Educating legislators about false allegations of child abuse

Two years ago I helped write a bill for the State Senate. I also met with the person in charge of CPS for the state. Who am I to get such access? A constituent. That’s all it took to get me in the door. Here are the steps I took.

Found my legislators

I just Googled “who is my representative” and my state has a form to enter your zip code and the names will pop up. I contacted my state legislators because that’s where most applicable laws are made.

Contacted them

Yes it’s really that easy. Some people say that a letter in the mail is more effective but that wasn’t the case for my representative who runs a paperless office.

Google can give you lots of advice on how to write letters to legislators. Here’s what I had in mine:

  • Introduction as a constituent including where I live.
  • Summary of our son’s medical problems and our case.
  • What I thought went wrong.
  • Why this is a concern for a legislator.
  • Suggestions for remedies and a request to discuss further.

What next?

What happens next is up to your legislator’s office. Both my senator and congressman responded and I met with them to discuss next steps. My congressman set up a meeting for us to share our story with the head of CPS for the whole state. My senator got CPS rules changed so parents have the right to appeal “founded” decisions in more situations. Problem solved? Far from it, but the more people in power know about false accusations of child abuse and the impact it has on families, the more likely big changes can come later.

Following up

I got involved with groups that share my concerns. I was invited to advocate for our public school early intervention program and the local hemophilia foundation. Both gave me opportunities to share my story with other legislators.