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Foster children attend an average of six different schools in their kindergarten to 12th grade experience, and 60 to 70% do not graduate from high school. (Casey Family Programs Research)

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Washington CPS News Archive

Washington News Coverage

by Josh Farley

About 70 people crowded the steps of the state capitol rotunda Thursday to agitate for reform of the state's child protective services programs.

"They say they put family first," said Elaine Wolcott-Erhardt, a Port Orchard resident and president of Washington Families United, which orchestrated the rally with help from Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn. "But they don't follow the law."

Kitsap Sun

February 5, 2009

Robley Carr Jr., according to his lawyer, was a victim of the state Department of Social and Health Services' (DSHS) mistakes. He was a victim not once, but twice.

In 2003, state and federal authorities paid $5 million to settle claims that Robley and three siblings were horribly abused in foster care. Now, the state has agreed to pay an additional $320,000 to settle a claim that it failed to protect Robley even after that. He died at age 15.

Disgusted with the system

December 17, 2008

by John Iwasaki

Cheryl Stephani took the helm of Washington's child welfare agency in May 2005, a time of budgetary woes and mandated reforms. She will leave as head of Children's Administration amid similar circumstances.

Given that Stephani lasted 3 1/2 years in a difficult position, her departure announced Tuesday was not surprising, said several observers of DSHS. The state is under pressure to fulfill the mandates in the Braam case, a class-action lawsuit settled in 2004 after the state shuttled thousands of foster children among foster homes without adequate services.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

December 3, 2008

Anyone interested in foster care issues is invited to participate in a casual cafe-style forum from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Nov. 17 in the Cowlitz PUD meeting room, 961 12th Ave., Longview.

Participants will discuss local concerns, issues and visions related to foster care and will switch tables every 25 minutes to increase interaction. Muffins, pastries, fruit and beverages will be provided. RSVP

The Daily News

November 11, 2008

The state Court of Appeals last week upheld the homicide by abuse conviction of Maribel Gomez, an Ephrata woman convicted of killing 2-year-old Rafael "Raffy" Gomez.

Raffy died on Sept. 10, 2003. In just 25 months of life, he had suffered two broken legs, burns, bruises and at least two skull fractures -- all while living with his biological parents. Four times, the state sent Raffy to live with a foster family to be nursed back to health, only to have the state return him to his biological family.

Yakima Herald-Republic

October 20, 2008

by Simon Moon and Matt Driscoll

When it comes to protecting kids in Washington state from abuse and neglect, the state Department of Social and Health Service, or DSHS, Children's Administration has it rough. Complaints pour in on a daily basis.

It's a fact that DSHS Children's Administration is a complex and massive operation with an annual budget close to $600 million and roughly 2,900 employees. The Children's Administration receives an average of 80,000 complaints a year stemming from alleged child abuse. A recent state audit, in turn, expressed concern about 60 percent - 12 out of 20 - of child abuse referrals reviewed.

The Weekly Volcano

September 25, 2008

"The government must have standards," I said, "especially when lives are concerned."

And, there needs to be "deal breaker" triggers when we place a child in a bad foster adopt home.

Pam Roach Report

August 28, 2008

by Darin Strauss

Recently, a child in Seattle made repeated trips to the hospital for vomiting. His doctor found traces of a toxic chemical in the child's urine. The doctor alerted Child Protective Services, and police visited the child's home.

They found the chemical in the family's medicine cabinet. Child Protective Services then accused the mother of repeatedly poisoning her child. This was allegedly Munchausen by Proxy - a syndrome whereby parents hurt their children to gain notoriety. Child Protective Services removed the child from his home. But then the case swerved in a surprising direction.

The Boston Globe

July 26, 2008

by Darin Strauss

Recently, a child in Seattle made repeated trips to the hospital for vomiting. His doctor found traces of a toxic chemical in the child's urine. The doctor alerted Child Protective Services, and police visited the child's home.

They found the chemical in the family's medicine cabinet. Child Protective Services then accused the mother of repeatedly poisoning her child. This was allegedly Munchausen by Proxy. CPS removed the child from his home. But then a local newspaper called the doctor overzealous.

The Boston Globe

July 26, 2008

by Maureen O'Hagan

In 2003, graphic photos began appearing on Internet sites frequented by pedophiles. They were "brand new," according to the NCMEC, and they were being posted by someone in the Tacoma area calling himself "foster dad."

In the world of Internet crimes, it seemed fairly straightforward to solve. The trail led directly to a foster father named Ronald Young, who lived in rural Pierce County. But according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of Young's victims, local police failed to immediately act on the information, leaving the children to suffer additional abuse.

The Seattle Times

July 10, 2008

by Leslie Anne Jones

A Federal Way man who said he fell asleep near a backyard fire pit and woke to find his infant son burned to death has been arrested for investigation of first-degree manslaughter.

Police were trying to determine what exactly led up to the 7-month-old's death, which was reported at 12:02 a.m. Sunday after the infant was pulled from the fire pit. Police said the baby suffered burns to his entire body.

The Seattle Times

June 25, 2008

by Cheryl Stephani

Last July, the General Accountability Office (GAO) released a national study that found that in 2004, African-American children were more than twice as likely to enter foster care as were white children.

The federal study also found that, on average, African-American children stayed in foster care about nine months longer. According to the study, Native-American children were also overrepresented in the foster-care system. Both groups also had poorer outcomes than their white peers.

