Children return home after judge’s decision, mother vows to help other families facing custody battles   

Reed (top right) with her four daughters and family friend Rehab Amer who was one of the many people from the community who stood by Reed throughout the custody battle

Reed (top right) with her four daughters and family friend Rehab Amer who was one of the many people from the community who stood by Reed throughout the custody battle

OAKLAND COUNTY-- On Mar. 7 Oakland County Judge Lisa Gorcyca granted a American Muslim couple back custody of their two little girls. The girls, Sophia, 6, and Nadiya, two, were removed from their home and parents' custody in May 2012 by authorities from Child Protected Services after a neighbor experienced Sophia playing outside without adult guidance.

The ladies are the children of Jessica Reed and Maged Mousa. Reed become extremely psychological in court when the judge revealed her choice. After virtually a year, her mentally draining custody battle with the DHS had come to a halt.

"I was sobbing and so psychological, finally after all these months they were able to come home," Reed said.

When the decision was announced, numerous neighborhood members were also present in court tossing their support behind the couple.

Because the children were removed from the home, the area has revealed a lot of support for the household, by making contributions and showing up to the court hearing in order to send a message that Reed and her spouse are suitable parents.

"I hope to thank them for their prayers and contributions," Reed said. While the community's support was extremely practical, it was Reed's determination to obtain her children back that ultimately brought about the judge's choice.

When the incident taken place, Sophia never ever left her parents' backyard, and was with various other children, although the parents of those children were never ever stated to authorities. Reed was pregnant with twins at the time, and states Sophia managed to get outside with a sliding door.

After Reed brought to life the twins in June, the DHS additionally took custody of them, but they returned home in December in 2012. Since the DHS never ever provided a court order or paper showing it was licensed to take the children away, she states her children were unlawfully eliminated from her. When entering the residence to remove the children, authorities likewise never provided a search warrant.

Sophia being found outside without adult supervision, officials never ever provided any additional description of why Reed and her husband aren't suitable moms and dads.

The most difficult part of the entire experience for the couple came when DHS put the girls in a foster care home with individuals Reed states were not fit parents.

While the girls were in the foster home, relative and friends became anxious about their general security. Reed states the girls showed indicators of psychological and physical abuse while in the foster care home. Reed and her spouse had custody of the ladies every weekend while they were away.

The couple's battle is far from over, the experience has actually had a big impact on them, and moving forward Reed intends on working to raise awareness to political leaders on comparable child custody fights, in hopes that they will lead significant reforms in DHS policies. She also thinkings of assisting others households who're handling the same scenario.

"This is something taking place all over the United States to others parents and households," Reed said.

She's consulting the DHS to perform proper investigations, and have adequate evidence of wrongdoing before removing children from the custody of their moms and dads.

Significant defects have been related to some of the agency's procedures for getting rid of children from homes.
Although ideal housing was offered for the girls with the couple's family members, the DHS still continued to place them in the care of complete strangers.

 

A version of this column originally appeared in feedproxy.google.com.

Tribes to file lawsuit against SD social services

logo[1]SIOUX FALLS (AP) — Two Native American tribes in South Dakota are expected to file a class action lawsuit Thursday alleging that the state's Department of Social Services has violated the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The federal law requires that Native American children removed from homes be placed with relatives or put in foster care with other Native American families except in unusual circumstances.

Tribes to file lawsuit against SD social services

‘Judge let me down’ woman impregnated by foster father says after he’s sentenced to two years of house arrest

Superior Court in Toronto

Superior Court in Toronto

A Toronto man who impregnated his foster little girl three decades back has actually been sentenced to 2 years of house arrest.

Howard Smith, 61, need to also spend 3 years on probation performing community service to atone for his "monstrous mistake in judgment," Superior Court Justice Jane Kelly ruled Thursday.

The choice came as a blow to Smith's sufferer, who sobbed throughout the hearing and stormed out as the judge reviewed Smith's otherwise "good character." The victim, who can not be called, was simply 15 years old and living under Smith's roofing system when he started making sexual advances.

"I felt that the judge not only let me down, but I felt the judge let down all the future sufferers of the Children's Aid Society," stated the female, now 50. In light of Thursday's judgment, she says she is preparing a civil activity against Smith and child services in Toronto and London, affirming they consistently brushed her off when she tried to lodge complaints about Smith for many years. His 1978 crime was only revealed three years ago, when DNA testing confirmed he had fathered her child.

