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KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported –  the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.  Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.

(American Journal of Public Health 1.17)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines

Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of KARA volunteers David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj, Josh Jedlicka and Blaz Zlate,  Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O,

 KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN Campus Exhibit 

All Adults Are The Protectors of All Children

 

 

CA: ‘Not in the spirit of the law’: Alameda County refuses to turn over Mariah’s CPS records

Bay Area News Group – February 24, 2018

An author of the state law requiring public agencies to release records of foster children who died from abuse or neglect blasted Alameda County on Thursday, saying its refusal to turn over documents to this news agency looked like an attempt to hide the decisions that guided the handling of a 3-year-old Oakland toddler who died in foster care in Stockton.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/24/not-in-the-spirit-of-the-law-alameda-county-refuses-to-turn-over-mariahs-cps-records/

CA: Humboldt County child abuse investigation reform: what will change?

Eureka Times-Standard – February 24, 2018

After a two-year investigation found Humboldt County’s child welfare system failed in its duty to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect, the California Attorney General’s Office is giving the county a tight time frame to correct decades-old systemic problems. The state investigation that began in 2015 found that some child abuse reports fell through the cracks and went without investigation for weeks or months at a time as a result of poor communication between social workers and mandated child abuse reporters such as law enforcement; lack of training; poor case management; and large case workloads.

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20180224/humboldt-county-child-abuse-investigation-reform-what-will-change

FL: Lawmakers Push Bill to Limit Children Tried in Adult Court (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 27, 2018

State lawmakers are gathering support for a bill to limit the number of Florida juveniles tried in criminal court. House Bill 509 would set age parameters and reduce the amount of offenses that make juveniles eligible for an adult transfer.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-02-27/juvenile-justice/lawmakers-push-bill-to-limit-children-tried-in-adult-court/a61595-1

FL: Martin, Okeechobee counties targeted for foster parent recruitment

TC Palm – February 26, 2018

The campaign is the latest step in an ongoing effort to increase both the number and quality of foster homes in the four-county area. The key to its promising success is the use of teachers already licensed as foster parents to help recruit new caregivers from among their peers.

https://www.tcpalm.com/story/specialty-publications/luminaries/st-lucie-county/2018/02/26/martin-okeechobee-counties-targeted-foster-parent-recruitment/375812002/

IL: Murder charges filed in DCFS worker’s death in northern Illinois

Associated Press – February 24, 2018

A man implicated in the death earlier this year of an Illinois child welfare worker has been indicted on first-degree murder charges. Sauk Valley Media reports Andrew Sucher of Rock Falls was indicted Thursday on the new charges, and appeared in Carroll County Court on Friday. There his bond was increased to $1 million.

http://herald-review.com/news/state-and-regional/murder-charges-filed-in-dcfs-worker-s-death-in-northern/article_89497f14-d586-5b46-a8ca-c60af9c2336f.html

IN: Indiana lawmakers advance plan to study Child Services department (Includes video)

WISH-TV – February 26, 2018

Lawmakers on Monday signaled their support for creating a special committee to review the state Department of Child Services. A two-year study committee would go over allegations levied against Child Services by its former director, Mary Beth Bonaventura, in a scathing resignation letter to Gov. Eric Holcomb in December.

Also: Study committee to examine Indiana DCS: https://www.nuvo.net/news/study-committee-to-examine-indiana-dcs/article_69d92ab2-1b3a-11e8-8cc0-273954b6a898.html

http://wishtv.com/2018/02/26/indiana-lawmakers-advance-plan-to-study-child-services-department/

MI: New bills aim to protect Michigan children from predators like Nassar

Ada-Cascade – February 26, 2018

A bipartisan group of Michigan lawmakers on Monday announced a package of legislation that would extend the statute of limitations for minor victims of criminal sexual assault, require certain people to report abuse and increase penalties for mandatory reporters who do not report.

Also: Lawmakers roll out Nassar response legislation (Includes audio): http://wkar.org/post/lawmakers-roll-out-nassar-response-legislation#stream/0

Also: Bills would reform state’s child sex abuse laws (Includes video): http://woodtv.com/2018/02/26/lawmakers-announce-new-bills-to-fight-sexual-assault/

Also: Larry Nassar Survivors Applaud Sexual Assault Bills (Includes video): http://www.wilx.com/content/news/Sen-OBrien-to-announce-legislation-to-combat-sexual-assault-475178043.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/02/new_bills_aim_to_protect_michi.html

MN: Family in ‘horrific’ Mpls. abuse case had many contacts with authorities (Includes video)

Minnesota Public Radio – February 26, 2018

Minneapolis police had been called to the home 53 times since 2011 on reports to check the welfare of residents, reports of lost children as well as numerous domestic abuse allegations. Police made numerous reports, but it was unclear if any of those officers reported the family to county workers, who are charged with investigating child abuse reports.

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2018/02/26/family-in-horrific-minneapolis-torture-abuse-case-had-many-contact-with-authorities

NC: Report card: State’s poor children suffer health disparities

Reflector – February 25, 2018

An annual report card on the health of children in North Carolina released last week drew a stark connection to economic insecurity and poor health, giving the state low grades on health issues affecting its poorest residents.

Report: http://www.ncchild.org/publication/2018-child-health-report-card/

http://www.reflector.com/News/2018/02/25/Child-health-report-card-show-some-improvements-declines.html

NE: Nebraska Legislature Day 33: Bill would add to required reporting of sexual abuse

St. Joseph News-Press – February 26, 2018

A bill (LB1078) advanced Monday that would require that allegations of sexual abuse of a state ward or juvenile on probation, in a detention facility or residential child care, be reported to and investigated by the inspector general of child welfare.

Also: Lawmakers advance bill that would require more reporting of sexual abuse of state wards: https://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/lawmakers-advance-bill-that-would-require-more-reporting-of-sexual/article_5a1a1c84-9e2e-5fc7-9491-5087445ebeaf.html

http://www.newspressnow.com/news/national/nebraska-legislature-day-bill-would-add-to-required-reporting-of/article_2de5ad52-c60e-570d-b046-fafd2a8369de.html

NE: Nebraska must pay $197K in same-sex foster parents suit

Associated Press – February 26, 2018

State officials must pay more than $197,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska after the group successfully challenged a ban on same-sex couples serving as foster parents. The ACLU of Nebraska filed the lawsuit in 2013 on behalf of three same-sex couples. The Nebraska Supreme Court ordered the payment and slammed the 1995 policy, which included an online posting that “heterosexuals only” need apply to be foster parents.

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article202219229.html

NE: Stacy Martin named president/CEO of Lutheran Family Services

Lincoln Journal Star – February 24, 2018

The board of directors of Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) has announced Stacy L. Martin as the next president and chief executive officer of Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska. Martin will join LFS April 3. Martin, who will leave her position as executive vice president of programs at Lutheran Services Florida in Tampa, will succeed current President/CEO Ruth Henrichs. Last summer, Henrichs announced her plan to retire after 42 years of dedicated service to LFS.

http://journalstar.com/news/local/stacy-martin-named-president-ceo-of-lutheran-family-services/article_40f61e4c-bf36-5b7d-a184-66259752ede2.html

NY: Karl G. Wellner Named President of the Board of The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, the World’s First Child Protective Services Agency (Press release)

New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children – February 26, 2018

The NYSPCC is dedicated to responding to the complex needs of abused and neglected children, and those involved in their care, by providing best practice counseling, legal and educational services. The NYSPCC has investigated more than 650,000 cases on behalf of over 2,000,000 children since its founding in 1875, and has educated over 50,000 professionals on how to identify and report child abuse and neglect.

http://business.dailytimesleader.com/dailytimesleader/news/read?GUID=35845753

NY: Studies show foster care a toxic environment (Commentary)`

Times Union – February 24, 2018

More than a decade ago, Casey Family Programs and Harvard Medical School released a comprehensive study of the outcomes for children placed in foster care. The outcomes were dismal. The foster children had twice the level of post-traumatic stress disorder as Gulf War veterans, nearly one-third were abused in foster care and, as young adults, only one in five was doing well. Many other studies had found similar outcomes before, and others have since.

https://www.timesunion.com/opinion/article/Studies-show-foster-care-a-toxic-environment-12706517.php

OR: DHS takes efforts to help foster kids that fall victim to sex trafficking (Includes video)

KPTV – February 26, 2018

The Oregon Department of Human Services is ramping up efforts to help foster kids who are victims of sex trafficking. Caseworkers say it’s a problem they can’t ignore and are partnering with law enforcement to identify victims across the state.

Information Gateway resource: Human Trafficking and Child Welfare: A Guide for Child Welfare Agencies: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/trafficking-agencies/

http://www.kptv.com/story/37596927/dhs-takes-efforts-to-help-foster-kids-that-fall-victim-to-sex-trafficking

WI: Natalie Goodnow: The opioid crisis is flooding foster care in Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Journal – February 24, 2018

In just five years, the number of Wisconsin children removed from their homes because of parental drug abuse has more than doubled. And the number of kids in foster care is higher than it’s been in a decade, growing 20 percent in the last five years. Counties across the state are straining under the influx of cases.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/opinion/column/natalie-goodnow-the-opioid-crisis-is-flooding-foster-care-in/article_2b33d7da-7d98-52fd-8fef-a2f90234e8a7.html

WV: Delegates debate health care for foster children

West Virginia Press Association – February 25, 2018

While delegates on both sides of the issue expressed concern about the well-being of foster children in West Virginia, they differ in how best to provide health care to nearly 6,200 children affected.

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/delegates-debate-health-care-for-foster-children/article_bc1ab8d6-657b-5a4d-b360-18db42f30600.html

WV: Opioid Epidemic Gives Rise to Increased Need for Foster Homes

Intelligencer Wheeling News-Register – February 25, 2018

As the Mountain State’s foster care system struggles to accommodate the influx of children removed from homes because their parents are suffering from drug addiction, the need for those generous enough to open their homes to children in need is also growing.

http://www.theintelligencer.net/news/community/2018/02/opioid-epidemic-gives-rise-to-increased-need-for-foster-homes/

US: Firearms and Foster Homes: Arizona Law Cancels Gun Regs for Caregivers

Chronicle of Social Change – February 26, 2018

Arizona isn’t the first state to encounter conflict between foster home licensing and gun rights. Last year, Michigan relative caregiver William Johnson filed a lawsuit opposing the state’s prohibition on concealed carry weapons for foster parents.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/firearms-foster-homes-arizona-law-cancels-gun-regs-caregivers/30027

US: Sociopathic Parents and Their Effects on Children

Healthy Place – February 24, 2018

At the most basic level, sociopathic parents aren’t warm and fuzzy. Cold, distant, and unwelcoming, he provides neither comfort nor affection. James Fallon, a neurobiologist who studies the brains of sociopaths and happens to be one himself, is one of the rare sociopaths who has sustained a marriage over time and helped raise children. He describes his feelings toward his children as indifferent, dominated less by warmth than by entertainment and intellectual interest.” By sociopathic standards, Fallon is “loving parent of the year”. Other sociopath parents aren’t so kind and generous.

https://www.healthyplace.com/personality-disorders/sociopath/sociopathic-parents-and-their-effects-on-children/

INTERNATIONAL

Canada: Motherisk Commission calls for sweeping changes to child protection system

Star – February 26, 2018

The Ontario Motherisk Commission’s two-year effort to repair the damage to families ripped apart by flawed drug and alcohol testing has produced sweeping recommendations aimed at preventing a similar tragedy, but in only a handful of cases has it reunited parents with their lost children.

Also: Motherisk Commission report 2018: http://motheriskcommission.ca/wp-content/uploads/Report-of-the-Motherisk-Commission.pdf

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2018/02/26/motherisk-tests-unfair-and-harmful-to-families-in-child-protection-cases.html

AK: Proposed budget slashes funding for many rural services

Arctic Sounder – February 23, 2018

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for FY 2019, which was released earlier this month, slashes funding for dozens of programs and organizations nationwide, the loss of many of which could have a serious impact on rural, Alaska Native and Arctic residents.

Information Gateway resource: Rural Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/rural/

http://www.thearcticsounder.com/article/1808proposed_budget_slashes_funding_for_many

AZ: Bill Aims To Make Tuition Waiver Program For Foster Kids Permanent (Audio)

KJZZ – February 23, 2018

According to the Children’s Action Alliance, less than 10 percent of foster youth graduate college by age 26. That’s compared to 46 percent of those who have never been in foster care. That’s why, five years ago, the state Legislature established a tuition waiver pilot program for young people who are in foster care to help them attend a state university or community college. But it will expire this summer if the program isn’t made permanent.

http://kjzz.org/content/612247/bill-aims-make-tuition-waiver-program-foster-kids-permanent

CA: After California torture arrests, calls to child abuse hotline soar

Mercury News – February 23, 2018

Calls to the Riverside County Child Protective Services child abuse hotline surged by more than 50 percent in the month since Perris residents David and Louise Turpin were arrested Jan. 14 on suspicion of torturing their children, CPS officials said.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/23/after-perris-torture-arrests-calls-to-riverside-county-child-abuse-hotline-soar/

FL: Eckerd executives ignored forewarning of foster care failures exposed by 8 On Your Side (Includes video)

WFLA – February 23, 2018

Last week, Lorita Shirley, the top manager at Eckerd Connects denied she had prior knowledge of the foster care failures we exposed in an 8 On Your Side investigation. Earlier this month, our investigation revealed foster kids were being warehoused in at a Wawa gas station parking lot on Waters Ave. in Tampa. Now it turns out Shirley had been forewarned five times since November but did nothing to stop the practice.

http://wfla.com/2018/02/23/eckerd-executives-ignored-forewarning-of-foster-care-failures-exposed-by-8-on-your-side/

GA: Gov. Nathan Deal proposes additional funding as foster care needs continue rising

Gainesville Times – February 25, 2018

Gov. Nathan Deal has proposed nearly $30 million in additional funding for foster care services in the 2019 fiscal year budget, which begins July 1. These increases include per diem rate increases for some foster families and money to hire additional mental health care professionals, as demand for services continues to rise.

https://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/gov-nathan-deal-proposes-additional-funding-foster-care-needs-continue-rising/

GA: Adoption bill passes despite LGBT concerns (Includes video)

Brunswick News – February 24, 2018

Debate was lengthy, and at times personal and emotional, and when the question was called, the state Senate approved a controversial faith-based adoption bill Friday by a 35-19 vote.

Also: Georgia Senate Passes Anti-LGBTQ Bill; HRC Calls on House to Reject It (Opinion): http://www.hrc.org/blog/georgia-senate-passes-anti-lgbtq-bill-hrc-now-calls-on-house-to-reject-it?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss-feed

Also: GA Senate passed bill that may reduce LGBT Adoptions, Foster Parents and Consolidation of Fire Safety Services: https://www.savannahbusinessjournal.com/community/georgia-business-news/7736-feb-23-%E2%80%93-ga-senate-passed-bill-to-reduce-lgbt-adoptions,-foster-parents-and-consolidation-of-fire-safety-services.html

Also: DNC on the Passage of Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Bill in Georgia Senate (Press release): https://www.democrats.org/Post/dnc-on-the-passage-of-anti-lgbtq-adoption-bill-in-georgia-senate

Also: Atlanta bid for Amazon HQ2 gets new political problem: Georgia adoption bill: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/23/atlanta-bid-for-amazon-hq2-didnt-need-georgia-anti-lgbt-adoption-bill.html

Also: Georgia Senate passes bill for adoption agencies to reject gay couples: https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-senate-passes-bill-for-adoption-agencies-reject-gay-couples/wExAkUo54719Et4m7QXNjP/

Also: Hollywood exec calls for boycott of Georgia film industry if adoption bill becomes law (Includes video): http://www.cbs46.com/story/37589554/hollywood-exec-calls-for-boycott-of-georgia-film-industry-if-adoption-bill-becomes-law

https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/local_news/adoption-bill-passes-despite-lgbt-concerns/article_90b8ba50-feec-505c-8279-385cd1b158cd.html

IL: Bill Would Raise Age that Kids Go to Adult Court (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 26, 2018

Legislation aimed at keeping juveniles on the right track is being discussed by Illinois lawmakers. Rep. Laura Fine, D-Glenview, introduced HB 4581 this month. It would gradually bump the age that young offenders charged with misdemeanors are sent to adult court from 18 to 21, if the court decides the case does not belong in juvenile court. Betsy Clarke, president of the Juvenile Justice Initiative, said adult court can only jail and punish, but juvenile judges can give alternatives to young people who have gotten in trouble. For example, they can steer them towards getting a G.E.D or job training, or place them with a mentor.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-02-26/criminal-justice/bill-would-raise-age-that-kids-go-to-adult-court/a61582-1

IL: DCFS worker’s death sparks calls for change

State Journal-Register – February 25, 2018

Following the brutal beating and eventual death of a Department of Children and Family Services caseworker who was trying to take a child into protective custody, efforts are in motion to protect child welfare workers going out on potentially dangerous visits. The measures are happening at both the agency rulemaking level, as well as in the state legislature, where a pair of bills have been proposed to help thwart future attacks.

http://www.sj-r.com/news/20180225/dcfs-workers-death-sparks-calls-for-change

IL: Drugs blamed for record caseload in medical program for foster children

Quincy Herald-Whig – February 23, 2018

The caseload is at an all-time high for an Adams County Health Department program that provides medical management for children in foster care. “We’ve seen a drastic increase in the number of children entering the foster system in Adams County,” Health Department Administrator Jerrod Welch said. “With a lot of people getting in trouble for drugs, their children are entering the foster system.”

http://www.whig.com/20180223/drugs-blamed-for-record-caseload-in-medical-program-for-foster-children#

IL: Keep charging ahead on juvenile justice reform so kids aren’t ‘thrown away forever’ (Commentary)

Chicago Sun Times – February 23, 2018

Today’s youths are getting help. About 250 justice reform advocates gathered to celebrate that at a forum on juvenile justice reform hosted by the MacArthur Foundation. MacArthur collaborated with a slew of advocates, attorneys, civic and community leaders, scholars and more, in its 10-year, $140 million Models for Change program. It helped “drive reform in more than 35 states to create a more rational, fair, effective and developmentally appropriate juvenile justice system,” according to the foundation. And to “ensure that no child is deemed incorrigible or thrown away forever,” said McElrath-Bey.

https://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/juvenile-imprisonment-reduced-by-wrap-around-services-laura-washington/

KY: Kentucky bill would terminate parental rights of women after birth of drug-addicted (Includes video)

WHIO – February 23, 2018

A new bill in the state’s Legislature would terminate the parental rights of mothers of babies born addicted to drugs, classifying the newborns as “addicted and abused at birth.”

