Legally Kidnapped

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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

Can Predictive Analytics Root Out the Social Workers Most Likely to Break up Black Families?

The idea of using predictive analytics in child welfare easily conjures images of child abuse investigators targeting parents a machine deems most likely to harm their children.

Because black families are so disproportionately likely to be involved with the child protection system, critics credibly argue that predictive risk modeling will only exacerbate existing racial bias. But what if the tool was used in the other direction: to identify child abuse investigators who disproportionately target black children for removals?

More >> Can Predictive Analytics Root Out the Social Workers Most Likely to Break up Black Families?

Members of the "Silent No More Against Maine DHHS" Facebook group protest in Augusta



Members of a newly-formed Facebook group were at the State House Wednesday protesting the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

More >> Members of the "Silent No More Against Maine DHHS" Facebook group protest in Augusta

State investigation underway in foster teen case



A Thomas County man — a foster parent — is charged with electronically furnishing obscene material to minors in a case involving a foster child in his care.

The Thomas County Sheriff's Office received a complaint about foster parent Jamie Taylor in March, said Lt. Tim Watkins, sheriff's office chief investigator.

More >> State investigation underway in foster teen case

Can a sperm donor be a legal parent? In landmark decision, the High Court says yes

On Wednesday, the High Court handed down a landmark decision that confirmed parentage rights to a man who donated his sperm to a woman who wanted to have a child.

The ruling could impact thousands of couples and single women whose children were conceived with known sperm donors.

More >> Can a sperm donor be a legal parent? In landmark decision, the High Court says yes




Eagan woman pleads guilty to 2017 death of foster child in her care



An Eagan woman pleaded guilty Thursday in the death of a foster child in her care in 2017.

Zeporia Fortenberry, age 32, admitted to a charge of second-degree manslaughter for child neglect and knowingly permitting the abuse of 3-year-old Zayden Lawson.

More >> Eagan woman pleads guilty to 2017 death of foster child in her care

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Social worker who lied about visits to baby she'd not seen for two and a half years struck off

A social worker who lied that she had paid regular visits to a baby when she hadn’t seen him for 30 months has been struck off.

After a three-day hearing in New Brighton, Mold, the fitness to practise committee of Social Care Wales found that Debbie Hobson’s misconduct was aggravated by the fact that she had falsified electronic records.

More >> Social worker who lied about visits to baby she'd not seen for two and a half years struck off

Montana facility that drugged Oregon foster child to control her behavior will close

A Montana children’s psychiatric treatment center will close in the aftermath of reports that it used drugs to control the behavior of a 9-year-old Oregon girl in foster care.

Butte-Silver Bow County Chief Executive Dave Palmer told The Montana Standard that Acadia Montana informed county officials Monday that it will close in a month or so.

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

Adoption not always a fairy tale

This is the first of a two-part series on adoption.

Exclusive: Overruling his experts, Pompeo keeps Saudis off U.S. child soldiers list

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has blocked the inclusion of Saudi Arabia on a U.S. list of countries that recruit child soldiers, dismissing his experts’ findings that a Saudi-led coalition has been using under-age fighters in Yemen’s civil war, according to four people familiar with the matter.

More >> Exclusive: Overruling his experts, Pompeo keeps Saudis off U.S. child soldiers list

Court refuses to dismiss lesbian couple's lawsuit alleging foster care discrimination

A lesbian couple will have their day in court after the Trump administration denied them the chance to serve as foster parents to refugee children.

A federal judge has refused to dismiss the couple’s lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services alleging that they were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation.

More >> Court refuses to dismiss lesbian couple's lawsuit alleging foster care discrimination

Half of kids languishing in foster care were under age 7 when they were removed from homes

Ninety-three Nebraska children have been out of their homes, in foster care, for five years or more.

That is a great concern to Kim Hawekotte, executive director of the Nebraska Foster Care Review Office, and it disturbs her even more when she considers that nearly 20% of them were under 4 years old when they were removed from their homes.

More >> Half of kids languishing in foster care were under age 7 when they were removed from homes

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

DNA test helps mom reunite with daughter she gave up for adoption 67 years ago

A 67-year-old family mystery has been solved thanks to science.

Nancy Harlow and Susan Collins Adams reunited after a DNA test discovered Collins Adams was Harlow's long-lost daughter.

More >> DNA test helps mom reunite with daughter she gave up for adoption 67 years ago

HOW A RIGHT-WING ATTACK ON PROTECTIONS FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN COULD UPEND INDIAN LAW

A LAW KEY to preventing state welfare agencies from separating Indigenous children from their families is at risk of being overturned thanks to the yearslong effort of a network of libertarian and right-wing organizations.

In the 1970s, between a quarter and a third of Indigenous children across the United States had been removed from their homes. Social services often cited neglect or deprivation — euphemisms for poverty — as grounds for placing children in the custody of non-Native families and institutions, offering birth parents little opportunity for redress. Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 in order to reform a system designed to destroy Indigenous people.

More >> HOW A RIGHT-WING ATTACK ON PROTECTIONS FOR NATIVE AMERICAN CHILDREN COULD UPEND INDIAN LAW

Kids Count Databook

Here is the link to the Kids Count Report for this year.

https://www.aecf.org/m/resourcedoc/aecf-2019kidscountdatabook-2019.pdf


Adoption scandal: Line of Duty actor says he was denied chance to meet birth mother after nuns ‘falsified records’

When Patrick FitzSymons was in his thirties, his mother Patricia dropped a bombshell.

