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September 20, 2007

Persistent Social Worker Refuses to Leave Homeschool Family Alone

A social worker recently visited the home a member family. The social worker came to the door and explained that she had received an anonymous tip that the house had no running water, and was messy and smelly. She would not disclose any further allegations at that time.

Fortunately, our member family refused to let the social worker in, which resulted in the social worker becoming very upset and demanding entry. The social worker eventually left, and the family called the Home School Legal Defense Association.

At HSLDA Attorney Chris Klicka’s recommendations, the family offered the social worker the name of their pastor, who had walked through their house just one day earlier than the social worker’s visit. The family told the social worker that their pastor could testify that the allegations were completely false—that the family’s house did have running water and was not messy. Nevertheless, the social worker refused the name of the pastor.

Klicka advised the family to offer the social worker names of friends who had frequented their house, were familiar with its condition and could swear that it was kept clean and in good repair. But the social worker refused.

Attorney Klicka then sent a letter to the social worker stating her behavior was not in accordance to the limitations placed on social workers by the 4th Amendment and federal law under the Keeping Children Safe Act. He explained she was required by law to tell the family all the allegations against them and had a duty to protect their constitutional and statutory rights.

Klicka told the social worker that the family would fax the documents offered, regardless of whether they were wanted or not, to prove their innocence.

After the letter, the documents were accepted and the social worker backed off.

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.