When Anthony Richards, Jr., was born on an early Sunday morning in June, the only complications involved his family getting the cameras in focus to capture his arrival into the world. He was a healthy baby and his parents, Queenyona Boyd and Anthony Richards, Sr., couldn’t have been happier. Yet, only four days later Anthony was put in foster care after doctors discovered an unexplained broken femur, his distraught parents the suspects of child abuse. A Protective Father's Discovery
After the hospital discharged Boyd and her baby boy, Richards took the two straight home later that Sunday. The following day, Boyd slipped out to pick up her prescriptions at a pharmacy only a short drive away.
["The Other Side of the Rainbow: Young, Gay and Homeless in Metro Atlanta" is part 1 of a 3 part series on LGBT issues. Bookmark this page for updates.]
In April 2008, Brian Dixon was 18-years-old and homeless. Being gay, he says, only exacerbated his predicament. After allegedly enduring years of mental and physical abuse, at age 14 Dixon left home to live with his grandparents. Within a year, they placed him in Georgia’s foster care system.
*Danielle was born HIV positive. Her mother, while constantly in and out of jail, abused alcohol while pregnant with her. Her father couldn’t manage to care for her, often forgetting to give her the HIV medications she needed to survive. She was a year old when she entered foster care. Her father had finally given up, dropping her off at an AIDS clinic, saying he couldn’t handle it any more.
Cobb County, Ga.’s SafePath Children’s Advocacy Center wasted no time getting started on April’s Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, holding a kick-off event Friday morning. Attended by a large crowd of parents, police officials, and politicians braving the cold spring weather, the event shone a light on the importance of preventing child abuse. The Walker School’s Lower School Chorus warmed up the crowd with a song before turning it over to a succession of speakers, including WSB-TV anchor Linda Stouffer and state Rep. Stacey Evans (D-Smyrna). SafePath Board President Ed Lee spoke first, reminding the audience that child abuse prevention is an “active process.”
It’s important to keep our eyes open and watch for signs of abuse, he said, a message that Rep. Evans reiterated. “We need to talk to our friends and colleagues about getting involved,” Rep. Evans said. Child abuse is often a self-perpetuating cycle, Evans said. Thirty percent of abused children will grow up to abuse their own children, so it is even more important to stop the violence now.
Downtown Atlanta workers may not see pinwheels in the parks this April. The brightly colored children’s toys have twirled in the wind for many Aprils, each representing one of the thousands of children who are abused in Georgia each year. Just two weeks before the start of Child Abuse Prevention Month, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia (PCAG), an affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America, abruptly closed its doors. The closure of PCAG presents an opportunity for Georgia to redesign and revitalize our child abuse prevention work. Child abuse prevention activities, such as public awareness, home visitation programs, parent education and early identification of risk factors, are essential components of a safe, healthy, prosperous community.
There's some new research about how to better protect undocumented children in the child welfare system. It comes out of Texas where less than one percent of children in state care last year were undocumented, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s report called Undocumented and Abused. Eighty-five percent of those children were Hispanic. The report maintains that a blanket policy to send them all home is not the answer. It goes on to explain in detail how a child can get special immigrant juvenile status (SIJS).
The Office of the Child Advocate/Child Fatality Review is pleased to announce the following training: “Special Needs Victims and Witnesses: Best Practices in Investigations Involving Children with Autism and Other Communication Disabilities”
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Winfield Hall, 3890 Satellite Blvd, Duluth, GA 30096
Recent data suggests that 1 in 100 children and 1 in 70 boys are currently being diagnosed with some form of autism. Special needs children are at increased risk of abuse and there is growing concern that the child welfare and criminal justice systems are neither equipped nor trained to appropriately investigate such cases. This course addresses the specific communication issues typical in cases involving victims and witnesses with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other disabilities affecting communication. Some of these typical core issues in cases involving special needs victims and witnesses include: overcoming communication issues, recognizing the significance of the disability to the case, and how best to utilize the resources available for assistance. Case studies will be utilized to discuss approaching investigations, interactions with families of special needs children, prevention strategies, child protection issues and charging decisions.
Lori Brown: Lori is the Director of Forensic Services for the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. Lori is a highly qualified forensic interviewer who has trained statewide and nationally on best practices in forensic interviews of children with disabilities. Rachelle Carnesale, JD: Currently the acting director of the Georgia Office of the Child Advocate, Rachelle is a former child abuse prosecutor who continues to regularly consult with and train child abuse professionals at the state and national levels. Dave Nelson, MS, LPC: A licensed counselor, Dave is the Director of The Community School in Decatur, Georgia. Dave specializes in working with children, adolescents, and their families with a focus on developing the interactive, emotional, and learning capabilities of children. Dave is a national expert on ASD and the issues surrounding that population.
Who should come? Anyone interested in the topic. While this training was prepared with district attorneys, public defenders, law enforcement, medical professionals, and school personnel, this topic certainly affects other professions and therefore, all are welcome. Come learn how to better investigate your cases involving this growing group of children. Bring your questions as the speakers anticipate an interactive session with the audience.
Please RSVP to Rachel Davidson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc: email@example.com or via phone: 404-656-4200 or 404-797-2608. CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT INFORMATION TO FOLLOW: CLE, POST & DFCS (SPONSORED BY THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY’S COUNCIL OF GEORGIA), MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT AND LODGING FOR TRAVELERS OVER 60 MILES.
9:00 – 12:00 Dave Nelson, MS, LPC
Understanding Individuals with
Autism Spectrum Disorders in the
Context of Law Society, and Crime
What are the core challenges of Autism Spectrum
Disorders? • What do people with ASD “look like” and how do