So this is a hard and honest post to write but I feel our story needs to be shared.
I have been accused of child abuse.
Ok, medically neglecting Josie would be the “technical” charge.
(Don’t fall off your chair with laughter now! If you have followed our blog for any length of time you know how preposterous this sounds.)
It is time for the truth to be told and for me to share what I have learned and hopefully be a warning to those of you reading this.
(NOW before you start….please read the entire post…don’t skim and read the highlighted blue articles also!! Thanks!)
Back on March 3rd, I called our nursing company to report that one of our nurses was not doing her job properly. She was not stretching Josie before she would put her dafo’s on and so Josie consequently got a blister on her heel becuz her dafo’s were not put on properly.
This same nurse would sit at my kitchen table on facebook with her phone while Josie would walk by herself to the bathroom and take care of her business. Bayada has a no social media/no phone policy while the nurses are working and it was VERY unsafe for Josie to be walking without assistance so that needed addressed also.
Around the same time I was looking over the nurses notes and realized that this same nurse was also putting false information in her notes. Two separate times in March I saw that Travis and Logan signed her out (which is fine) but she wrote that she left Josie in the care of Mom. Which was NOT true as I wasn’t even home those days. So “lying” on nursing notes is a pretty big deal and needed to be reported to her supervisor.
So I brought all these issues up with my clinical manager and they talked to this nurse about these concerns.
Well…..two weeks later as we were finishing up supper on a Saturday night a woman shows up at our door.
She said she is here to investigate us for child abuse?!?!?!
We were flabbergasted.
(Ok, pissed off might be a better word to use here.)
We didn’t know what to say nor did we know what our rights were so we put on our happy face and we invited her in.
(Hindsight is 20/20 and we now realize that we should have asked to see some ID before letting her in!!! But we were so blown away we weren’t thinking clearly!)
She said someone had called Children and Youth Services (CYS) about a blister on Josie’s heel. So she was here to look at it.
(April 6th) (May 9th)
When I took off Josie’s sock she looked at it, she looked at me and said, “And that’s what I was called out here for?? That is nothing.”
A blister that was healing and was caused by our nurse being negligent.
BUT because someone made a call into CYS they had to investigate us fully.
(We KNOW which nurse it was that called. They won’t tell you who called but there were certain things that were said that we just knew and could figure out who it was. I fired her butt immediately after the children and youth worker left our house and she will never be our nurse again.)
The CYS worker that came on Saturday night was the “emergency on call” person. (Cuz ya know a blister on your heel is a HUGE emergency!) So as she we leaving we were told we would be assigned a case worker and she would contact us later that week and come out to do a “thorough” investigation.
When the second CYS lady came to our door later that week she was all business and accused me of the things that were called in. I was on the defensive and I was ready for her. There was no way I would stand for being falsely accused of this! I have done nothing but go to medical appointments with Josie! And I knew that I was in constant contact with our nursing company and doctor about this blister and was doing what they were recommending me to do to get it to heal.
This whole thing was ridiculous and I let her know that! I had all my emails between our nursing company and myself about Josie’s heel printed out and ready for her to read. I also had all my dates ready to show her the timeline that showed what this nurse was in trouble for and that she only called out of spite.
She had a clipboard and asked me all kinds of questions like: Who all lives in the house, what is everyone’s social security numbers, what was Josie’s complete medical history…etc. Then she asked me if I had anything that I wanted to add.
Oh boy…did I ever!! She got an earful. I was respectful but firm.
I ask her if CYS was going to take our children away. To which she responded, “Probably not.”
Probably not?!!? Are you kidding me!?
(Steve said they would have had to take the kids over his dead body….there was no way they would have taken them from our house without a fight.)
I also let her know that we would take this to the highest court level until our name is cleared. I told her I have fought the insurance company before and won. I told her I’m not a mom who will back down easily.