Also: Mothers of babies born addicted to drugs could lose parental rights under new Kentucky bill (Includes video): http://www.newsweek.com/drug-abuse-kentucky-law-opioid-addiction-818669

http://www.whio.com/news/national/kentucky-bill-would-terminate-parental-rights-babies-born-drug-addicted-mothers/0uvlsuLZycBXdArlfrZs1I/

LA: Fostering Louisiana: Foster care workers explain what inspires them (Includes video) (Pt. 3)

BR Proud – February 25, 2018

In part one of Fostering Louisiana, we heard from two women who grew up in foster care. In part two, we heard about the three main initiatives the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services is undergoing for the foster care system. Now, we hear more about what inspires people to dedicate their life to this field of work.

Pt. 1: Fostering Louisiana: DCFS highlights three foster care initiatives (Includes video): http://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/fostering-louisiana-dcfs-targets-three-areas-for-improvement/987609750

Pt. 2: Fostering Louisiana: Two women recount their time in foster care (Includes video): http://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/fostering-louisiana-two-women-recount-their-time-in-foster-care/987463793

http://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/fostering-louisiana-foster-care-workers-explain-what-inspires-them/991743167

MI: Gymnasts to join lawmakers Monday to unveil bills aimed at stopping sexual abuse (Includes video)

Detroit Free Press – February 26, 2018

That Dec.5 meeting with Denhollander led to weekly strategy sessions by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to develop a 10-bill package of legislation that will be unveiled on Monday in Lansing. “This will definitely help. It’s not just a MSU problem. We know there are pedolphiles across the country,” O’Brien said. “It’s not just about Larry Nassar and Michigan State, it’s about getting justice and moving forward.”

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/02/26/gymnasts-lawmakers-bills-stopping-sexual-abuse/368510002/

NM: Lawmakers back state tax credit for hiring foster youth

New Mexican – February 23, 2018

Senate Bill 231, sponsored by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, would provide a tax credit of up to $1,000 a year for employers who hire youth in the state’s foster care system and those over 18 who are now living on their own after spending time in state custody.

http://www.taosnews.com/stories/lawmakers-back-state-tax-credit-for-hiring-foster-youth,46403?

NY: Sex offender awareness advisory board being pursued in Falls

Niagara Gazette – February 25, 2018

A pair of city lawmakers say a continuing pattern of concerned inquiries from residents regarding the presence of pedophiles and other sexual offenders in city neighborhoods has pushed them to pursue the creation of an advisory board.

http://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/sex-offender-awareness-advisory-board-being-pursued-in-falls/article_6cb03d61-d9e1-5e3c-86cc-b3021f8707ff.html

NY: Hillside Family of Agencies announces changes to executive-leadership team

Central New York Business Journal – February 23, 2018

The Rochester-based Hillside Family of Agencies (HFA) is searching for a new CFO, and the head of its work-scholarship program is moving to a new role. Paul Perrotto, CFO of Hillside Family of Agencies, plans to retire and leave the organization June 30.

https://www.cnybj.com/hillside-family-of-agencies-announces-changes-to-executive-leadership-team/

NY: Don’t Cap NYC’s Child Welfare Funds, Queens Senator Urges State

Patch – February 22, 2018

Senator Jose Peralta urged colleagues to fight Gov. Cuomo’s proposed $129 million budget cut to the city’s child welfare agency. Queens Senator Jose Peralta is urging Gov. Cuomo to reverse a proposed funding “cap” to the city’s child welfare agency that would shave an estimated $129 million off its budget in the coming year.

https://patch.com/new-york/jackson-heights-elmhurst/dont-cap-nycs-child-welfare-funds-queens-senator-urges-state

OH: A missing piece in our fight to combat the opioid epidemic: Deborah Pryce (Opinion)

Cleveland.com – February 25, 2018

When we consider whom this crisis impacts, we think of those suffering from addiction and their friends and family who struggle to support them. Often overlooked are babies born to women addicted to opioids. These infants can suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which is caused when babies are withdrawing from certain drugs they were exposed to in the womb. In 2015, there were 2,174 hospitalizations in Ohio resulting from NAS — nearly six admissions per day. Infants born with NAS average 16.9 days in the hospital after birth, compared to 2.1 days for other newborns.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/02/a_missing_piece_in_our_fight_t.html

OH: Open Table will work with young adults, families like those in A Greater Cleveland and others: Chris Quinn (Commentary)

Cleveland.com – February 23, 2018

We invited people to come down to learn about Open Table, the model that we think offers the best solution for volunteers who want to help break the stranglehold of multigenerational poverty in Cleveland. In the model, teams of six or seven people become a board of directors for someone in need, meeting for an hour every week for a year.

http://www.cleveland.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/02/post_149.html

OH: Ohio Bill Seeks to End Illegally ‘Re-Homing’ Adopted Children (Includes audio)

WKSU – February 22, 2018

Pelanda’s bill would trigger an investigation if a child is enrolled in school without the proper custody paperwork, or if that child goes to the ER.

http://wksu.org/post/ohio-bill-seeks-end-illegally-re-homing-adopted-children#stream/0

OK: Still She Rises aims to lower number of incarcerated Oklahoma mothers (Includes video)

NBC News – February 23, 2018

Oklahoma incarcerates more women in the country per capita than any other state.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/nbcblk/still-she-rises-aims-lower-number-incarcerated-oklahoma-mothers-n848801

OR: Kate Brown’s call for more child welfare money is surprising. Here’s why (Includes video)(Commentary)

Oregonian – February 23, 2018

Gov. Kate Brown wants Oregon lawmakers to find $14.5 million in the next couple weeks to hire more child welfare caseworkers and other staff to help foster children and their families.

Also: Governor announces plans to increase DHS staff (Inclues video): https://kobi5.com/news/governor-announces-plans-increase-dhs-staff-72496/

Also: Face crisis in foster care: Brown’s added staffing is no more than a star (Commentary): http://registerguard.com/rg/opinion/36483262-78/face-crisis-in-foster-care.html.csp

http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/02/kate_browns_call_for_more_chil.html

PA: Babies addicted to opioids: A crisis crying for a count

Philly.com – February 26, 2018

About 2 percent of all babies born in Pennsylvania – 2,700 a year – are exposed to addictive drugs while in their mothers’ wombs, according to the only comprehensive estimate, widely considered to be a low figure. Most of these newborns, like the boy at Crozer, spend weeks being treated for withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. They are known to be at higher risk of neglect or abuse when they go home with mothers battling addiction. Yet like most states, Pennsylvania has no up-to-date, complete count of these vulnerable, hapless victims of the opioid crisis.

http://www.sunherald.com/living/article202124114.html

RI: Child & Family launches program for children aging out of state custody

Newport Daily News – February 23, 2018

The Bridge to Success Independent Living Program is made possible by a three-year, $100,000 per year grant from the Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation.

http://www.newportri.com/newportdailynews/news/local_state/child-family-launches-program-for-children-aging-out-of-state/article_9dbdc987-b058-5e52-98c8-fbb8db481e28.html

SC: Foster Care Agency Told to Nix Policy Requiring Parents Be Christian or Shut Down

Christian Post – February 23, 2018

A Christian foster care ministry in South Carolina has been told that it must either change a requirement that foster parents be Christian or shut down. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has come to the aid of the Greenville-based Miracle Hill Ministries and is seeking to protect the group from being forced to consider letting non-Christian foster parents join its network.

Also: OPINION: Miracle Hill Ministries is needed now more than ever: https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/opinion/2018/02/22/opinion-miracle-hill-ministries-needed-now-more-than-ever/346672002/

https://www.christianpost.com/news/foster-care-agency-told-nix-policy-requiring-parents-be-christian-or-shut-down-219172/

TN: Process for handling child abuse allegations involving school students and school staff (Includes video)

WREG – February 23, 2018

When the focus turns off the learning and into allegations of a possible crime inside a Shelby County School, there are rules and regulations that are supposed to be followed.

http://wreg.com/2018/02/23/process-for-handling-child-abuse-allegations-involving-school-students-and-school-staff/

TX: El Paso Teen Charged With Murder Of Her Newborn – Here’s What You Need To Know About The Texas Safe Haven Law

KISS FM – February 25, 2018

This is a terribly sad story all the way around. A child is dead and a young girl is in jail for what could most likely be the rest of her life. There is a law in Texas that could have prevented this tragedy. It is called the Safe Haven Law and it was passed because of situations like this one. The law states “You can leave your baby, up to 60 days old, with an employee on duty at any hospital, emergency medical services provider or child welfare agency in Texas.”

http://kisselpaso.com/el-paso-teen-charged-with-murder-of-her-newborn-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-texas-safe-haven-law/

UT: Utah bill would give teens fleeing polygamy more rights

Associated Press – February 23, 2018

Teenagers fleeing polygamous communities would get more legal protection from parents who could expose them to sexual abuse or forced marriage under a proposal approved Friday by a panel of Utah lawmakers.

http://www.sunherald.com/news/nation-world/article201800419.html

VA: New laws aim to protect students from sex predators in school (Includes video)

WWBT – February 23, 2018

State law already requires child protective services to report when a teacher is found to have abused a child, but there is a loophole: an investigation by NBC4 in Washington, D.C. revealed an Arlington area teacher quit his job while he was under investigation, so it wasn’t reported – he landed a new job in a Maryland school.

Also: Va. Governor Signs 2 Teacher Child Abuse Notification Laws After I-Team Report (Includes video): https://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Virginia-Governor-Signs-Child-Abuse-Notification-Laws-After-I-Team-Investigation-474966023.html

http://www.nbc12.com/story/37578711/new-laws-aim-to-protect-students-from-sex-predators-in-school

WI: Ujima House helps young men reach potential (Includes video)

WTMJ-TV – February 23, 2018

The home is a shelter for young men ages 12 -17. Many have been removed from their homes. Often they are transitioning out of foster care. Most of the young men have faced trauma.

https://www.tmj4.com/news/positively-milwaukee/ujima-house-helps-young-men-reach-potential

US: Brown: Feds overly focus on punishment in opioid crisis

KTVZ – February 26, 2018

“There are too many Americans who feel the impact of the opioid crisis every single day. We can never look at opioid abuse in isolation,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said, according to a news release from the governor’s office. “In Oregon, 60 percent of foster children have parents who struggle with addiction in general, including opioids. We must focus on prevention, on treatment, and on recovery to turn the tide on this epidemic.”

http://www.ktvz.com/news/brown-feds-overly-focus-on-punishment-in-opioid-crisis/707711246

US: Nadia and her children are among the economically homeless (Video)

Los Angeles Times – February 26, 2018

Nadia and her children are among the economically homeless – men, women and, often enough, families, who find themselves without a place to live because of some kind of setback or immediate crisis When she decided she had to end her abusive marriage, she knew it would be hard to find an affordable place to live with her three young children.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/nadia-and-her-children-are-among-the-economically-homeless/vi-BBJAX5T

US: New adoption fee could create obstacles

Mission News Network – February 26, 2018

After a change in adoption accrediting entities, the U.S. Department of State is adding a $500 intercountry adoption fee, which could create barriers with prospective adoptive families and adopting agencies.

https://www.mnnonline.org/news/new-adoption-fee-create-obstacles/

US: A Complete Guide to the Family First Prevention Services Act

Chronicle of Social Change – February 25, 2018

The Family First Prevention Services Act has become law. It includes the biggest change to the structure of federal child welfare finance since the establishment of the Title IV-E entitlement in 1980.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/chronicles-complete-guide-family-first-prevention-services-act/30043

US: Study: Adoption Statistics

CreditDonkey – February 24, 2018

It costs an adoptive family as much as $45,000 to adopt a child. However, 7% of the children in the U.S. are adopted. Each year more than 18,000 infants are adopted. Nevertheless, older children get adopted as well.

https://www.creditdonkey.com/adoption-statistics.html

INTERNATIONAL

Bangladesh: Rohingya children live in fear of human trafficking and sexual assault: Report

SBS News – February 25, 2018

Being deprived of the basics – including education and adequate nutrition – remains an everyday reality for many Rohingya children, but human trafficking and sexual assault are now posing an extra threat.

Report: Childhood Interupted: Children’s Voices from the Rohingya Refugee Crisis: https://www.savethechildren.net/sites/default/files/Childhood%20Interrupted%20Non-embargoed%20low%20res.pdf

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/rohingya-children-live-in-fear-of-human-trafficking-and-sexual-assault-report

Canada: Child protection cases pile up in Halifax court, straining lawyers and legal system

CBC Canada – February 26, 2018

The legal system in Halifax is struggling to deal with an increase in child protection cases filed by the province’s Department of Community Services, said Gilmer. “I think it has a negative impact on everyone working in the system trying to do their best but being overrun by the number of files,” said Gilmer.

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/msn/child-protection-cases-pile-up-in-halifax-court-straining-lawyers-and-legal-system/ar-BBJB3Wy

Canada: Tina Fontaine met social workers, police and health-care workers – but no one kept her safe

CBC Canada – February 23, 2018

“The systems, everything that was involved in Tina’s life, failed her. We’ve all failed her. We as a nation need to do better for our young people,” said Sheila North, grand chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, which advocates for 30 First Nations.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/tina-fontaine-system-failed-1.4548314?cmp=rss

Ethiopia: AIDS Orphans Live, Grow in Uncertain Future

Ethio Daily Post – February 24, 2018

According to UNICEF, Ethiopia, the second-most populous nation in Africa with about 102 million people, has one of the largest orphan populations in the world. Nearly 13 percent of the children live without one or both parents.

http://ethiodailypost.com/2018/02/24/aids-orphans-live-grow-in-uncertain-future/

 

CA: California Hopes to Place More Probation Youth in Foster Homes Like This

Chronicle of Social Change – February 22, 2018

There are about 2,700 foster youth overseen by probation departments in California, according to one tally from October 2017, a relatively small number compared to the roughly 60,000 children placed in foster care in the state. These “probation foster youth” are placed in care subsequent to adjudication in a juvenile delinquency court, after which abuse or neglect has been established in their homes. While most youth on probation return home after spending time in a juvenile hall or detention camp, those who cannot go back to their families are largely sent to live in group homes.

Information Gateway resource: Cross-System Collaboration to Support Youth Involved With Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/analysis/meet-l-a-countys-only-foster-parent-for-probation-youth/29866

CA: Yolo Crisis Nursery partners with local agencies to keep families intact

Davis Enterprise – February 22, 2018

Thanks to the support of Dignity Health, Yolo Crisis Nursery – along with partners Stanford Youth Services and Yolo County Children’s Alliance – is starting a new program called “Prevention Wraparound and Peer Parent Partner Services.” Targeting at-risk families, Yolo Crisis Nursery will provide safety planning, wrap-around services and respite care for its children. Stanford Youth Solutions will provide Peer Parent Partner Services (including advocacy, mentoring and peer-to-peer support groups for parents) and offer a series of trainings for YCN staff.

https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/yolo-crisis-nursery-partners-with-local-agencies-to-keep-families-intact/

FL: Opioid issue on the Suncoast impacts kids, leaving many in the foster care system (Includes video)

WWSB – February 22, 2018

On the Suncoast, many users have kids who are placed in foster care or need a home because of their addiction to opioids. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, more than 1,300 kids within Florida were removed from their homes and put into foster care. Many of those kids are from Manatee and Sarasota Counties.

http://www.mysuncoast.com/news/opioid-issue-on-the-suncoast-impacts-kids-leaving-many-in/article_7733ef00-17f5-11e8-a37a-efcb033328b5.html

GA: Georgia Senate to vote on anti-LGBTQ adoption bill in Friday session

Georgia Voice – February 22, 2018

The Georgia Senate will vote on a controversial anti-LGBTQ adoption bill in Friday morning’s session, giving it the chance of clearing a major hurdle along the way to possibly becoming law.

https://thegavoice.com/georgia-senate-vote-anti-lgbtq-adoption-bill-friday-session/

HI: ‘Decades of monstrous sexual abuse’: Famed Hawaiian school settles suit for $80 million

Washington Post – February 19, 2018

For 27 years, from 1958 to 1985, under the guise of providing these children with behavioral and psychological therapy, the school forced them, under threat of expulsion, to see a psychiatrist who, among other things, drugged them and then abused them repeatedly and grotesquely at weekend “sleepovers” in his home, the lawsuit says.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/19/decades-of-monstrous-sexual-abuse-famed-hawaiian-school-settles-suit-for-80-million/

IL: Child welfare agency head retiring after 42 years

Pantagraph – February 22, 2018

For 42 years, Lisa Pieper has worked to make Central Illinois. She has administrative oversight for the agency’s programs and staff for the Bloomington-based Central Illinois region and the Rockford-based northern Illinois region.

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/child-welfare-agency-head-retiring-after-years/article_bd5e34d1-69cd-507c-ae80-938dc82ccb86.html

IN: Bill Aims To Improve DCS Communication With Schools

WBOI – February 22, 2018

A bill passed through committee this week that aims to improve communications between schools, courts and the Department of Child Services. The first part of the bill would require DCS to outline efforts to coordinate with a foster child’s school system. Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington) authored the bill.

http://wboi.org/post/bill-aims-improve-dcs-communication-schools#stream/0

KY: Bipartisan effort to fix Kentucky’s troubled adoption and foster care system moves forward (Includes video)

Louisville Courier Journal – February 22, 2018

House Bill 1, crafted after months of work by a bipartisan effort by a House work group, would bring major changes to a system critics have complained is beset with delays and excessive bureaucracy, making children and families wait too long for a permanent outcome.

