Tag Archives: Groundbreaking

San Diego Attorney Awarded Top Honors for Groundbreaking Work in Civil Rights Case Against Orange County Social Services Agency

San Diego (PRWEB) November 7, 2007

On November 2, 2007, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association awarded a San Diego attorney top honors in electing him as the “Top Gun – Trial Attorney of The Year” in the area of civil rights. The award was based on the 4.9 million dollar jury verdict obtained by Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick, against Orange County, its Social Services Agency, and two of its social workers Marcia Vreeken and Helen Dwojak earlier this year in a lawsuit alleging violations of her Constitutional right to familial association.

This case (Fogarty-Hardwick v. County of Orange, et al.; Superior Court of California, County of Orange; Case No. 01CC02379; Trial before Hon. Ronald L. Bauer, Dept. CX103) was brought by Deanna Fogarty against the County of Orange, Marcia Vreeken, Elaine Wilkins, and their supervisor Helen Dwojak to recover damages arising from Defendants alleged falsification of evidence, perjury, and suppression of exculpatory evidence during a juvenile dependency action back in February of 2000. On March 23, 2007 after over six years of litigation and a seven week trial, an Orange County Jury found against Orange County, social worker Marcia Vreeken, and social worker supervisor Helen Dwojak and awarded monetary damages of $ 4.9 million. A third social worker, Elaine Wilkins was found not liable.

In addition to seeking damages, Ms. Fogarty also sought to enjoin the Orange County Social Services Agency from continuing its allegedly unlawful practice of making allegations of wrong doing against parents in dependency proceedings without supporting evidence. On May 14, 2007 Orange County Superior Court Judge, Ronald Bauer (Dept. CX-103) issued an injunction against the Orange County Social Services Agency requiring the agency to obtain “reasonable and articulable evidence” prior to initiating dependency proceedings alleging abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child.

In accepting the “Top Gun” award Shawn A. McMillan said: “Ms. Fogarty should not have had to step outside her community to find an attorney to represent her. Trial attorneys are a pretty elite group, and as officers of the court we have taken an oath, and it is our duty, to protect and defend the Constitution, and the rights arising therefrom. These cases are important cases and should be brought and tried. We’ve proven that they can be won, now its your job to carry the ball the rest of the way, to accept these types of cases, and force a change in the system.”

For additional information, contact:

Shawn A. McMillan, Esq.

THE LAW OFFICES OF SHAWN A. McMILLAN, A.P.C.

4955 Via Lapiz

San Diego, California 92122

Telephone: (858) 646-0069

Facsimile: (206) 600-4582

Website: http://www.mcmillan-law.com

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Author of Groundbreaking Caregiver’s Book to Speak at Cambridge Credit Counseling’s July Community Seminar


Agawam, MA (Vocus) July 3, 2009

The current economic downturn has forced many Americans to make substantial changes in their lifestyle. Across the country, families are dealing with the crisis of foreclosure, rapidly increasing unemployment, and a general lack of confidence in the economy’s ability to rebound. As life within the country becomes more challenging, perhaps the group most adversely affected is the elderly. Over the last two years, there’s been an increase in the number of elderly parents moving back in with their children, very likely out of economic necessity. Until now, there were very few resources to assist individuals who were thrust into the position of caregiver for their aging parents.

The recently released When Your Parent Moves In; Every Adult Child’s Guide to Living with an Aging Parent, written by David Horgan and Shira Block, is a book that addresses these issues head on. Through a series of personal stories, case studies and expert analysis, the book provides individuals with strategies they can use to make a successful transition to living with one’s parents. Among the topics discussed are the pros and cons of having an aging parent move in, the possible pitfalls of such a change and how to avoid them, adjusting the family dynamic, and most important, how to manage and protect everyone’s assets.

“Among the life changes our counselors help the public manage, having one’s parent’s move in is among the most intricate,” stated Christopher Viale, president and CEO of Cambridge Credit Counseling. “There are a host of concerns to consider, and, in that sense, the timing of Mr. Horgan’s book could not be better. It will make a fantastic resource for those faced with these circumstances by not only providing advice, but also empowering families to come closer together.”

