Tag Archives: Indifference

Federal Judge Finds Texas Has Broken System

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CPS is a “broken” system.

Federal judge finds Texas has “broken” foster care system, says she’ll order changes

AUSTIN, TX  –  Long-term foster care in Texas is “broken” and routinely does grave harm to children already dealt a tough hand, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi said the state violated the Constitution by keeping about 12,000 youngsters for years in an underfunded and poorly run system “where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm.”

Defendants John Specia and his staff at the state Department of Family and Protective Services have “the best intentions, she wrote. ” But the system, despite 20 years of reports and attempted fixes, keeps harming the children it’s supposed to help”, the stinging opinion reads.

Jack, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, ruled in favor of nine children who sued the state in 2011 on behalf of all Texas children in long-term foster care.

Their lawyers, who included members of the Dallas-based Haynes and Boone firm, said Texas’ foster care system forces thousands of youngsters to live in poorly supervised institutions.  The department frequently moves the children from one place to another and often splits up siblings, plaintiffs said.

Jack agreed, saying Texas routinely violates the children’s 14th Amendment rights to be free from harm while in state custody.

Julie Moody, a spokeswoman for the protective-services department, said it’s disappointed with Jack’s ruling.  The state has insisted that plaintiffs’ lawyers have ignored recent improvements that followed the Legislature’s sweeping changes to Child Protective Services in 2005, along with an overhaul of foster care two years later.  They also repeatedly boosted the agency’s budget — Texas current spends $1.4 billion a year on Child Protective Services.

“Texas performs comparably with other states in this area, and has steadily improved,” she said.

While Texas fiercely contested the suit, officials didn’t immediately say whether they would appeal Jack’s ruling.

The case centers on children removed from their birth homes by Child Protective Services who then linger for at least a year, sometimes 18 months, in foster care.  Because CPS and its contractors have been unable to reunite them with their birth families or find a lasting home with relatives or an adoptive parent, the youngsters are in limbo.

Even though judges work to try to avoid it, many children then enter CPS’ “permanent managing conservatorship.”  At that point, the state often drops the ball because the law does not require that the children have their own lawyer and another adult advocating for them, plaintiffs argued – and Jack agreed.

She found that CPS has too few conservatorship caseworkers, so their huge caseloads cause them to fail to pay enough attention to their charges.

“Texas’ foster care system is broken, and it has been that way for decades,” Jack wrote.  “It is broken for all stakeholders, including DFPS employees who are tasked with impossible workloads.  Most importantly, though, it is broken for Texas’ [permanent managing conservatorship] children, who almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than when they entered.”

Jack said that within 30 days, she would appoint a special master to develop a sweeping plan for improvements.

The cost to the state is uncertain but likely to be in the millions.  CPS has authority to employ more than 9,200 people, though turnover is a chronic problem, as the judge noted.

Jack said she’ll ask the special master to recommend how many more CPS workers should be hired and how many more child-care licensing inspectors should be added.

She’s requiring each child in long-term care to have an attorney ad litem as well as a court-appointed special advocate.

The judge also said the special master will study “child-on-child abuse” at group homes and treatment centers.  The master will push for the state to move children who do not have severe physical or behavioral impairments into the least restrictive settings possible.

CPS also would have to improve case files it keeps on the children – including annual photos, to help in identifying runaways.  The state also will have to stop placing certain foster children in unsafe placements like “foster group homes that lack 24-hour awake-night supervision,” Jack said.

Marcia Robinson Lowry, the founder of New York-based Children’s Rights, which led the effort and has filed similar suits in more than a dozen states, called Jacks’ decision “stunning” and painstakingly researched.

“Texas certainly has one of the worse foster care systems in the country,” Lowry said.

Special Ed Teacher Charged With Child Abuse

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Ashley Frabizzio, 30

Elmwood Park Special Education teacher charged in alleged Child Abuse

Elmwood Park, NJ  –  A special education teacher at an Elmwood Park elementary school has been charged with child abuse and simple assault and released after posting bail, authorities said Monday.

