Monday, July 21, 2008


Reports of abuse and neglect of children in city care grew by 12 percent last year, as parents, advocates and investigators keep closer watch on the municipal government's long-troubled child-welfare system.

The number of abuse complaints against foster parents and others asked by the Administration for Children's Services to look after troubled youngsters grew to 1,708 in the 2007 fiscal year, up from 1,525 in 2006, city records show.

In one such case, Florida resident Judith Leekin, 63, was sentenced to 11 years in prison last week for taking more than $1.6 million from ACS even as she abused 11 disabled kids left in her care when she lived in Queens.

Abuse complaints involving foster parents and other caretakers are investigated by the ACS Office of Special Investigations, an internal affairs unit that was revamped two years ago.

Some 362 of the abuse cases reported in 2007 were substantiated by ACS investigators, meaning that there was enough evidence to take corrective action or forward information about the cases to district attorneys' offices for prosecution, city records show.

Last year's tally of abuse cases showed that 11 kids in city care were sexually abused, 66 were beaten and one endured psychological abuse.

ACS officials say they have a tough job dealing with abuse by people hired to care for children, and note that with 8,000 foster parents in the city caring for 17,000 kids, the rate of substantiated cases is tiny.

Andrew White, who runs the watchdog group Child Welfare Watch, said the rise in abuse complaints is due to the retooling of the Office of Special Investigations, including the hiring of 60 former law-enforcement officers.

"It shows a higher sense of caution and a more rigorous and intense approach to investigating," he said.

But another advocate says greater vigilance by parents angry that their children were unjustly taken has sparked the rise in abuse complaints against ACS.

"Parents have become more outspoken about the abuse of their children. People are fighting back," said Rolando Bini, who heads Parents in Action, a grass-roots group.

Link to Article -


1 comment:

Martha said...

Below is an email that I received from this film director asking for folks in New Jersey and area to meet with him in order to expose Child Protective Services Corruption by documentary?

I urge you all to go to this meeting!

Also, please distribute this invite far and wide!

Martha Hyde

Hello All,

I am thinking of having the meeting on Wednesday Night, July 23, 2008. I am suggesting we meet at the Peter Pank Diner on Route 9 in South Amboy. Sometime around 7:00PM. This way people will have a chance to get home from work, or drive directly from work.

This location is convenient for all. It is located off the GSP, Near the Turnpike, Near 287, etc.

If you are going to attend, be prepared to buy a meal. They are not going to let us hang out there for a few hours free of charge.

If you know of someone that would be interested in this meeting, by all means, bring them.

I was also told about an event going on in W.D.C. on August 14th. If the person that told me about that event would get back in touch with me, I would really appreciate it.

I look forward to meeting you and getting one step closer to making this documentary a reality.