Year: 2013

cps, health, love, mental illness, psychiatry
Until Tuesday-A Must-Read Book About PTSD & a Golden Retriever

So having been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and being a dog lover,i was researching the use of service animals for those with ptsd.

I came across this book that I simply had to mention and I certainly cannot wait to read.

I thought it was ironic that its called “Until Tuesday” but is not affiliated with “Its Almost Tuesday”.

I would love to hear from my readers on their experiences with ptsd and service animals.

I want to also hear from others who have read this book. It looks amazing.

“We aren’t just service dog and master; Tuesday and I are also best friends. Kindred souls. Brothers. Whatever you want to call it. We weren’t made for each other, but we turned out to be exactly what the other needed.”

A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalván never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, the pressures of his physical wounds, traumatic brain injury, and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. Haunted by the war and in constant physical pain, he soon found himself unable to climb a simple flight of stairs or face a bus ride to the VA hospital. He drank; he argued; ultimately, he cut himself off from those he loved. Alienated and alone, unable to sleep or bend over without pain, he began to wonder if he would ever recover.

Then Luis met Tuesday, a beautiful and sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived amongst prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, blessing many lives; he could turn on lights, open doors, and sense the onset of anxiety and flashbacks. But because of a unique training situation and sensitive nature, he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being—until Luis.

Until Tuesday is the story of how two wounded warriors, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration. But more than that, it is a story about the love between a man and dog, and how together they healed each other’s souls.

Find out more about this book at http://until-Tuesday.com

aging out, cps
Dallas County Foster Kids Age Out to Troubled Lives…
 Its Almost Tuesday wants us all to remember, stories like these are about the children who live to age-out.  Many do not. Many commit suicide just prior to their 18th birthday. Those are the ones that the system needs to focus on, how that sort of tragedy could have been prevented.
Maybe listening to the ones that live to age-out can give us the answer to saving the next suicide victim-to-be.

After aging out of foster system, some teens’ troubles are just beginning

|by Source of article: JANET ST. JAMES,  WFAA 

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 10:31 PM                                                    Updated Friday, Sep 6 at 4:55 PM

DALLAS — When many high school students are fighting for Independence, Seth Miller seemingly has it all.

He wears what he wants, eats when he wants to, has complete Independence, and an apartment of his own.

But Seth would trade it in a second for one thing.

“One family,” he said. “Even if I had to live in a box — family.”

When Seth was a baby, he was adopted into a large family. The adoption lasted until he was seven, when abuse allegations split up the children.

He remembers what his adoptive mother told him on his last afternoon at home.

“‘You’re just going to spend the night, but you’ll be back tomorrow,'” Seth recalled. “Sometimes I question why she didn’t tell me the truth.”

In the coming years, Seth would live with five other foster families, never feeling part of any of them. Neglect was part of his foster life, he says. Distrust of people and anger at the world grew.

“You were just a number,” Seth said stoically.

At 18, Seth became a legal adult and aged out of the foster care system. He left his last foster family in an attempt to find happiness.

About 1,500 Texas teens age out of the foster care system annually, with few resources to help them survive the adult world. Many struggle with unemployment and crime. Nearly half, according to some research, become homeless.

A few weeks ago, Seth was living in his car.

“I remember one night, I did fall asleep and woke up the next morning and I was like this,” Seth said, leaning on his steering wheel, “and my neck kind of hurt. I never imagined living like that.”

“He called and told me he was homeless,” said Virginia Barrett, a Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA.

Unlike state case workers, CASA’s are volunteers charged with protecting the best interests of a single child. There are not enough CASA volunteers for every foster child in North Texas.

Barrett has been Seth’s CASA since he was seven. When the state assistance stopped, this volunteer has kept helping the angry, abandoned young man.

She gathered donations and helped Seth rent an apartment so he could finish his senior year of high school.

“My goal is to make it better,” Barrett said. “That’s what we’re working on.”

She’s trying to get Seth into a supervised independent living program to help him meet his monthly financial needs so he can concentrate on graduating.

Seth has biological siblings he has never met, and never knew existed until a few months ago. For now, Virginia is his only family.

Seth also works full-time at McDonalds. He is determined he will not fail himself.

He believes the system, overloaded with too many foster children, too many unqualified foster families, and too few case workers, let him down.

