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The 2000 US Census found that 2.4 million grandparents are the primary caregivers for the children in their families.

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North Carolina CPS News Archive

North Carolina News Coverage

by Diane Turbyfill.

After spending parts of two days in deliberation, a Gaston County jury found a former foster parent guilty of 14 child sex crimes.

James Terrell Austin, 34, of Gastonia, was sentenced to 36 to 45 years in prison - convicting him of first-degree rape of a child, taking indecent liberties with a child and other related sex charges. Austin served as a foster parent to an 11-year-old girl from December 2009 to August 2010. The girl lived in Austin's Trinity Avenue home with him, his wife and his two stepsons.

July 27, 2012

by Laura Wilkerson

It is odious because it's so clearly profiling; racial profiling and a subtler economic and class based form of criminal profiling resulting in newborn babies and their families caught in the crossfire.

Nurses at a North Carolina Hospital became suspicious when an unusually large number of discretionary drug tests performed on newborn babies tested positive for THC. These false positive tests did not trigger further, more sensitive, drug tests but, rather, a report to Child Protective Services and Law Enforcement, the arrest of the new mother, the trauma and danger to bonding of having a newborn infant separated from his or her family, the expense and intrusion of court proceedings including the cost of hiring an attorney and of subsequent drug tests, the rank governmental intrusion into a person's family life, in short, it is a major and extremely drastic chain of events.

July 3, 2012

by Nicole McKeon

Excuse me while I jump up on my soapbox for a minute or two. You do not - I repeat, do not - need to spend a lot of money to home educate your children. And, this is coming from someone who earns a living selling books and home-school curricula.

It seems we have a bit of a disconnect in our community related to what is required to home-school a child. Please believe me when I tell you that home-schooling does not require a box curriculum, expensive books or expensive cooperative education. While these may work for some folks, and may be what some home educating parents feel are necessary for excellence, they do not in any way, shape or form define home-schooling.

June 21, 2012

by Donna Isbell Walker

Kids who are home-schooled or attend private school don't always have the chance to make a touchdown or spike a volleyball against an opponent from another school.

But Mike Worley wants to give them that opportunity. He is athletic director of the Greenville Hurricanes, a program sponsored by the Upstate Homeschool Co-Op. The program fields teams in football, volleyball, soccer and basketball.

June 20, 2012

by Eren Tataragasi

In Richmond County, an average of one to three young people age out of foster care each year. Many of them have no adult support system when they leave the homes in which they reside.

Shakena said her and her three siblings were split up, and sent to live in different foster homes for several years. Now she and her 18-year-old sister are living together. Poloche said that many kids miss out on a bonded family experience, and feel that they are ready to get out in the world and start their own lives.

May 23, 2012

by Karissa Minn

SALISBURY - At her first board meeting as Rowan County's social services director, Donna Fayko said she's impressed with the department but has concerns about a recent child death.

Fayko said the state's draft child fatality report shows similarities to one from 2009. That year, the State Child Fatality Review Team found that co-sleeping was a factor in the 2008 death of a 10-month-old Salisbury infant.

May 23, 2012

by Steve Devane

Kelly Rogers says Cumberland County is one of the fastest-growing home-school areas in the state.

Her store shows it. Less than three years after opening in a small office at Gillis Hill Farm, The Pilgrim's Journey Home School Bookstore is now a 3,700-square-foot unofficial headquarters for hundreds of local families who teach their children themselves.

May 22, 2012

A Forsyth County man who had served as foster parent to 10 troubled children over the years pleaded guilty Monday to sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl in his care more than two years ago.

According to testimony, the Forsyth County Department of Social Services initially investigated the allegation but closed the case without interviewing the girl. Then seven months later, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office looked into the allegations after the girl said her foster father had sent her sexually charged text messages and a nude photo of himself, prosecutors said in court. Steven Matthew Lepley Sr., 46, of 6010 Habersham Drive, pleaded guilty in Forsyth Superior Court to nine counts of first-degree sex abuse in a parental role.

