Move The Sex Offenders Away From The Daycare

Move The Sex Offenders Away From The Daycare.

Good Morning, we want to remind everyone that this event on Facebook kicked off just over an hour ago.  We need to get as many signatures on this petition as possible.

We urge everyone to join us, in our support of the children of this world.

Child abuse numbers up in the Texas Panhandle

AMARILLO, TEXAS — Amarillo College held their annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference at the Amarillo Civic Center.

Following a ten year trend where reported cases of confirmed child abuse in the Texas Panhandle held steady, the numbers of cases increased between 8.5 percent and 9 percent according to the Texas Department State Health Services.

“When we se this spike this is very alarming,” said Janice James, Child Abuse Prevention Specialist.

Like so many people who work in the respective field of child abuse prevention and neglect, Janice James is concerned following the announcement that confirmed cases of child abuse rose significantly in 2014 in the Texas Panhandle.

“We’ve got a lot of people as in the Health Department looking into that,” said James. “They can help us determine what we need to additionally.”

To help reduce the numbers, child abuse prevention advocates say it takes a combination of intervention and education and that to often the problem is passed down from one generation to the next.

“You have to break that cycle,” said Wendy Branstine, Region 16 Education Services Center. “It takes education and also unfortunately it also takes law enforcement because it goes to far just education is not enough.”

One of the reasons why cases of child abuse are not reported is due to victims being afraid or having a negative view towards law enforcement.

Sgt. Wade Pennington with Amarillo Police Department says they “encourage current or former victims to come forward and to not be afraid.”

“We generally tell the kids to get out and talk to someone who we can trust,” said Pennington. “Maybe a bus driver or the principal or coach or a teacher whoever that is we want them to talk to those people so that we can get the information from them.”

Once law enforcement gets the information they need they can begin an investigation.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April was first declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by presidential proclamation in 1983.

1974 – Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)

The first Federal child protection legislation, CAPTA was signed by President Nixon on January 31, 1974 and marked the beginning of a new national response to the problem of child abuse and neglect. The legislation provided Federal assistance to States for prevention, identification, and treatment programs. It also created the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (now known as the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect) within the Children’s Bureau to serve as a Federal focal point for CAPTA activities.

1982 – First National Child Abuse Prevention Week

In 1982, Congress resolved that June 6-12 should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week.

1983 – April proclaimed the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month

In 1982, Congress resolved that June 6–12 should be designated as the first National Child Abuse Prevention Week; the following year, President Reagan proclaimed April to be the first National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a tradition that continues to this day. The Bureau’s National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect coordinated activities at the Federal level, including creation and dissemination of information and promotional materials. In 1984 for example, posters, bumper stickers, and buttons displayed the theme, “Kids—You can’t beat ’em.” Print, radio, and television PSAs, meanwhile, urged viewers to “Take time out. Don’t take it out on your kid.”

1984 – Child Abuse Prevention Federal Challenge Grants Act

The Children’s Bureau was an early supporter of State Children’s Trust Funds. Kansas was the first State to pass such legislation in the spring of, requiring revenues from surcharges placed on marriage licenses to be used to support child abuse prevention. By 1984, the number of States with Trust Funds was up to 15. That year, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention Federal Challenge Grants Act (title IV of P.L. 98–473) to encourage more States to follow suit. By 1989, all but three States had passed Children’s Trust Fund legislation.

Facts about Child Maltreatment

Child Maltreatment is a significant public health problem in the United States.

  • According to Child Protective Service agencies, more than 686,000 children were victims of maltreatment in 2012.
  • Another 1,640 children died in the United States in 2012 from abuse and neglect.
  • The financial costs for victims and society are substantial. A recent CDC study showed that the total lifetime estimated financial cost associated with just 1 year of confirmed cases of child maltreatment is $124 billion.

Abused children often suffer physical injuries including cuts, bruises, burns, and broken bones. Physical injury is far from the only negative impact of maltreatment—it can also affect broader health outcomes, mental health, social development, and risk-taking behavior into adolescence and adulthood.

Child maltreatment includes all types of abuse and neglect of a child under the age of 18 by a parent or caregiver that results in harm or potential harm. There are four common types of abuse:

  • Physical Abuse is the use of physical force, such as hitting, kicking, shaking, burning, or other shows of force against a child.
  • Sexual Abuse involves engaging a child in sexual acts. It includes behaviors such as fondling, penetration, and exposing a child to other sexual activities.
  • Emotional Abuse refers to behaviors that harm a child’s self-worth or emotional well-being. Examples include name calling, shaming, rejection, withholding love, and threatening.
  • Neglect is the failure to meet a child’s basic physical and emotional needs. These needs include housing, food, clothing, education, and access to medical care.

