Child Abuse


Child Abuse
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 […]

Child Abuse in Texas


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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 anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or weight loss. Changes in sleeping. Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued. Changes in school performance and attendance. Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the child’s injuries from authorities. Lack of personal care or hygiene. Abused and neglected children may appear uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, […]

Tips for Recognizing Child Abuse



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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/

A Public Child Abuse Registry?


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Occasionally I will get a call from someone who either is in the early stages of a CPS investigation, or is concerned that a report may have been made, about how to avoid CPS involvement. Sometimes, this is a fairly complicated question, but there are definitely some things that can increase your likelihood of being involved with CPS. The first important thing to note is that CPS gets involved based on referrals made by third parties, and many of these referrals are effectively mandatory even if the person referring you doesn’t really think there is anything going on. Injuries to children can often trigger a referral to CPS even if the cause of the injury was something completely benign if the injury itself has signs of being indicative of abuse. Likewise, statements made by children indicating abuse will almost certainly trigger a referral by any school or daycare personnel who hears it, even if they don’t believe it is the case. For the most part, any agency involved with taking care of children likely will take (and should take) a broad view on what things should be reported and leave it up to CPS to figure things out after that. For reference, here are the sources of referrals from the DFPS 2013 fiscal year data book:

Avoiding CPS And What To Do When You Can’t



How Child Protective Services (CPS) Works in Texas
What is Child Protective Services (CPS)?  Child Protective Services is one of the services provided by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) which is a government agency that provides protection to children from abuse or neglect, even from their parents. Some states may use other names, but in Texas, we use “Child Protective Services” or simple “CPS”. When the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) receives reports of child abuse and/or neglect, the DFPS starts an investigation. If the allegations prove to be true and parents are unwilling to solve the problem, the child protective services will ensue. Most parents are scared when they get a CPS case. It’s perfectly reasonable to be so because if the worst case scenario happens, parents may lose parental rights and custody over the child if the court finds that it is in the best interest of the child. What happens to you and your family in a CPS case? Once a report has been filed, you and your family will be investigated by the DFPS. A case worker will come to your home and ask you and your family questions in order to find out if there are threats or hazards to the safety and well-being of your child. The questions could be very unpredictable. They will assess your family situation and try to see if the report they received are baseless or not. Whatever the investigator finds will determine what happens next. If there’s no sufficient evidence of abuse or neglect, the case will be closed and that would be the end of it. However, if they find that there’s enough evidence to substantiate the allegations of abuse or neglect, you and your spouse will be referred to Family Based Social Services (FBSS). The parents or parent will […]

How Child Protective Services (CPS) Works in Texas


CPS in Texas
  It is an unfortunate fact that some children in Texas suffer from neglect and abuse, which is why CPS in Texas is important. CPS stands for Child Protective Services and it mainly takes on cases where children go through abuse and neglect in the hands of adults and their caregivers. The primary purpose of CPS in Texas is to provide safety for the children of Texas, as well as education for families in order for them to provide a loving home for the children. If you have ever been part of an investigation by the CPS in Texas, you’ve come to the right place. Especially if the investigation is currently active, you will need all the information you can find to know more about CPS in Texas and how they handle their investigations.   Goals of a CPS Investigation in Texas   Usually, when someone reports a case of abuse or neglect and CPS gets hold of it, they will send a caseworker to investigate the people involved. If you are involved, you can expect them to contact you and to set up an interview with you. What CPS wants is to keep the child who is allegedly abused as safe as possible. If they can find evidence to prove that no neglect or abuse has occurred, they would want to send the child home as soon as possible. However, they will first probe and determine if your home is a safe place for the child, and until then, chances are they will take the child away to be placed in another family. That family could be your relative or your spouse.   How the Investigation Goes   During the investigation, CPS will try to create a safe environment for the child. They will let the child stay in […]

Texas CPS Investigations



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Co-parenting hacks are definitely needed when you deal with your child after your divorce. We all know that the strongest impact and blows from the divorce end up on the children. The divorce will completely change your child’s life and their views of the world. It will also change the way they spend time and interact with you and your spouse. You might get so focused on dealing with the divorce yourself that you might lose sight of how it affects your children. Even from the onset of the divorce, there are many issues that will lead you to fight against your spouse, and in the midst of that are your children. During the divorce, you and your spouse would argue about issues such as who gets primary conservatorship and how much child support must be paid. However, more than anything, you should be concerned about the psychological and emotional status of your children. Their ability to trust must be impaired because of the divorce, and it’s up to you to build it up again. Of course, there are also situations where children are actually relieved that their parents are getting a divorce. Your relationship with your spouse may have made the home environment uncomfortable and suffocating for the children that they would actually want the marriage to be over. Regardless of what your situation may be, there’s likely a relationship with at least one of your children that you’d have to rebuild. The best medium to fix any broken relationship or iron out a strained one is through co-parenting. In order to do it right, you might need a couple of co-parenting hacks. What is Co-Parenting? Where divorce is, co-parenting is also usually present. It may be commonly utilized by people around you during the divorce but nobody is […]

Co-parenting Hacks For Your Post-Divorce Life


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  Should mental illness be a reason to be concerned about your possession order? Caring for the children’s health and safety falls under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. The department cares for the needy and those that are lease represented in the state of Texas. When someone reports a parent subjecting his or her child to abuse and neglect, the DFPS employees will jump right into investigating the situation. After the investigation and evaluation, they will submit recommendations on how the State should proceed in order to protect the child. The safety and well-being of the child is always a priority. At times, due to these recommendations, the court can order restrictions in visitation, possession and access to the child. This is often common in cases wherein DFPS employees discover significant evidence of child abuse and neglect. In extreme cases, DFPS can submit a petition in court to terminate the parental rights of the parents who abused or neglected the child. More common occasions call for limitations on a parent’s possession of a child. An example of this is when the parent in question has mental illness. Is it really necessary to limit a parent’s possession of the child if his or her mental health is unstable?   Mental Health and Your Possession Order   There are cases when parents battling a mental illness can be ordered to have a very limited possession of the child. In some cases, parents with mental illness can be ordered by the court to spend only one day per month with the child. This is mostly because the court received evidence that the parent has inability to consistently make sound decisions for the best interests of the child. The child’s safety and the parent’s well-being could be in […]

Can Mental Illness Affect Custody?