The Jugendamt visited my home

74 posts in this topic

Hmm, I wouldn't boast about having prevailed in the incident.

 

If someone's really doing it to harm them, it's just as likely they will enjoy hearing anything about the event.

 

When someone's really purposely goading you, it's often a good idea to grey-rock them.  Because going on about how nothing can touch you is also a reaction, and, worst case, could lead to escalation.  You really don't know who's behind it and what their aim is or what they are capable of.

 

I'd "show, not tell" in this case, go on living your best life and not mention it at all.  Because it didn't get to you, it was so unimportant, it's hardly even worth a second thought.

 

Takes all the fun out of bothering someone if they don't give you any reaction at all.

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4 hours ago, expatparent said:

There are extended relatives who expressed in the past that they do not like how we are rasing our child 'culturally'---two languages, a stay at home parent, postpoining kindergarten until our child is three/four years old. I am not sure if it could have been them who made the report. 

This was my thought when I read your item yesterday. I wondered about your closer relatives, starting with parents in law. and working out It is sometimes closer people who are not happy at "not normal" parenting that cause trouble. Ask the wife if the parents are happy and if they know who would have done such a thing.

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OP, it really sounds like a horrible situation - you have my sympathies.

 

Just trying to think who might have made the complaint. Do you live in an apartment or house with retired neighbours? Maybe someone that has made complaints about children's noise in the past?  Or didn't but lives close by? 

 

It could be the case that they thought your child would start Kita in September but clearly now it's October and you haven't started Kita. This would indicate to me that it's a neighbour that made the complaint, for whatever reason. If it had been a family member, they would have made the complaint earlier.

 

I don't know where you live. If it is the former West, the reportee could be someone from the former DDR - sending children to Kindergarten early was something seen as normal whereas 3 or 4 was the norm in the West (according to my wife).

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3 hours ago, dessa_dangerous said:

Hmm, I wouldn't boast about having prevailed in the incident.

 

Yea I had more mind like if OP wanted to suss out whodunnit. You could then gage reactions accordingly. But it's no real guarantee of anything since the snitch could be anyone and will probably not react like a Scooby Doo villain if randomly outed. Playing this game will lead to some suspicion of innocents that you wouldn't otherwise have suspected, and that's not good.

 

1 hour ago, pmd said:

I don't know where you live. If it is the former West, the reportee could be someone from the former DDR - sending children to Kindergarten early was something seen as normal whereas 3 or 4 was the norm in the West (according to my wife).

 

I was thinking along these lines too, although it could've also been a false pretence. Our son is 1.5, in daycare, but we know several people with similarly aged kids (up to ca. 2.5-3) who are not, and this doesn't seem to raise any eyebrows. Our son is not the, but among among the youngest in his group. 

 

Without knowing OP better I wouldn't want to speculate too much.

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Yes, not knowing who grassed is what's keeping the OP awake at night. They will be looking at everyone and wondering if it was them. It undermines all their relationships. That is what is so awful. I would stay passive and silent and wait for the purp to slip up. I guess they will be wanting feedback. They will possibly reveal themselves without the OP having to be active.

 

I was in this situation when my kid was a toddler. It was glaringly obvious who the snitch was. And the motive. Neighbours from Hell under the same roof. The JA is obligated to look into each and every report. What terrified me was the fact that the JA has the power to remove your kid. They can come to the wrong conclusions. You can exclude nothing when dealing with human beings looking for cracks. I am surprised that the people turned up unannounced. Fortunately your home was spick and span and tidy. But if it had been less than that - often the case when you are living with kids - it would have just been humiliating. Horrible.

 

Know that there are sad, bad, mad people out there without stickers on their foreheads announcing the fact. Yes, you sound enviable, successful, happy people. Not everyone is so lucky. They get off by being nasty and spiteful. If you are people of faith I would try to let go, move on and give this one up to God.

 

 

 

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I am sorry that you had to go through such an experience. Its seems to have become more of an issue in the recent years that people do report more leading to more people being reported falsely. I remember one incidence where I know people who got reported to JA. It was a family in the class of one of my kids. The mother once told me that when they were being stressed out during 4th grade someone reported them to JA. There was noone visiting unannounced they only got a letter asking them to come to an appointment. They got cleared soon and were told that even if someone were to call again they would not hear of them again. Indeed they never heard of it again but still were shocked. So in your case if the JA has found everything fine their usual approach seems to be that even if someone calls again they dont easily turn up at your place again.

Btw. I found it a very interesting read about the legal view regarding malicious gossip. Problem is that if someone is running around badmouthing you usually you are not the first one to find out innit? Even if you hear about it how do you find out who started the rumour? And how do you get your name cleared. There is always the one or other not getting it right thus bringing up the rumour again and again.

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Thank you once again everyone.

 

I would like to add a few details. We live in a large, two level single family home with two back gardens and sandboxes for our child. We do not share our building with anyone else. The home was built by SO's great grandparents. We are surrounded by other homes which are a mixture of single family and multiple family dwellings and there is a normal division wall between our driveway and those of other homes.

 

Any neighbour that would claim we are 'socially isolating' our child would have to be making a very extreme, unfounded assumption. Our child plays outside frequently and goes on walks with my SO. Our child does not have any neighbourhood friends (they just turned two) but does belong to small English language playgroup that meets once a month usually at our home---we have a lot of space. 

 

In our case filing a police report would be of very little value because it would be taking this situation too far and who is going to see it? We are a private family, living in a private home. Trying to figure out who made this false report won't do us any good---though my abililty to trust anyone is at an all time low. 

 

I never expected this sort of thing to happen to us. I have read throughout this thread that unannounced visits are not common---why did that happen in our case? Legally if the Jugendamt were to visit again what are my rights during the day when my German SO is not home? Must I let them in at once, can I request they return at a time when  we could speak to the social workers together? Can we (should we) ask for documentation or follow up appointments? 

 

There has been increase in petty crime in my neighbourhood including attempted robbery and I was afraid to let two people into my home to begin with. 

 

This surprise visit has made me feel very uncomfortable in my home. I take my duty as a stay home parent and very seriously, so the JA will never find my home unclean, disorganized or in a state of chaos but I feel like I was targeted...why else would my nationality be a talking point?

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Reading this for the first time I would say that the complainant is most likely a member of her family that doesn't like something about the way you are raising your child.

 

I seriously doubt it would be a friend, this kind of thing strikes me as the actions of someone with a lot of familiarity, as they say familiarity breeds contempt.

 

I disagree with most other people, I think knowing who it is, is of great importance though I understand how one could easily be consumed by this situation, I think if I felt that I was in even the slightest danger of my children being taken away from me, or that someone as turning the screws on me over how I raise my children I would be at once livid and scared.

 

I absolutely sympathise with you and I very much hope you find out who it was for your own sanity.

 

I have to admit that some of your comments did jolt me a little.  I understand that describing the environment your child is being raised in will seem important, but mentioning your religion and your academic and professional achievements a little bit inappropriate.  You do caveat it by saying you are not trying to put anyone down, but by mentioning it, but elevating yourself by mentioning it is about the same thing, saying you are not typical of the area also made me wince because it doesn't matter. I would guess that you think these things help prove or bolster your credentials as fit parents, else you wouldn't have brought them up. Let's not forget that Madeleine McCann's parents were both medical professionals who provided an otherwise stable home for their kids, but were absolutely terrible parents in that they, for some unexplained reason, chose to leave them unsupervised while on holiday in a foreign country so that they could drink alcohol with friends. One can have all the academic and professional success, they can be devout in their religion, they can own or rent an amazing house with great facilities, but none of this elevates them as parents. By mentioning all of these things it can come across as saying "it's not like we are atheists, we have a cross displayed on our walls! and we aren't uneducated, we both have degrees." can you see how that could come across badly to people?

 

I understand that you want to prove your case, but your initial description of yourself just made me dislike you an immense amount, your religion, your background and your professional life have no bearing on your situation, all that matters is the environment you provide for your child and your relationship with them as parents, I think that is worth remembering.

 

Good luck, and remember what I said about familiarity.

 

D

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Erm. Ok. I am not a lawyer so I cant give any recommendations..but maybe you can make an appointment with a family lawyer who actually can give you appropriate information about how to act if they come again.

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41 minutes ago, DaringD said:

Reading this for the first time I would say that the complainant is most likely a member of her family that doesn't like something about the way you are raising your child.

 

I seriously doubt it would be a friend, this kind of thing strikes me as the actions of someone with a lot of familiarity, as they say familiarity breeds contempt.

 

I disagree with most other people, I think knowing who it is, is of great importance though I understand how one could easily be consumed by this situation, I think if I felt that I was in even the slightest danger of my children being taken away from me, or that someone as turning the screws on me over how I raise my children I would be at once livid and scared.

 

I absolutely sympathise with you and I very much hope you find out who it was for your own sanity.

 

I have to admit that some of your comments did jolt me a little.  I understand that describing the environment your child is being raised in will seem important, but mentioning your religion and your academic and professional achievements a little bit inappropriate.  You do caveat it by saying you are not trying to put anyone down, but by mentioning it, but elevating yourself by mentioning it is about the same thing, saying you are not typical of the area also made me wince because it doesn't matter. I would guess that you think these things help prove or bolster your credentials as fit parents, else you wouldn't have brought them up. Let's not forget that Madeleine McCann's parents were both medical professionals who provided an otherwise stable home for their kids, but were absolutely terrible parents in that they, for some unexplained reason, chose to leave them unsupervised while on holiday in a foreign country so that they could drink alcohol with friends. One can have all the academic and professional success, they can be devout in their religion, they can own or rent an amazing house with great facilities, but none of this elevates them as parents. By mentioning all of these things it can come across as saying "it's not like we are atheists, we have a cross displayed on our walls! and we aren't uneducated, we both have degrees." can you see how that could come across badly to people?

