Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Top 5 Ways to Lose Your CPS Case


If you are a victim of Child Protective Services, I am empathetic to your pain.  Losing a child to the state can be one of the most heart wrenching experiences a parent can go through.  That said, once you get over the initial shock, you better buck up and get ready to fight.  

When I say fight, I mean fight for your kids.  Fight to make it right.  Fight to fix what it is that got you into this mess.  Fight to get the truth on the record.  I don't mean, get with every idiot on Facebook and piss and moan in a group or go to a protest outside of a local CPS office.  In fact, many of the people who do these things lost their children years ago and no longer have any realistic hope of winning in any court in the USA.  Even if you do prove your case 10 years down the road, too much time will have gone by and they won't want to disrupt the child's stability that has been established for them in your absence.  So you need to fight the right way from the start.

So, with that, here are my...

Top 5 Ways to Lose Your CPS Case.

1) Go all out psycho on them.  

Go ahead!  Shoot your mouth off.  Make threats.  Tell them about your 2nd cousin who is a mafia hitman on the other side of the country.  

Remember CPS is always looking for reasons to take your kids away.  If you as much as raise your voice against them, they are likely to claim they felt intimidated.  All of that will go on the record.  

2) Join a group of idiots on Facebook

If you want to win, you have to be careful who you take advice from.  If you align yourself with idiots, you be viewed as one.

There is a common misperception that there is strength in numbers.  While that is true on many issues, CPS victims who are doing nothing but shaking their fists and waving signs about CPS corruption in the air, have never had the numbers needed to make a major impact.  Nor are any of these people going to be allowed in the court room with you when they are terminating your rights.  

If you want to see numbers, just watch what happens after a high profile child abuse death gets leaked to the news media.  There will be huge numbers of child advocates and CPS supporters demanding they do more to protect kids.  It happens every time.

That said, there are many good people on Facebook helping parents to fight CPS.  The difference is that the people who will help you to win will focus on the issues involved in YOUR INDIVIDUAL CASE.  They will help you focus on getting your kid back rather than changing any existing laws that could take years to change that you simply don't have.  They will help you to interpret the law and to present your case in a way that will help you to win.  

Either that or they will help you do what you need to do to get your life back on track so that you can successfully parent your kids and thus win your case (I recommend this approach for people with anger management or substance dependency issues, for example.  If you lost your kids because of your heroin addiction, you should probably get off the drugs, and you would have my full support.  If you lost your kids because of your abusive boyfriend/girlfriend, you should probably dump them.  Just sayin.

3) Don't bother to get organized or even read any of the paperwork they have given you.  

There is a parent who I know and who I really wanted to help.  A close personal friend of mine asked for help on behalf of this person and I honestly tried.  I quickly discovered that she didn't even know what was going on in her case because she hadn't read any of the paperwork and didn't open any of the mail that was sent to her by the worker.

She didn't live all that far away, so I even offered to help her get started with getting organized enough to know what CPS is saying and using against her, but it never happened.  She didn't put appointments down on a Calander, so she missed them, etc. The meetings that she did attend she was clueless and couldn't believe what they were saying about her.  She felt like the rug was being ripped out from under her.

It just never seems to dawn on some people that it's all about what's on paper.  If they're accusing you of it, it's written on paper.  Therefore you need to get organized enough to follow along.  If you do, you will be much better prepared for what lies ahead and you will be better able to present your case, the work you've completed, whatever that may be.  Getting organized will help you to help your lawyer to fight your case.  You simply have to be willing to do the work.

4) Skip visits, appointments, meetings, etc.  

I can't stress enough the importance of being reliable and punctual when dealing with these people.  If you don't make one visit, they will make it seem like a major disappointment for the child.  If you skip a meeting or an appointment, then they will make it look like you just don't care enough to do the work.  It is truly important to complete whatever services CPS requires of you, regardless of whether or not you think you need it.  

5) Don't bother getting yourself set up with services or allow the CPS worker to do it all for you.

If CPS is up your ass, you gotta do what you gotta do to win.

