May 28, 2002

HSLDA Calls California Social Worker's Bluff

A Los Angeles County, California member answered her door and was shocked to find a social worker demanding entrance into her home. She was so scared she could barely dial the phone correctly, but she called Home School Legal Defense Association for help.

The HSLDA attorney got on the telephone and spoke with the social worker. The social worker refused to disclose the allegations to the attorney, but he agreed to disclose them to the mother. The report alleged that the mother was incapable of caring for the children, the children were not receiving an adequate education, the home was filthy and cluttered, and two children had significant medical problems that were not being treated.

On our advice, the mother brought all of the children outside for the social worker to view, and showed the social worker copies of letters showing that the children's medical conditions were being treated. On our advice, however, the mother refused to permit the social worker to enter the home. He said, "Do you want me to come back with the police?" The mother simply replied, "My lawyer has advised me to tell you that you are not permitted to come into my home."

After the mother said that she would supply additional medical information, the social worker left. Despite his threat, he never came back with the police. The mother believes that a relative disgruntled with her decision to home school her children reported her to social services. We have advised her to limit contact between that family member and her children.

This mother was frightened, as anyone would be in this situation. Nonetheless, she was incredibly calm in dealing with the social worker, and this was a tremendous help in reducing the tension and bringing about a resolution.

The social worker, by the way, immediately recognized HSLDA and said, "Oh, yeah, I have dealt with those attorneys before."