CJS 240 Week 4 Checkpoint Case Study Critique Checkpoint (Appendix C)
CJS 240 Week 4 Checkpoint Case Study Critique Checkpoint (Appendix C)
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Date Created: 11/06/15
Axia College Material Appendix C Case Study In October of 2003 investigators alerted by a neighbor who saw a child searching through trash cans found four undernourished males in the Jackson home Three other children residing in the home appeared to be physically normal At this time all seven children were removed from the Jackson home and placed under the care of the state child welfare agency Their mother and father Vanessa and Raymond Jackson faced charges of aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child The four malnourished males Michael 9 Tyrone 10 Keith 14 and Bruce 19 all entered the Jackson home between 1991 and 1997 In 2003 when all four males were removed from the home they weighed a combined 136 pounds Bruce the male who had been seen eating out of a trash can was 19 years old and weighed only 45 pounds Investigators found that of the four adopted males five biological children and three other girls two adopted and one foster child that lived in the Jackson home only the four adopted males were in poor physical condition The Jackson parents and biological children contended that the four adopted males had eating disorders The four adopted males reported that they were only fed meager amounts of food while the other children in the household were fed regularly The Jackson children were home schooled and the family regularly attended a local church Neighbors reported that the males seemed small and rarely came out of the house Some neighbors stated they had considered calling authorities earlier but did not feel they knew enough about the situation In addition the Jackson parents received an annual state subsidy around 28000 for the care of their four adopted sons As investigation on the case progressed it was found that caseworkers visited the Jackson home 38 times in four years Division of Youth and Family Services caseworkers visited the home once a month for two years to determine if the Jackson family was fit to adopt a 10yearold foster daughter The adopted males reported that caseworkers visited the house during a fivemonth period when power was turned off that at one time a caseworker prayed with the family for financial relief to have the utilities turned back on and at times a caseworker was there when the refrigerator contained nothing but butter and condiments Various levels of social service staff either visited the Jackson home or were involved in the case including two Division of Youth and Family Services supervisors a fosterhome evaluator three caseworkers and a licensing inspector None of these individuals reported anything negative In addition due to a lawsuit by a national child welfare advocacy organization the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services was required to complete a safety assessment of all 14000 children under the division s care As a result of the assessment 31 children were removed from unsafe homes but the adopted Jackson children were deemed safe Nine Division of Youth and Family Services staff members were fired because of the Jackson case In addition other than a report by a school nurse from 1995 previous to the children being home schooled that stated she saw bruises on Bruce s body there were no records that indicated the four males received any medical or dental care within the four years in the Jackson home By policy adopted and foster children are to receive annual medical exams CJS 240 After removal from the Jackson home the four adopted males were hospitalized until their conditions improved and were then placed in other foster homes They all grew in height and weight after removal Raymond and Vanessa Jackson had spent two weeks in jail when the pastor of their local church posted their bail While awaiting trial the adoptive father Raymond Jackson died of a stroke In November 2005 Vanessa Jackson struck a plea deal admitting to one count of child endangerment In February 2006 the four adopted males testified in a court proceeding against Vanessa Jackson Bruce then 21 weighed 100 pounds and had grown 15 inches since his removal from the Jackson home Bruce physically attended the sentencing hearing to testify All three younger boys testified via video that was recorded previous to the sentencing hearing Vanessa Jackson was sentenced to a prison term of seven years with possibility of parole after two years Mrs Jackson s attorney argued she should have received a shorter sentence because she was caring for adopted children that had complex problemsquot Mother sentenced for starving kids Feb 10 2006 In addition the four adopted Jackson sons received a state settlement of 125 million for the state s failure to protect them from unsafe conditions Since the Jackson case the New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services has implemented several changes to their policies Adopted and foster children are no longer allowed to be home schooled and caseworkers must now interview all children during home visits to determine if the homes are