Wednesday, June 19, 2013

RIP Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini)

RIP Tony Soprano, you will forever be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and loved ones.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Phoenix mom accused of injecting child with drugs

 

PHOENIX (AP) - A Phoenix woman is in custody on allegations that she injected her 5-year-old daughter with methamphetamine and amphetamine.

Police say 30-year-old Jacqueline Trousdale is being held on suspicion of child abuse and endangering the life and health of a minor.

A family member called authorities in October, saying Trousdale was doing drugs in front of her two daughters, ages 5 and 6.

Authorities say the girls told police their mother had injected them with drugs, and state Child Protective Services took custody of the children.

Police say a urine sample from the 5-year-old girl last week came back positive for drugs in her system.

Trousdale was found in the Phoenix suburb of Tolleson and arrested.

She was arraigned on the charges Wednesday in a Tolleson court and does not yet have an attorney for the case.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/22573695/phoenix-mom-accused-of-injecting-child-with-drugs

Wanton Endangerment Law & Legal Definition

Endangerment refers to an act or an instance of putting someone or something in danger or exposure to peril or harm.

In Kentucky, a person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, someone wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another. This is a class D felony.

Likewise, a person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the second degree when he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of physical injury to another person. This is a Class A misdemeanor

The various degrees of endangerment differ depending upon the state in which the crime takes place.

The relevant law as it appears in the statute.

KRS § 508.060. Wanton endangerment in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person.

(2) Wanton endangerment in the first degree is a Class D felony.

KRS § 508.070 Wanton endangerment in the second degree.

(1) A person is guilty of wanton endangerment in the second degree when he wantonly engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of physical injury to another person.

(2) Wanton endangerment in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

 

http://definitions.uslegal.com/w/wanton-endangerment/

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Child, 2, dies after judge ignores Child Protective Services' warning

 

 

 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A 2-year-old child died after a judge ignored a strong warning from Child Protective Services.

Related Content

Story: Boy, 2, dies after shooting himself in the face

More: Free ABC13 iPhone, iPad and Android apps

More: Got a story idea? Let us know!

The judge who signed the order, ultimately placing the children where a shooting happened in that home, declined to comment on Wednesday, but the lawyer who recommended the placement in the home did comment, saying it was a tragic accident that could have happened anywhere.

In March, Child Protective Services told a judge that the home in Cherokee County was not a good location to place three children. A case worker said there was strong odor, clutter and a lack of supervision.

"Anytime a home assessment is denied, we obviously don't want the children in the placement," said Jennifer Davis, a lawyer for CPS.

A lawyer for the children, Jeff Marsh, argued against CPS, saying the home was safe. The judge signed the order approved the placement, and the kids were allowed to stay.

Two months later, on May 29, two-year-old Trenton Mathis found a gun in the home and fatally shot himself in the face.

On Wednesday, we asked Marsh if he stood by his recommendation.

"This is a tragic mistake that happens unfortunately in too many houses," he said.

Marsh maintains his opinion about the placement of the children in spite of the tragedy, saying the children were loved and he wanted them to be with relatives.

"It was family, they knew them and they were comfortable. The history that had been there, and it fit," Marsh said.

In December 2012, the children and a fourth sibling were taken away from their parents due to allegations of abuse and neglect. They had failed to comply with court requirements to be reunited with their children and they refused to comment to Eyewitness News about it.

One of the couple's children was not placed in the home where the shooting happened, but instead placed in a Houston foster home. The 23-month-old had suffered rib fractures and starvation. Since the shooting, two surviving children had been at that Houston home. On Wednesday, another judge said they could stay.

So far, no charges have been filed in this case, but the Cherokee County DA's office says it's still investigating.

Find Katie on Facebook at ABC13KatieMcCall or on Twitter at @13katiemccall

(Copyright ©2013 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Foster Care

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

"Foster child" redirects here. For the 1989 film, see Foster Child.

 

Children of the United Kingdom's Children's Migrant Programme, many of whom were placed in foster care in Australia.

Foster care is the term used for a system in which a minor who has been made a ward is placed in an institution, group home, or private home of a state-certified caregiver referred to as a "foster parent". The placement of the child is usually arranged through the government or a social-service agency. The institution, group home or foster parent is compensated for expenses.[1]

The state via the family court and child protection agency stand in loco parentis to the minor, making all legal decisions while the foster parent is responsible for the day-to-day care of said minor. The foster parent receives a stipend from the state for expenses incurred.

Contents

History

[icon]
This section requires expansion. (September 2012)

Flyer seeking foster families for children on an Orphan Train.

