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Advice Needed - Calling CPS (really long - sorry)

Hello Ladies -

I could use some advice, hopefully there are some social workers on the board who can offer insights.

Background:  I have a very disturbed niece (age 23)  who has a 14 month old baby boy.  My niece has been in and out of jail for theft and drug use.  She's currently on probation and living with a young man she met in rehab.  At this time the young man is taking primary care of the baby.  My niece verbally and physically abuses the boyfriend and he recently called my sister begging her to pick up her daughter and the baby, he can't take the abuse any loner. 

I was told by another family member that my niece was talking to her mother and compared herself to Casey Anthony and stated that she thought she could kill her son.  My sister has been told by my niece's therapist that the niecee is a sociopath and needs to be continaully monitored but she is currently not in treatment.

 I told the family member who relayed this information to me that we have to call CPS.  For some UNKNOWN reason my other family members are hesitant to do so.  So here is my question - I have no proof this conversation took place.  I know CPS won't remove the child but I'm hoping that they will at least check on him and reocrd something in the system in case they are called again.  I DO NOT have an address for my niece, only her name and the child's name.  Is that enough info for CPS? 

Thanks for reading this far, any insights are appreciated.  I'm happy to provide more clarification on anything in the post.  I left out some detail to keep this as concise as possible.


Re: Advice Needed - Calling CPS (really long - sorry)

  • I would absolutely call and report what you have heard.  Since she is on probation, they should easily be able to find her.
  • image casmgn:
    I would absolutely call and report what you have heard.? Since she is on probation, they should easily be able to find her.


    Ditto. ?They should be able to find her pretty easily. ?Good luck and thank you for helping this poor little boy.?

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  • You can file the report, but without more info or firsthand knowledge, there's very little they can do.  Heresay doesn't go very far.  The report will be on file, but not much else.  They may try to track her down (if by some miracle they have extra staff/time that day- the system is overtaxed & needs more resources), and do a prelim visit. 

    If you feel the allegations have merit, get her address & more info to make a stronger case & give them more to go on.

    It's a gray area though.  I've seen those who need it be bypassed by the system due to lack of evidence.  I've also seen wonderful families ripped apart by nosy neighbors who misread a situation.  It sounds like in your case, the child is more likely in danger & mom needs immediate help.

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  • You can call CPS to report this, but unless you give them more information than you told us, it is unlikely they will be able to substantiate your claims.  Is there any way you can convince your relative to call CPS and relay that conversation?  That would be much more useful than second or third hand information.

     But I do applaud you stepping up and trying to help this child.  If nothing else, call CPS yourself so they can at least make a note in the file.  Good luck!

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  • Make a detalied list of "charges" before you call. You can also fax in a report.
  • For what its worth, "sociopath" isn't a real diagnosis, so I'm wondering what all has been lost in translation. You should definitely call and let CPS decide if there's anything of use value here, but don't be surprised if there isn't much they can do based on what you've written here. If nothing else, at least you can start a file on your neice.
  • I'm not sure what your "reporting".

    The rehab boyfriend who's getting physically and verbally abused?

    The declaration that she could kill the baby?

    The therapist's report that the mother is a sociopath in need of monitoring but is not in treatment?

    Obviously it's a mess.  A young child is living in an unstable home with reports of domestic violence, intermident drug use, and mental instability. You sound alarmed and should call CPS. Always call when a bad situation escalates and a child is involved.  But why isn't a close family member stepping in?  Why is her address a mystery? If the boyfriend has asked for help, where is the child now?

    I think family members can act much quicker than child protective services.They can at least SEE the child and LOOK to see if the child is in danger,right now.  They can talk to the mom and get a plan going.  If the mother prevents access, then a CPS report would really help .... you'd be reporting all of the above and the fact that the child hasn't been seen by anyone and there is immediate consern for her safety.  Services could be put in place, even if a removal isn't warranted.  

    Also, who took custody of the baby when mom was in jail and rehab?  Was it foster care or a family member?  Where is that family member now?  Does your niece trust them?  Was family court involved?  Those can all be resources.       

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Your "spidie" sense has gone off. Use as much factual information that you have when you call. Someone else pointed out that she ought to be in the system and should be easy to find. Another thought is to attempt to contact her probation officer. If you let them know that you are her aunt and you have information about statements she has been making they should be able to put you in touch with the PO. Usually you have to get in touch with a PO you go through the county court where she would have one. Best of luck and prayers to you.
  • Would anyone else in the family have her address?  Do you know what city or town or even which street she lives in?  Anything you can give them would be helpful.

    Call CPS.  At the very least you will start a file of concerns and any future calls will be taken more seriously.  And encourage your family members who have knowledge of the situation to call as well.  DV is a dangerous and damaging situation for a child to live in. Girls exposed to DV are 2x as likly to be victims of DV when they are older and boys who witness DV are 3x as likely to be abusers. It also creates fear and instability in the child's life.

