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Most abused and neglected children never come to the attention of government authorities. Therefore, official government statistics do not indicate actual rates of child abuse. -- Jim Hopper
Texas CPS News Archive
Texas News Coverage
Home-school is so popular, some are getting suspicious
More than 22,620 Texas secondary students who stopped showing up for class in 2008 were excluded from the state's dropout statistics because administrators said they were being home-schooled, according to Texas Education Agency figures.
While home-schooling's popularity has increased, the rate of growth concentrated in Texas' high school population is off the chart: It's nearly tripled in the last decade, including a 24 percent jump in a single year.
May 10, 2010
Peeking into the life of a foster child
Every year, more than 10,000 children become wards of the state after suffering major episodes of abuse and neglect. These children grow up knowing they're different, but that's no excuse to look away from them.
Dollinger's first stop in foster care was at an emergency shelter in Houston. The facility has since been closed due to safety violations. "I remember a man. I still to this day, when I smell his cologne, I cringe. There were instances he pushed kids down the stairs," he said.
News 8 Austin
May 10, 2010
Police seize meth in raid
Plainview police arrested one person and confiscated 7.5 grams of methamphetamine and more than $4,100 in a drug raid Friday night.
They also seized $4,160 in cash and a 42-inch plasma television, which police believe may have been purchased with proceeds from narcotic sales. The house is located within 1,000 feet of Wayland Baptist University, which prompted the drug-free zone charge. Four children, all under the age of 7, were removed from the house by Child Protective Services.
May 10, 2010
Noisy home welcome Mother's Day and every day for couple
Both Debra and Roddy were adopted by family members when they were infants. They never entered the foster system or were moved from home to home like many of the children who come into their care.
So when they were married the Theesfields said they both knew they wanted to adopt at some point in hopes of giving back the security for which they were blessed. However, when they started looking at foster care as an avenue for adoption, Roddy said, they decided they were being called to impact a greater number of children by serving as continual foster parents.
My West Texas
May 8, 2010
Gulf of Mexico oil spill 2010: The worst-case scenario
The worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons per day.
If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels -- or more than 6 million gallons per day -- based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well.
April 30, 2010
Brenham Mother Arrested for Child Abandonment
A Brenham mother has been arrested for abandoning her children at Easterwood Airport.
Sherry Mahlmann, 37, is accused of leaving her 6 and 10 year old inside a car parked at the McKenzie Terminal Wednesday night just after 7:30. According to witnesses, Mahlmann rented another vehicle then left the airport in that rented vehicle leaving her children behind.
April 29, 2010
License of Hippo daycare owner to be revoked
The state's child care licensing division has notified a Hutto daycare owner accused of several abuses that the state intends to revoke her license, said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for Child Protective Services.
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services determined that there was evidence that Jeanie Alcalar, the owner Hippo Academy, used black pepper on an infant's thumb as a form of punishment, put a cloth over the face of a crying 9-week-old infant, threw food on the floor and allowed infants to eat the food off the floor and put snack crackers into the mouth of a crying 9-week-old-infant.
April 29, 2010
CPS aims to bridge gaps with black community
There are more black children in foster care than any other race, they stay longer in the system, and it's harder to find them homes.
But black parents are no more likely to abuse their children that whites, Asians or Hispanics, state data shows. It's no surprise, then, that Lubbock's black community is wary of Child Protective Services.
April 23, 2010
Soliz back in jail after violating probation
Leonard Soliz, the father of a 5-year-old boy who was found dead last week, is in Travis County Jail for violating his probation.
Child Protective Services removed two other children who lived in the home. Monday, a Travis County judge ordered that the children be put into foster care temporarily. The infant's parents, Soliz and Nichole Turner, and extended family are each allowed one hour of visitation. Visitors are allowed three hours of visitation rights per week.
News 8 Austin
April 20, 2010
Day-care operators speak out against staffing rule changes
Day care owners and a state senator told a state advisory council Tuesday that proposed rule changes on staffing levels would hurt business and drive up prices, making care unaffordable for some parents.
The council is considering a proposal to lower the number of children that each worker at Texas' 9,300 day care centers may supervise. State Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, said he's worried that the proposal could force parents to turn to unlicensed care.
April 20, 2010
Library calendar: Free employment workshop
Carolina southern classroom, career specialist at your library.
Free employment workshops. Call your branch for workshop details. No registration required.
April 18, 2010
Family Connections: the death of a nonprofit
Former executive director is missing, and so is lots of agency's money. How did it happen?
Family Connections, an Austin nonprofit that helped young children and their parents, shut down last week amid financial problems and a criminal investigation into its former executive director.
April 18, 2010
Three more lawsuits doomed to fail, three more bad child welfare systems likely to get worse
The group that so arrogantly calls itself "Children's Rights" has filed another one of its Mclawsuits against a state child welfare agency - this time in Massachusetts. And NCCPR's sources say that another such Mclawsuit, in Texas, is imminent.
Meanwhile a group which is unaffiliated with CR but has the same myopic outlook about how to fix child welfare systems, the National Center for Youth Law, has filed the same kind of suit in Nevada. All of these child welfare systems almost certainly are every bit as bad as CR and NCYL say they are.
