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On July 1st, 2006, there were 78,278 children in the foster care system in California. Of those children, 31% were under the age of 5.

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Massachusetts CPS News Archive

Massachusetts News Coverage

by Holly Angelo

SPRINGFIELD - For 28 children and their new families, Nov. 21 will be a date they will never forget.

In five courtrooms in Hampden County Juvenile Court and Housing Court on Friday, 28 children were legally adopted as part of the sixth National Adoption Day.

The Republican Newsroom

November 22, 2008

by David Niles

The creation of a State Office of the Child Advocate will be a worthy step toward improving protections for children, but only if DSS reforms go considerably beyond simply rebranding that beleaguered agency as the Department of Children and Families.

That name change reflects the desire of the Patrick administration's to make protecting the welfare of children and families the agency's top priority. The legislation also recreated a multi-member child abuse prevention board.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette News

September 15, 2008

by Linda M.

Democratic candidates may state they are against war, but when put to the test they are just as likely to be the cause of innocent children dying as Republicans.

A Democratic congressman is responsible for the 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) which laid the groundwork for the destruction of thousands of American families - eventually terminating parental rights, traumatizing many thousands of children and their parents...


September 13, 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

BOSTON - A state audit has found continued improvement by the Department of Social Service in its handling of the state's foster care system.

Massachusetts Auditor Joe DeNucci said today that the latest audit found no overdue criminal background checks of foster care providers. A 2005 report found overdue or blank background checks on 133 providers. By 2006, that number was reduced to 68.

Boston Herald

April 9, 2008

by The Boston Globe

The parents of 4-year-old Rebecca Riley are awaiting trial on charges that they killed her in December 2006 with an overdose of psychiatric drugs.

A medical malpractice suit filed yesterday asserts that a Tufts Medical Center psychiatrist who diagnosed the girl as bipolar when she was 28 months old and then treated her for two years with a regimen of powerful drugs is to blame for her death.

The Boston Globe

April 4, 2008

by Jane Lyons

It is cheaper for the state to place children in foster homes in a region of the state where the $17 per day foster care reimbursement goes further for low-income families.

So, in Hampden and Franklin counties, families will take in three or four or more foster children and use the daily payment as a secondary or even primary source of household income. In some foster homes, the state has taken to affixing "alarms" to the bedroom doors of older children known to prey sexually on younger children.

The Boston Globe (MA)

February 4, 2008

by Carey Goldberg

As of Monday, annual checkups for the nearly half a million Massachusetts children on Medicaid will carry a new requirement: Doctors must offer questionnaires to detect warning signs of possible mental health problems.

The checklists vary by age but ask questions about children's behavior - whether they are spending more time alone, seeming to have less fun, having trouble sleeping - that are designed to trigger discussion between parents and doctors. The conversations may or may not lead to a referral to a specialist. Skeptics warn that more children could end up on heavy-duty medications that they don't really need.

The Boston Globe (MA)

December 27, 2007

by Brian R. Ballou

Dontel Jeffers endured excruciating pain in the last hours of his brief life, according to doctors. Yesterday, the only person held accountable for his death, his foster mother, was sentenced to a minimum of eight years in prison.

A jury found Corinne Stephen guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Nov. 16, following a two-week trial. Massachusetts sentencing guidelines recommend a prison term of 40 to 60 months for a person convicted of involuntary manslaughter with no prior criminal record.

The Boston Globe (MA)

December 18, 2007

by Jessica Fargen

More than two years after the city was shocked by the heartless killing of Dorchester toddler Dontel Jeffers, the foster mother accused of causing his excrutiating death went on trial yesterday, as the boy's family pleaded for justice.

Dontel died March 6, 2005, 10 days after he left Bridge Home, a temporary group home for kids. Yesterday, Bridge Home clinicians who took care of Dontel testified that he was healthy, energetic, active and "a really cute little guy" when he left their care.

Boston Herald

November 7, 2007

by Patricia Wen

A half-dozen people, seated in a lounge area, announced their conclusions: Bryanna-Rose had no symptoms if her mother was out of the room.

The child would remain in the hospital without Owen present. The baby would be placed into the protective custody of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. Birk said authorities got an idea about Owen, and refused to let go. "They weren't interested in finding the truth," he said.

The Boston Globe

November 4, 2007

A collection of 'gay' organizations has filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a Massachusetts lawsuit, claiming they have every right to teach their doctrine to grade-school students.

Parental rights, according to the brief filed this week, "have never meant that a parent can demand prior notice and the right to opt a child out of mere exposure to ideas in the public schools that a parent disapproves of."

WorldNetDaily (MA)

October 6, 2007

by Joseph J. Doyle Jr.

An MIT professor has used the analytic tools of applied economics to show that children faced with two options - being allowed to stay at home or being placed into foster care - have generally better life outcomes when they remain with their families.

