Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Child Protective Services in 2013 had removed from home 6 kids killed in Houston shooting
Kids killed in shooting had been taken from home by state By JUAN A. LOZANO | Associated Press | Aug 11, 2015 4:47 PM CDT HOUSTON (AP) — Six children who were fatally shot in their Houston home along with their mother and her husband were temporarily removed by Child Protective Services from the household in 2013 after allegations of domestic violence and a lack of supervision. The children were placed in foster care in September 2013 when the agency filed a lawsuit to remove them from the home. They were returned about a month later after the suit was dismissed by a judge, Patrick Crimmins, a spokesman for Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, which includes CPS, said Tuesday. Questions about the agency's dealings with the family have arisen since the six children, their mother, Valerie Jackson, and her husband were killed Saturday. Jackson's former domestic partner, David Conley, is charged with capital murder for their deaths, and the Harris County Sheriff's Office has said problems between Conley and Jackson might have led to the shootings. Court records show Conley, 48, had a history of domestic violence against Jackson, something Child Protective Services noted in its 2013 lawsuit. Crimmins said he couldn't comment on why Juvenile Court Judge Glenn Devlin dismissed the lawsuit. Natalie Yates, Devlin's court coordinator, said the judge can't comment on the lawsuit due to confidentiality issues. Donna Everson, an attorney who was appointed to represent the six children, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. According to CPS' lawsuit, the children told authorities they were often left alone. On at least two occasions, then-7-year-old Caleb left the home and wandered around the family's neighborhood unsupervised. Another child, Nathaniel, told investigators "he gets whooped all the time." Killed in the shooting on Saturday were: Jackson, 40; her husband, Dwayne Jackson; and her children, 13-year-old Nathaniel; 11-year-old Honesty; 10-year-old Dwayne; 9-year-old Caleb; 7-year-old Trinity; and 6-year-old Jonah. Authorities say Nathaniel was Conley's son from his relationship with Valerie Jackson, while the Jacksons were the parents of the other five children. All were shot in the head. Conley's court appointed attorney, Joseph Scardino, didn't return a phone call seeking comment on the allegations Tuesday. Court records show Conley had been charged at least twice with assaulting Valerie Jackson, most recently last month. They had recently ended their relationship. Neighbors told reporters after the shooting that they had been concerned about the children. "The little one, Jonah, he used to be on the street by himself with the other kids, cars driving by and everything and no adult supervision," said Carlos Sanchez, 40, who lived across the street from the family. Crimmins said in an email that although the children were returned to the home, Conley and Valerie Jackson were ordered to participate in counseling and random drug testing. That part of the case was dismissed in March 2014 after they successfully completed all court-ordered services, Crimmins said. The agency conducted periodic visits and interviews with the children until the case was closed on May 27, 2014, he said. --- This story has been corrected to show the first name of two of the shooting victims is Dwayne, not Dewayne. ___ Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at

Child Protective Services Had Contact with Family Prior to Killing
Updated: 08/09/2015 6:45 PM Created: 08/09/2015 9:00 PM HOUSTON (AP) — The latest on eight people — including six children and two parents — found dead inside a Houston-area home (all times local): ___ 4:45 p.m. An official with Texas Child Protective Services said the agency had prior contact with people at a Houston home where two adults and six children were shot to death. Spokeswoman Estella Olguin said Sunday that a preliminary review found the previous involvement. She said an internal review was under way by their Office of Child Safety to evaluate "any prior contacts with the family to ensure they were handled appropriately." She had no further details Sunday afternoon. David Conley has been charged with three counts of capital murder after the discovery of the bodies. Authorities discovered the bodies after they were called to the home for a welfare check Saturday. Conley was taken into custody after surrendering to authorities. ___ 3 p.m. Authorities identified the eight people fatally shot at a Houston home as two adults and six children ranging in age from six to 50 years. At a Sunday afternoon news conference, prosecutors and police said that a 40-year-old female victim had a prior relationship with David Conley, who is charged with capital murder in the family's death. The children, two girls and four boys, were ages 13, 11, 10, 9, 7 and 6. At least one of those was believed to be Conley's child, they said. ___ 2 p.m. All eight victims — two adults and six children— found in a Houston-area home were shot in the head, according to an arrest affidavit for a man charged with capital murder. The arrest affidavit was read in court Sunday afternoon at a probable cause hearing for 48-year-old David Conley. He didn't appear in court. The judge denied him bond. According to the arrest affidavit, Conley said he had discovered on Saturday morning that the locks had been changed at the house after he'd moved out. He then entered the home through an unlocked window and restrained, shot and killed the eight people. Police later responded to a welfare check at the house and got no response at the door but saw through a window a male on the floor with a gunshot wound. Police then heard gunshots coming from the front of the house. A standoff ensued between officials and Conley and he later gave himself up to authorities and was arrested. ___ 11:30 a.m. The man charged following the discovery of two adults and six children slain in a Houston-area home has a long criminal history that includes violence. David Conley, 48, was charged with three counts of capital murder after the discovery of the bodies. One capital murder count covers multiple deaths. Another is for a person under 6 years of age, according to court records. He was being held Sunday in Harris County Jail. Bond has not yet been set. Court records show Conley's criminal history dates back until at least 1988, with the most recent incident last month, when was charged with assault of a family member. In court documents, authorities say the suspect had been arrested for allegedly assaulting the woman he was living with at the home where the bodies were found. Court documents say that in the incident last month Conley pushed the woman's head against a refrigerator multiple times after she tried to stop him from disciplining her son with a belt. The case was still pending. In 2013, he was charged with aggravated assault for threatening the same woman with a knife. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months in the county jail. In 2000, he was arrested for retaliation, accused of putting a knife to his then-girlfriend, threatening to kill her, her baby and himself. That came after she filed an assault charge for cutting her with a knife and punching her in the face. He was sentenced to five years in prison for retaliation. ___ 11 a.m. Court records show that a 48-year-old man has been charged with three counts of capital murder after authorities discovered the bodies of two adults and six children slain in a Houston-area home. David Conley was being held Sunday in Harris County Jail. Bond has not yet been set for him. An attorney is not yet listed for him. Court records show that one capital murder count covers multiple deaths. Another capital murder count is for a person under 6 years of age. Authorities had been called to the home for a welfare check. Conley was taken into custody after surrendering to authorities. By late Sunday morning, authorities had begun removing bodies from the home. ___ 10 a.m. The area around a Houston-area home where authorities say two adults and six children have been found dead is still cordoned off, with sheriff's deputies coming in and out of the house and the medical examiner's office having arrived at the scene. The Harris County Sheriff's Office says a 48-year-old man is in custody after surrendering to authorities. The eight people were found dead in the home after a welfare check. Neighbor Dalila Mercado says when she arrived home last night officers had already blocked off the area. She said she was sitting in her driveway when she heard gunshots coming from the house and officials then told her and her family to go inside their home. Mercado said she could still see from her bedroom window and watched as a man was escorted out of the house after midnight. She said officials then had him next to her fence, taking fingerprints and photographs. She says, "It was shocking. I haven't slept all night." Mercado says she didn't know the residents of the house well, but would occasionally say hello to a woman and see children waiting to catch the school bus. She said she didn't recognize the man taken out of the house. The relationship between the man and the victims wasn't immediately known. ___ 9:25 a.m. Texas authorities say two adults and six children have been found dead inside a Houston-area home and a 48-year-old man who exchanged gunfire with police is in custody. The Harris County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Sunday morning that the eight people were found dead after a welfare check was conducted at the home. The man was taken into custody after members of the Harris County Sheriff's Office High Risk Operations Unit and Hostage Negotiation Team negotiated his surrender. Harris County Sheriff spokesman Thomas Gilliland tells KHOU-TV ( ) that deputies were called to the home about 9 p.m. Saturday. He says deputies subsequently received information indicating that a man inside the home was wanted on an aggravated assault warrant. Gilliland says while waiting for a High Risk Operations Unit, deputies spotted the body of a juvenile through a window. Four deputies forced themselves inside, prompting the suspect to begin shooting. Deputies pulled back, and the man surrendered about an hour later. Officials say more information will be given at a news conference set for 3 p.m.

