Social worker in caged kids case gets probation

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Elaine Thompson
Private social worker Elaine Thompson won't go to prison after all for her role in the "caged-kids" case in Huron County. Thompson, who practices in a controversial field known as "attachment therapy," was hired by Norwalk couple Michael and Sharen Gravelle as a last resort to help their 11 special needs adopted kids ["The Exorcists," March 7]. Thompson was well aware of the wood and wire cages the Gravelles had constructed to contain their children, who roamed the house at night beating the crap out of each other and eating batteries. Yet the social worker claimed she approved of the cages as a desperate but needed parenting tool. Unfortunately, the Huron County prosecutor didn't see it that way. After charging the Gravelles with child abuse and endangering last year, he slapped Thompson with charges for aiding them. Thompson pleaded guilty in exchange for taking the lesser charge of failing to report a crime. This week, a Huron County judge stopped short of sending her to jail (she was facing three months), but instead sentenced her to five years of probation. Her social worker license will be revoked until she's off supervision. — Jared Klaus

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