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KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
These pages are only a small percentage of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma, abuse & tragedy are never spoken of or reported.
American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect in our communities.
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 January 2017)
12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in almost all states, 1/3 of state wards children are forced to take psychotropic medications. Florida reports 48% of its foster children are forced to take Prozac like drugs.
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
Compilation of information and writing on the Sad Stories pages are 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.
Recommend the exhibit to your college/university/museum – start the conversation where you live.
CA: Grand jury: Humboldt County kids ‘ill-served’ by system meant to protect them (Press release)
Eureka Times-Standard – May 30, 2017
Child abuse and how it is addressed by schools, law enforcement, and County agencies, such as DHHS’ Child Welfare Services is an explosive issue. The Grand Jury confesses that in investigating complaints from school district professionals, it was alarmed to see a social services system that was so structured that at times it seemed dysfunctional. That dysfunction concerned our investigators because children’s lives are at stake everyday.
CA: Risk, Not Substantiation, Should Drive Services to Families (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 30, 2017
OCP recommended that DCFS’ policy for cases where the SDM risk level is high or very high, but referral allegations are unfounded or inconclusive, should be revised so efforts are made to connect the family with voluntary services and supports.
KS: Editorial: More oversight for foster care
Lawrence Journal-World – May 31, 2017
Increased legislative oversight of the state’s foster care system is warranted, especially in light of reports that the state agency responsible for investigating claims of child abuse and neglect grossly failed a Lenexa boy who ultimately was murdered by his family.
KS: Navigating Kansas Foster Care System Can Be A Challenge For Parents
KCUR – May 30, 2017
Once a month, parents who have a child in foster care can meet in a Johnson County family law courtroom to learn more about the basics of the child welfare system.
KS: State law requires schools give free tuition to foster kids
Associated Press – May 30, 2017
The Kansas Foster Child Education Assistance Act passed in 2006 waives tuition and fees at state universities, tech schools, community colleges and Washburn University for students who were in foster care.
NV: School background check bill gets OK from Nevada Senate panel
Las Vegas Review Journal – May 30, 2017
AB362, also called the SESAME Law, after a national nonprofit that advocates on the issue, requires applicants to disclose past allegations, say if they left their job while there were pending allegations and say if they had a license suspended or revoked while there were pending allegations.
OK: DHS forced to cut $33 million from budget, programs and jobs at risk
KJRH-TV – May 30, 2017
DHS has compiled a list of 12 programs at risk of facing funding cuts, including: the Older Americans Act Services, Child Care Licensing and Subsidy, State Plan Personal Care Services, ADvantage Waiver Program, Smart Start Oklahoma, Adult Day Services, In-home Support Waivers, State Funded Community Services, TANF and Child Welfare Services.
PA: Lawmakers, enforcement officials ask for $9 million more to help prevent child abuse
Penn Live – May 30, 2017
In their push, officials are calling for the establishment of a competitive grant program that would benefit Pennsylvania’s four home-visiting programs: Nurse-Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Healthy Families America and Early Head Start. These programs, officials said, show evidence of effectively preventing child abuse and neglect, and ensuring at-risk children have access to education, healthcare, safety and more.
Also: Midstate DAs call for more funding for child abuse prevention programs: http://cumberlink.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/midstate-das-call-for-more-funding-for-child-abuse-prevention/article_ea9d3591-04d8-574b-b648-b592b878c60a.html
PA: Penn State Named Site of National Child Abuse Prevention Center
Psychiatric News – May 30, 2017
The goal of the new center, which will supplement the university’s Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, is to prevent child maltreatment and promote the health and well-being of abuse survivors.
TX: Lawmakers again focus on criminals more than sex-trafficking victims
Texas Tribune – May 31, 2017
The 2017 legislative session, which wrapped up on Monday, largely continued lawmakers’ trend of focusing on criminals more than victims.
TX: 3 fathers in jail: Advocates say CPS-related violent crimes are preventable (Includes video)
KXAN – May 30, 2017
Experts in the child welfare field say this can all be prevented. “Ultimately, we’re just not putting the dollars where they need to go,” Will Francis, governmental relations director for the National Association of Social Workers Texas says.
TX: Federal report shows more cracks in Texas foster care system (Includes video)
KXAN – May 30, 2017
Out of the 100 child welfare cases reviewed in Texas, federal auditors found 46 did not comply with federal and state requirements, including investigators not reporting to supervisors in a timely manner.
Also: Report: https://oig.hhs.gov/oas/reports/region6/61500049.pdf
Also: Federal Audit Finds More Lapses in Texas Foster Care System: http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Federal-Audit-Finds-More-Lapses-in-Texas-Foster-Care-System-425261194.html
UT: Basin foster care: more and more children, not enough homes
Vernal Express – May 30, 2017
Utah’s foster care shortage is not limited to the Uintah Basin. Data shows that there are approximately 2,400 placement spots available for foster children in the state while there are 2,900 children in need of care. This leaves 500 children in need without a foster family.
US: #FosterMyEducation: New Campaign Urges States to Embrace ESSA Rules Protecting Foster Kids (Includes video)
Seventy Four – May 30, 2017
The campaign, #FosterMyEducation, has also been disseminating stories from former foster youth about how difficult school can be under a disruptive system that rapidly moves children through homes and districts.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Collaboration With Schools: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/practice-improvement/collaboration/schools/
Australia: Alice Springs rally warns of devastating consequences of removing Aboriginal children from Territory communities
Northern Territory News – May 29, 2017
Twenty years after the landmark Bringing Them Home report into the Stolen Generation was released, the rise in the rate of removal of Aboriginal kids from their families has continued, counsel assisting the commission Tony McAvoy SC said. He said it’s shameful that Territory kids receive child protection services at three times the national rate.
Canada: Quebec report of child abuse and neglect increasing: 20 new cases a day
Montreal Gazette – May 31, 2017
In 2015-2016, child welfare evaluated 27,946 alerts for children five years of age or younger. The rate of alerts to child welfare authorities spiked by 40 per cent in the past eight years compared to 2007-2008, and of these, the number of cases it acted on had increased by 27 per cent.
Canada: Bill to modernize Alberta adoption laws gets all-party support
Edmonton Sun – May 29, 2017
It’s currently illegal in Alberta to post online or advertise in any way that one wants to adopt a child. That includes posts on social media or online crowd-funding sites. In this province, adoption rates have fallen by 25 per cent since 2008, even as wait lists creep steadily higher. Yet B.C. – which allows online advertising – has seen an increase.
Egypt: Generation homeless: trying to help Egypt’s street kids
Al Monitor – May 30, 2017
For Egypt’s government and civil society groups, tackling the growing problem of street children — some from second- and even third-generation homeless families — is proving difficult.
Ireland: Child-protection audit ‘a wake-up call’ for society, report author says
Irish Times – May 29, 2017
An audit that found serious failings in the State’s child-protection system is “a wake-up call for Irish society”, the author of the report has said. Prof Geoffrey Shannon, who led the audit into An Garda Síochána’s handling of removal of children from their homes in cases of emergency, said it revealed unpalatable truths about how society treats some of its members.
Also: Child protection report: ‘We cannot fail children a second time’, says Ombudsman for Children: http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/child-protection-report-we-cannot-fail-children-a-second-time-says-ombudsman-for-children-791579.html
Also: Child protection failings: Fears for safety of children in their homes: http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/child-protection-failings-fears-for-safety-of-children-in-their-homes-451254.html
AR: Former foster youths from Arkansas meet with lawmakers
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – May 27, 2017
Two Arkansans who have experienced the state’s foster care system traveled to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. this week to meet with lawmakers and share their stories. Renee Gaddis of Hot Springs and Starr Wilson of Jacksonville were part of the sixth annual Foster Youth Shadow Day, joining more than 100 other foster care alumni from 36 states.
AZ: Valley Voice: Community helps troubled youths find right path (Opinion)
Desert Sun – May 28, 2017
The majority of youths in foster care have been victims of abuse and neglect and have experienced many obstacles along their path. To help these youths persevere despite the challenging life obstacles they encounter, Family Health & Support Network, Inc. has developed a series of integrated programs that provide important services to high-risk children and families.
CA: Cisco : Boys Town Selects Cisco ACI (Press release)
4-Traders – May 30, 2017
Boys Town is enhancing its IT foundation for the future by adopting Cisco ACI ™ as its core software-defined networking (SDN) solution for the two data centers that support the Boys Town village, 12 sites across the United States, and a host of web-based programs. The Cisco® ACI infrastructure will also help Boys Town provide services to partner organizations that help in its mission to serve children and families.
CA: How LA County Began to Face Its Big Problem With Youth Being Sex-Trafficked (Includes video)
Youth Today – May 29, 2017
Michelle Guymon is director of the Child Trafficking Unit for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and is part of the group that aims to make LA’s efforts to combat child sex trafficking a model for the nation.
FL: 11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida (Opinion)
New York Times – May 26, 2017
Not surprisingly, the marriage didn’t work out – two-thirds of marriages of underage girls don’t last, one study found – but it did interrupt Johnson’s attendance at elementary school. Today she is campaigning for a state law to curb underage marriages, part of a nationwide movement to end child marriage in America. Meanwhile, children 16 and under are still being married in Florida at a rate of one every few days.
GA: Blaylock retiring Wednesday after 21 years as Juvenile Court judge
Dalton Daily Citizen – May 28, 2017
Nearly 21 years of serving as the only full-time Juvenile Court judge ever for Whitfield and Murray counties will come to a close for Judge Connie Blaylock on Wednesday.
GA: DFCS Director Bobby Cagle: ‘There are many roads to poverty’ (Includes video)
Ledger-Enquirer – May 27, 2017
Bobby Cagle, director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, spent several days in Columbus meeting with stakeholders this past week. While in town, Cagle explained the nuts and bolts of a Blueprint for Change initiative, which aims to increase quality staffing, strengthen families and foster community engagement around child welfare issues. He also shared his personal story as a product of the North Carolina child welfare system.
IA: State’s foster care system needs changes (Opinion)
Courier – May 28, 2017
Adoption subsidies and home-schooling can be a lethal combination. Taxpayers are funding adoption subsidies that sometimes provide a generous, supplemental income to abusive parents.
IL: Joliet DCFS investigators competed for $100 gift cards given for closing most cases
Chicago Tribune – May 26, 2017
As state child welfare investigators probed allegations of abuse in the Joliet Township home where 17-month-old Semaj Crosby would later be found dead, their supervisor was launching a contest that awarded $100 gift cards to the two workers who closed the most cases in a month, according to agency interviews and internal emails examined by the Tribune.
Also: DCFS releases report examining Sema’j Crosby case work: http://www.theherald-news.com/2017/05/26/dcfs-releases-report-examining-semaj-crosby-case-work/agczkv7/
KS: State DCF records: police, doctors, social workers aware of abuse in Adrian Jones’ case
KAKE – May 26, 2017
Newly released records from Kansas Department for Children and Families reveal police and medical professionals, as well as social workers, were aware or suspicious that Adrian Jones and his siblings were being abused.
Also: Slain boy’s case raises interest in child welfare oversight: http://www.tribtown.com/2017/05/29/ks-xgr-kansas-boy-killed/
KS: Social work regulations needed (Editorial: Sky Westerlund, Executive Director, NASW Kansas Chapter)
Garden City Telegram – May 09, 2017
Instead of dismissing social work standards and damaging public protection, attention and energy would be better spent in improving the overall working conditions of the child welfare system.
NC: No to DSS plans (Opinion)
Wilkes Journal-Patriot – May 26, 2017
The stated objectives and some other parts of a legislative proposal to reform child welfare programs and other aspects of social services in North Carolina sound good. What isn’t so appealing is that Senate Bill 594/House Bill 608 require merging each of the state’s 100 county DSS agencies into no more than 30 regionally-administered, state-supervised agencies.
NH: A perfect storm for children in need (Opinion)
Seacoast Online – May 26, 2017
There is a perfect storm brewing for New Hampshire’s kids right now, with three separate but interconnected issues coming to bear: the critical need for new leadership and new direction at the State’s Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF); an opioid crisis, now in its sixth year; and a shortage of licensed foster families. The result is that abused and neglected children in New Hampshire are often not being cared for as they should be, and policymakers, parents and citizens need to take action before we let one more child suffer.
NV: Sandoval signs 19 more bills into law, vetoes 2
Las Vegas Review-Journal – May 27, 2017
Assembly Bill 180, sponsored by Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno, D-North Las Vegas, codifies a Juvenile Justice Bill of Rights. It requires child detention facilities to post the rights of juvenile offenders, including fair and equal access to services and treatment and confidential communication with child welfare staff, clergy and other support personnel.
OH: Drug crisis traumatizing children in Clark County, state (Includes video)
Springfield News-Sun – May 28, 2017
The deepening drug crisis in Clark County and Ohio threatens to leave thousands of traumatized children in its wake, local and state experts said.
http://www.springfieldnewssun.com/news/local-govt–politics/drug-crisis-traumatizing-children-clark-county-state/HSKtq3aqwzAVSDlkFcUrnM/mental health problems for foster care children
OK: House speaker ‘proud’ of session, but many Oklahoma legislators less than thrilled
Tulsa World – May 26, 2017
The DHS budget also includes an additional $11.3 million for implementation of mandated improvements to child welfare services.
PA: Emmaus foster care agency trying to recover from ties to Sara Packer
Morning Call – May 27, 2017
The Impact Project, the private foster care agency that employed homicide suspect Sara Packer and provided her with foster children, has been given a clean bill of health by state human services investigators.
TN: School-based Therapy Program serves children in all three Blount County school systems.
Albert Daily Times – May 28, 2017
Pearce, with Cherokee Health Systems, presented a program at the meeting on the therapy services offered to the Blount County school systems, including Maryville and Alcoa schools. “Sometimes kids don’t recognize that their ‘normal’ isn’t the normal we’d hope they’d have,” Pearce said. Some of the issues faced are PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, suicidality, grief and issues of permanency with children in foster care.
TX: Legislature approves $216.8 billion state budget (Includes video)
American Statesman – May 28, 2017
Both houses of the Texas Legislature approved a $216.8 billion state budget for 2018 and 2019 on Saturday that does little to improve the state’s widely criticized school finance system, boosts funding for scandal-plagued child protection agencies and maintains the state’s $800 million commitment to border security.
Also: Texas Legislature sends $217 billion budget to Gov. Abbott: http://cbsaustin.com/news/local/texas-house-approves-217-billion-budget
Also: Child welfare overhaul bills await Abbott’s signature: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/main-news/child-welfare-overhaul-bills-await-abbotts-signature/725536934
TX: Death of ‘Baby Jails’ Bill a Win for Immigrant Families
Texas Observer – May 26, 2017
Legislation written by a lobbyist for a private prison company that would’ve licensed family detention centers as childcare facilities has run out of time to pass, according to its author. Senate Bill 1018 would have lowered state standards so private prison firms could detain asylum-seeking children for months at a time.
VA: 2017 Family Reunification Month (Press release)
Office of Commonwealth of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe – June 01, 2017
I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize June 2017 as Family Reunification Month in our Commonwealth of Virginia, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
WY: Study shows link between foster care, multiple medications and teen pregnancy
Casper Star Tribune – May 29, 2017
Girls in foster care are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health conditions, be prescribed multiple medications and become pregnant as teenagers, according to a report by Wyoming researchers.
Report Synopsis: Why Are 18-Year-Olds in Foster Care 20 Times More Likely to Have a Child?: http://www.hcmsgroup.com/foster-teen-research-series-part-1/
US: AAP: Group Decisions Benefit Kids With Disabilities
Medpage Today – May 29, 2017
Shared decision-making (SDM) involving patients and physicians to develop treatment plans should always be used for children with disabilities, stated a clinical report from the Academy of Pediatrics. The report specifically suggested the practice for children with acquired and developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, neurodevelopmental disabilities, and those in the state foster care system with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
Report: Shared Decision-Making and Children With Disabilities: Pathways to Consensus: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/05/25/peds.2017-0956
US: Tribal Nations Shift ICWA Focus During National Foster Care Month
Indian Country Today – May 27, 2017
In recognition of the tireless advocacy of the many child welfare workers, foster parents, volunteers and family members who care for Native children in state custody, tribal nations have been promoting National Foster Care Month to raise awareness about the need for more Native foster homes in the United States.
US: Gillibrand, Young, and Grassley Lead Reintroduction of Legislation To Improve And Modernize Placement of Foster Children (Press release)
Office of U.S. Senator for New York Kristen Gillibrand – May 26, 2017
Senators Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), Todd Young (R-IN), and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a bipartisan effort to modernize the foster care placement process. Their effort takes steps to alleviate our overwhelmed adoption system. Senators Gillibrand, Young, and Grassley were joined in introducing the Modernizing the Interstate Placement of Children in Foster Care Act by Senators Al Franken (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Information Gateway resource: Interjurisdictional Issues: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/interjurisdictional/
US: Inside Cherokee Lawsuit to Fight Opioid Epidemic
Rolling Stone Magazine – May 26, 2017
As Hembree describes it, the lawsuit is meant to work in two ways: reimbursement and discouragement. They hope the companies will reimburse them for the costs associated with a drug epidemic, including increased law enforcement costs and money they’ve spent on child welfare cases.
US: The National Campaign Applauds Introduction of Legislation that Supports the Success of Foster Youth (Press release)
National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy – May 26, 2017
As the nation celebrates both National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month and National Foster Care Month in May, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (The National Campaign) is pleased to announce support for the Supporting Foster Youth in Successful Parenting Act of 2017 (H.R. 2682).
US: Murphy, Booker Reintroduce Bill to Protect Kids With Mental Illness in the Juvenile Justice System (Press release)
Office of U.S. Senator for Connecticut Christopher Murphy – April 06, 2017
U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee and co-author of the recently-passed Mental Health Reform Act (https://www.murphy.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/murphys-mental-health-reform-act-signed-into-law), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) reintroduced their At-Risk Youth Medicaid Protection Act on Thursday – legislation to ensure that children who spend time in the juvenile justice system continue to receive much-needed health care coverage and treatments after their release from custody. The bill will prohibit all states from terminating an eligible child’s Medicaid coverage, and instead require states to automatically restore a child’s enrollment in a medical assistance plan upon his or her release from custody.
Information Gateway resource: Cross-System Collaboration to Support Mental Health: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/collaboration/mh/
Czechoslovakia: Children saved from Nazi camps unveil monument to parents
Associated Press – May 27, 2017
The children saved by Sir Nicholas Winton from Nazi death camps have unveiled a monument in Prague’s main train station to honor their parents. The Briton arranged eight trains to carry 669 children, most of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia through Germany to Britain at the outbreak of World War II in 1939. He died in 2015 at age 106.
AZ: Catholic Charities showcases programs at inaugural breakfast
Catholic Sun – May 25, 2017
Arizona First Lady Angela Ducey, who sits on the board for Catholic Charites Community Services thanked the staff and volunteers who help fulfill the agency’s mission. “I’ve been a volunteer board member with Catholic Charities for the past two years and I have witnessed first-hand the impact that Catholic Charities has made in children, families and our most vulnerable citizens. The work that they do is inspiring,” she said.
CA: Foster kids spend the day shadowing California members of Congress (Scroll down page for article)
Los Angeles Times – May 24, 2017
On Wednesday, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) spoke about Jimenez and the more than 100 other young people participating in the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program in a speech on the House floor. Bass started the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program six years ago, during her first term in Congress. The program has grown and now the National Foster Youth Institute runs the all-expenses-paid program along with several foster support groups.
DC: New Youth Homelessness Strategy
AFRO – May 25, 2017
In the District’s ongoing battle against homelessness, even the most aggressive efforts have often overlooked teens and young adults – a particularly vulnerable segment of the community – allowing them to slip easily through the safety netting of shelter services. However, with the launch of Solid Foundations DC on May 19, an Interagency Council on Homelessness Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness, the city hopes to help vulnerable teen and young adult populations before they need shelters.
Information Gateway resource: Services and Interventions for Youth: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/interventions/
FL: Gov. Signs Barahona Claims Bill Into Law Further Compensating Young Abuse Survivor (Includes audio)
WGCU – May 24, 2017
Governor Rick Scott has signed a claims bill into law to help further compensate a young abuse survivor who-along with his sister-suffered for years, while under the supervision of the state’s child welfare agency.
IL: From the community: Foster Care Month Celebration Showcases Inspiring Approach to Increase Adoption Awareness
Chicago Tribune – May 24, 2017
Yesterday, State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington), Let it Be Us, and the Department of Children and Family Services welcomed foster parents, family members, volunteers and other advocates to the Capitol for a special celebration of Foster Care Month. The event showcased the Let it Be Us Heart Gallery, a unique resource which is assisting case workers and adoption recruiters find forever families for Illinois’ foster children.
KS: Shawnee County legislators express support for stronger oversight of DCF
Topeka Capital-Journal – May 25, 2017
Shawnee County legislators expressed support Wednesday for stronger oversight of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, a day after thousands of pages of agency records were unsealed related to 7-year-old Adrian Jones, who was killed by his father and stepmother in 2015.
KY: Family court judges tell legislative working group that more social workers would speed up adoptions
Kentucky Today – May 25, 2017
Family court judges told a bipartisan working group that adding more social workers and eliminating redundancies would speed up Kentucky’s adoption process and place more abandoned children in permanent homes.??
NC: Program gives voice to foster children
Laurinburg Exchange – May 25, 2017
Scotland County’s Guardian ad Litem program is looking for volunteers to speak for abused and neglected children.
NV: School background checks bill gets unanimous OK in Nevada Assembly
Las Vegas Review-Journal – May 25, 2017
The Nevada Assembly unanimously passed a bill that would expand the mandatory reporting and background check requirements for public school employees.
OH: Jacqueline McCray’s editorial: National Foster Care Month (Includes video)
WOIO – May 25, 2017
We’ve seen an increase in the number of children who need to come into our custody — children who have been abused, neglected, or have needs that their parent just couldn’t meet. Some would point to the opioid epidemic, but that is just part of the problem. We’re also seeing the effects of domestic violence, mental health problems, and substance abuse.
PA: Commissioners Proclaim CYS Appreciation Month
Greene County Messenger – May 25, 2017
The Greene County commissioners recently proclaimed May as “Children and Youth Services Appreciation Month” to underscore the commitment that Greene County’s Children and Youth Services (CYS) Agency has to children and to keeping them safe.
SC: Foster care caseworkers need your support (Opinion)
Greenville Online – May 25, 2017
We are not deluded to the fact that poor casework exists, the same as poor work exists in all professions. However, based on our frontline experiences, caseworkers are very much like others in the helping professions: they did not get into social work for the pay, but rather to impact and improve the lives of the children and families they serve. Unfortunately, we lose or burn out our caseworkers, because we collectively fail to support them properly.
TX: Former child bride lobbies for bill to save others from her nightmare
Longview News-Journal – May 26, 2017
Concerns about the alarming number of child brides have led 12 other states to ban marriage under the age of 16. In 2016, Virginia became the first state to adopt a policy increasing the minimum age of marriage to 18, and on Tuesday, a similar bill championed by Williams in the Texas Legislature reached Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk.
TX: Behind closed doors, Texas lawmakers strip funding for sex trafficking victims
Texas Tribune – May 25, 2017
In recent private negotiations between the Texas House and Senate about which public programs to fund and how to fund them, state lawmakers opted to kill a $3 million initiative to rehabilitate victims of sex trafficking. Though Texas leaders often boast of their efforts to end human trafficking, they have balked time and again at paying for victims’ services, despite findings that many had previous contact with the state’s child welfare system.
TX: Immunity for Texas foster-care contractors slows bill to make CPS a standalone agency
Dallas Morning News – May 25, 2017
The House on Thursday pushed back against a Senate move to grant broad immunity from personal-injury lawsuits to any of the lead contractors in GOP leaders’ proposed new regional system for procuring foster-care beds and services.
TX: Nemoway’s Law marks 10th year helping children in crisis (Includes video)
KSAT – May 25, 2017
Ten years after Nemoway’s Law was enacted, her great-aunt is still waiting for the day she can tell Nemoway that thousands of children have been adopted by grandparents, aunts, uncles and other extended family, because of her. Nemoway’s law gives relatives 90 days to file for custody after parental rights are terminated, giving them the needed legal standing to adopt those children.
TX: State Lawmakers Finalize Deal on $217B Spending Bill
NBCDFW – May 25, 2017
Texas lawmakers say they’ve finalized a $217 billion state budget deal with only a few days left to deliver the spending bill to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. The compromise announced Thursday by House and Senate budget leaders boosts funding for the state’s troubled child welfare agency but includes no new money for public schools.
TX: Texas First Lady Visits CAC of Tom Green County (Includes video)
Concho Valley – May 25, 2017
CACs, like the CAC of Tom Green County, are improving Texas’ response to child abuse through a true public-private partnership. CACs provide a victim-centered, multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to the investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, providing specialized forensic interviews, therapeutic recovery services, medical evaluation, and case management.
US: Tribes bash proposed Trump budget cuts to Native Americans
Associated Press – May 25, 2017
Dozens of Native American tribes in six Western states expressed outrage Thursday at President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to American Indian programs, saying they would erase significant progress on child welfare and climate change and gut social services and education on reservations across the U.S.
Europe: European countries seek common approach to child protection training
Guardian (UK) – May 25, 2017
Universities across Europe, including Kent and Stirling, are involved in a project to design a set of training materials for child protection services that can be used by social workers in eight different countries. The move is an attempt to create a common approach to child protection practice across Europe and, at the same time, allow social workers from different countries to learn from each other.
France: Child Migrants Stranded in Paris (Includes video)
Doctors Without Borders – May 19, 2017
In France, child welfare services have a legal obligation to protect these children. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is helping to fill some of the large gaps in the system.
Jamaica: Residents take part in child protection sensitisation session
Jamaica Observer – May 26, 2017
The event also featured the unveiling of a refreshed mural of abduction victim, Ananda Dean, who attended a primary school in the community. She was reported missing on September 17, 2008 and was found dead sometime after. To honour her memory, the national child recovery strategy – the Ananda Alert System – was established, replacing the Red Alert. It aimed to mobilise public and private sectors, civil society and communities to work with law enforcement to assist in the speedy and safe recovery of missing children.
CA: Want to Help California Foster Youth Succeed in School? Start with SB 233
Chronicle of Social Change – May 24, 2017
According to an influential report by WestEd and the Stuart Foundation, California foster youth face an “invisible achievement gap,” scoring lower on statewide standardized tests and graduating at rates lower than their peers. Students in foster care are also more likely to be suspended or expelled.
Report: Invisible Achievement Gap: http://stuartfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/the-invisible-achievement-gap-report.pdf
CO: Foster care shift: Colorado kids removed from homes now more likely to live with relatives than in group setting
Denver Post – May 24, 2017
Colorado once sent more foster children to austere and clinical residential centers than it did to the homes of relatives, institutionalizing more than 1,000 of the most challenging wards of the state each year. That has shifted dramatically over the past decade, a transition so swift and stark that more than 20 residential treatment centers in Colorado have closed.
