FBI Report: San Francisco Bay Area # 1 in Nation for Sexually Exploited Youth

FBI Report: San Francisco Bay Area # 1 in Nation for Sexually Exploited Youth

According to the FBI, 98% of the sexually exploited youth in the Bay Area were involved with the child welfare system. Unfortunately, as Robert and Kathleen Raskin will show you, stories like these may make the front page of a local newspaper but are often not even on the ticker tape of national news. We’re here to keep everyone informed of this national crisis.

A 2017 report from 22 agencies in charge of helping the survivors of sex trafficking states that housing and shelter are among the top service gaps for kids between 10 and 17. The current problem includes a shortage of beds in existing facilities, a shortage of support services and residential care at shelters, and restrictive policies that prevent youth from returning to shelters once they’ve left.

The problem is further exacerbated by a lack of adults willing and able to care for these kids, either cause they don’t want to, or they lack the credentials, including knowledge, training, and skills, to help children who’ve experienced complex trauma.

For years, this has been a steadily growing problem, but COVID has created an enormous setback. This is an uphill battle with the highest rents in the country, a high cost of living, and many people unable to live with a job, work with a home, or afford their homes without roommates.

Meanwhile, in SF, a family-based program seeking out foster parents called Family and Me has been created to address the problem. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a caregiver, please visit https://joinfam.org/

Click here to see the original news article: https://www.ktvu.com/news/san-francisco-groups-seek-foster-care-parents-for-exploited-youth

Update on Foster Care Crisis in Texas

Update on Foster Care Crisis in Texas

Hundreds of kids in the Dallas foster care system have been living in hotels, caseworker’s offices, and churches, because of a shortage of foster care facilities and families. This has now progressed to a lawsuit by multiple lawyers on behalf of 10,000 children, stating that the two separate state agencies are unwilling to take bold enough action to fix a broken system.

Thanks to the tenacious and committed efforts of Rob and Kathleen Raskin to keep up with issues like this, the rest of the country can stay informed and up to date.

Since the meeting of the expert panel last fall to fix this issue, they’ve run out of ideas. Aside from offering more money and other incentives to family members, there’s no doubt that foster families are better than the current conditions. Why there seems to be no forward movement is unclear. It appears that the state is not responding as urgently as the lawyers believe it should, given the circumstances.

US Congress has earmarked funds and other resources to ensure each state has to resolve issues like this, but it isn’t being activated. A simple resolution to create a safe place for children to sleep is what hangs in the balance. How much red tape could there be? What’s the end game? Asking for more money?

Stay tuned while we await updates on this tragic issue.

Here’s the rest of the story: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/texas-news/texas-foster-care-agencies-face-lawsuit-over-bed-shortage/2891947/

The Long Road to Recovery for Missouri’s Broken Foster Care System

The Long Road to Recovery for Missouri’s Broken Foster Care System

Six months after the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the US Department of Health and Human Services released a case study of Missouri’s Department of Social Services’ 2019 performance, it revealed they scored poorly at preventing a child in state custody from going missing. Thanks to the diligence of Rob and Kathleen Raskin, this issue will not only be reported in Missouri.

Missouri’s DSS appointed a new Acting Director, Robert Knodell, in late 2021. He says he studied the 2019 report, which reviewed the cases of 59 children in the foster care system. He identified four fundamental issues to address, as follows:

  1. Missouri lacked the policies necessary to identify factors that make a child more vulnerable to go missing in the first place.
  2. A lack of evidence that Missouri agencies took the required actions to locate children missing from the foster care system
  3. One in three children’s cases didn’t show evidence of a health and safety checkup after they’ve returned to foster care.
  4. Missouri’s case management system doesn’t accurately identify children missing from foster care.

Knodell says the DSS addresses these issues via technology updates and budget increases to support caseworkers and the entire foster care system. He also states the 59 children from the 2019 report have been identified and are safe in the care of the Children’s Division.

According to Brad Whitley, the regional inspector general of the Office of Evaluation and Inspections in Kansas City, MO, the OIG had discovered these same problems across the entire state. In other words, it wasn’t isolated to one area, such as rural or urban. Furthermore, he cites evidence for this exact problem across the entire country.

For more on this story, click here: https://www.komu.com/target8/target-8-missouri-agencies-begin-to-address-failures-identified-in-foster-care-system/article_91dffbdc-8b8c-11ec-aac5-e38131732992.html

Missouri Man Accused of Molesting Multiple Foster Kids Since 1995

Missouri Man Accused of Molesting Multiple Foster Kids Since 1995

A news report from yesterday reveals that a man in Lincoln County, MO, Ronald Gene Graham, Jr., has been accused of sexually molesting multiple foster children. According to the court’s records, authorities allege some victims were as young as 12. The charges include 10 felony counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy, and child molestation, dating back to 1995.

As usual, you’re not likely to hear this type of report outside of the local news coverage area, which is why Ron and Kathleen Raskin are always on the prowl to bring reports of injustice against foster children to light. While we always hope to never find something new to report, we always do.

