[The following is a report from a mother regarding her family’s experience with the Department of Human Services (DHS) in their state. Other states have similar names for the social services provided. While the case is closed, at their request we are making her report anonymous to protect them from any future possible harassment on the part of their state DHS. Rather than being innocent until proven guilty as in a court of law; parents are often assumed to be guilty until they prove their innocence. While individual professionals in the various social and psychological services are not all the same, as a rule they do strongly lean in a direction that should cause believers and home schoolers to be wary.
As we have said elsewhere: watch out for the state/county social services agencies people! Each state has its own social services agencies that are empowered by the state to act, and they can act with a vengeance! They are typically suspicious of home schoolers and conservative Christians and act unnecessarily at times as if they have a vendetta to carry out. Be aware that this Big Brother social services agency mentality exists throughout America. And be careful what you say to them as you might become the next victim of a zealous, lame, liberal mindset that exercises punitive authority beyond what is clearly in the law.]
Our oldest child, Mary (anonymous name), age 17, was dealing with insomnia issues resulting in totally out-of- character, bizarre behavior due to lack of sleep. After three nights of no sleep we took her to a free-standing emergency clinic hoping to get a sleep aid. She was uncooperative with the doctor there and he recommended us taking her to a children’s hospital for further testing. He mentioned that she could have Meningitis or West Nile Virus. We had not planned on going to a hospital that evening, but his comments scared us!
At the children’s hospital ER, Mary was examined by a doctor, who could tell, just by looking at her, that she did not have Meningitis or West Nile Virus. Mary did receive intravenous fluid for dehydration. Blood work was done. Nothing abnormal was found. We (naively) agreed to see a psychiatrist. This had been our pediatrician’s advice 2 days before.
The psychiatrist spent about 20 minutes with us total. First she talked with my husband and me, and then we were present in the room when she questioned Mary. Teen-age girls who are protected, believe the Bible, are home educated, dress modestly, choose not to date, enjoy being around their family, etc., are often misunderstood by worldly mental health professionals. They see this as abuse. Our lifestyle is considered “abnormal” by them. They think “cult.”
By the time the psychiatrist finished her interview it was after midnight. Her recommendation was to admit our daughter to a 24/7 mental health facility! We refused to do that. We told how we wanted to take care of her at home. The phone rang in the room. It was a social worker telling me that we were withholding medical care from our daughter and she would file a complaint. She also asked if we had other children (how many and their names). We got out of the hospital because the ER doctor and the nurse who had given care stood up to the psychiatrist saying her (the psychiatrist’s) behavior was ridiculous and she had no right to do this to our family. Mary was not suicidal or aggressive towards others. There was no foundation for her being taken into care.
Friday of that week a social worker visited our home and left a letter. My husband and I were at a doctor’s appointment. Our other children were home with our 15 year old daughter in charge. Our piano teacher was also there giving lessons. The letter stated that the Department of Human Services (DHS) had concerns that we were withholding medical care for Mary.
The following Monday the first social worker returned with another social worker. My husband talked with them on the front steps, and he refused for them to interview each child. They left. We had a couple of friends write reference letters to DHS. A pastor friend talked with the social worker by phone. We heard nothing more.
Mary was improving under the care of our family practice physician. He had worked with other young adults through similar “one-time” episodes. He was and is a great encouragement to us. He was Chief of Staff at a local hospital and well respected in our community. He had also written a letter to DHS.
We went ahead and took a two-week family trip that we had already planned. The morning after our return, the two social workers were back at our door. They came at 10 a.m. They told us that they needed to interview the children. One of them asked if Mary was getting adequate medical care and if she was at home or in a facility. I told her we had just returned from a road trip arriving in the early hours and this was not a convenient time. She said she had to do it TODAY! I told her 4 p.m. I called my husband and he came home. We got Christians praying. We had a good friend who is a policeman come to the house at 4 p.m. He was in uniform, as he had just started his shift. One of the social workers later called our policeman friend’s supervisor, complained of him being there, and accused him of “hampering their investigations.”
We later learned that the first case had supposedly been closed, but that the DHS had received another allegation against our family while we were on vacation. The false allegations were:
We do not eat meat.
Children are malnourished.
Children are physically and mentally abused.
We do not keep doctors’ appointments.
When our policeman friend heard these accusations he recommended us showing our children to the social worker and assured us that he would be a witness and that it could speed up the closing of this case. Reluctantly, we agreed to let the social workers in. They saw our 5 oldest children (the youngest was taking a nap) asked how old they were, looked in our fridge and freezer, saw the living room and a couple of the bedrooms. Everything was clean and orderly.
We had an appointment with our family physician the following day for Mary. He agreed to do physicals on all the children at the same time to satisfy the DHS. He sent his letter stating that the children were healthy and our parent/child relationship was healthy and that he saw no sign of any abuse.
We were alarmed to receive a phone call from our family physician the following Tuesday. The social worker’s supervisor had called him “fishing” for a reason as to why Mary had insomnia in the first place. The social worker did not state sexual abuse, but she insinuated it. Our doctor could not believe what he was hearing and immediately called to alert us to the fact that DHS was still “hot on our trail” and not to let our guard down. He had also faxed medical records to DHS at the supervisor’s request, after she had told him it was the law for him to do so. We thought medical records were confidential.
We asked Christians to pray. We joined the Home School Legal Defense Foundation! We called a state representative, whom we had met at the State Fair. He had agreed to contact the head of DHS on our behalf. He is a professing Christian, homeschooled his children, and had spoken at a pro-life rally we organized 15 years ago when he was then a state senator. He was currently out of town, but on the following Thursday, he called our home and talked with my husband for 15 minutes. This was his first day back in the office! He told us the case was closed, but did not give any details or reasons. He said for us “to get on with our life.” My husband asked if we would have something in writing and he said that we would.
Mary meanwhile has been recovering well. She is sleeping well. She is gaining weight. We look to the Lord for complete healing in His timing. She is still under the care of our family physician. We are so thankful for all the Lord has and is teaching us through this trial. One thing we learned was how violent the mind can act when it is sleep-deprived. We want our experience to be of help to others who may be facing similar situations, but would like to keep our identity anonymous to protect our family.
Parents need to know how a visit to the ER room can result in the state taking their children into custody. This was our greatest concern. We thank the Lord that He intervened and did not allow this to happen. Hospitals are closely linked with state DHS offices and home schoolers are more at risk there. Also psychiatrists and psychologists should not be consulted because they have a vested interest in committing patients to their facilities and putting children on these mind numbing drugs. They falsely accuse us of neglect and abuse and we need to turn around and let people see that these agencies are often guilty of gross neglect and abuse of families and children and many are specifically targeting believers and home schoolers.
(PsychoHeresy Awareness Letter, September-October 2010, Vol. 18, No. 5)