Category: system failure

child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, education, family, foster care, General, government, statistics, system failure
Sadly, Statistics Say So….
    • Every day more than 3 children die as a result of abuse and neglect. Over 75% of the child abuse fatalities were children under the age of 5.

    • Children who have been abused experience anxiety, depression, poor self-esteem, substance abuse, and even worse many contemplate or attempt suicide.

    • Over 50% of foster youth become juvenile delinquents and furthermore, commit violent crimes as adults. Studies conducted in prisons have shown that over 50% of the inmates had spent some point of their life in the foster care or juvenile system.

    • Roughly 50% of foster youth do not complete high school.

    Sources:

    California Department of Social Services Research Development Division
    UC Berkeley Center for Social Services Research

    What and How Many Children Are In American Foster Care?

    On September 30, 2004, 518,000 children were in our country’s foster care system. Most children are placed in foster care temporarily due to parental abuse or neglect.

    Average Length of Stay in Foster Care
    The average length of stay for a foster child is 2½ years. However, this figure does not include subsequent re-entries into foster care.

    Age of Children in Foster Care

    Average age: 10.1 years

    Age

    Percentage

    Younger than 1 year

    5%

    Age 1-5

    25%

    Age 6-10 years

    20%

    Age 11-15 years

    29%

    Age 16-18 years

    18%

    Over 18

    2%

    Race and Ethnicity

    As a percentage, there are more children of color in the foster care system than in the general U.S. population. Child abuse and neglect, however, occur at about the same rate in all racial and ethnic groups.

    Ethnicity

    Foster Care

    General Population

    Black, Non-Hispanic

    34%

    15%

    White, Non-Hispanic

    40%

    61%

    Hispanic

    18%

    17%

    American Indian/Alaska Native, Non-

    Hispanic

    2%

    1%

    Asian/Pacific Islander, Non-Hispanic

    1%

    3%

    Unknown

    2%

    N/A

    Two or More Races, Non-Hispanic

    2%

    4%

    Gender

    Gender

    Percentage

    Male

    53%

    Female

    47%

    Foster Homes

    In 2002, there were 170,000 foster homes nationwide.

    Adoptions

    In 2004, 59% of adopted children were adopted by their foster parents. Of children adopted in 2004, 24% were adopted by a relative.

    What Happens to Children Who Leave Foster Care as Young Adults?

    Each year, an estimated 20,000 young people age out of the U.S. foster care system. Many are only 18 years old and still need support and services. Several foster care alumni studies show that without a lifelong connection to a caring adult, these older youth often are left vulnerable to a host of adverse situations:

    Outcome

    Percentage

    Earned a high school diploma

    54%

    Obtained college bachelors degree or higher

    2%

    Became a parent 12-18 months after discharge

    84%

    Were unemployed

    51%

    Had no health insurance

    30%

    Had been homeless

    25%

    Received public assistance

    30%

    *The above information was provided courtesy of the Child Welfare League of America. For more information contact: Child Welfare League of America, 2345 Crystal Drive, Suite 250, Arlington, VA 22002, or cwla.org.

    ChildStats.Gov::

    America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2007 is one in a series of annual reports to the Nation on the condition of children in America. In this restructured report, three background measures describe the changing population of children and provide demographic context and 38 indicators depict the well-being of children in the areas of family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. Highlights from each section of the report follow.

    Demographic Background

    • In 2006, there were 73.7 million children ages 0–17 in the United States, or 25 percent of the population, down from a peak of 36 percent at the end of the “baby boom” (1964). Children are projected to compose 24 percent of the population in 2020.
    • Racial and ethnic diversity continues to increase over time. In 2006, 58 percent of U.S. children were White, non-Hispanic; 20 percent were Hispanic; 15 percent were Black; 4 percent were Asian; and 4 percent were all other races. The percentage of children who are Hispanic has increased faster than that of any other racial or ethnic group, growing from 9 percent of the child population in 1980 to 20 percent in 2006.

