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1/27/2006 5:56:58 PM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Washington--Calls Needed to Hold CPS Accountable

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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January 27, 2006

Dear HSLDA members and friends:

We need your calls to the House Judiciary Committee to ensure that
social workers are held liable for violating a family's rights when
conducting an investigation.

House Bill 3148 would exempt social workers from "civil liability for
any act or omission to act during an investigation of child abuse or
neglect." Additionally, this bill requires the interest of a child to
be raised above the parent's interest.

For over 20 years, HSLDA has defended thousands of homeschool families
who were falsely accused of child neglect. In many of these
situations, social workers blatantly disregarded the law and the
parent's Fourth Amendment rights. Removing a social worker from civil
liability could allow a massive abuse of power. Social workers would
simply give the excuse that they were simply concerned for the
children and continue to disregard the rights of the family during
their investigation.

We need your calls to keep social workers accountable. The Judiciary
Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on House Bill 3148 on
Wednesday, February 1 at 1:30 p.m. in Hearing Room B so we need your
calls now. Please forward this e-mail to friends and family.

Action Requested:

1. Please call and/or e-mail all of the House Judiciary Committee
members listed below and give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose House Bill 3148. This bill removes the presumption that
parents act in their child's best interest and removes necessary
accountability for social workers.

I believe that anyone who abuses or neglects a child should be
prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I also believe that DSHS
has a vital part to play in helping abused children. However, removing
the possibility of civil liability for violating a family's rights
during an investigation is not in the best interest of the citizens of
this state.

Please ensure that House Bill 3148 is defeated."

Do not identify yourself as a homeschooler; instead you can identify
yourself as a concerned parent and taxpayer. Representatives
Darneille, Roberts, Kagi are sponsors of H.B. 3148.

Judiciary Committee Members

Representative Patricia Lantz - Chairman (D)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7964
District Office Phone: (253) 858-6297
E-mail: lantz.patricia@leg.wa.gov

Representative Dennis Flannigan - Vice Chair (D)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7930
District Office Phone: (253) 593-2345
E-mail: flannigan.dennis@leg.wa.gov

Representative Brendan Williams - Vice Chair (D)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7940
E-mail: williams.brendan@leg.wa.gov

Representative Skip Priest - Ranking Minority Member (R)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7830
E-mail: priest.skip@leg.wa.gov

Representative Jay Rodne - Asst Ranking Minority Member (R)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7852
E-mail: rodne.jay@leg.wa.gov

Representative Tom Campbell (R)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7912
E-mail: campbell.tom@leg.wa.gov

Representative Steve Kirby (D)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7996
E-mail: kirby.steve@leg.wa.gov

Representative John Serben (R)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7922
District Office Phone: (509) 458-2140
E-mail: serben.john@leg.wa.gov

Representative Larry Springer (D)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7822
District Office Phone: (425) 739-1806
E-mail: springer.larry@leg.wa.gov

Representative Alex Wood (D)
Olympia Office Phone: (360) 786-7888
District Office Phone: (509) 568-3065
E-mail: wood.alex@leg.wa.gov

Background:

In recent years there has been an unprecedented rise in the number of
homeschool families that have been investigated by social workers,
many for completely false allegations anonymously phoned in from a
disgruntled relative or neighbor.

As a result of the abuses of the child welfare system, we at HSLDA are
working to reform the child welfare laws in the states. We support
legislation which would protect families by forcing social workers to
abide by the same laws regular law enforcement officials must obey.
HSLDA attorneys also work constantly to represent our member families
who are undergoing social services investigations for exercising their
right to homeschool.

House Bill 3148 would enable social workers to act with regard to
possible civil liability for violating a family's rights if "it is for
the children." Also, the following statement in the bill is extremely
troubling:

"When the child's interests of basic nurture, physical and mental
health, and safety conflict with the parents' interests, the interests
of the child should prevail. In conducting investigations under this
chapter, appropriate placement of the child during or immediately
after the investigation shall be the department's paramount concern."

HSLDA believes child abuse is a terrible crime and that true abusers
should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. However, about
60% of abuse and neglect reports are deemed unfounded. If social
workers are able to act without regard for potential civil liability
our concern is that they will disregard the rights of parents and the
importance of the family unit, which could cause even greater
injustices.

For more information on social worker investigation and legislative
reform, please go to http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id= 2804 .

If you are not yet a member of HSLDA and would like to help us fight
for greater homeschool freedom in Washington please visit
http://www.hslda.org/join/apply.asp . From now until March 18th you
can save an additional $15 to $30 if you join or renew online.

If you would like to be put on our free e-mail list to receive vital
elerts you may sign up at http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id= 2803 .

Thank you for your part in fighting for freedom in Washington.

Sincerely,


Thomas Schmidt
HSLDA Staff Attorney

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-> How many acorns can a chipmunk hold in its cheeks?

We don't know! But we do know that gathering little by little
enables ordinary folks to prepare for hard times. That principle
is behind HSLDA's payment plan: by paying a month at a time,
families can receive an annual HSLDA membership. Meanwhile, they
can feel secure as they homeschool and focus on other priorities
-their children. Don't go nuts trying to pay for membership all at
once. Choose one of our convenient payment plans.

More reasons to join HSLDA...
http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=1937

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