It all began when the Grangers’ 3-year-old daughter quietly slipped out of the house. Though her parents quickly noticed and found her within just a few minutes, a passerby had already seen her, stopped, and called the police. The police were reasonable. CPS was not.
One driver, two parents, two law enforcement officers, two social workers, a social worker supervisor, and three attorneys.
That’s the size of the posse that got stirred up after the Grangers’* 3-year-old daughter slipped out of her house. Thankfully, the Grangers noticed and found her within just a few minutes, but a passerby had already seen her, stopped, and called the police.
When the police officers arrived, the parents explained how their daughter had gotten out unattended. The officers were friendly and indicated they completely understood.
“Three-year-olds do this sort of thing,” they said.
Nevertheless, the officers said they were required to report the incident to Child Protective Services (CPS).
“CPS may not even show up,” the officers tried to reassure them.
But CPS did show up.
When the two social workers arrived that same evening, they wanted to do a complete home inspection and interview all of the children outside the presence of their parents. The Grangers are members of Heritage Defense, so instead of immediately consenting, they called the Heritage Defense 24/7 line reserved for members with urgent legal situations.
After an attorney from Heritage Defense had spoken with the family, he asked to be put on speakerphone to talk with the social workers. However, the social workers balked and said they were not allowed to talk with an attorney without their own CPS staff attorney on the line. After several calls were made that involved Heritage Defense, the CPS supervisor, and the CPS staff attorney, the social workers left.
The next morning, Heritage Defense brought in experienced, Christian local counsel in the Grangers’ state who took on representation for the family. The new local attorney immediately contacted CPS on their behalf.
For the next two months, CPS avoided the Grangers’ local attorney and tried to visit and contact the Grangers directly and get them to consent to a home inspection and interviews with the children. Each time, the Grangers confidently but politely told the social workers to talk with their attorney, but the social workers did not.
Instead, in their continued effort to harass the family, CPS even contacted one of the Grangers’ neighbors to see if he had anything negative to say about their family, but he refused.
“No! Get off my property or I’ll call the cops,” he barked at the social workers.
They left, but continued to avoid the Grangers’ attorney while trying to get the Grangers to waive their rights. Finally, after the Grangers’ local attorney sent another firm but polite letter, CPS stopped trying to intimidate the Grangers and closed their investigation.
By the grace of God, the case was resolved without CPS ever stepping foot in the Grangers’ home or subjecting their children to unnecessary and traumatic interrogations. Heritage Defense covered the Grangers’ legal defense, including the cost of the local attorney.
The Grangers share their thoughts on the experience:
“We simply cannot put a monetary value on the care, dedication and passion shown by Heritage Defense on our family’s behalf. We will be forever indebted. Heritage Defense is a Godsend to all homeschool Christian families.”
Do you have a toddler? Be sure to check out How to Keep Your Toddler from Getting Out Unattended.
Also, you may want to download another resource, Four Steps to Take if Child Protective Services Shows up at Your Front Door.
If you are a member of Heritage Defense, we hope it is an encouragement for you to know that your membership is going to help families like the Grangers. If your family is ever falsely accused of child abuse or neglect through social services, we are ready to defend you and your rights.
If you are not yet a member, please join today to have 24/7 access to experienced, Christian attorneys ready to defend your family.
* Names changed for privacy