Across the States
CPS Closes Case
The Orelchikov family recently received an unannounced visit from a state child protective services worker based on an anonymous tip that the family had adopted children who could speak only Russian.* The social worker insisted she had a legal obligation to come into the house and interview the children.
This Home School Legal Defense Association member family immediately phoned our office for help.
HSLDA Senior Counsel Christopher Klicka called the social worker and explained that although Mr. Orelchikov was originally from Russia, he had been a U.S. citizen for seven years, all of his children were also U.S. citizens, they spoke English fluently, and none of them were adopted! It was clear, Klicka pointed out, that a malicious tipster had fabricated bogus allegations. After restating the family’s 4th Amendment rights and the Texas Family Code, which requires “cause shown” in order for a social worker to enter a house and interview the children, Klicka indicated that the family would not allow the interviews of their children.
Klicka directed Mr. and Mrs. Orelchikov to provide the social worker with 12 reference letters from individuals who knew them well and could vouch that they were good parents. Furthermore, Klicka instructed the family to take their children to their doctor, who could examine them and verify that they were not being abused in any way.
After sending the letters and medical records to the social worker, Klicka sent a letter of his own, reiterating the family’s innocence and the absurdity of the allegations. He also assured the social worker that the family was homeschooling pursuant to state law.
Having received all the information proving the family’s innocence, the social worker had no reason to press further for a home investigation or private interviews with the children, so she closed the case.
— by Christopher J. Klicka
* See HSLDA social services contact policy.