    Family and Social Environment

    • In 2006, 67 percent of children ages 0–17 lived with two married parents, down from 77 percent in 1980.
    • The nonmarital birth rate in 2005 increased to 48 per 1,000 unmarried women ages 15–44 years, up from 46 in 2004. The recent increases in nonmarital birth rates have been especially notable among women age 25 and older. Births to unmarried women constituted 37 percent of all U.S. births, the highest level ever reported.
    • In 2005, 20 percent of school-age children spoke a language other than English at home and 5 percent of school-age children had difficulty speaking English.
    • The adolescent birth rate for females ages 15–17 continued to decline in 2005. The rate fell by more than two-fifths since 1991, reaching 21 births per 1,000 females ages 15–17 in 2005. The 2004–2005 decline was particularly steep among Black, non-Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander adolescents. The birth rate for Black, non-Hispanic adolescents dropped three-fifths during 1991–2005.
    • In 2005, there were 12 substantiated reports of child maltreatment per 1,000 children.

    Economic Circumstances

    • In 2005, 18 percent of all children ages 0–17 lived in poverty; among children living in families, the poverty rate was 17 percent.
    • The percentage of children in families living below the federal poverty threshold has fluctuated since the early 1980s: it reached a high of 22 percent in 1993 and decreased to a low of 16 percent in 2000.
    • The percentage of children who had at least one parent working year round, full time rose from 77.6 percent in 2004 to 78.3 percent in 2005.

    Health Care

    • In 2005, 89 percent of children had health insurance coverage at some point during the year, down from 90 percent in 2004.
    • In 2005, 48 percent of children ages 2–4 had a dental visit in the past year, compared with 84 percent of children ages 5–11 and 82 percent of children ages 12–17. In 2003–2004, 23 percent of children ages 2–5 and 14 percent of children ages 6–17 had untreated dental caries (cavities) upon dental examination.

    Physical Environment and Safety

    • In 2005, 60 percent of children lived in counties in which concentrations of one or more air pollutants rose above allowable levels.
    • The percentage of children served by community drinking water systems that did not meet all applicable health based standards declined from 20 percent in 1993 to about 8 percent in 1998. From 1998 to 2005 the percentage has fluctuated between 5 and 10 percent.
    • In 2001–2004, about 1 percent of children ages 1–5 had elevated blood lead levels [greater than or equal to 10 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL)]. The median blood lead concentration for children ages 1–5 dropped from 14 µg/dL in 1976–1980 to about 2 µg/dL in 2003–2004.
    • In 2005, 40 percent of households with children had one or more housing problems, up from 37 percent in 2003. The most common type of housing problem is cost burden, followed by physically inadequate housing and crowded housing.
    • In 2004, the injury death rate for children ages 1–4 was 13 deaths per 100,000 children.
    • The leading causes of injury-related emergency department visits among adolescents ages 15–19 in 2003–2004 were being struck by or against an object (33 visits per 1,000 children), motor vehicle traffic crashes (25 visits per 1,000 children), and falls (20 visits per 1,000 children). Together, these causes of injury accounted for half of all injury-related emergency department visits for this age group.

    Behavior

    • The percentages of 8th-, 10th-, and 12th-grade students reporting illicit drug use in the past 30 days remained stable from 2005 to 2006. However, past month use among all three grades significantly declined since 1997.
    • In 2005, 47 percent of high school students reported ever having had sexual intercourse. This was statistically the same rate as in 2003 and a decline from 54 percent in 1991.

    Education

    • The percentage of children ages 3–5 not yet in kindergarten who were read to daily by a family member was higher in 2005 than in 1993 (60 versus 53 percent). A greater percentage of White, non-Hispanic and Asian children were read to daily in 2005 than were Black, non-Hispanic, or Hispanic children (68 and 66 percent, compared with 50 and 45 percent, respectively).
    • Between 1982 and 2004, the percentage of high school graduates who had completed an advanced mathematics course almost doubled, increasing from 26 to 50 percent. Likewise, the percentage of graduates who had completed a physics, chemistry, or advanced biology course almost doubled, increasing from 35 to 68 percent.
    • In 2005, 69 percent of high school completers enrolled immediately in a 2- or 4-year college. This rate was not statistically different than the historic high of 67 percent reached in 2004.

