KARA tracks current international news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
Most child trauma & abuse never gets reported
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Myanmar – Exodus worsens education for Rohingya children.
Voice of America News.
Despite accounts of the contrary, the government of Myanmar maintains that people living in the Rakhine State have access to education and healthcare without discrimination. However, there are very few Rohingya children who are allowed to attend school and even fewer who can attended university or higher education, evening in some neighbouring states. Children in the Rakhine State requiring ongoing aid to over come discrimination and provide educational support.
Canada – U of T researchers and human rights groups raise concerns with UN on treatment of immigration detainees.
U of T News.
Canada has a reputation of accepting refugees and of being a leader on immigration issues. Recent concerns have been expressed to the United Nations over Canada’s past treatment of detained children and people with mental health conditions. More than 800 children have been detained since 2013, sometimes even with no grounds for detention. Children may be detained under formal detention orders or, if accompanying their parents and not under formal detention orders, they may be separated from their parents and be transferred to government child protection services.
Fiji – Preventing child sexual abuse.
The Fiji Times.
The Medical Services Pacific of Fiji recognizes the importance of supporting and empower young girls and women in order to prevent sexual abuse. To raise awareness and educate girls, young women and families, community outreach activities will be conducted in areas with high rates of sexual abuse.
India – Massive campaign to keep Sabarimala child labour-free.
The Indian Express.
Children are still engaged in laborious activities even while the law has banned child labour in the area. Middle men and agents promise parents an amount of money and take the children away from their families and from continuing their education. The children are exploited to sell various items to people during festival seasons. The children are meant to stir up sympathy among festival goers.
Mali – UNICEF warns of nutrition crisis affecting 165, 000 children in Mali.
UN News Centre.
165, 000 children are estimated to suffer from severe acute malnutrition across Mali. Rates of malnutrition among children, particularly children under five, has risen and reached critical levels. The symptoms of several acute malnutrition makes children suffering from it more likely to die from diseases due to a weakened immune system.
Yemen – Yemen’s war turns children into young brides and soldiers.
The New York Times.
The economic impact of war reaches far enough to have affected, and continue to affect, children. More and more parents are selling their daughters as child brides or letting their sons be recruited as child soldiers. Yemeni law does not set a legal age for marriage, and does not criminalize marital rape, but parents are forced to sell their daughters as child brides so that they can receive a dowry that would temporary solve economic problems. Also, food shortages have left children suffering from stunted growth and made them more vulnerable to illnesses.
Niger – Female authors urge parents to support girl-child education.
The chairperson of the Association of Nigerian Female Authors urge parents to send their girl children to school, no matter what the cost. The chairperson highlighted that preventing girl children from going to school is unacceptable. The chairperson also explained the importance of education for children to enable them to take on future responsibilities. However, it is unknown whether the chairperson presented initiatives that would aid families that cannot afford to send their children, whether girl or boy, to school.
Nursery school: a forgotten foundation of education.
A nursery school teacher explains the benefits of going to nursery school in a child’s first year of primary education. A UNICEF campaign targeting children aged six to seven has had the effect of increasing enrolment. It is explained that one of the benefits of nursery school is that it gives children a taste of school and it develops their interest of learning and going to school.
Niger – “Treating children as quickly, and as close to home, as possible.”
Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) increases its teams in Niger, focusing on prevention and strategies to treat children as quickly, and as close to home, as possible. High levels of malnutrition along with an increase in malaria-transmitting mosquitoes proves to be lethal for hundreds of thousands of children if they do not receive treatment in time, according to MSF. MSF aims to provide access to healthcare for children to put an end to the preventable illness and deaths caused by diseases that can be easily diagnosed and treated.
U.K. – Disabled children hate crime reports increasing.
Disabled children and their families are being harassed and bullied online and also in the street. These children and these families have experienced anything from verbal abuse on social media, violent physical attacks, and arson. It is stated that the rise in crime reports is due to more incidents being reported and more victims willing to come forward. Not only is there a rise in reporting incidents, but there is also an increase in prosecuting and convicting perpetrators for disability hate crimes.
Kenya – Expelled refugee students kills seven in Kenyan school.
An expelled student shot and killed six students and a security guard at his former school. The shooter is a South Sudanese refugee who fled to Kenya and was attending school in Kenya since 2013. It is stated that the shooter was detained, but was then killed by a mob while in police custody. This incident raises many questions, including asking questions about what can be done to stop the smuggling of arms across the Kenyan borders.
Nepal – Hearing-impaired children deprived of education.
Hearing impaired children are denied education beyond that of primary school. There is a primary school that carters to the needs of hearing impaired students, but enrolment space in this school is limited. Also, children wanting further education would have to go outside the village and city to do so, something which many families cannot afford.
The ‘orphan’ I adopted from Uganda already had a family.
Children are taken from their homes and families with the promise of an education and that they will be returned home; however, they are sold to American families for thousands of dollars. Both sides, the biological and adoptive, families are duped and lied to about the circumstances they are entering into. Fraudulent adoption forms are created with false accusations of neglect to take away all parental rights of the child’s biological parents, while adoptive families are fed false stories of an orphaned children in need of a family.
Zambia – Tackling Child Labour in Agro Sector.
The International Labour Organization states that child labour in the agriculture sector has not reduced since 2012. Some children work as unpaid labourers for their families. Zambia has made commitments to tackle child labour, including creating legal and political instruments that will form the basis of child labour legislation. Child labour advocacy and social welfare groups have made efforts to educate parents on the dangers of child labour and on the fact that child labour is illegal.
India – International day of the girl child: today, underprivileged girls to step in for 11 diplomats.
The Indian Express.
As part of a commitment to promote gender equality and the empowerment of girls, 11 ambassadors of different embassies in Delhi, India will give up their seats to girls from diverse underprivileged backgrounds. This event not only sends a message to the society, but also empowers girls and shows them that they can effect change.
India – India outlaws marital sex with minors in bid to protect child brides.
In the Indian Penal Code the age of consent was raised to 18, while a legal clause allowing non-consensual marital sex, with a girl above the age of 15, was struck down. This is an attempt by law makers in India to unify laws regarding rape and child marriage. Child Rights Group, a NGO, argues that sex with an underage wife is a heinous crime as these girls do not have the power to do anything, to speak out against violence, to protect their own reproductive rights, nor to protect their liberty and dignity.
Dominica – Hurricane Maria aftermath: children’s education on hold in Dominica.
Children in Dominica worry that the delay in their education will hinder their ability to achieve their dreams. Since hurricane Maria children in Dominica were left at a standstill, not knowing where or when they will be able to go back to school. Many of them have hopes of going to college but with no temporary spaces and a slow pace of rebuilding, children are worried that they will never get back to school.
Syria – WHO says attack on Syria vaccine store leaves children at risk.
It is reported that more than 130, 000 vaccines against measles and polio were destroyed in an attack on medical facilities in Syria. Without these vaccines the infectious, viral diseases has the potential to rapidly spread in areas of conflict, the WHO confirms. Routine immunization for children in the area will be put on hold until equipment, such as solar fridges, cold boxes and vaccine carriers, are delivered.
Yemen – Not a new school year! Endless violence shutters schools, teachers unpaid for a year, threatening education for 4.5 million children in Yemen.
Schools in Yemen have either been partially or totally destroyed, used for military purposes, or used as shelters for displaced families. Children also face malnutrition and the trauma of displacement and violence. All of this has affected their ability to learn. It is reported that without a safe learning environment, children in Yemen will be vulnerable to recruitment or early marriage. It is recognized that humanitarian efforts are not enough and for this suffering to end all parties must protect the interests of children, by referring from using schools for military purposes and by finding urgent solutions to the teacher’s salary crisis, states UNICEF.
Myanmar/Bangladesh – Nearly 58% of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are children.
The Rohingya child refugees in Bangladesh suffer from severe malnutrition and are exposed to infectious diseases, all the while facing the trauma of violence and the dangers of travelling by themselves. Food stores and food crops have been been burned in attacks and clean drinking water is either scarce or unavailable.
Canada – Manitoba’s child welfare crisis to be tackled through law, funding changes.
The rising number of Indigenous kids in the child welfare system sparks a Canadian province’s Premier to conduct a full review of the Child and Family Services Act. The Premier states that that goal is to provide more support for families and communities and to create more transparency across the whole child welfare system. The system of funding will move to block funding from the current funding based on the number of children in care and the number of days they are in care, allowing for more money to go towards prevention and intervention. The modernization of the legislation will attempt to reduce financial and social costs and also reunite children with their families quicker.
Zambia – Government commits itself to improving the welfare of the girl child.
The Vice-President of Zambia recognizes the increasing risk adolescent girls face concerning violence, child marriage and teen pregnancies. The government proposes a national development plan to empower women and girls. It is reported that the Bank of Zambia has explored ways in which the bank can promote financial inclusion and equitable access to financial services for women.
Modern slavery is real and 40 million people are trapped in it.
While many countries have officially eradicated forced labour or marriage, modern slavery very much exists. Victims of modern slavery are forced to work on farms, factories and fishing boats, among many others sectors. The vulnerabilities of many of these victims are exploited by using physical, emotional, and/or financial duress to trap them in, for example, forced marriages. The private sector is considered to be a big contributor and sustainer of modern slavery. It is stated that extending labour rights to sectors of the informal economy, where modern slavery is more likely to occur, is important to protect workers from exploitation and enslavement.
India – Kerala teen attempts suicide, family alleges harassment by school teachers.
The News Minute.
Two teachers have been taken into police custody after it was alleged the teachers harassed the student, causing the student to jump of the school building. A timeline of the events have not been confirmed by the police, but the student’s parents insist the allegations are true.
South Africa – High court outlaws corporal punishment at home.
Corporeal punishment has now been outlawed by South African courts as a form of punishment used in the justice system, in schools and by parents. Previously parents could use a reasonable chastisement plea which would could result in an acquittal of all charges. A judge states the such a defence is unconstitutional. This ruling has been long awaited as the United Nations and the African Committee of Experts of the Rights and Welfare of the Child has called on the South African government to ban corporal punishment several years ago.
From ending sex slavery to child soldiers, campaigners say more data needed.
The Himalayan Times.
The International Labour Organization and the Walk Free Foundation released estimates of the number of victims of slavery. The information is argued to be useful for advocacy purposes but is not enough evidence of the effectiveness of anti-slavery initiatives, as the data does not include child soldiers and surveys for conflict hit countries, nor does provide full explore cases of forced sexual exploitation and other forms of human trafficking. The release estimate does provide important information, such as the fact that more women then men are victims.
Central/West Africa – As African nations tackle child marriage, young survivors speak out.
Despite it being banned, marriages of underaged children to considerably older men continue to take place. Parents worry that not marrying their children early, particularly their girl children, may lead to pre-marital sex, dishonour to the family and no chances of the child ever getting married in the future. An advocacy group state that early marriage in conflict zones is often seen as protection from insecurity and the chance of being kidnapped by insurgent groups. It is argued that to break the cycle of child marriages opportunities need to be provided to young children and their families to show them that there are other possibilities and options.
U.K. – Vietnamese child trafficking victims in UK vanish from care: charities.
Over 150 Vietnamese minors have disappeared from the care of local authority in Britain, causing anti-child trafficking organization to worry that many of the children have been re-trafficked into labour exploitation, such as cannabis cultivation and nail bars. It is stated that fear of repercussions from their traffickers may cause minors to run away after being rescued, they may fear themselves or their families will experience reprisals for being in debt-bondages. Specialists in trafficked children need to be consulted to create more regulations for foster care homes that will lead to better supervision and support for these children.
Kenya – Efforts to end child abuse in Kilifi get major boost.
Figures of child abuse in Kilifi county does not show much promise for ending child abuse; however, recent court decisions on the abuse of a four-year-old boy and a three-year-old boy leads some individuals to believe that the country has taken a turn in combating child abuse. The county will be receiving a Child Protection Unit, a project undertaken by Plan International, to provide counselling, health care, and legal advice/services for abused children. The Centre comes at a much needed time as the number of reported child abuse incidents have increased. It is argued that this increase indicates progress being made to address and prevent child abuse.
Ghana – Ending child labour, improving lives.
Children skip school to work in Ghana’a agricultural industry to earn money to pay for their school exams. Often times though the money they earn is not enough, or they have missed too many days of school, and they end up having to drop out of school and work full time on cocoa farms or in rubber and palm oil manufacturing. Initiatives have been made to ensure children are not deprived of their education. Such initiatives include scholarships for children with relatives in cocoa farming. The International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) has also implemented measure to eliminate child labour in the cocoa industry. In Ghana the ICI has, for example, created community educational and awareness programs to urge families and communities to keep children in schools during farming hours.
Uganda – Underage girls in Uganda bring forced into child marriages because they cannot afford sanitary products.
Many school aged girls are forced to miss classes or drop out of school once they begin menstruating either because their schools lack proper facilities or because their schools and families cannot afford the costly sanitary pads. The President made a campaign promise to provide sanitary pads to schoolgirls, but he has not followed through. After a university professor call out the President for failing to keep his campaign promise, the President stated that the government is in talks with a national charity and a pharmaceutical company to produce free hygiene products for schoolgirls. The topic of girl’s menstrual health is not often discussed as it is a taboo subject in a conservative country, which subsequently hinders any progress being made to provide hygienic care by aid groups.
Africa – ‘Imagine the potential of one billion children;’ UNICEF urges investment as Africa’s youth population surges.
UN News Centre.
Unprecedented population growth of children in Africa highlights the urgent need to invest in the social development of children and vulnerable groups. UNICEF’s Generation 2030 Africa 2.0 report outlines three crucial areas for investment, including health care, education and the protection and empowerment of women and girls. The report further states that nearly half of Africa’s population is under 18-years-old, and this number will continue to grow. UNICEF states that investment in the areas it’s report outlines can produce long term benefits that only not individual children will experience, but also the continent as a whole.
U.K. – Child abuse images viewed by ‘horrifying’ number of people.
The number of people visiting websites carrying images of child abuse has drastically increased between 2015 and 2016. The chief constable of police states that alternatives to prosecution needs to be created to deter those guilty of viewing these images, as traditional prosecution is not likely to have any effect on people deny that their actions are wrong.
Work by child brides must count as child labour, says group.
Radio Canada International.
The group AIDS-Free World argues that work done by underaged child brides puts their safety, health, development, and well-being in danger. Being forced to engage in hazardous or hard labour not only raises issues of life and death, but also deprives these children of an education. Being married at an early age puts children, particularly girls, at risk of rape and sexual abuse.
Canada – Health Canada knew of massive gaps in First Nations child health care, documents show.
The federal government of Canada was ordered to immediately increase child welfare funding, and to take other actions, after the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found that the federal government discriminated against First Nation children by underfunding on-reserve child welfare services, despite evidence showing the government knew the levels of care provided was short of what is required. Particularly, children with mental health issues face little to no access to health care and instead families are sometimes forced to give their children to the child welfare system if they are unable to access any care. Confusion also exists on the definition and application of a legal principle, Jordan’s Principle, which is intended to over come confusion and to provide immediate treatment for children when there are disputes between levels of government about who is responsible for providing the treatment.
Malta – National standards and policies in child protection lacking – paediatrician warns.
A paediatrician states that health professionals dealing with children do not have instructions on the appropriate steps to take when there is concerns of possible maltreatment or abuse. He further states that it is up to each individual organization to implement standards and training policies for health authorities when working with children. Despite ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, the paediatrician states that Malta does not have a national child protection policy that creates obligatory standards for every organization; his research shows that 77% of paediatricians have never received specific child protection training.
U.K. – UK may ban kids under 13 from social media to curb sexual abuse.
A legislation to be debated proposes that social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, must set a minimum age for users. The bill proposes banning children under the age of 13 from creating accounts. The Home Secretary cities the ease at which children can access and fall victim to sexual abuse content. It is argued that tech and internet companies need to go further in tackling online sexual abuse.
UN Secretary-General urges more protections for children in conflicts.
The extent of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law raises great concerns over the state of children’s welfare. State and non-states actors are called upon to increase children’s access to education and healthcare during and after conflicts. Continued violations of the vulnerable will have severe long term development issues not only for each individual child, but for every country in which children are, for example, recruited for violence, abused, traumatized or suffering from preventable and curable illnesses and injuries.
The Philippines – Social media tool for child trafficking.
The Manila Times.
A study commissioned by Plan International Philippines revealed that more cases of sex tourism and all cases of pornography were internet mediated. Social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp have become popular amongst those trafficking and exploiting children. However, children and teenagers have started using the internet and social media to engage in sexual abusive acts themselves. It is believed by many that there is less or no abuse if there is no physical contact when webcams, video chats or pictures are the medium. The deputy executive director of a child rights groups argues that although there is no physical contact, the abuse is still there. Prosecution of child abuse cyber crimes and addressing policy gaps on intervening and preventing child abuse needs immediate attention.
UAE – Dubai police say toddlers’ rights mist abused.
The Gulf Today.
Many cases of child abuse are related to family negligence, states the Department of Human Rights of Dubai Police. Included in child abuse cases are incidents of physical abuse and psychological torture, of which, 41% was reported to be of a grave nature. The police recognize the important of their role protecting the welfare and rights of children by intensifying child rights protection campaigns and raising awareness through new campaigns.
African leaders part of global response to malnutrition $3.4 billion is committed at Global Nutrition Summit 2017.
A report released at the Global Nutrition Summit illustrates how despite progress being made in tackling malnutrition, the development of millions of children is still being effected due to a lack of nutrients. New commitments to child nutrition will address issues various countries in Africa face. For example, in Ethiopia the percentage of children with stunted growth or who are under weight are factors the governments aims to reduce. Other countries also seek to improve the nutrition of mothers along with their children. These new approaches will also seek to promote collective responsibility by including governments, the private sector and civil society.
Nigeria – “Safe Love’ moves to save 1 million girls from HIV unwanted pregnancy.
Safe Love International launches a campaign targeted at reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies and HIV infections adultescents in Nigeria, who are often persuaded into activities by older men with the promise money and gifts. The program will provide thirty minute classes to educate teenagers and young adults on the statistics to show them the realness and the prevalence of the issues. These discussions will also be taken to the markets and the streets to interact with and reach more people. The group aims not only to tackle the stigma of talking about sexual protection and family planning, but to also reach the government to urge them to strengthen sexual abuse laws.
Bangladesh – Refugee children in Bangladesh at real and immediate risk of trafficking.
Many of the children who have arrived in Bangladesh to escape violence in Myanmar are at a great risk of child marriage and child exploitation. The the circumstances of the refugee camps and shelters they stay in provide little to no security from traffickers who may kidnap children right from their families. Being separated from their parents and families along the journey from Myanmar to Bangladesh puts these children at an even greater risk for kidnapping, trafficking and exploitation.
India – Mumbai school horror: trustee of an international school arrested for ‘raping’ four-year-old girl.
Times Now News.
A High Court in India intervenes to expedite the the case of a school trustee allegedly sexually assaulting a four-year-old student. The incident took place in 2016 and was latter reported to the police after the mother of the victim noticed a change in behaviour of the child and marking on her private parts.
Ghana – Ghana to review law that protect children.
After the ‘defilement’ of a four-year-old girl, the laws relating to the protection of children in Ghana will be reviewed. Reviewing the laws, such as the Children’s Act and the Juvenile Justice Act, is meant to address the gaps in the law that are silent on prevalent child protection issues, including surrogacy, adoption and child trafficking. The Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection proposes stiffer punishments for perpetrators and more education for parents and children in rural communities. A Justice of the Supreme Court and a child rights activist both also recognize the importance in educating and empower parents and their children.
Nepal – The child brides of Nepal: why education alone is not enough to stop underage marriages.
South China Morning Post.
Despite the legal age of marriage bring twenty-years-old, the number of child marriages in Nepal is amongst the highest in the world. The story of a sixteen-year-old girl illustrates that being educated may not prevent girls from being married at a young age; education is instead seen as something that will help secure a better marriage. Community pressures and cultural views on honour seems to influence decisions of parents getting their daughters married.
Canada – Supreme Court case could have far-reaching implications for international child custody cases.
The mother of a child states that legal arguments rather than the interests of her child was the focus of her international child custody case. A ruling from the Supreme Court on the definition of ‘habitual residence’ under the Hague Convention will provide clarity on where a child will temporarily stay while a case is adjudicated. Differing interpretations of the definition as well as strict and literal adherence to the Convention often overlooks the best interests of children. Determining the habitual residence of a child provides stability for children to continue their education and build normalcy. It is warned, however, that parents may create artificial roots and attachments in order to influence a ruling on the habitual residence of a child.
The Philippines – 9 children rescued from ‘child photographer’ in Leyte.
Police arrested an individual suspected of child abuse after receiving a tip from American and Canadian authorities. It is alleged that the individual sexually abused children online in exchange for money. Amongst the children rescued was the individual’s eight-year-old daughter.
India – Too much, much too young.
South China Morning Post.
