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"CPS has authority over every child in the state of Texas"


Pamela H in Texas
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<<significantly edited>>

 

Do you think about this EVER? I certainly didn't until today (which may seem weird since I'm a foster parent taking care of children removed from their parents by CPS). It was the phrase used to assure me that the worker had the right to speak privately to my adopted children (and ask them to disrobe for pictures) which was mentally harmful to them due to their past (though I'd argue that asking children to speak about their parents and disrobe for pictures would be harmful for most children). My real argument is that the accusations (spanking and using the corner for time out) aren't abuse legally anyway so my kids went through this for what?

 

And I just can't help but hear, "CPS has authority over every child in Texas." So there is no protection for my children?

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So you are accused of spanking your adopted child? is that right? But then that triggered the investigation of your foster children, too?

 

I know in NY you can't physically discipline foster children. I'd imagine CPS might extrapolate that if you are physically disciplining your children, it might cross over into your foster children, too.

 

I hope things work out.

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Please forgive my being a little confused. If you have adopted all of the children, they are your children now. Legally. Or, are some of the children in your home fosters, and some are adopted? If the second scenario, then perhaps that comes into play. . . . As I look back at your post, that sounds like it.

 

Meanwhile, what the woman said was snot-nosed -- (and I can imagine her saying it in a disdainful tone of voice!) -- but legally true. CPS here (Texas) does have the right to butt into a family's affairs at any time that some outsider calls the department with a complaint. Your bio-kids, your adopted-kids. No difference. If someone complains, CPS by law must investigate.

 

Sometimes the cases are ridiculous. A few years ago, my dear friend's little child opened a window, climbed out, and was noticed two streets away from the house. This was a quiet residential neighborhood. Hellooooo CPS! My friend was informed that her child was going into CPS custody. Mercifully, the department agreed to run a background check on me and my husband, then to place the child with us for a few days while the investigation was carried out. We had the child's eldest sibling come stay with us also, to calm the little one's fears. (The child knew us quite well; however, of course I was not "Mommy".) So my house was the only place involved. No strange location.

 

This is as close as I ever have come into contact with "The System." Even my limited experience, however, turns my heart straight toward you with sympathy and prayers. :grouphug:

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Praying that everything works out for you. :( We plan to only take babies and toddlers for this reason. Unfortunately, what the worker said is true all over the US. We think we have parental rights and that we can protect our kids from trauma like that, but we cannot. I am very nervous about becoming foster parents again for the reason you described. My kids have been told that they are not to let people see them without clothing, and they certain should never let people take pics of them in that state, and not to be able to protect them from that is horrifying. I hope your kiddos are ok. :(

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<<<<again edited>>>>

 

Family: 2 parents, 2 bio, 3 adopted, 4 foster (3 were already being moved by Feb 22nd).

 

IF it was the school due to something a kid said, why would they report what is obviously not abuse by legal definitions? If it was that idiot teacher who vowed to have my children taken away, why one earth would she have waited 7 months?

 

But accusing me of spanking my son is like me accusing my neighbor of giving her son Tylenol. Neither is abuse.

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But accusing me of spanking my son is like me accusing my neighbor of giving her son Tylenol. So what if it is true?

 

Pamela, as hard as it is, try to remain calm. It IS legal to spank in TX, in fact public schools can spank their students with 1/2 inch thick wooden paddles and leave bruises without repercussion. I'm sure CPS will close the case quickly if that's all they've got.

 

:grouphug:

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Pamela, as hard as it is, try to remain calm. It IS legal to spank in TX, in fact public schools can spank their students with 1/2 inch thick wooden paddles and leave bruises without repercussion. I'm sure CPS will close the case quickly if that's all they've got.

 

:grouphug:

 

 

Texan since 1956. Where on earth in Texas is paddling still legal in the public schools ?!?!?!

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Texan since 1956. Where on earth in Texas is paddling still legal in the public schools ?!?!?!

 

 

All over the place. There have been several stories in the news about girls (yes, girls) being bruised by paddling and complaining.

 

Here are some links:

 

http://www.wjla.com/articles/2012/09/texas-high-school-paddling-controversy-strikes-after-girls-struck-by-principals-80303.html

 

http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/03/05/2899317/thousands-of-students-still-take.html

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Texan since 1956. Where on earth in Texas is paddling still legal in the public schools ?!?!?!

 

 

I was born and raised in Texas. Kids were paddled all through my school years and this was 80s-90s. In middle school we could be paddled in lieu of detention. It's even more popular in athletic departments (at least in my high school it was).

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Thanks for letting me vent. I'm still a little worried.

I really think that the stuff with my three will blow over.

I mean, my kids didn't claim abuse. Nothing we were accused of was even abuse.