    Health

    • The percentage of infants with low birthweight was 8.2 percent in 2005, up from 7.9 percent in 2003 and 8.1 percent in 2004 and has increased slowly but steadily since 1984 (6.7 percent).
    • In 2005, 5 percent of children ages 4–17 were reported by a parent to have serious (definite or severe) emotional or behavioral difficulties. Among the parents of these children, 81 percent reported contacting a health care provider or school staff about their child’s difficulties, 40 percent reported their child was prescribed medication for their difficulties, and 47 percent reported their child had received treatment other than medication.
    • The proportion of children ages 6–17 who were overweight increased from 6 percent in 1976–1980 to 11 percent in 1988–1994 and continued to rise to 18 percent in 2003–2004.
    • In 2005, about 9 percent of children ages 0–17 were reported to currently have asthma, and about 5 percent of children had one or more asthma attacks in the previous year. The prevalence of asthma in children is particularly high among Black, non-Hispanic and Puerto Rican children (13 and 20 percent, respectively)
  • child custody, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, Eldorado, family, foster care, government, law, legal, system failure
    ElDorado Childrens’ Removal by CPS was based on False Allegations

    But still … they are keeping the kids in foster care…. ?  Why?

    Warrant dropped against man named in polygamist retreat raid

    May 2, 2008

    ELDORADO, Texas (AP) — An arrest warrant has been dropped for a man thought to be the husband of a teenage girl whose report of abuse triggered a raid on a polygamous sect’s Texas compound, authorities said Friday.

    A Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman would not say why the warrant was dropped for Dale E. Barlow, 50, who lives in Colorado City, Ariz. Barlow has denied knowing the 16-year-old girl who called a crisis center.The girl reported that she was a member of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that she was beaten and raped at the sect’s Eldorado ranch.

    An investigation led to the April 3 raid, in which state welfare workers took 463 children living at the Yearning For Zion Ranch. A boy was born to one of the sect’s mothers Tuesday; he and the other children remain in state custody.

    Authorities have not located the 16-year-old girl and are investigating the source of the call.

    Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger would not say when the warrant for Barlow was dropped, only that “it is no longer active.”

    Rob Parker, an FLDS spokesman, said the dropped warrant shows the weakness of the state’s case against residents of the ranch.

    “I think that’s just one more piece of evidence that the whole basis on which this raid was premised was unfounded and was inadequately checked out, to the formulation of what basically amounted to an army that went in there and took their children,” Parker said.

    The phone number used to call the crisis center is the same one once used by a Colorado woman, identified as 33-year-old Rozita Swinton of Colorado Springs, accused of making previous false reports of abuse.

    Investigators have not said whether Swinton made the call to Texas authorities, though Vinger said she is “still considered a person of interest.”

    “There is an investigation centering on that,” Vinger said. “We have quite a bit of evidence that still needs to be analyzed.”

    A judge has ruled that children removed from the ranch should stay in state custody until all can have a hearing.

    Child welfare officials told the judge the children were living in an authoritarian environment that left girls at risk of sexual abuse and raised boys to become sexual perpetrators.

    The FLDS is a group that splintered from the Mormon Church, which does not recognize the sect and disavows polygamy.

    In Utah, members of the polygamous church have asked the state’s governor to intervene in its fight with Texas authorities over the custody the children.

    A letter written by FLDS elder Willie Jessop says Texas officials are rejecting Utah-issued birth certificates and other documents as “fake.”

    The letter asks Gov. Jon Huntsman to exercise his executive authority to assist in protecting the civil rights of native Utahns and FLDS members. FLDS parents claim they have been denied their due process by the Texas courts.

