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North Carolina

March 30, 2006

Family Threatened: 'We Will Take your Children!'

When a Home School Legal Defense Association member family heard a knock on their door, they had no idea what outrageous threats were awaiting themů

The mother opened the door and found a social worker standing on her doorstep demanding to enter the home and speak with the children. The mother, remembering her constitutional rights, told the social worker that it was not a good time for a visit, but that she might be willing to set up an appointment later in the week after she spoke with her lawyer.

The social worker retorted: "If you get a lawyer, we will take custody of all your children!"

Alarmed, the family called the emergency HSLDA hotline for help.

HSLDA Senior Counsel Chris Klicka spoke over the phone with the social worker, who said that the allegations primarily involved lack of supervision and some nebulous "abuse" of one child.

Klicka advised the family to obtain letters of reference from close friends who could vouch for the family's innocence, and also instructed them to take their children to the doctor to determine signs of abuse. In addition, Klicka told the family that it would be wise to have their pastor interview each of the children and give a report of his findings to the social worker.

Later, the family did obtain several letters of reference that they faxed to the social worker. They also sent a report from their pastor.

Armed with strong evidence supporting the innocence of the family, Klicka subsequently faxed a letter to the social worker. In the letter, Klicka wrote that the family would not consent to meeting with the social worker, as they had already provided plenty of evidence that the allegations were false. Klicka also reprimanded the social worker for violating several of the family's basic civil rights by threatening the family and demanding entrance into their home.

The social worker had nothing to charge the family with, and has not been heard from since.

 Other Resources

The Social Worker At Your Door: 10 Helpful Hints (HSLDA members only document)