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CPS, any advice anyone could provide, please!

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Well, today is not a good day. On the 4th of July, we took the children ages 4 and 2 to the park. At this park there is a rock climbing wall on the side of the jungle gym. Sometimes, the children like to climb it and lately have been wanting to on their own. The two year old wanted to do it by herself, which she has done many many times. My bf and I were standing there watching, but not in arms distance as we have been comfortable with them climbing it after doing so successfully so many times. Well, after she was about chest high, she fell off the rock wall and landed on her butt/side. Well, she got pretty nasty bruising on her right side and on her left butt cheek. Due to the ex being trigger happy calling cps in the past we were torn about whether to send them to their mom's on Sunday because we did not want her making it out to be something it was not. We also felt that if anything it might be suspicious if we didn't send them as we did not have a legitimate reason why and did not think a day or two would heal the bruising completely. So we sent them and my bf explained to the BM what happened at drop off.

Found out this morning, that apparently the BM has been having them see a counselor and that the 4 year old said to the counselor that dad spanked the younger one, that is how she got the bruising and also in addition said things like she is scared of daddy, etc. CPS got involved and told the BM to keep the kids until further notice. My bf, does not have his voicemail set up and does not answer calls from unknown numbers, so of course he missed their attempts to contact him last night. We also stayed at my place last night and apparently they went to his door to look for him. So now he is trying to get in contact with CPS and get this resolved.

So F*** this is not good. They are about two months away from the divorce and custody being finalized and then this pops up. We had no idea they were seeing a counselor, which is fine, there is nothing to hide, but the BM wants to know EVERY little detail and then pulls moves like this. Apparently the 4 year old also said some wild sh** to the counselor which is definitely fed to her by BM because they are simply not true. Plus the BM feeds things to the 4 year old which gets back to us. Such as "I don't have a daddy," "there will be no more daddy," "mommy is taking us away to the new house where there will be no more daddy," plus there is the fact of the time the two children ran out the front door and down the road because they were "running away from mommy," plus more. Regrettably now, my bf did not call CPS on her, even though she has on him 3 times and the police on him, with every time being nothing found because her claims are false.

This feels serious now about the fact that they told her to keep the kids till further notice. Although, my bf has only talked to BM thusfar so I told him to take everything she says with a grain of salt. Feel like she's been playing a power move for months just trying to f*** my boyfriend. So any advice, anyone can give or anything would be great. 


***Edit: my bf does spank the kids sometimes, but with the 3 fingers CPS has suggested and only a few times. He even told CPS he does spank when they misbehave and that is when they told him okay and suggested to use 3 fingers instead because it gets the point across, but makes sure you never do actually hurt them. 

***UPDATE: He just left the CPS office and talked to the counselor. The kids were placed in only her care until they were able to speak with my bf, they did not want to release them into his care before they got to speak to him. It has now been uplifted and he is picking them up in the morning tomorrow. Apparently the 4 year old told the counselor that my bf spanks them with a golden spoon...when neither of us even owns a golden spoon and he has never spanked them with any objects.

In regards to the CPS worker saying the 3 finger thing, the CPS worker today wanted to know exactly who said that to him because yeah apparently they are not supposed to be saying anything like that. So they will be looking her up now. 

In regards to spanking, everyone has their own opinions on that. A few spanks on the butt when the child is wearing a diaper or clothing, I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Usually when he does that is because one of the children hit the other or something like that, discpline is usually a time out for the amount of minutes as they are old. I was spanked as a child and I suffer no emotional or physical issues or anything. I am sorry if you have a problem with spanking, but he never leaves a mark because he never spanks them hard or anything like that. So anyone (especially addressing the one who already accused the marks are from spanking), no the bruising is not from spanking or anything like that.

In regards to the climbing wall, it is more than 24 inches high. I am 5'4 and she fell from about my shoulder height, so yes, it is going to leave bruises falling that far and directly on your butt. Also, we don't believe in discouraging their independence and putting fear in them. They are capable of climbing the rock wall, it is a kid one not an adult like normal one and have so many times before. Yes, we should of been standing closer, but we used to all the time and there was never a problem and she did not want us close because she was a "big girl" doing it herself. 


ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

So CPS wasn't a big deal for us. Psycho got them called on her (which puts us ALL under investigation), nothing serious like this, but you get the point. They came over, we showed them everything, they bought her lies, case closed.

In a situation like this though. After a fall, take the kids to the doctor and notify BM THROUGH TEXT. This leaves a paper trail, and a doctor trail, which leaves BM ZERO space for lying when it's documented very plainly in front of them. In high conflict situations, don't leave space for this.

