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Despite more than a decade of intended reform, the nation's foster care system is still overcrowded and rife with problems. But taxpayers are spending $22 billion a year - or $40,000 a child, on foster care programs.
Connecticut CPS News Archive
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Mother of Child in DCF Abuse Case Planning to Sue
The birth mother of a baby boy in the center of a Department of Children and Families investigation is planning to sue the state agency. The state's Office of the Child Advocate said the child nearly died after DCF put him in foster care.
On Tuesday, the OCA released a 62-page investigative report that states they found a lack of appropriate and lawful practices by DCF in the case of the little boy who nearly died of starvation in November 2015.
October 29, 2016
2 DCF Workers Fired For Failing To Remove Children From Couple
Two managers for the Department of Children and Families have been fired for failing to remove two young children placed with a couple in Plainfield - a husband convicted in the 1990s of raping a child, and a wife who was on the child-abuse registry.
Managers Leslie Roy and Linda Lukin, who worked in the Willimantic regional office, were fired Monday, according to records obtained Tuesday by The Courant. Discipline is pending against a third DCF employee in the Willimantic office, state sources said. Lawyers for Roy and Lukin said both women are appealing, and they described their clients as exemplary employees with more than 25 years of service.
April 12, 2016
Doctors Warn Parents About Melatonin for Kids
Getting young children to bed on time has never been an easy feat. Recently, more and more parents have been turning to an "all natural" supplement, melatonin, to help induce sweet dreams.
However, the supplement also has a potential down side. The pill that has worked wonders for the St. Peters' daughter has turned out to be a disaster for their 7-year-old son. "Every time I give him melatonin he wakes up in the middle of the night and he's terrified," St. Peter recalls. "I stopped the melatonin."
February 7, 2015
Mom Charged for Letting Her Daughter, 11, Wait in Car
A mother in Bristol, Connecticut, was charged with leaving a child unsupervised in a car Wednesday. How old was the helpless tyke?
Eleven. Why was she in the car? She asked her mom if she could stay there. Was she in danger of boiling to death?
July 11, 2014
Pressures mounted to end Justina Pelletier custody fight
Justina Pelletier returned to her family's Connecticut home Wednesday. How she got there after spending 16 months in protective custody in Massachusetts is a story enmeshed in political, legal, and financial factors.
Much changed in the past month, however. Conn. teen receives warm welcome Juvenile Court Judge Joseph Johnston, at the request of DCF, restored custody to the parents Tuesday, ending the case that the child welfare agency had brought against the parents, whom officials had accused of medical child abuse. On Wednesday, Justina returned to her family's home in West Hartford, Conn., cradled in her father's arms.
June 19, 2014
Justina Pelletier's legal nightmare should frighten all parents
A Massachusetts judge ordered that 16-year-old Justina Pelletier be returned to her Connecticut family. His ruling ended a 15-month odyssey that showed that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston Children's Hospital were willing to "kidnap" her.
Let's reduce that story to its basic truth: Boston Children's Hospital and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts refused to return a child to her family because they believed she should be treated as mentally ill, not physically ill, even though doctors at an esteemed Boston teaching hospital (NEMC) disagreed and her parents wanted to have the NEMC doctors keep treating her. And, guess what?
June 17, 2014
Parents Charged In Child Abuse Death
A Norwich couple whose malnourished 14-year-old son died from complications of pneumonia last year pleaded not guilty Friday to child abuse charges.
Julie L. Carlos and Mark S. Carlos, both 59, pleaded not guilty in Norwich Superior Court to charges of negligent cruelty and risk of injury to a minor. They were released on $150,000 bond. A message left Friday with their attorney, Bruce B. McIntyre, was not immediately returned.
May 23, 2014
Mother loses parental rights to 4 of her children
Rachel Street said goodbye, possibly forever, to her two youngest children this summer during a supervised visit at the McDonald's restaurant on Colman Street in New London.
A juvenile court judge in April granted the state Department of Children and Families' petition to terminate Street's parental rights to her two sets of twins, ages 5 and 6. The decision allows two waiting foster families to move ahead with plans to adopt the twins. The DCF, which had taken custody of the children 31 months earlier after their father was arrested for battering Street, had arranged for Street to have a "closure visit" with her younger twins.
September 23, 2013
Genetically Modified Foods Film And Discussion At Canton Public Library
On Wednesday, June 5, at 6:30 p.m. the library will present the film, "Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of our Lives," by Jeffrey M. Smith. The film presents strong objections to the use of genetically-modified plants as animal feeds and human foods.
