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May 28, 1980 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-05-28

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, May 28, 1980-Page 5
DENOUNCES SOCIAL SER VICE SNAFUS
'U' program fights child abuse

By ANNE GADON
While working at the Wayne County
Juvenile Court last year, participants
in the University's Interdisciplinary
Project on Child Abuse and Neglect
(IPCAN) discovered the files of 64
abused children whose cases had never
been forwarded to the Department of
Social Services for adoption
proceedings.
In reply to a suit filed by IPCAN
Director Donald Duquette, the state
Supreme Court administrator's office
i remors
in Calif.'
injure 7,
trigger
landslides
From AP and UPI
MAMMOTH LAKES, Calif.-The
third and largest in a series of major
earthquakes hit this High Sierra resort
yesterday, injuring at least seven per-
sons, touching off a gas explosion,
triggering landslides, and causing
widespread minor damage.
Aftershocks continued to rumble
through the area as the state Office of
Emergency Services urged residents to
prepare for even more temblors.
"THE QUAKES ARE all related,"
said Eileen Rockwell, spokeswoman for
the seismology laboratory at California
Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
"Nobody is saying there will be more,
but after this many we usually do ex-
pect more."
The quake at 7:51 a.m. yesterday,
which measured 6.1 on the Richter
scale, was centered 10 miles east of
here.
Seven people were treated at a
hospital for minor injuries following
two 6.0 quakes that hit Sunday. Two
hikers were listed in stable but serious
condition at a Fresno, Calif., hospital
after they were injured in rockslides in
Yosemite National Park.
ONE OF THEM, who was eight-
months pregnant, lost her baby and suf-
fered a broken leg and internal injuries.
Visitors streamed out of Yosemite
National Park but park officials said
they were not being asked to leave.
"You should see them getting out of
here," said Yosemite Park Librarian
Mary Niles. "They're leaving like a
herd of buffalos. They're afraid the
mountains will fall-and, who knows,
maybe they will."
The temblor was felt for nearly 45
seconds in Fresno where the three-
story Fresno Bee Building swayed.
Clipboards on the walls of the
newsroom swung like clock pendulums.
It also was felt as far away as San
Francisco, Sacramento and Los
Angeles, where an executive in the Oc-
cidental Tower said the building
seemed to sway to both sides while the
heavy drapes in his office moved as if
blown by a moderate wind.

began an investigation of such cases. In
a September, 1979 report, the ad-
ministrator's office verified IPCAN's
findings and also revealed that the
cases of an additional 76 children had
never been forwarded.
THIS INCIDENT is only one example
of social and legal agencies working
against the best interest of children in
child abuse cases, say Duquette and
IPCAN co-director Kathleen Coulbourn
Faller. Faller claims the traditional
method of handling such cases through
local agencies - including schools,
police, juvenile courts, and hospitals -
often creates duplication of gaps in ser-
vice, and occasionally, a situation pit-
ting agencies against one another.
To achieve greater communication
between workers handling abuse cases,
IPCAN has trained "multi-disciplinary
teams" of professionals. Thus far, 97
professionals have been trained and
this group, in turn, will train an ad-

ditional 1,000 professionals in 10 state
communities, according to IPCAN staff
members.
'The community teams trained by the
project will help organize and coor-
dinate services for abused children in
each county, assist the Department of
Social Services on specific cases of
child abuse and neglect, and provide
training to other community
professionals," according to Duquette
and Faller.
IPCAN TRAINING programs are of-
fered free of charge to participating
communities. The University also of-
fers inter-disciplinary programs in
treating child abuse and neglect to
students in the School of Social Work,
the School of Medicine, and the School
of Law. The program additionally of- .
fers its students the opportunity to
represent clients in child abuse cases
through the Child Advocacy Law Clinic.
Duquette and Faller blame the high

"job burnout" rate among caseworkers
at the Michigan Child Protective Ser-
vices Agency - which handles more
than 32,000 abuse cases per year - par-
tially on the absence of inter-agency
cooperation.
"The average length of time a foster
care worker spends at one agency is 18
months," claims Duquette. "We want
to encourage longer-lasting teams of
workers, to help them work together,
and provide them with stability."
Without proper advice, caseworkers
are also more likely to intervene in an
abuse or neglect case by removing the
child from his or her ndtural home,
rather than seek resolutions to
problems within the existing family
unit, according to IPCAN workers.
Faller warns against making a hasty
decision to place a child ina foster care
facility because the act "will mean a
traumatic adjustment for the child,
with lifelong repercussions."

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