One evening, he explains, he was visiting her when out of the blue she asked him if he’d ever had the intuition that he was adopted. “There’s something I need to tell you,” she said.

More >> Adoption scandal: Line of Duty actor says he was denied chance to meet birth mother after nuns ‘falsified records’

Turning local libraries, pools and playgroups into sites of surveillance – ParentsNext goes too far

Sydney Morning Herald reporter Jacqueline Maley evoked the spectre of the Orwellian surveillance state recently when discussing how library staff had been implicated in the ParentsNext program. Maley reported that private providers contracted to run the program phoned libraries or local pools to check on parents’ attendance.

The program aims to get parents “work-ready” after child-rearing. Single parents receiving the ParentsNext benefit are required to report their attendance at particular activities with their children to providers. Activities are based on an approved list, which includes storytime at a local library, swimming lessons, or a playgroup. Payments can be stopped for “not taking part in set activities”.

More >> Turning local libraries, pools and playgroups into sites of surveillance – ParentsNext goes too far

Jailed mothers: The 'terrible damage' to children

About 17,000 children are separated from their mothers every year by the prison system in England and Wales, which has one of the highest rates of female incarceration in western Europe. Now some MPs say the courts may be denying the human rights of these children.

Katie was 11 when her mother was sent to prison, and she never even got the chance to say goodbye.

More >> Jailed mothers: The 'terrible damage' to children

Monday, June 17, 2019

PROTESTERS OUTSIDE SOUTH FLORIDA DETENTION CENTER FOR KIDS WANT IT CLOSED

Clutching signs and umbrellas against a drenching downpour, scores of people protested Sunday outside a South Florida facility that has become the nation’s biggest location for detaining immigrant children. A coalition of religious groups and immigrant advocates said they want the Homestead detention center closed.

Protesters held signs that read “Homes Instead!” and “Stop Separating Families” as they beat drums and sang civil rights-era protest songs.

More >> PROTESTERS OUTSIDE SOUTH FLORIDA DETENTION CENTER FOR KIDS WANT IT CLOSED

Family says DHS 'stripped' mom, daughter of rights in battle against cancer

A group of family members and supporters gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square Saturday calling for a Wilsonville girl and her mother to be reunited after the Department of Human Services (DHS) recently took the girl into protective custody.

Kylee Dixon and her mother, Christine, were reported missing earlier this week. Clackamas County Deputies say Christine ignored a court order to bring Kylee to DHS. Deputies told KATU News Kylee missed a surgery scheduled for June 6th.

More >> Family says DHS 'stripped' mom, daughter of rights in battle against cancer

DNA testing means forced fatherhood as states limit abortion

Several US states have recently passed bills to restrict abortion rights that essentially turn the clock back to the era before the landmark Supreme Court decision, making abortion illegal in nearly every circumstance. Ultimately, women may find themselves in a pre-Roe v. Wade America, where they must risk their life with an illegal abortion, or have a baby they don’t want and face a lifetime of poverty as a result.


More >> DNA testing means forced fatherhood as states limit abortion

Lawmaker seeks AG probe of foster child’s death

A lawmaker is asking Rhode Island’s attorney general to investigate the state’s child welfare agency following the death of a 9-year-old girl in foster care.

Democratic Rep. Joseph Solomon, of Warwick, said Friday the attorney general should determine whether there is any criminal liability in the case of Zha Nae Rothgeb, who was found dead in a bathtub at a Warwick home in January.

More >> Lawmaker seeks AG probe of foster child’s death

Yes, we are the Stolen Generations

Aaron Smale gives his personal account of being removed from his mother, and the legacy of loss and harm that reverberates through the generations

More >> Yes, we are the Stolen Generations

The Youngest Child Separated From His Family at the Border Was 4 Months Old

The text messages were coming in all day and night with only two data points: Gender and age. With each one that arrived, the on-call caseworker at Bethany Christian Services in Michigan had 15 minutes to find a foster home for another child who was en route from the border. On a brisk winter day in February 2018, Alma Acevedo got a message that caught her breath: “4 months. Boy.”

More >> The Youngest Child Separated From His Family at the Border Was 4 Months Old

When children die on Oregon’s watch, state officials may soon have to say more about what went wrong

Oregon lawmakers are on the verge of requiring officials at the state’s embattled child welfare agency to inform the public more quickly and thoroughly when children die by abuse after recent intervention -- or inaction -- by their department.

Under the new mandate, the Department of Human Services would have to notify the public about a child’s abuse or neglect death soon after case workers learn how the child died. It also would impose stricter standards for the details the agency must disclose about the child’s death.

More >> When children die on Oregon’s watch, state officials may soon have to say more about what went wrong

Four dead babies in care with one common theme: Dilico Anishinabek Family Care

Breanne LeClair will never forget the day she got a call saying her son had turned blue and was not breathing.

As she rushed to a Thunder Bay hospital LeClair called her case worker at Dilico Anishinabek Family Care.

