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Old 03-10-2009, 08:08 PM
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Default At what point do you call CPS?

Let me preface this by saying that in no way am I a perfect mother. I have never claimed to be nor will I ever be and I am aware that we all make mistakes..however....

My neighbor is even further than I from mother of the year. I have a litany of things that I could go on a tirade about but I will display some of her more serious transgressions and ask you what you think, at which point do you call CPS? I am loathe to meddle (thus why I haven't called yet) I think "the system" has the possibility to ruin kids even worse than she can and I have never seen her physically abuse her children, however, she and her husband are the culprits of serious neglect.

My first complaint (or what I noticed first) is that she lets her 4 year old run wild. Our apartment complex is about 3/4 of a mile long and winds and turns and all sorts of stuff and you cannot see from one end to another. She never. ever. knows where he is. She has come to our house multiple times to see if he is here and often stands outside for an hour screaming for him until he happens to (hear)? her or just happens to be on his way back. We live in apartment complex people. With 100 apartments and a huge mess of traffic at times. And he's FOUR. I don't even let my four year old outside if I'm not out there. Besides the traffic, there are some rather "unsavory" characters here that terrify me, who knows what they'd do to my adorable kids.

My second complaint is that she never tags along with her one year old. No, I'm not kidding. She does stay outside with him, yes but she'll stand at one end of the block yakking on the phone and he'll toddle off, often to the main street in the complex, or behind parked cars and she'll run screaming after him when she notices he's in danger. In the last month, I've watched her run screaming down the block when she noticed he was playing in the roundabout AFTER a car screeched it's brakes trying to avoid hitting him. I've watched (and helped) her run screaming around the block trying to find him and he ended up being on the back side of the building playing on the steep cliff-like (especially for a 1 year old) hill that goes down into the forest down there, and Patrick has literally SAVED HIS LIFE as he was playing behind a car that started backing out (as she screamed his name at the top of her lungs helplessly instead of sprinting to the car). He's ONE people.

My third complaint is that the other day during a heated (public) fight with her husband which was very verbally abusive (and loud, right outside MY window) they started fighting over the car keys (with him saying she had no life and didn't need the car while he was at work). At this point the BOTH jump in the car and drive away. You guessed it, leaving all 3 of their kids outside. I decided to go outside and watch the kids, if nothing else than for the baby's sake, and she didn't come back for half an hour. She didn't know anyone was watching her kids. Her oldest is 7 and certainly not old enough to care for the youngers. When she got back, not a word to me or the kids and straight in the house. SHE LEFT HER 1 YEAR OLD OUTSIDE IN A PARKING LOT FOR A HALF HOUR, VIRTUALLY ALONE FOR ALL SHE KNEW. I nearly called CPS right then and there but I didn't know if there happened to be someone in her house watching the kids (out the window?) Which would still be awful, but I'm obviously loathe to call CPS.

There's lots of other unverified things, Patrick is pretty sure she's on Meth, which is a huge problem in our county and also I know she's been busted a few times for things like prostitution and possibly drugs.

So WWYD? Am I making more out of this than I should?
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:10 PM
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um no. call them. Call them now. You can report totally anonymous.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:13 PM
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those poor babies. if something terribly were to happen you would feel horrible for not calling . so so sad
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:14 PM
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NO!! You are most certainly not making more out of this than you should!! You're right - these children are definitely being neglected. Sounds like they're in life threatening situations more than any child ever should be!! I'm not one to meddle in people's business either, but this is pretty serious. Is it going to take a serious accident to wake this woman up?? I actually would call CPS. That's just me and my opinion though...
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:14 PM
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Agreed. Call and report them anonymously.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:14 PM
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yeh I would def call reed. repeatedly. every day.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:15 PM
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Yes. Call them. Neglect is a completely legitimate reason to call in CPS. That is clearly neglect. CPS would rule that there is a lot of potential for harm to come to those children given their actions and their age.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:16 PM
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I've watched the system fail these children for years... YEARS... I've had a lot of issues in relation to the things I've seen from this system. She'll get them back... eventually... and the cycle will repeat. If it doesn't, it'd be a very rare instance... but in the here and now, I'd call and do what you can but be prepared to call again and again and again. And I wouldn't be anonymous, witnesses are good.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:17 PM
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you call. you always call.

