Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

I need information regarding calling CPS (drugs in home of children I babysit)-Longish

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.  


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Re: I need information regarding calling CPS (drugs in home of children I babysit)-Longish

  • Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.
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  • image MrsSR:
    I'd call the cops.

    In case you are keeping score at home, this is the second time I am side eying you.

    OP, please follow Dreamsicles advice.   

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  •  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.  

     The above would make me call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

  • image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    I normally agree with what you post, but I have to strongly disagree here.  She did say she saw marks on one of the children.  And pot lying around in the reach of toddlers is definitely endangerment.  Sad  

    OP, I've never had to deal with this, but I'd look up CPS and go from there. 

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  • Call CPS.  I am not sure if they'll let you be anonymous or not but you definitely should call.  Smoking pot periodically is one thing but with the bongs and grinders it seems like they are serious users.  It is absolutely unacceptable to leave it in an area that is accessible to the children.  On top of the fact that you have concerns about bruises that you have seen.  My advice would be to call the local police department and ask them to point you in the appropriate direction.
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  • image vmm0016:

    I would call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

    Is anyone thinking about the children here?  Do you guys have any idea what goes on in a foster home?  OP, if you make those kinds of allegations their children will be thoroughly examined and maybe taken away.  

    If you work for them why can't you just talk to them?  Let them know you found it and they need to hide in on a top shelf somewhere.   

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  • image vmm0016:

    I would call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

    I feel like some small bruises on a toddler could be anything though.  My kid has several bruises at all times...and I don't even know where they come from half the time.  If they were actually beating the child you'd see a lot more.  

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  • image yankeebaby2:
    image vmm0016:

    I would call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

    Is anyone thinking about the children here?  Do you guys have any idea what goes on in a foster home?  OP, if you make those kinds of allegations their children will be thoroughly examined and maybe taken away.  

    If you work for them why can't you just talk to them?  Let them know you found it and they need to hide in on a top shelf somewhere.   

    Okay, I don't understand why you don't think that an investigation is necessary.  Foster care is not an ideal situation, believe me, but they don't just go immediately to foster care.  They try to place with friends or family first.  And if there are drugs combined with bruises, how do you know that what's going on in the bio parents home is safe for those kids???

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  • image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.


    missing my two angel babies

    bfp #1 10.28.09 m/c 11.4.09 bfp #2 12.26.10 m/c 1.25.11

    dx with PCOS/insulin resistance in 2003

    TTA until ???

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  • MrsSRMrsSR
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    image yankeebaby2:

    image MrsSR:
    I'd call the cops.

    In case you are keeping score at home, this is the second time I am side eying you.

    OP, please follow Dreamsicles advice.   

    I don't care...I think it's awful that you would be fine with something like this.  Do you smoke pot yourself?

  • Okay, I am sorry but my dad sexually abused me from as long as I can remember until I was 12.  If you think this child is being abused, I would say something.  Everyone turned a blind eye and I had to go through years of therapy.

    Edit: You have seen the abuse, I would report it.

    Yankee-Do you still disagree? I mean maybe this kids have a chance or am I too optomistic?

  • image JustWonderin805:

    image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.

    Wow this just keeps getting worse and worse.  All of the things you just mentioned seem a lot more serious then pot smoking.  

  • image yankeebaby2:
    image vmm0016:

    I would call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

    Is anyone thinking about the children here?  Do you guys have any idea what goes on in a foster home?  OP, if you make those kinds of allegations their children will be thoroughly examined and maybe taken away.  

    If you work for them why can't you just talk to them?  Let them know you found it and they need to hide in on a top shelf somewhere.   

    That's exactly why I'm really making sure that all of these allegations are true. I would much rather these children stay with their parents, but I can't deny the fact that a lot of horrible things go on in this home. 

    I confronted the father this morning about the pot that I found yesterday (I had to leave quickly yesterday for an appointment and I wasn't able to discuss it with the mother when she came home). He then asked me where I put it and when he looked in the cabinet and the pot plus a bowl was gone he told me that his wife must have smoked it that morning before her work shift. There was absolutely no concern in his voice.

    If it makes any difference, I made it very clear to them when I initially started babysitting that I didn't want to be in the pot smoking environment. The mother flat out told me that she and her husband only smoke on weekends and NOT around the children. If I knew this was a daily occurrence I wouldn't have accepted the position.  


    missing my two angel babies

    bfp #1 10.28.09 m/c 11.4.09 bfp #2 12.26.10 m/c 1.25.11

    dx with PCOS/insulin resistance in 2003

    TTA until ???

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  • The bruises would worry me, but I have to side with those who say it might not be in the best interest of the children to call CPS.


    Do you know for sure the bruises were from fingers? Have you witnessed any abuse yourself? Is there a family member you could speak to about your concerns first? I don't want to dismiss this and say you shouldn't call, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit.