CPS does't see spanking as abuse unless it leaves marks. (learned that watching a custody case before ours. They had a DHR worker, but she stated it's not abuse like the other side was painting it becuase there were no marks or signs of excessive force)

Deep breathes, explain the situation, you don't have anything to hide, you should be able to call the local office and explain the missed calls, he could also go in, and they'll set up an appointment.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

we were worried texting her about it was going to make her use it as evidence or something because it is out of the ordinary. Unless the child did go to the doctor, they do not communicate about cuts, bruises, etc. until they exchange the children. That is a good suggestion about the doctor though! We did not think anything of taking her because she cried for a few minutes, but then was off playing and fine. NEXT time though there will definitely be a doctors visit just to help cover all the bases.

Just stressed because she doesn't have an honest bone in her body and has been trying to f*** him since he filed the papers a year and a half ago.

No we don't have anything to hide! The only thing that is frustrating is because apparently they also asked the BM about why they are divorcing etc. and apparently she said that my bf abused her (which she has claimed to her lawyer during the divorce proceedings, but is not true) so this is just more of her spewing stuff to the CPS trying to get the kids taken away from him.

He is currently sitting at the CPS office waiting to see a counselor and try and get the ball rolling with getting this resolved.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I don't see how she's use it as evidence. i see the being wary, but if you don't send it then, then she has MORE of a case since she wasnt' notified and you have nothing written to back up what you claim to have told her. It turns to a "he said she said" kind of situation. Whereas with the documentation it turns into the "you knew what really happened, stop trying to PAS the kids."  It really just covers things just in case!

Psycho pulls a lot of the same s***. So I understand. You just have to make sure to cover bases the more high conflict they are. And if you havne't yet, I'd start some kind of documentation about things, expecially when the kids say worrying stuff like that.

She sounds like she's all about control, which is a struggle, but I get it. So go ahead and cover your bases.

I'm glad he's there to figure it out now. Quicker it gets resolved the better!

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

trust me, there will be a lot more of the on paper sort of documentation happening from here on out. 

So he just called me after leaving. Apparently, the 4 year old said that my bf spanks the kids with a golden spoon.... there is not even a golden spoon anywhere in the home and he has never spanked either child with any objects. She told this to the counselor and then the BM showed the counselor the bruise and the counselor called CPS. They only said the children are to remain in her care because they could not get a hold of him and wanted to speak to him before they returned to his care. So we are all set for pick up in the am tomorrow. 

I was just so stressed out because the allegation was not true at all. I was there when she fell and I saw the bruises the next day. We were together the whole time. Also because of potty training, I saw her bare butt before we even went to the park. So it just was making me upset that this all could blow up in his face when he did nothing wrong.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

So counselors are mandated reporters. So if they hear something that sounds like it could be abusive, or if they suspect, they're required by law to report. Doesn't matter if it's true or not, it's just to ensure an investigation. So that wasn't something crazy for you.  I'm glad you're getting them!

CPS investigates, sometimes completely stupid untrue finds. Just don't overstress it. it sounds like they don't believe there's abuse or they wouldn't be giving them back. So deep breathes!

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I rather them over-report and investigate, than what has happened in other states this year that has led to children's deaths because after reports, nothing was done in removal of the children.

I was right in telling my bf to take what the BM said to him with a grain of salt because I posted this just based on what he knew from her, not the actual CPS worker. 

Thanks! Yes me too! Actually have been helping on the keeping calm front, very much appreciated! :) 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

time the BM has called CPS when there was not bruising or anything. Also, he did not purposely not respond to CPS, he got unknown calls he did not answer and he could not receive voicemails as his voicemail is not set up. He is at the CPS office right now. It is a 2 year old child, they get bruises, scrapes, cuts, etc. all the time, especially one as clumsy as she is.

Siemprematahari's picture

Seems like you have a high conflict vindictive BM on your hands. With people like her try not to give her any leverage and document EVERYTHING. She's out to alienate the kids and has been manipulating them. Do what you need to do to maintain some form of custody and hope things work out in your favor. It's so difficult to deal with a parent that is out to hurt their X and uses the kids as pawns for their own personal gain.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

We were just documenting pick ups/drop offs, but will be more proactive from now on that is for sure! Well we are getting them back tomorrow am as what was agreed upon over the weekend. The hold on him seeing the kids was lifted and was only there because they could not get a hold of him. It just is disgusting because we do not do this to her, the people it hurts the most is the kids and apparently she does not care.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

While I don’t think you intentionally put the children in harm you have to realize that those climbing walls are not meant for young children? City parks should have signs to give information about the age group a playground is for and if it’s taking a child off the ground it’s not meant for a two year old. While I don’t think this should cost him his children it is extremely unsafe to allow them to climb it at all, let alone without being there to catch them.

