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Child custody placement of young girl ends in arrest

Pennsylvania parents may have questions after learning about a temporary child custody placement by Child Protective Services in another state. At her request, a 13-year-old girl had been placed with a man who had, at one time, been a friend of her family. Several weeks after the child custody placement, he was arrested for sexually abusing her. Her shocked family showed up in court with questions and blame for the agency.

The man became a paraplegic several years ago after attempting to commit suicide and failing. He had spent a total of 10 years in prison for larceny and was a documented heroin addict, recently having been released from rehab after an overdose. It is not known if the girl was aware of his past, but family members said she requested to live with him because she knew him.

The girl had been in the custody of several different family members in the past several years. Her mother is in prison and custody was taken from her father, after which unspecified accusations against him were subsequently found to be false. The girl was sent to live with her maternal grandmother who eventually could not handle the care of the girl. She gave her assent to the child staying with the accused friend of the family even knowing his history.

The Child Welfare League of America has gotten involved and is also questioning the move by CPS. While it makes sense to have any child in this situation placed with someone he or she knows and trusts, the safety of the child should also be taken into consideration and the case should be carefully evaluated. Pennsylvania parents with child custody issues should consult a professional who will do everything possible to ensure the best interests of the child are respected.

Source: poststar.com, "County put girl with addict now charged with abusing her", Kathleen Moore, Aug. 6, 2015

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