The Seattle Times

June 19, 2008

With the recent report of Treffly Coyne, the mother of three children who was apprehended for leaving a child in a car while ten yards away, it becomes clear that frivolous reporting by mandatory reporters is on the rise.

Families are under attack and from a variety of sources. While Child Protective Services in her case submitted "no findings of abuse" after an investigation, Treffly is one of the lucky ones. Frivolous reporting by a Catholic hospital resulted in removal of an eight month old child from his family in Olympia, Washington.

Newsvine

March 12, 2008

by Diana Hefley

EVERETT -- First his parents failed him. Then state social workers let him down. Shayne Abegg, 5, nearly starved to death before someone noticed.

The boy suffered years of abuse and the state did not do enough to protect him, according to an executive review ordered by the Children's Administration, part of the state Department of Social and Health Services.

HeraldNet (WA)

December 18, 2007

A Pierce County High School student is back in school after a three-day suspension for warning classmates about a sex offender on campus.

Last week, Raydon Gilmore found a 16-year-old fellow student at Gig Harbor High School at the Washington State Sex Offender Information Center, a Web site that lists the state's level 2 and level 3 sex offenders.

KIRO TV (WA)

December 13, 2007

by Jennifer Sullivan

A Kansas woman said she let her daughter move to Pierce County with child-rape suspect Terapon Adhahn six years ago because she thought it was the best option for the then-rebellious 12-year-old girl.

According to charges filed earlier this week, Adhahn repeatedly raped the girl over the four years they lived together, at least once at gunpoint. Charging papers say the girl went to live with Adhahn with her mother's blessing, because the woman was having difficulty with the girl's behavior.

The Seattle Times Newspaper (WA)

July 21, 2007

by Richard Roesler and Thomas Clouse

OLYMPIA - As Carole Ann DeLeon sits in jail, charged with killing her adopted son by depriving him of water, several of her other foster children are filing millions of dollars in claims against the state.

So far, claims totaling more than $55 million have been filed against the state Department of Social and Health Services on behalf of five children, including the estate of 7-year-old Tyler DeLeon, who died in DeLeon's Deer Park-area home in 2005.

Spokesman Review (WA)

June 27, 2007

by John Iwasaki

Robert Williams harbored no thoughts of heroism the day he fled his Seattle foster home in July 1998. The 7-year-old boy only knew another beating was coming.

His brief escape finally alerted authorities to the physical and sexual abuse suffered by Robert and his brother and sisters for 5 1/2 years, though mistreatment continued after the state moved them to a different foster home.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA)

June 6, 2007

by Leslie Slape

In September 2005, Teia Brindley received a shock. Her daughter, Jennifer Prestegard was a drug addict under investigation by Longview police for using dead people's prescriptions.

Prestegard was deeply affected by her early childhood. She and her older sister, Ann, and younger brother, Jeremiah, were put in foster care after their parents split up, said Brindley, a recovering alcoholic.

Longview Daily News (WA)

June 3, 2007

by Natalie Singer

A former foster father who had sex with one girl and has been accused of abusing two other girls placed in his care by the state will face a standard sentencing range.

Enrique Fabregas, 53, of Redmond, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. He originally was charged in June with three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

The Seattle Times

May 15, 2007

by Benjamin Shors

A program manager in Washington state's child welfare system who publicly criticized his own agency has filed a $1.5 million tort claim, alleging state officials retaliated against him for speaking to legislators.

Bob Partlow, a 59-year-old program manager in the Children's Administration, said state officials changed his job duties after he told a legislative task force in 2005 that Washington's oversight of child welfare was "dysfunctional" and "disheartening."

The Spokesman Review (WA)

April 14, 2007

by Candice Boutilier

OLYMPIA -- Two bills inspired by the mistreatment and deaths of two children passed the senate Thursday.

The bills require accountability from the Department of Social and Health Service (DSHS), require background checks on caregivers, ensure neglected youth are not placed in dangerous homes and encourage a relationship between law enforcement and social workers.

Columbia Basin Herald (WA)

April 11, 2007

Maribel Gomez, the Ephrata woman who was convicted of beating her 2-year-old son to death, was sentenced to 26 years and 8 months in court on Monday.

Gomez was found guilty of homicide by abuse and first-degree manslaughter last month. Raffy Gomez was 25 months old when he died Sept. 10, 2003, of blunt head trauma while in his mother's care. He had spent a total of 14 months in foster care.

KOMO-TV (WA)

April 9, 2007

by Kevin Graman

Despite federal and state laws giving preference to Native American families in Indian child welfare cases, it took Tracy Fuentes a year to win custody of her nephew after overcoming obstacles she believes were placed in her way by a culturally biased sys

"I did everything I was supposed to do," said Fuentes, 39, a single mother of Cree Indian and Hispanic heritage. She is resentful of Washington's Children's Administration, which she believes was reluctant to move her nephew out of the affluent home in which he was placed two weeks after he was born.

The Spokesman Review (WA)

April 4, 2007

by Dave Laird

On April 1, The Spokesman-Review will begin publishing a comprehensive examination of child abuse in the Inland Northwest.

Reporters have spent months exploring the causes of abuse, the people and programs that help prevent abuse and the factors that make communities safe for children, in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Spokesman Review

March 16, 2007

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