Also: Adoption and foster care reform bill goes to full House: https://www.wtvq.com/2018/02/22/adoption-foster-care-reform-bill-goes-full-house/

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/22/house-bill-1-passes-committee-adoption-foster-care-reform-kentucky/363752002/

KY: Kentucky Could Require Labeling Drug-Addicted Babies As Abused

Associated Press – February 22, 2018

Drug-dependent babies born in Kentucky could automatically be labeled an “abused or neglected child,” a change that would require state officials to investigate and begin the process of terminating parental rights. Any child born dependent on drugs would be considered abused or neglected unless the mother is enrolled and complying with a drug treatment program. The designation would require state officials to begin the process of terminating parental rights within 60 days of the birth, according to bill sponsor Republican Rep. David Meade.

http://wuky.org/post/kentucky-could-require-labeling-drug-addicted-babies-abused#stream/0

LA: Fostering Louisiana: DCFS highlights three foster care initiatives (Includes video)

BR Proud – February 22, 2018

Hodnett said the department is working to make sure that no child ages out of foster care without a permanent connection. She said that will not always have an end result of adoption, but the department wants to make sure the teen has at least one former foster parent they know they can turn to for support, even once they are no longer technically considered a foster youth.

http://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/fostering-louisiana-dcfs-targets-three-areas-for-improvement/987609750

MD: 7 On Your Side: Maryland bill to protect children may not be effective (Includes video)

WJLA – February 22, 2018

Teachers, police officers, healthcare employees are all mandatory reporters. That means they have a legal requirement to report claims of child sexual abuse to law enforcement. But in Maryland, if they don’t, they face no criminal punishment.

http://wjla.com/features/7-on-your-side/7-on-your-side-maryland-bill-to-protect-children-may-not-be-effective

NE: Child welfare agency locates in west Bellevue

Bellevue Leader – February 22, 2018

The private agency is dedicated to the health of families involved in the child welfare system, helping them access services and programs that enhance their unity, well-being and self-sufficiency through a public-private partnership with the state of Nebraska.

http://www.omaha.com/sarpy/bellevue/child-welfare-agency-locates-in-west-bellevue/article_50f31334-6fc4-56c6-b9f3-6bade4659cfa.html

NM: Otero County DHS approved for Differential Response

La Junta Tribune-Democrat – February 22, 2018

When a caseworker makes a report, at the end she will have to mark that the charges are “found, unfound, or inconclusive” with the present system. With the Differential Response system, which is used only in situations not considered to be high-risk, no finding is necessary. The findings on the other cases can affect a person’s ability to get a job, get life insurance, or other important situations.

http://www.lajuntatribunedemocrat.com/news/20180222/otero-county-dhs-approved-for-differential-response

NY: State rejects call for Monroe County child abuse hotline, calls previous one ineffective

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – February 22, 2018

Saying a now-defunct Monroe County child abuse and neglect hotline may have “potentially compromised the safety of children,” state officials have denied a request by the county to reinstitute the service.

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2018/02/22/state-nixes-call-local-child-abuse-hotline/363254002/

OK: Tulsa World editorial: Tulsa County Family Justice Center needs to move forward

Tulsa World – February 19, 2018

Tulsa County Commissioners have authorized bids to go out on the Family Justice Center, and a new estimate has come in at half the original cost. It’s been a long journey to replace the mess of a building used to heal families and correct the behavior of delinquent youths. But, this project is crucial to the health of families and the Tulsa community.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/editorials/tulsa-world-editorial-tulsa-county-family-justice-center-needs-to/article_892469af-878c-565d-9a36-1791839f131c.html

OR: Brown wants to hire 185 more Child Welfare workers

Portland Tribune – February 22, 2018

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown says she wants to hire 185 more Child Welfare workers at the Department of Human Services, to the tune of $14.5 million. A secretary of state’s audit found that caseloads are three to four times ‘higher than what is optimal, contributing to staff burnout, increased turnover and difficulty recruiting new workers.’

Also: Brown wants $14.5 million for foster care: http://www.bendbulletin.com/localstate/6031118-151/brown-wants-145-million-for-foster-care

Also: Gov. Brown outlines plan to ease DHS foster care issues: http://www.ktvz.com/news/gov-brown-outlines-plan-to-ease-dhs-foster-care-issues/705920524

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/387723-278066-brown-wants-to-hire185-more-child-welfare-workers

PA: Babies addicted to opioids: A crisis crying for a count (Commentary)

Philadelphia Inquirer – February 23, 2018

About 2 percent of all babies born in Pennsylvania – 2,700 a year – are exposed to addictive drugs while in their mothers’ wombs, according to the only comprehensive estimate, widely considered to be a low figure. Most of these newborns, like the boy at Crozer, spend weeks being treated for withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS. They are known to be at higher risk of neglect or abuse when they go home with mothers battling addiction. Yet like most states, Pennsylvania has no up-to-date, complete count of these vulnerable, hapless victims of the opioid crisis.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/opioid-addiction-crisis-babies-mothers-data-20180223.html

SC: DSS threatens Upstate faith-based foster care program (Includes video)

WSPA – February 23, 2018

A faith based foster care program is at risk of losing its license. South Carolina Department of Social Services is challenging Miracle Hill Ministries to stop recruiting only Christian families.

http://wspa.com/2018/02/23/dss-threatens-upstate-faith-based-foster-care-program/

TX: Sharp rise in child abuse, neglect cases in Bexar County (Includes video)

KSAT – February 22, 2018

The number of cases of child abuse and neglect in 2017 has gone up almost 36 percent from 2014. After more than 5,846 cases of child abuse and neglect in 2013, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services saw the numbers steadily drop down to 4,550 in 2016. Last year, however, the number of cases exceeded the 2013 figure with 6,175 confirmed victims, a 35.71 percent jump from 2014 when the numbers began to fall.

https://www.ksat.com/news/sharp-rise-in-child-abuse-neglect-cases-in-bexar-county

WV: House committee debates health care for foster children

West Virginia Press Association – February 22, 2018

While delegates on both sides of the issue expressed concern about the wellbeing of foster children in West Virginia, they differ in how best to provide health care to nearly 6,200 children affected.

http://www.williamsondailynews.com/news/house-committee-debates-health-care-for-foster-children/article_32bc00d8-707b-5c08-bf1c-b2b3cbf56725.html

US: U.S. Budget Deal Grants $1.5 Billion for Drug-Affected Babies, Families

Thomson Reuters – February 22, 2018

A U.S. budget deal adopted by Congress on Friday includes what advocates call a landmark compromise to provide an estimated $1.5 billion over 10 years to try to keep struggling families together, including those with babies born dependent on opioids. The provision allows assistance on mental health, substance abuse and parenting whenever any child is deemed at imminent risk of entering foster care. It also offers support for relatives who unexpectedly assume responsibility for a child when a parent cannot.

https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2018/02/22/us/politics/22reuters-usa-congress-opioids.html

US: When Is a Child Instagram-Ready? (Commentary)

New York Times – February 21, 2018

“Spend some time introducing your child to social media, the same way you introduce them to your neighborhood,” said Dr. Turkle, author of “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age.” “It is simply now part of parenting.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/21/well/family/children-technology-instagram-youtube.html?WT.mc_id=SmartBriefs-Newsletter&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=smartbriefsnl

INTERNATIONAL

International: Trust in the Catholic Church has been ‘broken’, says top nun (Commentary)

Tablet – February 22, 2018

The Church has to change a “deep-seated culture” that resists transparency and accountability when dealing with clerical sexual abuse, according to one of the new members of Pope Francis’ child protection body.

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8616/trust-in-the-catholic-church-has-been-broken-says-top-nun-

 

AK: Alaska Transfers Child Welfare Services for Native Alaskans to Tribes

Chronicle of Social Change – February 21, 2018

The Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact, which was signed into law in October 2017 by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I), allows 18 Alaska tribes to provide child welfare services with the goal of reducing the disproportionate number of Native children in foster care in the state.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/alaska-transfers-child-welfare-services-for-native-alaskans-to-tribes/30006

AZ: Florida shooting raises questions on foster parents owning guns (Includes video) (Commentary)

Arizona PBS – February 15, 2018

The latest school shooting in Parkland, Florida has caused Arizona’s Department of Child Safety (DCS) to question if and how foster parents are allowed to store guns in their homes.

https://azpbs.org/horizon/2018/02/florida-shooting-raises-questions-foster-parents-owning-guns/

FL: Florida lags in opioid fight (Commentary)

Daytona Beach News-Journal – February 22, 2018

With just a handful of days left in the 2017 session, Florida lawmakers appear to be considering Gov. Rick Scott’s proposal to target $53 million in spending to fight opioid abuse, a number that even Scott supporters like Attorney General Pam Bondi seem to regard as inadequate – telling Gatehouse News Service’s John Kennedy that the sum is “nothing,” given the number of lives that have been lost.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/opinion/20180222/florida-lags-in-opioid-fight

FL: As Florida Faces Child Welfare Lawsuit, Legislature Tries to Speed Up Foster Care Exits

Chronicle of Social Change – February 21, 2018

The Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) was hit this week with a federal class-action lawsuit stemming from its failure to supply enough foster home beds in the state’s southern region, a problem the state’s legislature is hoping to address with legislation aimed at shortening the length of stay in care.

Information Gateway resource: Preparing and Supporting Foster Parents Who Adopt: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_fospro.pdf

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/florida-faces-child-welfare-lawsuit-legislature-tries-speed-foster-care-exits/29997

FL: At Least One Big State Would Consider the Trump IV-E Block Grant

Chronicle of Social Change – February 21, 2018

There is no state better situated to make such a request; Florida essentially operates under the format of flexibility now. In 2006, the state obtained a statewide, IV-E waiver that enabled its Department of Children and Families (DCF) to take a capped allocation and break it up among the private lead entities that carry out most of the state’s child welfare services (sheriff’s offices handle the investigation part).

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/youth-services-insider/least-one-big-state-might-consider-trump-iv-e-block-grant/29998

GA: Column: Georgia’s new adoption bill brings relief to adoption process (Opinion)

All on Georgia – February 21, 2018

In the early part of 2018, the Georgia House of Representatives passed House Bill 159, one designed to make the adoption process easier in the state. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Reeves, believes the bill will modernize the state’s adoption code. Included in the bill are the following: A mother would only have 4 days to change their minds after giving up their child for adoption instead of what’s now 10.

Also: Georgia bill headed to Senate floor could reject same-sex coupes from adoption agencies (Includes video): http://www.wtoc.com/story/37560564/georgia-bill-headed-to-senate-floor-could-reject-same-sex-coupes-from-adoption-agencies

http://chattooga.allongeorgia.com/column-georgias-new-adoption-bill-brings-relief-to-adoption-process/

IL: Parents Still Have To Trade Custody For Children’s Mental Health Treatment

Northern Public Radio – February 21, 2018

An Illinois law passed in 2014 was supposed to ensure that families no longer have to give up custody of their children in order to get them necessary mental health treatment. But it remains an issue to this day, and the chief sponsor of the Custody Relinquishment Prevention Act (HB5598) says several state agencies are to blame.

http://northernpublicradio.org/post/parents-still-have-trade-custody-children-s-mental-health-treatment

IN: Bill aims to gather more education information on foster children

Indianapolis Business Journal – February 22, 2018

Foster children in Indiana-and across the country-likely won’t graduate from high school, and very few of them will go on to college. But those in foster care are rarely included in state-level discussions about how Indiana is educating its children.

https://www.ibj.com/articles/67676-bill-aims-to-gather-more-education-information-on-foster-children

KS: Kansas Foster Care System Overwhelmed As Even More Kids Flood In (Includes audio)

KCUR – February 21, 2018

One of Kansas’ two foster care contractors learns another child has landed in state custody. It has four hours to pick the kid up. If the contractor is picking up a school-aged kid, workers will call the school to get information about teachers, coaches or parents of friends who might take them. Older kids can offer their own suggestions about nearby family members. If those options don’t pan out, contractors look for shelters and group homes. But almost a year and a half ago, placement workers started coming up empty. That’s how children ended up on couches, futons and cots in contractor offices across the state.

http://kcur.org/post/kansas-foster-care-system-overwhelmed-even-more-kids-flood#stream/0

KS: Kansas Repeal of in-state tuition for undocumented students stopped

Kansas City Hispanic News – February 21, 2018

The original approved bill states that a person is eligible to pay in-state tuition rates if he or she has attended an accredited Kansas high school for three or more years, has graduated from a Kansas high school or earned a GED certificate issued in Kansas and, in the case of people without legal immigration status, has filed an affidavit stating that either they or their parents are seeking to legalize their immigration status.

http://www.kchispanicnews.com/news_02.html

KS: Push for transparency in Kansas government reaches critical juncture this week

Kansas City Star – February 21, 2018

Lawmakers issued press releases, attended town halls and held news conferences vowing to bring more openness to one of the darkest states in the country. They introduced measures calling for everything from banning the practice of anonymous bills to releasing information after a child dies of abuse or neglect.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article201198489.html

MI: Op-Ed: Juvenile system youth don’t have luxury of time

Record-Eagle – February 21, 2018

Michigan’s juvenile justice system is ready for reform. In 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder introduced his initial vision for restructuring the state’s juvenile justice system. Three years later, he offered more detail, embracing effective assessment and treatment and, for most youth, diversion programs. Unfortunately, there has been no coordinated effort to turn these visions into reality.

http://www.record-eagle.com/opinion/op-ed-juvenile-system-youth-don-t-have-luxury-of/article_912ee87a-a845-58bb-bff4-e328d5cc1431.html

MI: Secretary of State reminds parents to think ‘Child Protection Registry” when their children use the Internet

Women’s Lifestyle Magazine – February 21, 2018

The Michigan Child Protection Registry is a free and secure service that blocks adult-oriented ads for products such as alcohol and tobacco, pornography, online gambling and more from reaching a child’s email inbox or mobile devices. Parents and schools can register the electronic addresses of any devices a child may use at ProtectMiChild.com.

https://cawlm.com/weekly-reads/secretary-of-state-reminds-parents-to-think-child-protection-registry-when-their-children-use-the-internet/

MI: Bills to change parental rights standards sent to governor

Michigan Public Radio – February 15, 2018

Gov. Rick Snyder will consider changing the rules that allow courts to permanently remove children from their parents. The bills are on their way to the governor’s desk. One would prevent the state from automatically asking that a parent’s rights be terminated just because they had their rights terminated to other children.

http://michiganradio.org/post/bills-change-parental-rights-standards-sent-governor

MT: Local Officials Weren’t Warned of State Cuts to Missoula Foster Child Health Program

KGVO – February 21, 2018

While the number of Montana children in foster care continues to climb, the state of Montana is cutting back on services for foster children and foster families. Missoula County Commissioner Jean Curtiss says the Missoula City County Health Department was hit with a surprise cut to its foster child health program.

http://newstalkkgvo.com/local-officials-werent-warned-of-state-cuts-to-missoula-foster-child-health-program/

NV: Combating underage sex trafficking in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Sun – February 22, 2018

From far-flung nations to nearby towns, human trafficking materializes in every corner of the globe. It casts a wide shadow that includes labor and sex trafficking. It spans all ages and crosses all borders, and Las Vegas is not exempt from its grasp. Now 18, Jasmine was sex trafficked when she was 13. Her story is not unique; it is not isolated; it happens on Las Vegas’ streets and in its hotels and homes when the sun sets and the neon lights flicker on.

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/feb/22/combating-underage-sex-trafficking-in-las-vegas/

NY: ACS claims it will lose money under Cuomo’s proposed budget, hurting services to protect kids

New York Daily News – February 21, 2018

In a letter to Cuomo and state lawmakers, Administration for Children’s Services Commissioner David Hansell said the governor’s plan to “cap” city child welfare funding at $320 million was “an unprecedented step that would harm children and families.”

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/cuomo-proposed-budget-hurts-kids-slashing-acs-funds-article-1.3834393

NY: LI teen at center of suit on detention of immigrant minors

Newsday – February 21, 2018

The detention of an immigrant teen from Long Island is at the center of a new class-action lawsuit lodged against the federal government and a shelter contracted to hold minors in immigration cases. The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the suit on Feb. 16 challenging “the government’s prolonged detention of immigrant children across New York State” for minors who have been placed under heightened supervision. The federal government and its contractor have not filed responses.

https://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/teen-immigrant-detention-1.16903204?firstfree=yes

PA: How the opioid epidemic looks to doctors caring for babies and transplanting organs

Philadelphia Inquirer – February 22, 2018

At a societal level, opioid addiction can rip apart families, sometimes leading to placements in foster care, away from mothers whose addiction is too often criminalized and punished, instead of being recognized as a disease process and treated.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/opioid-epidemic-penn-medicine-neonatal-intensive-care-organ-donors-medical-residents-20180221.html

PA: Pennsylvania bill would expand child abuse reporting requirements

Bucks County Courier Times – February 21, 2018

The proposed legislation addresses a loophole in the current child protective service law that doesn’t require some people to report suspected child abuse or neglect they witness to the state. But some child advocates worry expanding the legal mandate could lead to more erroneous reports.

http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/20180221/pennsylvania-bill-would-expand-child-abuse-reporting-requirements?rssfeed=true

SC: SCDSS says Midlands counties ‘in great need’ of foster families

WISTV – February 21, 2018

South Carolina Department of Social Services says more than 270 foster families are needed in Richland and Lexington counties. Families are needed in those areas so the children can stay in a safe and nurturing home while remaining in their community.

http://www.wistv.com/story/37559676/scdss-says-midlands-counties-in-great-need-of-foster-families

SC: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster defends Miracle Hill’s Christian requirement

Greenville News – February 21, 2018

Gov. Henry McMaster is siding with an Upstate foster-care provider embroiled in a battle with government officials over a requirement that foster families be Christian. In a letter sent Wednesday night to Miracle Hill Ministries of Greenville, McMaster said he is working with federal officials to obtain a waiver from requirements that would restrict the organization’s faith-based approach or halt its work in helping provide foster care.

https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/local/south-carolina/2018/02/21/governor-defends-miracle-hill-foster-care-parent-christian-requirement/361115002/

SC: United Way women’s group pushes child well-being

Go Upstate – February 21, 2018

As part of United Way’s focus on programs and resources supporting early childhood development and education, Women United members advocated for funding of the School Readiness Tax Credit pilot program and for the creation of a new state Department of Children’s Advocacy.s part of United Way’s focus on programs and resources supporting early childhood development and education, Women United members advocated for funding of the School Readiness Tax Credit pilot program and for the creation of a new state Department of Children’s Advocacy.

http://www.goupstate.com/news/20180221/united-way-womens-group-pushes-child-well-being-at-statehouse

WA: Bill would put foster parent training online

Columbia Basin Herald – February 21, 2018

Under current law, potential foster parents need to attend three eight-hour pre-service training sessions to better prepare them for the challenges and responsibilities that come with taking in a foster child. The proposed legislation, which passed unanimously 95-0 through the House, would put the entire 24 hours of training material online and instructs the Department of Social and Health Services to allow an undetermined portion of the training to be completed in this way.

http://www.columbian.com/news/2018/feb/21/bill-would-put-foster-parent-training-online/

WA: Rep. Tom Dent’s foster-parent ‘Bill of Rights’ passes in House

Yakima Herald-Republic – February 21, 2018

The Washington House of Representatives last week passed legislation that would provide parents with an official list of foster parent rights and responsibilities. The House bill passed unanimously and will head to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, the prime sponsor of House Bill 2785, said the idea was brought to him by a foster parent group in Central Washington.

http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/local/rep-tom-dent-s-foster-parent-bill-of-rights-passes/article_655a1750-171e-11e8-911c-3b59d2e589e2.html

WI: A Need for Solutions: Out-of-state Youth Mental Health Placements Doubled in 2017

State Bar of Wisconsin – February 23, 2018

With more than 110 court-ordered out-of-state mental health residential care placements for youth in 2017, the lack of in-state options is of deep concern for many in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The upward trend is a disturbing one, says Eileen Fredericks. In 2017, Wisconsin placed 119 children in out-of-state residential care centers (RCCs). This is up from 59 in 2016, 40 in 2015, and 25 in 2014.

https://www.wisbar.org/NewsPublications/Pages/General-Article.aspx?ArticleID=26192

US: Report: Increased Deportations Could Put More Kids in Foster Care

Immigrant Legal Resource Center – February 21, 2018

The immigration policy changes made thus far by the Trump Administration may, in some states, fuel a surge in the number of children who enter foster care, according to a new report from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). The report details the ways shifting policies and rhetoric around immigration are affecting child welfare and offers tips for social workers engaging with immigrant communities in both California and nationally.

