There's really no way to know what the police will do. It seems that they didn't arrest anyone at the scene of this incident, which is fortunate for all concerned. But they could come back - there's no way to know. So you may want to be ready for a visit from Child Protective Services. I'm going to give some advice that may seem absurd and controversial, but my experience in dealing with CPS (in Oregon, where I practice) does make me believe it's correct. If you want to be ready for a CPS visit, this is what you do:
Clean your house. Make sure you wash your dishes. Buy fruits and vegetables.
I'm totally serious. There is nothing that CPS harps on more, in their reports about unfit homes, than dirty dishes. You have to understand that social workers have a very particular vision, in their heads, of what good parenting is like, and they will react badly when they see parents acting in ways different from it. That vision is bourgeois, middle-class, sanitized, sex-negative, and feminized (which is not to say that they always favor women over men). They react negatively to traits associated with poverty, and that includes messes. (It also includes using phrases like "baby dad," so you might want to watch that. "Child's father" sounds more acceptable to them.) Mind you, a strong case can be made that living in a mess really is bad for children. They're not totally off-base on all of this. But if you want to make a good impression on CPS, make sure you have a clean house, healthy food in your cupboards, and show affection for your children. Of course you should never strike or yell at your children while they're around (or any other time, for that matter). They don't like that either.
Beyond that, there's really nothing you can do to anticipate someone else making a report. If they actually do call CPS to make a report, and you actually do get a visit, then be calm and avoid hysterics. Be prepared to have witnesses who could talk about what a good parent you are and say that accusations against you are unfounded. And, of course, if the CPS people do anything other than leave, you should consult with an attorney in private immediately.
Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com
Contact a local family law lawyer to discuss your options. Also, follow the prior responder's sage advice.
If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.
Mr. Bozdin's answer is absolutely outstanding. Read, absorb, act on it. He is completely correct. What a GREAT answer! Elizabeth Powell
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