Sarah was loved at home, but abused in foster care

April 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

Legally Kidnapped
SPECIAL REPORT: Sarah was loved at home, but abused in foster care
Too young for juvie? California bill bars prosecution of kids under 12
DCYF to spend $153k to clear overdue reviews
Lawmakers seek answers from CPS over teen’s death
L.A. Board of Supes Considers Greater Accountability of Social Workers and Probation Officers
Australia’s rate of Indigenous child removal ‘unique’, UN investigator says
Europe Turns Into Global Child Abuse Hub, Hosts 60% of Pages with Abuse Content
Texas, a CPS office is no place to house a needy child
Ex-Arkansas DHS employee accused of sexually assaulting 4-year-old foster child
Texas teen struck, killed by car after fleeing CPS office
Police: Girls who escaped group home attack man in Goshen Township
The most pathetic article of 2017 so far
SPECIAL REPORT: Sarah was loved at home, but abused in foster care
Posted: 04 Apr 2017 04:11 AM PDT
But the girl who has come to be known as ‘Sarah’ would suffer some of the most horrific sexual abuse, before the age of 12, in the foster home at the centre of the Government’s latest Commission of Inquiry into the ‘Grace’ case.

More >> SPECIAL REPORT: Sarah was loved at home, but abused in foster care
Too young for juvie? California bill bars prosecution of kids under 12
Posted: 04 Apr 2017 03:57 AM PDT
On the cover a small boy in oversized jeans and a Tommy Hilfiger T-shirt stands on a plastic milk crate, too small to reach, as a police officer presses the young child’s ink-soaked fingertips onto a piece of paper.

More >> Too young for juvie? California bill bars prosecution of kids under 12

DCYF to spend $153k to clear overdue reviews
Posted: 04 Apr 2017 03:49 AM PDT
New Hampshire’s child protective service will spend an estimated $153,000, mostly on overtime for social workers, to clear a backlog of 2,800 overdue reviews of child abuse allegations, according to Maureen Ryan, interim director of the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

More >> DCYF to spend $153k to clear overdue reviews
Lawmakers seek answers from CPS over teen’s death
Posted: 04 Apr 2017 03:42 AM PDT
Lawmakers, who have been pressing to fix Texas’ troubled child-protection system, blasted agency officials on Monday for continuing to house foster care youths in state offices, saying they thought the practice had been stopped months ago.

More >> Lawmakers seek answers from CPS over teen’s death

L.A. Board of Supes Considers Greater Accountability of Social Workers and Probation Officers
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 08:29 PM PDT
Tomorrow the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will consider a change to the county’s disciplinary review process that will they hope will hold county employees who work with vulnerable children to a higher standard.

More >> L.A. Board of Supes Considers Greater Accountability of Social Workers and Probation Officers
Australia’s rate of Indigenous child removal ‘unique’, UN investigator says
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 08:25 PM PDT
Australia’s Indigenous incarceration rates are among the worst in the developed world but it is in the increasing rates of child removal that Australia stands out as being particularly behind other nations, the UN special rapporteur on Indigenous rights has said.

More >> Australia’s rate of Indigenous child removal ‘unique’, UN investigator says
Europe Turns Into Global Child Abuse Hub, Hosts 60% of Pages with Abuse Content
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 08:18 PM PDT
Europe has become the global child abuse hub for hosting the majority of images with the content of exploitation. A spokeswoman from NSPCC, meanwhile, voices the need to tackle the demand for the appalling material.

More >> Europe Turns Into Global Child Abuse Hub, Hosts 60% of Pages with Abuse Content
Texas, a CPS office is no place to house a needy child
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 07:27 PM PDT
Some of Texas’ most vulnerable children, children in such dire straits that the state is in charge of their wellbeing, are spending their nights sleeping in CPS offices. Not in the loving homes of well-trained caregivers. In offices. It’s outright outrageous.

More >> Texas, a CPS office is no place to house a needy child

Girl’s death points to dangers of housing Texas foster kids in offices

Ex-Arkansas DHS employee accused of sexually assaulting 4-year-old foster child
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 07:13 PM PDT
A former Arkansas Department of Human Services employee is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old foster child he transported for supervised visits with her sibling.

More >> Ex-Arkansas DHS employee accused of sexually assaulting 4-year-old foster child
Texas teen struck, killed by car after fleeing CPS office
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 07:35 AM PDT
A 15-year-old foster girl has been killed and another foster child injured when they were struck by a vehicle in Houston hours after running away from state offices where they were living.

More >> Texas teen struck, killed by car after fleeing CPS office
Police: Girls who escaped group home attack man in Goshen Township
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 06:22 AM PDT
According to police, the man was attacked early Monday morning by a group of girls who escaped the nearby Sharon Lynn Home for Girls

More >> Police: Girls who escaped group home attack man in Goshen Township

Two teenagers hit miles from state office where they slept
Apparently you have to pay to read this. Not my fault. Sorry.

The most pathetic article of 2017 so far
Posted: 03 Apr 2017 06:03 AM PDT
Oh Joy! Lucy Spraggan is going to be a foster sucker! And now the dumbass who is obviously looking at this through a set of rose colored glasses, is using her fame to sucker more unsuspecting victims convince more potential foster care providers to join in.

Yes folks, every now and then I come across one of those articles that just makes me want to bang someones head off the wall and scream. Here it is.

Hold on to your lunch…

“Me and my fabulous wife are now officially approved foster carers,” the singer wrote. “Woo!”
She also urged her followers who may be interested in fostering to look into it.

More >> Lucy Spraggan and her wife have been approved as a foster carers and they couldn’t be happier

Legally Kidnapped

April 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

Legally Kidnapped
Four teenage girls cited for escape after fleeing Derry group home
Social worker failed to properly manage the records of more than a dozen families
Texas foster care ministry accused of sexual abuse
Are children safe in foster care? Not always in and around Salem
Nearly a decade old, state contract for foster care leaves funding gaps
Four teenage girls cited for escape after fleeing Derry group home
Posted: 12 Apr 2017 05:36 AM PDT
Four teenage girls were cited to Westmoreland County Juvenile Court for escape this week after fleeing an Adelphoi Village group home in Derry Township.

More >> Four teenage girls cited for escape after fleeing Derry group home
Social worker failed to properly manage the records of more than a dozen families
Posted: 12 Apr 2017 04:42 AM PDT
A social worker failed to properly manage the records of more than a dozen families, a hearing was told.