Poverty and culture are cited as the main factors influencing early marriage for the girl child. The stigma of premarital sex, family honour and not having enough money to support the whole family often influences whether a young girl will be forced into marriage, all of which more often happens in poor, under-developed villages rather than in urban cities. As such, the issues of children marriage is removed from discussion. A government health worker argues that early marriage endangers the health of the girl and the child while also perpetuating poverty. Government grassroots initiatives targeting villages are attempting to create change, but one activist says it is hard to do so when the values of villagers engrain a specific notion of family honour.
Bangladesh – Public health crisis underway in Cox’s Bazar as Rohingya children face tenfold increase in malnutrition.
Fears of a vary serious public health crisis deepens with an expected increase in the number of new refugees. Extreme food insecurity, unsanitary living conditions, and contaminated drinking water creates a great increase in expected and actual mortality of children. $12 million is cited as the amount necessary to meet the immediate needs over the next 12 months, but sustained solutions to the crisis in Bangladesh is argued to be contingent on the continued assistance and intervention of humanitarian agencies and further funding.
#MeToo victims’ campaign highlights need to educate parents and protect children from abuse.
South China Morning Post.
160 new cases of child sexual abuse have been reported between January and June of 2017, which experts argue is only a fraction of what actually occurs. A child abuse victim, now a mother, is concerned over how parents can educate their children on the risks of sexual abuse without scaring them. Creating a safe space in which children know they will not be judged but be openly heard is a start. Also, addressing myths around sexual abuse and online abuse is important because not only does it prevent victim blaming and judgemental conversations that are surrounded by traditional conservative assumptions, it also educates children and parents to be proactive in safeguarding themselves and their children against abuse.
Tanzania – No school, no salary: the children tricked into domestic servitude in Zanzibar.
Parents send their children to work in Zanzibar thinking that their children will have a chance to get an education, a job in the city and possibly support the family. Zanzibar’s tourism industry paints a picture that all of this is possible; however, that is far from the actual story of many. Children are brought to Zanzibar by agents claiming they can set up the children with domestic servitude jobs, but often times in these jobs the children are beaten, abused, paid little to no salary and denied an education. Sometimes when taken to Zanzibar children are trafficked and taken to different countries or islands within Tanzania.
India – Facebook allowed child abuse posts to say online for more than a year, Indian court hears.
Over 7000 complaints of images and descriptions of sexual explicit content involving minors have been received by Facebook. In many instances Facebook has been delayed in it’s efforts to report these complaints to the Indian police, only after court orders to overhaul policies dealing with child abuse content, has Facebook taken steps to remove postings that have been online for at least a year. Facebook claims that it has notified American authorities. Is it stated, however, that there are local child protection laws that would require Facebook to report the existence of child abuse material to Indian police. Despite tech companies ‘commitment’ to online child safety, thousands of incidents of child abuse online occurs.
U.K. – Baby P detective sues ‘bully’ police after exposing child abuse and corruption.
A former detective constable states he faced backlash after filing an intelligence report alleging several of his colleagues knew of, yet remained silent about, a prostitute abusing and prostituting young children. He states that the police were aware of the children being used for sex and that also at least one of the officers supplied the criminal gang with information about the investigation. The former detective constable was approached on several occasions by senior officers firmly encouraging him to stop his investigation into the child prostitution ring.
Colombia – Child labour persists in Colombia, new report indicates.
The Bogota Post.
Colombia has made progress is tackling child labour, but some significant hurdles still remain. Poverty drives many children living in rural areas to work in dangerous conditions in the agricultural sector in order to help their families. It is stated that there is a need for more labour inspectors to hold employers accountable and to provide assistance to children who are engaged in dangerous activities.
U.K. – Children waiting up to 18 months for mental health treatment – CQC.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) of England is shocked to find that children are experiencing long delays in receiving treatment for conditions such as anxiety and depression; it is stated that as a result some children are self-harming or dropping out of school. Despite improvements in some areas, there are repeated accounts by parents of not being able to get a referral or having to wait months for an assessment, during which parents state their child’s condition worsens. A rising demand for care, worsening staffing levels and a delay in funding are cited are reasons that threatens the quality of care for children with mental health issues.
Nepal – How some glue and a rusty bike helped a Nepalese girl escape chid marriage.
A 14-year-old girl is an inspiring example for girls in a Nepalese village. Her parents wanted her to drop out of school and get married instead, but Sheskalo refused to. With a plan to sell handcrafted baskets, bowels, calendars and incense at markets, Sheskalo was able to earn enough money to pay her own school fees. Because of poverty and cultural and societal conventions many villages sees girls dropping out of school to get married. School fees and the dangers of travelling alone to school encourages parents to pull their children, particularly their girl children, out of school.
Kenya – Global experts gather to enhance fight against child sexual abuse.
A dedicated Child Protection Unit in the Kenyan police serves as an example for other countries in fighting against child sexual abuse. It illustrates the importance of a wholistic and cooperative approach to tackle criminal networks that produce and perpetuate abusive material. Participants in a four day conference were educated on the importance of international cooperation as it was stated that a child may have been abused in one country while images of the abuse may be distributed around the world.
Canada – ‘Scared and cowardly,’ woman says she sexually abused child because she was told to.
The police were alerted to a sexual abuse case after a seven-year-old girl was advertised on Craigslist as available for sex. The assistant Crown attorney argues the accused was willfully blind to the events in question. This incident raises concerns and questions over the responsibility of online classifieds and social networking cites in stopping and preventing the sue of these cites to traffic and abuse children.
Australia – We must stop punishing children for a disadvantaged start in life.
A low minimum age of criminal responsibility is cited as a reason why the criminal justice system fails the youth and children of Australia and many other countries. Children may be arrested for begging, prostitution, or vagrancy. Aboriginal children and children that are disadvantaged, by either income or location, are stated to be overrepresented in the child protection and juvenile justice systems. The educational, health, and family support of children and youth are undervalued and ignored. Instead, children and youth are punished and thrown into the criminal justice system which does not address the underlying needs of children.
India – Smog chokes Indian capital as emergency measures fail to bring relief.
A New Delhi lawyer is said to petition the government to tackle the insufferable air pollution. Illegal crop burning, vehicle exhaust and dust are all claimed to have contributed to the public health emergency of toxic smog. When inhaled the poisonous airborne particles may causing respiratory diseases. Despite these dangers authorities reopen schools after an initial suspension over concerns about the smog.
Jamaica – MOU singed to aid elimination of child labour in Jamaica.
The Child Protection and Family Services Agency along with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU signals both organization’s willingness to cooperate in improving the quality of services provided to vulnerable children and their families. It is stated that the MOU will provided direction through establishing common goals, in keeping with the mandates of each organization.
Live-streaming of child sexual abuse a growing trend, charity warns.
Increased access to technology and the internet opens up a new area of concern for child protection. Cybersex trafficking, where children are forced to perform sexual acts for customers online located across the world, is a growing trend according to charities and authorities. Greater international cooperation is need in reporting and prosecuting perpetrators of these heinous crime.
Canada – should parents who abandon their babies be spared prosecution?
After a month-old baby was abandoned in a grassy area wrapped in just a blanket, a organization argues for safe-haven legislation that may persuade parents to instead give up their children safely and anonymously. The president of the Canadian Children’s Rights Council warns against comparisons of issues of child abandonment, and related legislation, in Canada and the United States as the social and economic circumstances surrounding child abandonment in each country differs significantly.
Pakistan – Workshop for tackling grief, loss in children of political violence held.
Policy makers, educationists, clinicians, parents and children all participated in a workshop to create recommendations on how to handle grief and loss in children created, at least in part, by political violence. The recommendations outlined how the government and media could take steps to positively support children and their families. Participants in the workshop also addressed cultural specific issues.
India – Indian village run by teenage girls offers hope for a life free from abuse.
The young girls of a village in an Indian state have been able to take control and create improvements in their village while also tabling for further improvements. The work of these girls has resulted in the a library being built, a completed health audit of the village and also in the fixing of street lights. The group, self titled as ‘the young girls’ club’, has drafted a petition for better transportation links that will be put to the local council in hopes that they can change their village. The initiatives of these young girls provides hope to other children who often flee their village in search for a better life, which puts them at risk for kidnapping and trafficking because they are traveling alone.
Pakistan – Re-defining child protection in Kasur.
With the pressures of civil society, aid organizations, human rights organizations and local media, police of Kasur arrested various individuals in relation to a child abuse scandal. The police argue that the individuals were arrested in the interest of speedy justice to the parents of child abuse and rape victims. Forensic reports, however, state that there is a single individual, suggesting that the individuals originally arrested are not the perpetrator. It is argued that more work needs to be done with civil society to educate them and sensitize them to the issues of child abuse so that they may help in ending child abuse in the district.
Malta – New child protection law ‘being revised’- Additions being made to improve its scope.
Times of Malta.
A pending child protection bill is being reviewed and is having additions made to it after recent court judgements and ongoing cases raised new and pressing issues, argues a legal consultant to the government. The passing of the bill was put on hold as the government argues it would rather make additions and revision now than after the bill’s initial implementation. The legal consultant to the government argues that by making revisions before implementation no one will be able to turn the absent issues into a political agenda, given the sensitivity of the bill’s subject being children.
Bangladesh – ‘Bangladesh has proved that it has a big heart,’
The president and CEO of Save the Children, Canada, visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh and answer questions about his experience and the future of support for children living in these refugee camps. The security issues unaccompanied children face is addressed, along with plans to ensure the basic rights of the Rohingya children. Also, the role and effort of international governments and agencies is acknowledged.
U.K. – Pupils suffering from anxiety and depression to receive counselling in schools.
The health secretary and the education secretary commits a new plan and funding in order to tackle child mental health in schools. Shorter waiting times for treatment and a proactive therapy and psychiatric help will be implemented to help children suffering from anxiety and depression. The new initiatives will only be available to a few schools to test the effectiveness of initiatives. While some officials welcome the commitment, others argue for the initiatives to be put into practice sooner and for there to be clearer answers on the adequacy of funding to ensure that all of those who need help will be able to access it.
India – ‘Child sexual abuse is about control and power and not mental disorder,’
The Times of India.
A mental health activist argues that child sexual abuse is a public health issue and that the way society approaches it should be changed. Rather than looking at the perpetrator through the lens of them having mental health issues or an inability to control urges, the issue of child sexual abuse should be looked at as an issue of power and control. A child advocacy group argues that to classify child sexual abuse as a mental issue is a gross oversimplification of the issue. The group further argues that child protection frameworks and policies need to be established and put in place along with background checks and complaints procedures in schools and any establishment which may come in contact with children.
U.K. – Sam Smith appeals for help for children in war.
