At times, relationships with neighbors can be complicated. Relationships with the neighbors’ pet can sometimes be even more so, like it was for Amanda Fairfield.* When the neighbor’s dog harassed and eventually bit one of her children, Amanda called the police. Afterwards, the family moved on with life, little anticipating that the issue would resurface in a wholly unexpected manner.
One day not long after, the Fairfields’ daily routine was suddenly interrupted when Amanda answered the door and found herself face-to-face with a government social worker.
“Hi, I’m from Child Protective Services, and I’m here to investigate an allegation of a lack of supervision of your children.”
The CPS investigator went on to explain the allegations that all six of the Fairfield children had been reported to be playing outside in the creek, and even under cars—all without supervision. In reality, only their two oldest children, ages 13 and 6, were allowed to play outside without an adult, and they knew to stay together.
Thankfully, the Fairfields are Heritage Defense members, so Amanda tensely asked the investigator to wait while she called her attorney. Her mind whirling, Amanda closed the door, retrieved her phone, and called the Heritage Defense 24/7 emergency help line. Within moments, she was speaking with an experienced Heritage Defense attorney.
Amanda explained the allegations as she understood them. Seeking to comprehend the case as thoroughly as possible, the attorney inquired whether Amanda had any idea who might have reported. At first, she had no idea, but then she remembered. The neighbors. With a sinking feeling, Amanda informed the attorney that she suspected the report was retaliation by a neighbor with an unruly dog.
Regardless of the reporter, there was still a social worker at the door to contend with. Taking the phone with her, Amanda went back outside so the social worker could speak with the attorney. With the attorney’s help, Amanda agreed to allow the investigator to lay eyes on the children while refusing her entry to the home or interviews with the children. The children came outside, and the social worker took a few notes then departed. Heritage Defense immediately assigned a local attorney to the case who speedily contacted CPS directly and resolved the groundless case.
The Fairfield family’s case was not unique. Many families are falsely or groundlessly reported, sometimes by well-meaning but ignorant observers and sometimes by disgruntled acquaintances. With the help of Heritage Defense families do not have to face these accusations alone.
If you are a member of Heritage Defense, we hope it is an encouragement for you to know that your membership is going to help families like the Fairfields. While we cannot guarantee outcomes, if your family is ever falsely accused of child abuse or neglect, we are ready to fight to defend you and your rights.
If you are not yet a member, please join today to have 24/7 access to experienced attorneys ready to defend your family.
*Names changed for privacy