Support House Bill 170 Notification of Rights

Almost 5% of Idaho families with children under 18 will be investigated by the state health and welfare agency child protective services. With a knock at the door, a demand to come into your home, and 'requirement' to interview all the children to see if they feel safe CPS opens its investigation. 

Each year CPS traumatically takes children from their homes while they conduct its investigation. Later 66% of the state-traumatized children are returned to their family only after the child has experienced forced family separation while parents are forced to participate in government funded 'services' under duress and as a condition for the return of their children. This should make every parent question the motivation of the government to remove our children in the first place. 

Do you know your rights should the knock from CPS come to your door? House Bill 170 requires the government worker to disclose those constitutional rights at the very first personal contact. This bill does NOT GRANT ANY NEW RIGHTS!  It merely requires disclosure of the legal rights that already apply to every CPS interaction between parents and CPS workers or any other government official.

Health Freedom Idaho supports this bill that protects parental rights.

House Bill 170 will probably be heard in the Judiciary and Rules Committee of the Idaho House this week. The bill would require the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, when it conducts an investigation of child abuse, abandonment or neglect under the Child Protective Act, title 16, chapter 16, Idaho Code, and when it makes the first direct and in person contact with the parents or guardians being investigated, to notify those parents via a written form of their constitutional rights.

Those rights are essentially recognized in the federal constitution's 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th amendments and include:

1) The right to refuse the CPS worker and/or law enforcement entry to your home or premises unless the department possesses a warrant of a court or probable cause and reasonable belief that the child is in danger such that even a delay of going to a court for a warrant would put the child at risk.

2) The right to have an attorney assist you, at your own expense, during any contact with the department.

3) The right to refuse to answer questions posed by the department.

4) The right to refuse the questioning or examination of your minor children.

House Bill 170 prescribes the exact form the department will use to make this notification.

Last year there were over 23,000 calls made to IDHW regarding referrals for child abuse, neglect or abandonment. Of those, 10,159 were assigned as level 1, 2 or 3 priorities, and a safety assessment was conducted by the department.

That means in 2018 alone the department visited 4.6% of Idaho households with children under 18.

Since department rules make it mandatory for the department to attempt to interview suspect parents, the referred child and all other minor children in the home, we can assume tens of thousands of Idahoans were faced with questioning by an Idaho CPS caseworker in 2018.

In probably close to 100% of those cases, the parents did not know they possessed the constitutional rights that Idaho House Bill 170 would disclose.

These rights are not only enumerated in the constitution but are also thoroughly recognized and elucidated in federal court opinions of the federal district of Idaho and the 9th circuit court of appeals.

We do know that the department has confirmed the parents do possess these rights, but they have come out against House Bill 170 because they believe it will impair their attempts to provide comprehensive safety assessments in all referrals for abuse, neglect or abandonment, and they fear it will limit their ability to offer their services* to these Idaho households.

*Services that are state-funded and give the agency the appearance of necessity in the protection of children FROM their parents. Even parents found innocent of wrong doing are forced to participate under duress and as a condition to avoid the separation of their children or as a condition for the return of their children to their care. 

CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATOR and ask them to SUPPORT the rights of parents for full disclosure of constitutional protection from search and seizure.

This bill has PASSED COMMITTEE and heads to the floor for full vote. 

Easy to copy and paste list of emails> Let your legislators know the importance of truth and transparency for families.

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