Stuff.co.nz 3 Oct 2012The suspected suicide of a 12-year-old girl in state care may have been prevented if Child, Youth and Family (CYF) had properly informed caregivers of her history and distressed mental state, a coroner has heard.The girl, Krystal, whose last name is permanently suppressed, was found dead by her 7-year-old sister at her Auckland foster home in 2008.The Ministry of Social Development said in a coroner’s hearing in Auckland today that its care plans for Krystal fell well below standard, because it had failed to disclose to her new foster family full details about allegations of sexual abuse and her suicide risk.It also admitted that social workers had incorrectly interpreted a suicidal screening test completed by Krystal leading to a lack of support or counselling and a “tragic” outcome.“What we missed out here were the needs of Krystal,” ministry representative Nova Salomen said.“We were focussed on systems… instead we need to be seeing, knowing and valuing children.”Krystal was one of eight children from a Northland family of 12 taken into care when her parents were arrested on drugs charges in 2006.All eight children were initially placed with family foster carers but were removed after Krystal alleged she had been sexually abused by a person there. The charges were later dismissed after her death.Krystal and her sister had been with the new caregiver, from Barnados, for just three weeks when she died.Barnados manager of residential services Paul Smith, who provided the plan to the caregiver on behalf of CYF, agreed it did not have enough informationhttp://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/7764932/CYF-link-in-girls-death
Ambles returns to practiceMarkeith Ambles returned to the practice field Tuesday — sort of.The wide receiver spent the morning practice running and doing disciplinary drills in what was just the latest in a string of punishments for the sophomore.Ambles missed Saturday’s practice at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and offered no excuse at the time.“He made a mistake,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said Tuesday. “We hope that he continues to learn and grow from his mistakes.”Ambles confessed he was angry with his coaches last week, although he now defines this conflict as a misunderstanding.“I felt like they didn’t understand, because on Wednesday night I had a wisdom tooth [removed], and they didn’t know about it and I didn’t tell them, so that was the whole problem,” Ambles said.Last Wednesday, Ambles missed a weightlifting session. He was forced to run during Thursday’s practice and ended up leaving halfway through.Ambles entered USC last year as one of the most highly regarded receivers in his class. But so far, it has been his off-the-field actions that have largely defined his college career. Last October, he was suspended from the team for two weeks. He left the team the following month, but returned in January after deciding not to transfer.Ambles has been punished on numerous occasions for showing up late to team functions or skipping them entirely.—Eleni Press—McDonald named candidate for Lott Impact trophyJunior safety T.J. McDonald has been added to the 2011 Lott Trophy watch list. The Lott IMPACT Trophy honors the top collegiate defensive player in the nation.McDonald led the Trojans defense in 2010 with 89 tackles and also reeled in three interceptions.The list of 42, Lott’s number as a player, includes players from all positions on the defensive side of the ball. Eleven of the Lott nominees were awarded All-American honors last year and 10 received academic honors within their respective conferences.Ronnie Lott announced the list at a Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation luncheon in Newport Beach, Calif.—Josh Selbe—USC student-athletes honoredSenior Nia Ali of the women’s track team, junior pitcher Austin Wood of the baseball team and freshman Jeffrey Kang of the men’s golf team were all recognized for their athletic performances last week.Ali performed exceptionally well at the Texas Relays last weekend. She had an official mark of 13.0 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles semi-finals, third fastest all-time at USC. After achieving this time — the best that USC has seen since 2007 — in the semis, Ali also placed second in the final with a time of 12.74 seconds.Wood was honored for his contribution to the baseball team’s victory over No. 11 Stanford. The junior allowed one unearned run in eight innings Saturday and struck out a career-high eight batters. The Trojans defeated Stanford 3-1, and captured their first conference series win.Kang was honored for leading the USC men’s golf team to its first tournament win since 2009. The Trojans won the 39th annual ASU Thunderbird Invitational by 14 strokes Saturday, but not without the help of Kang. The freshman ended the tourney with a 5-under 208 (71, 69, 68) — a season best. He has had five under-60 rounds so far this season.—Maheen Sahoo—NCAA issues warning before NFL draftThe NCAA wrote a letter to collegiate underclassmen warning them of the consequences that could accompany attending draft parties on NFL draft day, according to ESPN.com.NCAA rules state players who are not eligible for this year’s draft are unable to receive free transportation, housing or food if they attend the draft parties of their former teammates.Dena Garner, the director of Player Security Services for the NCAA, reiterated this point by instructing the athletes to “not jeopardize the NCAA eligibility of … friends or former teammates.”The NFL draft is set to take place April 28-30 in New York City, with many draft day parties scheduled for the days leading up to the event.—Ross Dautel