So here is where I want to interject some of the “knowledge” that I have learned going through this hell:
1. You can’t nor should you trust ANYONE anymore. People WILL stab you in the back. Don’t trust your doctor, your S.S. teacher, you child’s school teacher with any information that could be taken wrong. They are all “mandatory” reporters now and they will call you in! Be VERY vigilant and be ready to explain any and all bruises or bumps that may be on your child. Kids can’t be kids anymore. Gone are the days when they can have bruised knees and walk to the park by themselves.
2. You are guilty until proven innocent in these kinds of cases. There is so much that is against what the Constitution of the United States of America says that it makes me sick. But this is where our country is headed.
3. You should be VERY cautious on how you treat and discipline your children while you are out in public. Read below about a family who was falsely accused by a complete stranger who called CYS on the mom from a parking lot incident.
4. Document EVERYTHING. I had all the emails from our nursing company that showed that we were doing everything possible to get her blister to heal. But those didn’t really mean anything in the initial investigation though as the CYS worker needed to confirm everything directly with our doctor. (Which our doctor’s testimony totally matched with my account , that we were doing everything we could to get the blister to heal and that it would just take time to heal! I still don’t have a magic wand to wave around to magically heal things quicker!)
BUT if the allegations would have come back as a guilty verdict then I would have had the proof to take in front of a judge. I don’t do anything just over the phone, if I do talk to a doctor or our nursing company via the telephone then I immediately write an email to have a paper trail of what we talked about.
5. Know your rights. You can refuse to not have CYS come into your home (I’m just thankful they didn’t bring police officers with them) but refusing them entry can get dicey. Read about that in the link below:
6. There is NO common sense in our country anymore. It is way too easy for anyone to make false allegations on a family. There needs to be some changes and some accountability. If someone is upset with you and wants to “get back at you” for something all they have to do is call the child abuse line and make an accusation.
7. If you are ever in a situation like ours you will have to be the squeaky wheel! This whole process of proving our “innocence” has taken over 2 months. And it would have taken a lot longer if I wouldn’t have been bugging our CYS worker and making sure she was following up with our doctor and doing her job. Know that you will have to FIGHT to clear your name. And don’t feel bad about calling and calling and asking for supervisors!
So thankfully (and rightfully so) the charges against us were “unfounded” and we have been cleared of any and all “charges.”
But unfortunately these allegations still go on your child abuse clearance records. And since we are youth leaders we need to have a clear record!!
So now I have to call and fight with Child Line to make sure our record is cleared.
And this all happened because a person was being vindictive.
(This nurse knew full well we were doing everything we could to get the blister to heal. Like we weren’t wearing shoes or dafo’s, and we were in constant contact with Josie’s CP doctor. There was never any medical neglect. Period.)
Of course you all saw the Baltimore mom who is being hailed as a hero for going after her son who was in the Baltimore riots? (click on the below if you need refreshed)
The video shows the mom is smacking her son upside the head IN ANGER and yet nobody calls CYS on her??!?!?
(I’m not saying she was wrong! She SHOULD have gone after his sorry butt. He is lucky to have a mama who cared enough to go and find him and take him back home. And back in the day our boys got a good spankin’ when necessary! But we didn’t spank in anger and always prayed with them afterwards.)
But here sits little old me who has done EVERYTHING in my power to care for Josie and make sure she is getting all the medical care she needs and we are the ones who get investigated and our name drug through the mud?!?!?
Where’s my “mother of the year” award?!?!?
There is something seriously wrong with the whole child abuse reporting system and something needs to be changed!
It is really hard having a “stranger” (our nurses) in our home everyday and who knows all your business. So we will be making some changes around here in the coming months. We have learned the hard way that you can’t trust anyone. So we are working at keeping our circle VERY small and making sure that only people we can truly trust watches and cares for our children.
I hope that by sharing our story that people realize how serious these situations are and how broken the system is. Please put boundaries in place in your life and be aware that anyone can call Children and Youth on you at any time and it will be a nightmare! Make sure you have all your ducks in a row and make sure you know your rights!
And just be aware that as our society gets more “crazy” there will be more and more of these kinds of allegations….which only ends up hurting the children and messes will good families.