Saturday, November 24, 2012

Children of Neglect

Neglect is one of the most difficult allegations of child abuse to prove.   Neglect is chronic, ongoing, and only when it is extreme, or if the impact can be measured, can something be done, but even then, it is difficult.  There are no laws that can be enacted that can make a mother choose a child over a love interest.  In cases like these, the child suffers, just as children are exposed to love interests not of their choosing.

Hailey Dunn feared Shawn Adkins.  In failing to protect Hailey, her mother even knew enough to call police on the violent boyfriend, who made good on threats of violence against Hailey.  The mother's excuse?  "He only threatened me; not her" as if this would make a difference.  The importing of a dangerous man, including child porn, came into a household already ripe with the neglect of substance abuse.  Brining in a pedophile; and a violent one at that, was the last step.

Haleigh Cummings did not choose to bring Misty and Tommy Croslin into her life.  This was thrust upon her, as was the life of drugs and neglect.  Even in creating an alibi, Ronald Cummings showed how Haleigh's needs were subordinate to the selfish desires of his own, or those of his juvenile live in girlfriend when he said he stopped a few hours before dawn to get beer for himself and Misty.  Who would be able to get up 3 hours later with Haleigh and Junior?

Neglect killed Haleigh, eventually.   Misty and Tommy's parents were too busy being high to take care of them, and they were left to their own devices which led to drugs and sexual perversion; and the eventual end of Haleigh's life.

When Hank Croslin and his wife were sitting on the couch getting high, rather than working at jobs and helping their children with their homework, they were contributing to the eventual death of Haleigh, as well as putting more parasites on society.  Misty and Tommy are in prison and there they do not have to earn their keep.  They are the responsible of taxpayers who, against their will, must pay for Misty, for example, to have a therapist, or medical care, or dental care. In prison, Misty will get better dental care than Celina Cass' mother cared to.

Sure, her mother got cable TV and whatever else she wanted; above the needs of Celina.  I can only imagine the difficulty school teachers had talking to Celina's mother, walking on eggshells saying "Now, Mrs. Cass, we don't want to be judgmental, but the children make fun of Celina's smile, and if you only bring her to the dentist on Main St..." and on it goes.

What about child protective services?  Are they to blame?

Neglect is difficult to prove.

Here is how:

Let's say CPS workers, along with teachers, and a caring relative or two, confronted Mrs. Cass about getting Celina to a dentist.  They ran into a wall of excuses, so the social workers arranged with a kind-hearted dentist to lower his bill, and got tax payer money to pay for it, but it takes 3 or 4 appointments total, and Mrs. Cass, tied up with her nutty husband, doesn't show; so much so that the dentist has to drop her as a patient and the entire process starts again.

Finally, exhausted from failed attempts and heartbroken teachers' complaints about trying to stop kids from ridiculing her, CPS petitions the court for custody, so that they can get her dental care.  Since it is appearance and not painful, the court date is set for 2 weeks.

Just before court, she gets her to an initial appointment, and, by the way, gets the dentist's secretary to sign a letter saying "Celina is now a patient here" which is presented to the states AG who now says we must drop the court case and monitor the mother.

Neglect is where a parent can do the bare minimum and get away with it.  No law can make a parent love her child;  nor can a law make grandparents check up on a child:  see Orlando, Florida.

I don't know if this is the case of Celina Cass, but I do know that I would go without food before I allowed my 11 year old daughter to go to school needed dental care.  I know dentists who would see her for free without a moment's hesitation.  They don't need the government to tell them to treat her; they would do it out of decency.

CPS is not to be blamed for Hailey Dunn's death.  If Colorado City ever gets its act together, we will likely find the killers and the one who's neglect and subsequent cover up will be punished.

CPS tried with Haleigh Cummings but Ronald Cummings, by his own admission, signed written agreements, under the threat of losing custody, to stop hitting Haleigh in the face.  No laws could have stopped Ronald Cummings from his sexual attraction to very young girls, which led him to bring in Misty Croslin, who then brought her brother, Tommy, into Haleigh's life.

Haleigh never asked for any of them.

Could they have placed Haleigh with relatives?  Of course, but with whom?  Could we find anyone to pass a drug test, and if so, could we find anyone with a notion of how to protect a child from its own father, whom she likely cried for?

Abused children prefer their own parents to strangers and will cling, tightly, to the abuser.

It is a very strong bond, but it is not always a healthy bond.