Stephen Samuel Thomas poorly coordinated assessments for 18 families while employed on the front line of Nottinghamshire County Council’s social care department.

More >> Social worker failed to properly manage the records of more than a dozen families
Texas foster care ministry accused of sexual abuse
Posted: 12 Apr 2017 04:35 AM PDT
A $7 million lawsuit alleges children were “serially sexually abused” and neglected at a Baptist children’s home in Texas.

More >> Texas foster care ministry accused of sexual abuse
Are children safe in foster care? Not always in and around Salem
Posted: 12 Apr 2017 04:32 AM PDT
Children in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties faced maltreatment in foster care more than twice as often as a national standard calls for.

More >> Are children safe in foster care? Not always in and around Salem

Nearly a decade old, state contract for foster care leaves funding gaps
Posted: 12 Apr 2017 04:22 AM PDT
On paper, Illinois looks as though it is holding up its end of the bargain in terms of funding childcare.

More >> Nearly a decade old, state contract for foster care leaves funding gaps

Legally Kidnapped
Luzerne Co. Council discussing foster death settlement
HIV+ MAN GETS LIFE TERM FOR RAPING FOSTER DAUGHTER
Teen claims he endured sex abuse from Long Island pedophile foster dad to protect another kid
Boy, 12, accused of sexually assaulting girl in La. foster care system
Column: Foster care bill would leave kids without caring homes
Lawsuit Alleges Catholic Church Stole Babies through Forced Adoption to Sell Them for Profit
Man gets life for raping foster child; he forced her to implicate 2 others
Prospective Parents Face Long Adoption Wait
Samantha Baldwin ‘gave her children drugs and made false abuse claim against dad’
Armed with new tools, child welfare caseworkers help more families address underlying problems
Luzerne Co. Council discussing foster death settlement
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 05:12 AM PDT
Luzerne County Council will privately discuss a settlement with a family whose child died after being placed in foster care.

More >> Luzerne Co. Council discussing foster death settlement
HIV+ MAN GETS LIFE TERM FOR RAPING FOSTER DAUGHTER
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 04:33 AM PDT
Victim, also infected with HIV, was 16 at the time of the crime in 2013; initially she was forced to falsely implicate two other men.

More >> HIV+ MAN GETS LIFE TERM FOR RAPING FOSTER DAUGHTER

Teen claims he endured sex abuse from Long Island pedophile foster dad to protect another kid
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 04:26 AM PDT
The 16-year-old adopted son of an accused pedophile foster dad testified in Long Island Monday that he endured sexual abuse to prevent the perv from abusing another boy in his care.

More >> Teen claims he endured sex abuse from Long Island pedophile foster dad to protect another kid

Teen says he let adoptive father molest him to protect others

Boy, 12, accused of sexually assaulting girl in La. foster care system
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 04:49 AM PDT
A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after allegedly sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl while she was housed at a group home for children that falls under Louisiana’s foster care system.

More >> Boy, 12, accused of sexually assaulting girl in La. foster care system

Baton Rouge boy booked, accused of sexual battery of 7-year-old girl in group home

Column: Foster care bill would leave kids without caring homes
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 03:46 AM PDT
Six months before I gave birth to my first child, I became a mom to two little boys.

More >> Column: Foster care bill would leave kids without caring homes
Lawsuit Alleges Catholic Church Stole Babies through Forced Adoption to Sell Them for Profit
Posted: 11 Apr 2017 03:38 AM PDT
In a lawsuit against the Jesuit order and Catholic church, a woman who gave her child up for adoption decades ago claims the church ran a “for-profit adoption conspiracy scheme” that forced hundreds of unwed mothers to give their infants.

More >> Lawsuit Alleges Catholic Church Stole Babies through Forced Adoption to Sell Them for Profit

Man gets life for raping foster child; he forced her to implicate 2 others
Posted: 10 Apr 2017 11:54 AM PDT
A special Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act court convicted and sentenced a 44-year-old man to life imprisonment on Monday for raping his foster daughter twice in 2013. The accused had even forced the then 14-year-old to falsely implicate two men from the neighbourhood for the crime, but cops caught on and requested the child to reveal the truth.

More >> Man gets life for raping foster child; he forced her to implicate 2 others
Prospective Parents Face Long Adoption Wait
Posted: 10 Apr 2017 09:33 AM PDT
The long time taken to process adoption applications in Iceland can lead to some potential parents giving up, according to the chairman of Icelandic Adoptions. The processing time to adopt has increased greatly in recent years.

More >> Prospective Parents Face Long Adoption Wait
Samantha Baldwin ‘gave her children drugs and made false abuse claim against dad’
Posted: 10 Apr 2017 09:09 AM PDT
A mum who went missing with her two children had previously given them drugs and made a false allegation of abuse against their father, a judge has said.

More >>> Samantha Baldwin ‘gave her children drugs and made false abuse claim against dad’

Armed with new tools, child welfare caseworkers help more families address underlying problems
Posted: 10 Apr 2017 08:50 AM PDT
Note: Helping families to overcome the problems that lead to child welfare involvement is the solution to removing children from their homes. I know this article is sugar coated, but it at least acknowledges that fact.

Every day, Kisha Earhart and Malou Steele balance the need to eliminate risks to children with the value of preserving families.

More >> Armed with new tools, child welfare caseworkers help more families address underlying problems

Legally Kidnapped

April 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

Legally Kidnapped
Attorney argues Alex Jones ‘playing a character’ in child custody trial
Abuse victim forced to give her baby up for adoption was let down by police, says watchdog
Report cites Hawaii agency for not doing better job with boy
State foster care system comes under fire at San Angelo forum
Attorney argues Alex Jones ‘playing a character’ in child custody trial
Posted: 17 Apr 2017 04:24 AM PDT

A Texas jury will decide if Infowars’ Alex Jones on-air persona makes him unfit to have custody of his three children with ex-wife Kelly Jones.

In the next two weeks a jury will be asked to determine whether there is a difference between the Infowars host’s on-air personality and the real Alex Jones, and whether it makes him fit to be a parent.

More >> Attorney argues Alex Jones ‘playing a character’ in child custody trial

Abuse victim forced to give her baby up for adoption was let down by police, says watchdog
Posted: 17 Apr 2017 04:15 AM PDT
A domestic abuse victim whose baby was subsequently put up for adoption was failed by South Wales Police, the police watchdog has concluded.

