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Richard Wexler, author of "Wounded Innocents," estimates that out of every 100 reports of alleged child abuse: "58 are false; 21 are poverty cases...
Connecticut CPS News Archive
Connecticut News Coverage
Daughtry brings hope to local foster teen
DANBURY, CT - For 15-year-old Ilyssa, the band Daughtry's poignant lyrics bring comfort and resolve to a young lady who has spent most of her life in state foster care.
Ives Concert Park, on the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, has made it possible to fulfill a dream for this local teen. The venue's Executive Director, Phyllis Cortese, was touched by Ilyssa's life story and the plight of foster children, graciously offering the teen and her social worker tickets to the August 14 concert.
August 9, 2012
Addressing the Pros and Cons in the Homeschooling Debate
Last week I learned the definition of "going viral." I wrote about homeschooling, specifically my bias against homeschooling before doing the research.
Then I did the research and found, for the most part, that they are doing a fine job and I said so. The next thing I know there are thousands of readers "recommending" my article on their Facebook pages. I have written more than a hundred articles for this column and this has never happened before. Obviously, I touched a nerve and found out first-hand the extent of the cohesiveness among homeschooling community.
July 28, 2012
Police file reveals pattern of child abuse in Willimantic girl's death
Danielson - The arrest of a Willimantic couple in connection with the beating and death of a 3-year-old in their care has raised questions about the way signs of child abuse are reported by hospitals and communicated to other child-welfare agencies.
A recently released arrest warrant affidavit prepared for the arrest of the 3-year-old's mother, Rosa Gladis Diaz-Mendez, reveals a pattern of abuse at the hands of Diaz's boyfriend, Fredy Chingo Riz. Despite frequent interactions with doctors, school officials and advocates from the Department of Children and Families, reports show the abuse was hidden for months before a final beating took the girl's life, police say.
July 1, 2012
GMO Labeling Law Wins Backing In Connecticut
Connecticut took the first step requiring producers to label genetically modified food Wednesday, as a legislative committee overwhelmingly backed a measure promoted as giving consumers more information while avoiding the debate over health concerns.
The legislature's Environment Committee voted 23-6 to approve the measure, allowing supporters to prevail over opponents who said the measure would lead to higher packaging costs. "It's something that's coming, and I think we can be in the forefront in helping shape how it's done," said Democratic Rep. Richard Roy, the committee's House chairman. "Think of us as the mouse that roared."
March 22, 2012
State probing possible child abuse
STAMFORD -- Police are investigating a possible child abuse case that landed an 18-month-old baby girl in Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital with blunt-force trauma injuries to her abdomen and a torn pancreas.
The state Department of Children and Families have taken over custody of the child from the 17-year-old Stamford mother, Lt. Dedrich Hohn said. Hohn said that the mother brought the child to Stamford Hospital on Sunday afternoon. As the baby's injuries became apparent, she was rushed by ambulance to Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital, Hohn said.
January 12, 2012
States change how they recruit foster parents
MIAMI (AP) - For decades, it was common for officials around the country to approve foster parents by room and board criteria: Did they pass a background check? Is their home clean? Are their dogs safe and vaccinated?
Now several states including Florida, California and Wisconsin are trying to find ones who they know upfront will help with homework, sew Halloween costumes and accompany kids to doctor appointments. Complicating the efforts is the longtime problem of finding enough adults to house children in need.
December 31, 2011
Connecticut Mulls Making College Coaches Report Suspected Abuse
HARTFORD - Connecticut does not require college coaches to report suspected child abuse, but the scandal at Penn State has some state officials pushing to mandate they notify authorities if they think children are being harmed.
State Rep. Diana Urban plans to hold a public hearing next month to gather information about so-called mandatory reporting, which would shape legislation during the upcoming session of the General Assembly. She also wants to consider a statewide policy governing the protection of children who interact with university athletic programs, given a scandal involving an assistant basketball coach fired by Syracuse University.
December 24, 2011
Schools in the Hot Seat over Scream Rooms
"Scream Rooms" sound like something out of a movie. It is actually something all parents need to know about. A school in Middleton, Connecticut is in the news for its use of Scream Rooms.
