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KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. Please note that what you see here is only a sampling – the majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.
American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues
37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)
12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.
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CA: Big data for social good: Tri-county initiative will benefit K-12 students
University of Santa Cruz Newsletter – November 29, 2017
As a professor of education, Rod Ogawa spent 30 years studying public schools, trying to figure out how to improve student performance. In retirement, Ogawa is getting high marks for a new approach. The answer lies in sharing information among educators and social service agencies, said Ogawa, now a research professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the higher-education leader of a major new data-sharing initiative called the Silicon Valley Regional Data Trust (SVRDT).
CA: Educational Results Partnership Study Uncovers Pathways to Foster Youth Success in Community Colleges
Enhanced Online News – November 29, 2017
Although foster youth students in California’s community colleges underperform the general student population on several key measures, a new report released by Educational Results Partnership and California College Pathways offers actionable insights for colleges and policy-makers seeking to improve outcomes. Using predictive analytics, this report also identifies “bright spots” and promising approaches in the community college system that are contributing to student success.
CA: L.A. County celebrates Adoption Awareness Month
Antelope Valley Times – November 29, 2017
Nearly 400 children in Los Angeles County’s foster care system are in need of permanent families, officials said Tuesday. Supervisor Kathryn Barger and the Board of Supervisors honored adoptive families as part of November’s Adoption Awareness Month.
CA: The Man Entrusted with Los Angeles’ Most Vulnerable Children
Chronicle of Social Change – November 29, 2017
When Bobby Cagle is sworn in today, the 50-year-old will take the helm of L.A. County’s $2.4 billion Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which serves more than 34,000 children, roughly 18,000 of whom live in foster care. This newfound prominence, which will afford Cagle the ear of child welfare leaders and politicians at most levels of government, gives him the opportunity to impact child welfare nationally. And given his age, his ideas on when to remove a child or not will change the lives of thousands of families for years to come.
CA: Editorial: Helping the homeless amid affluence
Ventura County Star – November 28, 2017
You might not know, however, that many of the remaining third of the homeless in Ventura County can be found in Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks. Cortes said they will serve people who get evicted, the elderly, former foster children and others. “A lot of our homeless population in Thousand Oaks are kids who aged out of foster care. Now they’re 30-35 years old, no one’s taught them to drive, they can’t write a resume and a lot of them didn’t graduate from high school,” she said.
Information Gateway resource: Services for Youth: Homeless and Runaway: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/interventions/homeless-runaway/
CO: State grapples with 80 percent jump in newborns going through opioid withdrawal
Denver Post – November 29, 2017
Pueblo hospital’s number of drug-addicted babies makes others “shudder.” The rise in Colorado newborns addicted to opioids has alarmed physicians and child advocates, jumping 83 percent from 2010 to 2015. The state’s rate, according to the Colorado health department, climbed from 2 births out of 1,000 to 3.6 births in that five-year period.
IA: Despite controversies, Iowa DHS’ Foxhoven gives agency glowing marks (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – November 28, 2017
Although the Iowa Department of Human Services has been embroiled in several controversies over the past year, director Jerry Foxhoven gave a glowing assessment of his agency Tuesday in a budget presentation to Gov. Kim Reynolds. Foxhoven, who has been on the job fewer than six months, described Iowa’s Medicaid health care program for low-income patients as having high levels of customer satisfaction. He said it’s one of the best states in the country for overall child well-being and for mental health treatment.
IL: Unshackling Children in Court (Includes audio)
Public News Service – November 30, 2017
It’s been just over a year since the Illinois Supreme Court moved to end indiscriminate shackling of children in court, and judges across the state say it’s working well.
IN: After infant saved, interest grows in ‘baby boxes’
Chicago Tribune – November 22, 2017
After hearing a newborn girl had been placed in the Safe Haven Baby Box at the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department near Michigan City earlier this month, Monica Kelsey says she started crying. “Now this little girl is going to grow up because of our efforts, and she wouldn’t have,” said Kelsey, founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes and a firefighter in Woodburn, outside of Fort Wayne. She was abandoned as an infant and fought to get clearance for the boxes from the Indiana Department of Child Services.
KS: & MO: Local organizations receive grants to continue their work with children (Includes video)
KSHB – November 28, 2017
Both CASA of Johnson and Wyandotte counties and Synergy Services received grants from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City. “It’s truly a huge blessing for us because it truly is a huge need for street outreach services,” Francis said, whose organization received $75,000. Francis said this will help the organization after it lost a $100,000 from Health and Human Services.
KY: Foster parents needed for incarcerated mothers
Oldham Era – November 29, 2017
Around 12 inmates are pregnant at the Kentucky Correctional Institute for Women (KCIW) in Pewee Valley and several of those babies will be in need of foster homes.
MD: Trying to bite the ‘elephant’ of addiction
Calvert Recorder – November 28, 2017
In addition to understanding addiction as a disease, Adams said it is also “a symptom of trauma,” including childhood trauma and physical trauma. Half of all U.S. adults had one adverse childhood experience, such as having an unstable home environment, being physically or sexually abused or having a parent taken away from them, he said. “With each adverse childhood experience you have, your risk of addiction goes up 400 percent.”
ME: What it’s like to survive high school only to fail college
Bangor Daily News – November 30, 2017
Because of the instability, she was sent to a foster home near Houlton, where she lived for more than a year before enrolling at the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 2015. Those who are the first in their family to attend college are unlikely to finish, even if they come from families of means. Nationally, about 25 percent of first-generation students not considered low-income, who enrolled in the fall of 2003, earned a bachelor’s degree in six years. Just 10.9 percent of students considered both first-generation and low-income – meaning their family earned less than $25,000 – graduated in that timeframe, according to the Pell Institute.
MI: Ontonagon man gains support of attorney general in foster case
Ironwood Daily Globe – November 30, 2017
William Johnson, of Ontonagon, scored a significant first victory in his lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on the basis of the right of foster parents to have guns in their homes. Johnson claimed the department denied his right to become a foster parent to his grandson because he has guns in his home. Johnson said the department had specifically rejected his application on that basis.
OH: Opioid crisis leaving children in its wake; foster and adoptive parents needed
Akron Beacon Journal – November 29, 2017
Summit County is looking for a few good parents. The county is experiencing a shortage of foster and adoptive parents and is starting a campaign to attract more. The effort includes a video that features three sets of parents who have adopted or are fostering children in their homes with the hope of eventually adopting them.
OH: County Commissioners discuss children services
Record Herald – November 28, 2017
Commissioners Dan Dean, Jack DeWeese and Tony Anderson passed several contracts to help the Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS).
OK: Nonprofit group seeks to reduce number of children in foster care
Tulsa Business & Legal News – November 30, 2017
Keeping children at home and out of foster homes is the mission of the Oklahoma Family Legal Advocates Inc., and the newly-formed 501(c)(3) nonprofit group and its initial efforts are on target. Since January, volunteer attorneys and staff have completed four guardianships and are in the process of filing for an adoption and awaiting a hearing for a guardianship. Nineteen cases have been worked on or are in various states of completion, said Barbara Sears, board president and executive director.
OK: DHS programs now funded for about 3 months
Tahlequah Daily Press – November 29, 2017
Though the Oklahoma Legislature soon must return to the capitol building to clear the budgetary rubble left by Gov. Mary Fallin’s veto, a cohort of state residents is breathing easier – for now. The veto, which crossed out 165 of 170 sections passed in special session by lawmakers, did not touch $26.9 million in emergency funding for the Oklahoma Department of Human Services. Urgent funding for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services also emerged intact.
OR: With high housing costs, few shelter beds, where can the homeless go?
Medford Mail Tribune – November 29, 2017
“Obviously the root causes of homelessness are complex and include many layers,” says Ashland City Councilor Stefani Seffinger. “Family breakdown, mental illness, drug use, post traumatic stress, a broken foster care system, low wages, disappearing jobs, lack of affordable housing, our educational system with increasing college debt are all areas that need to be addressed if a real solution can be found. I am sure the future also holds added stress that environmental change will cause with populations affected by climate change.”
PA: Somerset wants more funding for human services, other priorities
Tribune Democrat – November 29, 2017
For one thing, the commissioners argued, Pennsylvania must provide additional funding for county human services programs. A 10 percent funding cut to several human services budget items in 2012 and 2013 has “strained county capacity to its limits,” the commissioners’ group said. New child welfare laws passed in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal has increased the workload of county Children and Youth Services caseworkers around the state, they added.
SC: Would this ‘surprise’ tactic keep government more honest? (Commentary)
State (South Carolina) – November 29, 2017
The year was 1969, and the young Richland County House member was co-chairing a joint legislative committee studying the state’s juvenile justice system. Acting on a tip from a social worker about routine physical abuse, he made “a personal surprise investigation” of the John G. Richards School for Boys, which is what we used to call juvenile prisons. “At the time,” Mr. Medlock recalled, the guard with the hose was “herding a group of very small African-American boys into an open shower area.” A reporter with the Christian Science Monitor would visit a few weeks later at Mr. Medlock’s urging and then testify before Mr. Medlock’s committee that “I found boys at the school beaten over the head and body with a leather belt, ropes, fists, a bog-shaped wooden handle, sticks, and, I’m told, chains, too.”
TX: Hurricane Katrina Survivor Leads Red Cross In North Texas, Helps Evacuees Start Over (Includes audio)
KERA News – November 28, 2017
In 2005, Keith Rhodes was running the Methodist Home for Children in New Orleans. Then, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Louisiana Gulf Coast. He had to evacuate dozens of kids, and move his own family to safety. That experience prepared him for the influx of people seeking shelter from Hurricane Harvey this past August. He coordinated their care as CEO of the North Texas chapter of the American Red Cross. On Dec. 5, KERA will launch a new chapter in the One Crisis Away series. “After The Flood” will share the stories of Hurricane Harvey evacuees who chose to leave their storm-damaged homes behind, and start over in North Texas.
WI: Opioid Crisis Hits Milwaukee Hard (Include audio)
WUWN – November 29, 2017
“It (opioid addiction) can happen anywhere and it can be anybody. We’re not talking about homeless people or junkies on the streets.
WI: Representatives introduce Foster Forward package of bills
La Crosse Tribune – November 29, 2017
A new set of bills designed to tackle the needs of the 7,000 children currently in foster care statewide is headed for the Legislature this winter. Each bill was crafted to address one or more of six key needs in the foster system, including increased support for foster youth, foster parents and the workers and organizations involved in the child welfare system, as well as higher education assistance for individuals who have aged out of the system, prevention tactics to avoid the removal of a child from their home and a simplified legal process.
Also: Assembly task force aims to support foster children, families with 13 proposals: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/election-matters/assembly-task-force-aims-to-support-foster-children-families-with/article_84d12162-a262-5235-9af9-9b06fa8c37da.html
US: Staggering New Numbers on Youth Homelessness Demand Action
Advocate – November 30, 2017
Every year, more than 4 million young people experience homelessness in the United States. And while youth homelessness is a largely hidden problem, it impacts a staggering number of young people in every city, town, and suburb in this country. New research from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago details the extent of the issue, and it should serve as a wake-up call for all of us: Homelessness is threatening to derail a generation of young people.
Study: Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America: http://voicesofyouthcount.org/brief/national-estimates-of-youth-homelessness/
US: Identifying Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Human Services
Urban Institute – November 28, 2017
When there is evidence of racial and ethnic differences at any point in the service delivery spectrum-for example, in access to and take-up of human services, in the nature and quality of services received, or in the outcomes of services-it can be challenging to interpret what those differences mean. In particular, it can be challenging to understand whether and to what extent those differences represent disparities. Disparities mean that one group is systematically faring worse than another for reasons that are not due to the group’s needs, eligibility, or preferences.
US: National Day of Mourning 2017: Celebrating survival, resilience and resistance
International Action Center – November 28, 2017
In modern times, this violence has led to thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. This colonial violence means many thousands of Indigenous People lack safe drinking water or a decent diet when our food sovereignty is threatened. I think especially of the pipelines and the corporate salmon farming destroying the salmon that Indigenous peoples have relied upon for millenia. This violence tears apart our families generation after generation – years ago from residential schools and currently due to disproportionate numbers of our children in foster care.
US: Edible Marijuana Products Pose Risks to Children, Annals of Emergency Medicine Study Finds (Press release)
American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) – November 27, 2017
As states update marijuana regulations, emergency physicians should be mindful of the likely increase in visits to the emergency room (ER), particularly for children who accidentally ingest edible marijuana or related products, according to a new study in Annals of Emergency Medicine, Cannabis Intoxication Case Series: The Dangers of Edibles Containing Tetrahydrocannabinol.
US: Parents can get a free Baby Box that helps reduce SIDS risks
Daily Camera – November 21, 2017
A Baby Box is, quite simply, a sturdy cardboard bassinet, equipped with a firm, safe mattress. It’s designed for babies up to six months old. Baby Boxes have a history in Finland, where the government has been distributing them for 75 years. Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.
Canada: Department of Health and Social Services of Yukon: Family reunification project launched (Press release)
Department of Health and Social Services of Yukon – November 28, 2017
The Government of Yukon is introducing a new three-year pilot project to reunite families. The family reunification home project is an innovative foster placement model through which foster parents will work intensively with the parents of the children under their care within a single family home in Whitehorse. The program will allow children in care to be reunited with their families.
Finland: Rebrand for Finland’s baby boxes
BBC News – November 23, 2017
Finland is hoping to rebrand its celebrated baby box with a new, more inclusive name as the government gift for new parents celebrates its 80th anniversary. National benefits agency Kela, which administers the scheme, launched the discussion earlier this week, asking “Does the name of the maternity kit discriminate against dads?”, national broadcaster Yle reports. “Or is maternity box so good a name that it should not be replaced?” it adds.
India: India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights
Global Citizen – October 11, 2017
India’s top court has ruled that sex with a child is always rape, quashing a clause that allowed men to have sex with underage girls if they were married to them. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Wednesday closed a legal loophole that has historically allowed perpetrators of rape to escape punishment.
AR: State ranked 1st in count of kids of jailed parents
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – November 23, 2017
Arkansas surpasses all other states in the percentage of its children who have had a parent or guardian locked up, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The foundation reported that, according to its study, almost 16 percent of children in the state — a total of 109,000 children — in 2015-16 had at some point in their lives a parent or guardian incarcerated in prison or in jail. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Arkansas’ population of 3 million includes about 705,000 children under 18.
CA: A new approach to helping foster kids in trouble with the law (Includes audio)
KPCC – November 23, 2017
Loyola Law School is preparing to launch a pilot program to help so-called “crossover kids” in Los Angeles County – children who are in both the foster care and juvenile justice systems. The program will use multidisciplinary teams to steer the young people away from incarceration and towards a high school diploma.
CA: At temporary L.A. County shelters, some foster kids just keep cycling through
Los Angeles Times – November 22, 2017
The girls are among 4,200 young people who have stayed in such a facility since March 2016. That is when L.A. County shut down its emergency “welcome centers,” where foster children with nowhere else to go could stay for a day or less, and opened three-day shelters run by private providers. Some kids are entering the foster system for the first time. For those, the 72-hour facilities generally serve as intended – a temporary stop on the way to a longer-term home.
CA: In Wine Country, Child Welfare Responds to Wildfires
Chronicle of Social Change – November 22, 2017
The child welfare communities in Sonoma and Napa counties were not immune to the destruction. As the holiday season approached, efforts to stabilize foster care placements moved quickly. Solutions for the region’s transition-age youth have proven to be trickier to address.
FL: Making strides in child-welfare reforms (Commentary)
Orlando Sentinel – November 22, 2017
Florida took a big step forward this past legislative session by creating quality standards for foster care – for foster parents and group homes alike. These standards, which become part of state statutes in 2019, set expectations for some of the most critical elements of foster care, including positive living environments, proper monitoring and reporting systems, and adequate education and skills training for foster youth.
IN: House philanthropy focuses on foster home shortage
Tribune Star – November 22, 2017
In Indiana, nearly twice as many children are in the foster care system than there are available foster homes, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services. Currently, 150 children in Indiana are awaiting for foster care, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said.
KS: Becky Fast: Social work takes more than a good heart
Topeka Capital-Journal – November 23, 2017
In the aftermath of five high-profile child deaths, record numbers of children entering foster care and recent reports of the Kansas Department for Child and Families using gag orders to cover its shortcomings, the agency is clearly in crisis. Kansas’ child welfare system has long struggled with inadequate funding. In 1989, a guardian ad litem attorney sued the state, arguing that by providing so few services, the state was endangering the children in its care. Unable to disprove the allegations, legislators in 1996 sanctioned a Gov. Bill Graves-led initiative that allowed long-established private nonprofit organizations take over most of the state’s responsibilities.
KS: Embattled DCF Secretary to Be Replaced by Child Welfare Veteran (Audio)
Kansas Public Radio – November 22, 2017
Gina Meier-Hummel, the new head of the state’s child welfare agency says fixing the state’s privatized foster care system will be among her top priorities.
KS: New leader of Kansas DCF says agency will undergo top-to-bottom review to address systemic failures (Includes video): http://fox4kc.com/2017/11/22/new-leader-of-kansas-dcf-says-agency-will-undergo-top-to-bottom-review-to-address-systemic-failures/
OR: New ‘Nest’ program attempting to combat Oregon DHS hoteling issue (Includes video)
KPTV – November 22, 2017
In what is being called a new style of foster care, a local nonprofit is partnering with the Oregon Department of Human Services to provide homes for kids in state care. The move follows a FOX 12 investigative report uncovering the state’s continued practice of housing foster kids in hotel rooms or state offices, and the program already seems to be making a difference in the placement crisis. Boys & Girls Aid officially launched the Nest program on November 1. Through the program, foster parents are recruited and trained to become skilled and prepared to take children with complex needs and behaviors.
OR: Oregon pays $750k to foster kids who were isolated in Spanish-speaking foster home
Oregonian – November 22, 2017
Paul said the brothers’ isolation was made even worse because child-protection workers with the Oregon Department of Human Services failed to regularly check on the boys. Department rules require workers to have at least one face-to-face interaction with each foster child every 30 days. But Paul said one of the boys didn’t have any in-person visits with a DHS caseworker in the entire eight months he lived in the home in 2012 and 2013.
TX: Local nonprofit receives grant to provide housing for youths aging out of foster care (Includes video)
KSAT 12 – November 23, 2017
Children in foster care face many challenges, and if they’re not reunited with their families or adopted by the time they turn 18, the road ahead doesn’t get any easier. One major challenge many young adults face when they age out of foster care is finding stable housing.
TX: Homeless youth slip through cracks of disjointed support system, new report says
Texas Tribune – November 22, 2017
Homeless youth in Texas are inadequately supported due to a spotty system of programs and resources, according to a new report released Wednesday. “It’s ridiculous that it took me four years to find out that I could get transitional living, counseling, housing,” Kemp said. Homeless youth in Texas like Kemp are inadequately supported due to a spotty system of programs and resources, according to a new report released Wednesday by Texas Appleseed and Texas Network of Youth Services.
TX: Pay raises, hiring initiatives usher in Texas CPS improvements
Austin American-Statesman – November 22, 2017
More caseworkers are staying on the job and workloads have plummeted almost a year after state officials provided $12,000 pay raises to employees in the Texas child welfare system, which had been plagued by child deaths and delays in visiting children in reported abusive homes.
VA: Foster families needed in Amherst County
Amherst New Era Progress – November 21, 2017
Amherst County Department of Social Services is reaching out to local community leaders in churches, schools, youth groups and counseling agencies for foster families.
US: ‘Our little missing link’: DL parents talk growing their families through foster-to-adopt option
Detroit Lakes Online – November 22, 2017
There are many pathways to parenthood: good, old-fashioned family planning, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy…but adoption takes the spotlight this month, Nov. being National Adoption Awareness Month. And, while the idea of adopting a child from another country may come to mind for many, there’s something to be said about the need for foster-to-adopt parents right here in Becker County.
TX: Tarrant County Adoption Day creates ‘forever families’: http://www.fortworthbusiness.com/news/law/tarrant-county-adoption-day-creates-forever-families/article_51580fd0-cfd6-11e7-8f66-8f7c979f0da0.html
NV: November is National Adoption Month: http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/announcements/november-is-national-adoption-month/
VA: National Adoption Awareness Month hits home: http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/articles/national-adoption-awareness-month-hits-home/article_5f3c5ede-cfaa-11e7-93ae-4711a4f62093.html
IL: Families participate in National Adoption Day: http://www.daily-times.com/story/news/local/farmington/2017/11/22/families-participate-national-adoption-day/887067001/
US: Southwest: Supreme Court Won’t Question Constitutionality of Indian Child Welfare Act
Chronicle of Social Change – November 22, 2017
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition filed by the Goldwater Institute of Arizona to examine the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Passed in 1978, ICWA provides guidelines for the placement of Native American children in foster and adoptive homes and created some rights for tribes and families during the legal process.
US: Tax Cuts Could Mean Coming Storm for Child Welfare, Juvenile Services (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – November 22, 2017
The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a national organization that represents hundreds of child welfare and juvenile justice service providers, is concerned that the tax reform plan moving through both chambers of Congress is setting up a perfect storm of funding troubles for nonprofits in the sector.
US: Judge orders hearings for teens detained as gang suspects
Associated Press – November 21, 2017
Teenagers who crossed the border into the United States and were placed with sponsors under the unaccompanied-children program, then later detained because of suspected gang activity must get prompt hearings about those allegations, a judge has ruled.
US: NOE: Talking with children when the talking gets tough (Commentary)
Richmond Register – November 21, 2017
Recent media coverage of news events in Las Vegas, Spain, Puerto Rico and Texas, has focused on acts of violence and natural disasters that leave many of us in a state of shock and awe. As hard as it for adults to make sense of these unfathomable acts, it’s even harder for children. Talking to your children about natural disasters, violence and death is not easy, but can go a long way in making them feel safe, secure and loved.
US: The number of teens who are depressed is soaring – and all signs point to smartphones
Business Insider – November 18, 2017
In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. teens who felt useless and joyless – classic symptoms of depression – surged 33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13- to 18-year-olds who committed suicide jumped 31 percent.
Canada: Nova Scotia not looking to open up adoption records, minister says
News Summed Up – November 23, 2017
Nova Scotia’s community services minister says the province isn’t looking to open up adoption records, even as many other provinces ease access. I’m saying right now we have a lot of work underway and that’s what we are focusing on.”Prince Edward Island is holding public consultations on adoption records in the new year.
Singapore: Wilmar International : Launches Child Protection Policy for its Operations and Suppliers (Press release)
4-Traders – November 22, 2017
“Wilmar has absolutely zero tolerance for child labour under any circumstances. Over the last year, we have received feedback from many organisations, principally Unicef, that the bigger issue with children and the oil palm industry is about safeguarding children and their rights. We definitely agree with that and the CPP is conceived to ensure that we respect the rights and protect the welfare and wellbeing of children at all times. This is our commitment to the children living in our plantation community as well as those under the care of our suppliers and contractors,” said Ms Perpetua George, Wilmar’s Group Sustainability General Manager.
United Kingdom: Scotland’s child protection system ‘does not work’, MSPs told
Falkirk Herald – November 23, 2017
In a submission to the parliament’s Public Petitions Committee Mr Mackie, a legal investigator, claimed the children’s hearing system “does not work” because it operated on the principle of risk to children as presented by professionals rather than on the evidence.
CA: L.A. Law School Wins $1 Million Grant to Help Crossover Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – November 21, 2017
A Los Angeles law school has been awarded $1 million to advocate for the needs of Los Angeles County “crossover youth,” youngsters caught up in both the foster care and juvenile justice systems. The Everychild Foundation is giving the money to the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy (CJLP) at Loyola Law School to launch the “Everychild Integrated Educational and Legal Advocacy Project.”
FL: Reports: DCF investigated suspect in 3-year-old’s killing twice since 2009
Northwest Florida Daily News – November 21, 2017
Florida Department of Children and Family documents obtained by the Northwest Florida Daily News show Cory Hagwell, who was charged in the death of 3-year-old Adelynn Merrell Nov. 12, had been flagged by the agency in 2009 and 2017.
IN: House philanthropy focuses on foster home shortage
Herald Bulletin – November 21, 2017
In Indiana, nearly twice as many children are in the foster care system than there are available foster homes, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services. Currently, 150 children in Indiana are awaiting for foster care, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said.
KS: Lt. Governor Taps Child Welfare Veteran To Replace Embattled DCF Secretary
KCUR – November 21, 2017
Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer is announcing his pick to succeed the beleaguered head of the state’s social welfare agency Wednesday morning. He will name Gina Meier-Hummel to succeed Department for Children and Families secretary Phyllis Gilmore, according to spokeswoman Kara Fullmer. The Kansas Senate will have to approve the appointment.
MD: Dozens of Baltimore kids march in support of $12M youth fund (Includes video)
Baltimore Sun – November 21, 2017
“I like the fact that we’re trying to flip the script with the distribution of the funds and attempt to identify the most needy,” Community activist Kim Trueheart said. “I’m concerned that we don’t have good data on our children and youth, such as the number of children in foster care, the number of children who are homeless and the number of children who live in public housing. I’m trying to define the most needy children.”