More >> Abuse victim forced to give her baby up for adoption was let down by police, says watchdog
Report cites Hawaii agency for not doing better job with boy
Posted: 16 Apr 2017 06:02 AM PDT
A Hawaii agency could have done a better job protecting a 6-year-old child who was abused and later died, a court-appointed expert said in a report.

More >> Report cites Hawaii agency for not doing better job with boy
State foster care system comes under fire at San Angelo forum
Posted: 16 Apr 2017 05:58 AM PDT
More than 75 percent of reported child abuse cases that occur in Texas foster homes go unresolved every year because state politicians and government leaders ignore reports by Child Protective Services, said Chris Porter, a prominent Houston attorney who is among several attorneys suing the state on allegations of child neglect.

More >> State foster care system comes under fire at San Angelo forum

Legally Kidnapped

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Legally Kidnapped
Maine should clarify when it tells parents about day care investigations, watchdog says
Number of foster children sleeping in state offices soars in March
Mom Accused Of Killing Son Was Foster Mother Or Father Prior To – Hifow
Centerstone to pull out of its DCF child welfare contract
Trump Signs Law That Allows States To Defund Planned Parenthood
‘I have a scar on my toe where he dug a drill into it’
Jury Awards $4.5M in California Group Home Neglect Case
Compensation For Surviving Barahona Child Among Claims Bills Heading To House Floor
Social workers criticised for using “psycho-babble” to justify taking girl, 4, into care
Maine should clarify when it tells parents about day care investigations, watchdog says
Posted: 15 Apr 2017 05:41 AM PDT
The report by the state’s watchdog agency is part of ongoing scrutiny of the Department of Health and Human Services’ licensing and inspection of child care facilities.

More >> Maine should clarify when it tells parents about day care investigations, watchdog says
Number of foster children sleeping in state offices soars in March
Posted: 15 Apr 2017 05:11 AM PDT
More than 300 children have slept in state offices and other temporary living situations because of lack of foster homes so far this fiscal year.

More >> Number of foster children sleeping in state offices soars in March
Number of foster children without homes triples this year

Mom Accused Of Killing Son Was Foster Mother Or Father Prior To – Hifow
Posted: 15 Apr 2017 04:57 AM PDT
The upstate New York mom accused with her husband of killing their adopted special wants son and burning their house in a plot influenced by the movie Manchester by the Sea had been a foster guardian to multiple youngsters, courtroom documents reveal.

More >> Mom Accused Of Killing Son Was Foster Mother Or Father Prior To – Hifow
Centerstone to pull out of its DCF child welfare contract
Posted: 15 Apr 2017 04:56 AM PDT
Since 1998, Centerstone of Florida, formerly Manatee Glens, has handled some of the child welfare case management in Manatee County.

More >> Centerstone to pull out of its DCF child welfare contract
Trump Signs Law That Allows States To Defund Planned Parenthood
Posted: 14 Apr 2017 05:54 PM PDT
President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Thursday that allows states to individually remove family planning funding from Planned Parenthood. The law overturns an Obama administration rule prohibiting states to block funding to qualified health organizations that provide abortions.

More >> Trump Signs Law That Allows States To Defund Planned Parenthood
‘I have a scar on my toe where he dug a drill into it’
Posted: 14 Apr 2017 05:50 PM PDT
The daughter of Florida foster parents who were charged last month with nearly 700 counts related to sex crimes and child abuse has detailed shocking allegations of torture involving a drill, melted candle wax and duct tape.

More >> ‘I have a scar on my toe where he dug a drill into it’

Jury Awards $4.5M in California Group Home Neglect Case
Posted: 14 Apr 2017 05:42 PM PDT
A former resident of a children’s group home in Northern California has been awarded nearly $4.5 million after jurors found he was severely neglected by the home’s caregivers while living at the facility.

More >> Jury Awards $4.5M in California Group Home Neglect Case
Compensation For Surviving Barahona Child Among Claims Bills Heading To House Floor
Posted: 14 Apr 2017 01:21 PM PDT
A number of claims bills which found Florida’s child welfare agency at fault are now heading to the House floor. Among them is a high profile bill involving twins that further compensates the surviving victim, in an abuse case that took his twin sister’s life.

More >> Compensation For Surviving Barahona Child Among Claims Bills Heading To House Floor
Social workers criticised for using “psycho-babble” to justify taking girl, 4, into care
Posted: 14 Apr 2017 08:09 AM PDT
A four year old has been removed from her “loving” father for life despite a judge criticising social workers for using “psycho-babble” to justify taking her into care.

More >> Social workers criticised for using “psycho-babble” to justify taking girl, 4, into care

