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The number of children in out-of-home care increased by 44% from 1986 to 1995 (from 280,000 to 486,000).
North Carolina CPS News Archive
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North Carolina News Coverage
North Carolina Foster Child Sues CPS Supervisor who Adopted Him, Only to Abuse Him
A North Carolina foster kid, who was discovered by a sheriff deputy cuffed to a front porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck, filed a lawsuit last month against the Child Protective Services worker who adopted him.
Wanda Sue Larson was a Gaston County Social Services CPS Supervisor when she adopted the boy at the age of four in 2006. Investigators say Larson submitted false statements in order to manipulate the "process and substance" of the legal hearing determining J.G.'s custody, manipulating the juvenile courts into removing the child from his biological mother, Maria Harris, by deceiving the juvenile court judge overseeing the case. Harris regained custody of her son in 2015 after the information about Larson came to light.
December 21, 2016
Kids in foster care falling through the cracks
There are kids in our community falling through the cracks. The foster care system is overloaded. They have no home, no voice.
But a group of women in our area are trying to change that - and want you to think about getting involved. RJ Puckett delights in the little things. He loves his job at Special Treasures - a Goodwill type store in Iredell County that raises money for kids who have been or are still in foster care.
March 31, 2016
More Parents Homeschooling to Escape Common Core
Evidence shows that parents are choosing to homeschool their children in order to escape the Common Core State Standards, two leaders in the Catholic homeschooling field told The Cardinal Newman Society.
Recent findings in several states indicate that there has been a significant increase in parents who choose to homeschool their children in order to avoid the Common Core standards being implemented in public and private schools, according to reports by Heartlander Magazine and EAGnews.org.
November 24, 2014
Social worker faces charge involving child
The Wilkes Sheriff's Department this week filed a misdemeanor charge against a foster care social worker III at the Wilkes Department of Social Services in connection with an incident involving a 3-year-old child in foster care.
Wilkes Sheriff Chris Shew said Angela Christine Caraway, 38, of Cecil Miller Road in Boone, is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor as a result of an investigation of a report of inappropriate behavior with a juvenile. Shew said the juvenile was a male.
June 27, 2014
New law responds to North Carolina child abuse case
Kilah Davenport, a little girl who was brutally beaten by her stepfather in Union County, died in March at age 4 -- almost two years after the assault.
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate gave unanimous approval to the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act. It was introduced in 2013 by Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Charlotte Republican who wanted to see tougher penalties for such outrageous criminal acts.
June 6, 2014
Winston-Salem parents charged with child abuse
Winston-Salem police have charged the parents of a 10-month-old with child abuse after a hospital examination showed the child had suffered multiple bone fractures and bruising.
Officers on Wednesday arrested 43-year-old Angelo Ford and 24-year-old Candice Johnson on one count of felony child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and two counts of felony child abuse inflicting physical bodily injury.
June 6, 2014
Home-school co-op starts in Brevard area
The Mountain Roots Ramblers has launched new home-school enrichment programs in a co-op environment.
The co-op provides weekly enrichment opportunities for home-school children ages 4-12. The program will grow in the fall and is looking for new families.
June 6, 2014
Parents, 6 Sons, Accused Of Sexually Abusing Girl For Nearly A Decade
The sheriff of a small county in northeast North Carolina says he is "disgusted" by the parents of six men who are accused of sexually abusing their sister for nearly a decade, at a private family compound.
"I blame the parents for this," Perquimans County Sheriff Eric Tilley told The Huffington Post on Tuesday. "It's your responsibility as a parent to teach [your children] right and wrong. When you see a child doing something that is totally wrong and you don't correct them, then the child thinks it's OK."
May 13, 2014
Duke research administration manager faces charges of felony child abuse
A Duke research administration manager at the School of Medicine was arrested last week and is facing charges of felony child abuse. Prudence Shivers-who is listed as Charlyne Shivers in the Duke directory-was arrested for two counts of child abuse.
The two children, ages 4 and 6, were Shivers' foster children. Shivers' posted a $60,000 bond on Feb. 1 after being arrested. As part of her release, Shivers may not have contact with children under 16-years-old without supervision.
February 10, 2014
North Carolina homeschoolers beat back proposed home inspections
RALEIGH, N.C.-North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest warned the state's homeschoolers Monday to look out for-and oppose-"random homeschool searches" by state officials.
