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Dr. Douglass Besharov, Child Abuse Expert, Maryland School of Public Affairs: Out of the nearly 3 million child abuse reports made each year, 7 out of 10 are without merit.
Virginia CPS News Archive
Virginia News Coverage
Homeschooling: Creating an Education Environment
Missie Gautsch wanted stability for her children. With her husband Ty in the Marine Corps at the time, Missie knew any stability they would have as a family would need to come from within their home.
A concern of those interested in homeschooling is the financial cost of buying your own teaching materials. Gautsch estimates that she spends approximately $1,600 per year for the curriculum for her three students.
August 18, 2011
Va child services worker faces drug, gun charges
A Spotsylvania County child protective services worker and two of her family members are facing drug charges.
48-year-old Sherry Heslop-Dazy of Colonial Beach was arrested Tuesday and charged with drug and weapons charges. Her husband, 42-year-old Kenneth Dazy, also faces drug and gun charges. The couple's son-in-law, 33-year-old William Whitlock, was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
August 17, 2011
Homeschooling: A Story of Family and Faith
Mattson's initial reaction to homeschooling was revulsion. My husband was doing a research paper on the topic for college, and I thought, "How awful! How can anybody do that to a child?"
"Classical [curriculum] teaches facts, of course, but it's more of an integrated approach, so history and literature will be together, and pulling in religion is nice too. Classical education seeks to bring the child to what is good and true and beautiful and instills virtue through the subjects," Mattson said. "One beauty of classical education is that all of my kids will be studying one time period in history this year the same time in history," she said. "You expect more from your older students, but they're not all studying different things and the mom's not spinning her wheels bouncing from workbook to workbook."
August 9, 2011
Lannigan v. Virginia Beach Department of Human Services
Joel Lannigan appeals an order terminating his parental rights to his daughter. Father argues that the trial court erred in terminating his parental rights to his daughter under Code Â§ 16.1-283(C)(1) and (C)(2).
The father was never offered any reasonable and appropriate services to strengthen the parent-child relationship and to remedy substantially the conditions which led to or required the continuation of the child's foster care placement. Upon reviewing the record and briefs of the parties, we affirm the decision of the trial court.
July 29, 2011
Audit calls for city to repay state $671,000 over foster care
The city of Richmond needs to repay the state $671,000 for inappropriate reimbursements and other charges related to foster-care services, according to a city audit report.
City Auditor Umesh V. Dalal cites weak recordkeeping and oversight in the city's Department of Social Services and says the amount owed to the state is in addition to a $3.4 million overbilling that was identified in a 2010 investigation.
May 26, 2011
Family Sues Child Protective Services for Parental Rights Violations
A lawsuit has been filed in Virginia Federal Court concerning violations of Parental Rights by a Virginia couple. Michael Dinwiddie also listed as a Plaintiff in the suit is serving in Afghanistan.
Fred and Michelle Dinwiddie formerly of Giles County, Virginia have filed the lawsuit against 30 defendants regarding the removal of their children for allegedly abusing and abandoning their children. The Dinwiddie's children were removed for 8 months total and placed in foster homes throughout the New River Valley some up to two hours away from they're home.
April 18, 2011
Virginia Lawmaker 'Likely' to Sue DHS Over Illegal Immigrant Data After Killing
A Virginia councilman is threatening to sue the Department of Homeland Security to obtain status reports on illegal immigrants delivered into federal custody after an illegal immigrant in his community was charged in a triple homicide last week.
Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, said he wants Congress to intervene on his county's behalf to subpoena information on 3,000 illegal immigrants handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement since the county started enforcing immigration law in 2008 under a joint local-federal program.
February 16, 2011
Chesapeake sees spike in home-schooled students
Kingdom Education for Young Scholars used to meet on the edge of Virginia Beach. But this year the enrichment group for home-schooled students moved to a church in Chesapeake's Greenbrier area. Enrollment promptly spiked to 180 students from 140.
