I was recently made aware of an argument that had taken place between a Mother and her teenage son, six weeks ago or so, at their family home. The heated exchange was regarding the young man’s cellphone. Seems familiar to those of us who have young teens that consider their cellphones their everything, right?
We’ve all threatened to remove that privilege as a parent, if our child doesn’t straighten up and fly right, right? If you bring your grades up, you’ll get your phone back, when you start being nicer to your little brother, you’ll get your phone back, you’ll get your phone back when you start helping out around the house. I believe I can say, with a high degree of “parent with a teen” certainty, that the reaction to this, “quid pro quo” if you will, is dramatic, and, one would think, life ending.
Well, the following tells how this exact scenario went from a family situation to a system situation, faster than you could say “system situation”.
Their voices got louder, and emotions ran high, and the son’s anxiety level became more intense, as the possibility that his cellphone privileges may be revoked became real. He made the decision to start recording his Mother(s) discipline, and then proceeded to call CPS, and make a report that his Mother was abusing him. They were emotional decisions that he now deeply regrets, in more ways than one.
Upon CPS’s arrival, and their watching of the recording the son had made of his Mother loudly attempting to discipline him, as well as seeing another child on the recording that was sitting on the couch, doing what appeared to be her school work, he came to the conclusion that not only was the Mother using an aggressive tone towards her son, she was neglecting her daughter who was sitting on the couch studying. He ordered the children to be removed from the home, and they were placed in foster care, for three days. After the three days, it was ordered that the children be placed back in the home with their Father, and a no contact order was placed on their Mother. She could not be in her home with her children, and was not allowed to contact them at all. For the following 30 days she stayed in a motel, alone, astonished and heartbroken.
A Mother who’s life is her children, and who is there for them and involved with them, each and every day of their lives, and who loves every second of being a Mom.
In the meantime, the son recants his story, claiming he was just mad and had fabricated it and how he only recorded his Mother and neglected to capture and tell the whole story. The accusations made by the son, were eventually ruled to be unfounded, and his Mother’s record was wiped clean. However, his Mother, still staying in the motel, was waiting for word to come that she could return home. That word never came, and it was nearing 30 days that she had been out of her home.
Her daughter’s Birthday was coming up, and it just so happened to be on the same day as her soccer game. Mom had never missed her Birthday, or a soccer game, and she wasn’t going to start missing them now. Mother and Father attended the game together, waving and blowing kisses from a distance while cheering on their daughter and the team. It was rejuvenating for everyone, as well as completely harmless.
Due to the watchful eye of someone there, a call was made to authorities to report that the Mother and Father were at the game. CPS ordered her held in violation of the no contact order, and the Father was charged with bringing the “Abuser” to the game with the children in attendance. It was then, that CPS ordered that the children be removed from the family home, with no contact allowed by either parent. The children were placed into foster care, and would remain there for 37 days.
Thirty seven days? For what? For violating a no contact order that had been placed on this Mother prior to accusations being declared unfounded? For violating a no contact order that was actually no longer a valid or needed order on the day of the soccer game, due to all accusations by this time, already declared unfounded and wiped clean from her record?
Which seems to me would no longer be an enforceable violation. CPS still attempting, and succeeding, at enforcing this order, when all was dropped? How can this be? It couldn’t possibly be due to their negligence at not informing those that needed to be informed that the no contact order was no longer active, could it?
Let’s say, for the sake of discussion, when a person is accused of, let’s say, murder. They are “ordered” to be held in jail pending further investigation. Then a couple days into the Investigation, all accusations are found to be untrue and all is dropped, and the once-accused is cleared of any wrong doing, and is released.
The once-accused does not remain under the court’s control, as one being released on probation or parole is. They are released, and free and clear of any and all of the accusations that were in question, and it is stricken from the record. They can’t be picked up for violating the “order” to be held in jail, when they had been cleared of everything that had been the reason for ordering them held in jail in the first place. Follow me?
My point is: Why is it that CPS is not held to the same standard, or not equipped with a working “moral compass”? Why is It that they are allowed to continue holding this Mother accountable for accusations she was cleared of?
Why is the Mother held in violation of a no contact order that was placed upon her when the accusations had yet to be cleared? Since all accusations were determined unfounded, and all was wiped clean from the record, no “legal” reason for a no contact order necessary, let alone issuing a violation of one when there was no longer one In place, or shouldn’t have been. Hmmmm?
Why is she not allowed to go home and get her children back?
Well, apparently, through the eyes of CPS, and CPS only, non-existent claims are still enforceable infractions, in their book. They will ride it out as long as they possibly can. Why? For what reason?
The recanting of the initial claim, the record wiped clean, free and clear of any wrongdoings, yet the no contact order is still in place and still enforceable? Why are the children not back with their Mother and Father in the family home? No harm, no foul, It seems to me. Why are the parents only given one hour per week with their children? Why is it that CPS so “quickly” removed the children without doing a more in depth investigation at the time the original reported accusations were made? Yet CPS is taking their “slow sweet time” in reuniting the children with their Mother after all has been unfounded and wiped clean?
