They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Are you going through an investigation now? Tell your story and get feedback here.

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merdi
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They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:34 am

I should have been on here months ago, but I thought they wouldn't be able to find me. I am being investigated for neglect of my two boys (aged 2 and 3) because they were outside unattended for approximately 15 min. I am a man aged 28. The incident took place at my brother's house in Louisville Ky about 2 hours from where I live. They were playing around a culvert, and were lightly dressed on a 50 degree morning. One of my brother's neighbors came and spoke to my children, picked them up, delivered them to me at my brother's house (I was on my way out the door to look for them because I didn't see them out the window). She was quite concerned about the situation and called both the police and CPS. I talked to the cop, he left. Days later CPS showed up and left a note on the door.

The boys' mother and I have been separated since the fall (never married), and I was to drop the kids off with her soon anyway, so I went ahead and took them home that night. Long story short, my sister in law contacted the agent and set up an interview. My sister in law is a mandatory reporter, and she was nervous about stonewalling for me, so I came back to face the agent. Having looked at this site, and based on the agent's aggressive attitude, I refused to give the agent any information. We did extract from her that it was the fact that the children were unattended at their ages that the report was accepted as a case; however the report made me sound strung out on drugs and as if I had admitted that many people had shown concern for my parenting skills over the years. So she left with only my email address as contact info, no names for the children or my ex or anything. My ex and I used to be on food stamps, so they managed to get a hold of my ex through the address kept on that file. I have kept her updated on the entire situation. She allowed them to see the children and enter her home, she then spoke with the agent from Louisville that I had met with over the phone. The agent tried to get her to turn on me, but we are still very close even though we are no longer together and she suggested that the agent try to email me (she had never yet tried to contact me directly). So, I have now been in email contact with that agent and her supervisor.

The first thing they want obviously is my address. I don't know whether to give that to them. They make vague threats over email that they will "have to make decisions without my input that could lead to court action." But that sounds pretty generic and unfrightening. I find it hard to believe that this is a case that they can take to court and go anywhere with, I just don't want them to be harrassing my ex, she is a good person and doesn't deserve the state putting its thumb on her because they want to get to me. Do I give them my address? I still might not let them in my house if I do. So is that really any better? What's it take for them to get warrants or whatever? Where are they going with this? Can they get a court order forcing my ex to reveal my address? Her supervisor gave me a little info, but said that since it is an investigation (we have a multiple response approach in Ky so an investigation indicates that they think the incident was one of moderate to high risk or it would have been an assessment) they weren't going to tell me much about what they were looking for etc. I live at my mom's. It seems like a perfectly defensible living arrangment. I was living in an "intentional community," aka hippie commune, but left to try to deal with this. They would not have liked my set up there. The incident occurred Dec 31, and they've only now gotten this close.

I just don't know what to do. I haven't talked to a lawyer, I live an incredibly cheap and relaxed life where I get to just hang out with my kids alot. I have no car, I ride a bike and haul my kids in a trailer. I have no shame about my lifestyle, I have told everyone at the local coffee shop about this investigation, and everyone is shocked. It won't be easy for me to afford a lawyer. Any suggestions? Just leave them hanging? Give them an address so that no one else takes the brunt of the force of the state for me? Actually let them in and answer their questions? Give them names and #'s of others in my life? We have a very rich social support network. Two social workers live in my hippie commune, and I've talked to other social workers as well, they all seem surprised and confused that this is being investigated as it is. Am I attracting attention by being obstinate? Should I give them fake addresses in other states? :lol: I would greatly appreciate any thoughts!!

I flip from being really worried to thinking its quite funny that they are looking and looking, and all they've got is my secondary email address, which is not associated with my real name. But like I said, I don't want them harassing others in my life just because they are more above the radar.

Thanks!

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Daruma
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Daruma » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:22 am

You don't have to do anything that isn't court ordered--although, you might want to consider whether giving them your address is that big a deal or not. As you already know, you don't have to let them in even if they come calling. But back to the main point. If they had enough reason to take your children into custody or to compel you into "services," they'd have done that already. Right now, they're most likely on a fishing expedition to try to find something, anything, to hook you into those services.