Report: Immigration Enforcement & the Child Welfare System: https://www.ilrc.org/sites/default/files/resources/immigration-childwelfare-report.pdf

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/research-and-resources/report-increased-deportations-put-kids-foster-care/29875

US: Tribes: Congress And Trump Administration Are Violating Treaties (Includes audio)

KJZZ – February 21, 2018

The National Congress of American Indians said Congress and the Trump Administration have been ignoring recommendations of tribal governments and failing to provide resources promised in treaties. Particular areas of concern for tribes in the Southwest include social services programs, the Indian child welfare program, housing improvement, education programs, scholarship programs and funding for road maintenance, criminal investigations, police services and tribal courts.

http://kjzz.org/content/610305/tribes-congress-and-trump-administration-are-violating-treaties

US: National Child Abuse Prevention Month (Press release)

United States Marine Corps – February 18, 2018

Every April, the Marine Corps community engages in events and activities in support of Child Abuse Prevention Month(CAPM)to raise awareness, promote service availability, and provide community education. The Office of the Secretary of Defenses theme for 2018 is “Strong Communities Strengthen Families.” The key messages include: be informed, be attentive, and be supportive.

http://www.marines.mil/News/Messages/Messages-Display/Article/1446626/national-child-abuse-prevention-month/

US: More Than One in Five U.S. Kids Has Had Multiple Adverse Experiences

Kids Count Data Center – February 10, 2018

The term adverse childhood experiences refers to a number of potentially traumatic events, including episodes of sexual, physical or emotional abuse as well as exposure to hardships like parental divorce and parental incarceration. Such events can have negative and lasting effects on a child’s well-being and have been linked to increased risks of obesity, alcoholism and depression, according to research.

http://datacenter.kidscount.org/updates/show/188-more-than-one-in-five-us-kids-has-had-multiple-adverse-experiences

US: Inside the Native American foster care crisis tearing families apart

Vice – February 07, 2018

Elisia Manuel remembers when she and her husband Tecumseh received their first foster child. “We had to go buy the boy some clothes,” she told me. “We had to get him everything, because he came with nothing. The agency even had to lend us a car seat to bring him home.” Elisia, who comes from the Mescalero Apache and Yaqui tribes, and Tecumseh, an Akimel O’odham from the Gila River Indian Community located just south of Phoenix, were thrilled to get a Native child to care for-even if it meant completely outfitting the little boy, purchasing a heavy-duty washer, and finding other supplies. But state and tribal child welfare agencies say that Native foster families like the Manuels are hard to find. And that shortage can cause havoc when non-Native foster families wishing to adopt a Native child try to circumvent a law designed to keep tribal kids in their communities.

Also: Tribes see continued challenges as more cases head to highest court: https://www.indianz.com/News/2018/02/21/tribes-see-continued-challenges-as-more.asp

Also: Supreme Court ends conservative attack on Indian Child Welfare Act: https://www.indianz.com/News/2018/02/21/supreme-court-turns-away-another-conserv.asp

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/a34g8j/inside-the-native-american-foster-care-crisis-tearing-families-apart

 

AR: Governor to help open Sebastian County crisis stabilization unit

Times Record – February 21, 2018

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be on hand next week to help open a facility in Sebastian County that will benefit both law enforcement and those with mental illnesses. The Western Arkansas Counseling and Guidance Center will hold a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of the Sebastian County regional crisis stabilization unit at 10 a.m. Feb. 28 at 3113 S. 70th St. in Fort Smith, according to a news release. It will serve Sebastian, Crawford, Logan, Franklin, Scott and Polk counties and cities.

http://www.swtimes.com/news/20180221/governor-to-help-open-sebastian-county-crisis-stabilization-unit

AR: State and law enforcement officials remind Arkansans of safe haven law (Includes video)

KY3 – February 20, 2018

Major George Frye, with Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, said, “If the child is unwanted or can’t be cared for for whatever reason, we’re not judgmental. We just want to care for the well-being of the child.”

http://www.ky3.com/content/news/State-and-law-enforcement-officials-remind-Arkansans-of-safe-haven-law-474657013.html

AR: Editorial: Communities pay high price for opioid abuse

Southwest Times Record – February 18, 2018

Prescription drugs have become the drugs of choice on the streets, according to the Sebastian County sheriff. And our local numbers are high compared with what’s going on in the rest of the state. It’s bad everywhere, we know that; but it’s particularly bad in this area. At 154.6 per 100,000 people, Sebastian County led Arkansas in arrests for selling, manufacturing or possessing opioids from 2011-15, according to county arrest records. The county averaged 277.8 arrests for possession of Schedule I or II opioids per 100,000 people in 2017. Sebastian County was near the top of Arkansas for several opioid-related issues, including painkiller prescribing and drug overdose death rates, according to the latest available numbers.

http://www.swtimes.com/opinion/20180218/editorial-communities-in-fort-smith-region-pay-high-price-for-opioid-abuse

CA: California Assemblyman Mark Stone on the Art of Fine-Tuning Foster Care Reform

Chronicle of Social Change – February 20, 2018

In 2015, California Assemblymember Mark Stone (D) introduced legislation that launched the state’s Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), an overhaul of the state’s foster care system. As California begins its legislative session, Stone spoke with The Chronicle of Social Change to discuss the state of CCR today and the lessons he’s learned about the process of implementing major system reform.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/assemblyman-mark-stone-discusses-progress-californias-group-home-reforms/29705

CA: Fixing a Broken System (Commentary)

North Coast Journal – February 20, 2018

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and Sheriff’s Office have agreed to a series of overhauls after a California Attorney General’s Office investigation found serious lapses in the local child abuse reporting system.

https://www.northcoastjournal.com/NewsBlog/archives/2018/02/20/fixing-a-broken-system

CA: Hundreds of Los Angeles County Foster Youth Will Receive Education and Housing Support with $100,000 Grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation (Press release)

United Friends of the Children (United Friends) – February 20, 2018

United Friends of the Children (United Friends) was awarded a $100,000 grant from the S. Mark Taper Foundation. The grant will provide education and housing support for hundreds of Los Angeles County foster youth. United Friends is a leader on the frontlines of improving the lives of over 1,400 foster youth every year in Los Angeles County.

http://markets.pettinga.com/pettinga/news/read?GUID=35817175

CA: Program connects foster youth and caregivers with local businesses;and is a timely boost for Ventura (Press release)

Foster VC Kids – February 20, 2018

At a time when the aftereffects of the Thomas Fire are likely to prolong the region’s economic recovery, a new program from Foster VC Kids offers multiple benefits to the community.

https://www.prlog.org/12693131-program-connects-foster-youth-and-caregivers-with-local-businessesand-is-timely-boost-for-ventura.html

CA: Suspension rates for black male students in California higher for foster youth, rural students

Ed Source – February 20, 2018

Black male students in rural counties and those in foster care are suspended at particularly high rates in California, a new report has found. Black boys in foster care in the 7th and 8th grade have the highest suspension rates of all students statewide.

Also: Report: Get Out! Black Male Suspensions in California Public Schools: http://blackmaleinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/GET-OUT-Black-Male-Suspensions-in-California-Public-Schools_lo.pdf

Also: Disparities continue in suspensions of black students in California: https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Disparities-continue-in-suspensions-of-black-12628549.php

https://edsource.org/2018/suspension-rates-for-black-male-students-in-california-higher-for-foster-youth-rural-students/593888

CO: ‘I Am A Loving, Capable Parent’: Bill Aims To Protect Disabled Parents (Includes video)

CBS4 – February 20, 2018

Rep. Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge) says while we have laws protecting people with disabilities from discrimination when it comes to employment, housing, education and public services, but nothing to protect their rights as parents.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/02/20/bill-protect-parents-disabilities/

CO: Adapting after Adoption: Weld County parents support one another, strive to help other families after controversial diagnosis among their children

Greeley Tribune – February 17, 2018

According to the Mayo Clinic, reactive attachment disorder is a rare but serious condition in which an infant or young child doesn’t establish healthy attachments with parents or caregivers. It can develop if a child’s basic needs for comfort, affection and nurturing aren’t met and loving, caring, stable attachments with others are not established.

https://www.greeleytribune.com/news/local/adapting-after-adoption-weld-county-parents-support-one-another-strive-to-help-other-families-after-controversial-diagnosis-among-their-children/

DE: Don’t blame doctors for the opioid crisis (Opinion)

Delaware Online – February 20, 2018

An important fact to remember is that addiction is not caused by drug availability but by psychological and/or economic suffering, especially in childhood. Case in point: Alcohol availability has not turned me into an alcoholic. Our country is at or near the bottom of the world’s record on child welfare and poverty. Does it surprise anyone that we have an addiction problem?

https://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/02/20/dont-blame-doctors-opioid-crisis/354297002/

FL: Lakeview Center seeking foster families for severely traumatized kids

Pensacola News Journal – February 20, 2018

Though most children who enter the foster care system are victims of neglect or abuse, the child welfare system has seen more youth entering foster care who have experienced severe trauma, according to a news release from the FamiliesFirst Network.

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/2018/02/20/lakeview-center-seeking-foster-families-severely-traumatized-kids/345851002/

IN: Foster Parent Bill of Rights Bill Passes House

WTWO – February 20, 2018

A bill that would require the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) to enact a foster parent bill of rights passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives by a vote of 94-0.

http://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/foster-parent-bill-of-rights-bill-passes-house/983294104

MA: Faith-based adoption bill clears Senate committee

Brunswick News – February 20, 2018

A bill that would provide legal protection to faith-based adoption agencies passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee following a debate as to whether it would create a chilling effect on adoption by same-sex couples and care for LGBT children within the foster care system.

https://thebrunswicknews.com/news/local_news/faith-based-adoption-bill-clears-senate-committee/article_8427dde1-9952-52cf-9903-c8562a7920db.html

NM: City council OK’s spending on emergency teen shelter

Las Cruces Sun-News – February 20, 2018

The Las Cruces City Council will chip in to pay a hefty portion of the first-year operating costs for an emergency teen shelter that’s seeking to reopen in the city.

http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2018/02/20/city-council-oks-spending-emergency-teen-shelter/357305002/

OH: What should be next for Ohio’s opioid crisis? (Commentary)

Tribune Chronicle – February 18, 2018

The 2016 Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio entitled Ohio’s Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for Action, reported that babies born in Ohio Appalachia “are almost twice as likely as the average Ohio newborn to be diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome” at a rate of 15 babies per 1,000 births. Scioto County reported 76 addicted babies per 1,000 births, Lawrence 67, and Pike 58. And these three Appalachian counties “are currently in a state of emergency.” Will these counties receive more funding?

Report: Ohio’s Appalachian Children at a Crossroads: A Roadmap for Action: http://www.cdfohio.org/research-library/2016/OH-appalachian-children-crossroads.pdf

http://www.tribtoday.com/opinion/editorials/2018/02/what-should-be-next-for-ohios-opioid-crisis/

OR: Time after time, study after study, foster care issues found, but not fixed (Commentary)

Oregonian – February 21, 2018

How many blistering evaluations does it take to illustrate a child welfare program is utterly failing the young people it’s supposed to serve and protect? It should be one. Yet in Oregon, it’s closer to a half dozen.

https://www.heraldandnews.com/members/forum/editorials/time-after-time-study-after-study-foster-care-issues-found/article_1763a5f9-59cc-5d48-acae-47b3948087b6.html

OR: Divisions grow on Oregon mandatory reporting bill (Includes video)

Statesman Journal – February 20, 2018

A bill clarifying mandatory reporting and other abuse laws was expected to pass easily this session with bipartisan, bicameral support in the Oregon Legislature. But an amendment reducing the minimum age for reporting may upend it all. And one of the chief sponsors may drop out.

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/education/2018/02/20/divisions-grow-oregon-mandatory-reporting-bill/355608002/

OR: Give counties an opportunity to manage child welfare (Commentary)

Statesman Journal – February 20, 2018

Department of Human Services Child Welfare audit by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson highlighting the agency’s deficiencies might have come as a shock to the broader community but foster parents, mentors, case workers, and children in state custody, it was an “I told you so” moment.

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/opinion/2018/02/20/give-counties-opportunity-manage-child-welfare/357220002/

WI: Cowles’ Bills to Combat Child Neglect and Hire Heroes Pass Senate (Press release)

Office of Wisconsin State Senator Robert Cowles – February 20, 2018

A bill to combat child neglect and the exposure of children to drug endangered environments was one of four bills which Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) authored that passed the Senate during today’s floor session. Assembly Bill 355 was one of the key proposals that saw Senate approval.

http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0220cowles_02.pdf

US: A Plan for Real Reform of Child Welfare Finance – From an Unlikely Source (Opinion)

Youth Today – February 20, 2018

The so-called Family First Prevention Services Act has been hailed as a radical change in how child welfare is paid for by the federal government. It’s not. The changes will barely make a dent in a system that lavishes billions of federal dollars on foster care, and far less on efforts to keep children safely in their own homes. But the Trump administration’s proposed budget, a document that is, in most ways, as dreadful as one might expect, appears to revive a much more far-reaching, and much better, approach to changing the way the federal government reimburses states and localities for child welfare.

http://youthtoday.org/2018/02/plan-real-reform-child-welfare-finance-unlikely-source/

US: Former Foster Youth Share Findings of Survey on Preventing Removals from Families

Chronicle of Social Change – February 20, 2018

In early February, the National Foster Care Youth and Alumni Policy Council hosted a webinar on its most recent policy focus on preventing unnecessary removal of children from their families. Three former foster youth – Dani Townsend, David Hall and Nico’Lee Biddle – presented the group’s findings from their survey on the subject and recommendations that will be shared with federal stakeholders.

Information Gateway resource: Evidence-Based Practice in Family Support and Preservation Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/supporting/resources-for-managers-of-family-support-and-preservation-services/evidence/

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/subscriber-content/former-foster-youth-share-findings-survey-preventing-removals-families/29851

US: Lesbian couple sues after being told they don’t ‘mirror the Holy family,’ can’t foster refugee kids

Dallas Morning News – February 20, 2018

Two Texas women are suing the Trump administration after the couple say they were told they could not foster a refugee child because they don’t “mirror the Holy Family.”

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-politics/2018/02/20/texas-lesbians-sue-trump-after-couple-told-cant-foster-refugee-children-dont-mirror-holy-family

US: Mom with 3 kids: Expanded Medicaid program is her ‘rock’

Associated Press – February 20, 2018

The program has put about 50,000 low-income people on private insurance and relies on voluntary contributions from insurance companies and hospitals to cover some of the state’s costs, a funding mechanism the federal government has rejected.

http://www.kentucky.com/living/health-and-medicine/article201039479.html

US: 100s of USA swimmers were sexually abused for decades and the people in charge knew and ignored it, investigation finds

Press-Telegram – February 16, 2018

Top USA Swimming executives, board members, top officials and coaches acknowledge in the documents that they were aware of sexually predatory coaches for years, in some cases even decades, but did not take action against them. In at least 11 cases either Wielgus or other top USA Swimming officials declined to pursue sexual abuse cases against high profile coaches even when presented with direct complaints, documents show. With some of the complaints, the decision not to pursue the case was made by Susan Woessner, USA Swimming’s current director of Safe Sport.

https://www.presstelegram.com/2018/02/16/investigation-usa-swimming-ignored-sexual-abuse-for-decades/

INTERNATIONAL

Canada: Government of Canada facilitates access to Canadian citizenship for minors (Press release)

Canada Newswire – February 20, 2018

The Government is committed to encouraging all immigrants, including minors under 18 years of age, to acquire citizenship. To help make that easier, the fee for minors applying under subsection 5(1) of the Citizenship Act has been reduced.

http://news.morningstar.com/all/canada-news-wire/20180220C2802/government-of-canada-facilitates-access-to-canadian-citizenship-for-minors.aspx

India: Community child welfare centre launched in city

Press Trust of India – February 21, 2018

The Community Child Welfare Centre (CCWC) was launched by an international NGO — International Justice Mission (IJM) — in collaboration with the Baptist Missionary Society on the occasion of the ‘World Day of Social Justice’ yesterday.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/community-child-welfare-centre-launched-in-city-118022100314_1.html

Vatican: Pope renews child protection body

Tablet – February 20, 2018

Pope Francis has sought to wrestle back the initiative over his handling of clerical sexual abuse by renewing a papal child protection commission and revealing he regularly meets victims. Last week the Vatican announced a re-booted Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, a body that had been allowed to lapse after the initial three-year membership terms of the members expired at the end of last year.