May 22, 2012

by Jessica Goodman

The number of quality child care centers in Henderson County has increased over the past 10 years, based on the five-star rating system used by the N.C. Division of Child Development.

Since 2002, the average star rating has risen from 2.62 stars to 4.12 stars. The stars reflect the education level of a center's teachers and the quality of the center's space and programs.

March 9, 2012

by Darrell Allison

I often sense an adversary tone when listening to discussions about the different educational options available to our children.

However, we often fail to recognize that whether a child attends a traditional public school, public charter school, private school or is homeschooled, each learning environment enjoys a symbiotic relationship with the other - where one model is actually interdependent upon the other, especially with our public school system.

February 2, 2012

by Brittany Penland

Christopher McNally has been interested in the military since he was a child, but has never been able to join a JROTC program at school, because he is home-schooled.

For the past six months, with the help of a few home-school friends, Christopher, 17, decided to take matters into his own hands and create a home-school JROTC program in Charlotte - only the second home-school program in the nation to be formed, he said.

January 17, 2012

by F.T. Norton

The depressed economy is affecting even the littlest residents in the area - child abuse and neglect reports in November increased by 50 percent over the same time last year.

In November 2010, the DSS' Child and Family Services division received 218 reports of child abuse or neglect, said Wanda Marino, assistant director for the county agency. In November 2011, the department received 328 reports.

January 8, 2012

by Mitch Weiss and Tom Breen

The case of a year-old Swain County girl's death illustrates failings in North Carolina's child protective system.

Ruth McCoy says she pleaded for months to have her niece's 1-year-old daughter removed from a dirty mobile home that did not have heat in western North Carolina. When social workers and sheriff's deputies arrived on a cold night in November 2010, they took the toddler's 11-year-old cousin, leaving Aubrey Kina-Marie Littlejohn behind at the relative's house. Two months later, the little girl was dead. "I begged them to take my niece," McCoy said. "I said, 'What about her? You have to take her, too.' They just left her. What they did was wrong."

January 7, 2012

by Rebecca Clark

A thick roll of snowy-white batting rests on her bedroom floor, stacks of colorful lap quilts are folded on the bed and her old Singer sewing machine, where she spends most of her days, is on a table near the window.

For years, Bryant has been collecting scraps of cloth, stitching them together and creating beautiful lap quilts. She always gave them away. Bryant said if a man came to mow the lawn, she would ask him if he had a wife and children. If he said yes, she would send him home with a few quilts. About a year ago, Bryant decided she wanted to find a way to touch the lives of Cleveland County's neediest children.

December 23, 2011

by Dawn Worswick

During the years 1933-1977 The North Carolina Eugenics Board gave it's social workers unlimited power to have any person sterilized in Its Eugenics program. It's estimated over 7,600 victims in North Carolina alone including rape victims.

This did not include California and Virginia, two of the thirty-one states that used Eugenics programs to control population. Each state sterilized more people than North Carolina but no program was more aggressive than North Carolina's program.

December 23, 2011

by Meghann Evans

There are always those people who give everyone else in the group a bad name. For example, as a former homeschooler, I always used to hate encountering homeschool kids who actually fit all of the stereotypes.

You know, those kids who had no social skills, who were either complete robot-like geniuses or could barely read. Most homeschoolers I know aren't like that, but there are always those who give the rest of us a bad name. But PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, may take the cake for making others in a group, in this case animal lovers, look bad. The organization's most recent lawsuit may be their crowning achievement.

November 16, 2011

by Nancy Grace

The stepfather of a missing 11-year-old boy waived his extradition rights in a North Carolina courtroom Monday and could soon return to Maryland to face charges that he murdered the boy's mother.

45-year-old Curtis Lopez was arrested in Charlotte last Thursday, the morning after his estranged wife, Jane McQuain, was found dead in her Germantown, Maryland home. McQuain's son William has not been seen since approximately September 30, according to police. Montgomery County police continued searching for William McQuain Monday, scouring areas of Germantown and Damascus with the help of a K-9 team from Mid-Atlantic D.O.G.S. Search and Rescue. A police press release described the efforts to find William as "active and intense." An Amber Alert issued last week remains active.

