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As of 1989, Los Angeles County, CA had paid $18 million in settlements to children who were abused while in custody.
~Margot Hornblower, "Fixing the System," Time Magazine, 12/11/95.
National CPS News Archive
National News Coverage
Cape May disabled toddler dies while under DYFS supervision
A 2-year-old disabled boy who had been supervised by New Jersey's child welfare system has died, allegedly at the hands of his mother's boyfriend, the second such incident in less than a month, state Department of Children and Families officials said toda
State officials confirmed this week that the agency had been investigating the family of a Cape May County toddler with cerebral palsy who died April 22. The disclosure came just days after a federal monitor issued a report crediting the department with making improvements to expand, better train and supervise its child welfare caseworkers.
The State Ledger
April 30, 2009
Young offenders get an alternative to custody
Daily life for 15-year-old Stuart is governed by a complex system of incentives and points that seems to have more in common with a television gameshow than a custodial sentence.
As a participant in an experimental youth justice initiative, he is working out a nine-month sentence for aggravated burglary as a guest in the home of a warmly sympathetic foster parent, instead of being locked up in a young offenders institution (YOI).
April 29, 2009
Antiabortion movement gets a new-media twist
The girl's voice in the videotape is tiny and tentative. She is talking to a nursing aide in a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bloomington, Ind. The girl wants an abortion.
The aide explains that the girl will need a parent's consent because she is only 13. The girl balks; she does not want to name the father. "Cause, I mean, he would be in really big trouble," says the girl. Her boyfriend, she explains, is 31.
Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2009
Warning on private foster care
When I was a child my parents sent me to live with strangers. Such arrangements are known as private fostering, and while one of my carers was good, the other was awful.
I was surprised to discover that these types of arrangements still go on. In fact, according to a recent survey commissioned by the British Association for Adoption & Fostering, as many as 1 in 10 18-to-24 year-olds may have been privately fostered at some point in their lives.
Sheffield Telegraph (UK)
April 16, 2009
New DHS child safety plan in use
The high removal rate is a concern for causing trauma to children. Officials say the rate also is high because the state's legal definition of when to remove a child is broader than other states.
Oklahoma allows for removal on risk of danger and not just "imminent" danger. Also, Tulsa and Oklahoma counties have agreements that allow law enforcement to place children in custody without a DHS consultation. Pending legislation would change those standing orders to require DHS involvement in all child removals.
April 14, 2009
House panel to consider state's actions in sect raid
The House Committee on Human Services tomorrow is scheduled to take a look at how the state handled last year's child-welfare operation at a West Texas ranch owned by a polygamist sect.
Testimony is expected from people invited by the panel, including Anne Heiligenstein, commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services; Willie Jessop, a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Scott McCown, executive director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities; and Kevin Dietz of Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which represented some of the FLDS mothers.
April 13, 2009
Learning in field and office
Julia Partney watched as Tulsa law enforcement agents flooded into the home during a drug raid. She was there as part of her training to become a child welfare worker for the DHS. Children were believed to be living in the house.
All DHS child welfare investigators complete a five-week training course, called Core, that includes job shadowing, interpersonal skills, assessments, legal liability, safety and an overview of the mountains of documents that must be completed. About 50 workers a month are trained to work in investigations, foster care placement and adoption.
April 13, 2009
Strip-Search Case Tests How Far Schools Can Go
SAFFORD -- Savana Redding still remembers the clothes she had on - black stretch pants with butterfly patches and a pink T-shirt - the day school officials here forced her to strip six years ago. She was 13 and in eighth grade.
Savana Redding, 19, was strip searched six years ago when teachers suspected she had brought prescription pills to school. An assistant principal, enforcing the school's antidrug policies, suspected her of having brought prescription-strength ibuprofen pills to school. One of the pills is as strong as two Advils.
The New York Times (AZ)
March 23, 2009
Report: Benefits Outweigh Costs 2 - 1 In Providing Foster Care Support, Services To California Youth To Age 21
According to a new report released today, continuing support for older youth in foster care can create substantial cost savings for California while helping build better lives and futures for some of the state's most vulnerable young people.
The report states that the net cost of extending foster care to age 21 in Illinois is approximately $37,948 per youth. Available information suggests that the cost of extending care in California may be less. Under the federal-state partnership created by recent passage of federal legislation, the federal government is expected to pay approximately 50% of these costs.
March 9, 2009
Advocates Want Foster Care Extended
Some California officials are pushing a plan to extend foster care for kids until they are 21-years-old. They cite a new study that says it would save the state millions of dollars in the long run.
California isn't exactly flush with money right now, but the federal government passed a law last fall that offers $80 million in matching funds, if the state keeps young adults in foster care after they turn 18.
March 9, 2009
BC foster care in crisis, report and social workers agree
The province's foster care system is in deep trouble according to a recently released government report, and the organization that represents BC social workers is calling for a thoroughgoing reform.
"Children should have well trained, adequately funded foster parents to go to when life at home becomes unsafe and dangerous. Failure to resolve the current foster care crisis and chaos will move it beyond the tipping point, and the foster care system will tip over with disastrous results," she said.
March 8, 2009
Child's suicide raises questions about care
The suicide of a 16-year-old girl in care in Winnipeg has led the chief of her remote First Nation to ask why child welfare authorities are not providing more details to them and her family around her death, including the services she received before she
Jessica Joy Owens of Pauingassi died in Winnipeg last week after she killed herself in the company of another 17-year-old foster child from the same community, said Chief Harold Crow. Crow said Owens' family has been shattered by suicide, after three of the six siblings in the family have taken their own lives.
Winnipeg Free Press
March 7, 2009
Police investigate foster child's injuries.