“I know I’m tough because I went through a lot,” he said. “And I’m going to make it. Because I have to. That’s all I have. That’s the only choice I have.”

Seth would like people to take notice of what he calls a broken system, to protect other vulnerable children who grow up in foster care.

He hopes other foster teens will see him now and know they are a number.

Number one.

E-mail jstjames@wfaa.com

WFAA Reader Comments:

cps
Foster Homes Randomly Inspected After Death of Two Year Old Girl

AUSTIN (August 29, 2013)—Texas Child Protective Services caseworkers have randomly inspected 23 area foster homes in the wake of the arrest a foster mother in Rockdale, who is charged with capital murder in the death of a 2-year-old who was in her care.

Julie Moody of the Department of Family and Protective Services said Thursday caseworkers interviewed a total of 59 children in the 23 homes and removed two children from one of the homes because of the use of inappropriate discipline.

In another case, caseworkers barred a frequent visitor from a foster home until a criminal background check was performed, Moody said.

Sherill Small, 54, of Rockdale was arrested earlier this month on a warrant charging murder and remains in the Milam County Jail in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

The child, Alexandria Hill, 2, died at Scott & White’s McLane Children’s Hospital after she was taken off life support.

Smalls’ arrest affidavit says, “She became frustrated with Alexandria, picked her up, and in a downward motion with a lot of force came down toward the ground with her.”

“She did this twice and on the third time she lost her grip and the victim was thrown to the ground head first,” the affidavit said.

At McLane’s emergency room, the affidavit says, doctors found that the toddler had “subdural hemorrhaging, subarachnoid hemorrhaging, and retinal hemorrhaging in both eyes.”

Small became a foster parent through Texas Mentor, a child placement agency with a dismal history.

State records show it has racked up 59 violations in the past two years. Some of those violations center around routine background checks that weren’t corrected after inspection.

Residential Child Care Licensing has been investigating Texas Mentor since Small’s arrest. The contractor has nearly 70 foster homes in Central Texas.

Texas Mentor sent News 10 a statement after the inspections were announced that said, “We are aware that the state has been in contact with several of our foster homes. Given the recent tragedy, we will cooperate fully.”

Meanwhile Thursday retired U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack has ruled that a class-action lawsuit accusing the state of poorly supervising foster children can proceed.

She certified as a class more than 12,000 abused and neglected children permanently removed from their birth families in the suit brought by the group Children’s Rights.

child welfare reform, foster care abuse, children, cps, custody, death, law, lawsuits, legal, texas
Lawsuit Accusing Texas of “Poorly Supervising Foster Children” Moves Forward

“Children are being harmed. And
the state knows it and is basically
disregarding the harm to children”

Julie Wilson
Infowars.com
August 29, 2013

A class-action lawsuit filed in 2011
on behalf of nine Texas children
has been given the go ahead by a
federal judge on Thursday. The
lawsuit accuses Texas of “poorly
supervising foster children,”
reported AP.

The New York-based Children’s
Rights group is behind the push for
justice for more than 12,000 abused
and neglected Texas children that
were permanently removed from
their natural homes.

Executive Director Marcia Robinson Lowry
said the child rights group has sued
more than 15 states for “mistreatment of foster children” and lost just two of those cases.

“Children are being harmed. And
the state knows it and is basically
disregarding the harm to children,”
she said.

Last month Infowars reported on
two-year old Alexandria Hill who
was killed while under the care of
Texas Child Protective Services
(CPS).

Alexandria was taken from
her home because her parents
allegedly smoked pot after their
daughter went to sleep. Foster mom
Sherri Small is facing capital
murder charges for brutally
slamming Alexandria’s head,
causing her to die from blunt force
trauma.

Texas mentor, the agency
responsible for placing Alexandria
with foster mom Small, is the third
largest foster care contractor in the
state.

State records show that Texas
Mentor’s Arlington office was placed
on a six-month evaluation after
they were cited for 114 violations in
56 foster homes over a two year
span, reported the Dallas News.

State funding for CPS has been
increased twice over the past eight
years, but the agency continues to
fail majorly, endangering thousands
of children.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge
Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi
said Children’s Rights has provided
substantial “preliminary evidence”
proving CPS caseworkers to be
“overworked.”

The judge also noted a “high turnover among CPS conservatorship workers,” whom are responsible for protecting the
young foster children.

