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Eighty-three percent of foster youth will be held back by the 3rd grade.

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Michigan CPS News Archive

Michigan News Coverage

by Brandon Howell

A 62-year-old Clinton County man who was caught on video ostensibly having sex with a horse and later pleaded guilty was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years probation on Monday.

John Robert Mester, of Riley Township, was sentenced in Clinton County Circuit Court by Judge Randy Tahvonen, the Lansing State Journal reports. Mester was charged with bestiality -- a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison -- and indecent exposure before pleading.

November 16, 2011

Michigan is among just a handful of states raising taxes on low-income working families while cutting taxes for other groups, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities said in a report released Tuesday.

The Washington-based group notes that Michigan, New Jersey and Wisconsin all have scaled back tax credits for low-income workers in recent years while cutting business taxes. In Michigan's case, low-income families will see their tax breaks shrink starting next year by about $260 million annually while businesses will get a $1.1 billion tax break starting in January and a $1.7 billion tax break the year after.

November 16, 2011

by Rex Hall Jr.

A toddler was turned over to CPS and two men were arrested at an apartment building in eastern Kalamazoo County after drug investigators seized what they called "one of the largest" one-pot methamphetamine lab operations they've "encountered to date."

The Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team found the labs at about 8 p.m. after serving a search warrant at two apartments inside a building in the 100 block of South Main Street in Climax, said Capt. Jon Uribe, KVET's commander. Uribe said KVET found three large one-pot labs in the two residences and investigators used six, five-gallon buckets to remove the labs and then package them for disposal.

November 16, 2011

by Heather Catallo

A grandma has been fighting the state to get her grandkids out of foster care for years. A great aunt has been trying to do the same for her niece. But both have been met with strong resistance-and it may be a matter of money.

The state pays private agencies to handle most foster care adoptions. By law, they are supposed to make placing foster children with extended family members a priority. But 7 Action News has found some cases where relatives say the agencies may be putting profits ahead of policy - and this can cut kids off from family forever.

November 11, 2011

by Heather Catallo

Michigan families are being torn apart and critics blame the privatization of the foster care system. Families desperate to care for loved ones say they are spending thousands of dollars to fight a hostile bureaucracy to get children out of state hands.

"Both federal and state law require that the agency and the court give priority to relatives seeking placement of children in foster care," says attorney Vivek Sankaran, who heads the Detroit Center for Family Advocacy and is an expert on child welfare law. "All too often what happens is that systemic road blocks are created - license, home study, requirements, criminal background checks take time because bureaucracy is taking too long to get them done, the child is living somewhere else," says Sankran. That is what happened to Gant. Fed up, she got a lawyer and has spent $15,000 fighting for Bradley. The private agency finally approved her to adopt-another child. But Gant didn't want just any child.

November 11, 2011

by Linda Gittleman

A meth-making mom told Gratiot County Circuit Court that she would never intentionally do anything to harm her child.

But 23-year-old Kady Helms, the Wheeler mother a 2-year-old child, was sentenced Monday by Circuit Court Judge Randy Tahvonen to 20 months to 10 years in prison for possession of components to make methamphetamine and, for second degree child abuse, Gratiot County Prosecutor Keith Kushion said.

November 7, 2011

Parents have stepped forward to claim a missing two-year-old child found wandering through an alley in Detroit.

Police took the boy to a safe place and asked anyone looking for a missing 2-year-old child to come forward. Around 9:30 pm, police received a 9-1-1 call reporting a missing child. The family is being questioned and Child Protective Services will likely be sent to the house in the morning to investigate.

October 7, 2011

by Anne Schieber

LAWTON, Mich. (WOOD) - A Michigan family court removed a 13-year-old from his home after an investigation and incident with a stolen front-end loader.

According to court documents, the boy was living in unhealthy conditions. It seems that the boy may have been driving the loader in an attempt to escape his home. Child Protective Services removed the boy from his home in Lawton this week, along with two other children.

August 19, 2011

Newschannel 3's I-Team has uncovered some disturbing new details of possible child neglect after police caught an autistic boy on a stolen front-end loader.

That 13-year-old boy was driving the construction equipment up and down a street in Lawton for hours Saturday morning. Police believe he was trying to run away from home. CPS called an emergency hearing on Saturday and a judge ordered all three children to be removed from the home. Another hearing is scheduled for the 29th.

August 19, 2011

A duffle bag drive will be held next weekend at the Ivy House to collect luggage for children in foster care in the hopes of making the transition between residences a bit easier.

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 6, bags can be dropped off at the Ivy House, 1910 Robert T. Longway Blvd. in Flint. Children entering foster care for the first time, moving between homes and returning to their parents will receive the donated bags.

July 29, 2011

One reason that fighting Methamphetamines is so difficult is because it's often a family affair.

Van Buren County deputies found three generations living in a home at 209 State St. in Gobles. A 46-year-old woman, her ex-husband and her two adult children were all taken to the Van Buren County Jail to await formal arraignment. A young grandchild was taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

July 29, 2011

by Rochelle Riley

The good news is that Michigan has only 349 children in its care awaiting foster or adoptive families, down from 1,100 in April and thousands less than used to be typical.

The great news is that this fall, state child protective service workers will be responsible for only 12 cases each and foster workers, 15 each. The department has 11,000 employees, and recently hired nearly 1,000 more. Also, DHS ordered a new computer system to allow caseworkers to update cases in the field.

July 17, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS -- The mother of Jozlynn Martinez, the two-year-old girl murdered in 2010, has voluntarily given up her parental rights to her son.

Consuela Martinez, 22, signed off her parental rights during a court hearing Thursday. Had Martinez not signed off her rights, a Kent County Family Court judge would have held a termination hearing to take away her parental rights to her two-year-old son, Bryan Malmberg, who was fathered by Jeffrey Malmberg.

