What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

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Latest post Tue, Feb 19 2008 5:04 PM by freaking out in texas. 17 replies.
  • Sun, Feb 17 2008 3:14 PM

    Sad [:(] What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Hello, hopefully someone out there can help us and maybe make it a bit less stressful for us. I have been married 12 years to a wonderful man, and we have 3 good boys. However, our middle son has issues with mental stability and was diagnosed at age 5 with ADHD. However, as the years go by we've always felt more was going on. Recently, we were visited by CPS, because my husband spanked our 2 younger children, and left a bruise. Mind you, we hardly ever use corporal punishment, our discipline of choice are restriction, taking things away, to have them earn them back. But we felt after some incidents that happened, and giving out our normal punishments had no effect, we opted for corporal punishment with a lecture.

    Our son with the mental issues had gotten into a car with a stranger 2 days prior to getting a spanking, the day he and his younger brother received their spanking was their father came home from work and found their backpacks on the porch, no children in sight, and he started freaking out. Which I did too, especially after the incident of our son getting into a car with a stranger. Mind you it's a long story, but he totally did not observe the stranger danger rules. I started doing research since the CPS incident, and feel maybe he is bi-polar so I am in the process of finding someone for him.

    However, the CPS incident just happened 2 days ago. To make a long story short, they have told my husband he cannot stay at the house, that he will have to do all these classes, and MIGHT be able to come home, but who knows. We do not abuse our children and I am NOT in denial about any kind of abuse. This was a one time thing, and was a spanking gone wrong, nothing more.

    But, I just do not know what to do, our oldest son is very angry that his father had to leave the home, he said he doesn't feel that his daddy deserved that. Our middle son acts like nothing is different (reason I believe maybe bi-polar). Our youngest son knows he's gone but doesn't understand why. I do not want to make my husband into a villian, because believe me he is far from it. He loves our boys and he is the kind of father any child would be happy to call daddy.

    He is strong, takes care of his family, takes his boys out to do fun things with just daddy, like riding go-karts. He tries to raise our boys to be good men, who don't hit women, who are courteous, and who do the right thing.

    Now we feel like our family is being torn apart, and being victimized in a way, from a spanking gone bad so to speak. We would NEVER purposely damage our children. I am sure I will hear a couple posts saying well you did when you spanked them. However, how I grew up was getting spanked when I did something really bad, and knowing the whole time my parents did it with love and really didn't want to do it. And our children know that we don't like to as well, that's the reason we hardly ever spank. But we felt that this deserved more punishment, since the restrictions, taking things away was not working. And we want our children to be safe. There are just too many dangerous people in the world.

    I am just not sure what to do, so my husband and I are trying to view this as a TDY (military talk for temporary duty) for us, and to try to make our family work even though it's a bit messed up right now.

    He is allowed visitation, but we will have to do it in public, and not at our home. He is now living in a friends barn, since we cannot afford to spend the money for a hotel, and he doesn't want to take away from the family.

    I guess my question is...does anyone have any advice on dealing with CPS, and such??? I would appreciate any help on this. We're just numb right now. Thank You for listening
  • Sun, Feb 17 2008 3:46 PM In reply to

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    That you would never purposely damage your children- is not good enough- both you and your husband need direction and assistance on how to insure that your children would never be put in harm's way- intentionally or otherwise. A spanking that leaves bruises on two children has nothing to do with a means of discipline and has everything to do with your husband being out of control, and out of control long enough to inflict bruises on not one, but two children.

    Your husband stays in the barn and takes whatever classes he needs to; you need to get assistance with the chldren's issues and how to deal with their issues and keep them safe. You do nothing contrary to what has been ordered or mandated or your children will be placed out of your home.

    Consult with local counsel.

  • Sun, Feb 17 2008 4:00 PM In reply to

    More [=+=] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Thank you for your response. My plan of action so far is to contact a doctor to help re-diagnose my middle son. My second was to find an attorney, so we can have someone to fight for us if need be.

    I do understand that leaving a bruise on a child is not right. And yes my husband was very upset at our children for dis-obeying the rules. I don't believe he was out of control in the way that he went beserk. But him and I both were at witts end on trying to figure out how to get them to understand the importance of following the rules.

    The last thing we want is for them to learn the hard way and end up either getting molested by a stranger, or killed.

    After saturdays incident happening, we were very wary come monday when we couldn't find our children.

