This past April in suburban Florida, an 11-year-old boy got home before his parents and, having no key to get in, did what boys do. He played a little basketball and munched on some snacks.
His mom was on her way home, but got caught in afternoon traffic and weather. The boy’s parents arrived home at about the same time. Their son had been home for about an hour and a half when they arrived.
When the parents pulled into the drive, they were surprised to see a police cruiser parked in front of their home. Little did they know that their lives were about to be turned upside down. The police were waiting for them. Both parents were handcuffed, fingerprinted, strip-searched, and held in jail overnight. Their two children were taken from them by Child Protective Services.
Advertisement – story continues below
This singular incident would be the start of a hellish month of battles, pain, and undue suffering. It would take that long for the parents to get their boys safely back home.
The authorities’ claims were that the couple’s son had no access to food, water, or a bathroom. The mother countered the claim by saying that there was a shed that had two sinks and hoses, explaining her son could have gotten water from there. He did, in fact, have food–he had eaten it already. As for not having a bathroom, apparently the police officer found their yard in decent enough condition to relieve himself while the boy waited alone in his squad car.
The couple’s children were in foster care for two days before being moved to a distant family member’s home. However, the parents still could not see their children. According to the law, they had committed a felony; so they were not allowed to cross county lines, and the relative refused to drive the children to see their distraught parents. After a few weeks, though, the relative grew tired of caring for their children and released them back into state care. The parents were not told about this until after the fact.
Advertisement – story continues below
The civil court case was heard last week. There was a copious amount of deliberation between the attorneys and the judge. Growing weary and anxious, the 11-year-old boy asked to speak personally to the judge. This bold move single-handedly brought his family back together. He asked the judge to please return him and his little brother back to their parents. The judge agreed, with stipulations.
They are never allowed to leave their son alone in the back yard again, and they must also comply with all the CPS directives they had been given–including the family going to therapy and the parents going to parenting classes. The children also must attend daycare or day camp during the summers. The judge closed the civil case against the couple and returned their children to them.
The couple pleaded ‘not guilty’ in the criminal case. Their hope is that the charges get dropped; otherwise, they will be looking at third-degree felony charges and a criminal record.
This is a story that is being echoed all over the United States: CPS comes into a home, presuming guilt before innocence. With CPS coming under fire recently for neglecting to follow up on visits, or for other various acts of misconduct, it appears that CPS is trying to clean up its act. However, history is a good conduit through which to see that even the best of intentions can fail miserably.
CPS seems to have gone from a sleepy sheriff, hardly noticing anything that slithers into town, to a trigger-happy deputy green behind the ears arresting everyone. It is understandable to wake from a slumber and want to slay the evil dragon. What is unnecessary is the vilification of innocent lives, though. It appears that a government agency, which some would argue already has a bad reputation, is making their reputation worse.
CPS has a place in government. To some people, it appears it is overstepping its boundaries. It appears to be taking loved, well-cared for children out of their homes and placing them with strangers. To some, it appears that CPS has become overzealous and is inflicting undue pain and suffering on some of the families it investigates.Do you think that CPS is overstepping their boundaries? Let us know! Leave your comments below.
Facebook has greatly reduced the distribution of our stories in our readers' newsfeeds and is instead promoting mainstream media sources. When you share to your friends, however, you greatly help distribute our content. Please take a moment and consider sharing this article with your friends and family. Thank you.