Your number one goal is to regain and maintain control of the case, and then to focus on outcomes, such as forcing them to provide you with services if you actually need them, and ultimately dismissal of any court action, and then redactions and a case closure within the offending agency.
Understanding that the CHIPS process is really nothing more than an enterprise operating on a very technical model. It looks much like a board game.
Would you like to see the game board? (For larger versions look in my document list.)
This game has stake holders, a game board, stakes (children and the financial incentives tied to their social security numbers and their inncessant need for long term care), and even a MARKETING BUDGET. OH YES... The entire system is run within a business structure; with profit and quotas being the central focus of policy, directives, and mandates. Outcomes of the lives of child 'protection' victims and their parents have NOT been the driving force of this balloon system. Nothing but madness has been the driving force behind the fisically driven policies which have led to the destruction of so, so many lives.
1. Retrain your thinking.
You are no longer a victim. You are a consumer of their services. You are equal parties in equity. Is there a damaged party? Make them work for you. If they are making you work, you should stop or they should pay you for it. These people sued you in civil court for your property; your children. Did you have a contract with them? Who breached the contract? Where is the contract now? What did you sign and agree to? What are their rules? What are their responsibilities?
I bet $50 that if you look at the statutes that were used to file a CHIPS action against you, it probably doesn't even apply to your situation at all - look it up. In my experience, 100% of the cases I have looked at have grounds for immediate dismissal. Unlawful removal of children is a negative side effect of allowing crazy bitches with God complexes to run around the countryside snatching up low income kids in the name Jesus, and whatever other horrible life experience they 'survived' which possessed them to pursue a social work degree in the first place..
Is this a good value of your time and energy? Do you actually need some help and could you turn this into a life changing experience by forcing the county and state agencies (which were put into public service specifically for the benefit of your family) to pay for your much needed health care, organizational living classes, drug/alcohol/anger rehabilitation, equestrian therapy, whole life holistic therapy, water aerobics? What? No one said you couldn't ask for clowns!!! I know one thing. I didn't get shit. And neither did my kids. We are all a lot closer from the experience, so we measure our wealth carefully.
Make the most of it! Nothin's free, including your time and energy!!! These people are using your misfortune and your social security number to recieve dental care, retirement plans, and a nice salary which they use to take their own children out for ice cream after work. Make them work for their money like the rest of us do!
2. Control your reactions.
I can't really preach on this. I used to feel this way at first, but now I have just practically almost fucking lost it. It's in your best interest and it's pretty self explanatory. Don't ride the line like me. Don't live this life.
3. This should be #1.
DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. DO NOT COMMUNICATE WITH THESE PEOPLE IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM UNLESS IT IS DOCUMENTED.
Notify everyone involved that you are now only willing to communicate in writing due to liability reasons and that it is in the best interests of yourself and your children to proceed this way. Maintain files. Get a computer. Get a scanner/printer/faxer. Visualize it. Manifest it. Learn to use the U.S. Postal Service to your advantage. Use faxing. Use emails. Use .pdf makers. Document!! This is your arsenal. You will begin to see results immediately. In your mind, when you are asking for documentation - while you smile and request it from any agent, you can say to yourself, "Would you please write down that you are a stupid idiot and then date it and sign it?" Smile and stand there as innocent and pure as you are, and then thank them so much. Make copies. File them. Keep doing this.
4. Be well. Live well.
5. Take responsibility for your role and your rights.
It is your civic duty and responsibility to interpret the law. The law works for everyone, including and especially you! It was put into place to serve you. Read their employment manual. Look up their rules. Who is their boss? What were they supposed to do? Did they do it in time? Probably not!!!
6. DO NOT ALLOW THEM TO RUSH YOU!!
Everything in 'civil' proceedings takes place on paper, and it all takes forever. They will drag it out six months per six months, until your kids are 18 and you are crazy. DO NOT ALLOW THIS. FORCE THE PROCEEDINGS TO MOVE ALONG THE FLOWCHART QUICKLY. SKIP UNECCESSARY STEPS. DEMAND PERFORMANCE.
DO NOT GET CAUGHT UP IN THIS CIRCUS COURT CLOWN SHOW, IT ROLLS ON AND ON FOREVER IF YOU LET IT!! I PROMISE YOU THAT!
Do not allow anyone to coerce you, to intimidate you. If you don't understand something, demand an explanation in writing. Then look it up for yourself. Continue to play dumb. Force them to answer you!! Continuously request and demand your case file in writing pursuant to statutes. Inform your attorney that you expect him to make the record if you intend to appeal any unfavorable decision. Make sure the judge and agency know it too. Let your attorney know that you know what "ineffective assistance of counsel" means.