Divorce: Kids’ Health Is Compromised By Parental Divorce

Divorce is hard, especially on kids.

And according to Dr. James Sears of “The Doctors” TV show, parental separation can also compromise kids’ mental and physical health.

“Some of the things I’ve seen are depression, anxiety, oftentimes changes in sleep habits, nightmares, insomnia, bed wetting, distress,” he said on Thursday. “The lack of sleep and poor nutrition is a perfect recipe for an immune system that isn’t going to work as well and kids get sick more frequently — about 20 to 30 percent more frequently kids will get sick if there’s divorce.”

So how can you make the transition easier for everyone in the family?

Written by Huffington Post. To read the full article, click here.

Safeguarding boards to report SCR decisions to new expert panel

Heads of local safeguarding children boards (LSCB) must inform a new panel of experts within two weeks if they decide not to conduct a full serious case review (SCR) following a serious incident.

Operating guidelines for the new independent panel of experts on serious case reviews, which launches today, state that LSCB chairs must also provide an explanation to the panel of why a SCR has not been ordered.

The experts will then look into the details of the case and can ask for a meeting with the LSCB chair to discuss the case. It will also scrutinise any decisions not to publish SCRs. The launch of the four-person panel – made up of family law barrister Elizabeth Clarke, air accident investigator Nicholas Dann, journalist Jenni Russell and NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless – comes just three months after it was announced in revised Working Together guidance, published in April. The idea of an expert panel came out of Lord Carlile’s call for a rethink of the independence of LSCBs following his inquiry into the Edlington case in November.

Written by Neil Puffett. To read the full article, click here.

Child protection and proportion

It is not uncommon for dreadful crimes to prompt public demands for some sort of dramatic response from the authorities. Usually, nothing comes of them. But the murder of Sarah Payne by a convicted sex offender in 2000 is different. Eight years after that appalling crime, the demands from Sarah’s mother that the Government take action appear to have borne fruit. The Home Office begins a trial scheme today in which parents in parts of Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Cleveland and Warwickshire will be able to ask police if anyone with access to their child is a convicted paedophile.
So is this a British version of America’s “Megan’s Law”, named after the victim of a similar child murder in the United States? In fact, it is a very different animal. The US law allows states to publish the names, addresses and pictures of convicted local paedophiles. This information can even be found online, accessible to anyone with internet access. Access to such information in Britain under this trial scheme will be far more limited. Details will only be given out to parents and guardians, who will have to prove their identity. And any parent maliciously sharing the information given to them could face prosecution.

Written by The Independent. To read the full article, click here.

The high cost of same-sex divorce

While same-sex couples across the country fight for the right to marry, others are fighting for the right to divorce.
A patchwork of state marriage laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act has made the process of unraveling a relationship extremely difficult — and expensive.
A same-sex couple who marries in one state and later relocates to a state that doesn’t recognize the marriage, for example, may be unable to get a traditional divorce. Often, they either have to move to the state where they married to establish residency or dissolve the marriage outside of the court system. Some states call this a dissolution of marriage instead of a divorce.
In most cases, this means filing a civil lawsuit — or multiple lawsuits. With no threat of a trial or a judge to make a ruling, couples often get stuck in negotiations and the lawyer fees can really pile up, said Kevin Maillard, a law professor at Syracuse University specializing in nontraditional families.

Written by Blake Ellis. To read the full article, click here.

Why Both Sides Want Gay Marriage Settled By The States

The Supreme Court may rule on gay marriage this week. Advocates both for and against are glad the issue didn’t reach the court any sooner.

They didn’t want a repeat of the abortion issue. With its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, the high court stepped in and guaranteed a right to abortion but also triggered a backlash that has lasted for 40 years.

With same-sex marriage, by contrast, legislators and voters in nearly every state had the chance to make their feelings known before the Supreme Court weighs in.

“People forget that durable rights don’t come from courts, they come from consensus and strong support from society,” says Jonathan Rauch, author of Denial, a recent memoir about growing up gay. “We are winning the right to marriage in a bigger, deeper way by winning it in the court of public opinion.”

After losing political battles in a majority of states, gay marriage supporters have won a number of legislative victories and ballot measures in recent years. Sensing momentum is in their favor, it may not be surprising that they’re glad they’ve had time to make their case to the public.

Written by Alan Greenblatt. To read the full article, click here.

Persistent backlog in L.A. County child abuse probes has led to a crisis, report says

A persistent backlog of child abuse investigations in Los Angeles County has led to a “crisis,” with four in 10 open inquiries stretching beyond the state’s two-month deadline, according to the county chief executive’s office.

In a further indication of the problems faced by the county’s Department of Children and Family Services, Chief Executive William T Fujioka said in a report released this week that shifting workers to combat the delays “appears to be slowly creating a back-end crisis,” depleting resources for other critical tasks. Among the duties handled by back-end workers in the department are foster care placements and home visits.

The assessment by the county chief executive’s office is the most detailed analysis to date by county officials of the backlog of cases—which involve more than 10,000 children according to recent figures—in the troubled department. The findings contradict department Director Trish Ploehn’s statement earlier this year that the longer inquiries have resulted in higher quality child abuse investigations. The report, distributed to county supervisors last month, was not released until The Times appealed to County Counsel Andrea Ordin.

“The county’s high [child abuse investigations] backlog appears to be contributing to poor outcomes in the [child abuse investigations] unit,” the chief executive’s report said.

Written by Garrett Therolf. To read the full article, click here.

Is Divorce Bad for Children?

Many of the 1.5 million children in the U.S. whose parents divorce every year feel as if their worlds are falling apart. Divorcing parents are usually very concerned about the welfare of their children during this troublesome process. Some parents are so worried that they remain in unhappy marriages, believing it will protect their offspring from the trauma of divorce.

Yet parents who split have reasons for hope. Researchers have found that only a relatively small percentage of children experience serious problems in the wake of divorce or, later, as adults. In this column, we discuss these findings as well as factors that may protect children from the potentially harmful effects of divorce.

Rapid Recovery

Divorce affects most children in the short run, but research suggests that kids recover rapidly after the initial blow. In a 2002 study psychologist E. Mavis Hetherington of the University of Virginia and her then graduate student Anne Mitchell Elmore found that many children experience short-term negative effects from divorce, especially anxiety, anger, shock and disbelief. These reactions typically diminish or disappear by the end of the second year. Only a minority of kids suffer longer.

Written by Hal Arkowitz and Scott O. Lilienfeld. To read the full article, click here.