Graham currently has three foster kids living in his home, and the total headcount of kids that have been placed with him by the state is 42. Prosecutors expect more victims to come forward as time passes. Meanwhile, according to court documents, his wife was never aware of the abuse, of which some occurred while she was out of town.

When asked by local news if these two would continue to have the current three foster kids, prosecutors refused to comment on an ongoing investigation.

Regardless of what legal speedbumps may make this process difficult, it seems this is going to be the size of case in both scope and severity necessary to gain traction and public attention until whatever mistake or loophole or whatever allowed this situation to continue all these years to finally be confronted and fixed.

Click here for the whole story: https://fox2now.com/news/missouri/lincoln-county-foster-parent-accused-of-sexually-abusing-multiple-children/

COVID Ravages Alaska’s Already-Broken Foster Care System

COVID Ravages Alaska’s Already-Broken Foster Care System

On average, Alaska’s Office of Children’s Services (OCS) struggles to find homes for 3,000 foster children. Now that COVID has limited the already insufficient number of qualified workers, facilities, and eligible foster families, there has been a scramble to find temporary housing.

Thanks to the unstoppable commitment by Rob and Kathleen Raskin and their loyal supporters, stories like this won’t go unnoticed as they take a backseat to the ongoing drama of disease, politics, and war.

The desperately insufficient 1,100 licensed foster homes in Alaska have dropped to 650. This has resulted in OCS workers pulling 40 – 50 hour shifts per week to stay in hotels with these youths. The consequence of this is a staff turnover increase from an already high 30% to an unprecedented 60%.

Unfortunately, the underlying systemic failure is not likely to be resolved when the COVID problem has been adequately addressed. Instead, it’s going to take a deliberate push from within, and possibly without, by lawmakers and citizens to fix this. While the OCS itself seems genuinely concerned and committed to solving the problem, every day that passes without a solution means hundreds and possibly thousands of children are more vulnerable than ever.

Best case scenario…

The ideal case of a child being adopted to a good family via the foster care system is still a story about a person with a dark, traumatic secret. They were adopted and often abused, abandoned, and neglected by the people who gave them life. Many of these people need ongoing support to cope with the trauma, so it doesn’t dominate their lives.

Where are the resources to help kids aging out of the foster care system lead ordinary and productive lives when resources are too scarce to take care of the kids in need of homes today?


Click here for the rest of the story: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2022/02/08/the-covid-19-pandemic-is-leaving-more-children-in-alaskas-foster-care-system-without-a-stable-home/

Foster Parents Accused of Prostitution Ring

Foster Parents Accused of Prostitution Ring

A foster parent in Manhattan, 51-year-old Sharice Mitchell, is being charged with running a sex-trafficking operation out of her home with her foster kids. Join Robert and Kathleen Raskin as they lead you to another case of mismanagement by the child foster care system that caused more kids to slip through the cracks.

From Nov 2018 to just a few days ago, Sharice had been considered a model citizen for helping get youths off the streets by offering them a home. But unfortunately, the authorities weren’t informed that her live-in boyfriend, Kareen Mitchell, 38, is a registered sex offender with a history of sex trafficking underaged and/or vulnerable girls on and off the streets.

Since the law permits foster children to leave home at 18, it also offers parents and children financial assistance until they’re 21. That’s when Kareen’s plan kicks in. By using a combination of physical and psychological coercion, Kareen would get these young women to agree to become prostitutes to basically pull their own weight.

Unfortunately, New York’s Child Welfare System doesn’t require annual checkups, nor does it need to know about other people or residences outside of what’s registered by the foster care system.

For more on the story, click here: https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-husband-wife-arrested-sex-trafficking-foster-kids-20220209-etrh45efivaxnngkwumzpteaja-story.html

Pueblo DHR Pleads No Contest in Case of Toddler Murdered by Foster Parents

Pueblo DHR Pleads No Contest in Case of Toddler Murdered by Foster Parents

15-month-old Aiden Seeley, pictured above, is now dead. Unfortunately, the Pueblo Colorado Dept. of Human Resources took this boy and his two siblings from abusive parents and stuck them with foster parents that were even worse. Once again, we can thank the Raskins for shedding light on stories of foster care abuse so the rest of us get a peek behind the curtain and the injustices that plague our nation’s family legal system.

Here’s a recap of the case:

The child’s parents (pictured above) plead guilty to abusing their three children, along with underfeeding them and doing drugs in front of them. So, a court decided to give the children a better life by sending them to a foster family, pictured below.

Less than three months later, the youngest child, Aiden, 15 months, is tortured and later dies in the hospital of his injuries. His 5-year-old brother witnesses everything and cries every night.

The court decides to send the remaining two kids back to their original parents. However, less than three months later, the 5-year-old boy is flown via helicopter to the Children’s Burn Unit in Denver for second-degree burns resulting from his mother bathing him.

This went to trial, and the DHR pleaded no contest. They paid out $6M to the remaining siblings and parents in exchange for making all of this go away. Fortunately, the deadbeat mother’s Aunt Rachel, a nurse, is the 5-year-old boy’s caregiver. She still speaks out about the injustice.

