Florida Senator Calls for Investigation of Child Abuse Report Against Tiger Woods

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January 12th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

As I previously reported in DCF Poaching on the Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren Kids?, Florida’s Department of Children and Families visited the home of Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren to investigate a child abuse complaint.

Now State Senator Ronda Storms of Florida is calling for an investigation of the complaint that led to this visit. She believes that the complaint was filed falsely and maliciously and if evidence exists to prove this, she wants the Orange County State Attorney to prosecute those responsible for the complaint. She’s concerned that false child abuse reports waste state funds needlessly and take away resources from children who really do need help.

False Child Abuse Reports Seldom Prosecuted

The Sun Sentinal reports that false child abuse reports are seldom prosecuted, leading to a situation in which people believe they can file such reports to attack others without an accountability:

(from Was Tiger Woods the victim of a false child abuse report?)

Statewide, prosecutions are rare because authorities have a hard time establishing that people “willingly and knowingly” have provided false information, said Randy Means, executive director of the Orange County State Attorney’s Office.

Generally, false child abuse claims are fabricated by warring spouses in custody battles or “as a means of retaliation,” in some unrelated dispute, according to DCF.

From 2005-08, the department suspected that 400 deceptive abuse reports were filed, according to agency statistics. DCF referred 125 to law enforcement, but only five were prosecuted.

In that same time frame, DCF reviewed 52 cases for potential civil fines but levied none.

“Without self-admission, false reporting can be difficult to prove and weighs greatly on intention,” Sheldon, the department secretary, said in a written statement to the Sun Sentinel.

Storms said she fears that if DCF does not take action in the Woods matter, others may be emboldened to fabricate allegations.

Anonymity Increases Likelihood of False Reports

Most states refuse to release the names of those who have filed complaints to a child abuse hotline. Documents are often redacted and edited to hide this information. This severely hampers the ability of a family who has been wrongly reported to go after the false reporter with a civil suit or action in family law court.

As Richard Wexler, child protection reform advocate and Executive Director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, explains:

As long as calls can be made anonymously, there is no way to stop malicious false reports. Such reports do great harm to children subjected to traumatic investigations, sometimes including stripsearches. They also can lead to needless placement in foster care.

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Further Reading

Tiger Woods Golf Club Incident and DV Double Standards

DCF Poaching on the Tiger Woods, Elin Nordegren Kids?

Was Tiger Woods the victim of a false child abuse report?

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform

Child abuse and foster care in Florida: A call for more screening – from a surprising source

Foster care in Florida: Error after error in the story that started hotline hysteria

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  1. January 12th, 2010 at 21:23 | #1

    This is all well, fine and good but are they going to also start investigating other “false reporters?” All it takes to get CPS involved in your life is for someone to get pissed off at you and call in a malicious accusation that you abuse and/or neglect your children. The thing is, you cannot prove a negative. CPS workers are trained to believe that bio parents are lying. They treat every report as gospel when the vast majority of times they’re bogus and made by a friend, family member or neighbor who doesn’t like you and wants to get “even.” This happened to me twice! Now I advocate for parental rights because I’m sick and tired of CPS running amok and removing all these children from their homes based on lies, twisting of facts, exaggerations and fabrications of the truth. Social workers lie in court and are never held accountable. The parents are forced to sign safety plans where they have to jump through hoop after hoop and it’s never enough. If they want your children, they’re gonna get them, one way or another. There is no justice in our family court system.

    So I guess because Tiger Woods is rich, famous and powerful, the State of Florida is afraid of a lawsuit or losing all the tax money he pays each year so they’re going to investigate HIS false allegations but leave the rest of the parents hanging in the wind. This is highly unfair and prejudicial. If you investigate one false reporter, then you have to investigate them all. So this just really takes the cake. I imagine the same thing will happen with Charlie Sheen’s case as well.

    Justice in this country can be bought but it can’t be earned, even if it’s deserved. Until CPS is abolished, more and more families are going to be destroyed. The real bad thing is, the children who are truly being abused, like Shaniya Davis, Emma Thompson and Danieal Kelly, they’re allowed to stay in their homes because they’re too damaged and don’t bring in any money off the foster/adopt market. CPS has eyes only on those children that will bring in the big bucks from ASFA (the adoption and safe families act) and Title IV-E funding. So it’s not just CPS in Florida that’s corrupt, it’s the whole system of government. Shame on you, Florida! Do right by ALL your citizens, not just the rich and famous!

  2. Seldon Johnson
    January 13th, 2010 at 03:52 | #2

    I am tired of CPS lies and hurting people. They target African Americans more than any other race, and Latinos but those Latinos that are Paisas and can’t understand English. They hurt children with their lies, fabricate evidence which they use to their advantange, and lie and lie and judges believe them. They have immunity from their counties. They are friends with district attorney’s child abuse units. They file reports for each other and even go as far as changing police reports after CPS contacts the police after he made his report so he can amend his report and change facts and information on the reports.

    Everyone complains about CPS and wants change but no one does anything about it. Its time to get together people and get our voice. Today is my children and tiger woods children, tomorrow it will be yours. These agencies are desperate for money and want every child they can get. They figure that Tiger Woods can pay for foster care and they want to hurt his family. This guy is rich, his children are happy children. So what if he was a cheater, that doesn’t justify anything about him being a bad dad or neglecting his children in any way possible. He should stand against this agency as well and use his power and his image to change the world and put a stop to these bullies and corrupt agencies that act as a hungry lion hunting after a baby gazelle! The baby gazelles have no chance against these hungry lions.

  3. Texas Parent
    March 31st, 2010 at 08:44 | #3

    Protective services is also used by schools to retaliate against parents advocating for their children. CPS and APS should be abolished and leave the investigations to the police. People are supposed to be able to face their accusers. Why should it be different with protective services?

  4. florida praent
    March 12th, 2011 at 02:08 | #4

    I am a single parent in Florida and I would like to know where can I get some help. My 17 year old daughter constantly calls DCF on me at least twice a year. This year she called they sent me to jail, now I’m on administrative leave without pay. Her grandmother went and placed an injunction on me. Where are the rights for the parents? I need help can anyone help. I have four other children to look after and this one is giving me pure trouble.

  1. January 13th, 2010 at 08:44 | #1

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