Celina Cass did not ask for her step father.  Some court found him "unfit" to stand trial?  Yet, Celina's mother found him "fit" to share a home with.   Now we hear that he has sex offender siblings, also with access to Celina.

Celina died of Neglect.

Whatever the actual cause of death, it will likely be traced by to Neglect.  She was last "seen" on a computer at 9PM.

Does your 11 year old daughter go on a computer at 9PM by herself?  If yours is like mine, even in the summer, she was safely in bed by 9PM, having read herself to sleep.

Why would someone so violent be allowed in Celina's home in the first place?

Children die of Neglect.

So many of the cases we have covered we have found issues of Neglect.

Caylee Anthony's own grandmother said her mother was a sociopath, yet she did not care enough, for almost 2 years, to even bother to check on the supposed Nanny.  Caylee meant little to her family then, but now she is the source of trips, vacations, and more money than most people dream of.   Yet, they couldn't be bothered to make even a single phone call to check up on her, when she was said to be having a sleep over at a stranger's home, rather than be with family.  No one cared.

Haleigh was left in the hands of a drugged, spaced out immoral teenager, and her perverted brother, who conspired together to cover up a crime they both engaged in.

And so it goes.

Hailey's mother chooses a violent pedophile over Hailey's own safety.

Celina's mother brings in a violent schizophrenic into Celina's own home.

Desiree can't even speak to Kaine Horman, knowing now of the hatred that Terri Horman had for a little boy, yet Kaine was slow to respond; too slow.

How many kids go unwatched at parks, slip into the bathroom, only to suffer for a life time for a moment's neglect, where a molester put hands upon the child?

Good parenting is exhausting.  It is a small window of opportunity to nurture and protect, and set a foundation in.

It is not a time for laziness, selfishness, nor abdication.

The first time a woman says "I know the police are wrong!  It was that b@#$% of an ex wife made it up" the child is in trouble.

A father who says, "I'm not emotionally capable" of helping locate his daughter isn't deserving of the title, "father." 

Motherhood is a duty.  It is not something to market or seek financial gain of, nor is it a publicity stunt or a book deal.  

God does not call any of us to sacrifice duty; only our privileges in life.

We don't have the right to expose our children to danger, even if the danger or risk means our happiness because eventually, their pain will become our pain.

To Celina, the pain of having other kids stare, or make fun, is something that bothers all of us.  It didn't have to be that way.  There are too many kind dentists and kind and caring neighbors, citizens, teachers, and others, who would have been glad to make her life just a little bit better.

For now, however, it is too late.

No matter who ends up facing justice for her death, we will likely learn more and more, of how neglected she was.


Ivy said...

If you have not read the Deshaney Supreme Court case, it is worthwhile, as the opinion and dissent have a good discussion about the ultimate responsibility of CPS. The case involved a lawsuit against the state after a little boy, Joshua, died. The case was discussed in articles around the time of Justice Kagan's confirmation because she was a clerk to the Justice who wrote the dissent at the time.

I was also glad to see you bring up the point about the kids alone at the park. About a month ago I called the police after it became clear that a six year old was at the park alone. I kept asking him if he was there with anyone and he told me he was not alone, but his answers kept changing -- like he knew he wasn't supposed to be there by himself. After over two hours, we were ready to leave the park and no adult had show up, I called the police. When they didn't come for 15 minutes, I called them again and the little boy saw me on the phone and asked who I was calling. I lied and told him I called my sister and he said "I thought you were calling CPS" -- my heart broke for that little boy. He then said CPS had taken him from his dad before and he had stayed with a family that had a pool, etc. Six years old and he was already so savvy about these things. When the police showed up, he knew I had called them and I knew I had done the right thing, but I felt like another person who had betrayed him. It wasn't a safe park, though, -- there are creepy men there by themselves and I had the very thought about the bathroom. The little boy had asked us at one point if we were going to be there "the whole time" -- I asked him what "the whole time was" and he said "all day" --- I think his family just let him play at that park all day by himself. I did worry that he got in trouble after the police took him home, though.

John Mc Gowan said...


you certainly done the right thing,god forbid if you were not there what may have happened,dont beat yourself up about calling LE, you should be very proud.Well done.

Eliza said...

Ivy, you certainly did the right thing! I can't imagine a 6 year-old alone in the park, when we know what terrible things can happen to children by some evil people.
I understand that it broke your heart hearing about the CPS, but think that anything could have happened to this boy. You are the one who pretected him.

