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Archive for the ‘Abuse’ Category

In Memory of a Foster Child that Died a Year Ago After a Chokehold, Michigan is to Ban the Use of Restraints on Children Living in Group Homes

April 30th, 2021   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care

On April 29, 2020, 16-year-old Cornelius Fredrick  threw a sandwich at another child during lunch at Lakeside Academy, a Sequel Youth and Family Services facility for at risk children in Michigan. In response to the sandwich incident, seven adult male staff members held little Cornelius on the floor for more than 10 minutes, putting weight on his legs and torso. Cornelius died two days later at a hospital. He was a foster child whose mother had died four years prior.

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Foster children are being sent to out-of-state mental health facilities where they are abandoned, abused, and sexually assaulted.

April 16th, 2021   No Comments   Abuse

A last resort procedure available to child welfare officials is sending foster children to out-of-state mental health institutions. Usually, these fragile children suffer from severe medical and psychiatric disorders that require specialized care. However, officials have been abusing this option, especially in Illinois, by using it far too often and then ignoring these children when they suffer physical and sexual abuse by other residents or facility employees. Although police and facility employees have documented instances of harm, far too often state officials fail to intervene and help these vulnerable youth.

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Father Known to DCF Who Abused, Neglected and Starved Toddler to Death Takes Plea, Gets 20-year Sentence

Five months after his wife, Kristen Meyer, was sentenced to 23 years in prison for the death of their infant daughter, Alejandro Aleman pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter of a child and was sentenced to 20 years in prison, as reported by CBS 12.

This issue arises from terrible circumstances that took place in Palm Beach County back in 2016.  Alejandro and his wife had 10 children at the time and kept them all in “deplorable” living conditions.  Investigators discovered a home with mildew, insects, and feces smeared on the walls.  The victim, Tayla, was merely 7 pounds at the time of her death when she was 13 months old.  Tayla was severely malnourished and was infected with E. coli, influenza, and pneumonia at the time of her death.

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Foster Kids Starved, Beaten and Sexually Abused, Reports Show Few Caregivers are Punished

A new USA Today article highlights daunting details regarding the systemic issues in Florida’s child welfare system.  In the last five years, there have been nearly 5,000 calls to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) abuse hotline from various concerned members of the community.  These calls come from teachers, healthcare professionals, day care workers, neighbors, and more.  The complaints often warn of child abuse, neglect, sexual abuse, abandonment, etc.  The number of foster care complaints filed against foster parents, group homes, and guardians rose by roughly 54% over the past five years.  There is a direct correlation between the surge in referrals and 2014 legislation that made it easier to seize children from their parents to place them in state care.  A consequence of the changes in the law includes having more children in need of foster care with no real place to send them.

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More than 600 Children Separated, Caged, Abused, and Neglected by U.S. Government

November 18th, 2020   No Comments   Abuse

The U.S. immigration crisis has led to the placement of 666 children, in cages, subjecting them to varying abuse and neglect from the Government which their parents sought protection. Instead of being placed in safe foster homes which the U.S. government requires of the states who remove children from the parents, an estimated 666 children have been ripped away from parents, placed in cages, and deprived of basic love, empathy, and kindness.

Cognitive development is critical for a child’s well-being; unfortunately, when the Limbic, an area of the brain that controls emotions and behavioral actions, and the Cortex system, an area of the brain which involves abstract thinking, is subject to abuse and neglect during the first five years of a child’s life, the brain cannot fully develop. This early set-back subjects a child to permanent lifelong trauma, irrepealable harm and has a detrimental effect on the remainder of the child’s life and even the community at large.

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The Ledger: Florida foster child sexually abused for 4 years, private agency misses multiple red flags

When Florida’s child welfare system fails, the child pays the ultimate price. Far too often, warning signs are overlooked by the private agencies entrusted to care for our kids. In the case of one young boy in Osceola county, they were ignored for four years. This tragic lack of oversight led to the child’s repeated sexual abuse, battery, and continuous exploitation by his relative caregiver/adopted parent.

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Netflix Expose’ on Son’s Torture, Death Nothing New to Florida Families

May 4th, 2020   No Comments   Abuse

The Netflix documentary, “The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez,” is the tragic story about catastrophic failures of the California child welfare system that led to the torture, abuse and death of an 8-year-old boy at the hands of his mother and her boyfriend.

The events might have unfolded 3,000 miles away. But they draw striking similarities to events that continue to happen in Florida and around the nation.

In young Gabriel’s case, signs of his physical abuse were clear enough that school teachers, neighbors, and others called the police and social service agencies numerous times. And each time, the authorities entrusted to protect him found an excuse to look the other way. Police even accused the boy of faking the abuse and released him to his mother.

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Local 10: Police say Miami foster mother abused children, causing one girl to die

October 18th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse

In what has been described by Miami-Dade police and the Department of Children and Families as “one of the most horrifying cases of abuse they have seen” Local 10 WPLG reports that a local foster mother is facing abuse charges for the alleged abuse of three girls, ranging in ages from 6 to 12 years old.

According to the report published by Local 10, “numerous injuries from former beatings were found on their bodies, including healed marks and healed burn scars on their hands and fingers.”

Read more of this horrific story of child abuse by clicking here.

Deadline: ‘Foster Boy,’ Legal Thriller About Foster Child, Has Surprising Real-Life Turn Of Events

October 17th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse

“Foster Boy” is a legal thriller about the abuse of an African-American kid in the foster system. As reported by Deadline, “the screenwriter for the film Foster Boy won a $45M judgment against a social services agency — the largest award in the history of the state of Illinois in a case involving the death of a toddler in the foster system.”

Sadly, there are far worse cases here in Florida.

Read more about the movie by clicking here.

AP: Claims of abuse in foster homes mount for migrant kids separated at border

August 16th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care

As reported by the Associated Press, the foster care programs meant to provide migrant children with care while authorities work to connect them with parents, relatives or other sponsors may actually be harming them.  A review of 38 legal claims obtained by the Associated Press — some of which have never been made public — shows taxpayers could be on the hook for more than $200 million in damages from parents who said their children were harmed while in government custody.

Read more from the Associated Press by clicking here.

Gainesville Sun: Children flee adoptive parents, describe home of horrors

June 21st, 2019   No Comments   Abuse, Adoption

As reported by the Gainesville Sun, ” two Gainesville children — ages 8 and 10 — who fled to safety last week say they were repeatedly hit, fed only bread and water along with table scraps, ‘drowned’ in a bathtub, and burned or shocked by their adoptive parents.” Read more by clicking here.

Local 10: Girl, 8, abused by adoptive family over several years, police say

June 11th, 2019   No Comments   Abuse

Firm founder Howard Talenfeld weighs in on this latest report and the failure to prioritize the safety of children in this story from Local 10 news

Click here to read more from Local 10.