Connect to CASAs (around the nation)
Connect to the states (stories of at risk children in your state)
Children Are Not Burgers (send this to your friends)
Richard Ross photographs juvenile in justice (remarkable)
Read More Child Welfare In The News;
AR: Employee furloughs could impact child abuse investigations (Includes video)
KATV – October 01, 2013
More than 250 Department of Human Services’ employees didn’t show up for work Tuesday morning because the department told them not to. Those workers are furloughed through the government shutdown and aren’t getting paid; with a large portion of them in the department that investigates child abuse.
CA: Apartments will help young adults transition to self-sufficiency
The Modesto Bee – October 02, 2013
The Valley’s first apartment complex for homeless young adults and former foster children opened Wednesday in Modesto with high praise from civic leaders and sponsors, although tenants won’t start moving in for a few more days.
CA: Gov. Brown signs 10 bills to help homeless and foster youths
Los Angeles Times – October 02, 2013
The measures include one that establishes “runaway and homeless youth shelters” as a new kind of group home and requires them to be licensed and overseen by the Department of Social Services.
CO: Child abuse hotline could save lives
Longmont Times-Call – October 02, 2013
Colorado state and county officials are working on implementing a statewide telephone number for the public to call to report suspected child abuse and neglect. The statewide telephone hotline number will be working by Jan.1, 2015, according to legislation approved this year and signed by the governor.
FL: DCF on trial over sexual assault by foster child
Sun Sentinel – October 02, 2013
The foster parents claim two social service agencies failed to warn them of their new foster child’s horrific past, and are liable for the child’s 2003 sexual assault on their natural son, who was 9 at the time and sharing a bedroom with the boy they say was “so horribly damaged.”
LA: Three seek to become first family court judge in 21st JDC
The Advocate – October 01, 2013
The district recently converted two of its nine divisions, which are general jurisdiction, into family court divisions to help family cases move more efficiently through the system.
MI: Finding future foster families
The Daily News – October 02, 2013
DHS workers in Ionia and Montcalm counties are hoping the new billboards will remind people of the constant need to foster local children.
MN: Washington County adoption agency merges with St. Paul agency
Star Tribune – October 02, 2013
HOPE Adoption and Family Services International, a private nonprofit agency in Washington County, has absorbed the African American Adoption Agency in St. Paul, which closed in September.
MO: Amendment would allow past allegations to be heard in child sex abuse cases
The Kansas City Star – October 02, 2013
Missouri is more restrictive than any other state, barring prosecutors from telling jurors about prior criminal sex acts in nearly all cases against accused child predators, said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd, who wrote the proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution.
MT: Foster parents share vision for community childcare
Valley Journal – October 02, 2013
Susen and Dennis take turns working shifts at the Second Circle Lodge in Ronan, which is a 12-bed tribal-owned group home for children ages nine and older that may have been abused, neglected, caught in the middle of family conflict or other circumstances.
MT: Shutdown hits vulnerable Indian tribes as basics such as foster care, nutrition threatened
Associated Press – October 02, 2013
American Indian tribes have more than access to national parks on the line with the government shutdown, as federal funding has been cut off for crucial services including foster care payments, nutrition programs and financial assistance for the needy.
NV: Inside CPS: Child Protective Services team keeps watchful eye on community’s most vulnerable
Las Vegas Sun – October 03, 2013
Kisha Earhart is a member of Child Protective Services’ five-and-under team. It’s her job to investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect against, arguably, the community’s most vulnerable population – children 5 years old and younger who can’t always verbalize what’s happened to them.
NY: Protesters gather outside Weinstein’s office to fight for adoptee rights (Includes video)
Sheepshead Bites – October 02, 2013
According to the protesters, Weinstein, chair of the Judiciary Committee, has long opposed the Adoptee Rights Bill, preventing it from reaching the Assembly floor for a vote.
PA: Senate acts on package of child-abuse bills
Associated Press – October 03, 2013
Six bills designed to strengthen child abuse laws in Pennsylvania as a result of the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic clergy molestation scandals won the unanimous approval of state senators on Wednesday, as lawmakers pursue the first broad update to the laws in nearly two decades.
PA: York County getting $3 million more for child welfare, juvenile justice services
The York Daily Record – October 03, 2013
Michelle Hovis, executive director of York County Human Services, said multiple factors determine the funding levels, but part of the increase is driven by a growing number of York County children being placed in foster care, group homes, state facilities or other settings because of dependency or juvenile justice issues.
SC: State drops extradition order for Baby Veronica’s biological father
Reuters – October 03, 2013
The biological father of “Baby Veronica,” a Native American girl who was at the heart of a protracted custody battle, will not be extradited to South Carolina to face felony charges for interfering with her adoption, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said on Wednesday.
VA: “Virginia Adopts” campaign reaches major milestone
The Voice Newspaper – October 02, 2013
In just four months since its launch, “Virginia Adopts: Campaign for 1,000” has helped more than 800 children from Virginia’s foster care system be adopted or be matched with a family who is going through the process of adopting.
VT: Need for child mental health services growing, lawmakers told
VTDigger – September 26, 2013
More Vermont children are in need of mental health services but treatment options close to home are hard to find, lawmakers were told. With the mental health system for adults in transition, government officials decided it was time to look into possible reform of children’s services as well.
US: The Orphan Train (21 images)
CBS News – October 02, 2013
This month, events at both ends of the Orphan Train route commemorate the relocation program. Read on to see historical images from the exhibit in St. Paul and from the book, “Extra! Extra! The Orphan Trains and Newsboys of New York,”by Minnesota historian and author Renee Wendinger, whose mother was one of the children shipped west on an Orphan Train.
Canada: Government facing lawsuit over child abuse case
The Telegram – October 03, 2013
The provincial government is being sued for negligence over a horrific case of child abuse that surfaced nine years ago and became the subject of a criminal conviction and a shocking report by the province’s child and youth advocate, The Telegram has learned.
