Tell the counselor of the abuse and he/she will be required to file a particular form (3200) with Child Protective Services. Don't delay. The racial slurs mean nothing. If the allegations are substantiated against your father, you would more than likely be taken into protective custody and temporarily be placed with a responsible, adult relative, or possibly a foster home. Your father could be criminally
charged with some form of child abuse. Forget about your father and think of, and protect, yourself.
Neil M. Colman
Mr. Colman is licensed to practice law in Michigan. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply and make it unsuitable. Mr. Colman strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state in order to ensure proper advice is received.
I agree with Attorney Colman, except with regard to the racial slurs. While calling you racial slurs or derogatory names may not be criminal, it does constitute emotional abuse under Michigan's child protection laws. MCL 712A.2(b)(1) allows the court to take jurisdiction over a child who is “subject to substantial risk of harm to his or her mental wellbeing.”
Therefore, you need to report the physical and emotional abuse immediately. You can tell your counselor, as Attorney Colman suggests, or you can contact Child Protective Services yourself at (313) 396-0300. Once the allegations are reported to CPS a caseworker will be assigned to investigate. The investigation will involve talking to you and your father. Typically the worker will talk to you at a safe place away from your father like at school. Then you would be able to share the recording you have with the caseworker.
If the caseworker believes you have suffered serious physical abuse the caseworker MUST file a petition with the court to remove you from the abuser. If the casework determines that the abuse is less serious he or she would request that your father voluntarily participate in services to help him become non-abusive like counseling, anger management, and/or parenting classes. If he refuses or the caseworker is concerned that leaving you in the home would subject you to emotional or physical abuse or neglect he or she can file a petition to have you removed from the home and to have the court order your father to complete services before you can be reunified. If he fails to complete services or if the physical abuse is serious, his parental rights could be permanently terminated.
If you are ordered removed from your father's home, CPS MUST try to place you in the home of a relative. However, you must have a relative willing to take you and who can pass a background check. If their is no suitable relative who is willing and able to take care of you, you would be placed with a foster family. I know children who are doing very well in foster care.
At the start of the court proceeding you will be appointed a lawyer-guardian ad litem (L-GAL) who will meet with you and represent you in court. The L-GAL will make sure that you are safe in your placement and that you are receiving all of the support services that you need (food, shelter, education, medical care, counseling, etc.).
Finally, as for your financial concerns, your father would be required to pay child support for you even if you are removed from his care. Plus, even if you end up in foster care, there are many programs to help you become financially independent and to help you get a college education (even after you turn 18).
DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights. www.hecklerlawoffice.com
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