IL: DCFS considers major changes following death of Joliet toddler Semaj Crosby
WGN – May 24, 2017
At a hearing in Springfield Tuesday, Director George Sheldon asked for a change in state law giving investigators access to records of past unproven allegations. During the hearing, testimony revealed that DCFS investigators are being pressured to close abuse cases too quickly, reported the Chicago Tribune.
KS: Foster care system at record level in Kansas
Marysville Advocate – May 23, 2017
Kansas had privatized most of its child-protection responsibilities in the late ’90s after its welfare department failed several court-ordered reviews. Between 1997 and 2012, the number of children in the system – all of them abused, neglected or beyond their parents’ control – bounced between 4,800 and 5,700. In 2012, Brownback’s first full year in the governor’s office, that number began an inexorable climb. Now the total of so-called out-of-home placements is the highest in the state’s history.
Also: Hard look at foster care is warranted (Opinion): http://www.ctnewsonline.com/opinion/article_025dd9cc-3ffe-11e7-97dc-2b6b3bed4c3c.html
NE: Number of state wards increasing; review office wonders why
Lincoln Journal Star – May 24, 2017
The state Foster Care Review Office, in its most recent quarterly report, said the state needs to determine why more children are entering the child welfare system than leaving, and what in particular has been happening in the southeast and western service areas in the 19-month period between September 2015 and March.
NY: How red tape leaves foster kids out in the cold (Opinion)
New York Post – May 24, 2017
Unfortunately, the system, which is currently responsible for some 400,000 children across the country, seems to suffer from the same kind of bureaucratic incompetence that plagues so many of our other government institutions.
OH: When foster kids are moved around, schooling becomes an afterthought (Includes video)
Hechinger Report – May 24, 2017
It was a spell of routine in a life marked by its absence. By the time Barnes, 18, started school at Riverview this past November, she’d already attended at least 13 schools. There was the public school specializing in science and math. The school attached to a foster home up the street from a roadside amusement park. And the residential school in Youngstown, Ohio, where the academics were a joke.
OH: & IL: Ohio & Illinois The Latest To Link Child Welfare System & Managed Care
Open Minds – May 23, 2017
In the last few months, we have seen two more state Medicaid plans add children in the child welfare system to the list of populations that will be served using managed care.
OK: Choctaw Nation addresses needs in Foster Care Month (Press release)
Durant Daily Democrat – May 24, 2017
May is National Foster Care Month. Choctaw Nation Children & Family Services Department operates the tribe’s Foster Care Program. The tribal program joins other offices and agencies across the country this month in acknowledging foster parents, family members, volunteers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help. There always are children in the foster care system who need to find permanent homes and connections.
Also: Creating opportunities for Cherokee families to foster: http://www.grandlakenews.com/news/20170524/creating-opportunities-for-cherokee-families-to-foster
TX: Gov. Greg Abbott provides funding for foster care placement as the need increases (Includes video)
KVII – May 24, 2017
Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the office of the governor’s Criminal Justice Division will provide funding for foster children without placement. Gov. Abbott says the number of children still sleeping in state agency offices is “unacceptable.” So he is working to fill the need.
TX: Senate approves priority House bills to address foster care woes
American-Statesman – May 24, 2017
The Texas Senate unanimously passed a priority House bill Wednesday that would make several changes to the foster care system, including keeping children at risk of entering foster care with their parents.
TX: Stronger religious freedoms in Texas could boost Catholic foster care (Opinion)
Catholic World Report – May 24, 2017
The Catholic Church in Texas will work to promote more foster parenting, following the state legislature’s approval of strong legal protections for religious adoption and foster care agencies. “Now Catholics can join other people of good will and serve Texas’ children in good faith,” said Jennifer Carr Allmon, executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops.
WA: State Solves Data Sharing Puzzle to Help Foster Students
Center for Digital Education – May 23, 2017
Thanks to legislation, the state has broken down barriers to data sharing, which has improved how education and child welfare agencies track foster care students. The result: improved graduation rates.
Information Gateway resource: Information Sharing: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/info-systems/info-sharing/
Also: Foster Care Student Data Emerges from the Shadows: http://www.centerdigitaled.com/k-12/Where-Are-the-Foster-Care-Students.html
WV: Majority of kids in county care due to parents’ drug addictions
Herald-Dispatch – May 24, 2017
The majority of kids under the care of the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services are there because their parents have drug problems, according to Rich Blankenship, deputy director of the county department.
US: Foster parent shortage dire as heroin overdoses rise
WBAL – May 24, 2017
In a policy brief from July 2016 titled “Families in Crisis,” the HRSA stated that the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Health Services “is concerned that the opioid crisis could exacerbate child abuse and neglect given that we’re seeing a link nationally. State child welfare systems have reported that they are experiencing an increase in families coming to their attention with substance use problems impacting their ability to safely parent.”
Report: 1 Families in Crisis: The Human Service Implications of Rural Opioid Misuse: https://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/rural/publications/opioidabuse.pdf
US: Guest editorial: Growing in compassion-the blessing of family reunification
Baptist Standard – May 24, 2017
“This is the work of a parent who’s going to try as hard as she can to get her child back,” I thought. I sorted the things she’d sent into drawers alongside the new things I’d purchased, contemplating our shared role as parents of this fragile, hurting, hyperactive little boy.
US: McCarthy: We can end human trafficking (Includes video)(Opinion)
Cable News Network – May 24, 2017
The International Labor Organization estimates that 20.9 million people are trafficked globally. Of those, 68% are subjected to forced labor, 26% are children and 55% are women and girls. And around 4.5 million are victims of forced sexual exploitation. It all adds up to a $150 billion industry worldwide.
India: For India’s sex trafficking victims, family members often bear part of the blame
Public Radio International – May 24, 2017
If the girls are rescued, a lot of state and NGO machinery gets involved – there are police raids and rescues, and then the state’s Child Welfare Committee has to figure out where the girls should go. Sometimes the families are so poor, they don’t want them back; they have too many mouths to feed, which is why the girl was sent in the first place.
AR: Andrew and Amy Baker of Searcy Named Arkansas Foster Family of the Year (Press release)
Arkansas Department of Human Services – May 16, 2017
The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) celebrated foster parents Tuesday at a luncheon and named Andrew and Amy Baker of Searcy statewide Foster Family of the Year for their significant efforts to support children in foster care and their families.
CA: Schiff, Bishop Praise House Passage of Bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act (Press release)
Office of Congressman Adam Schiff – May 23, 2017
On Monday evening, Congressmen Adam Schiff (CA-28) Mike Bishop’s (MI-08) bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017 (CPIA), H.R. 695, passed the House by voice vote. CPIA ensures youth-serving organizations in every state can access FBI background checks for prospective staff and volunteers.
FL: Local child welfare non-profits lose funding as Eckerd Kids focuses on keeping children out of foster care
Tampa Bay Times – May 24, 2017
Directions is one of several local agencies that will lose a combined $2.5 million following a major shake-up of the child welfare system by Eckerd Kids, the non-profit group contracted by the state to place and care for foster children across Tampa Bay.
FL: INVESTIGATIVE REPORT: Most runaways found safe, but not all endings are happy
Northwest Florida Daily News – May 21, 2017
Since 2015, law enforcement agencies in Okaloosa and Walton counties have received more than 500 reports of missing juveniles. While most are located within a day or two, a handful of those cases are still open – and a handful of families are still waiting and worrying.
HI: Lone legislator snuffs foster care settlement (3rd highlighted article)
Hawaii Free Press – May 21, 2017
House Finance Chairwoman Sylvia Luke’s decision to cut the funds was made without public input, but she explained her reasoning in a recent interview after the legislative session ended. She said she objected to paying $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees and she wasn’t sure the state could afford the higher rates. She also resented the court system meddling in what she sees as a legislative prerogative.
IA: ‘Heartbroken’ Iowa agency asks experts how to prevent child deaths
Des Moines Register – May 20, 2017
Advocates for home-schooling parents will tell you that such cases are rare, and statistics back them up. Just one of the 20 Iowa children who died in preventable deaths last year was home-schooled: 16-year-old Natalie, Reader’s Watchdog found. But revelations about the suffering of the three teens – and other cases nationally – have prompted Iowa legislators and advocates for children to call for major state reforms.
IL: DCFS under fire after closing abuse probes quickly
Chicago Tribune – May 23, 2017
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services investigators are overwhelmed by high caseloads and are being pressured to quickly close their abuse probes, even when they have not performed basic tasks like contacting police and doctors, according to several experts and lawmakers who spoke Tuesday at a joint House-Senate hearing in Springfield.
Also: DCFS Crisis: What Changes Could Be On the Horizon: http://newschannel20.com/news/local/a-dcfs-crisis-what-changes-could-be-on-the-horizon-for-the-child-welfare-agency
KS: Former DCF deputy director explains failures in Adrian Jones case from first visit with family onward (Includes video)
Fox 4 WDAF TV – May 23, 2017
Documents show DCF workers deemed Adrian safe but at very high risk for abuse and neglect. From the very first visit to the Jones’ house, Keech says the system failed the little boy.
Also: Kansas records: Several hotline calls and investigations still didn’t save Adrian Jones: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article152275662.html
Also:The Latest: Kansas clarifies time of contact with slain boy: http://news10.com/ap/the-latest-kansas-clarifies-time-of-contact-with-slain-boy/
KY: Judges tell Kentucky lawmakers to hire more social workers
Associated Press – May 23, 2017
Some prominent family court judges and adoption attorneys say the best way to improve the state’s struggling adoption and foster care system is to hire more social workers, putting them at odds with Republican leaders who have vowed to fix the problem without spending more money.
Also: Adoption reform panel says it will ‘do what is best’ for Kentucky children: http://www.wdrb.com/story/35499069/adoption-reform-panel-says-it-will-do-what-is-best-for-kentucky-children
ME: Fostering The Next Generation Part II (Includes video)
Fox 22 Bangor – May 24, 2017
The case of Logan Marr pushed the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to make changes in the Maine’s Child Welfare System. The state now puts more effort on placing a child with a relative instead of with a foster parent. But in Maine, there are over 1,800 children in protective services.
Also: Fostering The Next Generation Part I (Includes video): http://www.foxbangor.com/news/item/19953-fostering-the-next-generation-part-i
MI: Governor Signs Legislation to Help Human Trafficking Victims
Associated Press – May 23, 2017
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation that allows more victims of human trafficking to have their criminal records dismissed.
MN: Children desperately need foster families now
Waseca County News – May 23, 2017
Children in need of foster care come from all families, all areas of the state, all socio-economic backgrounds. What they share in common are their struggles. Most have been abused or neglected; some are dependent on alcohol or drugs; some have mental health concerns; some have had encounters with the juvenile justice system; some have parents who are chemically dependent, cannot cope due to illness or have been incarcerated. All need our help.
Also: Emily Piper: Minnesotans counting on Legislature to do the right thing (Opinion): http://unionandtimes.com/2017/05/20/emily-piper-minnesotans-counting-on-legislature-to-do-the-right-thing/
MS: DCF versus court-ordered guardianship
Cape Cod Times – May 21, 2017
Grandparents and relatives can follow two avenues to obtain temporary or permanent custody of children.
NH: Help children caught in drug crisis (Opinion)
Seacoast Online – May 21, 2017
This is not our usual public service editorial in which we gently try to nudge our readers to do the right thing. Consider this much more than a nudge. It’s a full-blown alert to take immediate action for anyone who can possibly open their hearts and homes to foster children. May is National Foster Care Awareness Month and there is a desperate need for foster parents. That may sound like old news because there is always a need for foster parents, but with the raging opioid crisis in New Hampshire, that need has burgeoned to unprecedented levels.
NM: State Gains foster parents as demand grows
Associated Press – May 21, 2017
The number of certified foster families in New Mexico has grown by more than 20 percent over the last two years, but state officials say more needs to be done to meet growing demand.
PA: Reports of child abuse in York County third worst in state (Includes video)
ABC 27 – May 23, 2017
Reports of suspected child abuse are at an all-time high in York County and continue to rise, according to new findings by Children Youth and Family Services.
PA: Penn State Launches National Center for Child Maltreatment Research
Chronicle of Social Change – May 20, 2017
Through an extremely competitive review process, scientific merit, which requires that the problems being investigated are considered valuable to the larger scientific community, was the criteria by which the National Institutes of Health (NIH) granted Pennsylvania State University (PSU) $7.7 million to develop and construct a national center for child maltreatment research-the first-ever of its kind.
TX: TexProtects applauds Senate passage of HB 4 (Kinship Care) (Press release)
Texas Insider – May 24, 2017
“We are grateful to the Senate for recognizing the critical need for relative caregivers to take in our abused and neglected children. Data shows us that when children must be removed from a dangerous home situation, that they usually have better outcomes when placed with relatives who already know and love them, rather than strangers in foster care. Increasing monetary assistance to these relatives, such as grandparents on a fixed income, will ultimately pay dividends by sending fewer children into the more expensive foster care system where children languish longer and experience multiple moves.”
TX: Federal lawsuit accuses CPS of discriminating against black children, families
Laredo Morning Times – May 23, 2017
A federal civil rights suit in Houston accuses Child Protective Services of discriminating against African-American children, saying they are likelier to be separated from their parents and extended families than white children.
TX: Governor Abbott And DFPS Announce Action To Secure Safe Placements For Children In Foster Care (Press release)
Office of the Governor of the state of Texas – May 23, 2017
Governor Greg Abbott today announced that the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division will provide $547,000 in funding to emergency shelters and residential facilities for support services to help reduce the number of high-needs children in foster care currently without placements. In addition to the funding, the Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS) is also announcing new contracts to qualified residential child care providers under the Emergency Procurement Waiver for Children Without Placement.
VA: Lack of support for kids who ‘age out’ of foster care system
Charlottesville News Plex – May 23, 2017
“There are limited services that are available for these kids and services that will better prepare them for transitioning out foster care,” said Stratton. She says funding for services with older foster kids can fall short some years, which can make it difficult for kids to succeed.
Also: Information Gateway Resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/programs/
WA: New department would save foster youth — and money (Opinion)
Yakima Herald Republic – May 20, 2017
Child protective service investigations and foster care placements are proxy for the hospital emergency room. Juvenile justice has a small tool kit beyond incarceration. What kinds of outcomes can we expect for our most under-resourced and vulnerable children and families if all we provide consistently is the emergency room? Today, those outcomes are unacceptable.
US: Foster parent shortage dire as heroin overdoses rise (Includes video)
ABC News – May 24, 2017
The opioid epidemic that has hit communities across the country with overdoses and crime is having another, less visible but significant impact: overloading the foster care system with children taken from the homes of suspected drug users.
Also: Report: Families in Crisis: https://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/rural/publications/opioidabuse.pdf
US: How childhood trauma can affect mental and physical health into adulthood
Greenwich Citizen – May 24, 2017
For millions of children in the U.S., poverty, neglect or abuse is a reality of everyday life, though these struggles are often hidden from view. Adult survivors often feel ashamed about and stigmatized for their childhood adversity. This makes it difficult to recognize that these events occur.
US: A simulation that tests how child welfare programs work in the real world (Includes audio)
Southern California Public Radio – May 23, 2017
The think tank, based in Santa Monica, built a model using data from 24 million children born between 2010 and 2014. With it, they simulated how investments in various types of programs could impact child welfare outcomes.
Also: Improving Child Welfare Outcomes: Balancing Investments in Prevention and Treatment: http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1775.html
US: Trump HHS Hires Include Many Dubya Vets
Chronicle of Social Change – May 23, 2017
The Trump administration has been slow to nominate people to the top tiers of leadership that require Senate confirmation. But at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), it has begun to plug in some new hires among agencies serving youth and families. Some of the hires are familiar faces who worked for the previous two presidents.
CA: Breaking Down Cultural Barriers in the Community (Press release)
San Diego County, CA – May 22, 2017
For nearly a decade, HHSA and the police department have been working together in this ethnically diverse community through a unique partnership that has a social worker like Ross maintain an office in the police department. It’s a connection that’s helping both HHSA and the El Cajon police adapt to the changing cultural landscape of the East County community.
CA: Child Welfare News Site Finalist in SoCal Journalism Awards (Press release)
PR Log – May 22, 2017
The Chronicle of Social Change and its writers have been selected as finalists in five categories for the Los Angeles Press Club’s 59th Southern California Journalism Awards. The winners will be announced at a June 25 awards ceremony.
CA: Chronicle investigation spurs calls to close foster care shelters
San Francisco Chronicle – May 22, 2017
The state attorney general’s office is looking into hundreds of dubious arrests at California’s shelters for abused and neglected children that were detailed last week in a San Francisco Chronicle investigative report.
Press Release: San Francisco Chronicle Publishes Investigative Report: How Shelters Turn Kids into Criminals: http://www.bizjournals.com/prnewswire/press_releases/2017/05/18/SF94083
Also: Dubious arrests, damaged lives: How shelters criminalize hundreds of children: http://projects.sfchronicle.com/2017/fostering-failure/
CA: Judges Demand Help for Underfunded Dependency Courts
Courthouse News Service – May 22, 2017
As California lawmakers feverishly negotiate the state budget, its judges are ramping up efforts to ensure justice for abused and neglected children by pushing for $22 million to help alleviate the crushing caseloads in dependency court.
Information Gateway resource: Courts: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/courts/
GA: Overworked workers, at-risk kids (Opinion)
Ledger-Enquirer – May 22, 2017
Bobby D. Cagle is head of a state agency whose work is hard to train and prepare for, emotionally and physically exhausting, and mostly thankless – or worse. Cagle is director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), and he was in Columbus Monday on a “listening tour” to hear local needs, concerns and realities involving the welfare of Georgia’s children.
GA: State DFCS director touts more money for Columbus foster parents, case workers (Includes video)
Ledger-Enquirer – May 22, 2017
Columbus foster parents and DFCS caseworkers struggling to improve the lives of the community’s most vulnerable children will soon receive financial incentives for their work, according to a state official.
IA: Central Iowa Summer Camp Offers Hope to Abused Foster Care Children (Includes video)
WHO-TV – May 22, 2017
The camp is specifically for kids who have been abused while in foster care. Crawford, a local pastor and camp leader, hosts two summer camps in central Iowa that can serve up to 90 kids. There are 6,000 kids in foster care across the state.
IL: Sauer shows the legislative ropes to foster care youth
Lake County Gazette – May 22, 2017
The event, organized by Foster Care Alumni of America (FCAA), invited youth in foster care and foster care alumni to shadow state legislators, learning about the General Assembly, the operations of state government and the work that state legislators do. Dewey noted that the General Assembly hosted 75 young people from nine regions of the state on May 12.
KS: To Keep Foster Care Caseworkers, Kansas Adjusts Training, Pay – But Is It Enough? (Includes audio)
KCUR – May 22, 2017
Keeping up with caseloads is a challenge under normal circumstances, let alone at a time when the number of children in the foster care system is breaking records and state lawmakers plan to increase scrutiny of the system. The Kansas Department for Children and Families, which oversees the system, and its two foster care contractors say they have increased salaries and offered more training to recruit and retain caseworkers. Under Kansas’ privatized system, DCF investigates potential abuse and neglect, while KVC Health Systems and Saint Francis Community Services attempt to return children to their families or find adoptive homes.
KY: No cheap or easy fix for Kentucky adoption system
Courier-Journal – May 22, 2017
Meanwhile, a legislative work group is undertaking a comprehensive, public review of adoption and foster care in Kentucky with the first meeting scheduled May 23 in Frankfort. Foster parents, lawyers, judges and others involved with child protection warn the state needs to consider all aspects of the very complicated system before enacting changes. Some question the need for a highly paid adoption czar when the system already is starved for resources. “The governor, I don’t think he’s prepared to put the money in the system that it truly needs,” said Joseph S. Elder II, a Louisville family court lawyer.
MA: Kids from homes with drug abuse face uphill battle
Cape Cod Times – May 22, 2017
Researchers have found some evidence that babies exposed to opioids in the womb suffer higher rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, as well as learning disabilities and smaller head circumference. But research on trauma in early childhood is much more definitive: Children who grow up in homes where the caregivers abuse drugs or have mental illness suffer one of the most common forms of traumatic stress. And they are at a heightened risk for school failure, dropping out, criminal activity, dangerous sexual behaviors and addiction, said Joseph Spinazzola, executive director of the Trauma Center and vice president of Behavioral Health and Trauma Services at the Justice Resource Institute, a statewide nonprofit organization.
Also: For parents in recovery, each step forward a milestone: http://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20170523/for-parents-in-recovery-each-step-forward-milestone
ME: Fostering The Next Generation Part I (Includes video)
WFVX – May 23, 2017
Fostering The Next Generation tells the stories of foster parents in the state, covering the good, the bad and the ugly in part one of fostering the next generation.
MI: In fights with state, who speaks for parents? (Includes video)
Lansing State Journal – May 22, 2017
This month, a father whose parental rights were terminated over allegations of sexual abuse represented the Families Civil Liberties Union when he testified in support of proposed legislation that would require some CPS interviews of children to be videotaped. The FCLU is a five-year-old New Jersey group pushing for parent-friendly child welfare reforms. The testimony of Cary Flagg, a Mecosta County father, is the first time the group was represented at the statehouse in Lansing.
NC: System in crisis: Foster care families at all-time low in Onslow Co.
WNCT – May 22, 2017
Officials with the Department of Social Services say the number of children needing foster care has far outgrown the number of families willing to provide it. Some children come from traumatizing backgrounds with abuse and neglect, and others have developed behavioral problems.
NE: Families Collaborative reaches contract extension with state to manage Omaha-area child welfare cases
Omaha World-Herald – May 23, 2017
Russ Reno, a spokesman for the State Department of Health and Human Services, said the agreement will be worth up to $71.5 million a year, for 2 years with provisions similar to the current contract. He said the extension gives time for HHS officials to redo the bidding process “while evaluating the best way to move forward” to provide continuity and stability for children, families and the child welfare system.
NY: Golden wants commission to study child abuse prevention
Brooklyn Daily Eagle – May 23, 2017
Families in which children are in grave danger of being abused have only a small number of programs that can help them avoid tragedy, according to state Sen. Marty Golden, who said New York state needs to do more to save children’s lives.
OR: Former child welfare director felt ‘targeted and vilified’ before resignation
Statesman Journal – May 21, 2017
Lena Alhusseini, Oregon’s former child welfare program director, told an advisor to Gov. Kate Brown in March that she felt “targeted and vilified” after coming to the post last November, emails obtained by the Statesman Journal show.
TN: East Tennessee judge leading new 7 state opioid program (Includes video)
WBIR – May 22, 2017
The Regional Judicial Opioid Initiative (RJOI) will bring leaders together across seven states including Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina to explore tactics to fight the epidemic.
TX: Senate passes religious protections for child welfare agencies
Texas Tribune – May 22, 2017
Texas senators voted 21-10 on Sunday to give child welfare providers protection from legal retaliation if they assert their “sincerely held religious beliefs” while caring for abused and neglected children in foster or Child Protective Services custody.
Also: Texas bill allows child agencies to deny services based on religion: http://www.readingeagle.com/ap/article/texas-bill-allows-child-agencies-to-deny-services-based-on-religion
Also: Texas adoption bill ignores science, parenting experts in favor of dogma: http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/stevens/ct-monday-daily-balancing-texas-adoption-0522-20170522-column.html
TX: Senate votes to make child welfare department an independent agency
Texas Tribune – May 22, 2017
Texas senators unanimously approved a bill that would make the Department of Family and Protective Services its own standalone department.
TX: State Senate approves monthly payments for relative caregivers of abused children
Texas Tribune – May 22, 2017
Texans who take in abused and neglected children who are related to them could soon have access to monthly payments to help them pay for items like beds, food and clothes.
Also: Texas Senate passes bill to raise payments for relative foster parents: http://www.statesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/texas-senate-passes-bill-raise-payments-for-relative-foster-parents/yZ8Ln5DFBqN47fsrZPMvQO/
US: A Better Way to Ensure Educational Stability for Foster Kids (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 22, 2017
While educational stability is an important goal, it seems somewhat incongruous to use Alex’s story to illustrate how the new legislation would help achieve it. The new law would not require that students like Alex be placed near their existing schools. Rather, it would require Los Angeles to transport Alex 50 miles each way from the group home to his school. Margaret Henry, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, noticed the same problem. In her column, When Finding Educational Stability for Foster Youth, Maybe It Does Take a Village, she asks: “Why spend money transporting children for hours to their home school, instead of working harder and more creatively to find them placements in their home school’s district?”
US: Are We Helping Kids in ‘Kinship Care’? (Opinion) (Includes video)
Medscape – May 22, 2017
By 2013, 7.8 million (1 in 10) children in the United States were being raised in a home where the head of the household was a grandparent or other relative. There were at least 2.7 million children whose caregiver was identified as not being a biological parent. I can only imagine how much the number of such families has grown since then, begging the question: If there are so many families living in kinship care, are we sure that we are providing the most effective care for these families?
US: Facebook’s Leaked Child Abuse Guidelines Anger Parents and Advocates
Fatherly – May 22, 2017
Facebook is here to stay and, unfortunately, so are the challenges that come with moderating the horrific images of abuse that occasionally surface online. Over the weekend the Guardian published a selection of Facebook’s internal moderation manuals, which shed light on how the company moderates images that depict non-sexual child abuse.
US: The RAND Approach to Child Welfare: Cutting Cost, Improving Outcomes
Chronicle of Social Change – May 22, 2017
Today, the RAND Corporation issued a report describing how federal child welfare policy could be changed to improve outcomes for children and youth while saving $12.3 billion. To reach its conclusions, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based nonprofit research firm developed a model that points to the value of increased spending on child maltreatment prevention while also expanding and improving supports for kin caregivers, relatives who care for foster youth.
Report: Improving Child Welfare Outcomes, Balancing Investments in Prevention and Treatment: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1775.html
Related: Achieving Better Results for Kids in the Child Welfare System: https://www.rand.org/pubs/infographics/IG133.html
Australia: Government urged again to adopt 1997 Stolen Children recommendations (Includes audio)
SBS World News Radio – May 23, 2017
It’s been 20 years since the landmark Bringing Them Home report was released in 1997. It brought the forced removal of Aboriginal children, and its intergenerational effects, into the public eye. At a 20th anniversary event in Canberra, the Healing Foundation released a new report, reiterating many of the original recommendations.
Germany: After Taking a Million Refugees, Germany Curtails Family reunions from Greece
National Herald – May 22, 2017
Germany is sharply limiting family reunions for refugees arriving from Greece, local media reported, concerned about a backlash after taking in a million people and said to be facing “limited capacity” for more.
Ghana: ActionAid educates parents on child protection
Ghana News Agency – May 22, 2017
Mr. Dabre Tanko, a Social Development Officer, Amasaman Department of Social Welfare, has called on parents to acquire birth certificates for their children, especially the girl-child. This, he said, would help parents to defend girls in cases of abuse.
Nigeria: FG, Jose Foundation Curbing Child Sexual Abuse
Leadership – May 23, 2017
An international non-governmental organisation, Jose Foundation since 2003 has continue to champion the fight against child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Nigeria. To address the issue of CSE in the country, Jose Foundation has been carrying series of public awareness on how parents can protect their children from falling into the hands of sexual exploiters.
