Mandated reporting September 8, 2010 3:10 PM   Subscribe

In the CPS thread...

...when people are telling the OP not to call CPS because mandated reporters are already aware of the situation and these professionals will suffer consequences if they don't call CPS, my response — based on direct, personal experience — pointing out that mandatory reporting laws are poorly enforced and that it is not safe to assume that because a mandated reporter is aware of a situation that it is handled is not a "side argument." It is an answer which is useful to the OP in considering whether to take action and it should not have been deleted.

Even if it were a side argument, I don't understand why the mods would delete only one side of that argument.
posted by enn to Etiquette/Policy at 3:10 PM (61 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Some wise people said in a thread, just earlier today, in fact:

It's important to remember that askme is not a discussion board.

You're not there to respond to other people's answers. You're supposed to respond to the question.

This is very hard to remember sometimes. (I'm being serious, not a sarcastic SOB) But it's always true.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:18 PM on September 8, 2010


We pulled a few things from that thread, your comment was not primarily what I was referring to in the note I left, just to be clear.

If we're cleaning up derailing exchanges and arguments between users, it's often not the result of one or two people just deciding to go completely non sequitur—the derails start with attempts to answer the question but then just start heading further and further afield, either in terms of topic drift of the users getting sort of personally combative or duelist or whatever about how they're reacting to each other.

And so in doing cleanup we have to pick a stopping point after which we kill stuff, and that's almost never going to leave both parties (or often either party) happy because there's this sense of last-wordism that comes into it—why was THIS comment deleted but THAT comment allowed to stand, where that'd occur in one direction or another no matter which stopping point we chose.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:25 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I thought the big derail was the argument about diagnosing the kid with medical conditions.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:36 PM on September 8, 2010


A big part of me feels for the kids and thinks that something should be done, but another part agrees with the straightener in basically saying "butt out." Then it digressed into chatting/arguing, not something I want to take part in, but will put my .02 here.
posted by TheBones at 3:41 PM on September 8, 2010


You're not there to respond to other people's answers. You're supposed to respond to the question.

It is entirely within the scope of AskMe to provide alternatives, for the benefit of the questioner, to bad advice from other commenters. I once made the mistake of listening to advice similar to that which The Straightener provided in that thread; I would have liked at the time to have heard from other people that maybe it wasn't safe to rely on the mandatory reporting laws.

Cortex, my comment was not a non sequitur nor personally combative, and I had no involvement with the debate on medical diagnoses, so I don't see why my comment was included.
posted by enn at 3:43 PM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's important to remember that askme is not a discussion board.

You're not there to respond to other people's answers. You're supposed to respond to the question.


True, but when some answers are somehow dangerous or might result in unexpected consequences, it's possible to both answer the question and address other posters' answers and the possible repercussions which might result upon following their advice. I think this is a vital function of askme.
posted by nevercalm at 3:51 PM on September 8, 2010


Q: what is the moon made of? My nephew's class is going and they need to know.

A1. helium

A2. cheese

A3. LOLWUTZ? (deleted, discussion)

(...crickets...)

Thank you all for your helpful answers. The class just blasted off with lots of cheese knives and empty balloons.
posted by jfuller at 4:00 PM on September 8, 2010


The moon is not made of crickets, silly.
posted by The World Famous at 4:04 PM on September 8, 2010


Obviously. Everyone knows it's grasshoppers.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:09 PM on September 8, 2010


I still love the whole "turtles all the way down" thing. Crickets and grasshoppers are cute and all, but clearly reality must intrude.

And I'm bitter that there's a user here with that name....but only bc they were cleverer and faster than me.
posted by nevercalm at 4:18 PM on September 8, 2010


No, the moon is made of cicadas. I read that on the internet somewhere.
posted by rtha at 4:56 PM on September 8, 2010


Yeah, but cicadas are made of cheese.
posted by padraigin at 5:08 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


enn: “ I once made the mistake of listening to advice similar to that which The Straightener provided in that thread; I would have liked at the time to have heard from other people that maybe it wasn't safe to rely on the mandatory reporting laws.”

Since we're in metatalk, I can say this: what can this possibly mean? You say you once "made the mistake" of following advice like that; I can only guess that you didn't report someone because you were concerned that the repercussions if you were wrong outweighed the likelihood that you were right, and that subsequently it turned out that that person had indeed done the things you suspected.