Why would CPS send a rookie case worker out on a case by himself and allow him to make a decision on his own of this magnitude? Or is this nothing out of the ordinary for CPS? Is this because CPS has lost sight of their mission, to keep the “best interest of the children” their goal at all times? Or has this never been their goal, just words that they needed to include in their “Mission Statement” when applying for grants or requesting funding of any kind? Or, is it the number of cases you acquire for the department, within each reporting period, that has your best interest? Increased caseloads, increased funding?
The children are devastated by what has, is, and will be upon them. The most devastated child, their youngest, their baby boy, is not only a victim of this nightmare, but is terminally ill, with a rare form of cancer that he puts up a fight with each and every day. He wants and needs his Mother desperately . She has been his everything his whole life, but most importantly since being diagnosed. Children always need their Mother, but not as much as they do when they are sick. A terminal illness at 8 years old must seem even more scary without your Mother there with you, as she’s always been. He longs for her and her loving hugs, and misses his own bed terribly. The foster home he is in drops off and picks up the children at schools, at different times, while having to be respectful of their own schedules. This leaves the youngest having to sleep in the car for 3 - 4 hours on any given day, as they wait for the other children to get out of school. Really? Is this what should be happening when it doesn’t need to be this way? Should any child, let alone one that is terminally ill, have to experience this, when it doesn’t need to be this way? One that is separated from his Mother and Father, when it doesn’t need to be this way? This is what you consider Is in the“best interest of the child?” Really? I would have to say that it appears as If CPS has “no Interest in this child”.
The other two children, one an honor roll student, with her eye on medical school, just received her first D. The other child, who’s always gotten A’s and B’s, has dropped to all D’s . This is not due to the fact that their IQ levels have suddenly plummeted . This has everything to do with the stress and anxiety placed upon them since being in this “system”. There Is no “legal” reason, or moral reason for that matter, to keep them separated from their Mother and Father, yet CPS continues to keep them separated, with no obvious care and concern for the “best interest of the children”.
I believe CPS has failed tremendously with their handling, or I should say, mishandling, of this case. They appear to be inadequate, incapable, and unable to handle this department properly and legally. I also believe that they are influenced greatly from outside the department. They will obviously go to any lengths to make themselves appear as if they’re taking care of business, and keeping “the best interest of the children” their main priority, when it’s blatantly obvious in this case, that both of these couldn’t be further from the truth.
No contact still with the children, after nearly 70 days, except for one hour per week? Really? Is this how the system takes hold of children and keeps them separated from their parents without just cause, and gets away with it? Is it in the “ “best interest of the child” that this terminally ill little boy is separated from his Mother, at a time when he needs her most? A time when his illness limits the time he will have with his Mother, and family at all? Really? I don’t see it. And quite frankly, there isn’t an explanation that could or would convince me otherwise.
Not only has this been devastating within the family, on many levels, It has caused much distane within the community towards the parents, as well as between each other’s children. The parents are active in Class A Soccer with their daughter, which has created many good relationships with the other parents. The professional people in the community, Doctors, Lawyers, Judges, Police Officers, Dentists, etc. They travel to out of town games and attend gatherings throughout the year as well. They have always maintained a good standing in the community and been well liked and respected by others. Since this unfortunate situation has been upon them, the camaraderie is distant, if at all. It has caused much undue hardship upon them, and severed many relationships due to the unfounded accusations being pinned on them. It’s been more disheartening to them than they can express.
Their family may be fighting this fight, but the real fighter in the family is their baby boy. The terminal cancer that he deals with each and every day is the fight that is more important to fight than anything. He desperately needs his Mother, his everything. He needs her love and hugs and her way of making everything alright. He went from being a busy little boy that attended fund raisers that were held for him, he was honored at center court at an NBA game, community dinners were held for him, etc. etc. Done so because people truly cared and loved this little boy and his family. They were lights in his life when things at times seemed so dim. He felt their love and care for him, and they brought joy to him and big smiles to his face. He went from feeling this abundance of love from everyone, most importantly the love, hugs, nurturing and security of his Mother every day and night, he went from all that, to a place “where he never gets hugged” and where he feels no one cares. I can only imagine the sadness this little boy deals with every day and the loneliness that must be so overwhelming to him, especially at night.
And this is ok how? And after 70 days, their has not been anything done to correct it? No reuniting of this Mother with her terminally ill child? How Is this happening? Where Is the compassion and understanding by those that keep “ the best interest of the child” their number one priority? Or is this little boy, that is stuck In a situation, without a voice, completely accurate when he says he feels no one cares?
This is not acceptable, and not how caring, compassionate and loving individuals treat anyone, let alone those that have no voice and are our most precious commodity…our children. Taking it a step further, a terminally ill 8 year old little boy, that’s Innocently caught up in a system that has no concern for his need to be in the loving arms of the person that he knows cares, and that makes him feel the best, his Mother.
The difference between the “CPS system” and a strong and loving family “system,” is a loving family will never lose sight of their mission, to keep “the best interest of the child(ren)” their number one priority, and they mean it.
Update: The children are scheduled to be placed back in the family home on February 24th — without their Mother.