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
Proof of Woman’s History of Violence to be Allowed in Child Abuse Case
Jan 16, Daily Press: Previous acts of violence by an Escanaba woman – accused of seriously abusing her baby – will be allowed to be presented as evidence of domestic violence during her trial in March, the court decided Friday. Angel Dawn Micheau, 21, accused of first-degree child abuse, is scheduled to go to trial in March. Micheau was arrested for child abuse stemming from an April 2011 incident involving burns on her three-month-old daughter. Link to Article
More U.S. Catholics Take Complaints to Church Court
Jan 15, Detroit News: Parents upset by the admission policy at a parochial school. Clergy and parishioners at odds over use of their building. A priest resisting a transfer to another parish. It was once assumed that disagreements like these in the Roman Catholic Church would end one way: with the highest-ranking cleric getting the last word. But that outcome is no longer a given as Catholics, emboldened following the clergy abuse scandals that erupted a decade ago this month, have sought another avenue of redress. In recent years, clergy and lay people in the United States have increasingly turned to the church’s internal legal system to challenge a bishop’s or pastor’s decision according to canon lawyers in academia, dioceses and in private practice. Sometimes, the challengers even win. Link to Article
Michael Terpening heading to trial
Jan 13, Newschannel 3: On Friday, Michael Terpening learned that he will stand trial. Terpening was bound over on two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under thirteen.
Terpening is also accused of inappropriately touching boys at a group home he ran near Bellevue. He’s facing twelve other sexual abuse charges. He was the director of Earth Services Youth Home in southeast Barry County’s Assyria Township. In court on Friday, Rodney Reams sat just one row behind Terpening. In August, Reams had also accused Terpening of sexual abuse. Then, in December he told Newschannel 3 that he made the allegations up and is now supporting Terpening. Terpening had several other friends and family present who insist he is innocent. Link to Article
Mattawan Teacher in Hot Water After Racy Gift Exchange at High School
Jan 13, Newschannel 3: At Mattawan High School, during school hours and in class, the superintendent says students exchanged sex toys during a Christmas party with their teacher. However, opinions on who is to blame vary greatly. Mattawan Schools’ superintendent says the teacher didn’t encourage or have prior knowledge of the students’ sassy gift selections. The teacher was suspended. No discipline was handed down to the students. Link to Article
Police Investigating Injuries to 3-Month-Old as Child Abuse
Jan 12, Jackson Citizen Patriot: The boy’s foster mother took him to Allegiance Health on Dec. 29, and hospital personnel alerted police. His eyes were bloodshot or pink. The boy went to the U of M Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. No one has been arrested or charged, and the boy was put in a different foster home. A detective is looking into the case. It is not clear what happened. The boy’s biological mother was the victim in a criminal sexual conduct case. A possible father of the boy, went to prison for 18 to 30 years for having sex with the mother when she was 12. The girl now is 14. The boy was removed from the girl’s care in November and placed in foster care, according to court records. Link to Article
Diocese of Saginaw Helps Spread Human Trafficking Awareness
Jan 12, Saginaw News: The Diocese of Saginaw teamed up with some of its religious sisters, the Diocesan Office of Christian Service and the Black Catholic Advisory to host a conference coinciding with Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Saginaw Township. Cherie Sammis, who has been giving presentations about human trafficking for 10 to 12 years, said that she also has spoken with law enforcement officers throughout the state and the FBI on the matter.
“People don’t do this out of choice,” she said. “And people around here don’t think that this happens in Saginaw, but it does.” Sammis, vice president of mission integration at St. Mary’s of Michigan, is a nurse practitioner who opened a health center in downtown Washington, D.C. She said that during her time working at that clinic, she realized all of the missed opportunities she had to help victims of human trafficking, and since then, she has been raising awareness. “These victims are forced into labor, debt bondage and sexual exploitation,” Sammis said. “And many of them won’t speak up or help themselves because they are intimidated in force by their traffickers.” Link to Article
For Kids With ADHD, Some Foods May Complement Treatment
Jan 9, NPR: “When [elimination] diets fail, parents can feel they’ve failed,” says Linda Brauer, coordinator of the Grand Rapids chapter of the advocacy group Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. She remembers feeling guilty when her son’s symptoms did not improve. But now she says the science is on her side. A review paper published Jan 9th in the journal Pediatrics evaluated the evidence from many studies on this topic. And it concludes that changing a child’s diet is usually not enough to effectively treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. “[Diet’s] main role in my clinical practice is as a complementary treatment,” Benjamin Prince, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital tells us. That means kids with ADHD usually need medicine and good diets. Link to Story
RESOURCES WITH ONGOING VALUE
American Humane Association releases the latest issue of Protecting Children. “Bringing Back the Dads: Changing Practices in Child Welfare Systems” is a compilation of articles providing a broad range of perspectives on the issues facing non-resident fathers and the child welfare system. This journal, produced with funding from the Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau, through the National Quality Improvement Center on Non-Resident Fathers and the Child Welfare System, identifies promising casework, legal and judicial best practices, awareness to reduce barriers to engagement, and policies that impact the engagement of non-resident fathers.
Cross posting a reference to a study which assesses the relationship of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) to nine other categories of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including childhood abuse, neglect, and multiple types of household dysfunction. [PDF from annafoundation.org]
M Dong, RF Anda, SR Dube, WH Giles… – Child Abuse & Neglect, 2003 – Elsevier
Methods: Retrospective cohort study …
MICHIGAN APPELLATE COURT CASES
Court: Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: In re Morgan
Concluded that the respondent-father’s due process right to confront the witnesses against him was not violated since the right does not apply to civil proceedings (including child protective proceedings under the Juvenile Code), the court held that the trial court properly terminated his parental rights to the minor children. Termination of respondent’s parental rights was sought primarily because he repeatedly sexually abused his oldest child. At the termination hearing, the child was not called to testify as to the sexual abuse. Instead a certified copy of respondent’s conviction for CSC was presented. Respondent argued that this procedure violated his due process right to confront the witnesses against him. Full Text Opinion