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Monday, June 24, 2019

Hancock County celebrates families reunited after foster care

June is Foster Reunification Month, a time to recognize families that have changed their lives to get their children out of the foster care system.

For the first time, Hancock County Youth Court, CASA Hancock County and Child Protective Services Hancock County hosted an event Thursday evening to recognize those families.

More >> Hancock County celebrates families reunited after foster care

Jackson County children celebrate reuniting with families

Each year hundreds of Jackson County children are removed from their homes.

Saturday, a celebration was held at Sheila Kemper Dietrich Park in Kansas City to recognize the success stories of families and children who are successfully, and safely reunited.

More >> Jackson County children celebrate reuniting with families




Another child sex abuse allegation at Homestead migrant shelter

Florida officials received a report in May of alleged child sexual abuse at the Homestead migrant shelter, marking the seventh report of such abuse at the controversial federal facility.

Homestead has received an influx of migrant children as a result of the Trump administration’s crackdown at the U.S.-Mexico border. Along with that has come scrutiny from advocacy groups and Democrats who decry the facility’s “prison-like” conditions and want it closed.

More >> Another child sex abuse allegation at Homestead migrant shelter

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Former Texas Probation Officer Charged After Fabricating Records To Adopt Child

Authorities say a North Texas probation officer fabricated records and sought to revoke the probation of a pregnant woman whose child the officer wanted to adopt.

An investigation by Texas Rangers determined 38-year-old Lakisha Nicole McKnight sought to benefit from revoking the woman’s probation and denying her parental rights upon the birth of the child.

More >> Former Texas Probation Officer Charged After Fabricating Records To Adopt Child

Mothers fight for justice over forced adoptions

In 1969, at the age of 19, she was gang raped and forced to give up the resulting baby for adoption — a baby boy she wanted to keep.

More >> Mothers fight for justice over forced adoptions






Forced Adoption to supply UK's Slave Trade from Gerry Hannah on Vimeo.

A firsthand report of ‘inhumane conditions’ at a migrant children’s detention facility

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leverages our limited resources to provide the best care possible to those in our custody, especially children.  As DHS and CBP leadership have noted numerous times, our short-term holding facilities were not designed to hold vulnerable populations and we urgently need additional humanitarian funding to manage this crisis.  CBP works closely with our partners at the Department of Health and Human Services to transfer unaccompanied children to their custody as soon as placement is identified, and as quickly and expeditiously as possible to ensure proper care.

More >> A firsthand report of ‘inhumane conditions’ at a migrant children’s detention facility

Investigation of CPS procedures sought following baby's death

Scioto County commissioners sent a letter to request the director of the county's Children's Services be placed on administrative leave following the death of a baby whose body was found in a well.

Commissioners sent the letter Tuesday requesting Dr. Lorra Fuller, the agency's director, be put on administrative leave while an independent investigation of CPS procedures is conducted.

More >> Investigation of CPS procedures sought following baby's death

Police: Florida couple beat, used stun gun on adopted kids

Police say a couple in northern Florida routinely beat and shocked their two adopted children with what appears to be stun guns.

The Gainesville Sun reports that the children were also malnourished and described being fed only bread and water and occasional scraps. The two children fled from the couple’s care last week and a concerned resident contacted police. The children are 8 and 10 years old.

More >> Police: Florida couple beat, used stun gun on adopted kids

Seymour man who served as foster parent for years charged with sodomy and molestation

A man from Seymour is accused of inappropriately touching a young girl, around the age of 10.

Bobby Joe Kastning, 65, is charged with three counts of statutory sodomy, and one count of child molestation.

The victim told investigators the abuse started about five years ago.

More >> Seymour man who served as foster parent for years charged with sodomy and molestation

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Ohio sheriff charged with releasing confidential abuse reports

A county sheriff in Ohio has been accused of posting confidential child abuse reports to the department’s website and Facebook page.

A special prosecutor on Thursday filed misdemeanor charges against Williams County Sheriff Steve Towns.

