Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007


Thursday, May 23, 2019

City Children's Services Unlawfully Sent Juveniles Back to Detention, State Judge Finds

In the absence of rules created following the passage of a 2012 law, city officials relied for years on internal rules for how to handle the revoking of parole for those in the juvenile justice system.

More >> City Children's Services Unlawfully Sent Juveniles Back to Detention, State Judge Finds

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Maine mother sues DHHS in federal court seeking contact with daughter

An Eddington woman is asking a federal judge to force the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to allow her contact with her 7-year-old daughter, who is living with her father’s girlfriend in Ellsworth under an agency safety plan.

Toni Barronton, 33, claims that DHHS violated her right to due process after it reneged on a decision to let the girl live with her temporarily after her father, Patrick Lynn, 32, allegedly violated his probation by using drugs.

More >> Maine mother sues DHHS in federal court seeking contact with daughter

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

"There IS something wrong with #DHS.



"There IS something wrong with #DHS. (#CPS/#DCFS). My biggest problem with DHS is that DHS tells us that there is nothing wrong with them."

This is from Philadelphia city council meeting on the 16th of May. A lot of creepy stuff going on with their child Protective Services Department in that city.

Councilman David Oh is on the side of the people and families who are being ignored.

5th migrant child dies after detention by Border Patrol

The U.S. government says a 16-year-old Guatemalan died Monday at a Border Patrol station in South Texas, the fifth death of a migrant child apprehended by border agents since December.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that Border Patrol apprehended the teenager in South Texas' Rio Grande Valley on May 13. The agency says the teenager was found unresponsive Monday morning during a welfare check at the agency's Weslaco, Texas, station. The teenager's cause of death is unknown.

More >> 5th migrant child dies after detention by Border Patrol

Metro Detroit family battles to keep adopted son with violent history in psychiatric hospital

A Metro Detroit family's adopted son, who has threatened to kill them, is currently in a psychiatric treatment hospital.

Now, the family says the state of Michigan is threatening to charge them with neglect if they don't take their 16-year-old adopted son, Alex, home. The family is terrified and they have filed a lawsuit.

Washington state to pay $1.7 million to settle woman’s claims that social workers ignored child abuse, neglect she suffered

She first met him at a corner store 30 years ago, when she was 13 and wandering the streets of Tacoma’s then-notorious Hilltop.

The 37-year-old man, a convicted drug dealer, took her home, forced her into sex and before long, had the girl living with him, she said. And soon, he allegedly was plying the girl’s drug-addicted mother with crack cocaine as part of an unspoken arrangement.

More >> Washington state to pay $1.7 million to settle woman’s claims that social workers ignored child abuse, neglect she suffered

Governor vows to re-examine foster home abuse case

The governor is launching a review into that horrific case of abuse in a state licensed foster home 5 Investigates exposed last week.

The victims say what they went through was more than abuse, it was torture.

More >> Governor vows to re-examine foster home abuse case

Justices Decline to Review Case Involving Strip Search of 4-Year-Old at School

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case involving the warrantless strip-search at school of a 4-year-old student by a county caseworker looking for evidence of abuse.

The case of I.B. v. Woodard (No. 18-1173) raised several important legal questions for educators, including whether a child welfare caseworker requires a warrant to strip-search a child and whether it was clearly established that such conduct was barred in Colorado under relevant federal court rulings.

More >> Justices Decline to Review Case Involving Strip Search of 4-Year-Old at School

Monday, May 20, 2019

'Sesame Street' introduces Karli, a Muppet in foster care

In an effort to support foster children and families, there’s a new Muppet family living on Sesame Street.

Karli, and her “for-now” parents Dalia and Clem, was introduced Monday by Sesame Workshop to offer support foster children and foster families, the nonprofit educational organization behind the iconic children’s show said.

More >> 'Sesame Street' introduces Karli, a Muppet in foster care


7Investigates: Foster Children’s Money

Millions of dollars taken from children in Massachusetts. Investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan found some call a secret system. Who is getting their money, and why? 7 Investigates.

More >> 7Investigates: Foster Children’s Money

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Opinion: Long waits for intensive foster care homes are routine for state’s most-wounded children

Some suffer from serious medical conditions. Some have been left alone in their homes for days at a time or have had to call 911 because a parent has overdosed on drugs. Others have suffered physical or emotional abuse at the hands of a trusted adult.

These children’s stories all are different, but what they have in common is the experience of severe trauma that has denied them a secure place in a loving home with people they can rely on.

More >> Opinion: Long waits for intensive foster care homes are routine for state’s most-wounded children

Woman tells court she was coerced into giving up baby in 1979

A woman has claimed before the High Court she was coerced into having her baby daughter adopted nearly 40 years ago when she was 16 years old.

The woman is suing the Adoption Authority of Ireland (AAI) and accredited adoption agency, CĂșnamh, alleging personal injuries and breach of constitutional rights by adoption of her baby in 1979.

More >> Woman tells court she was coerced into giving up baby in 1979

Washington's Junior Village was created as a refuge for needy kids. Instead they were raped and drugged

The children's home was a must-stop destination for the powerful.

In the 1960s, first lady Jackie Kennedy, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., and Vice President Hubert Humphrey were just a few of the important figures to pay visits to Junior Village, Washington's renowned refuge for impoverished children. Lady Bird Johnson and Pat Nixon sponsored Christmas and Thanksgiving parties at the White House for handpicked Junior Village children, according to The Washington Post.

But the cheerful newspaper photos of those visits and holiday celebrations didn't capture what happened when the cameras were gone: harrowing abuse.

