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Children ages 3 and younger are the most likely victims of child maltreatment. (2008 report)

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Pennsylvania CPS News Archive

Pennsylvania News Coverage

by Registering

PHILADELPHIA - New research from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia raises concerns about gaps in national child abuse statistics.

In the largest study to examine the impact of the recession on child abuse, researchers at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's (CHOP) PolicyLab detected a significant increase in children admitted to the nation's largest children's hospitals due to serious physical abuse over the last decade. The study, published today in the journal Pediatrics, found a strong relationship between the rate of child physical abuse and local mortgage foreclosures, which have been a hallmark of the recent recession. The CHOP findings, based on data from 38 children's hospitals, contradict national child welfare data, which show a decline in child physical abuse over the same period.

July 16, 2012

by Bob Frye

For years, people have wondered whether there are mountain lions living in Pennsylvania. They appear to be on their way.

According to a story in the Journal of Wildlife Management, researchers tracking cougar movements found 178 verified instances of cougars in the Midwest between 1990-2008. That's significant because they had previously been gone from the region for more than a century.

July 9, 2012

by Margaret Gibbons

A Montgomery County couple will have to stand trial for withholding proper medical treatment and nourishment from their 6-year-old son, who was described in hospital records as a "near death fatality" when the child was brought in for treatment in March.

District Judge James Gallagher on Thursday ruled the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence to send Victor R. Ramos, 46, and his wife, Olaifa O. Abramson, 37, of Bridgeport, to trial in county court on charges of aggravated and simple assault, endangering the welfare of a child, recklessly endangering another and conspiracy.

July 3, 2012

by Robert Fulton

Medi-Cal benefits for foster youth to extend to 26 - maybe. When doctors diagnosed Carla Vance with Hodgkin's Lymphoma two years ago, the then 16-year-old had been in the Los Angeles County foster care system for seven years.

Because of the Former Foster Care Children (FFCC) program, Vance may still access Medi-Cal through the age of 21, even though she is emancipated and living independently. However, the extended Medi-Cal that provides Vance and many like her with continued medical coverage into adulthood falls well short of the provision in the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to stay on their parent's health insurance up to the age of 26 beginning in 2010.

June 22, 2012

by Ronnie Polaneczky

I wanted to ask state Sen. Anthony Williams what he made of a West Chester high-school swim coach who has been accused of sexual misconduct with a student.

But so many local educators have been charged lately with letting their hands roam where they shouldn't that I kept mixing up the names, dates and places. In January, for instance, Delaware teacher Charles Coursey was charged with having sex with a 17-year-old student. The next month, another teacher from the First State, Matthew Pleasanton, was brought up on similar charges.

May 22, 2012

by Dustin83v

Hundreds of area students have not complied with Pennsylvania Department of Health's mandatory vaccinations against mumps, measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and other diseases.

Still, some local school officials say students without vaccinations will be allowed to attend school. The state gave students eight months from their first day of school in 2012 to meet state immunization requirements. That compliance date was extended two weeks until mid-May, with the exact deadline depending on the first day of the school year, said Holli Senior, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Health Department. This week marks the deadline for several local districts.

May 16, 2012

by Carl Hessler Jr.

NORRISTOWN - A Pottstown man showed no emotion as a judge determined he was responsible for the strangulation-like neck injuries suffered by a 2-year-old boy who was in his care.

Julian "Tone" Washington, 29, was convicted of charges of aggravated and simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and endangering the welfare of a child in connection with the June 24, 2011, incident that occurred while Washington was caring for the child of his girlfriend at the home they occasionally shared in the 500 block of Chestnut Street.

May 16, 2012

by Karen M. Harris

Cholesterol pills. Heart meds. Painkillers. All are common prescriptions many of us have in our homes. But each year, more than 60,000 children ages 5 and under are poisoned by mistakenly ingesting these common medicines.

