False Claim of Child Abuse - RAD


Hi everyone,

I have a prayer request to make. My parents took in my sister’s children who have severe emotional problems (a condition called RAD). One of the children is especially bad and will do things like deposit feces in the tub or damage things (furniture/her siblings/herself). She is eight years old. We’ve been able to make tremendous strides with her, she used to just scream, she can now talk and read (although she won’t demonstrate this if you’re around).

The school; however, has been no help and is now bringing child abuse charges against us. What for? Well for things like not going to school with a coat on. Her coat hangs on her bed and she knows it’s cold outside, but refuses to put it on, instead of telling her we let her go out in the (mildly) cold weather in the hopes she will see the reason behind wearing a coat. This is neglect.

She used to be self destructive (picking at scabs/bruises to make them worse). We started ‘cleaning’ them so they wouldn’t ‘get infected’…with alcohol. This stopped her from continuing to harm herself, because the alcohol hurt. This is abuse.

It’s things like this, we are doing things to help her grow, and the school has determined that we are abusing her. They’ve now called social services and if anyone has any idea what they are like, you’ll know it’s three months of pop visits and harassment, even if there is nothing abusive in the household.

Anyway, I’m asking for prayers. I’m not sure what would be best, we are worn thin and are beginning to think foster care might be better for our sanity. Could you please pray that whatever is best for this child is what happens, and if that best should be remaining with us, that we will be given the strength to make it through these rough times ahead.


Praying for you and your family!



Do the teachers know your situation? Do they know that you are caring for a child with a history of abuse? Have they met with you?

A teacher simply observing this girl may be inclined to think that you are causing it and not repairing it.

I would call a good lawyer or other legal advisor, call for a meeting with the teachers, social workers and all others involved and make a statement so everyone is on the same page.

This is just one accusation. If your school cannot get on board and be supportive, you are just going to hit a wall over and over again with these people.


I am SO sorry this is happening to you! You are definitely in my prayers !:slight_smile:

My younger sister (2nd of 6…I am the oldest) had RAD and it was a nightmare living with her, esp. her influence on the younger ones. From years and years of therapy she was able to overcome (is that the correct way of saying it?) her RAD, but has been diagnosed as bi-polar now and still has her problems, but she’s much better and living on her own, slowly making her way back to the faith again.

While my family never had problems with teachers (her behavior inside our home never effected her outside-of-home behavior), we did have a social worker actually threaten to call childrens’ services on my parents for abuse, and then this past summer our own relatives did call childrens’ services on my parents for abuse. It was humiliating for my parents, but the case worker quickly saw the allegations were false. I hope the teachers’ eyes are opened. Unfortunately, many, many people are not aware of RAD and many more don’t believe it’s really an actual disorder. Even more, children who have RAD are manipulative and if you haven’t experienced manipulation, it’s much harder to detect it. But hopefully this won’t be the case. God bless you and your family!


We did speak to her teacher at the beginning of this year and she seemed to be on board with us. We’re not sure if her teacher no longer agrees with us or if the report is from the office (school nurse/etc). We’ve been told very little at this point and are praying that it won’t escallate.

When I was growing up my little sister would do stuff like this even to the point of SAYING that my mom was abusing her. Of course everything she said was the absolute truth (kids don’t lie after all :rolleyes:) so we were visited by the social workers about once a month for a year. It was horrible and the thought of going through the harassment again is chilling.


Thank you for your prayers and understanding. As much as I wish no one had to go through this nightmare, it’s still nice to know you aren’t alone. :o

I’ll keep your sister and family in my prayers as well.


Thank you :slight_smile:


Hi,i’m sorry that all of this is happening to you folks.All i can think of right now,is that Jesus was treated badly too,some where i’ve heard that we would be treated the same in his name .Does that make sense?I’m not so good at remembering verses.Prayers on the way upward for you all.freshwater


Are your folks licensed as foster parents? Are the children placed there as a family placement? Or are they just taking care of the children to keep them out of the system?

If they are not licensed, I strongly suggest that they go through the process to do so. For relatives, the process is usually very simple and the children are typically not removed from the home in the mean time, particularly if they are already not in state custody.

Being licensed gives them a layer of protection and allows them to work with people who understand the issues these children have. A case plan will be drawn up which includes specifics such as the coat scenario. If she is put outside in order to cool down, and the neighbors see her screaming and beating on the door on a rainy evening, they might call the cops. If you have a case plan that says it is part of her treatment and which understands that her screaming is not from some harm done, then your parents are protected. With RAD children, it is not a question of if you will be investigated, but when. It requires pre-planning to cover the bases.

You must be very careful working with any psychologist who is not specifically trained in how to work with children with RAD. RAD children are by nature very manipulative and should never be interviewed alone. They also tend to be very charming and can wrap a school psychologist around a pinky finger in a heartbeat.

There is no doubt that the best place for these children is where they are. You already seem to be implementing the techniques that need to be used with them. Do not let your guard down for a moment, though. I suggest you be pro-active in contacting the right agencies and psychologists so that you are not at the mercy of someone else. Most RAD psychologists (google them, or visit with anyone affiliated with foster care) will do phone, long-distance, and vacation consultations. They also work together with local doctors or psychologists. And they recommend local people you can trust to know what they are doing when it comes to RAD and its treatment.

I’ll keep you in my prayers.


I am so sorry you and your family are going through this. I have seen these situations from the other side, as a social worker who works with RAD children and their families. Has anyone spoken with the school counselor or social worker? Does this child have a therapist who would be willing to talk with the school about how common it is for these kids to triangulate between their families and the school? The rate of reported child abuse among kids with RAD is very high, as they like to manipulate and pull apart from their family anytime they can. If you don’t have a professional well-versed in RAD on your side, look into getting one ASAP. Raising kids in these situations is so difficult and you need as much support and help as possible. Second, I have no idea what the child protective services are like in your area. But keep in mind that even if the school is on a high horse about reporting abuse, that’s all they can do - report it. The child services staff have to first decide if they will even investigate and then they are the ones who follow up on that, not the school. I don’t know if you need any resources but message me if you do - I have websites and books that may be helpful to you if you’re interested.


Praying. Have a now-grown son who is schizophrenic, exhibited some of the same “treatment smart” behaviors as a RAD. Go dbless you and yours.


You & your family are in my prayers.


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