The Home School Court Report
No. 5

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Social Worker Threatens to Take Custody

When a Home School Legal Defense Association member family heard a knock on their door, they had no idea what outrageous threats were awaiting them.

Opening the door, the mother found a social worker standing there, demanding to enter her home and speak with her children.* However, remembering her constitutional rights, the mother told the social worker it was not a good time for a visit, but that she might be willing to set up an appointment later in the week after she spoke with her lawyer.

“If you get a lawyer, we will take custody of all your children!” retorted the social worker. The family immediately called HSLDA for help.

In talking over the phone with the social worker, HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka learned that the allegations against the family primarily involved lack of supervision and some nebulous “abuse” of one child.

Klicka advised the family to obtain letters of reference from close friends who could vouch for their innocence, and instructed them to take their children to the doctor to determine if there were signs of abuse. In addition, Klicka told the family that it would be wise to have their pastor interview each of the children and give a report of his findings to the social worker. The family followed this advice, faxing several letters of reference to the social worker.

Klicka subsequently faxed his own letter to the social worker. He wrote that the family would not consent to meeting with the social worker, as they had already provided plenty of evidence that the allegations were false. Klicka also pointed out that the social worker had violated several of the family’s basic civil rights by threatening them and demanding entrance into their home.

Having nothing to charge the family with, the social worker did not communicate any further with the family or with HSLDA.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See "HSLDA social services contact policy."