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Sleeping arrangements for children

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stoops.elisha

New member
What is the name of your state? Ohio
8 months ago, CPS removed my 4 children aged 13 (boy, special needs), 10, 6 and year old girls due to valid concerns for neglect. A close family member (sister, and her long term boyfriend) lived with us and shared a room with my oldest girls. A complaint was filed against me for neglect because the girls bedroom was filthy and I was unaware because I didnt often go upstairs--thinking my sister and her boyfriend were adults and knew how to keep the room clean. Long story short, I was arrested on an old warrant and my 4 kids were placed with family because I refused to let my sister "care" for them after I found out what a complete disaster their room was. A few months later, I left that housing situation to get clean. When I moved out, I only took 2 changes of clothes for myself and that was it. I spent the next 3 months basically homeless, sleeping in an overcrowded house when I was able. During that transistion, I got a job, bought a car, reenrolled in my college classes, started out patient rehab and therapy. CPS has only restored my time with my kids to every other weekend, supervised--except for the baby which was 6 hours every other Sunday with 2 of those 6 hours spent in the car traveling for pick up and drop off (she is with family almost 2 hours away, we meet half way). I have now done everything listed in my reunification plan, including an extra non-required UA. 2 weeks ago, the temporary housing situation I had ended. A friend was renting out the bedroom for his one bed room apartment while he sleeps on the couch (by choice). There is adequate room in the bedroom for a set of bunkbeds in addition to my bed and a crib for the baby. My CPS caseworker came today and said she absolutely would not approve a one bedroom apartment because "each of the 4 children must have their own bedroom." First off, the county we live in doesn't even have more than a handful of 4+ bedroom houses, and the ones there are, have long term tenants. When i was told I needed my own space for the kids to be reunited, they failed to mention any other stipulations.

1. Is there an Ohio law that says each child, regardless of gender, must have their own separate bedrooms?
2. With my oldest (son) being disabled, do any gender specific requirements still exist?
3. Is it a law that my biological children can not sleep in a room with me, without any other adults present in the room?
4. I realize a one bedroom apartment is not ideal for 4 children, however it was the only space I was able to find before my next court date, which is next week.
5. Can CPS really keep my case open unnecessarily if each child has their own place to sleep?
6. Can CPS refuse to extend any further visitation times to me, because of this temporary living arrangement? I am actively searching and applying for every vacancy I am able to find, with a local business offering me a check for the first and second months and deposit to assist with the reunification.
7. CPS required (understandably) a background check for my roommate. What kind of charges may be a disqualification? He has a prior record, but it's been several years since hes had any charges. None of the charges have been for drugs, crimes against children or violent crimes. They've been simple theft, criminal mischief, and a couple other misdemeanor cases. He does have current full time employment and offered to complete any drug tests or other requirements needed. We are not in a relationship and do not have any children together.

I am be out of line with my feelings, but I feel very singled out and cornered by my caseworker, like she is bullying me in to believing false information. I do not know what additional steps I could take to make it any more obvious I am mentally and physically in great shape (in comparison to several months ago), and willing and more than able to take adequate care of my children now.

What else can I possibly do?
 


stealth2

Under the Radar Member
We have an Ohio GAL who posts here, and I'll message her to look at your post.

However, I see some issues here.

1. You have been clean for, at most, eight months. Given that you wrote you were homeless for three of those months, it's likely closer to five months clean and "stable".
2. You don't really have "a place of your own."
3. Is your friend legally able to sublet the BR of his apartment? Is his landlord aware of this situation? Would his landlord be ok with six people living in his 1BR apartment?
4. Are there any restrictions on you regarding contact with someone with a record?

I can honestly see why CPS has a problem with your living arrangements. Six people in a 1BR is really pushing it, space-wise. Also, bunkbeds, crib and your bed only account for you and three children. Where does #4 sleep?

Yes, CPS can require different sleeping arrangements. They may be willing to work with you (for example, a BR for your son, a BR for the 10 & 6 yo girls to share and baby in a crib with you), but I don't see them being okay w/1BR. Especially when a "stranger" is sleeping on the couch. Sorry.
 

Ohiogal

Queen Bee
You cannot have 6 people in a one bedroom apartment. Your roommate’s criminal history is an issue you need at least a bedroom for each gender of child so that would be two bedrooms plus space for your roommate and you ... think three bedrooms minimum and that is if you share with your roommate. If not then four bedrooms. You do not have appropriate housing at this point as it is too small. Expect a six month extension...
 

stealth2

Under the Radar Member
You cannot have 6 people in a one bedroom apartment. Your roommate’s criminal history is an issue you need at least a bedroom for each gender of child so that would be two bedrooms plus space for your roommate and you ... think three bedrooms minimum and that is if you share with your roommate. If not then four bedrooms. You do not have appropriate housing at this point as it is too small. Expect a six month extension...
TY.
 

ajkroy

Member
Is a mobile home an option? People often overlook them when renting, but they can have more bedrooms than a typical apartment in less space.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
I am be out of line with my feelings
You are.

