Our DFCS Experience

You know, I kept mean­ing to write about this and for­get­ting to actu­al­ly do it.

Way back on May 7 of 2003, I was very sur­prised to get a call from a social work­er at the Depart­ment of Fam­i­ly & Chil­dren’s Ser­vices (DFCS). While we have for years lived with fre­quent threats of “If you don’t (what­ev­er) I’ll call DFCS on you!” I always fig­ured that if a report were made, we’d know because of an in-per­son vis­it from a social worker.

In any case, the nice lady said that, yes, a report had been filed. No, she could­n’t tell me any­thing about it. I invit­ed her to come to vis­it imme­di­ate­ly. Instead, she asked when we could come to her office for an inter­view. I want­ed to know what was going on as soon as pos­si­ble, of course, so we made an appoint­ment for the fol­low­ing evening.

We arrived with the entire fam­i­ly, as request­ed. The lady asked to speak with just me and Sam, to begin with. She said that some­one had called DFCS on March 7 claim­ing that
1) We were force-feed­ing the kids—holding them down and shov­ing food down their throats.
2) We were also starv­ing the kids, and the only way they could eat was to hide food in their bedrooms.
3) Because of , we’d locked the chil­dren out of their bed­rooms for the last 4–5 months.
4) We killed the chil­dren’s dog.
5) We had “a woman named Jen and her three kids” liv­ing with us.
6) Our 3 home­schooled kids were total­ly iso­lat­ed social­ly and not allowed out­side contact.
7) We’re polygamous.
8) I was sui­ci­dal, so I forced the kids to take psy­chi­atric med­ica­tions they did­n’t need.

There was more, but I can’t remem­ber it all now. Those are details I’d not­ed in an email to a friend.

I haven’t fig­ured out how we could do some of those things—I mean, not even in advanced evil step­moth­er train­ing have I learned how to both starve and force-feed the same chil­dren! Also, Sam and I aren’t even mar­ried to each other—how many peo­ple were they think­ing we were mar­ried to?

We told her right up front that we are not a typ­i­cal fam­i­ly. Sam and I are not mar­ried. We told her that we’re polyamorous and have dat­ed anoth­er cou­ple with­in the last six months. We told her that we are pagans and that we home­school Katie and would be home­school­ing the oth­er two kids if we could. We also told her that we were in the mid­dle of a cus­tody bat­tle, and gave her the name and num­bers for Rowan and Genevieve’s Guardian ad Litem and the social work­er who worked with Genevieve while she was hos­pi­tal­ized. We explained the cir­cum­stances of that hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, of course. She did­n’t care about the dog, but we did explain that we’d found a new home for the dog because Rowan and Genevieve had refused to coop­er­ate in her care as promised (a con­se­quence that was set up before we got the dog).

She asked us ques­tions, which we answered ful­ly. She asked us for references—we gave her names and num­bers for just about every­body. Friends, fam­i­ly mem­bers, our ther­a­pist, min­is­ter, the kids’ teach­ers, you name it. Yes, some of you were on that list. I don’t know if she con­tact­ed any of you. We gave her far more infor­ma­tion than she want­ed, in fact—I guess it might have been a formality.

Then we left, and she talked to the kids for less than 15 min­utes. She asked them about the alle­ga­tions in the report, and Rowan and Genevieve were sim­ply so flab­ber­gast­ed that they just stared at her at first. All three kids said that no, none of those things were true. She gave the chil­dren the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak with her pri­vate­ly, but none took her up on that offer. She asked if there were oth­er prob­lems, and all three chil­dren said that there were none and that they were hap­py and healthy.

In order to close the file, the social work­er need­ed to sched­ule a home vis­it. I want­ed that out of the way as soon as pos­si­ble, too. We told her that we were pack­ing to move, so the house was very chaot­ic, but she was wel­come to come on over that very night. The ear­li­est she could sched­ule us was the fol­low­ing Mon­day evening (we were meet­ing with her on Thursday).

The house was actu­al­ly even more chaot­ic by the time she arrived on Mon­day, but we fig­ured it would be sil­ly to try to hide the nor­mal busi­ness of mov­ing. We gave her a tour of the house, she said hel­lo to the kids, and she left. We gave her our new address as soon as we got it.

Some­time in June, we got a let­ter from the social work­er say­ing that the case had been closed due to find­ing no prob­lems with us, the kids, our home, etc. 

So, just for the record—DFCS, at least, does­n’t think we’re doing any­thing wrong at all. I’m quite hap­py to find that out. Hell, I had pre­vi­ous­ly said that I wished I could just request an “audit” from them to make sure there was­n’t any­thing wrong, con­sid­er­ing the recur­ring threats from that sil­ly person.

And that’s despite being open­ly queer, pagan, polyamorous home­school­ers “liv­ing in sin” in the Bible Belt.

I was­n’t ter­ri­bly wor­ried about ever hav­ing to deal with DFCS before, but I feel even bet­ter now.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙂relaxed
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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