June 26-July 3: CA&N News Articles and Resources
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 and other professionals are saying about child welfare.
Charlie Enright, JD, MSW
4907 Foster Rd.
Midland, MI 48642
Michigan Professional Society on Abuse of Children, MiPSAC
This and previous posts can be found at: http://www.mipsac.org/category/can-articles
RECENT MEDIA ARTICLES
US: Minnesota Parents Find a New World When Adopting from Overseas
July 2, Star Tribune: Minnesotans, who have led the way in foreign adoptions, now find fewer and older children. With foreign adoptions crashing to their lowest levels in 15 years, the 123-year-old Children’s Home Society and Family Services merged management and staff with Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota on Sunday. It’s a sign of how dramatically foreign adoptions have changed in Minnesota, forcing agencies to regroup and parents to accept that older children and longer waits for them are the new norm. People need to consider a toddler and up and there are more sibling groups and kids with identified needs. Link to Article
Comment by C. Enright: I suppose they could try adopting a child from the United States.
MS: State Not Responding Well to Child Abuse, Neglect
June 29, Jackson Free Press: A new report shows that the Mississippi Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS) has yet to deliver on court-mandated reforms to improve the lives of abused and neglected children in state care. These reforms were spurred by Children’s Rights when the national advocacy organization filed a class action suit against the state in 2004. According to the progress report, released today by an independent federal court-appointed monitor, chronic understaffing and an inadequate data management system continue to hamper efforts to ensure the basic safety of foster children. Link to Article ; Link to Children’s Rights Report
NY: Revisionist History in Abuse Cases
June 29, New York Times: Institutional history — who gets to define it, promote it, exploit it, obscure it, distort it — sits at the heart of child sexual abuse charges like those currently unfolding at two of the city’s private schools: Horace Mann, in the Bronx, and Poly Prep, in Brooklyn. And so, too, in a broader sense, does the matter of cultural history itself. A consistent theme in the defensive narrative in these cases — which involve stories of abuse that surface decades after it happened — is that the world then bore little resemblance to the one we occupy now, boundaries were unclearly delineated, and a certain kind of ignorance reigned. Link to Article
Idaho’s Child Welfare System Ranked No. 1 In The Nation by Free-Market Group
June 29, Idaho Statesman: Idaho’s state-run child welfare system was ranked No. 1 in the nation Friday by the Foundation for Government Accountability, an organization that “believes personal liberty and private enterprise are key to our economic future” and aims to “develop and promote free market public policies that achieve limited, constitutional government and a robust economy,” according to its website. The study judged all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 11 outcomes and 41 data measures, including:
• How quickly they reacted to abuse allegations
• Whether they made sure abused children were put in safe, permanent homes quickly
• Whether foster care settings were supportive, safe, home-like and stable
• Their work to reduce abuse and neglect
New Hampshire, North Carolina, Florida and New Jersey rounded out the top five highest-ranked states. Link to Article
Carnel Chamberlain News Links: 1,000-Plus Articles Follow Search for Missing 4-Year-Old Later Found Dead
June 30, Saginaw News: The search for a missing 4-year-old was documented in news reports locally and across the county. Media publications began reporting on the search for Carnel Chamberlain shortly after he was reported missing authorities on Thursday, June 21. Coverage grew as national media picked up the story and the search became a criminal investigation. The sad news that Carnel was confirmed dead by his family and charges of abuse in a separate incident against Jaimee Chamberlain’s ex-boyfriend, Anthony Bennett, are being picked up by newspapers, blogs, TV stations and other media outlets across the country. Link to Article
US: Researchers See Decline in Child Sexual Abuse Rate
June 28, New York Times: In a single day last week, juries deliberating 200 miles apart in Pennsylvania delivered guilty verdicts against Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant football coach at Penn State, for sexually molesting boys, and against Msgr. William J. Lynn, a clergy secretary, for shielding predatory priests. In New York, accusations of sexual abuse at Horace Mann, an exclusive preparatory school in the Bronx, recently spurred two law enforcement agencies to open hot lines and an 88-year-old former teacher at the school to admit to having had sexual interactions with students decades ago. But if the convictions of Mr. Sandusky and Monsignor Lynn represent a success story, the furor surrounding them tends to obscure what may be an even more significant achievement: The rates of child sexual abuse in the United States, have been decreasing steadily over the last two decades by several critical measures. Overall cases of child sexual abuse fell more than 60 percent from 1992 to 2010, according to David Finkelhor, a leading expert on sexual abuse who, with a colleague, Lisa Jones, has tracked the trend. The evidence for this decline comes from a variety of indicators, including national surveys of child abuse and crime victimization, crime statistics compiled by the F.B.I., analyses of data from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect and annual surveys of grade school students in Minnesota, all pointing in the same direction. Link to Article
MI: Saginaw DHS Supervisor Charged With Embezzlement for Using DHS Prepaid Card
June 28, Saginaw News: A supervisor at the Saginaw County Department of Human Services will stand trial on six felony charges that she embezzled from the state by purchasing groceries and other items with prepaid Walmart gift cards. Yolanda Y. Jones, who lives in Saginaw Township and is on unpaid leave from the department, is charged with four counts of embezzlement by a public official of more than $50 and two counts of retaining a financial transaction device without consent in 2009. Jones supervised 10 employees at the department’s Saginaw County building. Jones had oversight of the county’s Children Action Network program. Link to Article
US: Open vs. Closed: IAC Adoption Expert Kathleen Silber Responds to the Today Show