I would like to be a part of the reason you turn your life around, get your kids back, and become some sort of success story, but unfortunately some people just can't be helped.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

How to talk to CPS Workers

One of the first things I learned about dealing with CPS

Back when I first started getting involved with the CPS issue I was in a Yahoo! Group that was focused on the reform of CPS in Maine.  The following question was posted to the group one night...
What would be the one best piece of advice you would give to parents who are dealing with CPS?
A lawyer who was rather new to the group answered saying...
I would advise them to keep their mouths shut.  
Her reasoning behind this was that the report that sparked an investigation was usually not enough to remove a child.  The workers instead came to gather evidence to determine whether or not your child was abused or neglected.  More often than not, the parents gave it to them simply by running their mouths during an interview.

Social workers are trained to conduct interviews of both children and parents.  They are taught different techniques to build trust and to get information.  The are taught ways to dig for more dirt if they hear something that sparks their curiosity.  A keyword might be spoken that catches her attention and she starts asking questions about it.  She leads the conversation in that direction.  She can play the bate and switch game, she can leave you wondering how she got you to say those things.  Before you know it, you give her all the evidence that she needs to take your kid away.

So lets take a look at some of the techniques CPS workers use when interviewing people.   It is my hope that by being aware of these, you might be able to fight smarter, turn it around on her or use some of these concepts yourself to help you with your case or your life in general.

Rapport Building

The first thing you need to know is that CPS workers will try to get you to trust them.  They will use rapport building techniques so to try to convince you that she's not a threat, "I'm here to help."  Or validates your feelings sympathetically, "Oh I know how you feel," and pretend to be supportive.  "It sounds like you have your hands full." 

All of this is done to get you to trust them so you feel safe in telling her your story or working with her.  Recognize it.

Rapport building techniques can be important at any stage in the game.  Lets say, for example, you are reported and she is making her initial visit to your home.  She will try to make you feel comfortable so that you will open up.  Another example, your last very mean and scary worker quit and you are getting a new one.  Your expectations would be that this one is a monster too but she comes in and says, "I'm a totally different person.  Don't judge me by the same standards as your old one.  You don't even know me."

I once even heard one say that the parents she worked with loved her because she was so helpful to them.  I wasn't one of those parents however.  Good or bad, a CPS worker is a CPS worker.  At the end of the day, all CPS workers will do their job.

It's important to be aware of this technique.  It will help you to see it for what it is.  It will help you to stay on guard.  Allegations have been made and you really want to stay focused on what those allegations are so you can dispute them specifically without giving her any more to use against you.

Open ended questions

Back in High School English Class we learned about open and closed ended questions.  An open ended question is one that requires a thoughtful response from the person being asked.  Opposed to a closed ended question which requires a simple answer such as yes or no, the number 2 or something like that.
Open ended question: What happened?
Closed ended question: Did this (insert specific event here) happen?
Open ended questions are specifically taught in many professions as a way of learning information about the person or organization you are doing business with.  Unfortunately, most people didn't pick up on this important life skill because I myself have been able to use these techniques in jobs I've had as a sales person to gather the information I needed to hook them in and make the sale.  Selling a car or a computer often resulted in hearing somebodies life story.  In fact, if you are in sales training of any kind, you are probably taught this concept over and over again.  Get to know what motivates the buyer.  Get to know what causes their pain.

CPS workers use open ended questions to get you talking.
Open ended: How did you get that black eye?
Closed ended: Did so and so punch you?
The trick in dealing with this is to play dumb but not too dumb.  Perhaps you can keep her talking by pretending not to understand her question or make her reduce her questions to closed ended that doesn't offer her any more information to go on when digging for dirt.

CPS: Can you tell me what happened?
You: What do you mean?
CPS: I want you to tell me what happened?
You: Regarding what?
CPS: Well, did so and so do such and such to who and who?
You: No.

Promoting the positive

What you really want to be talking about is all the positive things in your life.  "I'm planning on going back to school," or "According to the doctor the kid is doing great."  Perhaps you could talk about plans for an upcoming birthday, anything happy and positive.

I realize this might be difficult in the face of a child abuse investigation or fighting to get your kid back, but it is important because people who focus on positive things tend to appear stronger and attract more of the same.


  • "Yes I have a lot of support, my mom helps me when I need it," is a good reason not to take your kid.   
  • "Oh I'm alone, I don't have any friends or family," makes it easy for them to make your life difficult.

It's like the story of the Little Train Who Could.   If you think you can you will.  If you think you can't you won't.  If you think life sucks it probably does but if you tell the CPS worker that, she will use it against you.

