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KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.
American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues
37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)
12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.
1) Our documentary on the needs of at-risk children and breaking the cycle of abuse
2) Our second book, a collection of micro-bios following at-risk children through their journey
Accepting all donations, small and large. Their lives will not improve without help.
CO: Weld County recognized for quick response to child welfare checks
Greeley Tribune – January 31, 2017
The department recognized Weld County for completing 90 percent of assessments since 2013 within 60 days, and Weld County was one of just six counties of 64 in Colorado to receive the recognition.
FL: ‘Perpetrator’ Networks Key to Predicting Child Abuse
Chronicle of Social Change – January 31, 2017
SAS’ work for Florida’s child welfare agency is one of the most robust child maltreatment focused data-linkage projects ever undertaken. It linked child abuse records with birth and death records, alongside information on public assistance and mothers who had been involved in the state’s home visiting program. The firm’s data scientists looked at every child born in 2004 and 2005, and followed them until 2014, providing as much as 10 years of data.
FL: Child welfare workers in Facebook Live hanging threatened with contempt
Miami Herald – January 31, 2017
A Miami child welfare judge threatened to hold child welfare workers in contempt of court for failing to appear before her Tuesday morning to help explain “what went wrong” before a 14-year-old hanged herself while live-streaming the tragedy on Facebook.
ID: Twenty percent increase proposed to Idaho’s foster parent reimbursements
Spokesman-Review – January 31, 2017
As budget hearings continue this week on health and human services programs, Idaho’s Division of Child Welfare is requesting a 20 percent increase in the stipends paid to foster parents for caring for children who have been abused, neglected or abandoned or who are unsafe in their own homes.
ID: State program offering respite care to special needs families gaining support
Lewiston Tribune – January 22, 2017
A program to give families with children who have severe mental or emotional illness support and a much-needed break is gaining traction in Idaho.
MI: Clara’s Hope works to build strong families
Tri-County Times – January 31, 2017
Clara’s Hope is privately funded and works directly with about 25 to 30 families. They pride themselves on working through community resources, including schools and local families.
MO: Opioid Crisis’ Youngest Victims: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Increases 538 Percent Throughout Decade
Missouri Hospital Association – January 31, 2017
New Missouri-specific research finds that the growth in opioid abuse in the state parallels an alarming upward trend in newborns – neonatal abstinence syndrome. Researchers from the Hospital Industry Data Institute reviewed hospital diagnostic codes for all Missouri births between 2006 and 2016, and found a 538 percent increase in codes related to newborns with withdrawal symptoms stemming from maternal drug use.
Also: Report: http://www.mhanet.com/mhaimages/opioid/NAS_Research.pdf
Also: Information Gateway resource: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/casework/families-sud/children-sud/responding/nas/
MT: State favors parents’ rights over kids’ safety, advocates charge
Bozeman Daily Chronicle – January 31, 2017
When parents abuse or neglect their children, Montana’s child protection system often places parents’ rights ahead of keeping kids safe. That’s the charge made by two Bozeman women who worked for decades with the courts to represent “the best interests of the child.”
OR: Legislative Session To Kick Off Amid Budget Questions
Oregon Public Broadcasting – January 31, 2017
While improving foster care is a concept few would oppose, Stark will have to compete with plenty of other funding proposals this legislative session. And what makes his ideas an even tougher sell is that the state is roughly $1.8 billion in the hole when it comes to funding the services it’s already providing.
PA: Monroe Co. CPS workers make less compared to other counties (Includes video)
WHEC TV-10 – February 01, 2017
Monroe County’s starting pay came in at the bottom at $34,600. In neighboring Erie County, it’s $38,700, $46,000 in Ontario County and $53,000 in Onondaga County.
PA: Toohil appointed to serve on 4 committees
Citizens Voice – February 01, 2017
State Rep. Tarah Toohil has been appointed to serve on the House Children and Youth, Human Services, Judiciary, and Professional Licensure committees during the 2017-18 legislative session.
PA: Union: CPS workers handling cases loads 2.5 times more than recommended (Includes video)
WHEC TV-10 – January 27, 2017
The union that represents the county’s CPS workers, the Federation of Social Workers, says CPS investigators are carrying on average caseloads two and a half times the recommendation.
TX: Abbott calls CPS first ’emergency’ item in State address (Includes video)
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal – January 31, 2017
During his address, Abbott declared Child Protective Services reform his first emergency item for the 2017 Legislature, instructing House and Senate members to “do it right.”
Also: Abbot calls for ending sanctuary cities, protecting children: http://www.dailyiowegian.com/cnhi_network/abbot-calls-for-ending-sanctuary-cities-protecting-children/article_72f40f4f-9370-5869-b523-d9e1a76c047a.html
Also: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Outlines Legislative Priorities In ‘State Of The State’ Address (Includes video): http://patch.com/texas/eastaustin/s/g0n54/texas-gov-greg-abbott-outlines-legislative-priorities-in-state-of-the-state-address
Also: Fixing CPS among Abbott’s top priorities for lawmakers: http://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/2017/01/31/fixing-cps-among-abbotts-top-priorities-lawmakers/97303502/
TX: State legislators move to give CPS more autonomy
American-Statesman – January 30, 2017
After years of pouring more money and caseworkers into Child Protective Services, legislators are trying something different to fix the perennially scandal-wracked agency. A coalition of House members said Monday that they want to give agency more autonomy by divorcing it from the mammoth Health and Human Services Commission, giving it the power to make its own decisions and making it answer directly to the governor.
UT: State civil rights group reaches out to sex abuse victims, calls for dialogue with Mormon church
Salt Lake Tribune – January 31, 2017
A Utah civil rights group has launched a two-part initiative to raise awareness of sexual abuse and assault inside the Mormon church and help purported survivors connect with services and support.
WI: Child Advocate Calls Solitary Confinement Counterproductive (Includes audio)
Public News Service – February 01, 2017
Wisconsin is one of few states that still allows children in state juvenile-corrections facilities to be put into solitary confinement, and a federal lawsuit challenges that practice as cruel and unusual punishment. A similar suit brought in Illinois a few years ago resulted in massive changes to that state’s juvenile-justice system.
AZ: Child safety unit looking at new regulations
Associated Press – February 01, 2017
Arizona’s Department of Child Safety says it’s putting together a team to explore whether investigators should have to get a court order before removing children from unsafe homes.
AZ: Horrors scalded Tucson girl faced included living with sex offender
Arizona Daily Star – February 01, 2017
The biological mother of the Tucson child says she raised concerns with state workers that while living in Frodsham’s home, her toddler daughter had repeated urinary-tract infections, which can be a sign of sexual abuse in children, but says those concerns went unanswered. Records show the caseworker thought it was Calderon who was teaching her daughter to fear men and told her to stop more than once.
CT: House, Senate reject child welfare agency oversight plan
Associated Press – February 01, 2017
Democratic and Republican state lawmakers joined forces Wednesday to overwhelmingly reject an agreement Gov. Dannel P. Malloy argued would have helped Connecticut forge a new path toward finally ending decades of federal oversight of the state’s child welfare agency.
Also: Senate defeats DCF oversight plan; now up to House to OK: http://wtnh.com/2017/02/01/senate-defeats-dcf-oversight-plan-now-up-to-house-to-ok/
Also: Connecticut House, Senate Won’t Back DCF Agreement: http://www.registercitizen.com/general-news/20170201/connecticut-house-senate-wont-back-dcf-agreement
DC: Attorney General Marks Human Trafficking Awareness Month with Youth Prevention Training at KIPP Academy (Press release) (Includes audio)
Office of the Attorney General of Washington, D.C., Karl A. Racine – January 31, 2017
Today, Attorney General Karl A. Racine marked Human Trafficking Awareness Month with a training session for students at KIPP DC AIM Academy to educate youth about the dangers and warning signs of trafficking.
Information Gateway resource: Preventing Human Trafficking: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/trafficking/pir/preventing/
IL: State budget impasse impacting Children Home + Aid young mothers program
WJBC – February 01, 2017
A program meant to help young, first time mothers has been suffering locally due to the lack of a state budget. Bloomington Children Home + Aid Family Support Services Director Mendy Smith said the Healthy Families program is usually funded through the Department of Children and Family Services, which gets its funding from the state. However, Smith explained because there is no state budget the program has had to cut five of its workers.
IN: Families search for answers after adoption agency abruptly closes (Includes video)
WISH – February 01, 2017
People trying to adopt a child are dealing with an unfortunate reality: their adoption agency has closed for good. “Right now it’s still numbing and sad. I’m not angry yet, and I’m really trying to just stay positive,” said Stacey Green, who was trying to adopt a child with her husband. “It’s very devastating for everybody.”
KY: Court: State must pay relatives who take in foster kids
Courier-Journal – February 01, 2017
A federal appeals court has ruled Kentucky must pay relatives who serve as foster parents in the same manner it pays adults who are licensed as foster parents and paid a daily rate.
Also: Federal ruling aims to keep Kentucky foster children in relative’s care (Includes video): http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/34406378/federal-ruling-aims-to-keep-kentucky-foster-children-in-relatives-care
MN: Dayton’s budget proposal to extend benefit coverage for young foster kids (Press release)
Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services – February 01, 2017
Under current law, foster children under age 6 lose half of their state-sponsored benefits when adopted or taken into the permanent care of a relative. This makes it difficult for families to meet these young children’s needs, which can be significant and often connected to abuse and neglect, said Jim Koppel, assistant commissioner for children and family services, during a presentation to the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Wednesday.
MS: What’s alive, what’s dead: What bills made it out of committee this year
SunHerald – February 01, 2017
Thousands of bills – dealing with everything from beer to equal pay to venomous snakes and Child Protective Services – were filed in the Mississippi legislature this term. Most bills not voted out of committee by Tuesday night are dead for this session.
MT: State’s Foster Care System May Need More Money, Officials Say (Includes audio)
Montana Public Radio – February 01, 2017
As Montana lawmakers look to find ways to trim state spending amid a budget shortfall, officials who oversee the state’s foster care system say they need more money to keep up with their rising workload.
NE: Bills call for continuation of alternative response to child welfare cases
Lincoln Journal Star – February 01, 2017
The Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee had a lot of questions Wednesday on a bill officials said was written to improve operations at the Department of Health and Human Services.
NJ: More than 1,000 adoptees receive records
Advertiser-News – February 01, 2017
The Christie Administration today announced over the past month, more than 1,000 adult adoptees have received birth records from the New Jersey Department of Health after submitting applications as part of a new law that unsealed the documents dating back to the 1940s.
NM: State lawmaker proposes ‘do not call’ list for minors (Includes video)
KRQU – February 01, 2017
Think of the “Do Not Call Registry” – but only for New Mexico minors. That’s the idea one lawmaker has. It’s supposed to safeguard kids from things they’re not old enough to see or do.
NY: Grandfather of slain child puts up billboards pushing for changes to CPS
WROC-TV – February 01, 2017
The grandfather of Brook Stagles, a 3-year-old child who died in November after being beaten, is putting up billboards to raise awareness of child abuse.
Also: Father and girlfriend charged in death of 3-year-old Brook Stagles: http://www.whec.com/news/two-charged-death-brook-stagles/4339044/ Also: Grandfather of Brook Stagles wants CPS social workers held criminally responsible: http://13wham.com/news/local/grandfather-of-brook-stagles-wants-cps-workers-held-criminally-responsible
NY: Monroe Co. CPS workers make less compared to other counties (Includes video)(Correction)
WHEC TV-10 – February 01, 2017
Monroe County’s starting pay came in at the bottom at $34,600. In neighboring Erie County, it’s $38,700, $46,000 in Ontario County and $53,000 in Onondaga County.
NY: Union: CPS workers handling cases loads 2.5 times more than recommended (Includes video)(Correction)
WHEC TV-10 – January 27, 2017
The union that represents the county’s CPS workers, the Federation of Social Workers, says CPS investigators are carrying on average caseloads two and a half times the recommendation.
OH: ‘It’s due to opiate epidemic’
Times-Gazette – February 01, 2017
There are currently 103 children in the Highland County foster care system, and 27 children in permanent custody of Highland County Children’s Services awaiting adoption – record-high numbers, according to Job and Family Services Director Katie Adams, who attributes the problem almost entirely to Highland County’s drug problem.
