8-year old taken from his home due to severe obesity

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FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859
8-year old taken from his home due to severe obesity

http://news.yahoo.com/obese-third-grader-taken-mom-placed-foster-care-201731761.html

Agree, or disagree?

Do you think there could have been a better alternative to him being taken from his home?

Minx_Kristi's picture
Joined: 01/02/09
Posts: 1261

I honestly don't know. My first thought is no way do I agree and that help should have been offered instead.

xx

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Agree. If this child was underweight by even half of what he is overweight his parents would be considered neglectful if they weren't feeding him a healthy diet. I do NOT believe that most of the obese kids (or adults) in our society today are geneticly unable to maintain a healthy weight. Even if they could prove that it doesn't help psychologically for the kids, you can believe that it is a wake-up call for the parents. Hopefully they decide to maintain a healthier lifestyle so they can raise their children properly. This isn't a 10lb overweight child, he had a hard time breathing and has sleep apnea which I'm guessing are both caused by his obesity.

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

I am undecided. I hope to make up my mind by the time this debate ends.

wlillie - You bring up a good point that if the lack of nutrition had been in the form of too little food, then there would be no problem in seeing it as neglect.

I will have to think on it some more.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Minx_Kristi" wrote:

I honestly don't know. My first thought is no way do I agree and that help should have been offered instead.

xx

Help has been offered for the last year according to the article. I also dont know, except maybe this mother needs a wake up call, that she could lose her child. I hope this is just a short term thing, and that she renews her efforts to help him lose the weight.

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

By the way, I know we've had this type of debate before, but since obesity in kids has become a big problem in America, I figured we'd give others a chance to chime in who weren't around for the other debates.

Plus, I don't think I've ever seen an 8-yr old kid that was quite that obese. It really got my attention.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I am also in the undecided camp. I think we probably don't know the whole story and more information would be needed to make a judgment.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I do not think starving a child is any way the same as having an obese child. And they do not take away children for simply being malnourished (or they shouldn't if they do). A case worker would look into why the child is malnourished. Are the parents starving the child on purpose? Are the parents capable of feeding the child and not? Do the parents just need some help in providing food for their child?

I think the same kind of logic needs to be in place for obese children. You can withhold food for a month form a child and they will become sick and die. You see the results of starvation immediately. A child will beg for food. Straving a child comes from purposely not giving a child what they crave. There is no nuturing in that. Obesity can easily come from giving a child too much of what they want. Sometimes it is the way they show love because that is how they were shown love. Overfeeding a child is no different then spoiling a child with any other thing, the intent is the same, a screwed up sense of love...but love none the less. The difference is giving a child too many toys screws them up mentally while giving a child too much food screws them up physically as well. but we don't take away spoiled children, do we? Why? Because they don't get diabetes from mommys who buy their love with toys and things. But I think the damage is just as bad. Shoot maybe even worse. Not to mention the effects of overfeeding a child is not immediate. It happens slowly before you realize where you are and by then it is a habit even an addiction. How many adults go on diets and try their hearts out and then gain it back? Howvever underfeeding a child is not a habit or an addiction unless there is some sort of mental issue with the parent in which case they need help as well. I am not trying to make an excuse, I'm just saying I relaize that it is not black and white, and should not be treated as such.

I think their should not be a blanket policy of taking away kids because they are overweight or even mobidly obese. I think intent is everything here and a child should not be taken away from a loving parent just because it's policy. As for this article, I don't know enough information to know if it was warranted. If the parent really does not care abotu the health of the child and is purposely keeping him fat in order to make him sick, then he should have been removed.

GloriaInTX's picture
Joined: 07/29/08
Posts: 4116

I'm wondering where the line is drawn between physical and emotional abuse. Maybe the parent isn't doing the best thing by indulging their son, but isn't the state doing emotional harm to the child by removing him from his home? So what makes one abuse better than the other? Or is emotional abuse ok as long as it is the state doing it. It sounded to me like the mother was at least trying, since he did lose some weight, but I think it is a little drastic to take him from the home because he gained some of it back. Losing weight is hard for an adult, let alone a child who doesn't understand why he can't eat the things he wants.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"wlillie" wrote:

Agree. If this child was underweight by even half of what he is overweight his parents would be considered neglectful if they weren't feeding him a healthy diet. I do NOT believe that most of the obese kids (or adults) in our society today are geneticly unable to maintain a healthy weight. Even if they could prove that it doesn't help psychologically for the kids, you can believe that it is a wake-up call for the parents. Hopefully they decide to maintain a healthier lifestyle so they can raise their children properly. This isn't a 10lb overweight child, he had a hard time breathing and has sleep apnea which I'm guessing are both caused by his obesity.