"I'm extremely surprised and horrified at this whole circumstance ... It's heart-wrenching," the sufferer stated.

Judge Kelly acknowledged her choice was incredibly hard, noting Smith, a previous TTC supervisor who managed countless staff, was otherwise a well-respected member of the community.

"These offences have actually shaken the worlds of two households," Judge Kelly stated in her 14-page ruling.

The judge pointed out a number of exacerbating factors, including that Smith was in a position of "trust and authority" over the sufferer, who had already been bounced amongst two dozen foster homes prior to landing in his care.

The court has heard that after learning the sufferer was pregnant, the Catholic Children's Aid Society put her in a home for unwed mothers, but did not state the incident to authorities.

In an effect statement, the sufferer stated Smith's criminal offense sparked her lifetime battle with depression, noting she tried to wash herself with bleach in an attempt to cleanse the lingering memories.

"Trust is not a part of my world and never has been since I was breached," she stated.

The Crown had actually asked for a prison sentence of a minimum of two years for Smith.

In purchasing a conditional sentence, the judge likewise mentioned a number of mitigating elements, including Smith's otherwise unblemished record and his expressions of sorrow.

Smith, who apologized to the court at a previous hearing, confessed he had "let everyone down," specifically his former foster little girl.

"I would like her to know how deeply sorry I am and for the pain that it has actually triggered her over these years," he said. "Sorry seems like such a little word, however it's all I have.".

 

A version of this column originally appeared in nationalpost.com.

My gay father’s sexual abuse was swept under the carpet, says victim

 Andy Cannon, 23, with girlfriend Redeana Hammill Photo: CAVENDISH


Andy Cannon, 23, with girlfriend Redeana Hammill Photo: CAVENDISH

A former Army cadet who was sexually abused from the age of 9 by his adoptive dad and his gay partner has actually claimed social workers would not have ignored his cries for help had his abusers been heterosexual.

Social services insisted on returning Andy Cannon to cope with the couple, despite the fact that staff at Wakefield council had gotten approximately 6 allegations of physical and sexual abuse over a lot of years.

Mr Cannon, now 23, stated he believed social workers would have removed him from his abusers had they not been gay.

He said: "If my adoptive father was in a heterosexual relationship then my problems would have been listened to earlier.

"It appears the council didn't wish to be seen as victimising gay individuals-- they 'd rather look 'politically correct' and let them get away with it to stay clear of any consequences.".

In a damning report now gotten by Mr Cannon's legal group Wakefield social services officials were accused of "rashness and gross misjudgement" and of putting the victim at "significant risk" of harm after missing six chances to save Mr Cannon from his abusers.

The 160-page internal report by Patrick Ayre, a previous child protection manager, stated social services records of his history were "fragmentary" as well as censored to try to keep certain details secret.

Mr Ayre composed: "That any consideration at all was being given to returning the plaintiff to his dad's care must be considereded unexpected, in view of the concerns which ought to have been felt both about the possibility of violence and about the accusations made about sexual advances from Mr Scarfe.".

Throughout his ordeal Mr Cannon was continuously plied with Ecstasy and cannabis prior to being molested by David Cannon and John Scarfe.

His complaints to care workers were neglected and at one stage he was mistakenly detected as having mental disorders.

Both men were at some point detained and charged after Mr Cannon was readmitted to into council care following a domestic event, at which point he managed to convince a Forster carer he was being abused.

Cannon, 54, and 31-year old Scarfe were each jailed for 30 months in 2006, for inciting sexual activity with a child.

Following a 5 year legal battle Mr Cannon was granted � 25,000 settlement after sueing Wakefield social services department over its care treatments to him over a seven-year period.

Mr Cannon, a dad of two now residing in Barnsley, South Yorks, waived his right to privacy to talk publicly about the scandal.

He stated: "I've got no problems with anybody being gay as long as they do not do exactly what my father did to me. That opts for heterosexual couples too.

"The council should have been there to prevent this from occurring however they would rather just sweep it under the carpet. Of course I was happy when I was lastly paid attention to and dad and John were sent to prison-- but their conviction was a walk in the park compared with exactly what happened to me.

