child protective services

An unhappy statistic: Child abuse is on the rise in Michigan. So, why has state-funding for prevention been cut? We found out more on today's show.

And, in case you hadn't noticed - it is hot out there. But, are these temperatures rivaling those of past record-making days?

And, three ordinary guys are pooling their resources in order to save Detroit’s GAR building from the wrecking ball.

Also, we spoke with Dr. Ryan Shinska, a graduate from the University of Michigan’s dental school, about his plan to move to Uganda to open a dental clinic.

First on the show, numbers show that more of us are climbing aboard Amtrak trains than ever before.

The three lines that Amtrak runs in Michigan are often packed, especially the Detroit to Chicago Wolverine Line.

Come this October, the State of Michigan's tab for Amtrak will jump. The subsidy will go from 8 million a year to around 25 million. That's around a 200% jump.

Why is that happening? What does this mean for you, the taxpayer, and for Amtrak and its passengers?

Adie Tomer is with the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, and he joined us today from Washington.

childhelp-usa.com

Child abuse is on the rise in Michigan.

That's not just opinion or speculation.

As recently as 2006, Michigan's rate of child abuse and neglect was below the national average.

Today, it is more than 50% higher than the national rate.

And this surge in child abuse comes exactly as state spending on abuse and neglect prevention has been cut sharply.

Why are child abuse and neglect rates so high in Michigan?

For the answer we turn to Jane Zehnder-Merrell, the project director for Kids Count in Michigan at the Michigan League for Public Policy, and Cathy Weissenborn, the President of CARE House of Oakland County, the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland Count.

via Michigan State Housing Development Authority

A Detroit state representative says a child’s death this week raises serious questions about Michigan’s child welfare system.

Rashida Tlaib is calling for an investigation after a nine-year-old girl died Sunday at the Martin Luther King apartments on the city's east side.

The girl was stabbed in the chest. The Wayne County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide, and police have sought an arrest warrant for her mother.

southernfried / MorgueFile

Four Michigan people are suing the state to change the process used to put someone on Michigan's Central Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect. 

The suit claims the registry is an unconstitutional and unfair blacklist of people accused by investigators of harming a child.

Attorney Elizabeth Warner represents the plaintiffs. She says some people are on the list for reporting abuse or neglect, or were victims of domestic violence. Warner says others were never notified that they were put on the list, and have never had a hearing.

user mconnors / morgueFile

Michigan’s Department of Human Services has introduced a more streamlined process for reporting child and elder abuse in the state.

It’s one of a series of child welfare improvements the state agreed to make when it settled a lawsuit with New York-based Children’s Rights group in 2008.

The agreement required DHS to create a statewide, 24-hour hotline that anyone in Michigan can call to report possible child or elder abuse.

A Wayne County judge says a lower court was right to dismiss criminal charges against Maryanne Godboldo.

Godboldo is a Detroit mother who allegedly shot at police when they came to remove her child last March. Social workers thought Godboldo’s daughter needed psychiatric medication, but Godboldo refused to administer it, saying it made the child’s condition worse.

That dispute led to Godboldo’s standoff with police when they tried to remove the child. But two courts have now found there’s not enough evidence that Godboldo shot at police, and the order to remove her daughter was invalid.

Godboldo’s attorney Allison Folmar said no judge ever read or approved that order.

“This was a due process constitutional flaw and violation, to come into someone’s home by force and remove their child without any authority from the court,” Folmar said.

“Before you take a person’s house or car, you have a right to come to court and be heard. How much more of a right do you have when they come to take your child?”

Folmar said Godboldo is “relieved” the charges haven’t been reinstated, and to have custody of her daughter again—but both have lasting psychological trauma from the ordeal.

Wayne County prosecutors said they plan to appeal the decision again.

Justice for Maryanne Godboldo website / www.justice4maryanne.com

A Judge has dismissed all criminal charges against a Detroit mother accused of firing at police when they came to remove her 13-year-old daughter.

District Court Judge Ronald Giles ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to conclude Godboldo fired at police…during a ten-hour standoff in March.

Giles also ruled the order to remove the child was invalid.

Jon Sullivan / Wikipedia Commons

The ACLU is challenging a state law that allows children to be taken away from their parents without proof that they’re in immediate danger.

Claire Zimmerman says she hopes the lawsuit will make sure what happened to her family never happens to anyone else.

Three years ago, Zimmerman’s son, who was seven at the time, was at a Tiger game. Her husband, Christopher Ratté, unknowingly bought their son a bottle of lemonade with alcohol, and in the ninth inning they were approached by a security guard, who asked Ratté whether he knew his son was drinking an alcoholic beverage. Ratté said no, but the police were called. The boy was taken into the state’s custody later that day.

The state refused to release the boy to Zimmerman, even though she was not at the game with her son, and the next day he was placed in a foster home, where he stayed for three days.

Zimmerman says the ordeal was a nightmare:

"(It's) very difficult not to know where your child is physically. We of course felt that we had really let him down."

ACLU-Michigan Legal Director Michael Steinberg says if the boy’s parents had not been University of Michigan professors with access to the school’s legal resources, they might have been separated from their son for much longer:

"Families without the resources of our clients are sometimes unjustly separated for weeks, if not months."

The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare Michigan’s law unconstitutional because it violates parents’ rights to due process.