Child Abuse

Child Abuse in Texas

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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 special-needs child that was not receiving any kind of care they needed.

Sinclair was known as “mom” while Richardson was referred to as “Coach”.  Sinclair and Richardson were not married to each other.  In fact, Sinclair has a husband who lived at another location.

Since being found, the children have been hospitalized in order to start receiving the care that they need.  They are starting to recover from the child abuse in Texas.

For each child, Sinclair was receiving $540 per month, per child.  This has been ongoing from 2003 and 2004 when the children were adopted.

The same house had an adopted child die in January 2011.  After that incident, the rest of the children living there at the time were left with the house.  This was because the first death was ruled natural causes.

For these kids, though, the home was a prison.  At the home, they lived in the basement along with three adult men who were living at the house as a group home.  The kids were forbidden from speaking with the others that lived with them.  Three times during the day, they would go to the bottom of the stairs and receive their beans and rice for the meal.

Upon leaving the house, the “mother” would lock them in a closet.  The closet was only 5 by 8 feet and would hold all seven of the children.  It was cramped and had no bathroom.  Due to their special needs, some of the kids had to wear diapers and would be left to urinate and defecate wherever they could.

Now the children are placed in protective custody to prevent them from further child abuse in Texas.  The State of Texas is hoping to be able to keep the children together when they are able to be sent to a proper home.  This will help to carry on the relationship that they have already built.

These conditions were deplorable and it is hard to imagine that this treatment went on for years without being caught.

This comes at a time when the Department of Family and Protective Services has been having difficulties.  From short staffing, lack of funds, and too many cases, the child protective services in Texas have not been able to keep up with all of the work that has come through the doors.

Because of cases like this, the Department of Family and Protective Services/Child Protective Services have been provided with some assistance from the state.  Over 140 million dollars have been approved to help the department combat child abuse in Texas.  All of this money is to increase the amount of employees with the agency and to provide raises.  This is to hopefully decrease the turnaround time on cases and to prevent cases like the above one from happening.

The only downside is that it took this long to come around.  More than enough kids have had trouble in the recent years.  The quicker that we can get to increasing CPS the faster we can combat child abuse in Texas.

Original article here

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas.

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