    I am sure to many it may sound like I am making excuses for the actions of my husband, however I am not. I was very upset about him leaving bruises, and I did speak to him about that when the children went to bed. And believe you me, my husband felt extremely horrible about it as well, and did apologize to our children and to me.

    Like I said before, he definetely is not an abuser. And I am definetely not in denial. I will do as CPS asks, however, besides just seeking counsel, is there anything I can do from my end to protect our family from mis-interpretation, or such things? Like, maybe recording the interviews we have to have with CPS, or something of that nature. That way no one comes back later and say they never said that.

    I have heard horror stories from people who've dealt with CSP before, and I just don't want our family to be sucked in and become another statistic for CSP abuses.

    Again, thanks for your post.
  • Sun, Feb 17 2008 11:46 PM In reply to

    • LynnM
      Lawyer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Apr 3 2000
    • CA
    • Posts 28,248

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    As long as you insist on defending a beating that left bruises, you can count on not having your husband home.

    He needs to consult an attorney before he talks to ANYONE!! And you both need to accept the liklihood that one or both of you will be required to take anger managemtn classes.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:11 AM In reply to

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    A Spanking that left a bruise? That's too hard. Times have changes my friend. One cant spank their own kids anymore. Especially in public. The CPS is a BS orginization. In my opinion. The stories I could tell you about them. In my exp. They want to scare the families that dont need their help and not help the ones that do

    The only thing you can do is have him do what they say. If you dont go by their so called 'safety plan' then you, yourself, may have to place the kids out of your care but with someone you choose and you would then be given supervised visitation. If you screw up again they may put them in foster care.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:18 AM In reply to

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Oh and i forgot to say a few things. I wondnt make excuses for leaving bruises like that other poster said. If your child has ADHD he/she cant help it. Sure he/she knows right from wrong but having a child with ADHD take more effort and patients than being a parent of a child who does not have it.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:24 AM In reply to

    Disagree [)*(] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    First of all I would like to correct your assessment sir or ma'am. It was unequivocally NOT a beating! It was a spanking gone wrong. And yes, I will defend my husband, and our children's father with my last dying breathe. As I would defend my children against him if I felt he was an actual threat to our children.

    To better understand the reason behind the spanking, you may need to understand what led up to it. Our children have after school program. So they walk home. When they get home they are suppose to go into the home, lock the door and call us to let us know they are home. They are to remain indoors at all times, not to answer the door period, and to stay inside at all times. And since childcare does not go back to pickup children in after school programs, or the ones that do have no openings, we were left with the only choice of having them walk home. And mind you, this is not our favorite choice. However, we have been having issues recently with them not following directions and the rules.

    My middle son decided to get into a vehicle with a stranger 2 days prior because he was outside on his roller blades, and fell. The stranger seen this and stopped. Instead of the stranger coming to get me, or anything remotely correct. He insisted my son get into his vehicle, so he could take him home. First off MAJOR no no! And our children have been taught not to listen to strangers so much, you'd think he wouldn't have listened. But no, he got into the car. Now, granted the stranger did bring him home, but he sure didn't stick around to speak to me, or let me know what he looked like. He honked his horn, and took off before I ever made it to the door.

    Then 2 days later, our 2 youngest called us, but they did not stay in the home. They threw their backpacks on the porch and took off. So when my husband came home after picking up our oldest child to find 2 backpacks on the porch, and no children. I would imagine the same scary thoughts would have went through any sane persons mind. WHERE ARE MY CHILDREN?!?!? DID SOMETHING HAPPEN TO THEM?!?!?!?!

    My husband proceeded to get in his vehicle and search the neighborhood. Luckily after a few minutes he found our youngest son down the street playing with a friend. He asked him where our middle son was. Turned out he was 10 blocks away, at a friends house that we had yet to meet the parents, or get a phone number from.

    Yes my husband spanked my children, after explaining to them the need for rules, and how there are bad people in this world that wish to do them harm. My husband does not like to corporal punish, however this incident warranted a stricter punishment, than taking away toys, games tv, or putting them on restriction. As we have done prior to this, and it still did not curb their need to not listen.

    My husband did NOT beat our children, he spanked them. Yes, it left a mark, however, he did not plan on leaving a mark, he did not spank in anger, and he sure didn't abuse our children like many would like to believe.

    I came on this forum looking for answers, and maybe some sort of assistance, besides having noses looked down on us. We are a successful family, who have many friends around us who know what kind of parents we are. They know we treat our children well, and we intend ONLY the best for them.

