Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007


Monday, November 12, 2018

New taskforce set up to help protect social workers from abuse

A new taskforce has been set up to help protect social workers in Northern Ireland from violence and abuse after nine out of 10 staff said they had been intimidated.

A recent report by the British Association of Social Workers NI (BASW NI) highlighted the scale of the problem, suggesting that three-quarters of their staff had received threats and half had been subject to physical violence.

More >> New taskforce set up to help protect social workers from abuse

State Performance Audit Finds Michigan Child Protective Services Failed To Start & Complete Investigations On Time

A state performance audit found that Michigan’s child protective services (CPS) failed to commence and complete some investigations on time. Investigators are to commence an investigation within 24 hours, and are to complete the investigation typically within 30 days. About 17% of investigations did not commence within 24 hours. Nearly 30% of reviewed investigations were not completed within required timeframes; these investigations were completed 44 days late on average, with the delays ranging from one day to eight months late.

More >> State Performance Audit Finds Michigan Child Protective Services Failed To Start & Complete Investigations On Time

Tusla chief's email to staff ahead of McCabe report's release: 'We can weather this storm'

THE HEAD OF child and family agency Tusla has warned staff, via email, to expect “further adverse media and political commentary for the agency” this week.

It comes ahead of the publication today of a report sparked by the agency’s handling of a file pertaining to claims made against Garda Sergeant Maurice McCabe. The probe by health watchdog Hiqa was ordered in spring of last year by Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone.

More >> Tusla chief's email to staff ahead of McCabe report's release: 'We can weather this storm'

Editorial: Oregon continues to fail foster children

A state audit found in January that Oregon’s child welfare system was so disorganized and inconsistent that it was putting some of the state’s most vulnerable children at risk.

Millions were misspent. Lawsuits forced the state to pay out other millions for failure to protect children. And the audit said the agency’s response to problems was slow, indecisive and inadequate.

More >> Editorial: Oregon continues to fail foster children

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Girl claims molested, abused at Temerloh welfare home

A resident of a private welfare home and orphanage in Temerloh lodged a police report claiming to be molested and abused by the centre’s staff last week.

The 10-year-old girl claimed to have been summoned by a male staff of the centre to his room at 2pm on Saturday, and was asked to lay on her back before being molested.

More >> Girl claims molested, abused at Temerloh welfare home

Tusla worker's phone was used to send journalist death threats

THE PHONE WHICH was used to send death threats to a journalist belongs to a Tusla staff member, TheJournal.ie can reveal.

The child and family agency has told TheJournal.ie that it does not condone “the use or threat of violence in any circumstances”, that it is reviewing the allegations and that it will “cooperate fully” with a Garda investigation into the matter.

More >> Tusla worker's phone was used to send journalist death threats

Center offers help to parents facing child abuse claims

When Michelle Weidner and her husband were accused of fracturing their son’s skull in 2010, the family’s life turned upside down until a second opinion determined a blurred line in a CT scan was not a fracture, clearing the Weidners of allegations of abuse.

The experience of being wrongfully accused led Weidner to her current post as executive director of the newly-formed Family Justice Resource Center in Peoria. The nonprofit group works with families accused of child abuse and neglect to connect them with doctors and other experts who may be able to provide an explanation for what authorities claim is abuse.

More >> Center offers help to parents facing child abuse claims

Group calls for investigation after Texas judge releases defendants after election loss

The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas asked the state judicial commission to investigate the actions of a Harris County judge who released youthful offenders after they promised not to kill anyone on Wednesday — a day after he lost an election, a report said.

“It is improper for a judge to make orders motivated by partisan interests or spite as a result of his political loss,” Sharon Watkins Jones, director of political strategies for the ACLU of Texas said in a statement, Patch Houston reported.

More >> Group calls for investigation after Texas judge releases defendants after election loss

Ministry responds to allegations that social worker stole from kids in government care

The Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) says a Kelowna social worker accused of stealing money from teens in government care is no longer a public employee.

More >> Ministry responds to allegations that social worker stole from kids in government care

McClure: Texas should act to safeguard foster children

A federal appeals court has ruled that Texas must hire more state workers to protect foster children, yet it overruled the lower court mandate that Texas increase the number of much-needed foster care homes.

Hank Whitman, Commissioner of Child Protective Services, testified to the Texas House last week that the Legislature’s approval last session to significantly increase salaries and hire more caseworkers succeeded in reducing turnover.

More >> McClure: Texas should act to safeguard foster children

Her toddlers contracted an STD while in foster care

While the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office was occupied with a forgery complaint leveled against state child-services workers in 2015, Bay St. Louis attorney Edward Gibson met with a client whose two children had been sexually abused and infected with gonorrhea while in state custody.

The client, Alexandria Faye, said she received a text message on June 11, 2014, from a Mississippi Department of Human Services worker urging her to come to a hospital in Gulfport.

More >> Her toddlers contracted an STD while in foster care

Judge Humke temporarily suspended pending charges for allegedly mishandling cases



Washoe County Family Court Judge David Humke was temporarily suspended after he was again accused of mishandling child support and custody cases within in his department.

Humke, who’s served on the bench for about three-and-a-half years, was suspended with pay last week pending formal charges from the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline.