I (sort of) agree with this. If we were talking about a child that was being starved, it would be an obvious case of neglect. But in the long run, I would guess that giving a child too much food could be as detrimental to their health as giving them not enough food.

I think that taking the child should be the very last resort, however. I would say that working with the parents to help them make healthier food choices, get the whole family more active, doing family therapy to help them develop more healthy ways of coping or showing their love or whatever, should all come before removing the child from the home. I would say that the only way they should remove the child from the home is if the parents simply refuse to try.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

I think growing up with hatful, intolerant, racist, or antisemetic parents is 100 times more harmful then one who overfeeds you. I think if the state is going to take away kids from homes whose mother overfeeds them then they should take kids away from mothers who teach them to hate people, for instance Jews.

But I'm not talking about anyone inparticular of course. Just a general statment.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I (sort of) agree with this. If we were talking about a child that was being starved, it would be an obvious case of neglect. But in the long run, I would guess that giving a child too much food could be as detrimental to their health as giving them not enough food.

I think that taking the child should be the very last resort, however. I would say that working with the parents to help them make healthier food choices, get the whole family more active, doing family therapy to help them develop more healthy ways of coping or showing their love or whatever, should all come before removing the child from the home. I would say that the only way they should remove the child from the home is if the parents simply refuse to try.

I agree.

And Lana, people people who are anti semitic or just generally bigoted and hateful sometimes have custody of their children taken away, thankfully. Smile

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
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Not just for being a bigot.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

But you have to think about it; I seriously doubt the state/doctors/agencies just decided to take the child away. I have a feeling that this family was offered a lot of support and given plenty of chances and still continued to not lead the best lifestyle for this little boy. You can recover from being spoiled with things, but learning a healthy lifestyle is sooo much harder to absorb (at least from my limited experience with spoiled children who outgrew it).

I have a feeling that these parents knew what they were supposed to be doing and couldn't change their own habits so the little boy is suffering. If they were anorexic and didn't eat problem and their child was malnourished, I do hope that the government would step in and take them away. Those are lessons that cost lives every single year. I would guestimate that there are far more deaths or major illnesses due to food issues than there are with bullying and we consistently as a nation jump all over the regulation bandwagon when it comes to the one.

the CBS article had this comment which just pisses me off to no end.
They say the medical problems he is at risk for do not yet pose an imminent danger.

Why would we not want parents to be held accountable for not feeding their children properly and/or not making sure they exercise enough?

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"wlillie" wrote:

But you have to think about it; I seriously doubt the state/doctors/agencies just decided to take the child away. I have a feeling that this family was offered a lot of support and given plenty of chances and still continued to not lead the best lifestyle for this little boy. You can recover from being spoiled with things, but learning a healthy lifestyle is sooo much harder to absorb (at least from my limited experience with spoiled children who outgrew it).

I have a feeling that these parents knew what they were supposed to be doing and couldn't change their own habits so the little boy is suffering. If they were anorexic and didn't eat problem and their child was malnourished, I do hope that the government would step in and take them away. Those are lessons that cost lives every single year. I would guestimate that there are far more deaths or major illnesses due to food issues than there are with bullying and we consistently as a nation jump all over the regulation bandwagon when it comes to the one.

the CBS article had this comment which just pisses me off to no end.
They say the medical problems he is at risk for do not yet pose an imminent danger.

Why would we not want parents to be held accountable for not feeding their children properly and/or not making sure they exercise enough?

And I can give you many more stories of spoiled children whose parents threw money at them and then grew up to turn money into power and became greedy adults who abuse power. I'm not talking about everyday spoiled children just like you are not talking about just overweight kids. We are talking aboutt he extremes here and I doubt extremes "grow out of" much. and I disgree that learning to be healthy is soooo much harder then learning not to be greedy and equate money and power with worth.

I am not goign to assume anything from the article. So I answer the debate question as a policy issue and not one on a specific case. And as policy I don;t think blanket policies of taking kids away fro being obese is a good one.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

As a policy though, I think if an 8 year old weighs more than I ever have even 9 months pregnant and their parents haven't fixed it someone needs to step in.

More info.

Children are ordinarily removed from their homes for physical abuse, neglect or undernourishment.

http://mobile.cleveland.com/advcleve/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=IwbNDRH2&full=true#display

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

"wlillie" wrote:

As a policy though, I think if an 8 year old weighs more than I ever have even 9 months pregnant and their parents haven't fixed it someone needs to step in.

And as a policy, I think competent social workers and medical staff should decide regardless of what you weighed or I weighed.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

Agreed: the "what did Lillie weigh 9 months pregnant" test is too vague to base removal of a child from their home on.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

I just don't have the energy to do this one again, but all of my comments in the last debate still stand. Too recent.

http://www.pregnancy.org/bulletinboards/showthread.php?t=670882&highlight=child+removed+obesity

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

"culturedmom" wrote:

And as a policy, I think competent social workers and medical staff should decide regardless of what you weighed or I weighed.

