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
This and previous posts can be found at: http://www.mipsac.org/category/can-articles
RECENT MEDIA ARTICLES
A Declining Delinquency Rate, Low Recidivism and Use of Local Resources Mean Big Savings for the County.
Midland Daily News, Nov 6,
Probate Judge Dorene S. Allen said the savings are in excess of $200,000,”, adding the exact number won’t be known until a later date due to the complicated funding stream, which includes federal and state money. Savings will be the result of staff reductions. The ability to reduce staff is the result of keeping youth at the County’s Juvenile Care Center where they attend evidence-based programs designed for rehabilitation, such as Multisystemic Therapy, rather than placing them in costly residential treatment facilities outside the community. The result has been declining delinquency and recidivism rates.
Multisystemic Therapy is a program that looks at all aspects of a child’s life, and works not only with the child but with their families as well. In the past, it was not uncommon to see an older sibling, followed by younger siblings, coming before the court. Now, Allen said, she is not seeing the remaining siblings coming before the court after families receive evidence-based programming for the first delinquency case. The recidivism rate went from 76 percent for 1997-2007, to 17 percent for 2008-2010. The court will not benefit from the savings, Allen said, because a grant for the Multisystemic Therapy program ends next year. Savings result from the retirement of the probation director and a probation agent, along with the resignation of the foster care coordinator, Allen said. Link to MDN Article
Ex-Defensive Coordinator, Others at Penn State Charged in Child Sexual Abuse Case
Detroit News, Nov 05
Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for Penn State’s football team was accused Saturday of sexually abusing eight boys. The school’s athletic director and an administrator were charged with perjury and failing to report what they knew about the allegations in a case that prosecutors said uncovered a years-long trail of a predator and those who protected him. Apparently, the AD and Administrator will argue they are not mandated reporters. Sandusky, closely identified with Penn State’s reputation as a defensive powerhouse, retired in 1999, but continued to work with at-risk children through the nonprofit, Second Mile organization he founded in 1977. He was charged with multiple counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor, as well as single counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted indecent assault. Link to Article
Oklahoma Authorities Search for Infant’s body
AP/Midland Daily News | Nov 4
Authorities were searching a rural Oklahoma property for the body of a baby girl Friday after one of nine children taken into protective custody told officials her father helped her deliver a baby at home, then buried it. She told authorities that the child did not cry and that her father told her it was dead and buried the baby on their property. It was also reported that neither the child’s birth nor death was reported to the state of Oklahoma, as is required. Link to MDN Article
Federal Prosecutor Looking Into Texas Beating
AP/Midland Daily News | Nov 4
Federal prosecutors agreed Friday to look into a video that shows Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams beating his then 16-year-old daughter with a belt, a police chief said a day after state authorities said the statute of limitations had passed. Hillary Adams, now 23, posted the 8-minute clip on YouTube last week that shows her father lashing her and trying to force her to bend over her bed to be beaten despite her pleas to stop. The clip had received more than 4 million views by Friday. County Attorney Richard Bianchi said a visiting judge would handle all of Judge Adams’ cases for the next two weeks. Adams often presides over child abuse cases. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is also investigating the case because Judge Adams has children living in his home. Link to MDN Article
Grandfather of Dominick Calhoun to Urge State House Judiciary Committee to Strengthen Child Abuse Laws
Nov 03, The Flint Journal
The grandfather of Dominick Calhoun, the 4-year-old boy beaten to death last year, will testify in front of the state house judiciary committee about a law named for his grandson that would strengthen child abuse laws. The law, sponsored by State Rep. Paul Scott, R-Grand Blanc, would “increase punishments for child abusers to unprecedented levels,” according to a press released from Michigan House Republicans.