More >> Washington's Junior Village was created as a refuge for needy kids. Instead they were raped and drugged

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Lawmakers react to foster kids sleeping in offices

Lawmaker reaction was swift when they learned Kansas foster kids have once again been sleeping in offices of agencies that place kids in foster care.

"It should be a wake up call to our agency. It should be a wake up call to the state of Kansas that we have to do better for our children," said Representative Michael Capps (R) 85th District. "This is our future we are talking about."

More >> Lawmakers react to foster kids sleeping in offices

Man accused of molesting foster child was investigated in 2nd incident



Robert Metzner was accused of sexually abusing an 8-year-old in his care. 10 Investigates has found another child was placed in the home after the first accusations surfaced.

More >> Man accused of molesting foster child was investigated in 2nd incident


Judge dismisses concerns over ‘gender manipulating’ foster parents

A judge has dismissed concerns that two foster parents in Lancashire have been manipulating children in their care to ‘change sex’.

One of the couple’s biological sons began living as a girl from the age of seven. Two of their three foster children also subsequently began living as the opposite sex.

More >> Judge dismisses concerns over ‘gender manipulating’ foster parents

Lawmaker blasts state for foster home abuse case

A state representative is lashing out at the Department of Children and Families and the criminal justice system for their handling of the horrific case of abuse inside a central Massachusetts foster home.

"This case was really covered up, brushed under the rug, and it's just a travesty all around," said state Rep. Shaunna O'Connell.

More >> Lawmaker blasts state for foster home abuse case

Removal of Cherokee County children draws lawsuit, criminal charges possible

Dozens of children in Cherokee County faced unlawful removal from their families until the state stepped in late in 2017, according to state officials and a federal lawsuit from affected families.

Now, the state Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Cindy Palmer, the Cherokee County Department of Social Service’s former director, and possibly others. At the same time, the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the federal suit are seeking class-action status, alleging a series of rights violations against a potentially substantial number of families who were not identified in the State Bureau of Investigation’s probe of the situation.

More >> Removal of Cherokee County children draws lawsuit, criminal charges possible

Friday, May 17, 2019

Kansas again keeping foster kids in offices

Abused and neglected children are again sleeping overnight in the offices of Kansas foster care contractors because homes cannot be found for them quickly enough.

Since January, when Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly took office, more than 70 children have been kept overnight in the offices of the two nonprofit agencies providing foster care services. Her Republican predecessor’s administration kept children from sleeping in offices during its final months after threatening publicly to fine contractors — a threat Kelly’s administration has dropped.

More >> Kansas again keeping foster kids in offices

Former foster children say they endured abuse for years

5 Investigates a horrific case of abuse that's been kept hidden for years by the state and in courts. The abuse all involves a single foster home in Massachusetts and at least six children.

More >> Former foster children say they endured abuse for years

United Nations concerned over sexual abuse of children in UK custody

Grave concerns have been raised about the sexual abuse of children in detention in the UK by independent experts at the United Nations.

Reviewing the UK's record, the United Nations Committee Against Torture cited a report into the abuse of some 1,000 children in custody from 2009-2017.

More >> United Nations concerned over sexual abuse of children in UK custody

'He was Mama's boy': Murder trial underway for foster dad accused of killing 4-year-old

Hunter Payton, his grandmothers say, was a loving, playful child adored by his large, extended family.

"He was an angel," said Linda Payton, his paternal grandmother, from Caneyville.

More >> 'He was Mama's boy': Murder trial underway for foster dad accused of killing 4-year-old

Montana Supreme Court overturns parental rights termination

The state failed to make a reasonable effort to reunite a woman with the son who was taken away from her after he was born with methamphetamine in his system, the Montana Supreme Court ruled.

The justices unanimously overturned the July 2018 termination of the mother's parental rights and ordered the Division of Child and Family Services to work to reunite the woman with her son, who has lived with foster parents in Billings since his birth in October 2016.

More >> Montana Supreme Court overturns parental rights termination

Oregon moved 2 young sisters into foster home, then sent 13-year-old abuser to live with them, $24 million lawsuit alleges

Oregon child welfare officials ignored eight years of warnings when they moved a 13-year-old boy with a history of abusing younger children into the same overcrowded foster home as two young sisters, according to new court documents.

At the time, case workers labeled the boy a “risk” and wrote that they planned to move the girls, then 5 and 7, out as soon as possible. Yet the three remained in the same home for two months, and during that time, the boy repeatedly locked the girls inside rooms and sexually abused them, a lawsuit contends.

More >> Oregon moved 2 young sisters into foster home, then sent 13-year-old abuser to live with them, $24 million lawsuit alleges

Families of adopted Safe Haven babies react to another abandoned infant: ‘Birth mothers don’t know what else to do’

When Tera Naset heard about a newborn baby abandoned last week in a Northwest Side alley — named Patrick Casey Doe after the first responders who helped save his life — it hit her hard.

If things had gone differently, that could’ve been her son, Frankie.

More >> Families of adopted Safe Haven babies react to another abandoned infant: ‘Birth mothers don’t know what else to do’

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

IOWA SOCIAL WORKER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO PERJURY IN CUSTODY CASE



The social worker accused of lying in a case where four children were removed from their parents is pleading not guilty.

Chelsie Jo Gray, 30 of Lawler, is charged with three counts of perjury. Authorities say Gray knowingly gave false testimony in a December 2017 hearing where she recommended a judge terminate the parental rights of a mother and father. Gray had been assigned as the case worker when the Department of Human Services sought to remove four North Iowa children from their biological parents.