If she was bruised so badly you should have taking her to the ER in the first place. A fall bad enough to bruise could be a fall that would break a limb. It would also have given CPS proof that he was being proactive and let your story be on the record before hers.

Finally I also find it very odd CPS would give advice on how to spank. Three fingers seems absurd. Your state would have laws about spanking if it’s allowed at all but with the child saying stuff like this to a therapist and a custody case going on none of it helps you.

Then on top of it he refuses to answer calls from unknown numbers AND doesn’t have voice mail set up? None of this looks good on him.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

So a year ago, I would of agreed, but the last 3 months or so, she has been climbing it without help and we usually stand a lot closer, but as there has been no issues in the past and she wanted to show us how much of a "big girl" she was doing it herself, we let her. We will not be doing it again.

The night it happened, she really didn't have a bruise yet, it was just red. She also started playing and laughing and never said anything about it so we didn't take her to the ER. I can tell you what, any time any injury happens from now on, except like a little paper cut or something. That is exactly what we will be doing.

So the CPS worker today was surprised to hear the three finger thing too. Now she is looking up who was on the case to see who said that. I think the worker just put her own opinion in, but isn't approved by CPS and therefor should not be said. 

Today he set up his voicemail. The BM used to leave crazy messages and he didn't want that as even an option so he did not set it up, but after this he will. 

The hold on him seeing the kids has been uplifted, just was there because they could not reach him so that is good news. He met with the counselor and they are doing a home visit tomorrow or next week. This all started because of something the 4 year old said.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

Even 3 is too young. The youngest climbing equipment I can find is for 4 and over and that’s for privet in home use. I’m telling you that city playground equipment is not designed for toddlers and would not be included in a normal park. On top of that you’ve got a toddler climbing at chest height? That’s a good 3 / 4 feet off the ground on top of what kind of fall surface?

You’re “normally” right within reach but she wanted to show how big she is isn’t an excuse. The equipment is not safe for her age and she shouldn’t be climbing it in the first place. Then you step back to give her independence which allowed her to fall and bruise enough to the point you considered with holding the children from BM. The bruising is on her RIGHT side and LEFT butt check? So she fell against the equipment hard enough to bruise one side then twist in the air and land on the opposite side.

Let me say this again the equipment is NOT for her. It is NOT SAFE for her to climb it and NO child that small should be that high off the ground even with a parents support. Part of my schooling included playground design. I still get the occasional promotional material from different makers. You are lucky she didn’t break something and didn’t have a concussion. Look around for the age signs. When you ignore them you place yourself on the line for any harm that comes to that child.

tog redux's picture

This is why we warned you that it will be hard for DH to get custody. This BM will do what she has to do to keep custody, including pressuring her kids to lie to therapists and CPS.  It may or may not help her case, but at least you know what you are up against. 

Spanking is not illegal, but WTF? Which three fingers are we talking about? AND - he 100% should not be spanking them during a custody battle (or really ever, it's not an effective punishment). 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

so far it was looking REALLY good that he was going to get what he wanted. Now with this going on, we won't know until the investigation closes because that could impact the outcome. 

The CPS worker had said the pointer, middle, and ring finger. Which apparently is NOT something a CPS worker should be saying. My bf told the CPS worker today that she said that and now she is looking her up because it is a big NO NO. I thought it was weird when he told me that, so I guess she gave her two cents that were not what CPS believes. 

Usually the children if they get spanked it because they hit the other or something like that. Time out is the punishment he uses with them 90% of the time for the amount of minutes as they are old. I can tell you what, spanking will not be happening at all from here on out. 

So now that the hold on him seeing the kids is lifted (was because they couldn't get a hold of him), he is picking them up tomorrow morning as planned. Also calling his lawyer now as I write this.

tog redux's picture

Also, your other blog said they come back to you guys with "bruises and scrapes" that make you guys believe BM "isn't watching them", yet under your care, she fell 5 feet from a playground apparatus that was much too old for her.  This is why you don't get into the "we are the better parents" judgy crap that people do during custody battles.  Kids fall, they get scrapes and bruises, parents aren't perfect.

