Clarksfield woman says social workers play favorites

Clarksfield resident Carol Gibson accused Huron County social workers of not doing their jobs appropriately and expressed concern about the foster home placement process during the county commissioners' meeting this morning. "I have a real concern about the foster program," said Gibson, who accused foster care coordinators of playing favorites. "People want children and they're not getting them."
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010


Clarksfield resident Carol Gibson accused Huron County social workers of not doing their jobs appropriately and expressed concern about the foster home placement process during the county commissioners' meeting this morning.

"I have a real concern about the foster program," said Gibson, who accused foster care coordinators of playing favorites. "People want children and they're not getting them."

She wants foster parents who smoke to do so outside, especially when the foster children came from homes without smokers.

"The Gravelle children did complain about heavy smokers," Gibson said.

The 11 adopted children of Michael and Sharen Gravelle have been in multiple foster homes since authorities removed them from the couple's home in the fall of 2005. The Gravelles' defense attorney is appealing a jury conviction of multiple felony and misdemeanor counts of child abuse and child endangerment for keeping some of the youngsters, ages 1 to 14, in cage-like structures.

Gibson has been a friend of the Clarksfield Township couple for the last four to five years and has been in the Gravelles' home multiple times. She described the punishment as "age appropriate" and the children as "smiling and happy" whenever she saw them.

"I want them to know (the) foster homes are not high quality. There should be regular reviews of these homes," Gibson told the commissioners.

Mike Adelman responded, by saying: "I think they are."

"That's our understanding," commissioner Gary Bauer added.

Adelman disagreed with Gibson's assessment that there are "a lot of poor foster homes," calling her opinion a "wide, brush statement." He said there are many "outstanding" homes for foster children.

Adelman expressed confidence in the county social workers.

Gibson also told the commissioners some of the Gravelle children "talk about their mom all the time (and) want to go home."

"One girl said she wanted a big, happy family" when someone asked her what she wanted for Christmas, Gibson said. She also said many residents have complained that Huron County Common Pleas Judge Earl McGimpsey didn't give Elaine Thompson, the Gravelles' therapist, any jail time for failing to report a felony.

"What you're describing is courtroom procedure. Our office is not a courtroom. We don't wear robes. We aren't judges," Adelman told Gibson.

"There has to be some accountability at the county level with the social workers," the woman said.


anonymous (Anon...

For years now, Huron County has proven to all that they hire some of the most incompitent social workers in the state. There are many children in this county that are treated worse in foster care than before they were taken from their families and at least as many that remain in danger. Maybe Mike Adelman should have one of HIS children spend some time in one of the foster homes in this county. The Gravelle's are a perfect example of GREED. How much money did those horrid people make off the children they negleted and abused? Now they're being passed around and seperated from one another. Those children I'm sure have to feel like they're being punished for the mistakes of the Gravelle's. Huron county should be held accountible for not doing their job. Remember the 11 year old girl that was stabbed to death by a foster dad? That man should have got more than 3 years in prison! The tax payers of Huron county will surely absorb the $600,000.00 worth of fines for that incedent alone. This is not the first time Huron county has been fined and won't be the last.

Pot calling the...

It seems to me that Ms. Gibson should be careful leveling complaints about someone not doing their job. Ms. Gibson is a nurse. For those of you who don't know why that's important to point out, that also makes her A MANDATED REPORTER. Uh-oh Carol. Looks to me like you weren't doing your job and are an accomplice to child abuse and endangerment. The court acknowledged that the Gravelles and Elaine Thompson mistreated these kids. If Ms. Gibson was really in the Gravelle home several times within the last 5 years, she too should be held accountable for the deplorable conditions the children were living in. Maybe she should focus more on doing her job and leave the trained employees of the agency to do theirs. Maybe this paper should do the same.

anonymous (Anon...

Is it just me or is everyone else sick of reading about Carol Gibson defending the twisted Gravelle clan?? Give me a break! Isn't she supposed to be a nurse? If she wanted to be the Gravelle's attorney, maybe she should have become a lawyer instead of a nurse. If she were any kind of a nurse she would have reported the abuse. Instead she is trying to keep her convicted felon friends from reporting to prison. Maybe Carol should join them.

Hot Dog (Anonymous)

Dear anonymous @ 2:26pm, Do you have a clue? There have been many children taken out of deplorable conditions and placed in foster care. Secondly, I would trust Adelman's judgement and common sense long before the likes of you. And in addition, the county prosecutor asked for much more prison time for Paul Efaw. It was the judge gave him three years in the death of the 11 year old.

anonymous (Anon...

HOT DOG Of course I have a clue. Do You?? I never said that children in need shouldn't be helped. Maybe you learn some comprehension skills MORON! Huron county has just as many BAD foster homes as good ones. Many caring people take in these children because of a real desire to help them. BUT many uncaring people take in as many of these children as as they are allowed for the MONEY!!! Tell me the Gravelle's gave a f%ck about the kids they abused! Maybe you think it would be a good idea to leave one of yours with a potential MURDERER! ANYBODY with a clean criminal backround that is over 18 can be a foster parent and there is little to no training. I know Mike Adelman. Money and position in the community DOES NOT always equal good judgement. I have a dog with better judgement than some of huron county's social workers!

anonymous (Anon...