AK: Preventing human trafficking of homeless youth by building connections (Includes audio)
Alaska Public Media – May 19, 2017
Josh Louwerse is the youth engagement coordinator at Covenant House Alaska, Anchorage’s only homeless center for youth. He’s very aware and cautious of assumptions people make about where people are most at risk.
CA: CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety hits streets in Merced County gang raids
Inside CDCR – May 19, 2017
The former military base was bustling with activity as nearly 500 federal, state and local law enforcement personnel hit street gangs in pre-dawn raids, nabbing more than 50 Sureno gang members. One of the co-investigating agencies was CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety (OCS). According to the district attorney, the Child Protective Services (CPS) agency was very involved in the operation.
CA: Don’t criminalize foster youth (Opinion)
San Francisco Chronicle – May 19, 2017
California’s shelters for abused and neglected children are supposed to be temporary refuges for the state’s most vulnerable population. Instead, a Chronicle investigation has found that some of the state’s county-run shelters for foster children are serving less as refuges and more as incubators for the criminal justice system.
CA: Foster Youth Share Tough Transition Challenges at University of San Diego
NBC San Diego – May 19, 2017
Foster youth explained the immense challenges facing teenagers who age out of the foster care system at the University of San Diego Friday. “Right now, this time of year is a very difficult time for foster kids that are transitioning out of foster homes and into the real world. I know how scary it is and I was there,” said San Diego Councilmember Lorie Zapf at the event.
CO: Major Colorado foster kids jump due to heroin epidemic
Pueblo Chieftain – May 20, 2017
Just five years ago, U.S. Social Services agencies were observing a slow but steady decline in the number of children in foster care, having seen nearly a 6.5 percent drop from 2009 to 2012. But in 2013, those figures suddenly began to rise: 3,800 more children entered the foster-care system in that year alone and by 2015, the most recent year with available data, the number of children in foster care had risen by more than 30,000 kids – a 7.7 percent increase over the four-year span.
FL: State Officials Begin Divvying Up Federal Opioid Grant Funding (Includes audio)
WUSF Public Media – May 18, 2017
State officials will use the federal dollars to fund six new positions working with child protective services, drugs to counteract overdoses and prevention outreach programs. Nearly $4 million will go the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association to purchase a drug called Vivitrol that helps people in recovery stay clean by blocking the effects of opioids.
IA: Adoption Investigator: Kids Sometimes Placed In ‘Least Bad of All the Bad’ Situations (Includes video)
WHO TV – May 18, 2017
In October, West Des Moines 16-year-old Natalie Finn died of a heart attack due to starvation in her adopted home. Just last week, 16-year-old Sabrina Ray was found dead in Perry. She weighed just 56 pounds. Pearce said, “Those of us in the adoption world need to get together and ask each other ‘how can we solve this?'”
Also: Branstad says ‘tragedy’ of teens’ starvation deaths will be reviewed: http://www.radioiowa.com/2017/05/19/branstad-says-tragedy-of-teens-starvation-deaths-will-be-reviewed/
ID: The Community Builder Moves Forward with Homeless Youth Housing Project (Press release)
Community Builder – May 20, 2017
The Community Builder, moves forward with youth transitional housing project in Nampa to provide safe and stable living for Nampa’s homeless youth. The vacant building at 8444 Dearbourne Rd. formally Scism Elementary, a Nampa School district property will become the home of Idaho Youth Cares transitional living for unaccompanied youth age 16-17.
ID: Our View: Follow these fixes for Idaho’s broken foster system
Magic Valley Times-News – May 19, 2017
Over the past several weeks, we’ve featured a three-part series on Idaho’s ailing foster-care system. It probably comes as no surprise to readers that Idaho’s system is in trouble – that’s the case in states across the country. But it’s the depth of Idaho’s problems that’s truly stunning.
Three Part Series: http://magicvalley.com/bigstory/
KS: Legislature right to examine the state’s foster care system (Opinion)
Hutchinson News – May 19, 2017
The state of Kansas can no longer ignore some of the problems that have long plagued the state’s foster care system – and this week the House of Representatives passed a measure to attempt to restore accountability to the system that cares for some of the state’s most vulnerable children.
MD: Baltimore police, prosecutors seek help from child witnesses to crime (Includes video)
Baltimore Sun – May 19, 2017
The Police Department and state’s attorney’s office will announce Monday that they are partnering with trained interviewers at the Baltimore Child Abuse Center to question children who have witnessed violence or other crimes. The idea is both to help children deal with the trauma and to solve the crimes.
ME: LePage, Mayhew and their restriction-happy stewardship of DHHS (Opinion)
Bangor Daily News – May 19, 2017
Gov. Paul LePage and DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew want a waiver to add more restrictions to MaineCare access. Thankfully, there is some talk about the cost of such proposals as evidenced in other states, and there were hearings this week for public comment.
MN: Need for foster parents is great statewide
Worthington Daily Globe – May 19, 2017
Across the state, there is a desperate need for foster parents, notes Minnesota Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper. In the past three years, the number of children in the state’s foster care system on an average day has increased by 51 percent, from approximately 6,200 in 2013 to 9,400 in 2016.
MN: Rural Minnesota leader: Lawmakers, please support County Program Aid (Opinion)
Grand Forks Herald – May 19, 2017
Counties work to administer programs of the state. They are the local delivery system for critical and costly state-mandated programs related to mental health, child protection, family services, public safety, corrections and other areas.
MN: State Senate slows drive for tougher penalties for female genital mutilation
Pioneer Press – May 19, 2017
“It’s an important issue. We are very concerned about that. We want to make sure in the Senate we get it right,” said Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. Gazelka, a Republican from near Nisswa, said the Senate wants to explore the issue completely with its experts on criminal penalties before it passes the measure onto Gov. Mark Dayton.
MN: Work conditions of human services employees gets House attention (Press release)
Minnesota House of Representatives – May 19, 2017
Policy provisions addressed in HF696/ SF359*, sponsored by Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar) and Sen. Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids), would include child and adult foster care background studies and planning and case management requirements for home and community-based waivers. The changes are intended to address workforce shortages and employee retention, Baker said.
NC: Bill proposes complete makeover of social services
Bladen Journal – May 21, 2017
As of late, the word “crisis” is being used to describe the foster-care situation, and rightly so, according to a recent report submitted to the 2017 North Carolina General Assembly. More than 12,000 children are wards of the state, a number that has seen a 25 percent spike in the last five years. The report revealed that 30,000 children enrolled in public schools are homeless and prompted action on the part of some lawmakers.
Also: Bills join DSS agencies: http://www.dailyadvance.com/News/2017/05/20/Bills-join-DSS-agencies.html
NC: ‘Raise The Age’ bill to keep teens out of adult court passes NC House 104-8 (Includes video)
Raleigh News & Observer – May 17, 2017
House Bill 280 would allow a 16- or 17-year-old who commits certain crimes to be tried as a juvenile – not as an adult. North Carolina is the only remaining state that automatically prosecutes people as young as 16 as adults. Violent felonies and some drug offenses would still be handled in adult court.
NE: Programs for addiction, mental health facing cuts
Associated Press – May 21, 2017
Dubas, a former state senator, said she understands the budget predicament but argued that the cuts will ultimately cost the state more. Parents who don’t get treatment for a drug addiction or mental health problem are more likely to lose custody of their children, putting additional strain on Nebraska’s child welfare system, she said.
NJ: Child-welfare agency doing better job protecting kids, monitor says
NJ 101.5 – May 22, 2017
Fourteen years ago, the state Division of Youth and Family Services, DYFS, was placed under the supervision of a federal monitor after a series of shocking and disturbing incidents came to light about child abuse and neglect. The overhaul of the state’s child welfare system has been ongoing ever since, and officials say great progress has been made.
NV: Altered bill on rape kits moves through Nevada Legislature
Las Vegas Review-Journal – May 19, 2017
SB169 will continue moving forward with a provision making it a crime for employees and volunteers with child welfare agencies to have sex with minors 16 or 17 years old and under the agency’s care.
OH: Opioid crisis straining children’s services in Ohio, Butler County
Journal News – May 19, 2017
The opioid epidemic is overwhelming children’s services providers in both Butler County and Ohio as the public health crisis deepens throughout the state. Of the 375 children in the care of Butler County Children Services, 161, or 43 percent, come from families where drugs were cited as the reason for the removal of the children, Bill Morrison, interim executive director of Jobs and Family Services, said. Of those, 101, or 63 percent, came from parents addicted to opioids, he said.
OK: City of Wagoner proclaims Foster Care Month
Tulsa World – May 19, 2017
Child Welfare Specialist Beth Passmore said one of the biggest parts of her job is to raise awareness of children in need to the possible foster parents that are out there. Passmore is a Foster Care Services Recruiter at the Wagoner County Department of Human Services Center.
Information Gateway resource: Foster Care Month 2017: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/
OK: Creating better opportunities for Cherokee families to foster
Muskogee Phoenix – May 19, 2017
Cherokee Nation has a strong Indian Child Welfare program, and we have always emphasized the importance of protecting our children. The month of May is Foster Awareness Month nationwide, and it’s important to highlight the work of our tribe’s child welfare workers and so many caring Cherokee foster parents.
OR: ‘Unable to get the results we need,’ Oregon child welfare director resigns
Oregonian – May 19, 2017
Lena Alhusseini did not offer any explanation for her resignation, which she emailed to Department of Human Services Director Clyde Saiki on Wednesday. But in a statement on Saiki said Alhusseini acknowledged that during Alhusseini’s tenure, “we have not been able to get the results we need to achieve” in improving basic child welfare practices and outcomes.
Also: Oregon DHS Director Of Child Welfare Resigns: http://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-dhs-director-child-welfare-resigns/
PA: Wolf administration discusses heroin and opioid epidemic effects on children and families
Progress News – May 20, 2017
“Governor Wolf’s administration has been consistently supportive of providing resources to combat the many challenges that come with the heroin and opioid epidemic facing the commonwealth, including its impact on children and families,” Dallas said. “We are committed to the safety and health of all Pennsylvania children and by collaborating with private partners we are better able to keep our kids safe.”
TN: How to help foster children without fostering
Tennessean – May 19, 2017
When a child comes into foster care, the Department of Children’s Services does not operate alone. The network of public and private supports is vast – judges, advocates, health practitioners, law enforcement, teachers, foster parents, volunteers, nonprofit agencies, schools and churches.
TN: Program teaches East Tennessee foster children how to ice skate, life lessons (Includes video)
WATE – May 19, 2017
“Some of us are lucky. We have our moms. We have our dads and some of us never met our mom or dad for whatever reasons. These kids are athletes just like any other kid, but they just don’t have the means,” said LaBorde. Lessons don’t cost anything and so far there are roughly 60 children who are part of the Skate for Our Future program. The approach boils down to life on and off the ice.
TX: Religious-refusal foster care bill heads to Gov. Abbott’s desk
Austin American-Statesman – May 22, 2017
Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, who presented House Bill 3859, said it would protect the free practice of religion while keeping essential faith-based organizations in the child-welfare system, which is plagued by a shortage of homes for children who had been abused or neglected.
Also: Why is Texas violating the rights of children who only want to be in homes with good parents? (Opinion): http://religionnews.com/2017/05/19/why-is-texas-violating-the-rights-of-children-who-only-want-to-be-in-homes-with-good-parents/
Also: ‘Discrimination Sunday’: Texas rushes to pass transgender ‘bathroom’ bill and measure allowing bias in adoptions, foster care: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/05/22/discrimination-sunday-texas-rushes-to-pass-transgender-bathroom-bill-and-measure-allowing-bias-in-adoptions-foster-care/?utm_term=.b4486ecff33b
TX: Doctors worry as Texas lawmakers OK vaccine restrictions
Associated Press – May 19, 2017
Texas would restrict emergency immunizations given to children removed from troubled homes under legislation that worries doctors and is a victory for vaccination opponents.
TX: Katy-area foster care system seeing placement deficit for children
Community Impact Newspaper – May 19, 2017
The number of foster children in need of homes in Fort Bend and Harris counties far outnumbers the number of foster families with rooms available between the same county lines, according to data from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
UT: Foster care shortage; so many children, not enough homes
St. George News – May 21, 2017
More children are being placed in the state’s care than ever before, and a shortage of foster parents means there are more children than homes to place them in.
WA: New Parenting Program Helps Incarcerated Parents Connect With Their Children
Corrections Connection – May 22, 2017
Suarez is a recent graduate of Parenting Inside Out program at the Washington Correction Center for Women (WCCW). Parenting Inside Out is a series of classes to help incarcerated parents reestablish contact with their children while they’re behind bars and learn effective parenting skills to use after release.
WA: New department would save foster youth — and money (Opinion)
Yakima Herald Republic – May 20, 2017
Child protective service investigations and foster care placements are proxy for the hospital emergency room. Juvenile justice has a small tool kit beyond incarceration. What kinds of outcomes can we expect for our most under-resourced and vulnerable children and families if all we provide consistently is the emergency room? Today, those outcomes are unacceptable.
WI: Social Services discusses unborn child abuse judgment decision
Lakeland Times – May 19, 2017
Vilas County Social Services met Tuesday to discuss how the recent unborn child abuse judgment decision will affect the services they can provide and the actions they can take involving pregnant women. On April 28, a federal court in Wisconsin ruled a state law allowing the detention, forced treatment and incarceration of pregnant women as unconstitutional.
US: Ex-Arizona social services head joins Trump administration
Associated Press – May 22, 2017
The former head of Arizona’s social services agency had landed a job with the Trump administration. Clarence Carter is working as director of the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Family Assistance. The office oversees nearly $17 billion in annual welfare grants to assist families in states, territories and on Indian reservations.
US: Parental Drug Abuse Sent More Than 85,000 Kids Into Foster Care In 2015
Daily Caller – May 20, 2017
After steady declines between 2009 and 2012 U.S. Social Services agencies experienced a sharp increase of children in need of foster care. Officials blame drug abuse, particularly addiction to painkillers and heroin. Drug addiction is now the second leading cause for removal from parental custody, following child neglect, which social workers note is often exacerbated by drug use in the home, reports the Associated Press.
US: America Needs to Do More to Support Mothers in Prison (Opinion)
Vice Magazine – May 19, 2017
Studies show helping moms stay in touch with their kids behind bars is good for inmates and their families. So why aren’t we doing more?
US: Reps. Granger, Lawrence & Sens. Blunt, Klobuchar Introduce Vulnerable Children and Families Act (Press release)
Congresswoman Kay Granger – May 19, 2017
The measure would help more children living without families or in institutional care find permanent homes by enhancing U.S. diplomatic efforts around international child welfare and ensuring that intercountry adoption to the United States becomes a more viable and fully-developed option.
US: The big squeeze on human needs programs continues (Opinion)
Hill – May 19, 2017
Many Democrats and Republicans breathed a sigh of relief when, last month, Congress finally passed and President Trump signed the budget bill for the current 2017 fiscal year. But a broader, more historic view of funding for our nation’s crucial human needs programs is considerably less rosy.
US: The Deportation Fears of Immigrants With Disabled Children
Atlantic Monthly – May 19, 2017
As the Trump administration promises to deport a broader range of people, parents like Rafael and Sonia increasingly are seeking help to stay in the country so they can tend to very sick children, according to interviews with doctors, lawyers and others who work with immigrants. And these professionals say they are struggling to come up with sound advice.
US: There Are 58,000 Slaves in the United States Right Now
Inverse – May 19, 2017
The Global Slavery Index (GSI) offers the following recommendations for the U.S. to curb slavery: Improve the provision of appropriate housing for child trafficking victims, Increase screening of at-risk persons for human trafficking …
US: Caring for immigrant youth fleeing Central America
Crain’s New York Business – May 18, 2017
“It made us think, Wow, how many kids have we seen whose situation we didn’t fully understand and we never thought of referring to lawyers?” he said. “Pediatricians and family medicine doctors might be seeing youth who have this way of winning legal relief. But if you don’t ask the right questions, you won’t know.”
Europe: Still Stuck in Greece and Italy: EU Members Not Meeting Migrant Relocation Quotas
EU Bulletin – May 19, 2017
The EU Parliament said that EU countries must fulfill their obligations to accept asylum seekers from Italy and Greece, giving priority to unaccompanied minors. The Parliament further said that Malta and Finland were the only member states on track to reach their target and that relocation measures must be extended until the reform of the “Dublin” asylum system. The EU Commission was also urged to consider infringement procedures. Most member states still lag behind their targets and two are still not participating in the scheme at all.
Also: UNICEF report shows unaccompanied child migrants up five-fold: http://gizpress.com/2017/05/19/unicef-report-shows-unaccompanied-child-migrants-up-five.html
International: Traffickers and smugglers exploit record rise in unaccompanied child refugees
Guardian – May 17, 2017
A record increase in the number of refugee and migrant children travelling alone has left many exposed to sexual abuse and exploitation at the hands of traffickers and opportunists. At least 300,000 unaccompanied and separated children were recorded in 80 countries in 2015-16, a rise of almost 500% on the 66,000 documented in 2010-2011, according to a Unicef report published on Wednesday.
Pakistan: Crack down on men trading young daughters to settle debts and disputes
Public Radio International – May 15, 2017
The sentence ordered by the council was one of the hundreds of incidents known as vani that are estimated to occur annually in central Pakistan. Also known as swara and sangchatti, the 400-year-old custom involves fathers offering girls as young as 1 for arranged marriages to repay debts and settle tribal feuds and vendettas. Human rights workers are concerned that the practice of vani is on the rise – an assessment based on local police records, regional media reports and direct work with victims. But there’s hope that a new civil mediation system approved this year by the Pakistani government could help.
Serbia: Unaccompanied minors among stranded migrants in Serbia
Associated Press – May 18, 2017
A report by the U.N. children’s agency published on Wednesday warned that more than 300,000 children like Ullah have been migrating alone worldwide over a two-year period, in a dramatic escalation of a trend that has forced many young refugees into slavery and prostitution.
United Kingdom: Facebook accused of failing to protect children after ‘alarming’ policies on moderating child abuse revealed
Mirror – May 22, 2017
Facebook has been accused of failing to protect children, after a trove of documents leaked by The Guardian newspaper revealed the social network’s policies on dealing with child abuse. According to Facebook’s internal moderation manuals, videos of non-sexual child abuse shared on the social network will not be removed, but marked as “disturbing”.
CA: Review of Children’s Trust Fund ongoing
Our Weekly, Los Angeles – May 19, 2017
County Supervisors voted this week to explore alternatives to the Children’s Trust Fund unit, a group within the Department of Children and Family Services charged with raising money to fund toys, summer camp and other extras for foster kids. A recent audit found that thousands of toys sat unused in a warehouse, funds were mismanaged and other gifts went missing.
CA: Children in debt: Sacramento County to stop charging kids for getting locked up in juvenile hall
News Review – May 18, 2017
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors moved last month to end juvenile-justice fees-and write off those already levied but not paid-effective July 1. The April 11 vote occurred during the consent portion of the board’s agenda, meaning there was no discussion, no fanfare for a striking policy shift that will be far reaching.
CA: Santa Clara County sued by pediatrician fired in wake of toddler’s killing
Mercury News – May 18, 2017
A pediatrician who was one of two fired by Santa Clara County last year for allegedly failing to report glaring signs of abuse on a toddler – which may have spared the 2-year-old boy a horrific death had it come to light – has filed a lawsuit against the county, saying she was scapegoated for problems she was trying to fix.
CA: WORLDFLIX : New Swantry App Aimed at Billion Dollar European Child Protection Market (Press release)
WorldFlix – May 18, 2017
Swantry, a cutting-edge monitoring and control app that provides Parents, Schools, and Caregivers a secure way to monitor and set controls on children’s smartphones and tablets, is set for release in both the US and Europe and is expected to fulfill the exponentially growing need for child protection and privacy online.
CA: Yolo Supervisors OK draft document for child welfare services
Daily Democrat – May 18, 2017
Yolo Supervisors have taken action to address concerns about the local Child Welfare department. Tuesday morning the Board adopted an interim draft bypass policy and procedure to improve one aspect of public scrutiny.
IA: Legislators call for joint hearing on DHS following Perry teen’s death (Includes video)
DesMoines Register – May 18, 2017
Iowa legislators, alarmed by the latest death of an adopted Iowa teenager, are scheduling a joint hearing with child protective workers to investigate whether policy or personnel changes at the state’s Department of Human Services could have prevented the deaths.
IL: Lee And Whiteside Counties Need More Foster Parents, DCFS Says
Northern Public Radio – May 18, 2017
DCFS says only two foster parents are registered in the counties, while 17 children were in Whiteside County Care and eight in Lee County care as of January 31.
KS: Lawmakers crack down of human trafficking penalties (Includes video)
KSNW – May 17, 2017
KSN News contacted Governor Brownback’s office to learn more about the legislation, and though they could not interview on the topic, they sent over this statement: “Governor Brownback has long fought against human trafficking both nationally and here in Kansas, working to punish perpetrators and assist victims; he looks forward to reviewing this legislation closely.”
MI: A guide for parents involved in Michigan’s child welfare system
WVPE – May 19, 2017
Families aren’t the only ones who are responsible for making sure kids are growing up in a safe environment. When there is a concern for a child’s safety, the state’s Child Protective Services agency steps in to make sure that kids are safe in their homes.
NH: Grandfamilies in New Hampshire and What It Has to Do With the Opioid Crisis
NH Journal – May 18, 2017
One of the big agenda items that passed the House on Thursday was a bill with an amendment that would appropriate $33 million in the current fiscal year to address a projected shortfall at the state Department of Health and Human Services. That was just the amendment, though. Lawmakers tacked it on to a bill that would give preference to grandparents to be the guardian of a child in certain cases, like when a parent has a substance abuse disorder.
NY: Orange County declares May National Foster Parent Month (Press release)
Orange County Government, Office of County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus – May 09, 2017
According to Steve Brescia, Chairman of the Legislature, Foster Parent Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals and other community members who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.
OH: DYING IN THE DARK: Ohio records laws cloak Cuyahoga Co. child death cases in secrecy (Includes video)
News5 – May 18, 2017
Two months after the brutal beating death of a 5-year-old Cleveland girl at the hands of her mother, the records of the little girl’s care by Cuyahoga County social workers remain cloaked in secrecy.
OR: Oregon Community Foundation awards $10,000 to Clatsop CASA
Daily Astorian – May 19, 2017
Clatsop Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) received a $10,000 grant from the Edna L. Holmes Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation through its Community Grant program. The grant will fund the recruitment, training and ongoing support of additional CASA volunteers.
SC: New Spartanburg County DSS director says more foster homes a top priority
Go Upstate – May 09, 2017
Finding more foster families to keep Spartanburg children closer to home is the first goal of Jonathan Hammond, the new director of the Spartanburg County Department of Social Services.
TX: A local need for foster parents (Video)
KFDM – May 19, 2017
May is National Foster Care Month, and there are more than 400,000 children in the foster care system in the United States.
TX: House passes child welfare reforms
Texas Tribune – May 18, 2017
The Texas House on Thursday passed a package of sweeping measures aimed at addressing a crisis in the state’s child welfare system. After a lengthy debate, the House passed Senate Bill 11, a measure that would have Texas shift to a “community-based care” model for handling some endangered children and allowing contracted organizations – not just the resources-strapped state – to monitor children in foster care and adoptive homes.
Also: House tentatively OKs Senate bill to expand foster care privatization: http://www.statesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/house-tentatively-oks-senate-bill-expand-foster-care-privatization/KjhqCsQ0kDl5ShYSjReoMP/
WI: “Cocaine mom law” that locks up pregnant women might be done in Wisconsin
VICE News – May 18, 2017
Wisconsin’s 1997 Unborn Child Protection Act, also known as the “cocaine mom law,” was meant to protect unborn children from mothers who “habitually lack self-control in the use of alcohol beverages, controlled substances, or controlled substance analogs.” But over the past two decades, it subjected pregnant women of all ages to juvenile court proceedings in which they were not allowed access to a lawyer – even as the state appointed lawyers to represent their fetuses.
Also: Federal judge denies motion to stay ruling blocking enforcement of Wisconsin’s ‘cocaine mom’ law: http://host.madison.com/news/local/courts/federal-judge-denies-motion-to-stay-ruling-blocking-enforcement-of/article_926cde87-4c8c-5dc5-92c2-ae6ab037df03.html
Also: Wisconsin Republicans revisit effort to strengthen child neglect laws: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/state-and-regional/wisconsin-republicans-revisit-effort-to-strengthen-child-neglect-laws/article_b2cec670-cc60-58ea-92e6-571521fae230.html
US: A New Meth Surge Gathers Momentum
Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline – May 18, 2017
The opioid epidemic has killed tens of thousands over the last two years and driven major reforms in state and local law enforcement and public health policies for people with addiction. But another deadly but popular drug, methamphetamine, also has been surging in many parts of the country. And federal officials say that, based on what they learned as opioids swept the U.S., methamphetamine is likely to spread even further.
Information Gateway resource: Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/treatment/
Bhutan: Committee on the Rights of the Child Considers Reports of Bhutan
United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) – May 18, 2017
The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the combined third to fifth periodic report of Bhutan under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its initial reports under two Optional Protocols to the Convention, on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Canada: Indigenous children lose cultural connection in child welfare system
CBC News – May 18, 2017
The Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society recently released a breakdown of how many Indigenous children were in its care compared to other “minority backgrounds” including “African Canadian” and “Islamic.” The numbers show a disproportionate number of Indigenous children.
Dominican Republic: UN expert urges Dominican Republic to place child protection at core of tourism strategy
United Nations News Centre – May 18, 2017
Those who come to the Dominican Republic to sexually exploit children must know that they will be punished, a United Nations independent expert said, urging the Government to put child protection at the centre of its tourism strategy.
CA: Dubious arrests, damaged lives: How shelters criminalize hundreds of children (Includes video)
San Francisco Chronicle – May 18, 2017
For the story, called “Fostering Failure,” The Chronicle’s Investigative Team acquired and analyzed thousands of calls to law enforcement agencies from the addresses of the state’s 10 children’s shelters. With the data from 2015 and 2016, plus more than 150 interviews, The Chronicle’s analysis reveals that children are regularly arrested and booked into juvenile hall for relatively minor offenses.
Also: San Francisco Chronicle Publishes Investigative Report: How Shelters Turn Kids into Criminals (Press release): http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/san-francisco-chronicle-publishes-investigative-report-how-shelters-turn-kids-into-criminals-300459728.html
CA: Can Churches Help Supply the Foster Homes L.A. County Needs?
Chronicle of Social Change – May 17, 2017
DCFS and other county leaders are hoping congregants at Holman and other houses of worship will take that support into their own homes. They hope more congregants can step up to the task of caring for children who have been removed from their family’s home due to abuse and neglect.