More >> IOWA SOCIAL WORKER PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO PERJURY IN CUSTODY CASE

New report released on troubles in DCFS Intact Family Services program

Usually when these programs fail it's because they've been de-funded.  When properly funded, it's the best thing for the kid. 

Illinois' child welfare agency is so intent on keeping children with their parents even when they have strong evidence of abuse that it has sometimes left those children in grave danger, a study released Wednesday found. 
Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered the study of the Department of Children and Family Services' Intact Family Services unit after the recent deaths of three children. That unit is responsible for overseeing households in which children are left at home after allegations of abuse or neglect. 
More >> New report released on troubles in DCFS Intact Family Services program

Mother Says She Was Separated From Newborn Baby After Testing Positive for Opiates Because of Poppy-Seed Bagel

A New York mother said that she was separated from her newborn child because she failed a drug test.

But the failure was due to eating a poppyseed bagel, she said.

More >> Mother Says She Was Separated From Newborn Baby After Testing Positive for Opiates Because of Poppy-Seed Bagel

Placerville woman accused of abusing adopted children



A Placerville woman was arrested Friday after being charged with multiple counts of alleged child abuse

An investigation of Patricia Taylor, 63, began in mid-April after her 14-year old adoptive daughter ran away to one of her older sister’s residences in fear of receiving punishment from Taylor, according to a press release from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.

More >> Placerville woman accused of abusing adopted children




Wayne County family court judge accused of helping cover up child abuse of own grandson

A Wayne County family court judge is being accused of helping her son cover up abuse of her grandson - but she says none of it's true.

Tracy Green is a judge at the Wayne County Family Court. Her job is to determine whether children are being abused and to protect them. Her grandson says she not only ignored how her son - who is his father - on beat his kids, he says she covered it up.

More >> Wayne County family court judge accused of helping cover up child abuse of own grandson

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, union announce reforms to improve troubled foster care system

Amid ongoing problems with the state’s foster care system, the Department of Children and Families on Tuesday announced an agreement with the union representing the agency’s workers to review staffing and provide more resources to foster parents and social workers.

Gov. Charlie Baker said he believes the reforms will result in “a big improvement in the way the department works and the way it serves kids and families.”

More >> Massachusetts Department of Children and Families, union announce reforms to improve troubled foster care system

Audit Finds Numerous Problems At DCFS; Lawmakers Taking Hard Look At 'Intact Families' Policy

An audit released Tuesday paints a damning picture of Illinois’ child-welfare agency.

More >> Audit Finds Numerous Problems At DCFS; Lawmakers Taking Hard Look At 'Intact Families' Policy

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ex-pastor who raped adopted daughter receives only 12 years in prison



A former pastor who repeatedly raped his adopted teenage daughter has been given an effective 12 year prison sentence.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports prosecutors sought the maximum term of 72 years behind bars. The judge cited David Richards longtime ministry and the support he still receives as mitigating factors.

More >> Ex-pastor who raped adopted daughter receives only 12 years in prison

Child welfare agency says it shouldn't be forced to house teens who've committed crimes. Judges disagree

There are kids the Department of Child Safety doesn't want, and the agency is working with an influential lawmaker to curb the number of those children entering the foster-care system.

DCS Director Greg McKay has been complaining for months that judges are foisting onto his department children with juvenile delinquency issues. These children, he's argued in correspondence with court and probation officials, are too dangerous to share a foster or group home with kids who have been removed from their homes due to neglect or abuse.

More >> Child welfare agency says it shouldn't be forced to house teens who've committed crimes. Judges disagree

Monday, May 13, 2019

Senators concerned about abuse allegations at shelters

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Finance Committee are questioning whether the Trump administration is neglecting its duty to protect unaccompanied immigrant children in its care amid allegations of misconduct at federally funded shelters.

Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon asked for data from U.S. Health and Human Services on occupancy, incident reporting, sexual abuse prevention and federal and state regulation of children’s shelters. Their request on Thursday follows a report that thousands of allegations of sexual abuse and harassment were logged over the past four years and as the number of migrant children crossing the border is rising dramatically.

More >> Senators concerned about abuse allegations at shelters

Foster parents accused of 'turning' kids trans exonerated in court

Foster parents accused of ‘turning’ kids transgender were exonerated in court last Friday (10 May).

The British foster parents, named CP and TP to protect the children’s identities, took in young people struggling with their gender identity.

More >> Foster parents accused of 'turning' kids trans exonerated in court

Mother gets surprise visit from daughter she gave up for adoption

A North County Mother gets a surprise this Mother’s Day weekend. Saturday, she met a daughter she gave up for adoption 28-years ago.

The mother, LaVonda Scott from Jennings was reunited with her daughter, Shonetta Scott who was adopted and renamed Ariel Howard.

It was an emotional reunion for mother and daughter.

More >> Mother gets surprise visit from daughter she gave up for adoption

Group Home Supervisor Sentenced to 10 Years for Sex Trafficking Minor



A supervisor at Blackstone Valley Youth and Family Collaborative group home contracted by the Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families (RI DCYF) who repeatedly sex-trafficked a missing 17-year-old girl has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.


More >> Group Home Supervisor Sentenced to 10 Years for Sex Trafficking Minor

New York mom fails drug test after eating poppy seed bagel — right before giving birth

Less than a week after baby Carter Dominguez was brought into the world, baby and mom are enjoying time at their Tonawanda, New York, home.

It’s the journey here, and it's what Elizabeth ate before she gave birth that’s made this new mom experience anything but easy.