Forest's statement caused a stir among the homeschool community because it brought to light a longstanding practice of inspections the Division of Non-Public Education's (DNPE) left dormant for 20 years. In North Carolina, homeschool parents must make attendance, immunization, and standardized test records available to state inspectors. Many homeschooling families believe that regulation, and the state's plan to visit parents and children at home, conflicts with the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against warrantless searches.
October 17, 2013
Government shutdown leads to hefty DSS service reductions
Wilmington resident Mazelle Williams will have to make a tough choice Monday morning: Go to her job at the University of North Carolina Wilmington or stay home and take care of her 72-year-old husband, who is in the last stages of dementia.
Williams' husband typically stays at Adult Day Services while she is at work. He receives all his medical treatments, meals, and is constantly monitored so Williams doesn't have to worry about his care while she tries to keep a roof over their head. But Friday afternoon Williams received the news that, because of the federal government shutdown, the federal subsidy for her husband's care doled out by New Hanover County was being eliminated.
October 4, 2013
Police: Former foster parent charged with sex crimes against kid
A former resident of Spencer was extradited from Tennessee back to Rowan County last week on sex crimes charges. William Wayne Jones, is charged with four counts of first degree sex offense and four counts of indecent liberties of a minor.
Jones and his wife were formerly licensed as foster parents through Rowan County Department of Social Services and were responsible for children placed in their care from November 2001 through March 2004.
May 15, 2013
Learning from the Past: Why Termination of a Non-Citizen Parent's Rights Should Not Be Based on the Child's Best Interest
In 2003, Felipe Montes illegally crossed the border from Mexico to the United States and traveled to Sparta, North Carolina to find work on Christmas tree farms. While living and working in Sparta, Felipe married a local woman named Marie.
In fact, the Department of Social Services investigated Marie and Felipe multiple times due to allegations that the couple neglected their children. In each instance, however, the Department's assessment did not reveal any evidence of neglect and the children remained in Felipe and Marie's custody. Felipe could not apply for a driver's license because he was an undocumented immigrant and he accumulated a series of traffic violations. As a result of his convictions, in 2010, Felipe was deported to Mexico and forced to leave his two young children, Isaiah and Adrian, and his pregnant wife in Sparta. Marie struggled to support herself and her family after Felipe's deportation.
April 24, 2013
North Carolina's New Welfare Requirement Will Require Criminal Background Check For Benefits
Some North Carolina legislators agreed Tuesday to require county social service workers to perform criminal background checks on people seeking welfare and food stamps.
The House Health and Human Services Committee voted to make the checks mandatory in all county Department of Social Services offices for people applying for the benefits or for renewing their application to keep receiving them. The DSS office also would have to tell law enforcement agencies if an applicant is a fugitive or is wanted on an outstanding warrant.
April 4, 2013
PHHI receives USDA grant to combat E. coli
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Organic Agriculture Research at N.C. State and the University of Tennessee's Institute of Agriculture a $2 million grant to fund a study to develop new organic compounds to treat crops.
The study is titled "Alternative Post-harvest Washing Solutions to Enhance the Microbial Safety and Quality of Organic Fresh Produce." The research will be aimed at the particular fruits and vegetables that have been at the center of the recent frequent E. coli outbreaks. The grant will fund an organic project looking for post-harvest applications that meet organic criteria. After harvest crops are treated to ensure that they ship well, look good in the store and also kill any contaminating micro-organisms, such as E. coli. Many fruits and vegetables are treated specifically to kill the E. coli bacteria on the outer surface.
April 1, 2013
Police: Toddler collapses at daycare, dies at hospital
The Gastonia Police Department is investigating after a toddler collapsed at a local daycare and later died at the hospital.
According to a Gastonia Police report, a 4-year-old boy was playing with other children in the room when an employee of the daycare noticed he started walking strange and then fell to the floor.
March 29, 2013
Man charged with murder, incest charges after bodies of mom, son
A Wilkes County man has been arrested and charged with murder and incest after investigators found a woman and her young son murdered in their home.
According to the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office, 33-year-old Kelly Marie Pruitt and her 8-year-old son, Kevin Hurley, were reported missing on Thursday. Deputies learned that neither had been seen since last Friday, March 8. During the investigation, deputies, along with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, went to Pruitt's home along the 2600 of Statesville Road in North Wilkesboro.