MN: KARE 11 Investigates: Child Protection reports double, but caseloads improve (Includes video)
KARE 11 – November 21, 2017
Despite a soaring number of reports of child abuse and neglect, Hennepin County officials say they are making progress in reducing the number of child protection cases assigned to each worker. They hope the lower caseloads will improve outcomes for children.
MO: ‘Systematic failures’ allowed 7-year-old boy’s torture death: Former DCF employee (Includes video)
WDAF – November 21, 2017
“Every year of his life he had events. Every year of his life DCF failed him,” said Dianne Keech, former deputy director at the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF). “He was my responsibility,” Keech said. “I left because I knew children were being hurt under our jurisdiction, subject to repeat maltreatment, and I didn’t feel like I could do anything to change it from the inside.”
NC: Yadkin County plans to sue opioid manufacturers (Includes video)
WXII 12 – November 21, 2017
Yadkin County is looking for financial compensation for the cost of the opioid epidemic to the country, blaming drug manufacturers and distributors for possibly violating state and federal laws for practices they said eventually created the opioid epidemic. In a closed session on Monday, the county’s Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to declare the opioid epidemic a public nuisance and signed a contract with more than half a dozen big law firms to sue distributors of prescription pain killers.
NV: I-Team: Questions raised after child dies in foster care (Includes video)
Las Vegas Now – November 21, 2017
A foster father accused of killing the boy he was supposed to be caring for calls it an accident. Craig Dickens says he became a foster parent to 1-year-old Daevon Branon-Banks after a short interview with Child Protective Services, or CPS, and a background check but no training. Four months later, he was accused of killing the child.
NY: Straight No Chaser: Our Children Are Under Attack! (Commentary)
Minority Reporter – November 21, 2017
Children are innocent, and born into this world with the expectation that they will live a nurtured life, full of love and growth. And, in addition to the sick sex crimes that have become so pervasive, it also seems that parents, girlfriends and boyfriends are so unbalanced that they too are becoming involved in these crimes.
RI: DCYF: Child abuse in Woonsocket highest in the state
Valley Breeze – November 21, 2017
The rate of abuse in Woonsocket is the highest in the state and nearly triples the state average. It is also significantly higher than the rate in Rhode Island’s urban core cities of 19.6 children per 1,000.
TX: Pure Religion set to build 100 beds for children in need before Thanksgiving
Tyler Morning Telegraph – November 21, 2017
Pure Religion helps provide beds for children who have been removed from their homes, in order to help keep them out of foster care. President Tony Black said Child Protective Services has two major requirements for approved extended family or friends: adequate space and bedding. “What we are really doing is a stopgap measure to keep kids out of foster care,” he said. “Most can accommodate, but they might not have the money to buy a bed.”
US: Annual cost of opioid crisis as high as $504 billion
Behavioral Healthcare – November 21, 2017
Two recent research studies have placed dollar amounts on the staggering costs of opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Each provides a strong body of evidence to support investment in combatting the crisis-something addiction treatment providers continue to advocate for at the federal, state and local levels.
US: Grandparents: A Safety Net for Kids
Grand Magazine – November 21, 2017
Recently, the President declared the opioid epidemic a national crisis. This long-overdue step is critical. But to 2.6 million grandparents raising grandchildren across the country, it will be recognized as just that: one step.
US: Marquette, Upper Peninsula participate in National Adoption Month
Upper Michigan Source – November 21, 2017
There are more than 110,000 children up for adoption across the United States. Efforts like National Adoption Day are helping to match children to forever homes. “Last year through the National Adoption Day 65,000 kids were adopted,” said Marquette County Sheriff Greg Zyburt. “It’s a really important day for these kids.”
Also: Texas celebrates adoptions of 33 foster care children: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-celebrates-adoptions-of-33-foster-care-12372956.php
Also: Five Genesee County children find ‘forever families’ on adoption day: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2017/11/five_genesee_county_children_f.html
Also: He’d been in foster care since age 9. ‘How many kids my age get adopted nowadays?’: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/nation-world/national/article185792908.html
Also: Children find permanent families at adoption event: http://www.aroundosceola.com/children-find-permanent-families-at-adoption-event/
Also: Three children find forever families on Adoption Day: http://www.ourmidland.com/news/police_and_courts/article/Three-children-find-forever-families-on-Adoption-12375354.php
Also: 6 children find new homes, families at adoption day: http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/story/news/2017/11/21/6-children-find-permanent-homes-families-adoption-day/886049001/
US: Proposed federal tax cuts threaten children’s health (Opinion)
Raleigh News & Observer – November 21, 2017
In North Carolina, our priorities are reflected in our strong sense of community and our commitment to children. We look out for our neighbors here, especially those who are struggling through hard times and need extra help. And that means protecting the programs that care for our most vulnerable residents, such as children, people with disabilities and the elderly. In recent weeks, the U.S. House and Senate have unveiled new tax bills and budget proposals that don’t reflect these values.
US: The Pernicious Failure of Child Welfare Reform (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – November 21, 2017
After more than 40 years of work in child welfare, I have lost count of the number of child reforms undertaken across the United States. Illinois. New York City. Florida. Los Angeles. Philadelphia. Florida, and others again and again. They seem to blend together as an ongoing kaleidoscope of tragedy, media and public outrage, system bashing, firings and announcements of new reform plans. Just as World War I was supposed to be the war to end all wars and wasn’t, these plans never turn out to be the plan to end all plans.
US: The Truth About the Adoption Tax Credit Hype (Commentary)
Huffington Post – November 21, 2017
After all, for legislators, keeping – and every year increasing – the adoption tax credit which is touted to help people who could not otherwise afford adoption is akin to supporting apple pie. International adoptions continue to decline: it is a matter of nation after nation putting their foot down against the corruption created by the high demand and increasing price tags being paid for children. This is country after country seeing what is happening and responding appropriately with a renewed desire to do better for their own families and children in need. The decline in the mass commodification and export of children is to be applauded and supported, not bemoaned with disdain.
US: This Foster Mom’s Message Is Exactly What Struggling Foster Parents Need to Hear
PopSugar – November 21, 2017
A foster mom recently shared an encouraging and supportive message both to herself and for anyone struggling in the early stages of fostering a child. On Facebook, the blogger behind Foster the Family wrote, “If you were three days into a new placement, I would know what you needed to hear.”
US: Young and homeless in America: Survey says the problem is worsening
Redlands Daily Facts – November 21, 2017
More than 4 percent of adolescents and 10 percent of young adults nationwide were living on the street, in cars or shelters, or couch-surfing at some point in the last year, according to a sweeping study by the University of Chicago released last week. “We just haven’t had definitive numbers like this before,” said Shahera Hyatt, director of the California Homeless Youth Project, a state agency. “It’s fantastic to have this data, but the numbers are staggering. We as a country really have to face the truth about youth homelessness. I hope this report finally spurs us into action.”
US: When parents must pay child welfare ransom, children pay the price (Commentary)
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform – November 20, 2017
Last August I wrote about the latest in a long line of studies that document how the best “preventive service” in child welfare is not counseling or parent education or assorted other “public health” initiatives that mostly make the helpers feel good. The best preventive service is cash. Period.
US: A Growing Number of Kids Are Impacted by Parental Incarceration
Annie E. Casey Foundation – November 17, 2017
Close to six million kids in America have experienced losing a parent to prison or jail at some point in their lives – and this number is growing. Nationwide, this population has grown by 636,000 children since 2011-2012.
Canada: Indigenous kids largely apprehended because of poverty, says former child protection worker
CBC News – November 21, 2017
A former child protection worker, once with the Ministry of Child and Family Development, says, in her experience, Indigenous children are largely being apprehended due to poverty, and their parents are being over policed when trying to reunite with them.
United Kindgdom: Foster parent shortage in Scotland leads to one in five sibling groups being split up
Herald (Scottland) – November 22, 2017
A report published by the Care Inspectorate, Scotland’s social care watchdog, revealed that three in four councils reported instances where the number of children requiring a foster care placement was greater than the placements available. And the Care Inspectorate said more foster families are needed to support children in care.
AZ: State Agency Defies DEA, Okays Cannabis Extracts for Foster Parents
Phoenix New Times – November 20, 2017
A new rule on foster parenting released by the Arizona Department of Child Safety still discriminates against cannabis patients, but it defies federal authorities in approving cannabis extracts. The rule codifies a September decision about a possible foster-care license for a woman who treats her adopted 12-year-old son’s self-injuring behavior with cannabidiol (CBD).
CA: Foster Care Families Needed In Marin County
Mill Valley Patch – November 20, 2017
Marin County currently has 83 children in out-of-home care, also known as foster care, and nearly 45 percent of them are placed in homes outside of Marin. The Marin County Recruitment Collaborative, which includes specialists from Marin County Health and Human Services, seeks more local homes so it can bring those young people back to their own community.
DC: Churches Unite to Care for Foster Children
Outreach Magazine – November 20, 2017
Launched in 2012, DC127-taken from James 1:27-both recruits and supports foster parents on their journey to help children in need and also works to prevent children from ever having to enter foster care.
GA: DFCS isn’t a four-letter word anymore (Opinion)
Valdosta Daily News – November 18, 2017
Four years ago, Georgia DFCS was in a state of crisis. For months, headlines blared the agency’s deficiencies at the time: seemingly unending backlogs of unprocessed food stamp applications; phone lines that led Georgians in need to nowhere; fresh-out-of-college case managers carrying caseloads in child welfare that were so burdensome even a trio of the most experienced social workers would struggle to manage them.
IA: State seeks solution for foster care shortage
Sioux City Journal – November 19, 2017
Social workers would love to hear more families like the Staneks ask and answer that question. Across Iowa, and especially on the western side of the state, a shortage of foster families is leaving an increasing number of children waiting for foster care placement.
IA: Courts part of oversight in protecting children in Iowa’s foster care system
Cedar Rapids Gazette – November 18, 2017
From local to state to federal levels, the Iowa Department of Human Services has many eyes on the decisions it makes. One such oversight are the court
IN: Opioid crisis raising importance of adoption (Video)
WTHR – November 18, 2017
One of the rare times cameras are allowed to go inside Indiana courtrooms is for a very special reason.
KY: Opioid orphans: A crisis affecting the Kentucky’s foster care system (Includes video)
WHAS 11 – November 20, 2017
Five years ago, 6,000 children were in the state’s care. Today, there are more than 8,600. The increase due in large part by parents who have lost custody because of their addiction to opioids. The phrase ‘opioid orphans’ becoming an all too familiar and common reality.
KY: Still working out how to pay grandparents, others providing free foster care
Louisville Courier-Journal – November 20, 2017
Kentucky’s top social services official said Monday that the state is still working out how to pay some relatives, many of them grandparents, who have been providing free foster care to children removed from homes because of abuse or neglect.
MN: Program reaches more teens trafficked for sex
Brainerd Dispatch – November 20, 2017
The Safe Harbor evaluation report found that from April 2015 to June 2017, Safe Harbor grantees provided services to 1,423 youths and young adults-a significant increase from the 359 youths and young adults served during the program’s first year of operation.
NE: On track for a near-record year in number of foster kids adopted
World-Herald Bureau – November 19, 2017
Nebraska is on track to get a near-record number of foster children adopted into permanent families this year. With about six weeks left in the year, the total is approaching 545 adoptions, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
NY: Bill Aims to Prevent Adoptive Parents from Abusing Subsidy Program
Chronicle of Social Change – November 20, 2017
The State Senate is currently considering a bill that would permit child welfare agencies to halt payments to adoptive parents who stop caring for their children, and in some cases transfer those payments to adoptees like Booker.
OR: Smothering death of 2-month-old baby spurs $3 million lawsuit against Oregon
Oregonian – November 20, 2017
The estate of a 2-month-old baby who was smothered to death by her mother in McMinnville, Ore., has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Human Services, claiming that it failed to protect the baby from her methamphetamine-addicted mother.
VA: 80 to 90-percent of kids in foster care are adopted by foster parents (Video)
WSLS 10 – November 20, 2017
Traci Jones and Anna Koehle with the Virginia Department of Social Services talk about foster care and adoption. 80 to 90-percent of children in foster care are adopted by their foster parents in Virginia.
US: Absences, Trauma, and Orphaned Children: How the Opioid Crisis Is Ravaging Schools (Requires free registration)
Education Week – November 20, 2017
We worked closely with a lot of community agencies, and the department of social services. In some cases, you had social workers who would work with the families and try to help the parents get help for the addiction issues. About that time, the sheriff became very involved in doing community forums and educating the general population about what addiction is. It’s one of the things that I think people did not understand.
US: Foster Care Youths Leaving the System Before They Age Out, Study Finds
Youth Today – November 20, 2017
Youth in the foster care system are leaving before they age out of the system, a new report finds. Forty states offer at least some form of support for youths until their 21st birthday, yet nearly three-quarters of social service officials told researchers that their wards were overwhelmingly leaving the system when they turned 18, Child Trends says in a new report.
Also: Supporting Young People Transitioning from Foster Care: Findings from a National Survey: https://childtrends-ciw49tixgw5lbab.stackpathdns.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/SYPTFC-Findings-from-a-National-Survey-11.3.17.pdf
Information Gateway resource: Promising Practices in Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/practices/
US: 290 coaches, officials tied to U.S. Olympic groups have been accused of sexual misconduct since 1982
Carroll County Times – November 18, 2017
As the number of women accusing former Olympic gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar of sexual assault has continued to rise this year – surpassing 130, including at least five former Team USA members – victims, lawyers and members of Congress have directed outrage at USA Gymnastics, whose chief executive resigned in March.
Also: WashPost: Rampant Sexual Misconduct In Olympic Sports Organizations: https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/olympic-sports-usa-gymnastics-sexual-misconduct-1982/2017/11/18/id/826974/
US: November is Adoption Awareness Month
Muskogee Phoenix – November 18, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. There are more than 600 children and youth in foster care in Oklahoma who are waiting for their forever families, a news release states.
Also: Multiple East Texas children find new loving families: http://www.easttexasmatters.com/news/local-news/multiple-east-texas-children-find-new-loving-families/859264812
Also: Four families grow larger on National Adoption Day: http://www.corsicanadailysun.com/news/four-families-grow-larger-on-national-adoption-day/article_4a853226-cb14-11e7-9698-63d9e89e9481.html
Also: Families offer hearts, homes on National Adoption Day: https://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/olympic-sports-usa-gymnastics-sexual-misconduct-1982/2017/11/18/id/826974/
Also: Mid-Missouri foster children in need of “forever” homes during National Adoption Month: http://bit.ly/2hHlEZa
Pakistan: Sexual abuse is pervasive in Islamic schools in Pakistan
Associated Press – November 21, 2017
Sexual abuse is a pervasive and longstanding problem at madrassas in Pakistan, an AP investigation has found, from the sunbaked mud villages deep in its rural areas to the heart of its teeming cities. But in a culture where clerics are powerful and sexual abuse is a taboo subject, it is seldom discussed or even acknowledged in public.
United Kingdom: Social workers battling rising tide of referrals
Courier (UK) – November 21, 2017
The increase in child protection referrals is being linked to the ‘See Something Say Something’ campaign and an online reporting option which was introduced in 2016. The online reporting facility contributed to a total of 284 concerns for children being reported, up from 140 the previous year and representing a 203% increase.
CA: Politically Speaking: State of Foster Care in California (Video) (Commentary)
NBC San Diego – November 19, 2017
California is hoping to address questions like “Will there ever be enough support for kids who lack a good upbringing?” Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (R-77) discusses three bills recently signed by Gov. Jerry Brown to address those issues.
CA: Afghan feminist who battled domestic violence now helps refugee families make it here
Modesto Bee – November 18, 2017
Since she came to Sacramento, Haidari – one of the few Afghan women here who knew English – championed women’s rights, warning men in her Arden Arcade apartment to stop hitting their wives or face jail. But like many immigrants, she didn’t know the system. Reinventing herself as “Moon Brave,” last August, she was hired as a family resources aid for the Yolo County Children’s Alliance’s West Sacramento Family Resource Center, where she helps new refugees navigate the complicated system that will allow them to build new lives here.
CO: Opinion: Colorado needs more foster parents
Coloradoan – November 19, 2017
The Colorado Department of Human Services estimates that the state will need 1,200 new foster families in the next two years to help serve every child and teen in our foster care system.
CO: Urban Peak gives light, hope to “invisible” teens on the street
Denver Post – November 19, 2017
“It’s expensive to live here, even for full-employed people,” said Carlson, who holds a master’s degree in social work and formerly served as chief advancement officer for the Colorado Symphony. “It’s a different ballgame for kids who are still in school, or coming out of the foster care system, or who are dealing with mental health or substance abuse issues. There are so many complicating factors. But with how expensive it is to live here lately, it’s made it that much harder.”
GA: DFCS: Opioids affecting child care
Valdosta Daily Times – November 17, 2017
“This is the greatest substance-abuse epidemic since crack cocaine,” said Virginia “Ginger” Pryor, interim division director of DFCS. “Our number of children entering the system has increased exponentially, and it’s not just in Georgia. We’ve seen a wave hit across the country.”
IA: Social workers see growing foster care caseloads
Cedar Rapids Gazette – November 19, 2017
“I think (Iowa Department of Human Services workers) definitely are trying their best,” Steeples said. “I don’t think there’s anybody out there, and I haven’t had contact with anybody, who’s not really trying to do what’s best for kids.” But what Steeples and others interviewed for this series have said DHS child welfare system lacks a number of key things – enough foster parents to care for displaced children; enough social workers to support birth and foster parents; and enough resources to bring foster care up to top capacity for those it surrounds.
KS: Editorial: Causes of our foster care crisis
Topeka Capital-Journal – November 19, 2017
The Child Welfare System Task Force held a meeting earlier this week, and lawmakers would do well to pay attention to the comments made by two Kansas judges in attendance. Taylor Wine is a magistrate judge for the state’s Fourth Judicial District, and he called attention to the lack of drug rehabilitation and mental health services in the state, as well as “enormous caseloads that prevent the attention these kids require.”
MD: ‘I don’t believe you:’ Lawsuit claims teachers failed to report abuse as 23 kids sexually violated
WTOP – November 17, 2017
Teachers did not follow state requirements on reporting suspected child abuse, according to a lawsuit filed by families of victims of convicted sex child offender Deonte Carraway.
MO: Greitens makes several appointments to child protection boards
KRCG – November 17, 2017
Gov. Eric Greitens appointed 27 individuals to serve on boards that work to protect children across the state. Included in the boards are the Child Abuse and Neglect Review Boards, Children’s Trust Fund Board and Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board.
Also: Governor Greitens Takes Action to Protect Missouris Most Vulnerable Children (Press release): http://www.pressreleasepoint.com/governor-greitens-takes-action-protect-missouris-most-vulnerable-children
MS: Changes made to county’s human services offices
Monroe Journal – November 17, 2017
Through legislative action, changes are underway at the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS) offices in Amory and Aberdeen. Both offices will remain open while serving separate missions. The Amory office now functions with the sole mission of child protective services, and the Aberdeen office will serve clientele of the department of human services.
MT: Aging out of Montana’s foster care system (Includes video)
KXLF – November 17, 2017
According to data from the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, 65 foster kids aged out just last year. Many are now in jail, on government assistance and even homeless. Suzanne Braun with Child and Family Services said a lack of foster parents and high caseloads for social workers keeps kids in limbo. “Best practice would be in the lower 20s, so our case workers are carrying double that,” said Braun.
MT: More foster kids to receive support from Missoula schools
Missoulian – November 17, 2017
Children in foster care will now receive the same services as homeless students from Missoula County Public Schools. Trustees updated board policies this week to reflect new federal requirements that, for the first time, differentiate between students who are homeless or in foster care as well as the services each should receive.
Information Gateway resource: Collaboration With Schools: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/practice-improvement/collaboration/schools/
NV: Boyd School of Law Launches Edward M. Bernstein & Associates Children’s Rights Program (Press release)
UNLV News Center – November 16, 2017
During a ceremony Nov. 16 at the Law School’s Thomas & Mack Moot Courtroom, university leadership, elected officials and community supporters recognized a transformational $250,000 gift from Edward M. Bernstein & Associates that will enable the school to continue its work on behalf of local unaccompanied immigrant children.
Also: To help unaccompanied minors, UNLV Immigration Clinic launches program: https://lasvegassun.com/news/2017/nov/17/to-help-unaccompanied-minors-unlv-immigration-clin/
NY: Foster families keep getting child welfare payments despite broken adoptions
New York Daily News – November 20, 2017
The State Senate was considering a bill that would permit child welfare agencies to halt payments to adoptive parents who stop caring for their children, and in some cases transfer those payments to adoptees.
NY: Soldato retiring as head of Oneida County Social Services
Observer-Dispatch – November 19, 2017
“This is a job like no other job – you can effect change,” she said. “You can see great joys; you can also see great tragedies. It’s a job with high stress, but I love this job. I still love this job, but it’s just time for more time for me. … Where else can you make a difference in someone’s life?”
OH: Opioid epidemic heightens need to bolster kinship care support in Ohio: J.D. Vance (Opinion)
Cleveland.com – November 19, 2017
The Annie E. Casey Foundation reported in 2012 that 2.7 million children in the United States are raised by relatives who aren’t their parents, which is approximately 3.6 percent of kids in the country.
OH: Abused, neglected children in care of Licking County soars above 500
Newark Advocate – November 17, 2017
The number of abused and neglected children in the county’s care has soared to more than 500, the Licking County Commissioners learned Thursday. Fisher requested an additional $750,000 from the commissioners to cover the costs of foster care and residential treatment for the remainder of the year
OH: Open secrets: Who knew about rumors about Chillicothe High School’s Jeff Fisher and when?
Chillicothe Gazette – November 17, 2017
Everyone knew. Those two words echoed across social media by former Chillicothe High School students when the seven-count sexual battery indictment against former principal Jeffrey R. Fisher, 34, was announced. Even Fisher’s attorney, who asserts his innocence, said they’d known about the rumors “for years.”
OK: Study: More Oklahoma grandparents raising children
Oklahoman – November 19, 2017
According to U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, there are 2.5 million American families in which the grandparents are raising grandchildren, up from 2.4 million a decade ago. In Oklahoma, there are 88,443 families like the Dows, up from 75,586 ten years ago.
OK: Initiative to help foster children
Woodward News – November 17, 2017
“Each month in Oklahoma, there are over 700 siblings in state custody who are separated from one another while in foster care,” states the Legacy of Care website for the fundraising campaign of Circle of Care (legacy.circleofcare.org). The Legacy of Care campaign is to help alleviate this problem, one home at a time in Oklahoma, by building large single-family homes and club house/activity centers across the state.
OR: School employees were ostracized for reporting suspected child abuse, $1.8m suit says
Oregonian – November 17, 2017
Two Rainier School District employees who say they defied a district administrator’s orders to keep quiet about a 6-year-old student’s alleged abuse filed a $1.8 million lawsuit this week.
PA: Foster kid placed in West Philly ‘house of horrors’ wins $11M in lawsuit
Metro – November 20, 2017
Bezar said social workers missed signs of sexual abuse in his client, including bed-wetting, regression in speech and behavior, and a sexual “acting out” incident involving touching a boy. The jury ordered the $11 million verdict ($10 million compensatory and $1 million punitive damages) against Scott, who is not believed to have substantial assets, and Bethanna, which since 2015 has been a “community umbrella agency” (CUA) contracted by Philadelphia’ Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide foster care and other social services. In DHS’ recent public CUA “scorecard,” Bethanna, which is licensed by the state, received the worst score of all 10 CUAs: a grade of a “D,” and a ranking of 10th.
PA: State: York CYF made mistakes before 3-year-old girl killed in murder-suicide
York Dispatch – November 18, 2017
State Department of Human Services investigations into two recent child fatalities revealed multiple missteps by York County’s Office of Children, Youth and Families.
PA: Special Report: State of the Child (Includes video)
Fox 56 – November 16, 2017
Pennsylvania’s child welfare system is broken. Those are the harsh words from the state’s auditor general, who says Children and Youth Services is struggling to keep our children safe.
TN: Want to help troubled youth? Help their families (Commentary)
Commercial Appeal – November 17, 2017
Poverty, tough neighborhoods and low-performing, under-resourced schools add up to toxic stress that increases a child’s chances of coming before Memphis and Shelby County Juvenile Court. A task force has been working on a plan for a new assessment center with the goal of referring children to effective help for their underlying issues so they can avoid foster care, juvenile detention or any kind of out-of-home placement.
WI: State of the Judiciary: Chief Justice Highlights Court Efforts on Opioid Crisis
State Bar of Wisconsin – November 17, 2017
The statistics are dire, the chief justice noted. Heroin deaths in Wisconsin nearly quadrupled from 2008 to 2014. In 2015, Wisconsin had more than 281 heroin deaths. Between 2010 and 2014, heroin-related deaths rose 175 percent in the U.S. Wisconsin courts are responding. “As the opioid crisis has hit Wisconsin, our courts have risen to the challenge – not just in regard to handling the crimes that often follow such addictions, but also in regard to significant efforts to turn around the lives of those who have become addicted,” Chief Justice Roggensack said.
US: The Many Forms, Faces And Causes Of PTSD (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – November 19, 2017
Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with combat, but trauma comes in many forms. Michael Coleman says he faced stress on a daily basis as a social worker in North Carolina. He worked for the government investigating foster care in the state for 13 years.
US: Let’s restart the adoption movement (Commentary)
American Enterprise Institute – November 18, 2017
Today the most common concerns about adoption have shifted from cultural worries to financial and logistical ones. According to the National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, by 2013 the top two of eight potential concerns for those considering adoption were coping with paperwork and expense.
US: Every six weeks for more than 36 years: When will sex abuse in Olympic sports end? (Commentary)
Washington Post – November 17, 2017
As the number of women accusing former Olympic gymnastics team physician Larry Nassar of sexual assault has continued to rise this year – surpassing 130, including at least five former Team USA members – victims, lawyers and members of Congress have directed outrage at USA Gymnastics, whose chief executive resigned in March.
US: Four Million Young People Were Homeless Last Year. Four Million.
Mother Jones – November 17, 2017
Nearly 4.2 million kids and young adults without a parent or guardian are homeless across the United States over the course of a year. A new study from the University of Chicago revealed the startling statistic this week, focused specifically on homeless unaccompanied youth between ages 13 and 25-a population that until now has rarely been studied comprehensively.
Study: Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America: http://voicesofyouthcount.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ChapinHall_VoYC_NationalReport_Final.pdf
US: National Adoption Awareness Month 2017: Hearing and Honoring Adoptee Voices
Huffington Post – November 17, 2017
Everyone with a connection to, or interest in, adoption needs to hear these truths expressed by adoptees that have been up until recently discounted as being the voices of the malcontent, the angry.
Also: Families celebrate adoption day in CT (Includes video): http://www.wfsb.com/story/36880030/families-celebrate-adoption-day-in-ct
Also: Adoption day celebrates family: http://tdn.com/news/local/adoption-day-celebrates-family/article_7e33435d-72ef-5b39-b509-70ef1a3f11f0.html
Also: National Adoption Day connects 16 kids with “forever families” in Snohomish County: http://katu.com/news/local/national-adoption-day-connects-16-kids-with-forever-families-in-snohomish-county
Also: 8 children adopted in Randall County as part of National Adoption Month: http://amarillo.com/local-news/news/2017-11-17/8-children-adopted-randall-county-conjunction-national-adoption-day
Also: From the Assembly: Adoption Day event celebrates children and families who find forever homes: https://www.eaglenewsonline.com/news/2017/11/17/from-the-assembly-adoption-day-event-celebrates-children-and-families-who-find-forever-homes
Also: 40 children receive forever families as part of National Adoption Day: wsvn.com/news/local/40-children-receive-forever-families-as-part-of-national-adoption-day/
Also: Annual ‘adoption day’ bustling with activity at quiet courthouse: http://www.journal-news.com/news/annual-adoption-day-bustling-with-activity-quiet-courthouse/Q4l31gb3Q1SKgom5oKINdP/
US: Opinion: Adoption month’s worth celebrating
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – November 17, 2017
There’s a story behind every adoption. Adoptive parents are all led and motivated by so many different things. November is National Adoption Month and as an adoptive parent I could not let the month go by without sharing a little of my story. I’ve learned that sometimes all people need is to be encouraged by someone else’s story to make a difference in a life.
US: The Moments That Changed the Meaning of Adoption in the U.S.
Time – November 17, 2017
“The key shift is the Enlightenment, when children start to be viewed as individuals with rights and to whom we have obligations, whereas they used to be seen as a small creature you have to feed until they’re old enough to work,” says Peter Conn, author of Adoption: a Brief Social and Cultural History. “Really, the history of adoption is the history of children circulating among families probably in the same village and then later in the same city or the same state.”
US: The Path Out of Foster Care Crisis Runs Through Family (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – November 17, 2017
Multiple studies and experience in the United States, Canada and Australia have provided clear answers. Every child has, or can have, someone who cares deeply about them. Every human being has or had a father, and every parent has or had adults with whom they can build supportive relationships.
Australia: Shaping a better child protection system
New South Wales Government – November 20, 2017
The Department of Family and Community Services invites interested individuals and organisations to make submissions on proposals to improve the NSW child protection system.
Bangladesh: UN finds one-third of Rohingya families in refugee camps are ‘vulnerable’
CGTN – November 16, 2017
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) did the survey, collecting data from 517,643 refugees. The survey was designed to measure how aid and relief work meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas who have fled Myanmar. As the exodus continues, the challenges will only rise.
Also: Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh face exploitation by human traffickers: https://america.cgtn.com/2017/11/16/rohingya-refugees-in-bangladesh-face-exploitation-by-human-traffickers
Also: Cox’s Bazar (Bangladesh): Child Protection Secondary Data Review: November 2017: https://reliefweb.int/report/bangladesh/cox-s-bazar-bangladesh-child-protection-secondary-data-review-november-2017
Canada: Indigenous services minister says Ottawa will participate in Innu foster care inquiry (Includes audio)
CBC Radio – November 17, 2017
Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott says her government will attend a provincial inquiry into the treatment of Innu children in the child protection system. The announcement comes a day after Innu Nation Grand Chief Gregory Rich said he was embarrassed because it appeared the federal government would not participate in the inquiry beyond a contribution of money and information.
Haiti: How traffickers exploit children in Haiti’s orphanages
CNN – November 20, 2017
There are at least 30,000 children living in orphanages in Haiti. It is a staggering number for a country of 10 million people, but perhaps even more shocking, most of them are not orphans. The government estimates 80 percent of the children living in orphanages have at least one living parent.
AZ: Website for Arizona foster families gets new look, content
Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent – November 17, 2017
The new content includes in-depth information about guardianship and adoption, connections to foster parent support groups and a calendar of events and training opportunities.
CA: Los Angeles foster children and those who care for them
UCLA News – November 16, 2017
The operation is not unique to Los Angeles but is a large-scale test of an idea that is gaining adherents – the notion that there are useful roles for both the private and public sectors in addressing the complexities of foster care. It is part of a national trend toward formalizing relationships between government and philanthropy, in hopes of funneling new resources to long-standing problems.
FL: Alachua County Seeing Success In Lowering Its High Rates Of Child Abuse
WUFT – November 16, 2017
Last year, Alachua County’s rate was almost 30 percent higher than the state’s, meaning that, since 2007, the county has seen a dramatic reduction in abuse rates when compared with the state. And when compared against itself, the county has seen a reduction of almost half.
FL: Fort Myers police: Lutheran Services cases manager arrested for child abuse
News-Press – November 16, 2017
A case manager employed to help children was arrested Thursday by Fort Myers police and is accused of child abuse.
Also: Lutheran Services case manager arrested for child abuse on 2-year-old: http://www.winknews.com/2017/11/16/fort-myers-case-manager-arrested-child-abuse/
IN: New program aims to help get kids out of child welfare system and into stable homes (Includes video)
FOX 59 – November 16, 2017
Child Advocates, Inc. and the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society are teaming up to help young Hoosiers involved in Child In Need of Services (CHINS) cases get out of the system and into permanent, stable homes.
MS: OUR OPINION: Foster care initiative provides great opportunity
Daily Journal – November 17, 2017
As often happens with matters that involve bureaucratic systems, as well as sensitive information dealing with children, the amount of red tape involved for residents to become a foster family is significant.
MT: On Special Assignment: Aging out of Montana’s foster care system (Video)
KTVQ – November 16, 2017
Thousands of Montana children are in a limbo called foster care. It’s a system kids enter afraid and alone, where they often turn 18 without finding a permanent home.
NY: Sex abuse victims to push again for child victims’ act
Associated Press – November 16, 2017
Advocates for a bill in New York that would loosen the statute of limitations for molestation are hoping the national attention on sexual misconduct gives their cause fresh momentum.
NY: Nonprofits Give ‘Disconnected’ Youths Another Chance
New York Times – November 06, 2017
“I always told myself I would graduate college and wouldn’t be a statistic in the foster care system,” said Jonathan, 26, who gave only his first name to protect his privacy. But at 21, he was homeless and jobless. “One day I Googled ‘help with foster kids aging out,'” Jonathan said, and he found Youth Villages, one of the national nonprofits aimed at stopping the downward spiral of people like him.
Also: ‘I Was Stuck for So Long’: How 4 ‘Disconnected’ Youths Got Help: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/06/business/nonprofits-help-young-people.html
PA: Child protective services need more help from the county to get through opioid crisis (Commentary)
LNP Editorial Board – November 16, 2017
While we’re still figuring out how to get our arms around the massive and growing problem of opioid addiction, there emerges another urgent need – protecting children from abusive and neglectful drug-addicted parents.
PR: After Maria, US schools get influx of Puerto Rican students
Associated Press – November 15, 2017
Ten-year-old Anthony Valencia says that after Hurricane Maria destroyed his home in Puerto Rico he played video games for a month until he was sick of them. Now his smile stretches wide when he talks about going back to school – on the U.S. mainland.
TX: Facility helping sex trafficked victims in San Antonio, will soon stay open 24-7
WOAI – November 16, 2017
A local shelter that helps teens who are victims of sex trafficking, is now able to help 24-7. It’s a partnership between Bexar County Juvenile Probation, RMYA, and local law enforcement, such as the San Antonio Police Department the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO.)
US: A State By State Guide to Foster Care Resources
Mothering – November 16, 2017
No matter the setting, foster children, families and organization needs all the help they can get as resources are often limited. Help comes in all forms – monetary donations, item donations, volunteering, and more.
Information Gateway resource: Resources for Foster Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/resources-foster-families/
US: LGBT Parents Are Back at It Again (Commentary)
Huffington Post – November 16, 2017
It is six years later and RaiseAChild is now seeing a new trend. Our data now proves that the LGBT community is more open than ever to not only building, but also expanding families through fostering and adoption.
US: Is It Legal For An Older Man To Court A Child Bride In The U.S.?
National Public Radio – November 15, 2017
Child marriage isn’t just a practice that victimizes girls in poor countries. As this blog has previously reported, it’s also long been an issue in the United States, involving girls from a wide range of backgrounds. Based on state marriage license data and other sources, advocacy groups and experts estimate that between 2000 and 2015 alone, well over 200,000 children – nearly all of them girls – were married. In nearly all cases the husband was an adult. A report released this summer by the Tahirih Justice Center sheds new light on how state laws are contributing to the problem.
Report: Falling Through the Cracks: How Laws Allow Child Marriage to Happen in Today’s America: http://www.tahirih.org/pubs/falling-through-the-cracks-how-laws-allow-child-marriage-to-happen-in-todays-america/
US: Critical gaps exist in services and supports for youth aging out of foster care
Child Trends – November 14, 2017
Child Trends conducted a national survey of state independent living coordinators (Survey on Services and Supports for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care). Survey findings, collected in 2016, are based on responses by Independent Living Coordinators from 47 of 52 states and territories contacted. They describe the array and availability of services and supports for youth and young adults who have experienced foster care, highlighting state trends and examples of innovation in six major service areas.
International: UNICEF Report: 300 Million Cases Of Violence Against Children Ages 2 To 4
National Public Radio – November 01, 2017
Approximately 300 million children around the world between the ages two and four are subject to physical punishment or verbal abuse from their parents or caregivers. Every seven minutes, an adolescent is murdered. By the time they reach age 19, fifteen million girls have already experienced forced sexual acts, including rape – inflicted, for the most part, by people they know.
United Kingdom: Historical child abuse reports to Welsh police ‘increase’
BBC – November 16, 2017
Allegations of non-recent sexual offences recorded against children have risen sharply in the last four years, according to the NSPCC. Welsh police forces recorded 947 offences in 2016-17, up from 520 in 2013-14, the children’s charity said.
AZ: Fry’s helping foster care kids find jobs (Includes video)
abc 15 – November 15, 2017
Right now Fry’s Food employs 20 foster youth in 16 stores. Most are working on the front lines as courtesy clerks, but once they turn 18-years-old, they can apply for management and work their way up in the company. Fry’s Food is the third largest employer in Arizona, and the goal is to give these kids a foundation and a chance to make it on their own.
AZ: Stateline Southwest: Using Court Orders to Slow Child Removals in Arizona
Chronicle of Social Change – November 15, 2017
As reported by the Arizona Republic, some advocates view this as a much-needed brake to slow or prevent child removals. Arizona’s foster care population was close to 9,000 in 2009, and skyrocketed to nearly 19,000 in 2016.
Also: Arizona courts craft rule on when DCS can remove children from homes (Includes video): https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2017/09/29/arizona-department-child-safety-warrants-court-order-child-welfare-removals/705733001/
CA: 16 Santa Barbara County children adopted into new families during National Adoption Month event at Juvenile Court
Santa Maria Times – November 15, 2017
Partnering with County Child Welfare Services’ Our County Our Kids, the court celebrated with thousands of other families nationwide who welcomed their new children into their homes. Also in attendance were Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers, who helped be a voice for each child throughout their adoption process.
Information Gateway Resource: National Adoption Month 2017: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/
CA: Lancaster leaders say proposed “Gabriel’s Law” could protect more LA County children
Los Angles Daily News – November 15, 2017
A new law that could change how the county Department of Children and Family Services investigates and documents alleged child abuse cases is being considered by at least one city in Los Angeles County. The ordinance would make it mandatory for Los Angeles County’s social workers to digitally record visits made to homes within the Lancaster community.
FL: 9 Investigates: Potential bill aims to increase penalties for sex-trafficking suspects (Includes video)
WFTV – November 15, 2017
After 9 Investigates exposed lax punishment for two Volusia County parents convicted of crimes related to the drugging and selling their daughter for sex, state Sen. David Simmons began looking into potential legislation to create stiffer penalties. The final language of the potential Makell Ware Child Protection Act has a ways to go and Simmons also needs to find a member of the House of Representatives to sponsor similar legislation, or the effort will die.
FL: Ground broken on new foster care campus in Sarasota
WWSB – November 15, 2017
“Nobody in the child welfare system is doing it the way we’re doing it. So we’re really looking at this, not only to heal our children locally, but to actually create a research enterprise so we effectively learn how to deliver trauma care to those who have been abused,” said Dennis McGillicuddy.
ID: Keeping the Faith, Fighting the Exemptions: The battle against religious-based exemptions from civil or criminal liability in Idaho will continue in 2018
Boise Weekly – November 15, 2017
“I think we’ve served more than 50,000 meals here to the homeless, the lonely or to those who hunger in different ways,” said Bruce Wingate, founder of the Protect Idaho Kids Foundation. “I also think it’s very appropriate for us to be having a conversation here in a house of worship about protecting children. Many people of faith truly oppose special religious-exemptions which have resulted in the suffering of too many children.” Getting people of faith, let alone Idaho lawmakers, involved in a debate about faith-based exemption from civil and criminal liability is tricky business-which is why Wingate said it’s time to frame that debate more simply.
KS: Kansas judges bring gavel down on DCF
McPherson Sentinel – November 15, 2017
The bipartisan Child Welfare System Task Force received fresh evidence the Kansas Department for Children and Families, in collaboration with two contractors, was operating a child-in-need-of-care system with social workers overwhelmed by deep caseloads, dysfunctional turnover among caseworkers, tardy and inaccurate reporting to the courts, unrealistic standards for reintegrating families and poor communication among DCF, contractors and the courts.
Also: Kansas Child Welfare Task Force meets amid foster care concerns: http://www.kvoe.com/newsedit/20984-kansas-child-welfare-task-force-meets-amid-foster-care-concerns
Also: Task Force to Question Kansas DCF: http://www.ksal.com/30355-2/
Also: Lawmakers call for major reform in Kansas after Star series on state’s culture of secrecy: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article184661423.html
KY: Local youth fare well in wellness, study says
Messenger – November 16, 2017
According to results from a nationwide survey by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Hopkins County kids continue to be relatively well off in overall health and wellness.
MD: The Family Tree and Maryland Essentials for Childhood Launch Adverse Childhood Experience Project (Press release)
Family Tree – November 15, 2017
The Family Tree, Maryland’s leading child abuse and neglect prevention organization, in partnership with the Maryland Essentials for Childhood, will launch a statewide initiative Wednesday evening to combat the growing incidence rate of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which has become one of the largest public health crises in the state of Maryland. Designed in partnership with the world-renowned childhood behavior expert Dr. Robert Anda, The ACE Interface Project is focused on building resilience in the developing brains of susceptible youth and building self-healing communities.
ME: The Wabanaki people are taking back their narrative (Includes audio)
WESA – November 15, 2017
From boarding schools in the 1800s to foster care today, Native children have repeatedly been separated from their families. In Maine, the Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission formed in 2012 to trace the abuses experienced by Native children since the Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted in 1978.
MS: ‘Rescue 100’ plan to expedite training for foster families in the works
Daily Journal – November 16, 2017
In time for November’s National Adoption Month, the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services started talks this week to roll out its Rescue 100 plan to recruit personnel and streamline the foster system training process for families.
NC: No photos of foster kids allowed on social media, Pitt DSS board decides
Reflector – November 16, 2017
Pitt County foster parents can no longer include foster children in their social media postings. The county’s social services board on Tuesday unanimously approved a policy prohibiting families from posting images or narratives that describe identifying characteristics of foster children on social media.
OH: LCCS urges community members to adopt during National Adoption Awareness Month
WTOL – November 15, 2017
There is a greater need for adoptive parents now more than ever, and Lucas County Children Services is urging the community to consider growing their families during National Adoption Month. “I don’t think that people realize that the heroin epidemic has so many children behind it. So at some level, I think people understand that there is always a need for foster and adoptive parents. But we need them now more than ever,” said Donna Seed, manager of the placement department at Lucas County Children Services.
OK: House passes bill, cuts barred for some DHS programs
Tahlequah Daily Press – November 16, 2017
On Tuesday, both chambers approved HB 1058, which instructs DHS not to cut the ADvantage Home and Community-based Waiver Program, Money Follows the Person, Homeward Bound Waiver, In-home Supports, ADvantage Waiver, Personal Care and “state-funded community residential and vocational services” for fiscal 2018. It also calls for DHS to fully fund Adult Day Services, and maintain last year’s spending on foster care, residential, intensive in-home services, group home care and adoption subsidies. DHS must apply the intended 2018 allocation for the Senior Nutrition Program.
OK: November is Adoption Awareness Month (Press release)
Oklahoma Department of Human services – November 15, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. In Oklahoma, there are over 600 children and youth in foster care who are waiting for their forever families. “No child should have to grow up without a family,” said Tricia Howell, deputy director for foster care and adoptions.
PA: Bill would ban non-disclosure agreements in sexual harassment claims
Penn Live – November 15, 2017
A bill introduced in the state Senate Wednesday would bar the use of non-disclosure agreements in settlements of sexual misconduct claims in Pennsylvania. The bill would, however, grant a shield of confidentiality to victims making allegations of abuse, giving them rights similar to juveniles in a child welfare case who can have cases brought through their initials or other identifiers.
PA: I-Team: Adoption programs through Catholic Social Services ending (Includes video)
WBRE/WYOU – November 15, 2017
It really comes down to money, or lack thereof, according to officials of the Diocese of Scranton. Parents the I-Team spoke with are stunned by the news and hope the Diocese will make an about face on their decision.
RI: Ex-detention center director hired at child welfare agency
Republic – November 15, 2017
An administrator, Kevin McKenna, who resigned his post at Rhode Island’s juvenile detention center following a melee has been put in charge of training for the state’s child welfare agency.
RI: Warwick police charge principal with failing to report child abuse
Providence Journal – November 15, 2017
An elementary school principal, whom parents had been fighting to remove, has been charged with failing to report a case of child abuse to the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families, Warwick police said Wednesday. The police charged Colleen Mercurio, 55, of Saunderstown, with one count of misdemeanor failure to report child abuse after she surrendered to detectives Friday, according to the police. She is the principal of Cedar Hill Elementary School.
TX: Officer urges East Texans to consider adoption, foster care (Includes video)
KLTV – November 12, 2017
“It was national take a stand day. Take a stand for children through fostering or adoptive care. I wanted to challenge our congregation on making a difference on a child’s life through fostering or adoption,” he says.
VA: Testing first ‘Family Match’ program to increase adoptions (Includes video)
WSLS – November 16, 2017
Virginia is testing new technology that could match more children with families. It’s the first-ever program like this in the country. It’s called Family Match. Families enter their information into a database. Agencies also enter information about children who can be adopted. It’s similar to the same kind of data that dating websites use, matching like characteristics with like characteristics.
US: Friendships between young children can protect against ADHD
Medical Xpress – November 15, 2017
Children who experience social exclusion in preschool are at greater risk of becoming so-called “school losers.” Norwegian researchers are studying what happens to children who are marginalized. It has long been known that children – like adults – can become anxious and depressed when they feel they don’t belong and don’t have good peer relationships. But can the lack of friends also affect cognitive characteristics like concentration, attention and self-regulation?
US: How innovation in government can help break trade-offs and improve services (Commentary)
Deloitte Insights – November 15, 2017
Consider one of government’s perennial challenges-paperwork burdens. In 2017, just as in 1917, government employees spend huge amounts of time on paperwork. A recent Governing survey of state and local officials found that 53 percent had trouble getting their work done in a 35-40-hour week due to excessive paperwork burdens. Colorado’s recent Child Welfare County Workload Study department found caseworkers spending 37.5 percent of their time on documentation and administration, versus just 9 percent on actual contact with children and their families.
US: HRC Releases Guide on Engaging Prospective Trans & Non-Binary Foster and Adoptive Parents (Press release)
Human Rights Campaign – November 15, 2017
Today, HRC Foundation released Promising Practices for Serving Transgender & Non-Binary Foster & Adoptive Parents, a groundbreaking new guide designed to help foster care and adoption agencies recruit, certify and support qualified transgender and non-binary adults to become resource parents for young people who need safe, welcoming homes.
Also: Promising Practices for Serving Transgender & Non-Binary Foster & Adoptive Parents: http://assets.hrc.org//files/assets/resources/HRC_ACAF_Promising_Practices_Serving_Transgender_Non-Binary_Parents.pdf?_ga=2.82257494.1788181987.1510845385-1026706714.1470139580
US: Kent School helps battle turnover in child welfare workforce
Louisville Cardinal – November 15, 2017
U of L’s Kent School of Social Work has been given a large part in a federally funded research grant that aims to cut down on staff turnover in child welfare agencies. With the grant, U of L, along with four other universities and three national child welfare consultants, has helped found the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD).
US: One in ten young adults experience homelessness during one year, Chapin Hall finds (Includes video)
University of Chicago News – November 15, 2017
A groundbreaking study released Nov. 15 by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago reveals one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25, and at least one in 30 adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17, experience some form of homelessness over the course of a year.
Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America: http://voicesofyouthcount.org/brief/national-estimates-of-youth-homelessness/
Also: Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America: http://youthtoday.org/2017/11/missed-opportunities-youth-homelessness-in-america/
Also: Millions of Youth Are Homeless for More Than Month At a Time, New Study Finds: http://youthtoday.org/2017/11/millions-of-youth-are-homeless-for-more-than-month-at-a-time-new-study-finds/
Also: Are More Young People Homeless Than We Thought? Study Shares Startling Data: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2017/11/what_does_homelessness_look_like_for_youth.html
Also: Report: 1 in 10 Young adults experience homelessness during 1 year, high number are LGBTQ: http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Report-1-in-10-Young-adults-experience-homelessness-during-1-year-high-number-are-LGBTQ-/61098.html
US: UB researcher receives $2.4M to improve child welfare services for Native Americans
Buffalo Business First – November 15, 2017
A University at Buffalo researcher is working to enhance services for Native American families involved in child welfare cases. Melanie Sage, an assistant professor in UB’s School of Social Work, received a $2.4 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to gather evidence and produce resources to improve the services offered by state agencies.
Also: Researcher receives major grant to help reunify Native American families: http://www.buffalo.edu/ubnow/stories/2017/11/sage-tribal-state-child-welfare.html
US: A Resource for Judges Who Handle ICWA Cases
Chronicle of Social Change – November 14, 2017
A new resource from the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) aims to help judges uphold the rights of Native American children in juvenile court. The “Indian Child Welfare Act Judicial Benchbook” is designed to assist judges implement the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a series of guidelines on the cases of child abuse and neglect and adoption cases involving Native American children
Indian Child Welfare Act Judicial Benchbook: http://www.ncjfcj.org/ICWABenchbook
AL: Editorial: Stop child abuse (Includes video)
WFSA – November 14, 2017
Child sex abuse is a horrific problem in this state and in our country. In the state of Alabama, the age of consent is 16 and you are considered an adult on your 18th birthday. Last year locally, Child Protect provided 628 forensic interviews on children where there were allegations of abuse. According to information provided by Child Protect, 70 percent of those allegations were sexual abuse.