For the first time last year, Chesapeake had the most home-schooled students of any of the five South Hampton Roads cities - more even than Virginia Beach, where the public school system is twice as big. According to data compiled by the Virginia Department of Education, Chesapeake had 689 home-schooled students in 2006-07 while Virginia Beach had 883. This year, Chesapeake has 922 while Virginia Beach has 901.
December 27, 2010
Virginia Attorney General Says Teachers Can Take Students' Cell Phones, Read Texts
Students in Virginia may want to think twice about texting in class. Cuccinelli's opinion lacks the legal force of a court ruling and his past opinions have been challenged before.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a Republican, issued a legal opinion Wednesday ruling that not only can school officials seize students' cell phones and laptops, but they can also read their text messages if there is "reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school."
November 25, 2010
Child rapist to spend 20 years in prison
A 41-year-old Guatemalan man who has been in the country illegally for 15 years will spend the next 20 years in prison for raping an 11-year-old family member five years ago.
The case against Alcides De Jesus Guerra, who was living in Leesburg, came to light in 2009 when Loudoun County Child Protective Services investigated the running away of a young girl and her claims of physical and sexual abuse.
September 29, 2010
Man records last hours of dying toddler
Newport News police say 22-year-old Darius Orlando Brown is now charged with murder. He's also facing four counts of malicious assault; the child's body showed visible signs of trauma.
Child Protective Services is involved in the investigation into the cause of the toddler's death, which is still being determined. An autopsy was conducted Wednesday. The child also had a 5-year-old sister in the apartment at the time, but police say she was unharmed.
July 23, 2010
Parents accused of starving, abusing baby...out on bond
Last month, a grand jury indicted Denise Baton, 24, and Jardain Copeland, 26, both of Suffolk, on multiple child abuse charges.
In December, a doctor examining the 8-month-old boy, reported the abuse to police. Suffolk public information officer Debbie George stated: "He only weighed 10 pounds. He notified police and Social Services began their investigation. The child was taken from his home as well as his older sister." The boy and his older sister are both now in foster care.
Norfolk Crime Examiner
July 8, 2010
Adoption agency sued for alleged fraud
Legal News for Virginia Business Attorneys. A couple filed a lawsuit against Bethany Christian Services for misrepresenting their adoptive son's health status.
A Virginia Beach couple, who are also the adoptive parents of a young Russian boy by the name of Roman, filed a federal lawsuit against the nation's largest adoption service, Bethany Christian Services. While the lawsuit, which claims the agency misrepresented Roman's actual health status upon arranging the adoption, was filed last year; the case remains pending.
Justice News Flash
April 29, 2010
Child Advocacy Center Opens in Harrisonburg
The Collins Center in Harrisonburg is opening its doors to the Child Advocacy Center.
It is a program that will involve professionals from Child Protective Services, mental health providers, the Harrisonburg Police Department and many others. There are currently 18 child advocacy centers across the state.
WHSV News 3
March 17, 2010
Foster mother released on $25K bond in baby's death
A judge on Tuesday ordered a Virginia Beach woman charged in the death of her 9-month-old foster child released on bond.
Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Randall Blow ruled that Kathleen S. Ganiere did not pose a danger to the community. Ganiere, 28, was charged second-degree murder in the death of Braxton M. Taylor. The baby had trauma to the head, internal bleeding, and crushed testicles.
February 17, 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
Video: Mother kills newborn, can't be charged with crime
This may be the worst story of the year, at least in reference to domestic policy and crime. How bad is it? A woman in Campbell County, Virginia smothered her newborn infant, and police are powerless to do anything about it.
Investigators tell WSLS the baby's airway was still blocked. They say the baby was under bedding and had been suffocated by her mother. Investigators say because the mother and baby were still connected by the umbilical cord and placenta, state law does not consider the baby to be a separate life. Therefore, the mother cannot be charged.
