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Flooring in home, does CPS need to be called

 
 
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 12:04 pm
My step daughter's mother's house has slowly gotten worse over the last 3 years. It started with the wood flooring in the home buckling. Her mother would cut holes in the floor so it would settle. She almost never fills them, she throws rugs over most of them. Fast forward 3 years, to the present, my step daughter informed us that there are sections of the floor so buckled and warped that they have risen about a foot in some areas of the house.

She said the floor was warped in her bedroom (which she shares with her 10 year old brother). The said the floor was so slanted she would roll off her bunk bed. Her mother did cut a hole in the floor so the floor would settle. She put a piece of unfinished wood where she cut the hole but didn't secure it. My step daughter slipped on it and cut her side and was bruised. (This happened about a year ago).

My step daughter told us she is worried b/c the floor is now warping in the kitchen. It has gone through the kitchen and is now rising higher, cracking 3 kitchen tiles on the wall. She said she is worried b/c they aren't going to be able to open the fridge soon b/c the rising floor will soon be blocking it.

Her sister stepped in one of the holes that were cut in the floor and sliced her foot. My husband and I have been more than patient allowing her ample time to fix the flooring. She has done nothing. She rents the house and refuses to call the landlord b/c she fears he will come out and see she has pets in the home which she is not supposed to per her contract.

For me, I feel like this has now become a dangerous living situation. We have just become aware of the severity of the floor in the last week. It is apparent that her mother has no intention of taking any measures to fix the floor. Is this worthy of a CPS call?

My step daughter has also mentioned the smell of the house and the filth. My husband nor I have any way of going in the home to see for ourselves. My step daughter has told us the cats pee on the beds and her mom just tells her to flip the mattress over.

My step daughter is always covered in flea bites (we don't pets), whenever we address it with her mother she says they haven't had fleas for some time and the bites on my step daughter are mosquito bites.

My step daughter has also made comments that there is no food in the house. She has stated there is only beer and Mountain Dew in the fridge.

I guess my question is, does this seem like enough to call CPS? As I said, I believe it does. I just want my step daughter to feel safe in her mother's home and she doesn't.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Type: Question • Score: 8 • Views: 1,353 • Replies: 32

 
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 12:06 pm
@ch18ch18,
What does your step-daughter's father plan to do?
ch18ch18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 12:57 pm
@ehBeth,
He is leaning towards calling CPS.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 01:19 pm
@ch18ch18,
ch18ch18 wrote:
My husband nor I have any way of going in the home to see for ourselves.


are there any adults you know who also know the adults in the house who could go in and take photos? it might be hard to get CPS involved with no evidence

are the adults in the house part of a religious community that you could ask to get involved?

is your stepdaughter in school? if so, suggest your husband ask the teacher/principal to keep an eye on things and document / report anything of concern
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 01:24 pm
This is not an acceptable environment for the step-daughter. I'm assuming there is a custody issue here? In any case, the girl should be removed from that home whether it is with the mother in some new location or living somewhere else without the mother (who clearly is not very responsible).

Why don't you consult with someone at CPS and discover what options are available to you. What has held you back until now from taking such a step? And how old is the child?
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:07 pm
Why can’t dad get custody of this child?
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:13 pm
@blatham,
blatham wrote:
This is not an acceptable environment for the step-daughter.


it certainly sounds that way - but is there any evidence?
ch18ch18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:17 pm
@ehBeth,
Thanks for the advice. My step daughter's mother has 4 children by 3 different men. We are in regular contact with her first ex husband. The 2 of them share a 17 and 13 year old. They too have stated the same conditions of the house as my step daughter has.

Unfortunately, we don't know any other adults that go into the home. According to my step daughter, the only people that go into the home are her, her siblings, mom and step father b/c of the state it is in.

My husband and I are hoping by calling CPS, they will do an investigation. I am reading articles where the accused don't have to cooperate with CPS, and knowing this woman I can guarantee that is what is going to happen. Maybe if she knows someone is watching she will either call the landlord or fix the conditions herself. We were also contemplating contacting the landlord instead of CPS, but I feel like that is over stepping our boundaries. My husband, however, did share that home with her while they were married. He was removed from the lease over 4 years ago.

We are very concerned with Winter coming and the cold air that will be coming through the floors. My step daughter told us that their window ac units weren't working properly all summer and it has been miserably hot in the home, couple that with the exposed floors and I am sure it was miserable. But AC is considered a luxury. We fear that the winter will bring freezing temperatures and it will be cold.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of this and offer your advice. I think it would be wise if my husband put a bug in the ear of the teacher.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:20 pm
@ch18ch18,
Teacher seems like a good first choice.

