A disturbing Child Protective Services tale from slickwilly, and a Comment of the Day, on the post, A Visit To “The Ethicist”…
When my kids were little, we learned of the stories from friend and relatives where a CPS worker with a vendetta (or being paid off) would take someone’s kids and subject the parents to 7 kinds of hell just using the process against them.
A friend crossed (innocently enough) a CPS worker, who threatened to ‘get even.’ Several days later she was visited by stormtroopers who forcibly removed her toddler aged child and shipped him to Arizona, to a father who did not want him. This meant that the Arizona foster care system was where the child landed. Think dealing with ONE CPS agency is hard? Try two at once! It too all of the mother’s savings, and over a year, to get her child back. She did not get to even SEE her child for 3 months: a huge part of that child’s life. Terrible.
My relatives had a similar experience, after their daughter’s ugly divorce (where the father, who did not want the 3 year old boy, nevertheless made a mess by threatening to take away custody.) When the father sicc’d a friend from CPS on her, alleging abuse, the family sprang into action. A day after the initial call from the corrupt CPS worker, her apartment was raided to remove the child and document the alleged signs of abuse.
The child was gone. On an extended trip with his grandparents. No, she did not know where they were, exactly. They did not have a cell phone, either: she talked to her boy when they caught her on the phone (cell phones were not common at the time). Since there was no warrant at that point, all the CPS worker could do was tell her to make her parents contact the CPS worker when they next called(!) She promised to do so, and even kept a straight face.
The parents, meanwhile, had fled to west Texas, and one was living in a motel room rented by a friend, without a credit card, living on cash brought to her by her husband. She also took trips out of state with the boy, usually calling several times from various locations to muddy the phone records. Since the CPS worker really had no evidence, getting a warrant for the grandparents was a non-starter (State your name and explain to the judge how you did this to help a buddy get out of child support payments for the child…) This went on 3 months until the daughter was able to navigate the system and kill the removal order. The judge she eventually got to was NOT amused, either.
So our rules for CPS knocking at our door were:
1) If they do not have a warrant, CPS is not entering our house.
2) They may not talk to the child alone. A child can be made to say ANYTHING by anyone experienced enough to gain their trust.
3) The children do not go to school the next day. They and their mother would be with her parents, at an ‘undisclosed location’ (family ranch in West Texas) for an extended stay ‘to help take care of her parents.’
4) Without a warrant, CPs has no business knowing where my kids are. Even with a warrant, I want a lawyer before answering questions… AND A CAMERA RUNNING
We never used the Plan. But we kept emergency food, funds, and discussed the GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) plan regularly, just in case we had to flee our own government on unjust charges.