February 25, 2008

Social Worker Gives Up

The Randall family (name changed to protect their privacy) of Ottawa County was homeschooling when they were contacted by a Michigan social worker. The social worker accused the parents of not supervising their children and wanted to enter the home and conduct interviews.

Mr. Randall contacted Home School Legal Defense Association and talked with attorney Christopher Klicka. Klicka told Mr. Randall about his Fourth Amendment rights, which allow him to be secure in his home and not allow the social worker to enter or to interview his children. These rights were communicated to the social worker.

Later, Klicka was preparing a letter to the social worker on behalf of the Randalls when the family received a surprise phone call.

It seems that after hearing that Mr. Randall had an attorney who was willing to defend his Fourth Amendment rights, the social worker apologized for the investigation. She admitted to Mr. Randall that the tip she had received was “very sketchy.” The actual allegation was that the “kids were living on their own.” After the social worker talked with her supervisor, she was told to simply talk with Mr. Randall on the phone one more time, and then to close the case.

We are thankful for this surprise, yet welcome, outcome.

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in investigations 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 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.