October 18, 2011

by Ann Doss Helms and Tommy Tomlinson

Mecklenburg's impoverished had few, if any, rights in the '50s and '60s as he oversaw one of the most aggressive efforts to sterilize certain populations.

As architect of Mecklenburg's program of eugenic sterilization - state-ordered surgery to stop the poor and disabled from bearing children - Kuralt helped write one of the most shameful chapters of North Carolina history. The Charlotte Observer has obtained records sealed by the state that tell the stories of 403 Mecklenburg residents ordered sterilized by the N.C. Eugenics Board at the behest of Kuralt's welfare department.

September 25, 2011

by Jim Brumm

North Carolina should compensate the surviving victims of the state's forced sterilization program, the Governor's Eugenics Compensation Task Force recommended on Monday.

The task force also said the state should pay for mental health services for the fewer than 2,000 of the nearly 7,600 residents forcibly sterilized from 1929 to 1974 who are believed to be still alive.

August 2, 2011

by Courtney Hutchinson

For the better part of the 20th century, half the states in the U.S. had sterilization programs in place to prevent those deemed unfit by the state from procreating.

Poor, a victim of child molestation and pregnant from rape, 14-year-old Elaine Riddick went into a North Carolina hospital in 1968 to give birth to her son. Though she wouldn't know it until years later, she would leave the hospital robbed of the ability to ever bear children again. On top of the poverty, abuse, and neglect that marked her childhood, Riddick had the misfortune of becoming the target of the North Carolina eugenics board, a 5-person state committee responsible for ordering the sterilization of thousands of individuals in the name of social welfare during the last century. Deemed "promiscuous" and "feebleminded" by a social worker at the hospital, Riddick, who came from a black family on welfare, was recommended to the state for sterilization shortly after arriving.

July 17, 2011

by NBC17 Staff

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Raleigh police are investigating reports of sexual and physical abuse at a group home on Red Quartz Drive.

A search warrant says there is probable cause to believe there is evidence of first degree forcible sex offense by a "substitute parent." Police say they received a report of child abuse from Child Protective Services where a juvenile accused the substitute parent of sodomy.

June 20, 2011

by Morgan Day

A North Canton woman's friend turned her in to the police after she reportedly gave her own 2-year-old son tequila to help him go to sleep.

The woman who reported the incident told police her friend gave the child a "small amount" of tequila in a shot glass and then a quarter of a shot glass...

June 17, 2011

by Brittany Penland

Every two to three years, Eddie Sales trims and prunes the crape myrtles at his church, Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church. But this year, the city of Charlotte cited the church for improperly pruning its trees.

The church was fined $100 per branch cut for excessive pruning, bringing the violation to $4,000. "I just couldn't believe it when I heard about it," Sales said. "We trim our trees back every three years all over our property, and this is the first time we have been fined."

May 28, 2011

A Christiansburg woman and her granddaughter are in a North Carolina hospital after police say the woman abducted the five-year-old.

Investigators say a housekeeping staff at a Hampton Inn and Suites in Winston-Salem found Lynch and the child during routine cleaning Thursday morning. Both were semi-conscious and in need of medical attention. Police believe Lynch injured the child and then injured herself. Both were taken to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

May 26, 2011

by Kevin Rogers

The next Community Voices Forum Series discussion on the topic of foster care policy and its effect on young people is scheduled for Thursday, May 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM in the School of Social Work Auditorium on the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill.

This forum will explore the impact of foster care policy on young people while discussing some of the themes developed in the movie From Place to Place. Former foster children face a variety of hurdles. Many have little or no contact with birth families, insufficient support systems and are at higher risk of becoming single parents or living with mental illness. Fully 60% of male former foster children will be convicted of a crime and 40% of the women will end up on public assistance.

May 20, 2011

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