Singh-songwriter Sam Smith raises awareness and funds for children affected by war. As the new global ambassador for War Child UK, Sam Smith visited Northern Iraq and the Jordan-Syrian border to get a real life sense of the mental and psychological impact of war on children, as is illustrated in a report published by War Child UK. Mental health and psychosocial support is urgently needed to help children recover from the mental impact of conflict and war. Establishing support networks is essential, but funding to do so it greatly needed.
Switzerland – Violence in childhood also a Swiss problem.
An India based children advocacy group urges rich countries, like Switzerland, to invest more in the prevention of violence. Corporal punishment in homes is one of the major sources of violence against children in Switzerland, despite parents’ right to the use of corporal punishment being removed from Swiss law. It is argued that steps towards banning corporal punishment, which will in turn prevent this form of violence, needs to be made. Others argue that criminalizing corporal punishment may not lead to long term change, instead changing the attitudes of society towards corporal punishment is what is needed.
Ghana – NGO launches online child abuse tracking system.
An online abuse tracking system will provide necessary research and information that will be used to develop better child protection policies. The tracking system will fill in the gaps in data as well as create awareness surrounding child protection. Collaborative efforts is urged, by NGO officials, between the government, non-state actors and civil society.
Turkey – Lawyers raise concerns over rising number of child sexual abuse cases in Turkey.
Hurriyet Daily News.
The number of child sexual abuses cases has risen by 700% in the past 10 years, reported by a statement released by eleven bar associations in Turkey, while only 15-20% of these cases are adjudicated. Child labour and forced child marriages are also among issues concerning child welfare in Turkey.
‘Learning for all’ must include children with disabilities.
The World Bank.
The World Bank reports that children with disabilities are receiving an education at a slower pace than children without disabilities. To close this gap, the World Bank supports lending projects, advisory actives, and analytic work; this includes teaching sign language in Vietnam, helping develop and implement education training for teachers as well as increasing school preparedness through school infrastructure rehabilitation. Projects also focus on assessing the individual needs of children and developing educational plans incorporating the individual needs of children.
All schools are not created equal when it comes to supporting girls.
Huffington Post Canada.
Ensuring the education of girls requires a wholistic perspective that takes into account factors which may lead to girls missing classes or dropping out of school. The financial costs of school, a lack of appropriate facilities and safety are among the issues that may keep girls from attending school. Plan International trains and equips teachers with the ability to recognize inequalities and develop plans and strategies that will allow girls to fully and equally participate in class. Also, Plan International helps teachers, guardians and school officials handle, report and refer cases of child abuse and harassment, when needed. The goal is to create a safe, supportive, and effective learning experience.
Democratic Republic of the Congo – Industry giants fails to tackle child labour allegations in cobalt battery supply chains.
A report published by Amnesty International states that only a handful of major electronics and electric vehicle companies have improved their cobalt sourcing practices. Companies either fail to report human rights risks and abuses or conducting inadequate investigations into their supply chains. A majority of the cobalt used in lithium-ion batteries is mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and it is reported that 20% of it is mined by hand. The conditions of mining cobalt poses serious health risks to the children and adults working, while also putting them at risk for serious mining accidents. Transparency and accountability in companies’ and businesses’ supply chains is key in tackle human rights risks and abuses.
India – Govt sitting on ‘secret’ report on nat’l, global child trafficking racket in U’khand: Child rights commission.
The Times of India.
The Uttarakhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights urges the state government to take immediate action after a report was published citing several instances of child trafficking from a shelter home. It is stated that despite the report being filed with the government three months ago, charges have not been investigated or filed against the perpetrators under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act; instead charges were registered under the Juvenile Justice Act and Child Labour Act despite it being argued that the cases are prima facie cases of child trafficking.
U.K. – LTA admits child protection failings after coach abused players for years.
Despite repeated reports of bullying and sexual harassment the Lawn Tennis Association, a governing body of Tennis in Britain, has failed to take action on incident reports until recently. The former head coach of one of the U.K.’s largest tennis centre plead guilty to seven counts of sexual activity with a girl and was sentenced to six years in prison. Coaches and parents of young players had on several occasions complained about the former coach’s bullying and sexual conduct, but Lawn Tennis Association allowed him to continue on as head coach. Even a police chief inspector warned that, in his professional opinion, the head coach was a sexual predator; still the association and tennis centre did not investigate into or report the former coach’s behaviour. It was argued by several people that the behaviour of the former coach was aggressive and obvious. The Lawn Tennis Association and the tennis centre has been criticized over the inadequacy of the safeguarding procedures and their promptness in responding to allegations.
Afghanistan – 11-year-old has spent her life in jail, a serial killer as a cellmate.
The New York Times.
Children are living most of their early lives in prison only because they were born to mothers who were imprisoned. This author visited a woman’s prison Afghanistan and recounts his interview with an 11-year-old girl who conceived, born and raised there, despite not having committed a crime.
Global agreements on migration and refugees should include commitments to protect children, UNICEF urges world leaders.
World leaders meet to draft the Global Compact for Migration, an international agreement that will cover all dimensions of international migration. A UNICEF report shows how counties can use their resources, as scarce as they may be, to protect and care for refugee and migrant children; it present case studies of several countries in which the government, civil society and communities work to implement strategies to support children and their families. The UNICEF report further states that it is crucial to have policies that will protection vulnerable refugees, women and children, from abuse, sexual exploitation, and that will provide access to social services.
U.K. – Firms ditch YouTube ads over predatory comments on videos of children.
Despite policies and flaggers, comments and videos of sexually explicit offensive material is being posted on YouTube, causing some companies such as Mars, Deutsche Bank and Cadbury to suspend advertising. A public affairs manager argues that government intervention and an independent regulator is necessary to protect children online. YouTube has stated that it has noticed a growing trend of videos and comments that attempt to pass as family-friendly content. YouTube states it will take an even more aggressive stance towards such content by disabling comments on videos of minors where they see these types of comments.
Canada – Sudbury judge accused of interfering in mother’s attempt to regain custody of her daughter.
A judge is a facing disciplinary hearing after accessing confidential information about a woman and her daughter in a child protection matter. Text messages were obtained by children’s aid society from the woman after, it was argued, she felt pressured to do so given that the children’s aid society has custody and control over her child. A representative states that she gave the mother no assurances as to how the text messages would be sued after they were handed over. The children’s aid society then passed the text messages on the the judge, which sparked the disciplinary hearing.
India – Kolkata nursery student rape: Parents demand arrest of Kolata school principal.
After a four-year-old girl was allegedly sexually assaulted inside a private school, parents of children who were also sexually assaulted in the same school demand the arrest of the school’s principal. It is alleged that the school’s principal withheld facts and failed to take preventative measures in light of previous similar events.
U.K. – Nearly 200 people held in UK-wide online child abuse operation.
Police warn of the increase use of live streaming and online sites to groom children for sexual abuse. It was stated that the most serious offences involved people in positions of trust, working in areas such as teaching, healthcare and criminal justice. The Chief Constable argues that internet companies need to take an active role in helping prevent and stop access to sexual abusive materials on their platforms.
Canada – Bereaved Alberta mother fights to resurrection of Serenity’s Law.
A mother is fighting to revive Bill 216, Serenity’s Law, after the death of her four-year-old daughter. The mother argues her two older children faced sexual abuse and her four-year-old daughter faced sexual abuse, starvation, and hypothermia, among other ailments, while in kinship care. Bill 216 presents a six months in jail or a $10, 000 fine for adults who fail to report to police any child who needs intervention. It is stated that the guardians of the four-year-old girl each face one count of failing to provide the necessaries of life, although they have not been charged directly with the little girl’s death.
Pakistan – Govt committed to eradicating child labour at brick kilns: DC.
The Express Tribune.
The governments provides funding to provide education and necessary supplies and facilities to children who are working in brick kilns districts. Steps have also been taken to register the violations of those employing children in the hazardous conditions. While there exists several laws against child labour, little has been done on the ground level to enforce these laws and take effective measures.
Sundan – AU calls for making use of Sudan experience in the child affairs.
At a session of the African Experts on Child Rights, the African Union Humanitarian Affairs commissioner makes recommendations on how to advance child rights and child protection. A greater role of the media in spreading awareness and adopting legislation that will guarantee health care and education for children are advocated for by the affairs commissioner.
U.K. – It’s not enough to train GP’s in child protection. What happen’s next?
A general practitioner recounts his experience in safeguarding children through referring cases to child protection services. He states that when a case is referred the child in need either does not receive help or is delayed in receiving urgent help. It is stated that the child protection system focuses on severe cases, often concerning physical or sexual abuse, because the tools and resources of the children’s social services have been cut. It is difficult to respond to the growing number of referrals when the government has not provided the child protection system with adequate funding and resources to manage the needs of children.
Partnerships for children, UNICEF – Government of Djibouti Country Programme 2018-2022.
The government of Djibouti and UNICEF partners to ensure that vulnerable children are not left behind in the time of economic and social development. The plan, guided by the Sustainable Development Goals, will reduce under-five and mother mortality, provide equitable access to quality education and provide access to child and social protection services.
U.K. – Child abuse survivor’s powerful statement to attacker in court.
A victim of sexual abuse describes in court the pain and trauma he suffered in the aftermath of him being molested. The hope is that his victim impact statement will influence the sentencing of the perpetrator.
Modern slavery and child labour: Asia’s unacceptable record.
South China Morning Post.
A cooperative approach is needed to eliminate the millions of children sill working in forced labour in Asia and the Pacific. Looking at what is causing children to work in forced labour and forced sexual exploitation, i.e. the underlying issues, will enable policy makers to create policies and legislations that will end the this trend as well as prevent it from rising or reoccurring. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by world leaders and is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. It is stated that efforts to move away from isolated solutions has made a difference in declining rates child labour, but to continue this momentum all levels of society are needed to work together.
India – Children rape burnt into submission in Indian brothels – report.
Thomson Reuters Foundation News.
Threats, physical violence, being raped and witnessing the murder of other minors are all tactics used by traffickers to condition and break down the resilience of children. These children are forced into the commercial sex trade and are kept there by debt bondages, where the traffickers are telling the children they cannot leave until they have paid back a certain amount of money, after being told they have been sold. The children have also been told they cannot leave because the traffickers fed, clothed and housed them for long periods. A study conducted by International Justice Mission explores the horrific conditions trafficked girls face.
Canada – Child sex offenders in U.S. now identified on passports. Will Canada follow suit? Global News.
In an aim to crack down on child sex tourism and child exploitation, convicted and registered child sex offenders in the U.S. will have their passports branded with a statement identifying them as such. While some people in Canada agree with the decision in the U.S. other are opposing it, such as criminal defence lawyers, who argue that such measures do not assist boarder security officers but instead publicly shames offenders and as such may harm society in the long run.