It's your choice what you say to her but if you want to get your kid back or if you want to get her out of your life fast, you need to demonstrate that your child is safe and well cared for.  You don't want to be bashing your ex, or talking about how bad your anti-depressants make you feel.  Those are things the worker can write down in her report and there are better ways to deal with it anyway.  The worker can say things like, "it's too much for you to handle," or "there are mental health issues in the home."  You don't want to talk about how hard it is to put food on the table or the worker will say, "the kid isn't being fed."  CPS loves to focus on the negatives.

You can argue, "CPS is corrupt and will take your kid anyway."  I would have to argue that positive people tend to appear stronger.  Therefore the worker will be less likely to mess with you because they prefer easy targets.  Negative people tend to be easier targets.

The important thing is to demonstrate that you are a capable and loving parent.  The better you can make yourself look by expressing the positive, the better you will be perceived.   This is especially important in front of anybody who is making decisions regarding your right to parent your child.

Standing up for your rights vs fighting smart

To tell you the truth, nobody at CPS gives a hoot about your rights so you can stand up and speak out all you want.  The courts are going to back them up.  The police are going to back them up.  Most of society is going to back them up.  If you tell her she's corrupt or she sees where you started bashing you on Facebook she's liable to retaliate.  Organizing a protest or starting an anti-CPS Facebook page might not be the wisest thing to do at this point either because it takes your focus off of where it should be...  Fighting for your kids.

In fighting smart you deal with the issues presented.  You don't give them more to work with by making yourself look crazy.  Fighting smart takes work, requires learning in many cases and there are groups that help you to do that if you are willing to do the work.  Work means keeping your stuff organized so you can prepare to fight them properly.  Work means giving your lawyer what he needs to dispute the claims written in any reports to the court by the CPS worker.  Work can also mean learning laws and court procedures.  Regardless, by keeping organized, you help yourself not to mention it helps your lawyer and advocate to fight for you because you know what's going on in your case and you don't have to go around trying to remember anything. 

Remember, when a report comes in to the Child Abuse Hotline, that's all she has to go on.

If you want to deal with the laws that allow CPS to run amok, then you do that after you get your kids back.  If you want to start an anti-CPS blog or Facebook page, do so after your case is closed.  I've seen some of the loudest and most outspoken Facebook activists drag out their cases or even loose only to have their parental rights terminated.  It doesn't work.

Your right to remain silent

Shooting your mouth off takes away your element of surprise.  It gives CPS more to work with.  It

If you don't know what you are doing, I strongly suggest you take your right to remain silent when dealing with CPS very seriously and contact a lawyer or an advocate who is experienced in helping people to fight CPS.  Even though this may be considered a civil case rather than a criminal one at this point, anything you say can and probably will be used against you in court.

In many cases what you say may be twisted to suit her purpose.  So why would you give her the evidence she is looking for?

Monday, June 25, 2018

How to Fight CPS - The Organization Strategy

Ripping hair out of head

How to loose your case

A couple years back, a good friend of mine asked me to help somebody with their case.  The CPS victims were a young mother and father, in a not so perfect marriage.  They had 2 small children, a toddler and a baby, I'm not exactly sure of the ages.  The original accusation was minimal, regarding a mark on the body which quickly faded.  The mother thought it was from being in the car seat and even the doctor at the emergency room didn't seem to worry about it that much and sent them on their way.

Anyway, a report was made by a so called Mandated Reporter and CPS opened an investigation.  So I got them hooked up with an advocate who quickly came to the conclusion, "I can't help you."  I was a little dismayed by this because it was somebody I knew with a good track record for helping families to win, and so I tried to give them a little advice myself, only to discover that I couldn't help them either.

So why couldn't they be helped?  First it was because they didn't know what they were dealing with and second because they couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to help themselves.  For example, they had been given papers by the CPS investigator which they hadn't even read and had gotten mail from DHHS that they hadn't even opened.  Because of this they missed an important evaluation that had been set up and now the worker was threatening to remove the kids.

Ultimately, they were unfamiliar with the specifics of their own case.  The mother was unable to articulate what exactly she was being accused of by CPS, nor was she sure of what CPS wanted her to do about it.  Everything was coming to them as a surprise.  They knew that they were supposed to be engaging in child abuse prevention services but the worker was, according to them, in no hurry to help them get it going.  They missed one appointment and she was "being a total bitch about it."

Unfortunately an important appointment had been set up and they were notified in writing through the mail but because they didn't open their mail, they didn't know.  The papers were piled up on the counter.  Therefore the CPS worker was able to walk all over them and come up with new issues unrelated to the original report.  And they didn't see it coming.

Help yourself by staying organized

When fighting CPS, it is important to stay organized and to document everything you do.  You should be keeping track of all of the phone calls you make regarding your case, all of the messages you leave, appointments you go to, parenting classes, doctor appointments, shrink appointments, court dates, team meetings, visits with your kids, discussions with your lawyer, etc.  Dates and times are important because you might be asked when you did something.  Whatever it is that you do that is in regards to your case or the care of your children, you should make a record of, so that you can quickly refer to it later if the need arises.

For example: A CPS worker once accused someone I know, in court of failing to keep in contact with her, but the person had a list of dates and times of multiple messages she had left both with the receptionist whose name she had as well as messages left on the voicemail of the CPS worker.  Therefore she was able to successfully dispute the workers claim by arguing that she was nearly impossible to get a hold of.  Even though this was a little thing, it did not help the workers credibility and the judge reprimanded her for not doing her job.

organizeYou should also read all of the paperwork you are given from the worker, service providers, lawyer or the court, and you should have it all organized neatly in a binder by date.  By doing this, you help yourself and your lawyer to better prepare for your fight.  By doing this, you can pick apart your paperwork and discuss with your attorney that which you feel you can dispute. If your lawyer can disprove enough of it, the papers on the judges desk, which contains everything that CPS is using against you, loose credibility.

In another case I am aware of, the worker wrote in her report that the mother was taking anti-depressants.  This was not true, so she was able to obtain a letter from her doctor disputing this claim, and her lawyer entered it into her court record.

You should also have a list of contacts including your lawyer, cps worker, her supervisor, and everybody else you are dealing with in regards to your case.

It's a lot harder for CPS to take advantage of you when you have your ducks in a row so to speak.

If they don't, that is why people often feel like they have the rug ripped out from under them, because they lost track of the reports and complaints, they forgot about appointments.  That's why they don't see it coming when the CPS worker pulls the rug out from under them.

A few simple tips to getting organized...

I can't stress enough the importance of staying organized when you are dealing with CPS.  Here are a few tips on what you should be doing.
  • Get a 3 ring binder and a hole puncher and a notebook to write on.  
  • For the first page, create a list of contacts.  Include the contact information for everybody you deal with.
  • This is not what you want

    • Advocate
    • CPS worker
    • Workers supervisor
    • Counselors
    • Service Providers
  • For the second page, create a simple To Do list.
    • Call the worker on Monday.
    • Shrink appointment on Tues.
    • Meeting with lawyer.
      • Include things you would like to discuss with this person.
    • Clean the house.
  • Write a short narrative of what happened to get you involved with CPS while it's still fresh in your mind, try to remember dates and times so you can keep as complete of record as possible. 
    • This will save you from having to sit back and think about it, or to have to try to figure it all out later..
    • You can reference this material when writing your affidavits for court.
  • Open and read every letter you get.  Keep it all together.
    • Organize it by date.  
    • Read it.  Make sure you're familiar with everything they have on you and everything they want you to do. If they send you notice of an appointment, put it on your to do list.
  • Get a notebook with the holes already punched out so you can rip pages out and add it to the binder.  Keep track of...
    • ALL Phone Calls and Messages.
    • Meetings with workers, and team meetings.
      • Dates.  Times.  Who was there.  What was discussed.
    • Appointments with service providers.  

You can use highlighters to highlight important points.  You can take notes on letters you receive from your caseworker and lawyer.  You can do whatever works for you.

What this will do for you

It must be understood that doing these things is completely for your own benefit, so organize in a way that works best for you, but do it regardless.  Be honest with yourself.  You do not have to show this to your worker.  It will prepare you for what's coming.  It will help you to know what you're talking about.  By doing these things you are much better prepared to fight CPS.  You can help your lawyer to do his job.  You can help your advocate help you by being able to refer to something you did, a call that was made, etc.  You will have an easily accessible record of everything you did that either helped or hurt your case.

Not doing this can have drastic consequences because you will be left with your head spinning wondering where it's all coming from, trying to remember things in desperation.