A Comment by C. Enright: Does anyone think this provision would reduce child deaths or improve child outcomes? Any criminologist will tell you that severity of punishment does not act as a deterrent. Increasing penalties increases costs with no benefit. See articles, immediately below, for things legislators could do to actually improve child outcomes. Link to Article
Law Enforcement Leaders Urge State to Invest in Early Childhood
October 31, SAGINAW, MI (WNEM)
Law enforcement leaders from Mid-Michigan held round table discussion in Saginaw on Halloween to raise awareness about the connection between early childhood care and education and juvenile crime. The group presented research showing that thousands of Michigan kids become victims of child abuse and neglect every year, and only 2 of 3 at-risk 4-year-olds are able to access high-quality preschool. The group says it will also call on state lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder to continue Michigan’s investment in early childhood care and education, including preschool and voluntary home-visiting. The group also plans on calling on federal lawmaker U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a member of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction to maintain federal funding for these proven-effective services to help get kids on the right track to success and improve public safety. Link to Article
See also; NEWSCHANNEL 3, Nov 4th: a meeting in Three Rivers/St Joseph County: Link to Second Article
Occupy the Classroom
By Nicholas D. Kristoff, Op-Ed Columnist Oct 19, 2011 NY Times:
Occupy Wall Street is shining a useful spotlight on one of America’s central challenges, the inequality that leaves the richest 1 percent of Americans with a greater net worth than the entire bottom 90 percent. Most of the proposed remedies involve changes in taxes and regulations, and they would help. But the single step that would do the most to reduce inequality has nothing to do with finance at all. It’s an expansion of early childhood education. Link to Op Ed
Experts: Half of Foster Kids Quit High School
Oct 31, 2011, Argus Press:
When Carey Sommer entered foster care in California; he left his mom, his high school and his friends. Bounced from home to home, he changed high schools nine times until the disheartened teen finally dropped out. “I just started to not really care about high school because I figured I’m just going to move anyway. Why does it matter?” said Sommer, who was told it would take an extra year and a half to graduate to make up for credits he lost changing schools. Article discusses several efforts afoot to address this problem. Link to Article
Bay City Man Likely to Plead in Child Abuse Case and Avoid Jail
Bay City Times, November 01, 2011:
Court records show Kyle Witkop was charged with the felony after reportedly harming his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son, whom he was baby-sitting on Oct. 15. The child’s grandmother took her grandson to the hospital after picking him up from Witkop and noticing he bore several injuries. A Bay City Police officer who arrived at the hospital noted the boy had a number of bruises. The deal stipulates that if Witkop pleads guilty or no contest to a two-year felony count of third-degree child abuse, prosecutors will recommend his jail time be deferred. If he completes the terms of his deferment, he will be allowed to withdraw his plea and plead to a lesser count of attempted third-degree child abuse. Link to Article
Escanaba Child Abuse Case Bound to Circuit Court
November 1, 2011, Daily Press;
An Escanaba woman, accused of abusing her three-month-old child last spring, was bound over to Delta County Circuit Court.
Angel Dawn Micheau was arrested on Oct. 21 on charges of first and second degree child abuse stemming from an April 11 incident involving burns on her infant daughter. The now 9-month-old child is currently in foster care. According to testimony, Micheau brought her daughter to a walk-in clinic on April 11 and was referred to the emergency room. The examining doctor noted second-degree burns on the baby. Hospital personnel suspected child abuse and notified child protective services and police. Following additional questioning and investigation, the child was placed under protective care and was transported to a hospital in Green Bay. The child was then transferred to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital. An Escanaba Detective said there was additional evidence of several broken bones on the child including fractured ribs which were healing.
Warren Priest Suspended as Archdiocese Investigates Sex-Abuse Allegation
Detroit Free Press, Oct. 31, 2011:
A priest who has spent almost four decades working in metro Detroit was placed on paid administrative leave as the result of an allegation of sexual misconduct. Link to Freep Story
Harper Woods High School Employee Faces Child Sexual Abuse Charge Maurice Bulls could spend 15 years in prison
31 Oct 2011, HARPER WOODS, Mich. (WJBK)
A Harper Woods High School staff member could spend the next 15 years in prison after prosecutors say he attempted to take nude photos of a teenage student. Link to WJBK Article
Records show Boy Scouts failed to report abuser
October 29, 2011; Los Angeles, AP:
Boy Scout officials in the U.S. and Canada not only failed to stop an admitted child molester in their ranks, but sometimes helped cover his tracks, according to confidential records. Apparently, scout leader Rick Turley molested at least 15 children over nearly two decades, most of whom he met through American and Canadian Scouting beginning in the 1970s. Boy Scouts of America officials didn’t call police in 1979 after Turley acknowledged molesting three Orange County boys, records show. Turley is one of more than 5,000 suspected child molesters named in confidential documents kept by the BSA. The Scouts’ handling of sex-abuse allegations is similar to the scandal prevention of the Catholic Church in the face of accusations against its priests, attorneys told the Times and the CBC. The BSA has continued to enhance its youth protection efforts as society has increased its understanding of the dangers children face,” the Scouts said in a statement. Link to Detroit News Article
RESOURCES WITH TIME LIMITED VALUE
Trainings available from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan:
Click on the links for further info and registration:
|December 6th, 2011||Forensic Interviewing||Frankenmuth||Zehnder’s Splash Village|
|December 12th, 2011||Drug Endangered Children||Traverse City||Park Place Hotel|
|December 16th, 2011||Preparing for Court||East Lansing||Kellogg Center|
|December 21st, 2011||Stranger Conspiracies||Mt. Pleasant||Comfort Inn Hotel|
To enroll in an upcoming Supreme Court Administrative Office (SCAO) Program click on a program title below then choose “Register” in the summary box. Complete the registration form as requested and click “Continue”.
Achieving Placement Stability for Children in Foster Care
November 9, 2011 (The Westin Southfield, Southfield, MI)
RESOURCES WITH ONGOING VALUE
The Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Office posts numerous child welfare law trainings: Link to SCAO Trainings Page Webinars: Link to Webinars Page
The Child Welfare Policy Database provides statute and policy information on a range of child welfare topics, allowing visitors to access up-to-date information on individual State statutes and policies as well as compare their own State’s policies to other States.
The State Child Welfare Policy Database can be found at www.childwelfarepolicy.org and Information Gateway’s State Statutes Search can be found at www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state.
Marketing Outreach Coordinator
Child Welfare Information Gateway
A Service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS