The state doesn’t always know best

Many kids would indeed be better off in foster care.  But stories like this show why we shouldn’t be so cavalier about removing children from their homes:

A Dartmouth, N.S., foster mother pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessities of life by denying food to her two-year-old foster daughter.

Susan Elizabeth MacDonnell, 43, was first charged in June 2010 with criminal negligence causing bodily harm, as well as the other two charges after the foster child became more ill while being treated at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax.

Crown attorney Catherine Cogswell told the court Thursday that the little girl nearly died after being hospitalized due to malnutrition.

[…]

“The allegations of the Crown are that the child almost died as a result of being deprived of food for a lengthy period of time,” she said.

At an earlier bail hearing, the Crown said MacDonnell admitted to disconnecting the child’s feeding tube in the hospital, and to diluting a high glucose formula at least six times.

Everyone involves in the child-protection system is human, so it’s sadly inevitable that people like this will slip through.  That includes the judges:

A Texas family law judge whose daughter secretly videotaped him savagely beating her seven years ago won’t face criminal charges because too much time has elapsed, police said Thursday.

Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams likely would have been charged with causing injury to a child or other assault-related offenses for the 2004 beating of his then-16-year-old daughter, but the five-year statutes of limitations expired, Rockport Police Chief Tim Jayroe said.

[…]

Hillary Adams, now 23, posted the 8-minute clip on YouTube last week that shows her father viciously lashing her with a belt and trying to force her to bend over her bed to be beaten despite her wails and pleas to stop. The clip had received more than 2.4 million hits as of Thursday, and police began investigating Wednesday after hearing from concerned citizens.

William Adams, 51, issued a three-page statement Thursday saying his daughter posted the clip to get back at him for telling her he would be reducing the amount of financial support he gives her and taking away her Mercedes. The statement did not include an apology for the beating, but he told Corpus Christi television station KZTV on Wednesday that the video “looks worse than it is,” that he had already apologized to his daughter and that he was just disciplining his child for stealing.

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