May 9-15: CA&N Media 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 is 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: Advocacy Group’s Facebook Page Teaches About Foster Care System
May 15, Rochester News Now: There are lots of demoralizing facts related to foster care. “At least 25 states are not meeting the federal standards for protecting children, keeping children safe. That’s not doing anything fancy, just keeping children safe,” said Marcia Robinson Lowry of Children’s Rights. To bring attention to the issues surrounding foster care throughout our nation, advocacy group Children’s Rights is launching an interactive story on Facebook called “Trapped?: Fighting the Odds of U.S. Foster Care”. Link to Article and Video
Former Fraser Schools Teacher Accused of Child Porn Involving a Dozen Students
May 14, The Detroit News: A former Fraser middle school teacher was arrested and charged in federal court today on allegations he had more than 100 pornographic photographs involving minors, including a dozen students currently enrolled in the district. Link to Article
Our View: Invest in Reducing Number of Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
May 14, Midland Daily News: Midland County’s child abuse and neglect cases are on the increase, and it is not surprising that this is occurring at the same time as use of the designer drug bath salts is also rising. Probate Judge Dorene S. Allen said the drug abuse that leads to child abuse also involves heroin and other drugs. Child protection cases rose from 52 in 2010 to 85 in 2011 — a 63 percent hike — and roughly two-thirds of the cases were related to drug abuse, Allen said. The problem points to the need for expansion of a Baby Court program that attempts to stop multi-generational neglect by working with the children and their parents with a goal of developing a loving and nurturing family. The pilot program has shown promise, but has a waiting list. Link to Op Ed
Is School Recess Essential For Child Development Or Just Play Time?
May 14, Grand Rapids Press: One educator makes a strong argument for recess: “To deny children the right to play, which is foundational to their growth and development, is nothing less than child abuse and stunts their intellectual growth.” Link to Comment
OK: Oklahoma DHS’ Federal Funding Is Threatened
May 13, NECN.com: — The Oklahoma DHS could lose its federal funding because it has released information about past accusations of abuse or neglect in cases where children later died or nearly died. Janis Brown, the Dallas-based regional manager for the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, said in a May 9 letter obtained by The Oklahoman that the agency’s federal funding could be “in jeopardy” because it violated a federal law limiting the release of information to details of the child’s death or near death. A provision in state law requires DHS and an oversight agency, the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth, to prepare and release reports when requested after a child has died from child abuse if the caregiver has been charged. Those reports identify prior child abuse complaints regarding the families and what state child welfare workers did in response to those complaints. Link to Article
Deported Father’s Children May be Listed on Michigan Adoption Website
May 12, AnnArbor.com: Though their father risked his freedom to regain custody of them, two of his three children are poised to be advertised on Michigan’s website (MARE) for adoption. The man, an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, had returned to the U.S. after being deported from the country to fight for his family: a girl and two boys, all under the age of 10. He’s since lost them to the state of Michigan: His daughter is living with a foster family that intends to adopt her, and it is unknown when his sons will find a permanent home in the system. A recent report has estimated that nearly 5,100 children are living in foster care in the U.S. as a result of their parents being detained or deported. While it appears little can be done to reunite the children with their father, Sanders said it has opened policy discussions. In the muddy waters at the convergence of child welfare and immigration, there are no rigid guidelines for DHS workers to follow. DHS does not have an official policy in its Children’s Foster Care Manual on returning children to undocumented relatives. Link to Article
US: Child Immigrant Detentions Up Sharply
More Central America kids crossing to U.S. after Mexico eases law.
