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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Couple accused of injuring boy

A Post Falls couple were arrested Thursday in connection with the injury of one foster child in their care and the death of another. Jeremy M. Clark, 36, and Amber M. Clark, 28, were charged with two counts of injury to a child, one count of conspiracy to conceal evidence and one count of perjury in two, four-count indictments, Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said in a news release.

Foster care reforms in place by 2013

Reforms prompted by a landmark lawsuit against Washington state’s foster-care system will be completed in two years under a renegotiated settlement announced today by the Department of Social and Health Services.

Courthouse family rights protest planned

A family rights group is planning protests on Friday against the child welfare system at courthouses across the nation, including Spokane. The protests, planned in 42 states and Washington, D.C., are being organized by an Internet-based movement known as Govabuse and will target family courts, child protective services and foster care systems that it says “separate and financially demolish families,” according to the organization’s website, govabuse.org.

Search for a stable condition

Alicia Ponce-Myers should be swimming. Or playing basketball with her friends. At the very least the 12-year-old from Tonasket, Wash., should have been able to enjoy summer Bible camp: she raised $235 by washing cars, working a spaghetti feed and other tasks in order to go.

Program helps young adults aging out of foster care system

Eighteen can be an exciting age. Many young people anticipate attending college, while others plan to work or join the military. And most are eager to move out from under their parents’ wings and try to fly on their own. But for teens aging out of the foster care system, turning 18 can be frightening. Bridget Cannon, director of youth services at Volunteers of America, said, “Statistically, the majority end up homeless.”

A father changes tune on foster care

When he was 19, Rusty Stout said that if state officials ever came to take away a child of his as they once took him away from his mother, he would be armed and ready to stop them. “I plan on pulling out my .45 and shooting them right in the damn head,” Stout told The Spokesman-Review in a 2003 report on the state’s struggle to handle difficult foster children like he was.

Foster parents commit to kids

It is hard to imagine that 1,300 children are in Idaho’s foster care system. November is National Adoption Month, and Idaho Youth Ranch is hoping to find foster and adoptive families who can provide stability and permanence for children in Idaho’s child welfare system by presenting an informational seminar, “Adoption: The Journey of a Lifetime.”

Police are still probing death

One year ago today, 2-year-old Karina Janay Moore died from injuries she sustained 10 days earlier in her Post Falls foster home. Police received the call at two seconds after midnight on Jan. 7, 2009. When they arrived, the foster mother said the little girl had fallen down a flight of carpeted stairs. The medical examiner, however, ruled the death a homicide from “blunt force” head trauma.

State investigates child welfare office

A high volume of complaints regarding the Washington Division of Children and Family Services’ Colville office has triggered an investigation by the state ombudsman. Ombudsman Mary Meinig will be in Colville this week at the request of Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams. The request was made because of concerns raised by a state legislator who represents that area and by the advocacy group Washington Families United, said Kari Burrell, executive policy advisor to Gov. Chris Gregoire for human services and housing.

Spokane holds annual adoption day

It was baby bedlam in Spokane County Superior Court, where judges presided over a record number of adoption proceedings on Friday, National Adoption Day. "I usually spend my day putting people in jail," said Judge Ellen Kalama Clark, "and they are not happy, and they are not smiling and they don't have balloons."

Tormented kids frustrate state

The case of Rusty Stout is echoed by hundreds of other foster children in the state's child welfare system. Neglected, abused and witnesses to violence, foster children have become increasingly difficult to deal with. They burn out foster parents and social workers as they bounce from one placement to the next. They suffer from high levels of mental illness and behavioral problems.