(this is pretty harsh/sensitive so stop reading if you don't want to hear something pretty awful)

About 4/5 years ago, I knew a woman who was a bit mentally off the whole time i knew her, and I always had this feeling that something was wrong and I never did anything concrete about it because i was "lothe to meddle"... but I always worried about her 2 and 3 year old girls.... She ended up shooting her children, both of them, dead.

Now I don't really blame myself, because I didn't really know what to do and how to like quantify what was going on.... but I'll always wish I had done more... even if CPS says "sorry mam we can't do anything with out a real threat" or what not (which they did tell the one neighbor that did call). Still, atleast you have done all you can do....

I agree too, if you're worried, you can report anonymously...
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:17 PM
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Traci, please call them. You'd never be able to live with yourself if you didn't and something happened to one of those poor babies. Big (hugs) to you for being such a wonderful human being. ♥
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:19 PM
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Call now. They need help. If she is neglecting them that much while they are outside then there is no telling how bad it is inside their apartment.

If something bad were to happen to those kids you would regret not calling.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:20 PM
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I feel the same way about calling CPS as you Traci but I think i'd call them. them poor babies
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:21 PM
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I don't know what state your in (Cali I think right!?!?!) but the one time I called them (about 6 years ago) I lived in Ohio and when I called them they told me I needed to contact the police first and that if the police thought it was "dangerous enough" they would call CPS!!!

I hate being in situation like that...good luck with what ever you decided!!!! (((HUGS))) for you and those kids!!!!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:23 PM
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BTW (because I ust read Sara's post) when I called the poolice I COULD NOT do it anonomusly I had to give my full name, address and phone number or they don't even take the request seriously, but they assured me they would keep it confidential!!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mummytothree View Post
BTW (because I ust read Sara's post) when I called the poolice I COULD NOT do it anonomusly I had to give my full name, address and phone number or they don't even take the request seriously, but they assured me they would keep it confidential!!
Police, no, probably not. CPS, yes you can.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:29 PM
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I would definitely call, especially after the third example that you listed. Who knows what would have happened to those babies! I think even though you give your name they are still to keep it confidential. I myself have called CPS 2x about the same child. Both times I knew that I talked to the same lady and she would not do anything about it and it was frustrating. On one occassion I had called because the stinch of weed poured out of the house when they opened the door. The lady said she could not do anything unless the kids had some effect because of the drugs. Hello they were in a smoked filled house....the kids were probably high too.I would say if CPS ever not listens, go talk to the police and have them report it as well. They should listen to the cops. But keep on it. Those babies need someone looking over them and it seems like you do more of that then their parents.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:30 PM
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You need to get your phone and call right now - especially for the last two! And especially since it's still so fresh in your mind. You need to call and you can do it anonymously.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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You don't have to have evidence of abuse to report someone...all you need is a suspicion. If you suspect abuse (and neglect IS abuse), you need to report it. From what you've said, it sounds like there definitely needs to be an intervention. You don't have to give your name or anything...just give them her info and fill them in on what you have seen.

I really don't want to sound preachy....but having taught for years and taken more training classes than I care to think about, it's been drilled into me. I knew one lady who ran a childcare center who failed to report suspected abuse...and a week later, the mother killed the child. She said she'd give anything to go back and file the report...I can't imagine the guilt she feels.
For the kids' sake and for yours, I'd call and report her ASAP.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:31 PM
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Actually, with the last incident, I would have just called the cops and told them that three children had just been abandoned by their parents.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:34 PM
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You need to call!! I know CPS sucks, but those children need someone to intervene. I am a former foster parent and I can tell you not all homes they are placed in are bad. There really are some good people out there doing foster care, but the system itself is so incredilby screwed up!! They have a better shot in foster care then they do in that home. Unfortunately, they parents will be given many chances to get their kids back and each state is different on how that works.
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:34 PM
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you call them now!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:50 PM
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You should definitely call them, and keep a journal of what you've seen and heard- so (Heaven forbid) something was to happen, you'd have a day-to-day list of these things to show the police! Report annonymously, just say you don't feel safe saying who you are because you don't know what they're capable of....
And the father is just as guilty, he knows what's going on and obviously doesn't care.... It's so sad, and makes me so ANGRY too!!!!
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paula View Post
Actually, with the last incident, I would have just called the cops and told them that three children had just been abandoned by their parents.
This is what I would have done, but with DH as a cop, I've heard more stories of neglected kids than I ever wanted to know, and also the shit that happens to them. So though once upon a time, I'd have been loathe to meddle, now I wouldn't hesitate.