More >> New York mom fails drug test after eating poppy seed bagel — right before giving birth

Three-year-old ‘changes gender from boy to girl with foster parents whose own son transitioned’

A three-year-old boy transitioned to being a girl at the age of three while living with foster parents whose own son, aged seven, had also changed gender.

The younger child was dressed in girl’s clothes against the wishes of teachers, the Sunday Times reported.

More >> Three-year-old ‘changes gender from boy to girl with foster parents whose own son transitioned’

Foster Care: Protecting Kids Or Harming Them?

The abuse of children is one of the most heartbreaking tragedies one can imagine. While some ignore the problem, individuals exist worldwide who work to end child abuse through both private and governmental organizations. But what happens when a state-run agency subjects disturbing numbers of children to greater levels of victimization than they typically experience outside of state “care”?

More >> Foster Care: Protecting Kids Or Harming Them?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

11-year-old dies within hours of being placed with temporary foster family

The mother of an 11-year-old girl in Provo wants to know why her daughter died within hours of being relocated to a new foster home in American Fork.

Ahadi Mukeshimana was on her bike, unsupervised, when she veered into traffic on 560 W. 1120 N. in American Fork.

More >> 11-year-old dies within hours of being placed with temporary foster family

Why Some LA County Social Workers Don't Want People To Know Where They Work

Documentary filmmakers Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris said they spoke to a couple hundred social workers while doing research for their new HBO documentary, "Foster."

Most of them would immediately start crying when they came in for their interviews.

"They told us that they don't tell their friends, tell their families that they work for the Department of Children and Family Services," Oppenheimer told KPCC's Take Two. "They turn their badges around when they walk into public places [like] a restaurant."

More >> Why Some LA County Social Workers Don't Want People To Know Where They Work

Charges: Foster parent injured 4-month-old several times

He was trying to do a favor for his wife.

She hadn’t been sleeping well since both of their foster sons caught pneumonia. On April 12, after returning from the hospital, he said he would sleep with the 4-month-old downstairs at their Lake Stevens house, while she got some rest.

More >> Charges: Foster parent injured 4-month-old several times

ON MOTHER'S DAY, HERE'S HOW MANY MOMS ARE STILL SEPARATED FROM THEIR CHILDREN UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

This Mother's Day, immigration advocates are asking families across the United States to remember the hundreds of mothers who are still separated from their children due to the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies.

"Mother's day is a day to celebrate moms and their strength and resilience, but, there are moms out there who will not get to experience this day...Mothers who don't know if they will ever get to see their children again," activist Meena Harris told Newsweek.

In support of the mothers who still have yet to be reunited with their children as a result of the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" family separation policy, Harris has launched a Mother's Day campaign that will see moms across the country, including some high-profile celebrities, don "Phenomenal Mother" T-shirts on Sunday, to encourage more women to speak out against family separation and detention.


More >> ON MOTHER'S DAY, HERE'S HOW MANY MOMS ARE STILL SEPARATED FROM THEIR CHILDREN UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

El Dorado County Woman Accused of Torturing, Abusing Children She Adopted

An El Dorado County woman is behind bars after being accused of abusing and torturing children she adopted.

One of those children — a 14-year-old — ran away from home in April and revealed years of abuse to deputies.

More >> El Dorado County Woman Accused of Torturing, Abusing Children She Adopted

Saturday, May 11, 2019

CEO of Child Welfare Agency Arrested for Allegedly Choking Autistic 12-Year-Old



The CEO of a child welfare agency was arrested after being accused of putting a child in a chokehold.

Vincent Hillyer, who runs Great Circle Academy in Missouri, was arrested on May 7. A video from March, obtained by KMOV, appears to show him putting a 12-year-old autistic child in a headlock while seated on a couch.


More >> CEO of Child Welfare Agency Arrested for Allegedly Choking Autistic 12-Year-Old

As new leaders take over Maine’s child welfare system, caseworkers say they’re still ‘drowning’

In the 15 or so months since two Maine children died from abuse in their homes despite having had repeated contact with child welfare caseworkers, state leaders have vowed to reform the beleaguered system.

But deployment of those reforms, gleaned from two separate investigations into the department — one of which is still ongoing — after the deaths of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy and 4-year-old Kendall Chick, have hit bureaucratic snags.

More >> As new leaders take over Maine’s child welfare system, caseworkers say they’re still ‘drowning’

POLK COUNTY JURY RULES IN FAVOR OF FATHER AFTER MOM DEFIES COURT ORDER TO RETURN CHILDREN TO TEXAS

On May 7, 2019, the Polk County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted Elizabeth Annette Davis for the felony offense of Interference with Child Custody.  Davis was found guilty by a Polk County jury.

She was sentenced to serve six months confinement at a state jail facility of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  Assistant Criminal District Attorney Kirby A. Wills secured the conviction for the State of Texas by focusing the jury’s attention on Davis’s actions. 

More >> POLK COUNTY JURY RULES IN FAVOR OF FATHER AFTER MOM DEFIES COURT ORDER TO RETURN CHILDREN TO TEXAS

Legislation to Allow Family Contact After Termination of Parental Rights Expected to Move

State law in New York prevents family court judges from allowing any kind of contact between a parent and their child after parental rights have been terminated, but lawmakers are renewing a push to change that in the final weeks of this year’s legislative session.

More >> Legislation to Allow Family Contact After Termination of Parental Rights Expected to Move

Friday, May 10, 2019

HUD SAYS TRUMP PLAN TO EVICT ILLEGALS COULD LEAVE 55,000 CHILDREN HOMELESS

The Department of Housing and Urban Development concluded a new proposal to evict illegal aliens from government-subsidized homes would send over 55,000 children out into the streets.

