The Home School Court Report
Vol. XXIII
No. 4
Cover
July/August
2007

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ILLINOIS

Falsely Accused of “Environmental Neglect”

When a social worker contacted the Kline family (name changed to protect family’s privacy), demanding to enter their home and interview their child, they promptly called Home School Legal Defense Association for help.* HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka first advised the Klines to have a professional walk through their house and then write a letter describing the conditions he or she found in the home. Second, Klicka asked the family to produce letters of reference from individuals who frequent their home and know the family well enough to vouch for their solid character and parenting skills.

Then, on behalf of the family, Klicka spoke to the social worker and discovered that an anonymous tipster had claimed that the family’s apartment was filthy and that they were guilty of environmental neglect. Klicka assured the social worker that the family would testify that the allegation was bogus, and that the Kline family keeps an average, clean home. He told the social worker that the family would provide a letter from a professional verifying the healthy condition of their home, as well as letters of reference from various individuals in the community who knew them well. Klicka also informed the social worker that the family declined her request to enter their home and interview their child, as they were standing on their 4th Amendment rights which protect them from intrusions like these unless there is probable cause of wrongdoing.

The family has been left alone and the social worker never entered their home.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See “HSLDA social services contact policy”