More >> Four dead babies in care with one common theme: Dilico Anishinabek Family Care

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Flint Charges Dropped: Michigan Dismisses Criminal Cases But Will Continue Probe

Eight remaining Flint water prosecutions have been dismissed by the Department of Attorney General, officials said Thursday, June 13.

Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy issued a statement saying the cases are being dismissed without prejudice -- meaning they could be refiled -- in order to conduct a full and complete investigation, a shocking conclusion to the high-profile criminal prosecutions.

More >> Flint Charges Dropped: Michigan Dismisses Criminal Cases But Will Continue Probe

Former foster parent gets 8 years for rape of 15-year-old boy in her care



A former foster care mother was sentenced to eight years in prison for raping a 15-year-old boy.

Stephanie Cowan, 34, of Salina pleaded guilty on May 22 in Mayes County District Court to two counts of second-degree rape. One count of second-degree rape was dropped, online records show.

More >> Former foster parent gets 8 years for rape of 15-year-old boy in her care

TAKING THE P Baby P’s mum Tracey Connelly offers to take lie detector test in bid to be freed from jail



THE evil mum of tortured Baby P has offered to take a lie detector test in a desperate bid to be freed from jail.

Tracey Connelly, who was jailed over the death of little Peter Connelly, made the offer as she again prepares a fresh parole bid.

More >> TAKING THE P Baby P’s mum Tracey Connelly offers to take lie detector test in bid to be freed from jail

‘You’re constantly drowning’ in cases and paperwork, says B.C. social worker

Social workers entrusted with protecting kids in B.C. are often on the front lines of some of society’s stickiest, most deeply entrenched problems: poverty, addiction and, for many Indigenous families whose children remain grossly overrepresented in the child-welfare system, intergenerational trauma wrought by decades of racist, colonial policies.

But a recent investigation by the collaborative journalism project Spotlight: Child Welfare found that many of these social workers are failing to meet basic requirements for kids' care in B.C.

More >> ‘You’re constantly drowning’ in cases and paperwork, says B.C. social worker

Mississippi foster care system fails many measures

The stage is set for a long-delayed showdown over whether a federal judge should appoint an outsider to run Mississippi's Department of Child Protective Services, after a report Tuesday showed the state's foster care system still isn't meeting standards outlined in a court decree.

At stake is the welfare of nearly 5,000 children who have been taken into state custody because they're believed to be in danger at home.

Marcia Lowry, the lawyer who has been suing the state for 15 years on behalf of a girl known only as Olivia Y, said she intends to ask Senior U.S. District Judge Tom Lee to find the state in contempt of a previous settlement order.

More >> Mississippi foster care system fails many measures

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Pro-CPS Propaganda: CPS caseworker in Outagamie County calls profession 'heartbreaking'

Because you need to understand what the other side is up to.

One of the mothers Brittany Plamann works with is pregnant with her fifth child -- and admits to using methamphetamines as recently as two weeks ago. It's Plamann's job to determine whether the kids living here are in danger.

As a caseworker for the Children, Youth & Families Division in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, Plamann has already helped by putting two of the kids in daycare, where one just took her first steps.

More >> CPS caseworker in Outagamie County calls profession 'heartbreaking'

Cops force girl, 5, to undergo sex exam against her will, parents say

A Mountain View family has filed a $1 million claim against the city after a paramedic forcibly undressed their 5-year-old daughter while three police officers and a Santa Clara County social worker were at their house for what they say was a sexual abuse investigation, which turned out to be unfounded.

Channel 7 reported Thursday (June 6) that Madeleine Lother had been injured in January after sliding down a rope at the indoor trampoline park Sky High Sports and suffered a small amount of vaginal bleeding.

More >> Cops force girl, 5, to undergo sex exam against her will, parents say

Premature Migrant Baby Found in Border Patrol Facility in Texas

The teenage girl with pigtail braids was hunched over in a wheelchair and holding a bunched sweatshirt when an immigrant advocate met her at a crowded Border Patrol facility in Texas.

She opened the sweatshirt and the advocate gasped. It was a tiny baby, born premature and held in detention instead of where the advocate believes the baby should have been — at a hospital neonatal unit.

More >> Premature Migrant Baby Found in Border Patrol Facility in Texas

Enid foster mother arrested on child abuse complaint



An Enid woman was arrested Wednesday on a complaint of child abuse after her foster child claimed she hit him.

Shannon Carter, 32, was arrested by Enid Police Department officers after the child told officers that when he was in the bath “mommy hit me,” according to the incident report.

More >> Enid foster mother arrested on child abuse complaint

3 CPS employees on leave pending conclusions of deadly Natchez child abuse investigation

New developments in a deadly child abuse case in Natchez, where three employees with the Adams County office of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services have been placed on administrative leave.

Four-year-old Armani Hill died from severe abuse and her younger sister, Lailah Hill, who was also severely beaten, is out of the intensive care unit and is responding to treatment. Armani will be laid to rest Sunday, June 16.

More >> 3 CPS employees on leave pending conclusions of deadly Natchez child abuse investigation

CPS worker alleges racial discrimination in boy’s removal

A special investigator for Child Protective Services in Central Texas says his superiors threatened retaliation after he accused officials of using the race of a black woman to influence their decision to remove her son from her custody.

