May 2009 CA&N Media Articles, Cases 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 is saying about child welfare. 

Charlie Enright, JD, MSW
4907 Foster Rd.
Midland, MI  48642
(989) 832-9628
[email protected], May 15th: Potential jurors quizzed in faith-healing death trial. Attorneys in the trial of a woman accused of praying for her daughter’s recovery from diabetes as the girl was dying are close to picking a jury for her weeklong trial.  Leilani Neumann, 41, of the town of Weston, WI faces a charge of second-degree reckless homicide in connection with the death of her 11-year-old daughter, Madeline Kara Neumann.  Blog Post

Detroit News, May 14th: “State plans to cut nearly $14 million from services that help prevent child abuse.  Programs to be cut include: Nurse Family Partnership and Michigan’s Zero to Three Secondary Prevention Initiative.  These are secondary prevention programs.  The cuts will also lead to a loss of federal dollars.” | Full story

See also: The Jackson Citizen Patriot – May 14: Jackson’s nonprofits and social services – already stretched thin – are bracing for more pain as they dissect the full impact of $349 million in state budget cuts Full Story

Detroit News, May 13th: “The Detroit FBI’s involvement in the removal of a 6-year-old child from her mother in Austria and return with the father to the U. S. is making headlines in that European country, with some media accounts depicting the case as akin to an abduction.” | Full story

Kalamazoo Gazette, May 10th: “Van Buren County judge has his own mandate for adoptive parents.” Full story

  • Related editorial: Kalamazoo Gazette, May 13th: “Editorial: Judge’s adoption requirement is unrealistic.” | Full editorial

The Grand Rapids Press, May 8th: Before the four McDaniel children were airlifted to a hospital last week to be treated for dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide poisoning — for which their mother has been criminally charged — the young siblings. Full Story

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished), May 5th
Case Name:
In re Molnar
DHS sought termination of respondent’s parental rights after the minor daughter reported sexual abuse. A criminal case was brought against him, but he was acquitted. However, the family court found sexual abuse by a preponderance of the evidence and terminated respondent’s parental rights to the children. Full Text Opinion

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, May 6th: “Law targets leaving kids in cars.” | Full story

The Detroit News, April 28th: Task force recommends child welfare system reforms the tragic death of a 9-year-old girl found stuffed in a storage locker last week highlights the need for a well-funded child welfare system, a former director of the state’s Department of Human Services said Monday.  A state-appointed task force released a 143-page report Monday calling for sweeping reforms in Michigan’s child welfare system, with the goal of cutting the number of children placed outside the home, particularly in foster care, in half by next year.

Flint Journal, April 30th: “Editorial: Shylae Thomas’ tragic death shows need for child welfare system reform.” | Full editorial

Flint Journal, April 29th: “Editorial: Law, civility lag behind ‘sexting.'” | Full editorial

Grand Rapids Press, April 23rd: “Editorial: Beer tax hike nothing but foam.” | Full editorial

Jackson Citizen-Patriot, April 23rd: “Spotlight: Conley works to prevent child abuse in Jackson County.” | Full story

Detroit Free Press, Apr 22nd: “A House committee approved legislation to authorize ‘second parent’ adoptions in Michigan, a change that would allow unmarried or same-sex partners to jointly adopt a child.” | Full story

Macomb Daily, Apr 22nd: “The criminal case in the death of a 21-month-old boy took a surprise turn when a judge rejected a plea deal and ordered a trial for the child’s parents.” | Full story

Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, April 21st: “A Livingston County juvenile court referee authorized a bevy of charges against two teenage brothers accused of sharing pornography while baby-sitting two siblings.” | Full story

Oakland Press, April 17th: Judges remove routine language banning guns from homes where children under care of DHS in child abuse cases because there is a concern it may compromise parent’s safety.  Full Story

Detroit News, April 13th: “Editorial: Too many children are unnecessarily placed in foster care.” Full editorial

Grand Rapids Press, April 12th: “Proposal to increase Michigan beer tax to fund child welfare programs generates a buzz.” | Full story

Detroit News, April 8th: “State panel urges child welfare reform: Review says systemic failures put too many kids out of homes.” | Full story

The first report of the National Juvenile Online Victimization (N‐JOV) Study has been released. Link to Report

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Prevention — A Model for NICUs
Medscape article describes a program that trains nurses in safe sleep practices and prepares them to educate parents in the prevention of SIDS.  Medscape Article

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals, April 8th
Case Name: In Re Hudson/Morgan Minors
Appeals Court reversed termination of mother’s parental rights.  Mother was not appointed counsel until 14 days after her termination trial.  Michigan Supreme Court affirmed because of state law violations.  Full Text Opinion

Bay City Times, April 6th: “The attorney for a Michigan state trooper accused of beating an 8-year-old boy with a belt said the boy’s mother hit the boy with the belt before urging the officer to do so.” Full Story

Court: Michigan Supreme Court, April 2nd
Case Name: In re Rood
The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals judgment reversing the trial court’s order terminating the respondent-father’s parental rights, holding the attempts at communication with and notice to him about the proceedings failed to comply with state and federal requirements and denied him minimal procedural due process. Because his substantial rights were affected, the Court of Appeals properly remanded the case to give him “a fair opportunity to participate.” Full Text Opinion

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished), March 31st
Case Name: In re Mayberry
Respondent father argued the trial court erred in not allowing him the opportunity to present proofs the Indian Child Welfare Act applied. The record showed notice was given to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and the Midwest Bureau of Indian Affairs, requesting written verification of the child’s tribal status. The tribes’ responses indicated the child was not a member. Given whether a child is an “Indian child” subject to the ICWA is an issue for the tribe to decide, the tribes’ determinations were conclusive. While respondent’s attorney argued the child might be affiliated with the Cherokee tribe and requested a hearing on the issue, the trial court declined to hold a hearing. The court concluded under the circumstances, and given the letters from the tribes on file, respondent was simply speculating about a tribal affiliation. The trial court’s order terminating his parental rights was affirmed.  Full Text Opinion

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished), March 24th
Case Name: In re Greene
Reversed and remanded for the trial court to take evidence and determine whether the mother suffers from a “disability” within the meaning of the ADA. If the trial court finds on remand she does suffer from a “disability” under the ADA, the trial court must ensure she receives services and accommodations consistent with the ADA’s requirements.  Full Text Opinion

Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished), March 17th
Case Name: In re Humphrey
The trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother’s parental rights to the minor child and did not violate her due process rights by failing to expressly consider the condition known as “battered woman syndrome” as an explanation for her parental deficiencies where she failed to establish plain error relating to the relevancy of the battered woman syndrome issue.  Even if battered woman syndrome could explain respondent’s behavior, it did not operate as a defense to the statutory grounds for termination.  Full Text Opinion

The Saginaw News, March 17th:  A St. Charles resident is suing Holy Cross Children’s Services, alleging that staff at their former Frankenmuth juvenile facility failed to protect her son from repeated sexual assaults by another resident.  Full Story

Strengthening Families and Communities, Preventing Child Abuse
Order or download your free copies of Strengthening Families and Communities: 2009 Resource Guide today! Developed for service providers, the guide highlights strategies to strengthen families by promoting key protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect. It also includes tip sheets in both English and Spanish to share with parents. The Resource Guide is produced annually by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. The 2009 guide was developed with input from numerous national organizations, Federal partners, and parents committed to strengthening families and communities. The guide can be downloaded or ordered at

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