India – Tourism sports face threat from lurking predators.
The Times of India City.
A lack of reports sends that message that sexual abuse and sex tourism is not a problem; this however is far from the truth. Often times the victims or families of the victims are unwilling to come forward or cooperate with police; it is not know why this occurs but is suggested that it is the money they receive which prevents them from fully cooperating. Consistent and continuous monitoring and checks of hotels, restaurants and shops near tourist cities is suggested a means to curb sex tourism.
Malawi – After avoiding early marriage, Malawi woman provides free education to rural girls.
Voice of America.
Because of financial strains girl children are often forced to drop out of school, before completing a secondary education, and get married, or sometimes they don’t even have a chance at an education. A woman is bringing hope to young girls in a village by funding their education through donations from various rotary clubs and organizations in Canada. She also hopes to create job opportunities for girls and women in this village.
U.K. – The UK is turning back the clock on the education of disabled children.
Parents fear inclusive education for children with disabilities will no longer be inclusive after schools claim that, in part, budgetary pressures force them to make cuts. The needs of children with disabilities have been, and continue to be, overlooked resulting in their segregation; subsequently these children either have to be home schooled or are not able to reach their full potential while in school.
China – Back to school: China kindergarten weathers child abuse storm for now.
A school operated by a private company face allegations of violence and abuse, including sexual molestation and forced medication. After an investigation some of the allegations were proven false. This incident, however, raises questions of regulatory oversight on the part of the government in light of the fact that the school has faced similar incidents in the past and that the school is still operational while none of their licenses have been revoked. The development of private sector education and the social recognition of the importance of educators raises many issues and questions.
Armenia: Protection of child’s rights at special institutions should be improved: a legal analysis on the main guidelines has been published
Armenian News Network – December 27, 2017
The Human Rights Defender’s Office drafted a legal analysis on the guidelines of RA Human Rights Defender’s activities in the protection of child’s rights. Progress in the field of child’s rights protection in Armenia entails provision of all the necessary conditions for a child to live in a family, to be loved and receive cared while growing up, be heard in respect of matters concerning them, and have necessary preconditions for easy resolution of their rights in cases of violations.
Also: Legal Analysis (English): Guidelines for the Activities of the RA Human Rights Defender in the Field of Protection of the Rights of the Child: http://www.ombuds.am/images/eng_final.pdf
Canada: Why Does Canada Spy on Its Own Indigenous Communities? Level of State Surveillance is Disproportionate, and Speaks to the Broad Criminalization of Indigenous Peoples (Opinion)
openDemocracy – December 27, 2017
Government agencies have engaged in surveillance and information-gathering activities focused on Indigenous leaders and activists. Take for example the case of Dr. Cindy Blackstock, who is a Gitksan activist for child welfare, the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, and a Professor of Social Work at McGill University. Dr. Blackstock’s organization (along with the Assembly of First Nations) had sought justice at Canada’s Human Rights Tribunal regarding the federal government’s failure to provide equal funding for services for First Nations children, youth and families living on First Nations reserves.
Canada: Evaluations of childhood trauma now used in Calgary to gauge health of adults, expectant mothers
CBC News – December 26, 2017
Intuition would tell you that bad experiences in childhood could lead to more bad things down the road, but doctors in Alberta are now finding new ways of integrating the research on childhood adversity into their day-to-day care. The medical term is adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, and they include everything from childhood abuse to moving often, or having a family member with mental illness.
Afghanistan: Protection Cluster Factsheet – Southern Region Update (November 2017)
Relief Web – December 27, 2017
In October 2017, a Child Protection Unit (CPU) was established in the Afghan National Police (ANP) recruitment center in Kandahar to avoid child recruitment while in November-2017, CPU’s were also established in ANP recruitment centers in Helmand, Zabul and Nimroz Provinces. A CPU in Urozgan is in the process of being established.
United Nations Fact Sheet: Afghanistan: South region Protection Cluster Factsheet – November 2017: https://data2.unhcr.org/en/documents/download/61434
Iraq: UNHCR welcomes additional contribution from Germany to help protect and assist displaced Iraqis
Relief Web – December 27, 2017
The generous funding from Germany will also enable UNHCR to carry out its protection activities for internally displaced Iraqis including prevention and response to gender-based violence and child protection, support to the government to issue/renew civil status and identity documents to displaced Iraqis, protection monitoring and psychosocial support. These services are provided through both community based approaches and individual interventions.
UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) Federal Republic of Germany Press Release (English): https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNHCR%20Federal%20Republic%20of%20Germany%20Press%20Release%20ENG.pdf
US: The Foster Care System Is Flooded With Children Of The Opioid Epidemic (Includes audio)
KUCB – December 23, 2017
Indiana is among the states that have seen the largest one-year increase in the number of children who need foster care. Judge Marilyn Moores, who heads the juvenile court in Marion County, which includes Indianapolis, says the health crisis is straining resources in Indiana.
US: Upholding the Dignity of Incarcerated Women (Commentary)
American Progress – December 22, 2017
Half of all women in prison are incarcerated more than 100 miles from their families. Children of incarcerated mothers are more likely to be placed in foster care than the children of incarcerated fathers. This disparity is due to the fact that of the 59 percent of incarcerated women who have children under the age of 18, approximately 77 percent were the primary caretakers of their children prior to incarceration.
US: Congress provides short-term funding for Children’s Health Insurance Program (Includes video)
CNN Money – December 21, 2017
Congress is injecting nearly $3 billion into the Children’s Health Insurance Program to keep it funded through March. The money is included in a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government open.
US: Maternity wards are disappearing from rural America
Governing – December 21, 2017
As rural hospitals struggle to keep their doors open, the high cost of ob-gyn wards makes them one of the first things cut.
US: To curb illegal border crossings, Trump administration weighs new measures targeting families
Washington Post – December 21, 2017
The Trump administration is considering measures to halt a surge of Central American families and unaccompanied minors coming across the Mexican border, including a proposal to separate parents from their children, according to officials with knowledge of the plans. These measures, described on the condition of anonymity because they have not been publicly disclosed, would also crack down on migrants living in the United States illegally who send for their children. That aspect of the effort would use data collected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to target parents for deportation after they attempt to regain custody of their children from government shelters.
Australia: SA Child Protection gets $160 million funding boost to provide commercial care
News Grio – December 22, 2017
Department figures show 3,509 South Australian children were living in out-of-home care as of November this year. Most were in foster or kinship care, but 502 were in residential and commercial care
Zanzibar: When good laws change lives: Securing Child Rights in Zanzibar
Huffington Post – December 22, 2017
Zanzibar’s Children’s Act was born in 2011 addressing all aspects of children’s rights with respect to family, parentage, custody, maintenance, adoption, and protection from violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. Efforts to bring this law to life in a way that can be felt by every child in Zanzibar have continued ever since with the creation of a new integrated child protection system and the adoption of National Plan of Action on Violence Against Women and Children. Crucially, the different elements of this new system support and complement each other in a strategic and coherent way.
nternational: Sesame Workshop to Address Refugee Children’s Trauma With Help From Elmo and $100 Million (Includes video)
Education Week – December 20, 2017
The Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee, a refugee aid group, won a first-of-its kind $100 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Wednesday for an ambitious education and outreach program designed to address the needs of displaced Syrian children.
US: At Year’s End, Many Youth-Related Programs and Policies On The Line
Chronicle of Social Change – December 20, 2017
As the calendar year ends, Congress is poised to head home after the likely passage of a massive tax reform package today. But with less than two full weeks left in 2017, a lot of programs and policies important to youth and families are in limbo. Here’s a quick rundown.
Also: Child Welfare Information Gateway resource: Service Array: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/
US: How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants (Includes audio)
National Public Radio (NPR) – December 20, 2017
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every 1,000 live births, 4.8 white infants die in the first year of life. For black babies, that number is 11.7. Scientists and doctors have spent decades trying to understand what makes African-American women so vulnerable to losing their babies. Now, there is growing consensus that racial discrimination experienced by black mothers during their lifetime makes them less likely to carry their babies to full term.
US: Expand Your Family and Vocabulary as a Foster Parent (Commentary)
Newsmax – December 19, 2017
Here’s a way you can build your vocabulary and make a decision to do some positive good this year and for many years in the future. Romper.com recently ran a column titled “10 Words Only a Foster Parent Would Know.” Some words were Latinate legal terms and others were acronyms for government bureaucracies. But there were a few that carried incalculable emotional baggage and only serve to emphasize what a crucial service for good and humanity foster parents provide.
International: Global effort to get kids out of orphanages gains momentum (Commentary)
Associated Press – December 19, 2017
Across the globe, intensive efforts are underway to get children out of orphanages. Bulgaria and the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Moldova have made strides. China says it is now able to provide care for three-quarters of its orphans and abandoned children via foster homes or adoption. Rwanda is set to soon become the first African country to eliminate orphanages. But it’s a goal that remains elusive in many other countries – in India, where privately run, poorly regulated orphanages abound, and in Nepal and Haiti, where unscrupulous orphanage operators sometimes pay parents to relinquish their children and then profit from donations from sympathetic foreigners.
Kenya: Officials raid Likoni madrasa over child trafficking suspicions
Daily Nation – December 19, 2017
Detectives from the anti-human trafficking and child protection units on Tuesday whisked away 95 children from a madrasa in Likoni over child trafficking and abuse suspicions. Directorate of Criminal Investigation official Grace Ndirangu said some of the children found at at the institution were foreigners from United Kingdom, United States, Zambia and Tanzania.
Sudan: UNMISS “children not soldiers” campaign encourages South Sudan army to protect children in Pibor
United Nations Mission in South Sudan – December 20, 2017
The Sudan People’s Liberation Army brigade based in the troubled town of Pibor has committed to protecting children caught up in the armed conflict that has raged across the country for four years. Brigade 23 has pledged to protect children against six specific grave violations including recruitment and use of children in the armed forces, killing and maiming of children, sexual violence against children, attacks against schools and hospital, abduction of children and denial of humanitarian access.
US: As Federal Home Visiting Remains In Limbo, Stress Sets In For Programs (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 18, 2017
It certainly feels like a long time ago that child welfare advocates were brimming with confidence that a bipartisan reauthorization for Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting program (MIECHV) – the $400 million-per-year federal home visiting program that supports programs pairing professionals with young moms – would sail through Congress.
US: In the fight against the opioid epidemic, lawsuits could be a useful tool
Michigan Public Radio – December 18, 2017
The number of government lawsuits against prescription opioid makers and distributors is rising rapidly. “There are over a hundred that have been filed by state governments, federal governments, local governments, and then Native American tribes,” said Rebecca Haffajee, assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health.