The foster care system in the modern sense had its beginnings in 1853 in both the United Kingdom and the United States. In the U.K. the Reverend John Armistead removed children from a workhouse in Cheshire, and placed them with foster families. The local council was legally responsible for the children and paid the foster parents for their maintenance. In the U.S. the Children's Aid Society founded by Charles Loring Brace started the Orphan Train Movement to help get orphaned, abused and neglected children off the streets of New York City, and afterwards other overcrowded cities on the East Coast of the United States, and sent via train to foster homes across the United States.[2]

Foster care placement

Family-based foster care is generally preferred to other forms of out of home care.[3] Foster care is intended to be a short term solution until a permanent placement can be made.[4] Generally the first choice of adoptive parents is a relative such as an aunt, uncle or grandparent. If no related family member is willing or able to adopt, the next preference is for the child to be adopted by the foster parents or by someone else involved in the child's life (such as a teacher or coach). This is to maintain continuity in the child's life. If neither above option are available, the child may be adopted by someone who is a stranger to the child.

If none of these options are viable the plan for the minor may be to enter OPPLA (Other Planned Permanent Living Arrangement). This option allows the child to stay in custody of the state and the child can stay placed in a foster home, with a relative or a long term care facility (for children with development disabilities, physical disabilities or mental disabilities).

547,415 children were in publicly supported foster care in the United States in September 2000.[5] In 2009, there were 423,773 children in foster care, a drop of about 20% in a decade.[6]

In 2013, there were about 104,000 children ready for adoptive families in the nation's foster care systems.[7] African American children represented 41% of children in foster care, white children represented 40% and Hispanic children represented 15% in 2000.[5]. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer, LGBTQ youth represent a large percentage due to families of origin placing their children in foster care due to their sexuality or gender expression. Once in care, some "75% are physically harassed by staff or other youth'. After emancipation, LGBTQ foster youth represent a larger percentage of foster youth who end up homeless--'up to 40%'. America's Most Unwanted,

LGBTQ foster youth film. [8]

Children may only enter foster care voluntarily. Voluntary placement may occur when a biological parent or lawful guardian is unable to care for a child. Involuntary placement occurs when a child is removed from their biological parent or lawful guardian due to the risk or actual occurrence of physical or psychological harm. In the US, most children enter foster care due to neglect.[9] If a biological parent or lawful guardian is unwilling to care for a child, the child is deemed to be dependent and is placed under the care of the child protection agency. The policies regarding foster care as well as the criteria to be met in order to become a foster parent vary according to legal jurisdiction.

Especially egregious failures of child protective services often serve as a catalyst for increased removal of children from the homes of biological parents. An example is the brutal torture and murder of 17-month-old Peter Connelly, a British toddler who died in London Borough of Haringey, North London after suffering more than 50 severe injuries over an eight-month period, including eight broken ribs and a broken back. Throughout the period of time in which he was being tortured he was repeatedly seen by Haringey Children's services and NHS health professionals.[10] Haringey Children's services already failed ten years earlier in the case of Victoria Climbié.[11] In the time since his death in 2007 cases have reached a record rate in England surpassing 10,000 in the reporting year ending in March 2012.[12]

There have been recorded neglects and deaths that occur in foster care; The State Department of Human Services reported 32 neglect or abuse deaths [13]

Abuse and negligence

From 1993 through 2002 there were 107 recorded deaths; there are approximately 400,000 children in out-of-home care, in the United States. Almost 10% of children in foster care have stayed in foster care for five or more years. Nearly half of all children in foster care have chronic medical problems. 8% of all children in foster care have serious emotional problems, 11% of children exiting foster care aged out of the system, in 2011.[14] Children in foster care experience high rates of child abuse, emotional deprivation, and physical neglect. In one study in the United Kingdom "foster children were 7–8 times, and children in residential care 6 times more likely to be assessed by a pediatrician for abuse than a child in the general population".[15] A study of foster children in Oregon and Washington State found that nearly one third reported being abused by a foster parent or another adult in a foster home.[16] These statistics do not speak to the situation these children are coming from, but it does show the very large problem of child-on-child sexual abuse within the system.

Medical and psychiatric disorders

A higher prevalence of physical, psychological, cognitive and epigenetic disorders for children in foster care has been established in studies in various countries. The Casey Family Programs Northwest Foster Care Alumni Study was a fairly extensive study of various aspects of children who had been in foster care. It noted that 80% of ex-foster children are doing "poorly".

Individuals who were in foster care experience higher rates of physical and psychiatric morbidity than the general population and suffer from not being able to trust and that can lead to placements breaking down.[17] In the Casey study of foster children in Oregon and Washington state, they were found to have double the incidence of depression, 20% as compared to 10% and were found to have a higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) than combat veterans with 25% of those studied having PTSD. Children in foster care have a higher probability of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and deficits in executive functioning, anxiety as well as other developmental problems.[18][19][20][21] These children experience higher degrees of incarceration, poverty, homelessness, and suicide. Studies in the U.S. have suggested that some foster care placements may be more detrimental to children than remaining in a troubled home,[22] but a more recent study suggested that these findings may have been affected by selection bias, and that foster care has little effect on behavioral problems.[23]