According to a recent report by Safe Kids Worldwide, 95 percent of these trips to the emergency room are because a child got into medicines while the parent or caregiver was not looking. The other 5 percent were caused by caregiver dosing errors. The Safe Kids' report notes that while the death rate among children 14 and under from poisoning has been cut in half since the late 1970s, the percentage of all child poisoning deaths caused by medications has nearly doubled, to 64 percent from 36 percent.

May 4, 2012

by Karen Heller

Khalil Wimes died March 19, savagely beaten, tortured and starved of affection and food, weighing less than 30 pounds at age 6, allegedly at the hands of his biological parents.

Alicia Nixon, Khalil's foster mother until almost age 3, studied a photo of the child, emaciated, covered with welts. "I gave that red sweater to him when he was 3. He's wearing it age 6. He does not look 6." Days after his death, Mayor Nutter said there was "no open case." The city's Department of Human Services never publicly addressed the case.

April 25, 2012

by Mike Newall

The city removed a social worker from active casework Tuesday after The Inquirer revealed repeated failures by the city's Department of Human Services to intervene in the ongoing abuse of 6-year-old Khalil Wimes that ended with his parents being charged.

The Inquirer review found that, in the last eight months of Khalil's life, DHS saw the child eight times during visits to his home and a DHS facility, but did not recognize that he was in danger. Though the agency had no active case on Khalil, they were engaged in official oversight of two of his siblings and, since August, responsible for supervised visits between Khalil, his siblings, and Cuffie and Wimes at the DHS center and at the Wimes' apartment.

April 25, 2012

by Frank P. Cervone

Recently, the lawyer for Tim Curley, who stepped down as Penn State athletic director while he fights charges of perjury and failure to report a crime related to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, was in the news.

She said her client was not required to report to authorities the 2002 incidents because since-revised state law only required individuals to report abuse allegations made directly to them by children they came in contact with in the course of their duties. The court and district attorney ought to look closely at the law, because Mr. Curley's lawyer is wrong.

February 25, 2012

by Wade Fowler

A group of about 20 area educators, professionals and parents will petition all four county school districts to establish Green Valleys Charter School in time for the 2013-14 school year.

Michelle Jones of New Bloomfield, president of the charter school board, said the concept is to "blend some of the best education models and evidence-based methods with a small school environment, and the result will showcase the character of rural central Pennsylvania."

February 25, 2012

by Zack Needles

In what he admitted was a "novel holding" in an apparent case of first impression that required him to "apply an ancient legal doctrine to modern technology," a Franklin County trial judge has allowed text messages between a husband and wife.

In an opinion issued Monday, Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard J. Walsh declined to preclude from evidence text messages sent between a husband and wife that detailed the condition and injuries of the husband's allegedly abused 4-year-old biological child. Citing case law dating back to the 1824 English law case Doker v. Hasler, Walsh said the original purpose of the spousal communications privilege was to preserve marital harmony by preserving marital confidences.

February 15, 2012

by Andrew Scott

How safe are the people in whose care parents leave their children, and have those people had proper criminal background checks?

The recent case involving a Pocono Summit karate instructor charged with raping a 12-year-old female student raises those questions. Public and private schools, day care centers, children's camps, foster care and other programs working with children are required by law to have prospective employees and volunteers undergo criminal background and child abuse clearance checks with the state Department of Public Welfare or state Department of Public Education, state police and FBI.

January 15, 2012

Cindy Christian, M.D., the director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was named to Pennsylvania's Task Force on Child Protection, a new group, created by the state General Assembly.

The panel will examine laws and practices related to the response and reporting of child abuse; review public and expert comments; and submit reports and recommendations to improve state laws and reporting of child abuse. In her 27 years at CHOP, Dr. Christian has established herself as a national expert on child abuse and currently holds CHOP's Chair in the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

January 12, 2012

by Megan Healey

A local child welfare expert is reacting to what Jerry Sandusky's new co-counsel told abc27 about his client admitting to showering with young boys.

"Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 sounds strange to some people, but people that work with troubled youth will tell you there are juvenile delinquents who have to be taught basic life skills of how to put soap on their body," Karl Rominger said Tuesday evening.

December 15, 2011

by Gary Weckselblatt

Since the horrific death of 3-year-old Porchia Bennett in 2003, the same year he was sworn in to his first term as state representative, Scott Petri has sponsored a bill in each legislation session to establish an office of children's ombudsman.

With the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State grabbing headlines, Petri contends the time is ripe for his proposal to take hold. "Penn State is obviously a very high-profile university and people are now outraged," said Petri, R-178. "So what we have to do is try to use that outrage to bring the issue to a conclusion." That conclusion, should Petri have his way, would be the passage of House Bill 544.

November 24, 2011

by TRACCHS Homeschool Co-Op

Tannersville, PA -- Train Up A Child Christian Home Schoolers will host a fundraising event featuring the comedy of Bob Nelson at 4 p.m., Sunday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

Nelson creates his own unique characters and develops the sort of comical routines that you can't help imitating at parties or in living rooms. Nelson has performed on HBO, PAX and Comedy Central.

November 11, 2011

by Myles Snyder

The charity founded by Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State University assistant football coach now charged with sexually abusing at least eight boys, has issued its first statement since his arrest.

In a statement posted on The Second Mile's website, the charity said the "newly released details and the breadth of the allegations from the Attorney General's office bring shock, sadness and concern from The Second Mile organization. Our prayers, care and compassion go out to all impacted."

November 8, 2011

by Jeannie Flitner

Members of the local law community are reacting to how Penn State's administration handled allegations that former football Coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abused 8 boys.

Under current law, a mandated reporter in a schools setting is required to report the suspicion of child abuse to a school administrator. However, that administrator has the power to decide whether or not the claim warrants getting law enforcement and other child advocacy groups involved.

November 8, 2011

by Jim Kouri

Warning: This news story contains gory details of violent, criminal acts. Two female workers at an inner-city abortion clinic pleaded guilty to murdering newborn babies and an adult patient in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Thursday.

Thirty-four year old Adrienne Moton and 52-year old Sherry West both entered guilty pleas to third-degree murder in the killing of viable newborns as well as feeding a patient enough painkillers to cause her overdose and death. "Is America losing its soul or has it lost it?" asked City College of New York's Anthony Lee Nieves.

November 4, 2011

by Charles C. Haynes

In blue-state California, for example, schools are now implementing a new law that requires inclusion of GLBT Americans in teaching social studies.

Meanwhile in red-state Tennessee, the State Senate passed and the House is considering a law that would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality with elementary and middle school students - dubbed the "don't say gay" bill by opponents. GLBT students aren't going anywhere - and they are no longer content to be invisible or harassed. School districts that fail to take anti-gay bullying seriously can expect to be sued.

October 22, 2011

by Tom Shortell

Bangor Area School Director Frank Addessi rebuked school board members, saying they were unfairly targeting students looking to create a Gay Straight Alliance club.

School Director Kevin Pruett asked at the time whether parents would be able to sign permission slips allowing students to participate in the club. Under current policy, students do not need to provide signed permission slips to participate in extracurricular clubs. Addessi said Monday he interpreted Pruett's comments as an attempt to intimidate the group. Requiring students to get permission slips to join a club centered on gay topics could make students too uncomfortable to join.

October 20, 2011

by Peter Hall

Allentown District Judge Maryesther S. Merlo has been permanently removed from the bench by the state disciplinary court that earlier this year found her chronic absenteeism, tardiness and bizarre behavior were violations of the rules of conduct.

Removal from office, a sanction handed down to Pennsylvania district judges only five times in the last decade, is the most severe available in the Court of Judicial Discipline. An attorney who brought the state's case against Merlo said the penalty is appropriate.

October 18, 2011

by Jacqueline Sprague

As the economy declines, child abuse climbs, that's according to a new study by Pediatrics Online. the study of more than 420 children, from mostly lower-income families, found a 65% increase in child abuse, mostly in infants.

As the economy declines, child abuse climbs, that's according to a new study by Pediatrics Online. the study of more than 420 children, from mostly lower-income families, found a 65% increase in child abuse, mostly in infants.

October 15, 2011

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