Today's guest author is Professor Daniel Pollack, a
professor at Yeshiva University’s School
of Social Work in New York City and a frequent expert witness
in child welfare case. _____________
The Jerry Sandusky criminal trial
is over; the civil lawsuits are in active settlement mode. Undoubtedly, the entire
country is more tuned into child abuse than it ever was. The National Conference
of State Legislatures reports that about 105 bills on the reporting of
suspected child abuse and neglect have been introduced in 2012 legislative
sessions in 30 states and the District of Columbia.[i] All
of them include a penalty for failing to report suspected child abuse.
The court of appeals released an opinion on July 17, 2012 affirming the trial court's decision to award sole legal and sole physical custody to the father and to suspend the parenting time of the mother until further order of the court where the mother had made numerous unsubstantiated CPS reports alleging sexual abuse of the children.
Unsubstantiated allegations were made to CPS in 2009. It was recommended that defendant mother’s parenting time be suspended until further order and until after she engaged in counseling to address her suspected Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
In September 2010, the father moved for a change in custody based largely on the continued and unsubstantiated allegations of sexual abuse. Following four days of hearings on custody, the hearing referee issued a report and recommendation finding that plaintiff should be granted sole legal and sole physical custody of both minor children.
An independent investigation of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university last fall has just been released. According to the 267 page report, for more than a decade, the most senior officials at Penn State University failed to take any steps to protect the children victimized by Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno's longtime head assistant football coach.
Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who oversaw the investigation said: “Our most saddening and sobering finding is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.” * * * “The most powerful men at Penn State failed to take any steps for 14 years to protect the children who Sandusky victimized.”