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DYFS --- Need some input

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by TheVoiceless, May 16, 2011.


  1. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Ok OT TB,

    I wanted to see what people knew about DYFS. I have a friend who's girlfriend had DYFS called on her. She claims they came in the middle of the night and said that she was being accused of putting cigarette burns on her daughter and was not feeding her 3 children. She said they took her sleeping daughter out of her bed and lifted her clothes up to inspect for cigarette burns.

    I have no experience with how DYFS works. But I did read this,

    State of New Jersey | Department of Children and Families | How and When to Report Child Abuse/Neglect

    She is claiming it came from an anonymous call.

    I would think that it would take more then an anonymous call with outrageous claims to deserve this type of investigation?

    What I want to know is, is this standard practice by DYFS? To just rush in with the police in the middle night? Or don't they have to do any research first? Like talk to a teacher, or a doctor? Or at least calmly contact the mother and do a soft investigation first?

    To me it would have to come from a reliable source, or at least get the callers name and info in the case they are wrong? I understand the urgency in the case its true, but again, shouldn't it take more then an anonymous call?

    Have you ever heard of them doing this and being wrong? I want to believe that she is just an innocent victim. But I am having a hard time buying that.

    Any experience or input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I have no idea. Out here, in California, as a teacher I'm legally obligated to report suspicious injuries, or confessions of abuse. I know that once I report it, probably because I'm a professional observer of children, a report from a school is taken pretty seriously.

    Once, while growing up, my sister dislocated her shoulder. My father used to spin us around in the backyard while holding our arms. So that the g-forces would lift our feet off the ground. My sister used to love it. Well once she got injured from it, and showed up to school in a splint. CPS came out and interviewed myself and my parents about how my parents treated us. They pretty quickly realized that there was no foul play here, that it was actually an innocent injury (we never did it again, however) and we were on our way. So it's good to see that they're investigating. But to me it seems like there's more to this story than what your gf is leading on. No offense, not sure how long you guys have been dating or anything, but there's got to me more to this story. They either had a very credible source for a report, or there's some kind of history that you don't know about. For them to show up in the middle of the night and use those kind of resources something serious must have happened. Perhaps her daughter said something, that's always a possibility.
     
  3. L-A

    L-A

    Jul 17, 2008
    Eh?
    I see a ton of missing info here, but AFAIK, a midnight intervention is either a serious emergency or the result of a bunch of nutcases driving your local child services.
     
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    In Washington state, they will act on an anonymous tip.

    -Mike
     
  5. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    To clarify its not my girlfriend. I happy married to a great mother to my child.

    Its a close friends girlfriend. She has told some pretty interesting stories. They seem to check out.

    But I would think that DYFS would do a softer investigation. Like what you went through.

     
  6. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    This is what I've been told and read online. It just seems a little extreme for an anonymous tip. Would think it would take more investigating. Like at least call a teacher, or doctor to confirm the suspicion.
     
  7. fmoore200

    fmoore200

    Mar 22, 2011
    NYC
    In the early '90's I showed up at school with a broken arm. Not in a cast, mind you, just a swollen, purple arm. I had broken it playing basketball over the weekend. For whatever reason, my father, who I was spending the weekend with, didn't take me to the hospital.

    I made it through first period without the teacher noticing it, but the second period teacher saw it and had me sent home.

    No report was made, or if there was one, it wasn't acted upon by the BCW (bureau of child welfare). I just went to the hospital and got a cast put on. Went back to school the next day like nothing happened. No questions, no interviews. New York was different then.

    Side note: the BCW was disbanded in the early 2000's and replaced by the ACS.
     
  8. viper4000

    viper4000

    Aug 17, 2010
    Charlotte
    I've heard reports on these types of incidents. The Protective Services (different names depending on locale), states that they have a duty to protect the child in cases like this, that is why they can legally act on anonymous claims. I would say there are a lot of cases where the midnight snatch and grab are unwarranted, but the cases that are valid make up for it in the view of the authorities.
     
  9. Abuse- especially of minors- is a VERY hot button item in the 'law enforcement/justice' syetem. A DA/judge, etc does not want to ever appear lenient if there's ANY possibility the charges are legit. Imagine- a person is abused, reports it, a DA or judge, at any stage in the proceedings, gives the alleged perp a *break(even if the case is not strong against him/her)*; two years later, this person is accused again or even found guilty- the aforementioned mercy givers will look very bad & may no longer have any kind of career. In some instances, IMO, the odds are stacked against anyone accused, whether the accusations are real or not.
    DISCLAIMER: I have no problem w/a genuinely guilty party being punished/rehab'd/whatever, and do NOT have the answer to the problem.
     