Can the oldest child get photos on a cellphone someone provides? someone needs to get evidence, whether for the landlord or CPS.
ch18ch18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:28 pm
@blatham,
That is a good idea. My husband and his ex-wife have 50/50 legal and joint custody, but she is the primary physical. My step daughter is 8.

We hadn't contacted CPS b/c we were unaware of the severity of the home. I think there is enough there to warrant an investigation, but you always have doubts I guess. It's gotten to a point now where it is dangerous. And maybe shame on us for not pushing the issue and finding out sooner just how bad things had gotten at her mother's house.

I really appreciate your advice.
ch18ch18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:32 pm
@ehBeth,
Other than what my step daughter and her siblings have said, no there is no physical evidence, no pictures, etc. That is why we were thinking if CPS were to get involved they could verify, but again, I am unaware what all they would need to open an investigation.
ch18ch18
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:36 pm
@ehBeth,
I don't think they would, b/c they would feel like they are betraying their mother.

0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 02:45 pm
@ch18ch18,
Certainly varies by jurisdiction but CPS and similar agencies usually want more than comments as their evidence. Could the dad of the older kid talk to him about needing to make the home better for everyone?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 03:00 pm
Do you have a lawyer? One that probably helped you settle the original custody with your step daughter? I would reach out to the lawyer and ask his opinion on how best to handle.
0 Replies
 
neptuneblue
 
  0  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 05:28 pm
@ch18ch18,
So, you'd rather call CPS than report the landlord. Go figure, it's not about the welfare of the children, but sticking to his x. It's also really telling that the only help you have offered is setting in motion a battle with CPS than actually, idk, HELPING.

A simple city/county housing rental report would go much farther than creating issues for her and other children living in the house. The slum landlord needs to fix the property. Period. End of story.

But, hey, go ahead and call CPS on your step child's mother. I'm sure that will allow for a great relationship with her going forward for the next TEN YEARS.
Sturgis
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Aug, 2018 10:26 pm
@neptuneblue,
The landlord can only do so much. Since the tenant refuses to allow the landlord entry, refuses to contact the landlord about the issues, CPS may be the best of only option here.

If CPS gets involved, they may be able to cut through the red tape and work this out, getting the owner to go in and fix things up.


Years ago, as a child, we lived in a decaying old house on Satan's Island Staten Island. There was a wall with a growing crack which got wider by the day. Mother was unmoved and nothing was done.

Mercifully, a new owner got the place and evicted us. Problem solved.
neptuneblue
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2018 04:31 am
@Sturgis,
Sturgis wrote:

The landlord can only do so much. Since the tenant refuses to allow the landlord entry, refuses to contact the landlord about the issues, CPS may be the best of only option here.


That is simply not true. Renters have rights to force landlords to fix unsafe conditions. She can place her rent money into escrow and file constructive eviction procedures. Renters also cannot just refuse landlord entry, provided there's 24 hr notice, a landlord has a legal right to enter the property.

But again, this isn't the renter - it's a step mom over stepping boundaries to cause problems.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2018 05:21 am
@neptuneblue,
According to the poster they do not want to call the landlord:

Quote:
She rents the house and refuses to call the landlord b/c she fears he will come out and see she has pets in the home which she is not supposed to per her contract.


So it isn't the slum landlord as it is this parent that is causing even worse issues with the flooring. The parent is cutting up the floor; this parent is not reporting the issue with the flooring to the landlord so how the neck could the landlord know there is an issue?End of story.



neptuneblue
 
  1  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2018 05:53 am
@Linkat,
So calling CPS instead of the landlord is a better option?

No.
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Thu 30 Aug, 2018 10:29 am
@neptuneblue,
neptuneblue wrote:

So calling CPS instead of the landlord is a better option?

No.


What is the landlord going to do? Probably kick them out for having pets and/or for defacing the floors. Could you explain how that will help the children? How is the landlord going to help with things like the children not being properly fed?

I will give you the benefit of the doubt and think you lazy rather than not having common sense. I doubt you read everything or else you would see this is not a landlord/slumlord problem as the flooring issue grew as a result of the tenant cutting holes in the flooring. The warped flooring is the only landlord issue - which could have been prevented in the first place by the tenant reporting this and who has refused to because she is allowing pets that are not allowed. So she tried to fix it in a stupid and nonsensical way.

The bigger issues are the care of the children that if you thoroughly read - you would realize. Also, if you read through the comments thoroughly I suggested speaking with their lawyer to see how this could be settled via custody rather than go directly to CPS.

And please explain to me why calling the landlord would help the children? I would vote for CPS over calling the landlord as the only thing the landlord could do is fix the floor and then more likely throw this tenant out seeing she is destroying the property and doing thing prohibited by the lease. The landlord can not enforce the parent to care for the child appropriately.
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