Call em Traci, if you do call the cops, they WILL keep your information confidential, like, they wouldn't tell the chick that YOU called them, kwim?

((hugs)) I hope everything works out for the babies.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:05 PM
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Yes, I would call. That is at the very least neglect, which is a crime and needs to be reported, and this is coming from someone who was just (as in last week) falsely (very falsely! ) accused of abusing my children and investigated by CPS.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:08 PM
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Quote:
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Yes, I would call. That is at the very least neglect, which is a crime and needs to be reported, and this is coming from someone who was just (as in last week) falsely (very falsely! ) accused of abusing my children and investigated by CPS.
Dude... so not cool!
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:10 PM
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I would call them too. I would have called the cops when she left them there and went in the car.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:20 PM
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Traci ((((HUGS)))).
My mom has worked at social services since before I was in kindergarten. She's really close to retirement....and has seen it all. She's adult protective services now but has been mixed up in CPS stuff as well. I remember her getting called out in the middle of the night, and all sorts of horrid stuff that I wish I hadn't overheard in my younger years. There are some folks there who are dedicated and do the best job the law allows. There are some who are so slack they'll end up screwing the kids up worse than they were before. Regardless of which type you run into, the state law is as far as they can go.

It's different in every state but I've never heard of one that wouldn't allow anonymous calls. See if you can have dates and specifics to help them out. They're going to go and investigate, but it won't be immediate since this is a case of neglect and not abuse. Time limit they have to investigate depends on the state. They'll probably call and let them know they had a report and even give them some time frame of when they will be coming (sucks, I know). They'll look for signs and evidence to collaborate your call and then suggest a case worker to help with counseling and all that stuff. It could help and could shake them up a bit and hopefully prevent even worse things from happening. But without clear abuse, those kids won't be taken from the home and the cycle of reports and counseling will begin. You just have to hope it will help. I bet you'll be able to sleep a little better at night if you just go ahead and make the call.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:23 PM
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Traci, call the sheriff now! They will report to CPS. Call them every day you see something wrong! Treating INNOCENT children like this is NOT acceptable!

(Sorry, this hits a nerve for me as my bil's daughter is in foster care in your neck of the woods right now, along with her 3 siblings (they are all separated because they can't get along with each other) because her mother and step-father are on drugs, fight all of the time, verbally and physically abuse each other and their kids! Fortunately for us my bil will have full custody of his daughter as of this coming weekend.)
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:27 PM
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What you described most definitely falls under this

California
Penal Code 165.2 (West 1992)

'Neglect' means the negligent treatment or the maltreatment of a child by a person responsible for the child's welfare under circumstances indicating harm or threatened harm to the child's health or welfare. The term includes both acts and omissions on the part of the responsible person.

'Severe neglect' means the negligent failure of a person having the care or custody of a child to protect the child from severe malnutrition or medically diagnosed nonorganic failure to thrive. 'Severe neglect' also means those situations of neglect where any person having the care or custody of a child willfully causes or permits the person or health of the child to be placed in a situation such that his or her person or health is endangered, including the intentional failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or medical care.

'General neglect' means the negligent failure of a person having the care or custody of a child to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision where no physical injury to the child has occurred.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:27 PM
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I'm a teacher, and I'd guess that if I called about the wandering unattended, probably nothing would happen. However, the minute she pulled out of there abandoning her children, I would have whipped out my cell phone and called the cops. Not CPS, but the cops. At this point, I'd either wait for her to screw up again and call the cops (gets quicker action) or call anon to CPS. Either way, she'll probably figure out who called, but doesn't sound like she's your friend anyway.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:31 PM
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This is alot of what I deal with daily with mothers on drugs and neglecting their own kids, it's so sad and really heart breaking today I heard a story that I just wanted to cry but couldn't let my emotions get to me

I'd say if your gut tells you to do it then go for it, it's a devils advocate situation b/c the majority of the time the child gets placed several times before they stay with one person it's not the greatest system IMO but you want the child to be safe and the question if something horrible happens or is happening is I could've did something and I didn't, why didn't I....

