Is it enough to report to Child Protective Services?

Dana - posted on 02/06/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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My 5-year-old just came back from his dad's for the weekend. He has a half-sister who is 16. He told me that his dad "beats and spanks" her. When I asked him if he spanks him, he said "no." He also said that his dad "spanks" his girlfriend when she does something wrong- like put groceries in the wrong cupboard. I am concerned, and wondering if what a 5-year-old tells me is enough to report suspicion of abuse on the 16-year-old.

Thanks for any advice you can give.

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Dana - posted on 02/07/2011

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I have started the ball rolling. The Social Worker at my son's school will talk with him and contact his sister's school to have them talk to her. If something is reported (by her), it will be done without my immediate involvement. I spoke with a lawyer, I still have to let my son see his dad at this time. There is not enough evidence to go forward in the courts. It has been advised to take my son to an independent counselor to see what else he reports to someone else outside of the situation. All school personnel and counselors are required to report. What I have is hearsay by a 5-year-old and it will not stand up in court. Thanks everyone!

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Kelly - posted on 02/07/2011

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"Spank" to a 5 year old could mean a playful spank... at my house we all spank eachother.... as in a playful pat,my 5 year old told my ex that my husband spanked him and me and his brother, its all playful wrestling or pats... I would ask for more detail CPS would have to have proof ... as in marks on a child, bruises, eye witness (not 5 years old)

Dana - posted on 02/07/2011

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I have an appointment today with my own counselor (through the DV shelter I was at several years ago). I haven't had to go in awhile, but I think it's time for my own sanity! I also called an independent counselor and left a message for an appt. for my son. Thanks Everyone for your encouraging words :)

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I can't say for sure how I would handle it. Maybe tell your lawyer what he said? I'm so sorry you have to deal w/ this. I don't think I could send my kids back if they ever reported their father doing something like that, but I, too, would be worried about the repercussions of that action. :(

JuLeah - posted on 02/07/2011

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This is what I was told ... I don't know where you live or how things work there, but I was told that if/when I became aware of abuse (as you now have) and did not take action, I would be held to the same laws as the abuser - I was told I could also go to jail for allowing it to continue. Of course, I was also told not to call CPS becuase that would place my child in more danger ... and I was not allowed to take my child to see a counslor .... yah, it sucks and I am not sure how to best advise you. Document everything!!! Get friends/family/community members to write their concerns, speak with the leaders at the shelter you went to, call the DV experts where you live .... but take action of some kind or one day your kill will ask why you didn't

Bonnie - posted on 02/07/2011

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I would report it. I don't think a 5 year old would lie about something like this. I also think this is unhealthy for your son to be seeing.

Dana - posted on 02/07/2011

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Schyla, even if I report anonymously, I think his dad will figure it out. I'm afraid of what might happen when he returns for the next visit. I'm going to talk to the school counselor today.

Dana - posted on 02/07/2011

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JuLeah, that's a bit of what I'm afraid of. I have no choice but to send my child to his dad's- the courts have made that very clear. He sees a counselor at school, I will make contact with her today. He is my ex for a reason, we spent several nights in a shelter when my son was very little.

JuLeah - posted on 02/06/2011

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No ... I'd find a different way to help. The 16 year old and the wife will deny and after CPS walks out the door, both will be beaten. Girl and wife will be too frightened to speak, but your son is. He is watching abuse, watching domestic violence, and watching it is every bit as bad as getting beaten yourself ... in fact, emotionally it can be worse. Your son needs to see a counslor asap ... you need to get him help. He has disclosed abuse to you and if you let him go back, you are .... well, don't let him go back

Schyla - posted on 02/06/2011

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I say make a report and you can choose to do so anomously there is a 5 year old here who kept telling her parents that someone was watching her for about two weeks they never saw anything but about a month ago in the middle of the night (2am) that somebody broke into their house and attempted to abduct that little girl (luckily she put up a fuss and he dropped her and her parents were right behind) so if your son is concerned enough to mention it then make the report

Alecia - posted on 02/06/2011

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uh, yeah. better safe than sorry, and thats not something u want ur son growing up around.

Stifler's - posted on 02/06/2011

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Hell yes. Even if nothing is wrong.. which I doubt.. at least you cared enough to say something.

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