Aug 1-7: CA&N News Articles

Aug 1-7: CA&N News Articles 

Some recent media articles and resources relating to child abuse and neglect. If you have items that you think would be helpful to include in this occasional post, please forward them to me at the email in my signature block.
These stories were chosen because of their perceived relevance to the child welfare community.  MiPSAC is not responsible for the views expressed in any of these articles, nor does it take a position for or against the positions expressed in the articles.  They are presented merely to provide a sampling of what the media is saying about child welfare.

Charlie Enright, JD, MSW
4907 Foster Rd.
Midland, MI  48642
(989) 600-9696
[email protected]
Michigan Professional Society on Abuse of Children, MiPSAC
This and previous CA&N News Articles can be found at:


MI: Moving Beyond ‘Visitation’ For Fathers

August 7, The Detroit News: Societal trends which have discouraged marriage may be difficult to overcome. However, the legal trends that have encouraged divorce and disenfranchised fathers from meaningful participation in the lives of their children could be overcome. Link to Article

NY: Tablets Will Reduce Jefferson County Social Services Workload, Officials Say

August 6, Watertown Daily News: Child Protective Services employees will be able to access a stream of government data from anywhere in the field, including schools, homes and courtrooms, Ms. Cerow said. They will be able to access email, a global address book and other information, and will be able to submit notes from the field without going back to the office. Link to Article

US: Adoption Difficulties Getting Attention

August 5, The Advocate: U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., hosted a preview viewing this past week of “STUCK,” a new documentary that focuses on the increasing difficulty of international adoption at the U.S. Capitol. The film then had its bigger debut Friday at director Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival with a goal for a nationwide rollout in November. Link to Article

US: Boy Scout Files Reveal Repeat Child Abuse by Sexual Predators

Aug 5, Los Angeles Times: Review of Boy Scout documents shows that a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators too often failed in its mission. Link to Boy Scout Files; Link to LA Times Article

IL: Video System To Facilitate Prison Visitation For Children

August 4, The Telegraph: Children of prisoners confined in the Madison County Jail will have an easier time visiting their parents, and the court system will save time and money under a new video visitation program for foster children. The right of children to visit their incarcerated parents is mandated by law, she said. A survey showed the majority of children expressed a desire to connect with their incarcerated parents. “Studies have shown that positive outcomes of the use of video visitation include improved self-esteem of the parent and child, resulting in more productive members of society, fewer behavior problems in school, declines in truancy, lower recidivism rates, and significant cost and time savings”. The program saves costs, because it requires less time for workers in the foster care system and deputies to assist in the parental visits. The television connection will be in one of the Family Division courtrooms. There is already video equipment in the Madison County Jail. People are still working on making video connections to prisoners in the state prison system. Link to Article

OH: Grown Foster Kids Drive State Help: Forum Aims to Tackle Long-Standing Problems

August 4, The Columbus Dispatch: Want to get your driver’s license as a foster kid? Forget it, because the state of Ohio is your parent and doesn’t want the liability. Hope to keep playing your sport after being transferred to a new foster home and school? Rules designed to prevent athletic recruiting might quash your eligibility. Hauling all your belongings in trash bags? Henry and others think that’s an unfair embarrassment. They’re starting a drive to provide decent luggage for foster youths. “When I first came into care, if you worked for children services, I hated you,” said Henry, who lives with foster parents in the Toledo area. “I switched that to, ‘What is bad about foster care, and how can I change it?’  ” More than 200 teens and young adults who are about to age out of foster care, or already have, signed up for workshops to get help with jobs, college plans, and health and legal issues. The conference is part of a larger state initiative called “Connecting the Dots from Foster Care to Employment and Independent Living.” Link to Article

US: Tax Credit for Adoptive Families Will Lower at End Of Year

August 3, For 2010 to 2011 tax filings, families across the country can claim a $13,360 refundable tax credit for adopting a child, under the new Affordable Health Care law. This money would come in the form of a check to augment a family’s income to care for adopted kids. For 2012 taxes, the credit drops to $12,650. By Dec. 31, families will only be eligible to claim $6,000 to help cover adoption expenses. Link to Article

