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
Funding at Risk for Detroit’s Social Services State Officials Detail Misspending in Review of Detroit’s Finances
Jan 23, The Detroit News: The city is managing federal funding so poorly that it’s risking future dollars for social service programs intended to help disadvantaged residents, officials examining Detroit’s finances say. Link to Article
Here are some examples of how the city spends federal funds in social service areas:
- Head Start: $49.1 million
- Energy Assistance: $1 million
- Weatherization Program: $3.3 million
- Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program: $4.1 million
Same-Sex Couple Fights to Change adoption Laws So Their Kids Have Same Rights as Other Children
Jan 22, WXYZ: Imagine not being allowed to adopt a child you had raised since birth. That is what some same-sex partners are facing. Michigan is among a handful of states that still offers no legal protections for gays and lesbians – and that can have major consequences for their children. A local lesbian couple has been raising three children since birth, kids who otherwise would have been in the foster care system. One of the women adopted one child – while the other woman had to adopt the other two – that’s because the law in Michigan won’t let them jointly adopt all three kids. And they’re hoping this lawsuit will change the lives of children all over Michigan. Link to Article
Michigan in Dire Need of Adoptive and Foster Parents
Jan 21, Oakland Press: Although 92 percent of children placed in foster care because of neglect, abuse or family problems are adopted by relatives or foster parents, more than 400 have no relatives or families being considered for their adoption. The Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange is an organization working to find homes for the children who have been waiting the longest for permanent families. The truth is that your marital status, age, income and sexual orientation will not disqualify you from adopting a child who is in foster care in Michigan. You don’t need to own your own home, have children already, be young, wealthy or a stay-at-home parent to adopt or foster. Link to Article
Mount Clemens Hospital Intern Says Baby Fell Down Stairs
Jan 21, Macomb Daily: The defendant, who two months before the incident left his intern post at Mount Clemens Regional Hospital, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree child abuse, accused of assaulting a 13-month-old child while under his care. He was dating the girl’s mother, who also worked at the hospital. The prosecutor said the injuries are inconsistent with a fall. The girl suffered multiple skull fractures, bruises on her face and torso, and tears in her vaginal area and anus. Link to Article
Prosecutors Say Anger, Not the Devil, Made Warren Step-dad Attack Boy
Jan: 20, Oakland Press: The Assistant Macomb prosecutor, in opening statements in the Randall Caballero trial preemptively countered the defense’s claim that Caballero was legally insane — that “the devil” made him try to kill the child. Caballero, 36, is charged with attempted murder and first-degree child abuse, accused of walking the barely dressed boy about a quarter-mile from their home where he choked him and pushed him in a snow bank. The boy was found by a police officer a short time later with a body temperature of 79.5 degrees and taken to a hospital. Caballero told police, “I just killed my stepson. I strangled my 3-year-old stepson and left his body. He made another comment, the devil made him do it.” The defense claims Caballero has been diagnosed as bipolar for which he has been hospitalized at least four times since 2007. Caballero’s treating psychiatrist is expected to testify in agreement that Caballero was insane, although that will be opposed by the state expert who will accuse Caballero of faking insanity. The prosecutor said the victim’s mother will testify that Caballero successfully pretended to be mentally ill to receive Social Security Disability. A professional at a facility that housed him says in a report that Caballero was faking. The prosecutor said “He’s a malingerer and a liar,” “Manipulation is what he did to doctors and the state to get disability. “Now he’s (trying) to manipulate to escape punishment for his behavior, trying to kill that child.” The victim, who is now 5, has recovered from his physical injuries and receives counseling, according to his paternal grandmother, Rhonda Castillo. He resides with his father and twin brother in Madison Heights as well as with Spring Caballero in Sterling Heights. Link to Article