  10. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Seems like a real crappy prank to pull. I don't know this girl too well. She has made some hard to believe claims, and most check out. And I have seen her with her kids, and I don't see any obvious abuse.

    My friend is in the middle of breaking up with her, but they still see each other. Its one of those things that if its not true, that is really crappy because the daughter is having trouble sleeping now. I would be turned off either way, but I can't get through to my friend.
     
  11. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I agree, but it puts the agency in a tight spot. Do they investigate the claim further to check validity, risking possible further abuse? Or do they respond immediately in a possible overreaction, but in the best interest of the child/children? If they took some time to investigate the claims, and something really bad happened in between, that would cause the agency a world of trouble.

    Really, it's too bad someone would be so spiteful as to file a false report like this.

    -Mike
     
  12. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    As a parent its scary. I have heard of good people being investigated before this.

    I understand they have an obligation to react to claims. What bothers me is how they reacted to a supposed anonymous call. She is the one telling me the details so I'm not sure I am getting the whole story. She said they are doing follow up visits. From what I can tell no charges are being pressed.

    And from what people are writing on here and what I've read and heard, it sounds like she is a victim of a horrible prank, or an overreaction by a teacher,doctor, nosy neighbor.
     
  13. fmoore200

    fmoore200

    Mar 22, 2011
    NYC
    Just a thought, as I am no legal expert, but this seems to be a flaw in the logic of the legal system.

    It is my understanding that if someone is taken to court over an allegation they have the right to 'face their accuser.' But if this lady were ever taken to court over this it would be based on an anonymous tip. Even if everything she is accused of turns out to be true, wouldn't it rest on some faceless person? Is that not a violation of the accused rights under our system? Or does the protection agency take the place of the accuser?
     
  14. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    You're in NJ.
    NJ has a very checked past when it comes to DYFS. It seems that they're either totally uncaring and incompetent, or waaay overzealous. I could go on for hours.

    Quick answer - yes this can and does happen. I would bet that there was more to that "anonymous call" than you may suspect. Not saying your friend is being dishonest, but whomever it was that called, may have provided some info that led them to believe that it was a close family member making the call.
     
  15. tastybasslines

    tastybasslines Banned

    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    My sister called DCFS on my wife and I - for "neglect and putting my child into harms way intentionally" by leaving her with my mother, whom my sister hates.

    Both the Police and DCFS showed up on our door at the same time. My wife was bawling. It was a terrible experience. Our understanding is that they have to investigate all claims, considering it could be a BIG problem if one turns out to be true and they blew it off as fraudulent. There is an initial report, but you do not go into the "system" until taking an action is deemed necessary. In our case, they saw we have a nice home and our baby is fine, and closed the case.

    It's sucks but I understand it. I would record everything you can, including any conversations you have with DCFS. Our attorney advised us to do that and it is within your legal right. You have to be very careful about what you say - even the slightest, something came out wrong type phrase could trigger a particular agent who you do not know what kind of agenda they have. For the person who was reported, my advice is to say as little as possible and only what is necessary. If they ask questions about drinking or drug use, you can refuse those questions. They are immaterial to the claim.
    CYA at all times.

    Edit: I forgot to mention, our agent asked us to have our daughter's vagina examined by a state doctor, and we refused. No way I'm letting someone I don't know touch my daughter. They still dropped the case. They will try alot of things to see what's going on. Know your rights!
     
  16. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Yeah I'm with you on this point. Something seems weird. I have my doubts about this girls validity. But from what I read it seems completely plausible.
     
  17. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey

    I remember reading some stories recently about NJ's DYFS being under attack for inaction. And considering the township ( corrupt and openly crooked ) I can see them being over zealous.

    And I was biting my tongue, but I did elude to her that I had a hard time it was an anonymous call.
     
  18. TheVoiceless

    TheVoiceless

    Jun 11, 2008
    New Jersey
    Thanks for your feedback. Just to be clear its not me or my family being investigated. Sorry you had to deal with that, it sounds like a nasty situation between your mom and sister.

    What I am trying to figure out from all of this is, should I be concerned about her and her children.

    But stories like this make me believe her.

     
  19. Relic

    Relic Cow are you?

    Sep 12, 2006
    Robbinsville, NJ
    Yeah without going into detail, something like this happened to a family member of mine recently where the soon to be ex out for revenge, fraudulently reported something to DYFS. They jumped all over it asap but declared it unfounded.
    I'd be really surprised if they had no idea that they are sometimes being played against a person and used as a tool..

    I'm figuring that with their past reputation of failing the kids under their watch, they tend to err on the side of caution though.
     
  20. ps3predator.
     

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