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I just reported a family to Children and Famlies :(

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive May 2006: I just reported a family to Children and Famlies :(
By Anonymous on Friday, May 5, 2006 - 11:27 pm:

And now I am hoping I did the right thing.

The immediate reason I made the call today was because the 12 yr old girl told me her mom was going to be staying at her boyfriends tonight and there was no sitter; just her teen brother in middle school.

According to the hotline, the kids are old enough to be left alone.

However, over that past school year, I keep getting vibes there is something wrong in the home. The little girl is very sweet and caring, but a compulsive lier about the oddest things. Too many things to go into detail about. So hearing all the stuff she claims about her brother (or even being left alone all night) I wonder if they are true.

I drove by their home and there was no parent at home at 11pm.

Last year, my DD's best school friend had family issues. I never made the call, even tho I knew there were problems (money problems: no electric and all that goes w/ that). I had no idea just had bad it had gotten. That poor family had no food, no water, no electric and nothing coming in to change it. I had no idea it had gotten that bad. I think I was wearing blinders. I found out the night I got a call from the sheriff office to see if I could take 1 or all 4 of the kids! They are all in foster care now.

So anyway, here I am again, with this nagging feeling. This time, I can make that call myself or wait for something worse to happen. So I called. I hate the way I feel now. They told me how the report would read and it just sounds so scary. I feel they will surely know it was me who made the call. I don't even know who else would have as much information as I do.

I hope I didn't open up a huge can of worms for this family if my gut feeling is wrong. I didn't call the last time I was in a similar position and I ended up being wrong by not calling. What an awful feeling this is.

By Enchens on Friday, May 5, 2006 - 11:44 pm:

For what it's worth, I think it's better to call and be wrong than to not call and be right. Based on what you've written, though, I believe you already know that.

I hope everything turns out okay in the end.

By Dawnk777 on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 01:02 am:

{{{HUGS}}}

By Ginny~moderator on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 05:36 am:

I agree with Enchens, and I fully understand your anxiety about making the call. From the little you said, I would be very concerned also, and would probably have made the call. I very much hope, for the sake of the little girl and this family, that your fears turn out to be unfounded. But either way, you very much did the right thing, out of a sincere concern for this child's welfare. I would much rather have made the call and be wrong, than be right but not make the call.

And, {{{{hugs}}}}.

By Sandysmom on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 08:36 am:

Anonymous, (((((hugs)))), I think you did the right thing. If nothing else, the C & F will go in and see what is going on and put a scare in the mother. In the meantime, don't say anything to anyone else and especially to the little girl. If she shows up at school on Monday, just say hi and go about your way, don't act different or guilty. That way, if she doesn't know it was you, then you can continue to have conversations to find out what's going on. I'm sure there are other people who know what is going on than you and even more so. Maybe an aunt or a neighbor. I know the little girl was probably telling you as a cry for help, but when C & F gets involved, children usually become the opposite and start to defend their parents no matter what they did wrong. I've seen it before with one of my foster children I took care of a couple years ago. The parent automatically becomes the good guy all of the sudden. But, I agree with what you did, I just wanted to give you some encouragement and advice because you sound very nervous and what you did took a lot of courage. :)

By Karen~moderator on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 09:54 am:

Ditto Enchens!!!!

By Boxzgrl on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 12:00 pm:

You're doing the right thing. I'm actually in the middle of dealing with Child Protective Services over a friends child. It's sad but the right thing to do. Kudos to you for standing up for the children.

By Tink on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 03:27 pm:

I have no experience at all with this kind of situation but I'm so sorry that you've had to make such a tough decision. For what it's worth, I think you made the right choice. {{{Anon}}}

By Cocoabutter on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 09:47 pm:

Better safe than sorry.

There is a horrible trial pending for foster/adoptive parents in Michigan who abused their adoptive kids and brutally murdered one. There were SO DARN MANY red flags, but many people who should have called Child Protective Services DIDN'T, and now a 7 year-old boy is dead. (Google "Ricky Holland")

Absolutely you did the right thing.