December 18, 2009
Foster kids 'aging out' too soon?
The 19-year-old woman in the middle of the second row of the history class looks like any other college student. But she is also a survivor with horror in her past and an uncertain future.
From pysch wards to group homes to a brief stint living on the street to her current placement in an independent-living program, Benson has struggled. At times, the struggle has been for something as simple as her safety. She would be sexually abused by her father and abandoned by her mother.
November 15, 2009
Va. parents charged with allowing baby to OD on heroin
A Fairfax County couple has been arrested on charges of allowing its 5-month-old son to overdose on heroin. The baby recovered and was placed with other family members, Fairfax police said.
Police say they think that the baby, who was not mobile, was lying on the floor of his parents' rented townhouse as they and two friends were shooting heroin and that the baby "picked up a packet of heroin and put it in his mouth," Fairfax Officer Bud Walker said.
The Washington Post
November 4, 2009
Liberia Plantation opens for Home Schoolers
Home school students can spend a day in the historic surroundings of Liberia Plantation - learning about Civil War and Victorian-era spies, fashion, quilts, politics and gardening - during a special Manassas Museum program on Wednesday.
Students ages 7 through 18 will learn about the everyday life in the era, including period toys and games, cooking and quilting and will discuss the issues that led to the outbreak of the Civil War. Liberia Plantation is constantly under renovations and is not open to the public. As a result, Home School Day is a wonderful and fulfilling opportunity for students ages 7 to 18.
Inside NoVA (VA)
November 1, 2009
A child in need of an attorney better off in Maryland vs DC and VA
The section edition of A Child's Right to Counsel: A National Report Card on Legal Representation for Abused and Neglected Children has been released by First Star and the CAI and Maryland ranks higher than D.C. or Virginia.
The report is primarily concerned with what kind of representation kids get when they interact with the child welfare system. The introduction numbers are sobering. Over 300,000 American children entered foster care in the last fully reported year of 2006.
We Love DC
October 15, 2009
It is ORDERED that Dwayne Davis, natural father, of children in the care and custody of the Chesterfield County Department of Social Services, appear at the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court for the County of Chesterfield, Virginia.
The object of this suit is to establish permanency for the referenced children which may include terminating the residual parental rights, including the right of visitation, right to consent to adoption, the responsibility of support and all other rights and responsibilities.
October 14, 2009
How Social Media Saved Jaeli
Sound extreme? It really isn't that extreme when you consider that within 24 hours of the first tweet going out, nearly 75 mothers, fathers and concerned citizens had donated enough coffee and pizza money to buy the milk Jaeli needed.
Jaeli is a sweet, 4-month old baby girl, born with a rare chromosomal disorder that doesn't even have a name. The donor breastmilk was running out and she just found out the other private donor thought to be sending milk, didn't have any to send. The hospital refused to order any milk from the milk bank (which keeps a supply of donor milk on hand) since it wasn't covered by the Vermont State Medicaid.
October 11, 2009
Virginia Homeschoolers hosts a homeschooling to college seminar
Registration is now open for VaHomeschoolers seminar on Homeschooling and College Entrance. This all-day event takes place Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond.
Join experienced homeschool parents and college representatives from The University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Shenandoah University, Old Dominion University, and Virginia Tech, as well as the Assistant Director for Financial Aid for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and representatives from Virginia's community college system.
Norfolk Homeschooling Examiner
September 6, 2009
Foster care a "toxic intervention"
This is a step in the right direction because this new settlement puts a new emphasis on the most important change Baltimore needs to make: Doing more to keep children out of foster care in the first place.
Most parents who lose their children to foster care are nothing like those whose cases, rightly, make headlines. And in typical cases, extensive research shows that children left in their own homes do better even than comparably-maltreated children placed in foster care. That does not mean no child ever should be taken from her or his parents.
The Baltimore Sun
June 25, 2009
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