Drug Arrests Create Racial Caste System, Says Author Michelle Alexander
Jan 19, Grand Rapids Press: Alexander authored an award-winning book asserting the punitive obsession of the modern criminal justice system is an extension of the so-called Jim Crow laws, which legalized discrimination against blacks and other minorities until the 1960s. The book “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” contends the war on drugs is the biggest cause of a disproportionate number of mostly black nonviolent offenders being placed behind bars than ever in our nation’s history. Alexander, who was a clerk for a U.S. Supreme Court justice and is on the faculty at Ohio State University, said her research for the book shows crime rates have steadied during recent decades while prison populations have quintupled. Those behind bars are largely young black men serving time for drug convictions that lead to a cycle of unemployment, family breakdowns and a host of other social problems. She said drug law enforcement, which has done little to stem the flow of narcotics, has not been aimed at kingpins and traffickers. Instead, it is used to bolster the numbers of arrests for an agency seeking federal funding. Racial stereotypes have driven the drug war into major urban areas, inhabited largely by minorities, when studies show blacks are no more likely to use drugs than their white suburban counterparts. Link to Article
WMU’s Seita Scholars Program Mentioned by Gov. Rick Snyder During State of the State
Jan 18, Kalamazoo Gazette: Western Michigan University’s Seita Scholars Program was mentioned by Gov. Rick Snyder tonight during his second State of the State address. Snyder mentioned the program when he talked about the accomplishments the state has made to help foster children, including extending foster-services to age 21. Link to Article
Pawn Shop Owner Says Woman Offered Sex Act by Her Daughter and Herself
Jan 17, 7 Action News: The owner tells 7 Action News he called police. A statement issued by Child Protective Services says they are grateful for people who report suspected abuse. They say they check out reports of abuse, along with law enforcement, and if they feel a child is in immediate danger, the child would be removed from a home. In this case that did not happen. It is reported police did do a welfare check on the child at the home and that they believed she was safe. Southgate Police say they have a report and an investigation will be started. Link to Article
Michigan Has a Quarter of the Nation’s For-Profit Charter Schools. Should We Care?
Jan 15, Kalamazoo Gazatte: A newly enacted state law allows expansion of charter schools, but it turns out Michigan already has a disproportionate share of the nation’s for-profit charter school market, according to a recent report by a Western Michigan University professor. Michigan has 181 of the nation’s 758 for-profit charter schools, the most of any state. No. 2 is Florida, with 150 for-profit schools. “The idea behind charters was to have locally run, autonomous schools that would foster innovation,” he said. “But now you have schools in Michigan that are operated by companies based as far away as Florida and California,” with a minimum of local control and using a cookie-cutter approach. Link to Article
RESOURCES WITH TIME LIMITED VALUE
Upcoming SCAO Webinar Programs
Enjoy the convenience of learning from the comfort of your office-desk and save valuable travel time! Check and enroll in a live simulcast. Please review the list of programs below. Click on each program title to review a summary of the program and featured faculty.
Instructions: Click on a seminar title to view its planned agenda, and then choose Register to enroll. On the designated day, please come back to the lobby page and click the Attend button.
- Child Development and Abuse: What Every L-Gal Must Know
- Tuesday, Jan 24 at 12:00 PM EST
- Appeals by Leave: What Child Welfare Attorneys Need to Know
- Tuesday, Feb 21 at 12:00 PM EST
Upcoming SCAO Off-Site Programs
Review the list of programs below. Click on each program title to review a summary of the program and featured faculty.
Instructions for Enrolling in an Upcoming Off-Site Program
To enroll click on a program title below then choose “Register” in the summary box. Complete the registration form as requested and click “Continue”.
- Based on a True Story: Best Practice for Child Welfare Professionals
- Wednesday, Mar 14 at 9:00 AM EDT
- Self-Care for Child Welfare Professionals: Avoiding Burnout
- Friday, Mar 16 at 9:00 AM EDT
- Testifying in Court for Non-Lawyers
- Thursday, May 24 at 9:00 AM EDT