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. http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2010/02/oregon_department_of_human_ser_1.html 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." and "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."