Anonymous said...

Crooked teeth and lack of braces is neglect? Are you kidding me? Everyone in my family has crooked teeth, some quite bad, and we all got regular dental care - our teeth are good, just cosmetically crooked. No one ever questioned it, not even the dentist...and certainly no dentist was willing to lower the bill for braces.

Next we will hear that it is neglect not to get our flat chested daughters fake tatas, or it's neglect to not straighten out the bump on junior's nose because he's been teased about it. Ridiculous.

If there are bullying children at the school, then some anti-bullying classes and seminars need to be done, not try to make every single kid in the school fit in to the point of cosmetic correction.

BostonLady said...

Billie Jean Dunn and her blind followers are on Facebook now reporting every FB page and every person that has posted the TRUTH. They have threatened to take their "legion" out to get every one who has spoken out against Billie.

Me thinks Billie doesn't like that not everyone is falling for her bs!! It seems she doesn't care what is being said about Hailey which is to have the TRUTH of what happened to her come out and justice served. Nope, she doesn't care about Hailey.

Billie is also looking to trademark the words "Hope For Hailey". What will this bring her? Is she looking to gain $$$$ for the name, any time it is used for her daughter???

Shame on Billie Jean Dunn. I hope the TRUTH is revealed before the second anniversary of Hailey's disappearance. Then the stupid games can end and the real consequences for Billie's and Shawn's actions can begin.

AnnieG said...

I agree with what you said. My kids all have regular dental care, but it room until our daughter was 16 before we could scratch together the $5000 out of pocket we had to pay for our daughters braces. The insurance only coveres $1600 of the $6600 cost. Our dentist never gave us the name of an orthodontist willing to reduce his price

Dee said...

I agree also.I cringed when I read the part about her teeth and neglect. I thought those statements came across as pompous. I don't know where these dentists are that will lower their bills, but I've never found one. Forget about one doing it free. I've been in agony and had to go to the emergency room because I couldn't even find one willing to make a payment arrangement.

skip said...

Both of my sons have baby teeth that just don't want to come out. For a while, my oldest son had a permanent tooth growing in behind the baby tooth but the baby tooth wouldn't come out. It drove me crazy! The dentist said, let it go for a while and if it doesn't come out naturally, we may take it out. But don't worry about it.
Sure enough, it took about a month but it fell out on its own. No one teased him, although it wasn't super obvious unless he smiled big.
Are there any statements that she was teased? Because all I've seen is that she was loved by her classmates. I think you give people far too little credit.
Ivy, good decisions aren't easy decisions.

Tania Cadogan said...

Thank you Ivy for caring.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

You did the right thing by a little boy, it could have turned out so differently if it had been someone else with nefarious plans, he would be just another dead child on page whatever.

I wonder why he had been taken away fom his dad before.
I wonder if perhaps he hoped to return to his foster family.

I agree i wonder what happened once police left him at home, if he would be abused because police were involved and his father thought it was because the boy called them, or if the father wondered what his son had said about being alone in the park for so long?

If he was in the park all alone what were his parents doing? Were they working or being a government artist (drawing benefits)

Kids need their independance as they grow up, we can't wrap them in cottonwool their whole childhood or they would never mature and have responsibility as an adult, someone should have been there to keep an eye open as accidents can and do happen in parks, falling off slides or swings, getting smacked in the mouth by a swing (boy did it hurt) falling over, or getting scrapes in enthusiastic games.

You, at least cared and acted as a responsible adult and as a mom, other parents could learn from people such as yourself.

Hugssss xx

Anonymous said...

I don't think it was just a problem with crooked teeth. I think that her front tooth may have been sticking out of her mouth when she closed it?

Gambler777 said...

Peter, I've been following a case in my hometown that involves alleged child abuse leading to the death of a 2yr old. It happened in Jan 2010 and a verdict was announced this week.
One piece of evidence shown to the jury was part of the first interview the accussed did with the Police.
I was wondering if its one you would be interested in checking out. The video is only 7 min long but it took a lot of rewinding (and time) to pick up his words as the guy speaks real fast at times. I've got at least 95% of it. If your interested I can send the link for the video. If you want what I've transcribed I can type it out and you can tell me how to get it to you.

Mainah said...

Anon, bonus points for the post that included tatas, nose jobs, cosmetic neglect?, bullying, et al!

