Child Services Totally Dysfunctional

The inspiration for this post was the exchange below concerning the Baltimore Hero Mom." I decided to start a new thread to focus on the baleful impact of “Child Services.” A bit of background. We live in an upper-middle class and largely Jewish suburb. We are an intact, loving and caring family.

Some idiot will turn her in to child services.

She has a job and six kids and she’s a single mom. I did hear that her oldest daughter is in the Police Academy. Maybe the mom was just trying to protect him from his sister. :grin:[/QUOTE]I have had three experiences with “child services.”

The first was in 2005. My wife and I attended an educational planning meeting to arrange special educational services for my younger son, a high-functioning student with autism. The meeting broke up in disorder when the so-called Special Education Director tried to do a hard mainstreaming for my son with no special supports except extra time on tests. Even though he was and is high functioning he needs more in the way of services. My wife returned unannounced to discuss the matter with the elementary school principal. When she persisted in discussing the matter (admittedly she didn’t have an appointment but they weren’t about to schedule one) they first called me in the car and asked me to pick up my children, that they couldn’t send them home with my wife. When I advised them to send them home with her and that I would meet them at home, they contacted Child Protective Services and filed complaints against both of us, alleging that my wife was too “emotional” about the intended deprivation of services and that I was taking a risk by allowing the children to ride home with my wife. The complaint was dismissed as unfounded after two Social Worker visits (after the initial “emergency” visit).

The second was back in 2009 we asked the school to help keep our siblings apart. They were always close but my younger son (the autistic one) was bothering his brother a bit. Asking the school to help was a big mistake. The school psychologist, having been asked by the principal, who just didn’t like my older son to target us, asked my older son “have your parents ever done anything to scare you?” He vaguely recalled that the prior spring I “put him on the stairs” to deliver a lecture about bullying. Specifically his play with his far smaller and weaker (at the time) younger brother was a bit rough. I told him “don’t you ever pick on anyone smaller or weaker than you, or who has a problem.” He mentioned that lecture to the school psychologist. A van shows up that night from Child Protective Services. Of course the complaint was dismissed as unfounded after only one Social Worker visits (after the initial “emergency” visit).

Another example takes matters from the sublime to the ridiculous. My children were playing. The older son gives the younger one a “hickey” out of playfulness. Both are straight. The principal asked the school nurse to file a complaint based upon the “incident,” alleging "inadequate supervision. Who ever heard of a 13 and 15 year old not being left alone, at least some of the time? Of course the complaint was dismissed as unfounded after only one Social Worker visits (after the initial “emergency” visit).

I really hope that the lady is contacted by child services and that she goes public. You can be sure I’ll join her in going public on just how dysfunctional child services is.

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This was years ago, but one time we had a neighbor that was a Child Protective Services agent.

His daughter used to babysit for my first wife and I.

He was a friendly fellow of the backslapping, loud “How you doin’” sort. My sense was that he was hired because that approach was ideal for befriending children . . . but he had absolutely no clue what was going on in the family.

Indeed, he and his wife used to sunbathe in the nude in the backyard . . . in full view of all the neighbors, no fence or obstacle to your view. In fact, one time he even “offered” his wife to me.

So, clearly he had no concept of family values, although the daughter was mature and responsible. I always had a hard time envisioning that Natalie was Ian’s daughter. She was totally unlike the parents. But then I don’t think the parents spent much time raising her . . . Natalie’s good fortune.

That’s been my only contact with Child Protective Services, and it was certainly not a favorable one.

When I took Jesse in at age 8 at the request of his dying mother, after she died, I called Child Services and told them that he was with me and could stay there as long as he liked. I told them if I needed to come to their offices and sign something, I would. Their reply to me was, “Oh, that’s OK. We know where he is and if we need him for something, we’ll come and get him.” Ten years later, he was leaving for college at Texas Tech and he asked me if Child Services had been “paying” us to take care of him. I told him, No, but they knew where he was. I asked him if anyone from Child Services had ever contacted him and he said he didn’t even know we HAD a Child Services until I mentioned that I’d told them we’d taken his Social Security survivor benefits and put them into a bank account in his name and it was now a tidy sum. (He later used it to make a down-payment on his first house.)

[quote=“Pappadave, post:3, topic:46665”]
When I took Jesse in at age 8 at the request of his dying mother, after she died, I called Child Services and told them that he was with me and could stay there as long as he liked.
[/quote]Is Child Services even the right “alphabet soup” agency for that transaction? Or is there another agency that handles formal or informal adoptions? I wouldn’t know but a family friend actually is an adoption lawyer in New York.

