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Social services allowed to take my kid away?

I am unemployed at the moment and our living conditions are bad- My son (7) and I live in a very small apartment in Harlem and we even share a bedroom. I lost my job 9 months ago. What I do at the moment is cleaning houses or babysitting but I don't make more than $100 a week. Naturally, I spend all my money on my son's clothes, food and some toys every now and then. I try my best providing him with everything he needs as much as I can. A neighbor saw me outside my house smoking last night- a neighbor who had never even said hi to me before- and she said she's calling social services on me because I can't afford a proper life for my son and still I can buy cigarettes. Also, I found a job at an internet cafe in the neighborhood a few days ago and it's $8 an hour. It's an evening job so my sister looks after my son when I'm at work and the neighbor said it's illigal because my sister is not an adult. (she is 17)

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:58 PM on May. 28, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (30)
  • he needs food, clothes, an education, and medical care. And to be free from abuse. As long as your sister doesn't have a record she's an appropriate babysitter. Fear not!

    Answer by hibbingmom at 10:59 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • w/out a court order they can't do shit & you don't have to nor should you talk to them!

    Answer by Nyx7 at 11:00 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I'd seriously consider an order for protection (a souped up restraining order) against that neighbor. harassment, intimidation, causing you undue fear and anxiety

    Answer by hibbingmom at 11:01 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • I don't think social services has any legitimate reason to take your son away. He has a roof over his head, clean clothes that fit him, and food in his belly. Those are the most important things they would look at. And there is no law that a babysitter has to be over 18! Where the hell did your bitch neighbor pull that out of? High school kids babysit all the time! As long as someone is watching him, that is completely fine! The only thing I can maybe see CPS having an issue with is the fact that you guys share a room. I don't know if there are laws on that or not. But even if she does call, I wouldn't worry about it. You are doing the best you can and social services will investigate and come to the same conclusion.

    Answer by Ash9724 at 11:01 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • Your neighbors are being nosey busy bodies. Don't worry about them. If you are taking care of your child, you have nothing to worry about. Let them report you. If all is well, they are the fools, not you!

    Answer by pam at 11:01 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • More than likely, as long as your son is healthy, has a roof over his head, food in his belly, and you are genuinely trying your hardest, nothing will come of it. As for your 17 yr old sister watching your son - it is called babysitting and I don't know many state's that don't allow it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:02 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • PS consider this (or at least making it LOOK like this temporarily) giving him the room and sleeping in the living room yourself. or hunting goodwill and free stores for a bunkbed, that way it creates an element of privacy. CPS is so exhausted and foster care is such a mess..... as long as he's happy and healthy and you're working, you'll be OK.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 11:04 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • No they won't take him away for any of that, and I doubt she even called. I do have to agree though that if you're that poor cigarettes are a HUGE waste of money.

    Answer by Blueliner at 11:05 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • When my ex went to jail for dv, I lost my 4 bedrm house and the kids and I had to move into a one bedrm apt. In the beginning, we all slept in the same queen size bed. We where all tramatized from everything that had happened and thats what we did. After a few months, son who was 9 and I moved to couches in the living room, dd who was 11 got the bedrm. I see no problem in the set up plan of who sleeps where and neitgher did cps. Yes they came for a visit and had nothing to say about the fact that we where crammed in there like sardines, for two years! Heck I still dont have a bedroom,,lol we got a two bedrm and I gave them to the kids. I still sleep on a couch seven years later! You are doing the best you can, in a situation that is just trying to get by. Home is where the heart is...:)

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:15 PM on May. 28, 2010

  • You know what? SCREW YOUR NEIGHBOR. You are working your ass off to provide a stable living environment for your child. You deserve a freakin' smoke!! No, social services won't bother coming to your apartment over your stupid neighbor's complaint.

    I live in a one-bedroom apartment with my 2 year old daughter. We are living in povery according to America's standards. But she is well taken care of physically and emotionally, and that's what matters.

    YOU GO GIRL! You're a great mother.

    Answer by Fallaya at 11:18 PM on May. 28, 2010

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