The proposal, which was first reported by The Daily Caller in April, is meant to tighten regulations surrounding federal subsidies for low-income housing.


More >> HUD SAYS TRUMP PLAN TO EVICT ILLEGALS COULD LEAVE 55,000 CHILDREN HOMELESS

Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It

As a child, Julia Milam followed around her grandmother, a certified nursing assistant, as she took care of patients, some of whom stayed at their house. Her grandmother showed her how to use the blood pressure kit and stethoscope, how to feed patients.

Milam was captivated by the sight of her grandmother comforting those in need and could see the appreciation etched on their faces. She decided she would one day become a nurse. After graduating from high school, she got her nursing assistant certification, just as her grandmother had.

More >> Hawaii Put This Woman On A Child Neglect List — And Now She Can’t Fight It

Brother of man who fatally stabbed adoptive mother speaks out about alleged abuse

 Kaanoi Kipapa, the young man who killed his adoptive mother in 2014 when he was 16 years old, claimed he was abused for years.

Now, his adopted brother is backing him up.

More >> Brother of man who fatally stabbed adoptive mother speaks out about alleged abuse

Illegal Baby Adoption Ring Dismantled in Alexandroupolis

The Alexandroupolis police on Friday reported the dismantling of an organised illegal infant adoption ring and the arrest of four alleged members of the gang in the towns of Evros and Xanthi, among them the suspected head of the ring.

Specifically, two men and two women, all Greek nationals, were arrested while four more persons have been identified as members of the ring.

More >> Illegal Baby Adoption Ring Dismantled in Alexandroupolis

Head of child welfare agency in Missouri charged with child endangerment, assault

The head of a child welfare agency in Missouri that has offices and a school in Independence has been arrested and charged with child endangerment and assault, according to court documents.

Vincent D. Hillyer, president and CEO of Great Circle, has been charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with six felony counts of first-degree child endangerment.

More >> Head of child welfare agency in Missouri charged with child endangerment, assault

Ex-Group Home Worker Gets 10 Years for Sex Trafficking Teen

A former supervisor at a Rhode Island group home that contracted with the state child welfare agency has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sex trafficking a 17-year-old girl.

The U.S. attorney says 29-year-old Reysean Williams was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in November to sex trafficking a child.

More >> Ex-Group Home Worker Gets 10 Years for Sex Trafficking Teen

Officials: Oregon foster child was assaulted at Utah program

An Oregon foster child was among more than 20 teenagers injured during a riot last week at the Red Rock Canyon School in St. George, Utah.

But that wasn’t the first problem experienced by Oregon children at the facility.

Another Oregon foster child sent to Red Rock was physically assaulted by program staff, a state child welfare official and state senator said on Tuesday.

More >> Officials: Oregon foster child was assaulted at Utah program

Immigrant children in US custody soaring back toward record levels

The number of undocumented immigrant children in U.S. custody is reaching breaking-point levels again, months after the Trump administration had reduced the total in shelters in response to anger over policies that kept children there.

The recent increase is largely due to a surge in the number of children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border rather than an administration policy. Overall crossings this year have skyrocketed to decade-high levels.

More >> Immigrant children in US custody soaring back toward record levels

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Kentucky policy allowed social workers to take kids using judges' pre-signed signatures on blank documents

Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services has come under scrutiny for allowing social workers to take children from homes using blank emergency custody orders pre-signed by judges. The agency reportedly scrapped the policy after numerous complaints, but critics say the practice was illegal from the get-go and "a gross miscarriage of justice."

More >> Kentucky policy allowed social workers to take kids using judges' pre-signed signatures on blank documents

Audit faults Illinois child welfare agency’s abuse, neglect investigations

The Illinois Auditor General’s Office said Tuesday that understaffing at the state’s child welfare agency led to a massive backlog of cases of suspected child abuse or neglect during the administration of former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. It also said the agency often failed to follow its own protocols for investigating cases and filing timely reports.

The audit report paints a picture of the Department of Children and Family Services as an agency overwhelmed by a growing volume of cases with investigators under pressure to close cases quickly, “even when they had not performed basic tasks such as contacting police and doctors.”

More >> Audit faults Illinois child welfare agency’s abuse, neglect investigations

‘A bitter pill to swallow’: Kansas lawmakers drop child welfare oversight plan

Despite the problems facing Kansas foster care, lawmakers in the final hours of their annual session dropped a plan to hold the troubled system accountable.

A provision creating a child welfare oversight committee was eliminated from the state budget, a last-minute casualty of the legislative battle over Medicaid expansion. If approved, the panel could have summoned officials to explain problems, drafted legislation and provided frustrated parents with a place to vent.

More >> ‘A bitter pill to swallow’: Kansas lawmakers drop child welfare oversight plan

A child reported his dad abusing him. Last year, a toddler girl died in foster care at the same home.

A toddler girl died last year in the same Arizona foster placement where, in April, an older child sent police an email reporting his father had physically abused him for two years, according to several people who know the family.

In a chilling email to El Mirage Police Chief Paul Marzocca, the boy said he was “afraid to go home,” according to court records. When police visited the boy at Riverview Elementary School, he told officers that the night before, his father "punched him, choked him, threw him into the cabinet, striking his head on the counter and floor," according to court records. The boy said when he was on the floor, his father, Colin Steffee, 27, kicked him in the ribs.