I want to point out that that's not actually necessarily the conclusion to draw from the circumstance - although obviously I don't know what exactly happened in your case. The fact is, if you don't know what's going on, you don't know.

Say for example the guy next door seems creepy to me; I think about calling the cops and complaining about him to them, or trying to report him somehow, but I decide not to, because after all he just seems creepy to me, and I don't know anything beyond that. Then say he turns out to be some kind of serial killer. Does that mean I should have reported him right away? Most decisively and definitively not. What would the world be like if everyone reported every activity that seemed a bit suspicious or creepy immediately as possible evidence that someone's a serial killer? Not very good, I'd reckon.

The fact that suspicions turn out to be true in one case or even several cases doesn't prove that suspicions must be acted on immediately in all cases.

Also, I hate to argue from authority, but The Straightener is himself a social worker, and has seen these kinds of cases professionally. I know he doesn't speak as an authority in the thread, but I respect his opinion on this, and for good reasons. I know what he says may seem to have some flippancy to it, but he's being very clear and honest there; and his comments bear some rereading.
posted by koeselitz at 5:09 PM on September 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


enn: “Cortex, my comment was not a non sequitur nor personally combative, and I had no involvement with the debate on medical diagnoses, so I don't see why my comment was included.”

Comments get deleted from ask.metafilter for lots of reasons. Your comment might have been totally uncombative, not a non-sequitor, and not been involved with the debate on medical diagnoses, and still be deleted. In fact, in cortex's comment above, he states clearly that when comments are deleted, they're more often not non sequitors.

For the record, it sounds a lot like your comment was probably deleted because it referred to earlier comments, and in particular earlier comments that were themselves deleted. That's another reason why ask.metafilter comments get deleted; because practically speaking when the mods decide to trim out a derailing discussion, they have to delete all the links in that chain, regardless of how fantastic and wonderful any of those individual comments are.

Maybe the thing here is that you might have made some very nice comments, but they still might have had to be deleted in the course of cleaning up the thread. I don't know, though; I didn't see the comment of yours that was trimmed.
posted by koeselitz at 5:17 PM on September 8, 2010


Why don't you just rephrase your response as a direct answer to the poster, not referring to other answer-givers, and leave it at that?

(If it was a long and involved answer that would require a reinvestment of time you don't have, then I apologize for my flippancy.)
posted by GnomeChompsky at 5:22 PM on September 8, 2010


Yeah, but cicadas are made of cheese.

Holy shit, I totally forgot that part! It IS made of cheese!
posted by rtha at 5:29 PM on September 8, 2010


I can only guess that you didn't report someone because you were concerned that the repercussions if you were wrong outweighed the likelihood that you were right, and that subsequently it turned out that that person had indeed done the things you suspected.

No, that's wrong. However, I'm not willing to talk about the details publicly. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the personal connection at all in this thread.
posted by enn at 5:32 PM on September 8, 2010


Dude, don't take it from me, read the Baltimore Law Review article written by an NYU law professor who deals with exactly this practice area that was just posted recently to the front page. If you bother to read it, it's a devastating critique of child welfare interventions in neglect cases based on substantial evidence that state involvement in these cases typically results in the child being placed in state custody, an intervention for which there is no supporting evidence of being effective and a lot of suggestive data that it is crazy detrimental.

I did not post an opinion in the thread about whether or not CPS should be called because there's no way to even verify that what is reported is accurate or stated in good faith. I did find it creepy that the OP has assembled such an extensive dossier on her friend's parenting habits, but that's neither here nor there.

I honestly have no idea what enn's problem is, but the position I'm taking here, which I didn't even state explicitly in thread, is in line with the Baltimore Law Review article that takes into account the fact that the child welfare system's record is horrible when it comes to neglect; it's usually totally arbitrary, often unnecessarily punitive and does nothing to improve outcomes in this type of child's life. Every single person advocating for calling CPS needs to at least consider that they might be contributing to an uninformed consensus acting on unsubstantiated information to influence someone to set in motion the powers of the state to take a mother's child away. Sure, you can counter that everyone else should consider omg but what if the child dies, but there's no research supporting that. There's nothing out there stating that substantial numbers of children in America are dying of starvation each year because of lack of child welfare intervention. There is a TON of evidence to support the contrary. If you are not willing to at least minimally inform yourself on the issue before contributing, DON'T. This is why this isn't just a big backyard fence. The thought that questions about ripping DVDs get deleted while anonymous questions like this stay considering the potential havoc they could wreak in someone's life blows my mind and is a massive error of policy on this website.