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  • Just the fact that there are drugs around the house where the children could access them would be enough for me to call CPS. Trust your gut and call. It sounds to me like you'd be doing the right thing.

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  • image JustWonderin805:

    image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.

    Ok, so there is more than you originally told us. I'd worry about this stuff more than the pot. But if all this has been going on.... why are you just now upset about the bongs and stuff? This seems weird.

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  • image JustWonderin805:

    image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.

    What you listed here, not the use of marijuana, is what would have me calling CPS? In this situation are the children multiples (twins, triplets, etc.)? Not having proper shoes/clothing is one thing, since it's possibly they can't be afforded, but the spanking, yelling, insulting and aggressive behavior towards the children is definitely cause for concern. When you call CPS mention the abuse primarily, the pot use is secondary.
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  • image DaisyFull:

    The bruises would worry me, but I have to side with those who say it might not be in the best interest of the children to call CPS.


    Do you know for sure the bruises were from fingers? Have you witnessed any abuse yourself? Is there a family member you could speak to about your concerns first? I don't want to dismiss this and say you shouldn't call, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit.

    I have witnessed firsthand spanking (hard, not just a little swat on the butt), smacking the children in the head, smacking them with a shoe, grabbing them and jerking them around very forcefully, and pushing them onto the floor.

    There is a family member I could speak with and that I feel comfortable with. That's a great suggestion to speak to them first.  


    missing my two angel babies

    bfp #1 10.28.09 m/c 11.4.09 bfp #2 12.26.10 m/c 1.25.11

    dx with PCOS/insulin resistance in 2003

    TTA until ???

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  • image JustWonderin805:
    image DaisyFull:

    The bruises would worry me, but I have to side with those who say it might not be in the best interest of the children to call CPS.


    Do you know for sure the bruises were from fingers? Have you witnessed any abuse yourself? Is there a family member you could speak to about your concerns first? I don't want to dismiss this and say you shouldn't call, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit.

    I have witnessed firsthand spanking (hard, not just a little swat on the butt), smacking the children in the head, smacking them with a shoe, grabbing them and jerking them around very forcefully, and pushing them onto the floor.

    There is a family member I could speak with and that I feel comfortable with. That's a great suggestion to speak to them first.  

    The smacking/spanking/pushing/jerking/etc. is alarming and warrants a call.    Turning a blind eye to abuse is not in the best interests of the children. 

  • image JustWonderin805:
    image DaisyFull:

    The bruises would worry me, but I have to side with those who say it might not be in the best interest of the children to call CPS.


    Do you know for sure the bruises were from fingers? Have you witnessed any abuse yourself? Is there a family member you could speak to about your concerns first? I don't want to dismiss this and say you shouldn't call, but I think you might be jumping the gun a bit.

    I have witnessed firsthand spanking (hard, not just a little swat on the butt), smacking the children in the head, smacking them with a shoe, grabbing them and jerking them around very forcefully, and pushing them onto the floor.

    There is a family member I could speak with and that I feel comfortable with. That's a great suggestion to speak to them first.  

    I really hope everything is okay. The stuff you mentioned AFTER the pot smoking is really the bad stuff. If it were just weed I'd tell them to keep it away from the kids or else.. a little threat. But the rest of it....  yeah. At least talk to that family member. Keep us posted if you can.

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  • image AtlJuneBride:
    image yankeebaby2:
    image vmm0016:

    I would call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

    Is anyone thinking about the children here?  Do you guys have any idea what goes on in a foster home?  OP, if you make those kinds of allegations their children will be thoroughly examined and maybe taken away.  

    If you work for them why can't you just talk to them?  Let them know you found it and they need to hide in on a top shelf somewhere.   

    Okay, I don't understand why you don't think that an investigation is necessary.  Foster care is not an ideal situation, believe me, but they don't just go immediately to foster care.  They try to place with friends or family first.  And if there are drugs combined with bruises, how do you know that what's going on in the bio parents home is safe for those kids???

    My kid has bruises all the time.  Because he is a toddler and not very coordinated.   Not because I squeeze him until he bruises while changing him after I smoked a blunt.  

    image
  • image DaisyFull:
    image JustWonderin805:

    image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.

    Ok, so there is more than you originally told us. I'd worry about this stuff more than the pot. But if all this has been going on.... why are you just now upset about the bongs and stuff? This seems weird.

    Sorry, I should have put that in with the OP. I was just really flustered when I wrote the post. I guess I thought that since the abuse can't necessarily be proven that the pot was more of a concern and something to call CPS about. 

    This isn't something that I'm "just" upset about. I've only been babysitting for them for a very short time and I've had only one day that I've come home and not vented to my SO about how completely disgusting the parents behavior is. I'm very upset with the situation. You're absolutely correct though, that is a lot more than I told and I do worry much more about the abuse than I do the pot. I should have thought out my post before I posted. 


    missing my two angel babies

    bfp #1 10.28.09 m/c 11.4.09 bfp #2 12.26.10 m/c 1.25.11

    dx with PCOS/insulin resistance in 2003

    TTA until ???

