Tag: family

cps
What Treatments Are Available For PTSD?

wpid-700207239721384987.jpg

PTSD is treated by a variety of forms of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and pharmacotherapy (medication).

There is no single best treatment, but some treatments appear to be quite promising, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).  CBT includes a number of diverse but related techniques such as cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). For most people symptoms improve over the first year.

Treatment also reduces symptoms but for some symptoms can last a lifetime.
Roughly 30% of individuals develop a chronic form of PTSD.

PTSD usually involves periods of symptom increase followed by remission or decrease, although some individuals may experience symptoms that are long lasting and severe.

Some older veterans, who report a lifetime of only mild symptoms, experience significant increases in symptoms following retirement, severe medical illness in themselves or their spouses, or reminders of their military service, such as reunions and anniversaries.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

It is very common for other conditions to occur along with PTSD, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.

More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol. The next most common co-occurring problems in men are depression, followed by conduct disorder, and then problems with drugs.

In women, the most common co-occurring problem is depression. Just under half of women with PTSD also experience depression.

The next most common co-occurring problems in women are specific fears, social anxiety, and then problems with alcohol.

People with PTSD often have problems functioning.

In general, people with PTSD have more unemployment, divorce or separation, spouse abuse and chance of being fired than people without PTSD.

Vietnam veterans with PTSD were found to have many problems with family and other interpersonal relationships, problems with employment, and increased incidents of violence.

People with PTSD also may experience a wide variety of physical symptoms. This is a common occurrence in people who have depression and other anxiety disorders.

Some evidence suggests that PTSD may be associated with increased likelihood of developing medical disorders.

Research is ongoing, and it is too soon to draw firm conclusions about which disorders are associated with PTSD.

PTSD is associated with a number of distinctive neurobiological and physiological changes.

PTSD may be associated with stable neurobiological alterations in both the central & autonomic nervous systems, such as altered brainwave activity, decreased volume of the hippocampus, and abnormal “activation of the amygdala. Both the hippocampus and the amygdala are involved in the processing and integration of memory. The amygdala has also been found to be involved in coordinating the body’s fear response.

I think I have PTSD.
   What can I do now?

Many people who might need help for something like PTSD are afraid to go for help.

One out of five people say they might not get help because of what other people might think.

One out of three people say they would not want anyone else to know they were therapy. But almost 50% of people say that there is less shame in seeking help now than there has been in the past .

A study that’s been done of soldiers coming home from Iraq found that only 40% of service members with mental problems said they would get help.

In many cases this was due to the soldiers’ fears about what others would think, and how it could hurt their military careers.

If you think you have PTSD there are a number of things you can do.

You may want to be evaluated for PTSD by psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker specifically trained to assess psychological problems.

You could also discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
If you do not want to be evaluated but feel you have symptoms of PTSD you may choose “watchful waiting.”

Watchful waiting means taking a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won’t need treatment.

If your symptoms do not improve after 3 months and they are either causing you distress or are getting in the way of your work or home life, talk with a health professional.

In a few cases, your symptoms may be so severe that you need immediate help.

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you think that you cannot keep from hurting yourself or someone else.

For more information see http:// www.ncptsd.va.gov/

You are not alone.

cps
What Treatments Are Available For PTSD?

wpid-700207239721384987.jpg

PTSD is treated by a variety of forms of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and pharmacotherapy (medication).

There is no single best treatment, but some treatments appear to be quite promising, especially cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).  CBT includes a number of diverse but related techniques such as cognitive restructuring, exposure therapy, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). For most people symptoms improve over the first year.

Treatment also reduces symptoms but for some symptoms can last a lifetime.
Roughly 30% of individuals develop a chronic form of PTSD.

PTSD usually involves periods of symptom increase followed by remission or decrease, although some individuals may experience symptoms that are long lasting and severe.

Some older veterans, who report a lifetime of only mild symptoms, experience significant increases in symptoms following retirement, severe medical illness in themselves or their spouses, or reminders of their military service, such as reunions and anniversaries.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

It is very common for other conditions to occur along with PTSD, such as depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.

More than half of men with PTSD also have problems with alcohol. The next most common co-occurring problems in men are depression, followed by conduct disorder, and then problems with drugs.

In women, the most common co-occurring problem is depression. Just under half of women with PTSD also experience depression.

The next most common co-occurring problems in women are specific fears, social anxiety, and then problems with alcohol.

People with PTSD often have problems functioning.

In general, people with PTSD have more unemployment, divorce or separation, spouse abuse and chance of being fired than people without PTSD.

Vietnam veterans with PTSD were found to have many problems with family and other interpersonal relationships, problems with employment, and increased incidents of violence.

People with PTSD also may experience a wide variety of physical symptoms. This is a common occurrence in people who have depression and other anxiety disorders.

Some evidence suggests that PTSD may be associated with increased likelihood of developing medical disorders.

Research is ongoing, and it is too soon to draw firm conclusions about which disorders are associated with PTSD.

PTSD is associated with a number of distinctive neurobiological and physiological changes.

PTSD may be associated with stable neurobiological alterations in both the central & autonomic nervous systems, such as altered brainwave activity, decreased volume of the hippocampus, and abnormal “activation of the amygdala. Both the hippocampus and the amygdala are involved in the processing and integration of memory. The amygdala has also been found to be involved in coordinating the body’s fear response.

I think I have PTSD.
   What can I do now?

Many people who might need help for something like PTSD are afraid to go for help.

One out of five people say they might not get help because of what other people might think.

One out of three people say they would not want anyone else to know they were therapy. But almost 50% of people say that there is less shame in seeking help now than there has been in the past .