    We do not use drugs, we do not drink to excess, we do not curse often, we try to lecture our children instead of using corporal punishment. And the one time an incident does happen, we are forced to now prove ourselves as fit parents.

    Now, if you do not think I have the right to be upset about all of this, and try to protect ALL of my family. Then well, that is your right and your opinion. However, I want some legal advice on how to deal with CPS, and what my rights are as a parent, and my husbands, in trying to get the madness removed from our family before it causes significant damages to it. So I came on this forum after stumbling on it while doing a google. I intend to fight for my family, and I intend to keep my children safe. I will do what CPS needs me to do, however, I will not allow anyone to trample on the rights of my family to live a happy and successful life, just because they don't believe in our methods of punishment. And like I said prior, I've been married for 12 years to this man, together for 14, never once has he laid a mean hand on me, or our children. And trust me sir or ma'am, we've dealt with bigger messes than this one when he was in the military, and worried if he would make it home alive. So this is just a stepping stone for us.

    If you think I make light about the issue, I do not. I am upset he left bruises, but do I toss him out to be a lowlife scumbag who doesn't deserve to care about his children, or have them care about him? You better bet NOT! And the quicker I get actual helpful answers to my questions on how to handle this and what to do, the faster my family can get back to normal, and my children, husband, and I do not have to feel like we've been violated, or abused.

    And to make this abundantly clear to anyone who reads this. I am willing to hear advice that will actually help our family, not to instill more upset it in. We are not above going to classes to help our family, we are not above doing what is asked of us. What we will not tolerate is being bullied around by a big dog without a leash. And sad to say, I've yet to hear any cinderella stories come out of dealings with CPS.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:30 AM In reply to

    Ok [+0+] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Thank you for your message. As I told the social worker who came out. I don't condone the bruises at all, but I know that my husband did not mean to do that. Yup, I realize that he had to have hit a little too hard in order to leave those.

    The child I have with ADHD (or told he had it 5 years ago) has had his symptoms change, and the more I read up on his symptoms, the more I believe it is bi-polar. And yes I am in the process of trying to find a doctor that is competent in dealing with children with disorders such as these.

    However, we were dealing with military doctors prior to this, just a little over a year ago, and trying to find a new doctor, well as you might expect is a nightmare in itself.

    I do appreciate your posts, and I appreciate how you delivered it. I did not get the impression that you were being hypocritical of my husband or my family and I do appreciate that. Like I said I am very protective of my family, and in this world we live in, you have to be.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 9:10 AM In reply to

    • SMG63
      Consumer
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, Oct 16 2005
    • Posts 637

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Having also dealt with, CPS in a negative way, I would STRONGLY caution both you and your husband as to what you say and how you say it to a caseworker. I was amazed at how much of what I had said was twisted and turned against me in my own case. Before I knew it, I was faced with the possible loss of all 5 of my kids - 4 of whom weren't even party to the complaint.

    Definitely get an attorney involved, if at all possible and voluntarily seek parenting and anger management classes. I would be very cautious in defending your spouse as it can easily be misconstrued as you "not getting the picture", and being part of the problem.

    And, most important of all, never show frustration or anger with what they throw at you. It just gets you the "hostile parent" notation on the chart and warrants further investigation.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 10:19 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    All you can do is do exactly what the CPS case worker tells you. If you do not, it will only hurt you.

    I think the parenting classes and anger mgmt classes are a great idea.

    Regardless of what you think of CPS, the child was left bruising which indicates an excessive punishment. If you discipline the child out of anger then you are more apt to do something like this.

  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 11:21 AM In reply to

    Ok [+0+] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Yes, I have watched what I said to her thus far, and by the grace of God what I was thinking did not come out of my mouth. And yup, they've already started the twisting, but not from something my husband or I said, but what one of our children said. They said they're daddy is a drunk. Mind you, the one who says it thinks that anyone who has a drink of alcohol is a drunk. So here we go there. That was my first clue that I better get an attorney, cause this was going to be rough.

    But when she turned to me after confronting my husband with the issue, and telling him he would be required to leave the home, she said she did not like how he acted to me when he was out of the room. My husband is a man of few words, he finds out what is up, and thinks on it first before proceeding. He's already told me that he packed his things immediately and left immediately, so that she would not think he was being defiant.

