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Dr. Douglass Besharov, Child Abuse Expert, Maryland School of Public Affairs: Out of the nearly 3 million child abuse reports made each year, 7 out of 10 are without merit.
National CPS News Archive
National News Coverage
Japan Quake: searching for the orphans
Japanese authorities have launched a massive search for hundreds of orphaned children in Iwate, one of the three northeastern prefectures that suffered maximum deaths in the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
The child welfare experts will initially work in groups of three and look for children without parents at evacuation shelters along with people in charge at the shelters. If there are any children who have no place to go, the specialists are planning to entrust them to temporary care homes at child consultation centres or host parents.
March 27, 2011
How do other states help children of domestic violence? - Omaha.com
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
Mandatory DNA sampling proposed in some criminal cases in Maine
Persons charged with a serious crime or a sex crime against a child would have to submit to DNA sampling under a measure that would greatly expand the state DNA database, but it is drawing fire from civil libertarians and those worried about the cost.
"This is already the law in 24 states," said Rep. Maeghan Maloney, D-Augusta, sponsor of the measure. "This would do two things. One, it exonerates people who are innocent, and two it has been able to find people who are not innocent." The measure covers murder, any crime that has a penalty of at least five years in prison and sex crimes against a child ranging from sexual abuse of a minor to soliciting a child by computer to commit a prohibited act.
March 27, 2011
The Fleecing of Foster Children
Each year, 30,000 of the nation's foster youth "age out" of the foster care system and are expected to become independent, self-sufficient and tax-paying members of society with little or no assistance from others.
On March 16, 2011, the Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI) and First Star held a joint Congressional Briefing and Press Cconference to unveil their new report, The Fleecing of Foster Children: How We Confiscate Their Assets and Undermine Their Financial Security, in which they identify and discuss federal and state policies and practices that actually impede the ability of youth to achieve financial stability after leaving foster care - and which must be addressed in order to give our foster youth a meaningful opportunity at achieving self-sufficiency.
March 18, 2011
Obama Looking For Ways Around Congress On Gun Policy
Faced with a Congress hostile to even slight restrictions of Second Amendment rights, the Obama administration is exploring potential changes to gun laws that can be secured strictly through executive action, administration officials say.
The NRA's response crystallized what administration officials and gun control advocates have long known to be a major potential roadblock in any reform effort: a policy approach that gives off even the hint of restricting access to firearms will be met with forceful opposition by the gun lobby and its allies. The extent to which Obama can change gun law without the hand of Congress is not, gun control activists say, wholly insignificant.
March 15, 2011
Congress May Require 'Drunk-Proof' Cars
It's been talked about for years. Congress could make it a law. You would not be able to start your car if you've consumed too much alcohol.
Two members of the U.S. Senate, one a Democrat and the other a Republican, have take a step, sponsoring the ROADS SAFE Act, which would authorize $12 a year for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to develop technology that would prevent an intoxicated person from driving a vehicle.
March 12, 2011
Only in 2009, after a decade of complaints often ignored by Ciavarella and Conahan's fellow judges and Pennsylvania's Supreme Court, did federal investigators bring down the entire "Cash for Kids" scheme.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice shocked the nation when it revealed that one out of every three kids held in 13 juvenile jails and prisons were sexually abused by guards, other employees, or fellow inmates. This included 37 percent of kids imprisoned at the curiously named Backbone Mountain Youth Center, and Indiana's Pendleton juvenile prison, which has become nationally known thanks to the popular MSNBC reality show Lockup. Nationally, 12 percent of all juvenile prisoners reported molestation and other forms of sexual abuse.
The American Spectator
March 11, 2011
Theresa Riggi admits killing her 3 children while locked in custody battle with husband
Theresa Riggi, 47, admitted knifing her eight-year-old twins Augustino and Gianluca and their five-year-old sister Cecilia in their Edinburgh property.
She even gave them a phone so they could call her if the oil engineer said anything they did not like. Riggi was originally charged with murdering the children but the Crown yesterday accepted her guilty pleas to culpable homicide on the basis of diminished responsibility.
March 8, 2011
Finding the right balance
After receiving a tip that a 9-year-old girl had been sexually abused, a child protection investigator and a deputy sheriff in Bend, Ore., went to the girl's school to interview her. The first of its kind in 20 years, the case has drawn wide attention.