They did. Hopefully the parents realize they need to make the changes they've been told to make and use the resources they've been offered for the entire last year. Or at least start to.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

I mostly agree with this -- maybe 90%. This child & his family have had almost two years to make changes, and they've had a great deal of (free!) support services through the "Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight" program. This child is suffering physical health problems from his weight, he's at great risk for more serious & life-threatening problems, and he was not only not losing weight but starting to gain even more weight. Clearly he needs more help than he's getting at home. That weight (218 pounds) is morbidly obese for a nearly 6-foot-tall man. :eek: He's an 8-year-old kid. I think that qualifies as medical neglect that justifies removing the child from the home.

The other 10% of me is concerned about this quote, from the Cleveland Plains article, if you click through to it:
"[L]awyers for the mother say they've been told that the foster mother who has the child in a neighboring suburb is having trouble keeping up with all of his appointments. There was even a discussion about getting the foster mother additional help or moving the child again, this time to a foster home with a personal trainer." The lawyer wonders why they didn't offer the child's mother this kind of help. Good point, but I also wonder, did she ask?

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
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I think I summed it up best in post #111.

culturedmom's picture
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"wlillie" wrote:

They did. Hopefully the parents realize they need to make the changes they've been told to make and use the resources they've been offered for the entire last year. Or at least start to.

Well then I was right.

b525's picture
Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 298

"Spacers" wrote:

I mostly agree with this -- maybe 90%. This child & his family have had almost two years to make changes, and they've had a great deal of (free!) support services through the "Healthy Kids, Healthy Weight" program. This child is suffering physical health problems from his weight, he's at great risk for more serious & life-threatening problems, and he was not only not losing weight but starting to gain even more weight. Clearly he needs more help than he's getting at home. That weight (218 pounds) is morbidly obese for a nearly 6-foot-tall man. :eek: He's an 8-year-old kid. I think that qualifies as medical neglect that justifies removing the child from the home.

The other 10% of me is concerned about this quote, from the Cleveland Plains article, if you click through to it:
"[L]awyers for the mother say they've been told that the foster mother who has the child in a neighboring suburb is having trouble keeping up with all of his appointments. There was even a discussion about getting the foster mother additional help or moving the child again, this time to a foster home with a personal trainer." The lawyer wonders why they didn't offer the child's mother this kind of help. Good point, but I also wonder, did she ask?

Okay, I know this is nearly irrelevant, but I just had to point out that 218 is not even close to morbid obesity for a 5'11" man. It's just barely obese. Yes, I realize it is a crazy weight for an 8-year-old, but I know I panicked when I read what you said. Smile

abbyblack's picture
Joined: 06/18/09
Posts: 146

I agree with the decision.

I think the amount the child is overweight is a major part of the problem for me. We aren't talking 5-15 pounds here. We are talking about 250% over the high end according to the CDC. "The [8 year old boy] child, from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, weighs in excess of 200 pounds. The average weight of a male child of that age should be in the neighborhood of 55-60 pounds, with the high end tipping the scale at 78 pounds, according to growth charts from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). I'm sorry, but there is absolutely NO excuse for a child to weigh this amount. This child does not have the ability to fend for himself and someone else must take that role since the parents decided not to. IMHO, a parents' job is to raise a healthy, well-adjusted, polite individual and the parents in this particular case have no right to raise a child that is 150+ pounds overweight. They are neglecting this poor young boy.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"b525" wrote:

Okay, I know this is nearly irrelevant, but I just had to point out that 218 is not even close to morbid obesity for a 5'11" man. It's just barely obese. Yes, I realize it is a crazy weight for an 8-year-old, but I know I panicked when I read what you said. Smile

:oops: You're right. I have Holiday Monday Brain, LOL! The BMI chart I was looking at used inches for height, and I multiplied six feet by ten inches instead of twelve. :doh:

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

I'll just say that I still agree with Lana on this issue. It's one thing if the parent was completely in denial that there was a problem and refused to address the issue, but it's an entirely different issue if the parent was actively trying their best with the resources provided to help their child. The articles are too vague to show the parent had intent to harm their child through food.

It can be compared somewhat with parental neglect when it comes to starving a child. In some states (at least in ours and I'm not researching all of them) as long as there is access to food be it canned, in the fridge, whatever, and a child is capable of opening a can or bread, or whatever source of food is available, it is not considered neglect on the parent's part, despite how ethically wrong it seems to the average parent. For all we know, the 8 year old may have been rummaging through the fridge or pantry while mom was sleeping to have gained some of the weight back. Unless we know everything about the case, I won't assume that the mother is in the wrong in this scenario. I also know of no case where an anorexic was removed without their parent's permission when the parent was doing everything in their power and knowledge to help their child.