Child Protection Protocol in final draft

By Sharon Mathala The Child Protection Protocol, which is in its final draft, is said to be the solution to the problem of growing crimes against children, which attract low conviction rates. - See more at: The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) in conjunction with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) presented the final draft yesterday. Speaking at the official launch yesterday, the deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Halakangwa Mbulai says, “Botswana and its partners continue to observe the incidence of issues that affect children, and on which immediate action needs to be taken”. “Such issues include orphanhood, increasing incidents of child abuse, exploitation, neglect, juvenile delinquency as well as children who are forced to take up parenting roles, engage in employment to support families as well as survive on the streets,” says Mbulai. She also stated that the draft Protocol is largely derived from the current challenges related to facilitating access to justice for children. “In spite of increased volumes of offences against children, we still get very low conviction rates and worse still very few cases reaching trial stage. This may be largely attributed to the unclear process and roles of service providers throughout the child protection continuum,” she explains. A UNICEF assessment conducted in 2013 dubbed Botswana Youth Risk Behavioural Surveillance Survey on 10- to 19-year-old students indicated that physical and sexual violence was rampant in schools. The survey also revealed that 12.8 percent of sexually experienced students were forced to have sexual intercourse during the 12 months prior to the survey whilst 13 percent of sexually experienced students had been raped the first time they had sexual intercourse. Child protection specialist, Ben Semommung said, “40 percent of students were reported to have been picked on or bullied during the 30 days prior to the survey, whilst 25.1 percent of students were threatened or injured with a weapon”. The draft also addresses issues ranging from interviewing a child in a case of sexual or physical abuse, discipline that violates the child’s dignity, actions of social worker upon receipt of allegations to when the child does and does not need protection. “A child protection service or provider or agency must intervene to protect a child who might actually suffer cruel or inconsiderable discipline, harmful discipline is correcting or disciplining a child in a cruel or inconsiderable way not matching the child’s age or condition or that whose purpose the child does not understand,” reads the draft. The Protocol will also challenge the issue of child negligence. It states, “Child negligence is failure to provide the child or young person with an adequate standard of nutrition, medical care, clothing shelter or supervision to the extent where the health development of the child is significantly impaired or placed under serious risk”. It (Protocol) aims to define respective roles and responsibilities for child protection in Botswana so that all children in the country are protected. - See more at:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Handbook Revision, July 2015

Handbook Revision, July 2015

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on July 10, 2015.

CPS wants to ensure that the general public understands what critical actions caseworkers are required to perform and why. To further this understanding, CPS has set up a policy e-mail box for the general public: Please feel free to contact us, via this email address, with any general questions related to policy.

For questions or concerns regarding specific cases, please contact the caseworker or supervisor, or the Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-720-7777.

Decrease to Reimbursement for Nonrecurring Adoption and PCA Expenses (PATS 8142)

The items below are updated to comply with changes to the related rules at 40 Texas Administrative Code §700.850 and §700.1043 that were amended effective 6/1/2012.

The rules established that for new Adoption Assistance (AA) and Permanency Care Assistance (PCA) agreements signed on or after August 1, 2012, the maximum reimbursement for both nonrecurring AA and nonrecurring PCA expenses will be decreased to $1,200 per child.


1616.5 Reimbursing Nonrecurring Expenses Covered by Permanency Care Assistance

1714.7 Reimbursement of Nonrecurring Expenses of Adoption

Most Recent Revisions To CPS Protocol

Handbook Revision, July 2015

This revision of the Child Protective Services Handbook was published on July 1, 2015.

CPS wants to ensure that the general public understands what critical actions caseworkers are required to perform and why. To further this understanding, CPS has set up a policy e-mail box for the general public: Please feel free to contact us, via this email address, with any general questions related to policy.

For questions or concerns regarding specific cases, please contact the caseworker or supervisor, or the Office of Consumer Affairs at 1-800-720-7777.

When a Child Dies (PATS 8147)

This policy has been revised to add language that instructs regional directors what to do when a child death occurs that could be related to unreported abuse or neglect.


2331 When a Child Dies

1950 Newborns, Children, and Youth Who Are Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol

1950 Newborns, Children, and Youth Who Are Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol
1951 Children and Adolescents Who Smoke Marijuana, Use Other Drugs, or Drink Alcohol
1951.1 Youth Who Are Not in DFPS Conservatorship and Are Not Unemancipated

CPS June 2010

Unless legally married or otherwise legally emancipated, a youth is not considered an adult until the age of 18, even if the youth is a parent.

Guiding Principle

Court orders requiring drug testing supersede the guiding principle below.

When a caseworker becomes aware that a child or adolescent is smoking marijuana, using drugs, or drinking alcohol, the caseworker treats the situation as a medical concern that must be addressed by the parent, just as any other medical concern must be.

Treating the situation as a medical concern assumes that a child using drugs is in need of protection. The intent is to:

  •  rule out any medical complications associated with drug exposure; and

  •  give the parent an opportunity to take ownership for the issues that may have led the child to use and help the child obtain any necessary treatment.

The caseworker does not administer drug tests to the child. If the allegation involves a child age 10 or older as an alleged perpetrator, the caseworker obtains written consent from the parent to send the child to a drug testing laboratory.

If the parent refuses to give written consent for the testing, the caseworker discusses with his or her supervisor the possibility of seeking legal intervention.

Parent Obtains Testing and Treatment for the Youth

The caseworker seeks to empower and encourage the parent to take responsibility to obtain testing, screening, assessment, or treatment for the child or adolescent, if it appears necessary.

