Child Abuse

Courtesy of Leslie Davenport

The Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act passed the U.S. Senate unanimously on Wednesday night. It's a bill that asks Attorney General Eric Holder to issue a state-by-state report on child abuse prevention laws within 6 months. The goal is to get states to increase punishment for child abuse offenders.

Child Abuse Prevention

Apr 28, 2014
MegaBu7 / Flickr/

Last year in Mecklenburg County, DSS received over 14,000 reports of possible abuse and neglect in children, a figure even higher than the year before. With abuse numbers on the rise in the Charlotte area, some agencies are making efforts at preventing and recognizing signs of abuse to help children in our region. We’ll be joined by members of those agencies to talk about the increasing numbers, ways to recognize different types of abuse, how to report, and also how to try and prevent abuse in the first place.

Union County Sheriff's Office

State health officials are continuing to review whether Union County mishandled any child abuse cases when Wanda Larson worked for the county. Larson was a supervisor for child protective services when authorities charged her in November with child abuse. 

Grand Jury Indictment Shows History Of Child Abuse

Dec 10, 2013
Union County Sheriff's Office

We now know more about the charges of abuse against a Union County couple accused of handcuffing a boy to their front porch with a dead chicken around his neck.

Grand jury indictments released Tuesday elaborate the history of abuse that authorities say the 11-year-old faced under the couple's guardianship.

Union County commissioners will move to dissolve the board that oversees the county’s Division of Social Services, according to one commissioner in a series of Youtube videos the county released today. The change would come as part of the county's response to the high-profile child-abuse case earlier this month, where an 11-year-old boy was found handcuffed by the ankle to his front porch. One of the guardians of the child, Wanda Larson, was a supervisor for Child Protective Services, which is part of the division.

Union County DSS Fires Supervisor Accused Of Child Abuse

Nov 22, 2013

Union County fired Wanda Larson on Friday, accusing the former supervisor with the Department of Social Services of “unacceptable personal conduct and grossly inefficient job performance.”

Larson, who headed a group of child-protection investigators for the agency, faces child abuse and other charges after an 11-year-old boy under her legal care was found chained to the porch of her rural home, a dead chicken tied around his neck.

Union County Faulted Over Handling Of Previous Child Abuse Complaint

Nov 22, 2013

The Union County Department of Social Services used a “bogus” interpretation of state law in dismissing a 2012 sheriff’s complaint against a top DSS official, a child-protection expert said Thursday.

The DSS supervisor, Wanda Larson, was arrested last week in connection with a new abuse case involving the same boy as in 2012.

In the week since the Union County sheriff’s office charged a Monroe couple with handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by the ankle to their front porch, we know a lot about the case: We know the temperature was in the high 20s around 9 a.m. when an animal control officer spotted the boy. We know that one of the child’s caretakers, Wanda Larson, is a supervisor in Union County’s Child Protective Services. But, a lot of restricted information about Larson’s work, her adopted children, and the handcuffed child we don’t know. WFAE’s Ben Bradford joined Morning Edition host Kevin Kniestedt to discuss what we don’t know, and why.

$500K Bond For Couple Accused Of Handcuffing Child

Nov 18, 2013
Union County Sheriff's Office

 Bond was set for about $500,000 each for the Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by the ankle to their front porch. Dorian Harper and Wanda Larson -- a supervisor in the county's department of social services -- had their first court appearance in front of a Union County judge Monday morning. On Friday, an animal control officer found the child while responding to a complaint about a loose animal. While looking for the animal, he followed a trail that led to the child's secluded home.