You're in Kentucky, which is a poor state. One way they can bring badly needed federal revenues into the state is to put kids into foster care. The state gets a cash bonus every month, paid for out of Social Security funds (no wonder the system is nearly insolvent), for each child that they take custody of. That's why they spend so much time and effort on a cases where the alleged neglect is minimal. They aren't looking for endangered children. They're looking for parents who are easy targets.

The caseworker is there to investigate specific allegations. Those are all you should be discussing with her. "The allegations are X. You have seen for yourself that X is not true. The police report #12345 confirms that there was no neglect and my children were not endangered. You have enough information to close your report." Lather, rinse, repeat as long as necessary.

Your SIL is a mandated reporter, but obviously she saw no evidence of abuse or neglect. Otherwise she would have called them herself.

Don't be intimidated by the idea of court. If it comes down to it, court is the only place where you get a chance to put your side of the story on record. But two kids playing outside in the cold? That doesn't sound like something that needs to end up in court. They need more than that to make a case against you; don't give it to them. Ask the mom not to give it to them, either. Both of you should take some time to study the information on this site so you have some idea how the system works & how to protect yourselves.
These are my personal opinions only. They are not legal, medical, or financial advice.

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Daruma
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Daruma » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:22 am

merdi wrote: the report made me sound strung out on drugs and as if I had admitted that many people had shown concern for my parenting skills over the years.


I trust you've submitted a statement challenging the social worker's report? That's crucial From a legal standpoint, any error not challenged in a timely manner becomes "the truth".

merdi wrote: They make vague threats over email that they will "have to make decisions without my input that could lead to court action."

Email them and say that you've answered all their questions regarding the allegations made on (date). They now have enough information to close your case as unfounded. Any additional input which is necessary from you can be obtained via email or in person at their offices. You will be happy to set up an appointment with them if they have a legitimate reason to interview you about the existing allegations. There is therefore no reason any decisions should be made without your input, since their continued email correspondence with you is proof that you are willing and able to provide input. Close by reminding them that they have all the information needed to close your case, which you would appreciate their doing immediately.
These are my personal opinions only. They are not legal, medical, or financial advice.

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:01 pm

This a sample letter that might influence your approach for your letter... basically, I'll give you what you need to determine that my kids were not abused nor neglected, then you can leave me alone!

I wouldn't give them your address... they have no business/need coming to your house. Unless you & your brother were stoned/drunk when the kids escaped, then it was just a common "kids will be kids" incident. They weren't hurt. Look up the legal definition of neglect for your state and cite for them their own laws and how what happened did not apply:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=10360
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

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merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:59 am

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It is so helpful to have other people who are not intimidated by authorities to talk to. I'm not afraid of court, much less so than just having people snooping all through my life which is, undoubtedly, outside the norm. I will post a copy of my email to them once I get that together. I'm so glad this site and forum exist, you are a real resource. I know all your sigs emphasize that you're not offering legal advice, just opinions; but its moral support from people who aren't scared and that is highly valuable. I get lots of support from the many loving people around me, but so many of them are frightened and intimidated by this process; the notion of standing up for myself only frightens them more, and that in turn frightens me. My refusal to live a life and raise my children based on fear seems to be the way that I am most outside the system.

Thanks

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Daruma
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Daruma » Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:23 am

merdi wrote:the notion of standing up for myself only frightens them more, and that in turn frightens me

There are many well-meaning people who will tell you to just jump through the hoops. Parents comply because they're afraid. They trust the system, they trust their own innocence, they trust their public defenders, only to find out that sometimes that's not enough. It's always encouraging to find parents who are willing to learn their rights and stand on them.

I hope you're coordinating with your ex or anyone else they might interview. People cooperate with CPS because they really are trying to be helpful. They trust that truth will win out in the end. But CPS are masters at distorting and manipulating information. It's far safer for your ex or other friends not to say anything. If they can truthfully say, "I've never seen Merdi neglect his children. He's a good, loving father. Now please excuse me, I must get back to work," then that's all they need to say.
These are my personal opinions only. They are not legal, medical, or financial advice.

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family_man
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby family_man » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:12 am

I agree that CPS is unlikely to take this case to court, since the actual allegations are so minor. However, CPS will not be able to close the case as being unfounded unless they see the children's current home. Most CPS agencies need to assess overall safety, even on routine investigations. If they don't know where you live, they will have to close the investigation with a status of "Unable to Complete." This status will remain in their system, and be a red flag to them the next time your family comes under their spotlight. So there is a negative consequence to not letting them see your home, in addition to the positive consequence of not letting them collect more "evidence" of your "bad parenting."
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, and this is not legal advice.