    “Without your leadership and personal intervention in this matter, the parental rights of every Utah family is at risk,” Jessop wrote.

    Huntsman spokeswoman Lisa Roskelly said the governor has been in contact with Jessop and was reviewing his request.

    child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, death, family, foster care, government, suicide, system failure
    Abuse changes brains of suicide victims

    Source:By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor
    Tue May 6, 9:47 PM ET

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Suicide victims who were abused as children have clear genetic changes in their brains, Canadian researchers reported on Tuesday in a finding they said shows neglect can cause biological effects.

    The findings offer potential ways to find people at high risk of suicide, and perhaps to treat them and prevent future suicides.

    And, the researchers said, they also offer insights into how neglect and abuse can perpetuate unhealthy behavior through the generations.

    Moshe Szyf of McGill University in Montreal and colleagues studied the brains of 18 men who committed suicide and who were also abused or neglected as children, and compared them to 12 men who also died suddenly but from other causes, and who were not abused, although some had various psychiatric problems such as anxiety disorders.

    They found changes in the genetic material of all 18 suicide victims. The changes were not in the genes themselves, but in the ribosomal RNA, which is the genetic material that makes proteins that in turn make cells function.

    These changes involved a chemical process called methylation, a so-called epigenetic change involving the processes of turning genes on and off, they reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE, available at http://www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0002085 .

    “The big remaining questions are whether scientists could detect similar changes in blood DNA — which could lead to diagnostic tests — and whether we could design interventions to erase these differences in epigenetic markings,” Szyf said in a statement.

    Dr. Eric Nestler of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas said both drugs and psychotherapy may act to reverse some of these changes.

    CHANGING THE BRAIN

    “Ultimately we believe that a person who gets better from psychotherapy is inducing changes in the brain,” Nestler told reporters at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Washington where similar research was discussed.

    Szyf’s colleague, Michael Meaney, has shown in animals that parental abuse and neglect can affect the brains and behavior of offspring.

    He has studied the brains of rats, for whom parental care can be demonstrated in how much the mother grooms her pups.

    “You can put two rats on a table and tell which one is raised by a low-licking mother. The one reared by a low-licking mother is more nervous, and fatter,” Meaney said in an interview at the Psychiatric Association meeting.

    Images of the brain cells of the rats show the brain cells of low-licking mothers have fewer dendrites. These are the strands that help one neuron communicate with another.

    Meaney, who also worked on the suicide study, said the research, taken together, demonstrates how early experiences can cause physical changes in the brain.

    He said female rats reared by low-licking mothers reached puberty earlier, meaning they had more offspring.

    Similar findings are true of humans, who often have children at younger ages when times are stressful. The best way to pass along genes in uncertain times is to have more children, he said.

    (Editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Sandra Maler)

    child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, domestic violence, education, family, foster care, General, government, rape, system failure
    Foster care provider Lawrence Bright is a predator
    Default Foster care provider Lawrence Bright is a predator

    Police say 70-year-old Lawrence Bright was a licensed foster care provider, and a persistent predator.

    He lived with his girlfriend in this house on Pinnacle Road in Henrietta. There, they cared for several foster children, including the alleged victim.

    She told investigators the abuse began in 2002 when she was 13 years old….and continued for four years. She said bright raped her five times a week.

    She told investigators that her foster-mother was suspicious, but that Bright went to great lengths to hide the abuse.

    She also hid the abuse, telling investigators that she lied to caseworkers, to keep things steady at home.

    She did have moments of resistance, telling investigators that at one point she asked if they could stop, but he said he couldn’t, that he, “needed to get as much in before he died.”

