Tag Archives: Same-Sex Couples

Mar 21-Apr 3: CA&N Media Articles and Resources

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) 600-9696
[email protected]
Michigan Professional Society on Abuse of Children, MiPSAC
This and previous posts can be found at: http://www.mipsac.org/category/can-articles


State Unveils New Volunteer Foster Care Program For Those Aged 18-21

Apr 2, WNEM: The Michigan DHS has announced the launch of its new Young Adult Voluntary Foster Care program, effective immediately.
The new program allows foster children, as they become legal adults, to voluntarily remain under state care until age 21 — if they are in school (high school, GED, vocational or college); in job training; employed 80 hours per month, or are deemed incapable of participating in employment/education activities due to a documented medical condition.
Last November, Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law Public Acts 225-230 of 2011, which allow for a variety of benefits, paid for by an approximate 65-35 split of federal and state funding, to be extended to foster youth in transition, including:
●   Extension of foster care payments
●   Continued oversight by a caseworker and counseling
●   Continued health care coverage
●   More time to finish high school and/or pursue vocational or higher education

Bill Eliminates DHS Jobs But Boosts Foster Care Funding

Apr 2, UpNorthLive.com: A bill in Lansing could bring much needed financial support to foster families right here in northern Michigan, but it also would eliminate dozens of employees with the Department of Human Services. For eight years, foster families haven’t been given an increase in pay from the state even though the costs of living has gone up. House bill 5374 would change that. If approved, starting in July families would get an additional three dollars per child per day. This bill would bump the payment to $13.78 and $16.27 a day for teens. The bill would also increase administrative payments at private child placing agencies by $5 per child per day, The county would have to eliminate it’s match rate to receive this increase. While private agencies would benefit from the bill, state agencies would not. The bill recommends the elimination of 64 full time DHS case workers. Link to Article  Link to HB-5374

New Hampshire Parents on Their Own in Abuse, Neglect Cases

Apr 2, NPR: Faced with a budget shortfall, New Hampshire has taken the unusual step of eliminating funding for indigent parent’s counsel. The court and state officials charged with enforcing the new policy now worry that the lack of representation is hurting parents and their children — and children’s advocates are concerned that other states may eventually follow New Hampshire’s lead. Vivek Sankaran, a professor of law at the University of Michigan, predicts New Hampshire may get exactly what it has historically tried to avoid — a generation of kids who grow up without their parents. The practice of child welfare has become “much more sophisticated” in recent years, Sankaran says. “And then you get [these cuts], where we’ve just reverted back to where we were in the 1960s or the 1950s.” Link to Audio/Text of Article

Restitution Sought to Care for Kids Whose Moms Used Them to Make Porn

Apr 2, Detroit Free Press: Steven Demink convinced women to do the unthinkable: molest their children and videotape the sex acts for him to watch — sometimes live via webcam. Demink, 41, is in prison for life for his crimes. So are the mothers, seven at last count. But now, the courts are grappling with, perhaps, a more complicated and emotional issue: Who is left to raise the children and who will pay for their care? In a case unfolding in federal court in Detroit, prosecutors are seeking restitution from Demink, arguing he should pay to help raise the children whose lives he helped shatter. Link to Article

US Child Abuse Costs Billions in Long Run

March 31, Anderson Independent-Mail: Researchers found that the child abuse and neglect that takes place in just one year will cost the U.S. $124 billion over the course of the victims’ lifetimes. “On an emotional level, you don’t get any argument from anyone when you talk about the importance of preventing child maltreatment,” Florence said. “But when it comes to determining how many resources to put toward that effort, it is a harder question to answer, because you have lots of worthy things competing for limited resources. This study demonstrates the substantial benefits of preventing child maltreatment … because it enables us to say more concretely what the costs of child maltreatment really are.” Link to Article

Awareness Training Offered As Part of Child Abuse Prevention Month

Mar 31, Holland Sentinel: Amy Dalman, of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Ottawa County is working to make identifying and reporting child sexual abuse easier for adults, with free trainings scheduled this month across the county. The effort is part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is April. There was a training at Herrick District Library was last week, but more free sessions are being offered in Allendale, Hudsonville and Grand Haven. The trainings are based on Darkness to Light’s Stewards of Children, a two-and-a-half hour program that covers how to protect children from abuse. While encouraging adults to learn prevention techniques, the Children’s Advocacy Center also has been teaching children about “body safety,” including safe and unsafe touching. Dalman reaches about 90 percent of Ottawa County third graders with a one-time, 50-minute presentation, she said. She also gives a similar — but age-appropriate — presentation to about 1,200 pre-schoolers annually. Link to Article