March 29, 2013
Illegal alien charged with killing toddler in North Carolina
On Saturday, police in Charlotte arrested Oscar Francisco Garcia-Fuentes, 23, after he reportedly ran through a stoplight and rammed his 2001 Ford Mustang into another vehicle, resulting in the death of two people, including an 18-month-old boy.
The driver of the other vehicle has been identified as 26-year-old Tony Gabriel of Charlotte, while the child's name has not been released. The little boy's mother, 24-year-old Brittany Massey, who was also hurt in the crash, was taken to Carolina's Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
March 18, 2013
NCSU bags $2M organic foods research grant
RALEIGH - A group of N.C. State University researchers will share in a $2 million grant to naturally improve the safety of organic produce.
The study could be important as the market for organic foods continues to grow. According to a 2012 MarketLine report, the global organic food market grew by 9.8 percent in 2011 to reach a value of $67 billion and is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2016. The report also found that the Americas account for more than half of the global organic food market value.
March 6, 2013
Troubling spike in foster children prompts budget shortfalls
The number of children in foster care in Haywood County is on the rise, a depressing sign for Department of Social Services workers whose first goal is to keep a family together.
The commissioners agreed to give DSS $342,113 to cover a budget shortfall between now and the end of the fiscal year in June brought on by increase in foster kids. The federal government will reimburse the county between 60 percent and 66 percent of that cost.
March 6, 2013
Fed reviews of state child protection agencies under debate; review tied to arrests in Ga.
ATLANTA - Over the last decade, the federal government has withheld money from four states and Washington for the poor performance of their child protection systems.
The effectiveness of those federal reviews and the wisdom of penalizing cash-strapped child welfare agencies has been a matter of debate among experts in the field. That issue remerged in September when two child protection workers were arrested and accused of manipulating data so it would appear they were meeting internal guidelines related to the federal review process.
November 4, 2012
Not everyone happy with DSS foster care changes
Changes that the Gaston County Department of Social Services has made to its foster care system haven't left everyone happy so far.
One of the tweaks involves the new makeup of an Adoptions Committee that determines where children in foster care are placed. But DSS social workers and other staff have also been reassigned across the board, which some say has caused undesired consequences.
November 4, 2012
Social Services worker charged with DWI allowed to drive...
A Gaston County Social Services worker recently charged with DWI has not been suspended or placed on leave, but the department's director said he's no longer allowed to drive a county car on the job.
DSS Director Keith Moon said he couldn't go into further details, but said Derrick Hensley hasn't been disciplined following a DWI arrest in his personal car. It's the department's third employee arrested on DWI charges in the last nine months.
July 28, 2012
Woman claims she gave attorney sex for payment
A Gastonia lawyer and former Gaston County district attorney is defending himself against a lawsuit that alleges he sought sex as payment for his legal services.
Cindy Beason Pennington of Florence, S.C., filed a lawsuit against Calvin Hamrick and Hamrick & Warshawsky law firm last month alleging sexual misconduct when Hamrick represented her more than three years ago. In the answer to Pennington's lawsuit, Hamrick denies all allegations of sexual misconduct. The N.C. State Bar has not received any complaints against Hamrick.
July 28, 2012
Government employee accused of embezzlement
A former Cherryville city employee faces 10 embezzlement charges. Jennifer Neal Hoyle, 34, of 102 Tonya Circle, Cherryville, is accused of embezzling cash from the town 10 times in 2012.
The alleged incidents happened four times in January, three times in March, and three times in April, according to arrest warrants. She was employed as utilities supervisor, according to Interim City Manager Jeff Cash. Former Cherryville City Manager David Hodgkins fired Hoyle before he was terminated in June.
July 27, 2012
Alert Kidjacked to North Carolina CPS news!
CPS's Failure To Protect My Stepdaughter
I am writing because I feel that the Wilkes County Department of Social Services has failed in its duty to protect my step-daughter, herein after known as "Belinda". I have listed the reasons for this complaint as follows:
June 24, 2012
Jacked Up: Help with Custody Battle
A reader from North Carolina is seeking assistance obtaining records, perhaps someone can point her in the right direction. Also, she really needs a good attorney, if you know one who will work with her or take the case pro bono, please respond below.
May 15, 2010
Jacked Up: Yadkin Advocate Needed
I have two grandsons, one is 16-months-old, and the baby is 2-months-old. Both of these babies were removed from the hospital when they were born. The oldest one was placed in kinship foster care. The people that have him are not blood related. Both parents want both babies placed with my husband and myself.
May 15, 2010