More >> A child reported his dad abusing him. Last year, a toddler girl died in foster care at the same home.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Gov. Walz signs parental rights law with concerns from child welfare experts

After it passed both the House and Senate unanimously, Governor Tim Walz on Monday signed a bill into law that will give Minnesotans a chance to have their parental rights restored.

While lawmakers aren't split on the new law, child welfare experts are.

More >> Gov. Walz signs parental rights law with concerns from child welfare experts

Man who pleaded guilty in stabbing death of foster mom gets 8 years behind bars

The man who admitted to fatally stabbing his adoptive mother in a fit of rage when he was 16 will be out of prison in three years ― before his 25th birthday.

A judge handed the sentence down Tuesday, giving Kaanoi Kipapa eight years behind bars with credit for three years of time served.

More >> Man who pleaded guilty in stabbing death of foster mom gets 8 years behind bars

First Department Bans Family Court Issuing of Arrest Warrants for Runaway Foster Children

The decision is careful to not criticize the Family Court or ACS, which for years has sought the arrest warrants when children it's responsible for abscond, often serially and at great risk to themselves. Instead, the panel indicates that a legislative solution is needed desperately.

More >> First Department Bans Family Court Issuing of Arrest Warrants for Runaway Foster Children

Families torn apart over pot: As N.Y. moves to legalize marijuana, it must fix agonizing disparities that take children away from black and brown mothers and fathers

I have two folders on my desk. One has articles with titles like “Pot-smoking Mamas” and “Pot for Parents,” espousing the use of marijuana by parents. These commentaries — all by parents from well-heeled backgrounds — share a carefree tone, portraying marijuana use as an upscale diversion that relieves stress, is healthier than drinking, and leads to patience and creative parenting.

The other folder — a thicker one — is full of petitions against parents in the Bronx charging them with child neglect, wholly or in part, for their past and present marijuana use. These petitions are all against black and brown parents who are low-income and who live with the terrifying risk of losing their children — for the same marijuana use that the other more well-to-do parents blithely extol.

More >> Families torn apart over pot: As N.Y. moves to legalize marijuana, it must fix agonizing disparities that take children away from black and brown mothers and fathers

Guns Drawn On Oregon Foster Care Children In Out-Of-State Facility In April

A brawl last month at Red Rock Canyon School in St. George, Utah, which housed 24 Oregon foster care children, started with two young people in the courtyard and broke out across campus, Child Welfare officials told Oregon lawmakers at a hearing Tuesday.

A SWAT team arrived at the facility guns drawn.

More >> Guns Drawn On Oregon Foster Care Children In Out-Of-State Facility In April

As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’

A new report from the Illinois auditor general slammed the state’s troubled child welfare agency for failing to follow its own policies when investigating cases of abuse and neglect, finding a hotline used to report allegations cannot handle the call volume and caseloads for staff are too high.

The long-awaited audit was released Tuesday morning, hours before a group of state lawmakers announced plans to create a new caucus aimed at reforming the state Department of Children and Family Services as it faces intense scrutiny after several young children under its watch have died in recent months.

More >> As new DCFS report highlights failures, Cook County guardian says 'inept' child welfare agency is ‘not doing its job ... at every level’

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

No Washington caseworkers held accountable despite violating multiple policies in horrific child abuse case

In the state of Washington when a foster child is abused to the point of nearly dying, there are steps in place to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

In 2015 Governor Jay Inslee signed “Aiden’s Act” into law. It mandates that after a near-fatality in the foster care system, the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) is to conduct a review of the files of caseworkers assigned to the child. If it’s found that the caseworkers violated a policy, rules, or state statute, “the department is to conduct a formal employee investigation.”

More >> No Washington caseworkers held accountable despite violating multiple policies in horrific child abuse case

Exclusive: DCFS investigators reveal missteps of agency



The death of a McHenry County 5-year-old last month, whose parents are charged with his murder, has many pointing the finger at the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.

AJ Freund's family had contact with DCFS before his murder. Four months before the child was beaten and buried in a shallow grave, according to police, DCFS made a visit to the home. A police officer detailed "dog feces and urine were scattered about the residence,” windows were open or broken [in December], there was a broken heat source and clothes were piled up. A window in AJ and his brother's room was open and “the smell of feces was overwhelming” in their room.

More >> Exclusive: DCFS investigators reveal missteps of agency

Monday, May 06, 2019

ACS is often careless when handing kids to foster parents: probe

The city’s embattled child-welfare agency routinely hands over neglected and abused kids to foster parents without proof that background checks or on-site visits were ever done first, a probe has found.

A city comptroller report released to The Post revealed that the files for 89 of 110 foster homes certified for placement by the Administration for Children’s Services didn’t contain “critical records” showing they met such state regulations.

More >> ACS is often careless when handing kids to foster parents: probe

‘Winnie the Pooh’ Actor Jim Cummings and Ex-Wife Investigated by Child Protective Services



Winnie the Pooh star Jim Cummings and his ex-wife’s legal battle has been so volatile, that law enforcement, including officials with child protective services in three different states, have been investigating the couple for years.

According to court records obtained by The Blast, the Disney voice actor claims there have been “16 reports” related to child protective services getting involved in Utah, Colorado and California, due to Stephanie Cummings living and with the couple’s two children in different states.

More >> ‘Winnie the Pooh’ Actor Jim Cummings and Ex-Wife Investigated by Child Protective Services

Custody Or Care: Parents Surrender Kids To State For Mental Health Treatment

In Ohio, parents of children with severe mental health issues sometimes face an excruciating decision: To get their child costly care, they must sign over custody to the state. Now those parents are fighting for change, and a chunk of Gov. Mike Dewine’s budget.

