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Virginia

June 6, 2003

Rash Brings Social Services

A well-intentioned but misguided person reported a Northern Virginia family to social services because the family's five-year-old had chapped skin on the inside of her elbows and knees. Grisly reports of terrible physical abuse to children in the media can give people vivid imaginations.

The family provided the social worker with a note from the doctor explaining that it was eczema, a common skin condition, easily treatable with topical medicine. Nonetheless, the social worker insisted on coming in the home and questioning the other children.

The parents called Home School Legal Defense Association and asked for assistance. On our advice, the parents refused to allow the social worker into the home or to question the children. The social worker said, "I have never had anybody deny me access to kids!" He promptly left the premises and this matter was closed shortly thereafter.