Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Trump administration moves $260M from cancer research, other programs to help pay for custody of immigrant children

The Trump administration is planning to shift more than $260 million to cover the rising cost and strain of housing thousands of undocumented immigrant children in their custody – including millions of dollars from programs like cancer research and HIV/AIDS prevention.

The request comes as the program has been strained by record-high levels of children in custody, driven in large part by new policies that are holding kids longer and making it more difficult for them to be released to adults, such as family members.

More >> Trump administration moves $260M from cancer research, other programs to help pay for custody of immigrant children

Winnipeg CFS launches internal review after volunteer charged with sex assault

Winnipeg Child and Family Services has suspended hiring new volunteers pending a review of recruitment practices, after a volunteer for the agency was charged with sexual assault.

In July 2018, Winnipeg police charged a 35-year-old man with sexual assault and sexual interference involving a boy under the age of 16. Court documents show the alleged abuse took place between April 2017 and April 2018. CBC News is not naming the accused to protect the victim's identity.

More >> Winnipeg CFS launches internal review after volunteer charged with sex assault

Friday, September 21, 2018

Parents jailed for one year for snatching child from foster mother

Parents who snatched their baby from a foster parent in January last year and took the child to Germany have been jailed for 12 months, four suspended, by judges in Den Bosch.

More >> Parents jailed for one year for snatching child from foster mother

13 Investigates: DCS violated parents' rights, took kids away

Judges from the Indiana Court of Appeals have issued a scathing rebuke of the state's Department of Child Services, saying the agency repeatedly violated parents' rights. The appellate judges identified "significant violations of due process occurring in termination of parental rights cases throughout the state."

Late Thursday afternoon, in a statement sent to 13 Investigates, DCS director Terry Stigdon admitted the department's legal work had indeed "fallen short of the standards I have set for our agency."

More >> 13 Investigates: DCS violated parents' rights, took kids away

Foster kids trapped as WA system collapses

Abused and neglected kids in Washington’s overwhelmed foster care system were housed in hotels and state offices at a higher rate than ever over the last year, newly released figures show — a practice that costs taxpayers millions and that experts say further traumatizes some of society’s most vulnerable young people.

More >> Foster kids trapped as WA system collapses



ICE arrested immigrants who came forward to care for migrant children

Between July and September of this year, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 41 people who had come forward as potential sponsors of undocumented migrant children. 70% of those arrests were due to the sponsors — who are often the child's family members — being in the U.S. illegally, CNN's Tal Kopan reports.

Why it matters: Health and Human Services recently instituted stricter vetting procedures including background checks and finger printing for all potential immigrant child sponsors. Immigration advocates have feared that this information would be used by the Trump administration to round up more undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

More >> ICE arrested immigrants who came forward to care for migrant children

Washington County woman found guilty in death of 7-month-old foster son


On Thursday, a Washington County jury found 44-year-old Tracy Nelson guilty of first degree manslaughter in the death of her foster son in June 2017.

The police report said the child died from blunt force trauma to the neck and head. The medical examiner ruled his death as a homicide.

More >> Washington County woman found guilty in death of 7-month-old foster son

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Judge: 'Disinformation' from nurse led to child being separated from mother

A 14-month-old baby is back with his mother after a judge ruled last week that her child was unnecessarily taken from her and placed in foster care in May.

Amanda Weber, 25, said Tuesday her son was traumatized by the four-month-long separation. Weber’s attorneys are calling for changes to state law to protect others from going through a similar ordeal.

More >> Judge: 'Disinformation' from nurse led to child being separated from mother

UK social services are taking away record numbers of kids…leaving parents terrified

Having your children taken away by the state is one of a mom’s or dad’s worst nightmares. Unfortunately, this happens to thousands of parents in the United Kingdom every year--and not always with good cause.

According to the UK Sun, the number of children ripped from their parents through “forced care orders” rose from 7, 550 to 10, 130 in 2017: an increase of 34%. When you factor in children taken away with the parents’ say-so, the number rises to 32,810.

More >> UK social services are taking away record numbers of kids…leaving parents terrified

Michigan sued over records about allegations at boys home

Gov. Rick Snyder's administration is being accused of withholding records about abuse allegations at a Detroit home for boys.

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, known as MPAS, filed a lawsuit Monday against the Department of Health and Human Services. The independent group is empowered under state and federal law to protect the rights of the developmentally disabled.

More >> Michigan sued over records about allegations at boys home

Foster children prescribed meds they might not need, report says


Thousands of children in foster care are taking medications they might not need.

A new U.S. Department of Health report highlights the health concerns related to foster children being prescribed psychiatric drugs with no follow-up care and also shows the financial implications.

Don’t trust algorithms to predict child-abuse risk

Your are right to highlight councils’ use of data about adults and children without their permission, alongside the warped stereotypes that inevitably shape the way families are categorised (Council algorithms use family data to predict child-abuse risk, 17 September). But the problems are more wide-ranging. In policy debates shaped by the ClimbiĆ© and Baby P scandals, pre-emptive interventions sound attractive, but ethical debates about what level of intervention in family life, on what basis, and how pre-emptively, still need to take place. Such debates would be necessary with accurate predictions but become absolutely crucial when, as with any risk screening programme, false positives are unavoidable. In a given population where the base rate of abuse is low, these errors will be drastically higher than commonly believed.

