Monthly Archives: July 2012

Social worker sentenced to five years for ignoring child abuse cases

Social worker sentenced to five years for ignoring child abuse cases.

A Kentucky social worker has been sentenced to five years in prison for her behavior in the investigation of child abuse cases.

According to Attorney General Jack Conway’s office, social worker Margaret “Geri” Murphy, formerly with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, falsified a number of reports to make it appear that she had investigated cases in which there was evidence of child abuse, including a disturbing case involving sexual abuse by a three-year old’s own father. Prosecutors alleged that Murphy left children in homes in which they were abused and neglected, never looked into the claims, and lied to the state.

Murphy pleaded guilty to nine counts of falsifying documents. According to reports, she appeared surprised as she was taken into custody to serve the five year sentence, having requested probation.

Judge Charles Hickman said on the record that he was disturbed by the nature of the actions and non-actions taken by Murphy in specific instances.

“I feel like it sent a message,” commented Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley.

This is not an isolated incident. I have personally witnessed lack of investigation and complacency in the juvenile dependency system in my own work in California. Until the system starts looking at itself with a clear lens with a willingness to acknowledge its problems and deficiencies and until those working within the system start putting the safety of minors before personal interests, we will not be doing our part to protect our children.

See the following article in for more information on the Murphy case:

New study finds disabled children are four times more likely to suffer abuse

Abused Boy

Researchers from the UK recently completed a study which found that the risk of being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused is nearly four times higher for disabled children than for children who are not disabled.

The study was published in The Lancet online on July 11.

Examining 17 previous studies involving more than 18,000 children from the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Spain and Israel including children primarily between the ages of 2 and 18 years, the investigators found that nearly 27 percent of children with disabilities had suffered some form of abuse. They also determined that lifetime levels of abuse for disabled children were high – 20 percent for physical violence and 14 percent for sexual violence.

“We know that specific strategies exist to prevent violence and mitigate its consequences. We now need to determine if these also work for children with disabilities. An agenda needs to be set for action,” said Dr. Etienne Krug, director of the World Health Organization’s department of violence and injury prevention and disability, which contributed to the study.

According to Mark Bellis of Liverpool John Moores University in England, one of the study’s authors, we need to continue to investigate these issues so that we can become better informed in this area.

The link to retrieve the Lancet publication (for purchase) can be found here:

Article about attachment parenting and culture in India

Attachment parenting in India

I ran across a very charming article written by a mother from India, Reshmi Chakraborty, in the online publication Citizen Matters, Bangalore on the subject of attachment parenting in Indian homes.

Ms. Chakraborty notes the controversy and disagreement over attachment parenting in the United States but writes that attachment parenting comes naturally to Indian parents, though they hadn’t given it that title in the past.

She notes that issues such as co-sleeping, which in Western homes may be debated, with a number of people believing it can lead to suffocation and others that it leads to bonding between parents and child, are pragmatically handled by Indian parents, such as with a separate bed which is placed as close to the parental bed as possible.

Personally, I find parenting in India, at least the type described by Ms. Chakraborty, involving a pragmatic approach to closeness and peace, refreshing.

You can find the article at this link: