GREENVILLE, S.C. —WYFF News 4 Investigates learned that South Carolina doesn’t have enough foster parents to care for the more than 3,700 children currently in foster care.
Finding people to care for foster children is a challenge in South Carolina. According to numbers WYFF News 4 Investigates obtained, there are 1,227 children in foster care in the Upstate, but only 682 foster homes and shelters.
Some foster homes care for more than one child, but foster parents said there is still a need for more homes.
“Unfortunately, if there’s a child from Greenville County but there’s not a home in Greenville available to take them, they’ll reach out to find a home wherever they can. So it may very well be in Oconee County,” foster parent Chris Koppenger said.
WYFF News 4 Investigates learned that more than half of foster children in the Upstate are placed in foster homes outside of their home counties.
“It’s difficult enough that they’re being taken from their parents, but now you’re taking away their friends, their school, the doctor they’re used to, the church they’ve gone to,” Koppenger said.
Koppenger said more foster parents would help increase the odds that children could stay in their communities and have a better chance to thrive. The need is great statewide. According to numbers WYFF News 4 Investigates obtained from the Department of Social Services, there are about 400 more children in South Carolina’s foster system now than there were two years ago.
We checked with Georgia and North Carolina as well. Officials in both states provided WYFF News 4 Investigates with numbers showing that there are hundreds more foster children in those states right now compared to a year ago. However, neither state was able to say if there are enough foster homes for the children.
Koppenger said people can be hesitant to become foster parents because they may only have the child for a little while. Koppenger said the more than 40 children he and his wife have fostered will always be in his heart, even if they are no longer in his home.
“These are my children, they will always be my children,” Koppenger said.
“Not one state has met all of the minimum child welfare standards set by the federal government”
I have decided, in the best interest of Our Children, to repost a report by the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, entitled: “Shame on U.S. Failings by All Three Branches of Our Federal Government Leave Abused and Neglected Children Vulnerable to Further Harm” January 27, 2015
“Abuse and neglect cases — especially those resulting in death — are often not disclosed as required by law. That lack of information has led to other problems in the system.”
“When your data is flawed, every other part of your system is going to be flawed.”
Laws intended to protect children from abuse and neglect are not being properly enforced, and the federal government is to blame.
The Department of Health and Human Services, which reviews state programs, declined to comment on the report.
Hmmmm, I wonder why…. maybe this is one reason WHY!!!!
January 12, 2015 – Nebraska The former acting director of cybersecurity for the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison over his activities on a child abuse image website that was hidden – but not particularly well – on the Deep Web and accessed via the Tor anonymity network.
Timothy DeFoggi, 56, was convicted on 26 August 2014 after a four-day jury trial in the state of Nebraska.
Beyond sharing child abuse imagery, DeFoggi was also accused of plotting to rape and murder children.
In a Department of Justice release, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell was quoted as saying that DeFoggi used the same technology skills he employed at HHS to conduct his crimes: Using the same technological expertise he employed as Acting Director of Cyber Security at HHS, DeFoggi attempted to sexually exploit children and traffic in child pornography through an anonymous computer network of child predators.
At the bottom of the single page report is the listing of every state in the United States, each one is a Link to that state’s reports. I think it only right to suggest that if you intend to look up the states I have listed, look up South Dakota before Georgia….
I urge every one of you to look at this report, and bookmark it’s location(URL).
If every person who truly cares about the well being of Our Children complys with my request, then spends a minimum of 1 day researching how well Our Children are protected in the few states a person can read in a days time, there is not 1 of you who will ever believe another word of these habitual liars that we have elected and are paying their salaries.
The Links below are 2 of my South Dakota posts, and 1 being what it is.
“Abuse and Neglect cases — especially those resulting in death — are often not disclosed as required by law.”
“And when your data is flawed, every other part of your system is going to be flawed.”
South Dakota Representatives did the very same as GA, AZ, TX, NM, PA, AL, IL, MD, and probably every other one of them; as far as what WE THE CITIZENS OF THESE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA wanted and expected, they did NOTHING!!!!
At the very least this is THEFT OF SERVICES, and every time a child is sexually molested, when they have their day in court, every official who is responsible for this type of CRONYISM COVER-UPS should be held as part of the reason, right along with the molester since they, in effect facilitated said attack through INACTION.
South Dakota– did nothing constructive, and removed Jolene’s Law Task Force. SD has a serious problem and they are desperately trying to cover it up, but in doing so they have made themselves party to collusion.
Georgia – did nothing constructive, and in fact, in stripping the recent bill to the bare bones, proved beyond a shadow of doubt that Our Children mean nothing. At the end of the day, this bunch of CORRUPT CRONIES chose to protect their GOOD OLD BOY FRIENDS, instead of doing their part at making this world a much better place for Our Children. C-O-L-L-U-S-I-O-N
Arizona – 385 kids removed from homes in ignored CPS cases. State law requires that reports phoned into a child abuse hotline be investigated. Yet beginning in November 2009, some cases were closed before being sent to a field office for investigation by a team of specialists trying to clear a backlog, Graves said. The practice was suspended, briefly renewed the next year, and suspended again. However, beginning about 20 months ago, a new team designed to help the agency overcome an ongoing backlog revived the practice. More than 5,000 of the 6,000 cases that were not investigated happened since that time.
Texas – 11-24-2014 – Whistle-blower lawsuit claims child abuse investigations are tainted in Texas. 01-10-2015 – Faulty Reporting, Tainted Numbers Texas didn’t report hundreds of child abuse, neglect deaths.
Pennsylvania – 03-02-2015 – Pennsylvania School District failed to report Teacher Molesting 8-yr-old
Alabama – 11-01-2014 – Alabama Child Incest Sex Ring. AL ranks among the highest in Child Sexual Slavery.
Illinois– 10-24-2014 –Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths Hit 30 Year High Last Year in Illinois.
I had intended to have this posted early this morning, but Raashanai and Scotty came to visit. It seems as though I had forgotten 1 very important thing about each of them, and that was the states they had once lived, and died in….
Advocates for child sexual abuse victims push for longer window to seek justice.
Pennsylvania lawmakers spent a lot of time and effort in the last legislative session working to prevent future cases like the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.
In many ways, the state is still adjusting to those changes.
But advocates rallied at the Capitol Monday for one more change they say is needed to deliver justice to those who’ve already been abused: extending the time frames that former victims have to seek civil damages against their abusers.
Current state law bars a victim of childhood sexual abuse from bringing a civil case against a perpetrator after the victim turns 30.
It’s not long enough, advocates say, for many childhood victims to come to terms with what happened to them. As a result, it has the effect of sheltering too many perpetrators from accountability for their actions.
“It’s high time that we accept that delayed reporting (of sexual abuse by victims) is the norm,” said Kristen Houser, vice president of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.
“We have recently seen glaring examples of this in the Boy Scouts, in religious institutions, in schools and most recently with the allegations against Bill Cosby. It’s time for us to stop asking why… and finally change our laws so they are based in reality.”
Bills offered by Rep. Mark Rozzi,, D-Berks County, and Sen. Rob Teplitz, D-Dauphin County, would raise the statute of limitations on civil action to age 50 for cases arising from incidents of childhood sexual abuse.
They would also remove immunity from the state, local government or private employers in the event of a finding of gross negligence by supervisors in a case of child sexual abuse by one of their employees or agents.
The age 50 benchmark would place potential civil cases on the same deadline as criminal cases.
That’s especially, important, some supporters said, since victims don’t get to make the final call as to whether criminal cases are pursued.
“We all have to be able to work through this on our own time,” noted Matt Sandusky, who went public in 2012 with allegations that he’d been abused for years by the man who would eventually become his adoptive father, Jerry Sandusky.
The statute of limitations would ordinarily have barred him from seeking damages, because Matt was 33 years old at the time.
He benefitted from the contrition of Penn State, which has bent over backwards to try to treat Jerry Sandusky’s victims fairly, and received a monetary settlement in late 2013.
Others, Matt Sandusky noted, aren’t as fortunate as he was. “If the statute of limitations laws stay as they are… some people are no longer allowed to seek justice, just because they’ve reached that arbitrary number,” he said.
Matt Sandusky was scheduled to appear in person at Monday’s rally, but missed it due to a minor illness. He later spoke by telephone with PennLive.com.