Joined: 12/10/05
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I don't know. I don't like to see kids being pulled from their families.

But, weighing 200lbs at 8 years old is a huge problem and I do believe his life is in danger.

Should the first resort be foster care? No, absolutely not. Support and education should be given to his mom, because the ideal would be that the whole family becomes healthier together. Give them free access to doctors, dieticians, gym/pool/sports memberships, personal trainers, parenting classes, psychologists, counsellors, whatever, so that all excuses can be eliminated and every tool is available.

However, if that doesn't work (meaning shopping, eating, exercise habits aren't changing) then I think something else needs to be done.

If in this case, it has truly been two years of support services and the boy is still gaining weight, it might be time to put someone else in charge of his care.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I was reading about this on another forum (No, none of my kids are at all overweight) and one parent put something a little alarming.

"If a parent of a very obese child watched this case and wanted to seek help from a Dr. they might be a little scared to do so ."

It was a new account with no signature that made me think they were talking about them self. I can totally understand with the publicity around this case, how the fear of loosing their child would keep someone from going to their doctor for help.

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I was reading about this on another forum (No, none of my kids are at all overweight) and one parent put something a little alarming.

"If a parent of a very obese child watched this case and wanted to seek help from a Dr. they might be a little scared to do so ."

It was a new account with no signature that made me think they were talking about them self. I can totally understand with the publicity around this case, how the fear of loosing their child would keep someone from going to their doctor for help.

I disagree. The quotes I've seen from the mother don't sound to me like someone who was actively trying to help her son, they seem very passive, like she got him a bike, not that she took him bike riding, and she encouraged him to exercise, not that she signed him up for soccer or played tag with him at the park. I truly believe that someone who is *really* doing something to help their child isn't going to lose their child by seeking help.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"Spacers" wrote:

I disagree. The quotes I've seen from the mother don't sound to me like someone who was actively trying to help her son, they seem very passive, like she got him a bike, not that she took him bike riding, and she encouraged him to exercise, not that she signed him up for soccer or played tag with him at the park. I truly believe that someone who is *really* doing something to help their child isn't going to lose their child by seeking help.

I meant that the publicity around this article might prevent some other parent from seeking help because they might be afraid someone would take their child.

BFrantz's picture
Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 86

Here is where a huge problem lies, where medical neglect is more of an unknown. I am a human services worker, i work direct with child services now. Do you know which area we have ZERO training? The medical field. Go ahead, slap a medical report infront of me, but do you think I have any clue what that report points to? No. And guess what else, neither does the judge. There are NO GUIDELINES. It's all determined by first my personal opinion, and following that the personal opinion of a judge.

Now I will share with you my story. The day i brought Joshua home from the hospital, I hadn't even gotten settled in, and a child services worker was knocking on my door to investigate me. Guess what for? She had a report that I caused myself to have placenta previa, caused myself to almost bleed to death, caused myself to have an emergency c section, caused my son to be born prematurely, and he was too small, so clearly i wasn't taking care of him before I was born. They also said i presented as dirty on admittance to the hospital .. I was covered in blood .. I took an ambulance ride to get there!

Thank God I was all doped up on whatever those pain pills were or I would have probably crumbled. I also had a serious case of ppd.

I couldn't answer her as to how I caused all these things to happen. I did tell her that my Doctor told me that placenta previa happens naturally in 1 in 1000 pregnancies, and 1 in 10000 don't resolve on their own and run a high risk of serious complication and in some instances death of the mother, baby and sometimes both. My body chose not to resolve the placenta previa, my body chose to start a bleed, my doctor chose an emergency c section, and hey we couldn't help the gestation of my child. He was so small because he was premature, he left the hospital as a normal baby with no extended stay or nicu required, so obviously my body did a great job of taking care of him. And was I supposed to ignore the immediate danger to myself and my child to shower away all the blood before I went to the hospital? She in turn had to interview my ob to make sure what i told her was right, and he told her the exact same thing.

She decided the allegations were unfounded and closed up the case, but it was closed because her personal opinion was a judge probably would not find that I caused all this to happen, and they would have to prove my ob didn't have a reason to save the lives of myself and my baby.

This topic as a whole is a huge debate, in every aspect. With no guidelines, cps could take a child for being 10 pounds over weight just as they could for a child being 100 pounds over weight. No limits or lines exist, especially when it comes to removal for medical neglect.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"BFrantz" wrote:

Here is where a huge problem lies, where medical neglect is more of an unknown. I am a human services worker, i work direct with child services now. Do you know which area we have ZERO training? The medical field. Go ahead, slap a medical report infront of me, but do you think I have any clue what that report points to? No. And guess what else, neither does the judge. There are NO GUIDELINES. It's all determined by first my personal opinion, and following that the personal opinion of a judge.