More >> Don’t trust algorithms to predict child-abuse risk

Former foster children demand changes with child welfare system

Former foster children are speaking up and demanding changes be made to the child welfare system after the death of Jordan Belliveau.

"I've basically been in every county in Florida since I've been in foster care," said Hope Austrie.

Austrie was in foster care for five years and moved from place to place.

More >> Former foster children demand changes with child welfare system

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Former CPS worker will spend no more than a year in jail with sex assault plea deal



A former Child Protective Services worker accused of sexually assaulting a teenager will spend no longer than a year in jail with a plea deal. 

Daniel Hulings, 34, of Bath Township, pleaded no contest to two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct Friday in Clinton County Circuit Court. 

More >> Former CPS worker will spend no more than a year in jail with sex assault plea deal

Legislators Demand Answers After Child Allegedly Raped In Foster Contractor Custody

In the wake of rape charge filed in an attack on a 13-year-old girl in the office of a foster care contractor, Kansas lawmakers said Tuesday they’ll investigate what went wrong.

One legislator said state officials and the contractor responsible for watching over the alleged victim will face tough questions later this month.

More >> Legislators Demand Answers After Child Allegedly Raped In Foster Contractor Custody

Fed court overturns Native American child-removal ruling

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturns a lower court’s order that gave Native American parents more rights in child-removal cases.

“Although this is an ongoing case, the department is pleased with the decision issued by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals,” said state Department of Social Services Secretary Lynne Valenti.

More >> Fed court overturns Native American child-removal ruling

Legislators Demand Answers After Child Allegedly Raped In Foster Contractor Custody

In the wake of rape charge filed in an attack on a 13-year-old girl in the office of a foster care contractor, Kansas lawmakers said Tuesday they’ll investigate what went wrong.

One legislator said state officials and the contractor responsible for watching over the alleged victim will face tough questions later this month.

More >> Legislators Demand Answers After Child Allegedly Raped In Foster Contractor Custody

Little Falls mom regains custody of her son; parents' group cries 'victory'

A mother of three regained custody of her youngest child in Little Falls last week after he spent nearly four months in foster care.

More >> Little Falls mom regains custody of her son; parents' group cries 'victory'

'Failed by the system': Foster parents of murdered 2-year-old give emotional statement

Largo police say a caseworker saw 2-year-old murder victim Jordan Belliveau at his home on Friday, the day before his mother reported him missing.

Jordan’s mother Charisse Stinson is accused of murdering her son and then lying to police about what happened until his body was found Tuesday in a wooded area in Largo.

More >> 'Failed by the system': Foster parents of murdered 2-year-old give emotional statement

Wilmette mom at center of DCFS investigation sheds light on parents caught in 'upside-down child welfare system'

The Wilmette mother at the center of a child welfare investigation that began after she let her 8-year-old daughter walk their dog around the block is using her newfound platform to shine a light on the troubles of others she says are unfairly caught in the system.

More >> Wilmette mom at center of DCFS investigation sheds light on parents caught in 'upside-down child welfare system'

Report finds 'disturbing' increase in sexual abuse, suicide among Nebraska children in state care

Reports of sexual abuse and suicidal behavior among children in the care of the state increased again last year, according to a report issued this week by the state’s watchdog over Nebraska’s child welfare system.

Julie Rogers, the inspector general of Nebraska child welfare, described the increase as “disturbing” in a statement accompanying the report.

More >> Report finds 'disturbing' increase in sexual abuse, suicide among Nebraska children in state care




Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Addo ranger back in court for foster daughter's murder

The Addo Elephant Park ranger who fatally shot his one-year-old foster child and wounded his wife – who was holding the toddler at the time – appeared in the Paterson Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Shaun Billet, 45, the father of two other children, was arrested in August for murder and attempted murder.

More >> Addo ranger back in court for foster daughter's murder

Regulations Needed on Therapeutic Foster Homes

Tort judgments concerning duty and liability, typically compensatory and tied to the facts of the particular case, provide a weak and inefficient regulatory mechanism. But individual actions do provide an opportunity to inform regulators by surveying the experience of others in comparable cases. Through precedent, broader rules may evolve. Thus the Appellate Division in the recently published Broach-Butts v. Therapeutic Alternatives, LLC surveyed the gradual extension of duty rules by New Jersey courts. Reversing a grant of summary judgment, the court declared that a private social welfare agency has a duty to prospective therapeutic foster care families to fully inform them of the problems a youth may present.

More >> Regulations Needed on Therapeutic Foster Homes

Report: Foster children over medicated with psychiatric drugs

Overmedicated, and in some cases, out of control.  Thousands of foster children across Florida might be taking powerful psychiatric drugs they do not need, and the medications could be making their lives worse.

Doctors said a local 11-year-old who was removed from her mother’s care had post-traumatic stress disorder, ADHD, attachment disorder, anxiety, depression, and optional defiant disorder.  A handful of five or six pills kept her under control.

However, the girl’s foster mother says the meds did the opposite.

More >> Report: Foster children over medicated with psychiatric drugs

18-year-old charged with rape at Kansas child welfare office




An 18-year-old has been charged with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old at a suburban Kansas City child welfare office where children have been kept overnight because of a shortage of beds.

The Kansas City Star reports that Michael Anthony Hamer was charged last week with rape and aggravated indecent liberties of a child. Bond is set at $500,000. His attorney didn't immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press.

More - 18-year-old charged with rape at Kansas child welfare office

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