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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Does age factor into child abuse checks?

    I feel that this subject deserves its own thread. It does include information concerning the recent death of Jeanette Maples and the state's failure to respond to reports about her well-being. However, I think everyone should be inquiring into what their state's child welfare policy is concerning older teens. IMO, it's all about the level of vulnerability. There's got to be a better balancing test.


    Oregon Department of Human Services tests whether age factors into child-abuse checks

    "State and private social service leaders say they see no evidence in the Portland area that child welfare workers are reluctant to act on abuse reports about older children.

    Still, Department of Human Services officials want to know more about how their workers weigh age in deciding how to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect. They suspect age might be part of the reason child welfare workers failed to respond to calls over a four-year period reporting the abuse of Jeanette Maples, a 15-year-old girl who died Dec. 9 in her Eugene home. Her parents have been charged with murder in her death."


    "The model says a child's vulnerability should be judged "according to the child's physical and emotional development, ability to communicate needs, mobility, size and dependence."

    Those terms could be equated with age, McKechnie said.

    In a report released last week, state investigators said Maples' age appears to have been "considered as a major factor in the conclusion that she was not vulnerable."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    is this the excuse they'll run out there now?
    did they tire of 'over worked, understaffed, underpaid'
    no its gonna be 'well they were old enough to fend for themselves based on there appearence' sigh

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Around here somewhere
    Having been in and out of the foster care system as a teenager, I haven't really seen much evidence that they take the reports on older kids less seriously. And believe me, I am the first one to want to rip CPS and associates a new one. They showed up just as often and removed me with the same amount of regularity in my teens as they did in my younger years, so I don't think it factors in that much.

    As to the efforts made to find a teenager after they disappear from foster care...nonexistent and I think that needs to change, but as far as taking the report and following up, I don't think age is that much of a factor.
    JMO. Unless there's a link, I can't prove it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    I think it varies from agency to agency & worker to worker but ,imo as a former foster child & advocate & from what I have experienced in my life,I think there is bias in age AND economic standing .
    The saints are the sinners who keep trying...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    One area where I would like to see improved response time is with "legal adults" who have a lower mentality level (one recent case, I believe the woman was 23 but only functioned at the level of an 8 year old?) IMO, this woman/child was let down because of her age. Her vulnerability was quite high, IMO, and I feel as though her 'age' should have been based on her mentality, not her age number.

    Another age where I see a problem with legalities and CPS is the age of 17 yrs. old. There is too much grey area. I am not sure LE is 'in sync' with the same standard that CPS holds?

    Being parents in this day and age is confusing. I can't imagine working within 'the system' and being able to figure out what to do and when to do it.

    I do think age is a factor in how seriously cases are taken, I also believe, as VespaElf mentioned, "economic standing" may come into play when a worker is 'evaluating' a situation.

    I could go on for a month with a rant here, I'm trying to remain in the parameters of the question posed. IMO, the entire 'system' is broken and has been from the point of conception.

    Last edited by Boyz_Mum; 02-06-2010 at 08:06 PM. Reason: Forgot to add "JMO"...

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