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Child Welfare

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 06:00:00

Legislators seek to overhaul courts' role in child welfare to benefit of parents

Four bills filed on Friday by state Sen. Alan Clark (R-Lonsdale) would generally give more legal protections to parents accused of child maltreatment, along with other relatives, noncustodial parents and "fictive kin."

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 11:23:00

Bill proposes confidentiality waiver for testimony on child abuse appeals

Sen. Alan Clark's legislation would allow a legislative committee to hear and discuss confidential information pertaining to a completed child maltreatment investigation.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tuesday, November 29, 2016 - 16:18:00

Child welfare too often about 'punishing parents,' DCFS consultant tells legislators

Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.

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Flake & Kelley

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 11:13:00

Legislation needed: Accountability in protective services for children

The awful death of Isaiah Torres, 6, was a reminder again of a gaping hole in the law pertaining to child protective services.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 14:09:00

Jury returns death penalty for Mauricio Torres

Fox 24's Channing Barker reports by Twitter that a Benton County jury has sentenced Mauricio Torres to die for the capital murder of his six-year-old son, Isaiah.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 13:49:00

DHS officials outline ambitious plan to reform state's child welfare system

Coupled with the governor's announcement last week of his intention to seek a $39 million boost in DCFS funding over the next two years, this plan represents a concerted, ambitious effort to improve child welfare outcomes in Arkansas.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - 00:44:00

At sentencing, five more children and stepchildren of Mauricio Torres allege previous abuse

Three former stepchildren and two biological children of Torres, all of whom lived with the defendant during the late 1990s or early 2000s, spoke on Monday. All told the court that they suffered chronic abuse at the hands of Mauricio Torres.

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Flake & Kelley

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016 - 16:26:11

Update: Mauricio Torres found guilty of capital murder in death of 6-year-old son

A Benton County jury this morning found Mauricio Torres, 45, guilty of capital murder and first degree battery after a brief deliberation.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 18:56:00

As Torres trial nears end, jury hears graphic details of alleged child abuse, autopsy

Day three of the Mauricio Torres murder trial included testimony from the victim's sister and the medical examiner who performed an autopsy on six-year-old Isaiah Torres.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 17:30:00

Day two of Torres murder trial

Prosecutors in Benton County continued to build their case against Mauricio Torres, a Bella Vista man accused of killing his 6-year-old son, Isaiah Torres, in March 2015. Torres is charged with capital murder and first-degree battery in connection to his son’s death. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty. Torres has pleaded not guilty.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 - 18:51:00

Mauricio Torres murder trial under way in Bentonville

Prosecutors in Benton County began building their case today against Mauricio Torres, a Bella Vista man accused of killing his 6-year-old child, Isaiah Torres, in March 2015.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 22:16:00

The trial of Ted Suhl, day 2: The Texas de Brazil

More details emerge on the alleged bribery scheme.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 20:38:00

Restructuring DHS business functions just the beginning, director says

The unanswerable question is whether Gillespie's proposed changes to the department's "core business structures" will introduce much-needed accountability and efficiency to DHS, or whether they'll simply add a new layer of bureaucracy.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 10:34:00

Director of state's child welfare agency to step down from post at end of March

Cecile Blucker, the director of the Division of Children and Family Services at the Arkansas Department of Human Services, will leave the position at the end of March, the agency confirmed this morning.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016 - 07:10:00

Child welfare system: It could be worse

The Arkansas Times has spent more than a year documenting shortcomings in the Arkansas child welfare system — short of foster homes and case workers, among others. But, again, we have Mississippi to thank for apparently being even worse.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015 - 12:52:00

Justin Harris tops Jezebel list of worst local powermongers

No huge surprise here: Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) tops Jezebel's 2015 roundup of its Big Time Small-Time Dicks column on awful local politicians.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015 - 07:14:00

Your legislature at work: Child protection priorities include pot and per diem

A scan of headlines shows the Arkansas legislature worried more about per diem and the evils of pot than tspending money on improvements in the system that looks after children in difficult family situations.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - 18:17:00

Governor touts foster home recruitment, but intake of children increases equivalently

At an event today, Gov. Hutchinson said the state had seen an increase of 232 foster beds since this summer. But during the same time period, the number of Arkansas children in foster care increased by about 266, meaning the scope of the crisis essentially remained static.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 14:42:00

Psychologists urge ABC to correct bogus depiction of RAD in '20/20' coverage of Justin Harris

A letter bearing the names of 19 professors of psychology and social work from around the country has been sent to ABC to protest the television network's flawed depiction of reactive attachment disorder, or RAD, a part of "20/20's" coverage of the Rep. Justin Harris adoption story that the news magazine aired last month.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 10:13:00

A conversation with '20/20's' Elizabeth Vargas on the Justin Harris 'rehoming' episode

I spoke yesterday afternoon for the first time with Elizabeth Vargas, anchor of 20/20, the ABC news program that tonight at 9 p.m. will air its version of events surrounding the adoption and rehoming of two young girls by state Rep. Justin Harris (R-West Fork) and his wife, Marsha.

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