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monkette31
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby monkette31 » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:08 pm

Yes, I agree with you all. I have been kind of hooked on tracking down EXACT policies and procedures for each STATE's Investigation. Each cps has a specific time frame to resolve their investigations and will tell you how long they can keep it open. Some of these policies say that if the parent doesn't cooperate AND the allegations are serious (which ones aren't?), they can get court orders to compel the child interview or search warrant for home, in order to investigate...so the ignoring them method is probably not good.

I am also not for allowing the snakes into your home for anything. It's better to meet them at your lawyers office or even at their office, WITHOUT your child. Too many stories of them bullying their way in and the next second they're counting your own medication! Opening your home to them is basically giving them the opportunity to write and say anything about the conditions of your home. It just gives them a way to bolster their reports. Any information, medical releases, etc, give them a way to bolster their reports.

Last night I was reading about Illinois policies and they mention the policy of the investigator interviewing the child ALONE so many times, it was ridiculous. They made sure to add the "if possible" at the end of each sentence. This tells me that it is probably a parents right to be present during any interview but their GOAL is to shove that right, right out the door. They will lie in order to get the child alone, they will lie about everything and anything. Their details are in Kentucky's dcfs policies and procedures manuals. Illinois has a weird policy of contacting the person under investigation every 5 days no matter what and also lists a checklist of things the social worker can complete in order to close the case in 14 days....

There is awesome information on this site and awesome people here too.
I'm not a lawyer but will try and help you any way i can. My postings may seem harsh but they all stem from personal experience with DCFS. I am not a victim and take responsibility for my part in my life, but I will always help ANYONE learn about the corrupt sick system.

fatherofthree
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby fatherofthree » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:33 am

All it takes is somebody trained on finding people and you are found. It depends on if they try or not. If the kids were out long enough for somebody to find them and bring them back, cps is going to investigate.
DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney and am not providing legal advice.

merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:16 am

Thank you again for all your responses and help.

Almost three weeks ago I emailed CPS and gave them my adddress. Since then I have not gotten a single response: no confirmation that I gave them my address, no one has shown up. I have searched to find any limits on when they have to have dealt with this case or closed it but have had trouble finding anything like that. I've only seen that they have to initiate the case within 48 hours of the report, which they did.

It is nearly 4 months since the incident and initial contact. Initial contact included an interview with me, in person, as well as interviews, in person and over phone, with my brother and Sister in Law at whose house the incident took place. Since then they have visited the mother of my children, seen the children in her home, and interviewed her on the phone. All this took place before my first posting here.

My plan is to contact the supervisor of the investigating social worker at 4 months and say that it is time to close the case or get a court order, I have been compliant and cooperative and have not received any paperwork. Surely there is some point at which they have to put up or shut up right? I have only been contacted directly by my investigating agent thrice, out of which twice included threats of court action, followed by no response when I offered the information requested.

My patience is running dry.

Thanks :D

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:01 am

merdi wrote:My plan is to contact the supervisor of the investigating social worker at 4 months and say that it is time to close the case or get a court order, I have been compliant and cooperative and have not received any paperwork. Surely there is some point at which they have to put up or shut up right? I have only been contacted directly by my investigating agent thrice, out of which twice included threats of court action, followed by no response when I offered the information requested.


I would advise that you NOT contact them... it is not YOUR job to move this case along. How well do you trust the boys' mother? I hope implicitly, because if CPS were moving forward with a case, then she would have been contacted and possibly dragged into court. When they identify children as abused or neglected, BOTH parents are party to CPS actions, even if one is the "innocent" or non-offending party. So, if they were going to proceed, they would be, at a minimum, contacting her, dragging her into meetings and/or court, and they would identify you as the absentee father. If she hasn't heard anything from them, then I think it's safe to assume that you guys are safe. There have got to be far easier targets for them to go after. HOWEVER.... I also looked for some guidelines and the KY state code does NOT provide a target date for closure/dismissal of an investigation. This means they could very well still be plotting against you... so let sleeping dogs lie! They do, however, owe you a letter, eventually:

From: http://www.lrc.ky.gov/kar/922/001/330.htm
Section 11. Case Closure and Aftercare Planning.
(1) A decision to close a child protective services case shall be based on:
(a) Evidence that the factors resulting in the child abuse, neglect, or dependency have been resolved to the extent that the family is able to:
1. Protect the child; and
2. Meet the needs of the child; or
(b) A lack of legal authority to obtain court ordered cooperation from the family.
(2) A child protective services case shall not be closed if withdrawal of services places a child at risk of abuse, neglect, or dependency.
(3) A family shall be:
(a) Notified in writing of the decision to close the protective services case; and
(b) Advised of the right to a fair hearing in compliance with 922 KAR 1:320, Section 2.
(4) Aftercare planning shall link a family to community resources for the purpose of continuing preventive measures if the cabinet discontinues services in accordance with this section.
(5) The P&P Aftercare Plan shall be developed: upon the completion of an investigation or family-in-need of services assessment, if an issue or concern identified by the cabinet falls below the level that triggers a protection case being opened.
(6)(a) When it is determined that a protective services case is appropriate for closure, the cabinet shall work with the family to develop the P&P Aftercare Plan.
(b) The focus of a P&P Aftercare Plan shall be to prevent a recurrence of abuse, neglect, or dependency to the child in the home.



The longer they do NOTHING, the worse it looks for them if/when they decide to come after you. How "in need" of their help could you boys be if they didn't offer you services for 3 months, 6 months, a year????????? So.... wait............. the longer they don't do anything, the better it is for you.
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

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merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:43 am

Thanks for finding that. That's seems pretty reasonable, I'm just so tired of having it in the back of my mind. I trust their mother completely. She did go the route of being pretty open at first, but got turned off by the phone interview and was the one who convinced the worker to actually try emailing me instead of threatening her for my address, and they haven't contacted her since that conversation. She's very supportive in this.

noroses4u2c
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby noroses4u2c » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:47 am

KY rarely ever gives children back once they take them.

It is best if you never hear from them.
My child was abducted by the government. They demanded a ransom (the case plan). I paid the ransom and my child was kept anyway. It isn't much different from stranger abduction except that the government uses its power to make the abduction legal and unpunishable.

merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:37 am

So, I just recieved a certified letter indicating that CPS has substantiated the investigation of my of neglect of my two children. This is "based on SSW learning through interview witness speaking with NF that NF had left teh CHN unattended outside at his brothers (sic) home, at which time the CHN were found by neighbor to be walking in the drainage ditch and actuallly crawled in the drain. It is also learned that CHN were dressed only in a t-shirt while outside."

They provided the form to request an adiminstrative hearing to challenge the finding. I assume I want to contact a lawyer and challenge. My understanding of the law makes this claim seem dubious. The handbook at http://chfs.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/0984FD1 ... ooklet.pdf

The clothing question seems addressed by the section indicating when not to report: A child who is improperly dressed, but the clothing deficiency does not result in
harm to the child. It was 50 degrees and sunny, I see no indication of harm.

KRS 600.020 (1) says: Abused or neglected child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or
threatened with harm when his parent, guardian, or other person exercising custodial
control or supervision of the child:

(h) Does not provide the child with adequate care, supervision, food, clothing,
shelter, education or medical care necessary for the child's well-being.

I don't believe that the area they were playing in presented any threat of harm; I don't the the worker ever looked at the location they were playing. It is a safe neighborhood, they were no where near a street, and they were visible to me through a window. But I assume this is the section that they are using to justify their claim.

part (d) of the same section says: Continuously or repeatedly fails or refuses to provide essential parental care and
protection for the child, considering the age of the child;

This is a single incident of 15 min of "insufficient supervision." So I assume this section does not apply.

Thanks for all your help!

