Baby Steffen's tiny body will be laid to rest on Friday, July 7, in Clarksville, Tennessee. His battle to live has ended, but his family's battle for his big sister Annalise continues. The Rivenburgs still don't have the answers that they seek as to what happened at Vanderbilt once Baby Steffen was taken into Department of Children's Services (DCS) custody. They are waiting for the results of a private autopsy, funded by donations from people who believe that the family deserves unbiased answers. Those results could take up to 3 months. The fate of Annalise may be decided in less than 3 weeks. DCS has requested a hearing to terminate the parental rights of Steffen and Patricia. That hearing is scheduled for July 24.
Should All Homeschooled Children be Required to Report to “Child Protection Services” to Check for Abuse?
Marie Cohen’s latest column in The Chronicle calls for requiring that every parent who homeschools a child bring that child before a mandated reporter of child abuse for periodic inspection. As with every other well-intentioned proposal to intrude on families, the problem with this one is the harm it would do to children. The singling out of homeschoolers is odd for several reasons. The children most at risk of abuse or neglect are the youngest. So the same logic behind this proposal requires that every child from birth to at least kindergarten age also be presented for periodic inspection. Cohen even is selective in the lessons she chooses to draw from horror stories; and once again, horror stories are Cohen’s entire argument. In the two Iowa cases she cites, the children were homeschooled. They also were adopted from foster care. In one case, relatives desperate to take in the child were turned down. Yet Cohen offers no sweeping conclusions about regulating foster care or adoption.
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Tennessee Dad Who Lost Children due to Medical Cannabis that Saved his Life Continues to Fight for Children’s Return Home
Michael Brooks is a Tennessee dad whose children were taken from him by Child Protective Services after he used medical cannabis to treat his Hepatitis C. After conventional medical treatments failed to cure his terminal Hepatitis C, he turned to medical cannabis and soon his Hepatitis C was in remission. But unfortunately, Tennessee DCS used his medical cannabis treatment as a reason to take away his children. His health deteriorated rapidly when he stopped using the treatment in the attempt to comply with requirements by Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) in order to get his children back. He was set to have his rights terminated last month, but his case was continued. Michael took to Facebook Live on June 26, 2017, to record a video for his followers, and it looks like things may be turning around for the Brooks family. His health has begun to improve and there is again hope of his getting visitation back. On Facebook Live, Michael said that he had been taking CBD oil, or cannabidiol oil and Moringa oil for the past two weeks. CBD oil is legal in all 50 states, as it contains almost no THC, the chemical that gets one "high." His body has responded so well that he has been able to throw away his other 20 medications. In the Facebook Live video, Michael Brooks said that he expects to go to court on July 19, and he is hopeful about getting visitation with his children back.
Infant Accidentally Vaccinated with Gardasil – Mother Blamed for Vaccine Injuries and Baby Medically Kidnapped
Doctors call it a "medication administration error." During a routine check-up at her pediatrician's office, 4-month old Aniya was accidentally given the Gardasil 9 vaccine, and she hasn't been the same since. Anita Vasquez of Victoria, Texas, herself a nurse, says that "doctors are in denial" that any of the medical issues that began after her daughter received the shot are related to the vaccine. Aniya was a happy and healthy breastfed baby before her 4-month doctor visit. Her only illness was an ear infection which had been cleared up with antibiotics shortly before that fateful day of December 29, 2016. Since then, she has suffered numerous health issues and several hospitalizations. Rather than acknowledge the possibility that the Gardasil 9 vaccine contributed to the decline in Aniya's health, doctors and Child Protective Services have reportedly blamed the mother. Her desperate search for answers has led instead to her being accused of Munchausen by Proxy, or "medical child abuse," and her baby has been seized by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Anita told Health Impact News that her concerns about the vaccine have been dismissed and ignored by virtually everyone involved in her daughter's care. DFPS refers to her "unfounded concerns" about the Gardasil 9 vaccine. She believes that they are trying to cover up the dangers of the vaccine. This is any mother's worst nightmare, and no one deserves this.
Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body
David Frodsham was arrested and accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, procuring minors for sex, and possessing and/or manufacturing child pornography. Law enforcement’s investigation revealed a video made by David Frodsham of a 3- or 4-year-old girl being penetrated by an adult male and screaming for her mommy. David Frodsham pled guilty rather than face a trial and has been sentenced to 17 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections. David Frodsham was part of a pornography ring involving numerous children in his pornography and the procurement of sex for the ring. Unfortunately, things did not improve much when the state moved Jane into the care of Justin and Samantha Osteraas, her guardian says. According to the complaint, “Defendant Samantha Osteraas submerged and held down Jane Doe, a 5-year-old, in a bath of scalding hot water. Jane Doe suffered severe burns over 80 percent of her body. When police arrived, there was blood on the floor and pieces of Jane Doe’s skin were falling off her body. There were bruises to her neck and arms along with other signs of trauma.” Jane had to be placed in a medically induced coma, suffering from organ failure. She lost her toes to amputation “and will undergo lifelong operations to replace 80 percent of the skin on her body and will need incredible amounts of care for the duration of her life as a result of the abuse she suffered in the Osteraas' home.”
It was the best news ever for Chris and Keshia Turner of East Tennessee. After two and a half years battling Child Protective Services, their children were coming home. On Friday, June 24, 2017, Keshia posted the happy news on Facebook that they were on their way to pick up their children. When Health Impact News first spoke with the Turners more than two years ago, their oldest son Brayden had been taken from them by the Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS) after doctors discovered that her son had multiple fractures in various stages of healing. Keshia was accused of Shaken Baby Syndrome and abuse. Keshia told us that she believed that her son Brayden was coming home eventually. Her faith in God was what kept her going, she said, and she trusted that God would one day bring good out of all that they were going through. Then, she gave birth to Carson in September 2015. Because DCS had an ongoing case against Keshia, her 4 day old baby was seized by DCS and placed with his brother. Through it all, the Turners fought hard to get their children back. When we first spoke with the couple more than 2 years ago, they knew that there had to be some kind of medical explanation for Braydon's broken bones and symptoms. However, once a doctor accused the parents of abuse, they said that the doctors stopped looking for answers. But Keshia did not stop looking. She knew that there had to be answers that the doctors had missed.
Virginia Mount was a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful boys. She lived a normal and happy life with her boyfriend and two sons, Jace, 15 months old, and Colten, three years old. In their recreation time they enjoyed fishing, sailing, picnicking, and simply relaxing and playing together. On November 11, 2015, Jace stood up on top of the sofa. As he came tumbling down onto the floor, his arm broke and the whole world he lived in with his family, shattered to pieces. After the fall, as she waited in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital waiting room in Columbus, Ohio, Virginia felt as if time had frozen. Initially, she didn’t think the fall was very serious. After all, it was just a tumble. But when he was transferred from their local hospital to this one, Virginia felt a knot form in her stomach. At that point, though, her greatest fear was merely that Jace would have to endure the physical pain of an injury. She had no idea that her entire family was about to be destroyed, that both her sons would suffer the devastating trauma of losing their families, possibly forever, and that she would be incarcerated for a crime she did not commit.
The Rivenburg family was back in court on Monday morning, June 19. This time, it was to fight for Annalise, the big sister of Baby Steffen, the baby who was taken off of life support on June 8. The family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, were hopeful that the court would send little Annalise back home to be with her family, but that did not happen. Instead, they learned that the Department of Children's Services (DCS) now plans to terminate her parents' parental rights and place her for adoption, presumably with the foster family with whom she and Baby Steffen were placed 4 months ago, just before the baby got sick. They are devastated. Patricia's heart-wrenching sobs could be heard in the background as a family member told the news to Health Impact News. The thought of losing Annalise seems an unbearably cruel blow to the family that is still reeling from what they call Baby Steffen's "potentially preventable" death.
Landmark Federal Lawsuit Charges Missouri With Failure to Protect Foster Kids from Powerful Psychotropic Medications
Watchdogs Children’s Rights, National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) and Saint Louis University School of Law Legal Clinics have today filed a landmark, civil rights complaint against Jennifer Tidball, Acting State Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services and Tim Decker, Director of the Children’s Division of DSS, on behalf of all minor children and youth who are or will be placed in Missouri’s foster care custody. The first class action lawsuit to shine a federal spotlight solely on the overuse of psychotropic medications among vulnerable, at risk populations – such as Missouri’s 13,000 children in foster care – the complaint alleges longstanding, dangerous, unlawful and deliberately indifferent practices by the defendants.