NCCPR Child Welfare Blog
April 15, 2010
Volunteers Needed For Local Housing Program, Helping Child Abuse Victims
Volunteer Fort Bend is looking for people who are interested in helping local civic and nonprofit organizations.
Protect and defend the rights and well being of child abuse victims. An agency based in Fort Bend County that works directly with the courts has many key volunteer assignments available. Some volunteers research placements for children who have been removed from their homes.
Fort Bend Now
April 12, 2010
Man charged in child's death
A 26-year-old man was in the Denton County Jail on Friday on a capital murder charge stemming from the death of his girlfriend's 3-year-old son, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
He went first to a hospital in Denton and was quickly airlifted to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, where he was found to have severe head trauma, a broken pelvis and broken thoracic vertebrae. The night he arrived in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, a doctor told investigators he did not expect the boy to live.
Times Record News
April 3, 2010
Cops and CPS Seize Child From Parents For Mistrusting Government
A family in Williamson County, Austin have lost custody of their 7-year-old son as part of a Child Protective Services investigation because the parents taught their children to mistrust the government.
On page five of the CPS case report, police level the shocking claim that the Coopers are "unsuitable parents" because they teach their children "the government is out to harm them". On page six of the report, police accuse the Coopers of being "aggressive to authority" because they will not allow government employees to enter their house without a court order.
April 2, 2010
Hutto day care license suspended after violations found
The state has suspended the license of the Hippo Academy, a Hutto day care center, after an investigator found black pepper in an infant's crib, according to an affidavit.
The Texas Department of Family Protective Services received a complaint Tuesday that the owner of the day care, Jeanie Willynn Alcalar, was abusing children by throwing food on the floor and having infants pick it up and eat it, covering an infant's face with a towel and putting pepper on an infant's thumb, according to an affidavit issued by the department.
April 1, 2010
Shamrock Principal Will Be Disciplined
The Shamrock principal accused by parents of beating their child will be disciplined -- but he won't be fired.
The parents claim the elementary school principal used excessive force to spank their son for trying to choke another student.
KWES NewsWest 9
March 3, 2010
Family Fights to Overturn Salt Poisoning Conviction
It's been two years since Larry Overton heard a Texas jury convict his wife, Hannah, of capital murder in the bizarre salt poisoning death of 4-year-old Andrew Burd, a child the couple was trying to adopt.
Last October, three justices in Texas' 13th Court of Appeals denied Hannah Overton's latest appeal. Hannah Overton, 32, is currently serving a life sentence in a Texas prison. To investigators, Andrew's sudden and bizarre death was no accident. Within days, the authorities had begun weaving a sinister tale of murder, theorizing that Hannah Overton had become overwhelmed with the arrival of a foster child.
ABC News 20/20
February 17, 2010
Mother Under Investigation in Laredo
Staff of the Department of Child Protective Services are investigating the case of the young mother whose two year old son was found out outside wandering and barely dressed in a diaper and a shirt while she was at the gym.
The child was taken to Doctors Hospital to be attended and to verify his health condition, since he was exposed to the winter conditions and the rain for more than 15 minutes. Officials from the Child Protective Services have kept the child until it is determined who will have legal custody of the minor while his mother settles her judicial situation.
February 13, 2010
Mother files abuse complaint against daycare teacher
SAN ANTONIO -- "When I picked up my daughter from school, she seemed very upset," says one mother who filed a complaint with the Department of Family and Protective Services.
"She kept repeating, '[The teacher] stepped on my fingers when I wouldn't take a nap," reads the written complaint. The mom also claims a teacher at the Rainbow Station on East Sonterra held a blanket over her 2-year-old's face for being too loud.
February 12, 2010
Terminating Parental Rights
Texas family courts may order termination of the parent-child relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the parent has put the child in any sort of danger.
Courts may terminate parental rights more often then one would think. CBS News reports that Child Protective Services is actually in the process of terminating the parental rights of Almita Nicole Lockhart. The woman from Houston has nine children ranging in ages from 2 to 18. Child Protective Services has taken custody of the children since a tragic incident left one of Ms. Lockhart's children dead.
The Houston Family Law Blog
February 12, 2010
Police: Florence woman poses as case worker to receive grant
FLORENCE, SC - A woman who posed as a Virginia case worker in hopes of receiving financial aid is under arrest in Florence County.
In an attempt to further help her chances of receiving money, McFadden posed as a Virginia case worker. Posing as the case worker allowed McFadden to ask the Reserve Aid organization to provide financial aid. As a result, McFadden was granted an estimated $22,700 by the agency.
February 9, 2010
Class helps parent in crisis learn key life lessons
One mother and father said they know they have a long road ahead of them before they can live in the same house with their four children again.
Andy and Jamie Stump said it was their fighting at home that prompted Child Protective Services to take their four children away - twice. To regain custody of their children, they'll have to travel a road dotted with state-required parenting courses, visits from state caseworkers and regular court hearings.
The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
January 20, 2010
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