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Children in foster care are 3 to 6 times more likely to have emotional, behavioral and developmental problems.

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Nevada CPS News Archive

Nevada News Coverage

As the saying goes, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!" But not this time...

Our room is described on the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino website as: The 550 square foot Deluxe Room is the perfect blend of comfort and style. We like to call it simple chic-and with artfully designed furnishings and plush textiles, you'll love to call it home during your stay. Perhaps, they really meant shabby-chic? Judging from our room, the hotel is old and long overdue for more than a face-lift.

November 20, 2011

by Cy Ryan

A Las Vegas woman convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a 7-month-old-foster child in her care, lost an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Melanie Ochs -- sentenced to 20-50 years in the August 2006 death of "Baby Boy Charles" -- argued there were six errors during the District Court trial that warranted reversal of her conviction. Ochs maintained that she had set the child on the washing machine to change his diaper but she was distracted by the two other children who were arguing.

October 31, 2011

by Kristi Jourdan

Gone are the days of the Clark County child welfare system heavily relying on anecdotes to keep track of foster children and their medications.

Officials with the Department of Family Services want to better monitor the use of psychotropic medications in the system with a new process to review the child's prescriptions and identify those who need formal psychiatric care outside of drug treatment.

October 18, 2011

by Cy Ryan

A foster care home in Clark County, under the supervision of the non-profit Eagle Quest of Nevada, failed to meet the minimum safety and health standards for the six children living in the home, according to a legislative review.

The unannounced visit in March found unsecured flammable liquid, sharp knives, a dirty kitchen, overflowing garbage cans, filthy bathroom sinks with standing dirty water used by the foster children, non-nutritious foods and neither of the foster parents at home. The children were removed almost immediately to another home.

October 18, 2011

by Alex Brauer

LAS VEGAS -- The use of powerful mood-altering drugs for mental health treatment is on the rise among kids in the care of Nevada's child welfare system. It's a trend the I-Team first examined back in 2009.

Despite assurances from both state and local officials progress has been painfully and perhaps dangerously slow. The data the I-Team received from both the state and the county is such a mess it's hard to say exactly how much the use of psychotropic medications among kids in care has increased. What is clear is that nearly 30 percent of kids in the system are taking at least one of these medications and the state confirms an increase last year. At the same time both agencies were supposed to be fixing the problem.

August 10, 2011

by Maddie Reynolds

The Chapman children attend public school, but not the kind where they take a bus every morning to school and sit among dozens of students throughout the day fighting for the individual attention each needs.

Unlike homeschool, NCA is a K-12 public school that provides all classroom materials, certified teachers and classrooms, although the classrooms are virtual. Osmond, one of 60 NCA teachers, uses an online interactive classroom to give lessons to her students in addition to talking on the phone with her students and their families on a weekly basis.

July 27, 2011

Nevada County's Child Protective Services failed to follow-up on a case of suspected child abuse in a timely fashion last year, according to a report released today by the Nevada County Grand Jury.

Jurors concluded CPS officials failed to record and follow-up on a suspected child abuse case in 2010, and has flawed policies to detect and correct such an error in record. Jurors made two recommendations...

June 6, 2011

by Colleen McCarty

The state child welfare budget is not among the hardest hit this legislative session but spending cuts to the agencies that service children and families could have long term consequences.

By the time a child is ready for adoption, he or she will have touched virtually every part of the child welfare system from the abuse or neglect investigation that removed him or her, to the foster placement or placements that temporarily housed him or her, to the court proceedings that terminated the mom and dad's parental rights. If any part of that system slows, an abused child spends more time within it instead of with an adopted family.

April 15, 2011

by Richard Wexler

A police officer answers a call from a mother who, with her husband, had been evicted from the Las Vegas Rescue Mission for missing a curfew. Now the mother doesn't know where her husband is.

She has no income and no way to provide for the children. The children are taken to the county orphanage -- Child Haven -- for 72 nights, then returned to their parents, who by then are living in a trailer. Five months later, the family is evicted, and the children again are placed in Child Haven.

March 27, 2011

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

by Cy Ryan

CARSON CITY - Gov. Brian Sandoval's slimmed-down budget for the state to care for needy children has been assailed by critics as endangering the public and lowering treatment for the mental health needs of youth.

Some of the harshest criticism centered on proposed cutbacks in the juvenile justice system and reductions in funds to youth camps, where juvenile offenders are sent instead of committing them to reformatories in Elko for boys and Caliente for girls.

March 5, 2011

by Joe Schoenmann

The Clark County manager is reviewing 82 cases in which the district attorney's office claims the county's own child protection agency would have returned children to dangerous homes or would not have removed them quickly had the DA not intervened.

Summaries of the cases were offered to the Legislative Committee on Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice in late June. County Manager Virginia Valentine last week disclosed that her office is reviewing them and urged the public to withhold judgment. Involving children, birth parents, foster parents and often stepmothers or stepfathers, many of the cases outline family histories riddled with alcohol, drugs, mental illness, sexual abuse and other behavior. Some end in a child's death. The summaries lay out a dark landscape where children, many of whom have just started life, are beaten down in the one place most people turn to for support: home.

Las Vegas Sun

July 25, 2010

by Robert Costa

"After he failed kindergarten, I put him back in for that second year and he was completely demoralized," Angle explains.

