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ktfusa2000
May 7th, 2008, 6:55pm
And asked to interview my five year old kindergartner. Apparently there MAY have been an incident in school that my son MAY have witnessed. Because of the investigation, they couldn't give me any details, or allow me to be there, but assured me that when they did the interview at school that the principal and another witness would be there.

Now I'm worried, my son has started to regress somewhat, he's had a few accidents after being accident free for two years, and I had attributed it to the baby on the way. Now I'm wondering if it's something that happened at school.

I've talked to my son about how he can come to me with any thing on his mind, and made sure he understood that NOONE is allowed to touch him, or hurt him. I am not sure what else to do, I am not even sure when they will be interviewing him.

THe lady from DCFS told me that they would be interviewing several children, and that they weren't sure when the incident occured or that it was even a one time thing.

I am thinking it has to do with his teacher. She is an older woman, due to retire this year. I have never really liekd her, she seems really gruff, and has at times not allowed my son use of the bathroom, even after I told her that he has an overactive bladder, and when he says he needs to go, he means NOW.

Does anyone have any idea what my rights are as a parent? DO I have the right to be there during questioning, or because of confidetiality issues (as the woman on the phone told me) am I just to be kept in the dark?

pjm1216
May 7th, 2008, 7:00pm
They have NO right to interview your son without your permission. If you want them to go ahead and speak to him then insist you be there. DO NOT trust DCFS. Please, I know from experience. :bawl: DCFS has a way of twisting and manipulating the truth and before you know it YOU could be the one they are investigating and your children are in foster care.

Globug_47
May 7th, 2008, 7:02pm
I'm no legal expert but I would image that because it is a minor child, that as the parent, you have the right to be present for any interviews with him.

I would consult with an attorney to be clear on exactly what rights you and your child have in this matter.

Good luck to you and I hope that all goes well for you and your son.

mamatat
May 7th, 2008, 7:05pm
Call a lawyer and ask if they can interview your child without you there. Or basically, without your permission from the sounds of it. Good luck. Hope it wasn't anything to serious.

elainmir
May 7th, 2008, 7:06pm
I'm not sure of laws in your state but here if they want to question a CHILD they have to have your permission. in my state the PARENTS can be present. I would tell them emphatically they MUST let you be present during questioning or it will be a NO GO on your child being questioned. As a Pre K teacher I can tell you what disturbs me most is when your child starts regressing and having "accidents". That is an indicator that your child has been traumatized, whether as a victim or a witness the impact is pretty much the same. Do not let these folks bully you, I'd INSIST on being there.

rdhill007
May 7th, 2008, 7:08pm
Ages 12 and under(some states, 14), the parent and/or school official HAS to be in the room when the questioning goes on. The school, by law, has to let you know that there will be questioning ahead of time. Your child has rights, regardless of what they want you to believe.

By law, they cannot keep you out of the room without your permission.

If they give you a hard time, let them know that they can talk to your child with your attorney present. If they do not agree to this, inform them that you will call the Attorney General's office and the police department, let them know that they are attempting to question your child, age 5, without your consent which is against the law.

hawkfam
May 7th, 2008, 7:08pm
DCFS investigates abuse/neglect within a family situation. If a teacher was involved in an incident, the school or police would be conducting the interview not DCFS. Your son would have had to witness something between siblings or parent/child or child in his class indicated someone in his family did something inappropriate. Police may not interview a child without the parent present unless the parent consents. If you consent, then they can interview your child without you present. Otherwise, you must be there or no interview - that is why they called.

inspiringmind
May 7th, 2008, 7:11pm
That is the kind of thing that DCFS would say because they are really trying to see if YOUR child is being abused. If they are only interviewing him because of another child's incident then you have every right to be there. Do you know when they are supposed to do this interview? I would keep him home that day and when they call say, you were very unconformable with your son being interviewed with you not there and if this is something that important then they can make arrangements for you to be there or have it at your home in your presence.

bearbaby_26
May 7th, 2008, 7:15pm
I'm guessing you are in Illinois? If so, and this incident happened at school, it was probably a mandated report incident. Visit the DCFS website FAQ page http://www.state.il.us/DCFS/FAQ/faq_faq_can.shtml

Or better yet, call them:


If you're seeking information about DCFS or its programs, our Office of Communications is available to answer questions. Call (217)785-1700, or you may call your local DCFS office.

moondog
May 7th, 2008, 7:15pm
Definitely insist that you must be present or there will be no interview. If it concerns your child it concerns you. Don't let them sweet talk you into thinking everything is OK and you don't need to be there.

mcclave
May 7th, 2008, 7:17pm
I wouldn't let them interview my minor without me there.........forget that!

