Some of what I have heard is hearsay, and until I witness it myself, I can't in clean conscience call it in.I also think some of it is a difference between how I choose to raise my kids and how others raise their kids. Although I don't believe having an obese kid is a good thing, at least he/she has food. We can't even watch tv without citing child-abuse-reportable situations. For instance, just watched "I don't know how she..." There was a particular point in the movie where I turned to my husband and said that something like that would never happen to a kid in my house (if you've seen the movie you know what I'm talking about).Can you talk about it?
I too have come close. If I thought a child's life was in danger I definitely would. I know of at least one situation that I blew the whistle on, and CPS was called, but I wasn't the one to actually pick up the phone. It had good results---parents shaped right up, and straightened out.
I called on a complete stranger. I was out walking with my young children and saw a mother punch a girl about 9 or 10 in the face leaving her with a bloody nose and tears streaming down her face. The girl was cowering and all of the other children were pointedly not looking at the mother or their sister. When I spoke to the mother she responded and told me that she "could do whatever she wanted to the children" I didn't have a cell phone with me but the CPS office was on the other end of the trail we were walking on.
I think being a foster parent that is always on the recieving end of "poor parenting", makes us more alert and conscious of others parenting styles. Right?!?I have called CPS and reported a few times actually. I am also considering calling again.... we have a neighbor that locks her children in their bedrooms as soon as her husband leaves for work, and they stay there until dinner time, and then are right back up there again! Their bedroom windows face the front of my house and they are up there ALL day long!
A friend I went to highschool with told me her niece was molested by the moms boyfriends brother. That there was current police stuff going on, and he wasn't supposed to be around this little girl right now, but was actually still living in the same house. All kind of hear say and not first hand stuff I saw...but I was worried and figured it was for CPS to handle, I saw more harm in keeping this to myself then telling. I knew the mom of the little girl was "messed up" so the chances that this were true...were likely
I have done it myself twice and been involved in doing it more than that for sure. I have no qualms about calling the police and/or CPS to make a report if I believe the situation warrants it. That and I believe it's my responsibility to report certain things and not decide on my own whether or not its acceptable.Two times it was on family members. Once was indirectly as a result of suspected drug and alcohol use, including drunk driving, after conversations with this individual were ignored. Another was at the prompting of ironically that same person against another relative who ironically was being accused of providing drugs to children and suspected sexual abuse. In that case I hadn't witnessed it but enough people around me had concerns about the behavior but weren't willing to step in so I went ahead and made the call. The third time was actually the first time. Legally living in the state I was in at the time, having the volunteer role I had AND my psych degree I was required to report what I was presented with plus it was the right thing to do. I had a student I was mentoring confide in me that she was being molested by a family member. I immediately took her to a police officer I knew who happened to be a volunteer with the organization I was with too, who listened to her story and then proceeded to take her to the police station for further action. I stayed with her at the police station until the police let me know the outcome of the investigation for the day. That person was removed from her home for several months and then later returned after recanting her story. I'm convinced she did it because she missed her friends and family and didn't want to be away with them even if she was still facing danger - and I'm sure she was. After she returned home, the day before I moved to Texas, the mom called me on my cell phone and for an hour or more told me how horrible I was for doing what I did. At one point she called me Satan. I amused her for a while before my husband finally got tired of it and took the phone, told her yes, that's right, we're Satan, and hung up on her. The whole experience just made me more sure of what I did.