Neurodevelopment

Foster children have elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, in comparison to children raised by their biological parents. Elevated cortisol levels can compromise the immune system. (Harden BJ, 2004).[24] Most of the processes involved in healthy neurodevelopment are predicated upon the establishment of close nurturing relationships and environmental stimulation. Negative environmental influences during this critical period of brain development can have lifelong consequences.[25][26][27][28]

Posttraumatic stress disorder

Regions of the brain associated with stress and posttraumatic stress disorder[29]

Children in foster care have a higher incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In one study,[30] 60% of children in foster care who had experienced sexual abuse had PTSD, and 42% of those who had been physically abused fulfilled the PTSD criteria. PTSD was also found in 18% of the children who were not abused. These children may have developed PTSD due to witnessing violence in the home. (Marsenich, 2002).

In a study conducted in Oregon and Washington state, the rate of PTSD in adults who were in foster care for one year between the ages of 14–18 was found to be higher than that of combat veterans, with 25 percent of those in the study meeting the diagnostic criteria as compared to 12–13 percent of Iraq war veterans and 15 percent of Vietnam war veterans, and a rate of 4% in the general population. The recovery rate for foster home alumni was 28.2% as opposed to 47% in the general population.

"More than half the study participants reported clinical levels of mental illness, compared to less than a quarter of the general population".[31][32]

Eating disorders

Foster children are at increased risk for a variety of eating disorders in comparison to the general population. In a study done in the United Kingdom, 35% of foster children experienced an increase in Body Mass Index (BMI) once in care.[33] Food Maintenance Syndrome is characterized by a set of aberrant eating behaviors of children in foster care. It is "a pattern of excessive eating and food acquisition and maintenance behaviors without concurrent obesity"; it resembles "the behavioral correlates of Hyperphagic Short Stature". It is hypothesised that this syndrome is triggered by the stress and maltreatment foster children are subjected to, it was prevalent amongst 25 percent of the study group in New Zealand.[19] Bulimia nervosa is seven times more prevalent among former foster children than in the general population.[34]

Poverty and homelessness

New York street children; 1890

Nearly half of foster kids in the U.S. become homeless when they turn 18.[35][36] "One of every 10 foster children stays in foster care longer than seven years, and each year about 15,000 reach the age of majority and leave foster care without a permanent family—many to join the ranks of the homeless or to commit crimes and be imprisoned.[37][38]

Three out of 10 of the United States homeless are former foster children.[39] According to the results of the Casey Family Study of Foster Care Alumni, up to 80 percent are doing poorly—with a quarter to a third of former foster children at or below the poverty line, three times the national poverty rate.[40] Very frequently, people who are homeless had multiple placements as children: some were in foster care, but others experienced "unofficial" placements in the homes of family or friends.

Individuals with a history of foster care tend to become homeless at an earlier age than those who were not in foster care.[citation needed] The length of time a person remains homeless is longer in individuals who were in foster care.[41]

Suicide-death rate

Children in foster care are at a greater risk of suicide,[42] the increased risk of suicide is still prevalent after leaving foster care and occurs at a higher rate than the general population. In a small study of twenty-two Texan youths who aged out of the system, 23 percent had a history of suicide attempts.[43]

A Swedish study utilizing the data of almost one million people including 22,305 former foster children who had been in care prior to their teens, concluded:

Former child welfare clients were in year of birth and sex standardised risk ratios (RRs) four to five times more likely than peers in the general population to have been hospitalised for suicide attempts....Individuals who had been in long-term foster care tended to have the most dismal outcome...former child welfare/protection clients should be considered a high-risk group for suicide attempts and severe psychiatric morbidity.[44]

Death rate

Children in foster care have an overall higher mortality rate than children in the general population.[45] A study conducted in Finland among current and former foster children up to age 24 found a higher mortality rate due to substance abuse, accidents, suicide and illness. The deaths due to illness were attributed to an increased incidence of acute and chronic medical conditions and developmental delays among children in foster care.[46]

Georgia Senator Nancy Schaefer published a report "The Corrupt Business of Child Protective Services"[47] stating:

"The National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect in 1998 reported that six times as many children died in foster care than in the general public and that once removed to official “safety”, these children are far more likely to suffer abuse, including sexual molestation than in the general population".[47]

Academic prospects

Educational outcomes of ex-foster children in the Northwest Alumni Study:[48]

  • 56% completed high school compared to 82% of the general population, although an additional 29% of former foster children received a G.E.D. compared to an additional 5% of the general population.
  • 42.7% completed some education beyond high school.
  • 20.6% completed any degree or certificate beyond high school
  • 16.1% completed a vocational degree; 21.9% for those over 25.
  • 1.8% complete a bachelors degree, 2.7% for over 25, the completion rate for the general population in the same age group is 24%, a sizable difference.