Ireland: HSE: Services for child sex abuse victims have improved
Irish Examiner – October 02, 2013
The Health Service Executive says its services for victims of child sexual abuse have improved significantly since an 11-year-old girl first alleged she had been raped in 2006.
Russia: Moscow creates database of adoptive parents
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – October 02, 2013
Russia’s Education Ministry says it will create a federal database of potential adoptive parents for thousands of children living in Russian orphanages.
Vietnam: Adoption safeguards to be strengthened
VietNam News – October 02, 2013
The Government has urged ministries and local authorities to set up a database for child adoptions and make a list of children living in social care centres to shore up protection of adopted children, particularly in cases with foreign adoptive parents.
FL: Broward courts begin therapy dog program for children (Includes Video)
Sun-Sentinel – October 01, 2013
The practice of having dogs for children in court is growing, but not without challenges. At least three of Florida’s 20 circuit courts are using pet therapy dogs.
GA: Albany police help train in recognizing the signs of child abuse
WFXL FOX 31 – October 01, 2013
Numerous amounts of people filled the community room at the police department as a PowerPoint was shown to help people distinguish the signs of abuse.
MA: Judge rules in favor of Mass. in foster care case
Associated Press – October 01, 2013
A federal judge has ruled in favor of Massachusetts in a lawsuit filed by a child advocacy group that alleged thousands of children in the state’s foster care system were being abused and neglected.
ME: Truth, reconciliation commission makes first visit at Sipayik
The Quoddy Tides – September 28, 2013
Over the next two to three years, the commission aims to find out the truth about the abuses that happened to Wabanaki people in the Maine child welfare system, give Wabanaki people a place to share their stories and begin healing, and give the child welfare system suggestions on how it can work better with Wabanaki people.
NE: This State Won’t Give a Foster Child to Gay Couple Who Raised 5 Kids
TakePart – October 01, 2013
When they left California, the Stewarts didn’t realize they were moving away from parenting more kids.
NJ: Mixed report on N.J. child welfare system reveals rise in children abused after leaving foster care
The Star-Ledger – October 01, 2013
The percentage of foster children who were abused again within a year of returning to their families rose 23 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to the latest report measuring the court-supervised effort to improve New Jersey’s child welfare system.
NY: De Blasio Mayoral Run Shaped by Child-Abuse Case That Shook NYC
Bloomberg News – October 01, 2013
Bill de Blasio was a New York City councilman responsible for overseeing child welfare when the story of a 7-year-old girl beaten, starved and tortured by her parents in Brooklyn exploded in the headlines.
OK: DHS Coming Up Short In Foster Families, Caseworker Retention (Includes Video)
News On 6 Tulsa – October 01, 2013
Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services says it’s making progress after a court order the agency to improve the system. At the same time, however, DHS leaders admit they’ve missed some key deadlines in what’s called the “Pinnacle Plan.”
SC: As Child Fatalities Rise, So Does Anger at DSS
Free Times – October 01, 2013
Since Koller took over at the agency, the number of kids in DSS custody has declined significantly, the service provider says – but the potential price of that change is children not getting the help they need.
TX: Guadalupe County’s Problem: Agency needs volunteers to help children deal with the aftermath of child abuse and neglect
Seguin Gazette-Enterprise – October 02, 2013
“When you’re in foster care, there’s nothing constant in life,” LaRue said. “You’re changing places, your school is changing, the kids in your life are changing. Your CASA worker is your ‘constant,’ and Lorie was my constant.”
WA: A common start binds many Vashon families together
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber – October 01, 2013
Statistics on the actual number of children who were adopted into their families on Vashon don’t exist. But a phenomenon does indeed seem to be in play on the island.
US: Adoption film’s political role
Politico – October 01, 2013
For filmmaker Sarah McCarthy, art and politics have collided in an unexpected way: Her latest documentary film, “The Dark Matter of Love,” is slowly turning into a powerful advocacy tool for the Children in Families First Act.
US: Bills in Both Houses to Overhaul Adoption Incentives Program
The Chronicle of Social Change – October 02, 2013
Both houses of Congress are moving on legislation that would overhaul the federal Adoption Incentives Grant Program.
US: Lack Of Dental Care Making College Difficult for Former Foster Youths
The Chronicle of Social Change – October 01, 2013
Currently, federal law only requires that youth who grow up in foster care are automatically eligible for Medicaid (which includes dental coverage) until they exit the system.
US: Product Testing to Foster Care System
Science Daily – October 01, 2013
Karen Blase, senior scientist at UNC’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, and Mark Testa, a distinguished professor in UNC’s School of Social Work, collaborated with a research team from the University of Kansas and James Bell Associates to examine usability testing in the foster care system. They found that usability testing not only diagnosed what worked and didn’t work with a new intervention for families — it also encouraged problem-solving and collaboration.
China: Adoptive Parents Claim Compensation from Birth Mother
Women of China – September 29, 2013
China’s first case involving adoptive parents suing a biological mother opened in Pei County, Xuzhou of east China’s Jiangsu Province. The case has attracted media across the country.
South Africa: Charity denies ties to adoption scam
News24 – October 01, 2013
Child care centre Compass distanced itself on Tuesday from a couple allegedly involved in an adoption scam.
Ukraine: Premier: State and society responsible for fate of every child
NRCU – Ukrainian Radio – October 01, 2013
Protecting the rights and interests of children, first and foremost, orphans and children deprived of parental care, as well as creating proper conditions for their education and development, is a priority in Ukraine’s state policy. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said this in his greeting on the occasion of the Adoption Day.
AR: Hundreds of child abuse investigators and foster care employees could be furloughed as well, if a spending deal isn’t reached in D.C.
