February 2010 CA&N Media Articles, Resources and Cases

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) 832-9628
[email protected]


Feb 9th, The Battle Creek Enquirer: The preliminary examination for Shawn Brown of Battle Creek was adjourned Monday in Calhoun County District Court after his attorney and the prosecutor said they were awaiting further reports.  Both defense attorney James Goulooze of Hastings and Assistant Prosecutor Mike Jaconette told District Judge John Hallacy that all the reports in the case, including results of the autopsy, were not complete and that they were not ready to proceed with the hearing.  Brown, 25, is charged with first-degree child abuse in the alleged Jan. 22 shaking of Brown’s 5-month old son, Shawn Brown Jr.  Battle Creek police said they were called by doctors at Battle Creek Health System about noon that day after Brown took his son to the hospital. Police said doctors suspected the baby was injured while being shaken. Link to Article

Feb 9th, Kalamazoo Gazette: Anthony and Marsha Springer didn’t have to intend to kill their daughter to be found guilty of murdering her.  If jurors agree they “knowingly created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm,” that’s enough to convict the couple of a felony murder.  This morning, following an eight-day trial spread over two weeks, jurors were to begin deliberating the fate of the Springers. They are charged with felony murder, torture and first-degree child abuse in the Feb. 27, 2008 death of Calista Springer, whose body was found chained to her bed with a dog choke chain following a fire that destroyed the family’s Centreville home.  Link to Article

Jan 28th, The Kalamazoo Gazette: In an article related to the article above: The supervisor of a former child-welfare investigator testified that the state had not given permission to Calista Springer’s parents to chain her to her bed at night.  “The only thing that was ever authorized … was the use of an alarm system so they could be aware if she got out of bed or got out of (her) room,” said Cindy Bare, a supervisor with Child Protective Services.  Bare’s testimony came after that of former investigator Patricia Skelding who testified earlier in the day that she believed the chain had been approved by her supervisor and the state’s Department of Community Mental Health.  “It was understood that Calista was being chained to her bed,” said Skelding, who worked for 18 years for what is now the Michigan Department of Human Services. “I believe it was known for a long time.”  Link to Article

Feb 8th, The Detroit News: Pontiac, An 18-year-old woman is suing Oxford Community Schools and one of its former teachers alleging she was sexually assaulted by the teacher’s husband and forced to test and rate sexual devices for him at the couple’s home.  The victim filed a lawsuit Friday in Oakland Circuit Court against the Oakland County school district, former Oxford Schools teacher Margaret Keely and the estate of her husband William Keely.  William Keely was charged with assaulting the teen in 2008 and committed suicide in the Oakland County Jail while awaiting charges.  Link to Article

Feb 7th, Freep.com: Experts hailed the findings of a study last week as proof that crackdowns and public awareness campaigns had made headway in reducing child abuse in the U.S.  An estimated 553,000 children suffered physical, sexual or emotional abuse in 2005-06, down 26% from the estimated 743,200 abuse victims in 1993, the study found.  The findings were contained in the fourth installment of the National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect, a congressionally mandated study.  The study showed the number of sexually abused children decreased from 217,700 in 1993 to 135,300 in 2005-06 — a 38% drop.  Link to Article Link to NIS-4 Report Also see Discussion of Report under Resources With Ongoing Value below.

Feb 6th, Shiawassee Argus Press: Officials say the best way to combat problems with child abuse, neglect, poverty and poor health is to funnel money into early childhood development resources so children can get off to a strong start in life.  Money spent on statewide preschool programs since 1974 ends up coming full circle – saving Michigan $1.15 billion in 2009 in both crime and education costs, according to a new Wilder Research study in St. Paul, Minn., for Michigan at-risk children.  Link to Article

Feb 3rd, The Daily Mining Gazette: HOUGHTON – A Hancock man was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison for abusing his 3-month-old son last year, causing more than 20 fractures and permanent brain damage. A jury found Mark Krock guilty of first-degree child abuse. Link to Article

