We Are OUR CIRCLE, a group of individuals with similar values; but we all have one very important thing in common:
All Children deserve an equal chance to be Loved, Cared For, Have A Proper Diet, andKnow That They Are Safe; and as they grow be taughtHonor, Truth, Respect, Responsibility, andDutyin regard to themselves, others, and as young future citizens.
Every day we see the same people and Organizations working tirelessly, with a selfless devotion for Our Children. We are not associated with any of these Organizations, however, they have Our Admiration, Respect, and Support.
We hope each and everyone of Our Followers will remember and consider helping these fine people as they help the Children, Our Children, who are the future of this world:
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Ark of Hope for Children, The Family Place, Operation Underground Railroad, ChildHelp.org, and ASPCC.
Iowa is among states with the highest share of children in foster care — with six kids out of every 1,000 entering the system in fiscal 2013.
Some decry the numbers as a sign child advocates are too quick to yank children from biological families. But others say Iowa’s laws give judges more latitude to remove children from dangerous environments, such as houses in which drugs are manufactured.
“Iowa’s child abuse law is one of the better laws,” said Dr. Resmiye Oral, a pediatrician who runs the Child Protection Program at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. “The cost of that may be the removal of some of those children.”
One year into a new way of responding to child neglect cases, Iowa Department of Human Services officials say they expect the share of children in foster care to gradually decrease.
Foster care By the numbers
Iowa had 4,500 children enter the foster care system in fiscal 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau. With 724,032 children under 18 in Iowa that year, the removal rate was 6 children per 1,000. Only five states — West Virginia, Wyoming, Arizona, Montana and Oklahoma — had more children enter foster care.
The number of Iowa children removed from their biological families dropped to 3,974 in fiscal 2014, Human Services reported, down from a high of 6,781 in fiscal 2005.
Part of the reason Iowa still has a larger share of children in foster care than other states is a broader definition of child abuse, advocates said.
Drugs linked to abuse in Iowa
Child abuse, as defined by Iowa Code Section 232.68, includes nonaccidental physical injuries, sexual abuse or mental abuse. Guardians who don’t provide adequate food, shelter, clothing or other care may also be charged
“Iowa’s child abuse law is one of the better laws”
– Dr. Resmiye Oral
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Allowing a known child abuser to have access to your child is illegal. And Iowa is one of few states in the country to link drug use and manufacturing to child abuse.
Drugs found in a child’s body because of a guardian’s actions or neglect can be grounds for criminal charges. Guardians also may be charged with child abuse if they manufacture drugs around their children or have drug precursors.
A study published last year by Dana D. Connolly, a doctoral student at the University of Kentucky, shows only three states had at least three drug-related child abuse definitions in 2010.
Another factor that may influence how many children are in foster care is who is required to report child abuse. In 2010, 18 states required all citizens to report abuse, Connolly reported.
Iowa doesn’t go this far, instead having a list of mandatory reporters that includes doctors, teachers and police officers, among others.
Too many removals?
Altoona grandmother Jeanne Munson thinks DHS is too quick to recommend removing a child from his or her biological family. With the agency’s nod, a judge ordered Munson’s four grandchildren live with other families despite Munson’s desire to care for the children.
She has a good job, college degrees and clean house and no criminal record, she said.
“They’re taking kids out of families they shouldn’t, and missing other kids they should be taking,” Munson said.
The overrepresentation of minorities in foster care is also a concern. Black children in Iowa were represented in foster care in 2009 at a rate nearly four times their proportion in the general population, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges reported in 2011.
In January 2014, Iowa started a new approach to child abuse and neglect complaints designed to keep kids from being unnecessarily removed from their families.
Differential Response, approved by the Iowa Legislature in 2013, creates two pathways for complaints. Abuse complaints go the traditional route with a child abuse assessment to determine if the allegations are founded.
Often children are removed during these investigations.
Neglect complaints, which could include a wandering child or a dirty house, get what the agency calls “family assessments,” in which social workers try to figure out what supports families need to get back on track. If the neglect does not rise to the level of abuse, children often can remain with their families as improvements are made.
Of complaints in 2014, 39 percent, or 9,100 cases, were assigned to the family assessment pathway. An additional 5 percent were reassigned to a child abuse assessment after initial review.
It’s too soon to say whether Differential Response will reduce removals, but DHS is optimistic.
“We expect that removals would go down gradually as we are providing services to more families, which will increase their ability to protect and parent their children,” DHS Spokeswoman Amy McCoy said.
This post is very disturbing, but I believe this can be the wakeup call that just might prevent at least one child from being a victim.
In the time in which we live, everyone needs to be mindfull of their surroundings at all times, even in your own yard.
