Oklahoma County Sheriff(OKLAHOMA CITY) -- First responders began the grim task of digging people -- including children at two elementary schools -- out of piles of rubble Monday evening after a monster tornado roared through the Oklahoma city metropolitan area, leaving at least 51 people dead.Among the dead were children from one of the devastated...
Hemera/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- A former Philadelphia police officer once hailed as a hero and invited by the vice president to attend a presidential address to Congress now faces 16 charges, including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and making terroristic threats.Bail for Richard DeCoatsworth, 27, has been set at $60 million after...
Brett Deering/Getty ImagesOKLAHOMA CITY) -- A mammoth tornado carved a trail of destruction through the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and delivered a "direct hit" on an elementary school Monday, local authorities said.David Barnes, the director of Oklahoma Emergency Management in Oklahoma County, told ABC News that a single twister ripped apart...
You may have heard about recent meth lab busts where young children were taken into protective custody.
Summit County Children Services officials say the number of children taken into custody as a result of substance abuse by their caregivers is up - it's up a lot in the first two months of this year.
Children Services executive director John Saros tells AkronNewsNow.com that 35 more children have been taken into protective custody just over the past two months compared to the past, due to some form of parental substance abuse...not just meth, but also opiates and heroin.
"And it is of a significant concern to us," Saros tells AkronNewsNow.com, "because this is a pattern or a trend line that is at variance with what we've experienced over the last several years, during the first two months of the year."
Saros says it's harder and harder to spot in-home meth labs due to newer methods of making meth - the so-called "one-pot" method doesn't produce as much smoke and can be better hidden.
He says Summit County Children Services is using federal grant money to fund a program that will help link parents with substance abuse problems with help to overcome that, and to keep families together.
"And then we'll be able to begin to work together with them on that issue," Saros says, "and we'll have an array of services that will focus directly on the issue of that substance abuse problem."
The agency's goal is to stabilize families and get help for parents and children.
Summit County Juvenile Court has also applied for a grant to start a "drug court".
It's no surprise to people whose job it is to investigate allegations of sexual abuse toward children that more alleged victims are speaking up in the Penn State scandal.
"Kids are very reluctant sometimes to talk about abuse that has happened to them," said Summit County Children's Service Intake Investigator Krista Szalay. "there are a lot of feeling that go into that. They may feel guilty. They may feel they brought it on somehow."
Szalay and Investigator Annette Lucarelli both say that there's a careful balance that must be met to take claims seriously and protect children who may be in danger, but also to gather all relevant information without making the children feel that they're believed. Often, it involves a parent or other family member and that can lead to emotions taking precedence.
SCCS Investigators by Akron NewsNow
"Studies have shown that children heal in a much more effective manner if they are believed, at the get-go, by the non-offending parent," said Lucarelli.
Lucarelli says the Penn State case involved boys who were vulnerable, making it especially difficult for them since the at-risk program they were part of gave them an emotional attachment that may have been lacking elsewhere.
In Summit County, any claims or questions about child abuse, sexual or otherwise, may be reported anonymously to SCCS 24-hour hotline: 330.434.KIDS
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