Through a series of real-life anecdotes, the author and film maker describes what he views as the weaknesses and flaws of safety research in agricultural biotechnical engineering, and suggests that agrobusiness interests have unduly influenced public policy. After a presentation by Diana Reeves, founder of GMO Free USA and described as a "mom-turned-activist," attendees may ask questions or discuss the controversies brought up in the film.
June 2, 2013
Immunity for Guardian Ad Litem destroys Connecticut family
In Connecticut, the phrase "for the sake of the children" is often thrown around on custody cases involving child victims of violent crimes.
However, cases like 9-year old Max Liberti's suggest that some family court appointees are more likely to favor the opportunity to continue billing families for unnecessary, even fraudulent services, over what is best for the child. After all, children living in safe environments do not need Guardian Ad Litems (GAL), evaluations, or therapy to protect and rehabilitate them.
May 8, 2013
Finding Ground Zero in Connecticut
Until recently, Judge Lynda B. Munro, who issued the orders severing Max's relationship with his beloved mom, lived on the same road. Sunny said they would often pass each other while walking their dogs.
Sunny welcomes me into her home, offers me a cup of tea, then shows me Max's room. In 2010, Max began to believe his room was haunted. Although Max has not lived with his mom in over a year, his toys remain exactly where he stopped playing with them the last time he was home. There's a robot thunder dome arena, science experiments, books, Star Wars figures, his rock collection, his coin collection, his Man Wallet full of coins mixed with $2 bills and foreign cash. The gerbils died, but the mazes, tunnels, and castles that they raced through lay vacant on Max's desk.
May 8, 2013
Outrage Alert: Schools Teaching Americans Do NOT Have A Right To Bear Arms
The father of a Connecticut child is furious after discovering that his son's school is teaching students that Americans don't have a Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Boibeaux's son is an eighth grader at Northeast Middle School. On Monday his social studies teacher gave students a worksheet titled, 'The Second Amendment Today.'
April 9, 2013
Gay couple accused of molesting two of their 9 adopted children withdraw guilty plea and decide to go on trial to fight allegations
George Harasz (pictured) and Douglas Wirth, of Glastonbury, Conn., were set to be sentenced under a deal calling for suspended prison sentences and probation, but instead withdrew from the agreement after their son accused them of rape.
The case was thrown into further turmoil after additional allegations of abuse came to light involving three other of the nine children adopted by the Connecticut men. Prosecutor David Zagaja told Judge Joan Alexander that in light of the revelations, which could result in additional criminal charges, there was no point in going forward with the sentencing.
April 9, 2013
Gay Connecticut couple accused of raping adopted children will face trial
The case of a same-sex Connecticut couple accused of repeatedly raping and abusing two of their nine adopted boys is headed for trial.
George Harasz, 49, and Douglas Wirth, 45, of Glastonbury, withdrew a deal with prosecutors that would have given them suspended prison sentences and probation, according to reports. The surprise move comes as new allegations by three more adopted children surfaced Friday.
April 9, 2013
GMO Food Labeling Forum Tuesday
As consumer demand and grassroots efforts grow in support of HB 6519 and mandatory labeling for Genetically Modified foods, citizens from across New London County are invited to attend the 'Honest Food Policy?' panel discussion Tuesday evening.
The event is being co-sponsored by Food & Water Watch along with GMO Free CT and allies Cedar Meadows Farm, Hidden Brook Gardens, Highland Thistle Farm, Whitegate Farm, Studio Farm, Stony Ledge Farm and Aiki Farm.
The Panel will speak to the labeling of unlabled genetically modified food here in Connecticut, and citizen efforts to support HB 6519. It will be moderated by organic farmer Bob Burns of GMO Free CT New London County and Aiki Farms.
April 1, 2013
Rep. Tony Hwang, Ben & Jerry's Co-Founder Push For GMO Food Labeling
AIRFIELD, Conn. - State Rep. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, joined forces with Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry Ice Cream, to support a bill that would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods and to create best practices for GMO farming.
They spoke in support of Connecticut House Bill 6519 at a public hearing last month in the Public Health Committee at the Connecticut General Assembly. Neither the federal government nor any state has a labeling requirement that applies to all genetically modified foods. The measure does not take a position on whether genetically modified foods are good or bad; the bill is simply about giving information to consumers.
April 1, 2013
Connecticut children in state care or custody need educational support
More than 4,000 children are in the custody or care of the state. These are the most vulnerable of our children and the effort to address the state's alarming academic achievement gap must start with them.