Necessity is based on credible evidence that the youth might be using drugs or drinking alcohol; for example, a parent stating that a child or youth has been exposed to drugs or alcohol. As appropriate, the worker assists the parent in accessing substance abuse services through a medical clinic or provider, such as a primary care physician, health clinic, or emergency room.

If the medical provider recommends treatment, the caseworker assists the parent in accessing services in the community. Or, the worker refers the parent and child to a provider of outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) services. The youth must be age 13 or older to be referred to OSAR. See 1912 Referring Clients to DSHS-Funded Substance Abuse Treatment.

The parent has the right to purchase over-the-counter drug tests as an initial step in arranging for the youth to be seen by a medical provider or OSAR.

1951.2 Children and Adolescents in DFPS Conservatorship

CPS June 2010

Guiding Principle

Due to the physical and psychological harm drug use may cause a child or youth, CPS practice is to take a medical approach when addressing the issue.

If a caseworker or medical consenter suspects that a child or youth may be using drugs, the caseworker or medical consenter may have the child tested only by a medical provider.

The caseworker and medical consenter:

  •  must not administer drug tests to the youth; and

  •  must not give permission for the youth to be tested initially by any entity that is not a medical provider.


If a youth is under the supervision of Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) or the county juvenile probation department, the youth can be tested for drugs by the juvenile system.


To have a youth tested by a medical provider, the caseworker the medical consenter, makes an appointment with the youth's health care provider or primary care physician (PCP), just as he or she would if the youth were sick.

As in any medical emergency situation, if the youth appears to require immediate medical care, the youth must be taken to an emergency care facility. The caseworker or medical consenter then informs the health care provider or the PCP about the concern for the youth's possible use or abuse of drugs or alcohol. The health care provider or PCP may refer the youth to a substance abuse professional.

At the time the youth is suspected to be using or abusing drugs or alcohol, the caseworker:

  •  collaborates with the regional DFPS substance abuse specialist and the DFPS well-being specialist to coordinate the most appropriate services for the youth's individual needs;

  •  Follow the recommendation of qualified professionals in addressing the youth's substance abuse issues, the caseworker incorporates the recommendations into the child's plan of service and follow the treatment recommendations of the doctor or qualified professional, which may include residential treatment and rehabilitation services. When appropriate and available, the youth's treatment services must be located within the youth's community.

1951.3 Youth in Extended Care or Return to Care

CPS June 2010

Youth who are 18 years of age or older and are receiving extended care or return-to-care services are considered young adults. Young adults are subject to the drug testing policy for adults. While in a DFPS placement, the young adult must abide by the voluntary agreement that he or she signed to remain in conservatorship.

If it is suspected that a young adult is abusing substances, the caseworker:

  •  makes the appropriate referrals to services to assess whether substance abuse treatment is needed; and

  •  encourages the young adult to seek services.

1952 Newborns Exposed to Drugs or Alcohol
1952.1 Safety Plan for a Substance-Exposed Newborn

CPS June 2010

An allegation that a newborn has been exposed to drugs or alcohol could result in DFPS filing legal paperwork to be named the newborn's temporary managing conservator.

The tasks the caseworker must accomplish in an open case are explained in the table below:

Stage of the Case

Task the Caseworker Completes


Complete a risk assessment within 30 days of the birth of the newborn.

FBSS Home Visit

See 3000 Family Based Safety Services to determine the frequency of home visits.

Family Service Plan (FBSS or CVS)

For the timelines within which to complete or update a family service plan, see:

3000 Family Based Safety Services; and 

6000 Substitute-Care Services.

During a home visit

Provide the parent with available information about:

  •  infant care and development,

  •  safe sleep precautions,

  •  SIDS reduction, and

  •  substance abuse

  •  parenting

  •  Early Childhood InterventionExternal Link (ECI) program of the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS).

At any stage that is appropriate

Schedule a Family Team Meeting or a Family Group Conference.


1121 Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM)

2440 Family Team Meetings

6273.1 Family Group Conferences

Appendix 6273.1: Roles and Responsibilities of Family Group Decision-Making (FGDM) Staff

If services beyond the investigation are provided

Consider referring the mother (or the mother and newborn) to an inpatient substance abuse program.

Specify whether participation is voluntary or is based on CPS holding an order of Temporary Managing Conservatorship.

Note the referral in the family's service plan.

Consider case for Family Drug Treatment Court if available in your region. See Appendix 1961: Family Drug Treatment Courts (FDTCs) for more information.

1930 Casework Practice for Substance Abuse Cases

1930 Casework Practice for Substance Abuse Cases
1931 Overview of Casework Practice for Substance Abuse Cases
1931.1 The Definition of a Drug

CPS June 2010

The word drug, as used in this policy, refers to:

  •  controlled substances;

  •  prescriptions;

  •  over-the-counter medications; and

  •  alcohol.

1931.2 Obtaining Diagnostic Classifications From Professionals

CPS June 2010

When a client appears to be using drugs, the caseworker refers the client to professionals for in depth screening, assessment, or treatment.

The caseworker does not make any diagnostic classifications regarding the criteria of drug or alcohol use by the client. Classifications are made by licensed professionals.

For a summary of the criteria, see Appendix 1931.2: Criteria for Diagnosing Substance Abuse.

1931.3 Guiding Principles of Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

Administering a drug test does not change the protocols for conducting an investigation or for performing casework. The caseworker does not rely solely on a drug test to arrive at a conclusion or make a decision in a case.

The caseworker considers the entire case, including:

  •  both the negative and positive results of drug tests; and

  •  all other evidence, such as statements from collateral witnesses (such as teachers, neighbors, and family doctors), the effect of any drug use on the children in the case, and the ability of the parent to protect the child.

1931.4 Marijuana Policy

CPS June 2010

In compliance with Texas law and the schedules of controlled substancesExternal Link required by the Department of State Health Services, DFPS considers marijuana a Schedule I Controlled Substance that is illegal.

Medical Marijuana

The State of Texas and DFPS do not recognize the use of medical marijuana, whether taken in pill form or by smoking. DFPS views marijuana as analogous to any other illegal substance or the use of alcohol as it relates to a child's safety.

1931.5 Determining Safety and Risk When Marijuana, Other Substances, or Alcohol Are Present

CPS June 2010

Caseworkers need to determine whether the use of marijuana, other illegal substances, or alcohol:

  •  puts a child in situations of danger or harm; or

  •  places the child at risk for abuse or neglect.

Immediate Safety

In assessing the child's immediate safety, the caseworker assesses the following:

  •  Parental behavior – For instance, erratic behavior that makes the parent appear unable to protect the child, or the inability to separate reality from hallucinations.