Feb 2nd, Boston Globe: Scientists link serotonin deficit to SIDS.  The number of babies who die of sudden infant death syndrome has dropped in half over the last 20 years, thanks to a campaign urging parents to put babies to sleep only on their backs. But SIDS is still the leading cause of death in babies between one month and one year old and the number of deaths hit a plateau in 2000, despite greater awareness of risk factors for the baffling disorder.  New research from a team led by a Children’s Hospital Boston neuropathologist sheds light on a possible biological cause, pinpointing a defect in the brain that might account for babies who suddenly and unexpectedly die during their sleep. The findings, published in this week’s JAMA, build on previous work t
hat scientists hope will one day lead to a test and treatment.  Link to Globe Article

Feb 2nd, The Jackson Citizen Patriot:, Christy Brown and her boyfriend, Ronald Woodard II face charges of felony murder in the Jan. 20 death of her 2-year-old son, Cameron.  Felony murder carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison, and first-degree child abuse is punishable by a maximum of 15 years in prison.  A preliminary examination is scheduled for Feb. 16th.  Cameron died a day after Jackson police were called to his mother’s home. The boy had a head injury and was unresponsive. Woodard had been caring for Cameron on Jan. 19 while Brown was at work.  Woodard told police he was carrying Cameron out of the bathroom, tripped on a rambunctious puppy, and both he and Cameron fell.  Cameron complained of being dizzy after the fall.  Woodard laid Cameron on his chest and the boy fell asleep.  He eventually called 911.
A helicopter took the toddler to the U of M Medical Center in Ann Arbor. Family members said his brain was not functioning and they decided to take him off life support.  Link to Story

Feb 1st, National Public Radio: For the second time in seven months, Oregon authorities are pursuing homicide charges against members of a small religious sect.  In both cases, the kids died of treatable conditions, while their parents used prayer, rather than medicine, to cure them.  Link to Story Both transcript and audio stream available.

Jan 31st, Holland Sentinel: Staff from the Ottawa County Children’s Advocacy Center conducted a training, “Darkness to Light,” on identifying the signs and symptoms of child sexual abuse Friday at Grand Valley State University’s Meijer campus in Holland.  The training was based on a nationally-recognized Stewards of Children curriculum.  One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday, according to Stewards of Children.  Link to Article

Jan 30th, The New York Times: ST. LOUIS: Carlos Lopez, a former police detective, now does gumshoe work for what he calls a more fulfilling cause: tracking down long-lost relatives of teenagers languishing in foster care, in desperate need of family ties and in danger of becoming rootless adults.  Link to NYT Article


APSAC to Host Child Forensic Interview Clinics July 12-16, Seattle, Washington: Consistent with its mission, APSAC presents the Forensic Interview Training Clinics, focused on the needs of professionals responsible for conducting investigative interviews with children in suspected abuse cases. Interviewing alleged victims of child abuse has received intense scrutiny in recent years and increasingly requires specialized training and expertise.
This comprehensive clinic offers a unique opportunity to participate in an intensive forty-hour training experience and have personal interaction with leading experts in the field of child forensic interviewing. Developed by top national experts, APSAC’s curriculum emphasizes state-of-the-art principles of forensically sound interviewing, with a balanced review of several models.

  • Participants will learn state-of-the-art forensic interview theory, research, and techniques.
  • Practice interviewing skills in a supportive environment and receive feedback from experienced and knowledgeable professionals.
  • Be better prepared to explain and defend interview techniques in court.
  • Receive a Clinic notebook, a resource CD, and excellent reference books that will enhance their knowledge and abilities.  Link to Registration details and registration  Or, visit Events & Meetings

College Scholarships for children in foster care

This download is a flyer for accessing College Scholarships for children in foster care.  Application deadline March 31, 2010.

Trainings for attorneys working in child welfare cases

The SCAO Training Staff has issued two save the date flyers for trainings for attorneys working in child welfare cases.

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