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Just thought I'd share my good news.


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  #1  
April 27th, 2011, 12:14 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Taneytown, MD
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Last fall, I found out that the little boy that Daniel had been playing with (he's 6 months younger than Daniel) was playing a "birdie doctor" game with Daniel, wherein neighbor boy would bite Daniel's exposed penis. After talking with some mommy friends, I thought that there was a good chance that neighbor boy had been abused in the past and possibly still was being abused (he is adopted and his parents have foster children in and out of their home), so I called CPS. The interviewed Daniel and then neighbor boy and nothing ever came of it that I know.

A few weeks later, I get a visit from a different CPS worker saying that an anonymous neighbor called and said that Neely and I fail to supervise the boys while they play outside. At the time, Daniel was 5, Clayton 9 and Will 11. I did and still do allow Daniel to play on our street without me being outside all the time, we live on a safe street, in a safe neighborhood and there are always tons of kids outside playing and other adults outside too. I always check on him and the others; I'm just not out there every single minute. Anyway, the department found only me to have neglected only Daniel, since in their view, Will & Clayton were old enough to be unsupervised. I immediately appealed the decision. A few weeks ago we had a hearing and the department put on their case. After the worker testified and the department rested their case, my attorney (friend) made a motion for judgment of dismissal of their case based upon lack of evidence, meaning they failed to show a specific day, time or occasion where I failed to supervise Daniel, thus putting him at substantial risk of harm.

The ALJ (Administrative Law Judge) adjourned the hearing so she could review the file and said she would issue a ruling. If she ruled in the department's favor, we would continue the hearing and I would have a chance to put on my evidence and testify. If she ruled in my favor, the finding of neglect would be modified to "ruled out" and the file would be destroyed. Well, I just got a call from my attorney who told me he received the ALJ's order today, and she ruled in MY favor saying that the department failed to meet is burden of proof and that there was no indication that Daniel was neglected. I feel vindicated. I can't tell you how nerve wracking this wait has been for me. Even though they didn't take any action (i.e., removing Daniel from the home), it still meant that my name was on some database of abusers/neglecters in my state. Not that I want to, but it would prevent me from ever working with children, having a home daycare or a state job in the future. The ALJ ordered that my name not be included in my database and I feel like I can breath easier now.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my good news!
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  #2  
April 27th, 2011, 12:53 PM
Arachne
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YAY! So glad it worked in your favor!!!! Hmph. I wonder who that "anonymous neighbor" was. Here's my question, Will is old enough to technically babysit, why were they saying you were neglecting to supervise properly when Will was out there, too? I know it's not Will's responsibility to supervise Daniel, but, if something happened, Will could always alert you guys, etc...

My grandmother kept trying to get me to send the kids across the street to the playground since "eldest is old enough to keep an eye on him!" The HOA is okay with it too. I'm glad I never let them do it, just in case. You never know who's a nosy neighbor or not.
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  #3  
April 27th, 2011, 01:12 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fright View Post
YAY! So glad it worked in your favor!!!! Hmph. I wonder who that "anonymous neighbor" was. Here's my question, Will is old enough to technically babysit, why were they saying you were neglecting to supervise properly when Will was out there, too? I know it's not Will's responsibility to supervise Daniel, but, if something happened, Will could always alert you guys, etc...

My grandmother kept trying to get me to send the kids across the street to the playground since "eldest is old enough to keep an eye on him!" The HOA is okay with it too. I'm glad I never let them do it, just in case. You never know who's a nosy neighbor or not.
You must be 13 in the state of Maryland to be left in charge of someone under 8.
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  #4  
April 27th, 2011, 01:15 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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Awesome! I'm glad the judge ruled in your favor. I could only imagine how nerve racking that must have been.
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  #5  
April 27th, 2011, 01:23 PM
Arachne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
You must be 13 in the state of Maryland to be left in charge of someone under 8.
OHHH!!!! I see. The laws are very... loose out here... when it comes to that. It's essentially up to parental judgement as to what age a child can be left alone, though it does say no one under 6 for more than so many hours, I think.
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  #6  
April 27th, 2011, 02:32 PM
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wow that's scary! I'm so glad the judge cleared you. How insane!
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  #7  
April 28th, 2011, 03:48 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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Congrats!!!

Just know that your name might still be in a database just in terms of that there was a complaint made. I've had someone call children services on me a couple of times and we didn't know anything about it until we started fostering Munchkin. There was never any investigations at all, so obviously the complaints were unfounded, but there is a little note on our background check that a couple of complaints were made. There's no details whatsoever other than that in there though. I would call after a few weeks and check on that.

Congrats again on being vindicated. It's a good feeling, isn't it?!
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  #8  
April 28th, 2011, 09:23 AM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2princes2princesses View Post
Congrats!!!

Just know that your name might still be in a database just in terms of that there was a complaint made. I've had someone call children services on me a couple of times and we didn't know anything about it until we started fostering Munchkin. There was never any investigations at all, so obviously the complaints were unfounded, but there is a little note on our background check that a couple of complaints were made. There's no details whatsoever other than that in there though. I would call after a few weeks and check on that.

Congrats again on being vindicated. It's a good feeling, isn't it?!
Nope. Maryland law requires that on cases of "ruled-out" (meaning no abuse or neglect happened) abuse or neglect, that there be no record kept. The exact word from the order was "expunged". I'm sure that the worker herself would remember me (I wasn't exactly nice to her), but if they were to receive another complaint about me, and she was the worker assigned, I would demand that she recuse herself from the case. Not that I expect another complaint, but you can never tell what people will do. I tend to lean more towards "free-range" parenting, so I give my kids looser guidelines than most parents. But I'm an old mom. I've been doing this for nearly 23 years and two of my kids were raised partly in Baltimore City.
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  #9  
April 28th, 2011, 10:07 AM
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What a relief. I'm glad it all worked out!
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  #10  
April 28th, 2011, 02:08 PM
Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
Nope. Maryland law requires that on cases of "ruled-out" (meaning no abuse or neglect happened) abuse or neglect, that there be no record kept.
That's good!
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