Fox 16 – September 29, 2013
Hundreds of child abuse investigators and foster care employees could be furloughed as well, if a spending deal isn’t reached in D.C.
CT: Finding the right home: Foster care program places children with behavioral problems (pt. 1)
Bristol Press – September 28, 2013
“Therapeutic foster care is a higher level of foster care,” explained Michele Klimczak, director of Connecting Children and Families. “It’s for kids who have serious behavior issues, who have had multiple disruptions and multiple placements.” Pt. 2: Therapeutic foster care ‘not for the faint of heart’: http://bristolpress.com/articles/2013/09/29/news/doc5248d48f4ccd2630730411.txt
CT: New law: jail time for not reporting child abuse
Stamford Advocate – September 27, 2013
People who are required by law to report child abuse and fail to do so may face felony charges under one of several new state laws set to take effect on Tuesday.
FL: Report: Questions Arise For Child Welfare Workers After Death Of 12-Year-Old
CBS Miami – September 27, 2013
According to emails and investigative documents provided to CBS 4 News by our partners at The Miami Herald, the girl, Tamiyah Audain, was diagnosed with autism and a debilitating genetic condition. The documents paint a picture of numerous missed warning signs by child welfare investigators, an overwhelmed caregiver – the girl’s maternal cousin- and a child who didn’t have to die.
ID: Child Abuse Prevention Strategies Receive Funding
Public News Service – September 30, 2013
Strengthening families to prevent child abuse and neglect takes deliberate actions – through training and assistance. That’s the tenet from the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund (ICTF) as it issues grants this week to five programs around the state.
MI: Racial disparities in adoption raise concerns
Macomb Daily – September 29, 2013
The most recent national data by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System suggests that many of these cracks in the foster care system are shrinking. The total number of children entering foster care has decreased by 18 percent since 2007. But statistics also show that Roorda’s old fears are many children’s realities: The system can still be a struggle, particularly for older children and African-American children of any age.
NY: ‘Better Than Most’ At Caring for Abused Toddlers
Public News Service – September 30, 2013
New York does a better job than most states when it comes to caring for infants and toddlers who have been maltreated, according to a new study of child-welfare systems in 46 states nationwide. The report, commissioned by the Washington, D.C.-based group Zero to Three, pointed out that New York has a state-supervised, county-administered system, so child-welfare practices may vary by county. Report: http://www.zerotothree.org/policy/docs/changing-the-course-for-infants-and-toddlers.pdf,
OK: Critics of Baby Veronica case outcome stage rally in Tulsa
Tulsa World – September 28, 2013
“I’m not going to let it go,” said Penny Nye, one of the rally’s organizers. “This case has set a very dangerous precedent, where parental rights are going to be in trouble.”
PA: Susquehanna Twp. assistant principal-student sex case: Should rumors have been reported to police?
Patriot News – September 27, 2013
Rumors, said the school district’s solicitor, are not enough for a “reasonable cause” to suspect child abuse. When concerns do rise to that level, state law mandates certain professionals must report to authorities. But lawyers representing victims in the Jerry Sandusky case say there’s a “heightened awareness” and lessons that should have been learned from Penn State when it comes to reporting allegations of child abuse.
SC: Cost Charleston County $4,600 for three deputies to escort adoptive parents
Associated Press – September 27, 2013
Chief Inspector C.W. Brokaw of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office released an accounting Friday outlining the lodging, air fare and other costs for three deputies sent to Oklahoma on Monday.
SC: Court finds agencies should have done more to protect Grant
SCNow.com – September 29, 2013
Court documents filed with a wrongful death action earlier this month revealed that after placing Ty’Lashia Grant in the care of her great aunt, Geraldine Brockington, the S.C. Department of Social Services failed to properly monitor, supervise, protect and ensure the child’s safety.
TX: Cost of custody: East Texas couple raising grandchildren aim to change state law to include stipend
News-Journal – September 29, 2013
The Fullers took custody of their grandchildren when they lived in Louisiana to prevent them from being taken into state protective services, saying they wanted to provide a stable home environment. In Louisiana, it was made easier by a state stipend for non-parent relatives who take custody of children. No such stipend exists in Texas.
TX: Placements suspended with foster-care provider
Associated Press – September 28, 2013
The state’s Child Protective Services inspected Texas Mentor homes following the July death of a toddler in a foster home north of Austin. A Milam County grand jury has charged an inexperienced foster mother with capital murder, accusing her of slamming the girl to the ground.
VA: Gangs in Northern Virginia increasingly selling children for sex
Washington Post – September 29, 2013
Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia have recently handled several cases involving gang members and juvenile prostitutes. A leader of the Cold-blooded Cartel was sentenced to 25 years in prison in June, before the trial this month of two others involved in his prostitution ring. A member of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang, also known as MS-13, was charged last month and accused of helping others in what prosecutors called an “underground prostitution business” involving four female runaways.
WI: Milwaukee child-welfare report didn’t count kids killed in fire
UPI – September 29, 2013
The Milwaukee (Wisc.) Journal Sentinel said Sunday the report issued by the state-run Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare left out the April deaths of Angelica Belen’s three young kids because of the methods used to measure the safety of children in Milwaukee County.
China: Police rescue 92 abducted children
BBC News – September 28, 2013
Critics blame the country’s one-child policy and lax adoption laws, which they say have created a thriving underground market for buying children.
United Kingdom: Child protection inspections for health providers announced
Community Care – September 27, 2013
The CQC is embarking on a two year inspection regime focusing on how well health staff are protecting children and responding to need.
Ukraine: Foreigners adopt less Ukrainian children
ForUm – September 30, 2013
“It happened so not because of banning intercountry adoption, but because of development of national adoption and family-based upbringing,” Pavlenko said.