AVIDT
May 7th, 2008, 7:21pm
Don't they need a warrant of some sort to do this?
No 5 year old should have to endure an investigation unless he/she is the one who is alleging the complaint.

I would NOT leave my child alone with them!

LuckyPenny
May 7th, 2008, 7:21pm
This is a shame that schools have come to this.

I feel sorry for teachers I know they have a huge job and not many of them last.

But then on the other hand you have teachers that should probably retire.

I just pulled mine out and homeschooled her.

There are some good programs out there.

:worry2:

McFerret
May 7th, 2008, 7:22pm
There is no way anyone would interview my kids without my being there. To me, that is intimidation. I encourage you to advocate for your son. If he were a witness to something, then he needs someone who can help him to deal with it. I can't imagine that it would be DCFS.

hudson9610
May 7th, 2008, 7:26pm
You have the legal right to be present when they talk to him

zelda
May 7th, 2008, 7:27pm
They have NO right to interview your son without your permission. If you want them to go ahead and speak to him then insist you be there. DO NOT trust DCFS. Please, I know from experience. :bawl: DCFS has a way of twisting and manipulating the truth and before you know it YOU could be the one they are investigating and your children are in foster care.

Actually yes they do have the right.

Something happened at my son's school and my kids were interviewed and THEN I was contacted. It is done that way in case child is being abused in any way parents don't have a chance to coach their child on what to say.

brenske
May 7th, 2008, 7:27pm
If it is, there should be a social worker doing the interviewing. If it is a police investigation, you will not be allowed to be with your child for the interview....I believe you have to consent the interview but I would not assume anyone is out to get anyone....just tell your son that he has not done anything wrong, you love him and to tell the truth and remind him that we don't keep secrets .....hang in there. hopefully it's nothing for all kids involved....

venus_de_milo
May 7th, 2008, 7:30pm
Actually yes they do have the right.

Something happened at my son's school and my kids were interviewed and THEN I was contacted. It is done if a child is being abused in any way they don't have a chance to coach their child on what to say.

Just because they did that, does not necessarily mean that they had the right to do so. There is absolutely no way I would permit an interview of my minor child without myself or my husband present.

zelda
May 7th, 2008, 7:31pm
Don't they need a warrant of some sort to do this?
No 5 year old should have to endure an investigation unless he/she is the one who is alleging the complaint.

I would NOT leave my child alone with them!

No they don't need a warrant.

rdhill007
May 7th, 2008, 7:32pm
If the parent objects to the questioning, they will need to get a court order. They cannot question a 5 year old without parental consent.

msbabypug
May 7th, 2008, 7:33pm
do not allow anyone to interview your child without you present. no one is responsible for protecting your child but you. if my child had something to say, they would be more comfortable with the presence of mommy than with perfect strangers.
Tina

ktfusa2000
May 7th, 2008, 7:34pm
I'm not concerned about DCFS being involved persay. I am a single parent, but a good mother, I am very involved in their school activities, and have a good realtionship with their teachers. I am just concerned that my son may have heard or seen something and hasn't told me. I don't really want to question him too much in case I confuse him, and make it more difficult for the investigation. If someone in my son's class has been hurt, or abused, and my son has information that may help, that's most important, it is more jsut curiosity on my part.

I obviously want to know who is involved in the incident, and if my son was exposed to any harmful behavior I want to know what actions I should be taking to ensure his psychological well being is taken into consideration. If he did witness something, I want to make sure he gets counseling, and is able to talk to someone about it.

I appreciate all the replies and will continue to keep track of your suggestions, as well as keep you up to date when I get more info.

keithandsherry
May 7th, 2008, 7:50pm
If they called you and asked you for your permission that sounds like they need it before they can question him. Otherwise, they wouldn't have called you, they would have just done it. I would call he principal and tell him/her that no one is to question your son without you being present and that includes DCFS

rajcjj1
May 7th, 2008, 8:42pm
My five year old is still a baby. I wish you the best of luck with this.

elainmir
May 7th, 2008, 9:45pm
I'm still with everyone else. I say NO GO on the interview without YOU being present.

Beth
May 7th, 2008, 10:00pm
My gosh, I can't imagine what could have happened that would require all this.

If you cannot be in the room, can you at least be able to stand outside to the door and listen to the questions being asked? Perhaps they can tape it so you will have an opportunity to talk to your son about it later?

Could it be a private/sensitive issue that involves another family and letting you in on it would be an invasion of privacy?