A study that’s been done of soldiers coming home from Iraq found that only 40% of service members with mental problems said they would get help.

In many cases this was due to the soldiers’ fears about what others would think, and how it could hurt their military careers.

If you think you have PTSD there are a number of things you can do.

You may want to be evaluated for PTSD by psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker specifically trained to assess psychological problems.

You could also discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
If you do not want to be evaluated but feel you have symptoms of PTSD you may choose “watchful waiting.”

Watchful waiting means taking a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won’t need treatment.

If your symptoms do not improve after 3 months and they are either causing you distress or are getting in the way of your work or home life, talk with a health professional.

In a few cases, your symptoms may be so severe that you need immediate help.

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you think that you cannot keep from hurting yourself or someone else.

For more information see http:// www.ncptsd.va.gov/

You are not alone.

cps, domestic violence, shelter policies
Heroic Dog Saves Woman from Abuser, Incites Change in Shelter Policy | Life With Dogs

This story is one that brought me to my knees in tears.  Not only am I a dog lover, but I am also a survivor of domestic violence, and I had stayed in an abusive relationship (for nearly 5 years) because I could not find a shelter that would allow me to take my dog.  I finally walked to the homeless shelter The Bridge, in Dallas Texas, with my dog, Baby Girl, because I had heard there was a kennel on site.  The police officers that worked at The Bridge and a code compliance officer came to talk to me. This was on a Thursday.  They told me that they required me to “prove I was homeless” by going and sleeping under the freeway bridge in one of the homeless camps (they even gave me a bag of dog food and a blanket to take with me), and someone from the crisis intervention department of code compliance would drive over to find me and bring us in on Monday or Tuesday (4 or 5 days later).  My dog and I did as we were told.  We were terrified, and yet, we found a homeless camp. the first night next to the freeway on-ramp on a slope, then after that in a crevice beneath I75 freeway since it was raining.  The crisis intervention people never came to get us, but I was sexually assaulted under that bridge. Had it not been for my dog I would have been raped, possibly gang-raped by the homeless men at the camp.

I fully promote and encourage the change in policy for shelters to allow women to bring their pets.  This is a glorious breakthrough in the areas of domestic violence advocacy.

Please share this article wherever you can.

Thank you.

Hero Dog Saves Abuse Victim

(Click to watch video)

When the Rose Brooks Center for women took in a domestic violence victim and her heroic dog, they bent the rules in doing so, setting the wheels in motion for a much needed change in policy.

Like most battered women’s shelters, the Rose Brooks Center did not accommodate pets. But this was no ordinary dog: when her boyfriend tried to kill the woman with a hammer, her fearless Great Dane jumped in the way, laying over her body and taking most of the blows until the man threw both of them out of a second story window. The dog suffered multiple broken bones in the attack, sparing his owner’s life in the process.

Despite their injuries, the woman was able to escape with her dog, and eventually made her way to the Rose Brooks Center. When they offered her a bed and told her no pets were allowed, she was defiant, and for the first time in its history, the shelter overlooked regulations and allowed the dog to stay.

That decision would eventually lead to a permanent change in policy. Knowing that forty percent of battered women with pets stay in abusive relationships in order to protect their pets, the center’s chief executive officer, Susan Miller, said adding a pet-friendly wing would remove a serious barrier that women face when attempting to leave an abuser. Miller was the one who had ultimately made the call to admit the woman and her dog.

“They provide so much comfort, and to have to leave that pet behind is so heartbreaking,” Miller said. “It has become abundantly clear that the incredible therapeutic benefits that pets can have on a family greatly outweigh the cost and inconvenience of housing them.”

The center is investing $140,000 in renovations that will add seven kennels, a walking trail and pet-friendly play area. Future victims of abuse in the Kansas City area will no longer have to choose between personal safety and the well-being of their four-legged loved ones, a change that shelter officials believe will save lives.

Miller points out that none of this would have been likely were it not for the fierce devotion of a pet and the unwavering love of the woman he saved, and that there was just no way she could turn the two away.

“She was not going to leave her pet alone with him,” she said. “He saved her life.”

accountability, child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, foster care, government, reform, social services, system failure, texas, welfare reform
‘Major epidemic’ Says the BBC – UK Investigates Child Abuse in the U.S.

America’s child death shame 

Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US.

The latest government figures show an estimated 1,770 children were killed as a result of maltreatment in 2009.

A recent congressional report concludes the real number could be nearer 2,500.  In fact, America has the worst child abuse record in the industrialized world.

Why?

The BBC’s Natalia Antelava investigates. (VIDEO)
Sixty-six children under the age of 15 die from physical abuse or neglect every week in the industrialized world. Twenty-seven of those die in the US – the highest number of any other country.
Even when populations are taken into account, Unicef research from 2001 places the US equal bottom with Mexico on child deaths from maltreatment.
In Texas, one of the states with the worst child abuse records, the Dallas Children’s Medical Center is dealing with a rising number of abused children and increasing levels of violence.
Meanwhile, the Houston Center is expanding its services to deal with the rising problem of child sex abuse.
 
(Video) 
 The doctor’s experience 
 

 
(Video)
Inside a Houston help center

Emma’s story

Emma Thompson was just four years old when she was beaten to death in 2009. Her injuries included broken ribs, a bloodied lip, widespread bruising and a fractured skull. She had also been raped.Her mother and her mother’s partner have been jailed over the abuse. But Emma’s father, Ben, believes his daughter was let down by everyone around her.

(Video) ‘Everybody missed the signs’
 

Who’s to blame?