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Old 03-10-2009, 09:35 PM
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Wow Traci, how sucky to be in your shoes... (((HUGS)))

But i would most definitaly call... I would be so so sad if something happened to one of those innocent babies..

Good Luck Hun!
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:36 PM
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BTW, I think a one year old running around unattended in a busy parking lot is severe neglect- a danger to their health, LIFE in this case. Dude, don't feel bad at all about calling. You're just trying to look out for those kids. I hate hearing stuff like this. Grown ups acting like 12 year olds just irritate the hell outta me.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
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um no. call them. Call them now. You can report totally anonymous.
I completely agree with this. Definitely call.
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Old 03-10-2009, 09:59 PM
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I would normally mind my own business. But with this case, I would really have to think about calling. Since you have several instances where her children were in danger, I think it's safe to say that she's not being a decent parent. I am not perfect nor will I win any mother of the year awards but calling may put your mind at ease a little. You seem to be the only one worried about her children's safety.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:02 PM
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That is horrible. I'd have to call. If she leaves them alone again like in that last example, I'd call the police.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:13 PM
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You can call and report the abuse anonymously and here is a link on what to do and how to do it...

http://pediatrics.about.com/cs/child...ting_abuse.htm

(scroll down to your state and it has the info needed)

I would try to give specific dates/times and what exactly you witnessed so that they can see patterns and that might help in what they do. Maybe the mom/dad just need a wakeup call and will start taking being a parent seriously.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:14 PM
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Call them. That last situation was enough to have her arrested!
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:29 PM
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Wow those poor lil kids! In this case I would definitely call CPS Traci!
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:35 PM
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I would call. The first two are neglectful but would be hard to decide when enough is enough.

Leaving them alone... definitely not ok. A 7 year old in charge is NOT ok. Poor kids. Even if nothing happens, at least she knows she is being watched.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:43 PM
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Call no question asked... Even for your own sake of know that you tried everything you could... It will be on their backs if they dont do anything to make that situation right... Its sad to know the kind of peole who reproduce... And then there are those who arent able to...I'm sure that someone who could not have children would LOVE those babies and take care of them more than what it seems their parents are... I'll be praying for them and for you
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  #42  
Old 03-11-2009, 01:50 AM
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call.
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:31 AM
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Unfortunately they probably won't do anything unless they find drugs or signs of abuse, but at least if you call, it will be on record so if she's reported again, they might do something the next time.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:28 AM
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Ummm 5 pages with every response saying to call. I think you've probably got your answer but I wanted to say I'm sorry you have had to be put in this position and good for you for watching out for these poor innocent kids!
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:16 AM
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Call them. Right now.
If it would help you, try and write down the dates and times and things of any events. But PLEASE. These children need someone to love and protect them.
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  #46  
Old 03-11-2009, 09:33 AM
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call, call, call.....I would do it in a heartbeat, no question!!!
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:46 AM
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another call vote here too - read about too many tragic stories that may or not have been avoided at least you wont feel that you should have done something. Anonimity is your choice - use it if you feel more comfortable.

Lucky for those kids that someone is looking out for them!
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  #48  
Old 03-11-2009, 11:48 AM
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These poor babies!! Call Call Call!! When you see the 4 year old outside by his self call the police every time!! These babies need to be protected!!
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:51 PM
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Just saw this- CALL!!! I'm a teacher and so I'm legally obligated to report anything I see (whether I feel someone is at fault or not). I'd rather call and be wrong, than blow it off and hear about tragedy later.

Neglect cases are less likely reported and yet happen 4 times more often than other forms of abuse. Neglect is abuse.

And don't feel bad about doing it either- maybe they'll get mom and dad some parenting help.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:45 PM
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Since these are fairly regularly occuring events, I'd call CPS. If those kids get hit by a car or disappear how will you feel? Do you know any mandatory reporters who could observe the situation themselves? They may be able to help you stay anonymous and get attention from the right people. Since you are neighbors she may suspect you anyway, so you be extra careful.
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