“A caseworker that is so overburdened that she cannot visit the children she is responsible for…cannot fulfill this function,” wrote Judge Jack.

The ruling is based on a three-day
hearing in January and is expected
to proceed hopefully exposing the
corruption and failures inside the
CPS system.

This article was posted: Thursday,
August 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

cps
Feds Take Over Charges Against Plano Gymnastics Coach


Federal prosecutors took over the case of a former gymnastics coach charged with soliciting a minor. State charges were dropped against Wes Cox.

The coach was arrested last month .

Police said he thought he was luring a 14-year-old boy to a meeting, but the person on the other end of the conversation was a police officer.

Police hope to find other victims.

cps
My Child Becomes an Adult…

It is here! Finally, tomorrow will be the day I’ve waited for now, for ten years. Since my little boy was taken from me, I’ve waited for this day. He turns 18. He becomes an adult. Emancipated from the woman who has held him hostage from me, alienated him from me, and stolen ten years from us that can never be replaced. Tomorrow, a young man comes back to me, where a boy was taken. I will not get my little boy back, but an older version, a stranger with a past, with a bond that needs to be revisited, as it is apparent that years of anger, hatred and parental alienation has taken somewhat of a toll. Though I have faith it won’t be too long before it is rebuilt stronger than before! While this wretched woman took ten years from us, we have the rest of our lives together. I am so grateful to have that chance, that my child is still alive, and well, and able to come home to me. As traumatic and horrible as it was for what we went through, I do have that blessing, and I am so grateful. Without it, I doubt I would have made it. I can’t believe I made it. It seems like yesterday when he went away. But a decade is hardly yesterday.
I used to count the years as they went by, one year broken and nine to go, I can fix myself in time.
Two years broken, 8 years to go, i have time to fix myself.
At Five years broken, and five to go, I began to feel the panic. Oh my god, I’ve been broken now for five years, and i have five years til he turns 18, can I fix myself in time?
Then it flip flopped, and time was against me, I had more broken time, then time left to fix myself, and next thing I knew, forget it, I was there. Times up, and yup, i’m still broken. Damn, I hope he understands why, when we meet again.
Of course I’m broken, I’m a mother whose child was taken, who lost ten years. Hell yeah I’m broken, I love my children more than words can say, losing him was the only thing greater than my love – the pain of it. It destroyed every part of me, so now that its time, I admit im a little self-conscious, unsure, afraid, and nervous. I want to be perfect for him. I want to give him the world that was taken away. I want him to love me like I love him. I want to know I’m top priority to him, like he is to me, tho I know that’s probably not going to be the case. He’s a teenager, how much can i really expect?
We will see I guess. We will see.
I know as much as possible about him, watching him grow up on the internet – silently keeping up with his life… the best i could. Usually, I’d find out his milestones just after they occured.

There are so many things I want to do with him, for him, and so much I want to ask him, but am afraid to.I want to stare at him, reconcile the boy and the man into one. Understand why this is how it happened. I want to wrap him in a maternal cocoon that protects him like the emerging butterfly is protected during its transition … so now that I’ve gotten to his 18th birthday, and we are again free to love each other, talk, and be in each others’ lives, I’m terrified something might happen to take him from me again. I could not survive losing him again. By the way my luck’s been I wonder if I need to sneak some training wheels on his motorcycle, and sabotage the motor, so he has to walk it home, disappointed, but safe. LOL
I won’t do that, promise young man, but i will insist on safety classes, even if you’ve already taken them, you can’t get too much education on motorcycle safety, and its love that makes me protective. don’t hate me for it, just realize, its love.
lets get ya a set of really cool roller blades instead, eh? or another, um… race car…?
Don’t speed, don’t go skydiving, at least not with out me, I may be terrified but I’d jump with you, son, because getting you back in my life, is everything I’ve lived for now, for ten years, and with the help of your sisters’ love, and devotion to me, against the hate surrounding you, she pulled me through to this day. So yeah, even tho i see no good reason to leap out of a perfectly good plane…. there’s very little i wouldn’t do with you, just to be with you. again.
I am truly blessed. Happy birthday my son. my young man. I can’t wait for our life together. Don’t be afraid, and remember it may feel weird at first, but there’s nothing love can not overcome. and I do love you so much I love you more than the stars and the moon and the miles that are between us and the heavens – the light-years have nothing on my love for you.
I love you more than the blades of grass on the earth, and i love you more than the universe itself, and the milky way galaxy, and Andromeda galaxy, and all the other galaxies cannot compare to my love for you… my love is so huge the galaxies would get lost in it.
Most of all, my love for is so ginormous that it is much more huge, larger than life, and especially, the dying alienation and hatred that is unnaturally spewed my way from my own woman who gave birth to me, she is no mother-figure to me, but her rage that she carries will soon become a faded voice behind the shouts of joy as our time apart becomes a memory. she is done with her share of your life. Its my turn. Its our turn.
I love you. Mama

