Removing children from a home CPS

Does anyone know if not having running water (bathroom), living in a one room house for two adults and three kids under 6 and having only a wood stove for heat would be grounds to remove children? In every other way the children are well cared for, healthy and receiving good nutrition and medical care…

worried about a relative…

Most likely not, although each CPS is different and there are some that do some CRAZY stuff. Do they have a neighbor that they can go to for restroom, showers, etc?

ETA: I just saw that you are in Indiana. If they are in Indiana I doubt CPD (actually it is DCS in Indiana) would do more than a welfare check. DCS would more than likely inform them of assistance programs to help them with getting their water turned on. I know of more than a handful of families in my are of the state that are homeless and have lived in their vehicle with their children and DCS didn’t remove the children, although they have encouraged (might somewhat pressured) them into transitional housing.

:thumbsup: What Thou said. If the family has access to running water somewhere, it’s not very likely that they would be removed. But I’m just a student, I could be wrong. As my practicum supervisor puts it, “We don’t penalize people for being poor.”

While it’s doubtful that the children would be removed, CPS (or whatever they’re called there) would be required to visit the home, make a report, find things that needed “fixed” go back several times to make sure that they were being fixed, etc. It will be a HUGE issue for the parents and children. If you’re thinking of calling I urge to please, PLEASE exhaust every other avenue first. People don’t realize what kind of landslide effect a call to CPS can have for a family.

Now that I’m rereading, maybe I misunderstood and you’re just afraid that someone else will call?

Leonie,
You said they have good nutrition and medical care; are they living the way they are because they’re very poor or because of some other reason? Do you think the children should be removed?

This doesn’t address your concern at all, but it makes me think of the high percentage of the world’s population that live exactly as you describe.

I don’t know about Indiana, but at least in this state they are not required to visit if you make a report.

**people spend lots of money to live out tents as a nice vacation.:wink: If the dc aren’t being abused then I personally think there’s nothing to call on. poverty is not a crime or reason to tear families apart. **

A wood stove is a very reliable and safe way to heat a home. I don’t seen how that is in any way relevant to not having running water. Wood stoves aren’t popular in cities (for obvious reasons) but my parents heat with it, as do many of my friends who are now getting their own homes. My parents heat a basement & house with a good size square footage for about $500 a winter…Nov-April. So don’t knock wood stoves. They are wonderful and are very cheap.

Many city poor will use their gas or electric ovens for heat…so, so bad and often deadly.

I certainly hope not…

Some people live in school buses with their kids. As long as they are fed and loved, what’s the problem? When our oldest children were young we lived in some very rustic circumstances and for a time lived in a tent. The children were safe.

Chiming in to say my own father didn’t have indoor plumbing when he was a little boy. Much of the world lives as you describe.

If the kids are loved, healthy, fed and looked after, and are being educated that’s all they need right now.

Don’t rip them from their family if they don’t have to be. The family can’t afford the legal fees to fight for the kids and any money they could earn in the future could go to improving their living conditions, not to lawyers to get their own kids back.

A good friend of mine grey up in a house with an out-house, and they got (clean) water from a stream by bucket at one time, before getting a pump. THey were not in poverty, just hippies.:wink:

If their sources of water and heat are reliable and clean, I don’t see an issue. I doubt CPS would either, even if they were obliged to look into a complaint.

okay, my mind is relieved. Thank you.

p.s. I was just worried about the wood stove because our wood stove is very hot and smoky and in a one room house, I thought a wood stove might be considered a hazard.

My grandparents didn’t have running water or indoor plumbing until I was 17 - 1967 - and the only heat they ever had was the old iron wood stove in the kitchen and the wood stove in the living room. There are still people living that way in the Ozarks, some of them by choice, not necessity.

If the wood stove is not vented properly (any heating source for that matter) it can be a hazard. A wonderful gift for this family would be a carbon dioxide detector and smoke detector. Wood stoves in general are not dangerious, although if they are not properly maintained they can be. I am just guessing that being they can’t afford water they might not be able to afford someone to come out and clean the chimney or make sure the chimney is proplerly sealed and vented.

If it helps, we are actually looking into getting a wood burning stove. They are charming, can be linked to the central heating, and quite eco-friendly, and you get to burn scrap wood.

It may depend on the area in which the family lives.In some parts of the US woodstoves are real common. Outhouses not so much anymore.Social workers can evaluate things based on their experiences.If their experience has been in suburban America, an outhouse & woodheat may signal neglect or deprivation.
We used to live this way out in the country years back. Most of our old neighbors still heat with wood.And a few still have outhouses.Not bad ideas in this economy…:slight_smile:

I am thinking that what is okay for a family in otherwise a good situation (parents loving, good medical care etc.) is different from what is expected in a foster home or for someone seeking adoption.

I do agree that the only concern here is the lack of water but, they must be getting water from somewhere because we need water for good hygiene and for cooking!

Brenda V.

this exactly! it shouldn’t be smokey. it should smell like burning wood, but the room itself should not be filling with smoke!


For less than $100 you should be able to get it cleaned by a sweeper and buy a CM detector. Well that’s what it would cost here anyways.


and that would also make the stove work more efficiently.

I certainly hope not! Children loved, fed, cared for…etc… Sounds like life barely 100 years ago. I’d trade it for my homelife as a child in a heartbeat.

If you are able to do so, maybe just leave some assistance on their doorstep?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.