Farm Hill Elementary School in the Middleton School District is under fire by parents after hearing reports by their children of students locked in the Scream Room. Reports of screaming, students injuring themselves, urinating on themselves and even children being taken away by ambulance.
November 3, 2011
Connecticut High School Play's Gay Kiss Scene Causes Uproar
The media's recent acknowledgment of gay bullying in schools hasn't caught on across the board. This week, during a Connecticut high school's performance of a play involving a kiss between two male students, several audience members walked out.
The unhappy viewers included a number of uniformed members of the school's football team, which principal Adam Johnson described as "almost symbolic." Yet Principal Johnson showed no regrets over his decision to include the kiss: "I think that we're at a time in history where there is tremendous focus on bullying and the way students are treating each other, and how they are treated, in school. We have to teach students how to respect and honor each other."
October 20, 2011
Connecticut home invasion suspect says he was abused as a child
The life of a man accused of killing a Connecticut woman and her two daughters during a grisly home invasion had been shaped by a "perfect storm" of drugs and childhood sexual abuse, a court heard Thursday.
A psychologist hired by the defense team testified that Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, said he was sexually and physically abused from the ages of three to six by a 15-year-old-boy his family took in as a foster child. Komisarjevsky told psychologist Leo Shea his "earliest memories" were of being burned with cigarettes, beaten and sexually assaulted.
October 15, 2011
Connecticut DCF Lays Out Foster-Care Reforms, But Deficiencies Remain
Three out of 10 foster parents feel disrespected by the state Department of Children and Families, and don't believe the sprawling child-protective agency gives them the tools to do the job.
Agency Deputy Commissioner Janice Gruendel acknowledged those and other problems in a new report that lays out a series of foster-care reforms. These include the waiving of some license requirements to allow more relatives to become foster parents; removing the minimum age for children to be placed with some foster families...
October 6, 2011
Homeschooling Requires Preparation and Notification
Are there things they need to do to get ready for school? Do homeschool students need to be registered with their local school system?
Connecticut does not have specific statutes of law regarding homeschooling. However, the Department of Education has written a guideline of procedures, which are the procedures followed and adopted by the East Haddam school district. Homeschool parents are busy at this time of the year, making calls and penciling field trips into the calendar. Most museums give free entrance to parent-teachers and discounted tickets to the students.
August 18, 2011
Residents warned about possible mountain lion at gated community
Residents at a gated community in backcountry Greenwich have been warned to be cautious after someone reported seeing a mountain lion last week, two months after a confirmed sighting of the rare breed in the same area.
McGrath Management Services, the management company at The Chieftains, wrote residents telling them they should take precautions, due to the reported sighting, according to a letter given to Greenwich Time. "We are asking all homeowners to use extra caution, especially around dawn and dusk, while walking their dogs or out with young children," McGrath official Brian McCabe wrote in the five-sentence letter. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
August 11, 2011
Boy, 7, dies after near-drowning in New Milford
NEW MILFORD -- The 7-year-old boy pulled from a private pool in New Milford Tuesday has died.
The child never regained consciousness after being pulled from the water by adults at a party on Eastern Lane, said New Milford Police Lt. Larry Ash. The boy had been in foster care in "a therapeutic foster home licensed by a private agency," Kleeblatt added.
July 23, 2011
Connecticut's profile in courage
Earlier this month, police ruled the death of a five-month-old boy a homicide. The family was previously known to the state child welfare agency. How did the leader of the child welfare agency respond?
Katz was named to run DCF by a new Governor, Dannel Malloy, in January. She resigned from the State Supreme Court to take the job. She made clear from the start that she was determined to end the take-the-child-and-run mentality that had led to Connecticut taking away children at a rate more than 45 percent above the national average, when entries into care are compared to the number of impoverished children in each state.
June 21, 2011
Tanya McDowell, homeless mom charged with "stealing" education for son, arrested on drug charges
Tanya McDowell, a homeless single mother accused of illegally enrolling her son in the wrong school district, appeared in court Monday after being arrested Friday for allegedly selling crack cocaine and marijuana to undercover officers.