Writing a Better Appellate Briefs

April 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

Writing Better Appellate Briefs
Brad A. Elward & Natalie Thompson
Heyl, Royster, Voelker & Allen, Peoria
Distributed March 6, 2013
I. Introduction
Appellate justices will tell you over and over – most cases are won or lost on the
briefs. In today’s world of shorter and shorter oral arguments, we must present
the bulk of our argument in written format and cannot rely on an oral
presentation to convey our points. In fact, today most appellate courts view oral
argument as a conversation to discuss remaining questions with the case;
arguments are not a long recitation of facts and authorities or powerful analysis.
A. Governing Rules
The applicable rules for civil appeals are found in the 300–series rules; those
governing criminal appeals are found in the 600-series.
The rules of procedure concerning appellate briefs are not mere suggestions, and it is
within this court’s discretion to strike [a] brief for failing to comply with Supreme Court
Rule 341.” Crull v. Sriratana, 376 Ill. App. 3d 803, 812 (4th Dist. 2007).
The governing rules should be consulted before any appellate project.
B. The Importance of Planning
The following steps are recommended when beginning work on your brief,
regardless of whether you are the appellant or the appellee. Perhaps the most
important suggestion is to clear sufficient time for the brief. Most briefs take a
minimum of 30-40 hours to prepare, from notice of appeal to oral argument
preparation.
What to Review?
• Review the case in full and thoroughly study the record on appeal.
o Order appealed from;
o Underlying motions;
o Transcripts and exhibits;
o Review prior research;
o Identify your issues;
2
o Confirm you have the correct standard of review.
• Update your research.
• Create an outline.
o What must I show to win?
o How do I show that?
o Anticipate problems, questions, your opponent, the court.
• Formulate a theme for the brief.
• Write it, and then edit, edit, edit.
C. The Importance of Editing and Not Simply Dictating the Brief
Editing is crucial to a good brief. Sufficient time should be allowed for many
revisions to the brief, including reads for typographical errors, grammar, and
condensing prose. Each sentence of the brief should be confronted with the
questions, “what does this add to my brief? Can I say this in fewer words?”
Example One
Matt Garner also testified at trial before Arbitrator Smithson (C. 77). Matt Garner
was the employer’s chief mechanic at that time (C. 77). He was working on the
day of the claimant’s accident (C. 78). He did not see the accident (C. 78). He did
hear the claimant tell his shift supervisor that he had cut his hand on the stamp
press (C. 79). He saw the cut on claimant’s hand (C. 79-80). The claimant’s shift
supervisor was Pollyanne McBride (C. 45, 80).
Example Two
Matt Garner, the employer’s chief mechanic, testified that while he did not
witness the claimant’s accident, he overheard the claimant report the injury to
the shift supervisor, Pollyanne McBride, and he saw the claimant’s injured hand
(C. 77-80).
You should also consider having the brief read by a secretary or paralegal.
Also, avoid dictating your brief, unless you plan to do heavy editing. We speak
differently than we write and it is usually readily apparent when counsel simply
dictates a brief and sends it to be bound. Your conversational tone should be
saved for the oral argument.
II. The Brief
A. Procedural Matters
There are various general requirements for an appellate brief set forth in
Supreme Court Rule 341.
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1. Form of Brief
According to Rule 341(a), briefs must be double-spaced with 1-½ inch margins
on the left side and 1 inch margins on all other sides. The briefs must be securely
bound on the left side. Typeface must be 12-point or larger.
Rule 341(a) also expresses some preferences of the court. The Rule states that
lengthy quotations are not favored and footnotes are discouraged.
2. Length of Brief
The appellant’s brief is limited to 50 pages. Rule 341(b)(1). This limitation
excludes the cover, the statement of points and authorities, the certificate of
compliance, the certificate of service and those pages to be appended to the brief.
A motion to file a brief in excess of the page limitation is allowed, but not
favored. Rule 341(b)(2). If a motion is filed, it must be filed at least 10 days before
the brief is due and must state the number of excess pages requested and the
specific grounds for the necessity of additional pages.
3. Certificate of Compliance
Filed with the brief, an attorney must submit a signed certification that the brief
complies with the form and length requirements. Rule 341(c). This certificate
reads as follows:
I certify that this brief conforms to the requirements of Rules 341(a) and (b). The
length of this brief, excluding the pages containing the Rule 341(d) cover, the
Rule 341(h)(1) statement of points and authorizes, the Rule 341(c) certificate of
compliance, the certificate of service, and those matters to be appended to the
brief under Rule 342(a) is ____ pages.
4. Covers
Per Rule 341(d), the cover of the brief shall be white and include:
• The number of the case in the reviewing court and the name of that court;
• The name of the court from which the case was brought;
• The name of the case as it appeared in the lower tribunal (except that the
parties should now be referred to as plaintiff-appellant, etc.);
• The name of the trial judge entering the judgment; and
• The individual names and addresses of the attorneys (or unrepresented
parties).
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5. Copies and Proof of Service
Nine copies of each brief shall be filed in the Appellate Court. Rule 341(e).
Twenty (20) copies shall be filed in the Supreme Court. Three (3) copies of the
brief shall be served upon each other party to the appeal. A proof of service must
be filed with all briefs.
6. References to Parties
In a brief, the parties should not be referenced as “appellant,” “appellee,”
“respondent,” or “petitioner.” Instead, the parties should be referenced as they
were in the trial court, or by descriptive terms such as “the injured person” or
“the employer.”
In a juvenile case or a case involving mental health, the parties shall be referred
to by first name and last initial.
B. Substantive Thoughts
1. Nature of the Case
Supreme Court Rule 341(h)(2) requires an introductory paragraph stating the
nature of the action and of the judgment appealed from and whether the
judgment is based upon the verdict of a jury. The introductory paragraph must
also state whether any question is raised on the pleadings.
The “Nature of the Case” section should be limited to informing the appellate
court of what lies ahead in your brief. It should not be argumentative, but it can
suggest an answer. The section should inform the court generally of the type of
case before it, the specific claims asserted, and defenses, the nature of the action
which brought the case before the appellate court, and the court’s disposition of
that motion.
This appeal challenges the circuit court’s order granting defendant Mitchell’s
motion for summary judgment against the plaintiff Anderson. Anderson was
struck by a car driven by Mitchell’s teenage son, but owned by Mitchell;
Anderson alleged that Mitchell was liable for his son’s actions based on negligent
entrustment. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Mitchell, finding
there that Anderson had presented no evidence that Mitchell knew the car had
been taken, no evidence that Mitchell gave permission to drive the car, and failed
to present any evidence that Mitchell had reason to believe that his son was an
inept or unqualified driver. Anderson now appeals to this Court.
5
The nature of the case section should be short, concise and should not be
argumentative.
2. Statement of Jurisdiction
a. Procedural Rules
When appealing to the Supreme Court directly from the trial court or as a matter
of right from the Appellate Court, there must be a brief statement of the
jurisdiction grounds for the appeal under the heading “Jurisdiction.” Rule
341(h)(4).
Rule 341(h)(4) also provides that when a case is appealed to the Appellate Court
there shall be a “Jurisdiction” heading. Under this heading, the appellant shall
give a brief statement for the basis for appeal including:
• The supreme court rule or other law which confers jurisdiction
upon the reviewing court;