suitable for foster and adopted children In addition they planned to increase foster family stipends and hire more than 1000 new employees Questions After reading the case study write a 200 to 350word response answering the following questions 1 What are some of the possible reasons caseworkers were not aware of the conditions in the Jackson home 2 From the information presented in the case study should the nine members of the Division of Youth and Family Services staff have been fired Why or why not 3 Do you believe justice was served in this case Why or why not 4 Could this situation have been prevented If so how If not why It is my belief that every one of the caseworkers was made aware of the situation and just turned death ear and ignored the severity of this case The dilemma was that none of these members wanted any of the children to revisit the previously overcrowded and overpopulated group homes and concluded that these Christians CJS 240 would on no account hurt the children An additional concern was that numerous times the caseworkers involuntarily believed that the children were erroneous or had problems when the dilemma in actuality lied with the adoptive or foster parents The caseworkers should have investigated these alleged accounts of eating disorders then they would have come to the realization that these stories were false It is my belief that if every individual that was allowed to go into that home and seen those children without a doubt should have been fired These members of the Division of Youth and Family Services staff are trained educated and licensed to detect and observe signs of abuse and it is my personal outlook that they let these children down similar to their biological and foster parents If the abuse would have ended in death for these children then the punishment for these caseworkers should have been criminal prosecution I suppose that justice was served fairly and properly in the conviction of Mrs Jackson but it is my personal feeling that more could and should have been done in the system legally Countless children are neglected by the system and its representatives and regardless of how much money is spent toward resolving this issue it still is not going to be all the way effective in its support There is not an easy fix for this problem In addition there should have been legal consequences that the New Jersey system should have faced including a stern reform This circumstance could have been prohibited by making the decisive factor a little more complicated for parents whom sought to try to gain access or custody to these children There should have been a precise procedure that these parents should have gone through and then severe routine checkins with these parents and the children should have been CJS 240 implemented If discussions With family members neighbors and the children occurred then just possibly this could have been discovered a lot quicker and brought to the surface sooner CJS 240 REFERENCES Accusations defense in case 2003 November 4 Courier Post Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwcourieroostonlinecomiacksonm1 10403ehtm Couple tell congregation they did not starve children Pastor helps bail out Raymond Vanessa Jackson 2003 November 3 NBC10 Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwnbc10comnews2607743detailhtml KennedyHall K and Laughlin J 2003 October 28 9 DYFS workers fired Courier Post Retrieved January 29 2007 from httbwwwcourieroostonlinecomiacksonm102803ahtm Lerner G 2004 February 12 Advocate New Jersey child welfare flawed CNN Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwcnncom2004USNortheast0212nichildwelfareindexhtml Livio S K and Lucas J 2003 October 28 Prosecutor weighs criminal charges The Star Ledger Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwnicomnewsledoeriersevindexssfnewsledoerstories20031028 childabuse c ollinoswood workershtml Mother sentenced for starving kids 2006 February 10 The Associated Press Retrieved January 29 2007 from httpwwwmsnbcmsncomid11280990orint1disolavmode1098 Mulvihill G 2003 October 27 Neighbors mum on NJ kids abuse The Associated Press Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwcbsnewscomstories20031 027nationalorintable580250shtml CJS 240 Mulvihill G 2006 February 11 NJ woman who starved children gets 7year term The Associated Press Retrieved January 29 2007 from httpwwwbostoncomnewsnationarticles20060211ni woman who starved children oe ts 7 vear term NJ starvedkids couple indicted 2004 May 5 The Associated Press Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwcbsnewscomstories20030930nationalorintable575794shtml Peterson l 2003 November 1 Church defends couple charged with starving four adopted children The New York Times Retrieved January 29 2007 from httpduervnvtimescomostfulloadehtmlres9DO0E3DD1330F932A35752C1A965908863 Starved at home 2004 May 5 CBS News Worldwide Inc Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwcbsnewscomstories20031 11 160llorintable583028shtml Wald J 2004 May 6 Adoptive parents indicted in child starvation case CNN Retrieved January 29 2007 from httowwwcnncom2004LAW0506malnourishedchildrenindexhtml CJS 240
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