I called once for children I didn't know who were at the park alone (ages maybe 4&7) and were eating out of the garbage can. I asked them who they we there with and they pointed to a car that had a sleeping man in it. The worker who answered my call would not take the report!!! She said, "You're telling me that there are children in the park with an adult?" Yes, but he's sleeping. "And the children are not being deprived of food, because you said they're eating." They are eating because they picked food out of the garbage can!!! No one came for those kids. I woke up the man and asked if I could give the kids snack with my own children. I didn't want them to be punished for me making a scene.I also called CPS on one of our Bio's after a post-reunification visit. CPS did respond, but stated since the children were with me while drug use occured, the parent had made a safety plan for them. Apparently still being high when the children return isn't imminent risk. CPS did watch the situation for 90 days and the other children in the home were put on preventative services.I vaguely posted about that incident here: http://fostercareourlovestory.blogspot.com/2011/03/rat-snitch-whistle-blower-calling-in.html
In California, as a foster parent, you are a mandated reporter, or "mandated by law to report instances of child abuse and neglect." This includes suspected abuse and neglect. We are just taking classes to become foster parents, and thankfully, up to this point I have never witnessed or known a child to be abused or neglected. However, I was neglected as a child, and wonder why it was never reported (to my knowledge) as it seems it was obvious when I look back on it. I think it is better to err on the side of caution for the children, not the parents. Easy for me to say now, as I have never been in the situation.
I have not called CPS, but I have called the police on a lady (most likely a day care provider) who loaded 6 little children and herself into a 5 passenger car. I called since there was no way all of them could be in a seat belt.
I have called twice.. The first occasion was . Once on my foster daughter who had returned home to her bio mom and was visiting me a week later. She had a burn on each side of her bottom. I took her straight to the ER and the doctor and I both made a hotline call. She ended up coming back into my care. It was a horrible situation. One of the worst nights of my life honestly. The second was on a family member who was being neglectful towards his children. They ended up being removed from the home also. I always get a SICK feeling in my stomach when I have to call but know I have to do it for the protection of that child(ren) and also before Anything worse happens.
I called once on a next door neighbor. It was a complicated mess because the adult in the house WANTED me to call on the teenager living in the home. The teenager used to be her foster daughter but aged out. She then had a child of her own. Our neighbors took her back in but were being horribly taken advantage of. The teen was still using drugs and not adequately taking care of her own child.Unfortunately, I hadn't witnessed the drug use myself so my call amounted to nothing.
I'm a teacher....I've made lots of reports. Obviously my position puts me in a mandatory reporter category as well...
I am required as a foster parent to report abuse. But not hearsay. I hotlined a couple times. Once with a girl that came to me with bruises from her dads beating. Once for a foster child that had come back from visits with bruises. I just the other week made a report to a caseworker about a little respite child who had some "interesting" stories. I wasnt sure if I needed to report it since he had no bruises but the CW had the hotline cw out in less then 5 hrs. I have also done daycare for kids, where I was POSITIVE there was stuff going on. But had absolutely no proof. So I never called. I also years ago had a child where I was pretty sure she was being abused. I went to some people in leadership regarding the situation. They knew I had nothing to go by, so they shut me down. Several years later it came out and the man was imprisonned. I deeply regretted not reporting that!
I've made calls when children have specifically reported something to me, whether it was abuse by parents or by a neighbor. I have worked in summer camps and community teen centers for many years, so this does come up with kids.If the report was not on the parent directly, I also spoke with the parent to let them know of the situation. (Sometimes with the child and sometimes without, but always letting the kid know that the conversation with Mom/Dad would be happening.)
It is a fine line to walk for sure, but it's not up to the public to investigate or have "proof" of possible neglect or abuse. That's why you report it, so the proper authorities can investigate it. And because you're legally obligated...
I've almost called on a friend. She sold prescription drugs to a person and let that person crush/snort the drugs in front of myself and her two year old son. She smokes pot in front of him. Her trailer was unsafe. The floors were rotten, it was disgusting, and there were mice. She let the dogs use the floor as a toilet. She would use a towel to wipe up the pee and then leave the towel on the floor. If you hit the wall in the living room the electricity would turn off. She constantly didn't have heat or the propane for cooking food. Her animals had to eat human food. They were starving. I rescued two of them. She got wind of my plans to call CPS. We are not friends. She moved in with a boyfriend in another county. If it had gone on any longer I would have called them. I was just disappointed in the teacher (because I am also a teacher) that visited once a week because she thought that everything was fine.
Twice. Long stories. Too long. Too sad. And the parent won both times. It was so sickening - especially this most recent one.
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