! Agggh-I was so upset!

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It is serious, but it doesn't necessarily mean a parent would automatically lose their kids, even temporarily. That's an exaggeration.

 

Tell that to a family from a little town here in Maine. I can't remember ALL the details, but basically because the boy said something at school about not having power yet (they were in the process of building and getting power off a generator) Department of Human Services showed up on the door step and removed ALL the children from the home...even a 6-week-old baby.

 

The children were placed in foster care and weren't allowed to see their parents until after a hearing -- 6 weeks later!! :glare:

 

I can't stand SS/DHS...they take children and ask questions later. (there is no such thing as "innocent until PROVEN guilty")

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but there are some very reasonable Child Protective Services people who would handle this type of thing decently. Truly. One used to go to our church, and friends who do emergency fostercare speak very highly of them in our area. Not fly-off-the-handle types at all, and very used to dealing with neighbors who make crazy accusations.

 

Of course we hear about the exceptions, but it's not something I've ever worried much about.

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Tell that to a family from a little town here in Maine. I can't remember ALL the details, but basically because the boy said something at school about not having power yet (they were in the process of building and getting power off a generator) Department of Human Services showed up on the door step and removed ALL the children from the home...even a 6-week-old baby.

 

The children were placed in foster care and weren't allowed to see their parents until after a hearing -- 6 weeks later!! :glare:

 

I can't stand SS/DHS...they take children and ask questions later. (there is no such thing as "innocent until PROVEN guilty")

My sister and her family went through an ordeal this past summer where SS was called on them. Although it was partly justified, the kids were not removed. They were given a chance to clean up, they did, and on the return visit from the social worker, the "case" was put to rest. I'm just saying it's an overstatement to say that the children will be removed if SS is called.

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It's a horrible experience when you are reported to one of these agencies, even if the accusations are bogus. When my children were young a nosy neighbor reported me claiming "She only takes the children outside to play 2 hours a day".

 

They actually sent someone out to investigate. They have to investigate all reports made. They asked all kinds of personal questions about our home life, marriage, do we go to the doctor, should we be taking any medication, do we take medication, do we drink, how much money do we have in the bank, how much money does my husband make, do we receive food stamps, welfare, etc. It was very upsetting and invasive.

 

When I lived in Florida nearly every family I knew with children had Child Protective Services called on them at least once. The one family's father was even a retired Police Officer.

 

The person that investigated my case even admitted that the report on us was ridiculous and too many people reported families for the wrong reasons, taking their time away from children that were really abused or neglected.

 

Florida is one of the states where they do like to take children first and ask questions later. I was glad to get out of there.

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Tell that to a family from a little town here in Maine. I can't remember ALL the details, but basically because the boy said something at school about not having power yet (they were in the process of building and getting power off a generator) Department of Human Services showed up on the door step and removed ALL the children from the home...even a 6-week-old baby.

 

The children were placed in foster care and weren't allowed to see their parents until after a hearing -- 6 weeks later!! :glare:

 

I can't stand SS/DHS...they take children and ask questions later. (there is no such thing as "innocent until PROVEN guilty")

Ugh! Was she nursing? What is wrong with these people. There are millions of people on this plant that do not have power in their home. And they had a generator.:glare: I dislike these people. One slip from a child and it is all over.

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On the flip side here, I think that this shows that it is important for homeschoolers to be out and about in the community, friendly with the neighbors, etc. The more isolated you are, the more suspect you are.

 

If though, someone does make a call on you but you can say that we attend x church, see y doctor, go to z park, visit b library, etc. it makes you look much less suspect than the family who isn't involved in the community, doesn't see a doctor regularly, etc.

 

I was a foster parent for 10 year and for over 100 children. Only ONE child that I had in my care was even a questionable removal. He was a preemie 6 week old baby with 2 broken legs and 2 broken ribs. The PS worker said he felt terrible removing the baby and that he honestly did NOT think the parents did it at all but given the severity of the injuries and the age of the child, he had to remove the baby. I had him for about 4 weeks. Then he went to a relative for a few weeks and then home. It was an older 1/2 sibling that injured the baby.

