November 6 – 13: 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]

This and previous posts can be found at:


Parental Neglect Trial Set for Marquette

Nov 13, The Mining Journal:

A battle for parental rights and the life of a 10-year-old Skandia boy is set to play out next month in Marquette County Circuit Court. A jury is scheduled to determine whether Kenneth Stieler, 40, and his wife, Erin, 35, who stopped cancer treatments for their son Jacob, are guilty of neglect. Doctors said “If Jacob does not continue with chemotherapy and radiation, he will not survive,” The Stielers said they think it should be their choice whether to continue treatments. Sarah Brown, a child abuse pediatrician with the Center for Child Protection at the Helen DeVos hospital, said Erin Stieler was extensively counseled about survival rates with treatment. “Jacob’s mother’s refusal of standard cancer care represents a clear case of medical neglect,” Dr. Brown wrote to a county CPS investigator, saying there had been no claim of refusing care on the basis of religious beliefs. “If she is refusing care for religious reasons, (state law) states that she may not be found negligent, but that the religious beliefs do not preclude the court from ordering medical treatment when the child’s health requires it,” Brown said. After a preliminary court hearing in September, Judge Michael Anderegg authorized the petition. Anderegg appointed a guardian for Jacob for the duration of the case and released the boy to his parents under supervision of the DHS. Link to Article

Bringing a Difficult Issue to Light: Workshop to Help Adults Identify Signs of Child Sexual Abuse

Nov 11, Huron Daily Tribune:

The statistics are alarming. One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before age 18. While child sexual abuse may not be able to be completely stopped, a community can take action on lessening the number of incidents as well as the severity of the incidents. Huron County is doing so with a program called Stewards of Children — Darkness to Light. Darkness to Light is a prevention training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The first workshop is scheduled for 5 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday at North Huron School. Melissa Stirrett, a parent educator with the Huron Intermediate School District, is the authorized facilitator. She has trained more than 70 community members, including EMTs, clergy members, social workers, teachers, parents, grandparents, social workers and others who wished to learn more about protecting children. People can register for the workshop by calling Shirley at (989) 269-6406. For more information on the upcoming workshop, call Melissa Stirrett at (989) 269-3489 or email her at [email protected]. People also can visit for more information. Link to Article

Did Video Testimony Rob Convicted Child Rapist of His Constitutional Rights?

Nov 09, The Grand Rapids Press:

James Buie was convicted in 2007 of the 2001 rape of a 9- and 13-year-old girl? The Michigan State Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday, Nov 10th, over whether Buie’s right to confront witnesses against him was violated by live-video testimony of a child abuse expert from Detroit and a DNA expert from Virginia during trial. The defense will argue that because the testimony was not done in person, it robbed Buie of his Constitutional right to confront witnesses. The prosecution will argue that Buie, through his attorney, consented to the use of the technology and, since it was live and two-way, had every opportunity to question the experts. In January, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel decided even though Foster, didn’t object to the video testimony, Buie’s right to confront was violated. Link to Article

Defense Seeks Lesser Child-Abuse Charge for Dad Who Let 9-year-old Drive


The defense for a metro Detroit father accused of allowing his 9-year-old daughter to drive his van last month while he rode in the passenger’s seat wants the second-degree child abuse charge dropped and laid out an argument that hinges on the girl’s driving abilities. “Although illegal, (the girl) had prior experience behind the wheel, and on the night in question, (she) was reported by every witness as driving well, even using appropriate blinkers when turning the van,”. The defendant had drunk a half bottle of liquor and told a gas station clerk that his daughter was his designated driver. The girl can then be seen getting into the van and driving off. The defendant’s daughter testified Tuesday that her father drank about a half bottle of Black Velvet the night she drove. Link to Freep Article

The Case Against

Nov 07, On The Media; National Public Radio:

The classified site which is owned by Village Voice Media is under fire for ads in its “adult” section that are sometimes used for trafficking minors. Last week, a group of interdenominational clergy took out an ad in The New York Times asking Village Voice Media to shut down the adult section of the site. Bob speaks with one of the letter’s signers, Reverend Katharine Henderson, who says even one case of child sex trafficking on is one too many. Link to Program

Home for Michigan Victims of Child Sex Trafficking Nearing Completion

Nov 07, | Muskegon Chronicle:

Hope Project Executive Director Jeff Martineau said he expects the home could be open by spring and begin offering psychological treatment to children who were sexually abused to make a profit for adults. The Hope Project recently received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County’s Great Muskegon Women and Children’s Fund to support counseling for victims of sex trafficking, which was just one step on the long road to fund a shelter for 15 victims, Martineau said. The average age of a child in the sex trade is estimated at 12, Martineau said, though some are as young as 6. About 80 percent of the victims are girls, and a victim has a life expectancy of about seven years from the start of commercial abuse, because of sexually transmitted infections, injuries and drugs used to keep them compliant. Link to Article

New Research Shows Impact of Child Trauma on Adults

Nov. 6, Battle Creek Enquirer:

At a recent conference, Dr. R.F. Anda of the Centers for Disease Control, presented on a study which shows strong relationships between traumatic childhood experiences and problems in adulthood. The research, called the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, measures childhood trauma using a very simple scoring method. With easy math, it connects childhood experiences with health and psychological issues in adulthood. It’s based on a survey that asks 10 questions about childhood, and those who have higher scores are more likely to have many problems in adulthood. People who had little or no childhood trauma have the lowest incidence of medical and psychosocial problems. Recent changes in state and federal budgets heavily affect young families with children, especially deep cuts to education funding, parenting programs, food programs, substance abuse prevention, mental health services and unemployment benefits. Right or wrong, the best way to help children is to help their parents. Poverty is the single best predictor of child abuse and neglect. Learn more about the ACE study at the CDC’s website Find your own ACE score at   Link to BC Enquirer Article


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


Multiple studies have found that children in foster care are vulnerable to inappropriate or excessive use of psychotropic medication.

Advocating for and presiding over cases involving children and teens in foster care who may have mental health disorders requires a solid understanding of the positive and negatives aspects of medication use in this population. The ABA Center on Children and the Law is therefore pleased to announce the release of “Psychotropic Medication and Children in Foster Care: Tips for Advocates and Judges” by JoAnne Solchany, PhD, ARNP.  The Brief addresses:

  • Common child and adolescent mental health diagnoses
  • A multimodal approach to managing mental health disorders
  • Benefits, drawbacks, and side effects of psychotropic medications
  • Recommendations for best practice, and
  • Questions judges and advocates should ask about medication use.

The Brief is free and available online at ABA Psychotropic Med pdf Link Hard copies and bulk orders for training purposes (100/box) are also available through the ABA Center (please contact Charles Teague at [email protected]
Eva J. Klain, Esq.
Director, Child and Adolescent Health
ABA Center on Children and the Law
740 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 662-1681
(202) 662-1755 (fax)
[email protected]

NEW VIDEO SERIES From the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University  Three Core Concepts in Early Development

  1. Experiences Build Brain Architecture
  2. Serve & Return Interaction Shapes Brain Circuitry
  3. Toxic Stress Derails Healthy Development

This new, three-part video series from the Center and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child depicts how advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics now give us a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse. Site contains info on other child development issues as well.

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 and Information Gateway’s State Statutes Search can be found at

Ashley Phillips

Marketing Outreach Coordinator
Child Welfare Information Gateway
A Service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS
Phone: 703.225.2235

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