By doing this, you will greatly improve your chances of winning.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

How to use Fathers Day as CPS / Foster Parent Recruitment Propaganda

First of all, I want to wish all the real fathers out there a very happy Fathers Day.

For those who are fighting, I wish you the best for your children who need their dad's in their lives and for you who are suffering with the pain of not being able to be there.  I know the pain and I know the struggle.  I know God chose you to be that kids dad.

Sadly, I also know how CPS likes to rub it in our faces and use this day to tout their cause by highlighting a foster parent or a dad who adopted a child from the system, like Eric DeVoe here from Liberty Township Ohio. 
It's not about what you can do, it's about what you are willing to do. 
That's Eric DeVoe's take on being a father and opening his home to about 25 children in need of a home since 2012. Eric, 43 and his wife, Teri, have worked with Fairfield County Job and Family Services to offer respite and foster care to children of all ages for the last six years. 
Or like Lee Hoover of San Antonio Texas...
"It took me a while to realize - this is going be my first Father's Day. It's pretty neat,” foster dad Lee Hoover says. 
CPS often engages with news reporters in an effort to raise awareness about the "need for foster parents" for an ever growing number of children who have been taken away from their parents.  They put the necessary information in the middle of a heartwarming story about a family that grew thanks to the foster care system and their "personal calling" to get involved.

Apparently, Fathers Day is extra special for them or something like it is for Kenneth Sutton of Warren Michigan.
Kenneth Sutton of Warren has to work on Father’s Day. But he got the week after the holiday off and he and his wife Keisha are taking their girls to Michigan Adventures. Sutton and his wife became foster parents first and are now in the process of adopting both girls.
But these types of stories have a specific purpose.  That purpose is recruit more foster parents as the article goes on to say... 
The adoptions also mean Michigan’s foster care system is down by two parents. 
“That’s how we lose most of our foster parents and the reason we need to recruit more,” said Kelli Dobner of Clinton Township, new chief advancement officer for Samaritas. “In 2017, 42 percent of our foster families became adoptive families, and in 2018, to date, 68 percent have become adoptive families.”
As you can see, CPS uses this day to promote the Foster Care Fairy Tale of love and happily ever after which is an attempt by a reporter and CPS to move ones hearts towards becoming a foster care provider.  It's a way to plant the seed.  It's a way to get people to look into it.  What it leaves out is discussion about all the challenges that one might face in dealing with a kid who has been bounced through 10 different homes or walks around like a zombie from all the psych meds they pump into them. 

But if you think all of that's bad, get this.  In West Virginia they're using Father's Day to recruit gays. 
The Dixons said they would highly recommend fostering to other families who love kids and have room in their home. The hurdles in the process, the Dixon’s said, were worth it to be able to get their son. 
“I think a lot of people don’t think they can do it if they are single, if they are gay, if they are a different race … even myself I was worried about that, but that’s not the case at all,” Lee Dixon said. “There was always a way around it. I think it is the best thing even if they are not with us forever, but at least that moment in time, we know we made an impact on that little boy’s life.
Now I'm not against Gay people adopting children.  I know a few who are great parents.  But I am against CPS stealing babies and I do need state that this is a whole new potential market of foster care providers who are helping them to do so by providing warehousing space, and who are targeted as an audience by this particular author. 

I think it's quite pathetic really that people buy into this crap, but they do.  It's that sheeple mentality that you read so many conspiracy theorists talking about.  It's that pretty picture that the media tends to paint about Child Protective Services and the Foster Care System.  It's because it takes CPS being up ones ass for that person to see the light and most people haven't experienced it yet.

The fact is that real dad's make their own babies and Father's Day should be a day for them.  Fathers Day should be a day to promote the importance of a dad being in a child's life and and help them to get involved.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

3 Sneaky Public Relations Tactics used by CPS Agencies in the media to improve their public image


If you are ever going to understand CPS and how they get away with what they do, then we must look at it from the big picture perspective as being a 'social service entity' in a world full of people which we'll call 'Society,' and the purpose CPS serves for society as well as the purpose which it states, which is also how it justifies it's existence.
  • The purpose CPS serves - to coordinate and acquire funding for services for targeted at risk children and families. (Those who have CPS in their lives are probably engaging in or soliciting some sort of services, whatever they may be.)
  • The purpose CPS states  - to protect children from abuse and neglect.  (this is also the proclaimed justification for the existence of CPS.)
It must be understood that only a tiny portion of society has been effected by CPS and the rest think that CPS protects children from abuse and neglect and would report you if they disagreed with your parenting for whatever reason.  It doesn't matter that CPS is known for doing horrible things to children and families, with countless stories being shared in the family rights groups on Facebook, the agencies PR people are somehow always able to spin it out into something beneficial for the agencies.