US: Woman convicted for false Facebook post
Hutchinson News – December 18, 2017
A South Hutchinson woman who posted comments on Facebook falsely suggesting a Nickerson teacher was a child predator — while the educator was actually providing foster care for the woman’s son — was convicted Monday in an online harassment case that may be one of the first of its kind in the nation.
US: Fighting Off the Wolves: ED and HHS Host Landmark Human Trafficking Prevention Event
US Department of Education – December 15, 2017
In late October, ED hosted a powerful event in tandem with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), during which a panel of parents, survivors, and subject matter experts, along with representatives from ED, HHS, and the community, discussed ways in which we all need to be working to keep our children out of harm’s way.
Also: U.S. Department of Education’s Guide: Human Trafficking in America’s School: http://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/human-trafficking-americas-schools
Australia: Society pays a heavy price for jailing children (Commentary)
Eureka Street – December 12, 2017
We may feel momentary relief that a dangerous little villain is being dealt with. But the cost of imprisonment is lasting and heavy: a still malleable child whose path might have changed is stunted in their development and sent to a preparatory school likely to graduate to a lifetime in adult prisons. This is a heavy price to pay in terms of human happiness and the public purse.
United Kingdom: Action urged on funding gap as child protection investigations reach 500 a day
Public Law Today – December 12, 2017
Adding that some 90 children were now entering the care system every day, the Association urged the Government to use the upcoming Local Government Finance Settlement to resolve what it claimed is a 2-billion pound funding gap facing children’s services by 2020.
US: Border Arrests Surge, Erasing Much of Trump’s Early Gains
Associated Press – December 15, 2017
The U.S. government posted a seventh straight monthly increase in people being arrested or denied entry along the Mexican border, erasing much of the early gains of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Also: There’s been a staggering increase in child, family apprehensions at the border: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/theres-been-a-staggering-increase-in-child-family-apprehensions-at-the-border/article/2643695
US: Federal Investigation Finds ‘Significant Issues’ At Immigrant Detention Centers
National Public Radio – December 14, 2017
Immigrants detained at four large centers used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement are subject to inhumane treatment, given insufficient hygiene supplies and medical care, and provided potentially unsafe food, according to a federal report.
US: Overburdened Mental Health Providers Thwart Police Push for Drug Treatment
Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline – December 14, 2017
Police officers in the drug unit here have ended their routine of arresting every drug user who shoplifts and steals weed whackers off porches to pay for their drug habit. Instead, they’re referring some of them to treatment, leaving more time to pursue major drug arrests. The approach seems to be working. In the last three years, more than 170 low-level drug offenders have decided to sign up for addiction treatment instead of being taken into custody, and more than 70 percent of them have turned their lives around. But in a worsening opioid epidemic, West Virginia’s effort to replicate Charleston’s Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program has run into a daunting obstacle: wariness among overburdened mental health providers.
US: Social services grants, bedrock for many counties (Commentary)
National Association of Counties (NACo) – December 14, 2017
The Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1981 (P.L. 97-35) and is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The flexibility of SSBG is crucial to its recipients as it helps fill the gaps in and between other human services programs receiving insufficient federal funding.
US: Spending deal offers short-term CHIP relief
Governing – December 11, 2017
The bill signed by President Trump helps states keep the Children’s Health Insurance Program afloat, but it doesn’t offer any reassurance that kids won’t lose their health care in 2018.
Australia: Australia reckons with the national tragedy of child sexual abuse
Public Radio International – December 15, 2017
“A national tragedy.” That’s how the Australian prime minister characterized the findings, released Friday, of a five-year investigation into child sexual abuse.
Also: Australia’s royal commission calls for mandatory child sex abuse reports: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/12/15/Australias-royal-commission-calls-for-mandatory-child-sex-abuse-reports/1951513310427/?spt=rrs&or=11
US: Children Awaiting Parents: Expediting the Adoption Process for Older Foster Kids
Minority Reporter – December 14, 2017
Children Awaiting Parents is a national non-profit that recruits adoptive families for children in foster care, and the organization has recently created the Donald J. Corbett Adoption Agency, in an effort to expedite the adoption process for older foster kids.
US: HRCF Report Details Harms of Writing Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination in Child Welfare Services into Law (Press release)
Human Rights Campaign – December 14, 2017
Today, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released Disregarding the Best Interest of the Child: License to Discriminate In Child Welfare Services, a report detailing the harms of efforts to write anti-LGBTQ discrimination by child welfare agencies into law. The publication of the comprehensive resource comes as legislatures across the country prepare to reconvene in January, with many states poised to consider anti-LGBTQ bills.
US: Social workers lack tools to identify potential chronic child neglect, study suggests
Science Daily – December 14, 2017
Neglect accounts for more than 75 percent of all child protection cases in the United States, yet, despite this alarming frequency, child welfare workers lack effective assessment tools for identifying the associated risk and protective factors of chronic neglect, according to Patricia Logan-Greene, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.
US: Trump, Congress Have Yet to Fill Top Jobs at Youth Serving Federal Agencies
Chronicle of Social Change – December 14, 2017
Following are a few of the still-vacant top jobs relevant to youth and family services.
Australia: Vatican should consider voluntary celibacy for priests says Aussie child abuse commission
Australian Associated Press – December 15, 2017
It wants widespread reforms including extending mandatory reporting laws to include people in religious ministry, even if the information was revealed in confession. The inquiry controversially suggests the Catholic Church consider voluntary celibacy for its priests, despite acknowledging it has been a major strand of the Catholic tradition from the earliest centuries.
Also: Child abuse inquiry wants lasting changes: https://www.949powerfm.com.au/news/news/87076-child-abuse-inquiry-wants-lasting-changes
Also: Australian Catholic leaders reject key calls by child abuse inquiry (Includes video): http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/14/asia/australia-child-abuse-commission-recommendations/index.html
US: ‘Will They Take Me, Too?’
New York Times – December 14, 2017
More than a thousand children are counting on Nora Sándigo to become their guardian if their undocumented parents are deported. How many of those promises will she now have to keep?
US: Advancing Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health – One Relationship at a Time (Commentary)
Georgetown University Health Policy Institute – December 13, 2017
Given all the competing issues, policymakers need a compelling reason to take action on emotional health, or, infant and early childhood mental health (IECMH). They need information about the potential benefits of early identification, the expected “pay off” or return on investment, and they need to hear directly from families (their constituents) about the value of services and supports. Policymakers also need to see how investments in IECMH can affect their other priorities.
Also: ZERO TO THREE and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s joint National survey to better understand awareness of and attitudes toward emotional development in young children and infants: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/2124-public-perceptions-of-baby-brain-development-a-national-survey-of-voters
US: Connecting Talent with Purpose: Why Cities Must Collaborate with Academia on Gov Tech Innovation
Government Technology – December 13, 2017
Goldsmith emphasized the importance of taking a broader view of relationships between cities and institutions, one that supersedes arbitrary obstacles such as geography. He noted that during his time as deputy mayor of New York City, there was a problem with child welfare in his jurisdiction, but a foremost researcher on the subject was doing his work in Chicago and the issues there. Coincidence presents another challenge. “Too often these relationships have been dominated by the coincidence of whether the research agenda of the university professor matches the priorities of the mayor,” Goldsmith said. Moving forward, Goldsmith suggested that better organization of urban challenges and the academic research related to them would benefit both cities and researchers.
US: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Awards More Than $29 Million in Grants in the Fourth Quarter of 2017 (Press release)
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – December 13, 2017
The board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that 23 grants and one program related investment totaling more than $29 million were approved in the fourth quarter of 2017, bringing the total amount of grants awarded in 2017 to more than $121 million. This surpasses the dollar amount of grants awarded in 2016 by more than $10 million. Grants were awarded to organizations addressing homelessness, foster youth, young children affected by HIV and AIDS, safe water, and serving underserved communities and schools.
US: Report Finds Youth Homelessness on the Rise, Asks Congress for Help
Chronicle of Social Change – December 13, 2017
A national study conducted by researchers at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago found that one in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 experienced some kind of homelessness over the past year. For youth between the ages of 13 and 17, that number is one in 30. That’s 3.5 million young adults and 700,000 adolescents who are homeless, according to the new report Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America.
Report: Missed Opportunities: Youth Homelessness in America: http://voicesofyouthcount.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/ChapinHall_VoYC_NationalReport_Final.pdf
US: The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Elects Don Gimbel to Board of Directors (Press release)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) – December 13, 2017
The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has elected Don Gimbel, portfolio manager for Geneva Advisors, LLC to their Board of Directors. “I am honored to serve on the board of a thriving national nonprofit,” said Gimbel. “I have been involved and interested in child welfare for many years, and am dedicated to the time and commitment to improve the lives of families and children who seek justice. The NCJFCJ continues to make tremendous progress because of the diversity of our membership.”
US: Trump Wants Dramatic Cuts to Children’s Programs to Pay for Corporate Tax Breaks (Includes video)(Commentary)
Newsweek – December 13, 2017
As Democrats and Republicans work to keep the federal government open, attempting to pass a comprehensive budget plan before December 22, a new study shows that President Donald Trump wants to significantly reduce spending on children’s education and health care. “When you cut spending on children you’re putting our country’s future economic growth at risk,” said Julia B. Isaacs, author of the study. “You’re undercutting our commitment to helping every child succeed no matter what their background-this is a refutation of the American Dream.”
Report: How Would Spending on Children be Affected by the Proposed 2018 Budget? A Kids’ Share Analysis of the President’s 2018 Budget: https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/95306/spending_under_administration_budget_final3.pdf
Information Gateway resource: Health Insurance: Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/health/insurance/#chip
Australia: & Ireland: What Australia can learn from Ireland 8 years after its own royal commission (Commentary)
News Grio – December 13, 2017
Ireland is still debating the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church, eight years after a royal commission into the matter delivered its groundbreaking report. The Ryan Commission published its report in 2009, 10 years after it began, and found that “beyond a doubt the entire system treated children like prison inmates and slaves”. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia is due to hand down its final report on December 15.
US: The Policy Labs We Urgently Need (Commentary)
Governing – December 13, 2017
Following a bipartisan call to “improve the evidence available for making decisions about government programs and policies,” Congress is poised to pass legislation to establish secure infrastructure to accelerate statistical uses of federal administrative data while also ensuring stringent privacy protections for that data. But some states are already out ahead, establishing offices known as data labs or policy labs to enable them to partner with academia and make use of their administrative data to evaluate and improve programs and policies. In Chicago, for example, the Center for State Child Welfare Data helps multiple state governments create secure, longitudinal databases to make better use of their own data to help children.
