Sign Up Here For KARA’s Free Friday Morning Real Story e Updates
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
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
AL: & AZ: Lawsuit was catalyst for cutting caseloads in Alabama (Commentary)
Arizona Daily Star – March 08, 2018
Across the state, average caseloads were 65. Within six months, James was the only one of five people hired with him who hadn’t quit. But Alabama’s child welfare system was on the cusp of wholesale reform that took place county by county after a sweeping 1988 lawsuit filed by advocates on behalf of a foster child known as R.C.
AZ: Foster crisis persists, say child advocates, even as DCS trumpets progress (Commentary) (Includes video)
Arizona Daily Star – March 08, 2018
“We have seen phenomenal improvement,” said Katherine Guffey, DCS’s chief quality improvement officer. But advocates for children say it’s not yet time to celebrate – they warn that recent progress to overhaul Arizona’s chronically strained child welfare system could easily be reversed. The very idea that the child welfare system has been “fixed” could spur complacency by policymakers whose funding decisions determine DCS’s ability to function, they fear.
CA: Sacramento Mom Says She Learned Through News That Foster Parent Was Arrested on Suspicion of Child Porn (Includes video)
KTLA – March 08, 2018
“If a major incident occurs in foster care, it is CPS practice to notify child’s counsel, parents’ counsel, and in most cases the biological parents. In some cases, biological parents are notified of the major incident by their attorney or not at all if parental rights have been terminated,” the agency said in a statement.
FL: Former child protection investigator charged with falsifying records
Tampa Bay Newspapers – March 08, 2018
Urban, a six-year investigator at the Sheriff’s Child Protection Investigation Division, resigned from his job Jan. 18 soon after another investigator discovered discrepancies in a report he filed on an investigation of a similar allegation involving the same child in November 2017. A review of Urban’s 142 cases from Jan. 1, 2017-Jan. 17, 2018, revealed that he had falsified records in 75 cases – 52 percent.
Also: Child Protection Investigator Falsified Records, Pinellas Sheriff Says: http://www.tbreporter.com/crime/child-protection-investigator-falsified-records-pinellas-sheriff/
Also: Investigator accused of falsifying records, lying about checking on possible abuse victims: http://bit.ly/2oYZMwr
IN: “The Farm” for foster kids in LaGrange ready to build (Includes video)
ABC 57 – March 08, 2018
“‘The Farm’ is a place where we can help children who are going through traumatic experiences…and they’re taken out of the home, and their children are left to be put into foster care or with relatives…Currently, there is no place where in an emergency situation, where the child can be taken,” said Margaret.
MD: Delegate proposes shorter window on adoptions, higher age of consent
Frederick News-Post – March 08, 2018
Delegate Barrie Ciliberti (R-District 4) testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday on House Bill 1425. It would reduce the window that a birth parent can change their mind on an adoption from 30 days to 20. It would also raise the age where a minor’s consent is required for an adoption from 10 to 14.
Information Gateway resource: Ethics Related to Placement Issues: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-ethics/ethics-related-to-placement-issues/
MI: Snyder signs legislation ensuring tribes get child records
Sault News – March 08, 2018
Michigan’s federally recognized Native American tribes will now have access to certain state Children’s Protective Services records related to a child within their tribe under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Snyder. Senate Bill 616, sponsored by state Sen. Judy Emmons, amends the Child Protection Law to allow representatives of federally recognized Native American tribes located within Michigan to obtain confidential Children’s Protective Services records about a young tribal member.
NE: Student Mental Health at Heart of Legislative Debate Today (Includes audio)
Public News Service – March 09, 2018
The recent school shooting in Parkland, Fla., has school districts across the country and in Nebraska looking for ways to improve safety. Backers of Legislative Bill 998, to be debated at the Unicameral today (3/9), say it could help by ensuring all students in the state have access to mental and behavioral health services.
PR: Puerto Rico Schools Seek Emotional Healing for Students, Teachers
Education Week – March 06, 2018
The Puerto Rican government’s efforts to rebuild and remake its educational system will take years. But so will a complex and in some ways more fraught battle for the U.S. territory’s children and educators: helping them cope with trauma and meeting their emotional needs.
TN: Tennessee GOP kill bill to ban child marriage (Includes video)
Hill – March 08, 2018
State House Republicans in Tennessee on Wednesday effectively killed a bill to ban child marriages in an effort to bolster a conservative lawyer’s case against the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. The bill called for the state to ban marriages where one of the parties is under 18 years old.
WI: Federal report shows UnityPoint Health -Meriter failed to prevent abuse (Includes video)
NBC15 – March 08, 2018
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid services “conducted a complaint investigation” on Feb. 19. They determined that the hospital failed to “develop and implement an effective policy to prevent suspected abuse related to injuries of unknown origin for patients in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit.”
Also: Termination Notice: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/Downloads/Termination-Notice-Wisconsin-HHA-UnityPoint-Health-Meriter-02-28-2018.pdf
US: Military Domestic Violence and Child Abuse (Video)
Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel via C-Span – March 08, 2018
The Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel held a hearing to discuss domestic violence and child abuse in military families. A panel of abuse survivors and an advocate testified about their legal, health care, and treatment experiences with the military, and made recommendations for what could be improved in order to better help survivors and prevent potential abuses.
US: States Want More Money and Less Punishment Over Opioids
RouteFifty – March 08, 2018
“Right now the federal government recognizes the problem but is focused on punishment,” Governor Kate Brown said. “That leaves us, the states, to right the wrongs of a war on drugs that has done nothing to address the issues that drive this public health crisis, while our prisons and our foster care systems are filled to capacity with its victims.”