Coverage for Autism Therapies Heads to Snyder’s Desk

Mar 30, Detroit News: State lawmakers sent Gov. Rick Snyder legislation that would make Michigan the 35th state to mandate autism insurance coverage and provide a funding mechanism to reimburse insurers and third-party health plan administrators for the treatment. Link to Article

Preliminary Budget Would Close Maxey Boys Training School

Mar 30, Livingston Daily.com: A preliminary state budget would close the Maxey Training School in Green Oak Township as part of an effort to shift Michigan’s juvenile offenders into private facilities. The House Department of Human Services Budget Subcommittee’s proposal would also close the Bay Pines Center in Escanaba and the Shawono Center in Grayling, both are also juvenile-detention centers. Link to Article

Teacher Hits Student With Pencil, Charged With Assault

Mar 29, ABC12.com: An unusual assault case is unfolding in a Mid-Michigan school district. The weapon in the alleged assault was a pencil. The accused has now resigned his teaching position at Tawas High School. Court papers indicate the teacher threw a pencil at a high school student to get that student’s attention, hitting the student in the head. Court papers show the pencil left a mark on the student’s forehead, and the student said he had a headache afterward. The court papers indicate some students saw the teacher throw the pencil and several students say the teacher has thrown pencils at other students. The teacher now faces one count of assault or assault and battery. The student’s father contacted the school’s principal and complained about the pencil-throwing. Link to Article

Judge: Pastor Covered by Privilege

Mar 28, Wood TV:  An Ionia County circuit court judge said a pastor who invoked clergy-penitent privilege was within his rights when he did not report suspicions of a man molesting his stepchildren to authorities.  Neither side disputes the basic facts: A woman approached the pastor in 2009 and told him that she thought her husband may have been sexually abusing her daughters.  Court documents from prosecutors said the woman told the pastor she was afraid her husband was having the girls touch themselves in front of him. The pastor didn’t report the allegations to police. Rather, he counseled the man. That man denied everything at the time and the girls involved did not want to talk to the pastor. But two years later, the same woman came to the pastor with more abuse allegations. This time, she said her daughter woke up in the middle of the night screaming, “I hate you,” and “I hate, I hate you, don’t ever touch me again.” Records say the girl’s stepfather was in her bedroom. This time, the pastor told the woman she’d have to tell police — or he would. That man was convicted of criminal sexual conduct in 2011 and is still in jail. The pastor was charged in late 2011 with failing to report child abuse — a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. Prosecutors said it was the pastor’s duty to tell police. They pointed out the incident was not told to him in confession and the man’s wife wasn’t admitting a crime she committed.  Link to Article

Wendrow Family Can Continue Its Lawsuit Over Dismissed Child Abuse Accusations

March 28, Detroit Free Press: Julian Wendrow was arrested in December 2007 and remained jailed for 80 days. Thal Wendrow was placed on an electronic tether, and their children were sent to foster care for months before prosecutors dropped the case in 2008. The case against the Wendrows was based solely on statements their mute and autistic daughter, then 14, was said to have made using a widely debunked communication method called facilitated communication.  Link to Article

Fatigue, High Expectations Contribute To Depression in Adoptive Moms

Mar 28, Newsworks.org : Fatigue, worry, and isolation can lead to post-partum depression — and a new study finds those same factors also contribute to depression in adoptive moms. Link to Article

Snyder Makes Appointments to Child Abuse Prevention Board

March 27, Oakland Press: Gov. Rick Snyder announced the appointments of Lena Epstein Koretzky, of Bloomfield Hills, and Karl Ieuter, of Sanford, to the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board. The 11-person board promotes the health, safety and welfare of Michigan’s children and families by funding local programs and services that prevent child abuse and neglect. Link to Article

Secrecy Gone: Most Adoptions Today Are ‘Open,’ Report Says

March 27, Baptist Press: A new survey of adoption agencies confirms that the secrecy once associated with adoption is no longer a reality, with 95 percent of all domestic adoptions now being “open” or “semi-open” — that is, the birth parents and adoptive parents having at least some level of contact.  Link to Article

Same-Sex Couple Fights Alleged Sperm Donor Over Child Visitation Rights.