Also, I hate to argue from authority, but The Straightener is himself a social worker, and has seen these kinds of cases professionally.

I just had a case file on my desk today of a dude who was placed in state custody as a kid and for years his foster family didn't let him in the house. He slept outside year round until he ran away enough times to be placed in a group home. Consdering he's 22 and coming to me already with 3 felony charges and having spent 3 of his 4 adult years in a jail cell with an untreated severe mental health disorder, I would say that state involvement in his life wasn't exactly an effective fucking intervention. I wish this was just an anecdote but it's not, it's part of a systemic breakdown in child welfare and you need to think about that before confidently asserting someone should unleash this on their neighbor.

By the way, can you ask the OP where she lives? Would she be willing to anonymously deliver a list of legal resources to her neighbor, so she can protect herself adequately when state intervenes? Isn't that only fair?
posted by The Straightener at 5:33 PM on September 8, 2010 [27 favorites]


Dude, don't take it from me, read the Baltimore Law Review article

Yes, I read that when it was posted to the front page. The rest of your comment makes it seem like you think that I think that the OP should call CPS. I have no opinion on that and have no idea why you're arguing with me about it.

All I said in my answer was that, because repercussions for failing to report abuse as a mandated reporter are rare, it isn't safe to assume that because a mandated reporter has talked to the child at some point in the past that everything is taken care of. The OP should make her determination as to whether or not to call CPS without assuming that since the child once saw a doctor, the doctor would have already reported any abuse because the doctor is a mandated reporter.
posted by enn at 5:40 PM on September 8, 2010


For the record, it sounds a lot like your comment was probably deleted because it referred to earlier comments, and in particular earlier comments that were themselves deleted.

My comment referred to this comment which has not been deleted.
posted by enn at 5:44 PM on September 8, 2010


Where did I say it was safe to assume because a mandated reporter spoke to the child it was safe to assume everything was taken care of? Seriously, quote that shit. Because right now you are calling me out on some personal beef I don't even know the details of based on something I didn't even say.
posted by The Straightener at 5:49 PM on September 8, 2010


Hm, but wasn't part of the Daneal Kelly horribleness that a school nurse, a mandated reporter, did not actually report?
posted by subbes at 5:51 PM on September 8, 2010


No offense meant, BTW, just that this talk of mandated reporters reminded me of that series of articles.
posted by subbes at 5:52 PM on September 8, 2010


No, that was the other case, Charlenni Ferriera, which I detailed in a comment that was deleted and I'm not retyping. Because actions against mandatory reporters who don't report aren't often taken doesn't mean anything beyond that being another part of the child welfare system that's completely fucked up. Because, yeah, a school nurse and a doctor saw the girl with massive head and body wounds and rape scars and did not call CPS and she eventually died and right now they probably still have their jobs. yeah, that's completely fucked up but that's Philadelphia for you. I am perfectly aware of how these things go down, again, I have no idea what enn is even on about here.
posted by The Straightener at 5:55 PM on September 8, 2010


Nevermind, it's still there, you can read it in thread. And I'm done with this, seriously, this is a bullshit call out and after spending all day dealing with adult felony offenders who are products of the child welfare system I am seriously thin on patience.
posted by The Straightener at 5:59 PM on September 8, 2010


The Straightener, you said, in the comment I just linked to, that there are consequences when mandated reporters don't report. This is rarely true.

You didn't say that it was safe to assume, based on those consequences, that a mandated reporter would follow the law. You'll note that I didn't say that you did.

However, a person hearing your claim that there are consequences for breaking this law could reasonably draw the inference that it is usually adhered to, which is why I wanted to draw attention to its lack of enforcement. (For example, every member of the clergy involved in covering up sexual abuse was a mandated reporter in most (all?) states, which has not resulted in any of them being arrested that I've heard about.)
posted by enn at 6:00 PM on September 8, 2010


It's not a callout of you or any of your comments, The Straightener. I have no idea why you're so desperate to pick a fight with me. It's about cortex deleting my clarification of one point you made in your comments, not about you making that point.
posted by enn at 6:05 PM on September 8, 2010


The Straightener, you and I had the following exchange in that thread:

DarlingBri: Doctors, teachers and other people with a duty of care fail in that duty on a daily basis because they are human and busy and because there are professional ramifications for them if they're wrong and a whole lot of paperwork regardless.

The Straightener: Doctors and teachers are mandatory reporters, there are consequences if they don't report, not because they reported and the report turned out to be unfounded."