The study reviewed case records for 659 foster care alumni in Northwest USA, and interviewed 479 of them between September 2000 and January 2002.[48]

Psychotropic medication use

Studies have revealed that youth in foster care covered by Medicaid insurance receive psychotropic medication at a rate that was 3 times higher than that of Medicaid-insured youth who qualify by low family income. In a review (September 2003 to August 2004) of the medical records of 32,135 Texas foster care 0–19 years-old, 12,189 were prescribed psychotropic medication, resulting in an annual prevalence of 37.9% of these children being prescribed medication. 41.3% received 3 different classes of these drugs during July 2004, and 15.9% received 4 different classes. The most frequently used medications were antidepressants (56.8%), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder drugs (55.9%), and antipsychotic agents (53.2%). The study also showed that youth in foster care are frequently treated with concomitant psychotropic medication, for which sufficient evidence regarding safety and effectiveness is not available.[49]

The use of expensive, brand name, patent protected medication was prevalent. In the case of SSRIs the use of the most expensive medications was noted to be 74%; in the general market only 28% are for brand name SSRI's vs generics. The average out-of-pocket expense per prescription was $34.75 for generics and $90.17 for branded products, a $55.42, difference.[50]

Therapeutic intervention

Children in the child welfare system have often experienced significant and repeated traumas and having a background in foster homes—especially in instances of sexual abuse—can be the precipitating factor in a wide variety of psychological and cognitive deficits[51] it may also serve to obfuscate the true cause of underlying issues. The foster care experience may have nothing to do with the symptoms, or on the other hand, a disorder may be exacerbated by having a history of foster care and attendant abuses. The human brain however has been shown to have a fair degree of neuroplasticity.[52][53][54] and adult neurogenesis has been shown to be an ongoing process.[55]

Cross-Cultural Adoption Policies

George Shanti, Nico Van Oudenhoven, and Ekha Wazir, co-author's of Foster Care Beyond the Crossroads: Lessons from an International Comparative Analysis, say that there are four types of Government foster care systems. The first one is that of developing countries. These countries do not have policies implemented to take care of the basic needs of these children and these children mostly receive assistance from relatives. The second system is that of former socialist governments. The historical context of these states has not allowed for the evolution of their foster care system. NGO's have urged them to evolve; however the traditional system of institutionalizing these children is still in place. Thirdly, liberal democracies do not have the support from its political system in order to take care of these children, even though they have the resources. Finally, social democracies are the most advanced governments in regards to their foster care system. These governments have a massive infrastructure, funding, and support system in order to help foster care children.[59]

Foster care adoption

See also: Adoption

Foster care adoption is a type of domestic adoption where the child is initially placed into a foster care system and is subsequently placed for adoption. Children may be placed into foster care for a variety of reasons, including removal from the home by a governmental agency because of maltreatment.[60] In some jurisdictions, adoptive parents are licensed as and technically considered foster parents while the adoption is being finalized.[61] According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau, there were approximately 408,425 children in foster care in 2010. Of those children, twenty-five percent had a goal of adoption. In 2010, 254,114 children exited foster care and twenty-one percent were adopted.[62] Nationwide, there are more than one hundred thousand children in the U.S. foster care system waiting for permanent families.[63]

Foster care in popular culture

Fictional characters who have been in foster care have been represented in a variety of mass entertainment media throughout the years including the following television shows:

Famous former foster children:

See also

References

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  2. ^ The Children's Aid Society: The Orphan Trains
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  54. ^ Holtmaat, A; Svoboda, K (2009). "Experience-dependent structural synaptic plasticity in the mammalian brain". Nature reviews. Neuroscience 10 (9): 647–58. doi:10.1038/nrn2699

    . PMID 19693029

    .

  55. ^ Ge, S; Sailor, KA; Ming, GL; Song, H (2008). "Synaptic integration and plasticity of new neurons in the adult hippocampus"

    . The Journal of physiology 586 (16): 3759–65. doi:10.1113/jphysiol.2008.155655

    . PMC 2538931

    . PMID 18499723

    .

  56. ^ Becker-Weidman, A., & Shell, D., (Eds.) Creating Capacity for Attachment, Oklahoma City, OK: Wood N Barnes, 2005/2009/2011
  57. ^ Becker-Weidman, A., Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy: Essential Methods & Practices, Jason Aronson, Lanham, MD, 2010
  58. ^ Hughes, D., Attachment Focused Family Therapy, Norton: NY, 2009
  59. ^ George, S, N van Oudenhoven, and R Wazir. "Foster Care Beyond The Crossroads: Lessons From An International Comparative Analysis." Childhood 10.3 (2003): 343-361. CINAHL with Full Text. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.
  60. ^ http://www.hhs.gov/
  61. ^ http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/foster/
  62. ^ "Foster care statistics 2010"

    . U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-17.

  63. ^ http://www.davethomasfoundation.org/
  64. ^ Bones Season 4 TOP 10 Most Shocking Moments

    [dead link]

  65. ^ Secret Life Of The American Teenager Margaret

    [dead link]

  66. ^ "The Leverage Team – Parker's Biography"

    . Tnt.tv. Retrieved 2011-11-01.