March 27, Mlive.com: A child custody case pending in Genesee Circuit Court is pitting a lesbian couple against a man they claim to have paid to be a donor for their daughter, Trinitee. The man, who was previously married to one of the women for four years, said he never intended to give up his parental rights to the child. Link to Article

Supervising Priest Goes on Trial in Abuse Case

Mar 27, New York Times: The landmark trial of a senior official of the Philadelphia Archdiocese who is accused of shielding priests who sexually abused children and reassigning them to unwary parishes began on Monday with prosecutors charging that the official “paid lip service to child protection and protected the church at all costs.” Link to Article

US Woman Adopts Indian Boy Via Video-Conferencing

Mar 24, Times of India: In one of the first cases of its kind, an American woman has been allowed to adopt an Indian child through video-conferencing, after the mother and child deposed before a US district court from Delhi. The adoption did not involve the Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) either, in itself a precedent. On Friday, 31-year-old Rebecca Morlock flew home with Kyle, the boy from Kalimpong who was handed over to her as a newborn four years ago. Link to Article

Court Denies Class in Texas Foster Care Lawsuit

Mar 23, Associated Press: The lawsuit by New York-based advocacy group Children’s Rights claims the Texas foster care system is unconstitutional and forces thousands of children to live in poorly supervised institutions, frequently moving them from one place to another and often splitting up siblings. The lawsuit was filed in 2011 on behalf of nine Texas children. A state district judge in Corpus Christi allowed the class action, but Friday’s ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the plaintiffs had not properly established a legal class. Link to AP Article  Also: Link to TR Article

Expectations, Exhaustion Can Lead Mothers to Post-Adoption Stress

Mar 23, Science Daily: “Feeling tired was by far the largest predictor of depression in mothers who adopted,” said Karen J. Foli, an assistant professor of nursing who studied factors that could predict depression in adoptive mothers. “We didn’t expect to see this, and we aren’t sure if the fatigue is a symptom of the depression or if it is the parenting experience that is the source of the fatigue.” Link to Article

Momentum for Children’s Welfare, Equality

March 23, Huffington Post: We should be opening up more homes to kids, not denying qualified parents who are willing to provide a safe and stable home to children solely because of their sexual orientation or marital status. The only criteria in adoption and foster care placements should be what is in the child’s best interest. Homophobia and discrimination should not be a part of the equation. Link to Article

US: Why Eliminate the Victims of Child Abuse Act?

Mar 23, Huffington Post: Funding for the Victims of Child Abuse Act represents a fraction of the federal budget. In the case of CASA for Children, that fraction is three ten thousandths of one percent of the $3.8 trillion federal budget. It is a drop in the bucket in terms of deficit reduction. Yet it has a direct impact on the lives of 660,000 children in the foster care and child welfare system. Link to Article

Ennis Center for Children in Flint Now Providing Support Program for Adoptive Parents

Mar 22, Michigan Live: Post-Adoptive Support Services (PASS) focuses on helping adoptive families that are in need of community support, behavior management, and education on the underlying affects that childhood trauma can have on adopted children. Link to Article

Wisconsin Black Earth Pastor Found Guilty of Conspiracy in Child Abuse Case

Mar 21, Wisconsin State Journal: A Black Earth pastor was found guilty Wednesday of eight counts of conspiracy to commit child abuse for advocating the use of wooden rods to spank children as young as two months. Link to Article


The Economic Burden of Child Maltreatment in the United States and Implications for Prevention, by X. Fang, D. S. Brown, C. S. Florence, and J. A. Mercy (in press), was published in Child Abuse and Neglect: The International Journal, and is available on the ScienceDirect website: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0145213411003140

Prevention of Child Maltreatment in High-risk Rural Families: A Randomized Clinical Trial With Child Welfare Outcomes, by J. F. Silovsky, D. Bard, M. Chaffin, D. Hecht, L. Burris, and A. Owora et al., was published in Children and Youth Services Review, 33(8), and is available on the ScienceDirect website: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740911001459

Jan 17-24: CA&N Media Articles and Resources

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) 600-9696
[email protected]
Michigan Professional Society on Abuse of Children, MiPSAC

This and previous posts can be found at: http://www.mipsac.org/category/can-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

City’s Spending

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


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