Three bills before the General Assembly would help ensure that these children are not overlooked by the schools, that the state is accountable for their education and that the support system and resources needed to give them good early childhood schooling are in place. Students in the state's care or custody include children in the child welfare system, children in Court Support Services Division facilities and children who have been adjudicated delinquent.
March 26, 2013
GMO Food, Flame Retardants in Kid's Clothes Topic of Off-Site Legislative Hearing
The legislature's select committee on children will hold a rare off-campus public hearing Thursday night in Fairfield on a series of bills related to children's health and the environment.
The panel will hear testimony on three measures: an act concerning the labeling of genetically modified organisms in children's food, an act concerning the use of flame retardants in children's clothing and an act concerning certain chemicals and their effects on children. The hearing will be held at the Barone Campus Center at Fairfield University. It will begin at 6 p.m.
February 27, 2013
A New Mountain Lion Sighting in Connecticut?
There were two sightings in East Haddam in the last two years. Now, someone in East Lyme says they saw one this week.
Murphy told Patch Thursday that he clearly saw the big cat around 7 p.m., walk across Cedarbook Lane in East Lyme. He said he was sure it was a mountain lion from the shape and the long tail, which differs from the smaller animal, the bobcat, which has no tail.
February 1, 2013
Families turn to homeschooling after Newtown, Connecticut shootings
Homeschooling support groups nationwide are reporting an increase in families seeking information regarding homeschool options following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school.
A Dec. 20, 2012, report from Fox 5 San Diego stated that an online school in California received an influx of inquiries following the tragic Connecticut shooting. Other media outlets nationwide have reported similar occurrences. As more families look towards homeschooling following the deadly massacre, it must be pointed out that homeschooling should never be a knee-jerk reaction in response to fear.
December 23, 2012
Teen Mom 3's Katie Yeager to Homeschool Daughter in Wake of School Shooting
The tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has shaken the entire country, and as you might expect MTV's Teen Moms are more than a little upset.
In fact, Teen Mom 3 Katie Yeager has been so affected by the news that she's decided to homeschool her daughter, Molli. "One of the many reasons why Molli will be home-schooled. Who shoots kids? Why do we live in a world like this?," Katie tweeted on December 14, adding, "Makes me sick to my stomach. Whatever happened to schools being a safe place for children to learn."
December 17, 2012
Aetna Hosts Summit To Address The Effects Of Child Abuse
According to the US Department of Justice, more than 700,000 children are victims of child abuse and neglect each year in the United States.
As the issue of child maltreatment continues to grow, Aetna hosted a thought leadership summit to address the long and short-term effects of child abuse. Also included, were discussions around the significant impact child abuse can have on mental and physical health. The summit involved leaders from Aetna; the Commissioner of Philadelphia Department of Human Services; and the Director of Lawyers for Children America.
October 22, 2012
NBC Connecticut "Troubleshooters" Fail to Hold Cops Accountable for Confiscating Camera
They call themselves the "Troubleshooters" and their motto is, "asking the tough questions and solving problems."
But this team of NBC Connecticut reporters has proven to be clueless about the law when it comes to citizens recording police in public. Specifically when it comes to whether or not police have the right to confiscate a citizen's camera as evidence. The law states police can only do confiscate cameras as evidence under exigent circumstances, meaning they need to have a strong suspicion that the citizen plans to destroy the footage. And even then, they have to make a sincere effort in asking the citizen to voluntarily provide them with that footage. And they can only do this to obtain evidence of a felony crime. But here we have a case where cops in Connecticut confiscated a man's camera after he recording them issuing his friend a ticket for loitering outside a bar in Middletown.
September 15, 2012
Daughtry brings hope to local foster teen
DANBURY, CT - For 15-year-old Ilyssa, the band Daughtry's poignant lyrics bring comfort and resolve to a young lady who has spent most of her life in state foster care.
Ives Concert Park, on the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, has made it possible to fulfill a dream for this local teen. The venue's Executive Director, Phyllis Cortese, was touched by Ilyssa's life story and the plight of foster children, graciously offering the teen and her social worker tickets to the August 14 concert.
August 9, 2012
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Making Juvenile Court Public
Some Want Abuse Hearings Opened; Others Fear Effect On Children - Kathleen A. Blatz in 1998 was just weeks away from being sworn in as Minnesota's chief justice when her predecessor graciously gave her the opportunity to make history: Did she want to sign the order that would open juvenile neglect and abuse proceedings to the public in 12 of the state's 87 counties for a three-year pilot program?
June 24, 2012