Don’t Trust ‘Dr. Google’ for Help on Infant Sleep Safety

August 3, HealthDay News: New research suggests that parents shouldn’t trust a Google search for accurate information on infant sleep safety. These Web searches commonly turned up results that contradicted current recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics aimed at reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), suffocation, strangulation and other accidental sleep-related deaths, the study found. Link to Article

MI: Milford Officials Focus on Child Safety Laws

Aug 2, Observer & Eccentric: The Milford Township Board of Trustees, in a unanimous vote July 18, approved a new regulation making it illegal to leave a child younger than the age of 6 unattended in a motor vehicle. Link to Article

US: It Takes More Than Love: What Happens When Adoption Fails

Aug 1, TODAY MSNBC: In the adoption world, failed adoptions are called “disruptions.” But while a disruption may seem stone-hearted from the outside, these final anguished acts are complex, soul-crushing for all concerned and perhaps more common than you’d think. In as many as a quarter of adoptions of teens, and a significant number of younger child adoptions, the parents ultimately decide they don’t want to keep the child, experts say. “Often kids adopted at older ages don’t have age-appropriate coping mechanisms and some are violent, dramatic or act out in various ways,” says Jessica, who also asked that her last name be withheld to protect her family’s privacy. “Our daughter certainly was. I don’t think her placement would have worked out if we had younger kids in the family at the time. That kid broke furniture and parts of our house for sport. She also did things like running directly into traffic or screaming that she was being kidnapped in public places. Not every family can handle that level of drama.”Link to Article

MI: Michigan Supreme Court Gives Child-Support ‘Deadbeats’ a Defense, But Sets Bar High

Aug 1, Parents accused of failing to pay child support can defend themselves against the felony charge by saying it is impossible to pay, a divided Michigan Supreme Court ruled late Tuesday. The court gave “deadbeat” parents a window of opportunity to avoid criminal penalties when they do not pay. But to do so – only in “exceptional circumstances” – they must prove that they have exhausted all their finances, including assets that could be sold. Three dissenting justices accused the majority of making Michigan the only state in country not to allow the more traditional defense of simply being unable to pay child support. Link to MLive Article See also: Link to Detroit New Article

Car Devices Made to Prevent Child Heatstroke Unreliable: Study

July 31, Reuters: Three devices made to alert drivers to children left behind in a car seat were unreliable on their own, casting serious doubts on their ability to prevent deaths related to heatstroke, a study backed by U.S. auto safety regulators showed this week. The study is part of a national campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to raise awareness about heatstroke, which is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle-related deaths of children under the age of 14, the agency said. Link to Article

MN: ‘Safe Haven’ Law Expands Options for Distraught Parents

July 31, Star Tribune: The death of a baby girl, found floating in a canvas bag in the Mississippi River near Winona last fall, has prompted changes to Minnesota’s “Safe Haven” law that take effect Wednesday. The law, first enacted in 2000, was expanded this year to give unprepared mothers the option of legally abandoning their babies by calling 911 for an ambulance, or by delivering the infants to hospitals or urgent care clinics. Under Minnesota’s original law, the only option was to take the newborns to hospitals. The new law also gives mothers seven days to legally and anonymously abandon their babies (or to have someone surrender babies to authorities on their behalf). The previous law, which set the limit at three days, was among the strictest in the nation. Link to Article

ND: Psychologist Who Wrote of Abuse Is Punished

July 30, New York Times: A federal health services psychologist who told superiors that an American Indian tribe was ignoring widespread child abuse on a North Dakota reservation has been reprimanded and reassigned, according to federal officials and documents. Among the recipients were officials with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Indian Health Service, which oversee most health care on Spirit Lake. Link to Article


Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: In re Page/Racicot

The court affirmed the portion of the trial court’s order finding that at least one statutory ground supported termination, but vacated the trial court’s best interest analysis and remanded for further consideration of that issue. Recently in Olive/Metts, the court held that the trial court must evaluate whether termination is in the best interest of each child separately, and that the trial court is to specifically evaluate the impact of relative placement in reaching the termination decision. Here, the trial court did not do so as to the youngest child. Thus, as to the youngest child, a remand was necessary. Affirmed in part, vacated in part as to the youngest daughter, and remanded for further proceedings. The court retained jurisdiction. Full Text Opinion

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