Now I will share with you my story. The day i brought Joshua home from the hospital, I hadn't even gotten settled in, and a child services worker was knocking on my door to investigate me. Guess what for? She had a report that I caused myself to have placenta previa, caused myself to almost bleed to death, caused myself to have an emergency c section, caused my son to be born prematurely, and he was too small, so clearly i wasn't taking care of him before I was born. They also said i presented as dirty on admittance to the hospital .. I was covered in blood .. I took an ambulance ride to get there!

Thank God I was all doped up on whatever those pain pills were or I would have probably crumbled. I also had a serious case of ppd.

I couldn't answer her as to how I caused all these things to happen. I did tell her that my Doctor told me that placenta previa happens naturally in 1 in 1000 pregnancies, and 1 in 10000 don't resolve on their own and run a high risk of serious complication and in some instances death of the mother, baby and sometimes both. My body chose not to resolve the placenta previa, my body chose to start a bleed, my doctor chose an emergency c section, and hey we couldn't help the gestation of my child. He was so small because he was premature, he left the hospital as a normal baby with no extended stay or nicu required, so obviously my body did a great job of taking care of him. And was I supposed to ignore the immediate danger to myself and my child to shower away all the blood before I went to the hospital? She in turn had to interview my ob to make sure what i told her was right, and he told her the exact same thing.

She decided the allegations were unfounded and closed up the case, but it was closed because her personal opinion was a judge probably would not find that I caused all this to happen, and they would have to prove my ob didn't have a reason to save the lives of myself and my baby.

This topic as a whole is a huge debate, in every aspect. With no guidelines, cps could take a child for being 10 pounds over weight just as they could for a child being 100 pounds over weight. No limits or lines exist, especially when it comes to removal for medical neglect.

I advise you limit your findings with what you are trained or not trained within your own state as each state has different laws and definitions as to what constitutes neglect and abuse when it comes to child protection cases. A judge and CPS have to, by law, follow statutes. If there is nothing in statutes pertaining to the circumstance, it must be dropped. Even when screening cases, they refer to statutes. CHiPS petitions are referred to the courts for approval based on their investigations, which means they still have to rely on statutes and devise a parent plan for the return of their children by a certain time. To refuse to follow statutes established by the feds and state, would mean mass loss of human service funding for the county/state when state and feds conducts case audits. What county/state can afford that? Our state is very clear as to what constitutes medical neglect to the point services are needed:

Subd. 6.Child in need of protection or services.

"Child in need of protection or services" means a child who is in need of protection or services because the child:
...
(5) is medically neglected, which includes, but is not limited to, the withholding of medically indicated treatment from a disabled infant with a life-threatening condition. The term "withholding of medically indicated treatment" means the failure to respond to the infant's life-threatening conditions by providing treatment, including appropriate nutrition, hydration, and medication which, in the treating physician's or physicians' reasonable medical judgment, will be most likely to be effective in ameliorating or correcting all conditions, except that the term does not include the failure to provide treatment other than appropriate nutrition, hydration, or medication to an infant when, in the treating physician's or physicians' reasonable medical judgment:
(i) the infant is chronically and irreversibly comatose;
(ii) the provision of the treatment would merely prolong dying, not be effective in ameliorating or correcting all of the infant's life-threatening conditions, or otherwise be futile in terms of the survival of the infant; or
(iii) the provision of the treatment would be virtually futile in terms of the survival of the infant and the treatment itself under the circumstances would be inhumane;

I know of no court that would state that being 10 lbs over would automatically equate the child to be medically neglected and be considered to be in a life-threatening situation that requires immediate removal of the child from their home to get medical attention if the parent refuses. That would be ridiculous. For CPS to remove children in these situations would set them up to be sued by all of the parents for the trauma it would cause and the waste of court time used on what would be considered frivolous and the parents would win.

In this particular case, they would have to prove that the weight was the sole reason for sleep apnea and breathing issues and not other sources which may cause these issues as well. They then have to prove the mother was negligent in refusing to attempt to remedy the situation. She was in fact bringing her child to the doctor as needed, so I think her case would be difficult to prove her intent. And I think, if the foster parent is having difficulty with the child as well, they should be evaluating if they made too hasty a decision to remove instead of offering her even more services to assist. The parent may not have known all the services that are available to her as some services are not always offered unless the worker sees the need or the parents know enough information to ask for the services. In my experience, most individuals have no clue as to all the services DHS in their state has to offer. For all we know, the worker may have missed large cues from the mother to offer additional assistance. To move him to another foster care provider would not be good for this child either.

As for your personal experience... I choose not to even respond to.