    And it’s possible she wasn’t Bright’s only victim. She told police that another of his foster children told her that he was having sex with her as well. On that, police wouldn’t comment.

    http://rochesterhomepage.net/content…ext/?cid=15518

    child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, foster care, foster homes, government, system failure
    Pluto in Sagittarius Crisis

    Source: Astrology & More





    A police investigation into a call alleging abuse was handled in the normal and fairminded manner. NOT! I think what typically happens is that the police would go to the house in question, talk to the person who made the phone call and probably arrest the accused, and possibly also the alleged victim (hey, it happens all the time).

    But this case is a little more complicated due to the community’s religious isolation and practice of polygamy, which would make it difficult possibly to have a couple of armed forces go in and investigate through normal procedure. So they took the obvious route. Armed with guns and tanks they rounded up ALL the 465 children and their mothers and put them in a city stadium.

    A week or so later, the mothers had to leave their children behind so that dna testing could begin on all the children (and parents as well), with the threat that since could take weeks or even months, the children would have to be put in foster homes. An entire village had their children forcibly removed and the sheltered children now losing their last thread of security with being together, now delegated to strangers.

    “The children were first placed in a cramped shelter with cots and cribs lined up side by side, then they were transferred to a sports facility where they were removed from their mothers.

    More than two dozen of the teenage boys who had done nothing wrong were then shipped 400 miles away to a ranch for troubled teens where they will not only be separated from their families, but they will undoubtedly be exposed to antisocial and delinquent youth. The director of the ranch said that mixing the delinquent teens with the other boys is “going to be difficult.”

    What has become the largest custody case in U.S. history could end up being a mistake of epic proportions, even if some cases of abuse or neglect are substantiated.

    While I have no idea exactly what has or has not happened in that compound, I am reasonably certain that the state’s recent actions have likely traumatized nearly all of these children.

    There is little doubt that being taken away from your home, separated from your parents, jammed into rooms where you are cared for by strangers, and even sent hundreds of miles away to live among behaviorally disordered youth is all horrifying.

    Testifying at the hearing, an expert on childhood trauma, Dr. Bruce Perry, wisely said that traditional foster care would be “destructive” to these children.” Dave Verhaagen, Ph.D., APBB, is a managing partner of Southeast Psychological Services in Charlotte and the author or co-author of five books, including “Parenting the Millennial Generation.”

    Is this the only way?

    camp, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, children, cps, el dorado, Eldorado, family, foster care, foster home, government, news, system failure
    Keepin’ the Kids – The Latest News on Eldorado

    News Brief: Friday, April 18, 2008

    We are very gratified with today’s decision to keep all the children in temporary state custody because it stops the abuse and keeps all the children safe.

    This allows us to keep children safe as we conduct a complete and thorough investigation and provide the physical and mental health services they need.

    The children’s safety is our top priority. Our goal is always to reunite children with their parents if we can do so and make sure the child will be safe.

    Today’s decision is about the safety of children.  It is not a decision about religious freedom. The children will be allowed to worship freely. We respect and value the strong sense of faith these children have.  We are not trying to change them; we are trying to keep them safe.

    We’ll continue our efforts to identify the biological mother and father of each child, and it is our hope that the parents will work with us to ensure the safety of their children. On Monday, DNA testing will begin for the children and later in the week, testing will be available for the parents.

    We’ll begin moving the children into more appropriate placements where we can provide all the services they need while continuing our investigation. We will try to keep children as close to their families as possible so they may see their parents under the conditions outlined by the judge.

    Each child will have several people who are looking out for his or her best interests.  The children will have court appointed special advocates and attorneys who will monitor their child’s care and progress and report back to the court.