Just like Emma Thompson, hundreds more children fall through the cracks of the child protection system. Some blame overworked investigators and inefficient management, while others say it’s the federal government’s drive to keep families together that is the problem.
But child protection officials in Texas, a state with one of the highest total number of child deaths from abuse and neglect in the US, say such cases are complicated and difficult to assess – especially when a child’s guardians are hiding what is really going on.
 
 
Model of a child from a tv ad aimed at reducing abuse
The Child Protection Challenge
 
 
 
 

How to stop it

In Washington, politicians are beginning to recognize what some now describe as a “national crisis”.A congressional hearing in July heard from experts in the field about what can be done to prevent deaths from child abuse.

A national commission is being set up to coordinate a country-wide response.Many believe home visits to new parents by qualified health professionals, preparing them for the difficulties of family life, are key to that strategy.

(video) Teaching parents to be parentsTeenagers describe the challenges of having children young

Cycle of violence

While child abuse blights the lives of victims’ families, its devastating impact is felt far beyond relatives and friends.

(Video) ‘You only know anger and violence’ 
Victim Stacey Kananen on the lasting impact of abuse 
Abused children are 74 times more likely to commit crimes against others and six times more likely to maltreat their own children, according to the Texas Association for the Protection of Children. For this reason, experts believe it is in the US government’s as well as society’s interest to ensure children are protected from abuse. 
 
Each and every citizen, they say, has a responsibility to help break this cycle of violence.
Design: Mark Bryson. Production: Franz Strasser, Bill McKenna, Lucy Rodgers and Luke Ward.

EXPERTS VIEW

Millions of children are reported as abused and neglected every year

Why is the problem of violence against children so much more acute in the US than anywhere else in the industrialized world, asks Michael Petit, President of Every Child Matters.

Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members. That is nearly four times the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The child maltreatment death rate in the US is triple Canada’s and 11 times that of Italy. Millions of children are reported as abused and neglected every year. Why is that?

Downward spiral

Part of the answer is that teen pregnancy, high-school dropout, violent crime, imprisonment, and poverty – factors associated with abuse and neglect – are generally much higher in the US.

Michael Petit

“The sharp differences between the states raises the question of an expanded federal role” Michael Petit – Every Child Matters

Further, other rich nations have social policies that provide child care, universal health insurance, pre-school, parental leave and visiting nurses to virtually all in need.

In the US, when children are born into young families not prepared to receive them, local social safety nets may be frayed, or non-existent. As a result, they are unable to compensate for the household stress the child must endure.

In the most severe situations, there is a predictable downward spiral and a child dies. Some 75% of these children are under four, while nearly half are under one.

Geography matters a lot in determining child well-being. Take the examples of Texas and Vermont.

Texas prides itself in being a low tax, low service state. Its per capita income places it in the middle of the states, while its total tax burden – its willingness to tax itself – is near the bottom.

Vermont, in contrast, is at the other extreme. It is a high-tax, high-service state.

Mix of risks

In looking at key indicators of well-being, children from Texas are twice as likely to drop out of high school as children from Vermont. They are four times more likely to be uninsured, four times more likely to be incarcerated, and nearly twice as likely to die from abuse and neglect.

Texas spending

  • $6.25 billion (£4.01bn) spent in 2007 on direct and indirect costs dealing with after-effects of child abuse and neglect
  • $0.05 billion (£0.03bn) budgeted in 2011 for prevention and early intervention
Source: Univ of Houston, TexProtects

In Texas, a combination of elements add to the mix of risks that a child faces. These include a higher poverty rate in Texas, higher proportions of minority children, lower levels of educational attainment, and a political culture which holds a narrower view of the role of government in addressing social issues.

Texas, like many other traditionally conservative states, is likely to have a weaker response to families that need help in the first place, and be less efficient in protecting children after abuse occurs.

The sharp differences between the states raises the question of an expanded federal role.

Are children Texas children first? Or are they first American children with equal opportunity and protection?

Blame parents?

A national strategy, led by our national government, needs to be developed and implemented. For a start, the Congress should adopt legislation that would create a National Commission to End Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities.

Woman holding a baby
Nearly half the child fatalities in 2009 were children under the age of one

And no children’s programmes should be on the chopping block, federal or state. Children did not crash the US economy. It is both shortsighted economic policy and morally wrong to make them pay the price for fixing it.

But instead as the US economy lags, child poverty soars, and states cut billions in children’s services, we are further straining America’s already weak safety net.

Inevitably, it means more children will die. The easy answer is to blame parents and already burdened child protection workers. But easy answers don’t solve complex problems.

And with millions of children injured and thousands killed, this problem is large indeed, and it deserves a large response.

Michael Petit is the president of Every Child Matters. He served as the state of Maine’s human services commissioner, and as deputy of the Child Welfare League of America.

Related Internet links: 
Justice for Children 
Every Child Matters
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites
 Your comments (66) This entry is now closed for comments

Comment number66.

 cka1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 23:21

Virgil – Thank you for the full report. My guess is that DC isn’t a state and Nevada has a whole host of other religious issues that would make counting impossible. It is legal for a man to marry multiple underage wives of which he is related. Doesn’t happen in any other state, at least not legally. Wyoming and Montana barely have 100,000 children in them, so statistically not significant.

Comment number65.

 thehughes69
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:51

we in the uk need to worry about staying under torie leadership any longer, sorry to knock the yanks but were starting to see steps towards private healthcare like the us where the poor are left behind and the lowering of funds into social services with money going elsewhere bit like texas ey

Comment number64.