CALGARY-Southern Alberta RCMP are investigating after a 15-month-old boy was sent to a Calgary hospital this week with serious injuries suffered while in provincial foster care in the Strathmore area - the third similar incident in about two years.
The minister wouldn't say how many children were in the foster home when the boy was hurt or discuss the extent of his injuries. However, NDP MLA Rachel Notley, who raised the issue in question period, said she was told by a source familiar with the investigation that too many foster children were in the residence and the boy was hurt after being shaken.
March 6, 2009
Confidential DHS Documents Left Behind in Home
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A DHS worker left hundreds of confidential documents behind after she was evicted from her rental home in Guthrie.
The documents obtained by NEWS 9 contained names, dates of birth and Social Security numbers. They also contained the names and addresses of children involved in sexual and physical abuse.
March 3, 2009
Custody loss leads father Clarence W. Cooper II to fight DHS
Clarence W. Cooper II isn't a big fan of Oklahoma's child welfare system. And he's not shy about saying so.
Cooper acknowledges his sharp tongue has caused him problems. Still, he maintains the state Department of Human Services had no cause to take his children. The 32-year-old father surrendered parental rights to his four children when it became clear he wasn't going to be able to beat a system he describes as "the largest human-trafficking, child-exploitation and extortion ring in the state of Oklahoma."
March 2, 2009
Soldier: Deployment leaves no one to care for kids
When Lisa Pagan reports for duty Sunday, four long years after she was honorably discharged from the Army, she'll arrive with more than her old uniform. She's bringing her kids, too.
Soldiers can appeal, and some have won permission to remain in civilian life. Pagan filed several appeals, arguing that because her husband travels for business, no one else can take care of her kids. All were rejected, leaving Pagan with what she says is a choice between deploying to Iraq and abandoning her family, or refusing her orders and potentially facing charges. Then she hit on the idea of showing up Sunday at Fort Benning, Ga., with her children in tow.
The Seattle Times (NC)
February 28, 2009
Baby P: Probe details catalogue of blunders
A damning report is to identify a catalogue of errors made by NHS professionals who failed to prevent the abuse and death of Baby P.
An investigation by the Healthcare Commission will condemn blunders made by a succession of doctors and health visitors who came into contact with the toddler, but did not act on clear signs that he was at risk.
February 28, 2009
With a bit of lock, the truth will be revealed
When blood and urine tests fail, evidence often can be found concealed in a lock of hair.
Victoria Police use the tests in cases of alleged drug-facilitated sexual assault. But most of the lab's work is done for welfare authorities, family lawyers and workplaces. Child welfare authorities request the tests when investigating allegations that a child has been sedated with an illicit drug.
The Age (AU)
February 28, 2009
Killer gets life
MACHIAS, Maine -- A 27-year-old local man, Richard Widdecombe Jr., accused of double murder was sentenced Friday in Washington County Superior Court to life in prison. Widdecombe was placed into 17 different foster homes during his young life.
Davidson described the years of abuse that Widdecombe suffered first at the hands of his 14-year-old mother and mentally handicapped father, who was 18 years older than his wife. And the abuse he suffered at the hands of some of his foster parents and eventually the state Department of Health and Human Services, the attorney said. Davidson described the abuse as emotional, physical and sexual.
Bangor Daily News
February 27, 2009
'Supernanny' Episode Prompts DCF Investigation
DELTONA -- A Florida family featured on the reality television show "Supernanny" is being investigated for possible child abuse.
In it, Phil Davis slaps a young child in the face. He is also seen repeatedly cursing at the family's five children, ages 2 to 14.
WPBF News 25
February 25, 2009
The ethics of keeping a child from its parents
Mark and Nicky Webster have lost a bid to overturn adoption orders on three of their children. The children were removed in 2005, following concerns over injuries incurred to one of the children.
Subsequent investigations revealed that the injuries may have resulted from a medical condition, and that the Websters may not have harmed the child after all. However, with the children now settled with their adoptive families.
BBC News (UK)
February 16, 2009
The Mysterious Link Between Depression And Being A Writer Feature Story
Throughout history there have been several inspiring writers, one of them being author Edgar Allan Poe. Around the world, Poe is considered to be the most inspiring writer; not only during his lifetime but also centuries after his death.
Even at a very young age his life was marked by tragedy with the death of both of his parents before the age of three. At the age of twenty his foster mother, Frances Allen, died of sickness. After the death of his wife, Virginia Poe, in 1847, which was caused by tuberculosis, Poe drank more heavily and displayed increasingly erratic behavior...
The Celebrity Cafe
February 16, 2009
Three gay-rights bills clear hurdles, make it out of Utah House panel
Three gay-rights bills, all sponsored by Salt Lake City Democrats, cleared legislative hurdles Friday. The measures, considered long shots, have made it out of the sometimes-bill-blocking House Rules Committee and scored public hearings.
Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck's HB288 -- which would allow unmarried couples, including gay and lesbian partners, to adopt and foster children in Utah -- will be debated Tuesday before the House Health and Human Services Committee.
The Salt Lake Tribune
February 14, 2009
Keoni Come Lately
The report, five single-spaced pages written by a social worker on behalf of a couple looking to become foster parents, was about me.
Three years ago, returning to Hawaii more than a half-century after I'd left the place where I was born, I'd made a formal request for any records connected to my birth and early history. The social worker's report was one of several documents in the package I eventually received.
The Sag Harbor Express
February 13, 2009
9,000 at DES will be placed on unpaid leave
Despite rising demand for unemployment benefits and food stamps, the Department of Economic Security on Thursday announced furloughs for 9,000 employees and said "a significant number" of layoffs are imminent.
The department, which oversees agencies including Child Protective Services, the food-stamp program and child-support enforcement, previously reduced overtime and travel expenses. But it wasn't enough to avoid steep cuts.
The Arizona Republic
February 13, 2009
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