Information Gateway resource: Evidence-Based Practice: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/evidence/
US: How is the opioid crisis affecting children? (Commentary)
Associated Press – December 12, 2017
Public attention to the historic wave of opioid addiction gripping the U.S. has focused mostly on its effect on adults and the thousands who have died of overdoses. Missed by much of the spotlight, though, is a hidden epidemic: children who have fallen victim to opioids’ wrath because a parent’s drug use has left them in danger and thrust them into the foster care system. A look at the issues surrounding children caught up in the opioid epidemic.
US: Indian Child Welfare Act under attack again as conservative group submits appeal to Supreme Court (Commentary)
Indianz – December 12, 2017
The conservative Goldwater Institute is attacking the Indian Child Welfare Act again. The group has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an ICWA case from California. The petition in Renteria v. Superior Court of California, Tulare County claims the 1978 law is based on “race” and should be deemed unconstitutional. The case comes in a custody dispute over three girls whose parents were killed in a December 2015 crash. The girls’ father, Matthew Cuellar, was a citizen of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians, The Fresno Bee reported.
Australia: Pedophile Barred From Leaving Australia as Sex Tourism Law Takes Effect
New York Times – December 13, 2017
An Australian law barring registered child sex offenders from international travel had an immediate impact when it took effect on Wednesday, stopping a convicted pedophile and turning him away from Sydney Airport. The law – which government officials have called a “world first” – prevents convicted pedophiles from leaving Australia without permission from law enforcement agencies. The law is meant to keep Australian pedophiles out of Southeast Asian sex tourism markets.
Also: Pedophile stopped at Sydney Airport by anti-sex tourism law: https://nypost.com/2017/12/13/pedophile-stopped-at-sydney-airport-by-anti-sex-tourism-law/
Chronicle of Social Change – December 11, 2017
Most young people look forward to the day they will turn 18. It marks the beginning of a time for exploration, growth, and new beginnings. But for young people who grow up in the U.S. foster care system, turning 18 can often be a troubling and startling experience.
US: Reforms to U.S. Child Welfare System Could Reduce Costs and Improve Outcomes (Press release)
RAND – December 11, 2017
Expanding prevention and treatment services in the U.S. child welfare system could improve the lives of children and reduce total lifetime expenses of such services by 3 to 7 percent, according to a revised RAND Corporation report.
Report: Improving Child Outcomes: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1775-1.html
Europe: Europe’s Plan to End Its Migrant Crisis Is Failing
New Yorker – December 08, 2017
On the Greek island of Lesvos, the number of refugees is rising again and camps are overflowing.
US: Immigration-rights advocates say Homeland Security is using minors as ‘bait’ (Commentary)
Global Sisters Report – December 11, 2017
The complaint is on behalf of the approximately 400 people arrested this summer in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement effort that the groups allege used unaccompanied minors as bait: When parents and other relatives came forward to sponsor children who would otherwise be kept in detention centers, they were arrested and detained.
Information Gateway resource: Ethical Practice & Client Rights: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/ethical/
US: Connie Hickman Tanner, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
Northern Nevada Business Weekly – December 08, 2017
Connie Hickman Tanner has been appointed chief program officer, Child Welfare and Juvenile Law at the Reno-based National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
US: Immigration From Mexico Drops, but Increases From Central America
Courthouse News Service – December 08, 2017
Immigration to the United States from the so-called Northern Triangle of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras rose by 25 percent in eight years, the Pew Research Center reported Thursday. Citing better work and economic opportunities but also fear of widespread crime and violence in their home countries, immigrants both legal and illegal have been entering the United States from the Northern Triangle in sharply rising numbers.
US: National Academy of Medicine should revisit issue of fetal alcohol exposure (Commentary)
Ob. Gyn. News – December 08, 2017
More than 20 years ago the Institute of Medicine (recently renamed the National Academy of Medicine, or NAM) issued its landmark report on fetal alcohol syndrome. Since then, there has been an explosion of research on the issue of fetal alcohol exposure – and NAM needs to revisit the issue and release another report.
http://www.mdedge.com/obgynnews/article/153903/addiction-medicine/national-academy-medicine-should-revisit-issue-fetalAustralia: Integrated approach
Shepparton News – December 11, 2017
Victoria Police has launched its five-year vision and strategic plan to address family violence, sexual offences and child abuse. The strategy is the next stage of Victoria Police’s reform agenda, building on previous work to combat violence against women and children, who are the predominant victims.
Ireland: Mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse becomes law
RTE – December 11, 2017
The Children’s Ombudsman said the introduction of mandatory reporting of suspected abuse required a Government commitment to make sure no child falls through the cracks.
United Kingdom: Scheme to share responsibility unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is extended
LocalGov (UK) – December 08, 2017
A scheme to make sure local authorities share responsibilities for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children is to be extended to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
United Kingdom: Survivors of one of Britain’s worst child abuse scandals promised groundbreaking 100m pounds compensation
Mirror – December 08, 2017
Survivors of one of Britain’s worst child abuse scandals have been promised a groundbreaking £100million compensation scheme. It means that an estimated 3,000 of people who grew up in its care at Shirley Oaks and other homes could be entitled to up 125,000 pounds each.
US: When Immigration Detention Means Losing Your Kids (Includes audio)
NPR – December 08, 2017
Immigration attorneys are warning that without preventative measures, more children will end up in foster care, and their parents will struggle to regain custody from outside the United States.
US: At State Department, Lawrence Inherits Turbulent Time for Intercountry Adoption (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 07, 2017
Among the issues that have led to fewer intercountry adoptions are increased domestic adoptions in other countries (especially China and Korea), political discord between the United States and Russia, concerns about unethical practices (Guatemala, Romania, Cambodia) and lack of post-adoption reporting by adoptive families (Kazakhstan).
US: Ex-USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60 years on child porn charges (Includes video)
Cable News Network (CNN) – December 07, 2017
Larry Nassar, the disgraced former USA Gymnastics team doctor who admitted to sexually abusing underage girls, has been sentenced to 60 years in federal prison on child pornography charges, a court official said Thursday.
US: For foster care kids, college degrees are elusive
Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline – December 07, 2017
At a time when many parents help their children navigate every twist and turn of their academic lives, former and current foster youth have a particularly difficult path. If they don’t have a parental figure to guide them, they’re often left on their own to maneuver through the maze of college applications and financial aid paperwork.
US: Making the Grade: A Progress Report and Next Steps for Integrated Student Supports
Child Trends – December 07, 2017
In recent years, the education field has come to recognize the role of schools in supporting student health, safety, and well-being by developing integrated student support initiatives. These offer specific services and supports to students and their families to build a foundation for academic success.
US: Predictive Analytics And Child Protective Services (Commentary)
CIO Review – December 07, 2017
While this form of predictive analytics has life-saving potential, it also comes with the risk of removing children from loving, safe households if not used thoughtfully and correctly. Proper training on how to interpret and act on the insights and results these advanced analytics services and solutions produce is essential for the welfare of children and families.
US: Some states aim to get more foster youth graduating from college
Christian Science Monitor – December 07, 2017
Foster children don’t always have the support system they need to navigate adult decisions for a successful college experience. Some states are hoping to change that by providing counseling and funds for individuals transitioning from foster care to college life.
US: How the Federal Government Helps Families Meet Child Care Needs
Pew Charitable Trusts – December 06, 2017
Child care is essential for many American families, but most parents say they have difficulty finding affordable, high-quality care in their community, with the sentiment cutting across race, income, and educational background. The federal government helps families afford child care through a combination of tax credits and spending programs.
US: Crucial disparities exist in the economic well-being of youth transitioning out of foster care
Annie E. Casey Foundation – December 04, 2017
Opportunity Passport Participant Survey Results Show Employment Helps Many Thrive. A new report completed for the Annie E. Casey Foundation examines the economic well-being of youth transitioning out of foster care, with assistance from the Jim Casey Initiative’s Opportunity Passport program.
Canada: Canada signs MOU with Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs to drive change in child and families services (Press release)
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – December 07, 2017
Today the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Jane Philpott, along with the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett and Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs signed a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at achieving concrete outcomes in child welfare, and supporting the needs and aspirations of First Nations in Manitoba.
US: Safe Cities And Legal Representation For Immigrants (Includes audio)
WYPR – December 06, 2017
As the Trump Administration bears down on immigration enforcement, what is the recourse of immigrants facing deportation, who are often without funds to enlist a lawyer’s help, or even the basic understanding of what that would mean? We hear from Annie Chen a program director from the Vera Institute of Justice about the SAFE Cities Network initiative. It’s a nationwide effort to bolster access to legal representation for immigrants and also provide education regarding legal rights.
Also: DHS announces progress in enforcing immigration laws, protecting Americans (Press release): https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/dhs-announces-progress-enforcing-immigration-laws-protecting-americans
Also: Border arrests plunge, deportation arrests soar: http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/border-arrests-plunge-deportation-arrests-soar/article_648ef590-d9d7-11e7-bee0-4ba1d1f22e6b.html
Also: Deportations soar while border arrests plunge: https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2017/1205/Deportations-soar-while-border-arrests-plunge
Also: Trump Administration Touts Border Arrests as Proof of Crackdown on Illegal Immigration: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/05/us/politics/border-arrests-immigration-homeland-security.html
Also: Amnesty International Calls Upon ICE to Reunite Young Children with Fathers Separated in Immigration Detention: https://www.amnestyusa.org/press-releases/amnesty-international-calls-upon-ice-to-reunite-young-children-with-fathers-separated-in-immigration-detention/
US: The CHIP Program Is Beloved. Why Is Its Funding in Danger?
New York Times – December 05, 2017
CHIP, a program that has had unusually strong bipartisan support since it was created in 1997, is now in limbo – an unexpected victim of the partisan rancor that has stymied legislative action in Washington this year. Its federal funds ran out on Sept. 30, and Congress has not agreed on a plan to renew the roughly $14 billion a year it spends on the program.
US: Research Says Juveniles Need Their Own Miranda Rights
Governing – December 01, 2017
Studies suggest they’re “too complex” for kids to understand, spurring some police departments to simplify the words they use when arresting them.
Canada: Feds to address First Nations child welfare funding gap, but no dollar details
National Post – December 06, 2017
The next federal budget will include more money for First Nations child welfare services on reserves, Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott said Wednesday – but she stopped short of saying how much.
Europe: EU Syria Trust Fund: new assistance package worth 150 million adopted to support Syrian refugees and host communities (Press release)
European Commission – December 06, 2017
Projects will support the most affected municipalities in the region, agricultural livelihoods and food security, school construction, the upgrading of waste-water systems in areas with high refugee concentration, as well as refugee protection, research and advocacy. The newly adopted assistance package brings the overall amount of projects committed under the Trust Fund to 1.2 billion Euros.
