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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.
Louisiana CPS News Archive
The Louisiana news section is your source for the latest in family rights news items,
CPS reform efforts, open court demands, abolition of confidentiality laws that judges
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Louisiana News Coverage
FEMA loan forgiveness could boost Jefferson Parish reserves and employee salaries
FEMA's forgiveness of a $54.8 million disaster loan will let Jefferson Parish raise employee salaries and its emergency reserves, pending Parish Council approval.
FEMA's decision is a breakthrough for parish officials, who have been lobbying Louisiana's congressional delegation to press the agency for forgiveness. Indeed, early this year Young said his two major goals for 2013 were reaching a comprehensive agreement to complete the Jefferson Performing Arts Center and getting FEMA to cancel the loan obligation.
November 13, 2013
Man Gets Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For A Half Ounce Of Marijuana
Does Louisiana have the harshest marijuana laws in the country? If you get caught there too many times with marijuana, you can be looking at 20 years.
Mr. Ladd was sentenced to twenty years in prison for possessing just 15 grams of marijuana. In Louisiana, if you have been convicted of marijuana possession three times you can get 20 years in prison. It feels weird even typing that out. 20 years in prison, for marijuana. I don't care how many times you have been convicted for marijuana, or what amount of marijuana you were caught with, there is no reason you should be serving multiple decades in prison for a marijuana only offense. What a waste of tax dollars.
October 3, 2013
Louisiana parish claims incarcerated 14-year-old consented to be raped by a corrections officer
A Louisiana parish is arguing that it should not be held liable for the rape of a 14-year-old girl in a juvenile detention center because the victim "consented" to be sexually assaulted by a 40-year-old corrections officer at the facility.
The age of consent in Louisiana is 17, but court documents allege that "Vickers could not have engaged in sexual relations within the walls of the detention center with [the victim] without cooperation from her. Vickers did not use force, violence or intimidation when engaging in sexual relations."
August 9, 2013
MPD: Man accused of hitting toddler at bowling alley
Frank Duvall, 29, of 182 Sulphur Springs Road, Bastrop, was arrested Saturday afternoon on a charge of cruelty to a juvenile.
According to an arrest affidavit, Monroe Police were dispatched to a local bowling alley in reference to a complaint. Witnesses at the scene said a man, later identified as Duvall, hit his 3-year-old in the head with an open-hand slap.
July 1, 2013
Officer Used Unnecessary Force Before Woman's Death, LAPD Says
The woman was kicked by an officer before dying in a squad car during her 2012 arrest
A Los Angeles police officer used unnecessary force when she kicked a woman in the genitals minutes before the 35-year-old died in a police car last year, the Los Angeles Police Commission announced in a report released Thursday. An autopsy report could not confirm why Thomas died after the confrontation with police. Alesia Thomas was arrested on suspicion of child endangerment after her two children -- ages 3 and 12 -- were found abandoned and carrying backpacks filled with clothes at the LAPD Southeast Area Station at about 2 a.m. on July 22, 2012.
June 28, 2013
Destrehan woman who saw horrors of foster care gives voice to children
Destrehan resident Jacqueline Awasthi knows the importance of having someone to speak on behalf of children in the foster care system.
Awasthi, a New Orleans native, became a foster child when she was 12 years old after her mother moved away with her ten siblings and left her behind. For two weeks, Awasthi stayed alone in the empty apartment before she was taken into protective custody. That began a six-year trek through the Louisiana foster care system that saw her placed in at least 15 homes before she was released at 18.
May 10, 2013
CASA of Northeast Louisiana recognizes photography winners
West Ouachita High School junior Chelsea Alexander won CASA of Northeast Louisiana's Blue Ribbon Awareness Award for her photograph, "Forgotten."
The gallery is an effort to bring awareness to the community about the issue of child abuse and neglect locally and throughout the state. Last year, 42 children died due to abuse or neglect.
April 9, 2013
All-inclusive 4-H group
There's a new group in Bossier Parish that's taking the town by storm. The Clover Nation Participation is a newly organized 4-H club that welcomes public, private and homeschool students, a first of its kind in Bossier Parish.
Kristena Wroblewski, leader of the Members-at-Large group, said the group was developed to meet the needs of more students interested in being part of a 4-H program. "We are opening to door so everyone will have a chance to participate in a 4-H program," she said. "If you want to be active, I can get you involved. It all depends on what the student wants to do."