Australia: ACT expecting a ‘significant rise’ in number of child abuse cases
ABC Online (Australia) – September 30, 2013
An ACT Government report is flagging a significant increase in the number of prosecutions for child sexual offences in Canberra because of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
CA: Pritzker Family Foundation supports foster youth at UCLA with $3 million gift
UCLA Newsroom – September 26, 2013
The Pritzker Family Foundation Foster Youth Endowment will help foster youth focus on their studies by providing funding to cover the kinds of unexpected financial needs that, for other students, are often paid for by parents or family. The endowment will provide grants for tutoring, mental health services, summer housing and unforeseen school expenses.
MI: Worthy supports lesbian couple fighting Mich. adoption laws
The Detroit News – September 26, 2013
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy threw her support behind the federal lawsuit Thursday of a local lesbian couple at the center of a same-sex adoption case that could have far-reaching implications on gay rights in Michigan and across the country.
MO: Community at critical juncture, child advocates say: Panel discusses findings of 2013 Community Focus Report
Springfield News-Leader – September 26, 2013
Child abuse and neglect has been a red flag in every Community Focus report. In Greene County, reports of child abuse and neglect come in at twice the statewide rate — and substantiated cases are 1.5 times the state average, Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson said.
NY: Erie County caseworker staff to be increased by 6 in wake of boy’s death
The Buffalo News – September 26, 2013
A week after the beating death of a 5-year-old West Side boy, allegedly at the hands of his mother’s boyfriend, the Erie County Legislature unanimously agreed to hire six additional Child Protective Services caseworkers and a team coordinator to address burgeoning complaints of child abuse and neglect.
NY: State launching review of county CPS in light of boy’s death
The Buffalo News – September 25, 2013
The state’s Office of Children & Family Services notified State Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, late Wednesday afternoon that the review is under way and that additional steps to oversee the county’s CPS operation will continue for an extended period.
OK: & SC: Baby Veronica case: Compensation reportedly sought from Dusten Brown and Cherokee Nation
Tulsa World – September 25, 2013
Contempt of court proceedings in South Carolina could seek compensation from Dusten Brown and the Cherokee Nation for expenses that Baby Veronica’s adoptive parents accumulated in Oklahoma, according to multiple sources.
PA: Penn State child abuse conference focuses on need for advocacy centers
StateCollege.com – September 26, 2013
Child advocacy centers are part of a growing trend to make reporting cases of child abuse less traumatic for victims. According to the National Children’s Alliance, such centers served more than 260,000 child victims of abuse in 2010, including 8,600 in Pennsylvania.
TN: What else can government do to protect children? TN panel hopes to ‘set the bar’
The Tennessean – September 27, 2013
A high-powered group of Tennessee commissioners, judges and lawmakers agreed Thursday to work together in the next year on a series of projects to better protect children and improve the juvenile justice system.
WA: Fixing WA foster care, one bill at a time
Crosscut – September 23, 2013
Six foster care-related bills went into the Washington State Legislature’s hopper last session. Three passed. Two were set aside because they were duplicative. The sixth stalled, but has a chance at passing in 2014.
US: Advocates decry child abuse in religious settings
The Courier-Journal – September 27, 2013
While the problems of sexual abuse and coverup remain acute in many religious organizations, a related problem is still not getting enough attention: other types of physical abuse and neglect of children.
US: Report: Sexually-exploited minors too often treated as criminals, not victims
NBC News – September 25, 2013
Children exploited in the commercial sex trade in the United States are too often overlooked-and tend to be treated as criminals rather than victims, according to a Department of Justice-commissioned study released on Wednesday. “Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States” is available at http://iom.edu/Reports/2013/Confronting-Commercial-Sexual-Exploitation-and-Sex-Trafficking-of-Minors-in-the-United-States.aspx
Iran: Iran passes new bill that lets men marry adopted daughters
Guardian News Service – September 27, 2013
Human rights activists say the approved bill, making girls vulnerable to the ruling from age 13, ‘legalises paedophilia.’
United Kingdom: As number of adoptions show sharp rise, MP tells David Cameron: ‘You will rue this policy’
Daily Express – September 26, 2013
David Cameron was told today his ambition to speed up the adoption process for neglected and unwanted children would be rued by future generations as a huge mistake. He said children were too often placed with strangers instead of keeping them with grandparents and other relations.
United Kingdom: How can councils encourage more foster carers and adoptive parents?
The Guardian – September 18, 2013
The author believes the answer lies in recognising the “customer” aspect of fostering and adoption services and reforming the service accordingly. In other words, services must become better at knowing what turns a prospective foster carer or adopter on or off and responding to those needs.
CA: Mt. Diablo Unified School District: 2006 internal report found ‘potential child abuse’ by teacher; district failed to report
Contra Costa Times – September 24, 2013
Despite a 2006 Mt. Diablo school district internal report finding “potential child abuse” at the hands of Woodside Elementary teacher Joseph Martin, administrators failed to contact police and allowed him to continue teaching until April of this year, just before his arrest on molestation charges, according to a newly filed claim by seven alleged victims.
FL: House committee: overhaul of child welfare system will be focus
Miami Herald – September 25, 2013
Florida’s child welfare system needs an overhaul, and repairing the cracks that allowed more than 20 children to die this summer will be the focus of legislation next spring, the head of the oversight committee of the Florida House of Representatives said Tuesday.
FL: Judge Cindy Lederman Speaks Out on the Child Welfare System (Requires registration)
Daily Business Review – September 25, 2013
The outspoken Lederman is known for rebuking the state Department of Children and Families in 2002 after the disappearance of foster child Rilya Wilson while under state supervision. She’s also known for her 2008 ruling that Florida’s gay-adoption ban was unconstitutional, after which she was removed from her post as the chief administrative judge of Miami-Dade’s juvenile courts after 15 years. When DCF dealt with a series of child deaths this summer, Lederman was one of its most outspoken critics.