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the decision would have an adverse effect on child abuse investigations. The Supreme Court heard the case Tuesday, which pits the rights of families and children against the responsibility of states to investigate child abuse.
March 5, 2011
NSW: Community Services Minister: Opposition's proposed foster care cuts "heartless"
A Coalition plan to limit the number of children put into foster care has seemingly run into troubled waters, with the New South Wales (NSW) Government and Opposition differing in opinion.
While the Opposition wants that the number of at-risk children removed from families should be capped for the next four years and subsequently cut by over 20 percent, the NSW Community Services Minister Linda Burney has called such a policy "heartless" as well as "irresponsible".
March 3, 2011
Sexual abuse at Richmond foster home raises concerns
The B.C. NDP is demanding to know how a former male prostitute became an overnight careworker in a Richmond foster home and then ended up sexually abusing a disabled teen, without the government stepping in.
In October Kevin Fanning, 51, pleaded guilty to the 2009 sexual assault of the disabled teen in his care and eventually served a 60-day sentence for the crime. The foster parent who hired Fanning didn't even live at the foster home, but ran it as a business, showing up at 8 a.m. morning and departing at 5 p.m., leaving the disabled teen in Fanning's care overnight.
March 3, 2011
Charges upgraded in child's death
A Cambridge man accused in the death of four-year-old Rayna Gagne is now facing charges of second-degree murder.
Robert William Boettger, 28, was originally charged with aggravated assault following the girl's death, but new charges were laid following a video appearance in a Kitchener court Monday. To help cover funeral costs, a trust fund has been set up at the Bank of Montreal under the name My Little Hero. Taylor's other two children are temporarily in the care of a foster family under direction from Family and Children's Services until police conclude their investigation.
February 8, 2011
Sacked teacher falsely accused of groping girls
Sacked teacher falsely accused of groping girls - A TEACHER falsely accused of groping four schoolgirls has fought a seven-year battle to clear his name after being subjected to what he calls a "witch-hunt".
Science teacher Robert King, 45, was acquitted of sexually assaulting four girls by a jury - but was still sacked by Handsworth Grange Community Sports College and has been effectively barred from teaching ever since.
January 15, 2011
Is snooping in your spouse's e-mail a crime?
A Michigan man who accessed his wife's e-mail account while she was allegedly carrying on an affair faces up to five years in prison when he goes on trial Feb. 7 on a charge he violated a state law typically used against hackers intent on making money or
The question for the judge or jurors who will hear the case isn't whether Clara Walker gave Leon Walker, 33, permission to inspect her Google e-mail; he admits she didn't know what he was up to until her e-mail messages became an issue in their divorce and child custody battle.
December 28, 2010
Foster kids to get donated laptops
Alaska foster kids will soon get laptops to help them stay on track for high school graduation.
A small group of foster parents and former-foster kids came up with the idea to make it easier for teens to get their homework done without going to a library or community center every day. A lot of foster kids bounce between homes and change schools frequently, which can make it tough to keep up with class work.
December 23, 2010
Brown calls for hearings on disability program
US Senator Scott Brown called yesterday for Senate hearings to examine a $10 billion federal disability program for indigent children.
Brown's request came after US Representative Richard Neal, a Springfield Democrat, responded to the Globe series this week by asking for the House Ways and Means Committee to hold hearings to look at whether too many children are being given psychotropic medications in order to prove the severity of the child's condition and help them qualify for benefits of up to $700 a month and Medicaid coverage.
The Boston Globe
December 18, 2010
Dead four-year-old girl Marchella Pierce was victim of 'grossly inadaquate' social care
New York's child welfare department missed a series of opportunities to save a beaten and emaciated four-year-old girl who may have starved to death.
Marchella Pierce was found dead in a bed in a 'filthy' New York apartment on September 2, weighing less than a six-month-old baby. Her mother Carlotta Pierce, 30, faces charges of second degree assault having admitted she tied Marchella to a bed at night to stop her taking food from the fridge.
December 14, 2010
Teenagers in SSI program face a cruel dilemma
Many teenage recipients of federal disability benefits say they feel pressure to avoid work, not wanting to raise doubts about their status and jeopardize vital family income
Federal officials have tried to address the problem by creating programs that could encourage teens to work. In one such program, for instance, any full-time student under age 22 is eligible, upon request, to earn up to $6,600 a year, without facing reductions in their SSI check. But the program is not used much, because few families seem to know about it. So far, only 3 percent of those eligible have taken advantage of it.
The Boston Globe
December 14, 2010
Canadian Judge Rules Vaccinations Not Essential in Family Court Case
Vaccinations aren't "essential" medical treatments, a family court judge has ruled in refusing a Child Welfare request to order inoculations for four kids. Judge Stephen Lipton, in a written decision released Thursday.
Child Welfare had applied for a ruling to have the siblings immunized despite their parents' decision not to allow the treatment. But Lipton said the four children, ranging in age from one to 12, weren't at any present risk so no court intervention was warranted.
December 9, 2010
Let sex offenders adopt and work with children, says report
The government could face legal action if it continues to ban sex offenders from working with children, according to research published today.
A report by a family law expert argues that some sex offenders should be allowed to adopt or foster children, and claims that the current blanket ban is discriminatory. "Sex offenders shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush," said Helen Reece at the London School of Economics, who wrote the report. "People need to be carefully screened for adoption and fostering, but each case should be taken on its merits.
December 4, 2010
Elitism at the Department of Ed
The fact of the matter is a sizable percentage of students in bachelor degree programs do not graduate in four years. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Education.
Nearly 43% of students who enroll full-time in a 4-year bachelor degree program fail to graduate in six years. The graduation rate also varies by race and gender. The Ed Dept does not make available data break-down based on socio-economic status. In general, the demographic of the typical career college student is more prone to defaulting on loans, much like the high loan default rate of students attending historically black colleges and universities.
December 1, 2010
Parental Responsibility - Child Law
To what extent do you consider that the operation of PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY and the application of the concept of PARAMOUNT of the welfare of the child conflict in private law disputes with children
Section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989 (CA) contains what is commonly referred to as the 'paramountcy' or 'best interests principle'. The section provides: When a court determines any question with respect to- (a) the upbringing of a child; or (b) the administration of a child's property or the application of any income arising from it, the child's welfare shall be the court's paramount consideration.
November 26, 2010
Woman says she was bullied to admit child abuse
PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- A woman who confessed to child abuse 11 years ago in exchange for the withdrawal of a murder charge laid based on the faulty evidence of disgraced pathologist Charles Smith says authorities bullied her into falsely confessing.
In a sworn affidavit filed in Superior Court, Brenda Waudby says she was bullied into the false confession, and is seeking an appeal extension to have her conviction thrown out. Waudby was first charged with murder in the 1997 death of her 21-month-old daughter, Jenna Mellor, based on Smith's erroneous findings.
torontosun.com -- Canada
November 26, 2010
Child Protective Services Takes Leah Away From Amber Portwood
CPS has removed baby Leah from the home of "Teen Mom" star Amber Portwood and have placed her with her father, Gary Shirley.
Amber opened up about the incident, saying that CPS thought it would be safer for Leah to be with her dad because of all of the photographers surrounding her house. Amber rose to notoriety after it surfaced on the MTV show that she was abusing her ex-fiancee, Gary.
Allie is Wired
November 12, 2010
Good news: State seizes newborn baby after mom eats poppy seed bagel
If you're pregnant and happen to live in Pennsylvania, avoid Dunkin Donuts at all costs.
The birth of a couple's first child is supposed to be a joyous occasion -- and for the first three days, it was for Elizabeth Mort and her partner Alex Rodriguez. But then the commonwealth of Pennsylvania took their young daughter away after the hospital where she was born reported the mother for testing positive on a drug test. Her drug of choice? An "everything" bagel from Dunkin' Donuts. Mort and Rodriguez's daughter was taken by the state a mere day after they returned from the hospital. Despite a test of the child failing to uncover any trace of illicit drugs, a pair of LCCYS caseworkers and two police officers showed up at their door bearing a court order legally entitling them to seize her. And that never would have happened were it not for Jameson Hospital's written policy of subjecting mothers-to-be to urine drug tests — and to then report them to the state for testing positive if they exceed an exceptionally low threshold that is far more stringent than the one the federal government applies to its own workers.
November 9, 2010
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