Also: Quiet progress of pope’s anti-abuse commission a hard sell: https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2018/02/18/quiet-progress-popes-anti-abuse-commission-hard-sell/

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8588/pope-renews-child-protection-body

 

GA: Georgia might let adoption agencies use religion to refuse gay couples

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – February 19, 2018

Supporters of SB 375 say same-sex families could still adopt children if the legislation passes – they’d just have to work with an adoption agency that caters to them. Though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, federal and state nondiscrimination laws don’t cover sexual orientation.

http://www.myajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/georgia-might-let-adoption-agencies-use-religion-refuse-gay-couples/MMcrJK4R7Px74SboMrMPKP/

GA: Gold Dome Report – February 2018 #9 (Commentary)

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP – February 19, 2018

HB 762, authored by Rep. Wes Cantrell (R-Woodstock), requires public schools to provide age-appropriate sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention education in kindergarten through grade 9 as part of their annual sex education courses. It also allows for in-service and continuing education for educators in sexual abuse and assault awareness and prevention.

https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/gold-dome-report-february-2018-9-84331/

ID: In Idaho, medical-care exemptions for faith healing come under fire

Washington Post – February 19, 2018

Nearly one-third of the roughly 600 gravesites in Peaceful Valley Cemetery belong to a child, advocates say. Spotty records make it difficult to identify how and why the children died before their burial at the graveyard used by the Followers of Christ, a splinter sect that practices faith healing and believes that death and illness are the will of God. But coroner and autopsy reports gathered by advocates, and former church members’ childhood memories, tell a story of children needlessly dying from a lack of medical care.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-idaho-medical-care-exemptions-for-faith-healing-come-under-fire/2018/02/19/18ef29f0-11b5-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.39205405fe54

IN: Report: Lake, Porter counties report declining rates of child poverty, delinquency

NWI Times – February 19, 2018

The child poverty and delinquency rates fell in the past three years in Lake and Porter counties, but remained mostly unchanged in LaPorte County, according to recent data from the Indiana Youth Institute.

http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/report-lake-porter-counties-report-declining-rates-of-child-poverty/article_f56a8f24-024c-5c6e-9689-0b81e2fedf83.html

MO: Lawmakers asked to improve abuse case investigations

Jefferson City News Tribune – February 20, 2018

Missouri lawmakers should make it easier to create domestic violence homicide review panels, and to investigate child abuse cases that cross state lines, state senators were told Monday.

http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2018/feb/20/lawmakers-asked-to-improve-abuse-case-investigations/714280/

MO: Number of children witnessing murders on the rise in Kansas City (Includes video)

KCTV – February 19, 2018

Children who’ve seen the worst or been victims of the worst can safely tell their story inside the offices of the Child Protection Center in Kansas City so it’s preserved for when the case goes to court. The office deals primarily with little ones who’ve been either physically or sexually abused along with children who’ve witnessed those things. They say these children are frequent witnesses to domestic violence.

http://www.kctv5.com/story/37539676/number-of-children-witnessing-murders-on-the-rise-in-kansas-city

NC: Pilot program helps eligible foster youth (Includes video)

Triangle Tribune – February 20, 2018

Foster youth of legal driving age and their caregivers can now be reimbursed for costs related to obtaining a driver’s license through a new pilot program. The Transportation Really is Possible (TRIP) program makes it possible for county departments of social services to submit requests for TRIP-eligible costs to be reimbursed to young people and caregivers.

http://www.triangletribune.com/news/2018/02/20/focus/pilot-program-helps-eligible-foster-youth/

NV: I-Team: Child abuse trial highlights errors possibly made by CPS (Includes video)

KLAS – February 19, 2018

“There were five reports and investigations for child abuse, for child neglect, and CPS went and investigated and nothing was done,” according to Jacqueline Bluth, the prosecutor. “These children were left in the home, and they were continued to be abused.” In fact, even more, foster children were placed in the Solander home.

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/i-team-child-abuse-trial-highlights-errors-possibly-made-by-cps/982378765

PA: State gives counties more duties, less money (Commentary)

Scranton Times-Tribune – February 20, 2018

Our capacity to meet needs has been strained by a steady decrease in state funding for more than a decade while mandates and caseloads increase. A primary example is the nearly 30 new child welfare laws enacted in 2015. Washington County has experienced a 35 percent increase in referrals since the laws were implemented; Lebanon County, 40 percent; some counties, more than 100 percent. But new laws came without additional state support, leaving children and youth agencies struggling to perform this important responsibility.

http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/state-gives-counties-more-duties-less-money-1.2304236

WA: Beyond Survival obtains new Aberdeen property

Daily World – February 19, 2018

“Parents can reach out to us for referral to the police or child welfare, and we partner with Connections (formerly the Child Advocacy Center in Montesano), which has forensic interviewers and advocates (for young victims of abuse),” said Graves-Wilson. “Afterward we can work with them and their whole family to make a plan how to put them on track to a new state of normal.”

http://www.thedailyworld.com/news/beyond-survival-obtains-new-aberdeen-property/

WI: Kids could get therapy without parent’s OK

Marshfield News Herald – February 19, 2018

A bill would let youth receive outpatient mental health services for up to 30 days without a parent’s OK under certain conditions. In any case, a reasonable attempt to get parental consent must first be made. The bill has bipartisan backing and support a group representing child welfare agencies, the Wisconsin Counties Association and a trade group representing psychiatrists. It has been unanimously approved by committees in both of the state Legislature’s chambers.

http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/story/series/kidsincrisis/2018/02/19/kids-could-get-therapy-faster-without-parents-ok-proposed-wisconsin-law/321429002/

WV: Bill creating managed care for foster children moves to House floor

Metro News – February 19, 2018

The House of Delegates Finance Committee passed a bill Monday that would place thousands of children under foster care into managed care programs through Medicaid. The bill (HB 4241) passed on a 12-9 vote despite concern expressed by some committee members about the possible upheaval of the foster care system with changes in care.

http://wvmetronews.com/2018/02/19/bill-creating-managed-care-for-foster-children-moves-to-house-floor/

US: Child Sexual Abuse: When Trust Gets Shattered (Commentary)

US News & World Report – February 19, 2018

Far too often children are sexually abused by adults who were supposed to take care of them. RAINN, or the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, reports that every eight minutes, child protective services substantiates a claim of child sexual abuse. In the U.S., it’s reported that about 63,000 youth are sexually abused, with 2 of every 3 cases occurring when kids are ages of 12 and 17 years.

https://health.usnews.com/wellness/for-parents/articles/2018-02-19/child-sexual-abuse-when-trust-gets-shattered

INTERNATIONAL

France: Their Parents Fought With ISIS. Now France Is Trying To Figure Out What To Do With Them

BuzzFeed – February 19, 2018

The French government is struggling with what to do about potentially hundreds of children whose parents were members ISIS who died on the battlefield or are facing criminal charges related to their ISIS activities. Currently, the government is overseeing the evaluation, housing, and education of 44 children who’ve returned to France over the past 18 months through a program based in the Paris suburb of St. Denis, French police and officials have confirmed to BuzzFeed News

https://www.buzzfeed.com/mitchprothero/their-parents-fought-with-isis-now-france-is-trying-to?utm_term=.kdpWdOV8E#.ihMgnraGy

South Korea: Thirty years since the Seoul Olympics, South Korea is still tackling the legacy of overseas adoption

Conversation – February 19, 2018

Occasionally, hosting an Olympic Games provides an opportunity for change. The 1988 Olympics shed light on South Korea’s institutionalised practice of international adoption; the country was criticised for being a baby-exporting nation.

http://theconversation.com/thirty-years-since-the-seoul-olympics-south-korea-is-still-tackling-the-legacy-of-overseas-adoption-91322

Sweden: Suicide rate higher among refugee youths in Sweden

Local, Sweden – February 19, 2018

A new report shows that the number of reported suicides among unaccompanied minors in Sweden is nine times as high as that among their Swedish peers. “It’s atrocious, and very worrying,” officials say.

Report: Significantly increased suicide risk among unaccompanied refugee minors: https://ki.se/en/news/significantly-increased-suicide-risk-among-unaccompanied-refugee-minors

https://www.thelocal.se/20180219/suicides-higher-among-refugee-youths-in-sweden

 

CA: Girl’s undue jailing exemplifies plight of foster youth in custody

San Francisco Chronicle – February 17, 2018

A 14-year-old foster youth arrested at a long-troubled San Joaquin County children’s shelter was held in jail for weeks after a court had approved her release, simply because child welfare officials were unable to find a suitable home for her. The girl’s incarceration ended abruptly Wednesday, hours after a reporter contacted officials at the local juvenile hall to inquire about her case. But the problem of youths being locked up because they have no parents to retrieve them and no placement in the foster care system underscores the serious consequences often facing children arrested at state-licensed facilities.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Girl-s-undue-jailing-exemplifies-plight-of-12622335.php?rssfeed=true

CA: Humboldt County to Overhaul its Child Abuse Reporting System After Settlement with California Attorney General

Chronicle of Social Change – February 16, 2018

The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services and Sheriff’s Office must make immediate changes to the way that the county reports and investigates incidents of child abuse and neglect, according to the terms of a settlement with the California Attorney General that was released on Thursday.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/humboldt-county-overhaul-child-abuse-reporting-system-settlement-california-attorney-general/29964

CA: Sparked by California torture case involving 13 siblings, assemblyman seeks private school oversight

Mercury News – February 16, 2018

Assemblyman Jose Medina, who represents the Perris neighborhood where parents allegedly tortured their children, has introduced a bill to tighten up existing laws on private school oversight and data collection.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/02/16/sparked-by-perris-case-assemblyman-seeks-private-school-oversight/

CT: New Haven Legislators Applaud Approval of $1M Urban Development Funding for ‘r kids (Press release)

Connecticut Senate Democrats – February 16, 2018

Members of the New Haven state delegation today applauded the Bond Commission’s approval of a $1 million grant-in-aide to create a dedicated visitation space, additional childcare and programming space for the children and families at the ‘r kids Family Center in New Haven.

http://www.senatedems.state.ct.us/looney-news/1384-looney-180216#sthash.7AXB8bGs.dpbs

FL: Lakeview adds member to child protection staff

Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette – February 16, 2018

FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview Center welcomes Michelle Giordano to its organization. She is helping the child protection services division answer the call to an increase in children coming into the child welfare system and needing to heal from trauma.

http://www.srpressgazette.com/news/20180216/lakeview-adds-member-to-child-protection-staff

GA: State Legislative Update: Adoptions, Hate Crimes, and Religious Freedom (Commentary)

Concerned Women for America – February 16, 2018

The House and Senate passed HB 159, the massive rewrite of Georgia’s adoption code which hadn’t been updated since 1990. Because faith-based adoption agency protections were removed from HB 159, Sen. William Ligon (R-Brunswick) has introduced SB 375, the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act.” SB 375 will ensure that the State of Georgia will continue to respect the special missions of faith-based child-placing agencies as this State has always done.

https://concernedwomen.org/state-legislative-update-adoptions-hate-crimes-and-religious-freedom/

HI: Hale Opio Kauai connects families with support, services

Garden Island – February 19, 2018

“To be a part of something that was a stepping stone for all of the prevention programs in our state, let alone it belongs to Kauai, it’s deeper than just community or social service,” said Leialoha Sanchez, who coordinates Hale Opio’s community service programs. “We really are passionate about what we do for our community. We see the growth, and it’s great to be part of this family.”

http://www.thegardenisland.com/2018/02/19/hawaii-news/hale-opio-kauai-connects-families-with-support-services/

HI: Kamehameha Schools settles sexual abuse lawsuit for $80 million (Includes video)

KHON – February 16, 2018

Kamehameha Schools has settled a lawsuit that alleges decades of sexual abuse by a school psychiatrist on dozens of young victims. At least 34 students claim they were abused by psychiatrist Dr. Robert Browne between 1962 to 1984. According to the lawsuit, Kamehameha Schools referred, transported, and submitted hundreds of its young male students to Browne for behavioral and/or psychological adjustment, evaluation, treatment, and/or therapy.

http://khon2.com/2018/02/16/kamehameha-schools-settles-sexual-abuse-lawsuit-for-80-million/

IA: ‘Just normal teens’: The fight to keep youth in Iowa from ‘slipping through the cracks’ to homelessness (Includes video)

Des Moines Register – February 16, 2018

Long is in the “transition age,” the term advocates like Iowa Homeless Youth Centers use for people ages 16 to 22. It’s that space between childhood and adulthood, when responsibilities and consequences increase faster than experience and safety nets, like the child welfare system and even the juvenile justice system, disappear. Few programs specifically address that population’s struggles with employment, child care and other necessities. Even locating people in need of help isn’t easy.

Information Gateway resource: Services for Youth: Homeless and Runaway: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/interventions/homeless-runaway/

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2018/02/16/transition-age-homeless-iowa-efforts-help-youths/766244001/

ID: Opponents of Religious Exemption Carry Children’s Coffins to Capitol (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 19, 2018

Marchers will carry 183 child-sized coffins to the State Capitol Monday to honor and symbolize each of the children they say have died because of Idaho’s faith healing exemption law. Idaho is one of only six states where parents who withhold medical care for religious reasons are exempt from manslaughter charges.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-02-19/childrens-issues/opponents-of-religious-exemption-carry-childrens-coffins-to-capitol/a61495-1

IN: Child neglect, abuse rises in Wayne County: ‘Some things you can’t forget’

Palladium Item – February 16, 2018

Wayne County children continue suffering trauma in growing numbers, statistics from the Indiana Department of Child Services show. As a statistic, 417 children suffering from neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse last year is alarming. But the toll – in the present and in the long term – the trauma inflicts child-by-child-by-child, that’s truly scary.

https://www.pal-item.com/story/news/local/2018/02/16/child-neglect-abuse-rises-wayne-county-some-things-you-cant-forget/338357002/

IN: Kids Count: Abuse, neglect alarming local problems

Greensburg Daily News – February 16, 2018

Statewide, there were 18.6 substantiated DCS cases for abuse and neglect per 1,000 children in 2016, up from 17.1 percent in 2015.

Kids Count, 2018: https://s3.amazonaws.com/iyi-website/data-book/2018-Indiana-KIDS-COUNT-Data-Book.pdf?mtime=20180205073618

http://www.greensburgdailynews.com/news/local_news/kids-count-abuse-neglect-alarming-local-problems/article_28a781ea-a402-5236-b0a3-0dd891ac5b4b.html

KS: Runaway foster kids raise sex-trafficking fears in Kansas (Includes video)

Wichita Eagle – February 16, 2018

She was 13, living in a Kansas group home, when an older girl convinced her to run away. That led to her being sold for sex for the first time. She was later put in juvenile detention. Then, after spending time in foster care, she was a victim of sex trafficking again at age 15.

http://www.kansas.com/news/local/article200579429.html

MD: Should teachers, doctors and social workers face jail time for failing to report child abuse?

Washington Post – February 16, 2018

A judge last year sentenced Deonte Carraway, an aide who molested more than 20 students at a Maryland elementary school, to 100 years in prison on 23 counts of child sex abuse and pornography. But prosecutors did not have the option to seek charges against anyone who they felt should have reported the abuse but failed to do so, because Maryland is one of only two states that does not allow criminal penalties for that type of violation.

Also: Child abuse: Maryland bill would make failure to report it a crime (Includes video): http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2018/02/16/child-abuse-maryland-bill-would-make-failure-report-crime/346538002/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/should-teachers-doctors-and-social-workers-face-jail-for-failing-to-report-child-abuse/2018/02/15/1d3281c2-119e-11e8-9065-e55346f6de81_story.html?utm_t

ME: 100-Day Challenge addresses youth homelessness

Sun Journal – February 15, 2018

There is a movement underway in Franklin County to create a network to provide options for homeless youth, giving them a safe place to stay and creating long-term solutions to the problem. Franklin County has been chosen as one of five sites nationally to participate in the 100-Day Challenge to end youth homelessness.

http://www.sunjournal.com/100-day-challenge-addresses-youth-homelessness/

MN: Social Services makes plans to overhaul fuel card process

Morrison County Record – February 18, 2018

Morrison County Social Services is looking at a way to overhaul how it gets fuel gift cards to those people who can’t afford to purchase gas for required appointments. This program is for adults involved in a child welfare or child mental health case plan who have to travel to different places. These could include visits to children, the Morrison County Government Center to meet with social services, mental health professionals and more.

https://www.hometownsource.com/morrison_county_record/news/local/social-services-makes-plans-to-overhaul-fuel-card-process/article_979a80e6-1346-11e8-a597-efd36c8502fa.html

OH: Hamilton County exploring tax hike to help more at-risk kids

WCPO – February 16, 2018

Hamilton County voters could be asked this November to consider a property tax increase to cover the growing costs of caring for a record number of children entering foster care locally.

https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/cincinnati/hamilton-county-exploring-tax-hike-to-help-more-at-risk-kids

OK: Tulsa World editorial: Tulsa County Family Justice Center needs to move forward

Tulsa World – February 19, 2018

It’s been nearly four years since Tulsa County voters overwhelming approved sales tax funding to build a new juvenile justice center. Squabbles over location and price finally seem to have been settled, and it’s time to move forward.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/editorials/tulsa-world-editorial-tulsa-county-family-justice-center-needs-to/article_892469af-878c-565d-9a36-1791839f131c.html

OK: New study shows Oklahoma had greatest increase in foster homes in the nation

KFOR – January 24, 2018

A first-ever report of its kind studying the national trend of rising numbers of children in state foster care as well as the concurrent decrease in the numbers of foster homes shows Oklahoma had the greatest increase in foster care capacity in the nation.

Also: The Foster Care Housing Crisis: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/The-Foster-Care-Housing-Crisis-10-31.pdf

http://kfor.com/2018/01/24/new-study-shows-oklahoma-had-greatest-increase-in-foster-homes-in-the-nation/

OR: Guest column: Tell state government to stop underfunding child welfare (Commentary)

Bend Bulletin – February 16, 2018

The Secretary of State recently released a scathing audit of the Department of Human Services’ foster care system. As executive director at Court Appointed Special Advocates of Central Oregon, this assessment did not come as a surprise to me.

Audit: http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/documents/2018-05.pdf

http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/lettertotheeditor/6014143-151/guest-column-tell-state-government-to-stop-underfunding#

OR: Supporting foster parents is key as we rebuild Oregon’s child welfare system: Guest opinion

Oregonian – February 16, 2018

The author encourages a program created in Oregon that seeks to provide training and support for foster parents in hopes of reducing the number of times children must transition out of foster homes.

Also: Guest Opinion: Citizens must demand improvement in foster care: http://www.mailtribune.com/opinion/20180218/guest-opinion-citizens-must-demand-improvement-in-foster-care?rssfeed=true

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/02/supporting_foster_parents_is_k.html

PA: State data collection on newborn opioid exposure has short shelf life

Bucks County Courier Times – February 16, 2018

Pennsylvania health officials are getting their first-ever look at the number of infants born dependent on opiates and opioids, but the data collection initiated last month under Gov. Tom Wolf’s statewide disaster declaration could end soon.

http://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/news/20180216/state-data-collection-on-newborn-opioid-exposure-has-short-shelf-life

TX: Appeals court stays order for changes in Texas foster system

Associated Press – February 19, 2018

In the scathing final order, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack told the state the overhaul must include improvements in record keeping, caseworker visits and where children are placed. The changes were based on recommendations from experts the judge appointed to help craft a plan to improve the lives of children in long-term foster care.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/texas/article/Judge-orders-sweeping-changes-to-Texas-foster-12511040.php

TX: Mother of triplets needed help, not arrest (Commentary)

Galveston County Daily News – February 16, 2018

Child Protective Services is known to be overzealous in so many wrong ways, and not zealous enough when it matters. This person needs a good lawyer. If she wants to keep her infants, I hope there is legal recourse to see that happen with so many factors working against her.