State Rep. Louis Williams Bishop, D-Philadelphia, touted an alternative measure on the same subject Monday. Bishop’s bill would eliminate all statute of limitations restrictions, civil or criminal, on childhood sexual abuse.
Taking that step, said Bishop, will send a strong message to perpetrators that in Pennsylvania, “You can run but you can’t hide… You will have to face your day in court.”
The statute of limitations changes have been opposed in the past by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference – the public advocacy arm of the Roman Catholic Church – and liability insurers.
Both groups would presumably be placed at greater economic risk if the changes were passed, but they also contend that the justice issue applies to them, too.
Catholic Conference spokesman Amy Hill noted that as evidence gets lost, memories fade and witnesses move away or die, it becomes “impossible for any organization that cares for children to defend themselves in court years later.”
Hill also pointed to the 2012 report by a special legislative task force on child protection issues that found Pennsylvania is already “one of the most generous states in terms of the length” of the tail for childhood sexual abuse.
None of the statute of limitations bills were considered in the 2013-14 legislative session – even as nearly two dozen other child protections bill were enacted – but Rossi, Teplitz and Bishop said they don’t intend to let the issue rest.
“Pedophiles don’t retire and our law should not protect their heinous acts,”Rossi said.
Utah Bill eliminating statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases passes House
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah House of Representatives unanimously passed HB277 Monday, which would eliminate the statute of limitations for lawsuits against perpetrators of child sexual abuse.
The bill, as amended by the House, applies only to perpetrators of child sex abuse as individuals.
Deondra Brown, co-founder of the nonprofit Foundation for Survivors of Abuse, was among a handful of supporters who sat with lawmakers as members of the House debated and voted on the bill. Other backers filled part of the House gallery.
The bill passed 74-0.
“It was so exciting for any of us who are victims to be able to see such support,” Brown said. “Today’s passage is another victory for victims across the state of Utah, so it’s an exciting day.”
The bill moves the Senate for its consideration.
Brown said she and her sister Desirae established their foundation to provide hope, encouragement and empowerment to survivors of abuse by working to remove the statute of limitations for crimes of sexual abuse.
Three Brown sisters, members of the 5 Browns classical piano quintet, were molested by their father as children. In 2010, the siblings sought criminal charges against their father, who had also been their professional manager.
In March 2011, Keith Brown was sentenced to 10 years to life for sodomy on a child, a first-degree felony, and one to 15 years each of two counts of sex abuse of a child, a second-degree felony. The sodomy and abuse incidents occurred when each of the girls was 13 or younger.
Deondra Brown also has testified at committee meetings as the bill has gone through the legislative process.
Each time she and her sisters have shared their experiences, they are contacted by other people who have experienced sexual abuse as children, who offer their support and thanks to the Browns for their advocacy work.
“It sort of lifts you through the difficult times,” she said. As a mother of a 4-year-old daughter, Brown said she feels an even greater responsibility to help protect children by raising awareness and working to pass legislation that holds people who molest children to account.
She called the birth of her child a “huge blessing.”“I look at her and I’m constantly reminded why I’m doing this,” she said. “I look at my daughter and think, ‘I’m doing this for you so the world is safer.’”
Bill sponsor Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, whose wife Rebecca testified to the House Judiciary Committee that she was sexually abused by a school teacher during her childhood, told House members that the emotional scars of child sexual abuse “never fully heal.”
Innocent victims end up paying the price of molestation for a lifetime in term of lost productivity, the toll on their mental and physical health and challenges it presents in their personal relationships, he said.
Ivory said the statute of limitations for lawsuits needs to be eliminated to allow victims of child sexual abuse time to heal and gain the courage and maturity to hold their abusers to account.
On average, it takes a victim until to age 40 to come forward with allegations of child sexual abuse. It can take decades to overcome feelings of shame, humiliation and even fear of retribution, he said.
Current law limits civil actions to four years after a victim’s 18th birthday or if older, within four years of discovering the abuse. “It is often said that justice delayed is justice denied. When it comes to abuse of children, justice not delayed is justice denied,” Ivory said.
Brown said she looks forward to the Utah Senate’s consideration of the bill. “Hopefully this is going all the way to the governor’s desk,” she said.