My question involves child abuse or neglect in the State of: California
My wife and I have had behavioral problems with our oldest son. At times I have "potched" (spanked) him on his rear with an open hand. On one occasion I did push him into a wall and pinned him down for 30 seconds while he cooled down. My reaction to him was due to defiance and language. There were no injuries, bruises, or other physical effects. This was approximately three months ago.
After this event, I wanted to get help for him as his attitude was getting worse and becoming uncontrollable. We got him help with a psychologist. After about 7 sessions or so, he called us into a conference. He said our child was severely depressed, and had been physically abused by me. He stated that he was required as a mandated reporter to report this to the local CPS.
CPS interviewed my kids at school today. I haven't spoken to my children about what they revealed. During the interview with my two younger daughters, it was revealed that I spanked them and I pushed both and threatened to break my older son's arm (which I never did). She also stopped by my house and asked several questions to my wife outside our house and disclosed that she interviewed my kids at school.
She scheduled a meeting with us for tomorrow morning. I am mortified. I do not feel I have abused my kids. I certainly did not cause physical harm to them.
The CPS social worker stated that our meeting would last about 20 minutes. I am somewhat versed on what to say and what not to say. My wife did not witness any events.
The psychologist stated to me that he believe the response by CPS would be mild at best.
1) Do I admit to CPS that I have used corporal punishment as defined by CA law? Do I admit to anything?
2) Should I secretly record our conversation with my iPhone? (is this legal?)
3) What are the potential outcomes of this for me?
4) Should I discontinue therapy with the psychologist? Could any additional information learned be used against me?
I've never had any entanglements with the law.
Thanks in advance..