Only once somebody experiences CPS involvement in their lives, does one begin to understand what a monster CPS is, but only from the perspective of an individual who has been singled out and is suffering from a whole range of emotions that comes with the threat of and/or process of having their children taken away and fighting to get them back.  Meanwhile, everybody else thinks that you must have abused and neglected your kids, or why would CPS investigate you or become involved in your lives, because protecting children from abuse and neglect is what they think CPS does.

You would think that most people would be horrified at the thought of a powerful agency like CPS coming to take children away and throwing them into a cold and heartless system, because that's what they really do.  Regardless, CPS has a good public image for the most part, because the public relations departments are able to spin the business of child trafficking by social worker into heroes protecting the sweet innocent children from abuse and neglect.  Even when the agencies are utter failures at protecting kids resulting in a high number of child abuse deaths, the public relations departments have been able to spin it into a need for more workers, more training, more foster homes, more services and whatever other growth opportunities there may be.


Protecting children from abuse and neglect is what CPS wants people to think they're all about.  Not only is it what they want you to think, it's a carefully crafted public image that is put forth through the media under consultation of the Public Relations Departments of the agencies, to educate people regarding getting them on board to help CPS target families and children for CPS involvement as well as housing and caring for the children when they are removed from their homes.

Public Relations is defined as:
the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person. 
~ Google Dictionary
So basically it's peoples jobs to make CPS look good, but how do they do that?  Lets take a look at just a few of the ways.

Special Awareness Raising Events

This is how they reach out to the public.

In order to be pro-active in the community or solicit funds, CPS agencies often hold special fun events to raise awareness about their child abuse prevention efforts, which usually gets more people calling the child abuse hotline, or recruiting foster care providers, or fundraising or something along that line.

During the months of April and May, for example, which are declared National Child Abuse Prevention month and National Foster Care Awareness month respectively, such special events are in full gear all across the country with pinwheel gardens and blue ribbon ceremonies.  These activities are not limited to those two months however because they can take place any time, especially if there is a need for new foster homes due to a spike in child removals.

CPS Agencies often uses these events as an opportunity to spread the CPS propaganda which benefits the people who are trying to grow their businesses working with abused and neglected kids, teaching false doctrines such as the number of calls to the child abuse hotline is what's important.

But most of all, these events make people feel important.  It makes them feel like they've made a difference in the lives of children, and all they had to do was fly a kite or buy a pinwheel to stick in the ground.

Generate Fear and Outrage Against Parents

It's no secret that CPS are fear mongers who like to blow things out of proportion to make the problem of child abuse appear worse than it actually is.  When they really are the worst, then the media might put them under the microscope, but usually they spin it in a way that generates fear and outrage against parents and not against the system that is plagued with systematic failures including the consistent unnecessary tearing apart of families.

They do this by keeping people focused on that one horrible child abuse case that the media has taken off with, rather than the problems that led to that child not getting the protection that they needed.  The agencies are then able to run wild because everybody is focused on that one horrible case.

The way it plays out is this.  A child dies.  CPS could have saved that child but didn't.  Then the PR people kick in, "don't focus on that, focus on the poor abused and neglected child.  You know, the poor little things.  Children shouldn't have to suffer like that, that's why you need to call the child abuse hotline if you suspect anything."

Also, by keeping one focused on some horrible child abuse case that the media has taken off with, the general public tends to demand that the agencies do more to protect kids rather than fix the problems that CPS has, which in turn causes the states governments to pass new laws and throw more money at the problem and make it easier for them to take your kids away, therefore causing a growth opportunity for CPS.

The trick is to divert ones attention away from the failures and corruption of the agencies and instead focused on some horrible child abuse case.  They tell the story in a way that shocks people, moves their hearts or calls them to action to make CPS do more.  This is called manufacturing support.

