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."


Elain said...

You are one of the best moms I've ever seen. You should be on the cover of Time Magazine as a role model for young mothers. Anyone who has seen you with your four beautiful children recognizes that immediately.

DCFS will be shamed when the truth of their bureaucratic blundering and bullying becomes public knowledge. I hope the press gets hold of this story and shows the societal impact of allowing a state agency to determine what makes good parenting.

Hope you feel at peace. You are a conscientious and loving mother. Your son is blessed to have you as his mom. As a community, we are blessed to have you raising responsible and happy children.

Holly said...

That's crazy! You are an amazing mother. I'm so sorry you have to go through this.