PA: POPPYN’s video report on foster care in Philly is making waves at DHS (Includes video)
Generosity – February 01, 2017
POPPYN, or Presenting Our Perspective on Philly Youth News, is a program that gives Philadelphia high school students the chance to tell their side of the story on a topic of interest through visual media. For their latest episode, students tackled several problems within the city’s foster care system and caught the attention of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa. The students will show the episode to City Council in February in the hopes of sparking some reform in the system.
TX: As foster care vendors lobby for higher pay, North Texas mom has one wish – cut the red tape.
Dallas Morning News – February 01, 2017
Foster care vendors are seizing on a federal judge’s ruling and the crisis in Child Protective Services to mount their biggest push in years to nudge Texas lawmakers to bump up their reimbursements and allow them to work with abused kids’ birth families.
Also: TX: Foster parent: Too many restrictions, ‘can’t parent’ (Includes video): http://www.kvue.com/news/local/foster-parent-too-many-restrictions-cant-parent/395513707
Also: What Led to the ‘Broken’ Foster Care System in Texas: http://keranews.org/post/what-led-broken-foster-care-system-texas
TX: Wichita Falls sisters highlighted at State of State speech (Includes video)
KAUZ – February 01, 2017
Sisters Ke’nesha and A’Lisa Buckner spent a majority of their lives in foster care. “We grew up in foster care from 4 years old to 18,” said Buckner. “It was tough. you kind of have to find your identity it was pretty tough.” Texas governor, Gregg Abbott highlighted the 2 at Tuesday’s State of the State Address.
TX: Debate over Medicaid therapy cuts to be warm-up budget battle
Austin American-Statesman – January 31, 2017
As Texas House and Senate leaders gird for a high-stakes fight over the state budget, a preliminary round of that showdown is taking shape over whether to partially undo cuts to a Medicaid program that reimburses therapists who serve low-income people with disabilities.
TX: Gov. Abbott calls for child welfare reform in state address (Includes video)
KSAT – January 31, 2017
In his State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott declared child welfare reform his “No. 1 emergency item” for Texas lawmakers. “You will cast thousands of votes this session. Few will involve life-and-death decisions. Your vote on CPS is one of them,” Abbott said.
Also: Abbott calls for ending sanctuary cities, protecting children: http://www.mineralwellsindex.com/cnhi_network/abbott-calls-for-ending-sanctuary-cities-protecting-children/article_642a6ea5-8af0-55a2-9f1f-4b52b46be137.html
Canada: Minister Bennett Announces Launch of Negotiations Towards National Resolution to Sixties Scoop Litigation (Press release)
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs – February 01, 2017
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, made the following statement: “I am pleased to announce an important step in Canada’s journey of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples: Our government will launch negotiations towards a national resolution to Sixties Scoop litigation.”
United Kingdom: Yasmin Qureshi backs bill to end child poverty in UK
Manchester Gazette – February 01, 2017
Yasmin Qureshi MP has backed a Private Member’s Bill which would reinstate a target to reduce child poverty in the UK. The target to reduce child poverty was scrapped by the Conservative Government in 2016, along with the UK Government’s duty to produce child poverty strategies and report on them annually. The target aimed to eradicate child poverty by 2020.
AK: First ‘Share Your OCS Story’ meeting held in Wasilla
Frontiersman – January 27, 2017
The first of a handful of “Share Your OCS Story” meetings hosted by Alaska House Representative Tammie Wilson, of North Pole, was held at the Mat-Su Legislative Offices in Wasilla on Saturday. Wilson said the six meetings, which are being held throughout the state, are a way of documenting people’s experiences with the Alaska Office of Children’s Services for the Alaska State Legislature and the Governor’s office.
AZ: State: Foster care cases on the decline in Arizona
Today’s News-Herald – February 03, 2017
According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, more children are exiting the state’s foster care system than are entering it.
AZ: Fifth Navajo files sex abuse lawsuit against Mormon Church
Navajo Times – February 02, 2017
For the past 10 months, The Mormon Church has been the subject of a series of lawsuits filed in the Window Rock District Court claiming that some Navajo children put in the church’s placement program in the 1950s and 1960s were raped, abused or molested by the families who took them in.
CA: Dozens of women and children rescued in human-trafficking sweep in California that nets 474 arrests
Los Angeles Times – February 02, 2017
A multi-agency crackdown on human trafficking in California last week ended with hundreds of arrests and dozens of victimized women and children being rescued, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced.
GA: Reporting child abuse in Dade County (Includes video)
WDEF – February 02, 2017
When a report of child abuse comes in the Dade County Division of Family and Children Services investigates it. “Our main goal is just to ensure the safety of the child and throughout the life of the case we are constantly assessing whether that child is safe,” said Kathy Ragon, county director at Dade County Division of Family and Children Services.
ID: The unwanted child (Opinion)
Idaho State Journal – February 02, 2017
Who speaks for the unwanted child? What happens to unwanted children? The outlook for 20,000 foster youth who annually age out of the system around 18 years old is dire.
IN: Sex trafficking ‘fastest-growing’ crime in Fort Wayne (Includes vido)
WANE – February 02, 2017
“Our numbers on human trafficking are probably well under what they really are because we don’t really know [about every case],” Cathie Bledsoe, the Indiana State Police Youth Educator for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force said. “It’s one of the largest, fastest growing crimes. Investigators say gangs are realizing they can sell a drug once, but they can sell a child three or four times in a day.”
IN: State program promotes adoptable older youths
NWI Times – February 02, 2017
Every child needs a family. That’s the message DeAnn Jennette – an adoption champion with the Indiana Adoption Program – wants to send prospective parents.
Information Gateway resource: Recruiting Families for Older Youth: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/professionals/recruiting/
NM: Bill would authorize panel to investigate child abuse deaths
Santa Fe New Mexican – February 02, 2017
State Sen. Michael Padilla, an Albuquerque Democrat who was raised in foster care and has largely focused his legislative efforts on reforming New Mexico’s child welfare system, has introduced a measure to create a task force on child homicides. The proposal also would give the state attorney general authority to order an independent investigation into a child abuse death.
Also: AG backs bill to improve responses to child abuse cases: https://www.abqjournal.com/941891/ag-backs-bill-to-improve-responses-to-child-abuse-cases.html
Also: Bill would create ‘Child Abuse Homicide Review Team’: http://krqe.com/2017/02/02/bill-would-create-child-abuse-homicide-review-team/
NY: ACS workers sue over demotions after Zymere Perkins’ death
New York Post – February 02, 2017
Two senior Administration for Children’s Services workers are suing the city claiming they were scapegoated and demoted in the agency’s rush to blame employees for the death of little Zymere Perkins.
NY: State-ordered ACS monitor is approved
Queens Chronicle – February 02, 2017
Last Friday, Jan. 27, the state’s Office of Children and Family Services approved a monitor for ACS whom Mayor de Blasio said on Dec. 13 he would appoint – without mentioning that Gov. Cuomo had ordered the city to do so one day earlier.
PA: Police: Couple Let Sick Child Die Because Of Religion (Opinion)
Opposing Views – February 02, 2017
Authorities say Jonathan and Grace Foster refused to get medical care for their sick 2-year-old daughter who died on Nov. 8, 2016, in Upper Tulpehocken Township, Pennsylvania.
SC: State must correct problems at DJJ (Opinion)
Island Packet – February 03, 2017
The findings of a legislative audit of the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice show an agency in disarray with both young offenders and DJJ staff at risk. But what is even more dismaying is that many of the problems spotlighted were evident nearly a year ago.
SC: DSS expects spike in caseloads as regional call centers open
Associated Press – February 02, 2017
The resumption of a rollout of regional call centers later this year is expected to open the “flood gates” to reports of suspected child abuse and lead to a spike in social workers’ caseloads, the head of the Department of Social Services warned legislators Thursday.
SC: State child-welfare agency says it needs $18 million more to mend child-safety net (Includes video)
State – February 02, 2017
Its caseloads falling but turnover still high, South Carolina’s child-welfare agency says it needs an added $18 million to improve the state’s child-safety net.
Also: S.C. Department of Social Services wants $11 million to hire 163 new case managers: http://www.postandcourier.com/politics/s-c-department-of-social-services-wants-million-to-hire/article_ad375698-e98c-11e6-b8af-7377f5f1a868.html
Also: Today at the SC State House: Updates on frayed child safety net: http://www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/article130274539.html
TX: Bill seeks to reform, privatize child welfare
Daily Texan – February 02, 2017
At any given time, 30,000 to 50,000 children are in the Texas foster care system. The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services held their first hearing of Senate Bill 11, which aims to privatize and reform aspects of the child welfare system, Thursday.
Judges, foster care providers clash over privatizing supervision of abused Texas kids: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/child-protective-services/2017/02/02/judges-foster-care-providers-clash-privatizing-supervision-abused-texas-kids
TX: Campaign Takes Aim at Infant Sleeping Deaths (Press release)
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services – February 02, 2017
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) is kicking off a statewide campaign to increase awareness about the dangers of adults co-sleeping with small children.
TX: New human trafficking training for all city of Austin employees (Includes video)
KHOU – February 02, 2017
With the training, police and advocates hope city workers like trash collectors and code inspectors will pick up on illegal activity that’s happening out in the open. “Be more on the lookout. How any people are coming in, how many people are coming out, why is there so much traffic? Why are there so many women living in one place? Or males as well,” said Rachel Alvarez, supervisor of the Survivors of Trafficking Empowerment Program (STEP). STEP is just one of several services offered by the Refugee Services of Texas, a nonprofit that works directly with authorities. Just last month, Alvarez said she has seen a spike in human trafficking cases in Austin.
TX: Panel looks at foster care, child protective services reform bill (Press release)
Texas Senate Press Office – February 02, 2017
Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee considered a bill aimed at fixing the state’s beleaguered child protective services and foster care systems Thursday. Committee Chair Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, who authored the measure, cited a litany of issues that led to the need for reform.
Also: Senate Panel Pushes Forward with Fixes to CPS/Foster Care: http://www.guidrynews.com/story.aspx?id=1000081659
Also: Local Reaction to Governor Abbott’s Plan to Reform Child Protective Services (Includes video): http://www.rgvproud.com/news/local-news/local-reaction-to-governor-abbotts-plan-to-reform-child-protective-services/648887036
TX: Texas CASA and CPS Form Collaboration to Find Family Connections for Foster Children, Expediting the Location of Permanent Homes (Press release)
Business Wire – February 02, 2017
As the Texas State Legislature grapples with a massive overhaul of the state’s Child Protective Services (CPS) and foster care system, Texas CASA and CPS are expanding upon the concerted effort to facilitate better case management and care for children in foster care through the Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) Initiative. CFE adopts the approach of looking beyond immediate family members to identify permanent placement options for children in state care.
WA: Reform, realign children services (Opinion)
Spokesman-Review – February 03, 2017
Under the sprawling Department of Social and Health Services umbrella, children’s services in separate silos compete for attention with many other important concerns, such as long-term care for the elderly and psychiatric hospitals. Wouldn’t it make more sense if children’s services, including early learning, were consolidated into one department and elevated to a state Cabinet position? A bipartisan commission of lawmakers and experts studied the question at length and came to a unanimous conclusion: absolutely.
US: 6 things you shouldn’t say to adoptive families (Includes video)
KSL – February 02, 2017
Adoptions take place everywhere, yet there are still many who unknowingly say hurtful things to individuals in adoptive situations. Here are some of the most common things said to persons in adoptive families that shouldn’t be said.
US: Pregnant Women Turn to Marijuana, Perhaps Harming Infants
New York Times – February 02, 2017
As states legalize marijuana or its medical use, expectant mothers are taking it up in increasing numbers – another example of the many ways in which acceptance of marijuana has outstripped scientific understanding of its effects on human health.
US: States raising age for adult prosecution back to 18
ABA Journal – February 01, 2017
Testifying before the Texas legislature’s Juvenile Justice & Family Issues Committee, Moll said that because the adult system had no rehabilitation services-unlike juvenile detention, where those services are standard-he had to choose to reform himself.
United Kingdom: Number of alleged child sex offences committed by other children almost doubles
Telegraph – February 03, 2017
The number of children being investigated by police for sexual offences has almost doubled in the last four years. Children potentially face being criminalised for committing sex offences against other youngsters, an investigation found, with a rise in the use of smartphones thought to be a contributing factor.
AL: Special education teacher says he’s being fired for reporting abuse
AL.com – February 03, 2017
A long-time special education teacher in Jefferson County said he is being fired because he witnessed a principal and a staff member abuse a 9-year-old with special needs. The teacher, Michael James, reported the incident to Jefferson County school superintendent Dr. Craig Pouncey and the director of special education Susan Wirt. James said that one week later, Pouncey asked him to resign.