Also: Mother charged after probe of malnourished triplets: http://www.galvnews.com/news/free/article_734fd636-d6ac-5784-a7ff-dd6f4ef76cfc.html

http://www.galvnews.com/opinion/letters_to_editor/article_27f6fea6-078a-52e5-a8a4-2be8d0eff220.html

TX: News Roundup: Texas Child Protective Services Sees Increase in Abuse Cases in 2017 (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – February 15, 2018

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has released its 2017 data on child abuse and neglect in the state. To put it simply, there is both good news and bad news. Dimple Patel, the associate director of public policy at TexProtects, a child advocacy organization, says there were more reports of abuse and neglect last year.

http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/categories/roundup/news-roundup-in-2017-texas-child-protective-services-was-busier-than-ever/

VA: New federal law recognizes six more Virginia Indian tribes (Includes video)

CBS 19 – February 18, 2018

More than 400 years after meeting the first colonists, six more Virginia Indian tribes are now recognized under a new federal law signed by President Donald Trump. The Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act added six Virginia tribes to the more than 500 recognized across the country.

http://www.newsplex.com/content/news/New-federal-law-recognizes-six-more-Virginia-Indian-tribes-474432233.html

WA: Foster parents’ ‘Bill of Rights’ passes House

Columbia Basin Herald – February 16, 2018

Legislation sponsored by 13th District Rep. Tom Dent that would provide a “Bill of Rights” for foster parents recently passed the state House of Representatives.

http://www.columbiabasinherald.com/local_news/20180216/foster_parents_bill_of_rights_passes_house

WA: Should Washington Prohibit Juvenile Detention For Truants? (Includes audio) (Commentary)

NW News Network – February 16, 2018

In recent years, Washington state has led the nation in locking up kids for running away, skipping school and other non-criminal behavior. Now state lawmakers are considering whether to ban juvenile detention for “status offenses”.

http://nwnewsnetwork.org/post/should-washington-prohibit-juvenile-detention-truants

WI: Increased opioid addiction floods Wisconsin’s foster care system

WQOW – February 16, 2018

As the opioid crisis in Wisconsin continues to grow, so does the need for foster parents. A recently released study shows the impact that crisis has on the state’s foster care system. Researchers said over the last few years there’s been a nearly 20% increase in the number of Wisconsin children in out-of-home care; from about 6,300 kids in 2012 to almost 7,500 in 2016.

Report: Flooding the System: Flooding the system: A Study of Opioids and Out-of-Home Care in Wisconsin: http://www.kbjr6.com/story/37524342/2018/02/16/increased-opioid-addiction-floods-wisconsins-foster-care-system

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/13/opinion/teenage-mothers-children.html

US: College aid a game changer for foster youth, but many don’t apply

KPCC – February 19, 2018

Advocates are trying to reach as many high school seniors in foster care as possible before a key financial aid deadline next month. Xavier Mountain knows how important that outreach can be. Put into foster care at the age of two, by the time he graduated from high school in Stockton, California he knew he wanted to go to college but had no significant help from the adults around him. “I didn’t even know about financial aid; I got into community college just lost and I was wondering how to fund my education,” he said.

https://www.scpr.org/news/2018/02/19/80875/college-aid-a-game-changer-for-foster-youth-but-ma/

US: Interview: Licensing LGBT Discrimination in the US (Commentary)

Human Rights Watch – February 19, 2018

Across the United States, state laws are being passed or debated that would allow businesses, adoption and foster care agencies, and even healthcare providers to discriminate against LGBT people. The laws claim – disingenuously – to be nothing more than an effort to protect business owners’ or providers’ religious freedom. Philippa Stewart speaks to researcher Ryan Thoreson about the real impact of these laws.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/02/19/interview-licensing-lgbt-discrimination-us

US: Foreign adoption sees changes

Associated Press – February 17, 2018

The U.S. government has raised fees and made a series of regulatory changes recently for American families adopting children overseas, fueling resentment toward the State Department among agencies who fear further reductions in the already dwindling number of foreign adoptions.

Also: Let the Little Children Come Less (Commentary): http://xyznews.com.ng/news/476616/let-the-little-children-come-less

Also: Parents adopting children to see higher fees, new rules – The Daily News-Record: https://www.africa-news.info/news/kenya/2018/02/16/parents-adopting-children-to-see-higher-fees-new-rules-the-daily-news-record/

http://www.journalgazette.net/news/us/20180217/Foreign-adoption-sees-changes

US: 100s of USA swimmers were sexually abused for decades and the people in charge knew and ignored it, investigation finds

Orange County Register – February 16, 2018

For decades the sexual abuse of young athletes by their coaches lingered just beneath the surface in American swimming’s otherwise golden waters.

https://www.pe.com/2018/02/16/investigation-usa-swimming-ignored-sexual-abuse-for-decades/

US: Trump 2019 Budget: Flexibility Beyond Family First Act, But with a Catch (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 16, 2018

The White House budget offers a “flexible funding option for states and tribes to expand allowable uses of foster care maintenance and administration payments.” Under this structure, states could use IV-E money for any of the purposes and services authorized under IV-E and IV-B, which is a block grant states can use for the prevention of abuse and neglect, family preservation and the types of services permitted under the Family First Act.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/youth-services-insider/trump-budget-flexibility-beyond-family-first-act-with-catch/29973

US: When it comes to lowering female incarceration rates, states must step up (Commentary)

USA Today – February 16, 2018

Women have long been the fastest growing segment of the U.S. prison population, and a new report by the Prison Policy Initiative is shedding more light on why – and revealing that states must take the brunt of the blame.

Also: Prison Policy Initiative: The Gender Divide: Tracking women’s state prison growth: https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/women_overtime.html

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2018/02/16/when-comes-lowering-female-incarceration-rates-states-must-step-up/331217002/

US: Treat Teenage Moms Like Moms, Not Children (Commentary)

New York Times – February 13, 2018

In Indiana, a 17-year-old can deliver a baby and then give a doctor permission to circumcise him. But during her delivery, she can’t give the doctors permission to give her an epidural. She needs her parents to consent to that, and they can refuse. The 17-year-old can consent to her infant’s hearing testing, vaccines and anything else the baby might need. But she cannot consent to a long-acting, reversible contraceptive – such as an IUD or an arm implant – to prevent her from getting pregnant again. Once again, she needs her parents’ permission, and if her parents aren’t around, she’s out of luck.

Also: An Overview of Minors’ Consent Law: https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-minors-consent-law

https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/overview-minors-consent-law

INTERNATIONAL

Ireland: Pope accused of ‘backward step’ on child protection

Independent – February 19, 2018

Clerical abuse survivor Marie Collins has hit out at the Vatican’s omission of a “survivor advocate” from its new child protection commission, describing it as “a backward step”. On Saturday, Pope Francis announced he was renewing the mandate of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors after it lapsed in December, having completed its three-year term. The decision to let the commission lapse was strongly criticised by victims of clerical abuse.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/pope-accused-of-backward-step-on-child-protection-36617528.html

Italy: ‘Migrant TripAdvisor’ app helps new arrivals navigate Italy and escape abuse

MalayMail Online – February 15, 2018

A new smartphone app aims to help migrants in Italy find hospitals, schools and police stations at the press of a button – and quickly seek help if they face abuse or exploitation. More than 600,000 migrants have reached Italy from North Africa in the last four years, many fleeing war and poverty.

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/tech-gadgets/article/migrant-tripadvisor-app-helps-new-arrivals-navigate-italy-and-escape-abuse#CWijzJUOTFQiFA3W.97

WI: Legislation creating grants to support foster families passes state Assembly (Press release)

Lisa Subeck State Representative – February 13, 2018

Today, the State Assembly unanimously passed Assembly Bill 787, authored by Representative Lisa Subeck (D – Madison), which would establish a foster family support fund administered as a grant program with counties, nonprofits and other organizations to support foster families.

Also: Foster-care reforms advance in Wisconsin Assembly: http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/flooding-the-system_opioids-and-ohc_final-1.pdf

http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0214subeck.pdf

 

CA: Child Welfare agrees to AG reforms to protect children from abuse

Eureka Times-Standard – February 15, 2018

The investigation by the attorney general’s office found county agencies “put children’s well-being at risk by failing to coordinate their duties to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect,” the release stated. The judgment includes more than a dozen stipulations including moving CWS from a paper-based intake system to an electronic system and the creation of policies and protocols to ensure the timely cross-reporting with both the sheriff’s office and the Humboldt County District Attorney’s office.

Also: Attorney General Becerra: Humboldt County Agrees to System-wide Reforms to Protect Children from Abuse and Neglect (Press release): https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/attorney-general-becerra-humboldt-county-agrees-system-wide-reforms-protect

Also: Judgement reached following state AG investigation of DHHS Child Welfare Services: http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20180215/judgement-reached-following-state-ag-investigation-of-dhhs-child-welfare-services

http://www.times-standard.com/general-news/20180215/child-welfare-agrees-to-ag-reforms-to-protect-children-from-abuse

DE: Additional staff requested for state’s juvenile detention centers

Delaware State News – February 15, 2018

The 29 new positions recommended in Gov. John Carney’s budget plan for juvenile centers are sorely needed, with issues in the facilities echoing many of the same problems faced by the state’s prisons, lawmakers and Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families officials said Thursday.

https://delawarestatenews.net/government/additional-staff-requested-states-juvenile-detention-centers/

FL: Program to provide beds for troubled foster teens shelved after just one month

Tampa Bay Times – February 16, 2018

The program barely lasted a month before it was quietly shelved in November after the teens were blamed for a rash of break-ins in nearby homes, according to Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman.

http://www.tbo.com/news/Program-to-provide-beds-for-troubled-foster-teens-shelved-after-just-one-month_165485970

LA: Majority of Louisiana babies born to addicted mothers are sent home — by law (Includes video)

Shreveport Times – February 15, 2018

Louisiana law also does not require that babies born with drugs in their system be automatically removed from their parents, she said. But Hodnett added that child protective services workers carefully assess the circumstances behind every call of suspected child abuse or neglect.

https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2018/02/15/majority-louisiana-babies-born-addicted-mothers-sent-home-law/314127002/

MA: YMCA alliance reminds lawmakers of Y’s role in child protection

Gloucester Daily Times – February 15, 2018

Participants urged legislators to support an array of bills and budget items, including $1.8 million in funding that goes directly to the state’s 30 YMCAs for initiatives that serve at-risk youth, a $20 million rate reserve for educators, and $6.5 million to help early education and out-of-school programs.

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/local_news/ymca-alliance-reminds-lawmakers-of-y-s-role-in-child/article_f0c4e7fc-b8da-5101-847c-22fdb4a8db89.html

MT: Judge: Lawsuit Claiming Montana Priest Sex Abuse Can Proceed

Associated Press – February 13, 2018

A U.S. judge has granted a request for lawsuits to proceed in Montana state court that were filed by two people who claim they were sexually abused as children by a Roman Catholic priest in the small southern town of Absarokee in the 1970s and 1980s.

https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/montana/articles/2018-02-13/judge-sexual-abuse-claims-against-church-can-move-forward

MT: Montana’s budget cuts cost hardest on state’s most vulnerable (Opinion)

Great Falls Tribune – February 13, 2018

Community services like therapeutic foster care and home support keep families together and help children overcome trauma. Eliminating these intermediate levels of care will lead to an increase in youth being unnecessarily referred to more expensive options such as emergency rooms, hospitals, and long-term residential treatment.

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/opinion/2018/02/13/montanas-budget-cuts-cost-hardest-states-most-vulnerable/335273002/

NC: Pilot Program Helps Eligible Foster Youth Obtain Driver’s License

Stanly News & Press – February 16, 2018

Starting this year, the Transportation Really Is Possible (TRIP) pilot program made it possible for county departments of social services to submit requests for TRIP-eligible costs to be reimbursed to young people and caregivers.

http://www.thesnaponline.com/news/pilot-program-helps-eligible-foster-youth-obtain-driver-s-license/article_2dc44142-126b-11e8-bed8-f786f8962e33.html

NC: Commissioners agree to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors

Winston-Salem Journal – February 15, 2018

Last month, when the commissioners made plans to sue, Forsyth County Manager Dudley Watts said: “It is apparent that part of the pharmaceutical industry, we believe, engaged in practices that were responsible for the excessive amounts of those drugs being used and that the impact of that has been an incredible detriment and cost to the EMS system, the child welfare system, to the law enforcement community. The sense is that those folks ought to be held accountable for it.”

http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/commissioners-agree-to-sue-opioid-manufacturers-and-distributors/article_684848e0-2986-516e-8237-419d1e9c3ffe.html

NM: Tax incentive for hiring foster youth heads to governor

Santa Fe New Mexican – February 15, 2018

Senate Bill 231, sponsored by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, would provide a tax credit of up to $1,000 a year for employers who hire youth in the state’s foster care system and those over 18 who are now living on their own after spending time in state custody.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/legislature/tax-incentive-for-hiring-foster-youth-heads-to-governor/article_e76acd68-624e-5698-a0a8-937a1e7bfb83.html

NY: New York Officials Battle Over the Fate of Innovative Program For Youth Offender Rehabilitation (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 15, 2018

In what many New York City officials and youth advocates see as a startling and possibly cynical move, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is pushing a budget proposal that eliminates the $41 million in state funding for a popular city program aimed at improving life outcomes for juvenile offenders. The program, called Close to Home, keeps youth convicted of minor crimes within city limits instead of sending them to state-run facilities hours upstate.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/juvenile-justice-2/new-york-state-and-city-battle-over-the-fate-of-innovative-program-for-youth-offender-rehabilitation/29929

OH: County Child Services Agency joins study to help reduce caseworker turnover

Urbana Daily Citizen – February 15, 2018

To help identify ways to keep child welfare caseworkers on the job longer, Child Protective Services of the Champaign County Department of Job and Family Services (CCDJFS) joined a national four-year study led by the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD). Champaign is one of eight Ohio counties in the study, which also includes children’s services agencies in six other states and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

http://www.urbanacitizen.com/news/60798/county-child-services-agency-joins-study-to-help-reduce-caseworker-turnover

PA: Top state watchdog applauds Lackawanna County Youth and Family Services

Scranton Times-Tribune – February 15, 2018

Lackawanna County bucks statewide trends with less staff turnover and lighter caseloads, the auditor general said, though his office couldn’t immediately offer data explaining how much better than average Lackawanna County performs. DePasquale was particularly interested in how the Lackawanna County agency uses teams to manage caseloads instead of divvying them up to individual agents.

http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/top-state-watchdog-applauds-lackawanna-county-youth-and-family-services-1.2302614

TN: Aging Out: Challenges youth face when they leave foster care (Includes video)

WRCB – February 15, 2018

Right now, about 9,000 Tennessee kids are waiting for a foster family and the clock is ticking. When those kids become adults, they are left to create their own families. Many struggle to navigate adulthood alone. Ten years ago foster care in Tennessee was expanded to include kids until they turn 21, but less than 40 percent of kids stay in the system after turning 18, leaving teens like Sabrina Thompson on their own.

Information Gateway resource: Youth: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/

http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/37516146/aging-out-challenges-youth-face-when-they-leave-foster-care

TX: Texas Claims Foster Child-Care Abuses Were ‘Cherry-Picked’

Courthouse News Service – February 16, 2018

The Fifth Circuit on Thursday heard Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office defend his state’s foster child-care system by saying that attorneys for the class of 12,000 foster kids “cherry-picked” a dozen tragic cases of foster care abuse, rather than using a random sample.

Also: Texas pushes back on federal judge’s foster-care ruling, though children’s lawyers say let it rip (May require free registration): https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-politics/2018/02/15/texas-pushes-back-federal-judges-foster-care-ruling-though-childrens-lawyers-say-let-rip

https://www.courthousenews.com/texas-claims-foster-child-care-abuses-were-cherry-picked/

TX: News Roundup: In 2017, Texas Child Protective Services Was Busier Than Ever (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – February 15, 2018

“So we actually saw a 2 percent increase in the reports we received at Child Protective Services – there were about 290,000 reports that were made – so quite a bit of calling into the hotline,” says Patel. Of those reports, over 63,000 children were confirmed to be abused and neglected, which is up 8.5 percent from 2016. Another figure that went up last year was the number of investigations Child Protective Services (CPS) completed.

Also: Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 2017 Data: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Data_Book/Child_Protective_Services/default.asp

http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/news-roundup-in-2017-texas-child-protective-services-was-busier-than-ever/

WI: Racine families hope to make positive change in foster care system (Includes video)

WDJT – February 16, 2018

Earlier this week, Wisconsin lawmakers rolled out a series of bills to change the foster care system. The 13 bills called “Foster Forward” focus on keeping kids in their homes and out of the system, giving foster children better medical care, and paying for their college.

http://www.cbs58.com/news/racine-families-hope-to-make-positive-change-in-foster-care-system

WI: Animal abuse bill inspired by serial horse molester heads to Senate

WBAY – February 15, 2018

Animal abusers would also be prohibited from state licensed programs involving children, such as operating a day care or being a foster parent. Jacque says studies show sexual abuse of animals is the leading predictive behavior of someone who will sexually abuse a child.

http://www.wbay.com/content/news/Animal-abuse-bill-inspired-by-serial-horse-molester-heads-to-Senate-474239193.html

US: Medical Experts, Child Advocates Want FB To Stop Messenger Kids

Software News  – February 16, 2018

Child advocates, medical experts and socially active groups of more than 100 in number have urged Facebook to stop its Messenger Kid application. As per these groups this app is adversely affecting the mental health and development of children.

http://newsofsoftware.com/2018/02/medical-experts-child-advocates-want-fb-to-stop-messenger-kids/

US: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part Three: Adoption, Foster Home Recruitment, Reunification and More (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 15, 2018

The foster care prevention services and the limits on congregate care are the central reasons for this legislation. But there are several significant provisions that are included in the bill that became law.

Also: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part One: Services to Prevent Foster Care: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-anatomy-massive-child-welfare-entitlement-reform

Also: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part Two: Limiting Support for Congregate Foster Care: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-act-part-one-services-prevent-foster-care/29896

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-act-part-three-adoption-foster-home-recruitment-reunification/29897

US: Trump Administration Sued Over Ending Funding Of Teen Pregnancy Programs (Includes audio)

NPR – February 15, 2018

Now the Planned Parenthood chapter, along with eight other groups, is suing HHS, saying it acted unlawfully when it canceled their five-year grants midstream and with no explanation. The organizations – which include city and county health departments, universities, hospitals and nonprofit organizations – operate across the U.S. providing sex education and health information to more than a million teens.