Child maltreatment causes stress that can disrupt early brain development, and serious chronic stress can harm the development of the nervous and immune systems. As a result, children who are abused or neglected are at higher risk for health problems as adults. These problems include alcoholism, depression, drug abuse, eating disorders, obesity, high-risk sexual behaviors, smoking, suicide, and certain chronic diseases.

Child Maltreatment is Preventable

CDC works to stop child maltreatment, including abuse and neglect, before it initially occurs. In doing this, CDC promotes the development of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments between children and their parents or caregivers.

Children’s experiences are defined through their environments (such as homes, schools, and neighborhoods) and relationships with parents, teachers, and other caregivers. Healthy relationships act as a buffer against adverse childhood experiences. They are necessary to ensure the long-term physical and emotional well-being of children.

We would like to take this time to say Thank You to some very special people and agency’s:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The United States Department of Justice

The United States Department of Homeland Security

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

Child Welfare Information Gateway

The many hours we have used these websites, day and night, each with a seemingly unending supply of resources and educational material.

Without this valuable information, we would have been unable to put forth a quality product for Our Children.

Governor calls for reform of child protection in Texas

Baby Justice now has the attention of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

Justice Hull was just two months old when she died in January, allegedly drowned at the hands of a 14-year-old teenager taking care of her. She is one of three children to die since the start of the year while under the supervision of Child Protective Services. Nine children died last year.

The deaths were cited in a letter sent this week to former Judge John Specia, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. In it, the governor called for a “comprehensive reform of our state’s struggling foster care and child protection systems.”

He asked for $40 million more in new funding for the chronically underfunded and understaffed department, and increased oversight of child safety placement – situations when children are placed with friends or relatives.

“Abuse and neglect of our most vulnerable Texans – our children – is intolerable, and it is especially intolerable when it happens to the a child under the care umbrella of the state of Texas,” the governor wrote.

Many of the changes sought by Abbott are problems that surfaced in an Office of Child Safety report into Justice’s death released earlier this month.

Justice had been placed with a family friend shortly after birth. Twice in the weeks leading up to Justice’s January death, the family friend asked a CPS case worker for daycare assistance. The case worker denied the requests, saying that help could not be provided because the case was due to be closed.

The report revealed other problems, including the failure of caseworkers to meet timelines for face-to-face contacts and failing to offer services to the infant’s mother while she was pregnant, even though they knew she had admitted to substance abuse, had a history of domestic violence and untreated mental health issues.

In the letter, the governor called for enforcing mandatory face-to-face visits, better screening of those with whom children are placed, prohibiting the closing of a child safety placement case, such as Justice’s, without having “wrap around” services in place. He also called for a review of all child fatalities and critical injuries resulting in hospitalization.

The governor set a deadline of April 15 for a progress report.

Specia said in a statement that he looks “forward to working with him and with legislators to strengthen protections and ensure safety for children in families who are involved with Child Protective Services.”

Dimple Patel of Tex Protects knows some of the caseworkers involved in Justice’s case and says it’s been devastating for them.
“Having worked for nine years in the field.., there’s nothing more tragic than when a child dies on CPS’ watch,” Patel said.

The Office of Child Safety, which was recently created by Specia as part of a CPS reform effort, is also conducting investigations on two other child deaths involving CPS.

Codrick McCall, 4, had been placed with a friend of the family when he found a gun and accidentally shot himself in Houston on March 1. Audrey Torres, 3, died in a March 8 alcohol-related car crash in Amarillo while her family was being investigated and monitored by CPS at the time.

“There’s far too many children that are dying,” said J.J. Smith, founder of Rockwall-based Americans Ending Abuse. “There’s far too many children that are being injured.”

He says while many of the things that Abbott is calling for should already have been in place, he’s thrilled the governor has decided to take on the issue of child safety.

Smith says his group previously worked with Abbott to pass a 2011 law prohibiting parents and guardians from showing pornography to their children.

“Based on personal experience when we had this law passed in 2011, he really cared,” Smith said.

Abbot’s letter also called for specific changes with foster care, including improving performance evaluation and re-certification process for foster care contractors and establishing case worker protocols to educate foster children on how to report abuse and neglect.’

Carol Cook knows well the failings of CPS and the foster care system. She adopted 15-year-old Ke’onte after seeing him on News 8’s Wednesday’s Child.

While in foster care, he was placed in a psychiatric hospital three times and overmedicated, she said. She says within weeks of Ke’onte coming to live with them, he was off the medications. She says he’s now doing well in school and an active, heavy teen-ager.