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I was reading about this on another forum (No, none of my kids are at all overweight) and one parent put something a little alarming.

"If a parent of a very obese child watched this case and wanted to seek help from a Dr. they might be a little scared to do so ."

It was a new account with no signature that made me think they were talking about them self. I can totally understand with the publicity around this case, how the fear of loosing their child would keep someone from going to their doctor for help.

But, why is she (or whoever) first seeking medical help when the kid is morbidly obese?

My 6 year old weighs a healthy 48lbs. If for whatever reason, he started packing on the pounds and at 7 weighed 80lbs, I would take him to the doctor. Of course I would try altering his diet, increasing his exercise, eliminating screen time, etc. But, I would seek medical input.

If I suddenly appeared at my doctors office in a couple years with my 200lb child, darn right the doctor would wonder what the heck had been going on and why on earth did I not realize there was a problem sooner. And so she should! What has been going on??? I can not fathom a situation where a parent honestly couldn't see that a 200lb child has a serious problem. If you don't seek help, it makes me think you know exactly what is going on - which is you've been indiscriminately feeding your kid copious amounts of unhealthy food and allowing them to sit on their behind all day.

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

I can not imagine how a young child would get to that weight either. I am considered overweight and I do not weigh that much as an adult. It seems like there must be some sort of medical problem that would make a child be that overweight regardless of how they ate.

BFrantz's picture
Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 86

"Beertje" wrote:

I advise you limit your findings with what you are trained or not trained within your own state as each state has different laws and definitions as to what constitutes neglect and abuse when it comes to child protection cases. A judge and CPS have to, by law, follow statutes. If there is nothing in statutes pertaining to the circumstance, it must be dropped. Even when screening cases, they refer to statutes. CHiPS petitions are referred to the courts for approval based on their investigations, which means they still have to rely on statutes and devise a parent plan for the return of their children by a certain time. To refuse to follow statutes established by the feds and state, would mean mass loss of human service funding for the county/state when state and feds conducts case audits. What county/state can afford that? Our state is very clear as to what constitutes medical neglect to the point services are needed:

I know of no court that would state that being 10 lbs over would automatically equate the child to be medically neglected and be considered to be in a life-threatening situation that requires immediate removal of the child from their home to get medical attention if the parent refuses. That would be ridiculous. For CPS to remove children in these situations would set them up to be sued by all of the parents for the trauma it would cause and the waste of court time used on what would be considered frivolous and the parents would win.

In this particular case, they would have to prove that the weight was the sole reason for sleep apnea and breathing issues and not other sources which may cause these issues as well. They then have to prove the mother was negligent in refusing to attempt to remedy the situation. She was in fact bringing her child to the doctor as needed, so I think her case would be difficult to prove her intent. And I think, if the foster parent is having difficulty with the child as well, they should be evaluating if they made too hasty a decision to remove instead of offering her even more services to assist. The parent may not have known all the services that are available to her as some services are not always offered unless the worker sees the need or the parents know enough information to ask for the services. In my experience, most individuals have no clue as to all the services DHS in their state has to offer. For all we know, the worker may have missed large cues from the mother to offer additional assistance. To move him to another foster care provider would not be good for this child either.

As for your personal experience... I choose not to even respond to.

Tis doesn't quote your quote does it?? Dang .. if you look at your subd 6 .. it specifies an infant with a life threatening medical condition, not a child with a weight problem.

From the case study information that has been made public on this boy, he is currently and has been enrolled in a program, he lost weight, and gained a few pounds back, which lead the social services employee ask a judge to remove the child and place him in foster care.

Truly there are no guidelines for things like this, I mean none. All lines are drawn by the federal government, child services is not a state owned operation, they are federal. We do not send our end reports to the state of Indiana, we are the state.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"BFrantz" wrote:

Tis doesn't quote your quote does it?? Dang .. if you look at your subd 6 .. it specifies an infant with a life threatening medical condition, not a child with a weight problem.

From the case study information that has been made public on this boy, he is currently and has been enrolled in a program, he lost weight, and gained a few pounds back, which lead the social services employee ask a judge to remove the child and place him in foster care.

Truly there are no guidelines for things like this, I mean none. All lines are drawn by the federal government, child services is not a state owned operation, they are federal. We do not send our end reports to the state of Indiana, we are the state.

If it were all federal rules, there would no state statutes needed. They are both... To get federal funding, we must follow their guidelines which are attached to the funds. To get state funding, the counties must follow what the state mandates or they lose funding and must pay everything out of county dollars. Our DHS is not solely state, the counties run CPS and report to the state and the state reports to the feds. If child services were federal only, they would be federal employees, not state or county.

