Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The fifth death in 2011

Unfortunately we learned that 16 year old Dyskeha Streeter died at the Divine Guidance group home in North Carolina.

She had complained of chest pains for some days and died as result of blood clots in her lungs. Her condition could properly have been cured if she had been allowed to see a hospital in time, but as it often is teenagers in residential programs are seen as manipulators and very often they are not allowed to receive medical attention.

The authorities decided to shut the group home down - Unfortunately only after the conditions had claimed a life.

In order to prevent such incidents, tougher regulations must be put in place. The employees should be order to call rescue workers or send the child to a hospital when they complain. In some cases the effort or the trip could be proved wasted but once a child dies responsible authorities would shut the entire workplace down and people would be without a job. So what is there to lose with a single visit to the hospital from time to time?

Dyskeha Streeter was robbed of her life. May she rest in peace.

Victims list (Fornits Wiki)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Documentary project is asking for money

Kidnapped for Christ Trailer from Kidnapped For Christ on Vimeo.

A group are working to create a documentary about Escuela Caribe which is a feared Christian boarding school located in the Dominican Republic.

In the past they used corporal punishment. Due to lack of regulation they had at a point hired a child offender as employee.

There are many stories to be told about this place. Some of them you can read in the book called Jesus Land.

However the boarding school have more stories to be told and you can help them with some money so the documentary can be finished.

Below you can find various sources with more information about the school and the documentary project.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

The 4 2011 deaths on the Fornits Wiki database covered

So far 4 minors are listed on Fornits Wiki list of minors who have lost their lives in residential programs in the United States in 2011. It is fewer than 2011 but experience has told us that there could be a number of cases which are not public yet, so we can only pray.

Roger Eugene Benson – 15 years of age

The first one to die in 2011 was Roger Eugene Benson. He was a poor boy that went into the foster system ending up as the ball in a pinball machine living numerous places before he couldn't take it anymore. This death became more noticed by the society than his entire life because he disturbed the rush hour traffic when he jumped off a bridge to kill himself.

People became angered because they were delayed while the authorities cleaned the road for his remains but they really should be angry at the way the foster system is put together. The system is not free of charge for the taxpayers, it does cost a lot of money and it was established to be there for the minors who are supposed to be neglected by their families. It was supposed to give boys like young Mr. Benson a second life, not inflict emotional torment to a point that the minors who are placed in the system choose not to live anymore.

Caitlin A. Lee – 15 years of age

Sometime a teenager can be sent to a group home or residential treatment center which are not equipped to deal with the problems the teenager arrives with. It is a mismatch. I don’t know the numbers in the United States but in Denmark 26 percent of the teenagers who are sent to residential solutions in foster families, group homes or treatment facilities have to be removed because the solution offered cannot be a success under any circumstances. Who are to blame? We do know that money involved do make a difference.

In Denmark the newspaper BT did reveal that the psychologist working for the social services recommended the placement of two children from the so-called Bronderslev case to a certain group home she also worked for. The two children have escaped a number of times since and it is clear for all except the social services that it would never be a success. In the United States it normal for educational consultants to receive money from both families and the treatment programs they recommend.

It seems to be very difficult to put the interest of the child first once money becomes involved. In this case none did anything to pull her from the residential program before it was too late. She needed treatment but she didn’t get any and it did cost her young life.

Daniel Huerta – 17 year of age

Daniel Huerta had broken the law. The court issued a punishment which was that he had to live at a wilderness based treatment center named Big Cypress Wilderness Institute. While he was at the wilderness program he was transported to various outings. The driver who took him and some of the other residents to one of these outings had more than 15 traffic violations on his record. Still he was allowed to drive residents in the program. The day young Mr. Huerta died the driver lost control of the car and they ended up in the water where the driver and Mr. Huerta died.

Safety should be an issue. It is not the first time residents in programs have lost their lives during transport. In 2010 two teenage girls lost their lives in a traffic accident in Utah. However safety doesn’t seem to be an issue in Florida and for Mr. Huerta this lack of interest did cost him his life.

Anthony Parker – 16 years of age

One Way Farm Children’s Home‎ was well known by the local police department before they were called to the ranch in relationship with the death of young Mr. Parker. 92 times the police was called to the farm. But one this very day they could only note that he was dead. Of course now the focus is on whether the boy who hid young Mr. Parker hours before he became ill and fell down on the ground should be charged as a minor or an adult. However the focus should be on how obvious lack of staffing prevented the conflict between the boys to escalate into a physical confrontation.

The right number of employees per resident is vital. Understaffing is dangerous. Not in a million years can tough programs with thousand of house rules replace presence by the employees. Conflicts will occur at some point when you have more than one person present but they can be talked down before the first fist is thrown if you have an adult with ability to mediate between the residents.

A good defense lawyer would talk this death down to an accident and that a simple conflict between two boys could end as a tragedy certainly was not something which could be planned but the number of employees per child is not an accident. It is economy. Once again money means the difference between life and death.

The fifth unnamed victim – 4 days old

You will not find this victim in Fornits Database because the child wasn’t placed in a residential program. However his mother was and she became so caught up in the program that she returned as a staff member. She lived as a counselor among so-called troubled girls who were taught that sex before marriage is a sin in the eyes of God.

We don’t know how or by whom she became pregnant. We don’t know how she became so traumatized that she saw the child as something evil. We do know that she gave birth to a boy and didn’t know how to care for the child. The child died after 4 days. She hid the child on the remote campus but the body was discovered by her co-workers and word spread to the local police which arrested her.

Life is prison could be the result for her. It is up to the court to decide. However we must ask what led her parents to send her to Julian Youth Academy. How did they evaluate her stay? Why did they allow her to go back and why did the program let a graduate work at their program in a trusted position.

There are so many questions to ask and so few answers given.

Now we are entering 2012. For a long time 2011 seemed to be the first year where teenagers didn’t lose their lives in residential programs – it didn’t end up so.

Shouldn’t we pray that 2012 will be the first year in decade where all the residents in residential programs return home alive.

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