AZ: Foster family says state was unresponsive when called on for assistance (Includes video)
ABC 15 – November 14, 2017
ABC15 asked a DCS spokesperson why no one responded to Rabago’s cries for help. DCS officials sent us a statement outlining all the steps a foster family should follow, if they needed help. They included everything Rabago said she had already done.
FL: A Case Study in Misleading Legislators, Everyone Else About Child Welfare & Opioids (Commentary)
Youth Today – November 15, 2017
Of course infants have no choice. But the real purpose of stating the obvious is to imply that, unlike the children, their mothers did have a choice – that they supposedly “chose” addiction over their own children. No one ever says a parent “chose cancer over her children,” yet even as we pay lip service to the reality that addiction is a disease, we portray any mother who succumbs as someone so inhuman that they just up and decided one day: “Who cares about the kids? I think I’ll become a drug addict.” But by taking that swing at “bad mothers” the blow lands on the children.
IA: Regional Development Authority Board awards grants (Press release)
Regional Development Authority (RDA) – November 14, 2017
Today, the Regional Development Authority (RDA) Board awarded 61 grants totaling $1,350,364 to area nonprofit, civic, and governmental organizations – bringing the total grant dollars awarded since 1991 to $65.5 million. Several awards made to behavioral and mental health entities contribute to economic outcomes. For example the Robert Young Mental Health Center received a grant to help expand and improve its facilities to provide child and adolescent services to more people.
KS: Child welfare official has no answer when state senator asks about ‘shredding of notes’
Kansas City Star – November 14, 2017
“I just wanted them to have the opportunity to go on record and clearly I think they reinforced what The Kansas City Star article said, and that’s that there is no transparency in this agency.”
Also: Kansas Lawmaker Questions DCF About Report Of Destroyed Child Welfare Documents (Includes audio): http://kcur.org/post/kansas-lawmaker-questions-dcf-about-report-destroyed-child-welfare-documents#stream/0
Also: Sen. Laura Kelly says ‘there is no transparency’ in DCF after Star investigation (Video): http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article184591393.html
Also: Kansas panel slams DCF over handling of foster children (Includes video): http://www.kake.com/story/36843973/kansas-panel-slams-dcf-on-handling-of-foster-children
Also: Kansas child welfare agency described as overly secretive: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/nov/13/kansas-child-welfare-agency-described-overly-secre/
KS: DCF: No link between welfare reform, rising foster care numbers; researchers say otherwise
Lawrence Journal-World – November 14, 2017
Kansas child welfare officials said Tuesday that they can find no link between the rising number of children in foster care and recently enacted laws that make it harder for people to qualify for welfare benefits. But two researchers at the University of Kansas who recently completed a national study say they have found evidence linking tough welfare reform laws like those enacted in Kansas with higher rates of child abuse and foster care placements.
KS: State removing more children from homes with drug abuse
Associated Press – November 14, 2017
Kansas is removing significantly more children from homes where a parent is abusing drugs than it did five years ago, particularly when a parent uses methamphetamines, the state’s child welfare agency reported Tuesday.
NH: State police wanted to charge Phillips Exeter deans for failing to report abuse
Boston Globe – November 14, 2017
A New Hampshire State Police investigator who was looking into allegations that a 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by another student at Phillips Exeter Academy found probable cause to charge two deans for failing to report the suspected abuse – but was overruled by prosecutors.
NJ: Union County Celebrates National Adoption Month (Press release)
Union County Communications Office – November 14, 2017
November is National Adoption Month and the Union County Surrogate’s Office is proud to celebrate “forever families” and seeks to raise awareness about the adoption process. “The Union County Surrogate’s Office is proud to assist our residents in the process of improving the lives and welfare of children through adoption,” said Union County Surrogate, James S. LaCorte. “Through adoption, a difference can be made one child at a time. Having a permanent family provides children with the critical legal and emotional support that all young people need.”
NY: Monroe Co. budget plan for 2018 focuses on CPS staffing, heroin crisis:
WHAM – November 14, 2017
The budget for Monroe County in 2018 has been released. Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo rolled out her priorities Tuesday morning at a news conference. Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo rolled out her priorities Tuesday morning at a news conference.
Also: Brooks Stagles remembered by community as a “sassy, happy child” (Includes video): http://foxrochester.com/news/local/brooks-stagles-remembered-by-community-as-a-sassy-loved-child
OH: New Study Examines Value of Routine Laboratory Screenings For Children Entering Foster Care (Press release)
PRNewswire-USNewswire – November 15, 2017
Routine laboratory screening recommended for children entering foster care carries high costs and questionable medical benefits. A new study, published online in Pediatrics, suggests that targeted screening may be a more clinically meaningful approach and reduce costs.
Study: Laboratory Screening for Children Entering Foster Care: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/11/13/peds.2016-3778
OH: Only state where police are not required to report child abuse
Journal-News – November 14, 2017
Anyone who works with children – including doctors, teachers, camp counselors and therapists – are required by Ohio law to report suspected child abuse or neglect to either a children services agency or police. But Ohio is the only state where police officers are not subject to the same mandated reporting laws. A Columbus lawmaker wants to fix that, and has proposed a bill that would require law enforcement officers to be designated as mandated reporters as well.
OK: Child-abuse prevention programs in Oklahoma to lose funding Wednesday (Video)
MSN News – November 14, 2017
Even if Oklahoma lawmakers pass a budget Wednesday, cuts that affect child-abuse prevention programs funded by the State Department of Health will still take effect.
RI: Is Woonsocket RI’s capital for child abuse? (Commentary)
Call – November 14, 2017
Lessing said he has been in talks with DCYF about developing early-intervention strategies to prevent children from entering foster care, and keeping them closer to home when they do. “What happens when they get placed is they have to return to their home school,” said Lessing. “It doesn’t matter whether the placement is in Barrington or Warren or wherever, they have to come back to their home school district. Logistically it’s a nightmare.”
RI: Security upgrades at R.I. Training School not yet in place
Providence Journal – November 14, 2017
Nearly four months after a riot at the Rhode Island Training School sent six people to the hospital, workers are still not wearing uniforms or carrying utility belts with portable radios. Those security upgrades were among the upcoming changes that the state Department of Children, Youth and Families touted in an October report on the state’s juvenile detention center. On Tuesday, however, the DCYF told a legislative panel that union negotiations over the uniforms have stalled the upgrades.
SD: Oglala Sioux tribe working to protect children (Includes video)
KOTA – November 14, 2017
It’s hard today to paint a rosy picture of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Child Protective Services. The underfunded operation has but one vehicle to serve the 3,500 square mile reservation and hasn’t had a full time director for months. But tribal leaders are stepping up and have brought together all the stakeholders — CPS, police, courts and educators — for a three day summit in Rapid City to brainstorm solutions.
TX: Study: The needs of homeless and runaway youth in Texas going unmet
San Antonio Express-News – November 15, 2017
The needs of homeless and runaway youth in Texas are not being adequately addressed in the Lone Star State, a study by two advocacy groups has found. The study, conducted by Texas Appleseed and Texas Network of Youth Service, which focus on social justice and children’s rights, examined the root causes of youth homelessness, the myriad negative consequences that flow from it and possible solutions.
Also: New Study Sheds Light on Challenges Facing State’s Homeless Youth: https://therivardreport.com/new-study-sheds-light-on-challenges-facing-states-homeless-youth/
Also: Texas’ homeless youth slip through cracks of disjointed support system, new report says: https://www.texastribune.org/2017/11/15/homeless-youth-slip-through-cracks-disjointed-support-system/
TX: New Foster Care Initiative Seeks to Help Broken System
Dallas Observer – November 14, 2017
At the University of Delaware, Dozier, a professor in the psychology department, had been working with adults with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but she wanted to find a better way to foster a relationship between the birth parent, the child and the foster parent. She began asking questions, trying to understand how children adapted from separation with the birth parent and being reunited in visitation and to help them learn how to deal with it.
UT: Audit: Kids at risk while child care providers appeal violations
Deseret News – November 14, 2017
Child care facilities accused of violating safety standards can operate as normal during their appeals process, a practice that is putting children at risk, a state audit released Tuesday concludes.
VA: Commentary: Help Children Awaiting Adoption
Connection Newspapers – November 14, 2017
Right here in Fairfax County, 34 children in each of fiscal years 2014 and 2015 and 15 children in fiscal year 2016 were adopted from foster care according to the Department of Family Services (DFS) 2016 Annual Report. Those children were fortunate – but they represented fewer than half of all children in foster care in Fairfax County with a goal of adoption during those periods. How can we increase the chances of finding permanency for some of our most vulnerable young people?
VA: Where the foster care system needs to improve to help kids (Includes video)
WTVR – November 14, 2017
During national adoption month, two Richmond-area organizations announced the results of a nationwide study into the challenges facing the foster care system. The survey, sponsored by Children’s Home Society of Virginia (CHSV) and the Better Housing Coalition, also examined areas of improvement in Virginia. Virginia has one of the highest rates of children aging out of the foster care system in the country, the survey found.
WA: Fostering change: the life-saving work of Friends of Youth
Woodinville Weekly – November 14, 2017
“There are too few foster parents and foster homes,” said Friends of Youth President and CEO Terry Pottmeyer. It’s true. The number of licensed foster homes in the state has slowly but steadily decreased, from about 6,000 homes in 2010 to less than 5,000 in 2015, according to data from the Washington Department of Social and Health Services. Only 40 percent of foster homes remain licensed for more than three years.
US: Domestic violence and child abuse: a lethal combination (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – November 14, 2017
The connection between domestic violence and child abuse is well-documented. Research suggests that “in an estimated 30 to 60 percent of the families where either domestic violence or child maltreatment is identified, it is likely that both forms of abuse exist.”
US: Patchwork services fail youth aging out of foster care, national survey concludes
Richmond Times-Dispatch – November 14, 2017
The research, conducted by the national nonprofit Child Trends at the request of the Children’s Home Society of Virginia and the Better Housing Coalition, found increasing numbers of youth entering foster care across the country and spotty support for them across Virginia.
Also: The Possibilities Project: Supporting Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: http://chsva.org/possibilities-project/research-advocacy/
Also: Information Gateway resource: Support Services for Youth in Transition: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/support/
US: Senate Passes Bill Requiring U.S. Amateur Athletic Organizations to Report Sexual Abuse (Press release)
Office of U.S. Senator for California Dianne Feinstein – November 14, 2017
The Senate today passed legislation led by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department.
Greece: At least 19,000 refugee and migrant minors “trapped” in hotspots in Greece
Thema News – November 15, 2017
At least 19,000 refugee and immigrant children are trapped in Greece, according to estimates based on data collected and analysed by UNISEF. International organisations openly warn about the physical risks they come up against while living in overcrowded hotspots in Greece. The data was collected by the Ombudsman from all relevant bodies involved in the refugee-migrant crisis and revealed that the problem is exacerbating with the arrival of 3,494 more children in the eastern Aegean islands in September and October alone.
Iceland: Foster Parent Court Case Could Be a First for Iceland
Iceland Review – November 14, 2017
Freyja Haraldsdóttir, former substitute MP for Bright Future, has filed a case against the Government Agency for Child Protection (Barnaverndarstofa or BVS) in response to their denial of her application to become a foster parent, mbl.is reports. Freyja, who is physically disabled, claims her application was not handled in the same way as those of non-disabled applicants, and the case is brought forth on those grounds.
Japan: Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child concerning Japan (Commentary)
Human Rights Watch – November 14, 2017
Human Rights Watch writes in advance of the 79th pre-sessional working group of the Committee on the Rights of the Child and its review of Japan’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This submission focuses on children in alternative care; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and sex education in schools; and the protection of students, teachers, and schools during armed conflict, and relates to Articles 2, 19, 20, 24, 28, 29, and 38 of the CRC. It proposes issues and questions that Committee members may wish to raise with the government.
AK: State embarks on turning over public schools to tribes (Opinion)
Alaska Dispatch News – November 12, 2017
Native leaders spoke up for the idea, pointing to successful tribal control of Native health programs. Last month, Gov. Bill Walker signed a compact to allow tribal control of child protection services, although the document lacked details saying what the change would mean practically.
CA: Incoming LA Child Welfare Chief to Find High Demand, Too Few Foster Homes (Includes video)
Youth Today – November 13, 2017
DCFS serves more than 30,000 children each month, with more than half in out-of-home placement. This number is steadily rising each year while out-of-home resources are declining. According to the DCFS 2015-16 Biennial Report, the number of foster care resources, including family and group homes, has dropped by 52 percent from 2005 to 2015.
CA: Report: ‘Every 16-year-old girl in Fresno’ has been approached by sex-traffickers, police say
San Francisco Chronicle – November 13, 2017
“I’d bet every 16-year-old girl in Fresno has received a message that they didn’t know was from a recruiter,” the detective told the paper, explaining that recruiting is easier than ever with the advent of the internet.
FL: A family’s struggle: Options for kids with severe behavioral issues lacking in Florida
Daytona Beach News Journal – November 11, 2017
For months, David and Lisa Chappel, Mitchell’s stepmom, cleaned up the aftermath of their son’s violent outbursts that turned their otherwise blissful home into a broken one. While their son’s behavioral issues have become more violent and damaging this year, the Chappels have spent more than two years learning how to navigate a system of care offered by the state for children like Mitchell. The experience has left the parents feeling upset about the lack of resources in Florida for children with severe mental and behavioral health issues and helpless about what they should do for their son.
GA: Addiction and childhood: Opioid addiction pushing more kids into foster care
Daily Citizen News – November 11, 2017
The number of Georgia children in foster care has nearly doubled in just a few years, as more parents struggle with what is becoming an all-too familiar scenario. The state’s growing foster care rolls – made worse in recent years by increased dependence on powerful prescription painkillers – has put substantial strain on a system left struggling to keep up.
ME: Seven weeks after breach, state tells 2,100 foster parents that personal data went online
Portland Press Herald – November 13, 2017
The names, addresses and Social Security numbers of roughly 2,100 Mainers who receive foster care benefits were accidentally posted to a public website in September, the Maine Office of Information Technology said Monday.
Also: Thousands of Mainers affected by data breach updated (Includes video): http://wgme.com/news/local/thousands-of-mainers-affected-by-data-breach
MI: Stateline Midwest: Kresge, Kellogg Commit $50 Million To Early Childhood in Detroit
Chronicle of Social Change – November 13, 2017
Two major Michigan grantmakers announced a $50 million investment in a venture to improve the educational and health outcomes for young children in Detroit.
MN: Foster Care Provider Wants Exceptions for Fingerprinting Rule (Includes video)
KSTP – November 13, 2017
The Department of Human Services is now attempting to create a more accurate and uniform statewide background study system that would require children ages 13 to 17 to be fingerprinted before a foster home can be licensed.
ND: Heart Gallery connects kids in need of adoptive families
Fargo Forum – November 11, 2017
Nov. 18 is National Adoption Day – an effort to bring more attention and focus to adoption through the foster care system. This past week, I attended the North Dakota Heart Gallery Gala and Carnival at the Fargodome. The North Dakota Heart Gallery is a non-profit, privately funded organization that enlists professional photographers to capture portraits of foster children that showcase their sparkle and personalities.
NE: Adoptions of state wards continue in high numbers
KOLN – November 13, 2017
The number of children adopted from foster care in 2017 is expected to exceed last year’s number and continue more than 10 years of accelerated adoptions as the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) continues to emphasize permanent placement for foster children in the state’s care, according to DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips.
NY: Child abuse prevention advocates aim to restore funding to 2018 county budget (Includes video)
WHAM – November 13, 2017
More than a dozen agencies in the Rochester area called on Monroe County to focus more money on preventing child abuse.
Information Gateway resource: Developing and Sustaining Prevention Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/developing/
OH: Local agency in need of more foster parents for kids in need (Includes video)
WBNS – November 11, 2017
Last year, 2,383 children were placed in foster care in Franklin County. This year, agencies like NYAP are seeing a trend of insufficient foster homes for the children in need.
OK: Funding, stigma are major challenges for mental health
Oklahoman – November 12, 2017
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced cuts that will go into effect if the Legislature fails to reach an agreement. As of Dec. 1, the agency will only reimburse contracted providers for “meds and beds.” Essentially, outpatient mental health services will no longer be funded by the state.
OK: Foster care system in dire straits, lawmakers concede: www.the-messenger.com/news/local/article_9c42f04f-3363-56c1-91ab-1674bfc9636e.html
OK: Ginnie Graham: Years after single mom got 12 years for selling $31 of weed, Oklahoma is still No. 1 for locking up women
Tulsa World – November 12, 2017
The state’s rate of female incarceration continues to be the highest in the nation – more than twice the national average- which has garnered media attention from around the world. Currently, 151 women out of 100,000 are imprisoned in the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.
PR: After Hurricane, Signs of a Mental Health Crisis Haunt Puerto Rico
New York Times – November 13, 2017
The violent winds and screeching rains of Hurricane Maria were a 72-hour assault on the Puerto Rican psyche. There are warning signs of a full-fledged mental health crisis on the island, public health officials say, with much of the population showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress. In addition to struggling with their own emotions, Ms. Roig said that distressed callers had reported children who had not spoken since the storm or cried inconsolably when it rained. And people with serious mental illnesses who had experienced psychotic episodes had been locked inside rooms by family members who did not know what else to do.
TX: Texans Lose After Lawmakers Defund Office of Minority Health (Commentary)
Rivard Report – November 14, 2017
The OMHSE came to be in 2005 after it was shown that the child welfare crisis in Texas hit children and families of color the hardest. The program provided cultural competency training and consultative services to different state and private institutions, and it developed partnerships with community groups across Texas.
WS: Rise of opioid abuse is taking toll on foster care system in Wisconsin (Includes video)
CBS 58 – November 13, 2017
In Wisconsin, 75% of children whose parents are addicted to drugs are taken out of their homes.
US: National Adoption Month: KVC Health Systems Celebrates 4,000 Children’s Adoptions (Press release)
KVC Health Systems – November 14, 2017
More than 110,000 U.S. children in foster care are awaiting for permanent, loving families. KVC Health Systems is marking National Adoption Month by celebrating the fact it has facilitated over 4,000 children’s adoptions in the nonprofit behavioral health and child welfare organization’s history
US: Aly Raisman: I was sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics doctor (Includes video)
Cable News Network (CNN) – November 10, 2017
“Why are we looking at why didn’t the girls speak up?” Raisman said in a short clip released by 60 Minutes. “Why not look at what about the culture? What did USA Gymnastics do, and Larry Nassar do, to manipulate these girls so much that they are so afraid to speak up?”
Scandinavia: 5 Things You Can Learn From Scandinavian Parents
Parents Magazine – November 12, 2017
When U.S. News ranked the best countries to raise a child in 2017, Sweden came in on top, followed by Norway and Denmark in second and third place. Their strong economies in combination with the most generous parental leave policies in the world naturally help the Scandinavian countries consistently score high in these types of reports. Most parents and preschool teachers agree that children will learn what they need to learn when they’re ready for it and there is no pressure to teach children how to read and write early. They may be on to something, since research has shown that by age 11, there is no significant difference between children who learn to read at age five and those who learn at age seven. The kicker? Those who learn later have better text comprehension and a more positive attitude toward reading.
AR: Children’s Shelter Fighting Foster Care Statistics for 20 Years (Includes video)
KNWA – November 10, 2017
There are over five-thousand children in the foster care system in Arkansas — an all time high for the state. One children’s shelter in the River Valley is providing a temporary home for those kids who need it most. The Children’s Emergency Shelter achieved a milestone today. CES has devoted twenty years to giving children in Fort Smith a new shot at life.
Also: Local Non-Profit Aims To Help Foster Care Crisis (Video): http://5newsonline.com/2017/11/12/local-non-profit-aims-to-help-foster-care-crisis/
AZ: State’s foster care boards don’t look like their communities. Here’s why that matters (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – November 12, 2017
In an attempt to ensure fair treatment for kids taken from their parents, Arizona lawmakers decades ago mandated that Foster Care Review Boards – which help decide the fates of children in foster care – mirror the races, ethnicities and income levels of the communities they serve. They don’t. Though children of color represent about 60 percent of kids in out-of-home care, Foster Care Review Boards are overwhelmingly white.
CA: Funding loss threatens Saint John’s program for homeless women, children
Sacramento Bee – November 12, 2017
Saint John’s Program For Real Change, which shelters and mentors homeless women and children in Sacramento, celebrated its successes this past month with a ceremony attended by Congresswoman Doris Matsui, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other luminaries. But even as politicians and graduates of the program spoke of its longevity and track record, the nonprofit organization was facing a crisis. Sacramento County was making changes in its funding of transitional housing for homeless people, and Saint John’s had been cut off.
Information Gateway resource: Housing & Child Welfare: State and Local Examples: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/housing/childwelfare/examples/
CA: Understanding how California serves its homeless children: a quick guide
EdSource – November 12, 2017
As California’s housing shortage intensifies, the number of homeless children is expected to climb. Since 2014, the number of homeless youth in California has jumped 20 percent, to more than 202,329, and accounts for nearly 4 percent of the overall public school population. Homeless children are enrolled in nearly every district in the state, according to the California Homeless Youth Project. An EdSource special project explored the issue in detail, and includes a map showing the number of homeless students in California schools.
CA: Law Mandates Parental Leave for Small Businesses With 20+ Employees
Perkins Coie – November 10, 2017
Governor Jerry Brown signed S.B. 63 last month, which makes CFRA applicable to businesses with 20+ employees. Under the bill, the California Government Code will be amended as of January 1, 2018 to permit eligible employees to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave (job protection) during any 12-month period to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child, or to care for oneself or one’s parent or spouse with a serious health condition. Eligible employees are entitled to continue receiving group health plan coverage during the leave period.
CO: Child sex trafficking reaches to every corner of Colorado
Durango Herald – November 10, 2017
In every corner of Colorado, from the Front Range to the mountains to the plains, prosecutors found enough probable cause in more than five years to charge 369 people with crimes related to child sex trafficking.
GA: Addiction & Childhood: Opioid addiction pushing more kids into foster care
Valdosta Daily News – November 12, 2017
The number of Georgia children in foster care has nearly doubled in just a few years, as more parents struggle with what is becoming an all-too familiar scenario. The state’s growing foster care rolls – made worse in recent years by increased dependence on powerful prescription painkillers – has put substantial strain on a system left struggling to keep up.
IA: Issues of poverty create disparities in Iowa’s child welfare system
Cedar Rapids Gazette – November 12, 2017
Of the more than 50,000 reports of alleged abuse against a child in the state of Iowa received by the Department of Human Services in 2016 – in or outside the foster care system – only 6,368 cases were confirmed. Sixty-five percent of these cases were categorized as denial of critical care, one of 11 legislatively driven definitions of abuse that need to be met to accept a case into the department’s child welfare system.
Also: Unknowns of temporarily caring for children in foster care means Iowa’s foster parents feel ‘every emotion’: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/unknowns-of-temporarily-caring-foster-children-20171112
IN: Editorial: Don’t turn a blind eye to youth homelessness
Herald Bulletin – November 12, 2017
It’s tough enough being an average school kid. Just imagine if you were a kid without a home. That’s the reality for about 350 children in Madison County, according to the Indiana Youth Institute.
KS: Secrecy inside child welfare system can kill: ‘God help the children of Kansas’ (Includes video)
Kansas City Star – November 12, 2017
Kansas may be the most secretive state in the country, a Kansas City Star investigation shows. And it’s only gotten worse under Gov. Sam Brownback. Clint Blansett’s 10-year-old son had been dead just a few days when a social worker from the state knocked on the family’s door in south-central Kansas. She wasn’t there to offer condolences after Caleb’s death or ask about his sister, Blansett said. She wanted him to sign a form saying he wouldn’t talk about his son’s death or the Kansas Department for Children and Families.
MT: Addiction treatment center in Billings still has waiting list – and empty beds
Billings Gazette – November 10, 2017
The waiting list for Medicaid patients to receive treatment at Rimrock is 160 names long. And yet on any given day, 16 to 20 beds at the addiction center’s main facility sit empty. That’s due to an obscure federal law that limits Medicaid dollars from paying for treatment at any mental health or substance abuse center with more than 16 beds. Rimrock’s main center has 42.
NC: Group hopes to decrease number of foster kids during National Adoption Month
WNCT – November 13, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness month. The “Children’s Home Society of North Carolina” is trying to help reduce the number of foster kids in our state. The number one goal for the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina is raising awareness on the need for adoption and fostering.
NC: Investigators face big hurdles in church child abuse cases
Associated Press – November 12, 2017
When Rutherford County’s child protection agency seeks to investigate allegations of abuse at Word of Faith Fellowship, it runs smack into two major obstacles: a habitual lack of cooperation from church members and a court-ordered compromise that limits what can trigger an inquiry and how social workers can question minors.
Also: Ex-members say church uses power, lies to keep grip on kids: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/state/north-carolina/article184088181.html
NC: Foster kids get moved around. This could help some older kids find families (Includes video)
Raleigh News & Observer – November 10, 2017
Hundreds of foster children get moved from home to home, and some never get adopted. The disruptions can have ruinous consequences. Now an effort to find adoptive families for older foster children is expanding with the help of a private grant.
