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
This and previous posts can be found at: http://www.mipsac.org/category/can-articles
RECENT MEDIA ARTICLES
Dentist in CSA Case Called ‘Monster’; Defense Questions The Details Of Alleged Assaults
Nov. 29, LSJ.com:
A dentist accused of sexually assaulting a child patient multiple times over the course of five years is charged with four counts of 1st-degree CSC involving penetration and 11 counts of 2nd-degree CSC, involving touching. Prosecutors say the assaults happened between 1996 and 2000 at Wendell Alan Racette’s former office on East Saginaw Street in Lansing, when the former male patient was between the ages of 5 and 10. He is now 21.
Racette’s attorney, raised questions about how any of the alleged assaults could have happened in a busy office within earshot of parents, siblings and staff. He said this is a case where the alleged victim claims things happened to him that were not physically possible and are completely inconsistent with what the staff will tell you the practices were. Link to LSJ Article
Anti-bully Bill Debate Heats Up In Michigan Legislature
November 28, Detroit News Lansing Bureau:
After more than 10 years of debate in the Legislature, Michigan is close to having a school anti-bullying bill. But some see it as only a partial victory. A major stumbling block has been whether the bill should single out groups of students for protection, especially those who are, or are perceived to be, gay, lesbian or transgender. Bills passed by the Republican-led state House and Senate don’t enumerate specific groups of students. If the GOP-led Senate agrees to changes made by the House, the bill would head to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk. The House bill requires school districts to implement an anti-bullying policy within six months. Link to Article
Woman Charged With Child Abuse In I-75 Chase, Crash
Nov 28, Oakland Press:
A 35-year-old woman faces multiple charges after police said she led officers on a chase Wednesday on I-75 in Oakland County. Oakland County Sheriff’s office said the woman stole items at a Walgreen’s store in Pontiac. She fled the store and failed to stop when a deputy attempted to pull her car over. She and her passenger, her 14-year-old daughter, were treated for minor injuries after a rollover crash resulted from the pursuit. She is now charged with fleeing and eluding officers, child abuse/endangerment and retail fraud. Link to Article
County Places Obese Cleveland Heights Child In Foster Care
Nov 26, The Plain Dealer:
An 8-year-old Cleveland Heights boy was taken from his family and placed in foster care last month after county case workers said his mother wasn’t doing enough to control his weight. At more than 200 pounds, the third-grader is considered severely obese and at risk for developing such diseases as diabetes and hypertension. Others suggest there’s hypocrisy in a government that would advocate taking children away for being overweight while saying it’s OK to advertise unhealthy food and put toys in fast-food kids’ meals. Cuyahoga County does not have a specific policy on dealing with obese children. It removed the boy because case workers considered this mother’s inability to get her son’s weight down a form of medical neglect, said Mary Louise Madigan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Children and Family Services. They said that the child’s weight gain was caused by his environment and that the mother wasn’t following doctor’s orders — which she disputes. “This child’s problem was so severe that we had to take custody,” Madigan said. The agency worked with the mother for more than a year before asking Juvenile Court for custody of the child, she said. Link to Plain Dealer Article
Childhood Obesity: A Call for Parents to Lose Custody
July 14, 2011; ABC Good Morning America:
Harvard University child obesity expert Dr. David Ludwig’s recent claim that some parents should lose custody of their severely obese children has sparked outrage among families and professionals across the country. The national outcry led one family to share how its personal experience with the matter damaged their lives. Link to ABC Article/Video
Public Tours New Women’s and Children’s Hospitals
An estimated 20,000 visitors flocked to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital November 6 for a sneak peak into the new facility. Following five years of construction, the $754 million, 1.1-million-square-foot hospitals will be among the premier pediatric health care centers in the country when they open in December.
The 12-story in-patient tower features a dedicated pediatric emergency department; 348 private rooms, including 50 private maternity rooms and 46 private NICU rooms; 16 operating rooms; and two interventional radiology rooms. Patients will be moved December 4; until then, staff and faculty will train in the new facility.
RESOURCES WITH TIME LIMITED VALUE
Defending Parents in Child Welfare Cases Involving Medical Diagnoses of Abuse or Neglect
This 1-1/2 hour broadcast from the ABA is a “must see” for judges and attorneys handling physical abuse cases involving infants with medical evidence, like shaken baby, broken bones, and head injuries. It may also help the experts and PS workers who act as witnesses. It is taught by an Atlanta attorney, who is a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist, and a radiologist from Pennsylvania. Power Point slides with radiology films are essential while listening to the recording. Thanks to attorneys: Elizabeth Warner and Elizabeth Thornton for posting and cross posting these materials. On Nov 21st, Diana Rugh Johnson and Dr. Julie Mack presented the webinar, “Defending Parents in Child Welfare Cases Involving Medical Diagnoses of Abuse or Neglect.” Below is a link to the recorded presentation. The recording will only be available at this link through December 21, 2011. The webinar started a little over three minutes late, so you will not hear the recording until after three minutes have passed.
- Click on the link: Link to Webinar
- At the prompt, enter your name and email address.
- Click “Submit”. The playback will begin.
Follow this link to the Powerpoint slide presentation necessary for the presentation: Download Presentation (.pdf 4.7mb)
RESOURCES WITH ONGOING VALUE
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures
Organizations that work with children and youth must strive to create safe environments for youth, employees, and volunteers so that young people can grow, learn, and have fun. It is vital that youth-serving organizations create a culture where child sexual abuse is discussed, addressed, and prevented.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures [PDF 4.5MB] to assist youth-serving organizations as they begin to adopt prevention strategies for child sexual abuse.
The guide identifies six key components of child sexual abuse prevention for organizations:
Components of Child Sexual Abuse Prevention
- Screening and selecting employees and volunteers
- Guidelines on interactions between individuals
- Monitoring behavior
- Ensuring safe environments
- Responding to inappropriate behavior, breaches in policy, and allegations and suspicions of child sexual abuse
- Training about child sexual abuse prevention
- Training employees/volunteers
- Training caregivers
- Training youth
The guide includes prevention goals and critical strategies for each component. Suggestions for addressing challenges and tools to help organizations get started are also provided.
State Guides and Manuals
is a new searchable database compiled by Child Welfare Information Gateway. The database links to publications created by State agencies that describe their services and provide guidance on child welfare-related topics to both professional and general audiences. For example one can view and compare each states mandatory reporting statutes. Something of interest to policy people these days.
The publications are organized by topic and cover a wide range of issues across the child welfare continuum. Features of the search include categories that identify the primary intended audience for each publication and multiple ways for users to access, filter, and sort information from the original documents.
Visit the State Guides and Manuals Search on the Information Gateway website: http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/sgm
For more information, contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at [email protected] or 1.800.394.3366.