“If we actually follow through with them, I think it would be really great,” Cook said. “I know way too many children that have been into the system my son included that just kind of fell through the cracks.”

Child Abuse reports in Erie County PA on the rise

Reports of suspected child abuse in Erie County on the rise

Erie County, Pennsylvania – On the morning of March 13, Erie County Detective Sgt. Joseph Spusta and a law enforcement colleague arrested two former Corry residents at their home in Warren.

Spusta charged Wendell T. Mulkey with homicide, alleging the 26-year-old repeatedly shook and squeezed his 2-month-old daughter, who died of abusive head trauma. Mulkey is in prison without bond. Spusta also arrested the infant’s mother, Miranda C. Fay, who remains jailed on two felony counts of child endangerment. Investigators say Fay, 21, failed to seek medical help for the baby after witnessing the suspected abuse the child suffered.

Spusta has been investigating local child abuse cases since 1998, and he’s well aware the numbers are sharply on the rise.
Reports of suspected child abuse made to the Erie County Office of Children and Youth soared 27 percent in 2014, up to 2,456 from 1,926 in 2013.

That trend has continued this year — suspected child abuse reports to OCY rose 40 percent in January compared with January 2014, and 25 percent in February compared with February 2014 — with officials believing the sustained spike coincides with a new state law that went into effect on Jan. 1, which expanded the definition of who is mandated to report suspected child abuse.

University and college staff, coroners, funeral directors and librarians in Pennsylvania, for example, are now required to report suspected child abuse, said Lana Rees, director of OCY, 154 W. Ninth St.

“If you have a legitimate suspicion of a child being abused, report it,” said Spusta, a law enforcement liaison between the District Attorney’s Office and the Bradley H. Foulk Children’s Advocacy Center of Erie County.

“Kids are often not in the position where they can report abuse themselves,” Spusta added. “But the person witnessing it, or suspecting it, can step up and break the cycle of abuse in that child’s life by getting the authorities involved.”

Michael Gaines, executive director of the Foulk Center, 1334 W. 38th St., said his organization handled about 250 cases of child abuse when it was founded in 2011.

The center currently handles between 300 and 400 cases annually.

Victims of child abuse are referred to the center by OCY, the District Attorney’s Office, or local law enforcement.

Child abuse prevention begins with a parent or guardian being able to handle stress and frustrations, among other things, Gaines added.

“People get on edge, something sets them off, and they go. If that’s a trigger, if a child won’t stop crying, let’s say, and you’re at your wit’s end, put the child down and walk away,” Gaines said. “You need to think about it before it happens and have a strategy, and not revert to a knee-jerk reaction. You need to have a constructive, positive way to deal with it, instead of resorting to instinct.”

Mothers of newborns cannot leave a local hospital without receiving a pamphlet on shaken baby syndrome and watching a short video on how to deal with a crying, fussing child, Saint Vincent Hospital officials said. Fathers of those newborns also are strongly encouraged to watch the video and read the pamphlet.

“Child abuse is more pervasive than people believe,” said Wayne Jones, D.O., Saint Vincent’s medical director of emergency medicine.

When a child arrives at Saint Vincent as a victim of suspected physical abuse, doctors and nurses look for a few things in their examination, Jones said. They check for any recurrent patterns for the same kind of injury, and question the parents or guardians to see if the nature of the injury is more abuse than accidental.

“We look for bruises in unusual areas, like the child’s back, or the back of their legs,” Jones said. “If we suspect abuse, we’re required to report it to OCY.”

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the timing, according to local child protective services officials, could not be better when it comes to awareness.

In a four-day span this month, five people in Erie County were charged with child abuse in three separate cases, including the charges against Mulkey and Fay.

The United Way of Erie County on Wednesday is sponsoring a child abuse awareness event in downtown Erie’s Perry Square starting at 11 a.m.

Members of the county’s Child Abuse Prevention Task Force, a group of 31 agencies working to prevent child abuse, will be in attendance.

The event will include planting blue and silver pinwheels, a national awareness activity designed to bring communities together to recognize the continued need for child abuse prevention.

“There is nothing more important than celebrating our children and supporting their physical and emotional health and well-being,” said Kathleen Patterson, a Gannon University assistant professor and a coordinator of the local task force.

The new state child protective services law that went into effect Jan. 1 stems from the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse child molestation scandal out of Pennsylvania State University.

The law expanded the pool of professionals with frequent interaction with children who are now mandated to report suspected child abuse, a group that already included day-care providers, teachers, therapists, doctors and nurses, Rees said.

Rees added that the Erie Family Center for Child Development, 913 Payne Ave., offers classes and training to encourage proper parenting techniques to the general public.