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November 14, 2014

Social Worker Wants to Assess Mom’s Teaching

Senior Counsel Dee Black answers questions and assists members with legal issues in Georgia. He and his wife homeschooled their children. Read more >>

Last month, Home School Legal Defense Association assisted a member family in Savannah after they had been reported to the Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services for educational neglect of their 12-year-old daughter.

After consulting HSLDA about how to handle the investigation, the mother agreed to meet with the social worker outside the home to address the allegations. She also told the social worker that she would permit her to come to the home to see but not interview their daughter. The unusual aspect of this investigation was that the social worker not only wanted to come to the family’s home but also insisted that she be permitted to observe the mother homeschooling her daughter. According to the social worker, she wanted to make sure that the child was “getting the best education.”

Constitutional Rights

HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black sent a letter to the social worker, informing her that the parents were conducting a home study program for their daughter in accordance with state law. In this regard, Black said that the mother had filed the required declaration of intent with the Georgia Department of Education at the beginning of the school year. Black’s letter also stated that the parents were complying with other aspects of the law by teaching the required subjects for at least 4½ hours each day for 180 days during the school year. Finally, Black told the social worker that the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protected the family from any unreasonable searches or seizures such as entry into their home would involve.

A few days after receiving Black’s letter, the social worker told the mother in a telephone conversation that it wouldn’t be necessary for her to come to their home. She also said, “I think you’re doing a good job” and advised the mother that she was closing the investigation.

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Protect Your Family

If you or someone you know is not a member of HSLDA, will you consider taking a moment today to join or recommend us? Your support for our work enables us to defend individual families threatened by government officials and protect homeschooling freedom for all. Join now >>

HSLDA Social Services Contact Policy

We desire to advise our members in every contact with a social worker and/or police officer in investigations resulting from allegations of abuse or neglect. If homeschooling is an issue, we will represent our member families until the issue is resolved. On Fourth Amendment unreasonable search and seizure issues, HSLDA will advise our members whenever the privacy of their home is violated by forced or coerced entry for the purpose of an unsubstantiated investigation. HSLDA membership benefits do not extend to court actions resulting from non-homeschooling matters. However, in circumstances where there is a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, HSLDA may, as we have done in the past, choose to take the case in an effort to establish legal precedent.