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Author Topic: Who do I go to Now that CPS doesn't care?  (Read 2586 times)

blh1013

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Who do I go to Now that CPS doesn't care?
« on: Nov 23, 2009, 02:29:41 PM »
I know I"m not dad, but my hubby and I have been having issues. Who can you think of I can go to next- I"ve done the counselor and principal, CPS, and no one will take a report- I would think if a perfect stranger called and claimed all this, they'd ben investigated immediately. (have a pending contempt visit denial in Jan)This is the XXth letter/call/etc we've made for intervention- I emailed this today to CPS (AM I wrong in thinking excessive absenteeism, no phone, no food, no clothes is neglect- it seems in maryland it doesn't):

Dear Madam:
I am writing in my frustration in both my and my husband's attempts to report our concerns about his son, John David (JD). My husband and his ex-wife have a court decree of shared custody and visitations with JD, but over the past year (and most recently within the last 2 months) we have tried several routes of professional help, to no results. My most recent incident of frustration was, after a somewhat disturbing conversation with JD, both my husband and I attempted to file a complaint/lodge a neglect investigation of circumstances at mom's custodial times.

On Tuesday Nov. 10th, JD came over for the beginning of our visit period. Within a half hour of his arrival, we were notified by his school he had been absent. His father, I, and JD had a conversation in which JD said he didn't go to school because he overslept and didn't feel like going. We asked why he didn't call us for a ride (we live one block.six homes away) and he told us there is no phone at home and the only cell phone mom took to work (My problem was what if there had been any emergency- how was he to get help or call 911 or anyone else for that matter?) In addition, he said he needed to eat- he was hungry because "mom doesn't have food in the house". We called CPS, and the representative/secretary (Mrs Benson) took my name and number claiming all the intake interviewers were currently busy and would return my call within a few hours; the return call was 2 days later (11/12 at 11 AM). I told the representative it was an inconvenient time (I was too angry to speak with her at the time, and her suggestion was if there was school problems, to bring it to the school's attention.)

Situations and incidents are continuing- just a small list of reasons I am concerned that I am hoping for a home evaluation can be done and JD (if or when interviewed) is not in the presence of his mother and older half brother.

~ JD was sexually abused by his older half brother five years ago, the older brother was removed, but most recently released on bail and is on probation for several charges (I think assault and theft/burglary). In JD's description to us, the three of them live in a two bedroom single wide modular home (JD has said he sleeps on the couch because his brother has one of the two bedrooms). On October 8th, of this year, JD came to our home at 5:45 AM because he was afraid of his brother (mom was at work). On October 30th, JD went to one of our neighbors, who called the police after the older brother physically assaulted JD (grabbing him, slapping his head to the point his glasses were knocked off his face). We (my husband and I) filed a TRO but was dismissed on 11/02/09 because of JD's resistance to speak in his mother's and brother's presence.

~For the school year of 08-09, while a 5th grade student, he was absent 12 time and 8 latenesses (7 absences in one quarter), suspended for sexually assaulting another male classmate and reprimanded 8 times for behavioral issues. IN addition, we were frequently questioned about his lack of hygiene. To date for this year (seven school weeks) he was suspended for 3 days for fighting during the 2nd week, absent a total of seven days (including the suspension days) in the 1st quarter, and now being 10 days in the second quarter, absent 4 days and one lateness. I have asked school as professionals to file a complaint, but all I know is school staff and teachers have been notified to watch for problems.

I am concerned that as my stepson's grade are continuously dropping (he was honor roll last year, this year he's received several D's and E's) and frequent complaints emailed to us for his lack of homework, behavior problems, etc.; his speaking to us of no phone, no food, no clothes to me is neglect. All these events occur when he is with mom, and sometimes, we don't find out until after the fact (such as the suspensions).
We have binders of emails, documentations, and evidence to back everything I have mentioned in this email. I willingly open my home to anyone who may want to evaluate it. When I filed a complaint last December (12/02/08), I received a form letter verifying my complaint had been received, but nothing more, The mother had custody of her older child (the abusive brother) taken away and he placed in foster care for reason unknown (Baltimore City or County), she ignores all recommendations by doctors and physicians for counseling and medical interventions (she has skipped many appts. and stopped counseling when we wished to participate). I am afraid of what road the child is headed down as he is isolating himself. When we request help, we are told to take it to court for an amendment, which we are in the process of, but there is s 6-12 backlog, and I don't know what else could happen during that wait.


CPS replied within an hour:
Dear Ms. Brandee,
It appears that this situation is a custodial matter, as you report that you have attempted several times to report these issues to CPS and to no avail.  The local department of social services in solely authorize to open a CPS investigation in cases were the child is in "imminent" danger at "substantial risk of harm" for the lack of care by the caregiver (aka Mom in this case).  It appears that although you have diligently reported these concerns to the local department they are unable to obtain proof through their investigation that this mother is neglectful to the point in which under the law the child is in "imminent danger" or at "substantial risk of harm".  This is therefore a matter than can not be remedied by filing a CPS report with the local.  It may therefore be remedied through you and your husband (the biological father of this child) considering filing a custody petition against the mother, utilizing all the information that you have at your disposal.  The burden of proof is a lower standard through a custody filing between two private parties.  The father has just as much right to parent his son, as does the mother and you and he can attempt to make a case that this mother is "not in the best interest of the child" and he should be legally given to you and your husband.  DHR can not provide you with legal advise, but we can suggest that you and your family consider this option as a remedy for your concerns about your stepson.  Please see Maryland COMAR 07.02.07 (CPS investigations)  at for the regulation governing the conduct of and  the legal definition of "abuse and neglect" investigations, in order to get a better impression as to why CPS is legally unable to intervene any deeper in this matter.  Thank you for your inquiry to DHR. 


ocean

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Re: Who do I go to Now that CPS doesn't care?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 23, 2009, 03:29:19 PM »
File for modification with the courts for your husband to be primary care giver due to educational neglect and neglect in the home. From now on, you CAN NOT write these letters (you can write them FOR you husband and have him sign them) but you can not. You have no legal standing in the court system or in general for the child.

Ask for mom to have visitation when she is home and can supervise the child so he can continue a relationship with her. (You need to prove that you will foster a good relationship between them).

You can file in most states for free or a small fee at the family court house...

 

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