So many questions....I hope everything goes smoothly.
I would at least call the number. Good luck!

ironbutterfly
May 8th, 2008, 7:29am
There is no way I would let my child be interogated/interviewed without being there for support, no way. It sounds soooooo hinky to me, I just can't believe they expect a parent to do that:worry2:

riverrat39
May 8th, 2008, 8:09am
Dont trust them. They twist and lie!!! Lokk up your rights online now!!!! I know how they work!!! Dont be scared be strong! I scared these guys off before, they dont like the word lawyer! Please know your rights and know they get $$$$$ for taking kids away from good parents!

riverrat39
May 8th, 2008, 8:15am
Dont worry about LOOKING guilty, because no matter what you do, they will make you look guilty. Protect your child!

mcclave
May 8th, 2008, 12:35pm
This whole thing just sounds strange. I understand your concerns as a Mother but there is no way I would allow anyone to interview my son of 5 years old without me being there or at least knowing what was going on.

Do you have any enemies at the school that would have falsely reported you for abuse of some kind out of spite?

Something really doesn't sound right!

jofo3511
May 8th, 2008, 12:39pm
This whole thing just sounds strange. I understand your concerns as a Mother but there is no way I would allow anyone to interview my son of 5 years old without me being there or at least knowing what was going on.

Do you have any enemies at the school that would have falsely reported you for abuse of some kind out of spite?

Something really doesn't sound right!


We had this happen to us when my kids were in elementary school. My one dd hit her sister in the eye with a toy & she had a mark under her eye. Someone called it in and my kids were interviewed at school without our knowledge and then showed up at my house that same day.

They also told us they get alot of calls from people out of spite.

eta: they have to investigate especially when there are signs of abuse.

judyv01510
May 8th, 2008, 12:46pm
Don't do the interview with DCF but if you suspect something take him to a theropist that deals speifically with children. Tell the whats happening and ask then to question ur child. If there is something then you can decide what to do from there.

cdecee
May 8th, 2008, 12:49pm
Have you found out anything new today about why they want to question him?

judyv01510
May 8th, 2008, 12:56pm
Homeschool, Protect your children and give them a proper eduation.

ktfusa2000
May 8th, 2008, 2:04pm
I went on today to speak with the principal. Apparently there was an incident(s) in my son's kindergarten classroom, and DCFS along with the principal is doing interviews of all the students in my son's classroom. SHe couldn't give me any names, or details because it is an ongoing investigation, but she assured me that with the info she's received already she believes my son was not involved, just may have witnessed something.

All the parents of students involved have been contacted, and will receive a phone call when they are done with their investigation, as to what the circumstances were, as well as the results.

I was not worried about someone calling on me, because I have three children that attend the school and if they were investigating 'me' they most likely would have spoken to one of my older children first. I did tell the principal that if is found in the interview that my son witnessed or even was involved in something that I want counseling services available to my son.

THank you all for your replies and concern. I am still curious of course, but I know that the investigation is important, so I am just trying not to question my son about anything he may have seen. I don't want to confuse him and make it more difficult for the school to get the information they need.

On a side note, if I find out anyone hurt my son, I will be needing to raise some bail money!

Tarah716
May 9th, 2008, 8:41am
If it's possible, let us know what happens. Your son has been in my thoughts, I hope it's nothing major. :hugs:

cpnqn
May 9th, 2008, 12:45pm
I'd definitely refuse.

They do have the right to do so without you *if* YOU are the person they are after- however, if it doesn't concern you, then you should be allowed to observe at least from another area (which prevents him from being effected by your presence).

I would definitely refuse though without further information as for all you know they could be asking sex related questions on topics HE is not ready to discuss with anyone. I wouldn't want my kid exposed to the unknown by anyone.

Maprinces3
May 9th, 2008, 12:57pm
This is a hard one, first off you want whats best for your son. DCFS does have a way of twisting things said and are sometimes far from truthful. I would at the least insist on having council present at your sons questioning. I know this will cost you $ but it will give you answers and show them that you are serious.

Lanne
May 9th, 2008, 1:13pm
Ok, I've tried and tried to figure it out - what the heck is DCFS?

core_17
May 9th, 2008, 1:14pm
Ok, I've tried and tried to figure it out - what the heck is DCFS?

Department of Child and Family Services

Lanne
May 9th, 2008, 1:28pm
Thanks Core - I feel dumb now! I don't have kids so I'm not always familiar with some of the current acronyms that Moms these days know!

meeeee
May 9th, 2008, 1:34pm
I hope you get answers soon
Good luck

abymom
May 9th, 2008, 1:35pm
I'm no legal expert but I would image that because it is a minor child, that as the parent, you have the right to be present for any interviews with him.

I would consult with an attorney to be clear on exactly what rights you and your child have in this matter.

Good luck to you and I hope that all goes well for you and your son.

I agree, Glo!

I thought that DCF only had the right to interview a child privately if someone suspected physical/sexual abuse and neglect.. and if family was suspected or not yet ruled out, then the interview needed to be done privately without family present.

I would question this definitely!

HMM< I just saw this was first posted 2 days ago, and don't see update from OP?
anyone know the status of the situation??