I'm a little more worried regarding Monkey because moving her at all is a problem; moving her twice is....beyond words.

 

I don't know that we can continue fostering. I have no right (or good reason) to put my children at such risk.

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The truly frightening thing is: what if your kids did have a mark on them that you couldn't explain?

 

 

This is what scares me. I had CPS (in Texas) show up once because someone called in that the kids were home alone. We only had one car and dh took it to work. :glare: It was all cleared up and we were fine. The scary part for me was the very next day younger dd fell and hit her head. She had a large goose egg bump and a bruise on her forehead. If they had showed up 24 hrs later, we probably would have been in a lot of trouble for what was truly an accident.

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I love my state. Nonetheless I continue to see and hear things that render me deeply embarrassed to admit that I am a Texan.

 

 

It's not just Texas. I now live in Florida and it's in the student/parent handbook that they use corporal punishment. I write in a letter every year stating they cannot paddle my dd. I don't know that they use it often but it's still an option here.

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THanks for the support y'all.

I'm so sick about all this. I hope this woman just closes her case and that is it.

 

This morning, I'm taking my kids to the doctor. My son was hitting himself in the side of the head/ear during the interview so his ear hurt so the investigator diagnosed an ear infection. SHe says everyone needs antibiotics (because that will do anything for the flu). All three of them are running around the kitchen with Monkey as I type. I expect they are feeling better. It just takes time with the flu <sigh>.

 

The 7yo foster said, 'was it wrong for me to tell the lady with the long hair about my punishment?"

I responded, "as long as you told the truth, it is fine." What else am I supposed to say?

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Texan since 1956. Where on earth in Texas is paddling still legal in the public schools ?!?!?!

 

 

When my 18 year old started PS kindergarten in TX in 1999, my husband specifically asked about this and was told by the principal, that yes, it is legal, but not something she herself would choose to do. Of course, that was awhile ago now.

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This is what scares me. I had CPS (in Texas) show up once because someone called in that the kids were home alone. We only had one car and dh took it to work. :glare: It was all cleared up and we were fine. The scary part for me was the very next day younger dd fell and hit her head. She had a large goose egg bump and a bruise on her forehead. If they had showed up 24 hrs later, we probably would have been in a lot of trouble for what was truly an accident.

 

We were in another state at the time, but had a terrifying brush with DYFS. In the midst of the whole mess, my then-three-year-old daughter was walking down a church hallway with a friend of mine. My kid took off running, with my friend chasing her, both giggling, and my daughter ran nose-first into a doorknob. Her face was scraped and slightly bruised, but she was barely even shaken. (She had great personal dignity even then, and she seemed much more embarrassed than physically hurt.)

 

My friend, however, was devastated. She knew we were being checked out and was terrified she had put us and our daughter at risk. She immediately offered to write a letter or call the appropriate agency explaining what had happened and that it was her fault. She was in tears.

 

As it turned out, that never came into play. However, it made me realize just exactly how tenuous a grip we actually have on our kids once any government agency gets involved in our lives.

 

I'm so sorry you and your kids are being troubled by this, Pamela. I hope with all my heart it blows over soon.

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The system is designed so that the remedy for parents to assert their rights is through the courts. Unfortunately, in the meantime the damage to the child is already done. Not many people have the pull or resources to insist upon a court order and emergency proceedings prior to the state taking pictures, etc. :( While the need to keep children safe is important, the remedies for wrongful actions by this particular government agency in no way remedy the actual harm.

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MomatHWTK, That is a consideration. I could have probably protected my children by saying that I would like to go before the judge with the concern and have him order (or not) interviews and pictures and such. By doing so, he likely would have been able to say that spanking and putting a child in the corner isn't a good reason for an investigation, possibly protecting my children from having to go through what they did yesterday. I guess I always thought making them get a court order would just be a formality and they could do so easily and without my input to the judge. But maybe there could have been other options? Of course, I don't have a lawyer for "just in case" either. But another fostermom told me about legal aid for foster parents sooooo.....

 

Dr can't see kids til 11. I feel like we're sitting ducks just sitting here. I wish I could calm down. Even with all the calls that teacher made last year (because my "kids will go to hell" if I raise them), after the interviews, it was basically over for us. We got a letter in the mail clearing us. So what was the point of worrying?

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Honestly, I don't think most parents would take the risk of asking for a court order. You did the best you could, any harm caused to the children is really the blame of investigators who think that asking children to pose unclothed isn't traumatizing. If a parent asked the child to do the same thing, it probably would trigger an investigation!

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I am sorry that you are going through this.

