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HELP - call from children's aid
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 3:55 pm
Hi everyone, I desperately need some help or advice. Today after school, I got a call from children's aid saying that they need to come speak to my husband and myself tomorrow afternoon, as well as with the kids. I am now very, very scared. Of course they won't tell me what it is about on the phone, and now I feel sick to my stomach.
Let me tell you about myself. I am a stay at home of 4 kids, twins 7, a 6 year old and a 4 year old. They are not abused, we don't spank, (I do yell sometimes, but what mom doesn't), we're not party people, we don't smoke drink, nothing
They are in tons of different activities, hockey, ballet, beavers, (very busy family). I just don't get it. Has anyone ever gone through this before? I have no idea what my rights are or anything, like I said I feel sick now! My kids are in public school right now, but I have been thinking a lot that I would like to homeschool, now with having a case with children's aid, will this not be possible? Like I said I have no idea what this is about or could be about, I am assuming if it was something really serious they would have come today, not tomorrow after school.
Sorry this is long, but I really am desperate to find someone who has some reassuring words or advice for me.
Thanks everyone in advance.
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:38 pm
wow, I am so sorry that you are so nervous about this! I wish that the system worked so much differently so that the parents had some idea as to what was going on.
As far as advice, find out what your rights are in you state. I believe that all parents have the right to refuse the children to be questioned without there presence expect in the case of alleged abuse. So don't let them talk to them alone, you never know what damage they can do by just asking questions. second is RELAX! it may not be as bad as you think, I'm sure it isn't. Something may have happened at school or in the neighborhood, just don't give out any information that you don't have to.
Again it depends on the state but I don't believe that having a file with a child investigator can stop you from homeschooling, of course depending on the charges and the verdict, but I'm sure you will be fine.
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:45 pm
I have no words of wisdom except to breathe and try not to let yourself dwell on the worst possible scenarios.
You are in my prayers. Let us know how things turn out.
Posted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 11:23 pm
If you didn't do anything to your kids, then relax. It is probably not your family that they are interested in. Perhaps there is a situation with a neighborhood kid or extended family member and they want to know if anyone in your household may have witnessed anything? Or maybe the hockey bruises have someone concerned? In that case, at least you know that someone is looking out for your kid, even if they were wrong about the circumstances.
Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:21 pm
This is always scary, but if you've done nothing wrong, then it's probably just a case of someone lodging a complaint (in which case SS has to, according to the law, check it out). momo3boys offers good advice about not letting them question your children alone unless they're formally investigating a claim of child abuse.
What state are you in?
Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:05 pm
I'm assuming this "children's aid" is the same as Social Services or The Department of Children and Families.
First off, let me express my deepest sympathy. I've had this done to me before and it I was absolutely terrified. I have a pretty good idea what you are feeling right now.
Unlike you, I had no warning. The Representative showed up without warning while I was cooking dinner. My husband was at work. My children were ages 17 months and 6 weeks old.
I didn't know my rights. I didn't know the laws and I was scared to death.
I was asked many questions about my marriage, our income, my family, did I have any relatives in the area. Do we drink, smoke, use drugs, etc.
A retired police officer informed me AFTER the fact that I did not have to let them into my home without a warrant. If it happen to me again, I would keep our visit restricted to the front porch.
They also insisted on taking a photograph of my children, basically to show that they were clean, fed, and unharmed I suppose.
My case was closed. We were found to not be guilty of what we were accused of. However, the fact that a report was filed against us remains on file for 7 years (2009).
I agree with Momo3boys. Do not let them question your children alone. Some of the less scrupulous case workers have a tendency to ask leading questions that easily confuse small children or even twist their words.
You can ask what is the nature of the visit but they will not inform you who filed the complaint against you.
If you haven't done anything, the case worker will probably discover that quite quickly. Your case will be closed.
My heart goes out to you and your family. Try to remain calm and not get stressed out. Make sure you go read your state's laws on this matter so that you can be prepared. Good luck.
Posted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:36 pm
thank you everyone for your reassuring words. The lady came over and told us that my 6 year old son told his teacher that their dad uses a belt on his brothers (the twins), which he dosen't ever!!!! Anyways i guess the teacher HAS to report it and so they did. She came over and questioned the kids all seperately, the twins said it wasn't true, my 6-year-old said he didn't know what she was talking about lol, and my 4 year old daughter ran with it and said sometimes, and that the belt hangs up in our bedroom, which it does on a belt rack in my closet and then it goes around my husband's skinny waist, not used as a beating tool
Anyways, she told me she doesn't see abuse, but since my daughter said that, she has to discuss it with her manager, but not to worry. SO I am praying that this just goes away. I have been considering homeschooling for awhile now, and it now seems like a very, very good option. That scares me that a kid can go tell a story and you might have your children taken away.
P.s. I am from Canada, so I think maybe some laws might be different from the states, not sure though.
again, thank you, thank you, thank you for all your kind words. They made me feel better.
Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:14 pm
Yes, I would probably homeschool, and if you decide to do so - join hslda. I would also look into the laws in Canada as to what rights you have. I know where I live we don't have to let them in without a warrant and we don't have to let them speak to the children.
I would be very careful about letting them speak to the children because children do get confused and say things that aren't true, just like your 4 year old did. I am praying your case is soon closed.
Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:25 pm
Does HSLDA offer legal defense in Canada too?
Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:49 pm
Theodore wrote:Does HSLDA offer legal defense in Canada too?
The Home School Legal Defense Association website links directly to http://www.hslda.ca
which is the Canadian HSLDA website.
Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 2:07 pm
Oh, you're right, never noticed that before. I knew they had a homeschool foundation, didn't realize they had legal defense in Canada as well. Now I feel stupid for not knowing that :\
Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:48 pm
Theodore wrote:Oh, you're right, never noticed that before. I knew they had a homeschool foundation, didn't realize they had legal defense in Canada as well. Now I feel stupid for not knowing that :\
I only stumbled upon it due to my curiosity about other countries home-schooling laws so don't feel bad. You know what they say, we all learn something new everyday.
I hope that all is well with you and your family.
Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:14 pm
Thanks Erica for that link. Yes, so far (I think) everything is okay. The case worker is going to call me tomorrow and tell me what her manager says afte she gives the report to her. I asked what that means exactly and she said that it either gets closed, which I pray happens, or I will get the occassional vist, which I really don't want. Seeing as we are not guilty of what is being accused of us, I'm not too, too worried, but I just hate defending myself when I know I am not lying, you know what I mean. Does anyone think I should talk to the prinicpal about this accusation or should I just leave it?
Now I don't even want to send the kids to school tomorrow! Like I said I think I am definitely being pulled in the direction of doing homeschooling. I been researching lots this weekend on it. I guess I am just scared of losing my sanity with having 4 kids at home every day, but I am willing to sacrifice that as somthing deep inside of me is saying bringing them home to teach is the right thing to do