  •  Physical signs of impairment – For example, in the case of marijuana use, the physical signs of impairment could include altered perception, dilated pupils, lack of concentration and coordination, craving for sweets, increased hunger, laughter, slowed thinking, slowed reaction time, and respiratory infections (The caseworker may also notice the smell of burned rope. Physical impairment indicates that threats are present, the child is vulnerable, and the parent does not have sufficient protective capacities to deal with the threats to the child's safety. For more information, see, Appendix 1931.1: Physical Signs and Symptoms of Drug or Alcohol Use.

  •  The lack of a sober, protective parent present who possesses sufficient protective capacities to mitigate threats.

  •  A child's age and level of vulnerability as a measure of the extent to which threats or risk of harm are present.

  •  Whether the basic needs of child are being met; for example, determining whether the child is so severely neglected due to the parent's substance use or abuse that the child needs immediate medical attention.

  •  Accessibility to substances – A child's accessibility to marijuana, other substances, prescriptions drugs, or alcohol makes the child vulnerable to threats or dangers.

  •  physical safety – The extent to which the living environment creates the condition for threats or harm to the child; for example, a child living in a home where Methamphetamine is cooked.

Risk in Foreseeable Future

To assess the risk of abuse and neglect in the foreseeable future, if CPS were no longer involved, the following tasks are completed by the caseworker:

  •  Conduct a full risk assessment

  •  Talk to collaterals, especially school officials or child care staff

  •  Assess for prior CPS history, criminal history, and substance abuse history

  •  Assess for prior or current participation in treatment programs

  •  Review mental health, psychiatric history, or both

  •  Determine when the parent last used a substance 

  •  Ask the parent about the friends and family members that visit the home in relationship to their drug use and history

  •  Ask about the presence of a sober protective caregiver who has sufficient protective capacities to manage threats

1932 Screening and Assessing for Substance Abuse
1932.1 Screening for Substance Abuse

CPS June 2010


Using a simple screening questionnaires, the caseworker determines whether a parent is in need of further screening, assessment, or treatment for substance abuse.

The following questionnaires are easy screenings for the caseworker to administer:

  •  CAGEWord Document (Cut Down, Annoyed, Guilty, and Eye-Opener)

  •  UNCOPEWord Document (Using, Neglected, Cut Down, Objected, Preoccupied, and Emotional)


The caseworker also considers the following as further intervention when a client indicates that he or she is using marijuana or other controlled substances, or is using alcohol in a way that threatens the child's safety:

  •  Observation

  •  Medical, criminal, and substance abuse histories

  •  Collateral reports

  •  Examination of the living environment

  •  Information from the case record


A screening for drug or alcohol use can be conducted in any stage of the case.

1932.2 Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

CPS June 2010

When appropriate, the caseworker may administer either of the following screening questionnaires when interviewing a pregnant mother who is alleged to be drinking alcohol while pregnant:

  •  T-ACEWord Document (Tolerance, Annoyance, Cut Down, and Eye-Opener)

  •  TWEAKWord Document (Tolerance, Worry, Eye-Opener, Amnesia, and Cut Down)

The T-ACE and the TWEAK questionnaires help identify the risk of alcohol use during pregnancy. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can damage the embryo or fetus.

If the questionnaire indicates that a pregnant mother is drinking alcohol, the caseworker refers her to a health clinic or physician.

1932.3 Drug Use Outside of the Home

CPS June 2010

A caseworker considers a parent's drug use as he or she would any other evidence in a case; that is, the caseworker considers it along with all other available evidence when:

  •  making a disposition;

  •  evaluating a parent's need for treatment; or

  •  assessing the safety of a child.

Whether the drug use occurs inside or outside the home must not automatically lead the caseworker to one conclusion or another. Each case must be reviewed and addressed individually; for example, whether the parent tests positive for or admits to using marijuana, other illegal substances, or alcohol either outside of the home or outside of the presence of the children (for example, if the parent smoked marijuana at a party that was held away from the home).

In arriving at a disposition, the caseworker follows the statutory definitions of abuse and neglect. It is the effect that the marijuana smoking, drug use, or alcohol use have on the child and the child's safety that guides the disposition, rather than purely the parent's use of the substance.

To arrive at a disposition, the caseworker takes into account that a child's safety is based on:

  •  the child's vulnerability;

  •  the threats of danger within the family; and

  •  the capacity of a protective caregiver.

1940 Establishing Protective Measures When a Child Is Threatened by Substance Abuse

CPS June 2010

When a child's safety is threatened by a client's use of marijuana, other substances, or alcohol, or when there is a risk that the child's safety could be threatened, the caseworker puts protective measures into place.

The table below lists some of the protective measures the caseworker can consider:

Protective Measure


Related Definitions

Ensure the child's immediate safety

  •  Safety assessment

  •  Safety plan

  •  Parental-child safety placement (voluntary placement by the parent, as opposed to by a court order)

  •  Conservatorship removal

Safe child:

Vulnerable children are safe when there are no threats of danger within the family or when the parents possess sufficient capacity to manage threats and protect the child.

Help client achieve and maintain abstinence

  •  Random drug testing

  •  Physician-prescribed medications to treat a drug or alcohol addiction

  •  Detoxification

Refraining from the use of alcohol or other drugs.

(Abstinence from alcohol applies to parents who have endangered a child's safety when drinking)

Develop a relapse safety plan

  •  Network of abstinent and sober friends and family members

  •  Identified friend or family member to protect the child

Plan to provide safety for the child, if the parent contemplates a relapse or experiences a relapse

Seek judicial oversight

  •  Motion to participate

  •  Order in aid of investigation

  •  Family treatment drug court

  •  Petition for temporary managing conservatorship

Involvement of the court to mitigate problems of substance abuse and child safety

Develop reliable sources of support

  •  TANF

  •  Protective day care

  •  Medicaid

  •  Employment or job training

  •  Food stamps

  •  Housing or public housing

Having tangible resources that enable a parent to recover, or to improve enough to meet the parent's and family's financial and basic needs.

Guide parenting and child development

  •  Parenting class

  •  Participation in ECI (Early Childhood Intervention)

Having knowledge about parenting, child development, and alternative forms of discipline

1923 Testing for Substance Abuse 1923.1 Detection Periods for Substance Abuse

1923 Testing for Substance Abuse
1923.1 Detection Periods for Substance Abuse

CPS June 2010

For detection periods, see Appendix 1922.1: Detection Periods for Abused Substances.

1923.2 Diluted Samples Obtained During Testing

CPS June 2010

A diluted sample indicates that a client drank a large amount of water at some time before the drug test.

When the lab indicates that a sample is diluted, the caseworker can take one the following actions to arrive at a conclusion about the client's use:

  •  Have the client retested

  •  Request a different type of testing, such as requesting a hair follicle test instead of a urine test

  •  Rely on credible evidence obtained through observation, information from collateral sources (such as a teacher, neighbor, or family doctor), and the case history

1923.3 Instant (Swab) Tests and Court Hearings

CPS June 2010

An instant test is a swabbing of a client's oral fluids. The test is performed by a caseworker to test for recent drug use. If possible, the test results are confirmed by a laboratory.