Here's your state statutes:

IC 31-34-1-1
Inability, refusal, or neglect of parent, guardian, or custodian to supply child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision
Sec. 1. A child is a child in need of services if before the child becomes eighteen (18) years of age:
(1) the child's physical or mental condition is seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of the inability, refusal, or neglect of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision; and
(2) the child needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that:
Angel the child is not receiving; and
(B) is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.17. Amended by P.L.2-2005, SEC.76.
IC 31-34-1-2
Act or omission of parent, guardian, or custodian seriously endangering child's physical or mental health
Sec. 2. Angel A child is a child in need of services if before the child becomes eighteen (18) years of age:
(1) the child's physical or mental health is seriously endangered due to injury by the act or omission of the child's parent, guardian, or custodian; and
(2) the child needs care, treatment, or rehabilitation that:
Angel the child is not receiving; and
(B) is unlikely to be provided or accepted without the coercive intervention of the court.
(b) Evidence that the illegal manufacture of a drug or controlled substance is occurring on property where a child resides creates a rebuttable presumption that the child's physical or mental health is seriously endangered.

Notice how the definitions are different? It's due to what the state decides, not just the feds. Our medical definition focuses on infants, so a child with weight issues would unlikely be removed from their home in our state. That's because that's what our state decided.

Rivergallery's picture
Joined: 05/23/03
Posts: 1301

wow 200lbs! my 9 yo is 50 lbs, it it just a bit scarey... these parents need brain transplants.

girlisrad's picture
Joined: 04/24/07
Posts: 1587

**DID NOT READ PREVIOUS ARGUMENT**

I SWORE........that I would NEVER EVER EVER post here again...

But...

a 200lb 8 year old.

dang.

I have an 8 year old. Can't say more than that.

But I have to say that YES this was the right decision. He needs to be in a place that can help. That child had to have been enormous, beyond all reasonable doubt. I mean.... ENORMOUS. No really.... he needs help. Medical? Otherwise/ DOES IT IT MATTER? 200 lbs. OMG.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"girlisrad" wrote:

I SWORE........that I would NEVER EVER EVER post here again...

:dramaqueen:

(We need an emoticon where the smiley clutches it's heart dramatically. But since we don't have one, the drama queen will have to express how I feel about people swearing off the debate board forever. :lol:)

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

LOL Joee, you know you can't stay away Biggrin

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

:dramaqueen:

(We need an emoticon where the smiley clutches it's heart dramatically. But since we don't have one, the drama queen will have to express how I feel about people swearing off the debate board forever. :lol:)

We need a flouncing Drama Queen emoticon ~ slamming a door behind her, then peeking back through it obsessively. Smile

girlisrad's picture
Joined: 04/24/07
Posts: 1587

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

:dramaqueen:

(We need an emoticon where the smiley clutches it's heart dramatically. But since we don't have one, the drama queen will have to express how I feel about people swearing off the debate board forever. :lol:)

AGREED!!!

We need a flouncing Drama Queen emoticon ~ slamming a door behind her, then peeking back through it obsessively.

ROFL I literally spit my coffee out.

I bet we could come up with ONE HECKUVA series of smileys for this board specifically LOL!!!!

LOL Joee, you know you can't stay away

PSHHH!! IM NEVER POSTING HERE AGAIN!!!!! ROFL

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"Potter75" wrote:

We need a flouncing Drama Queen emoticon ~ slamming a door behind her, then peeking back through it obsessively. Smile

ROFL

Spacers's picture
Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 4103

It seems that the first time anyone grew concerned about his weight was when his mom took him to the hospital in February of 2010 with what was diagnosed as weight-induced sleep apnea. I'll bet this family has no health insurance, and that's why this 8-year-old wasn't seeing a doctor. I'll bet that had this child been having regular well checks, he would have never gotten to this weight, because it would have been addressed much sooner & earlier before it got to the danger point. Very sad that the U.S. still doesn't provide health care for all of its citizens. Sad

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

"Spacers" wrote:

It seems that the first time anyone grew concerned about his weight was when his mom took him to the hospital in February of 2010 with what was diagnosed as weight-induced sleep apnea. I'll bet this family has no health insurance, and that's why this 8-year-old wasn't seeing a doctor. I'll bet that had this child been having regular well checks, he would have never gotten to this weight, because it would have been addressed much sooner & earlier before it got to the danger point. Very sad that the U.S. still doesn't provide health care for all of its citizens. Sad

I see your point but I tend to disagree with it in general. This child was still seen by his teachers (presumably mandated reporters?), .....and was it just me or did everyone have to get a physical every year before school? Maybe it was just because I played sports? Either way, I don't know that it is a fair leap to deduce that this kid would have been "saved" prior to age 8 via UHC. I'm guessing that this is a problem that started way before age 8 (like, he didn't go from 90 lbs to 200 lbs in a year.....) which indicates that this child was not having adequate medical care.....which could logically play into the concept of neglect.