Your comment, at least to me and I assume based in this exchange, to enn, implied that because doctors and teachers are mandatory reporters, they do in fact report as mandated. This is significant because we have been lead to believe this child has seen more than one doctor on more than one occassion. Ergo, if there was a problem, it would surely have been reported.

Except that as you yourself later illustrate, mandatory reporters do not universally report, even when faced with clear and compelling evidence that they must.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:10 PM on September 8, 2010


Debating whether or not the mandatory reporting laws are or are not enforced is actually a sidebar topic and not germane directly to the OP in a thread that is already problematic.

If you think it directly applies to the OPs decision to call or not to call, it might be a good idea to explain that in your answer. Otherwise it just seems to be a comment replying to other comments that are starting a derail on whether mandatory reporters do or do not get in trouble for reporting [the side question about whether the child's doctor likely did or did not report] and we decided to cut it off where we did.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:17 PM on September 8, 2010


Debating whether or not the mandatory reporting laws are or are not enforced is actually a sidebar topic and not germane directly to the OP in a thread that is already problematic.

I'm going to respectfully disagree and say that the level of confidence one has in the mandatory enforcement system is actually crucial to the question. Given the stakes of reporting an individual to CPS, I'd want to be damn sure that the OP had reason not to trust that the child's doctors and teachers would report - these are individuals who are likely far, far more able to assess potential abuse than a casual friend.
posted by lalex at 6:35 PM on September 8, 2010


The Straightener, you're more than a little off base here. enn's response to your statement that "there are consequences if [doctors and teachers] don't report" was a perfectly fair thing to post in that particular thread; it pointed out that the consequences aren't always applied and, in fact, *supports* your larger point about the general brokenness of the child welfare system. It was wrongly deleted, and enn is not calling you out in the slightest by raising that here.

You seem all over the map on this one, and while I agree that it's not clear where the abuse is in this particular case, I'm a little surprised to find you opposed to those who posted thoughtful comments about options like "early intervention" offices.
posted by mediareport at 6:48 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


the level of confidence one has in the mandatory enforcement system is actually crucial to the question

Yes. Discussion about how much the OP can rely on mandatory reporting laws for doctors is directly relevant to answering the OP's question.
posted by mediareport at 6:50 PM on September 8, 2010


Answers directed to the OP are fine. Answers that are starting derails about mandatory reporting in a contentious thread are not fine. There's no actual findable answer to whether the child's doctor reported what they may or may not have seen, so we're in total speculation land on a small part of the much larger question.

So, an answer like "You should report them because even though doctors are supposed to report, they rarely do" or "You shouldn't report them, the doctor would have lost his/her license if they didn't report abuse" is fine, but starting a side discussion about mandatory reporting in a thread where people are already being not so great to each other is not okay. If that discussion needs to happen here, that's fine, that's one of the things MetaTalk is for.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:58 PM on September 8, 2010


Ok, I see the distinction. Thanks jessamyn, I think I maybe missed a bunch of since-deleted comments in the thread.
posted by lalex at 7:01 PM on September 8, 2010


No problem, I know it can be sort of tough to figure out what's going on after the fact.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:02 PM on September 8, 2010


enn: “It's not a callout of you or any of your comments, The Straightener. I have no idea why you're so desperate to pick a fight with me. It's about cortex deleting my clarification of one point you made in your comments, not about you making that point.”

Hmm. I feel like I'm the one who raised this directly as an issue between you and The Straightener above; before that, you were just explaining why you wanted clarification on the deletion.

I don't know if that was the right thing to do, and I understand that the personal stuff isn't something you want to talk a whole lot about here; I hope I didn't make it seem as though you had to. It just seemed to me that "I once made the mistake of listening to advice similar to that which The Straightener provided..." was a striking thing to say. But reading back, I've probably overestimated its importance to what you're saying.
posted by koeselitz at 7:46 PM on September 8, 2010


Remember to use the new cover sheets on all your CPS reports.
posted by JohnMarston at 8:09 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but I'm really tired of The Straightener's answers being "I'm an expert on human services, you're not, so don't tell the OP to do anything related to human services." Just because you work in a field doesn't make you the absolute authority on it, and one law review article, even one that cites studies, is note the end-all-be-all correct answer. Anyone who works in a field that uses data and studies should know this. Frankly, these answers all come across as someone who works in the system, is jaded by it, and whose advice 90% of the time is to not ask for help from human services organizations. I used t work in this field and understand the instinct to just be like, "they aren't going to help you, there's nothing out there for this," but you can't shut down others' suggestions based on your experience or how it works where you live/in your agency, etc.
posted by elpea at 9:02 PM on September 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


Answers directed to the OP are fine. Answers that are starting derails about mandatory reporting in a contentious thread are not fine.