 Karen Spears Zacharias
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:48

Once again the BBC proves why it’s a news source I turn to as a journalist. Here you are doing the story that America journalists shy away from. For the past five years, I’ve been at work on a book about this issue. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator] I applaud Natalia Antelava & BBC for the courage in addressing this national shame.

Comment number63.

 marie
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:48

contd No part of the world is free from this horror, but some parts of the world have far less abuse of children. It makes sense to discover possible reasons why this might be so; those countries with higher stats might then learn from this & be able to do so much more to protect their vulnerable children.

Comment number62.

 marie
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:37

@ 56 Why on earth would anyone jeer at the spectre of child abuse, whether it takes place in the USA, UK or on the Indian subcontinent?
By comparing figures across the world & looking at factors implicated such as poverty, educational levels, aswell as care provision, steps can be taken to reduce child abuse in areas where it is high, improving the lives &mortality of children who live there.

Comment number61.

 thehughes69
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:33

bit of an eye opener
think its a piece about the surprise that a country like the us has these problems were others are maybe known about

Comment number60.

 inthewakeofautism
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:27

I would like to see the statistics on children killed who are living with both their Biological parents vs those with non biological parents especially people referred to as partners in the article. I think living arrangements contribute to this most heinous of acts.

Comment number59.

 thekuhl1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 22:10

Where is China in this report or India??

Comment number58.

 thekuhl1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 21:55

This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

Comment number57.

 HMayhan
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 21:40

I am not saying there isn’t a problem with violence against children in the US. In fact I agree it is ridiculously commonplace. But reading this on a BBC website smacks of the pot calling the kettle black. Hardly a day goes by on the UK section of this website without news of a kid getting killed in the UK.

Comment number56.

 kcwhattrick
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 21:24

Why is it that Europeans take tragedies such as this and use them to jeer other countries? It’s very strange and somewhat perverted behavior. A normal person would feel horror and sadness at such a thing happening to children, yet the Europeans use it more as a way of saying “Ha, knew things were better over here all along.” Really sad way of behaving.

Comment number55.

 assynt1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 21:06

Once you start helping these kids, you can’t stop. They will truly motivate you. I always say that they deserve not just good care, but the BEST care we can give them as a community. One more thing on perp stats. There is a type of abuse that used to be called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, now called Medical Child Abuse. Mothers are almost exclusively the perpetrators in that case.

Comment number54.

 tre4w
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:57

as a student social worker this piece really galvanises me to get out there and make a difference in the lives of kids, although i’m going to have to get past the gut wrenching reaction it provokes in me first…

Comment number53.

 assynt1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:58

You are welcome for the info. There are certain scenarios where it is “classic” to have a male perp (unrelated male living in the household as a risk for sexual abuse). If we think about the stressors that influence abuse and neglect (poverty, single parent, lack of social support, young age) and who the primary caretakers are, it’s no wonder that moms are more common in overall numbers.

Comment number52.

 stebsb
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:44

@assynt1:

Thanks for the info – although I’m not as informed on the subject as I’d like to be (and as you are obviously are!) I was surprised in what I’d read how women were more likely to be abusive than I’d thought; and I was also shocked to read how some feminists simply deny that female abuse occurs, insisting it’s virtually exclusively inflicted by men.

Comment number51.

 assynt1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:38

The perpetrators are parents 75% of the time, with mothers as the most common at 1/3, both together at 1/5 and just dads at around 1/5. This is likely because mothers tend to be caring for the kids more and so have more access. The only exception is child sexual abuse where the abusers are overwhelmingly male at 90%.

Comment number50.

 assynt1
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:36

Reply to question about geneder of perp and vics. In US, overall girls and boys are victimized at the same rate. Girls are higher for sexual abuse and boys are slightly higher for physical abuse. Neglect, though, is the number one type of abuse and occurs in equal numbers of boys and girls.

Comment number49.

 Bb
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:26

Parental rights far out way the children needs. I am personally aware of children placed in good foster homes, then removed and placed back with their abusive family.

The second issue is Right to life vs Right to choice, both should focus their resources on unwanted pregnancy. That would cut down on abortions and unwanted babies.

Comment number48. rich
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:22

Interesting to note that the comparative numbers are given for Canada and Italy. Based on the numbers in this report Italy has 181 child homicides a year. The UK by comparison has around 60 per year

http://www.nspcc.org.uk/inform/research/statistics/child_homicide_statistics_wda48747.html – Now who was it that said that British social workers were failing?

Comment number47.

 Rate this comment positivelyRate this comment negatively

0

 ChildPerson
17TH OCTOBER 2011 – 20:01

Supreme Court refused to take on any responsibility for child abuse, because, wrote Chief Rehnquist in DeShaney v. Winnebago County, 1989, “A state’s failure to protect an individual against private violence” was not a denial of the victim’s rights as the state…”played no part in their [dangers to the child]creation, nor did it do anything to render him any more vulnerable to them.” Joshua died

Page 1 of 4
NEWER 1 2 3 4 OLDER  

Sign in or register to comment and rate comments. All posts are reactively-moderated and must obey thehouse rules.

cps
This is M.D. one of the children not forgotten…
Source of Stories: PLAINTIFFS’ ORIGINAL COMPLAINT FOR INJUNCTIVE AND DECLARATORY RELIEF AND REQUEST FOR CLASS ACTION in the recent lawsuit filed on behalf of 12000 foster children in the State of Texas against Governor Rick Perry, Thomas Suehs, Executive Commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission of the State of Texas and Anne Heiligenstein, Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services of the State of Texas.