note: comments are encouraged, as i know we have alot to face and overcome after ten years apart… anyone?

abuse, accountability, child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, death, family, foster care, foster child, foster home, foster parent, social services, system failure, system failure children
MURDERED TWO YEAR OLD WAS BEING “PROTECTED” BY CPS FROM HER POT-SMOKING (“Midnight Toking”) DAD

… Another baby protected to death while in the governments’ care…
image

A loving father lost custody of his little girl last November in Austin, Tx, after he admitted to.smoking marijuana at night after he put his child down for bedtime.

The precious little girl was not ill, or harmed by her fathers nightcap, nor was she exposed to the marijuana he smoked, yet this loving parent had his two year old baby girl taken by CPS and placed in foster care last fall.

At visits, the father noticed bruises on his daughter, and voiced his concerns for the welfare of his little girl at the foster home she’d been placed in. Those concerns went ignored by CPS.

Now this beautiful baby girl was MURDERED in foster care by an abusive foster mom who was in it for the money! Below is an article where the woman admits, after changing her story a few times, that she slammed the little two year old girl down on her head at least two times before losing her grip the third time, dropping the girl on her head. Causing her death.

The foster mother was angry at the little girl for waking up hungry and getting herself something to eat and some water to drink out of the kitchen. So she killed her.

This child was removed from her natural home because of a father’s recreational marijuana use. The same natural herb that is rapidly being decriminalized in many other U.S. states!! Really.

As an advocate for the foster children and families torn apart wrongly by the system, I have stated before, my stance, on the issue of drug use and CPS. I strongly believe that absent evidence of abuse or neglect, and absent injury or harm to the child,there should be no reason for the removal of that child from their natural home solely because of a parents’ drug use and/or drug addiction particularly if there is no reason to believe that the drug was never used in the presence of the child. If the use of the marijuana was kept outside the child’s awareness, smoked after bedtime, I do not agree with the removal of that child solely due to that recreational marijuana use if it truly had no deleterious effect on the child, and where there is no other sign of abuse or neglect, and no injury to the child!

If the social worker truly believes a parent has a drug problem.. there are plenty of outpatient rehabilitation programs available for the parent to receive help that the CPS worker could refer the parent to, while keeping the family unit in-tact.

Had an approach such a that been utilized in this situation, this baby girl would not have suffered abuse by the FOSTER PARENT and would not have been brutally and senselessly murdered! I also question the worker monitoring the visits who failed to investigate the signs of abuse that the father pointed out with obvious concern. What happened there?
What this is .. is a child welfare system failure at its worst!

I hope this case grinds deep into the minds of every cps worker. I hope this reminds them to rethink when they begin to needlessly remove a child from an abuse-free/neglect-free home where other in-home services are available.

CHILDREN ARE NOT A SOURCE OF INCOME …. THIS WOMAN, when convicted (seems inevitable since she’s already confessed though, technically, she is still innocent til proven guilty in the court of law) (supposedly) SHE DESERVES  DEATH…(and in my opinion,a slow painful death)

It should be recorded and televised for foster parents to-be to watch in training class. Then maybe the “monsters to-be” who are getting into foster parenting to “earn an income” like this monster did.. will reconsider fostering and go get a JOB away from our children if they saw something REAL AND JUST being done about those who abuse and kill foster children!

God be with this baby girls’ family in this time of grief.

I hope this tragic loss changes something in the system, for change is so drastically needed.

image
May this little girls death not be in vain.

ROCKDALE POLICE: FOSTER MOTHER ADMITS SHE SLAMMED TWO YEAR OLD FOSTER CHILD ON HER HEAD

by ASHLEY GOUDEAU / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER Bio | Email | Follow: @AshleyG_KVUE

ROCKDALE, Texas — Tucked away behind the trees in Rockdale, Texas is a normally quiet neighborhood, but the peace has been shattered.