More >> Judge Humke temporarily suspended pending charges for allegedly mishandling cases

Foster kids in Washington deserve better

I worked in public child welfare in two states for more than 30 years, including 26 years in Washington as a caseworker, supervisor, area administrator and regional administrator. I have been director of a child-welfare training and research entity at the University of Washington School of Social Work and have done large amounts of training.

During most of those years, there were periodic discussions of the foster care crisis, along with persistent efforts to reform the system through legislation, class-action lawsuits and settlement agreements.

More >> Foster kids in Washington deserve better

5 siblings missing from northern California foster home found safe 80 miles away

Five siblings who ran away from their foster home in northern California have been found safe.
KPIX reported the children, who range in age from 4 to 16 years old, were found at a hotel in El Cerrito, California on Wednesday. Authorities stated the children first went missing from the temporary foster home on Nov. 3 in Stockton 80 miles away.
More >> 5 siblings missing from northern California foster home found safe 80 miles away

How Schools For Kids In Foster Care Act As ‘Educational Black Holes’

Back when he still lived with his family, when school was across the street from his home in West Philadelphia, Johnathan Hamilton used to plow through reading assignments and research religious questions online. He stumbled over fractions — math was always a struggle — but started getting into philosophy as an early teen.

Then, at 15, his relationship with his parents grew violent, and Hamilton went to live in a city shelter for foster youth. When a bed became available at a residential facility in suburban Glenmoore, Pennsylvania, run by the nonprofit Devereux Foundation, Hamilton was sent to live there. For roughly nine months, he went to school on the grounds of the facility — and he says it was mostly lost time.

More >> How Schools For Kids In Foster Care Act As ‘Educational Black Holes’

Saturday, November 10, 2018

171 kids from separated families still in custody, Most won't be reunited with parents


There are still 171 children from separated families in US custody more than four months after a judge ordered the US government to reunite the undocumented immigrant families it had split up at the border, according to court documents filed Thursday.

Of the children who remain in custody, there are seven who are in the pipeline to reunite with their parents in their countries of origin, according to the court documents, and six who the US government is working to discharge to parents in the US.

More >> 171 kids from separated families still in custody, Most won't be reunited with parents

Teen being forced to undergo chemo released to family friend



A Suffolk Family Court judge on Friday delivered a setback in the case of a 13-year-old who’s being forced to undergo chemotherapy, stripping his mother of custody and releasing him to a friend who must continue the therapy.

Nick Gundersen is in remission from mixed phenotype acute leukemia and has been undergoing court-mandated chemotherapy at NYU Winthrop Hospital since Oct. 30. He was released to a family friend in Huntington, where he will continue outpatient treatment.

More >> Teen being forced to undergo chemo released to family friend

Foster parent arrested for allegedly burning, injuring boy in Fredericksburg, police say

Authorities arrested a 33-year-old man accused of burning and injuring a boy who was in foster care and living with him in Fredericksburg.

Eric L. Woods was arrested on one count of child abuse causing injury. He was later released on bond, according to police.

More >> Foster parent arrested for allegedly burning, injuring boy in Fredericksburg, police say

Lawsuit challenges Alabama’s method of electing judges

A trial has begun in a lawsuit challenging Alabama's practice of electing appellate judges by statewide vote, a method that plaintiffs say results in all-white courts in a state where one in four people is African-American.

The trial began this week in federal court in Montgomery and is expected to last several more days.

More >> Lawsuit challenges Alabama’s method of electing judges

Judge orders largest sanctions ever against CPS for lying to remove kids



"This is by far the largest sanction I've ever been a part of or ever heard of being imposed against CPS," said attorney Dennis Slate.

More >> Judge orders largest sanctions ever against CPS for lying to remove kids

Trump administration weakens birth control requirement under ACA

Two rules issued Wednesday by the Trump administration will give some employers the opportunity to seek an exemption when it comes to providing contraception coverage for their employees.

Under the Affordable Care Act, employer-provided health insurance plans are required to cover birth control as a preventive service.

More >> Trump administration weakens birth control requirement under ACA

Lawsuit against DCF worker in Sheldon case dismissed

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled Friday that a mandated reporter does not have to report something that has already been reported.

The court threw out a lawsuit against Nicholas Ruggiero, an administrative reviewer for the Vermont Department of Children and Families, by Willis Sheldon, father of the late Dezirae Sheldon.

More >> Lawsuit against DCF worker in Sheldon case dismissed

Fredericksburg foster parent arrested for abuse

A Fredericksburg man was arrested Thursday after being accused of intentionally burning his 5-year-old foster son.

Eric Lamont Woods, 33, is charged with felony child abuse. He turned himself in at the Fredericksburg Police Department Thursday and was released on a personal recognizance bond.

More >> Fredericksburg foster parent arrested for abuse

As foster care numbers surge, relative caregivers get short shrift

Today, the federal government released new data showing that foster care numbers have risen for the fifth straight year in a row – up to nearly 443,000, an 11.5 percent increase from 2012 when the surge began. 

While people will immediately ask why foster care rates care are their highest since 2009; another very important question needs to be asked: Where are all those children living?

More >> As foster care numbers surge, relative caregivers get short shrift

Implement the Family First Prevention Services Act



More than 400,00 children are in foster care across the United States, and most are children of color. This number will only increase because of the current opioid crisis in the country. According to sciencedirect.com, we spend approximately $20,000 a month for a child to be placed in foster care, but we refuse to support families with concrete resources and services to prevent placing children in foster care.

More >> Implement the Family First Prevention Services Act

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