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A Caseworker For Every Single Homeschool Family?

A Caseworker For Every Single Homeschool Family?

Image source: Flickr / jimmiehomeschoolmom / Creative Commons


DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa is well-known as being friendly to homeschoolers, but that could change if a bill requiring four government-approved home visits each year becomes law.

The bill by Democratic state Sen. Matt McCoy was introduced in response to the death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn, who died of cardiac arrest in October after starving to death. Her parents were charged in her death and remain in jail.

Neighbors had reported their concerns about the girl to police five months prior to her death. She was not enrolled in school.

McCoy’s bill, S.F. 138, would require the board of directors of each school district to “conduct quarterly home visits to check on the health and safety of children located within the district who are receiving competent private instruction or private instruction.”

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“Home visits shall take place in the child’s residence with the consent of the parent, guardian, or legal custodian and an interview or observation of the child may be conducted,” the bill states.

If parents refuse permission, then the school district can get a court order to enter the home.

Attorney Scott Woodruff of the Home School Legal Defense Association called the bill “a well-intended but misguided response.” Woodruff sent a letter to Iowa state senators urging them to reject the bill and instead to focus on the findings of the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF).

“The report listed numerous risk factors,” Woodruff wrote. “Homeschooling was never listed as a risk factor – or even mentioned.”

The report found that a prior report to social services is the “single strongest predictor of a child’s potential risk for injury death … before age 5.”

The problem, Woodruff asserted, is that local officials did not notice “the numerous abuse-neglect reports related to Natalie’s family.”

“Senator McCoy’s bill completely misses the risk factors identified in the CECANF report and instead focuses on an issue – homeschooling – that does not warrant even one mention in the report,” Woodruff wrote.

What do you think? Should homeschoolers be subject to government visits? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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  1. If parents wanted govt. visits of home schooled children, they’d put them in public school! Govt. interference in child upbringing is why parents choose to go another route, home schooling! It’s not just because of religion, etc.

  2. I believe what, Attorney Scott Woodruff said of the Home School Legal Defense Association called the bill “a well-intended but misguided response.” is on the money!
    They should focus on who dropped the ball when “the numerous abuse-neglect reports related to Natalie’s family.” were reported and obviously not looked into. We hear this type of thing all the time, and how no one will take responsibility for the lack of keeping up with the family and/or taking the situation seriously.
    It sounds as if, “Democratic state Sen. Matt McCoy” is just looking to start regulating law abiding homeschoolers and their parents. The government has no right interfering in people’s lives unless that specific child is in danger. It is time to go after CPS, not the good people of America. Isn’t that the case now though…………one person is the catalyst in order to get some other agenda through. “Never let a good tragedy go to waste”.
    Everyone should open their eyes and see what is really going on here. That senator doesn’t care one bit about that 16 year old girl, Natalie Finn. Don’t let him give homeschoolers a bad reputation, by using her death as a way to get CPS into homes where it has NO right to be in. Once you let them in your life and in your door, they will never leave, and they WILL find something/anything to make good parents look bad. Be fore warned my friends. Remember, they can just TAKE your kids, and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it but play their game. Stay strong and fight against this ridiculous bill, McCoy’s bill, S.F. 138 !

  3. I believe a parent has the right to homeschool their children, however I do believe that there needs to be a check and balance system in place to prevent child abuse/neglect as well as making sure that the homeschool teacher’s plan for educating the child is adequate. Too many times people are said to be homeschooling children when infact the child is left in front of the tv or whatever else the homeschool teacher wants to use. If you are homeschooling your children great but make sure they have an education and can function in society. Have a blessed day!

  4. I bet CPS is just drooling over this.. I’ll be damn if they want to check on my kids.. Get a warrant.. Then I’ll teach my kids to scream for their parents until they leave. Cps is an evil bunch people, these people lie, fabricate things and issued to get kids in foster care and adopted out

  5. Every parent or ,person who really cares about our children,needs to read Mary prides book the child abuse industry. Shocking! it is about how csd uses any “excuse” to keep their “industry”. Amazon may have used copies available.borrow from library,if need be,but please read it.. Write a book report and send to your legislators..I did.

  6. “Neighbors had reported their concerns about the girl to police five months prior to her death. She was not enrolled in school.”

    This paragraph from the article clearly places the police in the position of responsibility. I take it from this that no one complained to the school board or whatever agency is comparable to DCF (children and families.)
    Although most DCF and foster care facilities or systems are a sick joke, five months should have been more than enough time to save Natalie’s life.

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