MI: Program offers opportunities for those often forgotten by the foster care system
Upper Peninsula’s Second Wave – September 25, 2013
The Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative offers a stepping stone from foster care to adulthood. According to its website, MYOI’s goal is to “ensure that young people in foster care have successful outcomes in housing, education, employment, community engagement and health.” The program is open to youths ages 14 to 21 who are in the foster care system as a result of abuse or neglect, and to youths ages 18 to 21 who were in foster care at any time after their 14th birthday but are no longer under the supervision of the Department of Human Services.
NY: Legislature hears case for additional Child Protection staff
WBFO – September 25, 2013
The push is on to hire more Social Sevice workers in Erie County following the tragic death of 5-year-old Eian Brooks. But along with increasing staff, Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer says the community needs to engage mothers and care-givers in “a different level of conversation” or “bad outcomes” will continue.
PA: Seven bills pass through Senate panel to strengthen Pa. child abuse laws
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – September 25, 2013
The bills, prompted by recommendations from the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, convened in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State, would update the state’s definition of child abuse, clarify who is a mandatory reporter of such abuse and increase penalties for failing to report abuse, among a number of other changes.
SC: After 4 years and 2 states, Cherokee girl in disputed adoption case gets permanent home in SC
Associated Press – September 25, 2013
For the first two years of her life, Veronica lived in South Carolina with her two adoptive parents. For the next two, she was in the custody of her Native American father in Oklahoma. Now, at 4, the young Cherokee girl is heading to a permanent home following the resolution of a years-long custody dispute involving questions of jurisdiction and tribal sovereignty in both Native American and U.S. courts. Also: Cherokee Nation Mourns as Veronica Is Returned to Adoptive Family: http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/09/24/cherokee-nation-mourns-veronica-returned-adoptive-family-151418
TX: 3 CPS investigators accused of tampering with evidence; case reportedly related to Greenville murder victim
Dallas Morning News – September 24, 2013
Three current or former Child Protective Services investigators were arrested in Hunt County on Tuesday on tampering with evidence charges. The arrests are reportedly related to the case of Alicia Moore, a Greenville teenager who was murdered after walking off her school bus last year.
China: Adoption Agency Furious Over ‘Child Exchange’ Report
Reuters – September 25, 2013
China’s adoption agency said it was “very shocked and furious” about the findings in a Reuters report that exposed how U.S. parents use the Internet to abandon unwanted children they have adopted from abroad, including China.
Canada: CFS touts ‘fosterware’ parties: Events intended to interest families in fostering kids
Brandon Sun – September 25, 2013
First, there were Tupperware parties selling plastic containers to keep food fresh. Now, there are fosterware parties to recruit fresh foster parents. The first one in Winnipeg will be held this week at the home of a foster parent who has invited guests who might be up to the challenge, said Laura Morton, resource specialist with Winnipeg Child and Family Services.
Russia: Russia sees U.S. as unsafe for Russian orphans
Global Times – September 24, 2013
Earlier this month, Reuters reported that at least 26 Russian children were “exchanged” by their US foster families with other adoptive parents via the Internet. Moscow said many children were given to pedophiles and makers of child pornography via these exchanges.
Lithuania: Committee on the Rights of the Child considers report of Lithuania
United Nations – September 24, 2013
During the interactive dialogue, the Committee said that Lithuania had taken several positive measures to protect the rights of the child, including reforming aspects of its legal framework, ratifying international instruments and establishing a programme for the prevention of violence against children. Nevertheless, Experts expressed concern about the rising number of child abuse cases, the lack of legislation expressly prohibiting corporal punishment in all settings, the need for additional funding allocated to the Ombudsman’s Office, and the absence of an inter-agency coordination mechanism for child welfare policy.
AZ: DES chief: Arizona CPS needs $115 million, 444 workers
The Republic – September 21, 2013
The Department of Economic Security’s budget request for the coming fiscal year comes as the agency is training and deploying 200 new Child Protective Services case managers and support staff that lawmakers approved last session, but anticipates growth of 7 to 8 percent in the number of kids in care – now approaching 15,000 children – over the next two years.
CA: Family reunited after child welfare system odyssey
Los Angeles Times – September 23, 2013
The college application essay was the tipoff. It was beautifully written but painfully rendered; a high school student’s story of her family’s tumble from middle-class stability into homelessness and addiction. It helped Danielle Stone earn a spot at UCLA. But it also drew her family into a yearlong odyssey through Los Angeles County’s child welfare system
CA: Roots and Wings county foster care program receives continued funding
Santa Cruz Sentinel – September 20, 2013
Roots and Wings, a foster family recruitment and support program funded by a five-year federal health and human services grant, announced Friday that the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department would assume funding responsibilities.
DE: Governor signs bills to enhance services for youth in foster care
Dover Post – September 18, 2013
“It is so important we allow these young people to have a direct say in decision making related to their lives,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Turning 18 can be difficult for any young adult, but for youth in foster care there are often additional hurdles they must overcome. By allowing them to identify the areas in which they need additional support and services, we’ll ensure they experience a smoother transition to adulthood.”
FL: Child Protective unit gets busy
Tampa Bay Tribune – September 22, 2013
Last year, CPI investigated more than 7,000 cases of child abuse, abandonment and neglect. Investigators typically receive between four to seven new cases each week. About 300 children live in foster homes in the county.
FL: Seminole County violates non-profit intervention services contract (Includes Video)
WFTV – September 23, 2013
A program that was supposed to help Seminole County teenagers make the transition out of foster care has been caught spending money on foster kids from other parts of the state.
IL: CFS launches statewide anti-child abuse campaign
Associated Press – September 21, 2013
The “You are Not Alone” campaign lets children know that help is available at DCFS’ child abuse hotline. The department is asking all regional school superintendents and private school organizations to partner in the effort and distribute 25,000 posters to public and private schools across the state.