Chris McMahan filed complaints with the Department of Family and Protective Services and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the latter an employment discrimination claim, the Houston Chronicle reported.

More >> CPS worker alleges racial discrimination in boy’s removal

Friday, June 14, 2019

Mississippi's foster care system could face a Federal takeover

The organization that makes sure Mississippi’s children are properly taken care of could soon be taken over

A report finds the Department of Child Protective Services is failing to meet standards in a court order.

More >> Mississippi's foster care system could face a Federal takeover

Children’s Aid reacts after former executive director charged with negligence

Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society, which absorbed Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society, reacts to charges of negligence against former executive director Bill Sweet.

More >> Children’s Aid reacts after former executive director charged with negligence

Anti-Religious Hostility Takes Aim At Foster Care And Adoption Agencies – OpEd

To most people, helping orphans and children in the foster system find stable homes seems like a top priority — the kind of priority that transcends politics and ideology. Unfortunately, however, those vulnerable children are quickly losing their advocates — and their hope for a stable, loving family — because of rampant anti-religious bias in American society today.

In the United States, more than 400,000 children in the foster system are waiting for homes. Around 4% of children are adopted within a year of entering foster care, and 85% of children in foster care have at least two placements in their first 12 months. Eighty percent of prospective foster parents who work with the state drop out within two years. All this adds up to the terrible reality that a massive number of children are spending crucial years of their lives without a stable home environment. The foster crisis is so extreme that some states are hosting foster children in hotels and office buildings because there is nowhere else to place them.

More >> Anti-Religious Hostility Takes Aim At Foster Care And Adoption Agencies – OpEd

Teen accused of falsely reporting incident to CPS, authorities say

A Utica teen was charged with falsely reporting an incident to county Child Protective Services.

During the overnight hours between May 24-25, the 16-year-old, who was not identified due to his young age, called the CPS hotline “stating severe allegations,” said Chief Deputy Derrick O’Meara, who is also director of the county Child Advocacy Center.

More >> Teen accused of falsely reporting incident to CPS, authorities say

Grand jury report finds foster care staff overworked, allegations of abuse

A grand jury report released Wednesday found multiple gaps in institutional safety and training in the Child Welfare Services division of San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency.

The grand jury reviewed the workloads of social workers in the CWS division, as well as how CWS workers are trained to provide support and care to foster children and parents. The panel also looked into the effects of the state’s Continuum of Care Reform Act, which required regional foster care systems to increase support for foster families and improve outcomes for foster youth.

More >> Grand jury report finds foster care staff overworked, allegations of abuse

Child Advocate report: DCYF partly to blame for Warwick girl’s death



The state’s Office of the Child Advocate has released the findings of its investigation into the death of a 9-year-old Warwick girl, who was found face down in the bathtub of her adopted mother’s home in January.

The 57-page report includes a lengthy timeline of Michele Rothgeb’s dealings with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) leading up to the discovery of Zhanae Rothgeb’s body.

More >> Child Advocate report: DCYF partly to blame for Warwick girl’s death

Experts: Spies use fake profiles, AI-generated photos on Linkedin

Imagine what your CPS worker is doing on Facebook.

Katie Jones sure seemed plugged into Washington’s political scene. The 30-something redhead boasted a job at a top think tank and a who’s-who network of pundits and experts, from the centrist Brookings Institution to the right-wing Heritage Foundation. She was connected to a deputy assistant secretary of state, a senior aide to a senator and the economist Paul Winfree, who is being considered for a seat on the Federal Reserve.

More >> Experts: Spies use fake profiles, AI-generated photos on Linkedin

Unrealistic Expectations Push Child Welfare to Break Up Families, Expert Says

More than 1,500 children die in the United States every year because of abuse or neglect. In many of those cases, the government knew or at least suspected something was wrong.

More >> Unrealistic Expectations Push Child Welfare to Break Up Families, Expert Says

Grace Packer’s killer says jury’s hesitation should get him off death row



Jurors deciding Jacob Sullivan’s fate for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Grace Packer appeared to struggle with their decision, telling Bucks County Judge Diane Gibbons that they were unable to agree before eventually making the unanimous decision to send Sullivan to death row in March.

Sullivan, 45, is now using the panel’s hesitation to challenge his death sentence, claiming in post-trial motions that Gibbons “forced” jurors to keep deliberating, sending the message “that a verdict of life was unacceptable.”

More >> Grace Packer’s killer says jury’s hesitation should get him off death row

Teen ‘sexual cult’ in Ontario foster home known to Children’s Aid Society, victim says

The 15-year-old girl was seeking refuge when she came to Janet and Joe Holm’s house in the mid-2000s. The couple lived in a big white farmhouse on a sprawling property just minutes outside Bloomfield, Ont., a village in Prince Edward County dotted with well-manicured homes from the 1800s.

More >> Teen ‘sexual cult’ in Ontario foster home known to Children’s Aid Society, victim says




A worker for a DCFS contractor was killed on the job in Chicago. A former foster child is charged with his murder.

Richard Jones crouched in the snow outside a Chicago apartment building, blood smeared across his face.

He was yelling and crying as police officers arrived at the scene in West Rogers Park. They asked if he needed help, but all Jones said was, “Give me your gun. I’m going to kill him,” according to police reports.


