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"Under law, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. In reality, just the allegation of sexual abuse can damage relationships forever."
~Defense Attorney Kristin Burkett
Arkansas CPS News Archive
Arkansas News Coverage
In unprecedented move Arkansas DHS forces parents to chose between their children and their religion
After nearly a year, the Arkansas Department of Human Services still has not returned more than thirty children, who were taken in a raid on Tony Alamo Ministries.
The Department has made several requirements for the reunification of parents and children. One of the requirements the Arkansas DHS has made is that the parents must sever their connection with Tony Alamo Ministries if they want to be reunited with their children.
Albany CPS and Family Court Examiner
August 27, 2009
Child abuse deaths online
The webpage of the state Department of Human Services has a grim new feature: A link to fatalities and near fatalities reported to the Child Abuse Hotline. The act was passed after it became known that four children died in foster care last year.
Since July 30, DHS has posted - as required by legislation passed by the legislature earlier this year - details on five deaths and one near-death. Acts 674 and 675 of 2009 require the Department of Human Services to provide bare bones information about hot line reports, the amount of detail depending on whether an investigation is pending, found to be true or reported but not substantiated.
August 12, 2009
Mom who drank 13 beers before evaluation denied custody of kids
A Sebastian County circuit judge did not err in terminating the parental rights of a woman who drank 13 beers the night before a court-ordered psychological evaluation, the state Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.
The court rejected an appeal by April Lechner, who said she did not consider drinking the beers excessive because she "can drink like a fish." At an October termination hearing, Lechner testified she was in prison on a theft conviction. The judge terminated Lechner's parental right, saying the action was in the best interest of the children.
Arkansas News Bureau
June 24, 2009
New anti-gay ballot measures violate fundamental human rights
In the past five years, nearly 1000 children in Arkansas' foster care system reached the age of 18 without ever being adopted to a permanent family.
Faced with this problem of trying to find homes for the estimated 3000 kids currently in the foster care system, the Arkansas voters decided to make it more difficult for these children to ever find loving homes. Unable to write a law outright stating that just homosexuals cannot adopt, as that would easily get contested in court, Arkansas passed the Unmarried Couple Adoption Ban.
The Retriever Weekly
November 11, 2008
Push is on to establish CASA in Phillips County
Helena -- While Gov. Mike Beebe is addressing the high rate of child abuse incidents in the Arkansas's foster care system, a push to establish a local Court Appointed Special Advocates program in Phillips County is in the works.
Since 1992, the state's child welfare system has been under close scrutiny and legislative oversight but state trends show that child neglect and abuse incidents are increasing. According to a study complied by Arkansas Advocates For Children and Families, the state welfare system has continually failed to meet set goals related to family preservation or reunification.
Helena Daily World (AR)
September 24, 2008
Foster care foulups
The interim House and Senate committees on children and youth met up in Conway today. This was intended, it seems, at least in part as a dog-and-pony show to help Sen. Gilbert Baker of Conway look senatorial.
State Rep. Donna Hutchinson remarked, "It's pretty apparent that foster care [in Arkansas] is in disarray. I hate to say it, but it was probably in disarray under the previous governor." She said she knew the agency needed more money but couldn't bring herself to vote for it because she didn't trust agency to spend it properly.
September 19, 2008
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