I would not assume dental neglect by looking at photos. That is ridiculous, Peter. Do you have supporting reports? Just checkin'...

I could show you a picture of my daughter around that age with crooked teeth, the orthodontist made the decision to delay braces until she was 14 and a half. He said they might move and correct themselves. They didn't budge, although for years he had her trying to move them herself with a Popsicle stick every night when she read. I remember thinking how primitive, but didn't question him, after all, I don't have a doctorate in Orthodontistry...see, I can't even spell it...

...and ya, not only was there NO discount, (5k, 15 years ago) at one visit a woman came in with a (Maine) State Medical Card and he said, nope, I don't take that because I can't afford to, they only pay $2800, she left upset finding out there is a long waiting list for the couple of orthodontist that do take Medicare and no one in town, the closest 25 mile away...

Not everyone is privileged enough to live in a big city with good access to good dental care.

John Mc Gowan said...


I sometimes wonder if you post controversial articles to see and gauge the reaction of readers and whether they agree with you because you are the expert/Authority figure and owner of this blog.

It is well documented that people will agree with whatever they are told if they feel that the person relaying the information is respected in their field of experties.

See. Milgram’s Experiment on Obedience to Authority

Gregorio Billikopf Encina
University of California.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's teach our children to change so they don't get bullied..

Braces can not be put in before all the baby teeth has fallen out, and that usually happens between age 11-13.

The last ones to fall out, are the ones second from the upper front teeth.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @5:19 said;
"Crooked teeth and lack of braces is neglect? Are you kidding me?"

Yes, it is neglect when she had one oversized tooth hanging from the front of her mouth when there wasn't a second front tooth.
Celina's teeth had never been taken care of in her life. That one front tooth was discolored and probably rotting along with other teeth.
Celina was very self conscious about how she appeared and she was teased and bullied about it.
It was interesting that her older -and much better looking- sister had braces on her teeth before Celina was murdered.
Their mother claimed that Celina was scheduled the week after her death to have braces put on, that was after being criticized for the way Celina's teeth looked.
Children can be cruel and Celina took a lot of verbal abuse because of the way her mouth looked, how was that fair to her?
I don't think her mother ever bothered with Celina, bought her second hand clothes while her sister always had new clothes. I'd say their mother picked her favorite child and Celina was left out until she was dead and her mother made public pleas for money to soothe her grief.
As the perfect irony, NH Medicaid would have covered all dental expenses for Celina if her mother had bothered to take her to a dentist.

That's abuse and neglect no matter how you look at it.

Anonymous said...

With mine and my spouses insurance - we have no dental insurance. Every dental appointment - comes out of pocket.

We are just slightly over the income threshold to receive assistance from a local area dental clinic that provides dental care at very low costs. (Which also has a very long waiting list)

We, like most folk these days, are struggling to keep food on the table, roof over our heads, and pay our bills.

I would be thrilled to know of a Maine area dentist that takes reduced rates!!! Especially an orthodontist!

I've called around (a while back) & there were none that I could find.

If anyone knows of any - I'd be very happy to know!!!

I hate having to choose between dental care for my family & paying our bills. :0(

Statement Analysis Blog said...


At any given time, any child can have a protruding tooth where there is no home neglect.

John, I did wonder if people would react with anger, not to agree or disagree, but who would stop and look at the bigger picture.

The mother allowed a very violent man into her home and put her child at risk. This is the ultimate in neglect.

It is the larger pattern that I had hoped readers would catch on to.

When Billie Dunn was first on The Nancy Grace Show, she said she had dental pain.

My first reaction was: drugs.

Yes, it is true, that at any time, any one of us could have root canal and pain killers. That she was on national television talking about her missing daughter, yet still had the wherewithal to mention her tooth pain spoke volumes.

Celena had a monster forced upon her by a neglectful mother and an abdicating father. No child should ever feel unsafe in her home. Just because a judge bought into insanity doesn't reduce the risk for children.

Her father could have gotten her OUT of that home based upon Wendel Noyes' record ALONE. Child Protective Services has a different standard.

That Celina had this MONSTER IN HER HOME, where should should have felt utterly safe, told me that she was neglected.

To be her age and have such a terribly embarrassing tooth issue was unfair to her, as a young lady, naturally self aware of her appearance.

I had hoped readers would see the link, organically. I think I did too many years in the child protective world to ignore the two.

By the way, dentists are often some of the most empathetic in the medical world (near nurses) and I know of some who would have been glad to help her out without pay.