More >> A worker for a DCFS contractor was killed on the job in Chicago. A former foster child is charged with his murder.

The Trump administration will detain hundreds of migrant children at a military base that was once used as a Japanese internment camp

The Trump administration will soon detain migrant children at a military base once used as a Japanese internment camp.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to INSIDER in a statement that the Fort Sill military base has been "activated" as a "temporary emergency influx shelter" for the children.

More >> The Trump administration will detain hundreds of migrant children at a military base that was once used as a Japanese internment camp

Editorial: Oregon foster care still isn’t where it needs to be

In January 2018 the Oregon secretary of state released a scathing audit of the state Department of Human Services’ child foster care program. Now, 18 months later, a follow-up report says things are better but still not good enough.

More >> Editorial: Oregon foster care still isn’t where it needs to be

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

'The system failed him.' Dad did everything right to get custody, but he didn't and she was murdered

In an apartment on Second St. on Monday, June 3, Brighton Police found a horrific scene. A mom strangled her little girl, and then shot and killed herself. Now, many are looking back and seeing red flags. Could Bella have been saved?

Brighton Police say an autopsy found 38-year-old Melissa Freiberger-Partee took a revolver and shot herself in the head after drugging Bella and strangling her to death.

More >> 'The system failed him.' Dad did everything right to get custody, but he didn't and she was murdered

'Action taken' against Mississippi social workers in fatal child abuse case

A caseworker and a supervisor who failed to twice meet the state's 24-hour mandate investigating abuse claims involving two children — one of whom died last week following a severe beating — were placed on administrative leave Tuesday.

"We have taken personnel action against the frontline worker and the supervisor," Lea Anne Brandon, Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services director of communication, said Tuesday afternoon.

More >> 'Action taken' against Mississippi social workers in fatal child abuse case

Changes Proposed for a System that Stigmatizes Parents Accused of Child Neglect

When parents are accused of child neglect or abuse in New York, they face an investigation by child protective workers, a potential case in family court and even the possibility of having their children removed from their care.

The process can involve many months of home visits and parents may be required, or strongly encouraged, to comply with various social services, all with the aim of ensuring that children are safe at home.

More >> Changes Proposed for a System that Stigmatizes Parents Accused of Child Neglect

Man who crusaded against gay adoption admits to molesting four more children, all but one in foster care

An Indiana man who crusaded against gay adoptions and later was convicted of molesting his adoptive daughter told state parole officials on Tuesday that he molested four other children.

Earl "Butch" Kimmerling, 71, made the admission during a hearing before the Indiana Parole Board, which later revoked his parole and sent him back to prison Tuesday. He appeared before the board in Indianapolis via video uplink from the Pendleton Correctional Facility.

More >> Man who crusaded against gay adoption admits to molesting four more children, all but one in foster care

Greenville foster parent molested another child in his care, deputies say

A former Greenville foster parent charged earlier this year with criminal sexual conduct with a minor is now accused of molesting a young boy, according to Lt. Ryan Flood with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office.

In March, Darrell Girardeau, 66, was arrested on two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, warrants said.

More >> Greenville foster parent molested another child in his care, deputies say

'Forced to sleep in shipping container': Perth girl claims adoptive parents abused her

A young girl claims she was beaten, abused and made to sleep in a shipping container for at least four months by her adoptive parents, a court has heard.

The Perth couple at the centre of the claims appeared in the WA District Court on Thursday, pleading not guilty to charges including deprivation of liberty and having control and care of a child and engaging in conduct that could result in the child’s suffering.

More >> 'Forced to sleep in shipping container': Perth girl claims adoptive parents abused her

Child Advocate report: DCYF partly to blame for Warwick girl’s death

The state’s Office of the Child Advocate has released the findings of its investigation into the death of a 9-year-old Warwick girl, who was found face down in the bathtub of her adopted mother’s home in January.

The 57-page report includes a lengthy timeline of Michele Rothgeb’s dealings with the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) leading up to the discovery of Zhanae Rothgeb’s body.

More >> Child Advocate report: DCYF partly to blame for Warwick girl’s death

Effort to track foster family complaints moves forward

Work is underway to give foster families and relatives taking care of the about 7,000 kids in state custody a way to file complaints about those children’s ability to receive health care and other concerns about their well-being.

Within the next month or so, the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) aims to begin soliciting applications for the state foster care ombudsman position.

More >> Effort to track foster family complaints moves forward

The Trump Administration is Converting a Former “Man Camp” in Texas into a Shelter for Migrant Kids

The Trump administration is planning to open yet another temporary shelter for migrant kids in a former “man camp” in Carrizo Springs, Texas, about 30 miles from the Mexico border.

The facility, once used to house workers in the Eagle Ford Shale oil fields nearby, will be converted to house up to 1,600 migrant children.

More >> The Trump Administration is Converting a Former “Man Camp” in Texas into a Shelter for Migrant Kids

‘Unwanted’ foster children being held in juvenile jail

The crisis surrounding the treatment of WA’s unwanted children has deepened with revelations authorities are using the State’s only juvenile jail to hold them because they cannot find a place for them to stay.

The West Australian has learnt two wards of the State remain locked up at Banksia Hill Detention Centre because there are no vacancies at any residential or community care homes in WA.