CO: Fear of Deportation Leaves Many Colorado Kids Hungry (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 18, 2017
Children born in this country are U.S. citizens, regardless of their parents’ immigration status, and many are eligible for health insurance coverage and food stamps. The Trump Administration’s tough talk on immigration and an uptick in ICE activity in so-called sanctuary cities, are keeping some families from accessing those programs. Javier Roacho, who works with Hunger Free Colorado’s food resource hotline, said the current political climate is affecting families across the state.
CO: Pueblo drug epidemic increases foster care placements (Includes video)
KRDO – May 17, 2017
Currently, about 300 kids are in foster care in Pueblo County. Most of the reasons kids are placed into the system have decreased by roughly 50 percent over recent years.
GA: Special Report: Foster care crisis (Includes video)
WTVM – May 17, 2017
Georgia is in crisis- a crisis that tugs at your heart and leaves you asking what you can do for help.There are reportedly more than 400,000 children in foster care throughout the United States, and some of those children are right here in Muscogee County.
HI: How House Leaders Scuttled Better Pay For Foster Parents
Civil Beat – May 17, 2017
Ah Chong, 56, welcomed a settlement with the state last August stemming from two lawsuits that challenged the payment rates for Hawaii’s foster care program. Both the state Department of Human Services and the state Attorney General had signed off on the deal. But House leaders scuttled the plan during the last days of the session, declining to provide any money in the budget for the settlement. House Speaker Scott Saiki later said attorney fees in the settlement were too high.
IA: Foster care helps children thrive (Opinion)
Messenger – May 17, 2017
Here in the Hawkeye State, Iowa KidsNet is the single statewide service provider for people interested in becoming foster parents or adopting from foster care. It is contracted by the Iowa Department of Human Services to recruit, train, license and support Iowa’s foster and adoptive families.
KS: WyCo. prosecutor wants tougher regulation for home schools after death of 7-year-old Adrian Jones (Includes video)
WDAF – May 17, 2017
There could soon be new rules for home schools in Kansas. Lawmakers are considering tougher regulations to keep kids stay safe. The proposed bill would require family members to report abuse if they see it happening in the home.
KY: Bevin hire is the cronyism he decried (Opinion)
Lexington Herald-Leader – May 17, 2017
Dumas, a vice president at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville – which has close ties to the Bevin family – has no professional experience in the field, although he has adoptive children.
MA: Advocates push to lift cap on child welfare benefits
Daily News of Newburyport – May 17, 2017
Welfare advocates are calling on lawmakers to lift a decades-old rule that denies benefits to children conceived while – or soon after – a family begins receiving public assistance.
NE: Lawmakers reject overriding 2 Ricketts budget vetoes; ‘This is absolute political hardball,’ one senator says
Omaha World-Herald – May 17, 2017
The defeated motions included one that would have restored $32.5 million for the care of low-income Nebraskans and people with developmental disabilities or mental health problems…A third would have restored $1.2 million for child welfare services, while a fourth would have restored $300,000 for probation services.
Also: Senators Give Ricketts a clean wweep on sustaining line-item vetoes: http://journalstar.com/legislature/senators-fail-to-overturn-ricketts-line-item-vetoes/article_732a02fd-33aa-5025-baa7-dfe75aacfbab.html
NM: Need exceeds supply in NM foster care system
Las Cruces Sun-News – May 17, 2017
According to to the latest figures provided by the state’s Children, Youth and Families Department, there are nearly 1,300 foster families in New Mexico. A total of 2,600 children are in the system with not enough foster parents to go around. The number of certified foster families in New Mexico has increased, but is often outmatched by growing demand. Currently, Doña Ana County has 106 licensed foster families.
NV: Contact 13 looks at whether overhaul is needed for child welfare system (Includes video)
KTNV – May 17, 2017
Nearly 3,000 kids in Clark County are in the child welfare system, children taken from their homes due to neglect or abuse. Clark County’s Department of Family Services is responsible for protecting them.
Also: CONTACT 13: Child welfare system breakdown: http://www.ktnv.com/news/contact-13/contact-13-child-welfare-system-breakdown
NY: Judge Judy’s Mentoring Program Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Larchmont Patch – May 17, 2017
The 10th anniversary of a young women’s mentoring organization will be celebrated Thursday in Larchmont. Judy Sheindlin, better know as “Judge Judy,” will be honoring 60 promising young women and their professional mentors at the annual Her Honor Mentoring Graduation.
OH: Toledo’s mayor asks state to let city deal with lead
Toledo Blade – May 18, 2017
Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson urged state lawmakers Wednesday to use the city as a guide in developing a statewide lead-safety policy rather than to throw up roadblocks to local efforts on the issue. “Setting aside the serious question of whether or not the Merrin amendment violates the Ohio Constitution’s home- rule provision, the amendment is poorly drafted and is bad policy,” Ms. Hicks-Hudson said. “Any delay in implementation of Toledo’s lead law dooms more children to become poisoned.”
OH: Hundreds of kids in Franklin County still need foster parents (Includes video)
WCMH – May 17, 2017
A growing number of kids are entering foster care in Franklin County. Franklin County Children Services says while the numbers continue to grow they could easily use 200 homes for kids right now, specifically for teenagers and siblings.
OK: May is National Foster Care Month (Opinion: Tom Bates)
Miami News-Record – May 17, 2017
In Oklahoma, foster care has received heightened attention over these last several years as we have worked to implement the Pinnacle Plan reforms. Recruiting an adequate number of stable foster homes is key to almost every goal of the plan.
OR: Gov. Kate Brown signs foster children’s rights bills into law
Statesman Journal – May 17, 2017
Gov. Kate Brown signed two bills supporting the rights and independence of foster children into law Wednesday.
Also: Governor signs two bills for foster youth (Includes video): https://kobi5.com/news/governor-signs-two-bills-for-foster-youth-53087/
OR: Paying for the Past, part 3: PERS cures on the table (Includes video)
KTVL – May 17, 2017
The state wants to take away funding for employees that provide the services… umm it’s a little offensive,” DHS Child Welfare Support Staff, Barbara Walsh said. Barbara Walsh isn’t one of the people who’ll be making 200 percent more than her actual salary when she retires.
PA: EDITORIAL: We can prevent child abuse in York
York Dispatch – May 17, 2017
In reporter David Weissman’s stories, “Child abuse reports continue rising in York County” and its follow up, “Faces of child abuse in York County,” we are left with the stark realization that child abuse is preventable, but we might not be doing the right things to help prevent it.
PA: Investigation finds child abuse can be tough to prove in Pennsylvania (Includes video)
WTAE – May 17, 2017
They said their children have been abused, but they can’t get child welfare authorities to believe them. Experts said this happens all too often and, in some cases, exposes children to harm and death.
UT: Juvenile justice reforms stirring concerns among educators, law enforcement
Deseret News – May 17, 2017
With an Aug. 1 implementation looming, some Utah educators are concerned about the practical implications of a new initiative that substantially changes how youths are treated in the juvenile justice system.
VA: RED Team Comes to the Rescue in Fairfax: Home repair effort was part giving back, part teamwork for a local group.
Connection Newspapers – May 17, 2017
The county Volunteer and Partner Services Program engages volunteers and builds partnerships to support families with children who are at risk of abuse, neglect or placed in foster care or with relatives. The program builds volunteer capacity in the division, implements programs, and directs activities that promote positive relationships within the community.
US: Black Grandparents, Caregivers, Seek Action Against Budget Cuts
AFRO – May 18, 2017
Thousands of grandparents and other relative caregivers from across the country, many using walkers and wheelchairs, gathered on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol, recently to demand changes to healthcare, housing, and kinship laws, as part of the Fifth National GrandRally.
US: With her daughter facing certain death in El Salvador, a mother had to make ‘a terrible choice’
Deseret News – May 17, 2017
These children are not criminals coming to sell drugs or laborers coming to steal jobs, as they are often described in the heated rhetoric that frames immigration reform. Their plight is far more akin to that of refugees who are seeking asylum from war-ravaged places across the globe.
Information Gateway resource: Immigration and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/immigration/
US: Adoption by same-sex couple (Opinion: Father Kenneth Doyle)
Boston Pilot – May 16, 2017
The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, now before both houses of Congress, would prohibit discrimination against such agencies and allow them to continue their work without being compelled to violate their consciences.
International: UN: 300,000 children migrating solo, up nearly fivefold
Associated Press – May 17, 2017
Authorities have documented more than 300,000 children migrating alone worldwide over a two-year period, marking a dramatic escalation of a trend that has forced many young refugees into slavery and prostitution, the U.N. children’s agency said Wednesday.
AZ: Fired child welfare workers won’t get jobs back
Pinal Central – May 16, 2017
Five child welfare workers fired in the wake of a scandal about uninvestigated abuse complaints will not be getting their jobs back. Without comment, the Arizona Supreme Court refused to disturb a 2016 ruling by the Court of Appeals which concluded that the employees were all supervisors. What that means, the appellate court said, is that they were “at will” employees who, under state law could be fired for no reason at all.
Also: Arizona high court won’t review child welfare worker firings: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article150782707.html
FL: Miami foster care agency votes to hire former DCF secretary
Miami Herald – May 16, 2017
Miami’s privately run child welfare agency voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to hire George Sheldon, a former chief of the state Department of Children & Families, as the group’s new CEO.
GA: 3 DFCS employees fired after 10-year-old’s drowning
11 Alive – May 16, 2017
Following the drowning death of 10-year-old Kentae Williams, two Division of Family and Children Services supervisors and one case manager have been terminated.
IA: ‘Comprehensive review’ of state’s child welfare system sparked by teen’s death
Radio Iowa – May 16, 2017
State officials are hiring “an outside expert” to examine the Iowa Department of Human Services after a second central Iowa teenager is found dead in a home which had been flagged over child welfare concerns.
Also: Sen. McCoy: 16-year-old’s death investigation ‘like Natalie Finn’ case (Includes video): http://www.kcci.com/article/death-investigation-like-natalie-finn-case-vo70dk5p/9663191
Also: 16-year-old girl found dead was homeschooled with her siblings in Perry home that had been monitored by Iowa’s DHS (Includes video): http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2017/05/16/dead-perry-16-year-old-adopted-and-home-schooled/325285001/
IL: Child welfare head pledges reform after recent deaths of children
Chicago Tribue – May 17, 2017
State child welfare Director George Sheldon said Tuesday he is considering a major change in the way the agency conducts abuse and neglect investigations, saying investigators could benefit from access to records of past unproven allegations.
Also: Illinois child welfare head pledges reform in abuse probes: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/crime/article/Illinois-child-welfare-head-pledges-reform-in-11152006.php
IL: Agencies try limit budget crisis impact on local kids (Includes video)
WGEM – May 16, 2017
We’re nearing three years without a budget in Illinois, and that’s having a big impact on local agencies that help children.
KS: House bill expands Kansas mandate on reporting alleged child abuse
Topeka Capital-Journal – May 16, 2017
The House Federal and State Affairs Committee took up House Bill 2425, which would add to the list of mandatory reporters any adult residing in a home with children.
Also: Information Gateway resource: State Laws on Reporting and Responding to Child Abuse and Neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/can/reporting/
KS: Legislator Requests Survey For Bias Against Same-Sex Couples In Kansas Adoption System
KCUR – May 16, 2017
The survey Ousley has requested would ask lawyers appointed to represent children’s interests in child welfare cases if they have seen discriminatory treatment in a case and whether they believe the Legislature should investigate the issue.
KY: Advocates file complaint against Kentucky judge refusing adoptions to LGBTQ parents
Metro Weekly – May 16, 2017
A coalition of LGBTQ advocates has filed a complaint accusing Kentucky Judge W. Mitchell Nance of violating Kentucky’s Code of Judicial Conduct by recusing himself from any adoption proceedings involving lesbian, gay, or bisexual prospective parents.
Also: Advocacy Groups File Ethics Complaint Against Kentucky Judge: http://www.lex18.com/story/35441026/advocacy-groups-file-ethics-complaint-against-kentucky-judge
MN: House OKs Harsh Penalties For Genital Cutting
Mendota Heights Patch – May 16, 2017
The Minnesota House voted, 124-4, Monday to impose harsh penalties on doctors who perform genital cutting, practiced among some Muslim sects as a religious ritual.
NC: New state audit finds problems with Union County foster care program (Includes video)
WBTV News – May 16, 2017
A review of the Union County Department of Social Services’ foster care program by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has found the agency failing to follow state policies and procedures in a majority of cases.
NM: State Gains Foster Parents but Demand Continues
Associated Press – May 16, 2017
The number of certified foster families in New Mexico has grown by more than 20 percent since 2015, but state child welfare officials say there’s still more that needs to be done to meet the demand.
OK: Families needed: Number of children that need foster homes remains high
Wagoner County American-Tribune – May 17, 2017
At any given time, there are an estimated 10,000 Oklahoma children in the custody of the Department of Human Services.
TX: UTHealth physicians help foster children heal from trauma (Press Release)
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston – May 16, 2017
In recognition of the high standard of care provided to foster children who have experienced trauma, the clinic has been named the first Foster Care Center of Excellence in Harris County.
VA: Richmond Social Services compensates couple after abruptly removing foster child (Includes video)
NBC 12 – May 16, 2017
They say the child’s contentious removal still weighs heavily on their hearts, but they couldn’t keep quiet, they say, about a medical condition that they believe Richmond Social Services knew about but failed to disclose.
Also: Foster parents outraged after baby removed from home: http://www.nbc12.com/story/35407575/foster-parents-outraged-after-baby-removed-from-home
WI: $6 million approved to combat trafficking in state
Channel 3000 – May 16, 2017
Current treatment capacity is not expected to be able to keep pace with demand under a new state law, taking effect May 29, that requires state child protective services agencies to investigate all child sex trafficking cases and provide services where needed.
US: An Unknown in the Opioid-Child Welfare Nexus: Use By Workers
Chronicle of Social Change – May 16, 2017
It is foolish to think that workers in this system are immune to the draw of drugs simply because they have social work training and a front row seat to the devastating effects. They operate in a high-stress, emotional profession.
AL: “There’s a constant need for this.” State needs more therapeutic foster care parents
ABC 3340 – May 15, 2017
5,000 children in Alabama are not living with their parents, says Kate O’Day the CEO of Gateway. For one reason or another they are currently in the custody of the state. This month the foster parents who take care of those children are being celebrated. May is national foster care month, raising awareness for the thousands of children in Alabama who can’t sleep in their own beds at night.
Also: Groups’ goal: Filling Arkansas foster-care shortage: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2017/may/15/groups-goal-filling-foster-care-shortag/
CA: Favoring Reunification for Children in Foster Care Is a Legal Mandate, Not Bias Against Foster Parents (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 15, 2017
Federal and state laws governing child welfare agencies have long required that reasonable efforts be made to prevent the removal of children from their homes, and to reunify children with their families of origin when removal cannot be safely prevented. Beginning with the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, federal policy has mandated that reunification be prioritized as the preferred permanency outcome for children who enter foster care due to abuse or neglect.
CA: PBS SoCal’s Social Impact Initiative “To Foster Change” Launches New Campaign for National Foster Care Month in May (Press release)
SSU Chronicle – May 15, 2017
PBS SoCal KOCE’s “To Foster Change,” a social impact initiative that aims to create understanding, inspire hope and motivate positive actions that change the realities and life outcomes for Southern California foster youth, launches the next phase of its campaign during National Foster Care Month. The campaign celebrates the great efforts of individuals and organizations who are improving the lives of foster youth across the region.
CA: State considers investing $100 million in home visits for new moms and their babies (Includes audio)
KPCC – May 15, 2017
A bill working its way through the state legislature would create a state-funded program to help new mothers in the first few months and years after the birth of their children. The CalWORKs Baby Wellness and Family Support Home Visiting Program would spend $100 million to offer home visits from nurses or social workers to new mothers who are living in poverty.
Information Gateway resource: Home Visiting: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/prevention-programs/homevisit/
FL: Miami-Dade foster care agency may lure Illinois official under ethics probe
Chicago Tribune – May 15, 2017
Now Sheldon is contemplating an exit, considering a recruitment effort from Our Kids, a large Florida nonprofit that recently lost three of its top administrators following the suicides of youths in the agency’s care.
ID: Lasting consequences: What happens to Idaho children after foster care ends?
Twin Falls Times-News – May 15, 2017
Reunification with biological parents is the ultimate goal in Idaho’s foster care system. But when parents can’t pull their lives together enough to meet the state’s requirements, their children might be adopted or age out of the foster system. Even a child reunited with a biological parent faces special challenges, such as repairing broken relationships. And without extra guidance, any foster child might enter adulthood without the needed skills.
IL: Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois announces restructuring plan
Chicago Daily Herald – May 15, 2017
In consultation with the board of trustees and an independent adviser, Lutheran Child and Family Services developed plans to restructure its services and shore up resources to align the organization with future needs of children and families in the state. During this process, it considered how to minimize negative impacts by exploring options to move programs to other community organizations, seek private funding, expand partnerships and renegotiate service contracts.
KS: As Foster Care System Sets Records, Advocates Call For More Family Services
KMUW – May 15, 2017
Kansas privatized its foster care system in 1997 after a lawsuit revealed widespread problems. Twenty years later, the number of Kansas children in foster care has shot up – by a third in just the last five years – and lawmakers are debating whether the system once again needs serious changes.
MN: The Female Genital Mutilation Scandal Tearing a Community Apart
Vice – May 16, 2017
A high-stakes criminal case is forcing a tight-knit Midwestern Muslim sect to reckon with its most dangerous practice.
MN: Bill to fight genital mutilation passes Minn. House
Minnesota Public Radio – May 15, 2017
A bill making it a felony for parents to allow their minor daughters to go through genital mutilation passed the Minnesota House on Monday by a wide margin. The bill approved 124-4 adds the crime to Minnesota’s child abuse laws, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and loss of custody. The push was prompted by the case of two girls from who were taken to Michigan to undergo the procedure, which has resulted in federal criminal charges there.
MN: Guest columnist: Cuts to human services will cause widespread pain in communities across Minnesota
Hometown Source – May 15, 2017
Earlier this month, the Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature adopted a human services budget that was not the bipartisan package of solutions and reforms that Minnesotans deserve, but rather a fiscally unsound and irresponsible approach. Their budget would be damaging to people and communities across our state.
NY: New tech for NYC child welfare investigators to alert police in dangerous situations
New York Daily News – May 16, 2017
The city’s beleaguered child-welfare agency plans to equip its front-line workers with high-tech devices that can alert the police if they’re in danger during investigations. Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner David Hansell announced the initiative at a City Council budget hearing Monday, stating that he wants to protect his agency’s 2,200 workers who perform checks on families around the city.
Also: NYC Children’s Services Gets New Tech to Respond Faster to Incidents (Includes video): http://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2017/05/15/administration-for-childrens-services-tech-upgrade.html
OH: More than 2,000 Cuyahoga children in foster care, highest since 2011, thanks to opioid crisis
Cleveland.com – May 15, 2017
Half the Ohio children taken into protective custody in 2015 were removed from their homes because of a parental drug addiction, according to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.
OH: ODJFS Encourages More Ohioans to Become Foster Parents (Press release)
Ohio Department of Job & Family Services – May 11, 2017
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) joins Gov. Kasich and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor in recognizing May as Foster Care Month in Ohio and celebrating the valuable services of kinship and foster caregivers. ODJFS also encourages more Ohioans to consider becoming kinship and foster caregivers.
OK: Concealed carry around kids is OK for foster parents, judge finds in dismissing lawsuit against DHS
Oklahoman – May 16, 2017
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is allowing foster parents with concealed-carry permits to have guns around their foster children as long as the firearms are securely in a holster.
PA: Public Input Requested for Clearfield Co. Human Services Plan
Gant News – May 16, 2017
Clearfield County consumers interested in commenting on services provided for homeless assistance, child welfare and the human services development program, mental health, intellectual disability and drug and alcohol services provided are invited to attend.
US: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS): MA Taskforce Report Offers Path to Advancing Parent and Infant Health
Community Catalyst – May 15, 2017
Opioid misuse is a multi-generational issue that requires supports along the lifespan. Massachusetts is disproportionately affected, placing it second in the nation for prenatal exposure (13.7 per 1,000) after the East/South Central region of the U.S. Nationally, the rate is about five babies out of every 1,000 births. The average duration of inpatient treatment for NAS is 19 days with an average cost of $30,000, placing severe strain on health systems to support affected infants and their families. Through this lens, the Massachusetts Interagency Task Force on Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome published a highly anticipated report that provides key recommendations about how to address the current gaps in care and more deliberately address the needs of infants and parents through collaboration and coordination across health and human services.
US: Let’s Talk About Mothers Without Primary Custody Of Their Children (Opinion)
Establishment – May 14, 2017
That leaves non-custodial mothers like myself with one of two labels: selfish or unfit. And, yes, there may be some women who either lost custody or gave it up because they were unfit or “selfish.”
Canada: Indigenous families fight to get children in care back to their families
Regina Leader-Post – May 15, 2017
Bunnie attended a workshop to learn more about how to get children out of care and back at home. The workshop, called Invest in Family, was hosted by the Lifelong Learning Centre. It was organized by the Aboriginal Family Defense League, which provides support and advocacy for parents with children in care.
AR: Groups’ goal: Filling Arkansas foster-care shortage
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – May 15, 2017
Foster parents in Arkansas are as likely to be recruited by the state as by Christian organizations, according to information from the agency that oversees foster care. Organizations such as The Call, by recruiting parents like Sarah and Brad Bradshaw of Little Rock, have been a key part of the state’s efforts to manage a watershed moment in the foster care system. The system saw growth in numbers of children outpace places to take them in.
CA: County considers disbanding child welfare donation unit after audit finds toys, funds unused and mismanaged
Los Angeles Times – May 14, 2017
The Board of Supervisors of Los Angeles County will consider a motion Tuesday to explore alternatives to the Children’s Trust Fund Unit, an arm of the Department of Children and Family Services that is charged with raising money for foster kids’ needs that aren’t covered by other sources. The trust fund has helped provide foster children with holiday gifts, quinceañera dresses and trips to summer camp, among other things.
CA: High Court to Hear Privacy Challenge to Child Abuse Reporting Law
Metropolitan News-Enterprise – May 12, 2017
The California Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether requiring therapists to notify authorities that their patients are accessing or viewing child pornography violates those patients’ constitutional rights to privacy.
CA: Recommendations for Improving Children’s Mental Health Care in California
Chronicle of Social Change – May 12, 2017
A new report from Young Minds Advocacy makes the case that the publicly funded mental health system for children in California needs a shake up.
Report: California’s Children and Youths’ System of Care: An Agenda to Transform Promises Into Practice: https://www.ymadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/An-Agenda-to-Transform-Promises-Into-Practice-YMA-2017-FINAL1.pdf
Information Gateway Resource: Collaboration With Mental Health Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/practice-improvement/collaboration/health/
FL: Foster families needed for particularly vulnerable kids
Pensacola News Journal – May 12, 2017
Any given day, there are about 80 local children living in limbo. As survivors of neglect and abuse, they’re stuck between what one service provider called a “painful past and an uncertain future,” waiting in hopes of a foster family to take them in.
GA: GSU Helps Identify, Treat Stress Of Ga. Child Welfare Workers (Includes audio)
WABE – May 12, 2017
Working with children who have been abused and neglected can be stressful. The Georgia Division of Family and Children Services said it’s one reason employees leave. DFCS has asked Georgia State University to help case workers cope.
Also: Georgia State University Secures $200,000 For Training To Combat Stress In Child Welfare Workers: http://news.gsu.edu/2017/05/11/georgia-state-university-secures-200000-training-combat-stress-child-welfare-workers/
IL: DCFS enhances procedures to promote the safety, adjustment and well-being of LGBTQ youth in care (Press release)
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services – May 12, 2017
The procedure includes increased mandatory LGBTQ training for anyone involved with LGBTQ children and youth in care; and clarifies protections for transgender/gender expansive youth in care.
IN: Organization works to break bonds for children of incarcerated parents (Includes video)
WNDU – May 12, 2017
More than five million children in the nation have dealt with at least one parent going to jail or prison. Even more jarring, 70 percent of children with incarcerated parents will end up in jail at some point as adults. Friday, youth workers from the Indiana Youth Institute met to learn ways to combat this vicious cycle.
KS: Why are foster care totals at record high? (Opinion)
Wichita Eagle – May 13, 2017
Shortly after Gov. Sam Brownback took office in 2011, there were almost 5,200 children in Kansas’ foster care system. Today, there are more than 6,900 – the highest in state history. The prospect of adding 1,700 kids to a system that was already stretched thin was beyond most policymakers’ imagination six years ago.
KS: House gives early approval to bill creating foster care task force
Wichita Eagle – May 12, 2017
The House gave first-round approval on Friday to creating a task force to recommend changes to Kansas’ foster care system, after state auditors found multiple problems in the system. Lawmakers advanced Senate Bill 126 on a voice vote. The legislation would establish a panel to recommend changes to foster care.
Also: Bill creating foster care task force advances in Kansas House: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/may/12/bill-creating-foster-care-task-force-advances-kans/
Audit: Kansas failing to protect safety of children in foster care and adoption programs: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/jul/27/audit-kansas-failing-protect-safety-children-foste/
KY: Child welfare needs collaboration, not czar (Opinion)
Lexington Herald-Leader – May 12, 2017
I want to compliment Gov. Matt Bevin for wanting to improve Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system. But, respectfully, hiring an “adoption czar” is not the ideal approach. The appointee is a fine gentleman, but that’s not the point. Child welfare involves many disciplines and moving parts involving law, sociology, psychology and medicine. All three branches of government will have to work together.
KY: Kentucky needs Kinship Care but that’s not what federal lawsuit is about (Opinion)
Lexington Herald-Leader – May 12, 2017
This action has nothing to do with Kinship Care. It has everything to do with forcing Kentucky to follow the federal law mandating it to pay my clients the same foster care maintenance payments it pays to children placed in non-relative foster care.
MA: Berkshire agencies push to deliver more humane human service
Berkshire Eagle – May 14, 2017
“A lot of people in the community feel very disconnected from providers,” Haley said. “We wanted to start looking at that and figure out what’s going on,” Conry said. “For me it’s about really living this idea that we’re all in this together and there is no us and them.” With backing from the center’s executive director, Ellen Merritt, Conry contacted local agencies and a group began meeting monthly late last year. It took on the name “Collaborate This!” – a jaunty call to overcome institutional silos.
ME: LePage: Drug, alcohol use by pregnant women is child abuse
Bangor Daily News – May 12, 2017
With a bill he submitted earlier this month, Gov. Paul LePage signaled that he wants to take Maine’s war on drug abuse to the womb. LePage on May 2 submitted LD 1556, which would expand who is mandated to report child abuse to the Department of Health and Human Services and require all mandated reporters to report when “they know or suspect substance abuse by a woman during her pregnancy.”
MI: Editorial: DHHS should put children first, ahead of optics (Includes video)
Lansing State Journal – May 14, 2017
Children and families working with Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services deserve to know their cases are being handled by professionals with the time and resources to serve them properly. That basic principle is in question after documents and sources revealed a troubling practice of assigning caseloads to employees who were on leaves of absence.