Ashley Frabizzio, 30, of Butler, was arrested Saturday after an investigation that started last Thursday, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a statement.  Molinelli said the investigation began when detectives of the Elmwood Park Police Department were notified by an administrator of the Sixteenth Avenue Elementary School of allegations against Frabizzio.

No details were provided concerning where or when the abuse was alleged to have occurred, or the relationship between Frabizzio and the children allegedly affected.

Molinelli said the investigation was conducted jointly by his office’s Special Victims Unit and the Elmwood Park Police.

Frabizzio was charged with two counts of fourth-degree child abuse and two counts of simple assault, a disorderly persons offense.

Municipal Court Judge Anthony Gallina set bail at $2,500, and ordered Frabizzio released when she posted 10 percent of the bail.

He also ordered that she have no contact with the alleged victims, the school or school personnel.

FL Man Charged With Aggravated Child Abuse

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Christopher Craig “Kodak” Williams

PALM COAST, FL  –  A 22-year-old Palm Coast man was arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse Sunday.

Flagler County Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics were called to an Ethel Lane address in reference to a report of an injured child.

When deputies arrived, witnesses told officials that Christopher Craig “Kodak” Williams picked a child up by his arms, raised him above his head and slammed the child onto a carpeted, concrete floor.

A police report says the child suffered severe head injuries that caused the child to experience seizures.  The report also says the child began bleeding from his right ear as a result of his injuries.

The child was airlifted to Shands Medical Center in Gainesville under a trauma alert.  Officials said the child is in critical but stable condition.

Williams’ bond is set at $10,000.

WE THE PEOPLE Say NO MORE To Corrupt CPS

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr

Native American Teen-age Girl Medically Kidnapped by State of Missouri

HOW CAN CPS BE CHILDREN’S WORST ENEMY????

HOW CAN CPS BE AGAINST THE FAMILY STRUCTURE????

Native American Teen-age Girl Medically Kidnapped by State of Missouri

Prior to 1978, as many as twenty-five to thirty-five percent of Native American children were removed from their parents for alleged neglect or abuse. The majority of these children were placed in non-Indian foster homes, adoptive homes, and institutions.

In 1978, Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) to reduce the number of Native American children removed from their homes. Congress recognized, “There is no resource that is more vital to the continued existence and integrity of Indian tribes than their children,” and “that an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families are broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children from them by nontribal public and private agencies.

” To reduce inappropriate removal of Indian children from their
homes, ICWA provides that only tribal courts can decide abuse and neglect cases involving children whose permanent residence is a reservation.

For Indian children who do not live on a reservation, state juvenile courts can make decisions about removal, but the child’s tribe must be notified, and the tribe has the right to intervene in the case.

Resource – A Short History of Child Protection in America – ABA PDF

 

Why Is Child Abuse So Hard To Get Over?

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Ark of Hope for Children

Ark of Hope for Children

Ark of Hope for Children is empowering advocates and donors to bring care and awareness to those victimized as children by human trafficking, child abuse and bullying.  Ark of Hope is a human rights umbrella organization using a trauma informed approach to serve survivors through our various programs.

This approach acknowledges that traumatized people often respond to daily life quite differently even years after their traumatic experiences ended.  If we can address their trauma, we can change lives.  Unconditional love, understanding and mentoring support can empower victims to mold the challenges of their past into hope filled futures as thriving survivors.

Statistics we have gathered about child trafficking, child abuse and bullying show that intervention is highly needed.  Click the links above to the latest statistics or click on our programs below that highlight our efforts to mobilize lighthouses of hope for survivors throughout the U.S. and beyond.

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2015 TOP-RATED NONPROFIT
  • Average victims age is 11 to 14
  • Average life span of a victim is 3 to 7 years
  • This year alone 10,000,000 Children, 13 years of age and up will contract at least one(1) or more STI or STD in the United States.
  • There are at least 2,000,000 run-aways every year.
  • 1 out of every 6 run-aways will fall into Child Sex traffickers hands, and that translates to 16.667%, so out of 2,000,000 runaways 333,340 Children will be raped