More >> ‘Unwanted’ foster children being held in juvenile jail

Report: Mississippi foster care children still abused, neglected. Feds may take over

The court monitor in the long-running federal lawsuit against Mississippi over its foster care system released a report Tuesday saying children in state custody are still abused and neglected.

According to the report, 95 children in the custody of Child Protection Services were victims of abuse or neglect by their caregivers last year, which is more than the three times the agreed-upon standard.

More >> Report: Mississippi foster care children still abused, neglected. Feds may take over

MUM'S WORST NIGHTMARE New mum’s horror as woman posing as a social worker tries to abduct her one-week-old baby after knocking on her door

A NEW mum was left horrified after a woman posing as a social worker knocked on her door and tried to abduct her one-week-old baby.

The woman came to the mother's California home claiming she was from social services and had come to take custody of the baby, the Orange County Register reported.

More >> MUM'S WORST NIGHTMARE New mum’s horror as woman posing as a social worker tries to abduct her one-week-old baby after knocking on her door

B.C. paying foster parents instead of supporting struggling families, experts say

When it comes to child welfare, social work experts and parents in B.C. say we’re investing in the wrong end of the system — pouring money into foster care instead of offering adequate support to vulnerable families, many of whom are Indigenous.

“We’re willing to give strangers just about anything to look after kids,” says Jeannine Carriere, a social work professor at the University of Victoria, who is Métis. “But we have this blockage when it comes to supporting families.”

More >> B.C. paying foster parents instead of supporting struggling families, experts say

‘Unwanted’ foster children being held in juvenile jail

The crisis surrounding the treatment of WA’s unwanted children has deepened with revelations authorities are using the State’s only juvenile jail to hold them because they cannot find a place for them to stay.

The West Australian has learnt two wards of the State remain locked up at Banksia Hill Detention Centre because there are no vacancies at any residential or community care homes in WA.

More >> ‘Unwanted’ foster children being held in juvenile jail

The system took these parents' kids away. Now they're helping other parents get theirs back

When Jovani Trevino and his wife walked into the Durango Juvenile Court in January, they had no idea what to expect.

Their kids had been removed by the state Department of Child Safety, they were told they had already missed important court dates, and they didn't know what would happen next.

More >> The system took these parents' kids away. Now they're helping other parents get theirs back

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Adoption scammers: A new breed of wolf

“She is 18 years old and she’s scared. She’s getting on a plane today at 1pm on her way to Washington DC to have an abortion…unless she can find a willing family to adopt her baby. If someone will take it, she will have it.”

This is the scenario that a pregnancy center presented to my wife and me on the phone one Wednesday afternoon while we were sitting in a hospital parking lot, unsure if we were possibly pregnant and experiencing a miscarriage. Our hearts were drawn in the midst of our frustration and uncertainty. Of course we would take the child… we wanted this baby to live.

More >> Adoption scammers: A new breed of wolf

Woman booked for attempted kidnapping after allegedly posing as social worker, trying to take baby from home

A 38-year-old woman has been booked on suspicion of attempted kidnapping after she allegedly posed as a social worker and tried to take a baby from his home in Santa Ana, authorities announced Saturday.

According to police, the incident occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Friday at a house in the 2300 block of South Evergreen Street, where the suspect told the infant's mother that she was there to take the 1-week-old child into protective custody.

More >> Woman booked for attempted kidnapping after allegedly posing as social worker, trying to take baby from home

Reunification Month honors foster care children reuniting with their families

In Kent County, there are about 850 children in foster care at any given time. June is National Reunification Month, and local nonprofit West Michigan Partnership for Children is encouraging the community to remember the youth in foster care.

Reunification Day and the entire month-long celebration honors the reunification of children who have spent time in the foster care system with their families. It also celebrates the accomplishments of families who have overcome an array of challenges to reunify safely and successfully.

More >> Reunification Month honors foster care children reuniting with their families

Highland Council apologises after giving MSP wrong foster care information

A council that sends children to foster care hundreds of miles away has apologised after giving incorrect information to an MSP.

Highland Council initially suggested it relocated foster children up to 484 miles away but has now admitted this figure was incorrect due to “human error”.

More >> Highland Council apologises after giving MSP wrong foster care information

Minier man charged with sexually abusing teen



A Tazewell County grand jury indicted a Minier man last week on charges he sexually preyed upon a family member throughout most of her teenage years.

The alleged victim told police her mother deleted pornographic images and messages that Brillington Ulloa, 53, sent to the then-teenager’s cellphone, stated court records. The alleged victim also said her mother did not act on the then-teenager’s multiple complaints of Ulloa’s actions, according to court records.

More >> Minier man charged with sexually abusing teen

“The tactics of brutal governments:” State lawmaker asking if Trump’s migrant children action is legal

A Miami-Dade County Democratic lawmaker is reacting strongly to the Trump administration’s announcement that its shelters housing migrant youths around the country will begin scaling back or ending education services, legal services and recreational opportunities, saying the policy violates the state constitution.

There are about 2,700 children between the ages of 13 to 17 being housed in a shelter next to Homestead Air Reserve Base, south of Miami, state Sen. Annette Taddeo said in a written statement.