MO: St. Louis’ Foster-Care Approach Works, But the Rest of Missouri Lags Behind
St. Louis Magazine – September 23, 2013
Over the past decade, the number of children in foster care in St. Louis has dropped dramatically, from 3,141 in 2002 to 618 this past June-an 83 percent decrease. Like any complex social problem, there is not just one reason for this sea change. Yet Team Decision Making seems to be getting most of the credit.
NE: Language Barrier Problems In Child Sex Cases (Includes Video)
WOWT 6 News – September 23, 2013
Two men are behind bars accused in separate child sexual assault cases. There are some similarities in the two cases though; both the victims’ family had language barrier problems while trying to report the crime. “Omaha is very diverse. We have a lot of different refugees that come and settle here and Omaha,” said Officer James Shade.
NE: Wanted: Stability for children in foster care
Omaha World-Herald – September 21, 2013
The Nebraska Foster Care Review Office issued the report Friday while calling for efforts to address the causes of multiple removals and find ways to promote long-term stability for children.
NJ: Hispanic volunteers help CASA reach foster children of like heritage
Shore News Today – September 23, 2013
Moved among foster homes and adjusting to new environments, children in foster care need a consistent, caring adult. For children of Hispanic heritage, it is particularly important that their advocate understand and respect their culture, according to CASA.
NM: Children’s Advocates Address State’s Low Child Well-being Ranking
Public News Service – September 24, 2013
When it comes to the well-being of children in New Mexico, the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks the Land of Enchantment dead last out of the 50 states. Child advocacy groups, including New Mexico Voices for Children, are focused on solutions to the problems that create that situation. According to executive director Veronica Garcia, concrete actions can be taken to address issues that affect child well-being.
NY: Caseload For Child Protective Services Workers Among The Highest In The State (Includes Video)
WGRZ – September 23, 2013
In 2010 it was Laura Cummings, tortured and killed by her mother and brother, then last year Abdi Mohamud killed by his step father, and now last week, five year old Eain Brooks allegedly killed by his mother’s boyfriend. One problem with Child Protective Services could be the high number of cases each worker is responsible for.
OK: Adoptive parents take custody of Veronica from biological father
Tulsa World – September 23, 2013
In an interview with the Tulsa World, Hembree said a district court order was issued about 4:30 p.m. to hand over Veronica. The order came after the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted its ruling that had kept Veronica in her biological father’s custody while the appeals played out. Also: Veronica in Capobiancos’ care ‘a sweet thing to finally see,’ attorney says: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130923/PC16/130929762/1005/veronica-coming-back-to-sc-bitter-battle-ends-with-sweet-relief-for-adoptive-couple-heartache-for-biological-dad-letting-go-in-oklahoma
PA: Nurse-Family Partnership empowers Adams County woman with parenting help
Evening Sun – September 22, 2013
Since she was pregnant with Brandi, Stoner has met with a nurse in her home from the Nurse-Family Partnership, a program for low-income, first-time mothers to guide them through the difficulties of first-time parenthood.
SC: Skeptics of Veronica, Desaray cases call for closer look at private adoptions, laws
Post & Courier – September 21, 2013
The battle over 4-year-old Veronica and a new dispute over a 4-month-old named Desaray have stirred talk of similar accusations being rampant in other private adoptions. Both of those cases center on children with American Indian blood and the federal law that makes them more difficult to adopt. But the larger issue, according to skeptics, is the allegation that some birth mothers, agencies and attorneys conceal adoptions and prevent birth fathers from asserting parental rights.
UT: Gov. Gary Herbert picks new Human Services boss
Salt Lake Tribune – September 23, 2013
Gov. Gary Herbert named Ann Silverberg Williamson, a woman central to Louisiana’s response to Hurricane Katrina who later left her job after a reportedly botched response to a subsequent storm, as his new director of the Utah Department of Human Services.
WI: DCFS Promotes New Hotline to Cut Down on Child Abuse (Includes Video)
WICS-TV – September 23, 2013
DCFS receives a report of child abuse or neglect every five minutes, a report of child sex abuse every two hours, and notice of the death of a child by abuse or neglect every day and a half, and that doesn’t account for the 70% of child abuse that goes unreported. This gives an idea of why DCFS is promoting the use of their new hotline.
US: Hatch Child Welfare Bill Proposes Major Reforms of APPLA Option, Congregate Care, and Chafee Education Grants
Chronicle of Social Change – September 20, 2013
A bill introduced yesterday would forbid child welfare systems from setting long-term foster care as an option for foster youths under the age of 16, limit the use of group homes and residential care for children under 13, and extend the age ceiling for foster youth college grants to 26.
US: Landrieu, Others Want Child Welfare Bureau at State Department
Chronicle of Social Change – September 20, 2013
The Children in Families First (CHIFF) Act – introduced yesterday by U.S. Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) – would establish the Bureau of Vulnerable Children and Family Security at the U.S. Department of State.
United Arab Emirates: Nurses to be trained to recognise sexual abuse in children
Gulf News – September 23, 2013
Training for nurses to identify various forms of child abuse is underway at Primary Healthcare Centres in Dubai. Through the training, nurses are being taught to recognise physical and psychological symptoms in children who may have been abused.
Saudi Arabia: Saudi magazine launches campaign for child abuse law
Arabian Business.com – September 22, 2013
A Saudi magazine has launched a campaign against child abuse in a bid to pressure authorities to criminalise child sexual abuse. Saudi Arabia does not have a law against sexual abuse, although there is some protection for children by the Shoura Council and legislation against abuse and assault. Sayidaty Magazine said its “White Campaign”, which will run for three months, aims to also raise awareness of child abuse as well as teach parents how they can protect their children.
Kazakhstan: & US: Joint need to step up cooperation in children’s rights protection
Kazinform – September 23, 2013
Kazakhstan’s Human Rights Commissioner Askar Shakirov has met today with Special Advisor for Children’s Issues of the U.S. Department of State Susan Jacobs who is on a visit to Kazakhstan.