NE: Understanding sex offenders: the untold story (Includes video)
KETV – November 12, 2017
One fall day last year, a random call to the newsroom caught me off guard: A co-worker shouted across the newsroom that a sex offender wanted to talk to me. Everyone looked at me. My first inclination was to bolt. Not only did I not want to talk to a sex offender, I certainly didn’t want him to have my phone number or know my name. I was slightly unnerved. I’m calling him “Jay” and he’s part of a group trying to throw out Nebraska’s sex offender registry or at least repeal a Nebraska law put in place seven years ago. The registry includes child molesters and those caught peeing in the bushes, people who’ve accidentally downloaded child pornography in which a 19-year-old young man had a 15-year-old girlfriend. They’re now married with three children, but he’s on the public registry for life as a sex offender.
NY: De Blasio’s family-based homeless solution off to a rocky start
New York Post – November 10, 2017
Nearly a year after the city launched a holiday-season program to pay relatives or friends to take in the homeless, just 31 families have qualified and moved out of shelters, The Post has learned. City officials said 117 families applied for the program as of Oct. 10 from an initial pool of roughly 5,000 that had been living in shelters for at least 90 days.
NY: NYC Schools Chancellor addresses allegations principal failed to report student sex assaults (Includes video)
WABC – November 10, 2017
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina addressed allegations that at least five students at It Takes a Village Academy were sexually assaulted by upperclassmen in the boys’ locker room and the school principal failed to involve the proper authorities.
OH: Plan introduced for permanent overflow for homeless women and children in Cleveland (Includes video)
WOIO – November 10, 2017
Cuyahoga County leaders are expected to announce a plan to help homeless mothers and their children. Per Richard Trickel, CEO of The City Mission, the county is budgeting for permanent overflow and a caseworker that will be dedicated to helping these women. Many believe, it’s past time for city and county leaders to step up and help the homeless.
TX: Have love to share? Consider becoming a foster parent
El Paso Times – November 10, 2017
Officials with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said there is a constant need for safe homes where foster parents can care for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.
WI: Helping foster children, local nonprofit raising funds for temporary home
Racine Journal Times – November 12, 2017
“The Faith, Hope & Love Home for Children is a way to provide love and support, even if only for a short time,” Mark said. “That tells these kids that they matter.” Racine County is facing a major foster home shortage, according to Kerry Milkie, youth and family manager for Racine County Human Services. There are currently 360 children in foster care in Racine County and not nearly enough foster homes.
WI: DCF launches Twitter account
La Crosse Tribune – November 10, 2017
The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) recently expanded its communication channels to include a new Twitter account aimed at providing Wisconsin families, foster youth, agency partners, and interested citizens with timely information about DCF efforts to improve the economic and social well-being of Wisconsin’s children, youth and families.
WI: Counties and property taxpayers shoudn’t be left to address opioid crisis on their own (Press release)
State Senators Janet Bewley (D – Delta) and Dave Hansen (D – Green Bay) – November 09, 2017
County after county across Wisconsin is facing budget – busting costs related to the state’s opioid crisis. Jails are full and treatment centers, where they exist, are often filled beyond capacity. Time and time again we have heard from county officials that they need more from a state government that has too often left them to face this crisis on their own.
WV: Child advocacy centers see steady increase in child victims served
WVMetroNews – November 12, 2017
West Virginia’s child advocacy centers – meant to reduce stress on children who have to tell authorities about abuse in their lives – have been getting busier and busier. Officials with the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network say that’s not because the state is experiencing more child abuse cases – but instead because word is spreading that the centers can be trusted to help children get through a painful process.
WV: Foster, adoptive families desperately needed
Record Delta – November 10, 2017
The number of children who need forever homes in West Virginia has reached epidemic proportions, the executive director of the Upshur County Family Resource Network told the Upshur County Commission Thursday.
US: Advocates worry that attempt to remove adoption credit could resurface in GOP tax plan
Omaha World-Herald – November 13, 2017
A House GOP tax proposal initially eliminated the credit, although it was later restored just before the Ways and Means Committee approved the plan last week. The Senate plan released last week preserved the credit. Advocates, however, remain concerned that an attempt to remove the adoption credit could resurface.
Also: A plan to eliminate the adoption tax credit would be devastating: http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/wapo/a-plan-to-eliminate-the-adoption-tax-credit-would-be/article_f8ceac82-8bc3-50ec-b68a-120488ce592d.html
US: How to step up and promote adoption (Commentary)
New York Post – November 12, 2017
What’s more, it basically pays for itself. Defraying the cost of adoption is often the fiscally conservative move. As John McCormick wrote at The Weekly Standard, “The costs to taxpayers of keeping a child in foster care – health care, food, housing, social workers, and administrators – are far greater than the one-time tax credit adoptive families may receive.” After an outcry, Senate Republicans agree to keep the tax credit. But that shouldn’t be the end of the conversation. The unforced error can have a silver lining if it gets the political class talking all the ways the adoption process in the US can and should be improved.
US: GOP Tax Plan: Adoption Back In, Foster Youth Jobs Bill Still At Risk
Chronicle of Social Change – November 10, 2017
As reported here last week, the Adoption Tax Credit was slated for repeal last week when the Republican tax plan was unveiled. After a flurry of lobbying from pro-adoption and pro-life groups, ATC is off the chopping block. The Improved Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act, H.R. 2060 and S. 885, would provide tax credits of up to $2,400 to employers who hire current and former foster youth between the ages of 18 and 27.
US: How Interracial Adoption Changes Your Perspective
Mothering – November 10, 2017
It’s Adoption Awareness Month, and often, adoptions in America are of children from other countries.
US: How money bail impacts the lives of children with incarcerated parents
MIC – November 10, 2017
Across the country, children like Tanea are harmed when courts set their parents’ bail. At least 10 million kids across the United States have had a parent behind bars at some point in their lives, according to the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerated; 2.7 million children have an incarcerated parent. At any given time, the vast majority of individuals in America’s local jails are there because they cannot pay bail – around 450,000 on any given day.
US: Marriage Isn’t The Last Hurdle For LGBTQ Couples
Brides – November 10, 2017
When it comes to gay right’s issues, marriage has long been at the forefront. But for some couples, their main concern has been a very different fight-the ability to adopt.
US: Tension Between State Department, Accreditor Over Intercountry Adoption
Chronicle of Social Change – November 10, 2017
The Council on Accreditation (COA), the lone firm handling accreditation for international adoption agencies, has announced that it will break its contract with State due to recent changes in regulations.
US: Victims of child abuse, often take decades to report abuse (Includes video)
KUTV – November 10, 2017
Gwen Knight, with Prevent Child Abuse Utah, said it’s not uncommon for people who say they were assaulted to wait years before reporting. “88 percent of adults who were sexually abused as children did not report the abuse,” she said.
US: Minor Refugees, Major Challenges
Cronkite News – November 09, 2017
Juveniles who flee violence in Central America don’t have an easy time in federal courts.
US: Grandparents Stepping Up for Kids in Opioid Crisis
Next Avenue – October 30, 2017
Last week, the President declared the opioid epidemic a national crisis. This long overdue step is critical. But to 2.6 million grandparents raising grandchildren across the country, it will be recognized as just that: one step.
Angola: Government to pilot a Children First Software (CFS) application
Lusaka Times – November 12, 2017
The Government has started piloting a Children First Software (CFS) application that will provide a database of the vulnerable people in the country in order for them to receive support from their households as opposed to being institutionalised in centers. Minister of Community Development and Social Services Emerine Kabanshi says the Government will next year implement the CFS program and share it with other regional countries in an effort to end institutionalisation of the underprivileged people in communities and children on the streets.
Canada: Treatment helps recognize the effects of childhood trauma (Press release)
Government of Prince Edward Island – November 10, 2017
The province’s Child Protection Services has implemented a Trauma Informed Approach to Care (TIC) – which focuses less on ‘what is wrong with this child?’ and more on ‘what has happened to this child?’ The approach involves developing relationships with children and working together to help them regulate their emotions.
New Zealand: Child rights monitoring group calls for urgent Government action to address UN concerns
Timaru Herald – November 13, 2017
The new Government must act urgently to address UN concerns over New Zealand’s high abuse rates. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNROC) Monitoring Group, led by the Children’s Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft, has just released a new report, calling for further Government action to prevent any stagnation of progress made under the former Government’s overhaul of child protection services.
AL: Governor awards $1.3 million to assist support advocates for abused children (Press release)
Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs – November 09, 2017
Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $1.3 million grant to help a nonprofit organization to enhance the quality of advocacy services for abused, abandoned and neglected children in Alabama. The grant to Alabama Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, Network Inc. will provide trained, caring volunteers to advocate for a child’s best interests in court hearings.
CA: Patricia Keelean to Lead Community Action Commission (Press release)
Community Action Commission – November 09, 2017
Community Action Commission (CAC) of Santa Barbara County has named Patricia Keelean as its executive director. Keelean brings some 27 years of nonprofit management experience to her new post. CAC is a private nonprofit that leverages support for Santa Barbara County families through government contracts, grants and private funding.
GA: Bloom receives award as Georgia’s Most Outstanding Foster Care Agency
Citizen – November 10, 2017
Founded in 1989, the organization’s main programs include a foster parent recruitment, training, and placement program, a monthly training program for foster parents, and a clothing resource center for foster children, called The Bloom Closet. Bloom recruits, trains and certifies foster families to care for foster youth, including those with significant therapeutic issues, medically fragile needs, pregnant or parenting foster teen girls and sibling groups.
GA: Departing state DFCS chief cites agency’s progress as ‘remarkable lift’
Gainesville Times – November 10, 2017
Cagle said he wanted to reduce a 39 percent turnover rate among caseworkers, which is down to 29 percent. “We are not exactly where we want to be, but I think the strides that we made in the past 31/2 years have been a remarkable lift for a system as large as Georgia,” interim director Ginger Pryor said.
IL: Kinship Care Works; Kinship Care Matters. If They Could See My Boys Now! (Commentary)
Chicago Now – November 09, 2017
Adoption is about legacy. As an African-American, kinship caregiving has always been part of our culture. It was often informal, without the involvement of caseworkers, and courts.
IN: Child advocacy group receives funding to teach children about how to protect themselves from abuse
RTV 6 – November 09, 2017
Kid’s Talk, Aspire’s Child Advocacy Center in Madison County, has received multiple new grants to fund its programs for teaching children in grades K -12 about how to protect themselves against all types of child abuse.
Information Gateway resource: School-Based Prevention Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/prevention-programs/schoolbased/
KS: Editorial: What has the Child Welfare Task Force accomplished?
Topeka Capital-Journal – November 09, 2017
As Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore prepares to depart the agency, now is the time for lawmakers to renew their focus on improving our state’s foster care system.
KY: Foster care system in dire straits, lawmakers concede, but don’t count on needed money (Includes video)
Louisville Courier-Journal – November 09, 2017
The report found that social worker caseloads are nearly double the recommended levels, that high turnover of workers continues to hinder the agency and that the staffing levels haven’t kept up with the numbers of children coming into state care for abuse or neglect. Lawmakers Thursday expressed concern but made no commitment about more funding for social services as they face growing pressure to put dollars into the state’s underfunded public pension system.
MS: Human Trafficking: A Special Report (Includes video)
WJTV – November 08, 2017
Victims of human trafficking can come in all shapes, sizes and colors. In some cases, you can encounter them and not even realize it. Dean Scott, a Hinds County Sheriff’s Office Investigator says “It’s big in Mississippi. It’s a big issue here in the Metro. The main reason is because we have the major interstates cross in our city, and major thorough fares for the trade, trafficking, and the swapping of humans.”
NE: State child welfare officials begin work to improve services after federal review finds shortfalls
Omaha World-Herald – November 09, 2017
Matt Wallen, director of children and family services for the Department of Health and Human Services, said preliminary feedback from the reviewers indicates that the state met federal standards on only one measure. Nebraska fell short on 17 other measures, including those related to family engagement, workforce development, safety planning, placement stability, and foster and adoptive parent recruitment and retention.
PA: State Auditor General Visits Central PA to Discuss “State of the Child” Report (Includes video)
WYOU – November 09, 2017
Lycoming County is the fifth county the Auditor General been to after releasing his report on the status of Children and Youth Services operations around the state. When he stopped in Luzerne County, he was highly critical of how things are handled. But in central Pennsylvania – he likes what he sees.
TX: State youth lockup being investigated for sexual misconduct
Associated Press – November 08, 2017
At least four former staff members of a northern Texas juvenile correctional facility may face prison time amid sexual misconduct allegations.
US: House GOP Restores Adoption Tax Credit After Backlash
Weekly Standard – November 09, 2017
House Republicans reversed course Thursday on their plans to scrap the adoption tax credit. Kevin Brady, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, issued a statement that an amendment to the committee’s bill would restore the adoption credit and make other tweaks to the bill. The announcement came after news broke that the Senate GOP would keep the adoption tax credit in its tax reform bill.
Also: Adoption tax credit restored after conservative backlash: http://thehill.com/policy/finance/359662-adoption-tax-credit-restored-after-conservative-backlash
Also: House Republican Attempts to Repeal the Adoption Tax Credit Show Their Real Priorities in Tax Reform (Commentary): https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/news/2017/11/09/442623/house-republican-attempts-repeal-adoption-tax-credit-show-real-priorities-tax-reform/
Also: Adoption Tax Credit Saved by Both House and Senate: http://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2017/november/save-adoption-tax-credit-house-senate-gop-evangelicals.html
US: Children of Gay Parents Are Still Turning Out Just Fine, According to a Massive Research Review (Includes video)
Newsweek – November 08, 2017
A great deal of evidence has supported the notion that children of gay parents are no worse off than children of straight parents. And now a new, massive review of data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 2013 through 2015 again shows that kids of homosexual parents experience no greater emotional or psychological difficulties when compared with kids of heterosexual parents.
Also: Kids Of Gay Parents Are Doing Just Fine, Thank You Very Much: http://www.refinery29.com/2017/11/180399/gay-parents-study
AK: Tribes and villages must step up for children abused and neglected (Commentary)
Alaska Dispatch News – November 08, 2017
Taking these children from their homes, while providing for their physical safety, sometimes messes with their emotional and mental health only slightly less than being left in the abusive home. And this is certainly where tribes and Native village governments have every right to want to do things differently so that the cure does not result in a worse disease of cultural dislocation.
CA: Children and the opiod crisis (Commentary)
Compton Bulletin – November 09, 2017
For the last two decades people across our nation have helplessly watched this rapidly escalating epidemic destroy families and entire communities. Most of us know some person or family in our community suffering from the impact of substance abuse disorder. Over 2.5 million Americans were addicted to opioid pain relievers or heroin in 2015.
CA: Life changer: The Dream Center, a one-stop shop for foster youth, finds a new, bigger home
Bakersfield Californian – November 08, 2017
Martin is thankful that the Dream Center, a one-stop shop for foster youth services run by the Kern County Network for Children, relocated last month from its 3,000-square foot downtown office to a space more than triple that size just down the street from the Greyhound Bus Station. That extra space means more services, including a place for Martin to do his laundry, search for a job and just hang out during the day. A place where people care about him.
CA: Los Angeles Board Of Supervisors Votes To Launch ‘Historic’ Juvenile Diversion Plan
Youth Today – November 08, 2017
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to adopt an ambitious plan to divert thousands of the county’s youth away from the juvenile and criminal justice systems, connecting them instead to a comprehensive array of supportive services.
CO: Court of Appeals: Expert Witness Need Not Recite Exact Statutory Language for ICWA Finding
Legal Connection – November 08, 2017
The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of D.B. on Thursday, November 2, 2017.
CT: New Haven sues OxyContin makers over opioid epidemic (Includes video)
WTNH – November 08, 2017
The city of New Haven is suing the makers of OxyContin, claiming they helped fuel the opioid epidemic in the Elm City. The city filed an 83-page lawsuit on Tuesday, alleging Stamford-based Purdue Pharmaceuticals and five other drug manufacturers used deceptive marketing as well as false and misleading information to deceive doctors and patients about the risks associated with opioids.
FL: Opioid crisis taking toll on Florida children
News Service of Florida – November 08, 2017
More than 4,000 babies were born addicted to opioids in Florida last year, an increase of over 1,000 percent from a decade ago. Substance abuse played a role in two-thirds of the cases where children were removed from their homes within 30 days of birth last year.
KS: Lawmakers question impact of welfare reduction: Is it putting more kids in foster care?
Lawrence Journal-World – November 08, 2017
Some Kansas lawmakers began questioning the impact of welfare policy changes enacted under the Brownback administration after new numbers were released Wednesday from the Department for Children and Families showing an estimated 43,715 people have become ineligible for cash assistance under those policies.
ND: & VT: Video N. Dakota Learning From Vermont’s Handling of Drug Crisis
NECN – November 08, 2017
As the state of Vermont renews its focus on helping its most vulnerable residents affected by the opioid addiction crisis, a high-profile visitor from North Dakota sought to learn from the state’s successes thus far.
NY: Essay: Adoption bridges families, provides children a home
Post – November 09, 2017
Monroe County Family Court, now in its 54th year, has finalized more than 14,000 adoptions. Over the last 13 years, the court’s celebration of National Adoption Day has endeavored to raise our community’s awareness surrounding adoption. While adoption numbers nationwide have remained consistent since the late 1980s, there has been a shift, particularly in New York, increasing the number of children adopted from foster care.
OH: Human Services levy’s big win shows ‘a willingness to help others’
Dayton Daily News – November 08, 2017
The eight-year renewal levy will help fund safety-net programs for children in crisis, the developmentally disabled, the frail elderly and indigent – as well as those struggling with opioid addiction.
Also: Voters in Ohio Tuesday approved all but one levy aimed at child safety: http://www.journal-news.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/voters-ohio-tuesday-approved-all-but-one-levy-aimed-child-safety/BWbVhz3iSRm8ecPkEzmjZM/
OH: Voters across Ohio spring for new money in drug battle
Columbus Dispatch – November 08, 2017
As Ohio’s drug crisis overwhelms county-run child protection services, voters on Tuesday approved 12 of 13 levies for abused and neglected kids.
Also: Opioid epidemic: ‘Silent victims’ get help in Ohio election: http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20171108/opioid-epidemic-silent-victims-get-help-in-ohio-election
OR: A Nonprofit Spent Millions of Public Dollars to House Native American Seniors and Foster Families. It’s Failing
Willamette Week – November 08, 2017
NAYA Generations currently doesn’t house a single foster family. The $11.5 million, 40-unit affordable housing complex called NAYA Generations was built with more than $10 million in public funds to address a systemic ill: More than 1 in 5 Native American children in Multnomah County lived in foster care, according to a 2011 study.
OR: Opposition to sex reporting rule gains traction (Includes video)
Statesman Journal – November 08, 2017
Thousands of people have spoken against Salem-Keizer School District’s requirement to report any sexual activity involving minors, even if it’s thought to be consensual. Opponents of the requirement are calling for a legislative solution that would allow students to confide in teachers, and teachers not to be fined or fired if they don’t report consensual sex between students.
Also: 9 things to know about Salem-Keizer’s requirement to report teen sex (Includes video): http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/education/2017/11/06/9-things-know-salem-keizers-requirement-report-teen-sex/836516001/
Information Gateway resource: Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/manda/
TX: Amarillo Angels making a difference for children in foster care (Includes video)
KFDA – November 08, 2017
Over 1,00 children are in foster care in the Panhandle, and one organization is working to provide these children with hope. Amarillo Angels says the love box isn’t meant to be Christmas every month. Instead, it gives children a mentor and self-esteem boost, so they can dream beyond the difficult circumstances they often experience.
TX: The Earl Carl Institute Celebrates 25 Years of Service
Forward Times – November 08, 2017
The Earl Carl Institute (ECI) takes great pride in and is widely recognized for its youth based initiatives aimed at helping children of color, particularly African American juveniles, to have successful school experiences and to ultimately lead a productive life. ECI’s work is on local, state, and national levels and has been recognized on the front page of the New York Times, in the Washington Post, on PBS NewsHour, Houston Matters, Breitbart News, Buzzfeed, the Houston Chronicle and numerous other publications and radio and television stations. ECI’s Youth focused work endeavors to confront issues where African American youth are over- or under-represented or have disparate outcomes. The Institute’s youth-centered work is to make that happen through a multifaceted approach.
TX: Thousands of children in foster care, as CPS celebrates National Adoption Awareness month (Includes video)
KFDM-TV – November 08, 2017
Child Protective Services gathered in Orange County on Wednesday to celebrate National Adoption Awareness month. Five children left the foster care system and were adopted by their forever families. Thousands of children remain in foster care each day, CPS spokesperson Shari Pulliam says there are, on average, 16,000 children in the system everyday.
WI: Special Report: Opioid crisis hits city hard
Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service – November 08, 2017
“It (opioid addiction) can happen anywhere and it can be anybody. We’re not talking about homeless people or junkies on the streets. Kaela was a sweet, caring person who lit up the room,” DeLaTorre said.
WI: Training social work students to serve Wisconsin families
College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison – November 01, 2017
The Public Child Welfare Training Program uses federal Title IV-E funds to train graduate and undergraduate social work students to work in public child welfare. Students are placed in positions in Dane and surrounding counties, and then join Wisconsin’s public child welfare workforce after earning their degrees. To date, students have served in more than 40 counties.
WV: SARAH’S House earns re-accreditation
Cumberland Times-News – November 08, 2017
SARAH’S House Child Advocacy Center, a program of Burlington United Methodist Family Services Inc., has been awarded re-accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. As the accrediting agency for children’s advocacy centers across the country, National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective, efficient and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. Accreditation is the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.
US: Google developer explains the pain losing adoption credit will cause (Commentary
CNBC – November 08, 2017
As House Republicans mark up their tax overhaul, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, adoptive families are pushing back on their decision to do away with a critical tax credit. Brandon Jones, a developer at Google and adoptive father of two boys, shared in a series of tweets on Nov. 2 just how imporant the credit is to adoptive families.
Also: Adoption tax credit elimination plan pits Republicans against leaders: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/nov/8/adoption-tax-credit-elimination-plan-pits-republic
Also: Louisiana’s Kennedy working with Senate Finance Committee to save adoption tax credit: http://baptistmessage.com/louisianas-kennedy-working-senate-finance-committee-save-adoption-tax-credit/
Also: Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth Chapman: Adoption tax credit is vital: http://www.heraldtribune.com/opinion/20171108/steven-curtis-chapman-and-mary-beth-chapman-adoption-tax-credit-vital?rssfeed=true
Also: Republican tax plan would deal financial blow for families who adopt children: http://news.morningstar.com/all/market-watch/TDJNMW20171108732/republican-tax-plan-would-deal-financial-blow-for-families-who-adopt-children.aspx
US: Immigration Policies Weigh Heavily on US Schools
Immigration Reform – November 07, 2017
This naturally necessitates a growing phalanx of providers inside and outside the classroom. Surveying widely varying literacy rates among the new arrivals, “Beyond Teaching English” advises districts to check the “linguistic and cultural competence of staff.”
Also: Beyond Teaching English: Supporting High School Completion by Immigrant and Refugee Students: https://www.migrationpolicy.org/research/beyond-teaching-english-supporting-high-school-completion-immigrant-and-refugee-students
US: The REAL Foster Care Housing Crisis (Commentary)
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform – November 02, 2017
Thousands of children are trapped in foster care because their parents don’t have adequate housing. That is The REAL Foster Care Housing Crisis.
Also: The Foster Care Housing Crisis: http://youthtoday.org/2017/11/the-foster-care-housing-crisis/
Canada: How We Define Indigenous Homelessness Matters
Vice – November 08, 2017
“Indigenous homelessness must be considered as a loss of healthy relationships, spiritual, emotional, physical, political, and economic relationships over time,” Thistle told me. “That’s what the process of colonialism has eroded and starved out. The later displacement that occurs in adulthood is a product of that earlier Indigenous homelessness, the early loss of relations,” he says.
United Kingdom: Court rulings strike at the heart of UK’s foster carer network, warns Glasgow social work chief
Herald – November 09, 2017
Foster carer James Johnstone won a case against Glasgow City Council but more such cases could destroy the system in the UK, claims the social work boss of the local authority.
AR: Study Finds Fewer Unsafe Sleeping Deaths for Infants in Arkansas (Includes audio)
Public News Service (PNS) – November 08, 2017
Public health officials say far fewer Arkansas children died from unsafe sleeping environments or sudden infant death syndrome in the past year. A new report by the Arkansas Department of Human Services shows that child deaths from suffocation or other injuries while sleeping dropped 62 percent from 2016 to 2017.
Also: Report: Child Death and Near Fatality Multidisciplinary Review Committee: https://tinyurl.com/y6w6eo8d
CA: & OR: & WA: Stateline Pacific: Mandated Reporters, Youth Homelessness and a New Child Welfare Agency
Chronicle of Social Change – November 07, 2017
The Chronicle of Social Change’s rundown of child welfare and youth-related news from up and down the Pacific Coast.
