Thursday, October 31, 2013

Maine Kid Headlines for October 31st 2013 - Happy Halloween!

Best wishes to this kid for a full recovery...
And try not to be too hard on the parents.  Accidents do happen.

A teenager from Glenburn has gone missing...

Perhaps you know where he is?

Keeping your kids out of trouble isn't always easy in Maine as this kid would tell you.  They do have minds of their own.
In Education news today, Maine is lagging behind other states...
Of course it's always a shortage of money with these people...

Gordon Collins-Faunce gets 20 years for murdering his infant son in Arundel

It's interesting that this particular case concludes within a couple of days of my starting this new blog as I became very interested in changes that had been happening within Maine's Department of Children and Families, otherwise known as "Child Protective Services" under the Governor Paul LePage administration that coincided with the death of this particular child.

These changes where because CPS suddenly wasn't doing enough to protect children in Maine only a few short months after bragging about how wonderful Maine's National Model Child Welfare System was after reforms that were highlighted during the 10 year anniversary celebrations of the death of Logan Marr.  Logan Marr, of course, was the little girl who was killed by a child protective worker/foster parent named Sally Schofield, in her foster home back in 2001.  The death of Ethan Henderson however, was one of the two more recent cases (for the second case, click here) that was used as a springboard to launch efforts to undo many of those reforms in Maine's Child Welfare System as should be proven by this quote from a Kennebec Journal article.
LePage told a television station Wednesday that he supports the death penalty "for those that kill babies" and feels DHHS has "gone from one extreme to another" when it decides whether to remove a child from a home in which abuse is suspected. 
The department has been criticized in the past for being too quick to remove a child, LePage said, but now, "sometimes we're putting them back too quickly and sometimes we're not taking them out fast enough."
I personally believe that LePages problem with Maine's child welfare system was because many of the positive reforms were due to services provided to parents and were paid for by DHHS, otherwise falling under the auspice of welfare.  I am less apt to believe that a national model child welfare system was not doing the job.  These services however did help to keep children safe from abuse and neglect while still in the home or while staying with another family member such as a grandparent while keeping them out of the much more expensive foster care system.
Number of Maine children taken from abuse decreases by half 
The governor and other state officials worry that a shift in policy may be leaving too many youngsters in harm’s way.
Sadly however, I feel that this is simply a case of LePage sticking his nose into issues that he does not understand while constantly criticizing the cost of better ways.
Poor planning adds to Maine's foster care crisis
Not only is funding in jeopardy, but the state's child welfare bureaucracy failed to anticipate the growing need, fueled by drug use and addiction.
In fact, LePage's attempts will ultimately cost more in many ways, a little taste of which is demonstrated in this letter to the National Coalition for Child Welfare Reform by Dean Crocker who serves as Maine's Childrens Ombudsman.

But anyway, Gordon Collins-Faunce will spend the next 20 or so years in jail because he killed his son, but that will not quench the thirst for justice from the self-righteous who will probably think that he deserves to never again see the light of day, as could be demonstrated by this screenshot of a couple of comments from an article on the Morning Sentinel.

I disagree with these people that justice was not served in this case.  While I do agree that Ethan Henderson's death was horrible and could have been prevented, I do not agree that we should put Gordon Collins-Faunce to death as Governor LePage would suggest or keep him locked up for the rest of his life. There are a lot of different factors in this case such as possible issues with psychiatric medication stemming from a history of child abuse that he experienced as a kid.
"Police said that Collins-Faunce was physically and sexually abused as a child by different foster parents."
Which, of course, should suggest that Maine's Foster Care System isn't the safe solution for vulnerable children as the state would like you to believe.  I won't get into similar claims that are being made by the Wabanaki as that is deserving of it's very own blog post, but I do have to wonder what exactly is meant by the phrase "Different (or 'various' as was used in other articles) foster parents" means.  Especially since they still manage to keep the issue swept under the rug and because it logically claims that the guy was raped by more than one foster parent, and that's a scary thought.

Anyway, this is the top story of the day.  Here are a few of the links.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Maine Kid Headlines for October 30th 2013

Dear Parents of Maine.

Here is what our beloved media outlets thinks is important for you to know over the last two days.
Your kids are getting into trouble...
And it's up to you to pay attention to what they're doing.

You can't trust anybody you know...

Anyway.  On a more positive note, there is a new children's book about a puppy who lives on a Maine Island.
Um...  Good luck in tonight's game, I ugess.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Headlines for October 28th 2013

Something To Do

A Popular Safe-Haven for Kids is closing in Biddeford


Mainers will be considering 3 bond requests for higher education


The health food nuts are all worried about Halloween.  Of course there's always got to be someone who takes the fun out of being a kid.
A group of Mom's is lobbying to update a federal law that controls toxic chemicals.