There are several “named plaintiffs” suing the Texas system. They are children who have had to live in foster care on a long-term basis and they represent a “class action” suit on behalf of over 12000 other foster children.

Usually a foster care stay is approximately 12 to 18 months if all goes well, but for the not so fortunate, the stay in foster care may last for years. Many children never find a permanent home, and “age out” of foster care as a young adult who has not learned how to find a sense of security or how to trust people.
These children have become a product of their environment, harmed by the failure of a government system that needs not just an overhaul, but a miracle to fix. Whether an oversight created some problems or a lack of financial funding for a private foster family or residential facility occurred because of some bureaucratic red tape – the effects trickle down and the leftover mess is cleaned up by the ones that matter the most – the children – and when I say cleaned up, I mean dealt with.

Most of the time, the higher ups will never put a face to the name – or number these innocent children have become. Most of the time, these are not accidents, or unforeseen circumstances, but completely preventable and avoidable situations that leave these children paying the ultimate price by living in an unimaginably painful world. Negligence, abuse, misconduct, untrained workers, caregivers with backgrounds that should keep them from working in any environment ‘designed’ to protect children….are some of the causes for the damage done to these children. Caseworkers carry too high a workload with too little incentive or not enough pay for long hard overtime work hours so the turnover rate is high. The need to hire more workers often means they are not always experienced or even properly trained to deal with the depths of the situations they will encounter in their job. The real life situations of a child that they must protect if at all possible, realizing their decisions may change the course of many lives forever. That is not a light responsibility to be taken, and when the workers are hired and fired or quit so often that motivation to do the job right is low, lives can be ruined. Destroyed. By one choice made, or one decision.

I can barely touch the issues our system must address in order to affect a noticeably positive change that those families named in the lawsuit as well as those who are not. will benefit from. One thing is clear, anyone involved in the system will become someone new before its over with. The lawsuit outlines what the issues are that the children see in their daily lives when living in foster care. The lawsuit places the failures on the table for all to see now, not just the children, but anyone else who has not, until now, taken a look.

Its Almost Tuesday is thrilled that legal action has been sought to find justice for these children and families. Meanwhile we await the outcome of the battle ahead that the lawyers must face, and we can only cross our fingers that the outcome we can anticipate will be in favor of the children. We can only hope it will not only be in favor of the children, but also begin the road to remedy the harmful effects they have suffered. Somehow. Having said that it only seems appropriate now, to take the time to get to know these children, starting with M.D. the first named child plaintiff in the lawsuit.

M.D. is the first of many stories we will share. Remember, these stories are real. These experiences have been lives of children not unlike yours or mine — they have been caught up in an unfortunate trap set by a system out of control.

Child Welfare. Child Protection. How much do we see in these stories? Have these children been protected?

If they had been we would not watch as lawsuits are filed. If they were protected, I would not be writing this blog; or introducing you to these children. Although we will only learn their initials and not their full names, we will hopefully learn something about who they are – and not forget them.

Its Almost Tuesday commends all the survivors of the foster care system, applauds them for their courage when living in a world they never should have known…

This is the story of M.D.

M.D. is a fourteen-year-old girl from Corpus Christi, in Nueces County. M.D. was originally brought into state custody at age eight, placed with relatives, and then again brought back into state custody at age ten. Over the four years that M.D. has most recently been in the care of the state, DFPS has repeatedly failed in its obligation to provide for her safety and wellbeing. Instead of providing her with services and therapy to address the maltreatment that caused her removal from her parents and the abuse she suffered while living in a DFPS-selected placement, DFPS has compounded that trauma by placing her for years in inappropriate institutions; failing to provide her with critically-needed mental health evaluations and services; over-medicating her with powerful psychotropic medications; failing to seek and secure an appropriate permanent home for her; and subjecting her to numerous and frequent placement moves that have prevented her from establishing lasting relationships with caregivers, therapists, or even other children.

When M.D. was eight years old, DFPS removed her from her parents due to neglect by her mother and abandonment by her father. After nine months in the state’s custody, DFPS placed M.D. in conservatorship with her aunt and uncle. However, when M.D. was ten years old, DFPS removed her from this home, because her cousin sexually assaulted her while she was
under the aunt and uncle’s conservatorship.

After removing M.D. from her relatives’ home, DFPS moved the ten-year-old child through three foster placements over the next six months. Eventually, DFPS placed M.D. in a foster home in Dallas, over 400 miles from her home community.

Toward the end of 2007, DFPS moved M.D., still only ten years old, to an institution, an RTC in Victoria. After three months in this facility, M.D. became suicidal. She stayed there for almost two and a half years, steadily deteriorating both emotionally and psychologically. During this time, DFPS assumed PMC of the child.

From the RTC, DFPS sent M.D. to an acute care facility just outside of Houston, without making any permanent plans for her. After two months, DFPS moved M.D. 300 miles away to yet another RTC in Denton.

While at that RTC, M.D. and another young child left the facility and walked to a nearby retail establishment where M.D. was raped. After the rape, DFPS did not provide M.D. with any special counseling, even though M.D. was so traumatized that she had started cutting herself.
Instead, RTC staff chastised M.D. for leaving the facility. In the midst of the emotional turmoil resulting from the assault, DFPS sent M.D. to a juvenile detention center after a disturbance at the RTC.

During the four years that M.D. has been in foster care, DFPS has moved her through at least seven different foster placements, as well as hospitalizations. For much of this time, this young child has been kept in institutions of one kind or another – RTCs, psychiatric centers, and detention facilities. With such an existence, M.D. has been unable to form any lasting relationships.