November 5, 2012
Chelsea Thornton's slaying of children points to need for mental health care
After Chelsea Thornton, a woman with a history of mental instability, shot her 3-year-old son in the head and drowned her 4-year-old daughter in a bathtub Wednesday.
Thornton, 23, who suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, had recently stopped taking her medication, according to her mother, Eleanor Chapman. Thornton's best friend, Oblique Weavers, said Thornton had been hospitalized, and at times shackled to a bed, for a month at Southeast Louisiana Hospital in Mandeville about a year ago after having a mental breakdown that caused her to defecate on herself.
October 22, 2012
Ruston children's home plans to offer residential treatment
The Methodist Children's Home of Ruston is on track to become the second licensed psychiatric residential treatment facility in the state.
It will follow the Methodist Children's Home of Southwest Louisiana, which became the first licensed psychiatric residential treatment facility on Oct. 4.
October 12, 2012
Louisiana Deputies Punch, Tase and Handcuff Man for Video Recording Brother's Arrest
Jefferson Parish deputies also smashed man's cell phone to ground but video was salvaged
Louisiana deputies dragged a man out of his home under questionable circumstances earlier this week, tasing and beating him, then turning on his brother for video recording the incident. Jefferson Parish Sheriff deputies first blindsided Sean Warren with a sucker punch before tearing the cell phone camera out of his hands and smashing it to the ground. Then they tased and handcuffed him as they had done to his brother, Casey Warren.
September 15, 2012
Man indicted for the murder of 3-year-old foster child
A Hammond, LA man has been indicted for first-degree murder in the death of his 3-year-old foster daughter.
Mark Johnson, 51, was indicted Friday by a Tangipahoa Parish grand jury for the death of 3-year-old Faith Saucier who was in his foster care when she died from blunt force trauma to her body on April 16, 2011.
August 4, 2012
Schools want parents to register kids' medicines
Even though school doesn't start for a few weeks, school health staff are asking parents to inform them of any medicine their children must take.
In Terrebonne Parish, parents whose children require in-school medicines must pick up a form at the school board office, 201 Stadium Drive in Houma, according to Child Welfare Supervisor Linda Joseph. Those forms must be filled out by the child's doctor.
June 30, 2012
New Louisiana law requires sex offenders, child predators to list criminal status on Facebook, other social media profiles
Starting August 1, the new law requires that offenders and predators include in their social network profiles 'notice of the crime for which he was convicted, the jurisdiction of conviction.
Sex offenders and child predators in Louisiana are now required by law to include their criminal status in their Facebook and other social media profiles. While Facebook already bans registered sex offenders from creating accounts, State Rep. Jeff Thompson, who authored the legislation, says the new law will help ensure no one slips through the cracks.
June 21, 2012
Letters: Why report child abuse?
Another child, Xzayvion Riley, allegedly has been brutally tortured and beaten to death by his parents. This is an old and too-often-repeated story for the Baton Rouge area.
Yet, as with most such instances, Xzayvion's death was completely preventable. Law enforcement and so-called "child protective" authorities had been contacted, a file had been opened, and abuse and neglect had been documented. The people tasked with protecting this child from his own parents knew what was going on. Yet, apparently the nightmarish brutality continued and intensified, resulting in his death. We can only imagine the fear, the dread and the misery that filled this little boy's last hours on Earth.
June 20, 2012
Coroner: Child beaten to death, parents charged with murder
A man and woman who were arrested on child cruelty charges after the death of their 8-year-old son Tuesday have now been charged with first degree murder.
These charges come after the coroner's office released the manner and cause of death of 8-year-old Xzayvion Riley. The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office say Michael Robertson, 46, and Lavaughn Riley, 32, are charged with first degree murder and second degree cruelty to a juvenile following the death of Xzayvion Riley.
June 16, 2012
Doctors say yes; some parents unsure
A significant number of parents are delaying or skipping vaccinations for their children despite doctors' concern that doing so could expose kids and communities to life-threatening illnesses.