 

I understand that you want to prove your case, but your initial description of yourself just made me dislike you an immense amount, your religion, your background and your professional life have no bearing on your situation, all that matters is the environment you provide for your child and your relationship with them as parents, I think that is worth remembering.

 

Good luck, and remember what I said about familiarity.

 

D

Read your comment again. OP was creating a context, you are 'immensely disliking', judging and condemning. Who amongst you do you think should actually do better? 'If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change'

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5 minutes ago, Alteregouc said:

'If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and then make a change'

 

Quoting a suspected child molester in a thread about child safety...  thats bold!

 

I moved past it, as evidenced by the fact I wished him well, and sincerely, but I can't help but think he has a bad attitude about his social standing and I wanted to point it out.

 

D

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3 minutes ago, DaringD said:

 

Quoting a suspected child molester in a thread about child safety...  thats bold!

 

I moved past it, as evidenced by the fact I wished him well, and sincerely, but I can't help but think he has a bad attitude about his social standing and I wanted to point it out.

 

D

Ignoring a clear message and choosing to bring up irrelevant person or issue ... thats you?

More than 60% of your response was condemning the OP for stating his/her educational and religious background. The rest sounded more like a typical 'no offence meant but ...'

Just pointing out that someone that comes online to condemn someone about a 'perceived' misstep and goes a step further to  'immensely dislike' is probably not so great either. So maybe we should all invest half of our 'self righteous' energy to doing better ourselves.

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1 hour ago, DaringD said:

I have to admit that some of your comments did jolt me a little.  I understand that describing the environment your child is being raised in will seem important, but mentioning your religion and your academic and professional achievements a little bit inappropriate. 

 

Yeah, no.

 

In Germany, credentials matter.  Even for childcare / child custody issues - credentials matter.

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To be clear I didn't mention aspects of family life such as a religious practice  or neighbourhood to make our living situation sound 'better than' or in anyway exceptional--- only to set the context of the JA visit which I was clear about in my first post. I didn't even go into extensive  detail about either of those things (because they are not relevant to getting advice about how to handle the situation we are in.) 

 

At no point would I say we are 'better parents' than our neighbours based on our education or careers because that simply isn't true. 

 

 

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Just now, Space Cowboy said:

In Germany, credentials matter.  Even for childcare / child custody issues - credentials matter.

 

Ok, so do I take that to mean that the Jugendamt is inherently prejudicial?

20 minutes ago, Alteregouc said:

Ignoring a clear message and choosing to bring up irrelevant person or issue

 

I didn't ignore his message, the first part of my post was entirely sympathetic.

 

Look, it's really simple, his message elicited an emotional response from me, and I wanted to bring it up because I felt that despite him saying he didn't mean to put anyone else down, he was, and in the worst way, not because he meant to, but because he didn't mean to, but still did.  He would carry on doing that unaware unless someone like me says "hay bud, I think you might be off the mark with that comment". you see it as a spiked comment, I see it as saying what I see in the most polite way possible, clearly I don't dislike him, but that was my initial instinct.

 

Furthermore I didn't demonise him for it, or fall out with him for it, I didn't call him any nasty names, I just pointed out something I don't agree with like how grown ups do when they talk to each other. It's a discussion

 

I don't have anywhere near as much knowledge of social services here in Germany, but I do have a lot of experience with it from my youth and I am also married to a social worker here. I grew up in a household where my father was a social worker, worked in a children's home and my parents also fostered children, so I grew up constantly being around social workers, children who were in the system and their parents and family, plus the british version of child services type people and I have a lot of experience with how they work and think. No one is going to mark him down for what I mentioned, but by the same token if a child is being raised in a safe, clean, secure home with evidently caring and stable parents then, it won't matter if they are a lawyer or a street sweeper, an immigrant or old money, in my experience social workers will be looking only to see if they think the child is safe and the household doesn't give them cause for concern.  A cross hanging on the wall and framed diplomas don't factor in one way or another.

 

You are free to hold any opinion you want to about me, perhaps I could have been a little more clear about exactly how I meant what I said - I would not have known that unless you raised it, and I'm simply doing the same favour for OP. If he is offended by it, which I'm sure on some level he will be, as I assume he is a human being and no one likes to be criticised, well I wish it could be that he wasn't offended, but I'd still elect to make the same point again if I could go back and do it over because I think it's important.

 

D

 

 

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5 minutes ago, DaringD said:

 

Ok, so do I take that to mean that the Jugendamt is inherently prejudicial?

