August 5, 2005

Malicious Tipster Creates Trouble for Innocent Family

Malicious Tipster Creates Trouble for Innocent Family

An HSLDA member family, upon returning home from vacation, found a business card from a social worker on their doorstep. The family immediately contacted HSLDA and spoke with HSLDA’s Senior Counsel, Chris Klicka.

Klicka called the social worker to discover the nature of the allegations. After explaining that under the federal “Keeping Children and Families Safe Act” anyone being investigated by social services has to be informed of the allegations at the “initial time of contact” the social worker told Klicka that the allegations had to do with “sexual abuse,” and informed Klicka that she would need to enter the family’s home to directly interview the children.

Although the tip was received from an anonymous source, the family assured HSLDA that the anonymous tipster gave false information in retaliation over issues that had been brewing for nearly twenty years.

Klicka told the social worker that the tip was bogus and that he would send the social worker evidence proving that the allegation was false.

After the telephone conversation with the social worker, Klicka had the family make appointments for all their children under 18 with a psychologist who prepared a report based on several interviews with the children. The doctor confirmed that no sexual abuse occurred. In addition, Klicka had the family provide the social worker with over ten letters of reference by individuals in the family’s community, and their church, who vouched for the innocence of the parents.

Klicka also allowed the social worker to set up an interview with the parents at their church. The social worker refused. She would not meet with the parents at a church. Klicka asked “Why?” She said, “It is because of safety concerns!”

When Klicka told her that was ridiculous she still insisted that the only way she would interview them is if they brought their children to the Child Advocacy Center. Klicka said, “We cannot risk the children being locked in, which has happened to some other families.”

The social worker scoffed at his comment but then added, “Well, we will hold them if we suspect abuse.” Needless to say, the interview with the parents never happened.

As a follow up, Klicka sent the social worker a letter stating again that the anonymous tip was bogus and was only given maliciously. The letter also indicated that the family would stand on their Fourth Amendment rights and not allow the social worker to enter their home. In closing, the letter reiterated the fact that the doctor’s statement, the ten letters of reference, and the offer of an interview with the parents, were more than sufficient evidence to prove the family’s innocence. Klicka also assured the social worker in the letter that the family was following the Texas homeschool law.

The family has had no other contact from the social worker since that time.