26 Dec Special Needs Children Abused in Texas

Police have saved seven special needs children from horrific abuse in Richmond, Texas. The children were found locked inside of a room after being beaten and were unbathed and malnourished. The abuse and neglect these children suffered was so terrible that they have been hospitalized for their recovery. According to witnesses, they were kept in a boarded-up room on the second floor of a house and not allowed to go downstairs, outside, or even to school.

This case is a horrible example of child abuse, made even worse by the fact that all of these children have special needs and were not taken to a doctor for medical care. This was necessary care, and the children should have had their basic needs met, been attending school, and been regularly receiving professional healthcare—because the state was paying for all of this to happen.

Paula Sinclair, one of the arrested adults, was receiving $540 a month to care for each of these children and had been doing so for years, but that money clearly never made it to the children. Child Protective Services now has custody of the children, who are recovering in the hospital, and Sinclair and her partner, Allen Richardson, have been arrested.

Guardianship Issues

This child abuse case is horrendous, but it is unfortunately not an isolated incident. Children across the country are abused on a daily basis, sometimes by their own family. If you are in a situation where one of your loved ones, a neighbor, or your child’s friend is being abused, you have a duty to report it.

Child Protective Services (CPS) can investigate alongside local authorities to ensure that the children are safe. If they are not, they will be removed from the home and placed in the custody of CPS. At this time, you may want to petition the court for guardianship.

Applying for Child Guardianship in California

In California, there are specific forms that must be completed and filed with the court in order for you to have a guardianship hearing. Additionally, all legal parents must be served with this paperwork.

The parents will have the opportunity to object to you becoming the child’s legal guardian, so it helps to have a family attorney on your side who can make a strong case for why this change is within the best interests of the child. If the child has special needs, your case will be more complex and may require additional paperwork, information, and other evidence.

Prior to the court granting you guardianship, they will also conduct a screening and carefully examine your record. This step is in place to prevent things like child abuse from taking place. If you have been convicted of a crime in the past, however minor, this is something we should discuss prior to your hearing.

California has produced a pamphlet that will give you additional information on the process and what it takes to become a guardian. Since each case is unique, you are still best served by speaking with an attorney.

Rancho Cucamonga Family Law Attorney

Whether due to divorce or child abuse, child custody issues are difficult matters to resolve. If you need help with a guardianship issue, the Law Office of Laurence J. Brock can help you bring your case to a conclusion that serves the children’s best interests. To arrange a time to meet for a free consultation, give us a call at 909-466-7661 or contact us through the form below.