MN: State official: We need more money to protect, care for kids
Brainerd Dispatch – May 15, 2017
A high-level Minnesota Department of Human Services official stopped in Brainerd on Friday to decry a proposed budget that cuts more than half a billion dollars from the Health and Human Services system. James Koppel, who serves as assistant commissioner for child and family services, travelled in greater Minnesota last week to push for funding beyond that which Republicans in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate included in their budget bill.
MN: Guest Commentary: Children desperately need foster families now
Lake Country News Chronicle – May 12, 2017
The need for foster parents is greater than ever. In the past three years, the number of children in Minnesota’s foster care system on an average day has increased by 51 percent, from about 6,200 in 2013 to about 9,400 in 2016. The growing numbers of children in the child protection system due, in part, to increased awareness about child protection issues, changes in how reports are reviewed, a growing opioid crisis, and children staying in care longer, have led to an increased number of foster children.
MN: Kids aging out of foster care need help (Opinion)
Clarion-Ledger – May 12, 2017
At Springboard To Opportunities, our mission from the beginning has been to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. We believe that every individual and family is entitled to a future not predetermined by circumstances. Unfortunately, many of the 28,000 children who age out of foster care each year do fall victim to their circumstances. Without adult support or stable homes to come back to, these young people are much more likely to experience homelessness, unemployment or even incarceration.
MS: Are Mississippi after-school programs on borrowed time?
Clarion-Ledger – May 12, 2017
Some youth-serving organizations in Mississippi are holding their breaths. They’re waiting to see whether $14 million dries up.
NH: Mark Hayward’s City Matters: City family is a model for foster parenting
Union Leader – May 13, 2017
While tomorrow is Mother’s Day, this entire month is Foster Parent Month. And foster parents like Gendron are desperately needed. “The big thing right now is the opioid epidemic,” said Katie Cassidy, who recruits and manages foster parents for Child and Family Services.
NH: Foster Care System Faces Surge In Children Needing Homes And Dearth Of Foster Families (Includes audio)
New Hampshire Public Radio – May 12, 2017
A crucial part of the troubled Division of Children Youth and Families, the state’s foster care system, faces serious problems of its own. A shortage of families, a complicated and backlogged system, and a deficit of resources, all contribute to the problem of finding safe and stable homes for children.
OK: Juvenile program saves more than money
Norman Transcript – May 14, 2017
“As of today’s date, we have used 624 ankle monitor days,” he said. “That’s a cost to the county of $6,240. If those kids had been detained at the cheapest rate that Cleveland County pays, it would have cost the county $12,074. If all of these kids had been at facilities where we’re paying the highest rate of $63 per day, that same cost would have been $39,468.”
PA: For teens without family, a push for permanency
Morning Call – May 14, 2017
Across the Lehigh Valley, child welfare agencies are stepping up efforts to connect foster kids to a network of caring adults before they leave the system. While that can mean adoption, it can also be introducing a teen to a mentor, or finding a family that will welcome a young adult into their home for holidays.
RI: Raimondo Appoints Beane, Hawkins to Lead Human Services
Go Local Prov – May 13, 2017
Governor Gina Raimondo announced that she intends to nominate Eric J. Beane as the next Secretary of the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services and Courtney Hawkins to lead the Rhode Island Department of Human Services.
Also: Governor Raimondo nominates new director of Department of Human Services: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170512/governor-raimondo-nominates-new-director-of-department-of-human-services?rssfeed=true
SC: Freedom Church supports children through Foster Care Ministry (Includes video)
WCSC – May 14, 2017
It has developed a community that encourages and supports fostering children. Amanda Brown and Julie Pasiecznick are members of the church. After giving birth to four children each they found another calling. “We just love being foster parents,” Brown said.
TX: Families provide respite for foster parents
MRT – May 14, 2017
“The good thing about respite care is you can still care for kids,” Campbell said. “Foster families desperately need a break.”
TX: New program helps Texas foster children: Spriggs
El Paso Times – May 14, 2017
Each year, nearly 49,000 Texas children find themselves in the child welfare system – a system that nearly 18 months ago in a ruling by U.S. District Judge Janis Jack was found to be unconstitutional and to cause further harm for children in its long-term care.
TX: Point-in-Time count shows increase in homeless children
Denton Record-Chronicle – May 14, 2017
The number of homeless children and chronically homeless people in Denton County rose from 2016 during this year’s Point-in-Time count. The total number of homeless people, however, dropped slightly from 230 to 228.
TX: House Passes Bill Banning Mandatory Vaccination Of Children In Foster Care
East Austin Patch – May 12, 2017
Amid a growing rebuke of science by largely conservative skeptics, the Texas House this week passed a bill preventing newly placed foster children from being vaccinated.
UT: Need for foster parents in Utah grows as more children than ever need care (Includes video)
Fox 13 – May 12, 2017
Tanya Albornoz, The division’s Foster Care Program administrator, told Fox 13 News on Friday they are over capacity with children needing to be placed in foster care. Typically they can place 2,400 children. Currently, they have 2,900. That means 500 children need to be placed, and in the meantime are living in shelters.
WI: Program helps foster kids in transition to adulthood (Includes video)
WKBT – May 12, 2017
There are 7,300 kids in foster care in the state, according to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families. As teens age out of the system when they turn 18, they often have a hard time adjusting to living on their own. The Family & Children’s Center in La Crosse has a program called Independent Living Services, which helps teens who grew up in foster care.
US: Racial And Ethnic Disparities Persist In Sudden Infant Deaths
National Public Radio – May 15, 2017
American Indians and Alaska Natives had a rate of 177.6 sudden, unexplained infant deaths per 100,000 live births in 2013 (down from 237.5 per 100,000 in 1995), compared to 172.4 for non-Hispanic blacks (down from 203), 84.5 for non-Hispanic whites (down from 93), 49.3 for Hispanics (down from 62.7) and 28.3 for Asians and Pacific Islanders (down from 59.3). The declines were statistically significant only among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders.
US: Why Juvenile Justice Reform Needs Child Welfare at the Table
Juvenile Justice Information Exchange – May 15, 2017
Juvenile justice reform cannot happen without child welfare as an engaged partner. Research has demonstrated that as many as two-thirds of youth involved in the juvenile justice system have a maltreatment background.
US: Child Brides Join Push to Raise Marriage Age
Stateline – May 12, 2017
Most Americans think of child marriage as a vestige of a bygone era. And yet in every state, people under 18 are allowed to marry.
US: Focus On Infants During Childbirth Leaves U.S. Moms In Danger (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – May 12, 2017
The ability to protect the health of mothers and babies in childbirth is a basic measure of a society’s development. Yet every year in the U.S., 700 to 900 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes, and some 65,000 nearly die – by many measures, the worst record in the developed world.
US: Judiciary Committee Advances Bill to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Olympic Sports Introduced by Senators Collins, Feinstein (Press release)
Office of Senator Susan Collins – May 12, 2017
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act, legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to require Olympic Sports organizations to immediately report child and sex-abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department. The bill currently awaits a vote by the full Senate.
US: The Complications and Components of a Family Crisis and the Roles Children Play (Opinion)
Minority Reporter – May 12, 2017
Family crisis associated with the work of Child Protective Services (CPS) extensively involve children and the question of their safety within the family structure. Understanding that children learn manipulative behavior from their surroundings, adults, and others with whom they associate, it is no simple task, sometimes, to ferret out the truth of what actually goes on in families to affect a crisis.
US: These grandparents deserve the support of Congress (Opinion)
Washington Post – May 12, 2017
Across the country, there are households headed by grandparents or other relatives taking care of 7.8 million children whose parents may be absent for any number of reasons. These caregivers need our help because, on a real economic level, they save all of us hundreds of thousands of dollars.
US: How We Treat Disabled Mothers (Opinion)
Medium – May 11, 2017
The belief that women with disabilities are inherently unfit to become mothers has endured for centuries.
US: Sex assaults in high school sports minimized as ‘hazing’
Associated Press – May 01, 2017
Across the U.S., perhaps nowhere is student-on-student sexual assault as dismissed or as camouflaged as in boys’ sports, an Associated Press investigation found. Mischaracterized as hazing and bullying, the violence is so normalized on some teams that it persists for years, as players attacked one season become aggressors the next. (Part of a series).
Series: Schoolhouse Sex Assault: 17 Stories (Includes video): https://www.apnews.com/tag/SchoolhouseSexAssault
Romania: What children from Romanian orphanages can tell us about autism
Washington Post – May 14, 2017
There are many risk factors for autism, some genetic and others environmental. But few are more intriguing – and disturbing – than psychosocial deprivation in infancy. Psychosocial deprivation is essentially a lack of caregiver stimulation and investment.
Related: Charles Nelson: Searching for early signs of autism: https://spectrumnews.org/news/profiles/charles-nelson-searching-for-early-signs-of-autism/
Also: Social communication difficulties and autism in previously institutionalized children: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25617251
CA: How the Next DCFS Director in L.A. County Can Find More Foster Parents (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 11, 2017
Whoever is hired as the next director of Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) will face a stiff challenge: how to recruit and retain high-quality foster parents.
CA: Report: Juvenile-Justice Fees Forcing Some CA Families Into Bankruptcy (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 11, 2017
A new report finds that some California families are losing their homes and being driven into bankruptcy by the fees counties charge when kids get arrested – fees that nonetheless generate little to no profit for taxpayers.
Report: Making Families Pay: https://www.law.berkeley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Making-Families-Pay.pdf
CT: Opioid crisis puts pressure on Connecticut’s child welfare system
News Times – May 06, 2017
As the opioid crisis worsens in Connecticut, state agencies are coping not just with growing demand for treatment programs but also with added pressure on the child welfare system as children of addicts are put into foster care. In less than a year, the foster care caseload increased by 12 percent in the region that includes Danbury, Waterbury and Torrington, according to the Department of Children and Families (DCF).
GA: Methodist Home tackling Georgia’s foster parent shortage (Includes video)
41 NBC/WMGT – May 11, 2017
May is Foster Care Awareness month – bringing light to the growing number of Foster care children without homes. The Methodist Home in Macon is doing its part to address the high demand for Foster parents.
IL: How can we hold DCFS accountable? (Opinion)
Chicago Tribune – May 11, 2017
An investigation uncovered several deaths of children who were, or should have been, under the supervision of the child welfare department. A review of these cases reveals several red flags that should have prompted caseworkers to keep children in protective custody rather than with their parents.
Also: Report States DCFS Pressured Investigators to Work Quickly: http://www.wmay.com/2017/05/11/report-states-dcfs-pressured-investigators-to-work-quickly/
KS: Foster Focus: State’s flawed system warrants review, reform (Opinion)
Ottawa Herald – May 11, 2017
Nearly 7,000 Kansas Children, a record high, needed foster homes in February. While better identification of children in jeopardy likely contributed to the rise, the harm in chipping away at family support was also a factor.
MI: State looks to recruit foster parents with #IFosterCare campaign during May (Includes video)
WJRT – May 11, 2017
The state is making a big push to recruit foster families during the month of May, Foster Care month.
NC: Overhaul of Child Welfare System Getting Bipartisan Support
North Carolina Public Press – May 11, 2017
The state’s troubled child welfare system could be in line for a major overhaul, with a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing to change how the state cares for vulnerable children.
NH: Senate Roundup 20m mental health investment passes
Union Leader – May 11, 2017
The amendment, sponsored by Bradley and Senate President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, also includes provisions for reorganizing the Division for Children, Youth and Families.
NY: Shineman Foundation Awards Child Advocacy Center $250,000 Grant
Oswego Daily News – May 11, 2017
The grant serves as the kickoff to the CAC’s capital campaign to fund its new location in Fulton. Predicated by the increase in cases of physical and sexual child abuse that the CAC is handling, the much larger facility will increase efficiency in investigations and in helping victims and their families cope with the process.
OH: Heroin epidemic feeds growing need for foster parents (Includes video)
WYTV – May 08, 2017
Trumbull County Children Services has seen a 40 percent increase of children in their care since the opiate crisis first took hold of the Mahoning Valley in 2014. The need for a safe place for kids in the foster care system is growing daily and more urgent with each child.
OK: Child sexual abuse victims to have more time to bring civil suit under bill signed Wednesday
Tulsa World – May 11, 2017
Gov. Mary Fallin on Wednesday signed a measure giving victims of sexual abuse until age 45 to bring a civil suit against the perpetrator. The current age is 20.
PA: Abuse experts warn Blair County parents about marketing children to predators (Includes video)
WJAC TV – May 11, 2017
She said people in Pennsylvania do no realize how prevalent human trafficking is in the state. She said traffickers take children from Pa. towns because the interstates give them easy ins and outs. She said Lancaster is a huge trafficking hub, and Blair County is a popular pickup spot.
RI: State Department of Children, Youth And Families at the center of hearings on child deaths
Rhode Island Public Radio – May 08, 2017
DCYF has come under scrutiny after four children under its supervision died between October 2016 and February 2017. In March, the state’s child advocate called for an overhaul of the agency.
TX: Controversial adoption bill gains local support (Includes video)
KFDA – May 11, 2017
A Texas bill that’s been accused of discrimination is receiving support from some local adoption agencies.
Also: Texas House passes conscience protections for foster care system: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/texas-house-passes-conscience-protections-for-foster-care-system-85969/
Also: Jews among minorities impacted by new Texas adoption rules: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Texas-House-OKs-adoption-agencies-barring-LGBT-families-non-Christians-490380
TX: After ‘Unheard-Of Momentum,’ Medical Marijuana Bill Declared Dead by Authors
Texas Observer – May 10, 2017
On Monday, Isaac added an amendment to House Bill 7, a high-priority child welfare proposal that would protect parents who give medical cannabis to their child. Isaac named the legislation “Kara’s amendment,” after Kara Zartler, a 17-year-old who suffers from cerebral palsy and severe autism.
TX: House backs measure barring mandatory vaccines for foster children
Texas Tribune – May 10, 2017
What started as Texas House members discussing a bill that would improve the state’s Child Protective Services agency turned into a heated debate over vaccines – and whether they should be required for children placed in foster care. And when the debate over House Bill 39 was over Wednesday, members passed a bill that would prevent new foster children from being vaccinated.
Also: More fixes for Texas’ troubled child welfare system advance: http://www.cbs7.com/content/news/More-fixes-for-Texas-troubled-child-welfare-system-advance-421972883.html
VA: Foster parents outraged after baby removed from home (Includes video)
WWBT – May 11, 2017
A Henrico couple says Richmond Social Services removed a foster baby from their home like they were taking out trash. No warning. No reason given.
US: Bill requiring Olympic sports organizations to report sex abuse allegations advances
Orange County Register – May 11, 2017
The Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday to approved a bill that would require Olympic sports organizations to immediately report child and sexual abuse allegations to local or federal law enforcement, or a child welfare agency designated by the U.S. Justice Department.
US: Renewed Family First Push Discussed for Summer
Chronicle of Social Change – May 11, 2017
Youth Services Insider has learned that Senate Finance staff held a conference late last week with child welfare advocates to discuss a possible reintroduction of the Family First Prevention Services Act, a bill that would significantly amend the federal IV-E foster care entitlement.
US: Stopping the opioid crisis in the womb (Includes video)
CNN – May 05, 2017
The maintenance clinic then referred her to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Jessica first visited a doctor at the hospital’s prenatal clinic in December and was introduced to Emily Katz, the substance abuse coordinator in Towers’ office. Katz saw a young woman who needed help — but, more important, wanted help.
US: A closer look at littlest victims of schoolhouse assaults
Associated Press – May 01, 2017
Student-on-student sexual assaults rise significantly during middle-school years, an Associated Press analysis of federal crime data found. But even as early as kindergarten and first grade, children can be at risk: About 5 percent of all sexual attacks reported on school property in a recent two-year period happened to 5- and 6-year-olds, according to the AP analysis.
Information Gateway resource: Community Involvement in Child Protection: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/collaborative-responses-to-child-abuse-neglect/community/
Canada: Data can aid ‘broken’ child-protection system
Phys.org – May 11, 2017
Jane Kovarikova doesn’t mince words when it comes to how she feels about the child-protection system in Ontario and the fate of youth who have transitioned from or simply ‘aged-out’ of it. “It’s broken,” said the Political Science PhD student.
CA: Los Angeles’ Next Child Welfare Director Needs Flexibility, Will to Collaborate (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 10, 2017
The director of the Department of Children and Family Services sets the tone and vision for the functioning of the child welfare system throughout Los Angeles. As such, they must be savvy about making strategic use of existing fiscal structures to create a system that is innovative and able to withstand shifting political winds. The director must also create a culture that puts our families first and meets the needs of families so that the children in their care can be successful.
FL: Eckerd Kids shuts down troubled out-of-hours teen center
Tampa Bay Times – May 10, 2017
Eckerd Kids announced Wednesday that it will terminate its contract with subcontractor Camelot Community Care to run the Ybor Heights center, which is used to temporarily house and supervise children entering the foster care system until they are placed with foster parents or in a group home.
IA: Born Addicted (Includes video)
KWQC – May 10, 2017
“We really want to encourage moms to seek the help while they’re pregnant, during prenatal care,” Nimrick said expectant mothers struggling with addiction could be facing the loss of a baby if they don’t address it.
Information Gateway resource: Parent and Caregiver Well-Being: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/promoting/caregiver-well-being/
IN: How focusing on parent-child relationships can prevent child maltreatment (Press release)
University of Notre Dame – May 10, 2017
In order to help children facing maltreatment, researchers and clinicians first needed to address the heart of the problem. The relationship between the parent and child is key, argues Kristin Valentino, William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, in an article published recently in a special section of the journal Child Development.
Article: Relational Interventions for Maltreated Children: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/cdev.12735/abstract
KY: State Sen. Carroll vows to challenge $240K contract for Bevin’s adoption ‘czar’
Courier-Journal – May 11, 2017
A no-bid, $240,000-a-year state contract awarded to a Baptist pastor and professor to reform Kentucky’s child adoption and foster care system is being challenged by a veteran state lawmaker who said he will urge fellow lawmakers to reject it.
MI: Loving families needed for foster care: Loving families needed for foster care
Daily Press – May 11, 2017
Nearly 13,000 Michigan children of all ages need loving foster parents while the state works to reunite them safely with their biological parents or find them permanent adoptive homes.
MI: Judge says state needs to do more to help parents with disabilities in child welfare cases
WUOM FM – May 10, 2017
The Michigan Supreme Court this week handed a big win to parents with disabilities in child welfare cases.
MI: State targets parental rights of doctor in genital cutting case
Detroit Free Press – May 10, 2017
The state of Michigan is seeking to terminate the parental rights of the Detroit area physician who is the lead defendant in a federal criminal investigation into female genital cutting of young girls as part of a religious practice.
MN: Reader Opinion: Adoption
Brainerd Dispatch – May 10, 2017
In the Friday, April 21, Religion section, Rev. Sam Anderson gave a heartfelt plea for Christians to love the “least among us” by emptying the waiting list of children longing for a safe and caring home by opening our own homes for foster care
MS: National Council for Adoption honors Mississippi’s foster care progress
Winston County Journal – May 10, 2017
Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services Commissioner David A. Chandler was honored Monday, May 8, by the National Council for Adoption for his exceptional leadership on behalf of children in Mississippi’s foster care system.
NH: Foster Care In Crisis (Audio)
NHPR – May 10, 2017
A crucial part of the troubled Division of Children Youth and Families, the state’s foster care system, faces serious problems of its own. A shortage of families, a complicated and backlogged system , and a deficit of resources, all contribute to the problem of finding safe and stable homes for children.
NY: Monroe County CPS workers rally for change (Includes video)
WHAM – May 10, 2017
The Federation of Social Workers walked outside the Monroe County Office Building downtown, showing their concerns about high case loads and vacant caseworker positions.
NY: New NYC Children’s Services Commissioner Will Try to Fix Agency By Reversing Predecessor’s Policies
Observer – May 10, 2017
The Administration for Children’s Services will back features of the ChildStat program-a program similar to the NYPD’s CompStat program that tracks child abuse cases-that were eliminated by former ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrión, in an effort to rectify systemic problems at an agency criticized for letting several deadly child abuse cases slip through its fingers.
Also: Child-Stat system to keep city’s troubled ACS in check: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/child-stat-system-city-troubled-acs-check-article-1.3153436
OH: Rep. Ryan Smith: Investments made to combat drug epidemic
Herald-Dispatch – May 11, 2017
The Ohio House is committed to fighting our state’s drug epidemic. We recently passed our plan to face this issue with bold reforms in the state’s operating budget. Our plan is not a piecemeal approach, but rather one that identifies and prioritizes areas of greatest need. This problem requires a holistic response, ranging from prevention to helping addicts re-enter the workforce free from substance abuse.
OK: Local advocates shine light on foster families
Muskogee Phoenix – May 11, 2017
Government and nonprofit agency officials are making a push to shine a light on the growing need for foster families and providing resources needed for foster children and providers.
OR: Domestic abuse case entangles Oregon DHS
Portland Tribune – May 11, 2017
As an Oregon Department of Human Services child welfare worker, Katie Sichley was in charge of determining whether children should be removed from abusive or troubled households. But for more than a year, the Gresham mother of two concealed a troubled and abusive household of her own, according to testimony and evidence leveled against her meth-addicted live-in boyfriend in Multnomah Circuit Court.
PA: Challenges mount for grandparents – due to opioid crisis
Daily Item – May 11, 2017
More relatives, especially grandparents, are raising children because of their parents’ addictions, according to a 2016 report from Generations United, a family research and advocacy group.
TN: A room in your home, love in your heart (Video)
Tennessean – May 11, 2017
Laura Troup, of Brentwood is a mother of three who is extremely passionate about AGAPE Nashville, an organization that, among other things, trains people to be foster parents.
TX: Lege Lines: Think of the Children: Can the Lege fix Child Protective Services? (Opinion)
Austin Chronicle – May 12, 2017
The big difference between the state’s CPS agency and those which oversaw these previous disasters is that the scandal at CPS is not about abuse by state employees. Rather, the issue is that CPS is massively understaffed. Caseworkers are chronically overworked, often handling three or four times their recommended caseload, and children inevitably slip through the cracks.
TX: House Bill protects faith-based child welfare services
Times Record News – May 10, 2017
The legislation is designed to provide legal protection for faith-based child welfare providers in Texas, including adoption agencies and foster care placement organizations. HB 3859 passed by a vote of 93-49.
Also: Texas House Passes Bill Rejecting Non-Christian Foster Parents: http://www.kurv.com/texas-house-oks-rejecting-non-christian-parents/
Also: Texas House Oks adoption agencies barring LGBT families: http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2017/may/10/texas-house-oks-adoption-agencies-barring-lgbt-families/
Also: House Votes to Expand Religious Freedom at the Expense of Foster Children, Critics Say: https://www.texasobserver.org/texas-house-religious-freedom-expense-foster-care-children/
TX: House approves child welfare bill that critics say discriminates: http://www.reuters.com/article/texas-adoption-lgbt-idUSL1N1IC1FZ
TX: More fixes for Texas’ troubled child welfare system advance
Associated Press – May 10, 2017
One proposal to boost Texas’ beleaguered child welfare system is moving closer to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk – but not before a heated debate over vaccinations.
Also: Anti-vaccination measure added to foster care bill in Texas House: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-foster-care-bill-caught-up-in-vaccination-11136670.php
TX: Will Texas Lawmakers License “Baby Jails” For Asylum-Seeking Families? (Opinion)
San Antonio Current – May 10, 2017
This week, Texas lawmakers advanced a bill crafted by for-profit prison interests that would license lockups for asylum-seeking immigrant families as child care providers.
WA: Foster Parent Appreciation Month Calls Attention to Need in Foster Care Homes
Empire Press – May 11, 2017
There are currently more children entering foster care than the present number of foster homes can handle and the need for more homes is urgent. Sadly, due to the shortage of homes, many of the children from Douglas County end up being moved to other counties in the state – this can seem like light years away from everything familiar to a child.
US: Fifth National GrandRally Brings Hundreds Of Grandparents And Other Relatives Raising Children To The U.S. Capitol (Press release)
Children’s Defense Fund – May 10, 2017
Today hundreds of grandparents and other relative caregivers from across the country gathered on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol today for the Fifth National GrandRally: Building a Community of Hope for grandparents and other relatives raising children.
Europe: How many unaccompanied minors applying for international protection in the EU in 2016
West – May 11, 2017
In 2016, 63 300 asylum seekers applying for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU) were considered to be unaccompanied minors, a number down by about a third compared with 2015 (with almost 96 500 unaccompanied minors registered) but still about 5 times higher than the annual average during the period 2008- 2013 (around 12 000 per year).
Also: Unaccompanied minor migrant arrivals 5x higher than in 2013: http://www.ansamed.info/ansamed/en/news/nations/italy/2017/05/11/unaccompanied-minor-migrant-arrivals-5x-higher-than-in-2013_c1ead549-13a1-4d23-bbfc-a4deaa47bcb2.html
AZ: Department of Child Safety going mobile
Sonoran News – May 09, 2017
This summer, the Department will roll out a program that will supply its roughly 1,400 investigators and case managers with tablets so DCS workers can devote more time to address the needs of children and families. With the new technology, investigators and case managers will be able to make referrals and enter case notes from the field, organize monthly case visits by area, and utilize a speech-to-text feature to reduce data entry time.
CA: Parent Mentoring Program in L.A. County Helps Reunify Families Separated by Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – May 09, 2017
Parents in Partnership (PIP) isn’t affiliated with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Instead, it’s a group of parents who have already successfully navigated the system and share their expertise with parents on the brink of losing their children to the system.
CA: Risky Business: A Child’s Death in L.A. Elicits More Questions than Answers
Chronicle of Social Change – May 09, 2017
Los Angeles County, home to the nation’s largest child welfare system, is grappling with how to measure and respond to the risk that a child will be abused.
CA: When Finding Educational Stability for Foster Youth, Maybe It Does Take a Village (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 09, 2017
Why spend money transporting children for hours to their home school, instead of working harder and more creatively to find them placements in their home school’s district?
Also: L.A. Moves to Fill Educational Stability Gap for Foster Youth like Alex and Shirley: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/l-moves-fill-educational-stability-gap-foster-youth-like-alex-shirley/26693
CO: In State, the Use of Data Is Changing the Way Government Operates
Pew Charitable Trusts – May 09, 2017
Colorado is creating a culture of evidence-based policymaking through a portfolio of initiatives that use data to promote efficient, effective government. These efforts were established over the past six years and are affecting how policymakers make decisions.
FL: Child abuse tips silenced for months by DCF computer glitch
Tampa Bay Times – May 10, 2017
About 1,500 tips to the Florida Abuse Hotline - the state’s front line for child protection – were not sent electronically to law enforcement agencies between February and April because of a software problem, DCF officials said. That included roughly 230 cases in the Tampa Bay region.
FL: Drug Addiction is Leading Cause of Child Removal from Homes in Florida County
Fix – May 09, 2017
Parental drug addiction has led to a steep increase in the number of children being removed from their homes in Duval County, Florida, and placed into adoptive or foster-care scenarios.
