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Foster child found handcuffed to porch with dead chicken around neck

Foster child found handcuffed to porch with dead chicken around neck photo
By Catherine Bilkey

UNION COUNTY, N.C. —

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A Child Protective Services supervisor is being investigated after deputies found an 11-year-old boy handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck, according to a press release from the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

Wanda Larson is now behind bars and so is her husband, Dorian Harper.

The deputy was answering an animal service complaint at 4116 Austin Road when he came across the shivering child handcuffed by the ankle to the railing.

Moments later, a man appeared on the porch along with another child that released several dogs onto the officer.

The deputy retreated back to his patrol car and the man then removed the handcuffed child from the porch and put the dead chicken on a barrel.

When backup authorities arrived, the officers entered the dwelling and found five children between the ages of 8-14 and removed them from the home.

The couple adopted four of the children and were the foster parents of the 11-year-old child.

Harper and Larson were charged with intentional child abuse, inflicting serious injury, false imprisonment and cruelty to animals.

Larson was also charged with willful failure to discharge her duty as a public officer. Larson is currently employed as a supervisor with Union County Department of Social Services.

They are in jail. Harper is being held under a $500,000 secured bond.

Larson’s bond is set at $525,000.

Both will be in court Monday.

*Special thanks to a Foster Care Survivors Facebook friend for sharing this with us.

USC study intersects teen births with foster care in LA County

Expecting

A first-of-its-kind study released on Nov. 12 links birth and child protective services records in Los Angeles County, revealing new insights regarding births to teens involved with the child welfare system. The new data documented that one in four teens in foster care gives birth before age 20 and as many as 40 percent of these young mothers have a second child during their teen years.

In the county overall, four in 10 teen mothers have been reported as alleged victims of abuse or neglect before pregnancy, and 20 percent have a history of substantiated maltreatment. Rates of abuse and neglect among children born to teens with a history of maltreatment victimization are two to more than three times the rates of children whose teen mothers had no involvement of child protective services. Read More

By Cynthia Monticue
Funded by the Hilton Foundation, the study was also led by Julie Cederbaum of USC and Barbara Needell and Bryn King of UC Berkeley.
USC

3 Children in Texas Sex Ring Allege Abuse in Foster Care

Three children who were victims of a swinger’s club in a small East Texas town have been removed from the custody of their foster parents after accusing their caretakers of physical and emotional abuse, a child welfare official said Wednesday.

A judge in Wood County on Tuesday ordered that the three siblings — a 13-year-old girl, 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl — plus a 17-year-old boy be placed in the temporary custody of Child Protective Services, said Shari Pulliam, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

The siblings had been living with John and Margaret Cantrell, who is the person who had first alerted authorities about the swinger’s club in Mineola, located about 80 miles east of Dallas. The couple had been taking care of the children since 2005. The 17-year-old boy was adopted by the Cantrells.

Sarah King, an attorney for the Cantrells, declined to comment Wednesday. No charges have been filed against the couple.

Officials said the three siblings had been some of the victims of a “kindergarten” where young children learned to dance provocatively at the so-called Mineola Swinger’s Club in 2004. To help them perform, prosecutors said the children were given Vicodin-like drugs the adults passed off as “silly pills.” Seven people were convicted in the case.

Pulliam said CPS was alerted on Oct. 31 when the 16-year-old girl ran away from the Cantrells home in Mineola after a “physical altercation between her and Mrs. Cantrell.”

“We were called by the Cantrells to pick up that 16 year old,” Pulliam said. “They were refusing to parent that child any longer.”

CPS workers interviewed the girl as well as the other three children, all of whom made allegations of abuse, Pulliam said.

According to court documents, the 16-year-old girl alleged she had been “slapped across the face” and “popped in the mouth” by Margaret Cantrell. Another child was allegedly beaten with a wooden back scratcher until it broke.

CPS had previously investigated similar allegations made against the Cantrells but they were not substantiated, Pulliam said.

The agency had also known that John Cantrell had faced charges in 2008 of a lewd act with a child related to a case from California. But nothing from that case could be used because the charges were later dropped, she said.

A judge had ordered that the three siblings be placed with the Cantrells, though CPS was not in favor of it, Pulliam said. The agency also didn’t approve of the Cantrells’ adoptions of the 17-year-old boy or another child who is now an adult.

“We felt there were problems with the home and we did not want the children to stay there,” she said.

Pulliam said CPS is still investigating the abuse allegations and will work with the Cantrells, offering them counseling and other services.

A status update on the case is scheduled for Dec. 6.

By Juan A. Lozano
|  Thursday, Nov 14, 2013  |  Updated 9:15 AM CST

 

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