May 11, The Next America: The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that from October to the end of April, the U.S. government has detained more than 6,500 unaccompanied minors who had crossed the border, nearly double the number detained in the comparable period the previous year, according to U.S. officials. The increase may be due to a change in Mexican law enacted last May, which lets some kids who enter that country remain there without visas for humanitarian reasons, according to the Journal. That gives more children easier passage into Mexico, and from there more appear to be trying to cross the U.S. border. The situation has become especially dire in Texas where the federal government has set up five temporary shelters to deal with the young immigrants, the Journal reported. The children, many of whom are caught trying to cross the border or come to the attention of federal immigration authorities after crossing, are mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, according to the Unaccompanied Children’s Services . Most are between 14 and 17 years old and three quarters are male. Many of the children are trying to cross to join family members already in the U.S. or to find work to support themselves or their families. In some cases, they are also escaping abuse or persecution in their countries and, at times, are brought into the country by human trafficking rings. The agency says that care of the children includes classroom education, medical attention, case management and opportunities for recreation. Link to Next America Article; Link to Wall Street Journal Article
Michigan Congressman Wants U.S. Attorney General to Investigate MI Child Protective Services
May 11, WXYZ.com: One of Michigan’s US Congressmen is calling on the Department of Justice to investigate the state’s Child Protective Services system. Representative Hansen Clarke says the most important thing he can do as a member of Congress is protect families in Michigan. Rep. Clarke is asking the US DOJ to investigate the treatment of African American children and families by Michigan’s DHS, which oversees Child Protective Services. Testimony under oath in one case revealed that probation officers inside the court would routinely stamp the Presiding Juvenile Court Judge’s name onto the removal orders. By law, a judge must review the CPS workers allegations of abuse, and then sign the order. DHS Director Maura D. Corrigan issued this written statement: “The department welcomes a dialogue with Rep. Clarke, as we do with all legislators. We can assure the representative that despite his concerns based on a small number of local cases out of the nearly 100,000 child welfare cases the department investigates each year statewide, that DHS focuses solely on the welfare of the child without regard to race.” Link to Article
After Abuse Investigation, Kids Often Remain At Risk
May 11, MedlinePlus: (Reuters Health) – Children who remain at home after an abuse investigation are often still facing risk factors for maltreatment a few years later, a new study finds. In the U.S., states’ Child Protective Services (CPS) investigate more than three million new cases of possible child abuse each year. In a small percentage of cases — less than 10 percent — the child will be placed into foster care. A number of studies have looked into how children fare in the foster-care system. But a lot less has been known about that vast majority of kids who remain at home. “CPS involvement in homes is actually really common in this country,” said Dr. Kristine A. Campbell, a pediatrician at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City who led the new study. It may be easy to make the assumption that those parents are “bad,” she noted in an interview. “But most of them are struggling with risk factors like poverty and poor social support, and may actually be trying to do well,” Campbell said. In her study, it did turn out that many families investigated by CPS were poor, or headed by a mother with depression or suffering abuse from her partner, for example. At least some of those risk factors were still apparent three years after CPS came to the home for the first time. The findings, which appear in the Journal of Pediatrics, are based on a national sample of 5,500 children who were followed after a first-time CPS investigation. Link to Article
MO: SNAP Ruling Has Clergy-Abuse Victims’ Advocate on Defensive
Missouri judge’s ruling to open group’s records to church lawyers sends chill through survivors’ community
May 11, Chicago Tribune: A prominent activist group in the Roman Catholic Church’s clergy-abuse crisis is fighting a Missouri judge’s ruling to open more than two decades of correspondence with victims, lawyers, witnesses and journalists thought to be confidential.
Lawyers for a Kansas City priest accused of abuse said the documentation will shed light on whether the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commonly known as SNAP, has coached victims to fabricate claims of repressed memory. Lawyers for the St. Louis Archdiocese are pursuing the same strategy in a separate case. Link to Article
NY: For Ultra-Orthodox in Abuse Cases, Prosecutor Has Different Rules
May 10, NY Times: An influential rabbi came last summer to the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, with a message: his ultra-Orthodox advocacy group was instructing adherent Jews that they could report allegations of child sexual abuse to district attorneys or the police only if a rabbi first determined that the suspicions were credible. Link to Article See also a follow-up article: Link to 2nd Article
Push to Close Michigan’s Three Juvenile Reformatories Sparks Debate: Safety Versus Savings?
May 09, MLive.com: Michigan’s three juvenile reformatories – which house some of the state’s most serious teen offenders – will be shut down next year if legislative backers get their way. Whether Gov. Rick Snyder will go along could depend on where negotiators end up as they prepare to send him a final budget. The House’s spending plan, approved two weeks ago, eliminates the facilities’ funding. The Senate version, approved a day earlier, retains most of it. The two sides are now working out those and other differences. The reformatories are the state’s placement of last resort, aside from prison, for youths as young as 12 charged primarily with violent crimes: the W.J. Maxey Training Center in Whitmore Lake, Shawono Center in Grayling and Bay Pines Center in Escanaba. Supporters say the $21.3 million it cost to operate the treatment facilities this year is too high and private residential facilities can do the job more cheaply. . . . Opponents fear many juveniles will be rejected by private residential programs, or be placed in less-secure settings than the state provides, leading some to find their way back into society. “You need a state option and if you take that off as an option, and private facilities won’t take them, what do you do?” asked Karen Tighe, president of the Michigan Probate Judges Association and a Bay County probate judge. “You need a place that can’t say no.” Link to Article
Court: Pastor Can’t Testify About Alleged Sexual Assault; Statements Were Privileged, Confidential
May. 9, Livingston Daily.com: The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled a Wayne County man’s statement about an alleged sexual assault to his pastor cannot be used at trial. The court ruled that the trial for Samuel Dale Bragg, now 18, whom prosecutors allege confessed to his pastor that he sexually assaulted a female cousin when he was 15 years old, can proceed “absent the pastor’s testimony.” “Because defendant’s communication to (the pastor) was privileged and confidential under (state law), we affirm the Circuit Court’s preclusion of that evidence from defendant’s trial,” the court said in an opinion released today. Link to Article
Michigan Underage Drinkers Who Seek Help Can Get Medical Amnesty Under New Law
May 8, MLive.com: Minors who seek medical help after drinking too much alcohol will get some amnesty from prosecution under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. The legislation that the Republican governor signed Tuesday provides medical amnesty for minors who seek treatment for alcohol poisoning either for themselves or another person. The bill passed the state Legislature with overwhelming support in April. Final votes were 38-0 in the Senate and 105-3 in the House. “Ensuring the safety of our youth is a priority,” Snyder said in a statement. “Removing the fear of penalty when seeking emergency assistance can help save lives.” Link to Article
Michigan Sex Offender Tiers Confusing
Even law’s sponsor had trouble using new system
May 8, WOOD TV: A Target 8 investigation last year exposed a sex registry that lumped together all the state’s 47,000 offenders — from serial rapists to teens who had consensual sex. It helped lead to a new law, signed last April by Gov. Snyder, that was supposed to make it easier to find predators in your neighborhood. Interactive: Michigan Sex Offender Registry Tiers The law, which follows federal guidelines, split sex offenders into three tiers:
● Tier 1 (Lowest level offenders. On list for 15 years) — Includes possession of child porn, inappropriate touching of adult victims.
