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No. 6

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Unexpected Visit Based on Bogus Allegations

In May 2006, the Schafer family received an unexpected visit from a social worker, who had received an anonymous tip claiming concern about “the wellbeing of the [family’s] children and the cleanliness of the home.”* Being Home School Legal Defense Association members, the Schafers knew not to allow the social worker into their home, and they immediately called the HSLDA emergency hotline for help.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka spoke with the social worker over the phone, explaining the family’s legal rights and assuring him that the allegations were completely bogus. Still, the social worker pressed Klicka to let him enter the home and talk to everyone in the household. In order to protect this family’s privacy and the children from unnecessary trauma, Klicka, on behalf of the family, declined the social worker’s requests.

After the social worker left, Klicka encouraged the Schafers to obtain letters of reference from individuals in their community and have their church’s bishop walk through their home to verify its good condition. The Schafers followed Klicka’s advice.

Klicka then wrote a letter to the social worker explaining the family’s legal rights in the situation, and providing the social worker with the letters of reference and the bishop’s verification that the house was in good condition. The Schafers have not been contacted since, and we expect the case to be closed shortly.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See “HSLDA social services contact policy”