Child Abuse

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Child Abuse

Child Abuse in Texas

A closet with a deadbolt, regular wood paddling, nowhere to urinate, and not much room, fed only rice and beans.  These were the conditions that Child Protective Services and Fort Bend County Sheriff’s deputies found seven children in a Richmond, Texas home.  Needless to say, all seven of the special needs children had not been to school, otherwise, the child abuse in Texas would have been caught sooner. In early December, on the 3rd, Paula Sinclair (54) and Allen Richardson (78) were arrested by the Fort Bend County Sheriff.  This came after Child Protective services took a complaint about the adopted children from the home of Sinclair and Richardson.  The charges: aggravated kidnapping and bodily injury to a child.  Both charges are felonies, first and third degree.  The couple is now in the Fort Bend County jail without bond. Allegations of child abuse in Texas had been made and CPS as such launched an inquiry.  This inquiry was to determine if abuse did exist among the seven adopted children in the Sinclair/Richardson home. The children, between the ages of 13 and 16, had been struck with a wooden paddle multiple times, causing injuries that needed treatment.  Each kid was a […]

Texas Primary Custody

The Importance of Youth Voice in Court Proceedings

The Texas Family Code is clear that children and youth must attend permanency review hearings, and places additional duties on attorneys ad litem, judges, and the child welfare agency to meet with children in advance of court hearings.  Despite many improvements over the past several years, Texas courts still do not consistently engage youth in meaningful participation in the court process. Ensuring that youth voice is heard and considered continues to be a challenge.  This lack of youth involvement results in foster youth feeling disconnected from the process, and judges not reaping the benefit of their input. Q:  What does the law require? A:  Chapter 263 of the Texas Family Code mandates that all children who are in the conservatorship of DFPS attend all permanency hearings.  Specifically, Section 263.302 states that the child shall attend each permanency hearing, unless the court specifically excuses the child’s attendance, and that the court shall consult with the child in a developmentally appropriate manner regarding the child’s permanency plan, if the child is four years of age or older and the court determines it is in the best interest of the child. Q:  Are there any exceptions to 263.302? A:  Yes, the judge can […]

A Quick Guide to Divorce

Texas Divorce Overview

  Texas Divorce Overview   Everyone іѕ fаmіlіаr wіth the wоrd dіvоrсе but dоеѕ not know thе technicalities about it. It is іmроrtаnt thаt wе should bе able tо knоw things about dіvоrсе аnd whаt are thе thіngѕ thаt wе ѕhоuld соnѕіdеr about when people аrоund us or ѕресіfісаllу uѕ іnѕtеаd are planning tо еngаgе into thіѕ kіnd оf situation. Yоu ѕhоuld fіrѕt know whаt rеаllу dіvоrсе іѕ tо have a dеереr perception about this dіѕеаѕе іn thе community that іѕ not only ruіnіng thе lives оf the husband and wіfе but аlѕо thе реорlе thаt аrе іnvоlvеd in thе marriage, tоо. Aссоrdіng tо Wikipedia, “Dіvоrсе (оr the dіѕѕоlutіоn оf mаrrіаgе) іѕ the fіnаl termination of a mаrіtаl union, саnсеllіng the lеgаl dutіеѕ аnd responsibilities оf mаrrіаgе аnd dissolving the bonds оf mаtrіmоnу bеtwееn thе раrtіеѕ.” It is іmроrtаnt that we ѕhоuld bе able tо know thаt dіvоrсе іѕ not just mеrе breaking up but also hаvіng a permanent separation with the person thаt уоu have married. A divorce fоllоwѕ a ѕеt of court hеаrіng іn which they would dіѕсuѕѕ all thе thіngѕ thаt a mаrrіаgе controls, from thе kids to the fіnаnсеѕ would bе a ѕubjесt mаttеr in a […]

Divorce and Separation

Domestic Violence: Child Custody and Family Law

Domestic violence can have devastating effects on children. Batterers often use children to manipulate their partners. While the relationship continues, batterers may threaten to take custody of, kidnap or harm the children if the victim reports the abuse. After a battered woman leaves a relationship, batterers may use child custody disputes, visitation and joint custody arrangements as opportunities to threaten, intimidate, coerce and harm their former partners. From Kendall Segel-Evans, Wife Abuse and Child Custody and Visitation by the Abuser (1989). For a long time, domestic violence was not considered relevant to custody and visitation determinations. As explained in more detail in the Toolkit to End Violence Against Women, created by the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women and the United States Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Office, available in PDF and text formats, judges making custody determinations “routinely concluded that violence toward the other parent had nothing to do with one’s ability to adequately parent, and most court decisions revealed that judges did not believe that domestic or sexual abuse of one parent by the other fundamentally compromised the interests of the children.” As the Toolkit explains further, because of the ways in which batterers can use […]

Prevent-Child-Abuse

Tips for Recognizing Child Abuse

Child abuse is something that affects more children than most are aware of, and it is up to everyone to help protect children from these situations. Beyond that, it is an obligation under the law to report children who you suspect are being abused. One of the primary issues that people have, though, is being unaware of signs that children around them may be being abused. Here are some common signs that a child may be being abused: Unexplained injuries. Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries. Changes in behavior. Abuse can lead to many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive. Returning to earlier behaviors. Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue. Fear of going home. Abused children may express apprehension or anxiety about leaving school or about going places with the person who is abusing them. Changes in eating. The stress, fear and […]

Child Abuse

A Public Child Abuse Registry?

A Michigan woman is on a mission to make a public registry to search for convicted of child abuse. Erica Hammel’s son Wyatt was severely injured and left disabled after his father’s then-girlfriend shook him. The girlfriend had been twice previously convicted for child abuse and did not have custody of her own children.   The Department of Human Services in Michigan already has a registry of people investigated or convicted of child abuse or neglect, however, child welfare attorney Elizabeth Warner says that the registry has issues – under-inclusion and over-inclusion being a few of them.   The Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment act requires all states to have a tracking system, which can be used for screening potential foster or adoptive parents.   While a public registry seems like a good idea, registries always have issues – such as people being on the registries who don’t belong there, or vigilante neighborhood justice against people who may be on the list for an issue like the family we talked about earlier – who are involved in the CPS system for letting their children walk home unattended from the park.   Source: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2015/02/14/mother-crusades-statewide-child-abuse-registry/23425805/