GA: Governor rejects child custody bill over safety concerns
Associated Press – May 09, 2017
Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed a bill allowing parents to transfer legal authority for a child to a family member or an outside agency, urging lawmakers instead to focus on comprehensive changes to the state’s foster care and adoption law next year.
IL: EXCHANGE: Effort underway to make courthouse child friendly
Southern Illinoisan – May 10, 2017
Saline County State’s Attorney Jayson Clark explained April 18, that young victims of abuse and neglect had to walk past the alleged perpetrators of the abuse to get to the stand to testify.
KS: House committee approves foster care task force
Associated Press – May 09, 2017
A House committee on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow Kansas lawmakers to more closely oversee the state’s privatized foster care system and the contractors that run it amid questions about how the state monitors the program.
MI: Bills would make CPS tape interviews with kids (Includes video)
WOOD – May 09, 2017
CPS investigators and a Mecosta County sheriff’s deputy interviewed the children – but none of those interviews were documented on video, leading to ambiguities as to what the child said or didn’t say. That confusion would have been eliminated if the interview had been taped.
MS: Foster care fight turns to $413,000 in legal fees (Includes video)
Clarion-Ledger – May 09, 2017
Both sides agree progress is being made in reforming Mississippi’s foster care system, but attorneys for the state and plaintiffs in the long-running Olivia Y foster care federal lawsuit fight disagree over $413,287 in attorney fees.
NC: Plight of foster children taking center stage in legislature
Carolina Journal – May 08, 2017
More than 12,000 children are wards of the state. Pending legislation would consolidate services and expand spending.
SC: New Spartanburg County DSS director says more foster homes a top priority
Spartanburg Herald-Journal – May 09, 2017
There are an estimated 450 Spartanburg County children in foster care, but only 140 county families who serve as hosts. Combined with Cherokee County, which the Spartanburg office covers, there are 556 foster children with 199 homes, he said.
TN: FERRIER FILES: First safe house for sex-trafficked girls in Tennessee (Includes video)
WZTV FOX 17 – May 10, 2017
Grace Oasis is not an Airbnb, not a dorm, and not even an apartment. It is the first safe house for sex-trafficked girls in the state of Tennessee.
TX: Bexar County judge creates ‘therapeutic court’ for teen girls in foster care
KSAT – May 10, 2017
Judge Rene Yanta’s PEARLS program prepares girls for life after foster care.
TX: House OKs bill allowing adoption agencies to reject parents on religious grounds
Texas Tribune – May 09, 2017
Under House Bill 3859, which advanced on a 94-51 vote, providers would be protected from legal retaliation if they assert their “sincerely held religious beliefs” while caring for abused and neglected children. The measure would allow them to place a child in a religion-based school; deny referrals for abortion-related contraceptives, drugs or devices; and refuse to contract with other organizations that don’t share their religious beliefs.
Also: Discrimination in Texas: House Passes Anti-LGBTQ Bill HB 3859: http://www.hrc.org/blog/breaking-discrimination-in-texas-house-passes-anti-lgbtq-bill-hb-3859
Also: Texas House passes religious-refusal foster care bill: http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-house-approves-religious-refusal-foster-care-bill/IP7Dmf7PWhnOdJCErJsJkJ/
Also: Texas house approves controversial adoption bill: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Texas-house-approves-controversial-adoption-bill-11134514.php
WI: & IL: States argue over response to foster child
Associated Press – May 09, 2017
Wisconsin and Illinois officials continue to disagree about who mishandled an incident involving a runaway foster child from Wisconsin found in Chicago.
Also: Wisconsin state officials defend response to runaway found in Chicago: http://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/wisconsin-state-officials-defend-response-to-runaway-found-in-chicago
WI: Foster care needs on the rise as parents with addiction, mental health issues increase (Includes video)
WKBT – May 09, 2017
From an average of 113 kids in foster care in 2009 to an average of 180 in 2016, the need for foster homes is on the rise.
US: Child Welfare Needs the Three Rs to Combat Opioid Impact (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 09, 2017
To improve the lives of children and families affected by the opioid epidemic, we have to go back to those fundamental elements of success, the “3Rs”: results, resources and relationships.
US: National Foster Care Month: Empowering Caregivers, Strengthening Families (Press release)
US Department of Health and Human Services – May 09, 2017
National Foster Care Month celebrates the families and individuals who work with children in foster care.
Also: Information Gateway resource: National Foster Care Month 2017: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/
CA: Racial Disparities in Child Welfare: Time for Some Critical Thinking (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 08, 2017
Nobody disagrees that African Americans are more likely to be involved with child welfare and placed in foster care. In 2014, according to federal data, black children were 13.8 percent of the total child population in the United States. Yet, they constituted 22.6 percent of those identified as victims of maltreatment, and 24.3 percent of the children in foster care.
CA: LA County decision is victory for bumped-around foster kids
Daily Breeze – May 06, 2017
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved a pilot program to ensure that students in foster care have transportation to their so-called “school of origin.”
CO: Families celebrate Foster Parent Appreciation Month (Includes video)
KJCT – May 08, 2017
Ariel has been matching foster kids to families on the Western Slope for more than 20 years. Monday night they honored the dedication of those willing to make a difference in a child’s life.
CO: Denver Recognizes May As Mental Health Awareness Month (Press release)
City and County of Denver, Co. – May 07, 2017
Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in May in the United States since 1949. Nearly 44 million American adults and millions of children experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress. 50 percent of all people with mental health conditions experience them by age 14, and 75 percent by age 24.
GA: CSU helps homeless students secure housing, stability while pursuing education
Ledger-Enquirer – May 08, 2017
As an aspiring art student at Columbus State University, Tearionia Miller is getting more than an education. Before enrolling at CSU in 2015, Miller resided with her mother in a homeless shelter. Prior to that, they stayed in a friend’s two-bedroom trailer with six other occupants, mostly children, according to a news release issued by the university. But thanks to CSU student support services and philanthropists from First Baptist Church, Miller eventually found a place to live. She is now completing her second year as a work-study student in the Art department as she pursues an associate’s degree.
IN: New Indiana laws break down barriers for foster children (Includes video)
ABC57 – May 08, 2017
Two new Indiana laws make life a little easier for foster children. Barriers have been removed for obtaining a driver’s license and obtaining healthcare.
KS: Adrian Jones’ murder could lead to changes to Kansas state law (Includes video)
KCTV 5 – May 08, 2017
Adrian’s death may bring about changes to state law. There are three big things that could change including homeschooling, mandated reporting and maybe even changes to the Division of Children and Family Services.
KY: Emergency shelter to offer support to youth
Morehead News – May 08, 2017
Henderson is one of fewer than 10 staff at Mountain Haven Emergency Shelter, which held its grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday. The shelter will serve youth from ages 12 to 17 who are in need of emergency shelter. Youth who qualify may have been removed from their home by law enforcement or the Department of Community-Based Services with no relative or appropriate placement immediately available.
MD: Data repository could transform citizen services
Maryland Daily Record – May 08, 2017
Maryland will soon begin development of a powerful new system aimed at helping human services agencies tackle critical issues such as child welfare, poverty, unemployment and juvenile justice. Thanks to $195 million in federal funding and state resources, Maryland’s Total Human-services Information Network, or MD THINK, can become a reality.
ME: State says there’s a need for foster homes for kids with special needs
Associated Press – May 08, 2017
The state says there’s a continued need for foster homes in Maine as more children come into state custody because of parental substance abuse. Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says there’s a particular need for foster families who support reunification as well as those caring for teens, sibling groups and youth with special needs.
MI: New program to help foster care students graduate launching at GVSU
Grand Rapids Press – May 08, 2017
Grand Valley State University is joining other higher education institutions in Michigan in efforts to increase the success rate of foster care students by providing greater support.
MS: National award presented to Mississippi’s Commissioner of Child Protective Services
Mississippi News Now – May 08, 2017
A national honor for the progress being made in Mississippi’s troubled foster care system.
NC: Plight of foster children taking center stage in legislature
Carolina Journal – May 08, 2017
More than 12,000 children are wards of the state. Pending legislation would consolidate services and expand spending.
NE: Editorial: Child welfare in Douglas, Sarpy Counties needs certainty
Omaha World-Herald – May 09, 2017
Douglas and Sarpy Counties account for a huge portion of the total child welfare cases in Nebraska – just under half. These complex cases – more than 5,000 annually in the two counties – involve vulnerable children facing serious conditions at home.
NE: Initiative aims to take next step in crisis response, connect children and families with mental health professional in 1 hour
Scottsbluff Star Herald – May 08, 2017
Nebraska children and families in crisis can get help more quickly under a state behavioral health initiative announced Monday. Officials said the initiative aims to connect families with a mental health professional – either in the family home or online – within an hour of calling for help.
OH: Day by Day: Communities shouldn’t forget fostered youths
This Week Community News – May 08, 2017
Ohio Fostering Connection shows grim statistics on Ohio youths aged out of foster care: By age 19, 14 percent have a child; 24 percent work full time; 12 percent work part time; 26 percent had been homeless; 36 percent had been incarcerated; and 53 percent had not finished high school or received their GED.
OH: Opioid Crisis Sparks Urgent Need for Ohio Foster Families
WCSM – May 08, 2017
There are an estimated 1,400 more children in Ohio foster care compared to six years ago, and about 7,000 are in protective custody because their parents were using drugs, including opioids.
Also: Heroin epidemic feeds growing need for foster parents (Includes video): http://wytv.com/2017/05/08/heroin-epidemic-feeds-growing-need-for-foster-parents/
Also: Portage Children Services overwhelmed by opioids: Portage Children Services overwhelmed by opioids
OR: Child Welfare Director urges DHS to build community connections
Statesman Journal – May 05, 2017
Oregon’s Child Welfare Director Lena Alhusseini outlined her vision for the state’s child welfare system Friday in Salem, drawing anecdotes from her international experience.
PA: Child welfare under scrutiny after three children die in two years in Indiana County (Includes video)
WTAE – May 08, 2017
Three toddlers were killed in fewer than two years in Indiana County. In all three cases, Action News Investigates learned that child welfare officials missed signs that might have kept the children alive.
RI: DCYF director: We’re making progress in filling vacancies, updating policies (Includes video)
WPRI – May 08, 2017
A report released earlier this year called for sweeping changes at Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and on Monday, the agency’s director detailed for Senate lawmakers what’s being done to address the issues at hand.
SC: New law makes it easier for foster teens to get a license
Associated Press – May 08, 2017
The law ceremoniously signed Monday by Gov. Henry McMaster allows foster parents or other adults responsible for a teen to sign an application for a beginner’s permit or license. Previously, only the parents or legal guardian could sign.
Also: Bill signed that allows foster kids to drive: http://www.wistv.com/story/35370909/bill-signed-that-allows-foster-kids-to-drive
TX: Don’t rush to privatize foster care (Opinion)
San Antonio Express-News – May 08, 2017
Yes, the system is broken and reform is needed. But rushing ahead with privatization of foster care has the potential to make a bad system worse. The danger here is the rush to help could hurt children whose case needs might not match with a contractor’s performance measures.
TX: House passes high-priority child welfare bill (Includes video)
American-Statesman – May 08, 2017
House Bill 7, filed by Rep. Gene Wu, D-Houston, would require among several other provisions, the court to review a foster child’s placement at every hearing and would bar the court from taking children away from parents on the grounds that they home schooled their children, were economically disadvantaged, had reasonably disciplined their children or had been charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor.
Also: Texas State Representative Gene Wu on Monday released a statement regarding the preliminary approval of House Bill 7 (Press release): http://www.guidrynews.com/story.aspx?id=1000083583
Also: House aims to improve process of removing kids from dangerous homes: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/08/house-passes-child-welfare-legislation-courts/
TX: New Voice for Foster Kids: CASA gets new executive director
Waco Tribune-Herald – May 08, 2017
Anna Futral had quite a resumé when she applied to become the new executive director of CASA of Hill and McLennan counties, an organization that helps place youngsters in foster homes.
TX: Tax dollars could soon go to religion specific foster care agencies (Includes video)
KXAN – May 08, 2017
In the midst of a shortage of Foster parents, Texas lawmakers will decide this week whether to allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to refuse services based on religious beliefs.
Also: Some say ‘discriminatory’ bill would mean fewer foster parents in Texas: http://keyetv.com/news/local/some-say-discriminatory-bill-would-mean-less-foster-parents-in-texas
Also: Texas could let adoption agencies reject parents on religious grounds: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/05/08/Texas-could-let-adoption-agencies-reject-parents-on-religious-grounds/1701494241628/
Also: Adoption bill would allow agencies to deny single parents, differing religions, LGBT (Includes video): http://www.newschannel6now.com/story/35375609/adoption-bill-would-allow-agencies-to-deny-single-parents-differing-religions-lgbt
Also: Texas lawmakers ponder SD-style adoption law: http://www.kotatv.com/content/news/Texas-lawmakers-ponder-SD-style-adoption-law-421666263.html
Also: Texan Muslims could face new ban on adoption: http://www.arabnews.com/node/1096476/world
WI: Dozens of organizations unite to spread awareness about Wisconsin’s foster care system (Video)
WDJT – May 08, 2017
Dozens of organizations have united to spread awareness about Wisconsin’s foster care system. They say black children and their families fare the worst in Milwaukee. Fresh Start Family Service says these cases are critical. Organizers hope the event will encourage honest conversation on the culture of child welfare locally and nationally.
WI: Illinois sheriff blasts Wisconsin for ‘disgraceful’ response to a runaway
Milwaukee Journal Sentiinal – May 08, 2017
Sheriff Thomas Dart blasted Wisconsin’s child welfare officials for what he called a “shocking and disgraceful” refusal to assist his department last week with a runaway Dane County foster child. In an angry letter to Gov. Scott Walker, the sheriff asks the governor to “initiate an investigation into this matter to ensure that another child isn’t left alone, dependent on another state’s child welfare system for survival.”
US: How New ICWA Guidelines Support Native American Children
Chronicle of Social Change – May 08, 2017
The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) came about because the federal government and states had a long history of treating Native American* parents as unfit just by their being Indian. As recently as the 1970s, mothers knew to hide their children when strange white sedans appeared on the reservation because social workers would scoop up children and quickly arrange for them to be adopted by white families, often in the Midwest or further east.
Information Gateway resource: Working With American Indian Children and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/americanindian/
US: It takes a village-How parents with mental health conditions can be successful
The Columbia Chronicle – May 08, 2017
Stories of abuse and neglect perpetuate the stereotype that parents with mental health conditions are unfit, leading to tragic, unfair and unnecessary consequences. “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children,” a report released in September 2012 by the National Council on Disability, found 70 to 80 percent removal rates with parents with a psychiatric disability. Parents with psychiatric disabilities were almost three times as likely to have child welfare involvement or child custody loss and 27 states have laws restricting the parenting rights of people with psychiatric disabilities, according to the report.
Report: Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their Children: http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012
US: You Can’t Fix Child Welfare Spending with Distorted Data and Doublethink (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 06, 2017
… every single federal program designed to ease poverty – including housing assistance, food stamps, even the Supplemental Security Income program for the aged, blind and disabled – is a foster care prevention program, and every dime from every one of them should be counted as child welfare spending.
Also: Child Welfare Advocates Must Unite in Push for More Federal Funds (Opinion): https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/child-welfare-advocates-must-unite-push-federal-funds/26637
AR: Stanley incident prompts child welfare reforms
Hot Springs Sentinel-Record – May 07, 2017
The removal of Hal and Michelle Stanley’s children from their Treasure Isle Road home in January 2015 was the genesis of four laws adopted during the 2017 regular session of the state Legislature that strengthen legislative oversight of the child welfare system and address foster care overcrowding.
CA: Hope and help for adolescent substance abuse
Ventura County Reporter – May 05, 2017
In a California Department of Education survey of Ventura County middle school and high school students, more than 30 percent admitted to having used alcohol or illegal drugs within the past month. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost 70 percent of high school students have tried alcohol and 50 percent have taken an illegal drug by the time they reach 12th grade. And it doesn’t always stop at one-time experimentation – according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 1 in 20 U.S. adolescents needed treatment for substance abuse in the past year.
CA: Why this hit Netflix show has Sacramento schools worried about suicide (Opinion)
Sacramento Bee – May 05, 2017
The phrase “suicide tapes” has been slithering through school hallways in whispers and giggles around Sacramento, and counselors and principals are worried. Some fear the new slang – a reference to the hit Netflix series “13 Reasons Why” – could inspire possibly deadly behavior among suggestible children who watch the show.
Information Gateway resource: Cross-System Collaboration to Support Mental Health: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/collaboration/mh/
GA: New law eases way for kinship caregivers
Valdosta Daily News – May 05, 2017
Kim Hames couldn’t participate in parent-teacher conferences, or even communicate directly with teachers, when she first started raising her three young grandchildren. And when other school children filed onto a bus bound for local farms or museums, Hames’ grandchildren often stayed behind because their 51-year-old Nay Nay didn’t have the authority to sign the permission slips.
GA: Lawmakers call for change after death of Kentae Williams
MY9NJ – May 04, 2017
Some Democratic lawmakers called for change Thursday after the tragic death of a boy, allegedly at the hands of his adoptive father.
IA: McCoy: Crisis at the state endangers Iowa children (Includes video)(Opinion)
Des Moines Register – May 05, 2017
The shocking death of Natalie Finn and the extreme abuse of Malayia Knapp have demonstrated that the Iowa Department of Human Services is not stopping Iowa’s children from falling through the cracks in Child Protective Services. After extensive review, I believe the current child abuse system is stressed beyond its capacity and children are dying as a result.
Also: After teen’s death, Iowa lawmakers skeptical of agency plans: http://www.sunherald.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article149149684.html
IA: Need for foster care families on the rise
Newton Daily News – May 05, 2017
In light of National Foster Care Awareness Month, Iowa KidsNet in Jasper County hopes to bring awareness to the growing need of foster care in the county.
IN: ‘No More Secrets’ prayer for child sex abuse survivors
NWI.com – May 04, 2017
It was a night of prayer for the 73 courageous children in Northwest Indiana who came forward earlier this year to report child sexual abuse – the result of the “No More Secrets” campaign school tour. The campaign, launched in February by North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan, seeks to increase awareness about child sexual abuse in the Region.
KS: Foster care system in need of more volunteer families
KMBZ – May 05, 2017
The state of Kansas is launching a $500-thousand campaign to recruit foster parents in response to a record number of children waiting for homes.
KS: Lawmaker introduces Adrian’s Act after murder of KCK boy (Includes video)
KSHB – May 05, 2017
A Kansas state lawmaker has introduced a new piece of legislation that aims to strengthen child abuse laws.
KS: House panel works to get foster care task force off ground
Topeka Capital-Journal – May 04, 2017
A House committee responded to a state agency’s objections Thursday by fine-tuning a bill creating a task force to improve services for the record number of children in Kansas’ foster care system. The House Children and Seniors Committee voted to adjust Senate Bill 126 to make clear the task force’s work wouldn’t cause the loss of $48 million in federal funding received annually by the Kansas Department for Children and Families, which has been criticized by the Legislature’s auditors for lackluster oversight of foster care.
KY: IN YOUR VIEW: With appointment of czar, adoption process likely to improve
Daily Independent – May 05, 2017
While other governors have talked about the need to make the adoption option easier, quicker and more affordable for Kentuckians desiring to become parents, no other governor has had more real-life experience in adopting children than Gov. Matt Bevin. That’s what makes the governor’s promises to appoint the state’s first adoption czar and make Kentucky a national leader in foster care and adoption so encouraging.
Also: Seminary VP named to Kentucky adoption/foster care post: https://brnow.org/News/May-2017/Seminary-VP-named-to-Kentucky-adoption-foster-care
ME: Foster families sought for Maine children
Sun Journal – May 06, 2017
Maine Department of Health and Human Services is seeking families to foster the approximately 1,800 Maine children in foster care. According to the Office of Child and Family Services, the number of children younger than 5 in state custody has nearly doubled in the last decade.
Also: State says need for foster homes for kids with special needs: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/State-says-need-for-foster-homes-for-kids-with-11128563.php
MI: State tries to strip parental rights in mutilation case
Detroit News – May 05, 2017
Child welfare officials moved Friday to terminate the parental rights of as many as five families from a small Shia Muslim sect in Metro Detroit, alleging their children are victims of female genital mutilation, a lawyer said.
MN: May is Foster Parent Appreciation month, and they need support (Opinion)
Mesabi Daily News – May 06, 2017
In all of St. Louis County there are over 700 children in the foster care system. North of Cotton there are 160 foster homes. There is always a need for more foster homes but we also need to appreciate and thank our current foster parents.
MO: Foster Care Families Needed in SW Missouri
National Public Radio – May 05, 2017
Right now in the 3 county area of Barry, Lawrence, and Stone Counties, there are 393 kids that are in need of foster, however less than 50 families are registered. Meaning that 7 out of 8 will go without the care they need.
NC: Opinion: Where is the village for local kids in need?
Asheville Citizen-Times – May 07, 2017
Each year, our state receives more than 65,000 reports of child abuse, neglect and exploitation. Today, there are nearly 11,000 North Carolina children in foster care, more than 300 in Buncombe County alone. So why, with more than 113,000 households in Buncombe County, are there not enough homes to safely care for our children?
NV: Las Vegas boy had been removed from home a year before death
Las Vegas Review Journal – May 05, 2017
The 13-year-old Las Vegas boy whose body was found last month in a desert lot had been taken into protective custody about a year earlier, records show. In fact, Child Protective Services initiated multiple investigations of Aaron Jones’ family in the years before his remains were found.
NY: Agency helping to prevent child abuse
Gloversville Leader-Herald – May 08, 2017
The Child Advocacy Center of Fulton County/ Mental Health Association in Fulton and Montgomery; The multi-disciplinary team members consist of law enforcement, child protection, the district attorney’s office, mental health, medical and victim advocacy services who work together to conduct joint forensic interviews and make team decisions regarding the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child abuse cases.
OH: Lawsuit: State threatened to take children after false positive drug test (Includes video)
Cincinnati.com – May 05, 2017
Holly Schulkers said they knew she wasn’t on heroin before she left the St. Elizabeth hospital in Edgewood, but that didn’t stop state social workers and hospital staff from threatening to take her children and putting her through a two-month “nightmare.”
OH: Snowball Effect of Opioids on Ohio’s Child Welfare System (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 05, 2017
Ohio’s child welfare system is in crisis, due chiefly to the opioid epidemic. The ability of child-serving agencies to provide essential services to vulnerable children – the innocent victims of this crisis – is at great risk.
Also: Opioid Crisis Sparks Urgent Need for Ohio Foster Families (Includes audio): http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2017-05-08/youth-issues/opioid-crisis-sparks-urgent-need-for-ohio-foster-families/a57582-1
OK: In dire need of foster families
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – May 05, 2017
What could be more influential for children than that moment of removal? It is the arms that welcome them to where they are going and promise to help them process where they have been. Foster families serve as temporary placement for children needing out-of-home care due to abuse or neglect. Foster families provide a safe and nurturing home and are committed to working with birth families to reunite children with their families.
OR: The army behind every foster child (Guest opinion)
Oregonian – May 07, 2017
What amazes me about your army — your community — is that it extends beyond the people whose names and faces we know. When you came to my house, you had a ‘welcome box’ in your hand, a collection of items from a community member we will never meet. When you had a growth spurt, shoes and clothes were given by someone you’ll never know.
OR: Department of Human Services to get new director
Daily Astorian – May 05, 2017
Clyde Saiki is retiring after two tumultuous years as director of the Department of Human Services, the state’s largest agency. In an email to staff Friday, Saiki said he will be succeeded by Fariborz Pakseresht, director of the Oregon Youth Authority since 2012.
Also: Clyde Saiki will step out as state human services director: http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/357752-237716-clyde-saiki-will-step-out-as-state-human-services-director
PA: Special Report: Drug epidemic impacting foster care system (Includes video) (Correction)
WENY – May 03, 2017
The growing drug epidemic is affecting lives across the country, and right here in the Twin Tiers too. Local Family and Child Service Departments are realizing the drug epidemic is tearing families apart – parents with addictions are going to rehab or jail, and the children are left needing a new caregiver.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY 2015 Report: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23.pdf
PR: Facing ‘Sacrifice Everywhere’ on an Insolvent Island
New York Times – May 06, 2017
Roberto Pagán, vice president of the Puerto Rico chapter of the Service Employees International Union, said he expected that up to 400,000 people would lose health plans because they will not be able to afford it. Public services like filing a child abuse complaint will probably go unattended.
RI: Lawmakers to hold hearings on child deaths
Associated Press – May 07, 2017
Rhode Island state legislators will be holding hearings on how to prevent the deaths of children in state care
TN: State needs more foster parents
Johnson City Press – May 06, 2017
During this National Foster Care Awareness Month, state and local child care providers will be calling attention to the plight of foster children. Like most states, Tennessee is in urgent need of volunteers willing to become a foster parent or serve as a mentor to a child in foster care.
TX: Texas bill could let adoption agencies ban Jews, gays, Muslims
Associated Press – May 07, 2017
Parents seeking to adopt children in Texas could soon be rejected by state-funded or private agencies with religious objections to them being Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, or interfaith couples, under a proposal in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Also: Texas bill would let adoption agencies refuse parents on religious grounds: http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/07/us/texas-religious-freedom-adoption/index.html
Also: Texas Bill Could Let Agencies Bar LGBT, Atheist, Single Parents From Adopting (Opinion): http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/05/07/texas-bill-could-let-agencies-bar-lgbt-atheist-single-parents-from-adopting
TX: Better temporary care for foster children in Texas (Opinion)
Texas Tribune – May 06, 2017
In March 2017, the number of children who had to sleep in Child Protective Services offices or in other temporary living arrangements had doubled from February. The Dallas Morning News noted that “for the first seven months of fiscal year, 314 children were kept in this temporary housing, up from 305 in the entire last fiscal year.” That is unacceptable.
TX: YMCA gives parents safe place for child exchanges
El Paso Times – May 06, 2017
For three hours, two days a month, Marquez is allowed to visit with them through the YMCA of El Paso’s Supervised Visit/Safe Exchange program, which offers families a safe and neutral place to exchange their children from one parent or guardian to the other.
VT: Child’s death changed system
Barre MontPelier Times Argus – May 06, 2017
The 2014 death of a 2-year-old girl, to which her stepfather admitted guilt in court last week, has resulted in changes to agencies in Vermont, especially the Department for Children and Families. Several officials said they hope changes will reduce the chance of similar cases in the future.
WA: ‘There are children out there that are homeless with families’: Search for baby spotlights bigger problem
Q 13 Fox – May 05, 2017
A 10-month-old homeless child in Seattle was reported missing early Friday She was later found safe, but a community leader says the girl’s disappearance puts a spotlight on just how bad the homeless problem has become in Western Washington.
