What to Know about Child Protective Services

Hi aahnaszaef
Readers! The other day I spoke with Carlos Morales. a former investigator with Child Protective Services who grew disillusioned with the agency (to put it mildly) and is now president and founder of Child Protective Services Victim Support, the host of the Truth Over Comfort Podcast, and a committed legal advocate for family reunification.

In other words, he helps families trying to counter the power of CPS, in and out of court. His pursuit of a radical overhaul for child protection programs has led him to university lecture halls, television and radio studios, and the pages of a variety of publications. He also just published a book,  Legally Kidnapped: The Case Against Child Protective Services (http://www.legallykidnapped.net/) , which he’s making free to download this week! (Offer ends Oct. 24.)

While I appreciate CPS stepping in when children are truly abused — we all want kids to be safe — from where I’m perched, I hear about the oversteps. And while I don’t want to make it seem as if every parent is in constant danger from CPS any more than every child is in danger from a predator, I do get questions from parents about how to deal with CPS if it comes knocking. So I asked Carlos to write up some basic tips. Here they are and here’s his book’s trailer. (Cue the scary music — literally. It has a scary music soundtrack.) – L 


It’s no secret that Child Protective Services sometimes oversteps its bounds. Think of the stories we’ve heard of them going after parents who simply allow their kids to play outside or sit in a car for 5 minutes. There have been cases of similar overreach for the last decade. As a result, Lenore asked me to write up a small piece explaining how to protect your family from the agency. So here they are:

Educate Your Friends and Neighbors About Your Parenting Practices.

This has been consistent message among parents of Free-Range Kids. Have conversations with your friends and neighbors about your parenting practices, how much safer the world is for kids, and how preparing your children for questioning can be really helpful.

Download the Free-Range Kids membership card for kids.

Here it is. It can be very helpful in some cases.

Teach Your Kids to Clam Up

Tell your child never talk to a CPS investigator alone.

Know Who CPS Investigators Are
CPS Investigators are government bureaucrats with two months’ training and a tendency to overblow everything. These can be dangerous people, and they should be treated as such. Some will try to catch people off guard in order to get the “truth” out of parents and children. They may use intimidation, harassment or manipulation, because they believe that they are the hero and you are the enemy.

What To Do if They Come to Your Home

Record every interaction between yourself and CPS. It is important to always know your rights. A CPS investigator is not allowed to barge into your home unless they have a warrant – you’re protected by the 4th Amendment. Here are just a few suggestions which are presented much thoroughly in the book:

-Do not allow CPS investigators into your home.

-Ask the investigator exactly what the case is about.

-Only answer questions which are relevant to the case.

-Do not admit to any prior wrongdoings which could incriminate you.

-Try not to contradict any statements that you make.

-Do not sign any legal paperwork unless told to by an attorney.

-Do not take any drug tests unless court mandated (some children have been removed from homes because the parents smoke pot).

-Most of all: Do not assume that if you tell them everything that they’ll be “nice to you.”

If at any point you feel that you cannot answer any of these questions or are becoming too overwhelmed, remember to stay calm during the entire process. If it looks as though you may need to go to court, always hire a private family court attorney. Going to court alone is bringing a spark to a gun fight.

The reason for every one of these suggestions is explained at length in my book. For more information and limited time free access to the book, go to legallykidnapped.net. And good luck! — C.M.

A CPS primer...just in case.

A CPS primer…just in case.

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52 Responses to What to Know about Child Protective Services

  1. Emily Morris October 21, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    Excellent tips!

  2. Michelle October 21, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    I’m surprised that the first tip for dealing with CPS investigators is not “get a lawyer.” I’m a member of a group that provides legal protection for homeschoolers, and our lawyers always tell us not to answer any questions without representation.

    Some people feel that getting a lawyer makes you “look guilty,” but it’s a whole lot better than being FOUND guilty when you’re not.

  3. cheri October 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    I agree with Michele. Request a lawyer first. Also, telling your kids to clam up is fine but remember if your kids get scared, they will talk. It is normal.

  4. Warren October 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    A whole two months training, is all someone needs to be able to legally rip a family apart, and destroy their futures?!!!!! Isn’t that effing great.

    Other than that, great points.

  5. Brooke October 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    I want to start by saying this is great info – but isn’t it sad that Free Range parents have to have a “Worst Case Scenario” checklist in case we’re questioned for not being “Worst Case Scenario” parents?

  6. Powers October 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

    Yes, this is very anti-free-range. CPS does far more good than harm. This guy is into fear-mongering, which is what this site is supposed to be against.

  7. Brian October 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

    “If it looks as though you may need to go to court, always hire a private family court attorney. Going to court alone is bringing a spark to a gun fight.”

    This can’t be emphasized enough, and it applies to any court proceeding with the possible exception of small claims court cases. If you lose and have to appeal, the only issues on appeal you can raise are those that came up in the first hearing. You don’t want to end up in a situation like one of my clients, who thought the Illinois DCFS claim against them was a silly misunderstanding between competing doctors, and figured they’d bring a letter from the new doctor, explain the situation, and everything would go away. DCFS brought the original doctor to testify in person, and they lost–and because the parents didn’t have their preferred doctor testify in person, I’m limited on appeal to arguing about what was in the letter they presented.

    If you can’t afford a lawyer, there are probably groups in your state that find pro bono representation. In Illinois, contact the Family Defense Center.

  8. Steve S October 21, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Good advice. IME, CPS agencies vary tremendously, depending on the state. Even within a state, there are differences, as the types of cases that are given priority can depend on the preferences of the local judges.

    Therefore, don’t talk to them without an attorney. I know this can be expensive, but we are talking about an agency that can take your children away.

  9. Laura October 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    I am really enjoying the book, but it sure could have used an editor. There really is no excuse for “genie pig” (instead of guinea pig) in a published work, nor the incorrect usage of “now” instead of “know”, among other numerous typos.

  10. lee Baldwin October 21, 2014 at 2:49 pm #

    i’ve always worried about the fact my kid has selective mutism and would refuse to talk to a CPS worker… so it’s really a *good* thing that he won’t?

  11. caiti October 21, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Thank you so so so much. This is exactly the kind of information I’ve been after. My ex husband is a sociopath who has no qualms about doing everything possible to make my life hell, even when it does enormous damage to our son. His schemes always revolve around making the assertion that I’m a terrible mother. Which is simply the opposite of the truth. My biggest fear is that CPS or cops might get involved when I leave my son in the car at 7-11, or when he is playing outside by himself, or home alone while I walk the dog around the block. If I don’t deal with them properly I can expect my ex to use it as leverage to take my son, even if cps ultimately rules me a fit parent. I’m excited to read the book so I won’t make stupid mistakes if I have to handle an interview with Cps.

  12. Ahcuah October 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    Kindle only? How about Nook? Or even a hardcover?

  13. Carlos Morales October 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Laura, thank you for the spelling correction.
    Michelle, I understand your sentiment but many cases can be closed without the need for a lawyer.
    Brooke & Powers, I don’t believe that this is “worst case scenario” thinking. This scenario occurs to many parents, and it’s good to be prepared.
    Ahcuah, the book will be available in more formats in the near future.
    Thank you all for the input.

  14. Richard October 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    This could be very misleading in states with different requirements. In my state, the “cps investigators” are social workers with at least a masters degree (except a very few old-timers with decades of experience who are exempt from that requirement) and a significant amount of training. In my state, most “private family court attorneys” have little to no experience in neglect/abuse matters which are dealt with in a separate court under an entirely different statutory scheme. Typical family law attorneys don’t know what evidence is admissible, what rights parents and children have in that setting, or even what the burden of proof is.

  15. Rhode Island Mom October 21, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    I have to agree with Powers and Richard. I have worked in a related field and still have several friends and acquaintances who work in social services including DCYF. Most clinicians hold degrees and advanced degrees and have years of experience. Entry level workers aren’t just thrown out the door with no supervision. The people I know in the field care deeply for children and their families. Statistically there are bound to be some bad apples in the bunch. But that can be said of any professional field. I don’t doubt that CPS/DCYF oversteps at time. But I believe it is the exception, not the rule. I will read what Mr Morales has to say with an open mind. I started to watch his podcast, but will have to finish when the kiddos are in bed.

  16. Jenny Islander October 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    As soon as I saw the shackles from slavery days with the circle and the slash, I decided not to read the article. Not cool. Not. Cool.

  17. Sarah October 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Great Advice! As a former investigator for CPS, I agree wholeheartedly. I currently work in home based casework trying to reunify families. I saw (and still see) well adjusted children removed from homes for accidents that couldn’t be prevented. For instance, a child fell off a trampoline and broke his arm. He was removed because he was being unsupervised. How would supervision prevented that?! In my state, you only have to have a bachelor’s degree and 2 months training to be an investigator. I was thrown into the field to fend for myself. No clue what I was doing. And at that point, I was childless and fresh out of college. I didn’t understand parenthood and felt I was above these people. Ultimately, I only lasted 6 months in the job before I cracked. The system is flawed.

  18. SteveS October 21, 2014 at 7:26 pm #

    I understand your sentiment but many cases can be closed without the need for a lawyer.

    While some of these workers may have had very little training, others are very good at eliciting incriminating information. It is also possible to say something that hurts you without intending to do so.

    I just don’t see it as being worth the risk.

  19. sassi angel October 21, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

    OMG I wish I would of had this 4 years ago when cps came into my life and took the girls it was the most traumatic stressful week we have ever had and i believe that stress helped lead to the demise of my unborn child ( who one cps worker wanted to charge me with involuntary manslaughter over ) a month and a half later to this day my girls nor I have completely recovered our trust and because of their schools involvement they asked to be home schooled as they felt totally uncomfortable returning to a school setting.

  20. Warren October 21, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Hate to tell you………..those are not the shackles of a slave, but the shackles of a parent in custody.

    Knowing your rights is not fear mongering.

  21. Donald October 22, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    Power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely . Power blinds us. In leadership, power becomes an invulnerable enemy. The brew of power destroys an oligarch’s capacity to grasp reality. When tyrants rule over a long period of time, all they can understand is that their grip is tight and strong and no one can unravel it.

    If the government thinks that 2 months of training will make their employees to rise above this ‘intoxicating effect’, then they are dangerously naïve.

  22. Dody October 22, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    As a former foster child, I was on the other end. Foster care is evil. I had a social worker tell me to kill myself as it would be less paperwork for her. They told me my mother never wanted me. They encouraged me to ignore her because she “just isn’t trying”. Through this lens did I see my parents. I was taken because my mom and I argued. Period.

    I now have children. Even though we home school, or may be because we do, we have had two calls to CPS. One was because my daughter was disabled and we still didn’t know what was wrong. Even though she was to the doctors office enough to drive any doctor nuts, they tried for medical neglect and failed…because I breast fed.

    Years later my kids were making mud pies in the front yard and jumping on the trampoline, with my husband in full view when the bus went by. The bus driver called and said my kids never had a bath in months. First, mud pies were being made and it was CLEAR that was the case. Now my kids actively run to hide from the bus, because they are afraid of it. They are all teenagers now and when the rumble of the school bus comes by they run and hide behind something. My kids have been damaged for life by CPS and they weren’t even taken by the state. It has reinforced the view that homeschooling is the only option they have for an education. Lately we built a fence so the kids would feel more secure from the bus driver in their own front yard.

    It damaged them. We had to move out of our home for a month to deal with that allegation. Kicked out of our home because they decided they needed to see what was in it and got a court order based on one person’s testimony and no evidence. So we moved everything out of our home and let them see the shell. My girls were particularly concerned since they didn’t want a man rifling through their things, like underwear. These people are ruthless thugs that expect to be treated like saints. Most are shitty people not worthy of breathing and this isn’t from a parents point of view…this is form the view of a kid raised by these people.

  23. Emily Morris October 22, 2014 at 9:38 am #

    It’s rather sad that I have no respect for anyone who works with CPS, but that’s the truth of it.

  24. Mitzi W October 22, 2014 at 10:46 am #

    My homeschooling family joined HSLDA to protect ourselves from any nosy neighbors who might turn us in because they see our kids out walking or playing during ‘school hours’, or who think that because we don’t send them to public school we are harming them. One of the first things HSLDA says to do if CPS or the police come knocking is not let them in, and call your lawyer (HSLDA). Luckily, since beginning homeschooling 4 years ago, we’ve had nothing but positive interactions with neighbors who support our choice. But, you never know when a new neighbor, or someone driving through, might think otherwise.

  25. pentamom October 22, 2014 at 11:58 am #


    Slavery was/is bad. Really, really, really bad.

    It is not the last and only thing that can ever be bad again.

    If this image was being used to refer to people who get in trouble for parking tickets, you’d have a point.

    But having your kids taken away and/or going to jail unjustly because of how you raise them is really, really bad, too.

  26. GRS October 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    A thought:

    When someone tells a CPS story, it might be good if at all possible to say what state the story is from. I sense that CPS is worse in some states than others; knowing what state the stories come from may give a little bit of help in seeing which state’s CPS are consistently the most egregious and may help focus action when warranted.

  27. Margot October 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Do people really believe that overworked CPS workers (like me) who deal with the most seriously disturbed and abusive families every day (think acutely mentally ill parents, drug using parents, sexually abusive family members, moderately developmentally delayed parents etc, and often a combination of these), seriously have time to respond to reports of perfectly well-adjusted children playing unsupervised in the park. Get a grip. These things are an anomaly, and free-range parents are not at risk. Yes, this is scare-mongering at it’s worst.
    CPS workers, believe it or not, are people too. Some of them are even free-ranging parents.

  28. Lara October 22, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    Boy, this advice sounds just like what you should and should not do when questioned by the police. Remember these people, including the police are NOT your friend. They are out to convict! That’s it!

  29. pentamom October 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm #


    Not every restriction on freedom is as restrictive or evil as slavery.

    But slavery is not the last thing that can ever be really, really bad and unjust. If taking someone’s kids away without due process isn’t as bad and unjust as slavery, it’s certainly close.

  30. The Scarlet Pimpernel October 22, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Remember, folks, Animal Control is exactly the same as CPS (except often worse — AC field officers are typically failed cops). Next time you hear of someone’s animals being confiscated for “neglect” or “abuse” remember that they use exactly the same level of accusation as CPS — anyone’s opinion can be used against you, no matter how unjustified, and they don’t care if they wreck your life (and 1/3rd of confiscated animals die in custody… what does that tell you?)

    After all, more children and animals “saved” is how they justify their jobs.

  31. pentamom October 22, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

    Margot —

    If a CPS worker shows up at your home, and you know you’re not actually doing anything harmful to your kids, then this is the advice to follow. It doesn’t matter if 1, or 2, or 5000 people have this happen, it’s the advice that makes sense. It’s not paranoid to give advice about how to respond in a given situation, and it doesn’t require believing that all CPS workers want to grab your kids. It just requires knowing what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

    What’s paranoid is losing sleep over the possibility, or structuring your life to avoid having this happen. That’s worst-first. Knowing what to do *should* the situation arise is not.

  32. pentamom October 22, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    Ugh, why do my comments not show up until I try to post another one?

  33. JP Merzetti October 22, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

    The child saving industrial complex has to be one of the worst inventions of the nanny state. Move up the ladder of income earners and the numbers drop accordingly.
    Value added kids feed all the cogs in all the wheels of the machine.
    The fees, fines and attendant costs can easily bankrupt a parent.

    But here’s the one single thing that earns my contempt the most:
    I grew up in a (moderately) abusive household. Teetering on dysfunction but never quite tipping over. If I’d ever been threatened with removal from my family and home base, I would have said no thanks….all the way to the teen age I was by the time I left.
    Child “savers” often seem immune to the terror they instill in children…of being separated from the ones they see as their true protectors – their own parents.

    It is still difficult to find good writing by insiders who know the system. You have to dig. Case histories by grownup victims are often the most insightful offerings of information.

    There is lots of transfer money available to keep this all going – but very little available to actually help parents in trouble. Our society is full of “mandated reporters” who are never held accountable for the crapstorms their misconceived suspicions generate.
    Throughout all of this, parents’ rights and the rights of children can wind up weak as water. There is no constitutionally exact definition. It is all murky as mud.
    And that’s corporate power at work.

    So what’s changed since I was a child? Were children back then all riddled with abuse? No, actually, we weren’t.
    But that Industrial Complex wasn’t as fine tuned as it is now. It was no crime to be poor, let alone financially challenged to keep a family together.
    Foster/adoption mills suck kids up like puppy mills.
    And like any growth industry, they need the numbers.

    And far too often, throughout the whole operation, the “best interests of the child” becomes the fuse in the bomb that blows up a family. A society that trumpets family values and yet allows this industry to operate the way it does – is sick to the core.

    One of my alltime favorite quotes: (can’t remember where I heard it)
    “The strength of a nation is in its clans.”
    That being the bonds of blood – stretching back over generations, and all the definitions of kindred evolution.
    Remove a kid from that – and where is their history? What is their foundation?
    (Mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, Great grandparents, Great aunts, uncles, 2nd cousins, and all the rest by marriage, birth, blood sweat and tears.) That great rambling epic, full of the real stories of real people who were there, and bear witness.

    I divorced my family (under my own terms) at age 16.
    By 29, I was back in the fold. (my own terms.)
    My own evolution and definition stands firmly on that foundation. No “child saver” can rewrite that history.

    It is with senstivity, respect, knowledge, wisdom, empathy, sympathy and utmost compassion – that we should “suffer” the little children to embrace the true help we can offer.

    Absolutely nothing less will ever do.

  34. EricS October 22, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    @ Michelle: Why would you need a lawyer for answering simple questions. Lawyering up, will just give more reason for CPS investigators to start thinking you DO have something to hide. Lawyer up only if comes to that. What Morales is getting at is about being tactful.

    @Cheri: Just like crossing the street, talking to “strangers”, making toast, etc… We TEACH our children to do these things the right and smart way. Teaching them to not be scared and not say anything unless the parents are there is no different. I’m very sure many kids are more than capable of doing that.

    @Powers: Guess you’ve never had to deal with CPS knocking on your door, because some sanctimonious neighbour feels your parenting style differs from their paranoid methods. Google the stories a lot of families have gone through because of CPS. Remember, just because they are some form of authority, they are still people. People with the same vanities, ambitions, fears, and illogical and unreasonable mentalities as others. They just now have the “power” to exact their authority on others. You can akin it to insecure kids who got bullied, who grow up to be insecure adults turned cop. I don’t think I need to tell you how that works out. We hear it in the news.

    There is a difference between “fear mongering”, which is what most companies of children’s products do, as well as helicopter parents, and “calling it as it is”. Which is what Morales is doing. If it looks like a cat, sounds like a cat, moves like a cat, guess what… 😉

  35. EricS October 22, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    @Margot: Yes, “CPS are people too”. Which means they are subjected to the same fears, paranoia, sanctimony, power hungry, insecurities as anyone else.

    There are good people and there are bad people. Having some authority or title, doesn’t change who a person is. Let’s take cops for instance. I know a number of great cops. Uses common sense, does the right thing, doesn’t power trip. And I know some douche bag cops, who exert their authority just because they can. Even other cops know this, and tell me. CPS people are no different. I’m sure your one of the reasonable ones. But hearing from others, reading in the news about CPS getting involved, for something so irrelevant, turning good families’ lives upside down. Costing them thousands in court costs, and having their children detained away from them, just because they let them go off on their own to play.

    Being a CPS, police, doctor, lawyer, judge, etc… doesn’t make you a better person. Their’s corruption in all those offices. Being a better person, makes you a better person. 😉

  36. Dan October 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    The nine most frightening words in the English language: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

  37. EricS October 22, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    So it looks like you have to have a Kindle or a Kindle Reader to download this from Amazon. As well as set up an Amazon account, if you don’t have one already. Was hoping there was a link for a downloadable PDF file.

  38. Maggie in VA October 22, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

    This is really valuable information. As a mom of a child with challenging behaviors (probably ODD, but we don’t have a formal diagnosis), I’ve read some horror stories in online support groups from parents of disordered kids who lied to CPS. I do think that kids need to be listened to, but parents need to be aware of their rights, especially as the kids are likely to be abused in foster care. I intend to cross-post this to the parent support forum.

  39. Warren October 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm #


    Exercising your right to have legal representation is not an admission of guilt, nor is it evidence of hiding anything. You find us a lawyer that says “Go ahead and talk to the authorities.” and I’ll show you a lawyer not worth a pinch of manure.

    You may not have anything to hide, but you do have a helluvalot to protect.

  40. Jill October 22, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    There are several comments arguing the training/credentials of CPS investigators. I think it’s also important to point out that social work is a field with incredibly high employee turnover. So if you have an ongoing “relationship” with CPS, you might not even deal with the same social worker each time there’s an interaction. You could deal with someone that doesn’t even have the time to investigate your history or the big picture for your family. All the more reason to know your rights and assert them.

  41. GRS October 22, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

    A thought:

    I suspect that CPS is more of an intrusion in some states than others. It might help if, when someone included a CPS experience, that if they are comfortable doing so that they include the state that it came from.

    I realize that this is only collecting a series of anecdotes, but as such stories collect one hopefully will see patterns of states who are more prone to problems. Such information may help down the road in focusing efforts to address CPS overreaches.

    Also, knowing a situation is from state X may also help a later person with a problem in state X get some advice tailored to their situation.

  42. Dody October 22, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    I was in foster care and dealt with CPS in Connecticut. I never had a problem with any of them from Connecticut.

    The social worker that told me to kill myself was in New Jersey.

    The social workers that tried to take my child for breast feeding her at 4 months old for medical neglect since breast milk is not scientifically proven to feed babies according to the case worker, was in Arkansas.

    The second time I dealt with a caseworker in Arkansas I had a court order to enter my home based on one person’s testimony. Due to my daughter’s not wanting the male caseworker to see their undergarments, in fact anything they owned, we moved all of our house out in under 24 hours.

    We stayed away for a month to ensure the caseworker had plenty of time to be nosy. My husband stayed at the empty home fixing things here and there (caulking, weather stripping, mowing the yard, keeping the animals watered and fed, keeping the garden cared for, etc…) to keep himself busy and let the caseworker in as we had to under penalty of the court. BTW that court order never expires even though it is over 5 years old, so they could roll up at any moment and demand entry to my home. My 4th Amendment rights are history in Arkansas.

  43. JJ October 22, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    I agree that it never hurts to know your rights but honestly the comments in this post make free range parents look like a fringe group. Sure, you can say who cares what other people think but it does nothing to grow the free range cause.

  44. Brian October 22, 2014 at 7:42 pm #


    “Do people really believe that overworked CPS workers (like me) who deal with the most seriously disturbed and abusive families every day (think acutely mentally ill parents, drug using parents, sexually abusive family members, moderately developmentally delayed parents etc, and often a combination of these), seriously have time to respond to reports of perfectly well-adjusted children playing unsupervised in the park.”

    It’s funny, the DCFS attorney in a recent case I defended–the parents were accused of letting their children play in their own backyard unsupervised–made exactly that argument to convince the judge something serious was going on. Of course, even the DCFS investigator admitted there wasn’t much there.

    What happens a lot in cases like this are fraudulent reports of something more serious, which turn out unfounded but the CPS investigator finds something minor to latch onto. In my case, the hotline caller claimed the girls played unsupervised in the street all the time, the father spent the rent and grocery money on drugs, the girls weren’t receiving medical care–all lies, and the DCFS investigator found that out pretty quickly. But the DCFS investigator construed something the dad said as an admission that the girls may have once played unsupervised near a pool, so the parents were indicated for neglect.

  45. oncefallendotcom October 22, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

    I was a product of children’s services. Need I say more?

  46. BL October 23, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    “You may not have anything to hide, but you do have a helluvalot to protect.”