I have a friend who has one biological child and one adopted child. For a while she fostered another child. His birth mother was a mess, had lost custody of two other children previously. The child himself was quite a mess when she took him in. Well, my friend had accomplished a great deal with this child when the local children’s services decided that her care wasn’t good enough, he should be placed in a “therapeutic” home. While in the care of the “therapeutic” parents, the child lost everything he had gained, and the “therapeutic” parents had given up on him. But he couldn’t go back to my friend’s home, because his mother (who didn’t want him in the first place) demanded that he should not go back to her. Apparently he was “adoptable,” and someone our pastor knew wanted to adopt him. He called the children’s services a number of times, without anyone answering the phone. When he finally got an answer he explained that he knew someone who wanted to adopt this child. The person he talked to said, “You’ll have to take to a supervisor.” “OK, get me a supervisor.” After a while the same person came back on the line, “He doesn’t have time to talk to you.”

Several years later - just a couple of years ago - there was a child who was being abused by the mother’s boyfriend. Neighbors had called the children’s services a number of times about it, but they ignored it - until the child was killed.

JBG, I suspect your situation might have been even worse, had they not been intimidated by the fact that you are a lawyer.

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JBG, I’m no fan of CPS, but in your case(s), it doesn’t sound like it’s CPS that’s the problem, but, rather, the school. They’re the ones acting with heights of stupidity that would have me questioning their credentials and whether or not they should be around children; much less, left to their care.
They sound like they don’t have a clue what they’re doing, and need fired.

Meanwhile, it was the CPS workers who acted responsibly. (For a change.)

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In those days it was called the “Child Welfare” agency. (This was early 1969 remember.) The city where I worked was about 25,000 in population at that time with an active Army base just outside the city limits. Jesse was just another, 8-year-old black kid to them. That city’s schools had only integrated 4 years earlier (Texas). I was fairly well-known there as I’d just been made chief of detectives and the local paper wrote it up big time since I’d only been on the police force for a few months. Jesse turned 9 in September of that year and was all of 4’9" tall and about 80 pounds. Ten years later, he was 6’4 1/2 and weighed 225 pounds with 36" thighs! He’ll be 55 years old this coming September and looks like he could STILL play football.

[quote=“Susanna, post:5, topic:46665”]
I have a friend who has one biological child and one adopted child. For a while she fostered another child. His birth mother was a mess, had lost custody of two other children previously. The child himself was quite a mess when she took him in. Well, my friend had accomplished a great deal with this child when the local children’s services decided that her care wasn’t good enough, he should be placed in a “therapeutic” home. While in the care of the “therapeutic” parents, the child lost everything he had gained, and the “therapeutic” parents had given up on him. But he couldn’t go back to my friend’s home, because his mother (who didn’t want him in the first place) demanded that he should not go back to her.
[/quote]Was the child black and your friends white? Were the therapeutic parents black?

[quote=“Susanna, post:5, topic:46665”]
Apparently he was “adoptable,” and someone our pastor knew wanted to adopt him. He called the children’s services a number of times, without anyone answering the phone. When he finally got an answer he explained that he knew someone who wanted to adopt this child. The person he talked to said, “You’ll have to take to a supervisor.” “OK, get me a supervisor.” After a while the same person came back on the line, “He doesn’t have time to talk to you.”
[/quote]The pastor was one step ahead of me. Getting them on a landline was impossible though we sometimes had the cell phones of the case workers. As 2cent points out the case workers weren’t the problem. More on that below.

[quote=“Susanna, post:5, topic:46665”]
Several years later - just a couple of years ago - there was a child who was being abused by the mother’s boyfriend. Neighbors had called the children’s services a number of times about it, but they ignored it - until the child was killed.
[/quote]That famously happened in New York City. Of course a law, “Nixzmary’s Law” was named after the child (link). It was a brave political statement increasing penalties for what was already good for a 43 year sentence; big deal.

Maybe. To quote one of our reference sources in the first battle, “social workers realize they have better things to do than bother functioning families in leafy suburbs.”

[quote=“2cent, post:6, topic:46665”]
JBG, I’m no fan of CPS, but in your case(s), it doesn’t sound like it’s CPS that’s the problem, but, rather, the school. They’re the ones acting with heights of stupidity that would have me questioning their credentials and whether or not they should be around children; much less, left to their care. They sound like they don’t have a clue what they’re doing, and need fired.
[/quote]You’re so right and I’ll make it worse for you. We have figured out that what triggered the principal’s ire for CPS reports two and three was that my older son went to school wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of the principal’s previous upstate New York employer. My wife happens to have family in that area and got him a T-shirt to wear to school as a joke a few days after she was hired. Apparently she was not amused and that triggered the vendetta. Also my wife testified on behalf of a teacher who was “rubber-roomed.” The teacher had a bit of a temper but was also a good instructor. He took away a cellphone from a student of a very “entitled” parent. The district paid him a six-figure settlement after largely losing its case against the teacher.

To answer your question, no, the child was white, and the foster parent was white. I don’t know anything about the therapeutic parents. There are very few blacks in this area. However, the foster parent (my friend) - a single mother - has a racially mixed biological son, and a black adopted son. I can’t remember if she had the adopted son by the time she was fostering the other child - but I think not. Actually, I think part of the problem was that my friend was accomplishing something with the child where no one else could.