• The facts of the case which bring it within this rule or other law;
• The date that the order being appealed was entered;
• Any other facts which are necessary to demonstrate the appeal is
timely; and
• In an appeal from a judgment to all claims and parties, a
demonstration of the disposition of all claims and all parties.
All facts recited in this statement must be supported by page references to the
record on appeal.
b. Substantive Thoughts
This section should be short and inform the appellate court of the jurisdictional
basis for the appeal. You should reference the date of the order appealed from,
state that the order was final and disposed of all issues in the case, and include
the date of any applicable motion to reconsider and the order disposing of that
motion. The notice of appeal should also be referenced by date.
If there is a jurisdictional issue, you can mention that deficiency in your
statement of jurisdiction, and should consider filing a separate motion to dismiss
the appeal and then include an argument on that basis in the brief, if there is
insufficient time for the appellate court to rule or if the court takes the motion
with the case.
If you are an appellant and are concerned with a jurisdictional issue, you can file
a motion to clarify jurisdiction to get the court’s attention early in the case.
6
Appellate jurisdiction is proper under Supreme Court Rules 301 and 303
following the circuit court’s final order entered on July 10, 2011 (C. 9; A-4). In
that order, the circuit court granted defendant Mitchell’s motion for summary
judgment, disposing of both counts of plaintiff Anderson’s complaint (C. 9-14; A-
4-9). Anderson filed his notice of appeal on July 16, 2011 (C. 18; A-2).
If there are multiple parties, be sure to indicate how claims as to each party have
been resolved so as not to create a question of whether your order is final and
appealable.
3. Statement of Issues
A statement of the issues presented for reviewed, without detail or citation of
authorities, is required by Rule 341(h)(3).
Avoid simply stating, “Whether the trial court erred,” or “Whether the trial
judge abused his discretion by refusing to admit evidence.”
Issues should be used as a tool to help you persuade the appellate court that you
are correct. They should identify the exact issue before the court and suggest the
answer you desire.
Also, you are not wedded to using “whether” to commence each issue presented.
Consider the following “deep” issues:
Did the circuit court judge abuse his discretion by denying the defendants’ forum
non conveniens motion based on the presence in St. Claire County of one
occurrence witness, when the plaintiff, a resident of Nebraska, was injured in
Nebraska, received his medical treatment in Iowa, and all other witnesses to the
accident were located in either Iowa or Central Nebraska?
Can a circuit judge properly admit medical testimony from a physician
concerning the victim’s recent and pre-attack diagnosis of advanced syphilis,
where that testimony would reasonably demonstrate that her condition would
have been passed to the defendant had he truly committed the alleged sexual
assault?
Is the jury’s verdict finding the defendant not guilty against the manifest weight
of the evidence where there was no claim of comparative negligence made
against the plaintiff and the defendant admitted on the stand that he entered the
intersection against a red light?
It is also acceptable to use issues with multiple statements.
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Taking the time to craft an informative issue statement can help you formulate
your argument and also persuade the court that you should prevail.
4. The Standard of Review
Rule 341(h)(3) requires a concise statement of the applicable standard of review
for each issue, with citation to authority. This statement shall be located either in
the discussion of the issue in the argument or under a separate heading before
the discussion in the argument.
1. What is a standard of review?
The standard of review refers to the level of deference a reviewing court affords
the determinations of the circuit court. The standard of review varies depending
on the type of decision made at the lower level (e.g., motion to dismiss, summary
judgment, verdict) and the nature of the issue from which an appeal is sought
(fact, discretionary, legal).
It is imperative to understand the standard of review that will be applied by the
appellate court, because the standard of review almost always determines the
outcome. An excellent reference on applicable standards of review for specific
scenarios is Hugh Griffin and Hugh S. Balsam, The Standard of Review in Civil
Cases in Illinois: More Than Meets the Eye, 15 APP.L.REV. 1 (Winter 2002 – 2003).
2. What are the standards?
The standard of review can be set forth in a separate section of the brief. If
multiple issues are presented, the applicable standard of review must be stated
for each issue raised.
De Novo
Under the de novo standard of review, the appellate court grants no deference to
a trial court’s determination and instead it conducts an independent review of
the issue on appeal. In re Marriage of Abrell, 236 Ill. 2d 249, 255 (2010).
The de novo standard of review typically is applied whenever an issue is
adjudicated short of trial on issues that are purely legal in nature or that do not
involve a weighing or adjudication of evidence. For example, an appellate court
applies a de novo standard of review to trial court orders that grant a motion to
dismiss or a motion for summary judgment. Wright v. Pucinski, 352 Ill. App. 3d
769 (1st Dist. 2004).
8
Examples:
Although the issue involves the retroactivity of child support, the trial court’s
decision was predicated on its finding that it had no authority to make the
modification of child support retroactive prior to May 2007. This is a question of
law, and therefore, we apply a de novo standard of review. In re Marriage of Streur,
2011 IL APP (1st) 082326, ¶ 13.
Abuse of Discretion
Appellate courts review discretionary findings under an abuse of discretion
standard. Abuse can be found only if a court acted arbitrarily without the
employment of conscientious judgment or exceeded the bounds of reason and
ignored recognized principles of law. Zurich Ins. Co. v. Raymark Industries, Inc.,
213 Ill. App. 3d 591 (1st Dist. 1991). The test is often stated as no reasonable trier
of fact would have reached the conclusion reached below. At least one court has
noted out the need for a fact-finder to make specific findings of fact so as to
enable the appellate court to determine whether there existed an “informed
basis” for the circuit court’s ruling. See, e.g., McGrath v. Botsford, 405 Ill. App. 3d
781 (2d Dist. 2010).
The abuse of discretion standard is applied to types of judgments that the circuit
court is deemed to have considerable latitude in deciding, e.g., leave to amend or
file pleadings, admission of evidence, and compliance with deadlines. See In re
Marriage of D.T.W. and S.L.W., 2011 IL APP (1st) 111225, ¶ 107 (a circuit court’s
ruling granting an amendment to a petition for removal is reviewed for an abuse
of discretion).
Examples:
The trial court is vested with broad discretion in determining matters of
visitation, and we will not disturb a trial court’s decision as to visitation unless
the trial court abuses its discretion, or where a manifest injustice has been done
to the children or the parent. In re Marriage of Diehl, 221 Ill. App. 3d 410, 429 (2d
Dist. 1991).
A trial court’s decision regarding retroactivity of child support is usually
reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard. In re Marriage of Eberhardt, 387
Ill. App. 3d 226, 233 (1st Dist. 2008).
The allowance of attorney fees and the amount awarded are matters within the
sound discretion of the circuit court and will not be reversed on appeal absent an
abuse of discretion. In re Marriage of Streur, 2011 IL APP (1st) 082326.
Although the issue involves the retroactivity of child support, an issue usually
reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard, the trial court’s decision was
predicated on its finding that it had no authority to make the modification of
9
child support retroactive prior to May 2007. This is a question of law, and
therefore, we apply a de novo standard of review. In re Marriage of Streur, 2011 IL
APP (1st) 082326, ¶ 13.
A reviewing court will not disturb the circuit court’s decision to enter a
bifurcated judgment of dissolution of marriage absent an abuse of discretion. In