 

I know that there are workers that overstep the bounds and some families have had trouble but in my experience, CPS workers have a very hard job, little respect, etc.

 

A very distant acquaintance-someone I buy second-hand clothes from (met through local Craigslist, lives in a very well-to-do neighborhood) knows we homeschool and when I was buying clothes yesterday she said someone in her neighborhood homeschools and although they see the dad around and "he's very nice, always waves from the car", they've only "seen" the mother and 7 yr old dd "twice" in 8 yrs. She said she was going to call Social Services on them after she saw the story on the news about the girl who was hidden by that man for years!

 

!

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I guess my point wasn't so much whether or not CPS workers will take your child (I guess it depends on the state-here in NY they are tough)-and I know they have a hard job and do their best.

 

It was more the point that someone would take such action as to make a call like that based on no real knowledge of the situation! :glare:

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That is why people need to understand their 4th amendment right. An anonymous phone call to DHS is not enough evidence for a social worker to get a warrant to come to your home. If a social worker, policeman, or any government official shows up at your house, even to talk to you - they must have a warrant. If you talk to them without asking to see it, then you waive that right, and that is when trouble can potentially start. You do not let a social worker talk to you, talk to your kids, let them in the house or anything else without a warrant. An anonymous phone call is not enough evidence for them to get a warrant, no matter what they say. If they do not have a warrant, they have to leave your property. It is your constitutional right.

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It's funny because I'm sure some of my neighbors feel the same way about us. I'm home when they are not. The only neighbors I ever see during the day are the two families where the husbands work nights. I see them out working in the yard during the day. Our neighborhood is nice, but not social at all.

 

In the evening I'm busy with my family, on the weekends we do things. I don't spend a huge amount of time outside due to allergies. I like being at home and there are times when I don't leave for days.

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She wasn't joking. She was saying it in a serious manner that before her dh saw the inside of the home and judged that "everything was ok", she was planning to call. Thankfully, you're right, she didn't.

 

Her cavalier manner about it was actually what bugged me though-she didn't seem to think much about what the consequences of calling could be, and all for an unsubstantiated guess on her part about that family. It was like "oh, ha ha, I guess I'm watching too much Dateline"-but it could have ended up with very real consequences for the other family (or not, as was mentioned by others here). Her Dateline comment was self-deprecating; only AFTER I mentioned other possibilities, like a medical condition for the mother or child, etc. I think then she realized she was building it up in her mind to be something that it probably isn't. I'm just glad I had an opportunity to bring it to her attention so she can hopefully another time consider other possibilities before jumping the gun on something like this. Or do something like stop over to her neighbor herself with a loaf of bread for a visit, if she has real concerns. Then if she is still concerned, take action. They're neighbors! In a gorgeous neighborhood-nothing to stop her from visiting to say hello or whatever.

 

I'm not freaking on you at all, Laurie-I hope my tone doesn't come across as that-just trying to clarify that she was really serious, and my point was I hope I was able to help her thought process on it a little bit, to consider other possibilities. I think as hs'ers we're more sensitive to the possible consequences, and she really didn't realize. I know she didn't mean any harm.

 

Thanks, breakfromlife, for the 4th amendment info!

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She didn't call. That's the point.

 

I think it's fine to consider what bad things could possibly be going on next door...as long as you make careful considerations and maybe mention your concerns to a trusted somoneone to get their feedback.

 

She did not call. She might have thought about calling, but she did not call. And if talking to you made a difference for an innocent family, then great! That's being a good neighbor and friend.

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That is why people need to understand their 4th amendment right. An anonymous phone call to DHS is not enough evidence for a social worker to get a warrant to come to your home. If a social worker, policeman, or any government official shows up at your house, even to talk to you - they must have a warrant. If you talk to them without asking to see it, then you waive that right, and that is when trouble can potentially start. You do not let a social worker talk to you, talk to your kids, let them in the house or anything else without a warrant. An anonymous phone call is not enough evidence for them to get a warrant, no matter what they say. If they do not have a warrant, they have to leave your property. It is your constitutional right.