[quote=“Susanna, post:9, topic:46665”]
To answer your question, no, the child was white, and the foster parent was white. I don’t know anything about the therapeutic parents. There are very few blacks in this area. However, the foster parent (my friend) - a single mother - has a racially mixed biological son, and a black adopted son. I can’t remember if she had the adopted son by the time she was fostering the other child - but I think not. Actually, I think part of the problem was that my friend was accomplishing something with the child where no one else could.
[/quote]Bureaucracies always have a problem with losing their raison d’ etre.

JBG:

You’re so right and I’ll make it worse for you. We have figured out that what triggered the principal’s ire for CPS reports two and three was that my older son went to school wearing a T-shirt bearing the name of the principal’s previous upstate New York employer. My wife happens to have family in that area and got him a T-shirt to wear to school as a joke a few days after she was hired. Apparently she was not amused and that triggered the vendetta.

So stupid it’s near unbelievable. Now, could the adult in the room please stand up?

Also my wife testified on behalf of a teacher who was “rubber-roomed.” The teacher had a bit of a temper but was also a good instructor. He took away a cellphone from a student of a very “entitled” parent. The district paid him a six-figure settlement after largely losing its case against the teacher.

Good for him. (And your wife for speaking up. Only by now, you’re probably thinking she should’ve gotten a share. lol)

Seriously though, JBG, it sounds like some of the staff at the school have a major maturity problem. Maybe that’s why they have no clue of how, who, or when to discipline - including themselves.

What’s “rubber-roomed?”

Rather than get fired, laid off, or reassigned to a different class, they just report to a room and do paperwork and stuff. Not teach. At least I think that’s what it is.

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LOL. The “specimen” announcing your comment reads…“Rather than get fired, laid…” I hurried to open it to find out what circumstance would give one a choice between getting fired or getting laid!

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:coffee_spray:

[quote=“2cent, post:11, topic:46665”]
JBG:
So stupid it’s near unbelievable. Now, could the adult in the room please stand up?****Seriously though, JBG, it sounds like some of the staff at the school have a major maturity problem. Maybe that’s why they have no clue of how, who, or when to discipline - including themselves.

[/quote]No question. One of my e-friends from Canada hypothesized that the teachers may spend so much time around kids that they behave like them. A bit of my own experiences on that one.

In 1971-2 I was a high school freshman, and was having a bad year. My homeroom teacher was, let’s call her, Judith O. That year she didn’t have me for any classes but had her experiences with me in homeroom and more importantly through gossip.

1972-3, my sophomore year started off a lot better. Judith O. was now my European History teacher. Ironically she had some very nice things to say to my band leader, Joseph A., a real prince of a man and one of the best mentors I have ever had. But I digress.

In October 1972, my parents went to “open house.” Judith O. and my father (then about 3 months away from death from recurrent cancer) had it out in a bad way. I was told they had a near screaming match. Knowing both people it may have been worse. Fast forward to April 1973. We were taking written exams for AP History. Knowing who my competition was in the room with me and how I wrote that essay I probably should have made the class. I didn’t. My mother, on a whim, suggested during May 1975 that I take the AP History exam for American History anyway. Granted this was two years later, the entire time during which I was taking some form or other of advanced history. I got a perfect score of 5 (out of a scale of 1-5). Thus I was entitled to college credit, since a 4 or 5 would have gotten me such credit at Cornell, where I about to enroll…

Before I was mailed the results, Eric R., the department head approached me after school let out, in July 1975 at a summer band concert. He told me the score and urged me to “keep it quiet.” My mother, I think correctly, interpreted that to mean that I shouldn’t embarrass Judith O. for blackballing me from the AP History course offerings. Since I was off to college in about 6 weeks, I had no intention of pursuing any retaliatory agenda.

**My point in this story is that teachers often act like schoolyard brats.
**

[quote=“2cent, post:11, topic:46665”]
Good for him. (And your wife for speaking up. Only by now, you’re probably thinking she should’ve gotten a share. lol)
[/quote]I know you were joking but my wife is a serious and real class act. She would never accept money for doing what’s right. And she goes out of her way to do the right thing.

"Rubber rooming’ is a slang term for suspension with full pay. The teacher has to show up for work but sits at a desk and pen-doodles all day. Or something like that.

JBG, although you knew I was kidding, it was still nice to hear a man show such respect for his wife. You shine in my eyes, both as a husband and a father.

Maybe you should consider running for the school board?

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[quote=“2cent, post:16, topic:46665”]
JBG, although you knew I was kidding, it was still nice to hear a man show such respect for his wife. You shine in my eyes, both as a husband and a father.

Maybe you should consider running for the school board?
[/quote]“Public thanks” for this post. I’m not too sure I would fit in well with the educational establishment. I am way to their left.

If you can CONVINCE them of that, you should be a shoo-in!

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[quote=“Pappadave, post:18, topic:46665”]
If you can CONVINCE them of that, you should be a shoo-in!
[/quote]That would be hard given their equivalents of Joe McCarthy doing the vetting.