Okay, then please delete this comment.
posted by alms at 9:34 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, then please delete this comment.

We cut things off at the point where cortex made his comment which is our way of saying "this is about as far as this side discussion is going to go and let's not have it go further." We're not planning to go back through the thread and individually scrutinize each comment to see if it should be deleted on its own merits and/or adherence to the guidelines. There are a lot of annoying comments in that thread. We deleted The Straightener's next comment in that thread. There are always going to be differing opinions on what the last off-topic comment allowed should be when you start removing comments.

The Straightener has closed his account, we're not that happy about things. We're not planning to do another run through that thread to go delete more comments.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:50 PM on September 8, 2010


Okay, then please delete this comment.

Please see my first comment in this thread. When we see what looks like a tangent-becoming-a-derail situation, we're going to make a judgement call about where to cut it off, and that's rarely something that's going to be perfectly clean in terms of who got the last word on some developing back-and-forth. Either we raze every trace of the beginning of an argument, which generally speaking would be overzealous moderation, or we run the risk of someone ending up with something resembling the last word. People need to be okay with the reality of that compromise.

If you feel like there's an egregious oversight where something just absolutely shouldn't be there, go ahead and explain in detail why and we can take a second look, but if it's just coming down to giving us a hard time for not picking the right exact stopping point in your opinion it's not super helpful and doesn't give us much to work with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 PM on September 8, 2010


I'm sorry, but I'm really tired of The Straightener's answers being "I'm an expert on human services, you're not, so don't tell the OP to do anything related to human services." Just because you work in a field doesn't make you the absolute authority on it, and one law review article, even one that cites studies, is note the end-all-be-all correct answer. Anyone who works in a field that uses data and studies should know this. Frankly, these answers all come across as someone who works in the system, is jaded by it, and whose advice 90% of the time is to not ask for help from human services organizations. I used t work in this field and understand the instinct to just be like, "they aren't going to help you, there's nothing out there for this," but you can't shut down others' suggestions based on your experience or how it works where you live/in your agency, etc.

The Straightener's typical objection runs along the lines of "please don't proffer mental health diagnoses that none of us can possibly legitimately provide" and "be careful about absolutes in human services assertions, it's tricky to solve a problem this way."

But YOU have experience in the field, which...well, wait, aren't you doing the same thing that you accuse him of doing?

A cursory search of The Straightener's advice on this site certainly does not produce an overall impression that he thinks that human services are worthless. Inadequate in many cases, sure, but he's spoken at length about working in the system to affect positive change.
posted by desuetude at 10:07 PM on September 8, 2010 [6 favorites]


elpea: “I'm sorry, but I'm really tired of The Straightener's answers being “I'm an expert on human services, you're not, so don't tell the OP to do anything related to human services.’”

I can imagine that being a problem if someone did it too much. I don't think The Straightener does that at all, however.

Maybe you can point to an instance, but there isn't one here. Out of the four brief comments he made in the thread, he didn't even come close to mentioning that he worked in this field. In fact, I mentioned it here because I imagined a reader might not know that, and I think it might be a useful piece of information.
posted by koeselitz at 10:27 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: “The Straightener has closed his account, we're not that happy about things. We're not planning to do another run through that thread to go delete more comments.”

Fucking hell. What an obnoxious result.

Well, here's hoping he comes back; I valued his comments really highly. And maybe I need to go and start saving email addys from profiles...
posted by koeselitz at 10:29 PM on September 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


You know, elpea, The Straightener has consistently maintained an extremely responsible and ethical point of view regarding mental health-related issues, particularly in the area of the rampant (and potentially very harmful to human beings) armchair diagnosis that goes on in AskMe. There are so many unqualified voices at the ready, offering irresponsible and incorrect advice/opinions/pseudo-knowledge, and so few truly informed opinions. I can't fathom how, if you "used to work in the field", you could ignore the importance of that contribution.
posted by so_gracefully at 10:47 PM on September 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


Jesus yeah, come back Straightener, you're one of the best voices in Ask Metafilter and all over this site, really.

Damn!
posted by Rumple at 11:16 PM on September 8, 2010


Yeah, this sucks. Straightener - take as long a walk as you need, man, but come back after. Shake this minor shit off bro.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:32 AM on September 9, 2010


Noooooo! The Straightener! Come back! (Here's hoping you'll still come to meetups...)
posted by lagreen at 4:51 AM on September 9, 2010


I hope Straightener comes back - he's an asset to MeFi, and I've learned some things and changed some of my perspectives as a result of some of his comments.
posted by mrs. taters at 6:42 AM on September 9, 2010


Wow, that sucks. I wrote a furious and lengthy comment last night on this thread agreeing with The Straightener - as I generally do - but, perhaps fortunately, my internet connection did this thing it does where it shuts down for a couple of hours each night right as I hit post.

The gist of my fury was that too many people are too naive about the nature of institutions like CPS and foster care. There's a serious level of naivete, expressed as a belief in the existence of a kind, all knowing expert solution for all problems on AskMe that sometimes sends me around the bend. This was one of those times and I didn't answer the question because I too was going to point out that the OP had not yet seen anything that would qualify as abuse under CPS guidelines as I have ever seen them practiced.

The Straightener is one of the voices of reason I rely on in AskMe. Also, he's funny as hell on the blue and gray. This is a bad loss. Hope you come back, man, I really, really do.
posted by mygothlaundry at 6:50 AM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I also really liked The Straightener's contributions and would like to see more in the future, but can fully understand if he's done trying to be heard in a room crowded full of noisy armchair therapists and sociologists.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:36 AM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I agree with Burhanistan. There's probably only so much an individual entrenched in a deeply broken system can stand up against wide-eyed idealism about said system and unfounded challenges to his opinion, which while an opinion still comes on considerably firmer ground than reverse-skepticism and the Wikipedia on social services.
posted by griphus at 10:15 AM on September 9, 2010


Can't believe in a Meta about a question where one person provided a medical diagnosis based on a few paragraphs on the internet and others confidently stated that CPS certainly wouldn't do anything unless it was necessary, the Straightener is the one being called out.

And this: I'm sorry, but I'm really tired of The Straightener's answers being "I'm an expert on human services, you're not, so don't tell the OP to do anything related to human services." . . .. Frankly, these answers all come across as someone who works in the system, is jaded by it, and whose advice 90% of the time is to not ask for help from human services organizations is not what I see from the Straightener. I've seen him go out of his way to provide detailed advice on how to access social services. He is also bluntly realistic about how those social services often fail. I don't think it does anyone any favors to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of social services (CPS won't take kids away unless they need to!) and the Straightener is absolutely correct to disabuse people of their naive notions.

I hope he comes back, but I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be for him to read the bullshit answers people post and then get called out for trying to correct the bad, bad advice people give about mental health and social services.
posted by Mavri at 10:25 AM on September 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


the Straightener is the one being called out

I'm not sure if you were talking about me or not, but just to be clear, this thread was not posted in any way as a callout of The Straightener.
posted by enn at 10:42 AM on September 9, 2010


The Straightener's contributions to MeFi are one of the reasons I chose to make a career change into social services. I'm sad to see him close his account, and hope it's temporary.
posted by catlet at 1:08 PM on September 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Straightener, please come back.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:36 PM on September 9, 2010


I don't think it does anyone any favors to paint an unrealistically rosy picture of social services

Sure. On the other hand, the first-hand accounts from people who'd received visits from CPS that turned out ok were interesting information.
posted by mediareport at 5:46 AM on September 10, 2010


Straightener, I miss your contributions.
posted by josher71 at 9:48 AM on September 10, 2010


Anyone who spends five minutes looking at The Straightener's contributions can probably figure out how to contact him directly, fyi.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:59 AM on September 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Straightener, I still hope you come back, but I completely understand the feeling when certain people on this site get on your case and you feel like finding greener pastures. I'm sorry as hell that it isn't working out, for obvious reasons, and I hope you change your mind. I don't doubt that you would be welcome back in a heartbeat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:35 PM on September 10, 2010


The Straightener, I hope my comment didn't contribute in any way to your wanting to leave. Please be assured I didn't mean it offensively or as a slight, but as an attempt to join a conversation already in progress that reminded me of a series of articles you wrote that I really liked reading.

I hope you return when things/MeFi/MeTa/etc. return(s) to a favorable disposition.
posted by subbes at 10:47 AM on September 11, 2010


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