US: Mass Incarceration and the Achievement Gap (Opinion)
American Prospect – May 08, 2017
Our unjustified incarceration rates should be of urgent concern to anyone interested in narrowing the educational achievement gap-the persistently lower academic and behavioral performance of black pupils than white pupils, even when their demographic characteristics seem to be similar. The mass incarceration of African American par-ents damages their children, whose academic achievement, behavior, and health become worse when their parents are incarcerated.
US: Editorial: Opioid crisis needs national strategy
Herald-Tribune – May 07, 2017
The meetings have been held, the public health emergency has been declared, and significant yet small steps are being taken in response to an alarming, overwhelming opioid crisis in Florida and our region. But we and others – including many addiction-treatment specialists, emergency health-care providers, law-enforcement officers and social workers – fear that, absent a comprehensive and costly national strategy coupled with investment, the epidemic will rage and the devastating societal impacts will mount.
US: Developmental trauma disorder: the effects of child abuse and neglect
Clinical Advisor – May 03, 2017
Mental health experts in trauma continue to investigate and apply a condition known as developmental trauma disorder (DTD), which is characterized by permanent changes in the neurobiologic system of children and adolescents who have been chronically exposed to various types of maltreatment during sensitive periods of childhood development.1 It is believed that a specific criterion is urgently needed to improve recognition of the unique profile DTD victims encompass and to avoid misdiagnosis or confusion with other psychological syndromes, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Australia: NT child protection is fragmented and under-resourced, judge says
Guardian – May 08, 2017
The Northern Territory system of child protection is fragmented and under-resourced, and left children in dangerous situations far beyond the point of early intervention, a judge and former chief magistrate has told the royal commission.
Canada: Ontario First Nations call for mandatory inquests when children die in child welfare system
CBC News – May 04, 2017
Chiefs from across Ontario are backing a call for mandatory inquests when children die while in the care of the child welfare system. It comes after two girls from remote First Nations died within days of each other in separate incidents in the Ottawa area where the girls had been taken after being removed from their families.
Europe: Asylum applications from unaccompanied minors fell sharply in Europe in 2016
Pew Research Center – May 04, 2017
The European Union, Norway and Switzerland received nearly 66,000 asylum applications from unaccompanied minor migrants in 2016, a decline of nearly 40% from 2015’s record total but still well above the total of prior years, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency.
CA: Blood Lines: Relatives Not Always the Best Caregivers for Foster Youth (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 03, 2017
Per state and federal law, the courts are in favor of reunification or relative placement. I understand that perspective, and I respect it, but from my personal experience, I cannot say it is always truly the best living situation for a child.
CA: Lack of foster care families is a growing concern in SLO County
New Times – May 03, 2017
Finding families like the Wards has become increasingly difficult, raising concerns about a critical shortage of individuals and families willing to take in youth from SLO County’s foster care system.
FL: Governor: Opioids are public health emergency in Florida (Includes video)
Pensicola News Journal – May 03, 2017
Florida’s federal grant funding, which includes a second $27 million allocation next year, is earmarked for officials to expand opioid prevention, treatment and recovery support services throughout the state. The Florida Department of Children and Families will distribute the federal grant funding, which was awarded through the 21st Century Cures Act’s State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grants.
FL: Miami’s foster agency recruiting new leader with long resume in Florida social services
Miami Herald – May 03, 2017
As a leader of Florida’s child welfare agency, George Sheldon often had to stand toe-to-toe with administrators of Our Kids, Miami’s privately run foster care agency. Soon, he may be one of them.
GA: Lawmakers call for change after death of Kentae Williams
FOX5 – May 05, 2017
Some Democratic lawmakers called for change Thursday after the tragic death of a boy, allegedly at the hands of his adoptive father. “We need to make sure that we do whatever it takes to improve the system, especially when it comes to adoptive services,” said Thomas.
GA: Local advocates work to relieve shortage of foster homes
Times-Georgian – May 04, 2017
Across Northwest Georgia, organizations that work with children from troubled homes are facing a shortage of foster homes to place children, according to local authorities.
IL: Director of Illinois DCFS may leave amid ethics probe
Chicago Tribune – May 04, 2017
George Sheldon boasted a can-do resume when he took the helm of Illinois’ scandal-ridden child welfare agency in 2015 and proposed sweeping reforms. Two years later, the director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services is the subject of an inspector general’s ethics probe and tangled in allegations that a top Cook County aide misused her authority.
Also: Latest: Senate panel questions Illinois child welfare chief: http://www.tribtown.com/2017/05/03/us-missing-girl-joliet-the-latest/
IL: ISU program to put foster youths on path to college
Pantagraph – May 03, 2017
Illinois State University is establishing a special program to help high school-age youth in foster care prepare for college.
KS: Changes planned for Kansas foster care reform bill after agency warns of high cost
Kansas City Star – May 03, 2017
Lawmakers plan to alter a foster care reform bill after the agency in charge warned the legislation could jeopardize more than $48 million in federal funding each year. Senate Bill 126 comes in response to ongoing concerns over the foster care program highlighted by multiple state audits, the most recent of which was released last week.
Also: Kansas audit: State fails to ensure safety of children in foster care: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article92311887.html
KS: Sky Westerlund: Don’t lower social work standards in Kansas (Opinion)
Topeka Capital-Journal – May 03, 2017
The Department for Children and Families’ and the contractors’ rapid social worker turnover results in a destabilized, crisis-oriented service delivery system that struggles to keep up with the needs of children and their families. It is a system problem. It is not a social worker qualifications problem.
KY: Column: Loving grandparents are unexpected caregivers (Opinion)
Cincinnati.com – May 05, 2017
Our drug epidemic is ripping our families apart. Traveling the state, I have met and mourned with hundreds of parents who have lost a child to an overdose. I have met even more children whose parents have become addicted.
KY: Adoption czar appointed by Bevin
Daily Independent – May 03, 2017
Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed a vice president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville to head up a reform of the state’s adoption system. Daniel S. Dumas is Senior Vice President at the seminary. He and his wife, Jane, are parents to two adoptive sons.
Also: Baptist professor to lead Kentucky adoption overhaul: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article148262574.html
Also: Bevin paying new ‘czar’ for adoption and foster care $240,000, plus bonuses: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article148282969.html
LA: House backs budget reduced from Edwards plan (Includes video)
WBRZ – May 04, 2017
The Louisiana House has backed a nearly $29 billion budget for next year that significantly scales back the spending sought by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Republicans cut spending sought by Edwards across agencies. Heaviest hits would be taken by the health, education, prisons, public safety and child welfare departments. They fully funded the TOPS tuition program at the expense of health care.
Also: Scaled-back $29B budget wins support from Louisiana House: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article148572574.html
MI: Column: Keeping families together
Detroit News – May 04, 2017
The Safe Families for Children program of Bethany Christian Services works to provide a safe and stable alternative to parents, by giving temporary support to families and children during difficult times.
MN: Parents who allow genital cutting could lose custody, under bill
Pioneer Press – May 03, 2017
Minnesota lawmakers were in agreement Wednesday that the state should prevent parents from subjecting their daughters to genital cutting. But they’re still debating the best way to accomplish that goal.
Proposed bill: HF2621: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=house&f=HF2621&ssn=0&y=2017
MO: Report: Nearly 1 Million Missourians are Food Insecure (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 05, 2017
Nearly a million people are food insecure in Missouri, meaning they don’t always have enough food or access to food to meet their needs, according to the latest “Map the Meal Gap” report by the group Feeding America. The overall food-insecurity rate for Missouri is close to 16 percent, with some counties experiencing more need than others.
Also: Food Insecurity in The United States: http://map.feedingamerica.org/
MT: Program that provides foster care to seriously emotionally disturbed children expanding
Billings Gazette – May 04, 2017
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch (YBGR) has run a therapeutic foster care program since early 2000, which is now expanding, said Kim Chouinard, executive director of YBGR’s Community Based Services. Her office is housed inside the old Garfield Elementary building.
NC: Our Opinion: Leave DSS in Wilson County’s capable hands
Wilson Times – May 03, 2017
When it comes to social services, don’t fix what isn’t broken. That’s the message Wilson County commissioners are sending to the N.C. General Assembly by way of a resolution asking lawmakers to put the brakes on a statewide overhaul of local DSS agencies.
NE: HHS opts for short-term contract for managing child welfare cases
Omaha World-Herald – May 05, 2017
Nebraska child welfare officials changed course Thursday on plans to sign a new long-term contract for managing child welfare cases in the Omaha area. The officials will instead pursue an emergency short-term contract with the Nebraska Families Collaborative to continue current services beyond June 30.
NY: Exclusive: NYC Pays Significant Sum to Firm Tasked With Reforming City’s Embattled Administration for Children’s Services (Includes video)
NBC NY – May 03, 2017
The independent monitor Gov. Cuomo ordered to oversee the city’s embattled Administration for Children’s Services has begun its work without a contract, charging pricey hourly fees that will be billed to NYC taxpayers, NBC 4 New York’s I-Team has learned exclusively.
Also: Firm hired by state to monitor ACS is making a killing: http://nypost.com/2017/05/04/firm-hired-by-state-to-monitor-acs-is-making-a-killing/
NY: Special Report: Drug epidemic impacting foster care system (Includes video)
WENY – May 03, 2017
The growing drug epidemic is affecting lives across the country, and right here in the Twin Tiers too. Local Family and Child Service Departments are realizing the drug epidemic is tearing families apart – parents with addictions are going to rehab or jail, and the children are left needing a new caregiver.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) FY 2015 Report: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23.pdf
OK: New therapy dog will help Cherokee Nation foster kids cope with stress
CNHI News – May 03, 2017
Cherokee Nation’s Indian Child Welfare office is getting a new employee, Unali, an 11-week-old certified therapy puppy who will serve as emotional support animal for children in the foster care program.
PA: Agency missing accurate reports on county child welfare calls in 2016
Citizen’s Voice – May 04, 2017
A state agency was missing accurate reports on more than 1,000 child welfare calls from Luzerne County in 2016.
PA: Auditor General ‘Horrified’ By New Child Abuse Report (Includes video)
KDKA – May 04, 2017
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is voicing concern over a new report on child abuse. “I am horrified,” DePasquale said. “One child dying from abuse is too many; 46 is unconscionable.”
PA: Child abuse claims spiking in York County despite 2014 mandated reporter laws
21 News – May 04, 2017
Child abuse claims are on the rise in York County. According to the Department of Human Services, 1,994 calls came in last year.
PA: Data Snapshot: Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County
Philanthropy News Digest – May 04, 2017
According to the report, Data Snapshot: Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County (20 pages, PDF), black girls in Pittsburgh are far more likely than their white peers to live in poverty – even more so than the national or county average.
Report: Data Snapshot: Inequities Affecting Black Girls in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County: http://www.heinz.org/UserFiles/Library/Inequities_Affecting_Black_Girls_in_Pittsburgh_and_Allegheny_County.pdf
PA: Father angry 4-year-old witnessed mother’s OD despite call to CYS (Includes video)
WTAE – May 04, 2017
Imagine the trauma of a small child witnessing his mother dying of an overdose, then staying with her for hours until the police show up. Action News Investigates has learned this happened in Washington County. Action News Investigates went to County Commission Chairman Larry Maggi. Reporter Paul Van Osdol asked Maggi how big a concern it was that CYS did not intervene in the case.
TX: Act aims to allow state grants for faith-based foster care collaboration
Courier of Montgomery County – May 04, 2017
Faith-based community programs that work with the Department of Family and Protective Services to improve foster care may be eligible for state grants soon, according to Orphan Care Solutions President Terri Jaggers and a bill passed by the House Tuesday.
VA: Commonwealth’s Attorney says Grand Jury “frustrated” with results of social services investigation (Includes video)
WSLS – May 04, 2017
Rockbridge County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Billias says he and the grand jury are frustrated employees at the Rockbridge Department of Social Services will not face criminal charges. This comes after a seven month investigation found no criminal wrongdoing following the death and abuse of several children in foster care.
US: Grassley, Stabenow, Colleagues Introduce Legislation Recognizing National Foster Care Month (Press release)
Public – May 04, 2017
Sen. Chuck Grassley, co-founder and co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, co-chair of the Senate Caucus on Foster Youth, and a bipartisan group of colleagues today introduced legislation recognizing May as National Foster Care Month.
Also: Peters, Grassley Reintroduce Legislation to Address Needs of At-Risk Youth: http://publicnow.com/view/8795202FDB7118B21FCD1877D01FBF6721E5CC0D
US: Getting dads to sign on the dotted line: Will convincing more single fathers to acknowledge legal paternity improve life for the child?
American Economic Association News – May 03, 2017
Policymakers concerned with the issue have focused on making it easier for unmarried fathers to establish legal paternity. The theory is that if they can convince more single dads to sign on the dotted line that says they are the father, then those dads will be more likely to step up and care for their kids.
Also: Signing Up New Fathers: Do Paternity Establishment Initiatives Increase Marriage, Parental Investment, and Child Well-Being?: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/app.20150314
Direct Report Link: https://www.aeaweb.org/atypon.php?doi=10.1257/app.20150314
Information Gateway resource: Engaging Fathers and Paternal Family Members: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/famcentered/engaging/fathers/
US: Life in College After a Life in Foster Care (Opinion)
New York Times – April 25, 2017
There’s a ticking clock always in the back of my mind. I need to graduate and become financially independent before the support I get from the foster care system disappears.
US: The Costs of Poor Sleep Are Staggering
Rand – March 01, 2017
Researchers have found that our chronic sleep deprivation impacts everything from the quality of our work to the health and well-being of our children-even the basic readiness of our military. The researchers identified one other factor dragging down economic productivity: the skills and knowledge that teenagers leave on the classroom table because they’re too tired to learn.
Canada: ‘I just want to know what happened’: Indigenous children are dying in Canada’s foster care system
VICE News Canada – May 04, 2017
The deaths of three First Nations children living in foster care in Ontario is shining a spotlight on the alarming over-representation of Indigenous children under government custody.
Nigeria: We make care for the child, youth and vulnerable our top priority – Mrs Yussuf
Daily Times – May 04, 2017
Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf, a Pharmacist is the Commissioner for Youths and Social Development in Lagos State. In this chat, she says her passion for humanity is second to none, and is driven by providing an enabling and empowering environment for youth development.
United Kingdom: Analytics and Advisory Firm Quantzig Discusses the Pros and Cons of Predictive Analytics for Child Protective Services (Press release)
Business Wire – May 04, 2017
Analytics and machine learning algorithms have the potential to save lives by helping child protective services identify high-risk families and children-but it also comes with the dangerous possibility of removing children from safe homes if not used correctly.
AK: Family Promise: A community response to homeless families in Juneau
Southeast Alaska Catholic – May 03, 2017
There are about 165 homeless youths in the Juneau School District and the only shelter in Juneau that takes in families, St. Vincent de Paul, typically has a waiting list of about 120 people, most of which are families with children. Family Promise of Juneau is bringing local faith communities together to help homeless families regain their selfsufficiency, through hospitality.
CA: Homeless count shows slight drop in population
Record Searchlight – May 02, 2017
In that breakdown were 951 men, 364 women and 104 children. He said the nonprofit is still sifting through its data to determine what happened, though it is known that among contributing factors are the heroin crisis and ongoing cutbacks in federal aid.
CT: House Approves Ban on Gay “Conversion Therapy” (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 04, 2017
The bill passed the state’s House of Representatives on Tuesday by a vote 141-to-8. Final passage would make Connecticut the seventh state in the nation to ban the long-discredited practice that claims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. According to David McGuire, director of the ACLU of Connecticut, the bill bans exchanging money for conversion therapy, and mental health professionals who offer it could be sanctioned or even lose their license.
IN: Foster parents strive to give abused kids better lives
Herald-Tribune – May 03, 2017
Michelle Russell, Indiana Department of Child Services Ripley County office director was hopeful that each April during National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month area citizens get educated about the problem and work at prevention “so all children can live lives without abuse and neglect.”
KS: National Foster Care Month
Cherokee County News Advocate – May 04, 2017
May is National Foster Care Month, a month set aside to acknowledge foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections.
KS: Governor Brownback unveils new foster care effort
WIBW – May 03, 2017
Foster care was brought to attention at the Statehouse Wednesday morning. The Kansas Dept. of Children and Families, along with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, unveiled a new foster parent recruitment effort. It will be launched in three phases this year.
Also: Dave Ranney: Kansas’ strained foster care system (Opinion): http://cjonline.com/opinion/columns/2017-05-03/dave-ranney-kansas-strained-foster-care-system
KY: State Makes Strides in Fighting Hunger (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 04, 2017
According to the findings, Kentucky’s food insecurity rate of 16 percent fell about 1 percent from last year. Food insecurity rates are down overall since 2011, and Tamara Sandberg, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Food Banks, says she’s thrilled to see the improvement.
ND: Mixed Results in ND Legislature for Family Caregivers (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 04, 2017
The first, House Bill 1038, upped the resources for caregivers to get rest from their work. That bill was signed by Gov. Doug Burgum in April. Mike Chaussee, advocacy director for AARP North Dakota, said that bill was crucial for caregivers. He told the story of one caregiver living in a rural part of the state. The other legislation, House Bill 1039 and later Senate Bill 2215, would have ensured that family caregivers received information on medical tasks from hospitals upon discharge of a patient. That bill failed in the House both times.
NY: Kids sue agency for sending them to ‘unsafe’ Long Island foster home after accused molester is acquitted
New York Daily News – May 03, 2017
A Long Island jury may have decided that an accused serial molester of foster children could walk free Tuesday – but the legal fight for the kids isn’t over.
Also: Man’s sex abuse acquittal shows challenges for prosecutors: http://www.greenevillesun.com/news/ap_state_news/ny-sex-abuse-acquittal-shows-challenges-for-prosecutors/article_f4618b4e-b945-5194-a9cc-9c721ca570ee.html
NY: Gotham’s Right-to-Shelter Promise-and Its Homeless Problem
Daily Beast – May 02, 2017
In Bill de Blasio’s New York, a renewed effort to keep a unique obligation to give every person shelter is struggling to keep pace with harsh economic realities. The city has been notching another milestone: homelessness is at record levels, with about 60,000 adults and children living in its shelters.
OH: Columbus schools providing more transportation for homeless students
Columbus Dispatch – May 02, 2017
The number of requests made to Columbus City Schools from homeless families for transportation between the city and suburban school districts doubled this school year, officials said, overwhelming the district’s main vendor for such rides.
PA: DHS Releases 2016 Child Protective Services Report
Progress News – May 03, 2017
“This year’s revamped report includes all county-specific information in one section, which will improve readability and increase usability,” said DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “We want to ensure this critical information is available for all Pennsylvanians to increase awareness on the issue and empower people to report suspected abuse or neglect.”
Also: Report shows child abuse cases in Pennsylvania up from 2015: http://wjactv.com/news/local/report-shows-child-abuse-cases-in-pennsylvania-up-from-2015
SD: Opposition voiced to turning Oglala child protective services over to state
KOTA TV – May 03, 2017
After last week’s signal by the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council that it may turn over tribal child protective services to the state, tribal members swamped the council’s Law and Order Committee meeting Wednesday to voice opposition.
TX: Lege Lines: Bills on the Move: Sine die looms. Do these bills have a shot? (Opinion)
Austin Chronicle – May 05, 2017
Seventeen religious freedom bills have been filed this session. While most remain pending in committees, HB 3859, filed by James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, continues to move. Like other religious liberty bills, HB 3859 would allow adults working in the foster care system to deny adoption and fostering to LGBTQ couples (and abortion services to pregnant foster youth).
WI: Assembly passes bills to combat homelessness
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – May 02, 2017
Lawmakers in the Wisconsin Assembly by a wide margin backed legislation Tuesday to combat homelessness, saying they were making an initial effort to address a long-neglected problem.
US: Supporting Everyday Heroes: Recruiting and Developing Resource Families (Press release) (Includes audio)
Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – May 03, 2017
Compassionate and well-trained foster parents are essential to providing children and youth in the child welfare system with safe and stable homes. In 2015, there were 428,000 children in foster care.
Information Gateway Resource: Foster Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/foster-care/
US: Growing up with the effects of child abuse (Includes video)
KGNS – April 27, 2017
According to the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Abuse, there are over 42-million survivors of sexual abuse in America. However, a big percentage of victims won’t tell anyone about the abuse, making it one of the most under reported crimes of the century.
International: Toolkit on Unaccompanied and Separated Children Updated (Press release)
Inter-agency Working Group on Unaccompanied and Separated Children – May 01, 2017
Developed by Sarah Uppard and Lili Birnbaum, the handbook benefited from the support and combined efforts of the members of the IAWG UASC throughout the drafting process.
Also: UNHCR updates protection ‘toolkit’ for a world on the move: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/news/latest/2016/12/584177814/unhcr-updates-protection-toolkit-world-move.html
AK: State lawmakers mull measure calling abortion ‘child abuse’
Associated Press – May 02, 2017
A conservative state lawmaker has successfully tacked an anti-abortion message onto an otherwise innocuous resolution in the Alaska House aimed at raising awareness about sexual assault and child abuse. The amendment from Republican Rep. David Eastman of Wasilla refers to abortion as “the ultimate form of child abuse.”
CT: Police: Statute of limitations means accused Choate teachers won’t be prosecuted
Greenwich Time – May 02, 2017
Most of the 12 teachers accused of sexual misconduct at Choate Rosemary Hall, including three who also taught in Danbury-area schools, likely won’t face criminal charges because the statute of limitations has run out.
FL: Mental Health Watchdog Calls for Investigation into the Drugging of Children
Press Cable – May 03, 2017
The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) of Florida, a non-profit mental health watchdog dedicated to the eradication of abuses committed under the guise of mental health, is calling for an investigation into the psychiatric drugging of children in Florida following the Facebook Live suicide of a Miami teen.
GA: Foster Care families in Georgia will get more money (Includes video)
FOX Chattanooga – May 02, 2017
The new budget includes 31 million dollars to increase the daily rate that the state pays foster parents and relatives who are caring for children.
IN: Foellinger Foundation investing $500,000 in strengthening leaders who work with youth, families
News-Sentinel – May 02, 2017
Foellinger Foundation will invest a combined total of $500,000 over the next three years to help the Great Kids make Great Communities program create a new Youth and Family Development Academy and to bring in nationally recognized experts and researchers for lectures.
Also: Great Kids Make Great Communities: http://www.greatkidsallencounty.org/
KS: Overloaded Kansas foster care system sometimes requires children to sleep overnight in offices
Topeka Capital-Journal – May 02, 2017
On as many as six nights in the past month, a child waiting to be placed in foster care has slept overnight in a KVC Health System office. Although officials contend overnight and long-term stays at KVC or St. Francis facilities are rare during the foster care placement process, the Kansas Department for Children and Families doesn’t require private contractors to report such data, said DCF communications director Theresa Freed. That has some advocates concerned about a lack of transparency.
LA: Shortage of foster homes
KPLC – May 02, 2017
“Our homes are really at capacity, with almost 500 children in foster care and less than 250 homes certified in the Lake Charles region,” she said. With many homes at capacity, Duplechain says some children have had to be moved far away from the area they have called home.
MI: Number of foster care adoptions up in Oakland County, down statewide
Daily Tribune – May 02, 2017
The adoptions of children in foster care have grown in Oakland County even as statewide adoptions in the same category have fallen. Between 2014 and 2016, the number of county foster care adoptions increased from 106 to 153 per year. In comparison, the numbers statewide have fallen four of the past five years.
NC: 9 Investigates: Foster care in a ‘state of crisis’ in NC (Includes video)
WSOC-TV – May 02, 2017
A permanent family lifestyle is the goal for the thousands of foster children in North Carolina, but it’s becoming harder and harder to achieve. The number of children in foster care in North Carolina has skyrocketed 25 percent in the last five years. Right now, almost 11,000 children are in the state’s foster care system.
NC: Shortage of foster families in Wake County (Includes video)
WTVD – May 02, 2017
Hundreds of children are in need of a forever home, but there are not enough people to accommodate them all. There are currently 690 children in foster care in Wake County, yet there are only 199 licensed foster parents.
NH: Employee under investigation after kidnapping during supervised visit (Includes video)
Boston 25 News – May 02, 2017
“If a DCYF worker or contract worker is spending enough time distracted by a smart phone to allow a child under their supervision to be kidnapped, then either that worker isn’t properly trained or simply isn’t doing his or her job,” civil attorney Rus Rilee said.
OH: Juvenile Court project seeks to reunite children, parents
Wooster Daily Record – May 03, 2017
As a way to deal with the far-reaching drug and opiate epidemic, Wiles and her staff are establishing a Family Dependency Treatment Project. Wayne County Children Services workers are evaluating their cases to determine who might be potential candidates for the project, which is expected to be launched later this year.
OH: Miami Valley foster care feeling the effects of heroin epidemic (Includes video)
WDTN – May 02, 2017
The heroin epidemic continues to grip the Miami Valley and that’s led to a boom in the amount of children entering the foster care system.
OR: Bill establishes rights for foster children’s siblings (Press release)
Oregon State Legislature Senate Majority Office – May 02, 2017
A bill to establish the “Oregon Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights” will go to Gov. Kate Brown for signature.House Bill 2216 – which passed by a 29-0 vote on the Senate floor today – directs the Oregon Department of Human Services to adopt rules for establishing this document and review the rules periodically, promoting participation by current and former foster children in developing the rules.
PA: Deluge of child abuse reports continued across Pennsylvania in 2016
Tribune-Democrat – May 02, 2017
Child abuse claimed at least 46 lives in Pennsylvania last year, a five-year high, according to data released Tuesday by the Department of Human Services.
TN: Chambliss Center opening new transitional housing units for teens aging out of foster care (Includes video)
WTVC – May 02, 2017
The Chambliss Center says according to a national statistic, nearly a quarter of children who age out of state care become homeless. That’s why the Chattanooga non-profit started a new venture that will provide transitional housing for teens who are too old to be placed in a foster home.
TN: New Start: Foster care programs helping kids in TN, VA (Video)
WCYB-TV – May 02, 2017
Right now there are 772 kids in foster care in northeast Tennessee with more coming into the system every day.
VA: Grand Jury report on Rockbridge Social Services unsealed (Includes video)
WSLS 10 – May 02, 2017
In the 25 page report, the Grand Jury found reports of child abuse ignored and a complete lack of accountability on numerous levels. The report focuses largely on the actions of the Supervisor at the Department of Social Services, who resigned last year.
US: 21st Century Program Gets Budget Reprieve Until September
Youth Today – May 02, 2017
Millions of low-income kids just got a guarantee they will be able to spend their summers learning in a safe, supportive environment. And the cadre of educators and counselors who work to keep them busy, healthy and out of trouble now know they’ll have the money to continue.
US: Rep. Susan Davis Unveils Initiative to Protect Children and Combat Sex Trafficking (Press release)
Office of Representative Susan Davis – May 02, 2017
U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) introduced bipartisan legislation to combat sex trafficking. The Empower Educators to Prevent Trafficking Act (H.R. 2268) will help school districts train school staff to detect the signs that children are falling victims to sex trafficking.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Human Trafficking: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/trafficking/
United Kingdom: Children’s services leaders question usefulness of abuse and neglect guidance
Children & Young People Now – April 28, 2017
Proposed national guidance for children’s professionals on tackling child abuse and neglect is “too long”, and is unlikely to have a significant impact on practice, directors of children’s services have warned.