M.D. is currently placed in an austere, restrictive short-term therapeutic placement in San Antonio. M.D. has no privileges of any kind. She has no visitors. She cannot have any toiletries. She is warehoused and alone. Her DFPS caseworker has said that M.D. will be transitioning from this facility to another RTC.

As M.D. has moved through the foster care system, she has been given numerous psychotropic medications. These drugs have been used as a chemical substitute for the care, counseling, and permanent placement in a family that DFPS is obligated to seek and secure for her. M.D. is now diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression.

While M.D. is nominally in the eighth grade, she has been placed in a number of schools attached to the institutions where she was placed. In those schools, she has been advanced from one grade to the next based on her age. Her true academic progress has been constantly interrupted by her placement in a series of far-flung facilities.

Although DFPS knew early on that M.D.’s parents were not capable of parenting her, and in fact had removed her from their care in 2005, it was not until July 2010, more than three years after she was brought into foster care for the second time, that M.D. was freed for adoption.

Despite the fact that M.D. has consistently asked to be adopted, DFPS has continually failed to seek and secure a permanent family for this lonely child. At the age of fourteen, M.D. faces the prospect that she will age out of care after four more years of being shuffled around the state from institution to institution.

Defendants have violated M.D.’s constitutional rights by failing to protect from her from harm while in their care; failing to provide adequate supervision over her foster care placements; subjecting her to frequent moves across the state far from her home community; failing to arrange for adequate therapy to address the trauma she has suffered both before and while in DFPS custody; subjecting her to unnecessary psychotropic medications; keeping her for long periods in institutions; and failing for years to identify or plan for an appropriate permanent placement.

accountability, children, corruption, cps, foster care, foster child, foster home, government, judicial system, legal, legislation, medicaid, medicaid fraud, medical, mental illness, psychotropic medications, psychotropics
TEXAS RESOLVES MULTI-STATE MEDICAID FRAUD INVESTIGATION; RECOVERS $55 MILLION | North America > United States from AllBusiness.com

My Questionn is: What side effects did this drug have on the children and what long term risks will they possibly suffer? How was it not approved? Was it unsafe? Or just not tested?

Shouldn’t they be compensated for the abuse they suffered by the child welfare system knowingly using them as test subjects?

This makes me sick.

———————————————————————–

TEXAS RESOLVES MULTI-STATE MEDICAID FRAUD INVESTIGATION; RECOVERS $55 MILLION

The following information was released by the office of the Attorney General of Texas:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a coalition of state attorneys general and the U.S. Department of Justice today resolved a lengthy civil Medicaid fraud investigation into Pfizer, Inc. As a result, more than $1 billion has been recovered for state Medicaid programs and several federal programs. Texas’ Medicaid program will recover $55 million in a state-federal government share.

According to investigators, Pfizer deceptively marketed its antipsychotic drug Geodon, its arthritis pain medication Bextra, which is no longer on the market, and 11 other pharmaceutical products.

The multi-state and federal investigation revealed that Pfizer unlawfully promoted atypical antipsychotic Geodon for use by Medicaid-eligible children to treat numerous conditions, including attention deficit disorder and anxiety. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved Geodon for children. State and federal law prohibits pharmaceutical manufacturers from marketing their drugs for such “off-label” uses. While physicians may, at their discretion, prescribe drugs for off-label uses, it is unlawful for drug manufacturers to promote drugs’ uses which have not been approved by the FDA.

The states’ enforcement effort revealed that Pfizer provided unlawful financial incentives for physicians who wrote off-label prescriptions. Because of Pfizer’s promotional program, Medicaid paid for prescriptions many physicians would not otherwise have written for their patients. As a result, the taxpayer-funded program incurred unnecessary costs.

In a separate settlement, Attorney General Abbott and 42 other attorneys general reached a $33 million dollar agreement with Pfizer. The additional settlement resolves an inquiry into the defendant’s deceptive marketing of Geodon to health care providers. The agreement prevents Pfizer from making any false, misleading or deceptive claims regarding Geodon; promoting Geodon for uses not approved by the FDA; or otherwise promoting Geodon in an unlawful manner. Pfizer must also post online a list of health care providers that received payments from Pfizer.

Last January, Attorney General Abbott reached a $30 million civil Medicaid fraud settlement with Eli Lilly and Co., which unlawfully marketed the atypical antipsychotic Zyprexa. Last year, the Attorney General also recovered $15.7 million from Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. for its illegal marketing of several drugs, including the atypical antipsychotic, Abilify.

A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units team conducted the investigation and settlement negotiations with Pfizer on behalf of the states. That team included representatives from Texas, Arkansas, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon and Virginia.

Today’s agreement reflects a continuing crackdown on waste, fraud and abuse in the Medicaid system. To obtain more information about the Attorney General’s efforts to fight Medicaid fraud, access the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov

© Copyright 2009 LexisNexis. All rights reserved.
© Copyright 2009 States News Service
accountability, amber alert, child, child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, crime, custody, domestic violence
Violent Relationships in Family Court
Duncan Connolly
Duncan Connolly

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Clear and Present Danger by SusanMurphy Milano

Like most of us I am deeply disturbed by the escalating number of parents murdering their own families. This past weekend was no exception as police discovered 9-year-old Duncan Connolly

(left) and 7-year-old Jack Connolly (right) were found murdered in rural Putnam County, IL. Their father was found dead not far from where his car was left.

Jack Connolly
Jack Connolly

According to police sources, the boys’ father had a rope around his neck when he was found. The discovery brought to a close a national three-week search for the man and the boys, precipitated by Michael Connolly’s abduction of his sons following a weekend visitation.