More >> “The tactics of brutal governments:” State lawmaker asking if Trump’s migrant children action is legal

VIRGINIA TEEN WAS DETAINED AND PROSECUTED FOR SAYING ‘OINK OINK’ TO COP

In May 2016, James (not his real name), then 17, was sitting outside a mall in Arlington, Virginia, when police officers approached him. They picked him up, slammed him to the ground, dragged him aggressively to their car, and brought him to the police station. All those details are documented by a bystander’s cellphone.

But what preceded it is a matter of debate. James remembers sitting on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette, and saying “oink oink” to a police officer, but the police had a different version of events. They claimed James provoked violence, refused to give his name, and resisted arrest.

More >> VIRGINIA TEEN WAS DETAINED AND PROSECUTED FOR SAYING ‘OINK OINK’ TO COP

Lawmakers overlook high rates of uninsured, foster care fixes

Occupied with reining in rising property taxes and overhauling the school finance system, state lawmakers left Austin last month without substantively addressing other long-standing issues: the high number of uninsured Texas residents and problems that still plague the child foster care system.

Advocates were encouraged that bills addressing shortcomings in state social services, including those that would have expanded Medicaid, received public committee hearings at the beginning of the legislative session — something previous Legislatures had been loath to do. But dozens of bills — including those that would have extended Medicaid coverage for new mothers, prepared older teenagers to make the transition out of foster care, and instituted trauma-informed care across the child welfare system — died in large part because they carried hefty price tags.

More >> Lawmakers overlook high rates of uninsured, foster care fixes

Civil rights groups sue over Trump foster care policies

Civil rights groups are filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration and the state of South Carolina, alleging the governments are making it easier for taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against same-sex and non-evangelical couples.

Thursday’s lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Lambda Legal was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina on behalf of a married lesbian couple. Eden Rogers and Brandy Welch were turned away by Miracle Hill Ministries, South Carolina’s largest state-contracted, federally-funded foster care agency.

More >> Civil rights groups sue over Trump foster care policies

Saturday, June 08, 2019

What If We Gave Struggling Families as Much Support as Foster Parents?

When it comes to child welfare, social work experts and parents in B.C. say we’re investing in the wrong end of the system — pouring money into foster care instead of offering adequate support to vulnerable families, many of whom are Indigenous.

More >> What If We Gave Struggling Families as Much Support as Foster Parents?

1 In 30 Kids In Foster Care In Texas Were Reported Missing Last Fiscal Year, Report Finds

More than 1,800 children and youth in foster care in Texas were reported missing during fiscal year 2018, according to a new report from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. DFPS was responsible for more than 52,000 kids during that period.

Similar numbers were reported in the previous two years.

More >> 1 In 30 Kids In Foster Care In Texas Were Reported Missing Last Fiscal Year, Report Finds


Unpaid staff desperate as Gauteng Social Development begins forensic investigation of Child Welfare Kagiso

The Department of Social Development in Gauteng (GDSD) has launched a forensic investigation to trace what happened to funds that went missing at Child Welfare Kagiso in the 2017/18 financial year. It is looking at how it will help staff members unpaid for more than a year who have stuck with the centre and performed their duties despite the challenges they’ve faced.

More >> Unpaid staff desperate as Gauteng Social Development begins forensic investigation of Child Welfare Kagiso

Auditor says DCF needs to do more to help kids aging out of system

Abused for much of their young lives, it's not surprising that many former foster children struggle as young adults.

Now the state auditor tells 5 Investigates there are far too many children not getting the support they need.

More >> Auditor says DCF needs to do more to help kids aging out of system

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K

A Chicago nonprofit that provides adoption, foster care and related services for abused and neglected children is fighting allegations it misused taxpayer money after an extensive state audit revealed questionable charges for staff meals, traffic tickets and membership to a private social club, among other issues.

In a 64-page draft report obtained by the Tribune, auditors for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said they had “serious concerns” about spending by vendor Child Link as well as its internal controls. Issues highlighted in the confidential report included a lack of supporting documentation as well as disallowed expenses for food, entertainment and fundraising efforts.

More >> DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K

Shock as Scots children sent hundreds of miles away for foster care

Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes condemned the situation, describing it as “a matter of great sadness”.

A Freedom of Information request by Ms Forbes revealed that one child was sent 484 miles (779km) to a foster home, seven children were placed more than 250 miles (402km) away and 11 were relocated more than 200 miles (322km).

More >> Shock as Scots children sent hundreds of miles away for foster care

HHS cutting activities for unaccompanied children in shelters

The Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is charged with caring for unaccompanied migrant children, is "scaling back" or canceling activities at shelters, citing the need for more resources.

A swell of migrants crossing the southern border has overwhelmed the agency's facilities, which house unaccompanied children until they are placed with a sponsor in the United States. The shelters provide schooling and activities for the children during their stay, but the increase of children arriving to the border has strained the department's resources.

More >> HHS cutting activities for unaccompanied children in shelters

Editorial: A chance for DCFS to better protect children — if taxpayer dollars are spent wisely

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law a $40 billion state budget this week that includes a hefty increase for the Department of Children and Family Services — resources that should be directed toward child welfare protection, not lost in a bureaucratic abyss.