Foster Care Fairy Tales

One of my many major criticisms of the CPS and Foster Care Systems is that the kids who go in usually come out of it all messed up.  They are often bounced from home to home, sometimes ending up in psychiatric institutions and juvenile detention facilities due to a lack of better placements.  Then when they age out, they do so with nothing, ending up homeless or incarcerated with no high school diploma, no family ties, no real life skills, etc.  Unfortunately, we hear little about this issue in the news media.  The occasional article in the back of the paper maybe.  A video or two once in a while.

What we see much more of is this: the media is painting a pretty picture of the system, selling love and happiness and that nice warm feeling that you get deep inside from knowing that you might have made a difference in a child's life.  There are many more of these stories coming across the news feeds.  They are great at making these people look like heroes.

I like to call this foster care fairy tales, because they always sell you on the happily ever after ending.  Not the struggles and challenge's you will face by getting involved.  This sort of thing tends to hit the people who are looking to adopt or who would consider fostering because their hearts were moved by something they saw on TV.  And when they think of Child Abuse, they think of the sweet little helpless babies, so it's much easier to place smaller children in foster homes than it is teenagers.  Many foster care providers are hoping this might lead to an adoption so they are only willing to take the smaller children leaving teenagers a forgotten group with few options.


As I suggested in the introduction, most people in society have a favorable opinion of CPS and the agencies who work with them.  They can't possibly understand the very real problems that CPS is causing, because they are taught to believe that CPS is good.  They are taught that foster parents are angels among us.

It takes the experience of CPS in your life to get an understanding of what they're all about but by then, you're one of those demonized parents accused of abuse or neglect of a sweet innocent child while CPS are the heroes coming to rescue your kids, often without it being necessary at all.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Mandated Reporters - The phone call that can destroy your life

Every CPS intervention begins with a phone call

I was recently reported to CPS by a social worker at my daughters school.  According to this social worker, she was a mandated reporter, she had to make the report by law and it was nothing personal.

Of course, I took it personally because it led to a CPS investigation of my family but fortunately this investigation ended quickly and with no finding of abuse or neglect.  The whole thing was ridiculous really, with the only thing being accomplished was a spike in the stress levels of every member of my family and the damage to my relationship with the school and this social worker. 

Most normal people would at this point ask the question, "If there wasn't any abuse or neglect, then why would you be reported?"  However, this is a question based totally on ignorance and as I will demonstrate, it happens more often than not.  In fact, in 2015 in the United States, there were approximately 4 Million reports of child abuse made regarding 7.2 million children and out of all the investigations that were preformed, there were 683,000 children in the USA that were confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect.  That's a whopping 9.5% of of the children reported to the child abuse hotline.   

Source: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2015.pdf#page=10

The Mandated Reporter

In case you don't know, a mandated reporter is a professional who has close contact with children such as a teacher, doctor or counselor and who is required by law to report any reasonable suspicions or allegations of child abuse or neglect.  Because the phrase "reasonable suspicion" is such an ambiguous term, we must understand it's meaning to be "every little scrape on the knee" or "every little bump on the head," because God forbid, anything happens in the future, they could loose their licenses or worse.  In some states, they can be criminally prosecuted for not making a report, if something more terrible were to happen in the future, although that very rarely happens and is usually the result of a witch hunt for somebody to blame for a terrible tragedy. 

Although anybody can report an allegation of child abuse, most of the calls CPS gets are from the mandated reporters who are supposed to be trained to spot signs of abuse. 

The problem caused by Mandated Reporters

This  leads me to an article that inspired this rant, that was just published from Pennsylvania.

The headline reads...
Tips about suspected child abuse topped 47,000 in 2017
Of course the untrained mind will automatically assume, "47,000 abused children in Pennsylvania?  Oh my God, they're all gonna die!"

But lets take a look at this article.
The number of children across the state killed from abuse dropped from 46 in 2016 to 40 in 2017. But both the number of reports of suspected child abuse and the number of cases of abuse substantiated by caseworkers continued to climb. 
Child protective services received a total of 47,485 allegations of child abuse in 2017 and caseworkers substantiated that 4,836 of those cases seemed to qualify as child abuse, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Human Services. 
The actual number is 47,485 child abuse reports were made in 2017 resulting in 4,836 substantiated cases of abuse.  That means, if you do the math that approx. 90% of child abuse reports in Pennsylvania don't result in any findings of abuse or neglect, yet the headline sells us on the much bigger number because it's much more emotionally captivating and attention grabbing.

