CPS or KGB?

Hi Folks! This cartoon comes to us from Russia, which apparently has some similar issues to the United States, when it comes to authorities deciding whether parents are “good” enough. Small world! – L.

Mary! We have a boy!

 

Knock knock.

“Freeze! Child Protection Police! Record the gravely unsanitary conditions and prepare to remove the baby!”

 

19 Responses to CPS or KGB?

  1. Edward December 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    And here’s how 3 strange men can find a baby, anywhere!

    http://what-if.xkcd.com/25/

    A happy and safe Holiday Season to all.

  2. linvo December 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    You seem to have a much bigger issue with CPS there than we have here in Australia. Here the biggest issue seems to be people reporting to CPS for silly issues, but CPS rarely acts on it, or at least not to the extreme they seem to do in the US.

    I got reported to CPS once (traumatic experience and a bit of a long story) and was so very relieved to get two ladies with lots of common sense come visit me and quickly decide that the report was unjustified.

    We have a bigger problem with law enforcers and dubious laws about supervision, though it’s worse in some states than others. A neighbour’s kid was allowed to go with my daughter the other day when she walked home alone. Yay! But then her carers mentioned that it was ‘illegal’. I don’t think they heard me when I tried to tell them that there is no law that says it is because the legislation uses the term “appropriate supervision”.

  3. Suzanne December 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    I don’t think we have as big of a problem in CPS in the US as much as we have a huge fear of CPS. What many people here (on this board) don’t seem to realize is that CPS doesn’t take your kids away just because they came to your house. First of all the foster care system is so flooded in this country that many abused children go to the hospital, CPS has no foster home to send the children to so they go back home with their parents. If they don’t have placement available for those kids (some of which return to the hospital dead within a few months) they are not going to take away your kids because a neighbor or even the police don’t think you are watching them close enough. Granted, laws vary by state and my state still allows the parents freedom to decide how to raise their kids and others are not as lenient.

    I’ve had CPS come to my house several times over the last 10 years. They want to make sure you have food and running water and other basic necessities. Beyond that they will discuss the reason they have come out and if they feel there is a problem then they discuss a plan for you to be a good parent. In regards to supervision, I have explained that I am providing age appropriate supervision and they agreed. For anyone, free-range or not if it gets to the point where you are going to lose your children then there is a legitimate problem and they are or appear to be in danger. Yes, there are cases of children being removed from homes when they shouldn’t have been but it is far more likely the children have remained in a truly dangerous situation.

    What I see here more often than CPS out of control is police departments charging parents with neglect when the children were actually doing age appropriate activities. To that point I would suggest that all parents who want to be free-range check out the laws in your city and state. I am of the opinion that one has to comply with the law or move to an area with laws they are more in agreement with. Yes, I understand how hard it it to relocate but you really have to decide what is best for your family. I recommend Indiana or Ohio from experience but I know there are others.

    This cartoon was funny.

  4. WendyW December 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    People fear CPS because so much of what they do is totally subjective. They get called because someone, either a cop or a busy-body neighbor, made a subjective opinion about your parenting. That alone is enough to shake a person up pretty badly (I know, BTDT and would not wish it on anybody)

    They are REQUIRED to act upon every complaint, and the file remains on record for YEARS regardless of the outcome of the immediate situation. They don’t have clear outlines of “acceptable” parenting, and it would be impossible to create them, therefore whatever decision they come to is also subjective and can be dependent on their own mood and personal biases. They are NOT subject to the standard of “innocent until proven guilty” and stories abound of them acting as if it is “guilty until proven innocent”. They are supposed adhere to the requirement of not entering a home without a warrant or permission, but are know to use police presence to force you to let them in.

    Yes, foster care systems everywhere are overtaxed, but even if the kids do end up coming home fairly soon, the process of a child being forcibly removed from a home, with a distraught parent looking on, made to undergo a physical exam of some sort by a medical professional they have never before seen, possibly spending a night with strangers until a judge can send them home, all with no parent or other loved one nearby, would be SEVERELY traumatic to any child.

    That’s why people fear CPS.

  5. CrazyCatLady December 23, 2012 at 8:58 pm #

    Suzanne, you don’t live in the Dakotas, apparently. South Dakota, (I think it was) has a system where every Native American child is considered “special needs” and can be taken at will from the home. And they are, and are placed in group homes, instead of with Native families. Because the kids are Native, the Federal Government gives the state extra money to care for these kids. It is near impossible for families to get the kids returned to them or extended family. Standards are used there to take kids that should not be used. Cultural differences are not taken into account.

    You can read more here: http://www.npr.org/2011/10/25/141672992/native-foster-care-lost-children-shattered-families

    And as to having running water…I know on the reservations that is not something that every house has. In fact, where I grew up, a good portion of the kids I went to school with had outhouses. There is still one town where there is no town water and lots of houses have no wells or water. People live there because they have no other options available. They do have food, electricity and keep themselves warm with wood or such.

  6. Kenny Felder December 23, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    One of the first things they had to teach him was “Don’t take any unwrapped gold, frankincense or myrrh from strangers.”