Also: US: Lawsuits Demand Trump Stop Playing Politics With Teen Pregnancy: https://rewire.news/article/2018/02/15/lawsuits-demand-trump-stop-playing-politics-teen-pregnancy/

Also: US: HHS Sued Over Unlawful Termination of Grants Implementing Evidence-Based Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy: https://www.citizen.org/media/press-releases/hhs-sued-over-unlawful-termination-grants-implementing-evidence-based-programs

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/02/15/585879601/trump-administration-sued-for-ending-funding-of-teen-pregnancy-programs

 

AK: State begins transfer of child welfare services to tribal communities

Peninsula Clarion – February 14, 2018

The Office of Children’s Services and tribal governments are taking the first steps to implement an agreement that transfers control of welfare services for Alaska Native children from the state to a group of 18 tribal governments and organizations.

http://peninsulaclarion.com/2018-02-14/state-begins-transfer-child-welfare-services-tribal-communities

AZ: AZ bill lifts gun safety rules for foster parents (Includes video)

CBS 5 – February 14, 2018

With child gun deaths on the rise in Arizona, one state lawmaker says foster parents should no longer be forced to lock up their guns for safety reasons. The Arizona Department of Child Safety requires foster parents to store their firearms in a safety locker so children can’t get access.

http://www.azfamily.com/story/37509594/az-bill-lifts-gun-safety-rules-for-foster-parents

AZ: Study Finds Arizona Children At Higher Risk Of A Lifetime Of Hardship

KJZZ – February 14, 2018

The Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACE score, measures whether a child has witnessed or endured abuse, lived in poverty, been neglected and other negative factors. The more adversities a child suffers through, the higher their risk for long-term health diseases and learning disabilities. Child Trends, a national research organization for child health and welfare, looked at the most recent ACE scores on a state by state basis.

Report: The prevalence of adverse childhood experiences, nationally, by state, and by race or ethnicity: http://www.childtrends.org/publications/prevalence-adverse-childhood-experiences-nationally-state-race-ethnicity/

http://kjzz.org/content/607454/study-finds-arizona-children-higher-risk-lifetime-hardship

CA: Improving foster care placements by making program more efficient goal of legislation

Los Angeles Sentinel – February 14, 2018

Last year, California launched a new statewide program for approving individuals to serve as foster caregivers, and the goal was to fix an inefficient, ineffective system. But since the program has been in place, families have seen huge delays and have not received needed support, causing financial hardship and deterring permanent placements of foster youth.

https://lasentinel.net/improving-foster-care-placements-by-making-program-more-efficient-goal-of-legislation.html

CA: The Way It Works (Commentary)

Anderson Valley Advertiser – February 07, 2018

This is a hypothetical example that sounds more developing Third World than American, but it’s one that plays out every day to lesser and greater degrees in our own financially strapped rural communities as they struggle with how best to care for their neglected or abused children in families with addictions, mental health issues, and violence — and to address the many questions it raises. The true nature and depth of the problem is shrouded in two impenetrable layers of secrecy.

http://theava.com/archives/78951

CO: Effort to extend Colorado’s statute of limitations for failure to report child abuse fails after opposition from Catholic church, teachers group

Denver Post – February 14, 2018

An effort to extend Colorado’s statute of limitations for the crime of failing to report child abuse died in a Senate panel Wednesday following opposition from a teacher’s organization and the Catholic Church. The vote for Senate Bill 58 was 3-2 along party lines in the Republican-controlled Senate’s State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/02/14/colorado-child-abuse-reporting-bill-fails/

FL: Editorial: DCF review should get to the bottom of Hillsborough foster care issues (Opinion)

Tampa Bay Times – February 14, 2018

The Florida Department of Children and Families is right to call for a timely and “comprehensive” review of Hillsborough County’s foster care system. Though the probe is a reaction to a recent case involving a child who was left unattended, the review is a chance to study the roots of Hillsborough’s heavy caseloads and to explore what’s causing gaps in care that could endanger vulnerable children.

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/Editorial-DCF-review-should-get-to-the-bottom-of-Hillsborough-foster-care-issues_165476616

FL: Series Of Child Welfare Bills Continue Moving In Florida Legislature (Includes audio)

WUSF – February 13, 2018

Many of the bills deal with trying to expedite the process for kids within the foster care system to find more permanent homes.

http://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/series-child-welfare-bills-continue-moving-florida-legislature

HI: Homeschoolers may face background checks

Garden Island – February 15, 2018

State Sen. Kaialii Kahele recently introduced Senate Bill 2323, which would create a screening process designed to ensure children with elevated risk factors are not removed from public school to be home schooled. He introduced the bill in response to the tragic 2016 starvation death of 9-year-old Shaelynn Lehano, who lived in his Hilo district.

Also: Hawaii Home Schooling Authorization Bill Withdrawn (Requires free registration): http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2018/02/14/hawaii-home-schooling-authorization-bill-withdrawn/

Also: Senator yanks bill requiring background checks for parents who home-school their children (Includes video): http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/37510633/senator-yanks-bill-requiring-background-checks-for-parents-who-home-school-their-children

http://www.thegardenisland.com/2018/02/15/hawaii-news/homeschoolers-may-face-background-checks/

IL: Crisis Nursery gives safe environment for children in need

Daily Illini – February 14, 2018

Upon first glance, all of these kids appear to be enjoying everyday playtime. However, each of these children is suffering from a crisis at home that could negatively affect their emotional or physical well-being. Because of this, Crisis Nursery provides 24-hour care in a safe environment for children during a time of hardship.

Information Gateway resources: Crisis Intervention in Child Abuse and Neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/crisis.pdf

https://dailyillini.com/features/2018/02/14/crisis-nursery-gives-safe-environment-children-need/

MI: Are Your Kids Safe? Human Trafficking Victim Details Vulnerability That Led To Life Of Abuse (Includes video)

CBS Detroit – February 14, 2018

According to Birmingham psychologist Dr. Tracey Stulberg, it’s not just abused teens who are vulnerable to trafficking. The Internet, she said, has opened up a whole avenue online for predators to prey on young girls and boys, who are having a bad day, or being bullied, or fighting with their parents.

http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2018/02/14/are-your-kids-safe-human-trafficking-victim-details-vulnerability-that-led-to-life-of-abuse/

NY: NYC’s Immigration Court Erodes Accommodations for Children Without Attorneys (Commentary)

City Limits – February 13, 2018

Maria’s mother eventually helped her connect with the New York Legal Assistance Group, a nonprofit organization that took on her case and helped her get on track for a visa. She is now on the verge of graduating from high school and she says she plans to pursue a career as a police officer. “When I got my lawyer, I felt protected,” Maria says. “But that first time I didn’t know what to do.”

https://citylimits.org/2018/02/13/nycs-immigration-court-erodes-accommodations-for-children-without-attorneys/

OH: Advocates, institutions in NW Ohio react to Larry Nassar sex abuse case

Toledo Blade – February 14, 2018

Acts of sexual assault or abuse are committed by individuals who are responsible for their actions, said Deborah Stoll, the director of the YWCA Northwest Ohio’s rape crisis center. But institutions and businesses must create safe environments that support victims without rushing to judgment. Ms. Stoll said the best thing people can do is listen to victims who come forward, victims who often must overcome a great deal of fear and anxiety before telling their stories.

http://www.toledoblade.com/local/2018/02/14/Advocates-institutions-in-NW-Ohio-react-to-Larry-Nassar-sex-abuse-case.html

OH: Child abuse campaign warns parents to be careful who they let around their children (Includes video)

News 5 Cleveland – February 14, 2018

“What we saw when it came to serious injury, including fatalities, that after mom and dad being responsible for caring for the child, it is often that unrelated male adult,” said Lorain County Children’s Services Executive Director Scott Ferris. Ferris says this is especially true when it came to young mothers.

https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/local-news/oh-lorain/child-abuse-campaign-warns-parents-to-be-careful-who-they-let-around-their-children

OR: Guest column: Get involved to help children in foster care (Commentary)

Bend Bulletin – February 14, 2018

As Oregonians, we are “parents” to approximately 7,600 children who are in the foster-care system every night. The care they receive after being abused or neglected is the result of our collective action – attentive and compassionate, or distracted and stressed. As someone who has worked closely with this issue in Central Oregon for the last 15 years, I encourage us not to blame the problems of Child Welfare System on staff and foster parents who are working to make things better for children in the system.

http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/lettertotheeditor/6001812-151/guest-column-get-involved-to-help-children-in

PA: Child welfare system in ‘disrepair’, social workers stretched thin (Includes video)

WFMZ TV – February 14, 2018

“We started going into areas of the county we never went to before. Bethlehem Township, Palmer Township … areas where there is an upper income level but their (parents) are using,” said Kevin Dolan, Administrator at Northampton County’s Children and Youth Division.

http://www.wfmz.com/news/lehigh-valley/child-welfare-system-in-disrepair-social-workers-stretched-thin/701663363

PA: Pa. Supreme Court to consider if drug abuse during pregnancy is a crime

Philadelphia Inquirer – February 14, 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has been asked to decide whether drug abuse during pregnancy can be punished as child abuse under state law. That issue, which has torn American law and politics since the crack epidemic of the 1980s, is stirring renewed debate as the opioid crisis spawns another generation of newborns hooked on their mothers’ drugs.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/drug-abuse-pregnancy-crime-pennsylvania-supreme-court-20180214.html

TX: El Paso CPS Privatization (Video)

El Paso Times – February 14, 2018

El Paso will be the testing grounds for a new program that privatizes some aspects of Texas’ Child Protective Services.

http://www.elpasotimes.com/videos/news/2018/02/13/el-paso-cps-privatization/110385970/

WI: Legislation creating grants to support foster families passes state Assembly (Press release)

Lisa Subeck State Representative – February 13, 2018

Today, the State Assembly unanimously passed Assembly Bill 787, authored by Representative Lisa Subeck (D – Madison), which would establish a foster family support fund administered as a grant program with counties, nonprofits and other organizations to support foster families.

Also: Foster-care reforms advance in Wisconsin Assembly: http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/foster-care-reforms-advance-in-wisconsin-assembly/article_bc5d5710-32f6-5ab3-9399-5327e2dbf62c.html

http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0214subeck.pdf

WI: Flooding the system: A Study of Opioids and Out-of-Home Care in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty – February 01, 2018

Vulnerable children and families in Wisconsin need more support. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos created a task force to improve the child welfare system as well as prevention measures in an effort to keep families together. In November 2017, the task force released a package of bills titled “Foster Forward.”

http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/flooding-the-system_opioids-and-ohc_final-1.pdf

US: Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): How the block grant protects families and communities impacted by the opioid epidemic

NACO.org – February 14, 2018

Across the country, SSBG is helping states respond to the opioid crisis by protecting babies, children, youth and families from harm and helping them get the support they need to heal and thrive. SSBG provides flexible funds to help states meet the unique and rapidly increasing needs of communities resulting from the crisis. In 2015, child protective services removed 100,000 babies, children and youth from their parents’ care because of the parents’ drug or alcohol use. In 2014, 39 states relied on $329 million from SSBG to protect and safeguard children who face abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Also: Report: http://www.naco.org/sites/default/files/documents/Final%20SSBG%20%26%20Opioid%20Epidemic%20Report%202.2%20%281%29.pdf

http://www.naco.org/featured-resources/how-block-grant-protects-families-and-communities#link-0

US: The 156 Victims Who Spoke Out About Abuse Spurred Lawmakers to Protect Future Athletes

Vice – February 14, 2018

US lawmakers hope to address sexual violence within Olympic sports another way. Just a few weeks after 156 women shared their stories of physical and emotional trauma during Nassar’s sentencing, the president signs a bill into law today that will make it a crime for Olympic sports officials not to report suspected sexual abuse within 24 hours.

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/xw5g7z/the-156-victims-who-spoke-out-about-abuse-spurred-lawmakers-to-protect-future-athletes

US: Trump’s Top Child Welfare Official: Family First a Good First Step, but True Prevention is Key

Chronicle of Social Change – February 14, 2018

The Family First Act opens an opportunity for states to use Title IV-E foster care funds in ways that have not previously been available except through the IV-E waiver process. Well over 90 percent of the federal budget that the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) is responsible for administering comes from Title IV-E foster care and adoption funds – that’s almost $9 billion of a $10 billion budget.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/trumps-top-child-welfare-official-family-first-good-first-step-true-prevention-key/29901

US: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part One: Services to Prevent Foster Care

Chronicle of Social Change – February 13, 2018

As The Chronicle of Social Change reported in multiple stories last week, the Family First Prevention Services Act has become law. It includes the biggest change to the structure of federal child welfare finance since the establishment of the Title IV-E entitlement in 1980.

Also: CliffsNotes on Family First Act, Part Two: Limiting Support for Congregate Foster Care: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-act-part-one-services-prevent-foster-care/29896

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/finance-reform/cliffsnotes-family-first-anatomy-massive-child-welfare-entitlement-reform

INTERNATIONAL

Bulgaria: The Child Protection Agency has a New Director

Novinite – February 14, 2018

Eleonora Lilova, the director of the Second Elementary School, is the new chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection, the government has decided today, reports Darik.

http://www.novinite.com/articles/187926/The+Child+Protection+Agency+has+a+New+Director

 

AZ: Arizona Bill Would Terminate Parental Rights More Quickly in Substance Use Cases

Chronicle of Social Change – February 13, 2018

The Arizona legislature may vote on a bill that would quicken the pace at which parents struggling with drug addiction could lose their parental rights. The bill – Senate Bill 1452 – would speed up the timeline for the termination of parental rights, allow adoption of these children more quickly and deny access to services like addiction treatment for parents.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/arizona-bill-terminate-parental-rights-quickly-substance-use-cases/29885

CA: Judge: 7-year-old boy can sue Alameda County over his toddler sister’s meth overdose death

East Bay Times – February 13, 2018

Without a definitive ruling, a federal judge Tuesday said that a 7-year-old boy’s lawsuit alleging Alameda County social workers failed to protect his younger sister when she died after ingesting methamphetamine twice while in foster care can move forward.

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/02/13/judge-7-year-old-boy-can-sue-alameda-county-over-his-toddler-sisters-meth-overdose-death/

HI: Legislators Want CWS to Investigate All Homeschooling Families

Hawaii Free Press – February 06, 2018

Last week, three bills were introduced by the Hawaii Legislature that would significantly restrict homeschool freedom: Senate Bills 2274 and 2323, and House Bill 2244. Although the bills don’t agree on every particular, all three would require every homeschooling family to receive “approval” from either their local school principal or their district superintendent before they can homeschool.

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/21083/Legislators-Want-CWS-to-Investigate-All-Homeschooling-Families.aspx

ID: JFAC backs boost in child-welfare staffing

Spokesman-Review – February 13, 2018

The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a series of supplemental appropriations – allocations of funds within the current budget year – this morning, including a plan to increase the state’s child welfare staff. Caseloads have been soaring; there were 2,714 children in foster care in Idaho in fiscal year 2017, a 6 percent increase from the previous year and 13 percent higher than 2013’s count. Plus, increasingly, more kids are coming onto foster care than are leaving; last year, 184 more kids arrived in Idaho’s foster care system than left.

Information Gateway resource: Building Child Welfare Agency Capacity: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/administration/capacity/agency/

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2018/feb/13/jfac-backs-boost-child-welfare-staffing/

IN: Group supports area foster parents

WCINews – February 13, 2018

The Foster Parent Networking Group exists to recruit, equip, connect and retain foster parents in Fountain and Warren counties, said Sherry Jones, one of the organizers of the group. It’s to help parents foster with a sense of vision and community.

http://www.newsbug.info/wcinews/group-supports-area-foster-parents/article_1e86b848-112d-11e8-a534-a3fdd38b7298.html

KY: Kentucky To Begin Paying Relatives Who Serve As Foster Parents

WVXU – February 13, 2018

The state will begin compensating Kentuckians who serve as foster parents to children they’re related to after a federal court ruling last fall. The change also applies to close family friends who look after children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect.

Also: Relatives of abused kids now eligible for pay as foster parents. Here’s how to apply: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/counties/fayette-county/article199842739.html

http://wvxu.org/post/kentucky-begin-paying-relatives-who-serve-foster-parents#stream/0

MA: Investigation: Allegations Against Andover Hockey Coaches ‘Not Sustained’ (Includes video)

NECN – February 13, 2018

An independent investigation by a Massachusetts school district has concluded that allegations against the hockey coaches were “not sustained,” according to the high school’s principal on Tuesday. The hockey coaches at Andover High School were accused of keeping athletes from eating and drinking as punishment for losing games.

https://www.necn.com/news/new-england/Allegations-Against-Andover-Hockey-Coaches-Not-Sustained-473975433.html

MN: Judge’s Ruling in Custody Battle Leads to Child’s Abrupt Goodbye with Foster Parents (Includes video)

KSTP – February 13, 2018

Whether the Indian Child Welfare Act applies is at the center of the legal custody fight. The ICWA is supposed to help Native American children find foster families in Native American Communities. But there aren’t enough qualified foster homes for some of the 2,000 foster children who need them.

http://kstp.com/news/hennepin-county-juvenile-court-judge-rules-in-favor-childs-grandmother-custody-battle-indian-child-welfare-act-/4787303/?cat=12196

MO: The tragedy that is human trafficking (Commentary)

Springfield News-Leader – February 13, 2018

Human trafficking is defined as using force, fraud or coercion to obtain either a type of labor or a commercial sex act. This heinous injustice happens across the globe and in the United States, and southwest Missouri is certainly not immune. That’s why my staff and I have met with numerous people and organizations at both the state and federal levels to address this issue and do what we can to stop this growing problem.

https://www.news-leader.com/story/opinion/2018/02/13/tragedy-human-trafficking/334024002/

MO: Protect, provide for the children (Editorial)

St. Joseph News-Press – February 12, 2018

Thousands of Missouri residents – young children and teens – depend on the bureaucracy to do one thing exceedingly well: protect and provide for them while they are in state care. This work proves hard even under the best of circumstances, and this is not that time. The number of young people in the Missouri foster care system now is about 13,000 and rising.

http://www.newspressnow.com/opinion/editorials/protect-provide-for-the-children/article_75df4310-58e0-50c5-b49f-1c0a0d50a26d.html

NY: Big Rainbows in the Political Clouds for Children (Opinion)

Hudson Valley Press – February 14, 2018

God has sent some huge rainbows in the clouds for vulnerable children amidst a profoundly negative political climate. Good news these days has been few and far between but the Bipartisan Budget Package/Continuing Resolution (CR) signed by the President earlier today offers significant and long overdue hope to children, families and communities.

https://hudsonvalleypress.com/2018/02/14/big-rainbows-political-clouds-children/

NY: What I Observed Over My Three Decades-Long Career in Child Welfare Services, Part 1 (Commentary)

NYN Media – February 13, 2018

This is the first part of a two-part article by Dr. Robert Maher. He recently retired from his position as CEO of St. Christopher’s, a nonprofit that provides education and life planning skills to children with special needs and their families.