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:46 pm

Okay... then usually the next step in the process will be them "offering" you their services wherein you will be forced to take and pay for parenting classes and maybe more. Their "service plans" are negotiable and the parents are supposed to be involved in the development of them. Most of the time, they will call you and present some utterly ridiculous plan wherein you have to go to parenting classes once a week for four months (I don't know what else they could possibly "offer" in your case but other "services" they would offer would be anger management, drug rehab, counseling, etc.). They will likely also want to have visits with the kids, several times per month. If they are batcrap crazy - and SOOOOOO many of the case workers in KY *ARE* ... and it sounds like yours is - then if you don't accept their services, they may take it to court, petitioning the court to force you to accept their services. They may - just be forewarned - make up a whole fictional novel about your horrific parenting, which you've already seen the start of. You have a choice as to whether you want to minimize the damage and negotiate down the plan or fight them all the way through court. That means, by the way, that you'll be spending several days over the next few months in court.

One way you should consider proceeding is negotiating down their plan, i.e. "no, not going to take classes.... yes, I'll let you see them once a month at your offices.... no, you may not have their medical records" and so on. Get a copy of it, then tell them no, not going to sign/agree to it...... it's pretty absurd that they have substantiated your situation as neglect. That's part of the problem, though, is they want to slap labels on things that just don't apply. Take your kid to a nude beach? They'll call that "child sexual abuse" ... leave a 14 & 10 yr old in the car while you pay for gas? "Neglect" Your situation is SOOOOOOOOO silly... the more I think about it, the more I want to encourage you to not let them push you around. Leave your kid locked in a closet with no food or water? That's neglect. Drop them off a Chuck-e-cheese while you go on a drug binge for 4 hours? That's neglect. So.... you can either fight them on their turf, let them take it to court.... there you can point out how they did NOT identify "harm." The problem, also, is that once they get you "in the system" you will forever have that hanging over you. A few years from now, when your kid runs into a tree and goes to school with a black eye, they will look at your family as "having a history" and might proceed as if you've been caught abusing/neglecting your kids for years and move to take them. Plus, they will want/request that you approve of release of medical info for you and/or the kids, maybe mom, ask for evaluations, etc., etc.

Would it be possible for you to move? Like, yesterday? Even if you moved temporarily, at least you could get the crazy KY folks off your back. Can you move to your brothers? If they have told you that you must keep them apprised of your whereabouts, then do that, but if you can get out of the county/jurisdiction. We considered moving 12 miles away just to get out of the LA county jurisdiction which was out of control. We'd still have to let them know our new address, but they would have to refer to the new county and close their case (and we'd know better how to handle the new county CPS once/if they showed up). Once they did that, we'd move back home.... could've been done in a month or less.

There was a news article a few weeks ago about .... found it... Minnesota, wherein they presented 5 different scenarios for child welfare calls/referrals. They basically said, "in this scenario, would you investigate?" viewtopic.php?f=36&p=65884#p65884

The results were all over the board! Thus, the huge inconsistencies can work in your favor --- I see your existing situation as a clear overreaction so I don't think you'd get a WORSE reaction in another county. Anyhow... it's just a thought.

Either way, keep a close eye out, don't open the door for ANYONE, have your neighbors/friends watch for strangers approaching.

Just a little thought on your "defense" of the charges... definition from the pamphlet:
Abused or neglected child" means a child whose health or welfare is harmed or threatened with harm


The kids weren't harmed. I am guessing that the SW was completely negligent in identifying the "harm" with which they were threatened, leaving it up to the imagination of whomever is reading the report. This is where, I hope, you will be able to make your strongest point. Your attitude would be something like this:

"The boys were just playing in the yard and adjacent culvert which, in the 14 years our family has lived there, have proven to be completely safe as no harm has ever come to a single member of the family (other than perhaps a mosquito bite or skinned knee). There was no standing water so there was no risk of drowning; there was no rain in the forecast so no risk of them being swept away; there were no wild animals living in the drainage tube, other than a few harmless toads and crickets. The weather was brisk but the boys were just fine, have played in that weather/dress combination for short periods of time many times before without any adverse consequences. They had been playing out there under my supervision for a few minutes and during the course of their play, the moved out of sight. At that point I left the window and went to put on shoes to go after them. During that brief time, the neighbor happened upon the boys and brought them to the door. They were never in harms way."
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

----<>----<>----<>---- BREED WITH CAUTION ----<>----<>----<>----

merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:11 pm

Eljay wrote:Would it be possible for you to move? Like, yesterday? Even if you moved temporarily, at least you could get the crazy KY folks off your back. Can you move to your brothers? If they have told you that you must keep them apprised of your whereabouts, then do that, but if you can get out of the county/jurisdiction.