  7. vas December 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    In Russia, the authorities are now trying to introduce juvenile courts and grant enormous powers to the child protection agencies. I guess most citizens are very suspicious of this development and fear that these enormous powers will be abused to suppress opposition etc.

    My son and I are barefooters. But I already fear that I will have to limit my son’s outside barefooting lest some busibody-in-power find fault with it.

  8. hineata December 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

    Love it! And your’s, Edward, though I prefer to think that they were a little more guided than that, LOL!

    Merry Christmas for tomorrow (or the day after, depending on your time zone!). It’s funny that we are talking about CPS, or CYFs as we refer to them here, as right now I feel like I could do with a visit from them! It feels about 40 in the shade (centigrade, that is, am too hot right now to convert it!), I am laid up with a snapped tendon, and the girls are fighting over every bit of the housework…..Someone come and remove them now!

    Cheers :-)

  9. SLW December 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    As an alternative interpretation of this comic: calling the cops/passing judgement upon others without solid evidence is an Olympic sport in Russia.

  10. Captain America December 23, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

    I like the cartoon; it reminds me of my wife and me leaving the hospital with our firstborn in arms. .. thinking, “wow, they’re letting us go with him! Just like that.”

    Regarding the state child protective services, we have to be vigilant here about not just the bureaucratic need to find “patients/clients/customers” of the service, and quotas, but also the GRAVE PROBLEM of contemporary psychological theories. .. our so-called theories of “proper” child development are highly contestable. The infantilize us, parents as well as children.

  11. Michelle December 24, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    CPS doesn’t have to actually take the kids away in order to make parents feel like they have no choice but to comply with whatever the caseworker feels is “good parenting.” CPS here is notorious for coercing parents into going along with “voluntary” classes and programs.

  12. Captain America December 24, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    Michelle: didn’t Chairman Mao do this with people who disagreed?

    THAT’S what we need in America. . . more Thought Police!

  13. Bernard Poulin December 24, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    This is definitely a “Christmas” spoof on parents (Mary and Joseph) “allowing” Christ to be born in a manger – (filthy animal place that this is) therefore. . . IF there had been a CPS. . . . Being a so-called Christian with a rather bizarre funny bone this is actually super funny.

  14. Jenny Islander December 24, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    @vas: Where do you live that people call CPS on barefoot children? Burrowing spider country?

    They don’t call CPS for barefoot kids here unless there is snow on the ground and I am in Alaska!

  15. Linvo December 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    But the kids could step in glass or get a splinter or stub their poor bare little toe! Why would you take that risk? Better safe than sorry, right. (my autocorrect typed “Better sage than sorry” which made me laugh).

    We walk barefoot all the time. My 8yo can walk over gravel and dry grass full of prickles without blinking. When we’re camping she sometimes doesn’t wear any shoes for 2 weeks.

  16. vas December 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    @Jenny Islander,

    There was a blog entry here “My Son Went Outside Barefoot. Is This a Crime?” but I cannot find it anymore.

  17. VJ December 26, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

    I assumed that vas, hesitant to have his child caught barefoot outdoors, was living in Russia. I took my 2 year old outside in Moscow in August. She had shoes, ttights, a dress, a jacket, and a hat. I was admonished because she didn’t have a onesie on underneath all that. Also, don’t put a chlid in an umbrella stroller. It’s not healthy for a toddler to be that close to the ground. And I was warned to never sit on the ground because if I did I wouldn’t be able to have more kids.

  18. Bacopa December 26, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    Just a couple of points here. A “manger” is a feeding trough, not a stable. It all makes sense if you know a little French as “manger” means “to eat” in French. The word probably entered English in Norman times when a Norman knight was trying to tell his Saxon servant how to feed his ponies. The kinght didn’t know the word “trough” so he just said “Blend oats into the hay in the ‘to eat'”.

    And you might also want to know that the Gospels disagree about where Jesus was born. Only Matthew and Luke mention the nativity. Matthew has Jesus born in a house and visited by wise men from the east. “Magoi” in the Greek, so probably Persian astrologers. Luke has the whole “no room at the inn” thing with Jesus being lain in a manger. No wise men. An angel appears to shepherds and tells them what’s up. They go visit the big J with no gifts and no one complains.

    Just goes to show you should think about what you hear, whether its the Christmas pageant or the TV news.

    I’m glad I live in a 4 million plus county where CPS has better things to do than hassle “leave in the park” parents.

  19. JP January 1, 2013 at 2:17 am #

    Go to any good fight cps public website forum and listen to the stories. They certainly can’t all be whackos.
    On the other hand, value-processing kids for fun and profit packs a punch in today’s job-shrunken market.

    My biggest problem with it? Removing a child from the only home they know, the only safe place and adults they can count on – before knowing all the facts, or certainly the most pertinent ones….is a crime against the emotional well-being of that child. You’ll never convince me in a million years that this is “best interest.” Of the kid?
    Take another look.
    I grew up in a “mildly” dysfunctional home. I would have run far and fast from anyone trying to “save” me from it.
    (but then….I was free range, um?)

    As to the cartoon – it would have taken a Russian sense of humor to raise something so darkly funny.