Monday, July 14, 2008

Hitchcock vs. Department of Child and Family Services

My parents kept their kids hooked up to an IV drip of classic Alfred Hitchcock flicks.

North by Northwest. I Confess. Rear Window. The Man Who Knew Too Much.

All of them classics. All of them leaving a lasting impression on me. All of them giving me a terrible fear of Unjustly Accused Innocent Man Syndrome, or UAIMS.

In a great number of the Hitchcock flicks I've seen, there is a common thread. Innocent, good-looking man is eating lunch/sitting in wheelchair/vacationing with family, when something terrible happens and all of a sudden he turns from hourly-paid extra (non-union) to critical main character (union, plus stunt double).

Been there. I'm the innocent man who has been accused--according to the Department of Child and Family Services--of neglect. Non-supervision, to be exact.

My husband and I were both home on a Friday afternoon when our three-year-old son rode his bike one block to the church while I was inside changing a diaper and my husband was tending to finances just 20 feet away from where our son was playing. The woman who found our son, called the police who then filed a report for non-supervision/neglect with the Department of Child and Family Services. The whole incident took about ten minutes.

Because the caseworker filed a supported (guilty) finding, we have chosen to contest it. Boldly! As it stands, we have a DCFS hearing at 10am on July 22. We have a strong case. We are vigilant, watchful, and careful parents. We ain't perfect, but we didn't need a government agency to tell us that.

We're not sure what will come of this, but we've prepared our case, collected journal entries, documented supporting evidence, and developed a backbone.

As I, innocent man, go through this trial, I take comfort in the words warbled by Doris Day in one of the most famous scenes in Hitchcock history:

"Que Sera, Sera...Whatever will be, will be."