  67. ^ "The Leverage Team – Alec Hardison's Biography"

    . Tnt.tv. Retrieved 2011-11-01.

  68. ^ "Foster to Famous"

    . Fosterclub.com. Retrieved 2011-11-01.

External links

  • The impact of foster care on development [3]
  • Effects of early psychosocial deprivation on the development of memory and executive function [4]
  • Enduring neurobehavioral effects of early life trauma mediated through learning and corticosterone suppression [5]

Further reading

  • Hurley, Kendra (2002). "Almost Home"

    Retrieved June 27, 2006.

  • Carlson, E.A. (1998). "A prospective longitudinal study of disorganized/disoriented attachment". Child Development 69 (4): 1107–1128. PMID 9768489

    .

  • Knowlton, Paul E. (2001). "The Original Foster Care Survival Guide"; A first person account directed to successfully aging out of foster care.
  • McCutcheon, James, 2010. "Historical Analysis and Contemporary Assessment of Foster Care in Texas: Perceptions of Social Workers in a Private, Non-Profit Foster Care Agency". Applied Research Projects. Texas State University Paper 332.

External links

Friday, June 7, 2013

NetworkedBlogs

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Arizona senators add millions to budget plan; CPS, universities, gene researchers among beneficiaries

May 17, 2013 12:00 am • Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services (3) Comments PHOENIX - State senators approved their version of a new $8.8 billion budget Thursday - but not before adding millions of dollars in spending to the original Republican plan. Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Tucson, succeeded in tacking on $9 million in additional funding for Child Protective Services. That includes an extra $4 million for caseworkers and $1 million to help underwrite the cost of grandparents who agree to care for their own grandchildren. Another amendment increases the amount of money to be divided up between Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University from $10 million to $15.3 million. There also is an extra $4 million for the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Sen. Rich Crandall, R-Mesa, succeeded in restoring the $5 million a year for performance incentives for all three universities, with the extra cash available if they meet certain standards for graduations and numbers of degrees. And Sen. Bob Worsley, R-Mesa, scored an extra $5.1 million a year for the Translational Genomics Research Institute. But one of the biggest changes pushed through, over the objections of the Senate president and some other GOP lawmakers, actually has no financial cost - at least not now. As approved earlier this week, the new budget permanently froze in place current funding levels for education, reflecting drastic cuts due to the budget shortfall. Crandall argued, and the majority agreed, it would be wrong to abolish school funding formulas and take away any promise the money will be restored as Arizona's finances improve. So he urged colleagues to leave the formulas in place even if there is no additional money. The successful additions came as a coalition of Democrats and some Republicans united to provide each of the changes the necessary 16 votes. But that did not mean every proposal was approved. Lawmakers rejected a proposal by Sen. Steve Farley, D-Tucson, to take money from a special fund to help clean up underground fuel tank leaks and instead use it to help repair roads. They also rejected a bid by Sen. Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, to eliminate $2.4 million from the budget that is designed to set up a new performance funding system for public schools to reward schools with high achievement or academic improvement with additional state aid. The House has yet to review or debate the Senate spending plan.