Using the Tests in Court

Before presenting the results of instant swab tests as evidence in court, the caseworker must obtain confirmation from a laboratory.

1923.4 Using Acceptable Contractors to Obtain Test Results

CPS June 2010

DFPS accepts lab test results from physicians, hospitals, the legal system (such as the adult probation department), and providers of substance abuse treatment in order to assess safety and to assess the need for services and treatment.

1923.5 Frequency of Random Substance Abuse Testing

CPS June 2010

In general, the caseworker may conduct random drug tests when substance abuse laboratory testing is allowed under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing; that is, when:

  •  a case is scheduled for closure;

  •  reunification of the child with his or her family is contemplated;

  •  there are changes in the parent's appearance, behavior, or affect;

  •  new information is received about possible substance abuse;

  •  the client has terminated substance abuse treatment;

  •  the client shows signs of returning to seeking and using drugs, including  associating with former friends and family members who use drugs; keeping drug paraphernalia in the home; or making statements minimizing or denying having a problem with drugs or alcohol;

  •  the client refuses to create a relapse safety plan (see 1966 Developing a Safety Plan in Case a Client Relapses);

  •  the client minimizes or denies seeking and using drugs seeking and after test results come back positive;

  •  there are signs that abstinence is being threatened; for example, when a client increases the amount of alcohol consumed or begins to smoke cigarettes frequently to relieve anxiety;

  •  the client has made minimal or no effort to mitigate the substance abuse related problems that led to abuse and neglect;

  •  the client is not involved in substance abuse treatment or aftercare, even though it was recommended; and

  •  the regional substance abuse specialist recommends testing.

Hair Follicle Testing

The caseworker determines the frequency with which random hair follicle testing may be conducted, by following regional protocols.

1923.6 Situations Not Appropriate for Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

It is not appropriate for a caseworker to arrange for drug testing when a parent is:

  •  actively involved in substance abuse treatment and the treatment provider conducts random testing that is based on laboratory confirmation.

  •  randomly tested by another entity, such as a probation department or drug court, and the test is confirmed by a laboratory. The caseworker must check into the frequency of testing by the other entity, before random testing is discontinued by CPS.

1923.7 Discontinuing Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

The caseworker must discuss with the supervisor and the client's treatment provider when contemplating discontinuing routine drug testing.

The discontinuation or modification of routine drug testing may be considered when:

  •  A parent does not exhibit substance seeking and using behaviors (for example, when associating with former friends or family members who use drugs; keeping drug paraphernalia in the home; or making statements minimizing or denying having a problem with drugs or alcohol); and

  •  The parent has a consistent pattern of negative tests results.

1923.8 Assessing Test Results or Accepting an Admission

CPS June 2010

Positive Result

The caseworker must assess a positive drug test result in relationship to the child's safety and risk. The result must be discussed with the parent in a timely manner.

If a parent with a positive drug result is not engaged in substance abuse treatment and is actively parenting a child, the caseworker refers the parent to:

  •  a provider of outreach, screening, assessment, and referral (OSAR) services or

  •  a provider of substance abuse treatment.

The threshold that makes a referral appropriate is based on the definition of a child not being safe. That is, a child is not safe when:

  •  threats or dangers exist in the family that are related to substance use;

  •  the child is vulnerable to such threats; and

  •  the parent who is using substances does not have sufficient protective capacities to manage or control threats.

Client Admission

A client's verbal or written admission is accepted as a positive result of drug use; however good casework practice calls for getting the client to sign a statement of use.

Testing to Rule Out Under-Reporting

If a client admits to drug use, is not engaged in treatment, and is actively parenting children, the caseworker may consider referring the client to a substance abuse provider for screening, assessment, or treatment.

Referral may be necessary because clients sometimes under-report drug use or do not admit to all of the substances that they have used.

Clients likewise may under-report:

  •  the frequency with which they use dugs,

  •  the quantity of drugs they use, and

  •  the amount of money they spend on the drugs.

Negative Result

When the result of a parent's drug test is negative, the caseworker:

  •  notifies the parent about the result in a timely manner; and

  •  encourages the parent's abstinence and provides positive feedback.

Refusal to Test

When testing is appropriate under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing, but the client refuses to take a drug test, the caseworker must document the refusal to be tested.

If a parent refuses to take a drug test or refuses to allow a child who is an alleged perpetrator to be tested, the caseworker consults with the supervisor in a staffing meeting. The supervisor may recommend legal intervention, if the evidence raises concern for the child's safety.

For cases under court jurisdiction, the caseworker must notify the judge and attorneys about the client's refusal to test.

1923.9 Documenting Prescribed Medicine Before Offering Drug Testing

CPS June 2010

When testing is appropriate under 1920 Substance Abuse Testing, the caseworker must document any prescribed medication that the client is taking.

The documentation may be made by:

  •  completing a regional form; or

  •  entering the details in the Contact Narrative in the IMPACT system.

The caseworker must share the information about the client's medication with the lab's medical review officer (MRO).

1924 Special Situations Related to Substance Abuse
1924.1 Methadone and Prescription Medication

CPS June 2010


If the parent tests positive for methadone, the caseworker:

  •  obtains a release (Form 2062Word Document DFPS Release of Confidential Information to DSHS/Substance Abuse Services) from the parent;

  •  verifies with the methadone clinic, that the parent has a prescription for methadone and is taking methadone as prescribed; and

  •  assesses the effect that the methadone dosage has on the parent's ability to provide consistent and safe supervision of the children.

Prescription Medicine

Similar to methadone, the caseworker must assess the effect that prescription medications have on a parent's ability to provide supervision and to keep children safe.

To determine whether the client is taking his or her medication as prescribed, the caseworker must check with the client's medical provider.

For the caseworker to obtain the information from the medical provider, the client needs to sign a consent-to-release form (Form 2062Word Document DFPS Release of Confidential Information to DSHS/Substance Abuse Services).

If the client refuses to sign the release form, the caseworker consults with the supervisor about whether to request legal intervention.

1924.2 The Infectious Client

CPS June 2010

If the caseworker is concerned that a client may have an infectious disease, the caseworker, with the supervisor's approval, refers the client to a local drug-testing facility for a urine test in lieu of an oral test.

Testing Within 48 Hours

The client must be tested within 48 hours after the contact with the caseworker.

1924.3 Drug Use During a Parent-Child Visit or FGDM Conference

CPS June 2010

A court order supersedes the following DFPS policies.

Parent-Child Visit

If a parent appears to be under the influence of a controlled substance and or alcohol, the parent-child visit must not occur.

