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November / December 2004

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CPS case closed

When a Home School Legal Defense Association member family in North Maricopa County found the business card of a Child Protective Services (CPS) social worker in their front door, they quickly called HSLDA for help.*

HSLDA Attorney Thomas Schmidt gave the family some general advice and assisted them in formulating a plan for communicating with the social worker. After talking with the social worker, the family learned that an anonymous tipster had claimed they left their child unsupervised and "physically abused" the child by spanking.

Schmidt advised the family how to resolve the situation quickly, without jeopardizing their Fourth Amendment rights by allowing the social worker into their home or permitting CPS to inter-view their child alone. The family met with the social worker and provided information demonstrating that the allegations were false and that their reasonable use of corporal punishment (spanking) is not prohibited in Arizona or in any other state. They also allowed the social worker to see their child and determine that this was not an emergency situation.

After meeting with the family and finding that the report was probably made by a disgruntled former employee of the family business, the social worker closed the case.

— by Thomas J. Schmidt

* See "HSLDA social services contact policy".