Need soars for foster parents in Pima County

May 25, 2013 12:00 am • Veronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star When Deb Boyce would hear about people involved in foster care, she simply thought they were doing good deeds to help children and didn't think twice about the issue. "In our world it had nothing to do with us, it was just something that other people did," Boyce said. Until that day in 2009 when it became her world. When the 3-month-old son of Boyce's relative was taken out of his family's care by Child Protective Services over Labor Day weekend, she and her husband immediately offered to take care of the boy, who suffered significant brain injuries from being a shaken baby. Boyce, 47, and her husband became licensed foster parents and eventually adopted the boy. The couple opted for additional training and obtained a license to care for medically fragile children, those with severe medical conditions, special needs and developmental delays. In the three years they've had their license, the couple have fostered nine children. They are currently caring for three children under 3 years old. "It has its difficult moments, there's no doubt about it, but it's very rewarding," Boyce said. "You see the little kiddos, they're happy, they're having a normal childhood … they're having a chance to live in a place that is safe, that is loving while everything get sorted out." In Pima County, an increased number of children being removed from their parents' care by CPS means an increased need for people like the Boyces to step up and help. As of May 14, there were 4,019 children in foster care, an increase of nearly 1,000 from the same time last year, according to statistics from Pima County Juvenile Court. Many of those children are living with family members or someone they know, a quarter of them are in foster homes and more than 500 are staying in group homes or a shelter, the statistics show. The increase of children in foster care means agencies have had to look outside Pima County for homes for the children and the occasional overnight stay in a CPS office if placement is unavailable, said Chris Swenson-Smith, the director of children and family services for Juvenile Court. The best scenario for a child is to stay with a relative, but if that's not an option the next-best is a foster home, Swenson-Smith said. "It'll be a place where they feel safe because that's what the foster parents are trained to do. And once a child feels safe, then they can begin to function normally in those other areas that children should function normally in - their health, their mental health, school is huge. If a child doesn't feel safe at home they're not going to do well in school, there's just no way," Swenson-Smith said. Having to place a child in a home outside the county only adds to the trauma the child experiences, she said. "Not having your community around, the things that you know, your teacher, your neighbors, somebody at the Boys and Girls Club that you go to, everything has changed. You don't know anyone," she said. Currently there are 777 foster homes in Pima County, said Michaela Luna, chairwoman of the Foster and Adoptive Council of Tucson, or FACT, a group of 14 agencies that offer foster care and adoption services. There's a need for foster parents who are willing to take in teenagers and groups of siblings to avoid having them separated, she said. For kids who are already dealing with the trauma of being removed from their homes, being separated from their siblings can be equally traumatizing, Luna said. And there are teens who don't reflect the negative stereotypes that surround them, she said. "There's a lot of teens who don't have behavior issues. … We have teens who enjoy going to school and want to be in sports and really just want to be part of a family," Luna said. Swenson-Smith called upon the community to take action to help the kids in need of homes. "These are not somebody else's kids. These are everybody's kids. As a community, I really believe that we are responsible for all children. Every adult is responsible for all children because that is what our community is built on, are these kids," she said. "And if you think there are 4,000, that's not a drop in the bucket. These kids are going to be our community members, our adults, and they're going to be parenting kids, they're going to be working. "We want healthy adults in our community, and you get that by having healthy children." HOW TO HELP The Foster and Adoptive Council of Tucson offers information sessions twice a month for people interested in becoming foster parents. For more information visit: fosterandadoptivecounciloftucson.org or call the Department of Economic Security's Foster Care Line at 1-877-KIDS-NEED-U (1-877-543-7633) For those who want to help but can't commit to becoming a foster parent, Pima County Juvenile Court is always looking for Court Appointed Special Advocates, who make recommendations to the judge about what is in the best interests of children in court proceedings. More info is available at: www.pimacountycasa.org Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4224.

Foster families still needed in Pinal County

Posted: Jun 6, 2013 10:10 AM by Faye DeHoff Updated: Jun 6, 2013 10:15 AM FLORENCE - Foster families are still needed in Pinal County, so county employees interested in becoming foster parents attended a "Lunch and Learn" seminar sponsored by the Pinal County Employee Wellness Coalition. The presentation was given by Chrissy Edwards, a program coordinator for Arizona's Children Association. "There are currently 77 Pinal County kids in group homes right now," Edwards said. "We want to get them out and into a real home." Edwards said the children who are taken out of a home setting is not based an arbitrary judgment. There are a lot of factors are taken into account before a child is removed from a home. "First there is a phone call made to Child Protective Services (CPS)," Edwards stated. "If CPS determines that child is at risk, they will remove the child from that situation. The first question asked is if there is a relative or a friend who could provide care, which is less traumatic for the child. We call this a relative placement. If that is not available, then we look for a family foster home." The child will stay in the relative placement or foster setting until the case is resolved. "Foster care is temporary, the goal is almost always reunification with the family," Edwards said. "Adoption is permanent and sometimes those who foster a child for a long period of time will end up adopting them if reunification is impossible." Once a child is placed in foster care, the temporary family will know as much as CPS does about the case. The time following placement becomes a learning situation for both CPS and the foster family. "When a child comes into foster care we know very little about them," Edwards said. "We know the basics - name, age and why they were removed. We find out medical history and school history later," Edwards explained. While the child is in foster care, there are two plans being designed for the child. The number one plan is reunification with the family. The other is adoption by the foster family or by another family. Planning for either alternative ensures that the child does not linger in the system for an extended period of time. "At any point up to the severance of parental rights, that child can be returned to birth parents or relatives if the guardians can meet the demands of the court," Edwards said. The entire process can take anywhere from a year to two years. "It's an emotional journey, but it is one we hope people will take," Edwards said. Being taken out of a home setting can be traumatic for a child. A flood of emotions take over and the child will sometimes act up. This is one of the issues a foster family will have to handle if it comes up. "Behavior is the language of children, I really believe that," Edwards told the group. "They can act out due to the trauma they have experienced." While the child is in foster care, the foster parents will be asked to communicate with the child's birth family. "The biological parents will not have the foster's phone number," Edwards said. "The foster family will work in conjunction with the case worker to develop a plan. We want to make the foster family comfortable - we deal on a case-to-case basis for everyone." The messages can be as simple as sending the biological family a school photo of their child, sending a note informing them of their child's achievements or a phone call if both parties are comfortable with that arrangement. "This is a relationship that develops over time," Edwards said. "I have seen some amazing relationships develop out of this situation. Even though the child was returned to the birth family over five years ago, the child and foster family are still in contact. I even had some birth mothers tell me that they wouldn't be the mother they are today without the help of the foster mother." There are stringent requirements to qualify to be a foster parent. A person must be 21 years or older, can be married or single, immunization records will be required, five character references must be provided, a sufficient family income is needed and the person must submit to a home study or family assessment. Other requirements include: attending 33 hours of classroom training, everyone in the home 18 years or older must submit to fingerprinting and obtain a Level One Clearance Card, have their home inspected and have appropriate sleeping arrangements for the foster child. "We are not going to go through the home with a white glove," Edwards said. "But we need to make sure this will be a proper arrangement for the child." Edwards stressed that there is plenty of support for foster families. "We don't just drop the child off and say 'good luck,'" Edwards said. "We have support systems set up for foster parents." Foster parents have access to medical, dental and prescription coverage for the child, money for child care assistance if needed, money for financial support of the child and several other items that come along with fostering a child such as support groups and respite care. To learn more about joining up as a foster family, call Chrissy Edwards at (480) 474-2263. http://www.kvoa.com/news/foster-families-still-needed-in-pinal-county/