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Conferences

A parent or participant who is visibly intoxicated during a family group decision making (FGDM) conference, must be excused from the conference.

The caseworker does not administer an oral test during the FGDM conference. Any required testing occurs at the end of the meeting and preferably at a location away from the FGDM immediate site.

For policy on the testing of youth, see 1951 Children and Adolescents Who Smoke Marijuana, Use Other Drugs, or Drink Alcohol.

The existence of a positive drug result in the case record does not automatically exclude a parent from visiting with the child or attending a FGDM. The caseworker needs to weigh the benefits of the visit or attendance when confronted with a positive drug reading in the case record.

If the child will not be in danger, the visit or participation may be allowed.

1924.4 The Court Testimony of the Medical Review Officer

CPS June 2010

Because of the high costs, testimony provided by technicians, medical review officers (MRO), or other personnel employed by drug testing facilities is reserved for extreme circumstances; for example, parental termination hearings in substitute care cases when a judge requires testimony in person.

Alternatives to consider before requesting court room testimony from a representative of a drug testing laboratory include:

  •  depositions at locations near the drug testing laboratory; and

  •  testimony provided via teleconference.

If DFPS concludes that court room testimony is necessary from a representative of a drug testing laboratory, the DFPS region requiring the testimony:

  •  negotiates payment rates;

  •  negotiates travel expenses;

  •  renders payment for court-related services; and

  •  renders payment for testimony provided by a representative of a drug-testing laboratory.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THE LATEST: Missing 9-month-old now back in Child Protective Service custody

THE LATEST: Missing 9-month-old now back in Child Protective Service custody
Posted: Jul 16, 2015 7:03 PM PST Updated: Jul 17, 2015 3:43 PM PST Jacoby Davis, Photo: CPS

Jacoby Davis, Photo: CPS

Jessica Batey, Photo: CPS

Jessica Batey, Photo: CPS

THE LATEST: Sherry Pulliam, Media Specialist with CPS, confirmed with CBS19 that the child was found just outside Canton.

He is now in foster care and is in good condition.

“The mother, I believe, has not been arrested,” Pulliam said.

CBS 19 called Smith County Sheriff’s Office and Lt. Gary Middleton says, “It’s a CPS case, so we’re not investigating.”

UPDATE: SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) - Jacoby Davis is now back in Child Protective Services custody, Media Specialist Shari Pulliam confirmed to CBS19. Davis had been missing since Thursday.

UPDATE: Smith County (KYTX) -- Child Protective Services is asking for help in locating a missing 9-month-old boy.

Jacoby Davis is missing, according to officials, and was last seen with his mother, 25-year-old Jessica Batey and the child's father, 30-year-old Brandon Davis. The pair no longer has custody of the child. Jacoby were last seen with Batey and Davis in the Tyler/Lindale area, but their location is not known as of now.

Shari Pulliam with CPS tells CBS 19, the baby was removed from the home for alleged neglectful supervision. Pulliam has reason to believe the baby is in immediate danger.

The public is asked to call 903-495-5973 if there is any helpful information in locating 9 month old Jacoby.

Arizona kids score low in well-being report

Mary Jo Pitzl, The Republic |


Arizona continues to rank near the bottom nationally in key indicators of child well-being, according to a report released today.

The good news is the percent of Arizona teens who say they abused drugs or alcohol has plummeted compared to other states, and Arizona has improved its national ranking for the share of kids ages 16-19 not going to school and not working, rising five places to 40th among the 50 states.

But the overall rankings in the annual Kids Count databook, compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, show Arizona stuck at 46th nationally, the same spot it held in last year’s report.

The low ranking is influenced heavily by poverty, with the state maintaining ranking 48th in the percentage of kids living in high-poverty areas as well as children without health insurance.

The report notes 12 percent of Arizona’s kids have no health insurance, compared to 7 percent nationally. Arizona is the only state without a Children’s Health Insurance Program, a federal program designed for kids whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid and who do not have private insurance. The program requires states to match the federal dollars.

Pre-school is another area where Arizona ranks low, at 48th nationally. But the state Department of Education is distributing a $20 million federal grant to extend pre-school to 21 areas across the state.

The money should fund 57 programs for children from impoverished areas in Maricopa, Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz and Yuma counties, said Terry Doolan, early-childhood education director at the Department of Education.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Prep drill for Jade Helm 15 includes children


Defense film released 'so the public will see it and accept what's coming'

Published: 05/20/2015 at 7:34 PM


Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.



The Jade Helm 15 military training exercise planned this summer in many states in the southern and western parts of the U.S. is generating more alarm, with accusations now that the federal government is releasing videos featuring children “so that the public will see it and accept what’s coming.”

WND previously reported the U.S. military officials are trying to allay fears and minimize concerns by meeting with local governments and briefing them.

But a new video issued by the Department of Defense features children, critics contend, “so that the public will see it and accept what’s coming,”according to the AllNewsPipeline.

The video was posted online by The Next News Network, which reported it shows drills preparatory to this summer’s Jade Helm 15.

“It’s pretty hard to miss the children behind the same fencing as the mock demonstrators,” the site reported. “These are the U.S. Marines from 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division practicing ‘assault support tactics’ in Yuma, Arizona, as part of a seven-week exercise prior to the Jade Helm 15 exercises.”

It credits Sgt. Daniel D. Kujanpaa with the video.

Next News Network asserts, “It’s our responsibility to inform these soldiers to question and refuse these unconstitutional orders.”

Stefan Stanford at All News Pipeline said the video is more “shocking proof that even our children will not be immune from the effects of what they are preparing for as even kids are now included in FEMA camp roundup drills.”

Another blog, The Daily Sheeple, said the video reveals “our troops training to take on dissidents right here on American soil.”

“How much more proof do you need? There’s no conspiracy theory here, only conspiracy fact. Our soldiers are clearly training for martial law scenarios where they have to detain the American people right here in the U.S. in our own backyards.”

See the video:

As WND reported, the military insists inaccurate information is being circulated by people with “personal agendas.”

But one recent poll showed that message wasn’t getting traction, with nearly half of voters concerned Washington “will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states.”

And one voter in five is “very concerned.”

The results come from Rasmussen Reports, which surveyed 1,000 likely voters between May 7 and 10.

The polling company asked whether the government’s military training plan is an infringement of the rights of citizens, whether the respondent favors or opposes those exercises in their state, and how concerned are they over whether Washington “will use U.S. military training operations to impose greater control over some states.”

The training exercises this summer have been named Jade Helm 15, and WND reported when the concerns moved well beyond the fringe frets over black helicopters and secret prison sites.

Read the warning from Judge Andrew Napolitano, “It is Dangerous to Be Right when the Government is Wrong.”

That was when Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, released a statement responding to constituents’ worries about the exercise in six states involving thousands of military personnel on public and even private land.

“Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015. This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law,” Gohmert said.

“Certainly, I can understand these concerns. When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned.

“We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance. Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.”

Jade Helm is getting a lot of attention for several reasons, including the fact that the military has designated for purposes of its exercise several mostly Republican regions as “hostile” territories.

“Having served in the U.S. Army, I can understand why military officials have a goal to see if groups of Special Forces can move around a civilian population without being noticed and can handle various threat scenarios,” Gohmert wrote. “In military science classes or in my years on active duty, I have participated in or observed military exercises; however, we never named an existing city or state as a ‘hostile.’ We would use fictitious names before we would do such a thing.

“Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution. When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in ‘hostile’ control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.”

Rasmussen said that just 20 percent of voters “now consider the federal government a protector of individual liberty.” And 60 percent see the government as a threat to individual liberty instead. Only 19 percent trust the federal government to do the right thing all or most of the time.

WND also reported when Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order to the Texas State Guard to oversee any activities in his state to ensure that Texans’ “safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

“By monitoring the operation on a continual basis, the State Guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans,” he told Maj. Gen. Gerald Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard.

“Directing the State Guard to monitor the operation will allow Texas to be informed of the details of military personnel movements and training exercise schedules, and it will give us the ability to quickly and effectively communicate with local communities, law enforcement, public safety personnel and citizens.”

U.S. Army Special Operations Command officials told WND that the training is scheduled, and soldiers benefit from such practices on areas not inside military bases.


Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as "hostile"

Jade Helm map showing Texas, Utah and part of California as “hostile”

Also commenting was Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who told he’s been trying to get answers from the Pentagon.

“My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise. We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Driveway Dangers A Warning For All Parents

Posted: May 20, 2015 6:23 PM PST Updated: May 20, 2015 10:10 PM PST


It wasn't easy for Brian and Amanda Bayers to talk about how their 18-month-old son, Jackson, died, but they did for one reason.

You often hear warnings about the dangers of leaving children in hot cars or getting into dangerous chemicals around the house, none of which should be taken lightly. But it is not often you hear about what happened to the Bayers - a split-second accident that can change a family's life forever.

There wasn't a single moment of Jackson's life that Brian and Amanda Bayers missed. They captured every precious moment on camera, from the first time he crawled to him just being his happy self. They felt blessed to be his parents.

"It was instant love, love at first sight," Amanda said.

The Bayerses have been married for 8 1/2 years and knew family was what they wanted from the beginning. But it wasn't easy. They struggled for 3 1/2 years to get pregnant.

"When I found out she was pregnant, I (instantly felt) very nervous about everything," Brian said. "How I was going to provide; if I was going to be a good dad."

All the normal feelings, and a sense of protection when Jackson finally came into their arms on Aug. 1, 2013.

"I felt like we had a whole different responsibility in our life that we had a small child that we had to raise," Brian said.

Their little boy was growing - so was his curiosity - as he managed to get his hands on everything.

"I worried every night. I got home - I carry around change in my pocket - I would get down on my hands and knees. I'd look for dimes, pennies I might have dropped," Brian Bayers said.

But it was what they didn't think of that changed their life.

"You always think, ‘This can't happen to me,' but it can," Brian said.

On Feb. 13, 2015 Brian was getting ready to take Jackson to daycare. He remembered Jackson was a little extra loving that morning and they were both enjoying their time together. It was cold, so Brian figured while Jackson was playing he would go warm up the truck and back it up to the house.

"When I got out of the truck, I hopped out of the truck to run to the back door and hopped up on the stoop and the back door was wide open," Brian said.

He ran into the house calling Jackson's name and couldn't find him.

"I went flying out the back door basically to see him on the driveway, and he had already been hit at that point in time, and I had backed over him," Brian said. "I never saw him at any point in time. Jackson was hit by the front wheels of the vehicle backing up. When the front wheels back around, he essentially walked right into the side of the vehicle."

"I was quite hysterical. My son was killed instantly, and I called 911," he said.

Knowing there was nothing he could do to save Jackson, Brian called Amanda, who rushed home from work.

"I immediately wanted to hold him and held him for hours," Amanda said. "I think I just kissed him and rocked him. We took him back to his room. I just kept saying, ‘Why?'"

The pain and the heartache they have been feeling since that day is indescribable. They miss everything about their sweet boy.

"I miss holding him and hugging him and kissing him - just feeling that love," Amanda said.

"I miss seeing him dance with his mom," Brian said. "I miss lying in bed in the morning and hearing him wake up."

Every minute of every day Brian said he can't help but think of what happened to Jackson. How did he open the door, and what he could have done differently to stop him?

"What if I had a back-up camera on my vehicle? What if I had my window rolled down? I think what if I didn't just pick my child up and carry him with me to my car," Brian said. "I worried about all the little things that could have possibly happened and this was one thing that never crossed my mind."

In the United States, at least 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week, and the predominant age of victims is one year old, according to

Kids and Cars is a non-profit child safety organization dedicated to preventing injuries and death to children in and around motor vehicles.

The Bayerses never knew how common back-over and front-over accidents were until Jackson died. They took the brave step to talk about it, knowing Jackson would be proud of them.

"If we can save one child's life by this and prevent one family from the kind of devastation that we have faced, that will be his legacy," Brian said.

"We know that Jackson is in heaven and he's with God," Amanda said.

Brian and Amanda Bayers say their faith has gotten them through this difficult time and they have received so much support from support groups and church. Both of them love children and they are trying to have more.

The Bayerses want to build on Jackson's legacy. They are raising money to build a park in his honor.


Copyright 2015 Tucson News Now and WAVE3. All rights reserves

9 Things Everyone Should Know About Molly

By Drew Griffin. Nelli Black and Patricia DiCarlo, CNN Investigations

Updated 11:25 AM ET, Sat November 23, 2013

Hidden dangers of party drug 'Molly'

Story highlights
  • Molly is a drug that used to be the powder or crystal form of MDMA, or Ecstasy
  • Now, Molly is more often made up of a toxic mix of lab-created chemicals
  • Almost all the chemicals in Molly and other synthetic drugs come from laboratories in China
  • The DEA says using Molly is like playing Russian roulette

The drug called Molly isn't what most of its users think it is. If you Google "Molly," many articles say the drug is "pure" MDMA, the active ingredient in Ecstasy.

Users often talk about the "purity" of taking Molly, as if it's somehow better; after all, MDMA was originally developed as a medication to treat depression. But today's Molly is most often not MDMA -- in the last few years, the drug has become a toxic mixture of lab-created chemicals, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Here are nine things everyone should know about this rapidly changing party drug:

1. What is Molly?

Someone who buys or takes Molly now is probably ingesting dangerous synthetic drugs that have not been tested and are produced in widely varying strengths. The DEA says only 13% of the Molly seized in New York state the last four years actually contained any MDMA, and even then it often was mixed with other drugs. The drugs frequently found in Molly are Methylone, MDPV, 4-MEC, 4-MMC, Pentedrone and MePP.

