March 2, 2007

Social Worker Applauds Family for Standing on Constitutional Rights!

In our 24 years of dealing with social workers and anonymous tips, we’ve found it is extremely rare a social worker ever recognizes or seeks to protect a family’s rights. Well, one HSLDA member family recently investigated for false allegations had a happy ending!

The Hayes family from Lapeer, Michigan, was surprised to find themselves under investigation for child abuse. A social worker came to their door, asked if they were homeschooling and said there were allegations against them that they were “isolating” and “not taking care of their children.”

Although the family was indeed homeschooling, the allegations of abuse were completely false.

The Hayes family called the Home School Legal Defense Association and spoke with Senior Counsel Chris Klicka. Klicka told the family about the importance of standing up for their constitutional rights and recommended they have people in the community send reference letters to the social worker. Klicka then explained to the social worker their Fourth Amendment rights in a follow-up letter.

Based on this information, the Hayes family did a wonderful job of showing the social worker that they were not hiding anything by refusing entrance to their home, but were merely exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights.

Although the Hayes family had been told by relatives who are social workers that they should just do whatever the social worker wanted or they would think they were guilty, the Hayes family took the advice of Klicka. They firmly but politely told the social worker that when they talked with her it would be outside of their home.

The social worker was at first leery of this unusual insistence, but soon realized that the family was just exercising their constitutional right to be secure in their home and free from unreasonable searches. By taking Klicka’s advice and politely standing on their rights, the family was able to talk with the social worker and have the investigation completed right then on their doorstep—without the earlier demand to interview their children!

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to assist and advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in the investigation resulting from allegations of abuse or neglect. If homeschooling is an issue, we will represent our member families until the issue is resolved. On Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure issues, HSLDA will assist and advise our members whenever the privacy of their home is violated by forced or coerced entry for the purpose of an unsubstantiated investigation. HSLDA membership benefits do not extend to court actions resulting from non-homeschooling matters. However, in circumstances where there is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, HSLDA may, as we have done in the past, choose to take the case in an effort to establish legal precedent.

 Other Resources

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