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
Study of ‘Meth Babies’ Finds Behavior Problems
March 19, Associated Press: The first study to look at methamphetamine’s potential lasting effects on children whose mothers used it in pregnancy finds these kids at higher risk for behavior problems than other children. The behavior differences anxiety, depression, moodiness weren’t huge, but lead researcher Linda LaGasse called them, ”very worrisome.” Link to Article
Deported, and Now Childless (from Wisconsin)
Mar 18, GazetteExtra.com: Last fall the Applied Research Center (ARC), a New York-based social justice public policy institute, detailed in a report that 5,100 U.S.-born children whose parents are caught up in illegal immigration detention are “highly likely” to be lost in the foster care system even though their parents want to care for them once they return to their native country. Link to Article
Mental Health Advocates Have Learned Life, and the Legislature, Isn’t Always Fair
Mar 15, MLive.com: Everybody talks a good game about “fairness” in the legislative process but for the mental health advocates, there’s been precious little of that in the last 20 years. Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) asserts, “I think we should not be picking winners and losers. I don’t want to look one Mom in the eye” and tell her she can’t have coverage for her mentally ill child while another Mom receives it for autism. “That concerns me a lot” — but not enough to delay the bill, which sailed through the state senate this week with only nine no votes. Link to Editorial
Bing Closing Graft-Filled Detroit Department of Human Services
March 14, Detroit Free Press: In a move designed to improve services for struggling Detroiters, Mayor Dave Bing is forfeiting more than $72 million in federal money intended to help poor people because a city department showed it can’t handle the funds effectively, his administration said Tuesday. Link to Article
Michigan Senate Approves Autism Coverage Proposals
Mar 14, Macomb Daily: Michigan took a key step Tuesday toward joining a growing number of states requiring insurance coverage for autism treatments. The state Senate passed measures by 29-9 and 28-10 votes. Democrats supported the measures while Republicans who hold the majority in the Senate were divided. The bills now advance to the Republican-led Michigan House. A previous attempt to mandate coverage for autism therapy in Michigan stalled in the Senate in 2010. But the latest measures to provide autism coverage are supported by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who has an autistic daughter. Link to Article
No More iPods or Paid Parking Tickets; DHS Updates Rules on How to Help Foster Kids
Mar 13, MLive.com: Michigan has made several changes to its Foster Youth in Transition Program in light of an audit that found it spent thousands of dollars on iPods, prom dresses, senior trips and a traffic ticket. State representatives questioned DHS officials about the audit and changes made during a House committee hearing Tuesday afternoon. The department is required to submit a plan for addressing the audit issues next month. Rep. Bradford Jacobsen, R-Oxford, asked how the department would learn from its errors and carry it over to other DHS programs. The department is looking at expenditure tracking, internal controls and quality assurance in other programs as well as in foster youth assistance, said Steve Yager, DHS director of children’s services. Link to Article
Spanking Lives On in Rural Florida Schools
13, NPR: Spanking in school may seem like a relic of the past, but every day hundreds of Florida students — from preschoolers to high school seniors — are still being paddled by teachers and principals. Link to Article
Attorney Says: Michigan DHS Harasses Family of 10-Year-Old Cancer Patient
Mar 13, MLive.com: The state Department of Human Services is asking an appellate court panel to return a case to trial that could force the 10-year-old to undergo follow-up care that includes six weeks of radiation therapy and six months of chemotherapy for his diagnosis of juvenile Ewing sarcoma that the boy’s parents have refused. Michael Farris, a Washington, D.C., attorney representing the family said “This is an individual decision that should be left up to parents, not to doctors.” Link to Article
LINKS FROM CHILD INFORMATION GATEWAY WEB SITE
MiTEAM: Michigan’s Child Welfare Practice Model.
Michigan Dept. of Human Services. Bureau of Child Welfare. Foster Care Program. 2012. Link to MiTeam Document
Performance Audit of Youth Transitioning from Foster Care to Self-Sufficiency. Michigan Office of the Auditor General. 2012 Link to Full Auditors Report
Evaluation Resource Guide for Children’s Bureau Discretionary Grantees.
United States Children’s Bureau. James Bell Associates. 2011
Addressing the Needs of Multi-System Youth: Strengthening the Connection between Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice.
Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps. 2012
Creating Trauma-Informed Systems (including, What is a Trauma-Informed Child- and Family-Service System?). National Child Traumatic Stress Network. 2012
Bringing Families Together: Models of Hope and Recovery [Video].
Center for Children and Family Futures. United States. SAMHSA 2012
Culture and Trauma (Special Issue of Impact Newsletter).
National Child Traumatic Stress Network. 2012
SafeCare [Home Visiting for Child Well-Being].
California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. 2012
Doing What I Teach and Teaching What I Do: Using the Principles of Effective Parenting to Become an Effective Educator about Parenting.
Harrist, Amanda W. Oklahoma State University. 2012 Family Science Review 17 (1) http://familyscienceassociation.org/archived%20journal%20articles/FSR_17_1_2012/Harrist%20Final.pdf
How Targeted Are Federal Expenditures on Children? A Kids’ Share Analysis of Expenditures by Income in 2009. Urban Institute. Brookings Institution. 2012 How Federal spending on children in low income families compares with Federal spending on middle and upper income children.
MICHIGAN APPELLATE COURT CASES
Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: In re Sasak
Holding, inter alia, that defense counsel’s decision not to request a polygraph exam before trial did not fall below an objective standard of reasonableness and that the trial court appropriately exercised its discretion by allowing the prosecutor to ask the victim leading questions, the court affirmed the respondent-juvenile’s adjudication for CSC I and II. Full Text Opinion
Michigan Court of Appeals (Unpublished)
Case Name: In re Galehouse
The court noted that while the rules of evidence do not apply at the dispositional phase of a child protective proceeding, they “do apply at the adjudicative phase, where the court decides whether to assume jurisdiction over the child.” The court concluded that the trial court committed legal error and abused its discretion in ruling that testimony attributing statements to one of the children at issue was admissible. The court held that the child was not a party to the case – she was “the subject” of the case. Further, “even if the child who is the subject of a child protective proceeding might be deemed a party for purposes of MRE 801(d)(2),” that left the issue of whether the statements attributed to the child “qualified as admissions against her.” At trial, the child’s interests were advanced by a GAL, who encouraged the jury to find that the home was an unfit place for the child to live at the time the petition was filed and that there was “‘a substantial risk of harm to . . . her mental well-being . . . .'” The court concluded that since the GAL aligned with the petitioner-DHS at trial, only the child’s testimony favoring respondents’ position could be considered admissions against her position at trial. None of the statements attributed to the child that were at issue on appeal could be considered to favor respondents’ position. Thus, the court held that “the abundance of information damaging to respondents, which the CPS worker provided by way of statements attributed to” the child, “was all the product of inadmissible hearsay.” Reversed and remanded. Full Text Opinion