The budget that begins July 1 includes a nearly 11% hike for DCFS, bringing the agency’s total one-year appropriation to more than $1.3 billion. The increase was prompted in part by several heartbreaking child deaths, including that of 5-year-old Andrew “AJ” Freund of Crystal Lake, whose parents are charged in his murder. The courts, DCFS employees and lawmakers consistently have cited too-high caseloads as a chronic problem that puts little lives at risk, including AJ’s.

More >> Editorial: A chance for DCFS to better protect children — if taxpayer dollars are spent wisely

Why Is The U.S. State Department Making It Harder For Orphans To Find Families?

Jacques and Emily Rancourt have the kind of family you don’t see every day. Not only are they raising seven children—five through adoption—but most of their adopted children have life-threatening congenital heart defects. The Rancourts have spent so much time in cardiac care at Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C. that they and another couple started a charity for families of children in cardiac crisis.

“Lily can connect with these children in the hospital like no one else can,” Emily says of her 9-year-old daughter, whose remarkable story includes receiving a heart transplant at age four. “She’s using the gift she was given to the maximum. She blesses people everywhere she goes.”

More >> Why Is The U.S. State Department Making It Harder For Orphans To Find Families?

Oregon's foster care system remains in crisis, $1 million consultants brought in

Workers assigned to manage the state’s treatment of foster kids still have too much on their plates, according to an audit report released by Secretary of State Bev Clarno. To drive reforms more quickly, Gov. Kate Brown is paying an outside consulting firm $1 million to help.

More >> Oregon's foster care system remains in crisis, $1 million consultants brought in

Japan's adoption rules changed to allow older kids' ties to biological parents to be severed

They're beefing up their market.

The Diet on Friday passed a revision to increase the upper age limit at which a child can be adopted under a special system that allows ties to their biological parents to be severed.

Formerly, children’s ties to their biological parents could only be cut before the age of 6, but under the revised law children 14 and younger are now eligible.

More >> Japan's adoption rules changed to allow older kids' ties to biological parents to be severed

Friday, June 07, 2019

8-Year-Old Forced to Put Rag in Her Mouth to Hush Her Screams During Beatings in Foster Home

An 8-year-old was so badly abused by her foster mother that her body was found covered with uncountable scars, scabs, blisters, and bruises from whip marks when police went to her foster home in Florida on May 16.

The child was forced to put a rag in her mouth while her foster family beat her so no one could hear her screams, reported the Sun Sentinel.

More >> 8-Year-Old Forced to Put Rag in Her Mouth to Hush Her Screams During Beatings in Foster Home

DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K

A Chicago nonprofit that provides adoption, foster care and related services for abused and neglected children is fighting allegations it misused taxpayer money after an extensive state audit revealed questionable charges for staff meals, traffic tickets and membership to a private social club, among other issues.

In a 64-page draft report obtained by the Tribune, auditors for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services said they had “serious concerns” about spending by vendor Child Link as well as its internal controls. Issues highlighted in the confidential report included a lack of supporting documentation as well as disallowed expenses for food, entertainment and fundraising efforts.

More >> DCFS says nonprofit misused taxpayer dollars, demands repayment of $100K

Battle Pits Native American Tribes Against White Couple Over Adoption of Native Child in Case With Potential Affirmative Action Implications

In a case that may have implications for race-based affirmative action and other similar remedies offered to address centuries of racial discrimination in this nation, Native American tribes have banded together against a white couple over who should have custody of a Native American child.

Jennifer and Chad Brackeen of Texas are challenging federal law that requires Native American children to be adopted by a Native American family if a suitable one is available, the New York Times reports.

More >> Battle Pits Native American Tribes Against White Couple Over Adoption of Native Child in Case With Potential Affirmative Action Implications

Gauteng’s dysfunctional foster care system places vulnerable children at risk of human trafficking

In February this year, there were at least 727 children still waiting for foster care placement in Gauteng. Some of them have been on the waiting list for more than three years. The stark reality is that this places our already vulnerable children at risk of potentially becoming victims of human trafficking.

More >> Gauteng’s dysfunctional foster care system places vulnerable children at risk of human trafficking

Canada’s indigenous seek to break vicious cycle tearing families apart

The stain represents the violence of forcefully being taken away from his family to a boarding school intended to assimilate indigenous peoples. But it also represents the bonds to his grandfather, who brought him home and taught him the language, customs, and culture of his Halalt First Nation on Vancouver Island.

More >> Canada’s indigenous seek to break vicious cycle tearing families apart

Social worker accused of watching child porn, offering minors cash for naked pictures

A Waukesha County social worker arrested last week offered to pay minors for naked pictures, WAOW affiliate WISN has learned.

Bernie Trokan is charged with possession of child pornography, and is now out of jail.

Trokan worked with children as a social worker with the Department of Health and Human Services for 17 years, but in the criminal complaint, prosecutors said he had disturbing child pornography on his cellphone.

More >> Social worker accused of watching child porn, offering minors cash for naked pictures

State report: Foster care system will take years to fix

A year and a half ago, state watchdogs said the system overseeing care for Oregon's foster kids was in dire need of improvement.

They urged immediate improvements, but a new report released by state auditors Wednesday said the state is still risking children’s safety in a system so dysfunctional it will take years to fix.

More >> State report: Foster care system will take years to fix

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