Unjustified CPS re-investigation of homeschoolers stopped

Saturday, April 23, 2016
 | 
Michael F. Haverluck (OneNewsNow.com)

children playing on swing

A Texas homeschool family no longer has to worry about another unwarranted and intrusive investigation at the hands of Child Protective Services (CPS), which called for a “do-over” because of its own mistakes and negligence.

An initial investigation of the upstanding homeschool family was allowed to be conducted, even though there was no legitimate probable cause for the government to be concerned about the well-being of its children in the first place.

“The family had fully cooperated with a CPS investigation conducted after one of their children fell off a horse and broke his arm,” the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) reports. “The parents allowed the caseworker to see all their children and verify that their environment was safe. The caseworker assured them that the report would be closed as unfounded.”

However, the homeschool parents received a phone message from the local CPS office three weeks later, informing them that it must start the entire investigation over again because the caseworker who carried out the previous investigation had left the agency.

“Ms. [last name withheld] no longer works for us,” the telephone message left by the CPS office notified the family. “We need to redo this investigation from the beginning.”

Reopening potential pain

The thought of reopening the case that was unjustified in the first place was especially difficult and problematic for the family for a number of reasons.

“The member family had adopted a child who came from a rough background and who is sensitive to any involvement with CPS,” HSLDA Staff Attorney Darren Jones explained. “[In February], one of their children fell off a horse and broke his arm. The family brought him to the hospital, and it appears that someone who heard about the hospital visit called CPS, making inaccurate claims based on second-hand information about their family.”

The vulnerability of adopted child was clearly stated to the CPS agent, who proceeded to get all the information she needed to satisfactorily close the case without causing the child any more unnecessary stress.

“When a caseworker called, our member explained the sensitive situation to her, and the investigator helpfully agreed to meet the family at a local park,” Jones continued. “She observed the children playing and interacting normally with their parents. Then our member set up a time for the caseworker to walk through the house a couple days later, when the children would be out, to verify that the environment was safe for children. The home visit went quickly and smoothly, and the caseworker agreed to close the case as unfounded.”

Yet, because of the CPS’s negligence, no notes of any kind about the satisfactorily resolved investigation were left behind by the departing caseworker. The agency insisted that their lack of due diligence in keeping records obligated the homeschool family to invite a following intrusion into their home.

Solution rejected

The homeschool dad, however, had a possible solution. He kept evidence of the visit, while the government agency failed to do so. Yet this still was not enough.

“Our member offered to show them the video of the former caseworker walking through his house, but CPS refused and insisted that they would have to interview all the children and do another home inspection,” Jones informed.

When Jones immediately contacted the CPS the following day — thoroughly outlining how the homeschool family had gone out of its way to accommodate the agency’s intrusive and negligent handling of the entire situation — he demanded that the CPS immediately close the case as “unfounded” because it should have already been officially drawn to a satisfactory conclusion.

Case closed … again

HSLDA announced that this final push on the CPS was just what the concerned homeschool family needed to get the government out of its private affairs — especially when there was no just cause for the intrusion in the first place.

“Within days, the family received an official notification from CPS that the case had been determined ‘unfounded,’” the nonprofit Christian legal organization based in Purcellville, Virginia, announced. “CPS said that no more interviews were necessary and that no further action would be taken.”

Jones was also relieved that the CPS was willing to admit it had unjustifiably pushed to reopen a case that should have been closed — if they had looked into the matter with due diligence.

“When I wrote CPS, they had already done their job of making sure that the child at issue was safe,” shared Jones, who specializes in protecting homeschool families from the government’s overreach. “I was glad that once they took a look at the facts, they realized that the case could be closed.”

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