"I have overdosed numerous times in the past and I have attempted to kill myself at least six celebrations after exactly what happened. I had a breakdown about 4 years ago and still have days thinking that my girlfriend would have a much better life without me.

"I was my father's sex toy and there were many times that I thought he was visiting kill me. Many individuals when they mature want a nice house, highflying job and vacations abroad each year-- but all I live for are my children and my girlfriend.".

Cannon was allowed to adopt Andy in December 1997, when the youngster was aged eight. This came despite the fact he had actually earlier been pronounced guilty and applied probation for 12 months for attacking the boy's mom, Elaine Moss, possessing cannabis and managing a stolen computer.

Miss Moss had also claimed Cannon had been abusing her son.

A social worker fell short to bring the accusations to the attention of the family court and rather called Cannon a "really caring parent who considered his children's need".

When he began a relationship with Scarfe, more allegations of sexual impropriety were made against Cannon by Andy and his mom after he started dating a gay man in 2002 and once again.

Mr Cannon, who is now anticipating a 3rd child with his girlfriend Redeana, 23, said: "I first keep in mind being sexually abused at around 9 years old. Dad began seeing men around that time although absolutely nothing was discussed to me or my sisters that he was gay or bi-- his partner was simply a guy that dealt with us.".

"When I informed social workers they didn't believe me. When I got house from school, if my dad was ended up by something I would pay for it with a beating. Later on he would sexually abuse me.".

On 12 August 2004, Andy was gone back to Cannon's care 9 days after running away from home and submitting a grievance against him.

Mr Cannon was eventually readmitted to the care of a social services evaluation device on 16 August 2004, following a battle with Scarfe. This time he managed to convince social workers he was being abused and he was put with a different foster carer.

Cannon and Scarfe were jailed at Sheffield Crown Court in May 2006 after being founded guilty of triggering or provoking a male child under 16 to take part in sexual activity and taking indecent photographs of a child.

They were gotten to sign the Sex Offender Register and banned from dealing with children for life. The pair are now understood to be living in the Leeds area.

Jim Crook, Wakefield Council's interim Corporate Director for Wakefield Council's Family Services, stated: "We are extremely sorry about what took place and have apologised. We have profited from his experiences and have actually improved our services. Personnel at an extremely elderly level in the service continue to be in regular contact with Mr Cannon.".

He added the council's processes for adoption and for handling accusations were durable and based upon the principle of treating everybody the exact same, whatever their background.

 

A version of this column originally appeared in feedproxy.google.com.

Sweden pays out first compensation to abused foster kids

Sweden pays out first compensation to abused foster kidsSweden said Friday it had begun paying out 250,000 kronor (30,000 euros, $39,000) in compensation to Swedes who suffered abuse as foster children between 1920 and 1980, after rampant physical and sexual abuse was revealed.

A first group of 15 people were granted compensation on Friday.

They had all been subjected to "serious forms of abuse or neglect... for example repeated sexual abuse or systematic physical abuse while in an orphanage or foster care," the head of the Swedish state's newly established Compensation Committee, Goeran Ewerloef, said in a statement.

The committee was created after a 2011 government-commissioned report found that many children in foster care had suffered physical, psychological and sexual abuse and recommended that the state pay out compensation in "recognition of society's betrayal of the victims of neglect and as a recognition of their suffering."

According to the author of that report, Kerstin Wigzell, between 2,000 and 5,000 people still alive were foster children during the period 1920-1980.

The committee said Friday it had so far received some 2,200 requests for compensation. But it stressed that not all victims would be financially compensated.

"All forms of abuse and neglect of children are of course unacceptable. But the law is very clear, the compensation will only be granted to those people who were subjected to the most serious forms of abuse or neglect," Ewerloef said.

Applicants have until the end of 2014 to seek compensation.

The 2011 report noted that many children in the care of the state still faced "serious neglect to an unacceptable extent".

Neighbouring Norway's parliament decided in 2005 to offer compensation to people who had been neglected and abused while in foster care of up to 200,000 kroner (26,500 euros, $34,400), although combined with compensation at a municipal level some former foster children reportedly received more than one million kroner.

A version of this column originally appeared in www.lukesarmy.com.