From California, as if life for poor children were not difficult enough, State sponsored Indentured Servitude for children:

Lawsuit Seeks to Stop State Welfare Agencies from Illegally Forcing Children to Repay Money Paid to Parents MarketWatch     November 23, 2011

In a lawsuit filed today in Alameda County Superior Court, two girls, 14 and 19 years old, are asking the Court to call an immediate halt to California’s illegal practice of forcing children to repay the old welfare debts of their parents or guardians.

 

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… The county was threatening to cut this grant to repay almost $3,000 mistakenly paid to Irene’s mother in 1996-1998. “I don’t understand how the county can come after Irene for a debt that happened when she wasn’t even born,” said Ayers.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lawsuit-seeks-to-stop-state-welfare-agencies-from-illegally-forcing-children-to-repay-money-paid-to-parents-2011-11-23

2)  I have spent thousands of hours in the presence of adoptive and foster parents, and only a few minutes of those hours were spent with people that did not need every nickel they had.   What kind of legislator would allow adoption child credits to be eliminated?  Heartless, Nearsighted, Very Spiritual:

Expiring tax credits add new obstacle to adoptions: Fears of ‘chilling effect’ accompany coming loss of financial help

Argus Leader     November 20, 2011

Congress’ financial involvement in encouraging adoptions appears to be nearing an end, a reality that some fear could discourage adoption in this state and country.

Families who adopted a child last year or this year and received more than $13,000 in tax credits because of it — whether they owed federal income tax or not — lose that benefit starting Jan. 1.

http://www.argusleader.com/article/20111121/NEWS/311210016/Expiring-tax-credits-add-new-obstacle-adoptions

 

3) Kentucky does not want its citizens to know how many deaths & near deaths child welfare is responsible for:

 

Lawmakers hope to hold hearing about Kentucky child-death records

Herald-Leader  November 17, 2011

http://www.kentucky.com/2011/11/16/1962216/lawmakers-hope-to-hold-hearing.html

KY ranks 41st in Child Poverty, 44th in Teen Deaths, & 42 in Child Abuse Deaths in the most recent collected data.

4)  Oklahoma; Why it’s not the social workers fault when a baby is found in a dumpster:

Expert challenges claims of progress at Oklahoma Department Of Human Services

News On 6  November 16, 2011

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services says it’s gotten better since a federal lawsuit was filed more than three years ago. But its own expert disagrees.

http://www.newson6.com/story/16060540/expert-challenges-claims-of-progress-at-oklahoma-dhs

5)  Pennsylvania (and Every Other State could) discover/s child sex abuse the most under-reported crime in the state.  As a long time guardian ad-Litem, I witnessed the most tragic cases of child sex abuse.  Many cases had years long adult on 4, 5, and 7 year old victims, most of which never were openly reported, none of which ever brought the perpetrator in front of a judge for the crimes committed.  When I wrote the book INVISIBLE CHILDREN  in 2005, there were 897 cases of child sex abuse reported in MN (I was one of 500 guardians, and I knew of 50 cases):

 

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review  November 18, 2011

Anne Bale, spokeswoman for the Department of Welfare, said on Thursday that the statewide child abuse reporting hot line logged 4,832 calls from Nov. 7-11 — the week after former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually abusing boys for a decade. That’s more than twice the number of calls the hot line receives during an average five-day period, she said.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/regional/s_767938.html

6)  Arizona flinches again at high profile child welfare deaths:

Arizona Republic  November 17, 2011

This is the third effort in the past eight years at some kind of child-welfare overhaul, each spurred by a spate of high-profile child deaths, including several that have been the subject of prior CPS reports.

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2011/11/16/20111116arizona-child-welfare-task-force-cps-past-failures.html

Arizona ranks 46th in births to teen moms, 40th in Late/No Prenatal care, 36th in Child Poverty, 38th in Teen Deaths & 39th in Child Abuse Deaths.

7)   How much money does New Hampshire save when more children are abused?  How much safer are your communities with more abused and neglected children being ignored?  How much better do schools perform with at risk children filling your classrooms (many of them on psychotropic medications and street drugs)?  The citizens will soon find out when services are cut to child protection agencies & service providers. Think Short Term.

NH: Rethinking prevention of child abuse and neglect ; Funding cuts put children & our future at risk

Concord Monitor (New Hampshire)     November 24, 2011

http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/294383/rethinking-prevention-of-child-abuse-and-neglect

 

8)  Illinois Catholics deny abused children foster / adoptive homes based on sexual orientation of parents:

 

Chicago Tribune  November 16, 2011

All religious agencies that declined to accommodate Illinois’ civil union law and refused to license same-sex couples as prospective foster parents no longer provide publicly funded foster care. A day after Catholic Charities across Illinois ended its historic partnership with the state, Evangelical Child and Family Agency in Wheaton confirmed that the state did not renew its foster care contract.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-evangelical-foster-care-gone-20111116,0,159896.story

My experience as a guardian ad-Litem taught me the terrific patience and sensitivity gay and lesbian couples bring to fostering and adopting.

People unfamiliar with the behavioral issues so often brought into the home by foster/adoptive children will find it hard to appreciate the skills it takes to parent and provide a safe home.  It seems wrong to me on several levels that a religious organization, would deny children that have suffered so much from having a family life, especially within a family that knows first-hand rejection, suffering, and the disconnect that comes from not being an accepted part of the family or society.

Religion should help and comfort people, not reject and punish.  We have plenty of that without religion.

 

From time to time KARA reports and comments on the state of child welfare and non-welfare in different states.

These reports are gleaned from newspapers around the nation with much credit being given to the Child Welfare Information Gateway Library.

Send me your newsworthy stories

RACE TO THE BOTTOM

Below are state Child Well-Being Rankings by Every Child Matters/Geography Matters:

Ranking 50th in births to teen moms and uninsured children: Texas (also 45th in child abuse deaths)

Ranking 50th in child welfare expenditures: South Carolina (also 48th in child mortality)

Ranking 50th in child poverty: Mississippi (also 49th in infant mortality, births to teen moms, and overall ranking)

Ranking 50th in child mortality: Louisiana (and 50th in overall ranking)

Ranking 50th in total tax burden of children well-being Oklahoma (also 48th in child abuse deaths)

Ranking 50th in teen deaths: Alaska (also 49th in child deaths)

Ranking 50th in child deaths: South Dakota (also 49th in juvenile incarceration)

 

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