Articles of Interest

Below is a collection of links to articles. These articles have been written by outside sources and we thank these authors for their work. We commend them for making the effort to discuss these topics and for their burning desire to help protect kids and their right to live in a safe, loving, and nurturing environment.


The federal government has one main law to prevent child abuse. No state follows all of it

Hundreds of thousands of children face abuse every year, but there is only one federal law that directly addresses this national tragedy. That law, a review by the Globe and Pro Publica finds, is routinely and often flagrantly violated — with consequences that should come as no surprise.

By Emily Palmer and Jessica Huseman Boston Globe Spotlight Fellows,December 13, 2019, 8:49 a.m.

“Every single state,” said one leading child welfare expert, Michael Petit, is “vulnerable to successful class action litigation for being in violation of federal law, every single one of them.”

Survey analysis revealed that:

■  49 of the 52 child protection agencies surveyed don’t follow federal rules to protect babies affected by drugs during their mother’s pregnancy.

■  49 of the states as well as Puerto Rico are unable to show that they follow rules mandating that children receive representation for any court proceedings regarding their possible mistreatment. The result is that, far too often, no one speaks for the best interests of the mistreated child.

■  45 agencies, including Mississippi’s, do not comply with three or more of the five CAPTA mandates that the Globe and ProPublica asked about. Yet, almost every state, including Mississippi, routinely files letters with the federal Children’s Bureau claiming to follow the law in order to be eligible for federal funding.

■  Six agencies, including those in Florida and Michigan, do not comply with any of the federal rules the Globe and ProPublica asked about. And not one agency was found fully compliant with the federal law.

CAPTA requires that children be represented by court-appointed advocates, known as “guardians ad litem,” when they go to court to address issues such as who it is safe for them to live with. But the law allows for just about anyone to serve in the role, creating great variation in the quality of representation. 


10 Things I Believe I Owe My Children After Divorce

It may seem odd that I feel compelled to write about things I believe I owe my children because they’ve endured my divorce. Yet as an adult child of divorced parents and a mom who has been divorced, it’s my belief that children of divorce are entitled to certain rights.

The KIIs revealed that domestic violence may be the family risk factor that is managed with the most variation across child welfare agencies, and at times among staff within the same agency, with different individuals categorizing exposure to domestic violence as neglect, physical abuse and/or emotional maltreatment. While the largest associations found in the MLR analyses involved emotional maltreatment, EM is by far the least identified and substantiated type of maltreatment in all but a handful of states, and in the KIIs emotional maltreatment was described as being at times challenging to identify and almost always difficult to prove. This is concerning given the research demonstrating the high prevalence of emotional maltreatment across the population, links between EM and a range of physical and mental health problems across the life course, and a lack of focus on EM in evidence-based parenting programs, likely because child welfare data do not indicate a need for such a focus.

‘It absolutely shocks the senses’: Kansas child abuse law failed baby with 31 fractures


 DECEMBER 23, 2019 12:00 AM 

State Rep. Susan Humphries, the Republican from Wichita who introduced the child abuse bill last session, says the ramped-up legislation that would create the offense of aggravated child abuse just needs to be tweaked to make sure law enforcement authorities are comfortable with it. She notes that with prosecutors avoiding using the current child abuse law, and instead filing generic aggravated battery charges, that only serves to statistically obscure the extent of child abuse in the state.

Child abuse laws are flimsy and statistics are too hard to actually track an end up under reported.

Women Who Survive Domestic Abuse Face Double the Risk of Long-Term Illnesses

By Janice Wood
Associate News Editor

Female survivors of domestic abuse are at double the risk of developing long-term illnesses that cause widespread bodily pain and extreme tiredness, according to a new study.

The study, from researchers at the University of Birmingham and the University of Warwick in the U.K., found that women who have experienced domestic abuse are almost twice as likely to develop fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) than those who have not.

DECEMBER 4, 2019 | BY: Hazelden Betty Ford

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Addiction

Let's Talk Addiction & Recovery Podcast

Emerging evidence shows a strong correlation between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and mental health issues—especially addiction—in adulthood. Psychiatrist Stephen Delisi, MD, talks with host William C. Moyers about long-term effects of childhood trauma on health and resilience. Dr. Delisi explains why many clinicians now use a 10-question ACEs survey with patients to identify childhood risk factors including neglect, abuse and growing up in a family with addiction or mental illness.

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