Everyone should have a security system that at least utilizes motion detectors. But I think everyone should have a dash-cam, and I also believe everyone should have a “certain” voice command to start their phone recording, and/or a “certain” command or sound to make a phone call with the phone in a shirt pocket at the least.
Disgraced Pennsylvania judge Mark Ciavarella Jr has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for conspiring with private prisons to sentence juvenile offenders to maximum sentences for bribes and kickbacks which totaled millions of dollars. He was also ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.
In the private prison industry the more time an inmate spends in a facility, the more of a profit is reaped from the state. Ciavearella was a figurehead in a conspiracy in the state of Pennsylvania which saw thousands of young men and women unjustly punished and penalized in the name of corporate profit.
According to allgov.com Ciavearella’s cases from 2003 – 2008 were reviewed by a special investigative panel and later by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and it was found that upwards of 5,000 young men and women were denied their constitutional rights, and therefore all of their convictions were dismissed and were summarily released.
During his sentencing Ciavarella was defiant, claiming he had broken no laws and claimed the money he received was a legitimate ‘finder’s fee.’ Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Zubrod said comments such as these were typical of Ciavarella, according to the local reporting of citizensvoice.com:
“I think that’s his way of doing things. Never retreat. Always go on the attack. Always blame somebody else. Always get them to back off. He tried it with the judge. It didn’t work.”
As the world watches the violent civil unrest in Baltimore, Maryland, that spells trouble for that city’s embattled police department, another news report on Thursday doesn’t help to quell the anti-police rhetoric of people such as Rev. Al Sharpton, the Black Panthers, the decidedly radical left commentators and others more than happy to capitalize on the death of a black young man named Freddie Gray. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), at least 13 active-duty and retired law enforcement officers from North Carolina were immediately arrested when their indictments were unsealed Thursday morning.
The arrests were part of a federal undercover drug and weapons trafficking sting that began when an anonymous informant notified North Carolina’s Halifax County Sheriff’s Office sometime in 2013.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s two-year operation resulted in illegal drug and weapons charges against seven current or former Northampton County deputy sheriffs, three North Carolina state corrections officers, a Northampton County police and emergency dispatcher, a Windsor police officer, a former Weldon police officer, and a corrections officer for the Virginia State Department of Corrections.
Top federal prosecutors as well as state and federal law enforcement agents during a press conference provided details of what they described to reporters as a conspiracy by the suspects who attempted to transport large quantities of both cocaine and heroin through North Carolina to other states on the east coast.
“Corruption in local government – especially involving law enforcement – threatens the social compact that binds our communities together,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie G. Caldwell. “When the officer with a gun and a badge is no different from the trafficker peddling drugs in the street, we all suffer. That is why the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners in North Carolina and throughout the country are determined to root out corruption, wherever and in whatever form it may be found,” said Caldwell.
Besides the 13 current and former cops, two civilians are also accused and were also arrested with the other suspects on Thursday morning they were picked up at the Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport and at a nearby warehouse.
The group at the airport were expecting to move a shipment of drugs, prosecutors said, and those at the warehouse were expecting to pick up a shipment in the highly organized crime enterprise. Special Agent in Charge (SAIC) John Strong, who heads of the FBI office in North Carolina, asserted that the accused cops displayed “shock and disbelief” when they were suddenly being treated as criminals.
SAIC Strong said that the FBI special agents didn’t inform the Northampton’s sheriff’s office and the Windsor police department about the investigation until Thursday morning in order to maintain security of the counter-narcotics operation. “Deputies and correctional officers used their law enforcement positions to line their own pockets,” Strong said. “They vowed to protect and serve but instead were motivated by pure greed and tarnished the badges they were trusted to carry.”
The accused are listed by the Department of Justice on its press statement and includes: Northampton County deputies Ikeisha Jacobs, 32; Jason Boone, 29; Jimmy Pair Jr., 48; Curtis Boone, 31; and Thomas Jefferson Allen II, 37; Former Northampton County deputies Wardie Vincent Jr., 35, son of the former sheriff there, and Cory Jackson, 43; Northampton County 911 dispatcher Tosha Dailey, 31; N.C.Department of Public Safety corrections officers Adrienne Moody, 39; Alaina Sue-kam-ling, 27; and Kavon Phillips, 25; Windsor police officer Antonio Tillmon, 31; Virginia Department of Corrections officers Lann Tjuan Clanton, 36; a former Weldon police officer, and Alphonso Ponton, 42; and Raleigh resident Crystal Pierce, 31.
The press statement described how the undercover investigators used federal money and fake drugs to bring the allegedly corrupt to justice. “All 15 defendants are charged with conspiring to distribute controlled substances and conspiring to use and carry firearms during and in relation to drug trafficking offenses. Other charges against certain defendants include attempted extortion, attempted possession with intent to distribute controlled substances, money laundering, federal programs bribery and use and carry of firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses,” according to the DOJ statement.