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Men fight for freedom, then they begin to accumulate laws to take it away from themselves. -- Author Unknown

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Pennsylvania CPS News Archive

Pennsylvania News Coverage

by Joel Anderson

BROOKSVILLE -- A judge on Wednesday postponed the sentencing of Tai-Ling Gigliotti over concerns that officials with the foster care system might have perjured themselves at some point during the case.

The judge also was concerned that the teen victim might have been involved in a felony while he was in the foster care system and behaved poorly in school and with his foster parents. The judge refused to give details of the alleged crime. Springstead said he was frustrated that the state Department of Children and Families and foster care officials initially resisted releasing the file and then took so long to send it to the Department of Corrections, which then forwarded the file to the court.

St. Petersburg Times

June 10, 2010

by Tom Joyce

When you crunch the numbers, the outlook for children placed with strangers for foster care isn't encouraging, according to York County Human Services Director Bev Mackereth.

Studies by the federal government show that nationally, only 20 percent of the young adults who make it through foster care report that they're "doing well." The remaining 80 percent are more likely to end up incarcerated, homeless or dead.

Mackereth said those findings led to a change in federal law requiring agencies such as hers to make an effort to connect foster children with family members, because children do better statistically in those circumstances. The York County commissioners approved grant money to pay for trainers from California to travel to York County and instruct county employees on how to seek out children's extended families.

The York Daily Record

June 9, 2010

by Mike Wereschagin

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will stump for Attorney General Tom Corbett, a Republican candidate for governor, at a West Mifflin fundraiser Monday night.

Corbett's education plan is modeled after many of Bush's programs in Florida. Corbett is running against state Rep. Sam Rohrer in the May 18 primary. Rohrer wrote Pennsylvania's version of a voucher program, which gives tax breaks to businesses that donate to private school scholarship programs. Rohrer and his wife homeschool their six children.

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

April 30, 2010

by Ginnie Graham

Oklahoma has been as resistant as any state that Children's Rights has sued over child welfare concerns, the group's founder says.

Children's Rights began as a project of the New York Civil Liberties Union and later the American Civil Liberties Union. It became an independent nonprofit in 1995. The group has filed lawsuits against child welfare systems in Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

Tulsa World

April 28, 2010

by Cory Doctorow

School disciplined student for "improper behavior in his home" and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence.

According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools' administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families.

Boing Boing

February 17, 2010

by Ronnie Polaneczky

DID SOCIAL workers have face-to-face meetings with Danieal Kelly and her family three times a week, the way they were supposed to? That's the issue at the heart of the federal trial unfolding now in the death of Danieal at age 14.

Florida's Department of Children and Families has been phasing in a child-tracking program: Caseworkers document each visit to a kid in DCF care by snapping a cell-phone photo of the child. The technology in these special phones not only stamps the picture with the visit's time and date but also uses GPS technology to pinpoint the place where the picture was taken.

Philadelphia Daily News

February 16, 2010

by Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

Representing herself, F.V.C. (Mother), the mother of O.D., (Child), petitions for review of an order of the Department of Public Welfare (Department) granting the request of D.D., Sr., (Grandfather) to expunge his name from the ChildLine Registry.

On appeal, we consider whether Mother has standing to challenge the Department's order granting expungement and, if so, whether the record supports the Department's order. We conclude Mother has standing to appeal, but we affirm the Department's expungement order.


January 13, 2010

by Daveen Rae Kurutz

Fewer parents in Pennsylvania are homeschooling children. The number of homeschooled children dropped by 5.6 percent in the past five years, according to the state.

Homeschooled children are taught using a curriculum the parent fashions. The state Department of Education does not consider children enrolled in cyber schools as being homeschooled. Pennsylvania parents who want to teach their children at home must have high school diplomas.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review

November 29, 2009

by Lisa Thompson

The U.S. Attorney's Office said this morning that Chad Zachary Hower, the former area man accused of kidnapping his 13-year-old son and taking him out of the country, is being held in Bulgaria.

Authorities are waiting for Bulgarian authorities to decide whether Hower will be extradited, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christian Trabold said. The indictment charging Hower with one felony count was filed under seal in federal court in Erie on May 12, and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.

Go Erie

October 15, 2009

County commissioners in Blair County have suspended funding for foster and adoptive parents. The decision stems from the lack of a state budget, but families say they're finding themselves stretched too thin.

The county typically spends $149,000 per month on reimbursements for parents of adoptive and foster kids. Parents say they're entitled to the money by law. Commissioners Diane Meling and Terry Tomasetti said they have to prioritize county spending because of the budget impasse.

WJAC Johnstown

September 23, 2009

by Robin Agerton

Tragically, there are about 20,000 children living in out-of-home care in this state.

When the natural parents are unable or unwilling to meet these essential responsibilities, we want to be certain that our state administrators intervene on behalf of the abandoned child. These deserted children have only the county and state government as their surrogate legal parents to depend on for their support.

Penn Live

September 1, 2009

One employee from the social-service agency MultiEthnic Behavioral Health has plead guilty to charges of fraud and obstructing justice, and two other employees are set to do the same very soon in the wake of a 14-year-old girl's death.