Also: CA Report: State’s Homeless Youth: Averting Long-Term Crisis: http://shum.senate.ca.gov/sites/shum.senate.ca.gov/files/10-10-17_joint_informational_hearing_background_paper_0.pdf
Also: OR: Salem-Keizer staff told to report student sexual activity, including own kids (Includes video): http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/education/2017/10/31/oregon-mandated-reporter-salem-keizer-staff-told-report-student-sexual-activity-including-own-kids/798865001/
Also: WA: Child Welfare Now a Cabinet Level Agency in Washington State: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news-2/child-welfare-now-cabinet-level-agency-washington/27543
CA: COMMENTARY: CHHS Has Ambitious Agenda
Techwire – November 07, 2017
Three years ago, the CHHS began its open-data movement and innovation initiatives. In August 2014, the first of our departments established an open-data portal, and since then, we have built on our momentum and lessons learned to launch several new initiatives, including procurement reform and rethinking internal data usage. All of these efforts are components of changing the culture at CHHS – for staff, our partners and the public we serve.
CO: DHS names new chief for children and families program, Minna Costilla Cohen
Colorado Politics – November 07, 2017
At the end of the month Minna Castillo Cohen will take over as director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families, taking over the position vacated by Robert Werthwein, when he became director of the state Office of Behavioral Health in September. Both agencies are part of the Department of Human Services.
GA: How to Adopt a Child in Georgia (Infographic)
Georgia.gov – November 07, 2017
Adoption is the social and legal process that gives adopted children the same rights as those born into the family. Check out our infographic for an overview of the process, or skip to the text version of this graphic. With the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, the process may be quicker than you think; from inquiry to finalization, adopting a child from the state typically takes only 4-10 months!
IN: National Adoption Month highlights adoption need statewide (Includes video)
FOX 59 – November 08, 2017
Right now in Indiana, hundreds of kids are waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. National Adoption Awareness Month in November is meant to increase not only awareness of adoption but also the number of families who take that step.
MO: Discovering the roots, stigma surrounding American foster care
Hanniibal Courier-Post – November 07, 2017
Changing perceptions of orphans reflect fluctuating societal attitudes about caring for children who cannot take care of themselves. Catherine Rymph, an associate professor of history at MU, has written a book examining the modern history of foster care in the United States and the stigma associated with the system.
OH: November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month
People’s Defender – November 07, 2017
On Oct. 23, 2017, Adams County Children Services employees, board members, and special guests, Isaac and Jenna Wooten and son Dodge, met with the Adams County Commissioners to proclaim November as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month. The theme for National Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month for November 2017 is “Teens Need Families, No Matter What.” This theme highlights the importance of identifying well-prepared and committed families for the thousands of teenagers in foster care.
TX: State has hired its first ever director of human trafficking prevention
Eagle – November 08, 2017
Earlier this year, the Tribune’s Sold Out series examined how state policies – including a severely underfunded child welfare system – failed to help child sex-trafficking victims. Since then, lawmakers set aside a budget increase of more than $500 million for the foster care system, and the governor’s office approved new funds for trafficking prevention initiatives – which includes the state’s first-ever Director of Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation.
TX: CASA celebrates National Adoption Month
Stephenville Empire-Tribune – November 07, 2017
November is National Adoption Month, and CASA CTA is working to inform the public of the urgent need for families to support vulnerable children in the foster care system. In 2016 in Texas, there were 6,999 children in the care of Child Protective Services (CPS) waiting for adoption. CASA CTA is spreading awareness this month, and challenging more members of the community to step up and be a part of the solution by becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer.
TX: First Lady Abbott Visits Child Advocates of Fort Bend
Houston Chronicle – November 07, 2017
Child Advocates of Fort Bend is unique in that they have a Children’s Advocacy Center and a CASA Program under one roof. “We started our CASA Program 26 years ago and added the Children’s Advocacy Center a few years later when we realized that there was a whole population of children who were not being served because they had not been removed from their homes.”
TX: Mistruths at the Capitol are hurting Texans (Opinion)
Corpus Christi Caller-Times – November 07, 2017
This year, Texas lawmakers passed a law allowing child-welfare providers that contract with the state to discriminate against LGBT families in foster care and adoption placements. The law’s supporters argued that the legislation would protect “religious freedom.” The reality is protections for that freedom already existed, carefully balancing the convictions of religiously affiliated child welfare service providers with the needs and beliefs of children they serve.
VA: Sex trafficking, and other dangers often pose a threat to children in the foster care system (Includes video)
WDBJ7 – November 08, 2017
Dr. John DeGarmo is the director of The Foster Care Institute. He’s on a national campaign to recruit 10- thousand new foster parents by 2020. DeGarmo says the nation’s opioid crisis is fueling the huge need for more foster homes. “More people are becoming addicted to these opioids. Where are the children going? More people are dying from this crisis. 60,000 may have died last year. Where do all of these children go?” says DeGarmo.
WA: ‘Serving People in Need’ – the cycle of SPIN Cafe a tribute to compassionate community
Whidbey News-Times – November 07, 2017
As a support specialist working with homeless students within Oak Harbor School District, Rogers Decker remembers when she first learned the stark realities of cleanliness when you have no home. “It was a child in middle school with very poor hygiene, so bad someone suggested it be reported to child welfare services for neglect,” Rogers Decker recalled of the 2011 encounter. “It wasn’t neglect. It was poverty.”
WI: The line of neglect: Foster Care in Pierce County
River Towns – November 07, 2017
“The biggest issue we see in this county is child welfare concerns due to methamphetamine,” Schmidt said. “Ninety percent, more than 90 percent, of the kids who are in out of home care or foster care, it’s because of parents who are abusing methamphetamine.”
US: Latino Groups Decry Decision to End Protected Status (Includes audio)
Public News Service (PNS) – November 08, 2017
Royce Murray, policy director at the American Immigration Council, says it would be cruel to tear parents away from their U.S. born children, uprooting a group of people who came here legally and have set down roots.
US: A Look Back at the Impact of Research on Child Welfare Policy (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – November 07, 2017
This year begins my 40th year as a student of child welfare services. As a researcher and observer of the child welfare policy process I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on some of the ways research has influenced child welfare policy.
US: Adoption tax credit is critical – don’t cut it, says law’s original author
Catholic World Report – November 07, 2017
“The tax code should support families, and, in a specific way, adoptive families who generously seek to welcome children into their loving homes,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in a Nov. 7 letter sent to Republican House leadership. “Every child deserves a loving family – and it is incumbent on us to assist those parents who seek to build their families through adoption.”
Also: 3 reasons the adoption tax credit shouldn’t be cut from the Republican tax plan (Commentary): https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2017/11/07/3-reasons-adoption-tax-credit-shouldnt-be-cut-republican-tax-plan
Also: Keep adoption tax credit (Commentary): https://www.thecompassnews.org/2017/11/keep-adoption-tax-credit/
Also: Adoption tax credit could be cut under proposed tax reform (Includes video): http://www.wbay.com/content/news/Adoption-tax-credit-could-be-cut-under-proposed-tax-reform-455944213.html
US: HHS looks into removing barriers to program funding for religious groups
Catholic Spirit – November 07, 2017
The department’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs issued what is called a request for information, seeking comment for 30 days from religious and faith-based groups about ways they have been blocked from receiving funding.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Working With Faith-Based Communities: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/faith-based/
US: States Turn to Research to Improve Outcomes for Children and Youth
Council of State Governments (CSG) – November 07, 2017
Policymakers want to improve outcomes for children and youth but often struggle with how best to allocate limited resources. In recent years, many have turned to evidence-based policymaking-the systematic use of high-quality research in decision-making-to help address this challenge. Extensive analysis, for example, has demonstrated that some interventions achieve outcomes that benefit children and youth-such as reducing child abuse and juvenile recidivism rates. But policymakers need access to these findings to identify, fund and sustain these proven programs.
Also: Report: 4 Ways Implementation Support Centers Assist in the Delivery of Evidence-Based Programs: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2017/07/4-ways-implementation-support-centers-assist-in-the-delivery-of-evidence-based-programs
Bangladesh: Rohingya refugee crisis Advocacy brief – Child Protection
Relief Web – November 06, 2017
Since August 25, Bangladesh has seen an unprecedented arrival of Rohingya refugees fleeing targeted violence and serious human rights abuses in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. To date, more than 609,000 people have crossed the border, at a speed the world has not witnessed in decades. Coupled with the pre-existing refugee population there are now more than 821,000 people in Cox’s Bazar in need of humanitarian assistance; 55% of whom are children. Those who have fled speak of seeing both children and adults killed indiscriminately and women and girls targeted for brutal sexual violence. All are in desperate need of food, medical attention, appropriate shelter, basic hygiene items, and critical social services.
Also: Child Protection: Rohingya Refugee Crisis Advocacy Brief: 2017_11_06_cxb_cpss_advocacy_brief_rohingya_refugee_crisis.pdf
India: Rape Victims Face Barriers to Justice
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – November 08, 2017
Rape survivors in India face significant barriers to obtaining justice and critical support services, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Legal and other reforms adopted since the gang rape and murder of a student, Jyoti Singh Pandey, in Delhi in December 2012 have not been fully realized.
Also: Report: The 82-page report, “‘Everyone Blames Me’: Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India”: https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/11/08/everyone-blames-me/barriers-justice-and-support-services-sexual-assault-survivors
Vatican: Child slaves ‘sold over and over and over’ (Includes video)
Catholic News Service – November 08, 2017
According to United Nations statistics, 40 million people are trapped in slavery today. Today, Ms Hong is a leading voice in the fight against modern-day slavery. Together with her husband Trong, a Vietnamese refugee who fled his country at the age of nine to avoid being recruited as a child soldier, she runs the Tronie Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing freedom to those who are enslaved and to help eliminate the root causes of slavery.
Also: Trafficking expert tells Vatican summit, ‘Slavery was never abolished’: https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/11/07/trafficking-expert-tells-vatican-summit-slavery-never-abolished/
Also: Trafficking victim works with Vatican: Today I speak for those without a voice (Includes video): https://www.romereports.com/en/2017/11/07/trafficking-victim-works-with-vatican-today-i-speak-for-those-without-a-voice/
AL: Legal system grappling with teen sexting
Decatur Daily – November 05, 2017
An increase in minors sharing nude photos digitally, potentially leading to felony prosecutions and sex-offender status, is in part a result of ignorance of child pornography laws, authorities said. As mandatory reporters, school officials automatically report incidents to law enforcement when they believe a crime has been committed.
CA: Tears Flow As Some South Coast Kids Get New Shot At Life Through Adoption (Includes audio)
KCLU – November 06, 2017
Hundreds of kids are currently in foster care systems on the Central and South Coasts. Some of them may eventually be returned to their parents. But, others will not. Many of them will end up in foster care, and the fortunate ones will end up in new homes.
CO: State needs 1,200 more foster parents in the next two years
Grand Junction Daily Sentinel – November 05, 2017
With just 2,070 certified foster homes right now, Colorado is woefully short of foster families who are ready and willing to help. On any given day, 14 kids in our state enter foster care because their parents need time to learn new skills and become the parents on whom their children can depend. The need for foster families has grown steadily during the last three years.
CT: DCF reaching out to same-sex couples as adoptive parents
Connecticut Mirror – November 06, 2017
Connecticut’s governor and its commissioner of the Department of Children and Families, who played a role in legalizing gay marriage as a state Supreme Court justice in 2008, marked Adoption Awareness Month on Monday by highlighting the state’s outreach to same-sex couples as potential adoptive parents of children in foster care.
Also: November announced as “Adoption Awareness Month” in Connecticut (Includes video): http://wtnh.com/2017/11/06/november-announced-as-adoption-awareness-month-in-connecticut/
Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Youth and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/lgbtq/
FL: Center for victims of child abuse to be built in Sarasota
941 CEO – November 06, 2017
The All Star Children’s Foundation will have a groundbreaking ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 15 for its All Star Children’s Foundation Center, 3308 17th Street, Sarasota. The 5-acre campus will provide a healing setting for children who have entered the foster care system due to abuse and neglect.
FL: DCF Looking For Ways To Address High Turnover Of Child Protective Investigators (Includes audio)
WUSF Public Media – November 04, 2017
With the 2018 legislative session around the corner, Florida lawmakers as well as child welfare stakeholders are starting to dive into how to address the huge turnover of the state’s child protective investigators. Their job is to look into cases called into the state’s child abuse hotline.
IA: State’s foster care system pushes to reunite children with their birthparents
Gazette – November 05, 2017
What foster parents do know – what nearly everyone they encounter in the foster care system, from the local trainer who teaches their certification courses to social workers to officials at the top of the department, emphasize over and over – is that they are not the state’s first choice as a permanent home for a foster child.
IL: State bill would stiffen penalty for attacking DCFS worker
Saukvalley.com – November 06, 2017
In response to the attack on Sterling DCFS worker Pamela Sue Knight, state Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Freeport, filed a bill today that would make attacking DCFS workers while in performance of their duties an aggravated battery that carries 4 to 15 years in prison.
LA: Department of Family Services is looking for more foster parents
KNOE – November 04, 2017
The Monroe Department of Family Services is raising awareness during National Adoption Month.
MD: Young, LGBT and Living with Foster Parents (Audio)
WYPR – November 06, 2017
More than 4,600 children in Maryland live in out-of-home placements such as foster care, and studies show that LGBT youth tend to be overrepresented in the foster system.
NC: Tight spending is costing lives in North Carolina (Commentary)
Raleigh News & Observer – November 04, 2017
Ask Republicans in the General Assembly what they’re most proud of after seven years in control and they’ll tell you they cut taxes and held the line on state spending. It’s a good one-two message to run on, but it has become a reckless formula to run a state on. The reason is showing up in the health and safety of North Carolina’s children, in jails brimming with the addicted and the mentally ill and dangerously understaffed prisons, where five corrections employees have been killed this year and many more assaulted.
NH: Home-schoolers the focus of proposed legislation
New Hampshire Union Leader – November 04, 2017
“She (Cascadden) believes that there are some 45 youngsters who are not enrolled in public or private or church schools, whose parents do not make any effort to educate them at all,” said Tucker in an email. “Not only are these neglected youngsters not getting the education they deserve, but they are also missing out on free and reduced breakfast and lunches and other social services.”
OH: Editorial: Bittersweet win for new lawmaker
Columbus Dispatch – November 06, 2017
Wednesday, the Ohio House passed House Bill 137, to require Ohio join every other state in the nation where law-enforcement officials are mandated to report child abuse and neglect to county public child protective services agencies. Ohio’s law currently requires officers to notify children services only upon receipt of a child-abuse report. But our officers are out in the community, where they may witness or suspect abuse, especially when police are called to homes on domestic-violence complaints. This law would position another 35,000 people to sound an early alarm.
OH: EDITORIAL: Ross County JFS levy renewal desperately needed for our children and elderly
Chillicothe Gazette – November 05, 2017
While we can debate what got us to that point – poverty, drug addiction, other issues – we can’t debate that the most defenseless of our population, children and the elderly, need our help. That’s why our local Job and Family Services agency is on the ballot this year, to enlist our help to help those who cannot fend for themselves. While we don’t usually opine on a renewal levy, we believe there is such a strong case in favor of this levy, it’s worth telling you about. There are currently at least 100 Ross County children in state custody with 45 in permanent custody. Officials estimate they spend about $6,000 per day caring for those children.
OR: Community Builder: Helping families nurture each other
Medford Mail Tribune – November 05, 2017
Today’s conversation is with Mary-Curtis Gramley, founder of the Family Nurturing Center.
OR: Editorial: Law for reporting sex abuse needs examination
Bend Bulletin – November 04, 2017
By law, Oregon’s teachers and other staff at every school are required to report cases of suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse. And, by law, sex between two teens, as long as one is three years or more older than the other, is abuse. What’s less clear, at least to the leadership of the Salem-Keizer school district, is what the requirement is when a teacher or anyone else who works for a school district believes someone under the age of 18 is sexually active by choice
Also: OPINION: Interpretation of mandatory reporting law adds to school district’s woes (Includes video): http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/opinion/editorials/2017/11/04/opinion-interpretation-mandatory-reporting-law-adds-school-districts-woes/822659001/
PR: Maria’s smallest victims: In Puerto Rico, children’s mental health a growing concern (Includes video)
USA Today – November 05, 2017
Mental health is becoming a growing concern for disaster and Puerto Rican officials. Maria, which landed here Sept. 20, was the most devastating storm to hit the island in 70 years, killing more than 50 people, displacing thousands and upending the lives of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million inhabitants.
RI: Editorial: R.I. needs foster parents
Providence Journal – November 04, 2017
About 200 children in Rhode Island – left without a stable home – are in desperate need of foster families. That may not seem like a large number. But whether these children find families or not will have an enormous effect on their lives that could reverberate through our society.
TX: Border officials report increase in unaccompanied minors entering U.S. (Includes video)
News 4 San Antonio – November 01, 2017
An issue involving children along the border is now a concern once again, according to a National Border Patrol Council spokesperson. Chris Cabrera said border patrol agents have seen an increase in the number of unaccompanied children coming into the United States illegally across the Mexico border.
WV: Drug testing begins in state aid program
Williamson Daily News – November 07, 2017
Those who apply for the West Virginia’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, also known as WV WORKS, are now being screened for drug use, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced recently. The screening requirement, which went into place Oct. 23, is part of a three-year pilot program that was passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2016, but required approval by the U.S. Administration for Children and Families.
US: Bishops’ new child protection program aims to create culture of mindfulness
Catholic News Agency – November 07, 2017
After years of research, the U.S. bishops are rolling out a new training program that takes some of the best risk-management practices from other industries and applies them to child protection in the Church. The new program, entitled “Creating a Culture of Protection and Healing,” is being piloted in several dioceses and will eventually be available to any diocese by request.
US: Christian leaders decry plan to scrap adoption tax credit
Christian Times – November 07, 2017
Christian leaders are calling on Republican lawmakers to reconsider the plan to scrap the adoption tax credit, which eases the financial burden of families who have adopted children.
US: Trump’s Top Child Welfare Official Speaks
Chronicle of Social Change – November 06, 2017
In June, the Trump administration hired Jerry Milner to lead the federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees federal child welfare funding and policy.
Bulgaria: Migrants and Refugees – New Program for Unaccompanied Children
SOS Children’s Viliage Canada – November 06, 2017
SOS Children’s Villages Bulgaria is launching an emergency program to care for unaccompanied children, becoming the sixth SOS association in Southern and Central Europe (after Greece, Hungary, Italy, FYR Macedonia and Serbia) to respond to the needs of refugee and migrant children.
Canada: Minister Goodale issues new direction on keeping children out of Canada’s immigration detention system and keeping families together (Press release)
Canada Border Services Agency – November 06, 2017
The key objective of the Ministerial Direction is to – as much as humanly possible – keep children out of detention, and keep families together. The Ministerial Direction makes it clear that the Best Interests of the Child must be given primary consideration.
Canada: ‘Living death’: Study suggests having kids in foster care bad for mothers
CBC News – November 04, 2017
A new study out of the University of Manitoba shows kids are not the only ones affected by the child welfare system – mothers of children who have been taken into foster care see a significant deterioration in their health and social situation after apprehension.
Also: Foster care damages the health of mothers: https://theconversation.com/foster-care-damages-the-health-of-mothers-85713
Ethiopia: JRS inaugurates its Child Protection Centre
Jesuit Refugee Service – November 06, 2017
Last week JRS officially inaugurated its Child Protection Centre in Addis Ababa. The centre is the first of its kind and has been operating since July. It provides a comprehensive child protection response to unaccompanied and vulnerable refugee children through various activities.
Iraq: ‘Assassination of Childhood’: Outcry in Iraq Over Proposals to Legalize Child Marriage
Loop (Iraq) – November 04, 2017
Troops have only just liberated the final major ISIS stronghold, but now Iraq’s parliament is voting on changes opponents say are reminiscent of the extremist group. Baghdad’s House of Representatives voted “in principle” on Wednesday to approve amendments to the Personal Status Law that could allow girls as young as 9 marry.
AK: Childhood trauma could be causing your adult health problems
Alaska CARES – November 01, 2017
It’s no secret that Alaska struggles with high rates of sexual assault and abuse, neglect, and other crimes against children. Alaska consistently has one of the five highest child abuse rates in the country, according to the Child Welfare League of America. The state Office of Children’s Services told Alaska Dispatch News this summer that in 2017 it has averaged more than 50 reports of abuse and neglect per day. What’s less well known is that these kinds of traumatic experiences, along with other stressors such as turbulent home dynamics and being exposed to substance abuse, leave behind much more than emotional scars. In fact, abuse, neglect and other “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs as they are known, are directly correlated with dramatically increased risk later in life of diseases ranging from migraines and autoimmune disorders to heart disease, lung disease and cancer.
AZ: Ducey: DCS did not respond to U.S. Senate inquiry on foster care (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – November 05, 2017
But not to worry: Ducey’s office added “(W)e continue to work closely with our federal partners to share Arizona’s experiences and the process DCS uses to provide oversight of and ensure safeguards for children placed in foster care situations.”
AZ: Our View: Congress needs to fund KidsCare (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – November 03, 2017
Gov. Doug Ducey did the right thing by assuring 23,000 children won’t lose their health-care coverage. Now Congress needs to do the right thing and reauthorize a health-insurance program that gives working-class families a well-deserved break.
Also: Our View: When you age out of foster care, no one tells you how to act (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/foster-care-arizona-courtneyrose-hofstede/691369001/
Also: Our View: 7 ways to fix how Arizona handles child abuse and neglect (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/arizona-child-abuse-change-how-think/693140001/
Also: Our View: Arizona foster care isn’t working, but we can change that (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/child-abuse-neglect-arizona-foster-care-change-conversation/691099001/
Also: Our View: Prevention is the best fix for Arizona’s foster care system (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/arizona-foster-care-child-abuse-neglect-prevention/691389001/
Also: Our View: Not all parents who neglect their kids are monsters (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/not-all-arizona-parents-foster-care-monsters/691211001/
Also: Our View: Like many foster kids, Delia Gray blamed herself (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/foster-care-arizona-delia-gray/691324001/
Also: Our View: 7 (better) ways to view parents who neglect their children (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/view-arizona-parents-child-neglect-foster-care/791815001/
Also: Our View: What happens to the 16,000 kids in Arizona foster care? (Includes video): http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2017/11/03/arizona-kids-foster-care-life-not-good/691268001/
AZ: The fate of thousands of unaccompanied children is decided in immigration court
Cronkite News – November 02, 2017
More than 5,400 juvenile immigration deportation cases were heard in Arizona between 2005 and July 2017, according to data from the Executive Office of Immigration Review. The majority of these children and teens, more than 3,300, are from Guatemala. Another 1,000 are from Mexico. Honduras and El Salvador account for most of the rest.
CA: Social work faculty contributes to statewide program
Daily Trojan – November 05, 2017
The Children’s Data Network at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work played an important role in the development a new statewide social welfare program. The Emergency Child Care Bridge Program, which will go into effect in January, is a $31 million proposal to increase financial assistance and services for foster children and their families across California.
CA: Abuse numbers rise for Sacramento foster kids. County can’t say why
Sacramento Bee – November 03, 2017
Sacramento County foster kids are being mistreated at a rate not seen since the recession a decade ago, the latest state data show, but the county has no immediate answers about what’s causing the increase in confirmed cases of abuse of children in its care.
CA: Cultivating Cultural Change at the California Health and Human Services Agency
Government Technology – November 03, 2017
Three years ago, the CHHS began its open data movement and innovation initiatives. In August of 2014, the first of our departments established an open data portal, and since then, we have built on our momentum and lessons learned to launch several new initiatives, including procurement reform and rethinking internal data usage. All of these efforts are components of changing the culture at CHHS – for staff, our partners and the public we serve.
CO: Legislators unveil 6 bills to fight Colorado opioid epidemic (Includes video)
Coloradoan – November 03, 2017
A bipartisan interim legislative committee to study opioid and other substance use disorders approved six bills for consideration in the next session, which begins in January. The committee includes five Republicans and five Democrats, including Rep. Perry Buck, R-Windsor.
CO: Mesa County Child Welfare: Outstanding performance (Includes video)
KJCT – November 03, 2017
Mesa County Child Welfare is one of eight systems in the state to receive a C-STAT award for outstanding performance. The award was given by the Colorado State Department of Human Services Friday. The state keeps track of calls and responses each month. They said Mesa County has improved significantly over the last year.
FL: Current director named CEO of The Centers, Inc.
Ocala Star Banner – November 03, 2017
The Centers, Inc., has announced the appointment of Dr. Donald Baracskay, the current medical director, as chief executive officer. Baracskay has been instrumental in improving efficiencies and the quality of services provided by The Centers since 2016, according to a release announcing the appointment. The Centers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides child welfare services and mental health and substance abuse treatment services in Marion and Citrus counties.
FL: Scott proposes more funds for DCF (Includes video)
WZVN – November 03, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott is pushing a new budget proposal, and it includes more money for the Florida Department of Children and Families. He wants to invest $10 million to help keep children safe. Scott wants to add 130 investigator positions and Florida abuse hotline counselors. Right now, a child protective investigator handles an average of 13.5 cases at a time.