Your BF should do whatever he can to settle this with BM before his kids get more damaged by this custody battle. Even if he doesn't get what he wants.

ndc's picture

I do think your BF needs to take a parenting class.  I am not an advocate of spanking, mostly because I don't think it's effective.  My parents occasionally spanked me, and I didn't mind being spanked because it was over quickly and they didn't do it hard enough that it hurt.  Losing privileges or having toys taken away was much more effective, IMO.  But, if a parent wants to spank a child to discipline, I don't object as long as they're not hurting the child.  However, I don't see how hitting a child because that child hit another makes any sense at all.  You're trying to discourage hitting, not model the behavior!  In the situation you're in, your BF needs to stop spanking.  He has a vindictive ex who is willing to lie and pull out all the stops.  Don't give her ammunition.

Harry's picture

And you are playing house ?  The older one telling a lies is the problem.  You disengage, your BF was care for his kids.  Things happen to two years olds and only get worst as they get older 

ESMOD's picture

CPS is serious.

Your BF has to stop spanking his kids. period.  Yeah.. it is acceptable to some people, but many more see it as abusive.  Sure, I was spanked too.. and lived to tell the tale.  But, if you want to know the truth?  Most times I was spanked were "unjust".. when I was blamed for things my brother did etc.. so ... I really don't think it had much impact in a positive way for me.

And.... a 2 year old climbing a rock wall?  That seems a bit beyond their age range.. and while you don't have to completely stifle a kid, you also don't have to allow them to eat dog crap because they "want to".  You do admit you should have been closer by... and you should have.  And BM can rightfully claim that the kids aren't well supervised in her EX's care.

Unfortunately, your BF and you need to understand the delicate situation he is in right now with his high conflict EX.. in the midst of custody legal wranglling.  This is NOT the time for him to be cavalier about watching the kids..or to discipline the kids in a way that could at all be construed as abusive.  The 4 yo seems to be a reliable witness to his actions.. and BM is going to use that to her advantage.

Unfortunately, he will always have to deal with his EX because of the children they share... and she will continue to call CPS when she sees things that she can grab onto that paint him negatively.  I hope that you are never laying a hand on these kids for any reason.

Ispofacto's picture

If these kids are 2 and 4 you have a long road ahead of you.  The HCGUBM will coach them to say all kinds of things about you and your SO.  Things that could impact your employment or criminal records.  And with the PAS that will go on, these children will be lost to your SO before long.  Protect yourself.


LOLA_EG12's picture

In our state you can't keep the child without a court order so if she kept the kids then she could be held in contempt. As for CPS, it doesn't sound like there is enough there for the case to be substantiated. I wouldn't worry to much about it. When they question the child they will know if the info they are being told is being fed to them by BM. This probably should be brought up to court before is settled. Having bm manipulating the kids is not in the best interests and could cost her custody. Calling CPS is also very much frowned upon in court. 

tog redux's picture

The therapist called CPS because the kid had bruises and said Daddy spanked her.  

CPS told BM to hold the kids until they could speak to DH.  So none of this will hurt BM whatsoever in court.  And in fact, the bruises were from a kid falling 5 feet from playground equipment, which could be interpreted as lack of supervision, so it probably won't hurt BM and might hurt OP's DH.

STaround's picture

And even if he has what he thinks is a good excuse, my guess is CPS has heard every excuse in the book.  Not calling them back is really bad where I live. 

Thumper's picture

I have not moved past cps instruction to spank with 3 fingers.

OP please keep us informed, if you want, with boyfriends meeting with CPS investigator AND  social worker assigned to his case.






Livingoutloud's picture

Young child fell of 5ft height because he was unsupervised and no one took said kid to a doctor. 2 year olds should not be climbing rock walls to begin with. It’s alone is a big issue. He could fall and hit his head or worse. 

CPS wouldn’t teach anyone how to spank  especially such young children.

Spanking and other physical punishments need to stop.

Also if children hit each other, they shouldn’t be punished by dad spanking them as it sends confusing message that hitting is ok. 

4 year old scared of daddy could be true as he spanks  them. Some kids could be scared of that. Her saying that’s a little one has bruises because of spanking could be a confusion. Dad spanks and kid has bruises. It’s not 4 year old’s  job to figure out what leads to what 

Grown man has to have his voice mail set up 

dad needs to take parenting classes to learn how to parent without putting hands on young kids 

From now on dad has to be mindful how he parents. Counselors are mandated reporters and so are teachers when kids start school. It doesn’t need to be a BM to call CPS. Mandated reporters must report.