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Message Board > Miscellaneous > Questions about calling CPS ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Questions about calling CPS
What should my friend do in a difficult situation
Mandolin82
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Mandolin82  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/13/13 7:59 PM

This is a long post, but I am out of my depth here so I'm wondering if anybody has any wisdom to share.

I have a woman who has cleaned for me for almost 10 years. I'll call her Linda. She is very hardworking and extremely honest. She also comes from a very dysfunctional background, lots of abuse and mental health issues. Because of this, and because of mental issues she may have herself (ADHD I'm guessing, plus who knows what else) Linda has made a lot of bad decisions in her life and as a result lives on the financial edge and with lots of family drama.

She is currently living with her daughter and 3 grandchildren. She believes her daughter is doing serious drugs (heroin, cocaine). The daughter was drinking a lot, but currently isn't. The daughter has hit Linda in the past. There was a 'boyfriend' who was sexually abusive to one of the kids. Linda believes the ex-husband has been sexually abusive to another of the kids.

Linda, because of the ADHD or who knows what, is very scattered in her thought processes and conversation, so it is hard for me to follow all the threads of what she THINKS is happening and what she KNOWS is happening. She tries to solve all the problems herself. It is only because of my strong suggestion that she reported the sexual abuse to the authorities. And she says that it is being investigated, and I think that is probably true. Like I said it is hard to follow her conversation and determine what is true and what she thinks should be true.
I have mainly stuck with referring her to experts, like the Child Abuse hotline and Al Anon. I am not qualified to give advice. Because her daughter is abusive (verbally and physically) to her, Linda has to stop living with her, and so will be moving in a month or so. The grandkids (I believe ages 7 and under) are already seriously acting out. The oldest in particular is cutting himself and getting so physical he punches holes in walls. Linda as well, is at the end of her rope, and I really worry about her.

I am thinking that she really has to contact Child Protective Services, and report the drug use, for these kids. Linda says they are already involved because of the child abuse allegations, although they haven't actually talked to Linda. Of course I am only hearing her side of the story, and it is a very disjointed story. But it seems like these kids have to get out of this living situation. I also don't think that Linda is up to taking care of the kids herself.

I am very good at setting boundaries. And if it were just Linda, I would point her toward support options and not get more involved. I know I cannot solve her problems. However I think these kids are in real trouble. And she is so random and disjointed, that I am concerned that she won't follow through on anything. I currently have a call in to a social services agency in her town, and it sounds like maybe they can have somebody talk to here, which is probably the best option, if she will actually go. I have also printed off a bunch of info on CPS, numbers to call, and so forth.

So what would you people do?? I have never met her daughter, or the kids, so it doesn't seem like something for me to report. What a mess. And those poor, poor, kids.

Susan


-- Edited on 6/13/13 8:00 PM --

Karla Kizer
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Date: 6/13/13 8:19 PM

You might be the best hope these kids have. I'm afraid you really need to pick up the phone and express your concerns to CPS and/or school guidance counselors. You can certainly be upfront about the fact that your knowledge is limited to hearsay, but since you're hearing it from someone in the household, I would think it would carry some weight.

------
“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.” -Robert Heinlein and Ann's father. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

Where are we going, and what am I doing in this handbasket?

Matthew 25:40 (New International Version)
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'



purplebouquet
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purplebouquet
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Date: 6/13/13 8:36 PM

Quote: Karla Kizer
You might be the best hope these kids have. I'm afraid you really need to pick up the phone and express your concerns to CPS and/or school guidance counselors. You can certainly be upfront about the fact that your knowledge is limited to hearsay, but since you're hearing it from someone in the household, I would think it would carry some weight.

Karla,

I think that's good advice.

Susan, I wish you all the best. This is a very difficult situation. You don't want to get anybody in trouble, but keeping quiet could lead to serious harm to the children. It takes courage to call authorities, but you may be the kids' best hope.

I called the authorities once when I suspected elder abuse in my neighbor's house. The next two weeks after this call were very difficult and frightening because the man I "tattled on" had a very volatile temper and made threats against me in the presence of others, but never in mine. My hunch about the elder abuse turned to be right. The bad guy moved out very quickly and the elderly man went to live with his sister. I did the right thing, but I second-guessed my decision for quite a while. Have faith!

Claudia
PattiAnnJ
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 6/13/13 8:40 PM

You do not know if any of this is true.

Getting involved in someone else's business may have very serious repercussions.

Stop falling for her stories and get another cleaning lady.

------
“I don’t give them Hell, I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.” — Harry Truman

"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

Changma
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Date: 6/13/13 8:43 PM

I second Karla's advice. Call CPS-the worst that could happen with that is that they tell you they can't investigate, but you will have done all that you could.And if there's already a file on the family your concern should be noted in it.

Changma
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Date: 6/13/13 8:51 PM

I must disagree. If there is the SLIGHTEST CHANCE that children are being harmed, either directly or indirectly, someone must step in. Always when children are involved, we should err on the side of caution.

quiltingwolf
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Date: 6/14/13 7:21 AM

You should report it to CPS then back away. Even though Patti Ann sounded a little harsh she's right you have to be very cautious about getting into other people's lives. No matter how much you may want to help them. Since you haven't seen or met any of these people it is possible all or some of this isn't true. As it's rather vague. After reporting it to CPS there is nothing else you can do. And if you don't want the drama, maybe as suggested get another cleaning person.

Another thing that, how is it that an employee feels comfortable telling someone that they work for all this stuff? It's kinda of like do it or get off the pot. People who chronically complain about bad stuff happening in their lives and don't do anything to change it is a red flag.Or always have an excuse why they can't change it. No matter her past issues this woman is an adult. And this isn't your problem. If this was a close friend of yours would be different.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

Mandolin82
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Mandolin82  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/14/13 10:05 AM

I have been communicating with an friend who is a foster mother, an amazing foster mother, and thus has experience working with CPS.

She confirmed that since I don't know anything first hand that my call really wouldn't do any good. She gave me info that I can pass on to Linda to help her make the call.

I do know that I cannot help Linda. She herself is huge problem. I know, from having had her work for me for 9 years, that she is very good hearted and honest, but very bad at living life in a healthy way. The only reason I have stepped in as far as this are the kids, and that is a recent issue.

So I will encourage her document specifics that concern her (this was recommended by my foster mother friend), and encourage her to contact the necessary people.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Susan

quiltingwolf
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Date: 6/14/13 2:53 PM

let us know how it works out.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

Sharon1952
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Date: 6/14/13 5:13 PM

I could not disagree more. IF she turns out a liar- oh well. At least the situation will be looked into. If she turns out to be telling any portion of a truth those kids need help before they are another statistic.

Getting involved in the business of others is tricky- you have to weigh both sides of the issue and err on the safe side.

------
Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

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