FLSunshineMom's picture
Joined: 06/07/06
Posts: 3859

"Potter75" wrote:

We need a flouncing Drama Queen emoticon ~ slamming a door behind her, then peeking back through it obsessively. Smile

Lol

"Spacers" wrote:

It seems that the first time anyone grew concerned about his weight was when his mom took him to the hospital in February of 2010 with what was diagnosed as weight-induced sleep apnea. I'll bet this family has no health insurance, and that's why this 8-year-old wasn't seeing a doctor. I'll bet that had this child been having regular well checks, he would have never gotten to this weight, because it would have been addressed much sooner & earlier before it got to the danger point. Very sad that the U.S. still doesn't provide health care for all of its citizens. Sad

In this state, they have really cheap health insurance for kids. And you don't have to be dirt poor to get it, either. As long as you aren't rolling in the money and need the insurance, you can get it for a low premium. Ours is only $15 a month, and it covers EVERYTHING (within certain guidelines, of course). There's no deductible and no co-pay, either! How cool is that. I don't know what they offer in other states, though.

I am leaning more now toward the side of Yes, this child needed someone to intervene. I don't like children being taken away from their parents, and this didn't 'appear' to be a good enough reason on the surface, but now I'm thinking that maybe it was good enough. I mean, I cannot imagine not putting limits on my own DD's eating habits. She has a big appetite, so if I didn't give her healthier options, she would gain weight for sure. She's already at the top of her weight range, despite being very active and energetic.

It's really hard for me to wrap my brain around the fact that this child grew larger and larger and nothing was done to stop it before it got so far out of hand. I mean, I'm already very nervous with my DD being at the very top of her weight range.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Physical every year is for sports. I think they checked our eyes once a year growing up no matter what.

Stacey, this Mom does not believe that his weight is an issue. I seriously doubt the apnea machine he has to sleep with every night to breath and continue to live would have less than a well check up. UHC would not have helped this child as the Mother did not take advantage of the things she was mandated to do let alone ask for help when she needed it before it got to this point. It's a very sad story, but pretending like our healthcare system is the cause is just silly.

Joined: 06/04/07
Posts: 1368

"Potter75" wrote:

I see your point but I tend to disagree with it in general. This child was still seen by his teachers (presumably mandated reporters?), .....and was it just me or did everyone have to get a physical every year before school? Maybe it was just because I played sports? Either way, I don't know that it is a fair leap to deduce that this kid would have been "saved" prior to age 8 via UHC. I'm guessing that this is a problem that started way before age 8 (like, he didn't go from 90 lbs to 200 lbs in a year.....) which indicates that this child was not having adequate medical care.....which could logically play into the concept of neglect.

It must vary from state to state. Ours schools require that all kids are vaccinated, but there is no requirement as to how often they get a well check-up. For sports, they must have a physical every 3 years. Our insurance offers 100% coverage for annual well check-ups and our state law only requires 100% coverage of well check-ups up to age 6 for all insurance coverage in our state. We also have a medical program for all individuals that is similar to an HMO and based on income with the lowest premium being $4. It is not offered in all states as much of it is state funded with some federal reimbursement depending on the person who is applying.

BFrantz's picture
Joined: 11/14/11
Posts: 86

"Beertje" wrote:

It must vary from state to state. Ours schools require that all kids are vaccinated, but there is no requirement as to how often they get a well check-up. For sports, they must have a physical every 3 years. Our insurance offers 100% coverage for annual well check-ups and our state law only requires 100% coverage of well check-ups up to age 6 for all insurance coverage in our state. We also have a medical program for all individuals that is similar to an HMO and based on income with the lowest premium being $4. It is not offered in all states as much of it is state funded with some federal reimbursement depending on the person who is applying.

No state mandates that all children be vaccinated, nor do all states require all children receive physicals, in all states all it takes is a note from a parent and/or their religious leader, and neither are a have to.

This boy was talked about widely in my human service laws and regs course .. We threw all of you up on the over head. My instructor said you all have great personal opinions, and Tracey she thought you ought to pick up a course in laws and regs so that you could understand that what you're posting. Your willingness to look at your state guides and your fed guides is awesome, but your understanding is twisted as you assume laws and guides to be the same. The mention wasn't one of insult for he record, she just believes you have an interest and a spark in the field and encourages you to look into it.

Ok so that's all I've got, back onto your regularly scheduled debate Smile

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6568

"BFrantz" wrote:

in all states all it takes is a note from a parent and/or their religious leader, and neither are a have to.

I do not believe this is correct. We recently had this debate. If you go to page three of the Debate board under "should flu shots be mandatory" Post 78 there is a chart saying two States do not allow for a religious exemption.

(Sorry, I do not know how to link a post)

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