"What I had was a six-year-old dropout. I knew that I needed to do something different for this kid, to kind of put him back on his wheels and get him started again. I decided to homeschool him." Such a transition should have been easy. At the time, Nevada law allowed parents to homeschool their kids. The local school district caused a fuss, saying the children were truant and that they must enroll or be placed in foster homes.

National Review Online

June 16, 2010

Reported cases of whooping cough in neighboring California have tripled since last year, according to state health officials, including five infants who died.

In California, 584 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, were confirmed between Jan. 1 and May 31 - three times the 190 confirmed cases reported last year in the same time frame. Hit especially hard were the Bay Area, Los Angeles County, Orange County and Fresno County.

Nevada Appeal

June 13, 2010

by Tiffany Gibson

A 27-year-old Las Vegas woman has been arrested on child abuse charges in connection with the death of her 3-year-old stepson, police said.

Police said it was determined that the boy then had no brain activity and was taken off life support. The Clark County Coroner's Office said Darryl was pronounced dead at UMC on June 6 of blunt force head trauma. Watson was then charged with murder by child abuse. Watson's stepdaughter has been taken into protective custody by Child Protective Services.

Las Vegas Sun

June 10, 2010

by Cara McCoy

A sentencing hearing was delayed Thursday for a husband and wife who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from allegations of sexually abusing their children when they were minors.

The now-adult children reported to police they had been sexually abused by Frederick Vonseydewitz, 45, and his wife, Mary, when they were minors. In January, both Frederick and Mary Vonseydewitz pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2010

by Lawrence Mower

A 2-day-old boy was dropped off at a fire station Friday, the first time a child has been left with the Clark County Fire Department under Nevada's Safe Haven law.

About noon, a man who identified himself as a relative of the boy's mother handed the child to a firefighter at Station No. 20, 5710 Judson Ave., near Lake Mead and Nellis boulevards, department spokesman Scott Allison said.

Las Vegas Review Journal

April 20, 2010

by Richard Wexlar

The group that so arrogantly calls itself "Children's Rights" has filed another one of its Mclawsuits against a state child welfare agency - this time in Massachusetts. And NCCPR's sources say that another such Mclawsuit, in Texas, is imminent.

Meanwhile a group which is unaffiliated with CR but has the same myopic outlook about how to fix child welfare systems, the National Center for Youth Law, has filed the same kind of suit in Nevada. All of these child welfare systems almost certainly are every bit as bad as CR and NCYL say they are.

NCCPR Child Welfare Blog

April 15, 2010

by Brian Haynes

A national child advocacy group has filed a new federal lawsuit in hopes of revamping a child welfare system it says has failed in caring for Southern Nevada's abused and neglected children.

The federal lawsuit filed in Las Vegas late Tuesday by the California-based National Center for Youth Law names 13 foster children as victims of a variety of failures by Clark County's Department of Family Services.

Las Vegas Review Journal

April 14, 2010

by Tanya Roth, Esq.

At this point most of us would agree that smoking is bad for you. It's bad for the guy standing next to the guy who is smoking. It's bad for the kids of the guy who is smoking.

But here is an question, if tobacco is still a legal product in this country, and it is, maybe the one place you should be able to smoke is at a tobacco trade show? On Monday, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority asked a Nevada judge to dismiss a lawsuit by the American Cancer Society seeking to stop smoking at tobacco trade shows.

January 29, 2010

by Cara McCoy

A Las Vegas man with a history of child abuse entered an Alford plea today in connection with the 2007 death of his 2-year-old son.

Mario Hill, 32, tearfully admitted today that there was likely enough evidence for a conviction, but did not admit guilt to one count of child abuse with substantial bodily harm in the death of his son, Nithaniel Hill.

Las Vegas Sun

January 20, 2010

by Maggie Lillis

Two mothers were charged with multiple counts of child endangerment after three toddlers fell out of a moving vehicle Sunday evening on Bruce Street near Owens Avenue, Las Vegas police said.

One-year-old twins were taken to University Medical Center. One of them was in critical condition this morning, and the other was being held for observation. Other children in the vehicle were taken to Child Haven, and Child Protective Services was notified, Cassell said.

Las Vegas Review Journal

November 3, 2009

The number of children under the age of 18 who have died from abuse or neglect in Clark County this year has more than doubled the total for all of last year, rising from 18 to 37.

Tom Morton, director of Clark County's Department of Family Services, said that in reviewing the cases, he could not find a pattern for the deaths. In many cases, he said, there is little his agency can do, citing the death of a 3-year-old who suffocated in a foster home after finding a plastic bag and putting it over his head.

Las Vegas Sun

October 13, 2009

by Richard A. Serrano

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

by David McGrath Schwartz

The county Department of Family Services will go to child welfare court hearings without a lawyer to push its recommendations on children's futures when Clark County District Attorney David Roger disagrees with the department's conclusions.

The state Health and Human Services Department has said it will withhold $1.5 million from Clark County because Roger sometimes sends two attorneys to hearings - one to argue the Clark County Department of Family Services' position and another to argue what prosecutors believe is in the best interest of the child. Roger argues that this system provides a check and balance on the county's child welfare agency.

Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2009

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