● Tier 2 (Mid-level offenders. On list for 25 years) — Generally involves victims age 13 to 17, including inappropriate touching and gross indecency; does not include sexual penetration. Also includes producing child porn and soliciting prostitutes under 18 years old.
● Tier 3 (Highest-level offenders. On list for life) — Generally involves inappropriate touching of victims under age 13, as well as any sexual penetration or attempts (first- and third-degree sexual assault) with victims of any age.
But Target 8 recently put the new list to the test and found only confusion. The big question: On which of the three tiers can you find so-called predators? One needs to read the definitions to know. But the definitions are hard to find on the State web site. Link to Article
RESOURCES WITH TIME LIMITED VALUE
Public Health Leadership Initiative: Child Maltreatment Prevention
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: Millions of children are abused or neglected every year. Research indicates those experiences have an impact lasting long after childhood and may contribute to some of the nation’s worst health problems.
The Public Health Leadership (PHL) Initiative believes public health agencies can make great strides in preventing child maltreatment. The purpose of the Public Health Leadership Initiative is to assist and support state agencies as they work to better the lives of children and adults.
Learn More about the PHL Initiative
Upcoming Webinars on Child Maltreatment Prevention
Using Surveillance to Drive a Public Health Approach to Child Maltreatment Prevention
Registration Link: http://edc.adobeconnect.com/e2i2vxdo2ty/event/event_info.html
Save the Date: May 31, 2012, 3:00 – 4:00 PM EST
Tools and Strategies to Support Health Departments in Child Maltreatment Prevention Efforts
Registration Link: http://edc.adobeconnect.com/e9n2kbvaods/event/event_info.html
Save the Date: June 26, 2012 (tentative)
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Effective Health Care (EHC) Program is pleased to announce that the following have been posted to the EHC Program Web site: Draft Report Child Exposure to Trauma: Comparative Effectiveness of Interventions Addressing Maltreatment.
More information about this project is available at:
To view and comment, (before May 31, 2012) please visit: To Comment on Draft Reports and White Papers.
RESOURCES WITH ONGOING VALUE
The National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) at Cornell University is pleased to announce the release of this dataset:
Title: Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4)
In collaboration with the Children’s Bureau, the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation in the Administration for Children and Families conducted the Fourth National Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (NIS-4). A unique contribution of the NIS has been the use of a common definitional framework for classifying children according to types of maltreatment as well as the severity of maltreatment. Key demographic characteristics of maltreated children and their families are also collected, which enables us to provide information about which children are most at risk. Data collection for the NIS-4 took place in 2005 and 2006. The principal objectives of the NIS–4 were to provide updated estimates of the incidence of child abuse and neglect in the United States and measure changes in incidence from the earlier studies. The NIS follows a nationally representative sample design, so the estimates reflect the numbers of abused and neglected children in the United States who receive CPS investigation or come to the attention of community professionals. The fact that there have been three previous NIS cycles using comparable methods and definitions means that one can compare NIS–4 estimates with those from the earlier studies in order to identify changes over time in the incidence and distribution of abused and neglected children. Data from the three prior NIS cycles are available from NDACAN as Datasets 52, 51, and 70.
Description page and ordering link:
There is no charge to obtain these data.