Also: What I Observed Over My Three Decades-Long Career in Child Welfare Services, Part 2: http://nynmedia.com/news/what-i-observed-over-my-three-decades-long-career-in-child-welfare-services-part-ii

http://nynmedia.com/news/what-i-observed-over-my-three-decades-long-career-in-child-welfare-services

OR: My View: Local oversight could improve foster care

Portland Tribune – February 13, 2018

Foster providers also know what bullying feels like. One longtime foster-adoptive parent told me “it’s not a question of if DHS finds something to charge you with, it’s when. It’s just not worth it anymore.” Foster parents tell me they’re giving up, weary of a “hostile” bureaucracy and the lack of pathways to navigate an inconsistent and complex system.

http://pamplinmedia.com/pt/10-opinion/386802-276307-my-view-local-oversight-could-improve-foster-care

TX: At Border Patrol Checkpoints, an Impossible Choice Between Health Care and Deportation

Texas Observer – February 13, 2018

Undocumented parents confined south of inland checkpoints must choose between risking deportation or forgoing treatment for their child.

https://www.texasobserver.org/border-patrol-checkpoints-impossible-choice-health-care-deportation/

TX: El Paso begins training for new privatized foster care program (Includes video)

KFOX14 – February 12, 2018

Family Services of El Paso, a local foster care organization, has been tasked with bringing change to the foster care system in a new way. “Our program is going to send caseworkers into the families’ homes and to work with them and help them meet their needs and help ensure the safety of the children,” Salcido said.

http://kfoxtv.com/news/local/el-paso-begins-training-for-new-privatized-foster-care-program

WI: Foster care, Foxconn traffic discussed at Union Grove meeting

Journal Times – February 13, 2018

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos expressed concern about the opioid addiction’s impact on children across Wisconsin and about traffic congestion from the coming Foxconn work in the area during a briefing with local officials on Monday night.

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/foster-care-foxconn-traffic-discussed-at-union-grove-meeting/article_3c93c9c4-6f7f-5e47-b551-27a498b5b0e2.html

US: 8th Circuit ICWA Arguments Focus On Liability (Includes audio)

SDPB – February 13, 2018

Five years ago tribes and parents sued state and county officials in Pennington County for violating the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments from those officials’ lawyers, who say their clients should not have been sued because they didn’t create the questioned policies. The officials are appealing a federal judge’s decision that forced changes in the way emergency hearings are held in child custody cases. SDPB’s Victoria Wicks has this report.

Also: Court hears tribal challenge to South Dakota child removals: http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/nation-world/article199840789.html

http://listen.sdpb.org/post/8th-circuit-icwa-arguments-focus-liability

US: How ‘Big Data’ Might Help Predict Which Children Are Most At Risk For Abuse (Includes audio)

KERA News – February 13, 2018

Each day, social workers must decide whether or not the children they visit should be removed from their parents’ homes. It’s a decision that changes the courses of those kids’ lives. During a recent episode of KERA’s “Think,” Naomi Schaefer Riley, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, talked about how we can better harness statistical information to help make these decisions.

Also: Stopping Child Abuse Before It’s Too Late (Audio): http://think.kera.org/2018/02/05/stopping-child-abuse-before-its-too-late-2/

Information Gateway resource: Using Data to Improve Outcomes for Children, Youth, and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/info-systems/using-data-to-improve-outcomes-for-children-youth-and-families/

http://keranews.org/post/how-big-data-might-help-predict-which-children-are-most-risk-abuse

US: President signs massive two-year budget agreement; package includes funding for key health and human services programs, disaster relief and infrastructure

National Association of Counties (NACO) – February 13, 2018

On February 9, President Trump signed a massive two-year budget agreement ensuring the continued operation of multiple federal domestic programs as congressional lawmakers work with the administration to finalize Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and FY 2019 appropriations. The Bipartisan Budget Act reauthorizes and extends federal funding for multiple health care programs important to counties, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Community Health Centers (CHCs) and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC). It also eliminates reductions to Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments.

Also: The Delegation for 2.13.18 – Insights from the Beltway to the Sunshine State (Commentary): http://floridapolitics.com/archives/254752-delegation-2-13-18-insights-beltway-sunshine-state

http://www.naco.org/blog/president-signs-massive-two-year-budget-agreement-package-includes-funding-key-health-and-human

US: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North and South Dakota sues major opioid manufacturers and distributors

Star Tribune – February 13, 2018

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux alleges that major manufacturers and distributors of opioids created a public health crisis on their reservation by fraudulently concealing the addiction risk of the drugs. Indians suffer the highest per-capita rate of opioid overdoses, and pregnant Indian women are more than eight times more likely to be diagnosed with opioid dependency compared with the next highest demographic, the suit alleges.

http://www.startribune.com/standing-rock-sioux-tribe-in-north-and-south-dakota-sues-major-opioid-manufacturers-and-distributors/473985293/

US: The Michigan State Gymnastics Scandal: Lessons for and From Child Protection Investigations (Opinion) (Requires free registration)

Daily Report – February 13, 2018

In the wake of Larry Nassar’s convictions for sexually abusing scores of young gymnasts over the past two decades, many are asking how such abuse could have been allowed to continue so long despite reports of his abuse going back 20 years and a 2014 internal Michigan State University inquiry. One would think the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State would have made an impression on college officials. Apparently not.

https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/sites/dailyreportonline/2018/02/13/the-michigan-state-gymnastics-scandal-lessons-for-and-from-child-protection-investigations/

INTERNATIONAL

Albania: Albanian Minors Risk Everything to Escape Poverty Trap

Balkan Insight – February 12, 2018

Thousands of Albanian children have left home to seek asylum in the EU – claiming their parents abandoned them. Data from Italian and French authorities, as well as Eurostat, show that in the last four years in Italy, France and the UK alone, there are currently around 3,000 Albanian children aged 7-17 years old who have applied for asylum, claiming as the legal basis for their claims that their families abandoned them far from the family home.

https://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/albanian-minors-risk-everything-to-escape-poverty-trap-02-12-2018

Australia: Fake Child Protection Workers Visits Home, Inspect Mother’s Two Babies

Epoch Times – February 13, 2018

New South Wales Police issued a warning on Feb. 13 after a woman from Karabar, near Queanbeyan, reported that she was visited by a man and a woman claiming to be caseworkers for the state government agency Family and Community Services (FACS) on Friday, Feb. 9. The woman had no prior interactions with FACS or police.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/fake-child-protection-workers-visits-home-inspect-mothers-two-babies_2440302.html

India: Use technology for welfare of children: SC

Press Trust of India – February 14, 2018

India’s status as a technological power house in the world would remain on paper if the state does not take advantage of its resources to benefit the children or track the missing ones, the Supreme Court has said. The apex court, while stressing the need for use of technology in Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB) and Child Welfare Committees (CWC), said it was “disheartened” that there was an acute shortage of computers and peripherals in these bodies.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/use-technology-for-welfare-of-children-sc-118021400461_1.html

United Kingdom: The toxic effects of the Oxfam scandal have weakened us all in the aid sector (Commentary)

Guardian – February 13, 2018

In the space of a week, a story that started out as a report on predatory behaviour by some Oxfam staff in Haiti has transmuted into a crisis of trust, an attack on aid, and a threat to humanitarian action. Penny Mordaunt, the secretary of state for international development, has demanded moral leadership – and rightly so. But how do we now move to constructive solutions?

Also: Oxfam scandal: Penny Mordaunt to meet National Crime Agency: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/14/oxfam-scandal-penny-mordaunt-to-meet-national-agency

https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/feb/13/toxic-effects-oxfam-scandal-weakened-us-aid-sector

Venezuela: Venezuela’s economy is so bad, parents are leaving their children at orphanages

Washington Post – February 12, 2018

Poverty and hunger rates are soaring as Venezuela’s economic crisis leaves store shelves empty of food, medicine, diapers and baby formula. Some parents can no longer bear it. They are doing the unthinkable.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/venezuelas-economy-is-so-bad-parents-are-leaving-their-children-at-orphanages/2018/02/12/8021d180-0545-11e8-aa61-f3391373867e_story.html?utm_term=.5eb

AL: Weekend Read: Adopting a child is hard. Adopting as an LGBT couple is harder

Southern Poverty Law Center – February 09, 2018

In a state where there are more children than homes, the law known as HB 24 could prevent qualified same-sex couples from adopting, Katherine Webb-Hehn writes for Scalawag. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed HB 24 into law last May, making it legal for private adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples by citing the agency’s religious beliefs.

https://www.splcenter.org/news/2018/02/09/weekend-read-adopting-child-hard-adopting-lgbt-couple-harder

AZ: A tougher tack on parents with drug issues cuts against Arizona’s family-first focus (Commentary) (Includes video)

Arizona Republic – February 12, 2018

A bill that passed a Senate committee last week would cut off parental rights more quickly, deny services that might help parents address their addiction or other problems, and open a quicker path to adoption

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-investigations/2018/02/12/bill-parents-drug-issues-against-arizona-family-first/319725002/

CA: New bill to guarantee health care access to transgender foster children

KUSI – February 12, 2018

The bill would require county health and human services agencies to ensure that appropriate health care is available to foster youth when they themselves or their caregivers or advocates request it. LGBTQ youth are overrepresented in the foster care system. Among them are those who are transgender (people whose assigned gender at birth does not correspond to their identity) and gender nonconforming (people whose gender identities fall outside the male-female binary).

http://www.kusi.com/new-bill-to-guarantee-health-care-access-to-transgender-foster-children/

HI: Homeschooling bill a step for safety, deserves support (Commentary)

Garden Island – February 10, 2018

Parents who homeschool their children deserve a round of applause and a lot of credit. They are taking on a role not many are willing to do. Most people are busy just trying to keep up with the bills, working around the home and looking after the kids. Teaching them at home demands great sacrifice, commitment and dedication. While Kauai has fine public school teachers, those who homeschool deserve accolades. That’s part of the reason we support Senate Bill 2323, introduced by Hawaii State Senate Kaiali’i Kahele, which would create a screening process designed to ensure that children with elevated risk factors are not removed from school to be homeschooled, according to a press release.

http://www.thegardenisland.com/2018/02/10/opinion/homeschooling-bill-a-step-for-safety-deserves-support/

HI: Oahu Study: Child Molesters Exploit Drug-Addicted Homeless Youth

Hawai’i Free Press – February 10, 2018

This study reveals a range of demographic backgrounds and experiences among street youth: Almost half (44.4%) of those surveyed were Hawaiian or part Hawaiian; The majority of the respondents (58.9%) were male; Nearly a fifth (17.2%) identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning.

http://www.hawaiifreepress.com/ArticlesMain/tabid/56/ID/21112/Oahu-Study-Child-Molesters-Exploit-Drug-Addicted-Homeless-Youth.aspx

ID: Report: Children not always represented in protection cases

WRAL – February 11, 2018

OPE evaluators looked in detail at 207 cases, a sample of the roughly 3,300 statewide child protection cases in 2017. In roughly a third of those cases, children involved in a child protective services case, which often results in the removal of a child from their parents’ home, didn’t receive the representation of either a guardian ad litem (a court-appointed advocate) or a public defender.

http://www.wral.com/report-children-not-always-represented-in-protection-cases/17330860/

IN: Deputy director for Indiana Department of Child Services resigns

WTTV – February 12, 2018

Deputy Director of Field Operations Jane Bisbee resigned on Feb. 8 and will continue working through Feb. 23, according to the Indiana State Personnel Department.

http://cbs4indy.com/2018/02/12/deputy-director-for-indiana-department-of-child-services-resigns/

IN: Sen. Melton seeking legislative review of Indiana’s Department of Child Services

St. Joseph News-Press – February 12, 2018

Melton’s Senate Resolution 14 calls on legislative leaders to establish a two-year study committee tasked with examining any and all issues relating to DCS, and reporting back with proposed solutions for the House and Senate to act on.

http://www.newspressnow.com/news/national/sen-melton-seeking-legislative-review-of-indiana-s-department-of/article_f60a0761-8af0-5866-a3d1-9102c9bac94b.html

KS: Kansas governor backs bill to open records on child deaths

Associated Press – February 12, 2018

The bill would require the department to release a child’s age, gender and date of death upon receiving an open records request. It also would have to release a summary of its reports of child abuse or neglect and its findings about those reports.

http://www.macon.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article199734214.html

MA: Lawmakers pushing three bills to reshape DCYF

Union Leader – February 12, 2018

Lawmakers continue to reshape the state’s child protective services with another set of sweeping proposals costing an estimated $14 million. Three bills now before the legislature would add social workers, nurses, lawyers and licensed alcohol and drug counselor positions to the Division for Children, Youth and Families. New programs would be developed to provide counseling services to families with cases under DCYF review.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20180213/NEWS0621/180219777&source=RSS

MA: YOUR VIEW: One in five children grows up with addicted parents

Dartmouth & Westport Chronicle – February 11, 2018

As we continue to address the opioid crisis in our country, it is vital that we not forget about its youngest victims, the children of parents struggling with substance use disorders. As we have made great strides here in Massachusetts to decrease the stigma of substance abuse, we simultaneously need to foster awareness of the impact this crisis has had on children.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/opinion/20180211/your-view-one-in-five-children-grows-up-with-addicted-parents

MI: Nassar Scandal Prompts Focus on Prevention, Protection, Accountability (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 13, 2018

The national spotlight on the Larry Nassar scandal cast Michigan in a very unflattering light when it comes to how the state handles sexual assault on college campuses in particular. A group of female lawmakers is setting out some guiding principles they hope will change that.

http://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-02-13/budget-policy-and-priorities/nassar-scandal-prompts-focus-on-prevention-protection-accountability/a61409-1

MT: New Montana Panel Looks into Child Deaths

Associated Press – February 12, 2018

State lawmakers established the commission last year amid frustration that 28 children since 2015 had died since coming to the attention of Montana’s Child and Family Services Division.

http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/02/12/new-montana-panel-looks-child-deaths/

NC: DSS Child Protective Services Working On Trust

Transylvania Times – February 12, 2018

Renfroe said that “building trust” among community partners takes “time and consistency.” “The nature of confidentiality for Social Service departments makes it very challenging for community partners to trust and to understand the heavily regulated processes that drive DSS decisions,” he said. “The (Child Welfare) supervisors and I have been working very hard to address trust issues within the community by taking time to both hear concerns and try to educate how state law and policy dictate how we operate.”

http://www.transylvaniatimes.com/story/2018/02/12/news/dss-child-protective-services-working-on-trust/35529.html

NC: Durham County Adds Positions to Address ‘Critical Staffing Needs’ in Child Protective Services

INDY Week – February 12, 2018

Durham County’s Child Welfare Division is adding more staff to keep up with heavy workloads and increasingly complicated cases. Department of Social Services director Ben Rose says the six additional positions are needed to address “critical staffing needs” and keep the division in-line with state limits on how many cases each social worker should have.

https://www.indyweek.com/news/archives/2018/02/12/durham-county-social-services-adds-positions-to-address-critical-staffing-needs-in-child-protective-services

NE: HHS opposes panel to review deaths and sexual abuse of state wards

Norfolk Daily News – February 12, 2018

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services opposes the creation of a special legislative oversight committee to review deaths and sexual abuse of children in the state’s care.

Also: Editorial: State’s legal immunity raises a major concern: http://norfolkdailynews.com/news/editorial-state-s-legal-immunity-raises-a-major-concern/article_987ae632-02a8-5db5-945c-6d88fce76434.html

http://norfolkdailynews.com/news/hhs-opposes-panel-to-review-deaths-and-sexual-abuse-of/article_e29c8d88-8bb8-5dcd-a869-86fdca663689.html

OR: Mandatory reporting changes head to Legislature

Keizertimes – February 12, 2018

The bill, SB 1540, amends the state’s rules to define reportable offenses as sexual contact or intercourse as those in which lacked consent – or the victim had the inability to provide consent – for teens and young adults between the ages of 14 and 21, if one of the parties is more than three years older, or if there is reasonable cause to believe the relationship was the result of force, intimidation or coercion.

Information Gateway resource: Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse and Neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/manda/

http://www.keizertimes.com/2018/02/12/mandatory-reporting-changes-head-to-legislature/

PA: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Could Decide Whether Using Drugs During Pregnancy Is Child Abuse (Commentary)

Rewire – February 12, 2018

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is poised to decide whether or not the state’s child abuse law can be used to penalize pregnant people who have narcotics in their system. If the court takes the case and permits a finding of child abuse based on actions the mother took before the child was born, it will be yet another barrier to care that pregnant people with substance abuse problems may face.

https://rewire.news/article/2018/02/12/pennsylvania-supreme-court-decide-whether-pregnant-drug-use-child-abuse/

PA: Reforms In Philadelphia’s Child Welfare System Get City Council Scrutiny (Includes video)

CBS Philadelphia – February 10, 2018

A recent city council hearing revealed ongoing problems in Philadelphia’s child welfare system. The system has been struggling with reforms launched five years ago that were intended to improve services. But the hearing found improvements have been slow and incomplete.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/02/10/reforms-in-philadelphias-child-welfare-system-get-city-council-scrutiny/

TX: Abbott announces sweeping plan to combat sexual misconduct, human trafficking

Texas Tribune – February 12, 2018

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday announced a sweeping proposal aimed at better protecting people from human trafficking as well as tackling sexual misconduct allegations at the Texas Capitol and throughout state government. Abbott’s “Preventing Crime, Protecting Texans, Punishing Criminals” plan includes allocating $22 million to the Department of Public Safety for the creation of regional squads to investigate human trafficking cases and for training local law enforcement.

http://www.hillcountrynews.com/stories/abbott-announces-sweeping-plan-to-combat-sexual-misconduct-human-trafficking,76715?

WA: House Approves Legislation To Extend Health Benefits For Former Foster Youth

Seattle Medium – February 12, 2018

House Bill 2530 will allow former foster children to continue coverage in the integrated managed health care plan for foster children for up to 12 months following reunification with their parents or guardian. Providing continued benefits will help increase continuity of health care services, improve the overall stability of the family, and provide a resource for parents to manage their children’s health.

http://seattlemedium.com/house-approves-legislation-extend-health-benefits-former-foster-youth/

US: Family First: A “Reform” that Isn’t (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – February 13, 2018

Instead, the goal of “finance reform” became expanding the use of Title IV-E funds to included what the Act calls “prevention services.” These are not services to prevent abuse and neglect, but rather to prevent a child’s entry into foster care once that abuse or neglect has already occurred. FFPSA allows the use of these funds to fund parenting education, drug treatment and mental health services for parents.

https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/02/13/family-first-a-reform-that-isnt/

US: Editorial: Trump should follow Obama’s lead in funding approach for programs

Las Vegas Sun – February 11, 2018

You’d think President Donald Trump would appreciate the policymaking behind the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program, an Obama-era initiative that provided funding for dozens of agencies nationwide to reduce unwanted pregnancies. After all, the program was created through what was then a revolutionary approach that would have appealed to both a fiscal conservative and a venture capitalist – making funding for social services contingent on rigorous, outcome-based research.

https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/feb/11/trump-should-follow-obamas-lead-in-funding-approac/

 

 

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