The Child Abuse Registry – Part II – Victory in California

There is a fine line between Unfounded and Inconclusive determinations. An Inconclusive determination automatically places an offender’s name on the Child Abuse Central Index without conclusive evidence and a legal framework to ensure due process. This may give the appearance of “guilty until proven innocent,” contrary to legal tradition.–Solano County Grand Jury OVERVIEW California’s Child […]

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Indian Child Welfare Act: Still Under Siege

OVERVIEW The Government Accountability Office reported that in 2003, American Indian children represented about 3% of total number of children in foster care in United States, but only 1.8% of total population under age of 18. The GAO Study also revealed that in five states, at least one-quarter of the foster care population was American […]

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The Child Abuse Registry – Part I

Creating databases to keep track of accused child abusers sounded like a wonderful idea during the 1970s. So did mandated reporting, and abuse awareness campaigns. What legislators entirely underestimated at the time was the remarkable ability of what was at the time a fledgling cottage industry to blossom into an omnipresent industry that would become […]

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Falsified Records, Wrongful Adoptions Still the Rule in Child Protection Industry

In Georgia, two Muscogee County Child Protective Services supervisors were recently charged with falsifying records to maintain federal revenue. DFCS Intake Supervisor Phyllis Mitchell and former Muscogee DFCS Acting Director Deborah Cobb are out on 45-day paid vacations (called “administrative leave” by the agency) pending the outcome of the investigation. DFCS employees alleged the two […]

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Model Child Abuse Hotline: A Model No Longer

THE ORIGINAL NATIONAL MODEL “Created by law in 1973, New York’s State Central Register was one of the first of its kind in the country, and the law would serve as a model for other states. Beginning as a makeshift operation with five workers, the hot line is now a far-reaching system that employs 208 […]

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Reforming Foster Care Psychotropic Meds: A Cautionary Note

On April 11, 2012, the Federal Administration on Children, Youth and Families issued information memorandum ACYF-CB-IM-12-03, the subject matter being one of: “Promoting the Safe, Appropriate, and Effective Use of Psychotropic Medication for Children in Foster Care.” The memo notes “a steady rise in the use of medication to address children’s emotional and behavioral problems […]

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ON PRIVATIZATION, BUREAUCRATIZATION, FOSTER CARE, AND THE POVERTY PROFITEERS

OVERVIEW “By 2000, America’s largest weapons manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, may be as familiar to social service bureaucrats as it is to the Pentagon’s top brass. If the company’s strategy succeeds, Lockheed Martin will not only be a major aerospace manufacturer but also a leading dispenser of public assistance to America’s neediest citizens.” Thus began an […]

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Department of Justice: Lauderdale Youth Court, Meridian Police and Division of Youth Services Violating 4th Amendment Rights

For many years, child advocates have described the existence of a “school-to-prison pipeline.” The Civil Rights Department of the U.S. Justice Department may finally have taken notice of its existence. The Justice Department recently released a letter of findings, explaining that the Lauderdale County Youth Court, the Meridian Police Department, and the Mississippi Division of […]

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Reprise: The Ominous Parallels

The following was published in a number of national and regionally distributed sources in January 2000. It provides a critical historical perspective, and it is as timely today as the day it was written. THE OMINOUS PARALLELS We enter the new millennium with well over 500,000 of our children in one or another form of […]

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Foster Care, Child Welfare Reform in Review

FOSTER CARE, CHILD WELFARE REFORM IN REVIEW THE LEGAL ORPHANS “The story public family law tells about parenthood is both inaccurate and normatively misguided,” writes Cynthia Godsoe in a recent Brooklyn Law School Legal Studies Paper, Godsoe continues on to explain: child welfare policy, embodied in the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA) statutory scheme, […]

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