“Kawhi, he’s someone who’s been there,” said George, who will try to build on Sunday’s 31-point effort on Tuesday when the Clippers face Golden State (7:30 p.m., TNT) in San Francisco.“He’s a two-time champion so he understands it. Just being around him, watching him, observing him, everything is methodical. Everything is well-thought-out. He sees the big picture. He’s not a guy who gets caught up in what’s going on at the moment. He’s moreso, ‘How’s it going to play out?’ That’s how he looks at things. So it’s good to have someone like that where you can just observe and see how he responds to things, see how he looks at things.“Everybody has taken something from Kawhi and just his approach. He’s got the approaches Kobe had, he’s got the approach the great ones have, and we can definitely take something from him.”CORONAVIRUS IMPACTThe NBA reportedly has scheduled a conference call with team owners on Wednesday to discuss the league’s plans to deal with the escalating coronavirus crisis, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who wrote that concerns are growing that the league might hold games with only essential personnel in arenas.Clippers coach Doc Rivers said Sunday he couldn’t predict what would happen, nor could he say what the league should do.“I’m not smart enough,” Rivers said. “I’m not educated enough to actually know what we should do. I am smart enough to know I should just listen. If they tell me not to show, I’m not showing, there’s a reason for that. There’s pretty smart people who are making that decision. If they tell us we can play, then I have to have blind trust and faith and, hopefully, they get it right. That’s all you can say about it, really.”Related Articles Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum LOS ANGELES — The Clippers took Sunday’s loss like, well, like a champ.Like the resident champion in their locker room takes losses – and wins, for that matter.Steady, without batting nary an eyelash.“Don’t be in a rush to win these games,” Kawhi Leonard, the two-time NBA champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP said back on Jan. 14, when pressure was mounting on the then-28-13 Clippers to play well more consistently. Game 4 photos: Luka Doncic, Mavs shock Clippers in overtime Clippers’ Paul George: ‘If I make shots, this series could be a little different’ Rivers said the Clippers have talked about it organizationally, and that, for one thing, players have been told not to slap hands with fans. Already for hygiene’s sake, players used the same team pen to sign autographs, a practice that continued Sunday.“The fans will still be there, they just can’t touch them, which is ridiculous – but that’s just where we’re at right now,” Rivers said. “It seems like it’s very serious. Some people don’t take it serious, but I think we should. I just don’t know what we should do.”NOAH ON BOARDThe Clippers announced on Monday they have officially signed free agent Joakim Noah to a 10-day contract.The 6-foot-11 veteran center has twice been an All-Star (2013, 2014) and was NBA Defensive Player of the Year (2014).“Joakim is a relentless competitor and a proven winner,” said Lawrence Frank, the team’s president of basketball operations. “His experience, acumen and toughness fit well in our locker room.” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 It was pressure that seemed not to register with Leonard, whose team now is 10-1 when fully healthy and 43-20 overall, currently stationed second in the Western Conference standings, despite Sunday’s 112-103 loss to the Lakers.“Enjoy every moment of it, enjoy the process,” Leonard said in January after scoring 43 points in three quarters in a victory over Cleveland. “Use it as a learning tool when we get down in the trenches.”After recent wins and losses alike, Leonard’s teammates have indicated that his mindset has registered with them.“It’s all about getting better,” Patrick Beverley said after the Clippers beat Philadelphia 136-130 on March 1. “Of course you get a lot of criticism when you’re not healthy and you’re not winning the games you’re supposed to win. But our focus has always been long term and Kawhi has definitely helped us seeing the big picture in everything, which is, of course, the trophy.”After Sunday’s setback against the Lakers, Paul George sang a similar song, hitting all the now-familiar big-picture notes.