The last time Amy saw her two boys alive, something was not right. Connolly was acting strange when they met at the police station.

Amy refused to hand over her boys on March 7th, an officer threatened her if she didn’t give them to their father, she would be arrested according to her lawyer.

Amy Leichtenberg filed orders of protection against Michael Connolly more than once after his repeated physical and emotional abuse in the later years of their marriage. Amy filed for divorce that year and moved out of their home. In a 2006, a petition for a protective order against her husband was filed, saying that his “controlling and obsessive behavior” included threats to kill himself and others along with a series of bizarre demands he made of her. Within a 15-month period, Connolly violated the orders of protection 57 times.

In 2007, Amy was awarded full custody of the boys with Connolly given supervised visitation. According to court reports from the family visitation center, Connolly’s behavior was dangerous enough to temporarily cease all visits with the boys.

In my experience, when a family visitation center terminates interaction between parent and child, it sends a red flag of danger. Connolly, the ever witty and clever abuser, was able to resume visits when his psychiatrist sent a “sympathy letter” to the judge “if my client is able to spend more time with his sons, Mr. Connolly’s depression and outbursts would lessen.” The judge responded by setting a series of “behavioral guidelines.” This included obtaining employment, housing and continued therapy. “

(He) tells me if I ever take the boys away he will hunt me and my parents down and cut us open,” Amy Leichtenberg, then known as Amy Connolly, stated in the 2006 petition seeking an order of protection. Amy said during their marriage Connolly had tried to isolate her from her family. A common characteristic among abusers.

Despite the 57 violations of the protection orders, dangerous behavior and deadly threats, McLean County Judge James Souk “rewarded” Connolly unsupervised visitation with his sons. Connolly filed numerous motions with the court, basically wearing the judge down. Despite pleas from Amy and her lawyer, which were ignored.

This mother’s plea for supervised visitation was dismissed without regard to serious safety concerns.

There is an automatic presumption that it is in the best interest of a child “regardless of court orders”, prior violence or threats, to maintain visitation with both parents.

Victims of domestic violence face a double edged sword. Either expose their children to imminent danger, or defy the court system refusing to allow visitation.

Like so many others before her, Amy tried to deal with a violent relationship in a family court environment. In family court the two parties are presumed to be on a level playing field–law abiding individuals who have a disagreement over a private family matter.

A core assumption of family law is that family disputes are not criminal disputes. As such, there are few safeguards built into the family court system to protect against the criminal dynamics that dominate family disputes in cases of family violence. In addition, the accusations the victim makes in family court, no matter how serious, carry no more authority than one person’s say so.

One of the most serious consequences is that when a family violence victim opens a case in family court against her abuser, the abuser is given equal opportunity to fight back against the victim’s accusations, often because the abusers past is not an issue.

Unless, of course, he is brought in from county or state prison sporting an orange jump suit and leg shackles.

There are lawyers and men’s groups who argue using domestic violence with a broad brush is not a reason to deny fathers visitation with their children. Accusing mothers of lying or making up stories to keep fathers’ from their children. Under the current laws, a parent without custody is entitled “reasonable visitation.”

There is a high burden of proof as evidenced in this case when a court refuses to take into account dangerous abusers pose to their children. Until we place the issue of labeling these cases as a “private matter” or an isolated incident, expect the death toll among children to rise.

Expect the courts to continue to ignore clear and present danger signs when a victim of violence seeks a divorce.

child abuser, cps, system failures, writing
How to prepare if you are falsely reported for abuse or neglect
416514122_0597a8826f_o.jpg

Because the swing of every pendulum brings with it potential adverse consequences, it is important to emphasize that in the area of child abuse, as with the investigation and prosecution of all crimes, the state is constrained by the substantive and procedural guarantees of the Constitution. The fact that the suspected crime may be heinous – whether it involves children or adults – does not provide cause for the state to ignore the rights of the accused or any other parties. Otherwise, serious injustices may result.
Syl.Pt.3,WALLIS v. SPENCER, 202 F.3d 1126(9th Cir. 2000)
I ran across a group of articles on Helium about CPS and what to do when they come knockin’…

There’s no definite answer but having been through it I have the knowledge of the system and CPS, and even with all the cases I’ve seen, I don’t know how to tell you, this is what you should do. Every case is different and you should contact an attorney for the best personalized legal advice.

Being falsely accused is one of the worst nightmares a good parent can go through. It destroys lives. It kills…. (I’ve read several suicide reports after such family tragedies); most of all, it takes a child’s innocence and childhood from them. It forever changed my world, and it won’t ever be the same. Sometimes, like in my case, the children never come home. Its devastating. I’m still not over it, nor will I ever be. They destroyed me when I lost my boy…. I was a good mom falsely accused.

I couldn’t have prepared for it, when you’re falsely accused you don’t expect to be accused,and you don’t expect to be doubted by the state.If you’ve never dealt with them before, CPS is supposed to help families and until you see for yourself the flaws, there’s no way to believe how wrongly a good parent can be treated. I have faith in the merits of my case, in the system, and in the truth. I never expected my son wouldn’t come home. I knew I hadn’t abused him. However, my faith in the system was where I went wrong. Don’t take for granted it could happen to you. It can happen to anyone, and its the worst pain/nightmare a parent can imagine…. particularly when the child is injured, killed, or never comes home. No parent can prepare for that. Its a tragedy.

# 1 tip I tell parents is to TAPE RECORD EVERYTHING – EVERY VISIT, EVERY INTERACTION with the child, the CPS social workers, the front desk lady, even.TAPE EVERY meeting, phonecall, etc., tape it all. Its value may not be realised until late in your case or even after your case is complete when you recall something that was said, or when something conflicts with something else, etc. Keep those tapes securely in a safe place, and make copies.

5715143.jpgOther best advice I have – don’t take anything for granted, and kiss your babies twice every night that you put them to bed. Once for you, and once for all the parents who can’t kiss their kids goodnight.

They may not be there tomorrow.

Thank you to Helium.com and the writers for their contributions. You can also see my articles on Helium here.

How to prepare if you are falsely reported for abuse or neglect

  • by Dan Weaver October 4, 2004. I will remember that day for the rest of my life. For me, September 11, 2001 fades in comparison bec… read more
  • by Catsy Jones I can remember the day quite clearly. I was sitting on the couch, my husband was packing our things for the move to o… read more
  • by Frances Gordon I’ve had allot of experience with child Protection Services. A great deal of experience. The Departments vary a lit… read more
  • by Shanna Coon No one expects to be falsely accused of child abuse or neglect; yet bogus cases are reported daily to Child Protectiv… read more
  • by Sabrina Schleiger First of all, let me just say that if your child has any birth marks or blotches on his or her skin, be sure to tell … read more

View All Articles on: How to prepare if you are falsely reported for abuse or neglect

(more…)

child death, child welfare reform, foster care abuse, cps, domestic violence, General, law, legal, social services, system failure children
Texas Laws on Child Abuse

Reporting Child Abuse

Mandated Reporting

Texas Family Code

261.101 Persons required to report

A person (everyone) having cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been adversely affected by abuse or neglect by any person shall immediately make a report as provided by this subchapter. This requirement to report under this section applies without exception to an individual whose personal communications may otherwise be privileged, including an attorney, a member of the clergy, a medical practitioner, a social worker, a mental health professional, and an employee of a clinic or health care facility that provides reproductive services. The identity of the reporter is confidential and may only be released by order of court or to law enforcement agency conducting a criminal investigation.

Texas Family Code

261.103 Report made to appropriate agency

A report shall be made to: any local or state law enforcement agency; Child Protective Services if the alleged or suspected abuse involves a person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of the child; the state agency that operates, licenses, certifies, or registers the facility in which the alleged abuse or neglect occurred; or the agency designated by the court to be responsible for the protection of children.

Texas Family Code

261.104 Contents of report

Person making report shall identify, if known:

name and address of child; name and address of person responsible for the care, custody, or welfare of child; and any other pertinent information concerning the alleged or suspected abuse or neglect.

Texas Family Code

261.106 Immunities

Persons acting under good faith who reports or assists in the investigation of a report of alleged child abuse or neglect or who testifies or otherwise participates in a judicial proceeding arising from a report, petition, or investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability that might otherwise be incurred or imposed.

Texas Family Code
261.107 False report
A person commits an offense if the person knowingly makes a report under this chapter that the person knows is false or lacks factual foundation. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 year in jail and/or $4,000 fine).

Texas Family Code
261.109 Failure to report
A person commits an offense if the person has cause to believe that a child’s physical or mental health or welfare has been or may be adversely affected by abuse or neglect and knowingly fails to report as provided in this chapter. The offense is a Class B misdemeanor (up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,000 fine).

Child Outcry Statements

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 38.072

Hearsay statement of child abuse victim
Statements of a child under the age of 13 who is a victim of sexual offenses or assaultive offenses made to the first person 18 years of age or older are an exception to hearsay rule and that person can testify directly as to what the child said to them.

Privileged Communications

Civil

Texas Family Code
261.202 Privileged Communication
In a proceeding regarding the abuse or neglect of a child, evidence may not be excluded on the ground of privileged communication except in the case of communications between an attorney and client.

Criminal

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 38.10 Exceptions to spousal privilege
The privilege of a person’s spouse not to be called as a witness for the state does not apply in any proceeding in which the person is charged with a crime committed against the person’s spouse, a minor child, or a member of the household of either spouse.

Texas Rules of Criminal Evidence 503 and 505

The privileged communications afforded by attorney/client and clergyman/ client relationships applies to criminal prosecutions except as noted in the Texas Family Code 261.101 (initial reporting).

Statute of Limitations

None –
murder/manslaughter

10 years past child’s 18th birthday –
aggravated sexual assault of a child
sexual assault of a child
indecency with a child by contact

10 years- indecency with a child by exposure

  • All persons are
    required by law to report child abuse.

  • The report can be made
    to law enforcement, Child Protective Services, or the agency regulating the
    facility where the abuse is occurring.

  • Report should contain
    name/address of child and caregiver as well as information regarding the
    abuse.

  • Information about the
    reporting person is confidential except if ordered by court or to aid law
    enforcement in their investigation.

  • Persons reporting in
    good faith are immune from civil or criminal punishment.

  • Persons making
    intentional false reports can be punished criminally.

  • Persons failing to
    make a report can be punished criminally.

  • Hearsay (statement
    made by another person) is usually not admissible in court. In cases
    where a child is a victim under 13, the first person the child told about
    the abuse 18 or over can testify to the hearsay statement.

  • There is no privileged
    communication in civil child abuse cases except for statements to your
    attorney.

  • The only privileged
    communication in a criminal child abuse case is those to your attorney and
    your clergyman.

  • A spouse or other
    family member can be compelled to testify against anyone.

  • The time that a person
    can be charged after committing sexual abuse of a child is up to 28 years
    except in cases of child death in which case there is no set time to bring
    charges after the commission of the offense.

source: ATCCAC Home Page

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?