August 16, 2022

Why Child Protective Services Scare Me

family at seasideAs I hope I’ve made clear in my post on the Mormons who lost their children, I’m very protective on the bond between a child and parent.  I’m very suspicious of government agencies that claim to have our children’s best interest at heart, but then take children from their homes– sometimes permanently.

And I’ve read a lot of these stories.  It’s the power that these people wield over parent’s lives that scares me.  That they act as if they have more rights than the parents to the children is foreign to me.  And that they can assume that parents are guilty until proven innocent and use that to justify removing a child from a home is wrong according to the founding principles of this country.

And then something like this happens1:

Three week old Sabrina was taken from her parents home using unproven allegations of neglect in April 2005.  The accusation?  The parents were starving her.  However, there was no evidence.  In fact, the record shows exactly the opposite:

Nancy Hey – who suffers from a developmental disorder that makes it difficult for her to recognize non-verbal signals from others – and her husband fully cooperated with medical professionals and CPS workers throughout their ordeal. In any case, Sabrina was at her proper weight when she was taken away by county officials, two days after her parents told social worker Dana Zemke that they were retaining a lawyer.  Arlington Judge Esther Wiggins Lyles signed the removal order with neither Hey nor Slitor even aware of the proceedings, much less being present to contest the decision. Sabrina went to a politically influential local professional couple with no training as foster parents, despite CPS requirements that foster couples be trained before being entrusted with children.

To add insult to injury…

Judge Almand later used the baby’s inappropriate removal to justify making the separation permanent, saying it would be too “traumatic” to return Sabrina to her natural parents. So, when Sabrina turned 3 April 3rd, she didn’t blow out her birthday candles in the kitchen where her heart-broken parents still keep her empty highchair.

This is what scares me.  Government’s ability to walk into your home, take your three month old because of a anonymous tip– even when you’re working with them!– and then justify not returning the child because they goofed up in the first place.

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  1. Hat Tip: Vox Day []

6 thoughts on “Why Child Protective Services Scare Me

  1. How about referencing the hundreds of children who are rightfully removed from abusive homes becasue of an anonymous tip (most of them from hetero households, btw)? Yeah, I suppose that wouldn’t help your argument all that much.

    I guess we should also get rid of that nasty terrorist watch list, lest an innocent person get caught on it.

    Musicguys last blog post..The Real Rules of Life

  2. Musicguy, I will argue that cps needs some power in order to stop abuse, but the sheer fact that it took three years to prove parents innocent of an accused crime, when all it should have taken was three minutes with a scale and a doctor, shows that something needs to be changed. Our government needs to take a long hard look at cps and fix its broken parts so cases like this will not happen.

    Also, of course there are more abusive homes that have heterosexual parent than homosexual. There are more heterosexual homes! If you want to start this argument you will have to argue in percentages instead of actual head counts.

  3. There are many problems in the world. From people starving in africa to Americans dieing of aids. That doesn’t make this problem any less important.

  4. I never said this issue is not important. It’s extremely important to the hundreds of children who are saved from inept or abusive parents every year in this country.

    The focus of the post was to highlight the .01% of cases (yeah, it’s a random number, but I’m sure we can all agree it’s small) in which CPS was wrong. I wanted to point out the vast majority of the times when CPS was right on. I’m more concerned with getting children out of terrible homes than I am with the possibility that an innocent parent gets caught.

    I find this all very interesting. A few months ago, many commentors here stated that the death penalty was an acceptable form of punishment EVEN IF the possibility of executing an innocent person exists. That was’t a good enough reason to abolish the death penalty. Too bad Min didn’t chose to paint the death penalty in the same light…

    Musicguys last blog post..The Real Rules of Life

  5. Newspaper articles are routinely unreliable for getting all the relevant facts. Reporters almost always look at some facts and ignore others in order to build their “case.” On the other hand, CPS workers must report to judges who determine whether or not the law has been followed. Children are not arbitrarily removed from homes, but are removed based on criteria which has been established by elected officials and judges. In the vast majority of cases, CPS errs on the side of leaving children in bad homes, working with the parents to resolve a situation. If you read Nancy Hey’s account at you’ll see that there may have been reasons for the court to rule her an unfit mother. It’s easy to criticize without knowing the entire story.

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