Saturday, December 6, 2014

Experience You Don't Need: Social Services

Life is meant to be experienced and enjoyed. At the same time, if you have kids, it is also filled with responsibilities . . . and still joy. Over the years, I've watched Social Services enter the lives of various friends and there is one thing each person who had the experience had in common - stress and fear.
   I had my own encounter with Social Services after my son was born. When I refused to go along with what I felt was an unnecessary procedure (a dose of morphine to get him to sleep), my son's doctor threatened to take custody. A couple hours later, a Social Services representative was near my son's crib in the hospital. She talked to me for 20 minutes and then told me no one was going to take my son away from me. But that short period of time was like a hell. The relief I felt when the representative told me that was astronomical. After I got out of the hospital, I filed a report with the state board of health who conducted an investigation on the doctor - a permanent stain on her record.
   Other people are not so lucky. I've seen Social Services come in and sleepless nights were common. Now, some of the people did not do anything to their children to deserve it and they went through quite a trial to prove it. I felt for them, because they were loving parents. It was just a situation where an overzealous person or (in most cases) a doctor notified the department. In one case, a child broke her leg after falling off of a horse. The doctor felt letting a child ride a horse was an endangerment.
   The other people - well, Social Services needed to be called. The parents needed a healthy dose of reality and the children taken away.
   There is one way to make sure Social Services does not turn your life into a living hell. Make your children your number one priority. Discipline them appropriately and not in a way that will get this department descending on your life. Take care of your children so that they are happy, healthy and strong. Neglect is just as bad as abuse. I hope if you do those things and your child gets into an accident - as all children do - that overzealousness is not an issue you have to deal with.
   Social Services is one experience you most definitely do not need. It is scary and stressful knowing that the department that has the power to remove your children from your home is now involved in your life. Please, do the right thing by your kids. They deserve it. And you won't have to go through such an experience.

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