From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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6/6/2003 5:39:57 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Texas--Surprise Victory; Social Worker Training Becomes Mandatory

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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June 6, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Great news! Texas homeschoolers and families will be better protected
from Child Protective Services (CPS) workers then ever before.

Home School Legal Defense Association's recommend amendment requiring
CPS training in constitutional rights has become law. The language
states, "It is the intent of the Legislature that the training
curriculum for CPS Caseworkers funded out of Strategy A.1.2, Child
and Family Services, include instruction in the Fourth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution and parents' rights."

This means social workers in Texas will have to receive specific
training in respecting the constitutional rights of the families they
are investigating. Most social workers we deal with, who have
received an anonymous accusation against a homeschool family,
routinely ignore the family's parental and due process rights.

Under this new law, CPS workers will be trained in their duty to
follow the 4th amendment which requires them to get a warrant from a
judge based on credible evidence BEFORE they can enter a home. This
training will increase their liability in. They will be without
excuse to claim they did not know they were supposed to protect
families' rights.

BACKGROUND

We at HSLDA believe that abuse by the Child Protective Services (CPS)
is the single greatest threat to homeschoolers in Texas. We handle
member investigations, based on false allegations, by CPS workers on
a regular basis.

We have worked on the federal level with Congress to successfully
pass two important amendments to the Child Abuse Treatment and
Prevention Act that will curtail social worker abuses. One of those
federal amendments requires that all states create procedures
mandating social workers around the country be trained in their duty
to protect the rights of those they are investigating. This
requirement is long overdue!

Texas is the first state to implement this new federal mandate by
passing this new CPS training law!

HSLDA Legislative Counsel Tom Sanders and I worked during this year's
legislative session to get House Bill 1752, a child welfare reform
bill, passed in the Texas legislature. Many of you made calls in
support of this bill. Yet the tremendous opposition by the social
worker lobby resulted in its defeat.

Tom Sanders worked with Representative Hupp and Budget Committee
Chairman Representative Heflin, however, to quietly slip HSLDA's CPS
training language into H.B. 1, the General Appropriations bill.

HSLDA was able to shepherd this language through conference committee
with the House and Senate appropriations bills as they were
reconciled. The CPS training language survived and was passed by both
houses on June 2!

We are thankful to God for His mercy in seeing through this important
protection for innocent families. We will be working to provide input
on the writing of this CPS training curriculum.

Thank you for your membership in HSLDA and your constant support.
Without you, this could not have happened.


Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

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