More >> Custody Or Care: Parents Surrender Kids To State For Mental Health Treatment

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Proclamation on National Foster Care Month, 2019

I bring you the Presidential Proclamation of National Foster Parent Glorification Month. 

If this doesn't demonstrate that President Trump has a thing or two to learn, I don't know what does.



Proclamation on National Foster Care Month, 2019

The future of our Nation rests with our children.  We must invest in their futures, instill in them the values of family, faith, and country, and ensure they have every opportunity to realize their full potential.  The development of our children begins at home, and my Administration is fully committed to strengthening American families.

This month, we recognize that there are children in our towns and communities who may not have a family, or whose families may be experiencing great difficulty and hardship.  In America, we believe in standing beside these children, walking with them through their trials, and finding permanent and safe families for each of them.  Kindhearted citizens across our land embody this belief, dedicating their time and efforts in doing so.  In fiscal year 2017 alone, American families opened their doors to 443,000 young people in foster care ‑‑ a number that has increased each of the last 5 years.  During National Foster Care Month, we honor these patriots, who open their hearts to children who need a home, and who care for the most vulnerable among us.  We also acknowledge the profound contributions of the individuals and organizations supporting foster and kinship caregivers, and those of the community providers and professionals who are helping children in foster care find safe and stable families.

We must strive to keep families united, wherever possible, and my Administration is working to reduce the removal of at‑risk children from their homes and familiar surroundings.  Last year, I signed into law the Family First Prevention Services Act, which is working to bolster families and keep children safely in their homes, when possible.  This legislation gives States access to funding for evidence‑based prevention and early intervention services such as mental health therapy, family counseling, substance use and addiction treatment, and parenting classes.  By allowing States to address factors, such as the opioid crisis, America’s sons and daughters are more likely to experience improved outcomes and hope for a brighter future.

When it becomes necessary to move children out of their homes in order to provide more safety, stability, and opportunity, placement with relatives who can provide that environment is the first option.  Children often experience less trauma when in kinship care, which is why the Federal Government is funding programs that provide family caregivers the services and support they need and requiring States to demonstrate how their foster care licensing standards promote family-friendly options.

Children deserve stable family environments, and foster care provides a wonderful opportunity for selfless and compassionate men and women to nurture children while we work to ensure that they have a forever family.  This month, and always, we express our gratitude to all of the families who generously open their doors to children in need and provide them with love and support.  We recommit to looking for opportunities to invest in the lives of our vulnerable young people, and we celebrate those who tirelessly serve our Nation’s children in foster care.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2019 as National Foster Care Month.  I call upon all Americans to observe this month by taking time to help children and youth in foster care, and to recognize the commitment of those who touch their lives, particularly celebrating their foster parents and other caregivers.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
thirtieth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand nineteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-third.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Shocking conditions at now shuttered Thunder Bay foster homes detailed in child advocate’s final report

Three Thunder Bay foster homes — closed by the province in 2017 after the death of a First Nations youth — had feces- and blood-stained floors, no working stove or food in the fridge, and were staffed by workers ill-equipped to handle the complex needs of youth in their care.

The shocking conditions are included in an investigative report by the office of Ontario’s Advocate for Children and Youth, which closed Tuesday as part of the Ford government’s “restoring trust, transparency and accountability” law. The office’s investigative role moves to the provincial ombudsman’s office May 1.

More >> Shocking conditions at now shuttered Thunder Bay foster homes detailed in child advocate’s final report

I swiped spider off my daughter's chest - now I've been reported for child abuse



A mum has hit back at critics who reported her to child protection services after she "punched" a spider crawling on her toddler daughter.

In a viral Facebook post, Megan Garcia described the horrifying moment a "massive wolf spider" appeared on her 18-month-old child's summer dress during a photoshoot.

More >> I swiped spider off my daughter's chest - now I've been reported for child abuse

Child Protection in Alaska struggles to maintain staff, manage case loads

As many as 3,000 children are in foster care in Alaska on any given day, spread across some 1,300 licensed foster homes, according to Alaska's Office of Children's Services.

The workload for front line workers can be overwhelming.

Understaffing and high case loads put strain on a job that's already emotionally difficult. While no one wants kids to fall through the cracks, it does happen.

Lisa Reasner, a 30-year-old mother of two, is so terrified her kids will land in protective custody, she's meticulous about making sure no one can say they're in harms way.


More >> Child Protection in Alaska struggles to maintain staff, manage case loads

Charges dropped against fired Tacoma cops who told grandmother to beat boy with belt

Charges against two fired Tacoma police officers who told a woman to beat her 9-year-old grandson with a belt were dismissed Thursday.

Jesse Jahner and Damion Birge had been charged with a felony of third-degree child assault as well as gross misdemeanors of coercion and official misconduct in Pierce County Superior Court.

Judge Jerry Costello dismissed the charges without prejudice.

More >> Charges dropped against fired Tacoma cops who told grandmother to beat boy with belt

'No excuse for this': Family whose child was in home of foster dad who abused his son questions vetting process

The family of a toddler living in an El Mirage foster home, where an older child reported being abused by his father for two years, is questioning whether the state Department of Child Safety is adequately investigating foster parents.

The toddler was in a temporary foster placement at the home of Colin Steffee, 27, when he arrived for a family visit last month with cuts under his eyes and scratches on his cheek.

More >> 'No excuse for this': Family whose child was in home of foster dad who abused his son questions vetting process

Friday, May 03, 2019

Child-welfare cases are private. Does that protect the kids, or the state officials?

The Department of Child Safety's enforcement of confidentiality is peppered with exceptions — particularly when the public is paying attention.


More >> Child-welfare cases are private. Does that protect the kids, or the state officials?

Sociologist: Evidence shows homosexual parenting harms children

A sociologist said that when it comes to children’s welfare, homosexual “marriage” accomplishes the exact opposite of conjugal marriage, placing children at four times the risk of emotional distress.

Fr. Paul Sullins, a Catholic priest and former sociology professor at the Catholic University of America, made his comments in a presentation on “the impact of same-sex parenting on children” at a “Survivors Summit,” hosted by the Ruth Institute, where Sullins now serves as senior researcher.

More >> Sociologist: Evidence shows homosexual parenting harms children

Unaccompanied 16-year-old migrant boy dies in U.S. custody

A 16-year-old boy from Guatemala died days after being apprehended in the U.S., officials confirmed Wednesday. They said he developed symptoms of an illness the day after he arrived at a shelter in Texas.

According to the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, the boy died Tuesday of a "severe infection in the frontal lobe" of the brain.

More >> Unaccompanied 16-year-old migrant boy dies in U.S. custody

Governor already named one foster child commission, but now pushes another as Oregon crisis mounts

The 80-year-old state library is a hulking, marble box of a building whose tall, narrow windows resemble the slots in an electrical outlet.

One day last summer, it was the unlikely setting for a reckoning over efforts to reform the state’s foster care system.

More >> Governor already named one foster child commission, but now pushes another as Oregon crisis mounts

Ethan Okula’s foster mother was sentenced in his tragic death. So many more are to blame



The agencies contracting with DHS falsified a record and mishandled his medical care.

More >> Ethan Okula’s foster mother was sentenced in his tragic death. So many more are to blame

One child, 13 schools: how the foster system disrupts schooling

Growing up, Dylan Puckett estimates he went to more than 13 different schools. As a foster child, he regularly moved to new placements, and with new homes came new schools.

The upheaval made it hard for Puckett to adjust, he recalled at a panel on foster care and education hosted Wednesday by UNCF and the Mind Trust, a nonprofit education group, to raise awareness of the educational challenges facing Indiana foster youth.


More >> One child, 13 schools: how the foster system disrupts schooling

Foster parent seeking change after she says she was poked by a needle found in a diaper bag

A Brown County foster mom says she was poked by a needle in a diaper bag. She not only wants the county to pay her out-of-pocket health costs, but she also wants a policy change.

The Szerkins Family says the county can drop off a child at their house at any time in an emergency situation.

More >> Foster parent seeking change after she says she was poked by a needle found in a diaper bag

Shocking conditions at now shuttered Thunder Bay foster homes detailed in child advocate’s final report

Three Thunder Bay foster homes — closed by the province in 2017 after the death of a First Nations youth — had feces- and blood-stained floors, no working stove or food in the fridge, and were staffed by workers ill-equipped to handle the complex needs of youth in their care.

The shocking conditions are included in an investigative report by the office of Ontario’s Advocate for Children and Youth, which closed Tuesday as part of the Ford government’s “restoring trust, transparency and accountability” law. The office’s investigative role moves to the provincial ombudsman’s office May 1.

More >> Shocking conditions at now shuttered Thunder Bay foster homes detailed in child advocate’s final report

Judge tells former foster child he'd see her in handcuffs. She's about to get a master's degree.

What a judge told Lisa Koykar almost two decades ago became a sort of catalyst for the rest of her life.

It wasn't anything particularly kind, more like "a kick in the gut," she said. Koykar was 18 years old and was being emancipated from the foster care system.

More >> Judge tells former foster child he'd see her in handcuffs. She's about to get a master's degree.

Too Many Kids, Too Few Judges Mean Delays In Child Welfare Cases In Worcester County

Guy O'Donnell is sitting in the Worcester courthouse, waiting for a decision that's been put off several times before.

O'Donnell is waiting to learn if the court will set a hearing date for him and his spouse to begin formal adoption proceedings for the two children who've been living with them for the past two years.

More >> Too Many Kids, Too Few Judges Mean Delays In Child Welfare Cases In Worcester County

What Happens When Educators Fail to Report Child Abuse (Hint: Not Much)

Sweetwater Union High School District officials received an email with detailed information about ongoing sexual abuse of a student by a teacher, but did nothing. La Jolla High School officials believed a teacher’s touching of a student rose to the level of criminal behavior, but don’t appear to have called in Child Protective Services or San Diego police.

More >> What Happens When Educators Fail to Report Child Abuse (Hint: Not Much)

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Girl's aunt loses custody request to foster parents in Family Court case

An Erie County judge allowed two foster parents to retain custody of a 4-year-old girl they've raised since birth, despite the wishes of an aunt who has never met the girl but wants to adopt her.

Family Court Judge Margaret O. Szczur on Tuesday dismissed the aunt's petition for custody, saying she didn't act soon enough.

More >> Girl's aunt loses custody request to foster parents in Family Court case

Mom says she was threatened by judge for breastfeeding: 'I felt discriminated against'

A North Carolina mom says a judge threatened to put her baby in the custody of Child Protective Services (CPS) because she was breastfeeding in his courtroom.

Local news affiliate WRAL reports that new mom Danielle Bell of Clayton, N.C., appeared in a Johnston County courtroom last week for a case involving her traffic tickets. While she waited to be called, she sat in the back of the courtroom and nursed her 3-month-old daughter, Penelope, who was resting in a sling.

More >> Mom says she was threatened by judge for breastfeeding: 'I felt discriminated against'


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