This is obviously an AE. My regular screen name has very few posts but I don't want anyone to come here and find this and assume it was "me" (since my regular name alludes to my actual full first name).
I need information about calling child protective services. I have been babysitting for a family recently and much of what goes on behind closed doors scares the crap out of me. Long story short (without going into too much detail) the family has 4 children, all very young. I'm posting the question on this board because the children fall into this age category. Both parents are smoking pot multiple times a day after they're done with and probably before work. Yesterday while I was tidying up the living room (where the children are the majority of the day) I found a bag of pot that was on a table under some clutter. This was very accessible to the children and any of them could have gotten a hold of it.
Until yesterday my knowledge of them smoking pot was that they do it "occasionally" on the weekend and only in their garage after the children are asleep. When I found the bag I didn't know what to do, so I put it in a cabinet that was out of reach from the children. When I opened that cabinet there was a plethora of paraphernalia, including bowls, bongs, a grinder (at least, I think that's what it is), lighters, rolling papers, etc. I didn't want to touch anything because I didn't want them to find out I was snooping. When I arrived at the house this morning two of the children were in the living room and there was a bowl-probably full- laying out on the computer table.
I would like any advice about calling CPS. I've never reported anything before, but I feel as the recent babysitter that I need to report this behavior. On top of drugs in the house, the house is in shambles and filled with clutter and garbage. I also found old bruises in the shape of fingers (as if someone was grabbing the child with a lot of force) on one of the toddlers back and thighs while changing the diaper.
I'm going to ask my SO for advice when he gets home from work. I know I need to call CPS, I guess I just want to be informed before I do make the call. Are these calls anonymous? Will they take my allegations seriously? Or is pot one of those things that they kind of push aside?
I apologize for the length of this post and for the somewhat stupid questions. Without going into greater detail, I have a lot of past information (direct from the mother) that would incriminate them further, but I don't know if that means anything to CPS if it's information from years past. Obviously I will be quitting as the babysitter and plan to sever any ties I have with them. Thanks in advance for any advice.
ETA: In addition to the bruises I have witnessed firsthand smacking, spanking (hard), hitting in the face/head, pushing, and forceful grabbing. I didn't put that in the original OP because I was flustered. I apologize for the confusion.