June 27, San Francisco Chronicle: In a recent segment of the Today Show, one audience member asked the panel whether open or closed adoption was a better choice. It was the group’s opinion that closed adoption was better. Silber, a social worker who has advocated for change within the adoption sector since the early 1980’s, says the unanimous decision probably stems from lack of knowledge, and the fears about open adoption being a “Pandora’s box,” as Snyderman said, are misguided. Link to Article
MI: Dana Jacobson, Formerly Of ESPN and U-M, Reveals Childhood Abuse
June 26, Detroit Free Press: “Like the young men who bravely took the stand in the Sandusky trial, I was molested as a child. That’s still not easy for me to say, let alone write and share publicly, but if we’ve learned anything from the Sandusky scandal, it’s that the time for silence is over. As I heard one Sandusky victim put it, it’s time to ‘find my voice.’ Link to Article
AK: Devastating Impact of Domestic Abuse Revealed in Database Tracking Alaska Natives
Jun 26, Alaska Dispatch: A heart-wrenching number of Alaska Native children witness domestic or sexual violence, and many are victims themselves, troubling facts that mean the cycle of abuse is poised to continue, experts say. That’s one possible takeaway from a newly published database called Healthy Native Families: Preventing Violence At All Ages. It’s a warehouse of information harvested from recent reports that drills down on the problem among Alaska Natives statewide. Link to Article
FL: Four Florida Men Arrested for Sexually Preying on Children in Foster Care
June 26, Bradenton Herald: Police and prosecutors arrested four alleged pimps Monday morning as part of an ongoing investigation into a ring of human traffickers who preyed on abused and neglected children in foster care. Using a teenage foster child as a recruiter, police say, the four men plied underage girls with cash, affection and gifts. Ultimately, the girls became prostitutes who earned the ring about $100 for every man with whom they had sex. The girls, in turn, were paid $30 or $40 of that original $100. Link to Article
Feds Rescue Six Children From Prostitution in Metro Detroit
June 26, The Detroit News: Federal agents rescued six children who were forced to work as prostitutes across Metro Detroit, the FBI said Monday. The five girls and one boy, ages 13-17, were rescued as part of a three-day nationwide crackdown on child prostitution in 57 cities that ended Saturday. In Operation Cross Country, 79 children were rescued. Locally, investigators arrested 22 customers and five pimps and recovered more than $53,000 in cash and assets, FBI spokesman Simon Shaykhet said. The children were found mostly at Metro Detroit hotels and were advertised on adult websites. Link to Article
RESOURCES WITH ONGOING VALUE
Physical Punishment and Mental Disorders: Results from a Nationally Representative US Sample
July 2, Journal of Pediatrics: CONCLUSIONS: Harsh physical punishment in the absence of child maltreatment is associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse/dependence, and personality disorders in a general population sample. These findings inform the ongoing debate around the use of physical punishment and provide evidence that harsh physical punishment independent of child maltreatment is related to mental disorders. Link to Journal Article
LINKS FROM CHILD INFORMATION GATEWAY WEB SITE
Well-Being Outcomes Measures
June 15, 2012, United States Children’s Bureau: These are ratings of the various child assessment scales one may use to assess the status of children, whether at home or in care. List of Measures for 6-12 and 13-18 year olds; List of Measures for 0-2 and 3-5 year olds
Respite for Caregivers of Children with Serious Emotional Disturbance
June 2012: ARCH Fact Sheet Number 34: This fact sheet provides an overview of the population of children and youth with serious emotional disturbance, and discusses considerations that families, respite providers, and program administrators should take into account in relation to accessing or providing respite to families of these children. Link to pdf Fact Sheet
A Developmental Approach to Child Welfare Services for Infants, Toddlers, and Their Families
A Self-Assessment Tool for States and Counties Administering Child Welfare Services
May 2012, ZERO TO THREE: The September 2011 passage of the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act, which instituted a new requirement for states to describe in their child welfare state plans how they promote permanency for and address the developmental needs of young children in their care, offers an opportunity for states to be more intentional in their efforts to meet the unique needs of infants, toddlers, and their families. This self-assessment tool stems from the collective vision of leading child welfare and early childhood development organizations on the important steps that can and should be taken in policies, programs, and practices to address the needs of vulnerable infants and toddlers known to the child welfare system contained in A Call to Action on Behalf of Maltreated Infants and Toddlers (www.zerotothree.org/acalltoaction). This tool is designed to help states and counties both prepare to meet these new federal requirements and conduct ongoing assessment and quality improvement efforts. It will help states and counties to:
• Assess how well their child welfare policies and practices address the developmental needs of infants, toddlers, and their families.
• Identify where and how policies and practices can be improved.
• Engage partners in taking constructive action.
Housing Assistance for Youth Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care: The Role of the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program.
May 2012, Urban Institute: Each year the Chafee Foster Care Independence Program provides $140 million for independent living services to assist youth as they age out of foster care and enter adulthood. Under this formula grant program, states are provided allocations and allowed to use up to 30 percent of program funds for room and board for youth ages 18 to 21 who have left care. This report focuses primarily on how states spend their Chafee funding to provide housing support for youth and concentrates on the states that, according to the plans they filed with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), indicated they would spend the maximum 30 percent on room and board. Includes information on the program in Michigan. Link to html Report; Link to pdf Report
Finding Children Forever Homes: LGBT Foster and Adoptive Families
June 2012: Finding Children Forever Homes: LGBT Foster and Adoptive Families highlights the compelling need to find adoptive families for waiting children, provides an overview of the barriers faced by LGBT families wishing to foster and adopt, and includes targeted recommendations designed to ensure that LGBT families can help fill the need for loving, stable foster and adoptive homes for children. Link to Report