CA: Edwards, Ellenberg: County needs to help kids whose moms are in jail (Opinion)
Mercury News – February 02, 2017
Between 400 and 500 women, most of them mothers, are incarcerated in our county on any given day, some for weeks, others for many months. With an estimated average of two children for each mother, this affects between 800 and 1,000 children daily.
CO: Local officials aren’t conceding in battle over child welfare dollars
Colorado Springs Gazette – February 04, 2017
The battle between Colorado’s 64 counties and the Colorado Department of Human Services over millions of dollars for child welfare programs has some local officials resigned to being short-changed while others are hopeful the state will come to its senses.
CO: New Pocket Guides Connect People to Homeless Resources and Better Ways to Give (Press release)
Denver Human Services – February 03, 2017
Two new pocket-sized tools are aiding city employees and Denver residents in their efforts to help those experiencing homelessness. The Give a Better Way campaign, which aims to raise awareness about how to support community efforts to help the homeless, is broadening its work with new tools for park rangers, police officers and community members to connect residents to the resources they need.
GA: Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia relocates from Midtown to Marietta
Cob Business Journal – February 06, 2017
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Georgia Inc. has relocated its state offices from Midtown Atlanta to Marietta. The state chapter of 46 children’s advocacy centers is now operating its statewide network from the Brumby Building in Marietta Station on Church Street.
GA: Highlighting Helping Hands: Lutheran Services of Georgia
Rome News-Tribune – February 06, 2017
Lutheran Services of Georgia serves and engages the community by bringing hope, healing and strength to people in need. The Rome office serves NW Georgia with the following programs: Specialized Foster Care, Adoptions, and FACES (providing homes for developmentally disabled adults). In addition, other locations throughout the state offer Family Intervention Services, Refugee and Immigration Services and Disaster Relief.
HI: Lawmakers seek to fund long-term care center for sexually-exploited teens (Includes video)
KFVE – February 03, 2017
Hawaii has a high rate of runaways who could be targets of sex traffickers. One group believes up to 2,500 people in Hawaii are sex trafficking victims and half of them are under 18. “If a child has been in a local brothel, based upon the victims that we’ve talked to, they service ten customers a day,” said Kris Coffield, of IMUA Alliance.
KY: Keeping Kids Out of Court in Kentucky (Includes audio)
Public News Service – February 06, 2017
According to a report from Kentucky Youth Advocates, between 2013 and 2015, children as young as four, five and six had formal complaints filed against them. The group is now calling for an improvement in options available outside the court system. “Involvement in the legal system actually has negative impacts on a child’s behavior,” Sively said, “and behavioral problems actually increase, particularly if there’s any kind of detention or incarceration.”
Report: Keep Kindergartners Out of Court: http://kyyouth.org/download/keep-kindergartners-out-of-court/
KY: State will now pay relatives who care for foster kids (Includes video)
WKRC – February 03, 2017
A federal appeals court said the state must pay relatives just like it pays other adults who were licensed foster parents. That meant relatives would receive payments until they got permanent custody of the child.
MN: A hope for change: Indian Child Welfare Court aims for better outcomes for Native American families
DL-Online – February 03, 2017
Hers was one of 30 cases Tarnowski heard that day during a four-hour period in her Indian Child Welfare Court, begun in the spring of 2015 as a way to offer a better, more culturally sensitive experience to Native American families moving through the legal system. Minnesota has the biggest disparity in the country in the number of Native American kids placed in foster care in relation to its population of Native Americans. And in St. Louis County, the disparity is even greater.
MN: Itasca County reviews year-end report on rising child protection caseload
Grand Rapids Herald-Review – February 03, 2017
Itasca County Family and Child Services (ICFCS) Division Manager Becky Lauer delivered a year-end report on child protection to the Itasca County Board on Jan. 24. According to her numbers, Lauer showed that 52 percent of all calls taken by her division in 2016 were related to child protection. In 2013, this number was 27 percent.
MT: Unregulated transfer of children’s guardianship advances despite safety fears
Montana Standard – February 04, 2017
A bill allowing the care of children to be transferred from a parent to someone else via power of attorney passed second reading in the Senate Friday. An investigative report in 2013 by Reuters on unregulated private re-homing networks revealed that children were being passed around to new families without any oversight. As a result, many states have banned the transfer of custody via power of attorney to stop private adoptions from circumventing state foster care.
Reuters Investigation: http://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1
MT: Budgets for protecting Montana kids face cuts
Bozeman Daily Chronicle – February 03, 2017
Montana’s system for keeping neglected and abused children safe may have reached a crisis, but it’s not immune from budget cuts in the 2017 Legislature.
Also: Gazette opinion: Saving Montana babies from abuse: http://billingsgazette.com/news/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion-saving-montana-babies-from-abuse/article_fbfae000-918e-5f9d-bed4-de47ab9b92f7.html
Also: Unlike Child and Family Services bosses, workers plead for more help: http://mtstandard.com/news/state-and-regional/unlike-child-and-family-services-bosses-workers-plead-for-more/article_d2dca164-1a20-5931-a85e-8844321aeb10.html
Also: Our children can no longer wait (Opinion): http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/editorials/our-children-can-no-longer-wait/article_022d20fb-cb57-529f-a3f6-3ba7d978374f.html
NC: Most ever in foster care; homes needed
Wilkes Journal-Patriot – February 03, 2017
Nearly half of a record 216 children currently in custody of the Wilkes Department of Social Services are living outside Wilkes due to lack of licensed foster families and space in group homes in the county.
NE: Officials: Summer camps help fight foster care ‘stigma’
KSNB – February 05, 2017
With an alarmingly high rate of children being put into the state’s foster care system, a local organization is looking to send these kids to summer camps.
NM: Feds seek early closure of Fort Bliss detention center in NM
Associated Press – February 03, 2017
A temporary detention center at Fort Bliss for unaccompanied minors found crossing the border will close earlier than expected because of a declining number of children who need to be housed there.
NY: Homeless college students persevere
Pocono Record – February 05, 2017
The most conclusive data available shows only 58,000 college students out of 19.9 million in 2013 identified as homeless in the United States. There are several reasons to believe that number is vastly underreported.
OH: Fedor calls for change in sex crime prosecution
Toledo Blade – February 04, 2017
Taking a break from Ohio’s first Statehouse summit on human trafficking attended by hundreds of high school students, state Rep. Teresa Fedor (D., Toledo) Friday called for a law prohibiting prosecutors from criminally charging trafficking victims between 16 and 17 years old.
OH: West Liberty foster care facility faces license revocation (Includes video)
10TV – February 03, 2017
Investigators from the Ohio’s Department of Jobs and Family Services licensure board have requested Adriel Foster of West Libery be shut down, after an investigation found that staff had neglected or abused children in their care.
PA: Should religious beliefs come before children’s health in Pennsylvania?
Penn Live – February 03, 2017
Reports of a two-year old Berks County girl having died after police said her parents withheld medical care for her based on religious grounds has once again drawn attention to what advocates say is the need for reform to state law.
TX: Lawmakers considering privatization of foster care system
North Dallas Gazette – February 04, 2017
The Senate Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee considered a bill to reform the state agency charged with overseeing child welfare and managing the foster system. SB 11, by Committee Chair Dr. Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, would direct the Department of Family and Protective Services to create standards to transition to privately managed, non-profit service providers of the foster care system. This idea was tested in a pilot program in the North Texas region to positive results, and the state will now look at expanding that program state-wide.
TX: Raise the age of criminal responsibility (Opinion)
My San Antonio – February 04, 2017
As the CEO of Texas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the former executive director of the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, I have spent my career advocating for children who need the help of caring adults to shepherd them through a crisis.
TX: CPS legislation cheered, criticized
Austin American-Statesman – February 03, 2017
A bill to reform Child Protective Services drew both kudos and complaints Thursday, with child welfare advocates divided over whether the legislation gives too much power to private contractors. Dozens of people weighed in at a public hearing on Senate Bill 11, a multipronged bill that attempts to fix the system through a series of mandates designed to improve services on the ground level and bolster overall protection of children in the foster care system.
Also: Foster children will rally at Capitol for lawmakers to change CPS (Includes audio): http://kxan.com/2017/02/03/foster-children-will-rally-at-capitol-for-lawmakers-to-change-cps/
Also: Making CPS a priority is a great call (Opinion): http://www.reporternews.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/02/03/making-cps-priority-great-call/97343206/
TX: First Lady And DFPS Commissioner Announce Network Of Nurture InitiativeExternal Link
Public Now – February 03, 2017
Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott and Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Commissioner Hank Whitman today sent a letter to faith partners across Texas asking them to join with DFPS in the new year to help provide support to youth and families in the child welfare system.
VA: A Virginia school board’s unconscionable stance on child abuse (Opinion)
Washington Post – February 03, 2017
Just when you think the dystopic world of child abuse cannot get any more outrageous, the news of the Russell County (Va.) School Board’s response to child sexual abuse proves you wrong. A janitor at Lebanon Elementary School pleaded guilty to 150 counts of aggravated sexual battery, carnal knowledge and sodomy in connection with the abuse of four boys, two of whom were students at the elementary school. Yet, the school board denies responsibility.
WV: Former students sue over alleged abuse at WV boarding school
Charleston Gazette-Mail – February 05, 2017
A lawsuit against a Harrison County boarding school, forced to close about three years ago, alleges a “culture of silence and secrecy” at the school led to widespread abuse.
US: Army Child Abuse, Neglect Cases Under-Reported
US Medicine – February 05, 2017
Abuse and neglect of children of Army personnel appears to be under-reported, according to a new report which also suggests a breakdown of communication between civilian child protective services and the military.
Also: Study Raises Concern of Significant Under-Reporting of Child Abuse Within U.S. Army: http://policylab.chop.edu/press-releases/study-raises-concern-significant-under-reporting-child-abuse-within-us-army
US: Flight Attendant Rescues Sex Trafficking Victim Traveling With Pimp
NBC News – February 05, 2017
Shelia Fedrick said she instinctively felt something was wrong the moment she saw the girl with greasy blonde hair sitting in the window seat of aisle 10 on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. “The girl looked like she had been through pure hell,” said Fedrick, 49, a flight attendant working for Alaska Airlines. Fedrick guessed that the girl was about 14 or 15 years old, traveling with a notably well-dressed older man. The stark contrast between the two set off alarm bells in her head.
US: Prospective parents out tens of thousands of dollars after adoption agency closes
Daily Breeze – February 04, 2017
“It’s tragic that they went out of business, but we got no warning and they didn’t make any accommodations,” Koontz said. “We don’t even know where our files with our confidential information are. There’s no one to even speak to.”
Also: Adoption agency’s closure shatters hopeful families (Includes video): http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2017/02/04/adoption-agencys-closure-shatters-hopeful-families/97415938/
US: Bishops Launch Letter Campaign Urging President to Protect Religious Freedom
Catholic New York – February 03, 2017
Saying “religious freedom in America has suffered years of unprecedented erosion,” the U.S. Catholic bishops have posted an online letter for Catholics to send to President Donald Trump urging him to sign an executive order promoting religious freedom. The letter, found at www.votervoice.net/USCCB/Campaigns, says the president can “restore the federal government’s respect for the religious freedom of individuals and organizations” with an executive order that establishes a “government-wide initiative to respect religious freedom.” … The ability of religiously affiliated child welfare providers to provide adoption, foster or family support services for children that coincide with their religious beliefs.
Australia: Royal Commission releases damning statistics of child abuse in Australian Catholic Church
New Kerala – February 06, 2017
Seven percent of Australia’s Catholic priests were accused of abusing children in the six decades since 1950, according to new data from the Royal Commission.
Canada: Ministry Says Supports ‘Available’ to Youth Exiting Province’s Care. How Available?
TYEE – February 05, 2017
A guide to options for at-risk young adults, and why advocates say they aren’t enough.
Greece: Unaccompanied Minors in Greece: Who Can ‘Save’ Them?
University of Oxford, Faculty of Law – February 06, 2017
It is estimated that unaccompanied minors accounted for approximately 35 per cent of the total population that crossed from Turkey to Greece in 2015.
India: New online adoption system fails orphans
Mid-Day.com – February 05, 2017
Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA) from The Adoption Federation of Maharashtra (AFM) – an association of the state’s 65 adoption agencies – that helps facilitate the adoption process in the state.
