Parents of young kids have a lot to worry about, to put it mildly, so it's always disheartening to hear when a new threat crops up. The good news is parents often use social media to spread the word about scary situations, like this mom who issued a warning about a fake Child Protective Services worker. Although the message is a frightening read, it's important to check out because it could potentially prevent a dangerous situation.
Ashley Bradley, mom to a 9-month-old son, was home alone on Wednesday afternoon when she heard a knock at the door. Bradley — as one might expect — was stunned to find a woman on her doorstep claiming to be from Delaware County Child Protective Services. Bradley then went through a quick cycle of emotions, including anger and hurt. But most of all, Bradley was confused, especially when the supposed CPS worker said she was there to remove her son, Ja'vonni, from the home.
Luckily, Bradley was able to compose herself enough to assess the situation rationally. Bradley explained in a Facebook post that has since garnered 13,000 likes and 222,000 shares:
" ... I was just home with my son putting him down for a nap when a lady knocked on my door saying she was with Delaware county cps and they were here to remove ja'vonni from my care at first I was so mad and hurt I wasn't thinking right but the I realized that she 1. Didn't have a state issued badge, 2. My son's name was spelled wrong on the folder she had in her hand and 3. I have no cps cases so they would not have been coming to my house.
Now suspicious of the woman, Bradley asked her to show identification. And it sounds like this decision is what prevented the situation from escalating any further. Bradley shared:
When I asked her for prove of who she is she got an attitude and stated I just told u who I am I then told her I was going to call the police and went to get my phone she was standing on my porch as i would not let her into my home. When I walked back out into my living room from getting my phone she was walking very fast around the corner of my house. . I contacted the police.
Once an officer arrived on the scene, Bradley received some frightening information. Bradley wrote:
... He [the officer] said people come from different countries and states kidnap kids and traffic them it does not matter what the age. . . Sooo this mom is going to make sure her baby is safe and for anyone who experiences this lock your door call the cops and keep ur kids with u till they get there.
Although the identity of the mystery person isn't clear, what's obvious is Bradley took the right precautions in this situation. For starters, it's great that Bradley asked for identification. If a person claiming to be a government official or utility worker shows up at your door without notice, ask for proof of identity. Have the person hold up their identification to your door or peephole — you don't have to let someone in your house to find out who they are.
If you are unsure about a person and their credentials, don't hesitate to call local authorities. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
Lastly, try to approach situations with logic like Bradley did in this scenario. CPS can't just show up at a person's home on a whim and remove their children. CPS investigations typically take time, and if you're under investigation, you'll be continually notified throughout the process. Trust your instincts and rely on common sense when you're unsure about a person's intentions.
Thankfully, Bradley and her son are doing just fine. Hats off to Bradley for keeping her child safe in this scary situation, and for letting other parents know about this potential threat.