    Or, as I tell people:

    Anne Frank had nothing to hide. But she had to hide.

  47. lollipoplover October 23, 2014 at 2:26 pm #

    “Educate Your Friends and Neighbors About Your Parenting Practices.”

    This is by far the most valuable piece of advise to CPS-proof your life. Get to know the people who make up your community and make it a great place to raise families. So if kids play outside and walk across your front yard in a game of manhunt, don’t call the police. That same boy will shovel your driveway this winter.

  48. JJ October 23, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    Lollipoplover: Manhunt is the highlight of my kids’ life!

  49. CrazyCatLady October 25, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    Do CPS investigators routinely ask kids “Do you see stuff that looks like grass in your house?” Because if that was asked at mine the answer would be yes. But not in little baggies…it is all over the floor because my kids won’t wipe their feet off when they come inside.

  50. Jenn October 25, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    I’m going through this with my ex. I do not want to put my 11 yr old in traditional public school, so decided to go with online schooling at home. He called CPS on me 2x wanting to claim I was keeping him from school and a bunch of other things..My caseworker was nice and was actually astonished that our house was not anything like was claimed. I think there are some bad eggs in the administration, but my case is already in the process of being closed.

  51. Mary October 26, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Margot, there are no doubt places where the workers are so overwhelmed they don’t bat an eye at silly things like “kid playing in the park.” There are other places where the workers seem to have plenty of time to invent abuse.

    In the town of 35k I used to live in someone made an anonymous complaint and 5 cops, animal control, and cps showed up. This was the first complaint.

    I felt I had nothing to hide and invited them all in.

    I was berated for: leaving my laptop in the baby’s bedside bassinet (because this indicates the baby has nowhere to sleep, not that I heaped it in there as I left the room). “Dirty pans on the stove” actually they were all clean and *drying* on the stove. There were zero dishes in the sink. “Dirty laundry all over the livingroom” you know, because people just spend tons of time folding dirty laundry from one basket and placing it in another. This is also apparently the definition of “everywhere”. Having a fridge and pantry full of food but no milk=inadequate food for kids. Running out of milk=neglect now? Who knew, I should have made my husband leave work immediately to grocery shop? For irony they also complained of an “unsafe environment” because I had 3 dozen cans of food by the front door I’d unloaded from the car literally minutes before they arrived. Apparently my 14 month old could kill herself by dropping a can on her foot- or something. They also said that the house had “vermin” aka 2 pet rats in a clean and healthy cage. I kid you not. Thank god we didn’t have the African hissing cockroaches anymore!!

    All of my pets were of legal numbers, licensed, spayed, vaccinated. Animal control was totally satisfied. The police and cps were aggressive bullies. I was carrying my 2 month old in a baby carrier and they suggested if I “cleaned the place up I’d have a place to set the baby down.” I get that our livingroom only had 1 love seat and it had 2 baskets of clothes on it, but wtf? Do people normally sit 2 month old babies down on love seats, because the baby swing, high chair, and playpen were all perfectly clean and adjacent.

    Some combination of the cops and cps came and harassed us 3 more times in 2 weeks before a sympathetic cop put a stop to it. Over a false, malicious call and no kind of neglect or abuse.

    I get that every crack head claims the cps allegations are bogus, I have no way to prove I’m not full of crap, but for my own sanity I rationalize that I’m friends with a number of cops and foster parents in other cities that have seen my home many times and agreed we were being harassed. The officer that took our side apparently agreed as well.

    Even though it ended without being separated from my kids, the experience deeply traumatized me and spun my ppd completely out of control. Being friends with Leo’s, I was always the first to defend them and assume people were spinning tales. Here I was a totally normal person (college educated, married, no arrests or tickets, no drug use, no anything) being bullied and harassed because my house had minor perceived issues–2 months after giving birth!!! Seriously re read their complaints and gauge if you would “pass” 2 months post partum.

    If cps knocks on my door again I will absolutely bar entry, call a lawyer, and videotape all interactions.

  52. Dirk October 27, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Does anybody know how many or what percent of homes are visited by cps a year?