Severe injuries and deaths from child abuse are rising amidst the stresses of COVID-19. In this episode centered around the story of one such child, I will also discuss resources and tools to help us cope with these stresses.
On April 10, 2020, a three-year-old boy arrived in the emergency room at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas. His foster parents told doctors the little boy had suffered a seizure. Doctors felt the multiple severe injuries the boy had suffered were inconsistent with their story, and when the boy died two days later on Easter Sunday, Fort Worth police began investigating the boy’s death as a homicide.
His parents had warned CPS about previous injuries their son had suffered while in the foster family’s care, but no action was taken. To date, no arrests have been made.
This is the infuriating story of Amari Boone.
Anyone with information on Amari’s case should contact Fort Worth Police at (817) 332-5036 or FortWorthPDCACU@fortworthtexas.gov.
The resources mentioned in this episode include:
- SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline offers 24/7, 365 days per year immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-made disaster. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is a government agency leading public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. You can reach the helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 to provide free and confidential support for people in distress, as well as and prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. You can speak with someone by calling (800) 273-8255, or connect with a counselor through their online Lifeline Chat service.
- Crisis Text Line provides 24/7 crisis counseling via text message. Simply text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis counselor.
- ChildHelp.org aims to help victims of child abuse through education, treatment, and prevention programs. You can call or text them at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) or even live chat with a support specialist on their website. I mentioned ChildHelp.org recently in my blog post and podcast episode about Ame Deal. The lead investigator on Ame’s case, Greg McKay, is now the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. I have tremendous respect for him!
- HelpAndHope.org offers advice and resources to parents for the daily challenges of raising children, including parenting tips, fun ideas for kids, and (obviously) help and hope.
- HelpGuide.org helps you help yourself by showing you how to start improving your mental health and wellness today.
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is a bottomless well of information and resources. The NIMH is “the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders” and provides education on a variety of mental health disorders as well as resources, clinical trials, and much more. Their website is https://www.nimh.nih.gov/.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Their website is https://nami.org.
Visit the podcast's web page at sufferthelittlechildrenpod.com.
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This podcast is written, hosted, and produced by Laine.
Amari’s story was originally covered on Suffer the Little Children Blog.
Music for this episode was created by Laine using sounds from AudioJungle.net.