 

I have a friend who is a social worker in NC and she and I have talked about this extensively. She told me that if anyone ever called on me to give the investigator her name to call as a reference. She also said that refusal to cooperate (ie. not let them in your home) was grounds for a court order and the judges always approved them under those circumstances.

 

At most the "4th amendment" gives you time to get witnesses together and to make sure your house is clean.

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Now that I think about it, I actually think I remember our local hs group saying that it's better to just let them in, even though you don't have to do so-that they can come in and see everything is ok and it's usually just dropped right away that way rather than turning into something more if you insist on a warrant.

 

Just saying what they said, not sure if that's correct or not. I do think I'd probably just let them in since I'm not hiding anything anyway!

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It's a horrible experience when you are reported to one of these agencies, even if the accusations are bogus. When my children were young a nosy neighbor reported me claiming "She only takes the children outside to play 2 hours a day".

 

?! What planet are they living on? Nowadays most children would be lucky to be outside that much per day.

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?! What planet are they living on? Nowadays most children would be lucky to be outside that much per day.

 

The more amazing part was the children were only 2 and 3 at the time. I could thoroughly account for why they only got 2 hours of outside time per day. Keep in mind, we were talking about Florida. Do you have any idea how hot it is in the summer in Florida?

 

There also were days where we would spend 6+ hours outside. We lived on a boat at the time, so on laundry day we were easily outside at the laundry room for hours on end. We didn't sit in the hot laundry room, we spent time on the playground area running back and forth to move the laundry.

 

Even the case worker sent to us was amazed at the stupidity of the complaint and acted embarrassed to be be harassing me. Unfortunately, all reports, no matter how trivial or ridiculous were required to be investigated.

 

I just don't understand how the state of our marriage, our income, our the amount of money in our bank account affected the case. I felt violated.

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Now that I think about it, I actually think I remember our local hs group saying that it's better to just let them in, even though you don't have to do so-that they can come in and see everything is ok and it's usually just dropped right away that way rather than turning into something more if you insist on a warrant.

 

 

Now see, I was told by two retired police officer neighbors NOT to let them in without a warrant. Talk to them on the front porch. Bring the children out so they can see that the children are clean, unharmed and fed, but do not let them into your house. CPS is like a vampire. Once you let them in, they are forever welcome in your house with or without your consent on future visits.

Edited by Dawn in OH
because the children should be "unharmed" not unarmed....well I guess they should be unarmed too.
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What in the world is wrong with living without power??? WHY should that be ANY kind of flag to Children's Services??? Isn't that a lifestyle choice??? What is wrong with our world???

 

Tell that to a family from a little town here in Maine. I can't remember ALL the details, but basically because the boy said something at school about not having power yet (they were in the process of building and getting power off a generator) Department of Human Services showed up on the door step and removed ALL the children from the home...even a 6-week-old baby.

 

The children were placed in foster care and weren't allowed to see their parents until after a hearing -- 6 weeks later!! :glare:

 

I can't stand SS/DHS...they take children and ask questions later. (there is no such thing as "innocent until PROVEN guilty")

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She also said that refusal to cooperate (ie. not let them in your home) was grounds for a court order and the judges always approved them under those circumstances.

 

At most the "4th amendment" gives you time to get witnesses together and to make sure your house is clean.

 

 

That is absolutely not true. Even social workers do not always know 4th amendment rights. 4th amendment protects you from unlawful search and seizure. It is not so you can just get a witness for the unlawful search.

 

Stating your 4th amendment right is not a refusal to cooperate; it is enforcing your constitutional right. Now, if they manage to get a warrant and come back and then you don't let them in, then you are refusing to cooperate. If stating your constitutional right is considered refusing to cooperate, then it is no right at all.

 

Once you let them in, they are forever welcome in your house with or without your consent on future visits.
Absolutely true. Never ever let them in without a warrant. You might have the nicest social worker who really doesn't want to do you any harm, and will take a look around the house and then be on their way. But you might have a social worker who hates SAHM, homeschooling, etc...and will use dirty dishes in the sink, unmade beds, who knows what else, to make a case against you. Know your rights and use them.
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