"My research suggests that children on the margin of foster care placement have better employment, delinquency, and teen motherhood outcomes when they remain at home." Doyle, the Jon D. Gruber Career Development Assistant Professor of Applied Economics, said his study is the first to empirically demonstrate causal effects between placement decisions and long-term outcomes.

MIT News

July 3, 2007

by Amber Paw

The Boston Globe reports that Harry Spence, DSS Commissioner, returned twenty million unused dollars. The combined salaries for every social worker at the agency come to only $11,000,000!

I have had clients, over and over, denied services such as therapy or urine screens "because there is no money." Yet the MSM Globe says Spence has only had five years. That is not long enough. Keep him and give him a chance! After all, he wants a social worker in every school.

Blue Mass. Group

February 18, 2007

Five years at the helm of the state Department of Social Services have hobbled Harry Spence, once known as one of the most nimble managers in Massachusetts. Responsibility for roughly 40,000 needy children can do that to the best public servants.

Spence wants his social workers placed in schools across the state so that they can work with the children of troubled families before it becomes necessary to remove a child from the home. He sees a better future in quality foster care and community-based group homes than he does in restrictive 24-hour residential programs.

The Boston Globe (MA)

February 18, 2007

by Dianne Williamson

If it's possible to see a silver lining in the death of a 4-year-old child, it's that more attention is being paid to what those on the front lines have long considered a scandal: the overmedication of American kids.

"We've had requests from DSS to allow children as young as 4 to be medicated with powerful anti-psychotic drugs," said Judge Carol A. Erskine, First Justice of Worcester Juvenile Court, long a critic of psychiatrists and others who are too quick to medicate young people. \

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

February 11, 2007

by Eleni Himaras

On Dec. 13, 4-year-old Rebecca Riley died a slow and painful death of a prescription drug overdose at her home in Hull.

This week her parents, Michael and Carolyn Riley, were charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say the overdose was deliberate.

The Patriot Ledger (MA)

February 10, 2007

by Dan Ring

The grandmother of Haleigh Poutre began sobbing yesterday as she testified about the child's struggle to recover from a brain injury, and said she believes that a state ban on family visits could be causing more harm.

Sandra L. Sudyka, 53, of Agawam said that Haleigh probably believes her mother and grandmother no longer care about her. Without any public explanation last July, the state Department of Social Services stopped allowing Sudyka and the girl's biological mother from regularly visiting with Haleigh.

The Republican (MA)

February 7, 2007

by Patricia Wen

The grandmother of Haleigh Poutre testified yesterday in the State House that the 12-year-old girl, who had once been on life support, can write part of her name, eat scrambled eggs, and flex a muscle when told she is strong.

"The child's mind is there," said Sandra Sudyka, her maternal grandmother from Westfield, before the newly formed House Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. The panel met for its final of three public hearings.

The Boston Globe

February 7, 2007

by Pamela H. Metaxas

A city couple was arrested Wednesday night on warrants charging them with assaulting their five-week-old baby causing serious head injuries, police said.

Robert Beaulieu, 36, and Veronica Garcia, 20, both of 63 Grattan St., were taken into custody at their home at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday on warrants charging them each with assault and battery on a child with substantial injuries, Detective Lt. Mark S. Higgins said yesterday.

The Republican (MA)

February 3, 2007

by Raja Mishra

Lawmakers embarked on a review of the state's efforts against child abuse yesterday, signaling that they would consider broad changes in the system charged with protecting thousands of children and helping families cope with complex social problems.

The panel was established to address issues that arose from the case of Haleigh Poutre, who in 2005 was allegedly beaten into a coma by her stepfather and adoptive mother after social workers failed to take action because they concluded that the 11-year-old's injuries were self-inflicted.

The Boston Globe (MA)

January 26, 2007

by David Riley

The couple whose newborn baby boy was found dead in a garbage truck Saturday can keep their 8-year-old son, the state Department of Social Services said yesterday.

The state agency made its decision after beginning a probe into the infant's death and family Tuesday. Milford Police reported the incident to DSS Monday night. The baby was found on Purchase Street.

The Milford Daily News (MA)

January 12, 2007

by David Riley

MILFORD The state Department of Social Services has begun a probe into the death of a Milford baby whose body was found in a garbage truck Saturday.

Investigators need autopsy results to see if the baby died of natural causes before deciding on any criminal charges in the case, police said.

The Milford Daily News (MA)

January 9, 2007

This is a group for moms separated from their children by the court system.

Whether you are separated by CPS, or an ex unwilling to share, or both this group is here for empathy and kindness.


October 17, 2006

by Massachusetts Department of Social Services

Massachusetts is quite advanced in its efforts to integrate domestic violence issues within CPS.

The DVU's operating budget is supported through both state and federal funds. Forty percent of the unit's budget is from state funds. The remaining 60 percent of the budget comes from federal funds.

October 17, 2006

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