International: Deadliest winter for refugee and migrant children crossing the Central Mediterranean, says UNICEF (Press release)
Press Release Point – February 03, 2017
A record number of refugee and migrant deaths in the Mediterranean over the past three months, including an estimated 190 children*, has prompted an urgent appeal from UNICEF to leaders of European Union member states meeting in Malta.
Switzerland: Portraits help ‘stolen children’ reclaim their lives
swissinfo – February 04, 2017
A series of photographs showing in the Swiss capital Bern tell the story of Switzerland’s ‘discarded children’.
AZ: Catholic Charities of Arizona: Is your child an easy target for sex traffickers? (Opinion)
Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent – February 05, 2017
You see it on the news and social media-girls as young as 12 years old disappearing. These girls aren’t running away because of a fight with parents or siblings. These girls are being tricked or taken and forced into a world of sex trafficking.
CA: County Program Helps Fathers Matter More
NACo – February 06, 2017
Problem: Children of absentee fathers are at higher risk of poverty, emotional and behavioral problems and incarceration. Solution: Provide interested fathers the resources, training and support to reengage with their children.
CA: L.A.’s Failure to Implement Foster Care Mandates Could Cost California $1.8 Billion in Federal Education Funds
Chronicle of Social Change – February 06, 2017
While the motion claims that the county’s 80 school districts are not out of compliance with a 2015 federal law mandating that foster kids be transported to their “school of origin,” assertions from the Los Angeles County Office of Education make clear that those districts - and thus the state of California – are. Beyond leaving students in foster care in the lurch, the breach could cost the state $1.8 billion in federal funds reserved for its poorest children.
CO: Sample Supports now a licensed Child Placement Agency serving the Front Range (Press release)
PRLog – February 06, 2017
Sample Supports has expanded their services as the boldest and bravest agency in Colorado to now serving youth across the Front Range from Northern Colorado to the Denver area! Sample Supports is now a licensed Child Placement Agency through the State of Colorado and we are offering comprehensive Youth Services.
CT: State had 201 referrals for sex trafficking of minors in 2016, amid a ‘lucrative market’
Register Citizen – February 04, 2017
This criminal abuse of children remains a problem in the state to this day, and data show it may be on the rise. Last year, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families received the highest number of referrals of potential victims of domestic minor sex trafficking since the agency started documenting the number of referrals in 2008, according to Tammy Sneed, who directs the Human Anti-trafficking Response Team at DCF.
ID: Report: Idaho’s foster care parents are in short supply, caseloads high
Idaho Statesman – February 06, 2017
Idaho’s foster care system struggles under a deepening shortage of foster parents and high caseloads for social workers, according to a performance review released Monday.
IN: Hundreds of Indiana babies are born drug dependent (Includes video)
WTHR – February 02, 2017
In Indiana, hundreds of innocent children face excruciating pain in the days and weeks after birth. It’s a cycle that starts when addicts get pregnant. Doctors say often the mothers arrive at the hospital late in their pregnancy with complicated cases and nowhere to turn. Those on the frontlines see it daily and call it a scourge that’s accelerating.
KY: Region sees urgent need for foster care
Bowling Green Daily News – February 05, 2017
Sherry Roy-Hunton, LifeSkills’ therapeutic foster care program director, has been a professional in the field for 15 years. “Never before have I encountered so many children in need of therapeutic foster care,” she said.
LA: The Latest: Edwards’ plan fills gaps with other financing
Associated Press – February 06, 2017
Edwards is seeking to shield K-12 education, colleges, prisons and the child welfare agency from cuts. The largest reduction would hit the health department.
Also: Edwards proposes health cuts, shields education: http://www.dailycomet.com/news/20170206/edwards-proposes-health-cuts-shields-education?rssfeed=true
MA: Lawmakers to consider raising juvenile court age from 18 to 21
Mass Live – February 06, 2017
A bill that would raise the age for the juvenile court system one year at a time for the next three years was sponsored by State Sens. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, and Cynthia Creem, D-Newton, and Reps. Evandro Carvalho, D-Boston, and Kay Khan, D-Newton. It is one of a series of reforms to the state’s criminal justice system that lawmakers will consider this year.
MD: Baltimore police to divert low-level drug, prostitution offenders to support services rather than jail (Includes video)
Baltimore Sun – February 06, 2017
“For far too long in this city, at least the 32 years that I’ve been alive, we’ve treated the illness of addiction as a crime, and that was wrong for us to do,” City Councilman Brandon Scott, chair of the Public Safety Committee said. “A byproduct of that is we have ruined families, taken mothers and fathers away from their sons, taken children away from their parents, and caused them pain across neighborhoods throughout the city of Baltimore.”
ME: Priority Notice: Maine DOE and DHHS release joint guidance regarding foster care provisions (News release)
Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Office for Children and Family Services – February 06, 2017
The Maine Department of Education (DOE) and the Office for Children and Family Services (OCFS) has collaborated to release initial joint information regarding provisions under the Every Student Succeeds Act for children in foster care.
MO: Number of area kids in foster care climbs (Opinion)
South East Missourian – February 07, 2017
This will break your heart. The number of children in foster care in Missouri has climbed in Cape Girardeau, Bollinger and Perry counties in the last three years. Currently, 420 children are in foster care in the region, and the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division is not equipped to deal with the increase.
MS: State is decades behind in lifting veil of secrecy (Opinion)
Sun Herald – February 05, 2017
It appears the state Legislature will fail to shine much light on secretive Youth Court proceedings. And that will hurt the very children and families such secrecy purports to protect.
MT: Child Abuse: The Quest To Save Montana’s Neglected Kids
Parent Herald – February 06, 2017
A total of 14 children from the state of Montana died due to neglect or abuse from 2015-2016. The cases of 12 of these children have been reported to the state’s Child and Family Services Division (CFSD) prior to their deaths.
NH: Lawmakers to Address Election Laws to Staffing Shortages at DCYF
New Hampshire Public Radio – February 06, 2017
There’s also a proposal to add more social workers at the state’s division of child protection. A recent outside review of that agency pointed to long-term staffing shortages as a severe problem.
NY: CityViews: The Long View on New York’s Homeless Problem
City Limits – February 06, 2017
Since then, five mayors, five governors and a slew of commissioners have grappled with framing homelessness, targeting and funding solutions, and managing the political fallout. None has been better prepared or more committed than the current administration. So it’s an unwelcome task to report that scrambling for shelter seems destined to become part of the survival kit of New York’s poor.
NY: Goodell, Young Weigh In On Child Abuse Bills
Jamestown Post-Journal – February 06, 2017
Bill s137, sponsored by state Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, also known as Kayleigh Mae’s Law, would require hair follicle testing of an infant or toddler under the age of three who in the vicinity of a parent or guardian who is arrested on a drug charge. Another bill, s3146, sponsored by State Sen. Martin J. Golden, R-Brooklyn, would establish a statewide standard of no more than 15 cases per month per full-time child protective caseworker.
NY: Was Buffalo mom jailed over homeschooling decision? (Includes video)
WKBW – February 06, 2017
“I told them that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them.” Thinking everything was fine, Harris says she went on with her homeschooling, but then, less than a month later she says she was confronted by CPS workers and police. According to Harris, they told her they had a court order to take her children and when she told them no, she was arrested for obstruction.
OH: Lucas Co. Children Services in need of foster parents
WTOL – February 06, 2017
Lucas County Children Services is in need of foster parents and is currently accepting applicants. According to Julie Malkin, the public information officer at the organization, there are more than 400 children in the area that need a foster home right now.
OH: State to mine government data for answers to tough issues
Associated Press – February 04, 2017
Ohio is making plans to restructure its vast stores of government data so they can be mined for possible solutions to the state’s most complex problems, an initiative experts say would be among the most sweeping of its kind by any U.S. state.
OK: Schools forego millions to expand meals for kids
Oklahoma Watch – February 06, 2017
Schools, groups of schools or districts qualify if at least 40 percent of students live in households that receive assistance through programs like food stamps and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or are identified as homeless, migrant or in foster care. Schools are reimbursed for meals based on this percentage of students.
PA: Audit finds staffing shortages, casework overload for Dauphin County CYS
Penn Live – February 06, 2017
The Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth struggled with serious staffing shortages and increased caseloads leading up to the death of 9-year-old Jarrod Tutko, Jr. Pa. Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recently released the audit on the agency more than two years after Tutko’s death — which was the result of neglect and starvation. DePasquale’s audit — which covered July 2010 through June 2014 — found that the agency had staffing shortages while dealing with increased caseloads as the result of amendments to the Child Protective Services Law.
TX: Transition Within Mental Health Must Get Better
University of Texas News – February 06, 2017
Youths transitioning from the children’s mental health system either experience an abrupt end or, at best, inadequate services intended for middle-aged adults. Dysfunction during this time leads to compromised vocational development and increased involvement with the criminal justice system. Negative outcomes are particularly compounded for former foster youths, who are more likely to have greater mental health severity, a substance use disorder, housing instability and criminal justice involvement than youths with no experience in the foster care system.
US: Commentary: Don’t exempt religious groups from nondiscrimination rules
Philadelphia Inquirer – February 06, 2017
To carve out a religious exemption based on beliefs opens a barn door for government-sanctioned discrimination. Our Constitution provides for separation of church and state. Without government interference, churches determine theology, membership policy, and rules. However, once a religious organization voluntarily applies for and receives federal funds, it is subject to the Constitution.
US: HHS Has Taken Steps to Support States’ Oversight of Psychotropic Medications, but Additional Assistance Could Further Collaboration
U.S. Government Accountability Office – February 06, 2017
State child welfare and Medicaid officials in seven selected states reported a variety of practices to support the appropriate use of psychotropic medications, which affect mood, thought, or behavior, for children in foster care. Practices include screening for mental health conditions, developing prescription guidelines, and monitoring a child’s health while on medication. Additional state efforts aim to increase mental health knowledge among stakeholders and improve access to mental health services. However, officials in four selected states and from five national mental health organizations said limited access to mental health services was a challenge.
US: Independent Adoption Center Collapse was Abrupt, But Not Without Warning Signs
Chronicle of Social Change – February 06, 2017
Independent Adoption Center, IAC, served birth parents and adoptive parents in eight states, so families around the country are reeling from the closure of a nonprofit that held their private records and thousands of now-wasted dollars.
US: What’s behind the three-year rise in federal child abuse numbers?
Deseret News – February 06, 2017
The Child Maltreatment 2015 report by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families noted 683,000 victims of child maltreatment or 9.2 victims per 1,000 children. The slight increase from 2014’s 9.1 victims per 1,000 is concerning, experts said, because not all maltreatment is reported and in some cases abuse or neglect exists but there’s not enough evidence to substantiate it, leading to the suspicion that the count is actually undercounted.
Child Maltreatment 2015: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2015
Information Gateway resource: Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/statistics/can/
CA: California, L.A. Continue to Falter on Federal Foster Youth Education Deadline
Chronicle of Social Change – February 07, 2017
The California Department of Education “derailed” local education agencies’ efforts to ensure transportation for students in foster care, imperiling a $1.8 billion federal grant aimed at poor students, according to an email shared with The Chronicle and an education administrator in San Diego.
FL: Mentoring Matters: Help & Hope For Kids Aging Out Of Foster Care (Includes video)
CBS Miami – February 07, 2017
Circulating through the foster care system for years, and now back in foster care, Pomaski recently turned 18, making her one of about 600 youths aging out of foster care at any given time in Broward County, entering a very adult world. Anne Gardiner, Vice President of Programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County said a quarter of those teens end up homeless within a year.
ID: Study: Idaho’s child welfare system overwhelmed, overworked
Associated Press – February 07, 2017
State auditors say Idaho’s child welfare system is overwhelmed, with too few foster parents, too heavy caseloads for social workers and not enough infrastructure to hold it all together.
MN: New program teaches foster parents to treat opiate-addicted babies in home (Includes audio)
Minnesota Public Radio – February 08, 2017
A hospital isn’t the best place for a baby to come off opioids, say John and Cindy Ness. They would know: For the last 17 years, the couple has been foster parents to dozens of children – mostly newborns and toddlers, some of whom were born addicted to opioids.
MN: Human Services launches Native American equity project
Aitkin Age – February 07, 2017
Minnesota has one of the highest rates of out-of-home care – primarily foster care – for Native American children in the country. Native Americans represent 1.9 percent of the Minnesota population and 19 percent of the 13,612 children in out-of-home care in 2015. The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) is working to uncover the story behind those numbers so strategies can be developed to turn them around.
