A family I know of recently had a visit from their local Department of Child Services (DCS) to respond to an allegation of abuse of their children. Turns out that they were seen 'abusing' the child in public by administering corporal punishment in their car in the parking lot. Despite their insistence of the proper loving use of correction as per their religious convictions, they were visited and investigated by these 'child protection' services. They were made to think that the authority granted this agency was final.
This article on a Connecticut law put in place this summer highlights the jurisdiction granted to these departments and the scope of their legal authority. As you can read, this authority is limited and the parent has the right to an attorney and the right to limit the conversation with the agency to a simple, 'Thanks for coming. My people will talk to your people." In short, this law puts the authority of the child into the hands of the parents at this initial stage.
In Tenessee, the laws for child services are complicated and strong. A quick web search for 'tn child abuse' will produce article after article about horrible situations of parental neglect and abuse of a child. The document (HERE) for 'clients' (parents) to understand the departments procedures seems innocent enough at first, but careful reading will soon reveal that the parent has little or no recourse should the department 'deem' it necessary to take a particular action. It is clear that the parents serve the department and that the burden of proof is on the parents.
Knowing your rights should you be faced with allegations will help you in taking appropriate steps and help you to navigate the initial, and subsequent, interactions with the agencies involved.
Guest post by Nathan Tutor
The information contained on these pages is intended to awaken you to the reality we face as parents today. Our nation is steadily marching towards the loss of freedom for parents to direct the education and upbringing of their own children. Please read carefully and share broadly so that as more and more parents realize the present danger, our voices can combine to put a stop to this insanity.