By Tripletmom on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 09:51 pm:

You did the right thing.You'd never forgive yourself if you didn't.(((HUGS)))

By Kay on Saturday, May 6, 2006 - 09:56 pm:

Children need *someone* to look out for their best interests, if the parents don't.

Bless you for caring! :)

By Anonymous on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 11:34 am:

You all helped me feel a bit better...for a while. Yesterday after school the little girl wanted to know if we had called (can you believe the mom even had the child ask and not her...but I'm much more at ease with just the child asking). My stomach was in knots because I had to be untrue. I never said I didn't call. I just asked questions back like "what happened" "when did this happen" "what will they do now". When she spoke of a few others neighbors they had asked, and one inparticular, I felt very baddly because she might get a cold shoulder now. They have been friendly neighbors.

What I found even more odd was what the little girl said were the problems. Nothing that was even reported. The concerns were more about the girl being left in the care of a teenage boy...not anything the mom had personally done. And those were the things the little girl commented on.

The dad, who does not live there, may be a sherrif. According to the little girl, he is. But then she has told several tall tales about her life. So I am hoping he cant get access to the file. The report really says nothing extreme, just concerns for the children being left alone so much and the care of the teenage boy over the girl. No mention of mom doing anything verbal or physical to the kids.

I can't wait til this moves on and I can quit worrying. I keep asking God to keep us all safe thru this and He knows I called only with the most honest intents of concern, but still it worries me. Even my DH doesn't know about it.

By Sandysmom on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 01:25 pm:

(((((HUGS)))) I know it was hard, and usually honesty is the best policy, but in my opinion, you handled things perfectly. If you were to tell her that you did, then she would have never confided in you again, and the fact that you didn't come right out and say yes or no was perfect. You re-directed back to her and let her talk about it. (Do I sound horrible? I am really not vindictive, but I have seen some horrible stuff with kids) Call the agency and tell them what the little girl said about her dad being a sheriff, and ask them if he has access to the records, and also ask if your name is on the original report. Tell them your concerns that you are worrying about your safety, and tell them that the little girl asked you if you did it. You will sleep better tonight knowing your fears are put to rest. If you want to e-mail me, my address is scott.family4 at verizon dot net. Moderator broke up email address to prevent skimming.

Also, children who are habitual liars are like that for a reason. She is obviously troubled in some way.

By Cocoabutter on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 02:29 pm:

I feel so badly for the girl. She seems so insecure. If her mother were to ask the agency, I do not believe that they are allowed to give out names. You are doing the right thing- just hang in there and be a friend to the little girl.

Evil triumphs when good people do nothing. It can be scary to do the right thing when you know that it may come back on you. But that is a risk we sometimes have to take to do the right thing.

By Anonymous on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 06:15 pm:

Sandysmom, I had already called them this morning to express my concern regarding dad being a sheriff. They said they do not give that info out. She then gave me the number to the place that gets the file and investigates. I called but kept getting busy signals.

The little girl was not in school today. I have no clue why. I don't want to ask any questions at this point. It was raining hard today, so maybe she just missed the bus? Maybe she was sick?

So you are a foster parent, Sandysmom? You've had a lot of experience w/ the systems?

Thanks

By Sandysmom on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 - 07:11 pm:

Anon, I hope you feel better. It took a lot of courage to do what you did and I'm sure you still are shaky. (((hugs))) Keep praying and asking God to give you peace in your heart. I will pray for you as well. We have been foster parents for three years and the agencies all vary in policies but I do believe there are laws that protect people who report their concerns to the agency. Keep calling that number and if you are still getting a busy signal, then call the agency and ask them to call them for you and then call you back. Chances are, they gave you the main public number everyone calls and they probably have an inside number. Good luck :)
As far as the little girl not being there today, I'm sure you are worried. Just take it day by day. (((hugs)))

By Hol on Thursday, May 11, 2006 - 10:52 pm:

A different kind of question.....I noticed that the moderators "broke up" the email address to "prevent skimming". What is that?
Also, I've noticed in the past that people spell out their email address, example: ----@verizon dot com. What is that about?

By Dawnk777 on Friday, May 12, 2006 - 12:14 am:

It prevents the "spiders" from harvesting your email address to send you spam.


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