re Marriage of Wade, 408 Ill. App. 3d 775, 778 (1st Dist. 2011).
Manifest Weight of the Evidence
This standard applies to findings of fact, which includes credibility and
evaluating conflicting evidence. The manifest weight standard asks whether an
opposite result is clearly apparent or when the trial court’s findings are
unreasonable, arbitrary or not based on the evidence. In re Custody of K.P.L., 304
Ill. App. 3d 481, 488 (3d Dist. 1999). The trier of fact is given considerable
deference under this standard and a reviewing court will not reverse simply
because it would have reached a different conclusion or because an alternative
inference might be possible.
Examples:
A trial court’s determination of what is in the best interests of the children will
not be reversed unless it is clearly against the manifest weight of the evidence
and it appears that a manifest injustice has occurred. In re Marriage of
Collingbourne, 204 Ill. 2d 498, 521 (2003).
For briefs filed in the Third District, the standard of review must be included
with each issue in the argument section. Local Administrative Rule 48.
The standard of review can be stated as follows:
This issue involves whether jury’s verdict is against the manifest weight of the
evidence. A decision is against the manifest weight of the evidence where an
opposite result is clearly apparent. In re Marriage of Demaret, 2012 IL APP (1st)
111916, ¶ 43. On questions of fact, this Court should affirm where there is some
evidence to support the jury’s determination; this Court may not substitute its
decision simply because a different conclusion could be reached.
Outside the Third District, the standards of review can be stated in one
preliminary section so long as the appropriate standard is related to each issue.
5. Statement of the Facts
Rule 341(b)(6) provides that the Statement of Facts be stated “accurately and
fairly and without argument or comment, and with appropriate reference to the
pages of the record on appeal … .”
10
There are several considerations when preparing your statement of facts. First
and foremost, we want to be non-argumentative. Second, while we want to
present all of the facts necessary to help the court decide our case, we also need
to be mindful of leaving out those facts which do not add any useful information.
An example is the lawyer’s tendency to want to describe every filing by date and
full title. Consider the following two examples:
Examples
Version 1
On July 3, 1999, the plaintiff, Anna Kendrick, by and through her
attorney, Lofton Sinclair, filed her complaint for damages against
the defendant, Dale Burton, in the Circuit Court of Madison
County, Illinois, seeking to recover for negligence arising out of an
automobile accident that occurred at 7:15 a.m. on July 2, 1997, at the
intersection of Illinois Route 4 and Cobbler Road (C. 1, 2). At the
time of the collision, Kendrick was traveling southeast on Illinois 4
in a blue Oldsmobile (C. 3). Burton was driving in a westerly
direction in a white Ford F 150 pickup truck (C. 4).
On July 29, 1999, the defendant filed a section 2-615 motion to
dismiss the complaint, which was granted by the circuit court,
Judge John Carter presiding, on August 27, 1999 (C. 22, 30). Leave
was given to replead (C. 31). The plaintiff filed a first amended
complaint on September 15, 1999, to which the defendant filed a
section 2-619 motion to dismiss on October 1, 1999, this time raising
the two year statute of limitations (C. 35, 41). The circuit court
granted the motion on November 10, 1999, following a hearing on
that motion held October 25, 1999 (C. 50; R. 1, 17).
Version 2
The plaintiff, Anna Kendrick, filed a complaint against the
defendant, Dale Burton, alleging negligence arising out of a July 2,
1997 automobile accident (C. 1, 2). Following the court’s dismissal
of the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, the plaintiff
amended her complaint; the defendant filed a section 2-619 motion
to dismiss, this time raising the two year statute of limitations (C.
35, 41). The circuit court granted the motion on November 10, 1999
(C. 50; R. 1, 17).
11
Another significant consideration is how to script the statement of facts. While
striving to tell a story, we have the option of telling the story in chronological
order, incident facts versus procedural facts, or issue-related. We should avoid
presenting trial testimony in a witness by witness fashion; it is hard to follow.
Consider this example of a narrative from a defendant’s brief combining the
observations of a second witness with the plaintiff’s:
While Marshall said the traffic light was yellow as she entered the intersection
(C. 256), John Simpson, who was traveling in the car immediately behind her,
said the light had already turned red and that he had already began to slow his
vehicle when Marshall entered the intersection (C. 412-415). Simpson, an
accident reconstruction expert who was on his way to a deposition, said he had
paid close attention to Marshall’s car because he had noticed her tail lights were
not functioning (C. 420).
This statement tells us what the plaintiff Marshall claims, then offers evidence to
refute that statement and further offers evidence of his credibility.
As appellee, we want to offer a supplemental statement of facts in most cases.
Remember, while we want to present a non-argumentative statement of facts, we
nevertheless want to present the statement in a light most favorable to our
position. This means we will rarely accept the statement of facts offered by our
opponent.
Some claim the best approach to writing a brief is to write the argument first;
however, a command of the facts is essential to fully understanding your case.
Thus, it may be best to draft the statement of facts first, then daft the argument.
General TIPS for the Statement of Fact
• Avoid telling the whole story from beginning to end. Rarely is that an
effective technique.
• Where possible, break the facts into those necessary to show how the
controversy arose and those telling the procedural history of the case,
including trial testimony of experts.
• Use subheadings.
• Be candid and tell both favorable and unfavorable facts.
• Support all fact references with citations to the record.
• Avoid repetition – in fact intensive cases, summarize the facts in the
statement of facts and then draw these out in detail during the argument,
or vice versa.
12
6. Argument
a. Procedural Rules
Rule 341(h)(7) provides that the argument shall contain the contentions of the
appellant and the reasons therefore, and must contain citation of the authorities
and the pages of the record that are relied on. It is important to note that citation
to numerous authorities in support of the same point is not favored. Also, points
not argued are waived and shall not be raised in the reply brief, oral argument or
petition for rehearing.
b. Substantive Thoughts
The argument section is where we address each of the issues in detail and show
how we reached the conclusions supporting our desired relief. The best approach
is to prepare an outline and then supplement and expand that document with
your supporting points and authorities. This outline can then be used to prepare
the overall argument. By using this approach you can better see how the
argument comes together and identify potential holes in your logic.
Also, appellate brief arguments should not resemble a law journal article. While
a law journal article may include a detailed historical background or provide a
thorough discussion of the development of the law, this is rarely productive in
an appellate brief. In most instances, reference to a few governing principles will
suffice as will a single citation to a seminal case rather than a string of cites.
Likewise, an appellate brief need not always include a laundry list of broad,
neutral principles of law.
General Comments on the Argument Section:
• Lead with conclusions.
• Use headings and sub-headings.
• Keep your paragraphs short.
• Both show and tell the court what you are saying.
• Remember to cite case or statutory authority – you do not want waiver.
• Limit quotations.
• Be concise in your arguments.
• Spelling, tense, grammar, syntax.
• Avoid legalese.
An argument should ideally be organized to present the strongest argument first,
followed by one of two other points. If several issues relate to the admission of
13
evidence, those can be grouped together under one general issue and then
addressed individually with sub-issues.
One area that occasionally appears and presents a problem is that of a strong
