October 2008 CA&N 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) 832-9628
[email protected]


Report: Changes needed after Springer death; Kalamazoo Gazette, October 14th
The state’s watchdog for the Michigan Department of Human Services has criticized the agency’s handling of abuse and neglect complaints involving Calista Springer and her two sisters.
The state’s Office of Children’s Ombudsman recommends training and policy changes in the report released Friday, more than seven months after Calista, 16, was killed in a Feb. 27 fire at her Centreville home while chained to her bed.  Full Article

Macomb Daily, October 17th: “The adoptive parents of Tara and Stephen Grant’s children were held in contempt of court by a Macomb County judge for refusing to allow visitation for … Stephen Grant’s mother.” | Full story

PONTIAC, October 16th: NEBRASKA SAFE HAVEN ABANDONMENT CASE:  A Southfield couple were barred from seeing or contacting their children after authorities said the mother abandoned their adopted but unwanted 13-year-old son in Nebraska under the state’s safe haven law.
A Michigan court official issued the order Thursday against Terri and Terrance Martin and placed their children under temporary state custody. Prosecutors said the children were victims of abuse and neglect.
Oakland County Juvenile Court Referee Karla Mallett also ordered the two boys, ages 10 and 5, and a 3-year-old daughter returned to their home under the care of a 19-year-old cousin.
Oakland Press Article: Full story
Detroit News: “County wants abandoned boy, 13.”
Detroit Free Press: “Parents of boy left in Omaha lose custody of other kids.”

RELATED: Detroit Free Press, October 16th: “The Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office has filed a neglect petition against the Southfield family of the 13-year-old boy whose mother drove to Nebraska to abandon him under that state’s safe haven law.” | Full story

Monroe Evening News, October 16th: “Criminal charges will not be filed in the case involving students at Trinity Lutheran School who were allegedly told to remove clothing during a search for stolen money.” | Full story

Detroit News, October 16th: A 14-year-old Pinckney girl’s nude cell phone photo of herself, sent to a few friends, has prompted a police investigation, parental complaints and privacy concerns after the photo reportedly ended up being circulated to others.  It also has stirred a growing national debate about how teens use cell phones to express themselves.  Full Story

AP/Detroit News, October 14th: “Foster care law aims at stability: Bill provides incentives for adoption, requires ‘reasonable efforts’ to keep siblings together.” | Full story 

Kalamazoo Gazette, October 14th: “The state’s watchdog for the Michigan Department of Human Services has criticized the agency’s handling of abuse and neglect complaints involving Calista Springer and her two sisters.” | Full story

Detroit News, October 14th: “Howell halts sex education program: It will look over its guidelines after guest instructor’s teachings lead to forbidden topic.” | Full story

Future of Children Juvenile Justice Journal Issue  This issue examines juvenile justice policies and practices with the goal of promoting reforms that are based on solid evidence and acknowledge that adolescents differ from adults in ways that policy ought to take into account. As editor Laurence Steinberg notes in the Introduction, young people who come into contact with the juvenile justice system often have other problems, many of which the juvenile justice system is ill-equipped to address alone.  The volume concludes that the “get-tough” reforms implemented during the past two decades-reforms that criminalized delinquency and ignored the developmental realities of adolescence-have been both unnecessarily costly and of questionable effectiveness. This volume offers alternatives – policies that have not only been proven effective, but save taxpayer dollars as well.  The Future of Children is a collaboration of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and the Brookings Institution. For more information, please visit http://www.futureofchildren.org

Ann Arbor News, October 11th: “Plans to relocate a parole office next to a child care center in Ypsilanti Township are being met with opposition by township officials who say the site isn’t appropriate.” | Full story

Detroit Free Press, October 9th: “Editorial: Ex-foster kids getting help to vote.” | Full Editorial

Detroit News, October 9th: “Charges reduced in child cremation.” | Full story


According To Freep.Com; October 8, 2008

Under a class-action settlement approved Tuesday, Michigan’s foster care system could be taken over by the federal government if the state Department of Human Services fails to implement several reforms over the next 5 years. The terms require the state to:
●    Create a specific children’s services office to oversee foster care administration.
●    Create a 24-hour centralized hotline for calls about abuse and neglect.
●    Hire more foster care workers and caseworkers to reduce caseloads.
●    Reduce the amount of time between removing a child and either reunification or removing parental rights.
●    Reduce the amount of time between removing parental rights and adoption.
●    Register family members with DHS to receive support services for caring for a child.
●    Ensure better access to health care, including mental health; appoint a medical director for foster children; reduce the use of psychotropic medicines as discipline.
●    Recruit and retain more foster parents and adoptive families, and provide better oversight of foster homes.

Freep.com, October 7th: “Reforms coming to state foster care system.” Full story
Also see – Detnews.com: Full story

Macomb Daily, October 6th: “The mother of a teenage girl who allegedly was sexually assaulted by a relative wants to force prosecutors to consider the mom a ‘victim’ in the criminal case.” | Full story

Ann Arbor News, October 4th: “Four children may face charges in cat torture.” | Full story

Kalamazoo Gazette, September 28th: “Helping at-risk students jeopardizing schools.” | Full story

Oakland Press/Capital News Service, September 28th: “State failing to track missing sex offenders.” | Full story

Capital News Service/MLive.com, September 26th: “Foster care settlement will improve system, experts say.” | Full story

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