Monday, June 3, 2013

Webutation

webutationa78f29ff998a566c085f38fdc463e961

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gilbert woman sentenced for abusing adopted son

 

Posted: May 31, 2013 1:37 PM Updated: May 31, 2013 1:37 PM

PHOENIX (AP) - A Gilbert woman has been sentenced to 13 ½ years in prison and lifetime probation for abusing her adopted son.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 40-year-old Jennifer Barnes was sentenced Friday.

Court paperwork showed the victim was physically and sexually abused by Barnes, who was arrested in September 2011 when the boy was 10.

The boy told police that Barnes allegedly put feces in his mouth and taped it shut, burned sensitive areas of his body with a lighter and curling iron and violated him with a toothbrush.

Police say the boy described multiple incidents of abuse so severe it caused him to bleed and a physical exam discovered scarring consistent with his account of the abuse.

Barnes reportedly was the child's only caregiver during the time of the alleged abuse.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

 

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/22471346/gilbert-woman-sentenced-for-abusing-adopted-son

Youngtown man gets prison for abusing his baby boy

 

Posted: May 30, 2013 4:48 PM Updated: May 30, 2013 4:48 PM

PHOENIX (AP) - A Youngtown man accused of child abuse after his infant son suffered multiple broken ribs has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Maricopa County prosecutors say 19-year-old Benjamin Joseph Cooper also was sentenced Thursday to 18 years of supervised probation.

Cooper was arrested last October after he told authorities that he squeezed his crying child while trying to swaddle him in a blanket, then heard a popping sound.

Authorities say Cooper also told them that he accidentally dropped the 5-week-old boy in a bassinet and the infant hit his head on the crib.

A social worker at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center notified authorities after the infant was treated for dehydration and a bruise on his cheek. Medical staffers say they saw the broken ribs on X-rays.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/22462725/youngtown-man-gets-prison-for-abusing-his-baby-boy

Friday, May 31, 2013

Baby in child abuse case dies

Posted: May 16, 2013 3:59 PM Updated: May 16, 2013 9:13 PM

By Jackie Kent - email

By Barbara Grijalva - bio | email

Izayah Garcia (Source: Izayah Garcia's family)

Izayah Garcia (Source: Izayah Garcia's family)

Urbina (Source: TPD)

Urbina (Source: TPD)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Tucson police are investigating a deadly case of child abuse in Midvale Park.

Tucson News Now has learned that three-month-old Izayah Garcia died this afternoon.

Police arrested Genaro Urbina, 29, on Wednesday and charged him with one count of child abuse. He is now facing second degree murder charges, police say.

Police say Child Protective Services removed Garcia from his parent's home and placed him with another family.

The baby was in the care of a woman in a house in the 5900 block of S. Woodcrest in Tucson's southwest side. Police say her live-in boyfriend, Urbina, got up early Monday because the baby was crying.

"The three month old baby was crying," said Sgt. Chris Widmer with the Tucson Police Department. "Mr. Urbina woke up to dress  the baby, change the diaper, give him a bottle.  During that time our investigation revealed that the baby received injuries, the baby received injuries of a non-accidental nature."

The woman woke up around 6 a.m., found the baby to be unresponsive and called 911. Garcia was taken to a local hospital's intensive care unit.

According to police, the hospital reported that the baby's injuries appeared to be non-accidental.

"Both of the caregivers in the house gave an explanation of what happened to this baby, so based on what they said and the injuries we were seeing initially, it didn't necessarily lead up to arrest at that time," Widmer said. "When more examination was done and the injuries were further looked into, that's when we went back and reinterviewed both of those people."

Urbina was booked into the Pima County Jail on $100,000 bond.

We went to the home where police say the child was injured.

We spoke with the woman who had been caring for the baby.  She declined to go on camera. She said the family is hiring an attorney.

However, she did say, "He was our baby and nobody loves him more than us."