 

You are right; it would upset any child to be forced to strip in front of a stranger and be photographed. In another setting, that would be child p---graphy. I'm not sure why people can't get that it feels the same to the child. If evidence indicated that the child needed to be looked at, there is no reason other than CPS convenience why this cannot take place in a doctor's office, which is the one place that children have been trained is okay for a person to see them naked. Doctors can look quickly and unobstrusively. No need for photos unless there is abuse to document. Just a medical person saying, "no marks." (Although I saw the 'expert" doctor lie in court once in a case I was very familiar with, enough to know that she was lying. It was the kind of lie in which she didn't answer the direct question with a direct lie, but with a clever redirect that had the same effect as a lie. The wuss attorney, being cowed, didn't follow up. She did this twice on two different issues. Still makes me mad.)

 

I hope that when you are through this, that you can work for change. Children shouldn't be subjected to strip searching. Children who have been sexually abused should especially not be subjected to it.

 

When my oldest was a baby, I found a linear bruise on his bottom. I was terrified! I had been a mental health clinical social worker (not a CPS one) and we had been told "Linear bruises = 100% abuse." He had never been away from me and I had no idea where the bruise came from. I was so scared he'd need to go to the doctor for something. Then, a few days later, I saw him sit down --more like "plop" down on some wooden blocks. That afternoon, there was another linear bruise. Now I knew where they came from, but was much more terrified--not one, but two linear bruises. Who would believe the wooden block story ? I got rid of the blocks. None of my children ever got to play with any.

 

This is one of the reasons that I always urge caution on this board before people willy-nilly make CPS reports. There tends to be an assumption by those who have not been involved in the system that the system is benign and the best interests of the child are taken into account and that it is better to err on the side of "protecting the child." Many people don't know that the system itself can be abusive or assume that those stories are just exceptions or fabrications and the people who believe them are fanatics. I truly wish that CPS worked the way it's supposed to. So much depends on the mental health and wisdom of the supervisors and administrators. And way too many are on power trips.

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Texan since 1956. Where on earth in Texas is paddling still legal in the public schools ?!?!?!

 

I'm pretty sure it is legal in the entire state. My school district (Duncanville) has the option of using corporal punishment. I have to fill out a form every year stating if I will or will not allow the school to use corporal punishment on my child.

 

Susan in TX

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I appreciate the Texas updates from you all. It makes me sad/mad that we (Texas society) perpetuate the stereotype held by many others of gun-slinging, barbarian, brain-impaired folks. Although I knew corporal punishment was legal when I was in the publics -- (I was graduated in 1973.) -- I honestly, truly believed that this since had been banned everywhere, even in the more extreme types of religious schools.

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The truly frightening thing is: what if your kids did have a mark on them that you couldn't explain?

 

I worry about this at childcare because they make me sign sheets that say there were certain marks on the child (17 months) when I dropped the child off.

 

I don't know where the marks came from! I thought it was normal for kids to get bumps and bruises in the nature of play during the day. I'm not going to get upset at childcare if she comes home with a bruise and they can't explain how it happened because if it happened at home I probably couldn't explain how it happened!

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My dd is bruise prone too. Plus she gets injections every day in her legs and sometimes they bruise nasty too. She has banged up legs right now because she swings from the monkey bars and bangs on the platform or falls off stuff. She also "battles" her friends lol

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Pamela...came on after you deleted most of the story, but I will be thinking and praying for you. :grouphug:

 

 

ETA, grew up in Texas, yes on corporal punishment in schools, and although I am sure CPS has helped some children somewhere, while in Texas I heard SEVERAL very negative experiences with them.

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I am so sorry Pam. It is truly frightening.

 

Unfortunately, there are too many of us with stories of idiotic calling. Once I was called on because my then 6 yo had asked someone for a popsicle. Fortunately that only stayed in the military community and didn't even make our file since after they talked with us, they realized we were another victim of a crazy woman who loved to call on people for nothing at all. I mean, even if I never gave my son a popsicle, which wasn't the case, why would that be anybodies business? With that there was no examination at all. ANd no, he didn't ask the crazy woman for a popsicle but apparently she lived within hearing distance.

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I'm so sorry!!! I would report the CPS worker for anything remotely out of line.

 

Our dds are adopted from foster care and in Utah you aren't allowed to spank ANY children in your home while you are a licensed foster parent, no matter if they are bios, adopted, or foster. Is this also the rule in Texas?

 

I dealt with CPS as a teacher in L.A., but it was for bruises and welts from extension cords and belts. :(

 

Kids that age are usually very honest about exactly what happened. I'm so surprised this was handled so poorly.

 

My heart brakes for your kids.

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Our dds are adopted from foster care and in Utah you aren't allowed to spank ANY children in your home while you are a licensed foster parent, no matter if they are bios, adopted, or foster. Is this also the rule in Texas?

 

No, but even if it were, that would be a standards violation (and licensing investigation), not a child abuse one.

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