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  • image JustWonderin805:

    image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.

    Okay this is way more information than you provided in your OP.   

    image
  • image JustWonderin805:
    image DaisyFull:
    image JustWonderin805:

    image Dreamsicle23:
    Is there any abuse or neglect of the children?  If not, MYOB.  My parents were huge pot heads, but I sure as hell was better off with them than in the foster system.

    Yes. The mother will allow the children to sit in dirty diapers for hours on end. Today I was left with no diapers for the children and I had to call someone to bring some over. She rarely puts them in clothes (they usually just go around in diapers) and has very little clothes for them to wear. They don't have proper shoes, so they never go out. They also don't have proper car seats.

    She also slaps the children upside their head, spanks them so hard that I cringe (and not just a little swat on the butt, I mean open handed SMACKING, multiple times until they start sobbing), grabs them and pushes them around. I absolutely think that constitutes abuse...and I won't even go into the language she uses while talking to them and how emotionally abused this poor children are.

    Ok, so there is more than you originally told us. I'd worry about this stuff more than the pot. But if all this has been going on.... why are you just now upset about the bongs and stuff? This seems weird.

    Sorry, I should have put that in with the OP. I was just really flustered when I wrote the post. I guess I thought that since the abuse can't necessarily be proven that the pot was more of a concern and something to call CPS about. 

    This isn't something that I'm "just" upset about. I've only been babysitting for them for a very short time and I've had only one day that I've come home and not vented to my SO about how completely disgusting the parents behavior is. I'm very upset with the situation. You're absolutely correct though, that is a lot more than I told and I do worry much more about the abuse than I do the pot. I should have thought out my post before I posted. 

    It's okay, I can tell you're upset. I really hope everything is okay there. GL to you..  I wouldn't want to be in your shoes!

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  • image vmm0016:

    Okay, I am sorry but my dad sexually abused me from as long as I can remember until I was 12.  If you think this child is being abused, I would say something.  Everyone turned a blind eye and I had to go through years of therapy.

    Edit: You have seen the abuse, I would report it.

    Yankee-Do you still disagree? I mean maybe this kids have a chance or am I too optomistic?

    I'm sorry for what you went through.  I'm sure signs were ignored in your situation.   

    image
  • I work for child welfare in OK.  Each state is differnt but I can tell you from my work that we take anonymous calls everyday.  We are not legally allowed to report the caller to the family even if we take a name.  I think you need to call CPS.  Just beause CPS is called does not mean they will be removed.  Services can be worked in the home if hey are not in serious danger.  It is important if drugs are in kids reach as well s having marks on them. WHen you call CPS will just have questions and answer what you can.  No need to worry about the call.  IF you don't know something just tell them. 
  • image yankeebaby2:
    image AtlJuneBride:
    image yankeebaby2:
    image vmm0016:

    I would call the cops because of the bruising on the child.  If you stop being their babysitting, I am sure they will assume it was you though.  Good luck, I have never called before but the brusing is what worries me about this situation.

    Is anyone thinking about the children here?  Do you guys have any idea what goes on in a foster home?  OP, if you make those kinds of allegations their children will be thoroughly examined and maybe taken away.  

    If you work for them why can't you just talk to them?  Let them know you found it and they need to hide in on a top shelf somewhere.   

    Okay, I don't understand why you don't think that an investigation is necessary.  Foster care is not an ideal situation, believe me, but they don't just go immediately to foster care.  They try to place with friends or family first.  And if there are drugs combined with bruises, how do you know that what's going on in the bio parents home is safe for those kids???

    My kid has bruises all the time.  Because he is a toddler and not very coordinated.   Not because I squeeze him until he bruises while changing him after I smoked a blunt.  

    This post should have started with the abuse, not the pot as primary.  I am not sure why she didn't post about that as being more imporant but her follow up posts say she has seen the first hand abuse.  She needs to call, stories like this make me want to cry for those poor kids.

  • None of this makes sense to me.  Are you sure you're not using some hyperbole here?  Why would you be upset about bongs and bowls of marijuana if you were witnessing physical abuse firsthand?  Why would you mention bruises and not mention that you witnessed how they got their firsthand?

    OP, I think your pants are on fire.  Your employers smoke weed and you are judging them for that.  The rest I think you made up.   

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  • As a teacher I've had to make the sad decision (by law) to call CPS twice for two separate incidents and students in the past based on way less than what you've experienced or heard.  Your call is ALWAYS anonymous and what they'll do is hear everything you know and they will decide if it's worth a visit.  After you hang up your job has been done.  Remember to just list the facts and what you've witnessed not what you assume.  Leave any emotions of yours and the parents out of it.  Cold hard facts.  And I'm on the side of calling.  Maybe it's because I'm a teacher or maybe it's because I would hate myself if something escalated and I hadn't called earlier.  GL
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