Barbara Grijalva is learning more from TPD. Follow her on Twitter at @BGrijalvaKOLD for updates.

 

 

 

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/22275976/baby-in-child-abuse-case-dies?t=2013-05-17T00%3A13%3A58Z

Montano found guilty of child abuse

 

Posted: May 31, 2013 5:19 PM Updated: May 31, 2013 5:54 PM

By Jackie Kent - email

By Tucson News Now Staff - email

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The fate of a Tucson mother accused of intentionally hurting her baby daughter has been decided.
Blanca Montano has been found guilty of child abuse.  

The jury just began deliberating around 2 p.m. Friday.

Authorities say Blanca Montano's baby daughter was hospitalized with life-threatening infections.

They believe it may be a case of Munchausen by Proxy where Montano harmed her child in order to get sympathy and attention from others.

Attorneys made their opening statements Wednesday.

The prosecutor, Ryan Schmidt, told jurors Montano hurt her child because she wanted to get the attention of the child's father.

On Friday, the prosecutor says Munchausen by Proxy is not a good defense.

It took three hours for the jury to make the decision. Her sentence will be decided on July 30 and she could face ten to 17 years in prison.

Attorneys say there will be an appeal.

Copyright 2013 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

 

http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/22473449/montano-found-guilty-of-child-abuse

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

25-409. Third party rights

25-409. Third party rights

A. Pursuant to section 25-402, subsection B, paragraph 2, a person other than a legal parent may petition the superior court for legal decision-making authority or placement of the child. The court shall summarily deny a petition unless it finds that the petitioner's initial pleading establishes that all of the following are true:

1. The person filing the petition stands in loco parentis to the child.

2. It would be significantly detrimental to the child to remain or be placed in the care of either legal parent who wishes to keep or acquire legal decision-making.

3. A court of competent jurisdiction has not entered or approved an order concerning legal decision-making or parenting time within one year before the person filed a petition pursuant to this section, unless there is reason to believe the child's present environment may seriously endanger the child's physical, mental, moral or emotional health.

4. One of the following applies:

(a) One of the legal parents is deceased.

(b) The child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

(c) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A of this section, it is a rebuttable presumption that awarding legal decision-making to a legal parent serves the child's best interests because of the physical, psychological and emotional needs of the child to be reared by a legal parent. A third party may rebut this presumption only with proof showing by clear and convincing evidence that awarding legal decision-making to a legal parent is not consistent with the child's best interests.

C. Pursuant to section 25-402, subsection B, paragraph 2, a person other than a legal parent may petition the superior court for visitation with a child. The superior court may grant visitation rights during the child's minority on a finding that the visitation is in the child's best interests and that any of the following is true:

1. One of the legal parents is deceased or has been missing at least three months. For the purposes of this paragraph, a parent is considered to be missing if the parent's location has not been determined and the parent has been reported as missing to a law enforcement agency.

2. The child was born out of wedlock and the child's legal parents are not married to each other at the time the petition is filed.

3. For grandparent or great-grandparent visitation, the marriage of the parents of the child has been dissolved for at least three months.

4. For in loco parentis visitation, a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the legal parents is pending at the time the petition is filed.

D. A petition filed under subsection A or C of this section must be verified or supported by affidavit and must include detailed facts supporting the petitioner's claim. The petitioner must also provide notice of this proceeding, including a copy of the petition and any affidavits or other attachments, and serve the notice pursuant to the Arizona rules of family law procedure to all of the following:

1. The child's legal parents.

2. A third party who possesses legal decision-making authority over the child or visitation rights.

3. The child's guardian or guardian ad litem.

4. A person or agency that possesses physical custody of the child or claims legal decision-making authority or visitation rights concerning the child.

5. Any other person or agency that has previously appeared in the action.

E. In deciding whether to grant visitation to a third party, the court shall give special weight to the legal parents' opinion of what serves their child's best interests and consider all relevant factors including:

1. The historical relationship, if any, between the child and the person seeking visitation.

2. The motivation of the requesting party seeking visitation.

3. The motivation of the person objecting to visitation.

4. The quantity of visitation time requested and the potential adverse impact that visitation will have on the child's customary activities.

5. If one or both of the child's parents are deceased, the benefit in maintaining an extended family relationship.

F. If logistically possible and appropriate, the court shall order visitation by a grandparent or great-grandparent if the child is residing or spending time with the parent through whom the grandparent or great-grandparent claims a right of access to the child.

G. A grandparent or great-grandparent seeking visitation rights under this section shall petition in the same action in which the family court previously decided legal decision-making and parenting time or, if no such case existed, by separate petition in the county of the child's home state, as defined in section 25-1002.

H. All visitation rights granted under this section automatically terminate if the child is adopted or placed for adoption. If the child is removed from an adoptive placement, the court may reinstate the visitation rights. This subsection does not apply if the child is adopted by the spouse of a natural parent after the natural parent remarries.

 

http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/25/00409.htm