MN: NAACP forum looks for ways to address racial disparities in Minnesota’s juvenile justice system
Minn Post – February 07, 2017
“We decided to put this forum together so we could have some conversations to propose to the county and actually push things forward on what we want to see happen,” said NAACP Minneapolis President Jason Sole. “We’re here to help figure out alternatives for our young people to thrive and to be successful.”
MT: Foster care bill clears hurdle in House
Great Falls Tribune – February 07, 2017
A bill that outlines rights for foster children and parents passed the second reading in the House on Tuesday, with some saying it was long overdue and others claiming it will cause problems. House Bill 182, sponsored by Rep. Frank Garner, R-Kalispell, said the bill, a declaration of policy for youth in foster care, sets up procedures.
NY: The worrying welfare of ACS workers (Opinion)
New York Daily News – February 08, 2017
I have a grim prediction: There will be unexpected deaths on these new leaders’ watches, too – quite possibly of children, but also of child-welfare workers. I make this prediction based on grim facts from my experience as an ACS consultant over the past 20 years, developing with others a training program for 1,500 supervisors and managers as well as executive coaching and team building.
PA: Did Jehovah’s Witness elders fail to report sexual abuse? Trial starts Tuesday
Penn Live – February 07, 2017
According to a lawsuit Fessler filed against the Jehovah’s Witness church in Spring Grove, had church elders contacted the authorities as they were legally obligated to do, she would have been spared more sexual assaults from the same woman.
PA: New Luzerne County human services division head appointed
Times Leader – February 07, 2017
Nanticoke resident Lynn Hill was hired Tuesday as Luzerne County’s new human services division head. After interviewing Hill in a closed-door executive session, seven of 11 council members voted to confirm county Manager C. David Pedri’s nominee.
TX: Dozens of bills filed to fix Texas CPS, foster care system
Austin American-Statesman – February 07, 2017
Several dozen bills have been filed so far this legislative session to address the issues that plague Child Protective Services and the foster care system housed within the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Some fixes would include reducing caseworkers’ turnover rate, increasing visitations of children who are reported abused, and offering better protection.
TX: Legislators urged to “get it right” on child welfare at rally
Texas Tribune – February 07, 2017
About 100 people chanting “let’s get it right” on Tuesday afternoon cheered and applauded the renewed energy among legislators and advocates to finally overhaul Texas’ child welfare system.
WA: State Leads in Evidence-Based Policymaking
Pew Charitable Trusts – February 07, 2017
In a new report, the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative names Washington as one of five leading states in evidence-based policymaking.
WI: Scott Walker: State budget aims to end long-term care waiting lists for children with disabilities
Wisconsin State Journal – February 08, 2017
A bright budget outlook could mean millions of more dollars sent from the state to county governments to provide child welfare services and to fix their roads, Gov. Scott Walker told county officials on Tuesday.
US: Asylum in the United States for Unaccompanied Children
Carnegie Council – February 07, 2017
Child migration- it is a phenomenon of old times; it is a phenomenon of our time. Child migration is not only Joseph of the Old Testament and Claude Franklin, a 13-year-old boxcar boy of the Great Depression. Child migration is also Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Kurdish boy, who was found dead on a Turkish beach in 2015 and 10,000 unaccompanied refugee children in Europe, who were declared missing in 2016.
US: Heartbroken Families Demand Answers After Adoption Agency Abruptly Closes
Inside Edition – February 07, 2017
Hundreds of families planning on adopting children through a nationwide agency were left stunned – and out thousands of dollars – after the organization announced last week that it was closing and declaring bankruptcy, despite reporting millions of dollars in revenue in recent years, records show. The Independent Adoption Center [IAC], a 34-year-old non-profit enterprise based in California with operations across the country, made the abrupt announcement in an email to its clients last Tuesday, writing that “immediate closure is our only option.”
Finland: Foster homes sought for child refugees
Yle – February 08, 2017
The Save the Children organization is seeking foster homes for unaccompanied refugee children who have been granted asylum in Finland. The EU-funded project will mark the first time that child refugees are placed in private homes in this country.
International: Isis targeting child refugees, warns report (Opinion)
International Business Times – February 06, 2017
Hundreds of unaccompanied minors have vanished from the UK care system – which urges European authorities to take action to protect vulnerable refugees targeted by extremists – since arriving in the country. According to the report, IS are active in refugee camps outside Europe, distributing food and offering to pay the cost of passage into Europe in exchange for the loyalty of children.
Russia: Commentary: Trump should push Putin on adoption ban
Chicago Tribune – February 07, 2017
In pursuing his desire for a “good relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump should push for a revocation of Russia’s cruel law banning Americans from adopting Russian children. My wife, Brenda, was fortunate enough to adopt our daughter, Marta, from a Russian orphanage in August 2012, just months before the ban took effect.
AL: Religious freedom or taxpayer-funded discrimination? Child welfare bill prompts debate
Birmingham News – February 08, 2017
HB 24 is the Child Placing Agency Inclusion Act, which would prohibit the state from taking “adverse action” against a foster or adoption agency that declines to place a child in a situation that conflicts with its religious beliefs.
IN: County eclipses former child neglect high
Newsexaminer – February 09, 2017
After previously setting a record-high in 2015 for its number of child neglect cases, Fayette County eclipsed that high in 2016 and set a new high, according to year-end figures released in January by the Indiana Department of Child Services.
KY: THURSDAY AT 6 & 11: Report says state does poor job of protecting abused kids
Wave 3 – February 08, 2017
Our investigation uncovered a surge in foster care cases due to drug use, a massive increase in reports of abuse and neglect and a system unable to perform follow-up inspections and investigations that could save children’s lives.
MA: DCF Increases Focus on Foster Care Awareness with the Help of 15 New Recruiters (Press release)
Massachusetts Department of Children and Families – February 08, 2017
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) begins 2017 with the addition of 15 staff members dedicated to recruiting foster parents across the state.
ME: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren – Part 1 (Includes video)
WABI TV – February 08, 2017
In Maine, a five-year span shows a 24% increase in children being raised solely by a grandparent.
MT: Child survivors of sexual abuse urge legislators to approve bill for education in schools
Helena Independent – February 08, 2017
House Bill 298 would require the Office of Public Instruction, in coordination with the Department of Public Health and Human Services as well as experts on childhood trauma, to develop sample policies, education plans and related materials that school districts could use to teach kids about “safe touch” and let them know it is safe to tell teachers or other staff about abuse. The program also would include training for school employees about the signs of sexual abuse and about what their responsibilities are as mandatory reporters under state law.
NH: Legislative committee appointed to review child protective services
Union Leader – February 09, 2017
The nine-member committee is charged with reviewing the recommendations of the Center for the Support of Families, which spent a year studying operations at DCYF. The study was ordered by Gov. Maggie Hassan in 2015 after two children whose cases were under DCYF review died of child abuse.
NY: State could pull funding to ACS if agency doesn’t change
New York Daily News – February 08, 2017
A top Cuomo administration official warned Wednesday that the state could yank funding from the city’s embattled child welfare agency if it doesn’t show serious commitment to turning around its performance.
Also: State threatens to yank $700M from ACS over abused child deaths: http://nypost.com/2017/02/08/state-threatens-to-yank-700m-from-acs-over-abused-child-deaths/
OH: As Ohio’s opioid epidemic increases, proposed state budget keeps child protective services last in funding
News-Herald – February 08, 2017
In Gov. John Kasich’s proposed 2018-19 budget the funding would remain flat, which would leave the seventh most populous state 50th in the nation in state-level funding for child protective services.
SD: State considering “religious freedom” adoption bill
WTXL-TV – February 08, 2017
South Dakota lawmakers are weighing a proposed bill that would allow agents of adoption and foster care agencies to reject qualified parents based on personal religious or moral objections.
US: Continuing along in foster care (Opinion)
Mesabi Daily News – February 07, 2017
Waiting to become a foster parent isn’t like waiting to give birth. There is no swelling or deflating belly to gauge where we are at in the parenthood process. Sometimes, I wish there was. I feel like becoming a mom is never going to happen. Maybe, that crib will never be filled.
CA: Study finds trying youth as adults degrades health of juveniles, their families
Latina Lista – February 08, 2017
A wide-ranging study of youth incarceration in California outlines what it calls the debilitating effects on the health of teens, their families and society when youthful offenders are tried and sentenced as adults.
Report: Juvenile Injustice: http://www.humanimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/HIP_JuvenileInJusticeReport_2017.02.pdf
CT: Attorney General seeks to dismiss claim by New London parents against DCF
Day – February 09, 2017
The state Office of the Attorney General has filed a motion to dismiss a claim brought by the parents of a New London toddler who suffered broken bones and starved in a Groton foster home.
FL: Column: Children hurt from system designed to help (Opinion)
Tampa Bay Times – February 09, 2017
With a preference for foster homes over residential group care, DCF has removed many children from our campuses after they have become stabilized and adjusted to living in a safe, secure home with house parents they trust.
KY: Lawmakers mulling changes to foster care, adoption system
Associated Press – February 09, 2017
State lawmakers are advancing bills to overhaul the state’s foster care and adoption system one day after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin used his State of the Commonwealth address to vow Kentucky would be a model for the nation.
KY: Westerfield introduces bill to set age of criminal responsibility for youth
Kentucky New Era – February 08, 2017
Criminal complaints filed have been filed against children as young as 4.
Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/
MA: Report: Despite efforts, 35 kids died in state care
Boston Herald – February 10, 2017
As many as 35 children died while in state care or custody last fiscal year – half of them less than a year old, including a dozen substance-exposed newborns, according to a new report that underscores the troubles still facing the state’s child welfare agency despite new funding.
Office of Child Advocate reports: http://www.mass.gov/childadvocate/reports/
MN: Bemidji foster parents learn to treat opiate-addicted babies
Associated Press – February 09, 2017
A new training program in Bemidji is teaching foster parents how to wean infants off opioid addictions in their homes.
OR: Child protective services worker arrested for false reports
Tribune – February 09, 2017
An Oregon Department of Human Services employee assigned to Child Protective Services has been arrested for falsifying child abuse reports in at least 15 cases.
PA: Social services commissioner: More people working
Leader-Herald – February 09, 2017
In other statistical data provided by DSS, most of the caseloads were down. Fulton County’s foster caseload decreased by about 18 percent, from 45 cases in 2015 to 37 cases in 2016. The county had about 60 cases 10 years ago.
SC: Custody dispute puts 3-year-old’s future in the balance
Herald – February 09, 2017
A three-year-old girl’s future is in limbo amid a custody battle that started in 2013.Edward and Tammy Dalsing of Rock Hill legally adopted Braelyn Puckett in September 2015, after having her for years as their foster child, according to S.C. family court documents. On Dec. 15, 2016, a S.C. Court of Appeals vacated the child’s 2015 adoption.
TX: State Rep Wants to Create “Fostels”
KTSA – February 09, 2017
“A fostel will be a volunteer home that has been cleared to house children in CPS care for no more than two weeks” Sanford said in rolling out his bill at the State Capitol in Austin Wednesday Afternoon.
TX: The Source: There Are More Than 300K Human Trafficking Victims In Texas (Audio)
Texas Public Radio – February 09, 2017
An estimated 79,000 minors and youth are victims of sex trafficking, costing the state approximately $6.6 billion. Approximately 234,000 workers in Texas are victims of labor trafficking.
TX: Madeline McClure op-ed: Prevention would prevent another child protection crisis (Opinion)
Texas Tribune – February 07, 2017
Texas’ Child Protective Services and foster care system crises are like an impossible-to-control disease outbreak.
WA: AG proposal to protect human trafficking victims passes Senate (Press release)
Office of the Attorney General Washington State – February 08, 2017
An agency request bill from Attorney General Bob Ferguson aimed at extending the window of opportunity to prosecute human traffickers for their crimes today passed the Senate with unanimous bipartisan support. The bill extends the statute of limitations on human trafficking to match that of non-lethal arson and updates the definition of commercial sex to include “anything of value,” rather than simply a fee.
WI: Governor’s Budget Promising for Children & Families (Press release) (Opinion)
Wisconsin Association of Family & Children’s Agencies (WAFCA) – February 09, 2017
Child protection. The addition of over $6 million in child and family aids for counties is a recognition of the state’s partnership role in child protection. These resources help counties secure safety for children at risk and help parents address their challenges, such as addiction, as they prepare to reunify with their children.
