Welcome to the first lesson of CPS School!
The word “referral” is a term with two meanings.
Please note that CPS stands for Child Protective Services. Many states and counties have other names such as DPSS, DCFS, AFCS, et.
#1 Referral=When someone calls a CPS hotline and says that they believe a child is being abused.
#2 Referral= When CPS provides their “clients” (you, your children or other adults involved in the case) with “services” they use the word referral which is telling you to go to a specific place for that service such as parenting classes, counseling, drug testing, etc. but mostly it is paperwork to prove the use of the state and federal money that is given to the Department to steal out children.
For the purpose of this article I am using the #1 meaning.
WHERE REFERRALS COME FROM
ANYONE CAN CALL THE CPS HOTLINE and report anything they want regardless of whether they are telling the truth or NOT. A disgruntled neighbor, friend, family member, an ex-spouse or partner, your child’s friend’s mother or father, a complete stranger who witnessed you yelling at your kid in the grocery store and managed to get the phone number you have on your car advertising your business, a jogger passing by your house and hears a loud bang and then the cry of a child (this really happened to a friend of my brother’s. The loud bang was a broomstick falling to the floor and it startled a young child causing them to cry. The broom wasn’t even close to hitting the child.)
The person making the “referral” does not have to have proof nor do they ever have to testify! NEVER! Their names are kept secret (unless they call your social worker directly while you have an open case, then this information may be in the case/contact log). No background check for the person’s credibility will be performed and they can be convicted child abusers themselves!
What can you do to avoid the “referral” by someone you know? You certainly can lower the odds by just getting along with people. I wish I would have put more effort into not being a bitch to my husband’s ex-wife that is for sure! I thought I was so much better than her, I looked at her like she was a piece of shit (she was and still is) but I didn’t have to go out of my way to write her that letter telling her so. I had my reasons at the time but golly gee willicker, if I could go back in time, I would kiss that woman’s ass for sure! I had no idea of the evil she was capable of doing. So be kind to your neighbors, ex-spouse or girlfriend, be tolerant of certain personality defects, try your best to be firm but always nice. Don’t piss your mother off (they must rank #4 in the people who call!) and try to get along with your sister. This would not only improve your chances of not being falsely reported, it also strengthens your family bonds and that is positive for everyone.
MANDATED REPORTERS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS
A lot of calls are from “mandated reporters” who are professionals who can be charged with a crime for failing to report “suspected” child abuse either in criminal or civil court as well as pay a hefty fine and possibly lose their license. I believe that there may be a minimum referral quota but I can not verify that.
Here is a partial list of “Mandated Reporters”:
School teachers School Nurse School Principal School Counselor
School Administrator School Staff School Volunteer School Cafeteria Lady/Worker
School Clerk/Office Staff School Librarian School Social Worker School Janitor
Hospital Doctor Hospital Nurse Hospital Administrator Hospital Social Worker
Hospital Staff Hospital Chaplin
Family Doctor Doctor’s Nurse Doctor’s Office Staff Doctor’s Aide
Daycare Administrator Daycare worker
Dentist Dental Assistant Dental Office Staff
Police Officers Code Enforcement Officers Parole Officers
Animal Control Officers Probation Officers
Substance Abuse Program Directors, Counselors, Volunteers and Office Staff
Domestic Violence Prevention Program Directors, Counselors, Volunteers and Office Staff
Parenting Class Teacher, Administrator, Volunteers and Office Staff
Anyone who works at Macy’s Department Store (no kidding!)
Utility Workers (like the people that come out to turn on/off your electricity, water or gas)
Refuse Pick-up Drivers
Mail Delivery Persons
ANY PERSON WHO WORKS FOR GOVERNMENT INCLUDING CITY, COUNTY, STATE AND FEDERAL!
Each CPS office has its own referral evaluation process. You should be able to find the one for your county by searching, “Child Welfare Policies in ____ County”. How the agency in your area responds depends on several factors such as current case load, budget conditions and case to staff ratio. All too often calls will be “evaluated out” simply because they were understaffed and over budget already. Even more disgusting is when CPS KNOWS a child is in real danger and they don’t do a damn thing! They let that child get hurt or die just so they can spin it so that they can say they need more money! Shameful, despicable behavior!
The call center will receive the call, ask pertinent information about the child and the child’s family and/or residence and ask what the abuse is. They will ask, “How do you know?” but these questions are basic and never verified in any way. Callers can say they anything they want and even give a false name. They DO have caller ID however, Then a supervisor reviews the sheet of paper or computer data and uses guide to help determine the safety risk. Or at least that is what is supposed to be done. If they decide to send someone out to the home or school most likely the worker will not be alone and depending on what the caller said, they may even bring the police on the first visit which most likely means that their intention is to remove your child.
THE SOCIAL WORKER WILL USE THE PRESENCE OF THE POLICE OFFICER TO INTIMIDATE YOU INTO BELIEVING THAT YOU HAVE TO LET THEM TAKE YOUR CHILD AND THAT IF YOU PROTEST YOU WILL BE ARRESTED. The bottom line is that NO WARRANT, NO ENTRY! If they had a warrant they would NOT be knocking and waiting for you to answer. I have many suggestions on how to avoid your children being taken and I shall provide a link on the side column soon but REMEMBER, CPS HAS NO POWER AND NO AUTHORITY OVER YOUR CHILD UNTIL YOU GIVE IT TO THEM! More on this subject in Lesson 2.
When my husband’s ex-wife called (over 20 times) the CPS hotline while I was in labor with my son she said, “That baby will DIE if you let it go home with them!” So NEVER UNDERESTIMATE what people will say when they call that hotline!
[A FUNNY SIDE NOTE:
A couple of months ago some guy called my husband’s phone, as it can be found on http://www.donnellyjustice.me, to report his neighbor. He thought he was calling CPS for some reason! Maybe he was just testing us but we played along just to see what he would say. He said that there are “a lot of people living at the house” and that he “smelled pot coming from the direction of the house”. Basically, the children play outside and it annoys him. My husband told him that someone would get back to him. My husband called me and gave me the guy’s number so I called him. I did not say I was from CPS or the county whatsoever. I just asked him what was going on and how can I help. He told me the same thing he told my husband. I asked a few more questions and implied that someone would go check on the children. I asked his name and the address of the children he was calling about. Of course, he couldn’t tell me the people’s names and he didn’t know what their address or phone numbers were he just said the house to his right or something. I googled the man’s address and looked for neighbors. The nearest neighbor is so far that most likely is someone is yelling in or around one the other wouldn’t even be able to hear it! ]