Cambridge Credit Counseling is fortunate to have the author, David Horgan, conduct a special community seminar at their offices on July 15, 2009. Mr. Horgan will discuss a variety of topics from his book, with a special focus on the financial concerns of such an arrangement. Afterward, Cambridge’s certified credit counselors will be available for individualized sessions to help families establish budgets and address any other credit related concerns they may have.

Cambridge’s seminars are offered free to the public each month. Because space is limited, those interested in attending are encouraged to contact Thomas Fox at 413-241-2362 to reserve seating.

About the Authors:

David Horgan (Ludlow, MA) is an award-winning medical educator, filmmaker, and director who brings his firsthand account of what to do, what not to do, and what can happen (the good and the bad) when a parent moves in. He has been interviewed on this subject by USA Today and ABC News. Mr. Horgan has been repeatedly interviewed by NPR, ABC, NBC, CNN, USA Today, New York Times, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Entertainment Weekly, and other media outlets.

Shira Block (Wilbraham, MA) is a popular lecturer, freelance writer, and personal coach. She is the author of The Way Home and Step-by-Step Miracles: A Practical Guide to Achieving Your Dream. She has a master’s degree in psychology and counseling with a concentration in family therapy.

ABOUT CAMBRIDGE CREDIT COUNSELING CORP.:

Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. is a professional debt counseling agency dedicated to educating young adults on the importance of sound financial management and providing financially distressed Americans with education and debt management services appropriate to their needs. Visit Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. online at http://www.cambridgecredit.org. To learn more about Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp. and the community, please visit http://www.youtube.com/CambridgeCredit.

Contact: Thomas Fox

Cambridge Credit Counseling Corp.

413.821.6919

tfox(at)cambridgecredit.org

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Groundbreaking Study Finds Family Acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Adolescents Protects Against Depression, Substance Abuse and Suicidal Behavior


San Francisco, CA (Vocus) December 5, 2010

For the first time, researchers have established a clear link between accepting family attitudes and behaviors towards their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and significantly decreased risk and better overall health in adulthood. The study shows that specific parental and caregiver behaviors — such as advocating for their children when they are mistreated because of their LGBT identity or supporting their gender expression — protect against depression, substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts in early adulthood. In addition, LGBT youth with highly accepting families have significantly higher levels of self-esteem and social support in young adulthood. The study is published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, a journal of the International Society of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses, in a peer-reviewed article titled Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults.

Despite all the recent attention to health risks and disparities for lesbian, gay and bisexual youth, prior to this study, little was known about how families express acceptance and support for their LGBT children. Moreover, no prior research had examined the relationship between family acceptance of LGBT adolescents and health and mental health concerns in emerging adulthood.

At a time when the media and families are becoming acutely aware of the risk that many LGBT youth experience, our findings that family acceptance protects against suicidal thoughts and behaviors, depression and substance abuse offer a gateway to hope for LGBT youth and families that struggle with how to balance deeply held religious and personal values with love for their LGBT children, said Dr. Caitlin Ryan, PhD, Director of the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University. I have worked on LGBT health and mental health for 35 years and putting our research into practice by developing a new model to help diverse families support their LGBT children is the most hopeful work Ive ever done.

Ann P. Haas, Ph.D., Director of Prevention Projects for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, noted, With this new groundbreaking study, Ryan and her colleagues have provided the strongest evidence to date that acceptance and support from parents and caregivers promote well-being among LGBT youth and help protect them from depression and suicidal behavior. These findings open the door to a whole new focus on how families can be helped to more fully engage in the kind of behaviors that reduce suicide risk in LGBT adolescents and young adults.

Times have changed, said Stephen Russell, PhD, President Elect of the Society for Research on Adolescence and a consultant to the Family Acceptance Project. More and more families want to be accepting of their children. Yet, many families still struggle when a child comes out as LGBT. Its essential to have research like this to deeply understand the ways that families show their acceptance, so that we can identify how to support families.”