Why so many false reports?

Jerry Sandusky
Jerry Sandusky
So why so many reports that result in no finding of abuse?  Well one reason is that the state is still in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky Penn State sex abuse scandal which was a story that was covered from every possible angel, over and over again, generating hundreds of news articles and videos that was seen by pretty much everybody in the state.  People were all horrified at the prospect of anything like this happening to children in their own community.  In fact, this case was such a media circus that it caused people to see child abuse everywhere.

The Sandusky case has caused a spike in the number of calls to the hotline.  Therefore what CPS likes to refer to it as Child Abuse Awareness is at an all time high.  If you translate that further, it means that everybody and their brother are making child abuse reports to CPS.  CPS in turn calls this a good thing because it means people are looking out for the kids.  Right?

I disagree.  I believe that too many phony reports puts kids at risk and quite often innocent families in danger of being torn apart by CPS.  On top of that, the kids who really are being abused aren't getting the the help they so desperately need because the workers are too busy wasting their time on the false reports.  Bringing it back home, what's really sad about this whole thing was that while CPS was focused on me and my family, some other kid in the community was probably really being abused or neglected right at that very moment and here was this concerned Child Protective Worker, wasting everybody's time.

Clogging the system

The article goes on to to say...
The flood of new tips had overwhelmed the state’s child abuse hotline in 2014, when state officials estimated that 4 in 10 callers never got to an operator. 
Which goes to show you that the system isn't working.  The false reports are clogging the system and children are falling thorough the cracks because of it.  Although Pennsylvania may have improved in their ability to handle a skyrocketing number of phony child abuse reports as the article suggests, they are not alone. 

In the State of Maine for example, they're experiencing so many calls that they don't have the staff to keep up with it.
He also pointed to long wait times on the child abuse intake hotline, saying that in one case a hospital worker waited 90 minutes before being connected. “This is a significant enough period of time to be viewed as a potential barrier to the reporting of child maltreatment,” Moran said.
Source: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/31/lepage-says-child-deaths-a-result-of-out-of-date-system/ 
The article even goes on to say that the Governor wants to criminalize failure to report abuse cases when they can't handle the volume of calls they're already getting.

I could even take you overseas and show you similar problems like what's going on in New Zealand for example...
A pre-school manager trying to report an at-risk child to Oranga Tamariki was on hold for over half an hour with no answer, then again for 20 minutes, she says.
Source: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/350270/child-abuse-hotline-overwhelmed-by-calls
So when there is a child who really is being abused, people can't get through or the CPS investigators are too busy investigating the fake ones so God only knows what will happen to them.

You'd think they would know better

In Mandated Reporter training, they learn that it's better to be safe than sorry.  In other words, it's better to put 10 innocent parents through the ringer than it is to miss that one child who really is being abused and nobody comes to save them, if that makes any sense. 

They also learn that if there is no abuse, then there is no harm done when making that report because supposedly, the "trained CPS investigators" will be able to tell the difference.  I disagree with this theory too.  CPS causes harm and unnecessary trauma to innocent parents and the kids.  CPS has even gone as far as to put children who haven't been abused through invasive screenings not limited to strip searches to look for bruises and vaginal exams on little girls if there has been a false allegation of sexual abuse.  That can be traumatic as well.

They fail to teach anybody that a CPS investigation is terrifying and stressful on parents who might be struggling or are overwhelmed or dealing with the difficulties of life in general.  It's especially scary if you are a new parent who has never dealt with anything like this before.  Even if the cases is closed quickly with no finding of abuse, the parent is left with that nagging fear of somebody showing up to take their kid away.  CPS has an uncanny ability to  multiply ones stress levels pretty quickly.  An investigation is invasive.  The parents can be left with PTSD, afraid to answer the door, with instant panic if there is a knock and you're not expecting anybody.

What they should be teaching Mandated Reporters is to make a call when they are reasonably sure that something is wrong.  You're not going to save anybody by reporting garbage.

What about he kids who are left to their demise? 

The Pennsylvania article also says that 40 children died from abuse and neglect in the state in 2017.  Of course, one child abuse death is too many.  We should all agree on that.  But I do gotta wonder how many of these kids would still be alive today if the workers weren't so busy dealing with 42,649 phony reports of abuse or neglect.

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