“It shocked me. It really did,” said Lois Rash, who lives in Rockdale.

“It’s a shame. Never should have happened,” added neighbor Larry McAdams.

Their neighbor, 54-year-old Sherill Small is now charged with the murder of her foster daughter Alexandria Hill, better known as Alex.

Monday night, police, fire and EMS crews were called out to the Small home. Small, who was the only person home at the time, called and said the two-year-old wasn’t breathing.

Alex was taken to the hospital, then airlifted to the children’s hospital in Temple. Alex’s biological parents rushed to her side.

“When I got there, it was about 1:00 in the morning and I found out that Alex was in a coma,” said her father Joshua Hill.

Wednesday night Hill and Alex’s mother decided to take her off life support.

“There’s not words to describe trying to make that decision,” said Hill.

Back in Rockdale, police say Small’s story about what happened kept changing.

“Originally, Mrs. Small reported that the child was running backwards and had fallen and this is how she had received the injuries. Later, it changed to kind of we were playing ring-around-the-rosy and I was swinging her and she fell,” said Rockdale Police Chief Thomas Harris. “And at some point somebody had gotten information that she was supposed to have been riding a bicycle and fallen off.”

Chief Harris said things just didn’t add up.

“I mean a two year old child doesn’t run backwards and fall hard enough to get this type of an injury,” explained Harris.

Doctors say Alex had hemorrhaging in her brain and eyes. An autopsy shows she had blunt force trauma to the head.

Harris says Thursday morning, Small finally told them the truth.

“She had evidently been frustrated with the child all day long. She had… the child… had evidently gotten up before the Small’s did and she had went and got into some food and some water,” said Harris. “That is what Mrs. Small was initially upset with her about…. had made her stand in a dark room, according to our reports, for at least three-to-four hours, wouldn’t let her sit or anything.”

Then around 7:00 that night, the young child, so full of life, was knocked unconscious.

“She actually admitted that she had slung the child down on the floor,” said Harris.

Small told investigators she raised the toddler over her head and slung her down toward the floor twice.

“On the third time down she said she lost her grip and dropped the child. Slammed the child down on the floor,” explained Harris.

Harris says Small’s husband, who wasn’t home when the incident happened, became emotional and even cried when talking to police. But not Small.

“I did not see a whole lot of remorse. I think it’s more like a lot of times these people’s, they’re sorry that they’re in trouble. This is the sense that I get. It’s still about them, it’s not really remorse about the child. I never got that feeling,” added Harris.

The Small’s had another foster child who is eight-months-old. That child has been removed.

Police say neither Small or her husband had jobs, but were instead planning to foster between five and six children as a source of income.

Small is in the Milam County Jail. Her bond has been set at $100,000.

aging out, cps
TODAY, 6 Children Will Commit Suicide

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents world wide. TODAY 6 children will commit suicide due to child abuse.

In Los Angeles, a 9 year old foster child hung himself while taking psychotropic medications that were not FDA approved for children . His mother that lost him to foster care had allegations of abuse that were never substantiated. She did, however, get a jail term on a marijuana case.

When the pain exceeds the ability to cope..

Researchers explain that suicides are caused by social and emotional conditions rather than a mentaldisease . Furthermore it is often associated with hundreds of suicides & suicide attempts .

” Researchers discovered attention problems & aggressive or delinquent behavior in 40 per cent of children aged five to 17 who were in home-based foster care,up to eight times more than in the general school -age population ” (Gough 2007 ).

Though the statistics vary extensively, it is generally believed that some 18% of patients with psychological problems finally do kill themselves, & illnesses may be associated with approximately 50 percent of all suicides (Youth Suicide Fact Sheet 2009 ).

Browne (2002) states that children in single family foster homes are more apt to commit suicides because of emotional & financial reasons.

Abrupt emotional trauma or upset doesn’t always cause suicidal ideals, there is believed to be an inherited factor involved in the kind of major depression that leads to suicide.

If a person has such a chemical makeup, the ordinary hurtful life events that make many of us mildly depressed can perhaps touch off a major clinical psychological distress.