That's the thing, I've been back in another county away from my brother's since the incident, but its the SW from my brother's place that's pursuing this. I expected to meet with a local social worker. A local SW met with the mother and the children. I have not met with or spoken to any local SW. The SW who I met at my brother's place has only spoken with Mother on the phone and has never met the children. Do you know how the jurisdiction question works? I know they make "courtesy interviews" for eachother, but must not be required? Maybe its being transferred to the local SW now, as a substantiated report, and then the local SW will show up to present and implement a prevention plan? "Service Plan." I don't think first SW wanted to turn it over to the local SW until she had decided it substantiated, because it didn't seem like the local SW was hostile. All my family's in Ky, so there's no easy escaping the state.

The real lesson here seems to be that "going over the incident" with a SW will quickly be flipped into an admission of guilt. Her interview with me, from 3.5 months ago, is the only evidence cited in this letter for concluding the report substantiated. A credit to the MoC and Bro and SnL.

SW from my Brother's even told my SnL that "although there is no age at which a child is necessarily old enough to be left unattended, its based on the maturity of the child, certainly not two and three." (I flubbed the recording of that whole interview although I tried.) Which seems to me to be an admission that she had already labeled this report substantiated in her mind without assessing the maturity of the children, without assessing the danger of the place the children were playing (to my knowledge), nor observing them in a home environment with me. It looks like shoddy work. Either way, I'm going mull it over a while. Letter claims I have 30 days from date of receipt to file a challenge.

More thoughts welcome, THANKS!

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Thu Apr 26, 2012 6:02 am

Just so you know, by *NOT* filing a challenge, it is looked upon as agreement (implied consent), especially if this goes to court. The other important thing is that each state has a "central registry" of child abusers and by substantiating your neglect, they will list you there. If you ever happen to apply for a job involving children (even janitor at a hospital, every fast food restaurant, every retail establishment, all schools, etc) then you will be disqualified. Is the letter you got a notice that you're being listed on the registry?
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

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noroses4u2c
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby noroses4u2c » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:37 am

They pretty much ruin your life by putting you on the registry. You can forget gainful employment in most cases.

Even still, my first priority would be preventing them from taking your children. I am not sure how I would handle that exactly.
My child was abducted by the government. They demanded a ransom (the case plan). I paid the ransom and my child was kept anyway. It isn't much different from stranger abduction except that the government uses its power to make the abduction legal and unpunishable.

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:09 am

I would be floored if they tried to take the kids, but I wouldn't put it past them!!!! The problem is their severe overreaction to what is a common, mostly harmless occurrence. Kids wander. It happens. If they took kids away from every parent whose child wandered away while he/she was hanging up laundry, reading a label in the grocery store, or loading the diaper bag in the trunk of the car, my gawd... we'd run out of foster homes in a hot minute!

Yes, a few times a year kids wander too far and are found floating in pond a few days later. A bazillion times more kids die in car accidents every day. For the vast majority of parents, that few minutes of panic is enough to make them tighten the leash, so to speak, and keep their kids even closer. Even my daughter, being a happy 2-3-4 yr old was forever skipping ahead of us as we walked from the car to a store or restaurant. We had to really rein her in because of her tendencies. My niece, at that age, was completely glued to her mother's leg. It's a learning process... we don't need the government overseeing our every move while we figure out how to best parent our kids. They really need to back off.

.... but don't get me started! LOL
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

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merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:50 am

No, no specific mention of a registry, but the letter does say "this finding may be the basis for denying you certain rights and privaleges... or employment opportunities." So maybe listing on the registry is implicit.

Also, perhaps mistakenly, I explained the truth in my interview with the SW 3.5 months ago. My children didn't wander off, they were exactly where they asked me to go and to which I gave permission for them to go. My children now, and at that time can be relied on to go a known spot, stay there until they are done, and then come back to me. (I gave no examples or explanation of this in the interview to avoid providing evidence that I routinely neglect my children, just explained that in this incident they asked for and received permission to be where they were by themselves) I could kind of change the story now, but that's the truth, and I think that's what they really don't like. However, I feel like that is the basis for arguing that they are mature enough to be left unattended, where I can see them through a window, and can hear them if I step outside. But, I can see that others (including, but not limited to CPS) might think otherwise. I am setting up an interview with a lawyer next week who should help me get a handle on where exactly in the process we are, and what county my various options would be dealt with in.

I don't know how the cultural differences clause in the Ky handbook get applied, but it certainly seems like that is the major discrepancy. I come from a smaller town, and generally live pretty far out in the woods, so my children are used to playing away from me, and having some freedom (which they have earned by reliably keeping their word as to where they will be). My brother's place is in a somewhat posh neighborhood outside of Louisville (the big city to us). The description that I "left my children unattended" and that they were "found by the neighbor" misrepresents the situation in my opinion. I made an agreement with my children about where they could play, they kept that agreement, and the neighbor abducted my children when they were in no danger and dropped them off to the first man who claimed to be their father. Its not like they were "lost" even momentarily, or engaged in activity that I should have known about but didn't. They were playing just as I had played with them daily for two weeks, in a spot I was familiar with and had agreed they could go to. All this is why it seems so critical to me that the question of my children's maturity be considered, if they want to make the claim that my children aren't mature enough to be left unattended, that's fine. But I think they should have to do that in light of the fact that my children were, "at the time of the incident," demonstrating that they are equipped with the responsibility to have the freedom to go and stay where they tell me they will go and stay. Failing that, they should show that I made the conscious decision to let them play in a dangerous situation, but that would require showing the threat of harm of the drainage ditch, which I really feel would be difficult. This is not a place where there is some drain that drops down below surface or something. Open concrete "ditches" and then two long culverts which open back up on the surface way down the way. Anyway, I could defend that more, but no need here. The only other thing I see is the threat of abduction, which for no reason was more likely there than anywhere else (save for the neighbor who did in fact abduct my children and then called the police and CPS).

So, that's kind of where I'm at. I'm willing to change/hide/more diplomatically present those positions to achieve whatever outcome I decide I want, but that's the situation from my point of view.

So, there's all that. :)

merdi
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:26 am

I know the federal guides are only minimums for states to meet in order to receive funding, but here's the federal guidelines for lack of appropriate supervision (sorry for the formatting:

http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/userma ... eglect.pdf

Inadequate. supervision. encompasses. a. number. of. behaviors,.including:

• lack.of.appropriate.supervision...Some.States.
specify.the.amount.of.time.children.at.diferent.
ages.can.be.left.unsupervised,.and.the.guidelines.
for. these. ages. and. times. vary.. . In. addition,. [KY has no guidelines that I've found for ages or times]
all. children. are. diferent,. so. the. amount. of.
supervision.needed.may.vary.by.the.child’s.age,.
development,. or. situation.. . It. is. important. to.
evaluate.the.maturity.of.the.child,.the.accessibility.
of. other. adults,. the. duration. and. frequency. of.
unsupervised. time,. and. the. neighborhood. or.
environment.when.determining.if.it.is.acceptable.
to.leave.a.child.unsupervised.

This guide also lays out a framework for classifying neglect as Mild, Moderate, or Severe. It suggests that mild neglect should not be reported to CPS, but might need community-based intervention (e.g. parent failing to put child in car safety seat). [That sounds pretty dangerous to me, but I don't drive]. Moderate is for when community based action has failed, or harm is actually done to child. Severe is only for when severe or long-term damage has occurred to the child as a result of the neglect. So, they should feel burdened with demonstrating the risk of harm, and even if they do that, they should have to classify this. According to this guide it would seem that this is mild neglect, which shouldn't even have been reported. The neighbor should have said, I think its dangerous for your children to be playing where they were, you should keep a closer eye on them. And if it is indeed mild neglect which needn't be reported, then no prevention plan should be necessary.

I just keep rambling on. I feel like I'm pulling people from much more serious cases, but I really appreciate your help!!

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:06 pm

merdi wrote:I just keep rambling on. I feel like I'm pulling people from much more serious cases, but I really appreciate your help!!


Nah.... just pulling me off vacuuming. LOL

Rambling is okay.... it will help you align your thought process. Here's the thing... yes, they were at risk because they didn't have the wherewithal to handle themselves when approached by a stranger (the neighbor). And even though you were in a great neighborhood, it could have been a evil drifter wandering through. Kids that age are highly vulnerable to the lies of strangers (help me find my puppy... come this way!). So, sure, okay, you've learned to manage the risk a little better by keeping a better eye on them (gotta keep them away from those horrible neighbors who think they are helping, yet now threatening your family at the hands of CPS). But do you need to be labeled by the state as a dangerous person? Hell no! Do you need CPS micromanaging your life? No!

The right way for them to handle this is to sit down with you and say, "Listen, Dude.... you need to keep a better eye on your kids. You can't let them play without someone actively watching them. If this happens again, we might have to get all up in your business." And you agree, and everyone moves on. They are overreacting (and it's all for the money... there is no money in it when they just close your case). So they need to back off, in my opinion... not that my opinion matters. You've just got to figure out a way to shut this down.
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

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merdi
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:46 pm

Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Sat May 05, 2012 1:11 pm

Here's the first rough draft of a letter to challenge the finding of substantiation of neglect, (editted for fake names). I've got a consultation with a lawyer set up for Mon to help consider whether I'm on the right track here, and whether I should be challenging at all.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10JM ... 4HS5A/edit

Thoughts welcome!

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Eljay
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Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby Eljay » Sun May 06, 2012 7:43 pm

Overall, very good. :) Is this a letter to the supervisor?

Possible changes:

1. Sometimes it's a good idea to state the actual code/law which you are discussing. That way, you can refute it point-by-point.

2. Paragraph 1: When you begin a sentence with a number, spell it out; "Three" instead of "3".

3. Where you state: "With no guidelines in the state of Ky to define at what age children can be left alone and for how long...." consider "The state of KY does not define a specific age when children can be left alone. Thus, adequacy of supervision...."

4. Instead of "No threat of harm due to the situation has been suggested by the SSW, thus I assume they concede that there was none. " consider " No threat of harm due to the situation was identifed by the SSW, and, in fact, there was no risk of harm."

5. In "...nor observed the home environment period." take out the word 'period'. Maybe add in something like, "SW has fabricated elements of this investigation by mere inference, without any grounding in reality."

6. "No claims regarding any specific danger of the neighborhood have been suggested by the SSW" say "identified" instead of "suggested" -- they had their chance to investigate and did NOT identify/discover/find/conclude or any sort of verbiage that indicates a fact/conclusion.

7. I don't know how your "demanding" that the finding be changed will be perceived. Sometimes, these people are very proud and loathe to admit they are wrong. You may want to give them a way to "reconsider their finding" that doesn't make them feel like they are following an order from you, KWIM? Maybe something like: "the SW failed to identify that any neglect or risk of neglect was present in the incident and, therefore, report must be declared unsubstantiated." You make a demand, they can just say "NO!" but if you state a fact, they can either say, "ya, okay, you got us" or "no we disagree and here is why"

8. Question: does a finding of even mild neglect get them out of your lives?
Advice & opinions provided are no substitute for genuine legal assistance. Laws & rules vary by state/jurisdiction so do your homework and get
an education in CPS laws, rules & practices so that you can FIGHT for your children's rights. I am not a lawyer. Your mileage may vary.

----<>----<>----<>---- BREED WITH CAUTION ----<>----<>----<>----

merdi
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:46 pm

Re: They don't have my address, do I give it to them?

Postby merdi » Wed May 16, 2012 11:35 am

Eljay, thanks for the suggestions. I have already made some of those changes, I appreciate the thoughts on wording. My meeting with Lawyer has gotten pushed back, I should get to meet tomorrow. This letter is to be sent to "Quality Assurance Section," whatever that is, as an attachment to form "Request for Appeal of Child Abuse or Neglect Investigative Finding." And it seems that this would lead to an "Administrative Hearing," whatever that is. Certainly I wondered about the tone (demands etc) I hadn't considered focusing more on stating facts so that I can still avoid a passive tone, requesting or pleading etc. I assume the lawyer will have some advice there.

The Mild Neglect question is tricky. Like I say in the letter, it is only a guideline laid out by some handbook at the Federal level, its not spelled out in the Ky law. In that handbook, it suggests that mild neglect should not be reported at all (and I assume such a report should not be accepted for investigation), so it doesn't give any clear suggestion on what action should be taken once a SW finds mild neglect to have taken place. I'm just trying to use my parenting techniques on CPS, give two acceptable options and let them choose.


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