The guilty pleas come as part of an agreement where all three will testify against the agency, which tried to cover up the death in 2006. The organization had been paid upward of $3.7 million by the city to take care of patients like Danieal Kelly.

Fierce Healthcare

June 11, 2009

by Mary E. Young

A 17-year-old Reading girl accused of luring a friend to his death will be tried in adult court, Berks County Senior Judge Arthur E. Grim ruled Tuesday.

Dr. Thomas G. Baker, a Wyomissing psychologist, testified that Marshall sought approval and acceptance from the gang because she had difficulties living at home that led to placements in foster care and group homes.

Reading Eagle

February 14, 2009

A two-year-old boy is in foster care after ingesting an unknown amount of cocaine Saturday.

The boy was hospitalized after people saw the boy shaking and foaming at the mouth.

NBC Philadelphia

February 2, 2009

by Karen Kane

Mr. Gwilym Price has retired his black robes and will concentrate on his private practice in civil law. His last day on the job was Dec. 31.

"There is a cumulative exhaustion that comes from 22 years of these really hard decisions. The cases have become so complex, the families so dysfunctional. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start to help families get back together."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

January 25, 2009

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania ruled on January 21 that a lower court abused its discretion in denying a petition seeking to clarify the parental status of a Biological Father with respect to his two minor children.

In 2006, a male same-sex couple (the "Intended Fathers") filed a Petition for Assisted Conception Birth Registration seeking to have both of them recognized as the legal fathers of twins to be born to them through the use of a gestational carrier who resided in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Proud Parenting

January 23, 2009

by Rick Lee

A federal court has affirmed a ruling dismissing a suit against York County, Children and Youth Services, four Children and Youth employees and a Shrewsbury foster mother in connection with the 2004 drowning of a 2-year-old boy in foster care.

Tony "TJ" Armentrout Jr. drowned in a pool while in the care of Millie Bull, a licensed foster parent. TJ had been removed from his parents' care after his mother reportedly relapsed while trying to kick a drug habit.

The York Daily Record

January 22, 2009

by Steve Marroni

The Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children conducted a study showing that about 28 percent of Pennsylvania children in foster care have been in the system for more than 17 months.

The group would like to see that number reduced. Joan Benso, partnership president and CEO, said the goal is to get children back to their original families if possible. They don't want to see children kept in foster care for more than 17 months unless there are extenuating circumstances.

The Evening Sun

November 23, 2008

Home School Legal Defense Association assisted four member families in Central Dauphin School District at the beginning of the school year after they received a letter from a school official telling them to stop homeschooling.

The Pennsylvania General Assembly never intended for school districts to be able to hold homeschooling families hostage over minor administrative matters such as describing course objectives in a manner satisfactory to public school officials.


September 24, 2008

by Caitlin Heaney

Foster care took charge of nearly 700 children between Adams and York counties in March, and a new study shows the majority of those children were teenagers.

Adams County had 109 children in foster care in March, including 20.2 percent ages 16 and 17 and 19.3 percent between the ages of 13 and 15, according to the study. York County had similar results, with 24.2 percent of the 583 children in foster care in March aged 16 or 17 and 21.3 percent between the ages of 13 and 15.

The Evening Sun

September 20, 2008

by Judith Groch

A child who is subject to harsh discipline or witnesses violence in the home is likely to have increased psychological and behavioral problems with further exposure to abuse, a study found.

The study found that previously abused children who subsequently witnessed home violence were more likely to have internalized symptoms, such as anxiety and depression. By contrast, previously abused children subjected to further harsh physical discipline externalized their symptoms, becoming more aggressive and prone to rule-breaking, the researchers reported.

Med Page Today

September 18, 2008

A new report from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children offers guidelines for improving foster care and giving children a more stable life.

The report found that children in Erie County spend 15 months in foster care, compared to children elsewhere in Pennsylvania who spend 16 months in such care.

Erie Times-News

September 18, 2008

by Terrie Morgan-Besecker

WILKES-BARRE - A report issued by a non-profit child advocacy organization shows Luzerne County's child welfare system is performing well in comparison to other counties, but there are areas that need improvement.

Joan Benso, executive director of Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, said statistics indicate Luzerne County has a good record in keeping foster children who were reunified with their family from subsequently re-entering the system.

The Times Leader

September 16, 2008

For days before Danieal Kelly died in a fetid, airless room - made stifling hot by a midsummer heat wave - the bedridden teenager begged for something to drink until she could muster only one word: water.

The nightmare of forced starvation and infection that killed Danieal while she was under the protection of the city's human services agency is documented in a 258-page grand jury report released this week that charges nine people - her parents, four social workers and three family friends - in her ghastly death.


August 1, 2008

Four social workers were among nine people charged Thursday in the death of a disabled 14-year-old girl who authorities say wasted away from neglect before dying at 42 pounds.

Warrants were issued for all nine defendants Thursday. Andrea Kelly, the mother of Danieal, was charged with murder, and father Daniel Kelly, who did not live with the family, was charged with child endangerment.

The Conservative Voice

July 31, 2008

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