March 15, 2016

CPS Loses Caseworker, Insists On Do-Over


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“Ms. Harmony* no longer works for us. We need to redo this investigation from the beginning.”

An HSLDA member family from Texas recently received this telephone message from the local Child Protective Services office. Three weeks before, the family had fully cooperated with a CPS investigation and had been assured by the caseworker that it would be closed as unfounded. But now CPS wanted to redo all that previous work. So HSLDA jumped in to assist our members.

Darren Jones DARREN JONES Contact attorney for Texas

The member family had adopted a child who came from a rough background and who is sensitive to any involvement with CPS. Last month, one of their children fell off a horse and broke his arm. The family brought him to the hospital, and it appears that someone who heard about the hospital visit called CPS, making inaccurate claims based on second-hand information about their family.

When a caseworker called, our member explained the sensitive situation to her, and the investigator helpfully agreed to meet the family at a local park. She observed the children playing and interacting normally with their parents. Then our member set up a time for the caseworker to walk through the house a couple days later, when the children would be out, to verify that the environment was safe for children. The home visit went quickly and smoothly, and the caseworker agreed to close the case as unfounded.

But three weeks later, CPS called again. Officials claimed that because the caseworker no longer worked for them and had left without leaving any notes behind regarding our member’s case, they would have to conduct the investigation again from the beginning. Our member offered to show them the video of the former caseworker walking through his house, but CPS refused and insisted that they would have to interview all the children and do another home inspection.

When the family called us the next day, HSLDA attorney Darren Jones immediately contacted CPS. He detailed the extensive cooperation that our member had already exhibited, pointed out that it wasn’t our member’s fault that their caseworker had been dilatory in her paperwork, and told CPS that the case should be immediately closed as unfounded.

Since then, the member family has not heard from CPS again.

One of the primary reasons HSLDA exists is to protect families from government overreach of the kind illustrated in this case. Protect your family by becoming a member, or defend homeschool freedom by making a donation today.

*Not her real name.