In court on Monday, McDowell's attorney said the drug cases are in retaliation to all of the negative publicity the city has received after she enrolled her son, now 6, in kindergarten last fall under her babysitter's address. McDowell is due to return to court July 12 in the enrollment case.
June 18, 2011
Affidavit: Tanya McDowell offered to sell drugs, pimp out prostitutes to undercover cops
Tanya McDowell, who became a sympathetic national figure after being charged in April with stealing the education of her young son from the Norwalk school district.
Addressing nearly a dozen cameras outside the front of the Norwalk courthouse following McDowell's appearance, Crosland called the investigation that resulted in new charges for his client "retaliatory" because the community was embarrassed by McDowell's April 14 arrest for allegedly sending her son, A.J., to Norwalk's Brookside Elementary School while they lived in Bridgeport.
June 18, 2011
Mountain lion - yes, a mountain lion - hit by car in Milford, Connecticut
After years of denying they exist in Connecticut, the state Department of Environmental Protection confirmed that a mountain lion was struck and killed by a car last night in Milford.
Earlier in the week, Connecticut environmental officials said it appeared a big cat that had been spotted roaming the town of Greenwich is a mountain lion. Mountain lions have been declared extinct in this part of the country, but DEP officials say this could be an animal that has been released or escaped from a local handler.
June 11, 2011
More Details Emerge On How Authorities Solved 1987 Kidnapping Case
On Friday, new revelations emerged about the case of a woman who was taken from Harlem Hospital as an infant in 1987 and who was recently reunited with her birth parents.
Connecticut child welfare officials first came into contact with Carlina White, the kidnapped girl, in 1997, about seven years before the department began investigating the girl's paternity.
February 20, 2011
Suing the Victim: Motorist Goes After Parents of the Boy He Struck and Killed
Hartford -- A driver who's serving a manslaughter sentence for striking and killing a 14-year-old boy is suing the victim's parents, blaming them for their son's death because they allowed him to ride his bike in the street without a helmet.
Matthew Kenney's parents, Stephen and Joanne, sued 48-year-old driver David Weaving shortly after he was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison, accusing him in Waterbury Superior Court of negligence and seeking more than $15,000 in damages.
November 15, 2010
Judge Rejects To Remove DCF From Federal Oversight
If the Department of Children and Families cares so much about protecting kids, what is the big hurry-up to remove the agency from federal oversight?
I sat through a hearing in federal court this morning where a lawyer for the state argued before U.S. District Judge Christopher Droney that it was time to free DCF from 20-years of federal oversight. Why now? Even DCF admits it hasn't fully reached all the goals set arising from the infamous Juan F. case of child neglect that led to federal control of the nearly $1 billion state agency charged with protecting the state's most vulnerable children.
October 4, 2010
State still lacks foster homes
Despite efforts to reverse the trend, hundreds of foster children continue to be funneled into costly congregate homes instead of being placed in family settings, a new report says.
About a quarter of some 4,000 abused or neglected children in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families live in "orphanage" settings, according to Connecticut Voices for Children. About 90 children a year "age out" of DCF care when they turn 18 without ever having been placed in a foster home.
The Connecticut Mirror
September 2, 2010
Local business to collect and donate new bags for children in foster care
WEST HARTFORD - In Honor of National Foster Care Month, The Perfect Promotion is launching the Fostering Hope Program to supply children in foster care with new duffle bags, backpacks and luggage.
"When I first learned that children in foster care oftentimes use a trash bag to carry all of their worldly belongings when they move from placement to placement, I knew we had to do something," said Jody Ferrer, president of The Perfect Promotion. According to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, 4,299 children were in the foster care system on June 30, 2007. The average age is 9-years-old.
West Hartford News
June 14, 2010
Group suing DHS says state 'resistant'
Oklahoma has been as resistant as any state that Children's Rights has sued over child welfare concerns, the group's founder says.
Children's Rights began as a project of the New York Civil Liberties Union and later the American Civil Liberties Union. It became an independent nonprofit in 1995. The group has filed lawsuits against child welfare systems in Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.
April 28, 2010
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