Greece: Situation Update: Unaccompanied Children (UAC) in Greece
EKKA National Center for Social Solidarity – November 30, 2017
3,300 Estimated number of Unacocompanied Chilodren (UAC) currently in Greece based on analysis of data available to EKKA. 2,201 Total number of UAC on waiting list for shelter.
India: Time to respect child rights (Commentary)
Morung Express – December 03, 2017
“Juvenile justice fractures as child ‘falls from height’” goes the headline of The Morung Express after a contentious episode involving a child in Wokha Town in October. Despite varying versions, it was established that laid down procedure were not followed by different stakeholders and juvenile justice was violated.
US: Evaluating Smoking Bans (Audio)
National Public Radio – December 06, 2017
A new study indicates that smoking bans, which were designed to affect adults’ behavior, in fact improve children’s health.
US: Alliance for children
Salina Journal – December 05, 2017
Responsibility for the welfare of children in need does not end at a country’s border. That’s why Saint Francis Community Services announced Tuesday the formation of an alliance with International Social Service-USA, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization that specializes in a broad range of child welfare issues that cross international borders.
US: Opioid Epidemic Burdening Grandparents, Foster Homes
Healthline – December 05, 2017
As the opioid epidemic forces more children out of their parents’ custody, grandparents like Hudson are stepping in to fill the gap. But as they become the primary caregiver for their grandchild – or grandchildren, in some cases – older adults are seeing their lives turned upside down.
US: Study: Children who are spanked more likely to become violent toward future partners
KDVR – December 05, 2017
“Kids who said they had experienced corporal punishment were more likely to have recently committed dating violence.” This result, he said, held up even when contributing factors such as sex, age, parental education, ethnicity and childhood abuse were controlled.
US: In Sex Abuse Cases, an Expiration Date Is Often Attached
New York Times – December 04, 2017
As prep schools increasingly confront past sexual misconduct, they often use laws limiting when a lawsuit can be filed to avoid paying victims.
Afganistan: 11-Year-Old Girl Has Spent Her Whole Life in a Prison with a Prolific Serial Killer
PJ Media – December 05, 2017
From time to time you hear a story about someone in prison who tugs at your heartstrings. Maybe. After all, most of us assume that if you’re in prison, you probably deserve to be there, as a general rule. But 11-year-old Meena doesn’t deserve to be there. Meena was born in a prison in Afghanistan and has lived there her whole life. While Meena’s situation sounds unique, it’s really not. The only unusual thing is the timeframe involved.
US: Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign Launched to Promote Best Interests of All Children in Foster and Adoption Systems (Press release)
Family Equality Council – December 04, 2017
The Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign brings together a broad coalition of organizations from across the political spectrum, including child welfare organizations, child welfare professionals, advocacy and civil rights organizations, and current and former foster youth with lived experience in the child welfare system. Campaign members are united in the belief that no otherwise qualified foster or adoptive parent should be turned away due to their marital status, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
US: COMMENTARY: We must start believing victims of child abuse
Observer-Reporter – December 03, 2017
“Who did you tell?” “What did they do after you told them?” These are questions I ask almost every child that I interview. The answers are important; they tell me not just who the child trusts, but also about that child’s history, including what their life as a survivor of childhood sex abuse has been like. I am a child abuse pediatrician, specializing in the care of children with concerns for neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse. The majority of my work is in sexual abuse, and I am often called to court to explain not only physical exam findings, but the process of disclosure. Most commonly, I explain why children wait to tell.
US: 5 Tips to ensure your unaccompanied minor is safe
Viva Fifty – December 04, 2017
So, with travel season coming up and for parents that, like me, have to send their children as unaccompanied minors on flights, here are a few tips to protect your child or grandchild when you can´t fly with them.
US: Relative Growth: Three States Increasingly Rely on Kin for Kids in Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – December 04, 2017
Murdock’s story has become a more common scenario in the past decade as the philosophy that relatives are the preferred placement for foster youth was embedded in federal policy.
US: Montana kids counting on Congress to reauthorize CHIP (Commentary)
Missoulian – December 03, 2017
While members of Congress are preoccupied with tax reform, millions of American children, including thousands of kids in Montana, are at urgent risk of losing their health care coverage due to congressional inaction. Congress will be in session for only two more weeks this month before recessing for the rest of the year. They must not fail to renew funding for the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program before they leave Washington, D.C.
US: Lawyers Working Pro-Bono to Help Children Obtain Legal Status (Video)
WCVB – December 02, 2017
Thousands of unaccompanied children are apprehended at the U.S. border each year, trying to enter illegally. Those who appear in immigration court are not provided legal representation by the United States. Yet, many of these children are eligible for protection and legal status under U.S. law. But without legal expertise to navigate the system, immigration advocates say 9 out of 10 children are deported.
US: Gig Economy Gives Child Support Scofflaws a Place to Hide
Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline – December 01, 2017
The rise of the gig economy and a broad shift to contract work is making it easier for people to evade paying child support, causing headaches for parents and for state officials charged with tracking down the money. About 70 percent of child support payments are collected by withholding income from paychecks. It’s possible to capture the wages of an Uber driver, Airbnb renter or a contractor – but only if state officials know that a person owing child support is earning wages that can be garnished, and only if the employer cooperates.
US: Tax Plan’s Deficits Could Prompt Elimination of Major Child Welfare Programs (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – December 01, 2017
If Congress doesn’t figure out how to pay for that gap, it will be within the power of the Trump administration to do so under the current federal spending rules. If that happens, several key programs to prevent child abuse and neglect, and to keep families together after maltreatment has occurred, will take a major hit or could be completely defunded.
US: Number Of American Children In Foster Care Increases For 4th Consecutive Year
National Public Radio – November 30, 2017
A new government report says the number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, due largely to an uptick in substance abuse by parents. The report, issued annually by the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, shows that 437,500 children were in foster care by the end of fiscal year 2016. A year earlier the number was 427,400.
Report: Number of children in foster care continues to increase: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/media/press/2017/number-of-children-in-foster-care-continues-to-increase
Afghanistan: US Troops to be Trained on Reporting Child Sex Abuse by Afghans
Military.com – December 04, 2017
Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and the NATO Resolute Support mission, said that the new policy “sets out procedures for monitoring, reporting and investing violations by any (Afghan) Ministry of Defense personnel” suspected of child abuse.
Canada: How family ties help moms unbind from addiction
Globe and Mail – December 03, 2017
Mothers such as Rider are often faced with what Kingston physician Adam Newman calls an “impossible choice.” If they do not seek treatment for their substance use, they can lose custody of their children. But to get the treatment they need in order to keep their families, they’re required to leave their children for weeks at a time since most facilities aren’t set up to allow families to stay together.
Canada: Fix First Nations child welfare system now, says Cindy Blackstock
CBC News – December 02, 2017
A leading First Nations children’s advocate is hailing Ottawa’s decision to abandon its legal challenge on First Nations child welfare, but warns she will continue to fight for equality of access until the government delivers on its commitment.
International: The religious factor in Muslim foster care in the West (Commentary)
Arab Weekly – December 03, 2017
The controversy over a British Muslim family fostering a Christian girl has bubbled up in British media. The story claimed that a 5-year-old Christian girl’s Muslim foster parents stopped her from eating pork, told her to learn Arabic and removed her crucifix necklace. The authorities in the family’s London neighbourhood, however, rejected concerns about the care received by the child. So, what’s the reality of Muslim foster care and adoption?
Malaysia: DPM Launches ‘Safe’ Campaign Against Child Abuse
Bernama – December 04, 2017
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today launched the ‘Stop Abuse for Everyone for a Safer and Fearless Environment’ (SAFE) campaign, here.
Singapore: Wilmar launches landmark sustainable finance deal, child protection policy
Eco-Business – December 01, 2017
The announcement comes almost a year after international human rights group Amnesty International released a report outlining extensive labour abuses in Wilmar supplier plantations, including the use of child labour, unsafe conditions for workers which include exposure to toxic pesticide Paraquat, and a failure to pay minimum wage to workers.
US: Alton Healthcare and the Washington Group Merge to Improve Outcomes for Foster Children as DocAlton (Press release)
DocAlton – November 30, 2017
Alton Healthcare, led by Dr. Ernie Fletcher, and The Washington Group, led by Mark A. Washington, merge to form DocAlton aimed at improving the lives of 425,000 children and youth in the nation’s foster care system. DocAlton’s focus is on delivering proven solutions to drive improved decision making for providers and care managers in the social services and healthcare managers networks.
US: Finding Safe, Loving Homes for Teens in Need (Includes video)(Press release)
US Department of Health and Human Services – November 30, 2017
America now has more than 430,000 children in foster care, from infants to 21-year-olds, and new data released by HHS this week found that there are now more children in foster care than ever. We are happy to note that in 2016, there were more adoptions out of foster care than ever.
Also: What to expect when you are expecting a teen (Video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnLHeXvNKlo&feature=youtu.be
US: Kids in foster care on the rise
Associated Press – November 30, 2017
The number of children in the U.S. foster care system has increased for the fourth year in a row, with substance abuse by parents a major factor, according to new federal data released on Thursday. The annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services counted 437,500 children in foster care as of Sept. 30, 2016, up from about 427,400 a year earlier.
Also: AFCARS Report 24: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/afcars-report-24
Also: Number Of American Children In Foster Care Increases For 4th Consecutive Year: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2017/nov/30/number-of-american-children-in-foster-care/
National Foster Care Numbers Continue To Rise; Up 10 Percent Since 2012: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/national-foster-care-numbers-continue-rise/28874
US: Why Are We Casting Older Foster Youth Aside? (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – November 30, 2017
We are trying to change a foster care culture that criminalizes, penalizes and discards our youth. We will never know the trauma of being removed from home. Or what it’s like to relive that trauma with each new placement. But we can help our youth to heal.
International: Internet Watch Foundation appoints Andrew Puddephatt as its Independent Chair (Press release)
Cambridge Network – November 30, 2017
He said: “Child sex abuse is one of the most severe human rights abuses that can be perpetrated on anyone, leaving as it does lasting damage, both physical and psychological. “Tackling child sex abuse online is a formidable challenge given the frequently organised nature of the abuse, the ease of uploading images, the global nature of the internet and the challenge of operating across dozens of jurisdictions. “The IWF represents a unique and powerful model of self-regulation by service providers through the vehicle of an independent charity that operates in a transparent and accountable manner.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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/
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.
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.