YO HOT DOG Paul Efaw MURDERED that 11 year old little girl. He is a twisted sick freak (over 18, clean backround at the time, can't tell me he had a bit of training). If that were MY child? He best be on his knees praying to God he gets to the prison before I get ahold of him. The prisoners will dish out some justice.

I'd rather not....

Carol Gibson has a lot of nerve to say that the cages were appropriate punishment devices. The children didn't do anything to warrant being locked up liked animals or criminals in which the Gravelles are. I find it ironic that Michael and Sharon had no problem putting the children in cages yet are doing everything they can to not be put into cages themselves.

In my humble opinion, the Gravelles and Thompson all got off WAY TOO EASY. All 3 of them should have been locked up for a long time!

sick of your cr...

carol gibson i swear you must be on crack. i think its time for you to have a phych eval. i know all of the gravelle kids and they are ALL alot better off!! they are happy and doing very well. sports, merit roles, you name it, their doing it. its really time you shut your mouth and leave them alone. they hate you!! why dont you and those gravelles turn on cartoons and watch looney tunes because thats what you are!!

Reflector Staff...

We at the Reflector appreciate everyone who has taken advantage of the comment feature on our Web site. We hope our site provides a place the community can come to debate and discuss important issues. However, we would ask everyone maintain some semblance of civility, politeness and courtesy. The Reflector will not edit posts, but we will take down any posts that violate this basic code of conduct. We ask that you try to refrain from name calling and the use of vulgar language as it does not further intelligent debate.

foster parent (...

Carol step up and take all the Gravelle children but don't take any money for it. This is what being a parent is about. Foster parents deserve being paid for what they do but once you adopt those children are yours. Nobody should get paid to put their children in cages and if you did know that these children were being put in cages, shame on you. I hope you don't treat your patients like you would the children that used to be Gravelles. Let's hope they get their names changed to protect the innocent and let's hope you spend many nights sleeping at the Gravelles in those cages.....Let us know how comforable you are after you have been left in the bathroom for days on end. Give up your ploy to destroy and concentrate your efforts on helping children not treating them like animals in a zoo.

to foster paren...

AMEN! I have animals I treat better than how the Gravelles treated those kids. I gave birth to a severely handicapped child. I love him with all my heart and I don't get paid a penny for keeping him. Would never expect to. The only reason the Gravelle's took in that many kids was MONEY. Every child deserves better than them.

name calling so...

Every person at HCJFS that had anything to do with the gravelle case or more so the efaw case should be FIRED. Perhaps even the commissioners so be tossed out on their ears. I don't know about the rest of you but in my job if you do something wrong to many times or something bad enough you are FIRED for it. Why wasn't this done? Eric D should have been fired, not resigning in JUNE 2007! It doesn't take much to figure that one out. As far as the Gravelle's...those kids were feed, clothed and cared for to the best of their ability according to reports. Yes,there were some questionable things that happened. Sleeping in a bathtub is a bit much for a long period of time. There are a lot of children in this county that have it much worse than the gravelle children did and they still live with their parents. The gravelle's asked for help and NONE was provided...those social workers should have been walked out the minute that it was found out they did NOTHING to help. As far as the cages go...if they were the cages that the hospitals use (they lock) for kids NONE of you would be saying a word. Because they were homemade & painted for a childs room you want to burn someone at the stack. The Efaw case...there should have NEVER been a child placed at that home. All workers involved should be put on trial for that childs death...not just Mr.Efaw. As far as Mrs. Gibson's comments I commend her for standing her ground. Not many have stood up to say that anyone else should be accountable for their actions. To call her names is just plain childish. I can't say that I disagree with much of what she has said. Just remember those are called opinions...we all have them. Name calling solves nothing. We should all just put our energy into changing the system is this county and making those voted into office do their jobs and answer to the voters.

to name calling...

I'm trying to think of a good name for YOU. GRAVELLE maybe? You got to at least be a relative. By the way, I used to work with Carol Gibson. She is not a good nurse. She has made a good living neglecting nursing home residents. Mostly the ones who don't have family coming to visit or that can't complain. My autistic child had to stay in a hospital in a cage like bed for his own protection(otherwise he would wander). Never was he put in a contraption like that for punishment! If a child needs that much supervision, is it a good idea to take in another one, then another one, etc...(Gravelles)? It is obvious to all why the Gravelles took in kids they could not handle;$$$$$!!! I suppose locking a child in a cage would make that child easier to ignore. By the way, my children have real beds to sleep in. I can think of far better ways to punish a child than to lock them up or have them sleep in a bathtub. As far as slandering the poor Dumbeck's: when you are a public figure and at the same time get yourself sued for sexual harassment, while making horrendous mistakes at the expense of our children; well what exactly do the Dumbeck's expect?

anonymous (Anon...

American Idol sucks!

to steph (Anonymous)

I hear Eric Dumbeck is free and easy. Just don't tell his wife.

another thought...

Not understanding how the Gravelles got the first foster kid when they abused their own kids.

more interestin...

Some of those social workers will place kids anywhere. They make their living off of disfunctional families. Sometimes they look for problems where there are none and don't see obvious problems. I really don't think some of them care as long as they get a paycheck. MORE BAD FAMILIES=MORE SOCIAL WORKERS getting paid to fix them. By the way, who cares about your hairy moley chin?! That's hardly interesting.

more interestin...

Me commenting on something doesn't make it interesting.

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