DE: New law aims to help kids aging out of foster care
WDDE 91,1 FM – September 18, 2013
Governor Jack Markell signed a bill Wednesday that enhances existing independent living services for young adults up to age 21.
FL: DCF rewarded for helping kids find their forever homes (Includes video)
WTSP – September 18, 2013
DCF and its partners found permanent homes for more than 3,300 children last year. That was one of the best records of any state.
IL: Extra Winnebago County courtroom needed for victims
Rockford Register Star – September 18, 2013
County officials plan to spend nearly $600,000 to hire 11 court personnel – from bailiffs to clerks and attorneys – to staff an additional full-time juvenile courtroom.
IL: New advocacy center to help deal with rise in child abuse cases
Aurora Beacon-News – September 17, 2013
The Jeanine Nicarico Children’s Advocacy Center is designed to provide a comprehensive response to allegations of child abuse and to help children who are the victims of crime. DuPage officials said the facility is truly needed, as child abuse cases are on the rise in the county.
MI: Federal lawsuit challenging Michigan Registry of Child Abuse and Neglect put on hold
MLive.com – September 19, 2013
The federal lawsuit alleged that the registry created a “black list” of parents who are unfairly listed as child abusers. The registry is easy to get on and hard to get off.
MI: Vote postponed on Michigan bills allowing adoption refusals
Associated Press – September 18, 2013
A legislative committee is waiting to vote on legislation that would let faith-based agencies in Michigan refuse to participate in adoptions that violate their beliefs.
NE: Brain science, effects of childhood trauma prompt changes in child welfare
Lincoln Journal Star – September 14, 2013
Ross was one of the five children of Mary Bass, convicted in 2000 in what was called one of the worst child-abuse cases in Kansas City history. They came to the attention of the child welfare system many times, but the case always was dismissed. This family illustrated why people who work with abused and neglected children should know about the effects of trauma.
TN: DCS lawyers return to federal court today with focus on foster care
The Tennessean – September 19, 2013
While the Department of Children’s Services has made progress in how it cares for Tennessee foster children, the agency failed to meet court-ordered standards in key areas last year, according to a report filed in federal court this week by independent monitors.
TX: Agency’s ads put focus on child abuse
Longview News-Journal – September 18, 2013
An East Texas nonprofit agency is rolling out an advertising campaign designed to help raise awareness of child abuse.
TX: The Source: Uresti on foster care changes (Includes audio)
Texas Public Radio – September 18, 2013
San Antonio state Sen. Carlos Uresti has often written about the future of DFPS. In a recent op-ed in the San Antonio Express News he called for improved standards now rather than waiting for this lawsuit to be resolved. Uresti joins us today to talk about what can be done.
WV: US awards W.Va. $9m for abuse prevention
Associated Press – September 18, 2013
A $9 million federal grant has been awarded to West Virginia to expand services to programs for mental health services and substance abuse programs.
Australia: Foster children in danger over lack of welfare checks
Daily Life – September 17, 2013
Foster children in the care of the Department of Family and Community Services are in danger because thousands are not receiving the regular checks required under state government standards, a children’s advocate has said. Related, “Rates of abused and neglected children on the rise in Australia”: http://au.news.yahoo.com/latest/a/-/latest/19009503/rates-of-abused-and-neglected-children-on-the-rise-in-australia-report/
Canada: Child fell into the social services gaps between B.C. and Sask, says report
The Leader-Post – September 17, 2013
A scathing report has identified several gaps in the child welfare system that allowed a girl in care in B.C. to be placed in a relative’s home in Saskatchewan, where she was starved and abused for 17 months until rescued. Related, “Starved girl’s legal rights need protection say advocates”: http://www.leaderpost.com/health/Starved+girl+legal+rights+need+protection+advocates/8929778/story.html
Canada: For teens frozen out of Ontario’s child welfare system, a new bill offers hope
Torontoist – September 18, 2013
Ontario lawmakers are set to vote on a bill that would quash a rule preventing some teens from accessing child welfare support services. Under current Ontario law, if a 16-year-old comes to the attention of welfare services for the first time at that age, he or she is classified as an adult, and can only access adult benefits.
Russia: Russian investigators verifying info on illegal swaps of Russian children in US
Itar-Tass – September 18, 2013
Russia’s Investigative Committee is doing a pre-investigation checking of the data on the illegal swaps and transfers of Russian orphaned children by adoptive families in the US, Pavel Astakhov, President Putin’s ombudsman for the rights of children told a news conference Wednesday.
AS: American Samoa considers tighter laws to combat child abuse
New Zealand International Radio – September 18, 2013
There have been concerns the current laws are unconstitutional because they are too vague. The deputy attorney general, Mitzie Jessop, says the purpose of the new bill is to distinguish between disciplining and abuse of children. Also: Administration bill expands Child Abuse bill to include “child neglect”: http://www.samoanews.com/?q=node/77507&quicktabs_3=1&quicktabs_1=0
CA: LA Unified may expand preschool with new state funds for disadvantaged kids
KPCC – September 17, 2013
The money would come from California’s new Local Control Funding Formula, which gives school districts extra money for students who come from low-income families, are still learning English or are in the foster care system. Districts are given freedom on how to spend it – as long as their plans help those populations. More than 80 percent of LA. Unified’s students fall into the state’s category of “disadvantaged.”
CA: Santa Monica College to Launch Program for Foster Youth
Santa Monica Lookout – September 16, 2013
“Through this program, we hope to provide access to a variety of services, including targeted academic, transfer, career, and personal counseling, along with tutoring and other educational support.”
CT: Biker Group’s Mission Is To Help Protect Children In Abuse Cases
Hartford Courant – September 14, 2013
John Paul Lilly, a licensed clinical social worker, founded Bikers Against Child Abuse in 1995 in Utah. Beaten as a child, Lilly found safety with a local motorcycle club when he was 8 years old, he said.