    Thank you very much for your post, that was helpful. That is what alot of the websites that carries information about these such things was saying as well, but I like to be well cultured in whatever I'm up against. Thanks
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 11:29 AM In reply to

    Question [=?] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Yup that's why we told her we would have no problem going to classes. We want this over with quickly and with as less stress on our family than is necessary. The whole reason he got out of the military, with a sucessful career, was because he wanted us as a family to be stable and wanted to be home more often instead of deployed all the time. We believed our boys needed their father home more often.

    I don't think anger had played a role in the discipline, as more worry and fear for our childrens safety. But see, what makes me worry about all this is, what would have happened if their dad would have been wrestling with them instead , and left a bruise while they were playing? It just seems to never end with the big brother intrusions on your private family life.

    And I am a strong advocate of turn your anger into something pro-active. That you have to feel really strongly about something and become angry about it in order to turn it into something positive.

    Thank you for your post, I appreciate the message.

    Also if anyone knows what I can do to protect my children from the school, I would appreciate any advice. They are scared now to go to school, because they are worried what the teachers are saying, and they don't feel happy about going back tommorow. I've already told them the teachers were doing what the law commands, but they don't understand that. Just like they don't understand many things. Am I able to speak to the principal about this, and advise her about confidentiality, and that I do not want the teachers talking about this. Also, do I have the right to have the school not speak to my children about this? If so what do I do? I want to make sure that my children are not subjected to interviews by anyone from now on without my prior knowledge, as I want my lawyer to be present with them or myself. Preferrably the lawyer. Possibly they will have to have papers filed prohibiting this?
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 1:12 PM In reply to

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    I would change my thinking of protecting the children from the school. The school is mandated to report suspected abuse- and they did as mandated. The school has a right to speak to the children, without you there, as do social workers and others. How your children react and behave is a direct reflection on you; you should be thankful the school was there to protect your children when you were not. They obviously either saw the bruises or the children were upset enough that they relayed what happened to someone they felt safe with.
  • Mon, Feb 18 2008 3:43 PM In reply to

    Ok [+0+] re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    That's the reason I was asking questions before acting. I've consulted with a lawyer as of 2 hours ago. He's already advised us to just play the game so to speak with CPS. To follow their plans they put out and to do what is necessary. However, we are to contact him if they go to court for anything. He's already advised us not to tell the school not to talk to our children, however, he also said to make the children aware of what is going on and let them know it is their choice as to whether or not to speak to them.

    Yeah my middle son was scared he would get into trouble, because the teacher told him, well I'm calling your father over a homework issue, and our son said no, he's already spanked me and left a mark.

    So unfortunately, the school is guilty of trying to instill fear of their father into our children as well. Cause anytime they have an issue with our son, they call us and we come up to the school. Our children are not afraid of us, but they are afraid of getting into trouble.

    Also I've contacted a psychiatrist as of today too, got his number from our lawyer. And they will be contacting me to set up an appointment asap in regards to re-examining my childs mental disease.

    I appreciate all your advice, and I'm sorry if I freaked out a bit, or was overly assertive. It's just it feels like a nightmare, and unfortunately, or lawyer said it is. So we're going to get through this, and move on as we've always done with problems arise.

    Thank you all again, and I'll let you know what happens, just as a courtesy if you'd all like as well.

  • Tue, Feb 19 2008 4:24 PM In reply to

    re: What do I do?? Dealing with CPS

    Freakingout, there's no need to respond to each every single response (notice the thread is a bit crowded).

    "But him and I both were at witts end on trying to figure out how to get them to understand the importance of following the rules."

    Then it sounds like you all may want to read a few books, including perhaps a SuperNanny book or two, and talk with your pediatrician.

    "The last thing we want is for them to learn the hard way and end up either getting molested by a stranger, or killed."

    There's just something odd about this remark -- "learn the hard way"??

    "After saturdays incident happening, we were very wary come monday when we couldn't find our children."

    You don't say how old the children are, but presumably they don't get to come and go from school on their own.

    You don't say how it is that CPS got involved that I recall.

    "And I am definetely not in denial."

    For what it's worth from an objective party, folks in denial are, well, in denial. :)

    "Like, maybe recording the interviews we have to have with CPS, or something of that nature."

    You're free to do that so long as you tell them you're doing so, but that won't ensure they don't misinterpret anything.

    "I have heard horror stories from people who've dealt with CSP before, and I just don't want our family to be sucked in and become another statistic for CSP abuses."

    Then hire a family law attorney.
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