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According to a 2004 report by U.S. DHHS, 60.7% of abuse investigations lead to a finding that the alleged mistreatment was "unsubstantiated."
--Dr. Douglass Besharov, Child Abuse Expert
National CPS News Archive
National News Coverage
Reuniting children with their families in Sierra Leone
Conflict raged throughout the 1990s in Sierra Leone, destroying houses and weakening community structures.
It also tore apart many families as children were sent away to live with relatives, with strangers or in orphanages.
November 10, 2009
How Child Protectice Services Works
All it takes to begin the potential destruction of a family is a call to one of the child protective "hotlines" in every state. The call can be made anonymously, making the hotlines potent tools for harassment.
Though state laws generally encourage, or require, reports if you have "reasonable cause to suspect" maltreatment, child savers urge us to call in our slightest suspicions about almost any parental behavior. (One group has published a comic book telling children to turn in their parents to "other grown-up friends" if they get a spanking). The hotlines then forward the calls to Child Protective Services (CPS) agencies who send workers to investigate. These workers can go to a child's school or day care center and interrogate them without warning.
San Diego Courts Examiner
October 31, 2009
Why watching TV won't turn your baby into a genius
In the early 1990s neuroscientists realised what a crucial period the first two years of life are for the human brain. The brain is embryonic at birth; it forms itself in response to what it finds on the outside.
Children placed in foster care before the age of 2 made remarkable recoveries. Those who were given homes after the age of 2 had damaged IQs and cognitive ability. Their neglect could be seen on a brain scan.
October 29, 2009
Grandchild care kills marriages of one in seven
Taking in a grandchild has split up the marriages of one in every seven New Zealand couples who have had to do this.
A survey of 205 members of the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Trust found that 28 marriages broke up as a result of taking in a child - 13.7 per cent of the 188 people who answered this question.
The New Zealand Herald
October 28, 2009
OMG, Senators Target Texting While Driving
The senate, the DOT and the FCC want you to stop texting while driving, they all but declared a war on texting, promising education campaigns and laws to convince you to put your phone down - at least while you are piloting a two-ton SUV going 70 mph.
The federal government doesn't actually have the power to ban the activities nationwide, so the bill attempts to bribe states into passing strong anti-texting laws by offering them money if they do. Earlier this month, Obama issued an executive order banning federal employees from texting while driving while using a government car or mobile device.
October 28, 2009
Video: Child bound, gagged with duct tape at school
Imagine that a parent had gotten so fed up with a six-year-old child that he had used duct tape to bind and gag the youngster to settle things down.
Imagine, then, what would have happened to said parent had the child's school found out about it. The administration would have called the police and Child Protective Services, the child would have been placed in foster care, and the parent hauled off to jail. When it happens in reverse...
October 25, 2009
State releases final report; says 275 children harmed
A Texas Child Protective Services investigation has found that of the 439 children removed from the Yearning for Zion Ranch in West Texas earlier this year, 275 were abused or neglected.
The final report, released Tuesday, said that 12 girls were victims of sexual abuse because they entered "spiritual marriages" between the ages of 12 and 15. Seven of them have had children, the report said. It also said that 263 other children suffered neglect. But the report does not include specific information on how investigators determined whether each child was abused or neglected, citing confidentiality requirements in state law.
October 25, 2009
Feds to issue new medical marijuana policy
Federal drug agents won't pursue pot-smoking patients or their sanctioned suppliers in states that allow medical marijuana, under new legal guidelines to be issued Monday by the Obama administration.
Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state law.
My Way News
October 19, 2009
Durham CAS facing $3.9 million budget shortfall
The Durham Children's Aid Society is staring down a $3.9 million budget shortfall for 2009/2010, but officials hope to make it to the end of the fiscal year without making service cuts.
Wanda Secord, executive director of Durham CAS, said the situation is part of a province-wide "funding crisis" in the child welfare system, pointing to a government decision to reduce annual funding allocations and eliminate end-of-year funding top-ups that cover what agencies spend beyond their budgets.
News Durham Region
October 17, 2009
That Bird Has My Wings: The Autobiography of an Innocent Man on Death Row by Jarvis Jay Masters
"One cannot be neutral in situations of injustice, and in his memoir, That Bird Has My Wings, Jarvis Jay Masters exposes the complex problems of a system that has resulted in a disproportionate number of blacks in the U.S. prison system.
Jarvis Jay Masters spent years in foster care before he was sent to various juvenile detention facilities and, ultimately, San Quentin. While serving a sentence for armed robbery he was implicated in the death of a prison guard, and though he takes full responsibility for his past actions, Masters maintains his innocence in regards to the murder that landed him on death row.
October 16, 2009
Cambridge woman is on a quest to find her long-lost cousin, Ashley
Born to a drug-addicted father and a mother she never got to know, Ashley Marie was put in foster care when she was just a toddler. But the Peek family thought of her as one of their own. They hoped to adopt her.
But one day in 1995, they say, the 7-year-old was abruptly taken from her foster family and placed with another family in parts unknown. The heartbroken Peeks, without even a chance to say goodbye, grieved as though she had died. Now, after nearly 15 years of wondering, Audra Peek has launched an all-out search for her long-lost cousin.
The Boston Globe
October 16, 2009
Man accused in parental kidnapping of Titusville boy being held in Bulgaria
The U.S. Attorney's Office said this morning that Chad Zachary Hower, the former area man accused of kidnapping his 13-year-old son and taking him out of the country, is being held in Bulgaria.
Authorities are waiting for Bulgarian authorities to decide whether Hower will be extradited, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Trabold said. The indictment charging Hower with one felony count was filed under seal in federal court in Erie on May 12, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.