The study, authored by Dr. Caitlin Ryan and her team from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University, which shows that accepting behaviors of parents and caregivers towards their LGBT children are protective against mental health risks — including suicidal behaviors — has critical implications for changing how families relate to their LGBT children and how LGBT youth are served by a wide range of providers across disciplines and systems of care, including custodial care systems such as foster care. The study was funded by The California Endowment, a health foundation dedicated to expanding access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities.

Major Research Findings:

Chicago Public Schools Partners with Knowledge Delivery Systems to Deliver Groundbreaking Professional Learning to 22 OS4 Reinvestment Schools over Three Years


New York, NY (PRWEB) September 24, 2013

As part of the key initiative to transform its lowest-performing schools, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Office of Strategic School Support Services (OS4) has partnered with Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS), a leader in strategic blended professional development (PD) solutions for K-12 schools, districts, and educators. This three-year intensive professional development partnership at 22 Reinvestment Schools will improve instructional practice in classrooms to accelerate the academic growth for all students by ensuring quality instruction in every classroom.

KDS provides a unique approach to professional learning that is deeply engrained in the latest research on effective PD. KDSs approach is grounded in research that shows that it takes an average of 49 hours of immersive and sustained professional development to boost student achievement. (Reviewing the Evidence on How Teacher Professional Development Affects Student Achievement, U.S. Department of Education, 2007). This is not a traditional form of sit and get professional development, where teachers passively sit through limited PD sessions.

KDS utilizes flipped learninga highly effective blended model that includes 50 hours of high-quality online coursework supported by ongoing face-to-face coaching, observation, feedback, and in-depth instruction for optimal professional learning. This model actually shifts practice in a way traditional practice doesnt and cantfor increased student achievement. KDS has implemented this radical professional learning strategy successfully with leading districts such as the School District of Philadelphia, where teachers and administrators who participated in KDS PD coursework demonstrated up to a 77% increase in understanding of critical concepts and strategies.

In these accountability-driven times, districts often focus their time and money on teacher evaluations to identify a small number of ineffective teachers. CPS is, instead, focused on providing a system of intensive support for teachers to help them improve their practice, which impacts all teachers and helps all students. We are providing effective professional learning that improves teaching practice on a large scale for a lot of students, very efficiently, said Alvin Crawford, CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems. We are proud to partner with CPS and OS4s initiative to present an innovative approach to individualized professional learning, fully aligned with district priorities to instill 21st Century skills in students. Were excited to make an impact in the OS4 Reinvestment Schools and help them in their mission to ensure every child receives a rigorous, high-quality education that prepares them for success in college, career, and life.

KDS has designed this program in collaboration with a cross-functional CPS team to meet the needs of OS4 schools and encompass intensive support for teachers from both virtual and on-site coaches. KDS course offerings for CPS teachers and principals for the 2013-2014 school year include: Transforming School Culture, Common Core State Standards in both literacy and mathematics, and Assessment and the Common Core, among others. As part of this initiative, OS4 held a Chicago Executive Leadership Academy (CELA) meeting for school principals from the 22 Reinvestment Schools and the School Improvement Grant (SIG) program schools on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The professional learning day included a leadership workshop with KDS and sessions with Dr. Anthony Muhammad, a national expert on transforming school culture.

CPS recognizes the importance of providing both school leaders and teachers with ongoing, comprehensive professional development and support that will help them reach their full potential in driving student success, said Barbara Byrd-Bennett, CPS CEO. We are committed to the OS4 reinvestment strategy of supporting high-need schools through intensive PD, and we are excited to pair our OS4 schools with Knowledge Delivery Systems in these efforts.

About Knowledge Delivery Systems

Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) creates and delivers online, blended, and flipped-model strategic professional development solutions to districts, teachers, and schools. KDSs award-winning eClassroom platform enables schools and districts to optimize their instructional practice with customized programs tailored to their specific goals and to engage collaboratively in virtual learning communities. KDSs diverse library of research-based and relevant courses, given by today