should i call CPS?posted 6 days ago in Home
- 5 days ago
- Wedding: October 2015
They took my statement and said they would fill out the paperwork and look into it. My husband sat down this afternoon and explained the situation to HR in case any false claims are made.
I spoke to a cousin last night and she is willing to call. Ironically she’s the sister of one of the parents but stated that she’s afraid to call as well, fearing for her cats (those are HER babies) safety. She did promise to call though. I hope she follows through.
The reason i said i’m doing it now i said in an update is that i spoke to family over the weekend and things haven’t changed as far as the parents treatment of the children, cleanliness of the household, and the drug use. As i stated, they all thought that by going there and trying to do unannounced drop ins and monitoring the “situation” it would get better. When i inquired about the children over the weekend i was told literally nothing has changed I asked if they would be willing to call and file a report with CPS. They were adamant that they were not going to call and neither should I. Excuses were made “they have 4 kids under 5, they’re stressed, it’s a lot of work, maybe they need more time to adjust than other people” blablabla I consulted with my husband and we decided jointly that the best thing to do would be to call. But we were worried that
1. nothing would be done
2. it would look like we’re lying because many of the issues at hand are not physically available
3. they will figure out it was us, either by a family member saying something or just by assuming, since i was the one who made a stink about him spanking his autistic son.
4. they would retaliate and we would become targets
5. things will be worse for the kids
There were and are a lot of things at play here. My safety, my husband’s career, relationships with family etc… nothing is black and white and the decision to call was not taken as lightly as many of you think it is.
The idea to call CPS on abusive parents seems like an easy decision when you’re on the outside and you have no ties to that person or persons but when you’re faced with the decision with all the information the answer isn’t always automatically “YES” right away. There are consequences of calling and there are consequences of not calling. Everyone has to weigh those consequences. Now obviously if (God forbid) I knew there was a child locked in a closet, starved nearly to death covered in their own feces there would be absolutely no hesitation. But the children are being fed, bathed, clothed and housed. Those basic necessities are taken care of. A person that loves children and wants those children for more than just the extra state aide that comes with them understands that more than just basic needs need to be met for children to thrive, but from what i can tell, CPS doesn’t take any of that into account. Even then, children slip through the cracks.
I’d like to thank you bees that were not critical and didn’t jump to conclusions and didn’t judge me. Thank you for your help. To the other bees, i hope for your sake and the sake of children, that you are never faced with the decision to call CPS on someone you fear.
- 5 days ago
abouttodoit17 : Reporting it will not do much necessarily. CPS doesn’t just come and take your kids away and make you a better parent. There needs to be more to the evidence than a witness hearsay statement. In her case, there was no prior police reports or hospital records. In FL, CPS does not come in unannounced, they call before the visit. They check the fridge for food, if kids look fed, clean, house is “ok” and for physical signs of abuse. Statistically 50% of calls don’t even reach an investigation phase and the ones that do, if nothing is discovered at the house, case gets closed. So more than likely, CPS will do nothing. But that CPS drop in visit can have consequences – more hidden abuse by the parents, less contact with family (thus loosing support system, and getting even more stressed and angry with the kids), retaliation. I wish things were as black and white as the bee wants it to be.
The kids are still young so I imagine they are not in public school system yet, and daycare (if they are in one) is voluntarily – she can pull them out of daycare anytime if she wants to limit contact with teachers or other “mandated to report” people.
- 5 days ago
- Wedding: December 2017
Saw your update. Mustve been hard given that it’s family but I think you did the right thing
- 5 days ago
- Wedding: July 2017 - State Park
CPS will decide to screen it in or out, and if they screen it in they’ll do an investigation. That will take about a month. At the end of the evaluation they’ll decide if they’re opening the case.
If the case is open, they’ll get support services in place as necessary, and if possible in your state those services will be home-based so there’s a regular flow of people into the house.
In my experience you can be a lot better off letting the family know you filed. Proactively saying that you’re concerned, that you gave them time to figure it out, and that you think they need more help than they have. It comes from a good place rather than punitive. And really, that’s what CPS is there for. To find and provide community based supports to help children with behavioral issues and parents who are lacking skills. I know it might not seem like it, but in general everyone is doing the best they can, and if they had the skills and resources to do better, they would do better. Keep that in mind as you go through this.
These don’t sound like malicious parents, they sound unskilled. Their children shouldn’t be taken from them. They need help.
If you don’t let them know you run the risk of them figuring it out or assuming, and assuming you did it to hurt them. That’s when things will go south.
- 5 days ago
- Wedding: July 2017 - State Park
solnishko1186 : I’m glad someone else on here understands how this system actually works and the pitfalls of reporting. Especially if you haven’t *actually witnessed* something, or been eyes on in months. Huge chance this is screened out.
It would be just as useful to find in-home support services or parenting groups and recommend them to the family, especially since I think I read that the mother knows how bad the situation is and is trying to get it under control.
Unless there is imminent threat of serious harm (which OP has zero way of knowing), not much is going to happen except that the parents will cover their tracks.
But by all means, pile on solnishko for proving some decent wisdom here. She never said “do nothing”, she explained why reporting, or reporting as the only step taken, might not be the best path.
I stand by my previous statement that you’re better off letting the family know you filed a report and offering support.
- 4 days ago
abouttodoit17 : I don’t see you providing a constructive plan, aside from call CPS. Calling and reporting have severe consequences, and decision to call should not be taken lightly. (which might not help the kids at all. Lady shows up with a clip board, marks the checkboxes and leaves. Great).
More than likely CPS will not investigate anyway – calls from “concerning” family members with not much other evidence are not a top priority. Family members calls are very iffy for the agency – there is a lot of custody disputes where ex wants to be vindictive and call, upset mother in laws that parents limited her contact with grandchild (because mil is cray cray) and so on. The calls given first priority are from “have duty to report” individuals – nurses, doctors, teachers. Even if CPS visits, without seeing physical signs or neglect (no food, etc) – there is nothing they could do.
Agencies can’t take hersay evidence from “family” for face value and run with it. But consequences for reporting could be that parents might get angry and know it was a family member that called – and limit contact with all family as a recourse. 5 kids, and no family support would equal to more overwhelmed, stressed out parents who might potentially lash out at kids even more, get better at hiding their lack of skills and know better to keep the kids away from public view. I guess you don’t have any real life experience with those issues, or any of out of the box thinking. How about talk to the parents directly, actualldy do something to offer support – offer to watch the kids to give parents a break, research services for autistic kids, make some calls,- something that is more practical. Are you really that naive to think that CPS will save them and not make matters worse.
sarahparkview : Right. Thank you for saying something. I love how ppl scream call CPS as if that will change much or they know anything about the process.