I feel very singled out and cornered by my caseworker
You aren't.

I do not know what additional steps I could take
Frankly, your proposed living arrangement is at the bottom of the socio-economic barrel and potentially dangerous for your kids. Sorry if you can't see that. You need to become economically self sufficient where you can at least rent an apartment by yourself without any cockamamie roommate arrangements. That may seem harsh but that's reality.
 

Eekamouse

Senior Member
You didn't know the bedroom was filthy because you didn't go upstairs much? And you had your sister and her boyfriend up there with your kids and the room being filthy is your sister's fault? What a lame excuse and a crappy shifting of the blame to others for losing your children. You let an adult male share sleeping space with your daughters and never even checked the room out? Bleech! Were there any accusations of child molestation? No wonder you lost your kids.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
You didn't know the bedroom was filthy because you didn't go upstairs much? And you had your sister and her boyfriend up there with your kids and the room being filthy is your sister's fault? What a lame excuse and a crappy shifting of the blame to others for losing your children. You let an adult male share sleeping space with your daughters and never even checked the room out? Bleech! Were there any accusations of child molestation? No wonder you lost your kids.
Well, the addiction issue probably didn't help.
 

Just Blue

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? Ohio
8 months ago, CPS removed my 4 children aged 13 (boy, special needs), 10, 6 and year old girls due to valid concerns for neglect. A close family member (sister, and her long term boyfriend) lived with us and shared a room with my oldest girls. A complaint was filed against me for neglect because the girls bedroom was filthy and I was unaware because I didnt often go upstairs--thinking my sister and her boyfriend were adults and knew how to keep the room clean. Long story short, I was arrested on an old warrant and my 4 kids were placed with family because I refused to let my sister "care" for them after I found out what a complete disaster their room was. A few months later, I left that housing situation to get clean. When I moved out, I only took 2 changes of clothes for myself and that was it. I spent the next 3 months basically homeless, sleeping in an overcrowded house when I was able. During that transistion, I got a job, bought a car, reenrolled in my college classes, started out patient rehab and therapy. CPS has only restored my time with my kids to every other weekend, supervised--except for the baby which was 6 hours every other Sunday with 2 of those 6 hours spent in the car traveling for pick up and drop off (she is with family almost 2 hours away, we meet half way). I have now done everything listed in my reunification plan, including an extra non-required UA. 2 weeks ago, the temporary housing situation I had ended. A friend was renting out the bedroom for his one bed room apartment while he sleeps on the couch (by choice). There is adequate room in the bedroom for a set of bunkbeds in addition to my bed and a crib for the baby. My CPS caseworker came today and said she absolutely would not approve a one bedroom apartment because "each of the 4 children must have their own bedroom." First off, the county we live in doesn't even have more than a handful of 4+ bedroom houses, and the ones there are, have long term tenants. When i was told I needed my own space for the kids to be reunited, they failed to mention any other stipulations.

1. Is there an Ohio law that says each child, regardless of gender, must have their own separate bedrooms?
2. With my oldest (son) being disabled, do any gender specific requirements still exist?
3. Is it a law that my biological children can not sleep in a room with me, without any other adults present in the room?
4. I realize a one bedroom apartment is not ideal for 4 children, however it was the only space I was able to find before my next court date, which is next week.
5. Can CPS really keep my case open unnecessarily if each child has their own place to sleep?
6. Can CPS refuse to extend any further visitation times to me, because of this temporary living arrangement? I am actively searching and applying for every vacancy I am able to find, with a local business offering me a check for the first and second months and deposit to assist with the reunification.
7. CPS required (understandably) a background check for my roommate. What kind of charges may be a disqualification? He has a prior record, but it's been several years since hes had any charges. None of the charges have been for drugs, crimes against children or violent crimes. They've been simple theft, criminal mischief, and a couple other misdemeanor cases. He does have current full time employment and offered to complete any drug tests or other requirements needed. We are not in a relationship and do not have any children together.

I am be out of line with my feelings, but I feel very singled out and cornered by my caseworker, like she is bullying me in to believing false information. I do not know what additional steps I could take to make it any more obvious I am mentally and physically in great shape (in comparison to several months ago), and willing and more than able to take adequate care of my children now.

What else can I possibly do?
Where is the Father(s) to these children?
 

Ohiogal

Queen Bee
MOm, your 14 year old is in puberty. Depending on his special needs that could make him more of a liability to share a room with your daughters because he may not understand what is going on or act inappropriately. He is at the age where he could masturbate and most boys do that in the bathroom or privacy of their bedrooms. He can't do that if he is sharing a bedroom with his sisters. Quite frankly masturbation is normal. You don't seem to comprehend the changes your children will be experiencing.

I am a GAL in the state of Ohio. There are so many inappropriate things in your housing situation that I can understand why they don't want you to have unsupervised visits. You need to face reality. You are an addict. You screwed up to the point of losing your children and you don't comprehend why your current situation is not appropriate. Instead you blame the caseworker. What step of recovery are you on? Apparently not the one where you take responsibility.
 

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