IA: Juvenile home hobbled by ‘chaos,’ interim chief says
Des Moines Register – September 17, 2013
Residential cottages at the state-run Iowa Juvenile Home are unsafe, the home is beset with “chaos” and the staff is working hundreds of hours of overtime “just to keep the ship afloat,” the facility’s interim superintendent told Iowa legislators today.
ID: Sexual abuse lawsuit against Boy Scouts, LDS church expands
Idaho Statesman – September 17, 2013
Four more former Boy Scouts have joined a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, alleging that both organizations covered up sexual abuse and allowed known pedophiles to remain in leadership positions. Also: Abuse victim speaks out against Boy Scouts, LDS Church: http://www.ktvb.com/news/Abuse-victim-speaks-out-against-Boy-Scouts-LDS-Church-223989721.html
ME: Suit filed against Norridgewock daycare where children were molested
Kennebec Journal – September 17, 2013
The owners of a Norridgewock day care center that was shut down after four children were molested there are facing a civil lawsuit filed by the Department of Health and Human Services on behalf of one of the children.
MI: Medical marijuana advocates protest removal of Lansing baby
Lansing State Journal – September 17, 2013
The case of a 6-month-old Lansing girl who was removed from her parents after a complaint involving medical marijuana has become a rallying point for groups aligned behind the state’s 5-year-old medical marijuana law.
MI: New programs help former foster-care students succeed at college
Deseret News – September 14, 2013
The paucity of possessions owned by students who age out of the foster-care system echoes another kind of gap in privilege, Dunn said. Students from stable families typically attend college buoyed by parental encouragement, advice, financial help, emotional support and attention to health care. Foster-care students often lack those things, making college success less likely.
OK:Baby Veronica update: Both sides spend several hours in court
Tulsa World – September 17, 2013
Meeting for a second straight day, Baby Veronica’s competing sets of parents spent several hours at a downtown courthouse Tuesday. Repeating Monday’s routine, they arrived early, broke for lunch and came back for most of the afternoon. But the entire sixth floor of the state’s Kerr office building, where the Court of Civil Appeals meets in Tulsa, was closed to the public. Also: After SCOTUS, Baby Veronica Still Not in Adopted Parents’ Custody: http://blogs.findlaw.com/supreme_court/2013/09/after-scotus-baby-veronica-still-not-in-adopted-parents-custody.html
UT: Foster care event planned for Spanish speakers
Standard-Examiner – September 17, 2013
Utah Foster Care Foundation is hosting a panel discussion for those who are Spanish speaking and would like to be foster parents.
VA: Richmond social services issues are ‘an anomaly’
Richmond Times-Dispatch – September 18, 2013
Paul D. McWhinney, deputy commissioner of programs at the Virginia Department of Social Services, briefed a legislative panel Tuesday on three investigations this year that found deep problems in the Richmond Department of Social Services, which he said “went off the rails a little bit.”
US: Black American infants find homes overseas
Deseret News – September 18, 2013
“While the number of international adoptions is plummeting – largely over questions surrounding the origin of children put up for adoption in developing countries – there is one nation from which parents abroad can adopt a healthy infant in a relatively short time whose family history and medical background is unclouded by doubt: The United States.”
US: Feds launch smartphone app to nab child sexual predators
CNN Tech – September 16, 2013
The app includes photos of fugitives and asks for help in trying to find suspected child predators for criminal prosecution. Under the alerts section there are images and names of people who are wanted for crimes such as possession of child pornography. Unidentified suspects are listed as “John Doe” and the public is asked to help identify them from available photos.
US: International adoptions are falling because there are too many unwanted older children
Quartz – September 18, 2013
The reason boils down to laws of supply and demand: Older children are abundant. And when countries like China and Ethiopia revisit their adoption policy, they seem to restrict the number of young adoptees-but they still want to place older kids.
US: The decline of international adoption
Click2Houston.com – September 16, 2013
The decline isn’t due to fewer orphans worldwide nor waning demand from prospective parents, experts say. It is due to rising regulations and growing sentiment in countries such as Russia and China against sending orphans abroad. Also: Foreign Adoptions Plummet After Rising for Decades: http://nation.time.com/2013/09/17/foreign-adoptions-plummet-after-rising-for-decades/
US: What Foster Parents Don’t Talk About: Dealing With Guilt and Shame
Yahoo Voices – September 17, 2013
The first response I get from people when I tell them I am a foster parent is: I could never be a foster parent because it would hurt too much to let a child go. Yet, in my experience, there’s another and as valid statement that is rarely considered: Can I let a child go who doesn’t fit into my family’s life? It’s this question that can have lasting emotional consequences in your own life and one that many foster parents have to face at some point.
Haiti: Child Trafficking and Adoption in Haiti
RINF – September 17, 2013
UNICEF estimates that approximately 300,000 Haitian children are restavèk (child slaves) and that 3,000 children are trafficked out of Haiti each year. However, these figures are widely considered conservative both because there are no serious studies to date on this subject and because the very definitional basis of trafficking needs to be rigorously redefined in order to more precisely represent the reality of children whose lives are bartered, traded and sold under the guise of various legal and illegal institutions.
United Kingdom: Eileen Munro on Daniel Pelka case: ‘I can’t claim I would have done better’
Community Care – September 17, 2013
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Professor Munro said she found the serious case review into the four-year-old Coventry schoolboy’s death, “very frustrating”, complaining it doesn’t explain why workers acted as they did. “It’s written totally with hindsight saying that now that we know what was happening to Daniel they should have noticed,” she said.
United Kingdom: Many councils still ‘inadequate’ on child protection
BBC – September 18, 2013
One-third of councils previously judged by inspectors to have child protection weaknesses are still failing to meet minimum requirements, figures show.