Sunday, January 20, 2008

Children Who Tested Positive For Meth Stay In Foster Care

Children Who Tested Positive For Meth Stay In Foster Care
Posted: Jan 3, 2008 02:15 PM MST
Three children who tested positive for methamphetamines last year will remain in foster care. Their parents, Michael Denson and Melody Whatley, were both arrested and charged with endangering a child in November.
A judge ruled Thursday that they would not get their children back.
A 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 1-year-old were removed from their parents' home in Florence last year, after investigators documented that the house was unfit for a child, with garbage and filth throughout the residence.
The parents were later arrested for endangering a child after their three young children tested positive for meth.
The parents had a chance to state their case for the first time on Thursday, but a judge ruled to keep the kids in foster care.
"The court agreed to leaving the children in our custody and ordered parents to start participating in services, like parenting classes, protective parenting, therapy sessions, drug alcohol screening treatment, if that's appropriate," said Chris Van Deusen of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
CPS officials said more than half the cases they deal with where children are taken from their parents are centered around drug and alcohol problems.
"I would say that most of the cases that I see with younger children are dealing with drugs and alcohol," said CPS Supervisor Verena Wylie.
Of these drug cases, case workers say they see a lot more parents hooked on methamphetamines.
"Of course we're always wanting to reunify children with their parents," Wylie said. "Unfortunately, with drugs like methamphetamine, it's proven to be so difficult to get off of those drugs that unfortunately leads to a rise in children being adopted."
In the end, CPS representatives said it is up to the parents if they want to work through the programs to get clean and get their children back.
During Thursday's custody hearing, the judge also ordered that a home study be expidited on the grandparents. Later this month, the judge will consider placing the the three young children with the grandmother.
The mother, Melody Whatley, remains in jail. Michael Denson bonded out last month.