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

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TEXAS

Caseworker Tries to Hide Reason for Investigation

A veteran homeschooling family found a social worker’s business card wedged in their door, with a message to call the social worker.* Disconcerted and bewildered as to what the social worker’s concerns might be, the Vogel family promptly called Home School Legal Defense Association.

Courtesy of the Family
Standing on their 4th Amendment rights, the Vogel family protected their children from an unecessary interview.

When HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka contacted the social worker on the family’s behalf, he learned that the allegations were innocuous and general.

The social worker said the Vogels were accused of “physical abuse, medical neglect, neglectful supervision, and emotional abuse.”

Noting that these allegations were completely false, Klicka explained to her that the federal Keeping Children and Families Safe Act requires social workers to reveal the specific allegations at the initial time of contact. In this instance, the social worker had neither provided the allegations at the initial time of contact nor disclosed the specific allegations.

Per Klicka’s recommendation, the Vogels took their children to a doctor for a professional interview and observation. The doctor then provided a letter to the social worker saying he found no evidence to support any type of abuse or neglect. The family also provided numerous character references from friends.

Klicka explained to the social worker that the Vogels were standing on their 4th Amendment rights and would not have the children interviewed.

In response, the social worker wrote: “the interview, as part of the investigative process has to be completed before closing a case . . . I appreciate the letters of reference on behalf of your family, but until the face to face interview is complete, your case will remain open.”

At this point Klicka reiterated that the family would stand on their 4th Amendment rights in order to protect their children from unnecessary trauma.

Finally, nearly four months later, the Vogels were overjoyed to receive a letter from the social worker stating that the case was closed. No interview had been conducted of any family member. We praise God for this result.

— by Christopher J. Klicka

* See “HSLDA social services contact policy”