While children are required to be vaccinated before attending public schools, in Louisiana parents can easily opt out by signing a philosophical objection, said Dr. Frank Welch, the state's immunization director. A survey published in 2011 by the research journal Pediatrics found that 1 in 10 parents surveyed either delayed or opted out of some vaccines. Seventeen percent of parents surveyed refused all vaccinations for their kids.
May 26, 2012
Police Say Mother Tried to Drown Children
Sunset Police arrested a woman Friday afternoon for allegedly trying to drown her three children. She's now in the St. Landry Parish Jail charged with Second Degree Attempted Murder, while police said her children are safe in State custody.
It started last December when police said 31-year-old Hailey Schramm told a Sunset Library employee she was having suicidal thoughts. She was taken to Opelousas General Hospital, where police said Schramm later admitted to trying to drown her three children, ages 9, 6 and 3, the night before.
January 20, 2012
Rick Perry's Illegal Raid On A Mormon Sect
The Texas governor's campaign just rejected a call from Mitt Romney to "repudiate" the remarks of a pastor who described Romney's Mormon faith as a "cult."
We may have forgotten, however, that it was Rick Perry who was behind the raid that put these women there in the first place-a massive seizure of the Warren Jeffs-led fundamentalist Yearning for Zion Ranch, led by the state's Child Protective Services, that put 468 children in protective custody (though 29 of them would turn out to be over 18).
October 11, 2011
Recent Cases Illustrate That Family Law Is Fascinating - Litigation, Mediation & Arbitration
Interesting Court Cases dealing with custody, child support, etc... Three recent cases, one in Tennessee and two in Florida, are illustrative. So, for no other reason than they are interesting, let me tell you about these three cases.
The interesting part of this case is the dilemma in which trial courts sometimes place parents by asking the parent who wants to relocate what he or she will do if permission to relocate the child is denied. What is that parent supposed to say? There is no good answer to this question. If the answer is that the relocation will be abandoned, then how likely is it that permission to relocate will be granted? If the answer is that the relocation will take place nevertheless, then how likely is it that permission to relocate will be granted?
September 23, 2011
Drunk father lets 8-year-old son drive pickup: police
NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - A drunk father allegedly allowed his 8 year-old son to drive his pick-up truck on a southeast Louisiana highway on Saturday while he slept, until patrol officers pulled over the boy.
The boy was driving the Chevrolet truck on Interstate 12 near the town of Holden, with his father in the passenger seat and his 4 year-old sister in the back seat, Louisiana State Police said in a statement. Both of Madden's children were turned over to child welfare authorities.
July 30, 2011
Master P Pays $271 Monthly for Child Support Bill
Master P's financial status has been brought to light as the rapper and his ex-wife are engaged in a heated battle over child support.
The millionaire mogul, whose net worth was once estimated at $350 million, has only been ordered to pay $271 a month in child support for each of his four minor children.
June 20, 2011
'Changing the World, One Child at a Time' summit held in Slidell
St. Tammany Parish Schools Kids in Transition liaison Ann Pressly was among that number, explaining that there currently are 1,320 "homeless" students enrolled in the St. Tammany school system.
"Homelessness in St. Tammany Parish is a little secret hidden from most of us," she said. Kids in Transition provides services for youths and families in transitional living situations. Pressly stressed that this includes young mothers with children, teens escaping alcoholic parents, children whose parents have lost their income, and children of stranded strangers.
December 9, 2010
Pelican teacher arrested for texting student
PELICAN -- Desoto Parish Sheriff's deputies arrested 62 year old Ralph Hines for computer assisted soliciting of a minor and stalking.
The victim of his alleged misconduct was a 17 year old student at Pelican All Saints High School where Hines taught math. Hines was the only math teacher at the school.
November 30, 2010
Should U.S. ban paddling school kids?
THIBODAUX -- A national bill to ban corporal punishment in public schools would not affect local students much, Lafourche and Terrebonne school administrators say, because paddling hasn't been used here for years.
To stop corporal punishment nationwide, U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., has proposed the Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools Act. The bill would criminalize the use of physical force to discipline students at any public and private schools that receive federal money.
August 23, 2010
Alert Kidjacked to Louisiana CPS news!
Jacked Up: No Where To Turn
Most states have safe haven laws on the books, permitting a new parent to drop off an infant at a local fire department or hospital without repercussions. This is a laudable service that I am certain has had a positive impact on more than one infants life over the years.
May 15, 2010