WV: Nonprofit negotiating use of WVU Tech campus
Register-Herald – February 10, 2017
A Kansas-based private, nonprofit child welfare and behavioral health organization is negotiating for use of the WVU Tech campus in Montgomery. The group, KVC Health Systems, plans to offer educational and other support services for teens and young adults who have aged out of foster care.
US: New Federal Rule Aims to Bolster Child Support Program
National Conference of State Legislatures – February 10, 2017
A new federal rule intends to increase the effectiveness of the child support program for all families and provide for more flexibility in state child support programs. The rule, 2016 Flexibility, Efficiency, and Modernization in Child Support Enforcement Programs, was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 20, 2016.
US: Human Trafficking Hits Record High in US
International Reporter – February 09, 2017
In late January, a police crackdown across California arrested 474 people in relation to human trafficking and helped to rescue dozens of victims including 28 children. Globally, almost 21 million people are victims of human trafficking, according to the UN International Labour Organization.
US: Sens. Lankford and Booker introduce bipartisan bill to ban juvenile solitary confinement
ADA News – February 09, 2017
Senators James Lankford R-Okla., and Cory Booker D-N.J., on Tuesday introduced the MERCY Act, a bipartisan bill that would prohibit the solitary confinement of juveniles who are tried in the federal system and held in pretrial facilities or juvenile detention facilities.
US: When Family Preservation Overrides Common Sense (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – February 09, 2017
When the law essentially allows the decision to go either way, beliefs and attitudes dictate decisions. And the judge’s belief that returning to a house of horrors is better than disruption is an example of the “Family Preservation at all Costs” attitude that currently predominates in child welfare.
US: Why DeVos should embrace early childhood education
Brookings Institution – February 09, 2017
Early childhood education is a strong investment in our nation’s future, as cost-benefit estimates report societal savings of up to $13 for every dollar spent on quality early childhood programs. But how can we convince policymakers to increase investment in early care and education and improve life outcomes for at-risk children?
India: Why This Collaborative Wants Philanthropy to Stop Funding Orphanages
Inside Philanthropy – February 09, 2017
As part of its mission, Elevate Children Funders Group (ECFG) “strongly believes and supports the idea that children are best able to thrive and reach their full potential when they remain with their families and communities rather than living in an orphanage.” As the members of ECFG see it, philanthropists should stop giving money to build or improve orphanages, and instead “invest in opportunities that build strong families and communities.”
AZ: Two Arizona bills seek better data on medicated foster children
Arizona Daily Star – February 12, 2017
Two state legislators are pushing for improved transparency about how often Arizona’s foster care children are prescribed powerful, mind-altering medications. A pair of bills recently introduced in the Legislature would require three state agencies to collaborate on a report, to be issued every two years, comparing foster and non-foster kids’ prescription rates for psychotropic medications.
AZ: From CPS to DCS: A look at Arizona’s struggling child-welfare agency
Arizona Republic – February 10, 2017
Pictoral — Images from the child welfare agency.
Also: Report: Real progress at Arizona’s Department of Child Safety, but ‘a long way to go’ (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/02/10/arizona-department-child-safety-chapin-hall-report-progress-long-way-to-go/97714984/
Also: Soon judges, not Arizona Department of Child Safety alone, could decide when to take children from families: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/02/12/arizona-department-of-child-safety-court-orders-removing-children/97660266/
CO: Parent support program shows strong outcomes for vulnerable families
La Junta Tribune-Democrat – February 12, 2017
The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) announced that Colorado families who completed the SafeCare Colorado program were significantly less likely to have an open child welfare case six months after completion when compared to similar Colorado families, according to a preliminary evaluation of the program.
CT: Investigation Finds Systemic Failures In Hartford Schools’ Response To Abuse, Neglect Allegations
Hartford Courant – February 11, 2017
An investigation by the state child advocate has revealed pervasive, systemic failures in the way Hartford responds to allegations of suspected child abuse or neglect in its public schools – in some cases, allowing educators repeatedly accused of misconduct to remain on the job for months or even years as students were “likely traumatized.”
GA: Plans boost to foster care funds
Rome News-Tribune – February 10, 2017
The human resources budget funds programs for children, the elderly and others with special needs. Foster care accounts for the largest part, according to a report by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.
GA: Bill would require new ADHD prescriptions every 5 days
Cable News Network – February 09, 2017
A bill meant to curb the abuse of prescription opioids in Georgia has stirred outrage in the ADHD community because a provision requires adults and children on medications for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to get new prescriptions every five days.
KY: Signs of hope for Kentucky’s suffering children? (Opinion)
Lexington Herald-Leader – February 10, 2017
Kentucky must do a better job of protecting its children. Too many are succumbing to abuse, neglect and their parents’ drug addictions. We’ve known this for a long time. Lest we forget, John Cheves’ recent reporting on the hellish life of one child and the bleak overall picture of child protection serves as a staggering reminder.
Also: Lawmakers mulling changes to foster care, adoption system: http://www.richmondregister.com/news/lawmakers-mulling-changes-to-foster-care-adoption-system/article_dc721654-ef28-11e6-bea9-e3239b3a9aff.html
MN: Local view: Is Duluth’s flash of violence due to opiate, heroin epidemic? (Opinion)
Duluth News Tribune – February 12, 2017
St. Louis County has one of the highest rates in Minnesota of children in foster care. We can only imagine how this trauma is affecting these children both in school performance and with their future mental health.
MN: Kresha appointed to child protection task force
Brainerd Daily Dispatch – February 11, 2017
Monday, House Speaker Kurt Daudt appointed Ron Kresha, R-Little Falls, to the Legislative Task Force on Child Protection. The task force was created to look for legislative solutions to improve Minnesota’s child welfare system.
Also: Working to keep our children safe: http://www.southernminn.com/le_sueur_news_herald/opinion/article_26e53487-0305-5247-be97-66fa2d0241a1.html
MO: Changes coming for regional foster care agency
News Press Now – February 10, 2017
Foster Adopt Connect soon will become an adoption licensing agency for a five-county area of Northwest Missouri.
MT: RiverStone, CFS partnership aims to get health care to foster kids in Yellowstone County
Billings Gazette – February 10, 2017
For kids entering foster care, early and regular health care is an important part of ensuring their health and safety. With that in mind, a partnership between RiverStone Health and the Department of Public Health and Human Services’ Child and Family Services Division is working to make it easier to deliver that health care quickly and effectively in Yellowstone County while taking a bit of the load off of case workers.
NH: Senator’s bill would make child services its own agency
Associated Press – February 12, 2017
The Division for Children, Youth and Families has been facing scrutiny and reforms following several high profile deaths and a report that found it is badly understaffed. Republican Sen. Sharon Carson is proposing a bill to split it from the health department. The proposal is up for a public hearing Tuesday.
NY: The city’s helpers are starving for aid
New York Daily News – February 13, 2017
In a given month, there are nearly 24,000 children in New York City receiving preventive child welfare services that keep them safe and with their families; more than 1,700 unaccompanied, homeless youth who have no parent advocating for them; more than 67,000 children whose families rely on city-funded child care.
NY: CPS workers struggle to protect innocent children (Includes video)
WHAM – February 08, 2017
Geer believes the county is in denial and asking workers to do the impossible. He is now putting up billboards across the country and paying for radio ads to bring attention to his concerns. “The county administration is saying that they are smarter than the experts!” Geer exclaimed. “There is always a new shock everyday – of something that I am learning these workers are going through on a daily basis.”
OH: Groups Speak Out for Silent Victims of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis (Includes audio)
Public News Service – February 13, 2017
According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), nearly half of children taken into the care of social service agencies in 2015 had parents struggling with addiction, and about 1 in 4 had parents abusing opioids or heroin.
OK: State led US in child abuse, neglect by foster parents
Associated Press – February 12, 2017
Oklahoma had more children abused or neglected by foster parents in 2015 than any state in the nation, a federal report shows.
OR: Detective: Child Protective Services worker lied in reports including sex abuse case (Includes video)
KATU – February 10, 2017
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says a Child Protective Services worker for Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) falsified at least 15 child abuse reports.
SC: Child’s abusive death spurs efforts for tougher laws in SC
Associated Press – February 13, 2017
The abuse death of 5-year-old Soren Chilson that ended in court recently with her mother and a Purple Heart veteran going to prison is over, but the fight to protect other South Carolina children from abusers appears ready to start.
SC: State shortchanging abused children, experts say (Includes video)
South Carolina State – February 10, 2017
S.C. lawmakers made the Response System part of state law in 2014, when the state’s child welfare agency was under fire for children dying from abuse and neglect while under its watch. The law directed the Response System’s network of child abuse pediatricians to create guidelines for professionals who interact with children about when they should seek a medical evaluation. But the new state mandate came with no added state money.
TX: How underage girls are sold for sex online
Texas Tribune – February 13, 2017
A series of lawsuits, anti-trafficking campaigns and a congressional inquiry into the website culminated in the January closure of its adult section, but similar ads continue to appear elsewhere on the site. The news was hailed as a victory by Texas politicians and child welfare advocates, but it’s unclear how much it will curtail online trafficking in the state. With the closure of the website’s adult section, police detectives and prosecutors expect the underground enterprise to simply find a new portal. If that happens, they will lose a relatively cooperative partner when it comes to handing over information for use in criminal investigations.
Also: Sold Out: How Texas’ crusade against sex trafficking has left victims behind: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/13/help-texas-tribune-report-on-sex-trafficking/
Also: In their own words: How Texas pimps recruit and sell girls for sex: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/13/how-texas-pimps-recruit-and-sell-underage-girls-sex/
TX: Bold changes needed to fix Children Protective Services
My San Antonio – February 11, 2017
This is a crisis. Gov. Greg Abbott was right to call on state lawmakers to be bold in their efforts to fix this vital but troubled agency. “If you do anything else this session, cast a vote to save the life of a child,” Abbott said during his State of the State speech. Texas is staring at a lean budget, but Abbott has proposed an additional $500 million for Child Protective Services.
Also: Texas House bills lay out some initial plans to overhaul CPS: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/10/state-reps-file-priority-house-bills-cps/
Also: Frank files bills on child protection, foster care: http://www.timesrecordnews.com/story/news/2017/02/10/frank-files-bills-child-protection-foster-care/97745242/
Also: SPECIAL REPORT: CPS under the microscope: http://fox4beaumont.com/news/local/special-report-cps-under-the-microscope
TX: Former Walmart location to be used as unaccompanied minors facility
Brownsville Herald – February 09, 2017
Southwest Key Programs, a national nonprofit organization located in Austin, is in charge of the 208,000 square-foot facility. The company currently operates five shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children in Cameron County through a contract with the federal government. They also have one juvenile justice alternative education program and Workforce offices through the Texas Workforce Commission.
WA: Restructure the child-welfare system (Opinion)
Seattle Times – February 10, 2017
The status quo in Washington’s child welfare system is not working. The Legislature should restructure services into a new Department of Children, Youth and Families.
WV: Substance abuse raises need for foster families
Register-Herald – February 12, 2017
Most children that come through Pressley Ridge have been affected by drugs in one way or another, Horrocks said. Of the 47 current Pressley Ridge cases, almost every one of them has a substance-abuse connection, she said.
Also: Link between drug abuse and foster care grows: http://www.timeswv.com/news/link-between-drug-abuse-and-foster-care-grows/article_a546a3f0-f1aa-11e6-9b48-c3e1878bf696.html
US: Report: U.S. Family Courts Often Award Custody to Alleged Abuser (Includes audio)
Public News Service – February 13, 2017
Over the past eight years, custodial parents killed 58 American children after a court ignored abuse claims by a protective parent, according to the Center for Judicial Excellence.
Report: Filicide in Family Courts: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-1Ne2g_0GSvW9wDlD7-ebrqJRWZRy0m7nV202ewXjX4/edit#gid=2070463478
US: Closure of adoption organization in Concord stuns clients across US
Monterey Herald – February 12, 2017
The abrupt closure of the Independent Adoption Center has shocked prospective parents across the United States who had paid the agency thousands of dollars to help them adopt a baby. Founded in 1982, the nonprofit adoption agency had offices in California, New York, Indiana, Florida, Connecticut, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia. When it closed at the end of January, 1,886 adoptions were in progress – including 412 that were being handled out of the Clayton Road headquarters, according to the agency.
