November 17, 2003

Doctor Causes Homeschool Family Trauma By Notifying Social Workers

The M family of Frederick, Colorado, were successfully homeschooling their eight year old son. However, one afternoon, their son collided with another child on a playground, and fell on the corner of a "fort," injuring himself. The mother was sitting nearby with a social worker who was working with the family on an adoption. A day or so later the family visited their doctor for a reason unrelated to the accident on the playground. The doctor noticed a bruise on the child and when the mother and son explained, the doctor still stubbornly insisted on turning them over to the child welfare agency. The allegation was that the doctor found an "unexplained bruise."

The family was contacted by a social worker who insisted on interviewing the child, entering the home, and possibly even inspecting the child. HSLDA Senior Counsel Chris Klicka contacted the social worker and explained that the family had certain Fourth Amendment rights that prevented the social worker from coming into the home. Furthermore, there was no evidence that the bruise was indicative of abuse. Klicka provided a statement from a doctor who gave a second opinion and found nothing, a letter from the social worker who was an eyewitness to the injury, and three references of others in the community who vouched for the M family.

Klicka sent a letter along with the documents evidencing that no abuse or neglect had occurred to this child. The case is expected to be resolved in the near future without a social worker interviewing the child or entering the home.