A Virginian mother of three is constantly worried that her children will be taken away from her by Child Protective Services and now can’t allow her children to play outside after her neighbor threatened to call on her, accusing her of negligence.

Emily Fields’ three kids—a boy, age four, and two girls, ages 6 and 8—were playing outside. The Fields live in the quiet town of Pearisburg in rural western Virginia.

It was after her son, then aged 4, kicked a soccer ball toward a neighbor’s cat and since then she’s scared of losing her young ones’ custody. At that time, the neighbors yelled at him and took his ball. But it didn’t end there.

Emily claims she is being harassed by social workers who have been urging her to sign a form disallowing her children from playing outside without continuous supervision.

“My sister had actually been outside, watching them,” says Emily, who homeschools her kids. By the time Emily got home, 15 minutes later, her kids and sister were inside. They told her what had happened. Emily walked her son to the neighbor’s house to apologize.

“They began to scream and yell,” says Emily. “They said that everyone in the neighborhood thought I was a horrible mother, and that my children abused animals, and they were going to call [child protective services] every day until my children were taken away.”

The neighbors did indeed call Child Protective Services (CPS). The agency dispatched two caseworkers to investigate the soccer ball incident the very next day.

CPS had also been called to the Fields’ home three years earlier, when someone reported the kids, then ages 2, 5, and 6, for playing outside while unsupervised.

Emily further said she’d been told that the children were seen by a caseworker knocking on doors in the neighborhood while asking to come inside people’s houses. She clarifies that the children were in fact going to houses on just their street to sell Easter Eggs while indulging in a childish scheme to make some money. “At no point were they out of my sight. And at no point did they go inside,” she claims.

Those are young ages, of course. But they were not unsupervised, according to Fields, who says she was watching them from the window. Every 10 or 15 minutes, she would pop outside to check on them.

“All around our house and the neighbors’ houses is cleared land with few trees and no wells, cisterns, piles of rotting wood to harbor snakes, or anything that would present a true danger to them,” says Fields.

She spent much of her own childhood outside and wanted that for her kids, too. “So I’d let them play in the backyard, and the [contiguous] backyard of a neighbor who’s amenable to that,” she says.

But one day in 2018, when she and her kids came home from a nature walk, they found two CPS workers parked in the driveway. Fields let them inside the house, where they checked to make sure there was food inside the refrigerator and that nothing else was out of place. Then they told her that the children needed to be supervised at all times until they turned 13 years old.

A few weeks later, Fields called CPS to find out if she was being formally charged with neglect and learned that her case had never officially been opened.

Sources: AWM, DailyMail

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