 

PEOPLE have biases.  In Germany, individuals with credentials / advanced degrees / significant social standing are automatically deferred to and often given more respect.  That is a fact of which anyone who has lived in this country for any length of time should be aware.

 

The Jugendamt is made up of people - German people.  It is to be expected that individuals brought up in the German culture will tend toward the bias I mentioned above, regardless of where they work.

 

 

5 minutes ago, DaringD said:

Look, it's really simple, his message elicited an emotional response from me, and I wanted to bring it up because I felt that despite him saying he didn't mean to put anyone else down, he was, and in the worst way, not because he meant to, but because he didn't mean to, but still did.

 

 

I suspect you are the only person on TT who reacted this way.  You‘ve made your point.   Time to stop.

 

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On 25/10/2020, 16:36:28, expatparent said:

...

What they saw was a clean, large and comfortable single-family home. They saw our Halloween decorations, family photos, framed degrees on the wall and the marks of an observant Catholic home (crucifix on the wall, sacred heart painting.) I also showed them our child’s library and play areas.

 

This is not what they had been told and they became very apologetic and told me that whenever someone makes a report they must follow up. They said that they found no reason within the context of their visit to support the claim that had been made and so they would not open a case.

 

...

The social worker left her card with me and my German SO was able to speak with her personally over the phone later the same day. She reaffirmed that they found no evidence for the claim that had been made and would not be opening a file

...

 

I'm sorry this has happened to you. It must be very worrying and you have my sympathies. No matter how friendly and apologetic the social workers were verbally, I'd want to get it in writing from the Jugendamt that they had visited your home based on an anonymous tip-off, had found no reason to support the claim and had decided not to open a file. Given the German penchant for record-keeping, I'd be quite surprised if they'd have kept no written record at all. I'd want to know what was in it - at least as much as you're entitled know legally, whatever that is.

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7 minutes ago, DaringD said:

 

Ok, so do I take that to mean that the Jugendamt is inherently prejudicial?

 

I didn't ignore his message, the first part of my post was entirely sympathetic.

 

Look, it's really simple, his message elicited an emotional response from me, and I wanted to bring it up because I felt that despite him saying he didn't mean to put anyone else down, he was, and in the worst way, not because he meant to, but because he didn't mean to, but still did.  He would carry on doing that unaware unless someone like me says "hay bud, I think you might be off the mark with that comment". you see it as a spiked comment, I see it as saying what I see in the most polite way possible, clearly I don't dislike him, but that was my initial instinct.

 

Furthermore I didn't demonise him for it, or fall out with him for it, I didn't call him any nasty names, I just pointed out something I don't agree with like how grown ups do when they talk to each other. It's a discussion

 

I don't have anywhere near as much knowledge of social services here in Germany, but I do have a lot of experience with it from my youth and I am also married to a social worker here. I grew up in a household where my father was a social worker, worked in a children's home and my parents also fostered children, so I grew up constantly being around social workers, children who were in the system and their parents and family, plus the british version of child services type people and I have a lot of experience with how they work and think. No one is going to mark him down for what I mentioned, but by the same token if a child is being raised in a safe, clean, secure home with evidently caring and stable parents then, it won't matter if they are a lawyer or a street sweeper, an immigrant or old money, in my experience social workers will be looking only to see if they think the child is safe and the household doesn't give them cause for concern.  A cross hanging on the wall and framed diplomas don't factor in one way or another.

 

You are free to hold any opinion you want to about me, perhaps I could have been a little more clear about exactly how I meant what I said - I would not have known that unless you raised it, and I'm simply doing the same favour for OP. If he is offended by it, which I'm sure on some level he will be, as I assume he is a human being and no one likes to be criticised, well I wish it could be that he wasn't offended, but I'd still elect to make the same point again if I could go back and do it over because I think it's important.

 

D

 

 

 

Okay, same way OP's elicited a response from you is the same way yours did from me. While I understand the point your are trying to make, 'my opinion' is that it is totally uncalled for here. This is OP's post.

 

'We both have professional careers and are university educated I am not saying this to gloat but rather to provide a full scenario. We are very happily married, and I would be considered ‘well integrated’ considering that I speak C1 German and work in professional sector.  We are observant Roman Catholics but not overly conservative'

 

Just a plain statement of fact that is clearly not intended to put anyone down but to create a context. She did not say she has a doctorate from Harvard, earns 7 figures and is related to the pope.  What you did is the equivalent of me saying you are trying to put people down with your above statement about your experience and being married to a social worker here. That is my opinion.

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2 hours ago, DaringD said:

I understand that you want to prove your case, but your initial description of yourself just made me dislike you an immense amount: your religion, your background and your professional life have no bearing on your situation...

Oh, good grief. Sounds like someone has some unresolved self-esteem issues.

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