    It sounds like the situation may get more volitile if her boyfriend leaves.  Leaving is the most dangerous time for a DV victim, the violence could escalate.  Also, he is the child's primary caregiver.  If she is left alone with the child, he could be in more danger.

    Where are the family members?  Can anyone step in and offer to watch the child, or can anyone talk to the mom about what is going on?  She may not listen, or be receptive to help, but it would be worth exploring.


  • ok im confused...

    he recently called my sister begging her to pick up her daughter and the baby, he can't take the abuse any loner. 

    So your sister got this info first hand from BF? And BF is a grown man and called your sister to help him>? and he continued to stay?


     was told by another family member that my niece was talking to her mother and compared herself to Casey Anthony and stated that she thought she could kill her son

    so this would be the baby's grandmother? and she told the grandmother that she could kill her grandchild and yet the grandmother did nothing?


    My sister has been told by my niece's therapist that the niecee is a sociopath and needs to be continaully monitored but she is currently not in treatment.

    this is the part i feel is complete BS a therapist would NEVER give that type of info or have that conversation with ANYONE unless court ordered to. if so they could/would lose their license!!!! AND if the therapist felt that there was a danger  to the child SHE IS LEGALLY responsible to report it. so, im not buying it.

    why would the therapist have contact with your sister?

    I DO NOT have an address for my niece, only her name and the child's name.  Is that enough info for CPS? 

    so the therapist has your siters # but no one has an address? everyone in the family has ALL this infor on her but no one has an address????

    If io

     were you id be on the phone with the grandmother first!!!! twell her to give you an address....then you NEED to call!



  • YOU NEED TO CALL.  I did an internship with a CPS department when I was doing my undergraduate.  Family members called in all the time reporting on other family members.  Sometimes the parents would call in and report on their own children.  What you need to remember is if something happens to your neice's child and the family is aware of it, but didn't report there could be serious legal consequences for those family members who knew.   Don't be surprised if Grandma in the Caylee Anthony case goes to jail or has some kind of legal consequences for her roll in this as well.

    Family or not you need to report what is going on.  You can call and leave the tip annoymously.  You don't have to say how you're related to the child, or in some states even give your name.  Also there may already be records of abuse for your niece from her therapist (because they still have to report this kind of abuse) and (again) with the Caylee Anthony remains found, you can bet the CPS will take this case very seriously.


  • You have a moral obligation to contact CPS in this case.  It is enough that you have heard this second hand.  Your niece is known to be disturbed and is in therapy.  Your niece is known to be a drug user and a criminal.  These are facts.  If for no other reason, could you ever forgive YOURSELF for not acting on the information you have if something should happen to this poor child?


    You MUST intervene.


    I am curious to know where the father is in all of this.

    promised myself I'd retire when I turned gold, and yet here I am
  • All-

    Thanks so much for the feedback.  Answers to questions below:

    What am I reporting - I'd like to make them aware of the Casey Anthony comment and inform them that the child is an environment where verbal and physical abuse is prevalent.  (Even though it's not directed at the child - that I know of...)

    Why aren't other family members stepping in? - My sister will take care of the baby if my niece will allow it.  I think that right now my niece is keeping him but I'm hopeful she will turn him over to my sister.  The father of the child is not involved, he has no interest in the baby at all.  His parents do watch the baby periodically.

    Why is the address a mystery/Why don't I obtain her address - I could easily obtain the address but my fear is that everyone will then know that I'm the one who reported my niece.  This is my half sister's child and grandchild.  My sister and I get along but we aren't super close and didn't grow up together.  I have only one concern about everyone knowing that I'm the whistle blower.  I'm afraid that I will no longer recieve updates on the neice and baby and then who will be there to help that child?  Nieve thought I know... It just scares me.

    Where is the child now - The baby is with my niece and they're moving into a new apartment this week.  (My sister is paying the bills.  Niece hasn't ever held a job for longer than 2 weeks.) 

    Who took baby while mother was in jail - She had the baby right after she was released on probation.  My sister and her husband will take the child but they have to convince my niece to go along with that plan.  Doubtful that she will since she gets more attention/money by having the child in tow.

    Where is the child now?  The child is with my niece.  My sister is looking for an apartment for them.  

    Therapist diagnosis - I agree that it sounds shady that a therapist would share this information with someone other than the patient.  Sorry I can't provide more clarification on that point but I agree 100%.  Sounds strange.

    Why isn't the grandmother taking action? - I WISH I KNEW.  My sister has some serious issues herself.  She knows her daughter is a bad mom, she knows her daughter is a mess.  She ALWAYS rescues her and makes excuses for her behavior.  Horrible, I know..

    IT's all so sad.. Thanks for the questions, it helps me think through the whole mess more clearly.  I'm definitely going to call, will keep you all updated.

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