'2C-P' and 'Molly' involved in overdoses


2. What does Molly do?

The lab-created chemicals mimic the effects of MDMA; most of them are central nervous system stimulants that cause euphoric highs. They can also cause a rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, blood vessel constriction and sweating, and can prevent the body from regulating temperature. Some of the chemicals have been reported to cause intense, prolonged panic attacks, psychosis and seizures.

After they wear off, the chemicals can cause devastating depression. Several of these compounds have caused deaths.

3. Who is using Molly?

Molly is being marketed to young first-time drug abusers between the ages of 12 and 17, as well as traditional rave, electronic dance music fans who may think they're getting MDMA. "Our kids are being used as guinea pigs by drug traffickers," says Al Santos, associate deputy administrator for the DEA.

4. What does Molly look like?

Molly can take many different forms, although it's most often found in a capsule or powder. The DEA has also seen Molly applied to blotting paper, like LSD, and in injectable form.

5. What makes Molly so dangerous?

Molly is dangerous because of the toxic mix of unknown chemicals; users have no idea what they're taking or at what dose. Unlike MDMA and other illegal drugs that have known effects on the body, the formulas for these synthetic drugs keep changing, and they're manufactured with no regard to how they affect the user.

"You're playing Russian roulette if you take these compounds because we're seeing significant batch-to-batch variances," Santos says.

For example, officials have found completely different ingredients in drugs sold in the same packaging. Santos also says the amount of active ingredients can be dangerously different, because "the dosing for these sorts of drugs are in the micrograms. The room for error is tremendous, and we've seen a lot of deaths with some of these compounds."

The DEA has developed its own reference materials for state and local law enforcement because they were encountering so many different drug compounds they'd never seen before. At the DEA testing lab, technicians are constantly trying to unravel the chemical makeup of newly discovered drug compounds that have been seized.

What you need to know about synthetic drugs

6. Where do the chemicals come from?

Almost all the chemicals in Molly and other synthetic drugs come from laboratories in China. Chinese chemists sell the drugs online, and middlemen in the United States and around the world cut it with other substances, and either place it in capsules or sell it as powder. Other kinds of synthetic drugs can be sprayed onto plant material and smoked, such as synthetic marijuana.

But it's difficult for law enforcement to keep track of all the chemicals. The DEA says it's seen about 200 individual chemical compounds since 2009 and 80 new compounds since 2012. As soon as a compound is discovered and banned, another one is created to take its place.

Interestingly enough, the formulas for these drugs were discovered by legitimate scientists working on new medications. The formulas couldn't be used as medicine because of the stimulant or hallucinogenic effects they had users, but the "recipes" for the drugs still remain.

Clandestine chemists have used the scientific literature to create hundreds of new chemical compounds for the sole purpose of getting people high. There is no known legitimate purpose for any of these chemicals.

Music festival canceled after 2 deaths blamed on drugs

7. How widespread is the problem?

Huge. The fastest-emerging drug problem in the United States is the synthetic drug market, which now includes Molly. The chemicals in Molly have been found in nearly every state in the U.S.

And it's a multibillion-dollar business. In two days, the DEA seized $95 million off drug traffickers during a crackdown. It is a growing problem in Australia, New Zealand and Europe as well.

8. What's being done about it? Why can't the government just make it illegal?

Congress passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act in July 2012, which controlled 26 compounds by name. But there are hundreds of compounds, and every time the government makes one illegal, chemists alter the formula slightly to make it a substance that is no longer controlled.

U.S. officials say they are discussing the issue with the Chinese government, but most of these chemicals are legal in China.

There's something (potentially dangerous) about molly

9. How can I tell if someone is using or has used Molly?

The effects can vary widely, depending on the chemical, but while users are under the influence, they may exhibit the following symptoms: sweating, jaw clenching, violent or bizarre behavior and psychosis.

After the drug has worn off, a user may show signs of depression or may not be able to get out of bed for an extended period of time.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Stephen Schaffner: Sexual Abuse Counselor Gets 35 Years For Horrific Sex Abuse Of Premature Baby

Stephen Schaffner sex abuse baby

Stephen Schaffner, 34, once offered his help to victims of child sexual abuse as a licensed counselor in the states of Arizona and Maryland. But on Thursday, Schaffner was sent to prison for 35 years for his own extraordinarily horrifying sexual offense, a case of child sex abuse with the most vulnerable, helpless victim imaginable — a six-week-old, prematurely born baby.

Schaffner (pictured above left), now of Greensboro, Maryland, hooked up through the internet with a pediatric nurse in San Diego, California, Michael Lutts (pictured above right). The two were in contact when Lutts, who worked at Kaiser Permanente hospital, was for some unfathomable reason assigned to take the little preemie boy home with him as a foster child.

Schaffner and Lutts exchanged numerous text messages that FBI investigators found on the former counselor’s iPhone, messages in which the two men discussed in highly graphic terms the abuse that they desired to inflict on the infant.

Schaffner then gave Lutts explicit instructions on how he wanted to see the baby sexually abused, and requested that Lutts send him photos via text message. The FBI found those photos, of Lutts abusing the helpless and crying six-week-old baby, on Schaffner’s phone, the Bureau said in a statement.

In their conversation, Schaffner also told Lutts that he planned to fly to San Diego so he could rape the baby himself.

Unfortunately, the case was, in the words of federal prosecutor Zachary Myers, “a culmination of a pattern of behavior by Mr. Schaffner.”

The FBI, investigators said in a statement released July 9, found “thousands of images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct” on Schaffner’s computers and other electronic storage devices.

Not only that but Schaffner — who admitted to the FBI that he had been a collector of graphic child pornography for the past 11 years — sent numerous text messages and emails over the years in which he “repeatedly expressed a sexual interest in boys from “age zero” up and his desire to commit violent sexual abuse against infants, including making the children cry during the abuse and injuring or killing children in the course of sexual abuse. He discussed ways to ensure that the children did not report the abuse, including drugging or killing the children,” the FBI said.

Perhaps authorities should have been tipped off in 2012 when Schaffner was fired from his position counseling abused and troubled children after sending what investigators described as a sexually inappropriate message to one of his counseling clients.

Schaffner’s conviction comes less than a week after authorities in Canada released a series of sickening text messages between a young couple in which they discussed kidnapping and molesting young girls, and then carried out the crimes.

Lutts was arrested last August after investigators reported finding videos on his computer showing the nurse molesting the premature baby as the child cried uncontrollably. His case has not yet been resolved however. The FBI also says that the child sex abuse conspiracy involving Michael Lutts and Stephen Schaffner may include other adults as well.