More >> Ohio sheriff charged with releasing confidential abuse reports

"Why I handed back my adopted babies... when I got pregnant"

No parent ever forgets that first proud procession from the car to the family home. Ali Sanders remembers every tiny detail of the day she brought her twins home — the baby seats ‘took up the whole of the back seat’, she says.

She watched as her husband, Michael — already ‘head over heels in love’ — clumsily fussed over the straps and buckles, like the excited novice dad he was. Then, inside the house, came the other big family milestone — meeting the ‘over-the-moon’ new grandparents. ‘I remember Michael’s dad meeting them,’ says Ali, 35. ‘He said: “Here’s Grandad!” He was so happy. Everyone was. My parents were thrilled, too.

More >> Why I handed back my adopted babies... when I got pregnant: For years, Ali and her husband had struggled to conceive - so they chose to adopt adorable twin boys. What happened next was a heartbreaking decision that will divide EVERY family

Man pretended to be with CPS, forced his way into home and attempted to sexually assault victim

A man who broke into a woman’s apartment by pretending to be Child Protective Services and attempted to sexually assault her will spend the next 35 years in prison.

Raheem Brown, 26, was sentenced Monday for burglary of a dwelling with a battery and attempted sexual battery.

More >> Man pretended to be with CPS, forced his way into home and attempted to sexually assault victim

The US government has leaked the names of child abuse victims by failing to hide Facebook account IDs in court documents

The US government has been inadvertently revealing the names of child abuse victims by failing to conceal their Facebook account IDs.

The ID numbers for Facebook accounts belonging to minors have been publicly available in unsealed federal court documents, Forbes reports. Forbes was able to take these ID numbers — used along with initials to identify the victims in child abuse documents — and plug each one into a web address after "facebook.com/" to easily find out the identities of the minors.

More >> The US government has leaked the names of child abuse victims by failing to hide Facebook account IDs in court documents

Detained immigrant children aren't guaranteed soap, toothbrushes, Trump administration says

A U.S. government lawyer on Tuesday said a longstanding settlement agreement requiring sanitary conditions for detained immigrant children may not necessarily mean a toothbrush and soap must be provided for shorter stays.

Sarah Fabian, senior litigation counsel for the Department of Justice, told a three judge-panel at the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco the agreement doesn't list items that must be provided in border facilities.

More >> Detained immigrant children aren't guaranteed soap, toothbrushes, Trump administration says

Former head of foster care agency sent to federal prison for nearly 3 years for embezzling more than $1 million

A judge Friday sentenced a Portland woman to two years and nine months in federal prison for stealing more than $1 million from an Oregon foster agency that she had led as president and executive director.

Mary Ayala, 59, who ran the private foster care agency Give Us This Day from 2008 through 2015, was found guilty of multiple counts of theft, money laundering and filing false personal income tax returns after an eight-day trial in February.

More >> Former head of foster care agency sent to federal prison for nearly 3 years for embezzling more than $1 million

Friday, June 21, 2019

Families together: Yakima reunification celebration honors longtime advocate

Sheets of purple and large purple butterflies brightened the austere concrete block walls of the Yakima County Juvenile Justice Center courtroom Thursday. Bouquets of purple flowers decorated long tables.

LaShaunda Harris, the community advocate and champion for families who wore purple almost every day and chose butterflies as her emblem of rebirth after overcoming adversity, would have loved it, friends said. Harris likely knew — and probably helped in some way, big or small — all of the parents and children honored at the 10th annual reunification celebration that afternoon.

More >> Families together: Yakima reunification celebration honors longtime advocate

Children can still be charged with prostitution in Texas after Greg Abbott veto

Children in Texas can still be charged with prostitution after Gov. Greg Abbott this month vetoed a popular bill prohibiting prostituted minors from being arrested or going to juvenile court.

House Bill 1771, authored by Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston, would have changed the Texas penal code to not include children in its definition of prostitution. Law enforcement officers would still have the power to apprehend minors they suspected were involved in prostitution, but instead of going to jail, the children would be returned to their parents or the Texas Department of Family Protective Services.