US: Why does the United States still let 12-year-olds get married? (Opinion)
Washington Post – February 12, 2017
Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children – almost all of them girls, some as young 12 – were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older.
US: Native Youth: Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice and Maintaining Cultural Connections (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – February 10, 2017
The Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at The Aspen Institute introduced its first-ever online roundtable, Generation Indigenous (Gen-I), to further its reach in garnering the opinions of its stakeholders. In the resulting first annual report, titled The State of Native Youth and released in 2016, close to 700 youth aged 25 and younger answered questions about their top priorities and the resources they believe would help them succeed. Among the issues addressed were those related to the systems involving youth, including child welfare and juvenile justice, and the importance of maintaining cultural connections.
Information Gateway resource: Working With American Indian and Alaskan Native Youth: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/americanindian/youth/
Australia: Good news and bad news in child protection (Opinion)
Catallaxy Files – February 11, 2017
The bad news is from South Australia following the report last year. Given that the report only recommended more resources to do much the same things it is not surprising that The Fresh Start is just a new department and more people but no sign of a move in the direction of adoption.
France: Women and children ‘endure rape, beatings and abuse’ inside Dunkirk’s refugee camp
Guardian – February 11, 2017
Children and women are being raped by traffickers inside a refugee camp in northern France, according to detailed testimony gathered ahead of fresh legal action against the UK government’s approach to the welfare of unaccompanied minors. Corroborating accounts from volunteers, medics, refugees and other officials reveal that sexual abuse is common within the large camp at Dunkirk and that children and women are forced to have sex by traffickers in return for blankets or food or the offer of passage to the UK.
United Kingdom: Compassion Fatigue? Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children
Liberal Democrat Voice – February 10, 2017
On Wednesday there was the announcement that we would not take any more child refugees. Noticeable that the government released this statement the same day of the Brexit vote! And this story was not even on front pages yesterday.
AR: Sebastian County needs more foster parents
Southwest Times Record – February 12, 2017
Due to neglect or abuse from, or lack of education of, their biological parents, hundreds of area children are in need of foster care, said one official. It’s a statistic that simultaneously is true and difficult for many people to believe, said Aurora Pollard, a Department of Human Services community engagement specialist for Arkansas Area II. More than 750 children are in the foster care system in Sebastian County, yet there currently are only 102 homes, or 229 beds, available for foster children in Sebastian County, she said.
AZ: Our View: DCS should have a court order to yank most kids (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – February 13, 2017
Statistical evidence that too many kids are being taken into state custody can be found in the record number of children who have come into foster care in Arizona – as well as the fact that neglect, not abuse, was cause for removing 80 to 85 percent of children in recent years.
AZ: Report: Arizona Department of Child Safety turn around continues
Paradise Valley Independent – February 13, 2017
An independent report commissioned by the Arizona Auditor General’s Office has concluded the DCS is on the right track. The report, performed by Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, praises DCS for making significant strides in transforming the agency to better serve children and their families, according to a press release.
CA: Why an 8-year-old boy’s death has social workers wondering, ‘Could I face criminal charges?’ (Includes video)
Los Angeles Times – February 13, 2017
In a case that has sent a chill through the ranks of child protection workers nationwide, a Los Angeles County judge will soon decide if there is sufficient evidence to put four social workers on trial for criminal negligence in the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy they were charged with protecting.
FL: Make Florida’s mental health system stronger and a higher priority (Opinion)
Bradenton Herald – February 11, 2017
Obama’s focus on suicide prevention should be on Florida’s agenda, too. A 14-year-old Miami girl livestreamed her suicide on Facebook in January. Nakia Venant had been in and out of foster care for more than seven years. She had exhibited dangerous and self-destructive behavior, according to the family attorney, and was sexually abused by another foster child when she was 7. Her mother physically abused her. Nakia was a troubled teen who needed treatment.
IA: 20 Iowa child deaths in 2016 that could have been prevented (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – February 11, 2017
A rising number of Iowa children have been victims of homicide the past three years – from abuse, shootings and unsupervised accidents. At least 20 Iowa children died last year, including 11 from suspected abuse.
Also: Iowa’s rising child homicides heighten concerns over youth deaths: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/investigations/readers-watchdog/2017/02/11/iowas-rising-child-homicides-heighten-concerns-over-youth-deaths/97464656/
LA: Deficit-closing special session opens Monday
Columbus Republic – February 11, 2017
Colleges, prisons, K-12 public schools, the TOPS college tuition program and the state child welfare agency would be protected. Cuts would hit the privatized charity hospital services, medical school training programs, roadwork, outreach services for the homeless, economic development marketing and the Office of Juvenile Justice.
MS: Huge Need For Foster Parents In Mississippi (Video)
WCBI – February 13, 2017
The faith-based non-profit organization understands the huge need for more foster parents, that’s why they’re traveling throughout Mississippi trying to address this issue. During Monday’s orientation, dozens of families showed up looking to gain more insight on what all it takes to become a foster parent.
MT: Bill would let legislators see files on children in contact with Child and Family Services
Helena Independent Record – February 13, 2017
Letting lawmakers see private case files for children who have come into contact with Child and Family Services would help legislators better serve their constituents and make more informed decisions, a Miles City senator said Monday. Senate Bill 113, carried by Sen. Eric Moore, R-Miles City, passed second reading in the Senate on a 27-23 vote. If it passes third reading it will move to a House committee.
Also: Bill would assure foster kids’ access to activities: http://helenair.com/news/politics/state/bill-would-assure-foster-kids-access-to-activities/article_4a2784ce-c121-5750-8bbf-32a261892b37.html
ND: Lawmakers introduce bill for child sexual abuse task force
Bismarck Tribune – February 13, 2017
Two Jamestown legislators are sponsoring a bill that would create a task force on preventing sexual abuse of children and reporting recommendations for legislation. Senate Bill 2342 was introduced by Sen. John Grabinger, D-Jamestown, and had a hearing in the Human Services Committee on Jan. 30. No vote or other action has been taken since. The other sponsor is Rep. Bernie Satrom, R-Jamestown.
NH: More foster parents needed because of opioid crisis (Video)
WMUR – February 11, 2017
New Hampshire is recruiting more foster parents with special events.
NY: Social services costs skyrocket
Rochester Post Bulletin – February 11, 2017
Starting in 2017, counties are facing a new cost with out-of-home placements: Making sure social workers are available to respond and evaluate within 24 hours. In a county like Wabasha, where Hunter supervises three social workers focused on child protection plus an intake specialist, that means spreading the resources thin.
OH: Children Services Agencies Say State Budget Lacks Sufficient Funding To Handle Greater Caseload (Includes audio)
Ohio Public Radio – February 13, 2017
In the last seven years, the number of Ohio kids taken into custody by children services agencies rose by nearly 20 percent. Half of those cases involve parental drug use. Those agencies say Goveernor John Kasich’s two-year state budget proposal doesn’t do enough to help them. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports.
OR: Lutheran Community Services gets land use approval for PMH facility
Central Oregonian – February 14, 2017
In addition to Lutheran Community Services uses, Willard said they have begun reaching out to other community nonprofits such as KIDS Center and allied government organizations like the Department of Human Services and child welfare to share the location as a social services hub targeting children and families.
OR: New bill would help foster kids keep in contact with their siblings if they get separated (Includes video)
KATU – February 09, 2017
Right now, if siblings are separated in foster care, they don’t have any rights to keep them in contact with each other. House Bill 2216 would change that.
TX: When foster care couldn’t help this 16-year-old, she ran to a pimp
Texas Tribune – February 14, 2017
Jean became one of the roughly 12,000 Texas kids in long-term foster care, or “permanent managing conservatorship,” the state’s designation for children who cannot find lasting homes with relatives or adoptive parents and are unable to be reunited with their biological families. It is a system where, as U.S. District Judge Janis Jack wrote in a 2015 legal opinion, “rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm” and children often leave more damaged than when they arrive.
Also: How hollow rhetoric and a broken child welfare system feed Texas’ sex-trafficking underworld: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/02/13/how-texas-crusade-against-sex-trafficking-has-left-victims-behind/
UT: Salt Lake City joins 20 cities in brief to Supreme Court on prolonged detention of immigrants by federal government
Office of the Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT, Jackie Biskupski – February 13, 2017
‘This type of prolonged detention puts jobs at risk, creates obstacles to education, and generally hurts families living in our community, ‘ said Mayor Jackie Biskupski.
UT: Addressing Utah’s child sex abuse problem (Opinion)
St. George Spectrum – February 11, 2017
While the numbers are startling, Sarah Houser, program administrator for Child Protective Services, said the high rates may actually indicate that Utah is tougher on sex crimes.
VA: Great Expectations helps foster children earn degree, training at community colleges
WSLS – February 14, 2017
One in four children who enter Virginia’s foster care system will not find a permanent home before they turn 18 according to the Great Expectations Program. That means about 500 young people “age-out” of the system each year, which usually means making it on their own. A program helping these teens through college started in Danville.
Information Gateway Resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/programs/
International: Study looks at ways to prevent homelessness among youth with intellectual, developmental disabilities (Includes video)
Medical Xpress – February 13, 2017
Taking place in Toronto, Hamilton and Niagara, the project is bringing together- for the first time – representatives from multiple sectors, service agencies, frontline workers, co-researchers with experiences of homelessness and disability, and youth themselves to study the intersection of intellectual/developmental disability and homelessness.
AZ: Foster group aims to ease burden on families (Includes video)
3TV/CBS 5 – February 15, 2017
With 17,000 children in the foster care system in Arizona, foster agencies are constantly looking at new ways to encourage more people to become foster parents.
DC: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Family Homeless Shelter In Ward 3
WAMU – February 08, 2017
A D.C. Superior Court judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Ward 3 residents who argued they had not been given a chance to weigh in on the location of a family homeless shelter the city plans to build in McLean Gardens. The ruling removes one of the remaining obstacles to a plan by Mayor Muriel Bowser to replace the aging family homeless shelter located at D.C. General with seven smaller shelters scattered across the city.
FL: Advocates fight for driver’s license program for foster children Advocates of foster children are fighting to make a pilot driver’s license program permanent (Includes video)
WFTV – February 14, 2017
The “Keys to Independence” pilot program kicked off in 2014 and will lose its funding this year unless legislators pass a bill to keep it.
KY: Volunteers Needed in 37 KY Counties to Review Cases of Children in Foster Care
SurfKY – February 14, 2017
Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 37 Kentucky counties are seeking volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local children in foster care and other out-of-home care.
MN: Making a Difference: Program helping children in foster care (Video)
KBJR 6 – February 15, 2017
A pilot project being launched by the Minnesota Department of Human Services and UMD hopes to tackle the disproportionate number of Native American children in foster care.
MS: Nonprofit seeks to expedite foster care training
Commercial Dispatch – February 14, 2017
There are more than 5,500 children in foster care in the state of Mississippi — and about another 1,500 families needed to care for them.
MT: State House passes resolution aimed at meth problem
KECI 13 – February 14, 2017
According to the resolution methamphetamine cases statewide have more than tripled annually between 2010 and 2015, jumping from 68 to 232. Child abuse and neglect cases increased from 1,009 in 2009 to 2,466 in 2016. More than a third of the 3,000 children in foster care in 2015 were placed there because of meth use by their parents.
NC: County board focuses on foster care
Wilkes Journal Patriot – February 14, 2017
Out of 217 active foster care cases in Wilkes in December, the most ever for Wilkes, 85 children were housed outside the county due to lack of places for them to stay here.
NY: Fewer Foster Parents in Monroe County (Includes video)
WHEC TV-10 – February 14, 2017
More than 400 children are pulled out of their homes every year in Monroe County, and between the opioid crisis and the rising poverty level, it could be getting worse.
OH: FBI raids Ohio-based international adoption agency as part of criminal probe
Norwalk Reflector – February 14, 2017
The Cleveland FBI raided an international adoption agency based in Strongsville Tuesday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, a spokeswoman confirmed.
OH: Montgomery County leaders recommit to protecting children from abuse (Press release)
Dayton Children’s Hospital – February 14, 2017
Montgomery County leaders and area partners reaffirm their commitment today to keeping children safe from abuse and neglect, by signing an interagency agreement to support CARE House. Designated representatives from across the county renewed their support of the child advocacy center and its unique approach to handling the most serious, complex cases in the community.