    This isn’t the end of the legal process or a final determination on the custody of the children.  We will work with the judge, attorneys, special advocates, and hopefully the parents, to make the best decisions we can for the long-term health and safety of the children. We will update the court on the progress of each child’s case by June 5.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z49IR0EubOM]

    adoption, awareness, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, family, foster care, government, system failure, videos
    Videos:Foster care from the child’s point of view

    PART 1

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu4nldTcpt8&feature=related]

     

     

    PART 2

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbrk_Rd8xEU&feature=related]

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PART 3

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNIlXOALJjo&feature=related]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    PART 4

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8C9W5JewDI&feature=related]

    child death, child sex crimes, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, death penalty, domestic violence, family, General, government, law, legal, rape, sexual assault, system failure, U.S. Supreme Court
    Texas Argues Death Penalty For Child Rapists

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/yahoolatestnews/stories/041708dnnatscotus.6c5b97cf.html?npc
     
    U.S. Supreme Court to hear Texas argue death penalty for child rapists
    08:39 AM CDT on Wednesday, April 16, 2008
    By BRENDAN MCKENNA / The Dallas Morning News
    bmckenna@dallasnews.com
     
    WASHINGTON — Texas says sometimes the sexual assault of a child can be so violent or obscene that the only appropriate punishment is to execute the offender.
     
    And Wednesday, Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz will make that case to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that state legislatures have the constitutional right to allow the death penalty for child rapists.
     
    The case before the court, Kennedy vs. Louisiana, concerns a Louisiana law and the case of a Jefferson Parrish, La., man convicted of raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter. But striking down that law could call into question Texas’ 2007 “Jessica’s Law,” which allows the execution of certain repeat child sex offenders.
     
    The Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that death was an excessive penalty for the aggravated rape of a 16 year-old girl. But Mr. Cruz said that decision implicitly left open the door for capital punishment for the rape of children in referring to that victim as an adult.
    “The damage inflicted on this 8-year-old girl … will remain with her every day of her life,” Mr. Cruz said. “The Constitution does not prohibit elected legislatures from making the determination that the most egregious forms of child rape should permit the jury to impose the most serious sentence.”
     
    But the prospect of capital punishment could lead to fewer abuses being reported because most child sexual abuse is committed by someone known to and even loved by the victims, said Judy Benitez, executive director of Louisiana Federation Against Sexual Assault. The group is leading a coalition of victims groups opposed to applying the death penalty for child rapes, including the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.
     
    “These are extremely manipulative people,” she said. “They say to the child, ‘If you tell, you’re going to make the police come and take me away, and then how is Mom going to pay the bills.’ They put it very much on the child.”
     
    The groups also argue that if the death penalty can be imposed for child rape, it could make some offenders more likely to kill their victims to prevent them from testifying, she said.
    Aside from the moral arguments, David Bruck, executive director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse at Washington and Lee Law School, said Mr. Cruz and the lawyers for Louisiana face serious legal hurdles.
     
    “The Supreme Court doesn’t take very many easy cases, but this should be one,” he said. “The rape of a child is not the same as killing a child, that’s basically what the court said [in 1977]. … Horrible as the crime is, it is not equivalent.”
     
    Mr. Bruck said the court could strike down the Louisiana law and leave Texas’ statute intact because it more narrowly restricts cases in which the death penalty could apply. A ruling is expected later this year.
     
    Arguments for and against allowing the execution of those who sexually assault children:
    AGAINST
    Execution is “cruel and unusual punishment” when applied to child rape cases because the Supreme Court already ruled that it is excessive in rape cases when the victim was not also killed.
     
    Executions for child rape mean the penalties for rape and murder are the same so an offender may be more likely to kill a victim.
     
    Executing child rapists may make it more likely for some child sexual abuse to go unreported.
     
    Louisiana’s law, the subject of the case being argued today, is too broad because it could apply to any rape of a child under 12, not just the most egregious.
     
    FOR:

     Execution is not necessarily barred by previous rulings as excessive for all rape cases, merely for the rape of an adult woman.
     
    Violent rape of a child is particularly egregious and shows “a degree of manifest evil, that is qualitatively” different from other rapes.
     
    Society’s moral standards are evolving to recognize the horror and damage caused by child rape and impose stricter punishments on perpetrators.
     
    Louisiana’s aggravated rape law, which also includes rape of the elderly, allows the death penalty only for rape of children under 12.