damages argument mated with a weak liability argument. Logically, we should
address liability first and then address damages. At times we can continue with
the logical presentation in our brief and change our emphasis or focus at oral
argument.
Typical Criticisms of Briefs
• Briefs are too long.
• Counsel raises too many issues.
• Argumentative statements of facts.
• No organization or lack of focus.
• Misrepresentation of the record or the cited case law.
• Failing to address negative facts or significant cases cited.
• Failure to abide by court rules.
• Typos, misspellings, and grammar errors.
• Refusal to reference or apply the standard of review.
• Personal attacks against counsel or the trial court.
• Failure to cite the record or case authority.
• Footnotes.
7. The Conclusion
A conclusion is required by Rule 341(h)(8).
The conclusion should simply ask the Court for the desired relief. The conclusion
should ask for both primary and alternative relief, whether that relief be a new
trial, a new trial on damages only, or affirmance of the circuit court’s order of
dismissal or summary judgment.
Use of Summaries
Summaries are not required but are strongly recommended in either complex or
long briefs. A tight introductory summary helps direct the court where you are
going and a good ending summary ties all of your points together so that the
court can leave your brief with a good understanding of your points.
14
III. The Appendix
Supreme Court Rule 342(a) states that the appendix shall include the order
appealed from, the notice of appeal, and, if the appellant’s brief, the index to the
record on appeal.
However, the appendix should also include any documents that are significant in
your appeal. These additional materials may include jury instructions or special
interrogatories, verdict forms, a transcript of an offer of proof, a key photograph
or chart, or a pleading demonstrating that you did not waive an issue.
Remember, there is only one record on appeal; but there can be anywhere from
three to five to seven members of the court reviewing your brief. Including all
significant documents in the appendix ensures that these documents are with the
brief and available to the justice to review wherever the brief is reviewed.
IV. Citations
A. Record Citations
Record citations should be offered for each fact referenced, whether in the
statement of facts or argument section of the brief. Citations should be listed as
follows:
Common law record citations (C. __).
Transcript of Proceedings citations (R. __)
Because the circuit clerks often get creative when preparing the record on appeal,
these are general guidelines and not hard and fast rules.
TIPS for Record Citation
• Indicate in a footnote any unusual citation system employed by the circuit
court.
• If there are many volumes, consider indicating the volume number with
the “C” number as follows: (Vol. I, C. 12; Vol. 6, C. 1498).
• Some transcripts will be given volume numbers based on the individual
transcripts, so there may be multiple “R” citations; for these records, a
volume reference is a must: (Vol. 2, R. 27).
Key documents included in your appendix (discussed later) should be cited with
the record citation as follows: (C. 77; A-14). This lets the appellate court know
that the document is contained in the brief appendix.
15
B. Case Citations
Case citations should follow the blue book and, for cases as of July 1, 2011,
follow the new Supreme Court citation system.
TIPS for Case Citations
• Omit references to Illinois decisions.
• Use pin-point citations to specific pages (Illinois reporters) or paragraphs
(new system).
• Use short cites; repeat full citation or at least first page of citation if you
get too far from original citation. Murphy, 398 Ill. App. 3d 10, 18.
• Always include reference in the citation form to the applicable appellate
court district.
• You cannot cite to Rule 23 orders.
• Try to cite to controlling case; where possible cite to an Illinois Supreme
Court case, followed by the controlling or leading case from your
appellate district.
• Avoid string cites.
• Consider using parentheticals, but do not use them to argument
substantively.
V. Motions Affecting the Brief
A. Motion to Enlarge Page Limitation
Page limitations should be strictly adhered to and motions to enlarge the number
of pages should be used sparingly. A motion to enlarge page limitations can also
be limited to the statement of facts; the Third District has a 15-page limitation on
the fact section.
B. Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief
Motions for extension of time are governed by Supreme Court Rule 361(f) as well
as local rules applicable to each district. Motions asking for additional time
should explain why the added time is needed and should be supported by an
affidavit of counsel. It is also best to ask opposing counsel for consent and then to
label the motion as “agreed.” The Second District has extremely precise
requirements which are spelled out in Local Rule 103. Most districts will grant at
least one extension of 30 days as a matter of course.
At times, a motion for stay of the briefing schedule may be the more advisable
approach. Appropriate situations may include those where counsel has reached a
16
tentative settlement and is awaiting some additional finding or documentation
necessary to finalize the settlement. In that case, the parties should ask for the
stay and then agree to provide the court with a status letter every 30 days on
progress.
VI. Appellee Briefs and Reply Briefs
A. Appellee Briefs
The appellee’s brief is also limited to 50 pages, subject to the same rules as the
appellant’s brief per Rule 341(b)(1). The cover of an appellee brief must be light
blue as stated in Rule 341(d).
The appellee’s brief requires fewer sections than an appellant’s brief. According
to Rule 341(i), the appellee’s brief must include argument; the statement of facts
and other sections found in the appellant’s brief are optional and should be
referenced only where there is error or misstatement in the appellant’s brief.
However, that being said, most appellees should include their own supplemental
statement of facts, setting forth the facts it deems appropriate and most favorable
to its position.
Strategically, the appellee’s brief seeks not to point out error but rather to uphold
and support the circuit court’s decision. If the issues before the appellate court
are fact issues and subject to the manifest weight of the evidence standard, your
appellee brief should point out to the court how the standard requires
affirmance. In other words, the appellee should point out those evidentiary facts
supporting the fact finder’s determinations. It may not be necessary to address
all of the appellant’s points in great detail. Where the issues are discretionary, the
goal of the appellee is to show that the trial judge did not abuse his or her
discretion.
Other Goals of the Appellee Brief
• Correcting a misstated issue.
• Correcting a standard of review.
• Correcting factual misstatements.
• Demonstrating the argument is flawed.
• Pointing out waiver.
17
B. Reply Briefs
Reply briefs are optional, but generally recommended. Per Rule 341(b)(1), a reply
brief is limited to 20 pages. The cover of a reply brief must be light yellow per
Rule 341(d). This brief should be confined to a direct rebuttal of the appellee
brief. New arguments or issues may not be raised. Arguments raised for the first
time in a reply brief are considered waived. See Illinois Health Maintenance
Organization Guar. Ass’n. v. Department of Ins., 372 Ill. App. 3d 24, 45 (1st Dist.
2007).
The reply also should not be a regurgitation of the appellant’s brief. Rather, it
should point out how the appellee’s argument is wrong or weak, where the
appellee misstated facts, and should try to return the court’s attention to the
appellant’s theme.
VII. Other Briefs.
Where a party files a petition for leave to appeal and that petition is allowed, the
party filing the petition, as well as the answer thereto is usually best to file a new
brief and not stand on the petition, as the rules permit. The focus of the
discretionary petition, which seeks to gain the court’s interest in taking the case,
is different from that of the main brief, which seeks to convince the court to
change the ruling below.
Resources:
Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and
Appellate Courts, Oxford University Press, 2d edition, 2004.
Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English, University of Chicago Press, 2001.