This is an old repost from the old blog address. It had the similar comments last year, too.


Unknown said...

I always pay close attention when you give signs of child neglect & reasoning behind it. I am taking care of my young relatives & the first thing that caught my attention when I picked them up (they did not know me) was the lack of stranger anxiety (you covered this in a different writing). I am finding as each month passes that I question more traits that seem so strange to me.
Does it mean anything that a 2 1/2 year old speaks of himself ONLY in 3rd person? "Joe is hungry" "Joe likes that" ...
Does it mean anything that he calls any female that comes over "Mom" and males, "Dad"? Even when I have corrected him for many months, he still does it.

He has a great vocabulary and communicates well. I think he is unusually bright. But he doesn't ever ask about his Mom or Dad or where they went or if and when they are coming back?

I tried to use google but I am not able to find anything specific. I hope you can help.


OldPsychNurse said...

Johns Hopkins Univ. found that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster-care system is more than four times as high as in the general population. In group homes, the rate of sexual abuse is more than 28 times that of the general population.

Children in foster care are 6 times more likely to be abused than a child in the general population.

Children are twice as likely to die in a foster home than in the care of their family.

There should be a life-threatening or sexual abuse reason for CPS to remove any child from his/her family. This is not always the case as CPS has become a revenue source for counties.

The federal government pays each county for each child in their foster care system. Yes, foster children are a source of income for counties and for the alleged professional services which CPS assigns to provide services to the captive children.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie Blue,
Never call CPS on your family unless you KNOW life-threatening abuse/neglect or sexual abuse is occurring.
CPS is extremely corrupt in many counties and they do not always exhibit rational actions.

Mainah said...

Thanks for responding, Peter. That's great, I think any open discussion can only perfect our understanding of SA and ourselves. I really enjoy it.

I read about Celina's case at the beginning and it did look as though neglect, abuse and violent murder was her sad reality. So, yes, I see the bigger picture, that is why, (maybe), I questioned the dental thing? -it seems insignificant and without having additional facts why possibly blow it out of proportion? Maybe, I wouldn't want someone to look at a picture of my sweet babes and erroneously think those things about me?

...and a further look into why I am "sensitive", I would even dare say, "defensive", in this particular case...when I see Celina's picture, I see a beautiful person, not crooked teeth.

PS: Peter, I hope you will list the names of the Orthodontist you know that would be thrilled to work for nothing. Are any in the Bingham/Jackman area?

Unknown said...

In Peter's defense about the dentist & orthodontist, it's true. I have done this myself when my husband & I decided to take care of dental/orthodontic for two relatives that were in need.

The first time I tried we were able to put $99 down & $99 per month until paid in full (discounted to $4800) and the second time, I was able to speak to the Ortho office and they reduced the cost from $6800 for braces to only $2800. and very very low payments.

I know many who have done this. I am on the west coast so I guess it wouldn't help giving you any of our information. But, my sister is in New Hampshire & a single mom who did the exact same thing as I did.

Look for ones in your Church or other organizations the kids or your family belongs to. Put the word out & see if anyone can help or connect you with someone. There are many places here with different names (such as Western Dental) that is specifically for those with little or no insurance.

Anyhow, you get the idea =) Good luck!

Mainah said...

Hailey had pretty teeth.

Mainah said...

Old Psych Nurse, Thanks for presenting another element of the bigger picture. I'd have to see citation(s) and such, and will follow the link you provided, later.

It raises a valid point, as the class divide become wider, with resources (like good paying "statist" jobs with benefits like full dental and retirement, etc.)being scarce, with civil rights trampled by special interest groups, ignoring our founding fathers wise advice...who's watching the watchers?

These are scary times...babies killed by their parents, raped by "care takers", slaughtered by the thousands due to our (well, not mine!) foreign policy...The Good Lord can not be happy about this.

In the meantime, Jessica Simpson is "trending" at #1 on the internet...

Gambler777 said...

Hi Peter I posted a couple days ago asking if you'd be interested in looking at a transcript from a 7min video(or listen to the video) of a police interview of a guy accused of child abuse leading to death.(trials over now and the jury has came to a verdict.)I was wondering if you saw it and aren't able to or not interested or if you even saw it amongst the other post.
Thanks for your time.

Anonymous said...

just as children are exposed to love interests not of their choosing
i understand this completely, this is one blog of Peter's that i agree with fully.