OR: Nonprofit helps DHS find ‘Every Child’ a foster home (Includes video)
KOIN Local 6 – February 15, 2017
The Oregon Department of Human Services has struggled to connect a growing number of foster children with families as its office has dealt with numerous controversies and lawsuits.
WA: Other Views: The State Should Restructure the Child-Welfare System (Opinion)
Seattle Times Editorial Board – February 14, 2017
Restructuring the system won’t solve funding gaps, and will cost at least $10 million in the short term. But it would create a new cabinet-level secretary solely focused on youth services. It would also shift the state’s focus toward early intervention, reflecting brain research which shows how preventing childhood trauma saves costs to society down the road.
WV: WVU Tech will be changed to specialized college for foster children
WCHS-TV – February 14, 2017
KVC is a Kansas based behavioral healthcare organization that specializes in foster care services. A representative with KVC said they plan to put in a specialized college, tailored to foster students entering the working world.
Also: Information Gateway resource: College Scholarships and Support for Higher Education: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/support/education/
US: An athlete accused her coach of sex abuse. Olympic officials stayed on the sideline
Washington Post – February 14, 2017
A Washington Post examination of the case, based on a review of thousands of pages of documents produced from a lawsuit filed by Gitelman’s victims against the USOC and USA Taekwondo, offers a rare look at how America’s most powerful and wealthy Olympic sports organization responded when a victim asked for help.
Also: MSU Gymnastics Coach Kathie Klages Steps Down Amid Scandal: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/msu-gymnastics-coach-kathie-klages-steps-down-amid-scandal-n720951
Also: Pedophile coaches stalk USA Gymnastics: Our view: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/12/19/gymnastics-olympics-sexual-abuse-reporting-editorials-debates/95585134/
Canada: Ontario judge rules in favour of ‘Sixties Scoop’ survivors
Vice – February 14, 2017
An Ontario court has ruled in favour of thousands of Indigenous people who were stripped of their cultural identities when they were taken from their homes on reserves by child protection workers and placed with white families.
CA: Inside a mom’s months-long fight to get back her children
Los Angeles Times – February 16, 2017
Los Angeles County’s child abuse hotline receives a call every three minutes, on average. The calls are heavily concentrated in communities of South Los Angeles and the Antelope Valley where large numbers of black families reside, DCFS records show. Roughly one out of three black children in Los Angeles County is reported to the hotline by the time they are 5 years old, according to research by Emily Putnam-Hornstein, a professor at USC’s School of Social Work.
CA: Why do more L.A. County black children end up in foster care? Experts clash over the reason
Los Angeles Times – February 16, 2017
There are basically two theories, and the approach an agency takes to addressing the problem depends, at least in part, on which theory it accepts. One holds that social worker bias against black parents is to blame. The other argues that black children truly are victimized at higher rates.
CA: Yolo’s child welfare system is slowly changing
Daily Democrat – February 15, 2017
Acting in December, Yolo supervisors began an overhaul of Child Welfare Services, which is expected to take another year or so, and that he set in motion after serving as a foster family.
GA: Foster care system in crisis due to shortage of foster homes
News Channel 9 – February 16, 2017
In Catoosa County, 116 children are in need of state care, but there are only 14 foster families. Several counties in both Georgia and Tennessee are facing a similar reality.Children already traumatized from being taken from their families have few foster families to give them a temporary home.
GA: Gov. Nathan Deal signs amended Fiscal Year 2017 budget
Albany Herald – February 15, 2017
The budget includes $28.6 million to meet increased demand in child welfare services programs.
Also: Georgia House to take up record state budget: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2017/02/13/georgia-house-to-take-up-record-state-budget.html
IA: Hope of adoption displayed on faces at library
Ottumwa Courier – February 15, 2017
The Heart Gallery is a display of portraits of children awaiting adoption from foster care. It’s one of the ways that Iowa Kids Net attempts to find adoptive parents for the children. “I know they have it in other states as well,” said Vivian Willemsen, a recruiter and licensing specialist for Iowa Kids Net. “So it’s kind of a national program.”
IL: Parents Again: a WGEM Report (Includes video)
WGEM – February 15, 2017
Government data shows millions of grandparents, like Quincy grandmother Gloria Perkins, are now raising their children’s children. Many social service agencies point to drug use as the reason behind the growing trend.
Information Gateway resource: Supporting Kinship Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/kinship/support/
IN: Department of Child Services Appoints Kelly Broyles Regional Director (Press release)
Indiana Department of Child Services – February 15, 2017
The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) has appointed Kelly Broyles manager of Region 7. In this role she will provide broad oversight and supervision for the DCS Region 7 area, which includes Grant, Blackford, Delaware, Randolph, and Jay Counties.
KY: House passes bills to make life easier for foster children in Kentucky
Lexington Herald Leader – February 15, 2017
House Bill 192, which would allow foster children to get learner’s permits and driver’s licenses without the signature of their parent or guardian, and House Bill 180, which would allow children to be placed with neighbors or friends after being removed from a household, both passed unanimously with little discussion. They now go to the Senate for its consideration.
MA: Could you be a foster parent? If so, you’re needed
Martha’s Vineyard Times – February 16, 2017
There are fewer than five foster homes available to children in crisis on Martha’s Vineyard, even as the need for foster care seen by the Hyannis office of the state Department of Children and Family (DCF) is increasing. Kara Hemingway, a foster care recruiter for this part of the state, visited the Vineyard Saturday to speak to Islanders gathered at the Vineyard Haven library to address that imbalance by recruiting willing Vineyarders. The Vineyard is part of the Hyannis office’s territory.
MN: Grandmother of boy whose death sparked child protection reforms sues county, social workers
StarTribune – February 16, 2017
The grandmother of a boy whose murder sparked major child protection reforms in Minnesota filed a lawsuit last week saying Pope County, social workers and the child’s family members were negligent in his death.
MS: Our View: Efforts to expedite foster care training requires caution
Dispatch – February 15, 2017
There is little doubt there is an urgent need for foster parents and we applaud 200 Million Flowers for its efforts. But we also urge caution. When 200 Million Flowers says it can provide the required training over a weekend in process that often required months, we are concerned.
NC: Local rule changes needed to extend DSS child care subsidies
Reflector – February 16, 2017
Pitt County’s Board of Social Services decided Tuesday to drop the age of children qualified to receive care subsidies and implement other changes in the program.
NY: Grand jury report blasts NY foster care system
Associated Press – February 15, 2017
A foster parent accused of sexually abusing boys in his care could have been stopped years earlier if not for “abysmal” communication among the child-welfare agencies involved, according to a special grand jury report obtained by The Associated Press.
Also: Inept child-welfare agencies gave accused pedophile foster dad steady access to kid victims, report finds: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/child-welfare-ineptitude-allowed-pedophile-access-foster-kids-article-1.2973461
Also: Grand jury report: 5 child welfare agencies failed sex abuse victims (Includes video): http://hudsonvalley.news12.com/news/tri-state/grand-jury-report-5-child-welfare-agencies-failed-sex-abuse-victims-1.13129466?firstfree=yes
OH: Report: Lead in Water a Pervasive Problem in Ohio Schools (Includes audio)
Public News Service – February 16, 2017
Research from the Environment America Research and Policy Center showed that Ohio is one of more than a dozen states failing to protect children from lead contamination at school. But Melanie Houston, oil and gas director with the Ohio Environmental Council, said the report doesn’t acknowledge the state’s recent efforts to address the problem. A law signed last year to protect communities from lead contamination included $12 million dollars to help schools replace lead components in their infrastructure.
OH: Heroin abuse causes heavy strain on foster care system (Includes video)
WLWT – February 15, 2017
Experts from child care agencies are seeing a heavier strain placed on Cincinnati-area foster care systems lately. There is mounting evidence that heroin abuse is causing much of that strain.
Also: Hamilton County Job and Family Services blame heroin for record numbers of child abuse, neglect: http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/hamilton-county-job-and-family-services-blame-heroin-for-record-numbers-of-child-abuse-neglect
TX: DPS Helps Rescue More Than 70 Endangered Children in 2016
KYTX – February 15, 2017
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced today that DPS Troopers rescued 76 missing, exploited or at-risk children and initiated 42 related criminal investigations in 2016.
TX: Sex Trafficking In Texas: Dozens Of Laws, But Little Or No Help For Victims (Includes audio)
KERA – February 15, 2017
Gov. Greg Abbott has declared the state’s child welfare system as an emergency item in the current legislative session. But tied to that is a problem state leaders have battled for more than a decade – sex trafficking.
Also: Ashton Kutcher’s Impassioned Plea to Help Victims of Sex Slavery (Includes video): https://spectator.org/ashton-kutchers-impassioned-plea-to-help-victims-of-sex-slavery/
TX: The Anti-Vaccination Movement (Includes audio)
KERA – February 15, 2017
As of last fall, more than 45,000 Texas students have received nonmedical exemptions for their school vaccinations. That makes the state a prime location for an outbreak of measles – one of the most contagious and lethal of all diseases. That’s according to Dr. Peter J. Hotez, a pediatrician at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. He joins us to talk about how the anti-vaccination movement is gaining ground nationwide, which he wrote about recently in The New York Times.
TX: The Only Certainty Is Instability: A Teenager Navigates the ‘Broken’ Texas Foster Care System (Includes audio)
Texas Standard – February 15, 2017
This story is part of a Texas Standard series examining Texas foster care. It looks at who’s involved and affected by what has been deemed a “broken” system.~~ Christian Enriquez, 18 years old, lives at LifeWorks – a non-profit organization in Austin that advocates for and provides housing to youth aging out of the foster care system.
TX: Yes to more Texas CPS workers but no to foster care outsourcing, Democrats and union reps say
Dallas Morning News – February 15, 2017
Lawmakers should keep adding more workers at Child Protective Services and spread around a recent pay raise but avoid further privatizing of child welfare, two Democrats and a union representative urged Wednesday.
WA: Can Washington afford to fix its broken foster care system?
InvestigateWest – February 15, 2017
Washington state could soon have a new agency devoted to helping at-risk children and families, with the long-term goal of reducing brushes with child protective services and the courts.
WA: Lack of foster care cited in the Valley
SnoValley Star – February 15, 2017
Department of Social Heath Services officials said there are 13 foster kids among 22 licensed parents in North Bend and Snoqualmie. “We had many more foster homes in the past,” said Terry Pottmeyer, president and CEO of Friends of Youth, an organization that provides life-improving services to youths and their families.
US: Has Trump Order Put Internationally-Adopted Children at Risk? (Includes audio)
Public News Service – February 16, 2017
An Asheville mom had an unpleasant surprise this week when she called the Social Security Administration and discovered her adopted son is still listed as a “legal alien.” Although Amber Ukena had filed the proper paperwork almost 10 years ago when she brought her son home from Ethiopia, a glitch in the system put his citizenship status in limbo. Ukena called to check on it after friends who also have children adopted internationally told her they were discovering the same problem.
US: When Foster Care Overrides Common Sense (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – February 15, 2017
Last month I wrote a column called “Why the ‘Foster-Care-at-All-Costs’ Crowd Will Never Surrender Their Horror Stories.” I offered those wedded to a take-the-child-and-run approach to child welfare a deal: a mutual moratorium on the use of horror stories to make our points. But I also said those favoring foster care at all costs would never take the deal.
Canada: Williams Lake Indian Band moves toward independent child welfare
Williams Lake Tribune – February 14, 2017
Responding to last week’s report on the suicide death of 18-year-old Alex Gervais in government care, Williams Lake Indian Band Chief Ann Louie said she doesn’t agree with aging out children staying as independents in hotels.
Ireland: Body paid out 6m pounds to child abuse sufferers
Raidió Teilifís Éireann – February 16, 2017
Survivors of institutional child abuse in industrial schools received around 6m pounds’ worth of services over the second half of last year from the statutory body overseeing the distribution of funds pledged by the eighteen religious congregations which ran the institutions and a reformatory.
United Kingdom: Child sexual abuse: Agencies to get 40 Million Pound funding boost
BBC News – February 16, 2017
The cash will go towards bringing offenders to justice, targeting online exploitation, and protecting vulnerable children at risk of trafficking. A new 7.5m pound “centre of expertise” will be set up to offer support and guidance to professionals on the front line. But councils are warning that a “funding gap” of 1.9bn pounds could put child protection services at risk.
Also: Amber Rudd vows to end ‘horror’ of sickening child sexual abuse in UK with 40m pound plan: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/767804/amber-rudd-vows-horror-child-sexual-abuse-UK-40million-plan
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