We have been so blessed with the outpouring of encouraging emails and words of support that we have gotten since I posted about our experience with CYS.
The day after I posted our story I had 3 different families reach out and tell me their stories of being falsely accused by someone and how they have had to walk through a lot of the same junk we have had to deal with lately.
And the underlining theme that I heard was the something has to change. People need to be held accountable and we need to fight for our legal rights.
Someone told me about a new law for PA that was passed in January, 2014. I have been doing a lot of research and have been talking to HSLDA and getting some advice on how we should proceed.
False Reports of Child Abuse Now Illegal
As of January 1, 2014, intentionally or knowingly making a false report of child abuse is now a misdemeanor of the second degree in Pennsylvania. Approved by Governor Tom Corbett on December 18, 2013, Senate Bill 28 included this provision as part of other revisions to the law prohibiting intimidation, retaliation, and obstruction in child abuse cases. A person convicted of a misdemeanor of the second degree is subject to a fine not to exceed $5,000 and imprisonment of not more than two years.
Prohibiting false reports of child abuse and neglect is one of three legislative proposals Home School Legal Defense Association recommends to decrease the number of unwarranted investigations of homeschooling families. HSLDA also believes that in the case of an anonymous tip, the law should provide that there be corroborating evidence of the alleged abuse or neglect before a full investigation is conducted. No court order for an investigation should be issued on the basis of an anonymous tip. Finally, in order to comply with federal law, each state should adopt the provisions of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), which requires social workers to inform the person being investigated of the allegations made against him at the initial time of contact and requires social workers to be trained in protecting the constitutional rights of families during an investigation.
The Pennsylvania Legislature’s action to criminalize false reports of child abuse is a much welcomed step in the right direction, but enactment of additional family protections is needed.
We need wisdom on how to proceed. I’m soooo tired of fighting for everything. Every.single.day I fight for some service, some insurance claim, some therapy, something for Josie.
And I’m just weary and tired of it all.
Yet, I want to be an example and help the people that will come behind us and need support when they are falsely accused of child abuse.
So be encouraged that if you find yourself in a situation like ours there has been a law passed to hold those who call accountable. I’m still researching and learning all the “ins and outs” but I was happy to find this information.
Becuz, folks…hear me when I say it is becoming a real problem. We can’t live under a rock anymore. Now that people are “mandatory” reporters, the gov’t agencies have scared everyone into believing that if they don’t report something they could be help accountable.
But unfortunately people aren’t taking the time to find out the “real” story. They only see a quick snapshot and call. They aren’t using common sense.
And then add the people who just want to be vindictive and “get back” at someone….and there are A LOT of false claims being made.
Then agencies like Children and Youth are taking the law into their own hands at times and crossing boundaries that are protected by our Constitution.
But I have found peace with the situation and if we pursue legal action it would not be in a vindictive manner. Nor would we do it to “get back” at her. We would only pursue this avenue to help those who come behind us.
I can honestly say that I am no longer angry with our Nurse. I’m hurt that she did this of course. But I did find out that she lost her job. Not due to her reporting us….but from the things that I was concerned about to begin with. The negligence on the job and the making false documentation which is a HUGE no-no.
Thank you for your emails and kind thoughts.
Our eyes have been opened and we will have to “do life” around here a bit differently.
But we will make it.
We have a family who have graciously agreed to help us with some respite care for Josie. That has been a HUGE blessing and has allowed some healing and rest to occur.
And God will provide what we need…..He always has and we trust that He won’t leave us now.