For more about this story, click here: 2/7/22: https://krdo.com/news/2022/02/07/sibling-of-dead-pueblo-foster-child-receives-1-5-million-in-settlement-with-county/

Update on the Spurgeon Trial

Update on the Spurgeon Trial

To recap, the husband, Daniel, already received 25 years of hard time (no probation) for multiple counts of physical and sexual abuse and torture of minors under this couple’s care. Additionally, after an ongoing legal battle between this villainous duo and the state, Jenise Rae Spurgeon, 58, finally pleaded guilty to 11 counts of aggravated child abuse.

In exchange, 14 of her 15-year sentence is probation. That may not seem like enough, but thanks to the ongoing efforts of Robert and Kathleen Raskin to stay up to date on these failures of the foster care system, we can breathe a sigh of relief that these two are out of the child torture business.

Moreover, this has precipitated a class-action suit by the victims against the Alabama Department of Human Resources for their negligence and ineptitude. In multiple child abuse cases, some of which ended in death, the police discovered deplorable conditions inconsistent with the reports of routine visits and welfare checks by DHR allegedly occurring within a week of a crime.

In this case, Florida authorities discovered some of the kids intoxicated near the beach, which uncovered that Alabama authorities had no idea the children were moved out of state, which is not allowed. Even worse, they were gone for several years, and the Alabama DHR visits are annual at minimum. This spells outright fraud.

I wish I could see these two scumbags’ heads roll into a basket in the town square, but for now, we’ll have to accept the victory we’ve been given. I think we can all agree that DHR needs to be stripped of its authority to do anything other than to fix itself or be fixed by some other means.

Alabama DHR Victimized Due to Their Own Bad Reputation

Alabama DHR Victimized Due to Their Own Bad Reputation

In the most recent lawsuit against the Alabama DHR, a Pike County woman with foster kids is accused of forging drug tests sent to remain in custody of her foster children. Judge rules in favor of protecting DHR from releasing documents that reveal who blew the whistle on this deadbeat mom. Meanwhile, woman’s lawyer positions this as DHR trying to avoid releasing documents that could threaten their otherwise bad reputation even more.

This is just one of many such reports of the ongoing troubles involving foster children, the DHR, and the family courts. This is always brought to you by Robert and Kathleen Raskin, the crusaders in the battles against any institution that allows children to suffer.

So, while we often comment on DHR’s poor performance as ongoing culprits in so many cases of child abuse, neglect, and even death, this is one case where it appears their greatest enemy is themselves. Thanks to the ongoing litigation, legal steps are being taken to hold DHR accountable for their poor performance. Time will tell if they’re able to fix what ails them.

In this case however, it seems blood on the water is bringing out the sharks, as the negligent woman’s attorney’s only defense is to shift blame back to the DHR because they already have a bad reputation. Meanwhile, the proof has already been presented that the plaintiff has forged all documents indicating that she passed the drug tests necessary to continue on as a foster mother.

Subsequent drug testing reveals not only marijuana, which is legal in many states, but methamphetamine, which is legal in zero states, and for very good reason. While the DHR deserves to suffer the results of its own inadequacy, this is no excuse for other negligent parties to abuse the situation for their own personal gain. At the end of the day, it’s the kids whose safety hangs in the balance. They deserve better than this.

More about this story: https://www.wtvy.com/2021/04/06/judge-dhr-does-not-have-to-provide-documents-in-drug-testing-lawsuit/

Florida Foster Care System Responsible for Passing 70+ Kids Through this Child Molester’s Loving Home

Florida Foster Care System Responsible for Passing 70+ Kids Through this Child Molester’s Loving Home

Robert and Kathleen Raskin are back with another example of gross negligence on the part of the state’s responsibility to the safety of foster children.

Florida’s Dept. of Children and Families (DCF) announced sweeping changes to their foster care system six years ago, which Gov. Rick Scott used as a political football to suggest they were at the vanguard of the movement nationwide. This would be great if it were true. The conclusive evidence laid out within an ongoing expose by USA Today proves otherwise.

According to authorities in St. Augustine, FL, Rick Hazel (pictured above) and his wife were the longest-running foster parents in the city’s history. They were viewed as the model family since they were active in their church and community and seemed to put their money where their mouths were when it came to stepping up for the children.

When Rick Hazel was arrested in 2019, investigators found evidence of his multiple rapes and sexual abuses toward these kids on his cell phones and on a hidden video camera rigged to film the kids taking showers. More than 70 kids have passed through this household, according to state records. Yet, unlike the other states Florida claimed to be ahead of, only Florida had no process in place to interview or counsel children that were proven victims of foster care abuse.

According to pediatric neuropsychologist Thomas Dikel, the penalty for not helping these kids now can result in psychological problems, drug addiction, suicide, and even abusing children themselves later in life. Needless to say, Florida is not on the cutting edge of anything, and these children need the care they need when they need it.

For more about such scandals involving state negligence over foster children and family courts, continue to follow this blog by the Raskins.

For more information about this ongoing story, click here: https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2020/10/15/no-one-checks-on-kids-who-previously-lived-with-abusive-foster-parents/5896724002/