” Severely depressed teenagers who attempted suicide while they investigate participants in one study of psychological distress excreted radically increased
amounts of this hormone in their urine just before they tried to kill themselves” (Browne 2002, p. 22).

Then, half of another group of depressed teens in the study — all with suicidal signs — researchers found to have high levels in the amounts of hormone found in their blood; more important, three patients who succeeded in killing themselves, and two who nearly did so, had high levels of the hormone prior to suicide or attempted suicide .

Single family foster homes are dangerous to these teenagers because they feel alone & insecure in those “families”. That can lead to social isolation, withdrawal from others, & suicidal thoughts &feelings .then they keep to themselves, & brew on dying.deep inside…& instead of reaching out for help or talking to someone they trust, they trust no one.
They tell no one. .. until they write their note ..thats when its apparent how desperate they felt, but its too late by that time to save them. Ironically their goal in committing suicide was to end their suffering & pain, but by ending their life, they are not alive to feel their pain cease. So the only feeling they will realize is their desperation & suffering that’s causing them to be suicidal. The relief does not come…

Their relief is only possible if there is someone who notices the signs of suicide beforehand who will get them help…

Those who work with foster kids about to “age out” should take particular notice to possible suicidal signs in teens. The “aging out” of foster care happens at the age of 18 for approximately 20,000 youth annually … suicide is rampant among these teens.

The number of those “aging out” of foster care was increasing and studies were consistently showing that these “aged out” children had serious adjustment problems transitioning to adulthood:
38% had emotional problems,50% used drugs, 48% did not have a high school education, & 25% had prior involvement with legal system.

They are the most likely candidates for homelessness, unemployment, and.incarceration.

It is estimated that 60% or more of the prison populations were abused as children and/or were ex-foster children and up to 60% of teens who “aged out” have experienced homelessness.

70% to 75% end up in prostitution, on drugs or dealing drugs.

With a future not so bright, many of them just kill themselves.

They don’t know what else to do.
They are scared.
They feel alone.
The same people ..the same system who intrusively took them from their homes, kept them, controlled them, changed them, damaged them, now abandon them at age 18.

They don’t stick around like families do to turn to in hard times. The system forgets about them once they “age out” and their families no longer exist, thanks to the system.

They are alone.

While suicide is the third leading cause of death for youth, suicide deaths are often preventable. Preventing suicidal behavior in youth involves a diverse range of interventions including effective treatment of those with mental illness and substance abuse, early detection of and support for youth in crisis, promotion of mental health, training in life skills, and reduction of access to the means of suicide.

Many youth in foster care experience trauma and risk factors such as mental illness, substance abuse, and family discord. They are more likely than other youth to think about, attempt, and die by suicide, so it is important to learn about prevention.

Losing a youth to suicide affects a community greatly. Aside from the devastating loss of a young person’s future and potential contributions to society, the bereaved families and friends are at higher risk for suicide themselves.

In 2009, 4,630 youth aged 10 to 24 died by suicide.

Studies have found that youth involved in child welfare or juvenile justice were 3 to 5 times more likely to die by suicide than youth in the general population (Farand, 2004; Thompson, 1995).

A large-scale study in Sweden found more than twice the relative risk for suicide among alumni of long-term foster care compared to peers after adjusting for risk factors (Hjern et al., 2004).

One of the strongest predictors for suicide deaths is a suicide attempt. Among high school students 6.3 percent reported having attempted suicide one or more times in the previous 12 months (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010).

Attempts point to a youth who in unbearable distress. As a result, foster parents and caregivers of youth who attempt suicide need to pay attention and follow up with them. Adolescents who had been in foster care were nearly four times more likely to have attempted suicide than other youth (Pilowsky & Wu, 2006).

Experiencing childhood abuse or trauma increased the risk of attempted suicide 2- to 5-fold (Dube et al., 2001).
Adverse childhood experiences play a major role in suicide attempts. One study found that approximately two thirds of suicide attempts may be attributable to abusive or traumatic childhood experiences (Dube et al., 2001).

Thoughts about taking one’s life range from passing thoughts to constant thoughts, from passive wishes to be dead to active planning for making a suicide attempt.

Among high school students 13.8 percent reported having seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous 12 months (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010).

Youth considering attempting suicide have significant mental health needs. Families of and caregivers for youth in foster care can help to reduce some risk factors, and support and advocate for services to build protective factors.
Other factors can’t be changed, but are important to address.

RISK FACTORS
Mental illness including substance abuse
Prior suicide attempt
Self injury
Abuse and neglect
Trauma
Parental mental illness and substance abuse
Family conflict and dysfunction
Family history of suicidal behavior
Poor coping skills
Social/interpersonal isolation/alienation Exposure to suicides and attempts
Suicide means availability/firearm in household
Violence and victimization
Being bullied, bullying

PROTECTIVE FACTORS
Psychological or emotional well-being Family connectedness
Safe school,school connectedness
Caring adult
Self esteem
Academic achievement
Connectedness, support, communication with parents
Coping skills
Frequent, vigorous physical activity, sports Reduced access to alcohol, firearms, medications

For foster parents:
Contact your state suicide prevention coalition to find suicide prevention training, resources, and conferences.

To find your state suicide prevention coalition see http://www.sprc.org/states .

Being depressed is not a normal part of adolescence. If a youth seems especially sad or stops his or her usual activities, get help. For most youth in foster care, trauma-focused therapy is critical. The foster family may need to help their youth through stress reactions and to manage triggers.

Find our more at the National Child Traumatic Stress Network at http://www.nctsn.org/

You CAN help prevent suicide.

cps
Police: (Collin County) Teacher sent explicit video to student
PLANO, Texas – By: myfoxdfw.com Staff – email
Click HERE to watch the video

A Collin County teacher was arrested and has resigned because of allegations that he sent inappropriate video of himself to a student.

Plano police said 36-year-old Marcus Antoine Hunley is charged with indecency with a child by exposure. In 2007 he allegedly had an online relationship one of his 16-year-old students and sent her explicit photos and video of himself masturbating.

At the time Hunley was a band instructor at Clark High School in Plano. More recently he was an assistant band director at Evans Middle School in McKinney. The district said he resigned after being arrested.

Police the said girl did not come forward with her allegations until recently. And although they believe she was the only victim, they encourage others to report any other incidents.

Hunley is currently free on a $7,500 bond.

THIS IS NOT THE ONLY RECENT COLLIN COUNTY TEACHER/STUDENT INCIDENT AS OF RECENT TIMES:

PLANO ISD ELEMENTARY COACH CHARGED WITH CHILD INDECENCY

October 17, 2012 5:39 PM

Click HERE to watch the video

MURPHY (CBSDFW.COM) – A Murphy elementary school coach is charged with indecency with a child, for several alleged incidents of inappropriately touching a Hunt Elementary School student.

Todd Reich, 38, is accused of touching the breasts of first grade student and making her touch his genitals over his clothing, according to an arrest affidavit.

The abuse happened at the school and started when the victim was in kindergarten when Reich would rub her back and touch her bottom.

The Collin County Sheriff’s Department says Reich threatened to kill the victim, her parents and her dog if she told anyone about it.

The victim told investigators that Reich had been warned by the school’s principal not to have contact with her, but Reich ignored that warning.

Plano ISD is not commenting on any warnings given to Reich and is not confirming the identity of the teacher. But the district sent out a letter, which reads in part:

“We were notified last night of the arrest of a Hunt Elementary School employee by the Collin County Sheriff’s Department. An investigation regarding alleged inappropriate behavior with a former student is ongoing and details remain confidential.”

The district says is it working with police during the investigation and the teacher has been placed on administrative leave.

The parent letter goes on to say, “Our team at Hunt Elementary would like you to know that the security of our students is of the utmost importance and we feel it is imperative to keep the lines of communication with our families open as we work together to maintain an environment of trust and safety. We will keep you informed appropriately as details become available.”

This is the second time a Hunt Elementary teacher has been charged with a sexual crime against students.

Joseph Garbarini was sentenced to more than 60 years in prison for abusing kindergarten age girls.

A lawsuit filed this year claims the school ignored warning signs in that case, which happened during the 2009-2010 school year, the same year Reich is accused of committing his crime.

accountability, arrest, kidnapping, kids, law, legal, news
East Texas Jury Deliberates on Kidnapping of Boy Hidden for 8 Years

Krystie Tanner

SAN AUGUSTINE, Texas (AP) — An East Texas jury sentenced two women to prison Tuesday after convicting them of kidnapping a Houston boy when he was 8 months old and hiding him for eight years before he was found.