Safety and Prevention: Car Seats: Information for Families for 2012
March 2012: American Academy of Pediatrics via Healthychildren.org:
One of the most important jobs as a parent is keeping one’s child safe when riding in a vehicle. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car crashes. Proper use of car seats helps keep children safe. But with so many different car seats on the market, it’s no wonder many parents find this overwhelming. The type of seat your child needs depends on several things, including your child’s size and the type of vehicle you have. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about choosing the most appropriate car seat for your child. Link to Article
LINKS FROM CHILD INFORMATION GATEWAY WEB SITE
This month, Children’s Bureau Express highlights Children’s Bureau projects that work to increase access to early education services and the educational stability of children and youth in care.
Training and Technical Assistance Network Updates
Find out how to subscribe to the many T&TA Network newsletters and get other updates from CB’s T&TA Network.
Children’s Bureau Grantee News
This issue of CBX links you to new funding announcements, as well as information about becoming a grant reviewer.
Child Welfare News
We point to a statewide collaborative effort to prevent child sexual abuse in Georgia, research on placement stability, and other news from the child welfare field.
Sex Trafficking of Children in the United States: Overview and Issues for Congress.
Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. June 21, 2011: The trafficking of individuals within U.S borders is commonly referred to as domestic human trafficking, and it occurs in every state of the nation. One form of domestic human trafficking is sex trafficking. Research indicates that most victims of sex trafficking into and within the United States are women and children, and the victims include U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike. Recently, Congress has focused attention on domestic sex trafficking, including the prostitution of children—which is the focus of this report. Link to Sex Trafficking Report
Identifying Mental Health and Substance Use Problems of Children and Adolescents: A Guide for Child-Serving Organizations.
SAMSHA, Center for Mental Health Services 2012
This guide is written for personnel working in child-serving organizations and the families of the children (birth–12 years) and adolescents (13–22 years)† being served. The purpose of the guide is to address the approaches, methods, and strategies used to identify mental health and substance use problems of high-risk youths (persons whose ages are between birth and 22 years) in settings that serve either a broad spectrum of children and adolescents or a high-risk population. The seven settings addressed in this guide are as follows:
• Child welfare
• Early care and education
• Family, domestic violence, and runaway shelters
• Juvenile justice
• Mental health and substance abuse treatment for co-occurring disorders
• Primary care
• Schools and out-of-school programs
Because each setting has unique considerations, this guide includes supplements targeted to specific child-serving settings. Personnel in these settings must be prepared to actively partner with one another to create comprehensive systems of care that meet the needs of youths with the most serious mental health and substance use problems. Communities undertaking efforts that support positive youth development or address concerns about child and adolescent mental health or substance use also may find these materials helpful. Link to Article
Seven Things Juvenile Courts Should Know About Learning Disabilities.
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. 2011
Learning disabilities have a clear link to youth delinquency, and are one of the most prevalent disabilities within juvenile court populations. The purpose of this Brief is to highlight the challenges that youth with learning disabilities present to the juvenile court, to summarize key components of special education disability law, and to provide effective strategies to the courts working with these youth and families. Link to Article
The Appropriateness of Use of 3 Classes of Psychotropic Medications in Children and Adolescents.
March 2012, The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits
Study Design and Data: This retrospective analysis was a cross-sectional study using administrative databases. Demographically de-identified medication claims and medical/facility claims data were used. Data of interest was limited to those members aged 17 years or less who were continuously enrolled for 12 months in 2006. The requirement of continuous enrollment eliminated all members less than 1 year of age. There were 160,714 subjects with at least 1 pharmacy claim and 232,284 with at least 1 medical/facility claim.
Medications: Three groups of psychotropic medications were selected for this study, based on expected substantial utilization and concern about potential inappropriate use. The medications included in each group (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], antidepressants, antipsychotics) were all marketed during 2006 and are listed in Table 1. They included central nervous system stimulants and atomoxetine, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and bupropion, and the atypical antipsychotics. Claims for study medications were identified by using all NDC (National Drug Code) codes associated with each generic ingredient name. Link to Article
In-Home Services for Families of LGBTQ Youth.
National Resource Center for In-Home Services. 2012
Propelled by research from the Family Acceptance Project, a paradigm shift is occurring that challenges service providers to fully engage with the family members of LGBTQ youths as potential allies capable of increasing their support and acceptance of their LGBTQ children. This bulletin provides a rationale for early intervention with families of LGBTQ youths in order to strengthen families; prevent out-of-home placement, runaway behavior, and youth homelessness; and promote positive developmental outcomes for LGBTQ youths. Link to Article
HB 5600 of 2012: Clarifies/amends eligibility for setting aside convictions for juvenile adjudications. Amends sec. 18e, ch. XIIA of MCL 712A.18e. Link to Bill Status Page
Senate Bill 596 (Passed by the Senate) would amend the Michigan Penal Code, MCL 750.520d & 750.520e to eliminate the maximum age of a student in third- and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (CSC) violations involving a student and a school official, employee, contractor, or volunteer or a government employee providing service to a school, district, or intermediate school district (ISD). Link to Bill Status Page