Also: Gov Scott wants more DCF workers, will it help? (Includes video): http://www.wptv.com/news/local-news/investigations/gov-scott-proposes-10m-for-new-dcf-hires-will-it-help-high-turnover-that-contact-5-uncovered-
IL: Georgette Braun: New foster care program offers lots of support for kids, parents in Rockford
Rockford Register Star – November 05, 2017
To break the cycle of foster care, to grandma, to hospital, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services placed the girl with Davis through a new therapeutic program offered by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. The girl, who is expected to return to her grandmother’s care within six months, has made “such a great turnaround,” Davis told me when I visited with her in her neat and organized home in late October. Davis is a parent of five children and has fostered other children over the past 15 years but not in such an intensive program as this one.
IN: Foster parents face long wait list for childcare funding (Includes video)
Fox 59 – November 03, 2017
There is an increasing need among children in Indiana who are removed from their homes and face uncertain futures. Some are even spending nights in Department of Child Services offices around the state as case workers try to find them more permanent placements.
IN: National Adoption Month: Some Indiana families are now a little bigger (Includes video)
WSBT – November 03, 2017
Some families are now a little bigger. In all, 32 judges across Indiana are taking part in National Adoption Month.
KS: DCF secretary Gilmore to retire
Topeka Capital-Journal – November 03, 2017
Gov. Sam Brownback’s top administrator of social service programs in Kansas revealed plans on Friday to step down in December from the embattled Kansas Department for Children and Families. Phyllis Gilmore, who retires effective Dec. 1, was appointed by Brownback to lead DCF in 2012 and has faced scrutiny from legislators and advocates for implementation of policy reforming assistance to the poor and for alleged shortcomings in oversight of children in foster care.
Also: Embattled Kansas DCF Secretary Gilmore to retire: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/nov/03/phyllis-gilmore-retire-dcf-secretary/
MA: Agency Promotes Adoptions For Children Living In Foster Homes (Audio)
WAMC – November 03, 2017
Events are taking place in western Massachusetts as part of National Adoption Month. Advocates are trying to highlight the need for permanent homes for children who are in foster care.
MD: Would a broader birth match have saved Antoine Flemons?
Child Welfare Monitor – November 06, 2017
Interestingly, Maryland is one of the few states that does have such a mechanism- a “birth match” program. Under birth match, birth records are matched against a list of parents who had their parental rights terminated within the last five years due to abuse or neglect. Parents thus identified receive a visit from a social worker to assess the child’s safety. If the parents refuse the visit, a case can be opened if there is reason to expect abuse or neglect.
MN: Despite high number of Minnesota adoptions, many still in foster care
Duluth News Tribune – November 05, 2017
About 20 years ago, social workers began encouraging foster families to use “concurrent planning,” making plans both for the child to return to a biological home and plans for the child to be adopted. Before that, most foster families didn’t plan on adopting. Some were even required to sign papers saying they wouldn’t adopt. “The idea that foster families cannot be adoption families has changed a lot,” Department of Human Services spokesman Jim Koppel said. “It is more common today. It’s not necessarily encouraged, but it’s not discouraged either. It’s an option.”
Also: Hundreds of Minnesota foster children still hoping to be adopted (Includes video): http://www.kttc.com/story/36769512/2017/11/05/hundreds-of-minnesota-foster-children-still-hoping-to-be-adopted
MO: Nearly all of Springfield’s homeless or at-risk youth engage in risky behaviors to be sheltered, report finds (Includes video)
Springfield News-Leader – November 05, 2017
Of the 90 homeless and at-risk youths who were surveyed earlier this year in Springfield, almost all of them – 93 percent – reported engaging in risky behavior to remain housed.
OH: Opioid Crisis creates shortage of foster, adoptive families (Includes video)
Cleveland 19 – November 05, 2017
Maureen Centa of Caring for Kids, a private organization that finds placements for children who are in county custody, says the need for foster and adoptive parents is overwhelming. “About two years ago, we would see about 20 referrals a week come across our desk for kids needing homes. Now it’s 20 a day. Every day. Every day we have at least 20 kids from all over Ohio that need to find homes,” Centa said.
OH: Voters tapped as Ohio opioid crisis stretches foster care
Associated Press – November 05, 2017
Children service leaders say these kids also have more problems because of trauma they’ve experienced living in chaotic, drug-filled households. Children also are staying in foster care longer because it takes additional time for opioid addicts to kick the habit.
OR: District Requires Teachers to Report Sex Between Students
Newser – November 03, 2017
Teachers and staff of an Oregon public school district are disturbed at a district rule requiring them to report any student sexual activity-whether they know about it for a fact or just suspect it, and even if it involves their own children-to law enforcement or state officials.
Also: Oregon law requires teachers to report sexually-active students: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/03/oregon-law-requires-teachers-to-report-sexually-active-students.html
Also: Local school districts continue current practices in reporting sexual abuse, despite shift in Salem: https://www.nrtoday.com/news/education/local-school-districts-continue-current-practices-in-reporting-sexual-abuse/article_34fe7843-32b5-54fa-be03-59c1d5bad694.html
SC: DSS hosts Adoption Party following mass adoption day (Includes video)
WCSC – November 03, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The celebration follows a mass adoption day that took place Friday morning at the Charleston County Family Court. According to DSS, South Carolina has 566 children who are ready to adopt.
TX: Safe haven laws allow parents to drop infant at safe place with no questions asked (Includes video)
KVII – November 03, 2017
According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, safe haven laws are enacted as an incentive for mothers in crisis to safely relinquish their babies to designated locations. Captain David Kouba with the Amarillo Fire Department said the law allows for parents to drop their infant off, as long as they are 60-days-old or younger, while remaining anonymous.
WI: Drug epidemic leaving more children in need of foster homes (Includes video)
WEAU – November 03, 2017
The Department of Health and Human Services says the need for foster parents is rising and has been for the last three years. The reason for the growing need is the result of growing drug abuse issues and the impact it has on families. “There’s been an influx of availability and use of drugs that are fairly cheap and prevalent. Methamphetamine being in the lead and certainly the high incidents of prescribing of opioid prescription medications,” said Dave Rynders, Director of Health and Human Services for Buffalo County.
US: Children’s Health Insurance Clears House; Fate in Senate Uncertain (Includes audio)
Public News Service – November 06, 2017
Nationwide, 9 million children nationwide, including 75,000 in Colorado, get their health insurance through CHIP. Funding for the program expired Oct. 1. The Republican bill that passed the House would offset the program’s cost by slashing funding for public health services and denying health care to pregnant women and children while billing issues are resolved.
US: Facts About Adoption You Won’t Hear from Adoption Professionals (Commentary)
Huffington Post – November 05, 2017
Adoption agencies, whether for- or not-for-profit are business that have overhead and salaries to pay. Not-for-profit and non-profit are merely tax statuses. They meet those financial obligations and make their salaries by completing the transfer of children to those who pay tens of thousands of dollars per transaction. There is no national oversight of interstate adoptions within the U.S. nor any ethical code for agencies and practitioners.
US: Overseas adoptions plunge in Ohio, U.S.
Springfield News-Sun – November 05, 2017
When President Donald Trump’s administration in April withdrew proposed rules that international adoption agencies worried would price them out of doing their jobs, the agencies breathed a collective sigh of relief. But seven months later, it appears as if it’s harder than ever to adopt a child from overseas.
US: Conservatives hit GOP tax bill for nixing adoption credit
Hill – November 03, 2017
The House Republican tax bill is drawing fire from the right because of a provision that would completely eliminate a tax credit for adoptive parents. Religious groups, as well as House and Senate conservatives, say that by eliminating the credit, the proposal goes against the GOP’s “pro-life” platform.
Also: ‘That Credit is the Only Hope They Have’: Adoptive Parents, Faith Leaders Speak Out for Adoption Tax Credit (Commentary): http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2017/november/that-credit-is-the-only-hope-they-have-adoptive-parents-faith-leaders-speak-out-for-adoption-tax-credit
Also: Tax bill could make adopting more difficult (Includes video): http://newschannel9.com/news/local/tax-bill-could-make-adopting-more-difficult
US: Greater support available now for military families seeking to adopt
88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs – November 03, 2017
For more than 20 years, November has been designated as National Adoption Month to help raise awareness for thousands of youth in foster care who are waiting to be adopted into permanent families. In the past, military families faced challenges with adoption. Today, organizations such as Military One Source, provide substantial support to military families in the adoption process.
Information Gateway resource: Working With Military Families as They Pursue Adoption: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/militarybulletin.pdf
US: New Trump immigration efforts aim to stop child border crossers (Includes video)
Reuters – November 03, 2017
Many of the immigration initiatives launched by the Trump administration in recent weeks target one kind of migrant: children. The Trump administration has recently intensified scrutiny of abused and neglected foreign minors applying to stay in the United States. It is seeking to restrict who qualifies for special protections granted to children crossing the border alone. And it is stepping up prosecutions of adults who paid smugglers to bring unaccompanied kids to the United States.
US: The children of the opioid crisis and immigration crackdown (Opinion)
Sacramento Bee – November 03, 2017
While there’s more awareness about the plight of foster children, we need to focus on two of the most vulnerable and fastest growing populations — children of the opioid crisis and those whose undocumented parents who have been detained or deported. Both groups experience unique trauma and require more targeted care.
US: Trump DOJ seeks possible disciplinary action against lawyers in abortion case of unaccompanied minor (Includes video)
ABC News – November 03, 2017
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court today asking for possible disciplinary action against the attorneys that represented an undocumented minor who had an abortion over objections from the Trump administration. On behalf of the administration, DOJ attorneys also asked the court to vacate the lower court ruling that cleared the way for the teen, known as “Jane Doe,” to have the procedure.
Also: Trump administration suggests action against ACLU lawyers in teen immigrant abortion case: https://mic.com/articles/185818/trump-administration-suggests-action-against-aclu-lawyers-in-teen-immigrant-abortion-case#.qFR0PHi4z
United Kingdom: New strategy unveiled to improve care of unaccompanied child migrants
LocalGov (UK) – November 02, 2017
The strategy will also provide specialist training for 1,000 foster cares and support workers to improve their skills and confidence in caring for unaccompanied child migrants.
United Kingdom: Foster carers housing lone child refugees to receive specialist training
Guardian – November 01, 2017
The government has announced specialist training for 1,000 foster carers looking after unaccompanied migrant children, ahead of a key court ruling on a decision to wind up a scheme under which child refugees are brought to the UK.
AR: Report on Arkansas child deaths shows improvements, concerns
North West Arkansas Times – November 02, 2017
Fewer infants died in their sleep and more children are being adopted this year, but other figures — like the doubling of firearm fatalities — prove that efforts to improve child health in Arkansas must continue, officials told lawmakers Wednesday. Medical conditions, injuries and unsafe sleep were the top causes of child fatalities in the past two years, according to an annual report released by the Child Death and Near Fatality Multidisciplinary Review Committee.
CA: Some Criminals Won’t Be Jailed Under New Santa Clara County Warrant Limit (Includes video)
NBC Bay Area – November 02, 2017
Santa Clara County is now advising police officers not to bring some criminal suspects to jail for holding, including some thieves and burglars. A committee of county executives, the district attorney, the sheriff and the public defender came up with new guidelines meant to keep lower-level criminals from crowding the jail. That means many people accused of crimes like indecent exposure, child neglect and vandalism won’t have to spend time behind bars as they wait for bail, or a court hearing.
CA: USC college fair reaches out to foster youth
Los Angeles WAVE – November 02, 2017
Getting into a university can be a daunting task for many students. For foster youth, that challenge can be a bit steeper. Helping make that process easier is the United Friends of the Children working in partnership with USC’s Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. The two entities came together to put on the 18th annual College Within Reach Fair Oct. 28 that catered to foster care youths throughout Los Angeles County.
CO: State yanks El Pueblo license
Pueblo Chieftain – November 02, 2017
Mental health and substance abuse treatment center El Pueblo — An Adolescent Treatment Facility had its license permanently revoked by the Colorado Department of Human Services after a litany of complaints, including abuse, lack of supervision and underfeeding children put the center’s license in jeopardy.
FL: Gov. Scott calls for more DCF investigators to prevent child abuse, deaths (Includes video)
WFTV – November 02, 2017
Florida Gov. Scott has proposed more than $10 million in his budget to hire 130 more child protective investigators and Florida Abuse Hotline counselors at the Department of Children and Families.
Also: Florida Gov. wants more child protective investigators: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/business/article182298551.html
IA: Advocate reveals tactics of human traffickers
Ottumwa Courier – November 02, 2017
Ruth Buckels is a licensed foster parent who has adopted more than 20 of the children she’s fostered. “Seven of my children have been trafficked in this state,” Buckels told an audience at Hotel Ottumwa Thursday. American Home Finding Association brought the Teens Against Human Trafficking statewide coordinator to Ottumwa to teach people how human trafficking operatives work, the impact of human trafficking on the victims and how people who work with youth can identify and respond to human trafficking situations.
ID: Report: Childhood Trauma High in ID; Supportive Communities in Place (Includes audio)
Public News Service – November 03, 2017
In Idaho, nearly 51 percent of children have had at least one Adverse Childhood Experience or “ACE,” such as abuse, neglect or severe family dysfunction. That’s higher than the national average of about 46 percent.
IN: It affects us all: Foster care kids lose out on learning (Includes video)
ABC 57 – November 03, 2017
“The main requirement (of the ‘Every Student Succeeds Act’) is that we should both be working together to meet the needs of every child. But, if we can get more foster parents on board then this whole conversation is moot,” says Gant.
IN: EDITORIAL: DCS budget skimping hurts Hoosier families
Goshen News – November 02, 2017
Indiana’s revenue shortfall – more than $100 million in just the first quarter of the budget year – wouldn’t be nearly as worrisome if budget needs also were declining. But the growing number of child abuse and neglect cases not only makes spending cuts difficult – it makes them unwise.
KY: JCPS revises policies after reports of child neglect and abuse in preschool program
Courier-Journal – November 02, 2017
Jefferson County Public School’s Head Start Program has been forced to revise its policies after reports of abuse, neglect, and humiliation against toddlers surfaced last month, leading to the termination of seven JCPS employees.
LA: Record 764 kids adopted out of foster care over past year in Louisiana (Includes video)
WAFB – November 02, 2017
Governor John Bel Edwards has declared November Adoption Awareness Month, noting that 764 kids in Louisiana’s foster care system were adopted into permanent homes in the past year. The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), along with other community partners, is hosting several events throughout the state during the month to raise awareness about adoption and to celebrate a record-setting year.
MA: Ruling Offers Rare Insight Into How Child Welfare Agency Really Works (Commentary)
Youth Today – November 02, 2017
In theory, when a child welfare agency fails to do that the case is not eligible for federal foster care assistance. I wrote about how enforcement of this law is such a joke that in one state, Alaska, the head of the child welfare agency could treat this mandate with contempt. Contempt also is a good way to describe how the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) regards this mandate – in spite of the fact that the Massachusetts Legislature has incorporated the “reasonable efforts” requirement into state law.
MO: Greitens pledges more foster care, adoption bills in 2018
News Tribune – November 03, 2017
Gov. Eric Greitens promised Missouri’s foster care and adoption systems will remain priorities during next year’s legislative session. “We’re going to unveil and work with all of you to push an aggressive agenda,” Greitens told several hundred people Thursday at the Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association’s ninth annual Forget Me Not Gala.
NC: Adoption Program Expands to Find Homes for Older Children (Press release)
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina – November 02, 2017
Coinciding with National Adoption Month, Children’s Home Society of North Carolina is announcing a significant expansion of a statewide program to find loving and permanent homes for older children languishing in foster care.
NC: Guest Editorial: Fighting opioid epidemic requires funding, not rhetoric (Commentary)
StarNews of Wilmington – November 02, 2017
Now, just throwing dollars at a problem won’t necessarily solve it, as many folks are fond of saying. Yet it’s hard to say how we’ll make any headway unless we spend the money that is needed to pay for evidence-based interventions. As noted earlier in this space, southeastern North Carolina and the U.S. as a whole face a critical shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health professionals who can help people trying to shake an addiction. It will take time to train them, and money to expand training programs.
NM: Parents of teen in school shooting case sue state agency
Associated Press – November 02, 2017
The parents of a boy who pleaded no-contest to a 2014 Roswell school shooting have filed a lawsuit against New Mexico’s child welfare agency, claiming it violated his civil rights. The lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Santa Fe makes accusations against the state-run Youth Diagnostic and Development Center where the 14-year-old boy has been held for the past three years, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported on Wednesday.
Also: Parents of Roswell school shooter file suit against CYFD: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/parents-of-roswell-school-shooter-file-suit-against-cyfd/article_d00ccc3d-a426-5071-85b2-b359165aceb2.html
NY: As Summer Youth Employment Program grows, so does the debate over how to retool it
City & State New York – November 02, 2017
As New York City pumps more money into its popular summer youth jobs program, city officials and nonprofits are discussing ways to improve it, including better addressing the needs of different age groups, imposing an age limit of 21 and raising reimbursement rates.
OH: Cleveland Foundation Awards $3.7 Million to Area Nonprofits
Philanthropy News Digest – November 03, 2017
The Cleveland Foundation has announced grants totaling $3.7 million to nonprofit organizations serving residents of Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga counties. Grants awarded in support of social services include $60,000 to the Waiting Child Fund in support of a collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services and other community partners aimed at developing programs and best practices focused on improving the lives of LGBTQ youth in foster care
OH: Proposal encourages info sharing among state public assistance agencies
Daily Reporter – November 03, 2017
A northeast Ohio Democrat’s bill strives to streamline and make more efficient the processes by which the state’s most vulnerable individuals gain access to public assistance. House Bill 340 would eliminate the wasteful and often embarrassing practice of county employees having to request and enter the same basic information multiple times when it has been collected and recorded by another county worker often just steps away.
OH: Children services levy increase would help record number of kids in foster care
WBNS – November 02, 2017
They are the orphans of the opiate epidemic. Children from families devastated by addiction. And their numbers are climbing at rates communities can’t match. Now in Licking County, voters are being asked to help.
OH: Negotiations for adoption aid frustrate Butler County officials
WHIO – November 02, 2017
Butler County will spend about $753,000 this year on subsidies for adoptive parents, and officials here say negotiating those contracts is one of the most frustrating things they do. The topic came up during the Children Services’ budget hearing and Commissioner Cindy Carpenter said she does not like the fact there are no set guidelines for these payments.
SC: November is National Adoption Month
Charleston Chronicle – November 02, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and the S.C. Department of Social Services is highlighting the opportunity to create a forever family for one of the state’s waiting children. There are 566 children legally available for adoption in South Carolina. That’s 566 young people who could make a couple a family, bring life into an empty home or become a big brother or sister.
SD: Pennington County sees foster home shortage (Includes video)
News Center 1 – November 02, 2017
There are 92 families who are licensed for foster care and approved to adopting in Pennington County. But there are around 400 children in need of foster families. Because of a foster home shortage, many children must relocate, moving away from their homes, according to family development specialist Ann Lecy.
TN: First hearing in D.A.’s opioid lawsuit seeks to lift manufacturers’ protective order
Kingsport Times News – November 02, 2017
“Nearly all the crime that we deal with involves pills or the pill epidemic in some way,” Allen said. “Most DUIs aren’t from alcohol, they’re from narcotics. Most of thefts and robberies are committed by addicts. Domestic cases. Child neglect. If you dig deep enough, drug abuse is at the root of most of them.”
TN: Leigh Anne Tuohy Is On A Mission To Help Children Get Adopted (Includes video)
Local Memphis – November 02, 2017
The month of November is National Adoption Awareness month, and Memphis’ own Leigh Anne Touhy from the movie “The Blind Side” is launching a social media campaign in hopes of getting at least 30 kids adopted this month. The Tuohy family took in former Ole Miss football player and NFL star Michael Oher when he was a teenager.
TN: Paws for Kids helps foster children cope with adjustments (Includes video)
WATE – November 02, 2017
Harmony Family Center’s paws for kids (pet assisted wellness and support) trains emotional support dogs for children adopted from foster care. Emotional support dogs provide therapeutic, physiological, and psychological benefits.
TX: DFPS to highlight National Adoption Awareness Month with area events
Standard-Times – November 02, 2017
Thousands of children and teens in state care who are eligible for adoption are being brought into the spotlight once again for National Adoption Awareness Month. The Department of Family and Protective Services is hosting adoption events throughout Texas in an effort to attract more adoptive families.
Also: 44 Area Children Adopted As Awareness Campaign Is Feted In Austin: https://patch.com/texas/eastaustin/s/g9tgg/44-area-children-adopted-as-awareness-campaign-is-feted-in-austin
TX: East Texas CASA celebrates 25 years!
Gilmer Mirror – November 02, 2017
East Texas CASA will be celebrating their 25th year of service starting this month. The East Texas CASA agency was founded on November 4, 1992 and has served thousands of children over the past 25 years.
TX: First Lady Abbott Visits Child Advocates of Fort Bend
Katy News – November 02, 2017
First Lady Cecilia Abbott has partnered with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services on a new initiative – Network of Nurture – to raise awareness about the ways Texans can support the children and families in the state’s child welfare system. As a part of this initiative, she has been touring Children’s Advocacy Centers across the state of Texas. Last week, she visited Child Advocates of Fort Bend, toured the facility and met with staff, board members and partner agencies in an effort to better understand the work that the agency and its partners are doing on behalf of abused and neglected children.
TX: State News: Governor Abbott Announces $4.6 Million Supplemental Grant For Texas Child Advocacy Centers
Greenville Extra – November 01, 2017
Governor Greg Abbott recently announced that his Criminal Justice Division has awarded a supplemental grant of $4.6 million to Child Advocacy Centers of Texas. This grant is in addition to a current grant of $56.3 million awarded to the organization in October 2016. This supplemental grant will allow for a more aggressive effort to address gaps in services to child abuse victims in Texas.
US: Attorneys General Should Stand Up for Native American Children (Opinion)
National Review – November 03, 2017
Texas attorney general Ken Paxton’s lawsuit on behalf of a couple seeking to adopt Andy, a two-year-old foster child whom they’ve raised almost from birth, may seem a bit unusual – it’s not the sort of thing in which an attorney general normally gets involved. But it’s a necessary and long-overdue step, thanks to a 40-year-old federal law that makes it virtually impossible to find adoptive homes for children of one particular race. That law is the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), and it creates a separate, less protective set of rules to govern cases involving children who fit the genetic profile of Native American.
US: Unemployment triggers increase in child neglect, according to new research
Medical Xpress – November 03, 2017
The number of reported cases of child neglect in the United States of America increased as a result of the spike in unemployment following the financial crisis of 2007-08, according to new Oxford University research. The first study of its kind suggests that unemployment can cause an increase in child neglect because parents have more limited access to the resources required to provide for a child’s basic needs, such as clothing, food and medical care.
Also: Study: The Impact of Unemployment on Child Maltreatment in the United States: https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/working_papers/4546/837-brown–de-cao.pdf
US: After Adoption is Finalized, Transition to Becoming a Family Begins (Commentary)
Sentinel Source – November 02, 2017
Once an adoption is finalized, the lasting commitment to be a family extends not only until a child is grown and leaves the house, but for the rest of their lives. Because it is such a lasting relationship, adoptive parents should prepare by taking time to think through the transition period and how best to help a child arriving from adverse circumstances.
Information Gateway resource: Preventing Disruption/Dissolution: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/postplacement/stability/transitions/
US: Domestic Violence Crosses All Lines
Journal (Naval Support Activity Bethesda) – November 02, 2017
A team of case managers and victim advocates provide “crucial” services to those impacted by domestic violence and child abuse on Naval Support Activity Bethesda, home to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, said Lawanda Dezurn, a social worker and victim advocate in NSAB’s Fleet & Family Support Center’s Family Advocacy Program. Dezurn explained FAP is focused on education, prevention and intervention concerning domestic violence and abuse in order to protect victims, hold offenders accountable, help families and promote readiness.
US: GOP Tax Plan Would Eliminate Adoption Tax Credit
Chronicle of Social Change – November 02, 2017
he House Ways and Means Committee released details of the new Republican-led tax plan, makes two significant changes that would lessen the benefits available to adoptive parents. The first change is a complete elimination of the Adoption Tax Credit (ATC), a one-time tax benefit available for parents who adopt from foster care, internationally and through private domestic adoptions. The other is a tax exclusion for employer adoption assistance. Here is a breakdown of the changes.
US: Hurricanes Impact Kids in Foster Care, Foster Families (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – November 02, 2017
Since August, America’s shores have been pummeled by Hurricanes Maria, Irma and Harvey. Each has displaced thousands and wreaked havoc on some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Among those impacted are some of the most vulnerable citizens of this country – kids in foster care. Whether living in a residential treatment facility, foster home or kinship care, hundreds of children have experienced the immediate impacts of flooding, damaging winds and destruction of their homes, and the long-term impacts are yet to be known.