More >> Children can still be charged with prostitution in Texas after Greg Abbott veto

Ex-child protective worker accused of falsifying records in child abuse investigation


A former child protective investigator is accused of falsifying records while working at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

According to an arrest affidavit, Kaylynn Scott, 24, falsely claimed to have drug tested and interviewed a mother and father linked to a child abuse investigation in December 2018. The mom tested positive during an April drug screening by a different investigator and said she would've tested positive back in December if Scott had actually administered the screening, according to law enforcement.

More >> Ex-child protective worker accused of falsifying records in child abuse investigation

Lack of Surrogacy & Adoption Regulations in Hawai‘i Opens Door to ‘Baby Selling’

Considering expanding your family? You may want to be aware of some areas where the law does not protect you. Both surrogacy and adoption laws in the state of Hawai’i lack specificity in comparison to other states.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law Family Law Professor Calvin Pang explained, “Although our courts have started to recognize contemporary family forms, our statutes haven’t changed significantly to accommodate new technologies or recognize and support all the ways people form and live within loving and sustainable families. It could be that we’re satisfied managing within our existing legal framework. The question is, should we be?”

More >> Lack of Surrogacy & Adoption Regulations in Hawai‘i Opens Door to ‘Baby Selling’

Report: DCYF at fault for child's death



The Rhode Island Office of the Child Advocate has concluded through an extensive report released Tuesday that the Rhode Island Department of Child Youth and Families (DCYF) “created” the situation that led to the death of a 9-year-old Oakland Beach girl in January.

The child, Zah-Nae Rothgeb, was one of eight children under the supervision of one woman, Michele Rothgeb, who over the course of 13 years had contact with 13 different children in the foster care system through DCYF. Zah-Nae was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and had a slew of other health complications, and each of the children under Rothgeb’s care had at least one physical or mental health diagnosis.

More >> Report: DCYF at fault for child's death

Oregon may close loophole that sent foster children to live with dangerous dads

Oregon child welfare workers will have to look for red flags before sending foster children to live with estranged parents as part of a proposal working its way through the Oregon Capitol.

Senate Bill 994 would require case workers at the Department of Human Services to check into criminal pasts of noncustodial parents and the adults they live with before placing a child in their home.

More >> Oregon may close loophole that sent foster children to live with dangerous dads

Former Oklahoma teacher sentenced for raping foster child



A former Oklahoma science teacher has been sentenced for raping a foster child in her custody.

According to an arrest affidavit filed in 2018, Stephanie Cowan admitted to having sexual contact with a 15-year-old foster child on four separate occasions since the boy was placed in her care in October of 2017.

More >> Former Oklahoma teacher sentenced for raping foster child

Finding Foster Families for Teens Is a Challenge in Many States

Only 58% of foster teens live with a family, compared with 95% of kids 12 and under, according to recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And now the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, which became law last year, has put states under increasing pressure to find foster families for teens.

More >> Finding Foster Families for Teens Is a Challenge in Many States

POOR FOSTER CARE

One troubling aspect of the Mississippi Legislature is the Republican majority’s willingness to reduce funding for social services.

Despite a years-long lawsuit over the state’s foster care system, the Department of Child Protective Services (CPS), which provides care for nearly 5,000 foster children, is meeting only 37 of 113 goals set down in a court decree.

More >> POOR FOSTER CARE

Florida Democrat warns of hurricane threats to detained migrant kids

Several weeks into hurricane season, a South Florida congresswoman is pressing the Trump administration to provide its emergency evacuation plan for migrant children detained in vulnerable coastal areas.

At the Homestead Facility, the nation’s largest camp for unaccompanied migrant children, children are sheltered in tents, metal trailers and a former U.S. Job Corps building. It is located south of the city of Miami, and is situated in the second-most vulnerable hurricane zone in South Florida, the Miami Herald reported.

More >> Florida Democrat warns of hurricane threats to detained migrant kids

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