How to sell a foster kid

April 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

Legally Kidnapped
DCF faces huge backlog on background checks
How to sell a foster kid
Judge urged to reveal detail on fostering case after girl locked in bedroom
3 teens pull fire alarm, run away from Bronx group home: NYPD
Texas lawmakers begin to reform Child Protective Services
Iowa mother battles to get care for adopted son’s violent disorder
One foster child hanging stirs anguish; the other is barely noticed
Irish mum who was forced to give her child up for adoption is to be reunited with him after 31 years
Happy Child Abuse Propaganda Month – 2017
DCF faces huge backlog on background checks
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 04:38 AM PDT
They are some of the state’s most vulnerable children: thousands in state custody, many waiting to be placed in safe, nurturing homes. But 5 Investigates has discovered a massive backlog in criminal background checks at the state’s Department of Children and Families is delaying the process.

More >> DCF faces huge backlog on background checks

How to sell a foster kid
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 04:34 AM PDT
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but for one group of kids there’s only one word that matters: home. A picture might help them get there.

More >> Professional Photographers Aim to Help Foster Kids Find Adoptive Families

Note: Yep, get them all happy and bubbly for the camera so that the perspective suckers adoptive parents don’t realize the challenges they face before they fall in love with these severely damaged and stolen wonderful children.

FMI: http://legallykidnapped.blogspot.com/2017/04/iowa-mother-battles-to-get-care-for.html
Judge urged to reveal detail on fostering case after girl locked in bedroom
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 04:23 AM PDT
A family court judge has been urged to reveal detail about a case in which a little girl was placed into foster care after being locked in a bedroom.

More >> Judge urged to reveal detail on fostering case after girl locked in bedroom
3 teens pull fire alarm, run away from Bronx group home: NYPD
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 04:19 AM PDT
Police are searching for three teenagers who fled their group home in the Bronx Saturday morning.

More >> 3 teens pull fire alarm, run away from Bronx group home: NYPD

Texas lawmakers begin to reform Child Protective Services
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 04:15 AM PDT
The Texas Senate and House of Representatives unanimously voted to pass bills for reform of Child Protective Services. During the State of the State address, Gov. Greg Abbott noted “over one hundred deaths” of children in foster care services within the last year.

More >> Texas lawmakers begin to reform Child Protective Services

Iowa mother battles to get care for adopted son’s violent disorder
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 03:57 AM PDT
Tina Polly doesn’t know much about what led the blond-haired, blue-eyed 5-year-old to wind up in her foster home.

More >> Iowa mother battles to get care for adopted son’s violent disorder
One foster child hanging stirs anguish; the other is barely noticed
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 03:50 AM PDT
Lauryn Martin-Everett tied a blue patterned scarf around her neck and hanged herself from a doorway at a troubled Florida Keys youth shelter.

More >> One foster child hanging stirs anguish; the other is barely noticed
Irish mum who was forced to give her child up for adoption is to be reunited with him after 31 years
Posted: 02 Apr 2017 03:45 AM PDT
Dubliner Shana Hillary Blackman had baby put up for adoption against her wishes when he was just three months old

More >> Irish mum who was forced to give her child up for adoption is to be reunited with him after 31 years
Happy Child Abuse Propaganda Month – 2017
Posted: 01 Apr 2017 07:42 PM PDT
April is National Child Abuse Propaganda Month. A month where all of the various State and Private Child Welfare Agencies hold little events all across the country in order to glorify the work they do. Nationally, thousands of people will gather all month long for dinners and pinwheel garden planting sessions. You’ll see go blue days where everybody is supposed to dress in blue in order to raise awareness of child abuse and get everybody and his brother making that call for whatever reason. You might see blue ribbons pinned to peoples clothing. Perhaps you’ll see cardboard cutouts of children standing in a window.
“We do the proclamations really to recognize while government can’t do it all – government has a roll to say that this is a community problem that we feel needs recognition,” former County Commissioner Sally Clark said.
Clark helped formed the coalition, “Not One More Child” with District Attorney Dan May after they saw an alarming number of fatalities from child abuse back in 2011.
She tells 11 News El Paso County has the highest number of reports for child abuse and neglect across the state of Colorado. Last year, there were 15,000 reports and according to Clark, the number rises each year.
More >> Pinwheels planted across Colorado Springs aim to help prevent child abuse
One of the things that I like to make people aware of is the way they fluff the numbers. For example if you look at the 3rd paragraph in the above example…
She tells 11 News El Paso County has the highest number of reports for child abuse and neglect across the state of Colorado. Last year, there were 15,000 reports and according to Clark, the number rises each year.
The normal people will instantly assume that there were 15,000 horrifically abused children in El Paso County Colorado in 2016. Hardly, it’s more like there were 15,000 calls to the hotline, probably by normal people, probably 75 to 80% would be unsubstantiated or don’t rise to a level were an investigation would be warranted. Therefore the actual number of children who are actually abused would be much smaller.
Kentucky had nearly 19,000 child abuse victims in 2015, or 19 victims for every 1,000 children, which is more than double the national average, according to the latest national compilation of cases.
Kentucky’s rate ranked second in the nation in 2015, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report released in January and highlighted by Norton Children’s Hospital. Indiana’s rate, 17 out of every 1,000 children, ranked fourth.
More >> Kentucky has nation’s second-highest child abuse, neglect rate
They do this for the quantitative dramatic effect. The bigger number looks better for these agencies. It convinces the people that there is more of a need than there actually is. That way people will be more likely to open their hearts and wallets and make these fundraisers a success.

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