US: Projection: National Foster Care Numbers Continue to Rise in 2017
Chronicle of Social Change – November 02, 2017
Yesterday, The Chronicle of Social Change released a report on foster care capacity nationwide, which included a projection that the overall number of U.S. foster kids is continuing to go up. Based on a foster care totals from the 30 states that provided information, we project that the total number of children in foster care in 2017 is roughly 443,000, 3 percent more than the 2015 federal count, the last year such data was made available.
Also: Chronicle Report: At Least 25 States Have Lost Foster Care Capacity Since 2012: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/chronicle-report-least-25-states-lost-foster-care-capacity-since-2012/28575
Also: AFCARS Report (estimates as of June 2016): https://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/afcarsreport23.pdf
Canada: Indigenous child welfare rates creating ‘humanitarian crisis’ in Canada, says federal minister (Includes video)
CBC News – November 02, 2017
The disproportionate number of Indigenous children currently in the child welfare system has created a “humanitarian crisis” in the country, says Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott. Philpott sent a letter to provincial and territorial counterparts Tuesday requesting an “emergency meeting” on Indigenous children and family services early in the New Year. The meeting will also include Indigenous leaders, representatives and child welfare experts.
Canada: Update – National Day of Action on First Nations Child Welfare – A Message to the Government of Canada: Comply with CHRT Ruling, Support First Nations Children Now (Press release)
Assembly of First Nations – November 02, 2017
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde addressed supporters gathered today on Parliament Hill for the National Day of Action on First Nations Child Welfare, calling for immediate action to honour the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) ruling on First Nations child welfare and Jordan’s Principle.
Ireland: 35 US-born children adopted by Irish families
Journal – November 02, 2017
Thirty five American-born children have been adopted by Irish families in the past four years, under an international adoption agreement. Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone was briefed on the impact of the Irish-American agreement by the Irish Adoption Authority in New York today.
AR: State report on child deaths shows improvements, concerns
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – November 02, 2017
Fewer infants died in their sleep and more children are being adopted this year, but other figures — like the doubling of firearm fatalities — prove that efforts to improve child health in Arkansas must continue, officials told lawmakers Wednesday. Medical conditions, injuries and unsafe sleep were the top causes of child fatalities in the past two years, according to an annual report released by the Child Death and Near Fatality Multidisciplinary Review Committee.
AR: Adoption Awareness Month event at Monroe City Hall
MyArkLaMiss.com – November 01, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. The particular focus is the adoption of children who are in foster care. Currently, there are more than 4000 children in the State of Louisiana who are in foster care. More than 600 of those children are in the Monroe region.
AZ: Supreme Court won’t hear Arizona case on custody fight over tribal kids
Cronkite News – November 01, 2017
The decision Monday lets stand lower court rulings that invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act, a 1978 federal law that aimed to keep the government from breaking up Native American families except under specific circumstances.
AZ: Pinal County ranks high in foster care numbers
Pinal Central – October 31, 2017
Pinal County ranks third in the number of kids in foster care in Arizona, behind Maricopa and Pima County, according to Department of Child Safety reports. That number has been trending upward.
ID: Judah’s House aims to help foster kids who have “aged out” of system (Includes video)
KTVB – November 01, 2017
When foster kids turn 18 some of them feel like they have nowhere to go. In the last fiscal year, 62 of them “aged out” of the system in Idaho. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has an independent living program to help with the transition out of foster care, but there’s a push for more options.
IL: The Largest Jail in the Country Is Leading an Effort to Reduce the Number of Births Behind Bars
Rewire – October 31, 2017
Keeping nonviolent pregnant women in jail through their due date because they’re too poor to bond out defies “common sense, reason, and thoughtfulness,” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said in an interview with Rewire.
IN: Female Inmates In Indiana Pitch Plan To Rehab Empty Houses – And Their Lives (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – November 02, 2017
“It’s a double restoration – not just of the house but of the person,” Thompson, now 44, said in a recent interview. “What does Indianapolis need? A solution to this housing crisis. What do women in prison need, more than anything? Ownership. Of our minds, of our bodies, and of our physical homes.”
IN: Foster Families Needed For Children In Indiana (Includes audio)
Northeast Indiana Public Radio – November 01, 2017
The need for adoptive parents is growing in Indiana. The link between cases coming through the Department of Child Services and substance abuse disorders is direct. So far this year DCS has completed more than 1,8000 adoptions, up from a little more than 1,000 three years ago. This follows a sharp increase in the number of Hoosier children entering the foster system because parents are unable to care for them, often because of opioids.
LA: DCFS Celebrates National Adoption Month in November
Louisiana Radio Network – November 02, 2017
So why the increase in adoptions? Catanzaro says it starts with better awareness of what is involved in adopting and some family members are making the decision to adopt their own kin. “I think we have more and more families that are stepping up to the plate to adopt our kids. I think we also have an increase in relative adoptions as well.” November is Adoption Awareness Month so the state will increase it’s efforts to help 140 children who are in need of a permanent home.
MI: National Adoption Month: Local family adopts seven children through area organization (Includes video)
News 25 – November 01, 2017
Not every story has a happy ending, according to Beagle in Michigan there are about 2,600 children waiting to be adopted. 80 to a 100 of them are living in Genesee County alone. “We’re really trying to raise awareness to recruit foster parents and adoptive parents to provide a child with permanence and safety,” said Beagle
Information Gateway resource: National Adoption Month: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/ Also: Children celebrate with new forever families during Michigan Adoption Month: http://wwmt.com/news/local/children-celebrate-with-new-forever-families-during-michigan-adoption-month
MI: The opioid crisis hurts more children & babies (Includes video)
WXYZ – November 01, 2017
“It has been an exponential increase over the last few years,” said Dr. Melissa February, Neonatologist at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. At Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit doctors say lately there is always a tiny newborn going through withdrawal. “They look uncomfortable. They are crying all the time,” said Dr. February. “They have seizures. They have tremors.”
MO: Foster parents provide the gift of a home
Jefferson City News Tribune – November 01, 2017
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Attachment issues are one of the main challenges faced by families who care for children removed from familiar environments. The Jefferson City-based organization serves more than 1,400 foster children, 640 foster families and 400 adopted children in 13 counties. It provides education, advocacy, moral support and fills tangible needs.
MT: Missoula Health Department Facing Over $300,000 In State Cuts
KGVO – November 01, 2017
“On one front, we have a very looming cut to an entire program that will be determined by the outcome if the legislature does convene, or by the governor,” Leahy said. “We also had a smaller program that was on the chopping block, but we found out last week that the funds are being cut as we speak. That is our Foster Child Health Program, and it’s a partnership where we work with Child and Family Services, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, and here with our public health nurses.”
MT: Under threat of budget cuts, state agencies eliminate some health care services for foster kids (Includes video)
KPAX – October 31, 2017
DPHHS has cut funding for health care case management in Missoula, Cascade and Yellowstone counties. In Missoula, the Foster Child Health Program receives this funding. All foster care kids are fully-covered by medicaid. The program is a collaboration of between Providence Medical Center, Missoula City-County Health Department and Child and Family Services division of DPHHS. They received surprise notice on Friday that all funding from the state was ending, effective immediately.
ND: Adoption agents post signs on N.D. capitol lawn for National Adoption Month
KFYRTV – November 01, 2017
This month is all about raising awareness for the kids who want a place to call home. Adoption agents posted signs in the capitol lawn Wednesday representing all of the children awaiting adoption that are currently in foster care in North Dakota.
NY: Group aims to encourage foster parenting
New York Daily Star – November 01, 2017
“Give Hope a Home” is a campaign to educate and encourage adults to consider becoming foster parents. The campaign was launched this year by Albany’s Northern Rivers Family of Services, the parent organization to Northeast Parent and Child Society and Parsons Child and Family Center.
NY: Parents of infant who died in January frustrated with ACS (Includes video)
News 12 – October 31, 2017
The parents of a 3-month-old girl who died early this year are voicing their frustrations with the Administration for Children’s Services, or ACS. The parents claim that ACS is petitioning a family court judge to have their visitation rights with their son be completely removed. They also allege that Manuel is not being cared for properly in his foster homes and that he has been moved 15 different times since January.
OH: Alternatives to Youth Detention: Success Highlighted in Ohio (Includes audio)
Public News Service – November 02, 2017
Putting children who get into trouble on the right path can be challenging, and a newer approach to the problem is seeing great success in Ohio. This week, juvenile justice, child welfare, and public safety leaders are at the inaugural Ohio Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Conference in Columbus. The initiative focuses on evidence-backed practices that can help safely reduce the number of youth in detention.
OH: ‘These are our kids:’ Children Services asks stakeholders where to focus efforts
Mansfield News Journal – October 31, 2017
“These are all of our kids. They belong to our community,” said Patty Harrelson, executive director of Children Services. “We wanted to get involvement from the community to focus on what we need to do next.” Tim Schaffner, executive director of Trumbull County Children Services, said the No. 1 complaint he hears from kids in foster care is having to tell their stories over and over. He added having to do so makes the kids feel devalued.
OH: Adoption – Breaking Down the Myths (Commentary) (Includes video)
Grand – October 31, 2017
The shroud of secrecy surrounding adoption seemed impenetrable. Yet, I proceeded to know in my core that while not every story has a happy ending, the truth is powerful and healing and, as an RN working in child psychiatry, that secrecy and denial are not considered healthy in any school of psychology. Why then were they expected to be the norm in our culture in adoption?
SC: State needs 1,300 more foster beds for children in state custody, new report shows
Charleston Post and Courier – November 01, 2017
The number of children in foster care in South Carolina grew substantially over the past five years, even as the number of available foster beds declined by more than 650, a new report shows. And this happened while the Department of Social Services launched an ambitious campaign last year called “Champions for Children” to recruit an additional 1,500 foster families.
Also: Report: The Foster Care Housing Crisis: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/The-Foster-Care-Housing-Crisis-10-31.pdf
SC: Think human trafficking isn’t happening in your community? Think again, S.C. leader says. (Includes video)
Herald – October 31, 2017
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson remembers how wrong he was, a short time ago, about human trafficking. He relates to the shocked expressions he gets when he talks about it now. “I lived in total ignorance, and I was a career prosecutor,” said Wilson, who has worked to bring new and stronger state laws to combat trafficking. “I couldn’t believe it would happen in my hometown.”
TX: Almost 4,000 children are waiting for adoption in Travis County
KXAN – November 01, 2017
About 30 children spent the night in a Child Protective Services office in Travis County because they didn’t have a place to go. Travis County Judge Darlene Byrne said many children are waiting up to two years to find a place with a family, and that the need for foster families is always present. As of Wednesday in Austin, 119 children were waiting for foster homes.
TX: November Proclaimed National Adoption Awareness Month
RVGProud – November 01, 2017
More than 5,000 abused or neglected Texas children were adopted from state care last year. The need has not diminished for more families willing to provide safe and loving homes. Every day more children enter foster care in Texas. Some won’t be able to go home again and will need adoptive families to start new lives that are free from abuse or neglect. This November is National Adoption Awareness Month. There are adoption events across the state that spotlight the need for adoption and the many children waiting for a permanent family.
WA: Treehouse Appoints 12 Members to Young Professionals Board to Support Youth in Foster Care
Woodinville Weekly – October 31, 2017
Treehouse, a Seattle-based nonprofit which has dramatically increased graduation rates for youth in foster care, announces 12 new members to its Young Professionals Board (YPB). With the new roster also comes changes to the YPB’s Executive Leadership Team.
WV: Opioid epidemic puts major strain on foster care system (Includes video)
WVAlways – November 01, 2017
“There are cases where we can’t find an available foster home and the CPS workers divide the shift. And everyone is at the department and they’re doing their best to get the kids fun food and play games or watch movies,” said Pigot. “But these are kids that just left their home. That’s all they know, those are their parents for better or worse and they’re heartbroken. And it breaks your heart to watch them.”
US: What society can learn from the Catholic Church regarding child protection
Catholic News Agency – November 02, 2017
The Church has put into place numerous policies and practices to protect children from sexual abuse, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Charter for Child and Youth Protection. The charter, implemented in 2002, obligates all compliant dioceses and eparchies to provide resources both for victims of abuse and resources for abuse prevention.
US: HRC Celebrates the Start of National Adoption Month
Human Rights Campaign – November 01, 2017
Today begins HRC’s annual celebration of National Adoption Month, a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the more than 400,000 children and youth waiting for a permanent family.
US: The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Releases Indian Child Welfare Act Judicial Benchbook (Press release)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges – October 31, 2017
Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) in 1978 to address the widespread practice of state entities removing American Indian and Alaskan Native children from their homes and families. Congressional findings memorialized in ICWA included “an alarmingly high percentage of Indian families are broken up by the removal, often unwarranted, of their children from them by non-tribal public and private agencies and that a high percentage of such children are placed in non-Indian foster and adoptive homes and institutions.” “In order to best serve the children and families of our community, we must develop and support collaboration between state and tribal court systems,” said Hon. Richard Blake, Hoopa Valley Tribe, president, National American Indian Court Judges Association.
Canada: Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde Marks Sisters in Spirit Vigil by Calling for Immediate Action to Support Indigenous Women and Families (Press release) (Includes video)
Assembly of First Nations – October 04, 2017
Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde marked October 4, a day when Sisters in Spirit Vigils are held across the country in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), by calling for immediate action to achieve safety, security and justice for Indigenous women and girls and their families.
South Korea: Thousands of South Korean-Born Adoptees Have No Citizenship
Korea Bizwire – November 01, 2017
Ki, a member of the Democratic Party of Korea who also sits on the Health and Welfare Committee, said, “A significant number of international adoptees ended up having no citizenship as South Korea in the past focused far too much on revoking their South Korean citizenship and not helping adoptees obtain citizenship in the country they were sent to.”
United Kingdom: Victim of Abuse by Foster Parents Wins Landmark Compensation Case
Batchelors Solicitors – November 02, 2017
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has upheld a damages claim brought by a woman who was subjected to physical and sexual abuse whilst in foster care as a child. In what will be viewed as an extension of the concept of vicarious liability, the Court found that the local authority that had taken her into care bore indirect legal responsibility for the foster parents’ actions.
AK: For foster youth, sometimes the solution is saving each other (Includes audio)
Alaska Public Media – October 31, 2017
A 22-year-old doesn’t normally become a foster parent to teens, who can stay in foster care until they are 21. But sometimes that’s the best solution.
KS: Event planned to celebrate children, ‘forever families’ (Correction)
Salina Journal – October 30, 2017
The celebration is in conjunction with National Adoption Day, which will be Nov. 18. Of the nearly 400,000 children in foster care nationwide, more than 110,000 are awaiting adoption. National Adoption Day, traditionally scheduled on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, helps raise awareness about the need for adoptive parents and honors those who welcome a child. Saint Francis serves about 215 children who have no identified adoptive family.
NC: Lawmakers Press for Reform of NC’s Struggling Foster Care System
North Carolina Health News – October 31, 2017
As North Carolina’s opioid crisis deepens, a rising number of children are entering the foster care system as a result of their parents’ drug use. In 2016, about 38 percent of children came to foster care due to parental drug use, that’s up from 31 percent in 2013. The majority of kids in foster care still end up there as the result of some sort of neglect. But the second major cause is parental drug use.
NC: State adoption program expands to find homes for older children
WCTI 12 – October 31, 2017
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina is announcing an expansion of a statewide program to find permanent homes for older children in foster care during National Adoption Month.
ND: Social Services financing reform, a two-year pilot program
Devils Lake Journal – October 31, 2017
Thanks to the valiant efforts of local legislators the financing of social services in North Dakota is undergoing evaluation and study during the present biennium. A statement by the North Dakota Association of Counties states, “Senate Bill 2206 will fund county social services statewide for the two-year pilot program for calendar years 2018 and 2019.
NH: State Rep. Sean Morrison resigns from Foster Care Oversight Committee
New Hampshire Union Leader – November 01, 2017
A state representative promoting a foster family bill of rights has resigned from a legislative committee appointed to investigate foster family issues, claiming the committee is too closely linked to the child protective service agency it should be investigating.
NM: HSD’s proposed Medicaid redesign has too many flaws (Opinion)
Albuquerque Journal – November 01, 2017
New Mexico’s Human Services Department (HSD) wants to make changes to its Medicaid program that would not only hurt our state’s children and families but would also place financial burdens on its health care workforce.
NY: Molinaro Focusing on Youth Success and Empowerment
Hudson Valley Press – November 01, 2017
In his 2018 Executive Budget, to be presented on October 31st, 2017, Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro will continue Dutchess County Government’s commitment to youth development and empowerment.
OH: Mahoning County Children Services levy on Nov. ballot
Salem News – November 01, 2017
The Mahoning County Children Services levy, Issue 3 on the Nov. 7 ballot, is essential to protecting children from the effects of the opioid addiction crisis, said Randall Muth, executive director of the county child welfare agency.
OH: When heroin hits home: Ohio is last for funding child welfare (Commentary)
WKRC – November 01, 2017
The heroin crisis means more children than ever are being removed from their homes. In Hamilton County, it’s already topped 3,000 this year. The Ohio legislature approved an extra $30 million this year to address the heroin crisis, but the Buckeye State remains dead-last in the nation for funding child welfare and would stay in last place even if funding is doubled.
OH: Dayton Daily News stories of child deaths prompt calls for reform (Includes video)
Springfield News-Sun – October 31, 2017
A Dayton Daily News investigation into child deaths has sparked lawmakers and officials to call for a closer look at Ohio’s child welfare system. The investigation examined the number of times Ohio children have died after being returned to the custody of parents with known histories of abuse and neglect. The newspaper profiled 19 such cases and found that Ohio lags behind national standards for child safety and is dead last in the state share of funding for its child welfare system.
Also: Who is protecting our children? Since 2009, adults with a history of abuse have killed hundreds of Ohio kids (Includes video): http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/who-protecting-our-children-since-2009-adults-with-history-abuse-have-killed-hundreds-ohio-kids/Kzlzdb4bkDFyse9s7smjgM/
UT: A State of Addiction: Utah’s Tiniest Victims (Includes audio)
Utah Public Radio – October 31, 2017
Every 25 seconds, a baby is born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) in the United States. NAS is a constellation of symptoms that the majority of infants exposed to opioids in utero develop in their first days of life outside the womb while going through withdrawal. They may vomit, sweat, shake, develop fevers and diarrhea. Many of these newborns are hyper-stimulated and have difficulty feeding. Often, they lie stiff as boards.
VA: State foster care, adoption process explained
WSLS – November 01, 2017
“I was an adoptee in foster care in the Eastern region,” said Traci Jones, VDSS adoption program manager who has been through the foster care system.” That experience drives her as the Virginia Department of Social Services adoption program manager.
WA: Kids in foster care trick-or-treat at CPS office (Includes video)
KING 5 – October 31, 2017
“We look forward to this every year,” said social worker Alison Mielke, who is an adoptive mother of two boys who were in foster care. She says letting social workers see some of the children they’ve helped is rewarding.
WI: ‘We’re dads, we’re people,’ says Milwaukee cop featured in viral photo with 2-year-old boy he rescued
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – October 31, 2017
A photo of a 2-year-old boy eating chicken McNuggets on the lap of a Milwaukee police officer had been shared thousands of times on social media by Tuesday. Officers Vin Paolo and Dan Resnick were called to a vacant, boarded-up home on N. 29th St. near W. Locust St. on Friday morning to assist child welfare workers who had received reports of a pregnant woman living inside, according to Milwaukee police.
WV: Youth crisis center opening in Parsons
Parsons Advocate – November 01, 2017
The Genesis Youth Crisis Center will open its third residential location in Parsons on January 1, 2018. The center is categorized as an emergency shelter for youth from 10 to 17 years old. There are two other locations in Clarksburg.
US: Barton Goldsmith: Fostering kids can change lives (Commentary)
Tribune News Service – November 01, 2017
Most kids in the system don’t get adopted. Some get taken in by relatives or return to one of their parents, but that’s the minority. Most get pushed from home to home until they “age out” and, if they have not been given proper guidance, are left to their own devices. Some lucky ones go to college, others join the military, and some even find jobs where they can support themselves. Then there are those who are not so lucky and have to turn to a life of living in the shadows to survive.
US: Children and the Opioid Crisis, it’s a Public Health Emergency (Commentary)
Hudson Valley Press – November 01, 2017
President Trump’s announcement yesterday reminded us all that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency, but in fact it is also a national emergency and we must do so much more. For the last two decades people across our nation have helplessly watched this rapidly escalating epidemic destroy families and entire communities.
US: Teens Need Families, No Matter What (Commentary) (Includes audio)
US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families – November 01, 2017
For teens in foster care, the stakes get higher every year. Youth between 15 and 18 are often overlooked in foster care adoptions, so with each passing birthday, these young people are more likely to age out of care without finding a family. And without the encouragement, guidance, and support of family bonds, they are less likely to pursue education or career goals, and begin their adult life on firm footing. For the past two years, National Adoption Month has highlighted the need to find permanent families for this vulnerable age group. This year’s theme – Teens Need Families, No Matter What – goes a step further by emphasizing the importance of making youth adoptions successful.
Information Gateway Resource: National Adoption Month 2017 Site: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/nam/
US: As Domestic Violence Awareness Month Comes To An End, We Need To Address Why So Many Survivors End Up Homeless – And How To End The Cycle (Commentary)
Bustle – October 31, 2017
In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we’re shedding a light on the true story of homeless women across America. From the untold circumstances that brought it on, to the lack of trauma care given to them, the odds are stacked against these women. The topic: A look the cycle of domestic violence and homelessness for women – and what we can do to help.
US: Chronicle Report: At Least 25 States Have Lost Foster Care Capacity Since 2012
Chronicle of Social Change – October 31, 2017
The number of U.S. children in foster care has been on the rise since 2012, and most experts agree that the upward trend will continue. But what about the number of homes available to take these children? The Chronicle of Social Change, has recently completed a state-by-state research to determine whether this increase in foster youth has been met with a proportional increase in foster homes.
Also: Report: The Foster Care Housing Crisis: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/The-Foster-Care-Housing-Crisis-10-31.pdf
US: Generations United Launches Multi-Year Initiative To Elevate Voices Of African American And Native American Grandfamilies (Press release)
Generations United – October 31, 2017
Generations United, in partnership with National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) and A Second Chance, Inc., is launching a three-year initiative, GrAND Voices: Elevating and Strengthening African American and Native American Grandfamilies. The initiative will recruit and prepare family caregivers to join Generations United’s GrAND Voices network, a proven group of family caregiver advocates who educate, represent and testify on behalf of grandparents and other relatives raising children.
US: Girls in White Dresses
Ms. Magazine – October 31, 2017
When people in this country think of child marriage, their imaginations turn to images of child brides thousands of miles away, in West Africa or South Asia. They rarely think of the South Bronx or California. And yet, the Tahirih Justice Center, an immigrants-rights organization that has led the fight against forced marriage in this country, reports that between 2009 and 2011 the U.S. saw as many as 3,000 known or suspected cases of forced marriage, many involving girls younger than 18.
US: Research finds substance abuse varies widely in association with child abuse, neglect
Medical Xpress – October 31, 2017
Alcohol and other drug use are regularly linked to child abuse or neglect in families, but simply assuming the former causes the latter is not taking a deep enough look. A University of Kansas professor has authored a pair of studies examining how a range of parental alcohol and substance use behaviors are related to abusive and neglectful parenting behaviors and argues that a more thorough understanding can help address the associated problems to better serve families.
Also: Report: Does parental substance use always engender risk for children? Comparing incidence rate ratios of abusive and neglectful behaviors across substance use behavior patterns: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2017.09.015
US: Three Ways Funders Can Change Systems And Drive Impact (Commentary)
Forbes – October 31, 2017
Changing systems in our society is complex, difficult and overwhelming work that is practically impossible for a foundation to achieve on its own. There are a number of examples of movements that are pushing for systems change in various aspects of our society, including: The foster care system, which in recent years has seen the national conversation shift to reflect a growing interest in revamping the nation’s child welfare system to focus more on prevention and less on out-of-home placement. Casey Family Programs has been a lead funder in this effort.
International: Issuing Presidential Statement, Security Council Expresses Deep Concern over Scale, Severity of Violations against Children in Armed Conflict (Press release)
United Nations Security Council – October 31, 2017
The Security Council today reiterated its strong condemnation of the recruitment and use of children by parties to armed conflict, as well as their killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence. Issuing presidential statement S/PRST/2017/21 at its debate on children and armed conflict, the Council remained deeply concerned over the lack of progress on the ground where parties to conflict continued to violate with impunity the relevant provisions of applicable international law relating to the rights and protection of children.
Ireland: Govt not prepared for mandatory reporting – Rabbitte (Press release)
Fianna Fail – October 31, 2017
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children & Youth Affairs Anne Rabbitte has accused Minister Katherine Zappone of failing to adequately prepare for the introduction of mandatory reporting. Concerns about resources and staffing levels raised by the Chief Executive of Tusla and by the Irish Association of Social Care Workers have been ignored by the Government to date, and Deputy Rabbitte is calling on the Minister to outline what processes are being put in place to deal with the additional workload.