Gloria Walker was sentenced to 30 years for injury to a child and eight years for kidnapping, to be served concurrently. Her daughter, Krystle Tanner, was sentenced to eight years for kidnapping and eight years for the lesser charge of reckless injury to a child, also to be served concurrently.

Earlier in the day the same jury convicted them in the 2004 disappearance of Miguel Morin, who is now 8. Walker had faced up to life in prison, and Tanner faced 20 years.

“We believe that justice was done on behalf of Miguel,” said San Augustine County District Attorney Kevin Dutton.

After the sentences were announced, both women told state District Judge Charles Mitchell they had done nothing wrong, insisting Miguel’s mother had given him away.

“Justice is not served. We have not hurt no child. We loved and cared for him,” Walker said before she and her daughter were handcuffed and taken away by authorities.

Jurors and attorneys for Tanner, 27, and Walker, 51, declined to comment afterward.

Prosecutors told jurors during closing arguments earlier Tuesday that Tanner and Walker neglected Miguel during the eight years they hid him from authorities, denying him appropriate medical care and keeping him out of school.

But defense attorneys countered there was no abduction because the boy’s mother sold him to the women and his parents never showed any concern for their son and refused to cooperate with authorities.

The trial was in San Augustine, about 140 miles northeast of Houston, where authorities say Miguel lived part of the time during his kidnapping.

During the trial’s punishment phase, both Walker and Tanner testified, asking jurors to sentence them to probation.

“I didn’t do nothing wrong,” said a tearful Walker. She also told jurors she had very little contact with the boy, saying she was focused more on dealing with various health problems.

But Tanner contradicted her mother, telling jurors Miguel lived with Walker for extended periods of time. Tanner said she never hurt or abused Miguel.

“I didn’t know they were looking for him. I didn’t know he was missing,” she said.

Prosecutors did not present any witnesses during the punishment phase but did ask jurors for a 25-year-sentence for Walker and an eight-year term for Tanner.

Authorities said Tanner, who used to babysit Miguel, took the boy from his Houston apartment complex when he was an infant and that she and her mother kept him hidden in homes in Central and East Texas, renaming him Jaquan.

Dutton said in his closing argument that claims by Tanner and Walker that Miguel was given to them by his mother are not supported by their actions.

“If Ms. Walker and Ms. Tanner had a right to little Miguel, why wasn’t he in school?” he said. “Why didn’t you get the rest of his immunizations? Why didn’t you take him to the dentist? They knew they didn’t have that right. They knew they couldn’t put that baby out in the public eye.”

Miguel remained missing until March 2012, when Tanner and Walker were arrested. Authorities began investigating Tanner in 2010 after her newborn son tested positive for marijuana. Investigators later determined that she had the missing boy.

San Augustine County Attorney Wesley Hoyt, the other prosecutor in the case, told jurors Miguel stayed missing for years in part because of a flawed investigation by Houston police, which closed the case in 2006.

But Rudy Velasquez, Walker’s attorney, told jurors Miguel’s parents, Auboni Champion-Morin and Fernando Morin, didn’t cooperate with Houston police after the boy was reported missing and never really showed any concern for their son.

A Houston police investigator testified during the four-day trial last week she thought this was not a kidnapping case but one about interference with child custody because she believed the boy’s parents and Tanner had an agreement related to his custody.

“This is not a kidnapping. What has happened is you have a young lady who gave her child away,” Velasquez said. “Ms. Morin was willing to sell her child for $200.”

The boy’s parents were not in the courtroom on Tuesday. But Champion-Morin, had testified her son was taken by Tanner and that Houston police did not keep in touch with her about the case.

Donovan Dudinsky, Tanner’s attorney, told jurors to consider that Miguel is currently not living with his parents but is instead in the custody of a Houston-area couple in deciding whether to believe the parents’ claims that their son was taken.

A Houston judge last month placed Miguel with Junita and Joseph Auguillard, who have also been taking care of Miguel’s four siblings for nearly 10 years under an agreement they have with the boy’s parents.

Miguel has been told about the true identity of his parents and his siblings, and he has been having weekly joint therapy sessions with his parents.

“I hope years later (Miguel) looks back on this day and understands there were good people looking out for him,” San Augustine County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham said after the sentences were handed down.

___

Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/juanlozano70