CA: County might expand services for the very young and the very old
San Diego Union-Tribune – May 01, 2017
Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer is recommending new programs to help young victims of human trafficking, more prosecutors in the District Attorney’s office to fight this crime, and a new program that will match people in the juvenile justice system with mentors who have reformed after their own troubles.
CA: New Data Available on Children’s Behavioral Health Care Use in Medicaid
California Hospital Association – May 01, 2017
The Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc. (CHCS) has released new data on behavioral health care use by children covered under the Medicaid program. Part of an upcoming report analyzing 2011 Medicaid claims, the data reflect that roughly 11 percent of children in Medicaid use behavioral health services.
Also: Data Update: Children’s Behavioral Health Care Use in Medicaid: http://www.chcs.org/data-update-childrens-behavioral-health-care-use-medicaid/
CA: Quota Clubs join together to make transitioning for homelessness a little fresher
OrovilleMR – May 01, 2017
In general the long-time mission of Quota Clubs is to serve the deaf and the hearing and speech impaired as well as disadvantaged women and children. With insurance often covering the services and equipment for the deaf, Pam Scott said the Gridley Club has focused more on women and children.
CA: State needs more foster homes, incentives for foster parents (Opinion)
Sacramento Bee – May 01, 2017
California is in dire need of more foster homes. In Los Angeles County, the number of foster homes decreased from more than 8,000 in 2005 to fewer than 4,000 in 2015; and the need for new foster homes is increasing.
CA: Responding to foster kids like Alex, LA County acts to protect educational stability
Fostering Media Connections – April 29, 2017
Research has shown that more than one-third of all foster youth will experience five or more school moves by the time they turn 18. Each move can cost four to six months of academic process. In California, researchers found that 58 percent of 12th-grade foster youth would complete high school that year, compared with 79 percent of low socioeconomic-status students and 84 percent of the general population.
FL: Claims Bill Further Compensating Surviving Barahona Child Now Heads To Gov. Scott (Includes audio)
WUSF Public Media – April 28, 2017
The case of a surviving abuse victim that led to the overhaul of Florida’s child welfare system may be close to reaching a resolution. While the claims bill to further compensate the victim has usually died in the past legislative sessions, it’s now headed to the Governor for final approval.
GA: DFCS workers to get big pay raise in new state budget
CBS46 – May 01, 2017
Gov. Nathan Deal signed off on Georgia’s $25 billion fiscal year 2018 budget that includes pay raises for teachers, law enforcement officers and child protective services employees on Monday.
Also: Gov. Nathan Deal signs $25 billion budget into law: http://www.lakeexpo.com/news/politics/gov-nathan-deal-signs-billion-budget-into-law/article_7e46cee8-0d66-5098-a9e9-1b5586d9f6e9.html
GA: DFCS Working with Partners to Create Nation’s First ‘State of Hope’ (Press release)
Georgia Division of Family and Children Services – May 01, 2017
On May 3, the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) along with key partners will officially launch a journey toward a State of Hope, an effort to ensure that all of Georgia’s children live in communities where they are safe and have the support they and their families need to thrive.
KY: Case on foster pay headed to Supreme Court
Courier-Journal – April 28, 2017
A closely watched Kentucky case over whether the state must pay relatives who provide foster care for children in the same way it pays licensed foster care providers appears headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
LA: Cara Center helps fight for abused children (Includes video)
WSFA – May 01, 2017
“So the report may begin in child protection, they’ll contact us. We take the child to Gingerbread House for a forensic interview. And then they go to the Cara Center, where they’ll be examined by a doctor that’s an expert in that field.” Experts at the Cara Center provide physical examinations and screenings through innovative technology to look for physical or sexual abuse that might go undetected.
ME: DHHS Recognizes Maine Foster Families & Their Role in the Lives of Maine Children (Press release)
Maine Department of Health and Human Services – May 01, 2017
May is National Foster Care Awareness month and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would like to take this opportunity to thank the foster families of Maine for all they do to support vulnerable children. In recent years, the demand for more foster families has grown due to increases in the number of children in need of the state’s protective care.
MO: Mid-Missouri nonprofit looks to provide better foster family support (Includes video)
KOMU – May 01, 2017
The Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association (CMFCAA) helps families and foster children all over mid-Missouri by providing countless resources in order to try and change the grim realities of foster care.
NC: Overhaul of child welfare system getting bipartisan support
Carolina Public Press – May 01, 2017
The state’s troubled child welfare system could be in line for a major overhaul, with a bipartisan group of lawmakers pushing to change how the state cares for vulnerable children.
OK: OSU-Tulsa launches statewide parenting education initiative (Press release)
Oklahoma State University — Tulsa – May 01, 2017
Oklahoma State University-Tulsa has established Oklahoma’s University for Parents, a statewide initiative to help Oklahoma families strengthen parent-child relationships and build positive parenting skills.
TN: Traumatic early childhood experiences can shape children for life
Times Free Press – May 02, 2017
“Brains build over time from the bottom up, skills beget skills,” said Dr. Pat Levitt, an expert at the University of Southern California and at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, on how experience and genetics shape the brain. “For children and infants and toddlers and adolescents, this is critical,” Levitt told a lunchtime forum of doctors, nurses, child welfare advocates and educators.
TX: Innocence For Sale: The victims of sex trafficking (Pt. 2 of 3)
Brazoria County Facts – May 01, 2017
Almost 700 human trafficking cases in Texas were reported to the National Human Trafficking hotline last year, according to online data. Of those, two-thirds – 473 – were sex-trafficking cases.
TX: A new safe haven for children nearly complete
Valley Star – April 30, 2017
Nobody affirmed the need for Valley Haven better than Child Protective Services Youth Specialist Monica Rodriguez, who shared her story about when she was whisked away from her home by authorities and taken to Dallas because there was no shelter for children in the Valley.
VI: Map Proclaims May Foster Care Month
Virgin Islands Consortium – May 02, 2017
Governor Kenneth Mapp has proclaimed May Foster Care Month in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in the weeks ahead the administration says it will increase its efforts to reach out to potential foster parents and others able to volunteer their time and talents, Government House announced Monday.
WA: Legislature approves bills focused on homeless youth
Auburn Reporter – May 01, 2017
Three bills addressing youth homelessness were approved by the Legislature this session, which ended April 21. A 30-day special session began April 24.
WA: Camps part of problem as Bellingham deals with homelessness
Register-Guard – April 30, 2017
Linville said homelessness is a complex issue, adding the term refers to different groups of people in different situations – women, children, veterans, teens and young adults, and homeless people who are difficult to place into housing, among others.
WI: A Judge Struck Down the “Cocaine Mom” Law That Put Pregnant Women in Jail
Mother Jones – May 01, 2017
On Friday, a Wisconsin district court struck down a decades-old state law that criminalizes pregnant women with histories of drug use by labeling them as child abusers and letting juvenile courts appoint guardians and lawyers to represent the interests of their fetuses.
Also: Federal Judge Strikes Down Wisconsin ‘Cocaine Mom Law’: https://patch.com/wisconsin/greendale/federal-judge-strikes-down-wisconsin-cocaine-mom-law
US: Foster Care Awareness Month: Educational Disparity for Foster Youth (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 01, 2017
With dismal statistics like the average reading level of a 17-year-old in foster care being that of a seventh grader and less than 60 percent of children who age out of foster care graduating high school by age 19 compared to almost 90 percent of the general population, Children’s Rights is launching its fifth annual Fostering the Future campaign. Children’s Rights is showcasing the educational disparity for children in foster care and advocating for change.
US: It Is Becoming Illegal To Be Homeless In America (Opinion)
Economic Collapse Blog, – May 01, 2017
Should we make homelessness against the law and simply throw all homeless people into prison so that we don’t have to deal with them? Incredibly, this is actually starting to happen in dozens of major cities all across the United States.
Also: Homeless kids on the rise in U.S. (Includes video): http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/homeless-kids-on-the-rise-in-us/vi-BBAzdR1
US: Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 2017 as National Foster Care Month (Press release)
White House – April 28, 2017
During the month of May, we observe National Foster Care Month and we celebrate those who have opened their homes and their hearts to children in need and those who have devoted their careers to serving America’s foster youth.
Information Gateway Resource: National Foster Care Month 2017: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/
Canada: ‘Sobering’ findings in first-ever count of homeless population in St. John’s
CBC News – May 02, 2017
End Homelessness St. John’s has released its first count of the homeless population with findings that it calls “sobering.” “It is alarming that nearly three out of five respondents first became homeless before age 24 years, and two out of five respondents experienced six or more months of homelessness over the past year,” the report reads.
AL: Bill Would Jeopardize Children in Need of Families (Opinion)
Human Rights Watch – April 27, 2017
On Tuesday, the Alabama House approved a dangerous bill that would allow adoption and foster care agencies with “sincerely held religious beliefs” to discriminate against prospective parents. Governor Kay Ivey should veto the bill and send a clear message that Alabama will protect vulnerable children by prioritizing their well-being and finding them a loving home.
AZ: Keys to adulthood: Arizona bill would let foster kids buy car insurance (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – April 28, 2017
Mark Leeper remembers a key obstacle: He couldn’t drive. Not for lack of interest, but because there was no way he could legally obtain the car insurance that was needed to get a permit and, later, a license.
CA: From Foster Care To Adoption: How New Laws Are Helping Kids Find Stable Homes (Includes audio)
Capital Public Radio – May 01, 2017
Of the 64,000 children in the foster care system in California, less than three percent are in the adoption phase. This year, the system is undergoing changes that may help more kids find a stable home life.
CA: Make it Happen makes a difference for transition-age foster youths
Davis Enterprise – April 30, 2017
While many receive government assistance to help cover expenses while they attend school or start working, most need help turning an apartment or rented room into something resembling a home. Enter Make it Happen for Yolo County.
CA: Looking for tech solutions to foster care’s problems (Includes audio)
KPCC – April 28, 2017
Can technology help solve some of the problems with LA County’s foster care system? That’s what a group of former foster kids, software developers, and officials from the county’s Department of Children and Family Services are getting together to figure out this weekend. A two-day hackathon devoted to foster care kicks off Friday afternoon and runs through the weekend at the Playa Vista offices of Fullscreen Media. About 250 people are expected to attend.
CA: New role for Army families
Desert Dispatch – April 27, 2017
In an effort to bring love and care into the lives of local neglected and abused children through foster care, the Barstow-based, nonprofit Greater Hope Foundation recently teamed with the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin to implement an exciting new program.
CO: Department of Human Services takes to the streets to build awareness of the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Denver Post – April 27, 2017
All campaign messages are elements of a grassroots effort by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) to ensure every person in the state knows the statewide hotline for reporting child abuse and neglect – and understands that everyone plays a role in protecting Colorado’s children.
CT: Agencies raise awareness for foster care in Danbury, as number of kids in system rises
Connecticut Post – April 30, 2017
For some youths, being in foster care feels like “being thrown out with the trash.” For others, it’s like being “kidnapped” or put an “emotional roller-coaster” one rides in the dark without a seat belt.
FL: State budget will invest in foster families, caseworkers
Gainesville Times – April 30, 2017
Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature on the budget Monday will usher in a sizable investment for the state’s foster care system, including increased salaries for caseworkers and per diems for foster parents.
FL: Commentary: Invest in innovation and efficiency for Florida’s foster kids (Includes video)
Orlando Sentinel – April 28, 2017
In 2013, nearly 18,000 children were in foster care. Today: 24,000 – a 33 percent move in the wrong direction. It’s part of the national trend, which saw an uptick of 31,000 kids within three years.
FL: Bills To Help Benefit Florida’s Foster Families Head To Gov. Scott (Includes audio)
WUSF Public Media – April 27, 2017
The House and Senate passed that measure this week. This month, they also sent another bill by Sen. Bean to Governor Rick Scott making permanent a program to make it easier for the state’s foster kids to obtain a driver’s license and car insurance. The Governor has until Wednesday to act on that bill.
Also: Senate committee passes bill allowing free state park access to foster families: http://floridapolitics.com/archives/233978-senate-committee-passes-bill-allowing-free-state-park-access-foster-families
GU: OUR VIEW: Kudos to Sanctuary for efforts to help Guam youth (Includes video)
Pacific Daily News (Guam) – April 28, 2017
“This is a time to celebrate with other youths and families,” said Theresa Arriola, executive director of Sanctuary. “It’s a positive event, driven by youths and for youths, as well as their families.”
IA: Foster parents needed to help thousands of Iowa kids
Radio Iowa – May 01, 2017
May is National Foster Care Month and an Iowan who works to get kids into foster homes says it has a two-fold purpose. “We literally want to let people know that foster parents do provide care out of the goodness of their heart and because they want to provide a stable and safe environment for kids. And it’s kind of a thankless job – so we just want to show that we are appreciative for that. We also want to let people know that we have a need for more foster kids all the time,” according to Bambi Schrader of the Iowa Kids Network.
IA: Editorial: Congress should finally pass immigration reform
Des Moines Register – April 27, 2017
Parents try to prepare their children for dangerous situations. Get out of the house if there’s a fire. A tornado warning means go to the basement. If someone tries to grab you, scream and run. Such advice is intended to help keep children safe. Now some parents feel they need to prepare their kids for a tragic scenario most of us have never contemplated: the possibility mom and dad could be detained by immigration officials and deported.
IL: It takes a Madison County network to prevent child abuse, neglect
Alton Telegraph – April 30, 2017
Combating a complex issue is never an easy battle, but a number of organizations have made it their mission to win the fight. Organizations across the state not only help families who fall victim to abuse and neglect, but those agencies work to address a number of issues contributing to the issue, providing a refuge for the community.
IL: Local foster agencies tackle problems, look to future of care in Southern Illinois
Southern Illinoisan – April 29, 2017
Illinois has been required by law to pay 100 percent of the contract it signed with child-welfare agencies such as the Department of Child and Family Services and Lutheran Social Services, however, that contract has not been renegotiated in almost a decade, forcing such agencies to dip into other areas of their budgets to make up basic housing costs related to foster care.
IN: 8 new Indiana laws to help the vulnerable (Includes video)
IndyStar – April 28, 2017
Indiana lawmakers passed a series of bills this spring designed to protect children, boost employment and services for people with disabilities and increase eligibility for food assistance.
KS: Audit Finds Concerns About Child Placement, Services In Kansas Foster Care System
LCUR – April 28, 2017
The Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit released the last part of a three-part audit Friday afternoon. The latest report found some of the state’s foster care contractors often ask supervisors to take on large case loads because of staff vacancies. The report also found that many staff members exceed education requirements, but lacked sufficient experience required by state contracts.
Also: Audit Finds Concerns About Child Placement, Services In Kansas Foster Care System: http://kcur.org/post/audit-finds-concerns-about-child-placement-services-kansas-foster-care-system#stream/0
Also: Audit finds problems in privatized foster care system, faults DCF for lax oversight: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/apr/28/audit-finds-problems-privatized-foster-care-system/
Also: DCF Audit: Kansas needs more experienced case workers (Includes video): http://www.kwch.com/content/news/DCF-Audit-Kansas-needs-more-foster-homes-experienced-case-workers-420782774.html
KS: Requirements for foster care workers too high, Kansas agency says
Wichita Eagle – April 28, 2017
The requirements to work in Kansas’ foster care system are too high, the agency in charge said Friday after a new audit found the state’s foster care contractors have difficulty employing enough workers.
Also: DCF: Lower requirements for social workers would improve requiting: http://cjonline.com/news/local/state-government/2017-04-28/kansas-dcf-lower-requirements-social-workers-would-improve
KY: ‘Grandma Underground’ still fighting for Kentucky kinship care payments
Courier-Journal – April 28, 2017
Sent from the “Grandma Underground,” the personal stories included pleas for help from grandparents and other relatives struggling to raise children removed from homes because of abuse and neglect, often from parents caught up in the state’s drug epidemic.
KY: Governor and First Lady share adoption, foster goals for Kentucky (Includes video)
WLKY – April 27, 2017
Governor Matt Bevin is on a mission to overhaul Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system. “It is very convoluted, it is the most bureaucratic, antiquated process,” Bevin told WLKY in an interview at the governor’s mansion in Frankfort.
Also: Step out of comfort zones for foster care, Bevin says: http://www.bpnews.net/48764
MD: Rising numbers of rural youth are unemployed and out of school, and it’s costing all of us
Public Broadcasting Service – April 28, 2017
Large numbers of young people who aren’t in school and don’t have a job used to be a problem that mostly afflicted America’s cities. But the share of “disconnected youth” in rural areas has soared over the past five years, overtaking the rate in urban areas and forcing state and local officials to look for new ways to help young people stay in school and get jobs.
Report: Moving Toward Improved Outcomes for Disconnected Youth: http://goc.maryland.gov/improved-outcomes-disconnected-youth/#_ftn2
ME: DHHS Commissioner: Schofield case changed the department (Includes video)
WGME – April 28, 2017
Sally Ann Schofield was released from prison on Tuesday, after serving 17 years for the manslaughter death of 5-year-old Logan Marr. It’s a case that led to sweeping changes in the way the Department of Health and Human Services handles child custody cases.
MN: 12-Year-Old Pushes Lawmakers To Pass Legal Protections For Foster Care Children (Includes video)
WCCO – April 27, 2017
Kresha introduced a bill requiring state workers in the foster care system to tell children they have legal rights, and tell them they can get a lawyer to help them. He told fellow lawmakers he knew he had to act quickly when he heard McKenna’s story.
Also: House wants children in foster care to know their rights: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/SDView.aspx?StoryID=1281z
MT: Battling Meth: A Rural Montana County is on the Frontline of National Foster Care Surge
Chronicle of Social Change – April 28, 2017
When James Manley came to rural Lake County, Montana, as a district judge in 2013, he knew the meth problem was bad, but he didn’t know how much worse it would get. Three-and-a-half years ago, Manley says the courthouse was processing roughly 220 felony cases a year. This year, he says the county will handle upwards of 500 drug-related felonies, and that at least 400 of those arrested will be parents.
NH: Former Choate headmasters resign as life trustees following sex abuse investigation (Includes video)
WTNH & Associated Press – April 28, 2017
Former Choate headmasters Edward Shanahan and Charley Day have resigned as life trustees at the school. This comes after an report investigating allegations of sexual abuse named a dozen educators dating back more than five decades, while Dey and Shanahan were in charge.
Also: No criminal charges filed over Choate sex abuse allegations: http://www.metro.us/news/local-news/boston/no-criminal-charges-filed-over-choate-sex-abuse-allegations
NH: Report: DCYF still faces massive case backlog, staffing problems
Concord Monitor – April 27, 2017
The state’s child protection agency is making slow progress hiring more staff and has yet to begin an initiative announced weeks ago to shrink the backlog of open abuse and neglect investigations, according to a new agency report.
NV: CONTACT 13: More than 100 children in Nevada die yearly from preventable causes (Includes video)
KTNV – April 28, 2017
Aaron Jones’ tragic death raises questions about our children’s safety — especially when they’re on the state’s radar as potentially at risk.
NY: Bill would open up records of youthful offenders to correctional staff, potential foster parents (Includes video)
News 10 ABC – April 28, 2017
Renee’s law is named after Renee Greco, a 24-year-old youth care worker that was beaten to death in 2009 by two teenagers she was watching over. Had she known their background, some argue she might be alive today.
OH: Helping Homeless Kids Find Shelter (Opinion)
Sidney Daily News – April 27, 2017
Homelessness is dangerous, especially for kids. Fortunately we have some incredible groups working on the front lines every day in Ohio, like Lighthouse Youth Services in Cincinnati.
OK: DHS improving on child welfare efforts, according to Pinnacle Plan report
Tulsa World – April 28, 2017
According to a report, the state agency’s ‘good faith efforts’ are making ‘discernible’ gains.
OR: Community Role Urged in Solving Opioid Crisis (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 01, 2017
“Talking about, within the community, how trauma can affect all of this; and that is something that we’ve been working on with our community,” Koreishi said. “And our community within the North Coast is really passionate about it and has been struggling with it and moving forward regarding what does community resilience mean and how can we collectively build that.”
PA: Commissioners Proclaim May as Foster Care Month
Gant News – May 01, 2017
The Clearfield County Commissioners proclaimed May as Foster Care Month at the request of Shannon Kelly, adoption and foster care program manager at the Children’s Aid Society.
PA: Agency in need of homes for children (Includes video)
Central PA – April 28, 2017
The Children’s Aid Agency in Clearfield County says it’s in major need of homes for children. The agency recently had to cancel information service sessions because there were not enough people attending. At the end of the day Adoption Foster Care program manager Shannon Kelly says these kids just want a home.
PA: Human trafficking…avoiding “the life” at all costs
Philadelphia Sun – April 28, 2017
Poverty and homelessness often places children, adolescents and even adults in harm’s way. Human traffickers look at those with housing or food insecurities as easy targets, especially those who are living in cars or squatting in abandoned houses. Just offering a hot meal, a couch to sleep on for a night, or small amounts of cash may be all it takes to lure a desperate person into what is known on Philadelphia streets as “the life.”
SC: Live 5 Investigates: Registered home daycares are not getting two-hour training (Includes video)
WCSC – April 27, 2017
A Live 5 investigation shows, according to DSS records online, only about 25% of local home daycare providers are currently up-to-date with two-hour training required by law. Kendra’s Law was first passed in 2010 in honor of Kendra Gaddie, an infant whose convicted childcare provider shook her so hard, Kendra sustained brain injuries and permanent developmental problems.
TX: Unsheltered: Homelessness through the eyes of children
Cleburne Times-Review – April 29, 2017
“It made me feel like a bad parent because I couldn’t give my child something she was asking for,” she said. “She always asked why she couldn’t have the same things other children had. It really hurt when those things were food or a roof over our heads.” Extreme poverty is the strongest predictor of homelessness for families who are often forced to choose between housing and other necessities for their survival.
TX: Emergency Shelter Opens in RGV for Children Removed from Homes (Includes video)
KRVG – April 28, 2017
For the first time in the Rio Grande Valley an emergency shelter is available for children who are removed from their homes by Child Protective Services. There are currently 537 children from the Valley in CPS care. Some of the children are forced to move out of the area.
WA: Program would help addicted moms
Columbian – April 27, 2017
Women in Clark County can be referred to Pregnant and Parenting Women programs around the state, but there isn’t anything offered locally. The closest program is in Longview and operated by the Drug Abuse Prevention Center. There are also programs in Everett, Spokane, Yakima and north Seattle.
WV: Children’s Home Society Works to Find Homes for WV Children (Includes video)
WOWK – April 28, 2017
Last year, one in 76 children were in the foster care system in West Virginia. That is roughly 5,000 children. The Children’s Home Society works to find those kids permanent homes, and they need your help to do so.
WV: Special Report: Relatives raising grandchildren in West Virginia on the rise (Includes video)
WCHS/WVAH – April 27, 2017
There are currently more than 25,000 children in West Virginia who are in kinship care or being raised by a relative other than their biological parents. Census numbers show that number is on the rise. Many cases are linked to drug use. Though many of these grandparent families stick together, their resources are limited.
US: Hidden Consequences: The Impact of Incarceration on Dependent Children
Corrections Connection – May 01, 2017
Family members of incarcerated individuals are often referred to as “hidden victims” – victims of the criminal justice system who are neither acknowledged nor given a platform to be heard. These hidden victims receive little personal support and do not benefit from the systemic societal mechanisms generally available to direct crime victims, despite their prevalence and their similarities to direct crime victims.
US: Disney/ABC Support National Foster Care Month with Awareness Initatives
Broadway World – April 28, 2017
Disney | ABC Television Group, in partnership with FosterMore, is working to bring awareness around and support the work of foster families, social workers, community organizations and others that are working to improve the lives of young people in foster care across the country during National Foster Care Month this May.
US: First Ever Study of Trauma-Informed Foster Care Shows Stunning Results (Press release)
PR Web – April 28, 2017
“This study validates what we have long believed, which is that, with the right interventions applied at the right time, children with significant challenges can and do get better. KVC’s staff have clearly demonstrated that implementing and sustaining trauma-informed and focused care changes lives,” said Kelly McCauley, Associate Director for the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation and project lead for TST implementation and evaluation.
Also: Trauma-informed child welfare systems and children’s well-being: A longitudinal evaluation of KVC’s bridging the way home initiative: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740917301342
KVC’s Bridging the Way Home: An innovative approach to the application of Also: Trauma Systems Therapy in child welfare: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740917301445
Information Gateway resource: Trauma-Informed Practice: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/trauma/
US: Morning Report: When Children Are Stranded By Deportation
Voice of San Diego – April 28, 2017
Some families have a plan for who will take care of children if their parents are deported. But for those families whose plans fail, the last stop is a messy foster care system.
US: Providers Hope Trauma Legislation Will Help Native Children in Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – April 28, 2017
The Trauma-Informed Care for Children and Families Act would gather federal officials and members of tribal agencies to create a set of best practices and training to help create a better way to identify and support children and families that have experienced trauma.
US: As number of adoptions drops, many U.S. agencies face strains
Associated Press – April 27, 2017
The overall number of U.S. adoptions has dropped significantly in recent years, straining the viability of many adoption agencies and drawing some into conduct that authorities describe as unethical. Would-be adoptive parents confront the specter of long waiting times and high fees. And many face pressure to spend lavishly on self-promotional advertising if they want to compete for a chance to adopt an infant.
US: Giving Birth Behind Bars (Includes video)
Doctors TV – April 27, 2017
Labor can be stressful, but for women in prison, it’s a completely different experience. There are 12,000 pregnant women behind bars every year in the U.S. – and The Doctors examine the story of one woman who gave birth while incarcerated, Maria.
US: We need to ‘shatter’ the anonymity of sex purchasers, lawmakers say
Catholic News Agency – April 27, 2017
The U.S. government needs to be continually equipped to fight the scourge of human trafficking in new and effective ways, said members of Congress introducing an anti-trafficking bill on Thursday.
Ireland: Disparity in levels of children’s social service staff across Ireland
The Detail – April 29, 2017
Lower staffing levels in child and family services in the Republic of Ireland than in Northern Ireland have sparked calls for greater investment. It has emerged that there are three times more child and family social workers per head of population in the north than in the south.
Also: Four times more children found to be ‘at risk’ in North than South: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/four-times-more-children-found-to-be-at-risk-in-north-than-south-1.3065362
Russia: HIV-positive Russians will be able to adopt children
Russia Beyond the Headlines – April 28, 2017
In Russia, HIV-infected people may become foster parents and take custody of children, according to state’s plan for counteracting the spread of aids in the country until 2020 – RIA Novosti reports. The government is also working to prevent mothers abandoning children born with the HIV virus.
United Kingdom: We cannot afford late intervention when it comes to supporting children (Opinion)
Herald – April 28, 2017
While the benefits of providing early support to children and families are well-documented and fully embedded within the Scottish policy landscape, this hasn’t been matched by the commitment and spend required to make a decisive shift towards services focused on early support across Scotland.