July 14, 2011

by Roxanne Werly

A suggestion from the American Medical Association to take obese children away from their parents is coming under fire. Do you think this is a good idea?

The commentary says foster care is more ethical than obesity surgery because long-term effects of the operation in children are unknown. The JAMA article was written by David Ludwig, an obesity doctor at Children's Hospital Boston, and by lawyer Lindsey Murtagh, a researcher at Harvard's School of Public Health.

July 14, 2011

by Barton Deiters

GRAND RAPIDS - The attorney for 23-year-old Timothy Kaminski said his client operates with the mental capacity of a young child and did not understand the consequences of telling a cop that he violated a 3-year-old relative.

The Wyoming man pleaded guilty to raping a child, avoiding a trial that could have resulted in the child and her mother taking the stand in Kent County Circuit Court. Kaminski agreed to plead guilty to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and faces a maximum of between 10 and 15 years in prison.

June 21, 2011

by L.L. Brasier

Months after the criminal case ended, Julian and Thal Wendrow took legal action. West Bloomfield police settled with the family for $1.8 million.

They filed a federal lawsuit in 2008 against the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office, several prosecutors, the West Bloomfield Police Department, Walled Lake Consolidated Schools and the Michigan Department of Human Services. The suit alleged 38 counts of wrongful imprisonment, invasion of privacy, violation of their due-process rights, malicious prosecution and other misdeeds.

June 17, 2011

by Gus Burns

SAGINAW - A Saginaw Township doctor is one of the first physicians in Michigan to face federal indictment for certifying medical marijuana patients, according to Matthew R. Abel, an attorney for the Detroit-based Cannabis Counsel.

On April 5, the U.S. Attorney General's office indicted Dr. Ruth A. Buck, owner of Mid-Michigan Medical Marijuana Clinic at 2137 Warwick in Saginaw, for aiding and abetting the distribution of marijuana. Her office and home were raided March 17.

April 12, 2011

by Darrell Dawsey

Maryanne Godboldo was looking only for help for her daughter. But after Child Protective Services disagreed with her stance on medication, the Detroit mom on Thursday refused police efforts to take her child.

As part of the center's treatment plan, a doctor prescribed the child an anti-psychotic medication. But the child's symptoms only worsened. As a result, Godboldo sought another physician, who quickly recommended taking the child off the psychotropic drug. The mother agreed and began following that doctor's orders. Unfortunately for Godboldo, the state didn't agree. Child Protective Services wanted Godboldo's child medicated according the center's plan, and CPS workers essentially told the 56-year-old mother - who was never under any court order to follow the plan - to agree to their program or surrender her child.

April 12, 2011

A mother accused of firing at police as they tried to take her 13-year-old daughter into custody faced a judge on Sunday.

57-year-old Maryanne Godboldo appeared in 36th District Court via video link. Godboldo's attorney asked the judge to let her go on personal bond, but the judge refused, saying the charges were too serious. He set bond at $500,000. Godboldo is accused of firing shots at police through the wall of her home. It happened after child protective services first went to her house on Blaine Thursday evening to take custody of her 13-year-old daughter.

March 27, 2011

by Erin Grace

Massachusetts became the first state to place domestic violence advocates in child welfare offices in 1990. The state made basic domestic violence training mandatory for new social workers.

Michigan added family reunification workers to provide intensive home-based services for four to six weeks. The state placed 18 workers in different shelters to work with abused women and help them develop safety plans. The long-term success rates, defined as families remaining intact at 12 months following their services, were 85 percent for those getting home-based services and 96 percent for those in shelters.

March 27, 2011

A state Department of Human Services employee is facing four felony embezzlement charges.

Attorney General Bill Scheutte and DHS director Maura Corrigan accused Brian Hengesback of buying things such as chairs and carpet with nearly five thousand dollars in state money for his personal use.

March 26, 2011

by Tim Keith

This is the Part 1 of a three part series looking into child-welfare data released by Kids Count Michigan. This installment covers the report's information on child abuse and neglect.

Allegan County children are more than twice as likely to be confirmed victims of child abuse than they were in 2000, according to information released by Kids Count Michigan, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation to track child welfare across the United States. The county has seen a 112-percent increase in the number of confirmed victims of child neglect or abuse from .6 percent in 2000 to 1.4 percent in 2009 of county children.

March 3, 2011

by Jeff Karoub

A Michigan man posed as a therapist and used an online alias to talk to mothers across the country and persuade them to sexually assault their young children, then send him the images of the attacks, authorities said Monday.

Since authorities arrested him in October, seven children were rescued and at least three mothers have been arrested. Prosecutors say all of the children are now safe. Steven Demink, 41, of Redford Township, Mich., appeared in federal court in Detroit to enter his plea on six charges related to the sexual exploitation of children. He faces 15 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in June.

February 28, 2011


Van Buren County Sheriff's Department deputies checking a Mattawan house Friday afternoon for Howard Olson, wanted on warrants including allowing child truancy, found active meth labs in a garage.

Investigators found active reaction vessels, meth-making components and finished products in the search of the property. Howard and Ernestine Olson are in Van Buren County Jail. Child Protective Services intervened for two children in the Olson home.

February 19, 2011

by Doug Powers

Former Michigan Governor Granholm initially planned on getting a job teaching job creation in the state she ran for eight years, but I think the guy who would have hired her lost his job a couple of years ago.

The 51-year-old two-term Democrat told POLITICO in an interview that her new work will revolve around the interrelated themes she emphasized as governor: creating jobs, reviving American manufacturing and expanding the clean energy economy [cue the laugh track - DP].

January 24, 2011

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