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A study of 700 children who had been in foster care for 1 year found that more than one-quarter of the children had some kind of recurring physical or mental health problem. (U.S. DHHS 2003)

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Gravelle Family Case: Caged Children

System Failed the Gravelle Family

Gag Orders and Mice

Some very interesting things are going on in Huron County. Eric Dumbeck was removed from his position as HCDJFS Director, David Broehl, Administrator of Children's Services will retire and more changes are on the horizens. Michael and Sharen Gravelle continue their fight for justice and you can help... Posted March 9, 2007

At Home with Mike and Sharon Gravelle

The beginning sound quality isn't great but clears up a few minutes into the video. (Video length 2+ hours)

Memaw Dies

Mildred Timperman passed away at her home on July 12, 2006. Known as Memaw to the Gravelle children, she lived next door to the Gravelles for six years and had an active part in their lives. After the children were taken by Huron County, she had a picture of a big yellow ribbon painted on the side of the shed. Posted August 15, 2006

Why Eleven Children?

Why would anyone intentionally raise 11 special needs children? Who has a heart big enough to love that many children and why would anyone bother to try? The answer just might surprise you. Posted August 14, 2006

Legal Strangers: Gravelle Accused of Visiting Kids

Michael Gravelle has been accused of visiting three of his 11 adopted children Friday, March 24. Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said the Gravelles could face criminal charges if the couple contacts any of the children again. The prosecutor explained that they are "legal strangers" now which means there are no legal rights between the Gravelles and the 11 children. Posted April 14, 2006

Gravelle Timeline
  • Sept. 9: Authorities remove 11 special-needs children, ages 1 to 14, from their home where some slept in what authorities described as cages. The children suffer from various disorders, such as autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, HIV and pica.

  • Sept. 12: Adoptive parents Michael and Sharen Gravelle, deny in a court hearing that they abused or neglected the children, who were placed with four foster families.

  • Sept. 19: The sheriff investigating the case says some of the children kept in cages at night were also confined there during the day as punishment.

  • Nov. 4: The Gravelles ask a court to immediately return the children to their custody. Lawyer Ken Myers argues that an independent social worker who had worked with the Gravelles over the last five years knew about the enclosures and approved of them.

  • Nov. 15: A judge blocks the immediate return of the 11 children to the Gravelles.

  • Dec. 2: Myers asks Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler in a faxed letter to specify whether the Gravelles will be charged criminally.

  • Dec. 6: Judge Timothy Cardwell, of the juvenile division of Huron County Common Pleas Court, holds a hearing to determine whether the children were abused or neglected by the Gravelles, who want to regain custody.

Gravelle Family Life

The media has made a big deal out of the fact that the Gravelle's had adopted so many children. We've had people write in and question their ability to care for the children properly. Some people actually believe the lies the media have told about the Gravelle Family, so we've asked a family friend to address this issue. Posted April 13, 2006

Gravelle Discipline

In today's world, the media will often take a grain of truth and manipulate it so that they have a sensational story that will sell papers. I will expand on these grains to let Americans know the truth about the Gravelles. Posted April 2, 2006

An Update from the Family Defense Network of Ohio

When social worker Jo Johnson was graciously allowed entry into the Gravelle home, she asked to see "the cages." Sharen Gravelle was quick to point at the small dog cage in the living room containing a small dog and answered, "That is the only cage in this house!" When the social worker said she was talking about the "beds," again, she was graciously allowed to see the enclosures built on the beds. None of those enclosures were smaller than 7 feet long by 4 feet high, by 4 feet wide, plenty of room for an adult to sleep in, let alone children. Posted March 29, 2006

Federally Funded Family Terrorism

I have been called into question as to how I could still be in support of the Gravelle family after the reports came out in court about the supposed abuse these children endured at the hands of Michael and Sharen Gravelle. I have been in contact with family friends who have since filled in a lot of the blanks for me and I now stand even more convinced that the case against the Gravelle's is totally without merit. Posted March 29, 2006

Gravelle Case: Reader Responses

This case has become a world-wide issue, not only because it involves children, but also, because the Gravelles are fighting to get their children back in spite of the besmirching of their character. There is another side of this story that has been suppressd by Huron County. The system didn't just fail the children, it also failed these parents who were trying to provide a family for children no one wanted. These children need to be returned to the Gravelle home before the emotional damage from the foster care system totally destroys them. Posted March 26, 2006

Gravelle Case Update: Protecting the Innocent Victims from Zealous State Workers

Attorney Kenneth Myers, representing the Gravelle's filed a motion this month seeking the return of the children or an increased visitation schedule for Mr. and Mrs. Gravelle. Since the youngsters were removed and placed in foster homes, Michael and Sharen have only been allowed to see the children every other week for one-hour under the supervision of child protective service caseworkers. Posted January 20, 2006