October 15, 2009
Released, American father still faces uphill child custody battle in Japan
Tokyo -- Japanese police have released an American father who was imprisoned for allegedly kidnapping his own children despite his sole legal custody of them.
Prosecutors have not pressed charges against the American, Christopher Savoie, but they haven't yet dropped the case. Officials said they decided to release him on grounds that he was not a flight risk.
The Christian Science Monitor
October 15, 2009
The CPS case -- What happens in the fog
Beginning with an anonymous hotline "tip" of suspected abuse, a parent enters a gray area of American jurisprudence. And it is not "murky" to his benefit.
Child Abuse, when alleged, is not a criminal matter. It is blithely characterized as a "Civil" matter, much the same as a lawsuit to collect on a breach of contract.- or perhaps like Traffic Court. Thus, the Constitutional protections afforded in a criminal case are not necessarily extended to those accused of Child Abuse.
Family Rights Examiner
October 15, 2009
Lawsuit Filed to Halt Swine Flu Vaccine Distribution
With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin nationwide delivery of swine flu vaccine to 90,000 locations, attorney James Turner filed a complaint in federal court in the District of Columbia for a Temporary Restraining Order.
The suit challenges the Sept. 15 licensing of four swine flu vaccines, alleging that the FDA violated the law in its hurried approval by failing to determine the safety and efficacy of the vaccines as required by law since 1964. Turner told NewsWithViews that none of the procedures that should have been done, and that make up a formal administrative record, had been done.
News With Views
October 13, 2009
More kids are dying across the nation, in Las Vegas
Twice as many children have died in Clark County this year from abuse and neglect as in all of last year, and officials worry the number could be triple that for 2008 by year's end.
In Reno and surrounding Washoe County, the number of children who have died from abuse and neglect has also risen sharply over last year. In the rest of Nevada and nationwide, the numbers are climbing too, authorities say. Yet no one agrees on a common explanation for the trend - not child-welfare officials, nor experts at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington.
Las Vegas Sun
October 12, 2009
If you are ever approached by CPS
It is vitally important for families to understand their Constitutional Rights are real, not just something you hear on TV shows.
If you are ever approached by anyone from Childrens Protective Services (hereafter called CPS), keep in mind that regardless of what they say, they are not there to "help" you. They may appear "nice" but never lose sight of the fact that CPS agents "believe" the allegations reported against your family. Otherwise, they wouldn't be at your front door.
Family Rights Examiner
October 12, 2009
Revealed - How harrowing calls raise alarm on cruelty to children
A CHILD protection helpline launched after the tragic death of toddler Brandon Muir is receiving more than 100 calls a month, we can reveal. And the call frequency to the "early warning" line is expected to double within months as abuse fears soar.
Marie Valente, head of the Child Protection Unit at Yorkhill, said: "The big message from the Brandon Muir case was that important information was not shared early enough between people involved in his care.
The Sunday Mail
October 11, 2009
Officials warn of 'huffing' dangers
A light-headed feeling punctuated with a "whah-whah-whah" sound. That's how one man described the effects of huffing Dust Off when he was a teen.
The man, who asked that his name not be used, said he started huffing a few years ago after seeing "some older kids doing it." He used the canned compressed gas as a drug because it was easy to find and it was cheap. "I'd just go to Wal-Mart and it was there," he said.
The Grand Island Independent
October 3, 2009
Parents want children back
Dozens of parents gather in Saskatoon to talk about getting their children out of government care and back into their own homes.
Saskatchewan -- Welfare officials are quick to remove children from troubled homes but reluctant to return them when circumstances improve, the parents said.
CBC News (Canada)
September 25, 2009
Councils reminded to share information with foster carers
The Government wrote to councils today to remind them of the need to give foster carers full details about the backgrounds of the children they take on.
The move follows a recent case where a teenager placed with a couple in South Wales sexually abused their children. Ms Morgan pressed home the importance of keeping foster carers fully informed in her letter to council directors of children's services and chief executives. She said: "In a number of high-profile cases, where foster carers have not been given sufficient information about children placed with them, other children living within their home have been placed at risk of suffering harm..."
September 24, 2009
Walmart sued over kids' bath pictures
PHOENIX -- An Arizona couple accused of sexual abuse after taking bath-time photos of their children and then trying to have them developed at Walmart are suing the state and the retail giant.
Lisa and Anthony "A.J." Demaree's three young daughters were taken away by Arizona Child Protective Services last fall when a Walmart employee found partially nude pictures of the girls on a camera memory stick taken to the store for processing, according to the suit.
September 23, 2009
HHS Awards $35 Million to States for Increasing Adoptions
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded $35 million to 38 states for increasing the number of children adopted from foster care. States use the funds from the adoption incentive award to enhance their programs.
Under the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-351), the adoption incentives were revamped to provide stronger incentives for states to redouble their efforts to find children loving adoptive homes.
September 21, 2009
Nanny state snatches kids for being too fat
A couple soon expecting their seventh child has had their fifth and sixth taken by social workers after warnings that the family needed to slim down their overweight kids or risk losing custody.
Scotland's television station STV reports the family was warned last year that they risk losing all of their kids, ages 3 to 13, unless the children lost weight. At the time, the youngest, a girl, weighed 56 pounds. The oldest, a boy, has since grown to over 220 pounds.
World Net Daily
September 21, 2009
Parenting while apart
Greater priority needs to be given to working with parents of children in long-term foster care, according to new research by the University of East Anglia.
Parents of children in care play an important role in their lives but do not always get the information and support they need from social workers, foster carers and other professionals. The first in-depth study of its kind, it found that parents who are helped to overcome negative or angry feelings and receive regular information about their children's progress are more likely to co-operate with social workers, and be supportive of the child and the placement.
September 20, 2009
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