Also: Oregon Governor Tells Senate To Treat Instead Of Punishing Drug Users: https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-governor-kate-brown-opioids-drug-abuse/
Also: A plan to treat opioid-addicted newborns that helps families and saves tax dollars (Commentary): http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/377369-heres-how-we-can-treat-opioid-addicted-newborns-that-saves-families-and
Australia: Child protection report reveals soaring number of investigations
Guardian – March 08, 2018
One in 32 Australian children were subject to a protection investigation or response last financial year, a new report has found, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children from lower socio-economic backgrounds and remote areas continuing to be over-represented.
Also: Report: Child protection Australia 2016-17: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/child-protection/child-protection-australia-2016-17/contents/table-of-contents-print-report
AZ: State has spent nearly $2M defending against foster-care lawsuit; wants another $3.8M (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – March 06, 2018
Arizona taxpayers have paid $1.8 million in legal fees as the state defends against a class-action lawsuit alleging its foster-care system is deeply flawed and in need of reform. The legal bill is far from final: The case, filed in 2015, has yet to go to a trial. The spending will continue, at attorney rates of up to $275 an hour, as the litigation continues to play out in federal court.
CA: California bills target lengthy foster-parent approval process
Chronicle of Social Change – March 07, 2018
As the state implements broad changes to its child-welfare system through the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR), one of the biggest challenges has been moving foster parents and relative caregivers through a new approval process.
CO: Pueblo Department of Social Services now ‘centralized’
Pueblo Chieftain – March 07, 2018
Pueblo County’s Department of Social Services has closed its North Side office and moved those services to two locations in Downtown Pueblo in an effort to centralize the department’s campus.
CT: Senator Urges Support For Bill Inspired By Foster Care Youth
New London Patch – March 06, 2018
State Senator Paul Formica (Republican-East Lyme) testified before the state’s Committee on Children in support of Senate Bill 323 An Act Requiring Notice Prior to the Transfer of a Child to a New Out-of-Home Placement. This bill would require the Department of Children and Families to notify children before they are transferred to a new out-of-home placement so that they can prepare for transfers in the foster care system, according to a release.
FL: Another Viewpoint: People with developmental disabilities are part of our communities
Ledger – March 07, 2018
Gov. Scott has included two important funding proposals in his Securing Florida’s Future Budget which proposes $1.4 billion to serve Floridians with developmental disabilities. One is an $18.1 million to offer enrollment to approximately 900 individuals with developmental disabilities who are in crisis into the APD waiver program. This funding will serve individuals who are in a crisis situation, in extended foster care, or those in foster care who are adopted or reunified with their families.
Information Gateway resource: Parenting Your Child With Developmental Delays and Disabilities: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/parenting_dev_ts.pdf
FL: One State Forces Opioid Abusers to Get Help. Will Others Follow?
Stateline – March 07, 2018
In Tampa, police, health care professionals and families have a powerful legal tool not available in many other places: the 1993 Marchman Act. Families and health care professionals can use the state law to “marchman,” or involuntarily commit people into substance abuse treatment when they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Also: Deep Dive: Opioid Addiction: http://www.ncsl.org/bookstore/state-legislatures-magazine/opioid-deep-dive-state-policy-updates.aspx
GA: County boosts pay for child guardians, approves audit of local hotels/motels
Rome News-Tribune – March 06, 2018
The Floyd County Commission approved Tuesday an immediate $10,000 increase in the pay for guardians ad litem – lawyers assigned to Juvenile Court who protect the interests of children in foster care. Commissioners also extended Safari Hospitality’s contract to manage the Forum River Center and agreed to audit the collection of local hotel/motel taxes.
HI: & WA: Access Denied: When you(th) don’t stand a chance (Commentary)
Real Change – March 07, 2018
We know that just building more housing won’t help the people who, from a very young age, have been the victims of any number of circumstances. Homelessness at a young age intersects with a number of other tragic circumstances that befall young people, many of which co-occur.
Also: Report: Street Youth Study 2018: The Experience of Homeless, Runaway and Other Street Youth on O’ahu: http://uhfamily.hawaii.edu/publications/brochures/3ff7d_Street%20Youth%20Study-013118_FINAL.pdf
ME: Bill Nemitz: DHHS caseworker explains impossible task of trying to keep up (Commentary)
Press Herald – March 08, 2018
Between meeting days, document days, court days and other duties, Andrew Schoening never had enough time to handle his large number of cases.
Also: Ex-DHHS chief says department hiding behind confidentiality in child’s death: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/03/08/ex-maine-human-services-chief-1982-tragedy-illustrates-importance-of-scrutiny-in-response-to-10-year-olds-horrific-death/
Also: Calls for probe of child welfare agency after girl’s killing: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/maine-lawmakers-call-for-probe-of-child-welfare-agency-after-girls-beating-death/
Also: LePage: State agencies, schools ‘dropped the ball’ in 10-year-old’s beating death: https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/03/07/lepage-state-agencies-schools-dropped-the-ball-in-10-year-olds-beating-death/
ME: Closing Maine’s embattled youth prison ‘not so simple’ (Commentary)
Bangor Daily News – March 08, 2018
The advocates calling to close Maine’s youth prison and the people who run it agree on something: Fewer kids behind bars is better. It’s an idea that over the past decades shuttered another youth prison and saw a sharp reduction of inmates at the Long Creek Youth Development Center. More recently, as the South Portland facility has struggled with a staffing crisis and a large population of teens with deep mental illness, this idea has led criminal justice reform groups to call for it to be shut down.
MI: Catholic adoption agencies: A private-public adoption system that works (Opinion)
Hill – March 06, 2018
The work of St. Vincent is a daunting and seemingly unending task, with an ever-growing list of thousands of children displaced by neglect and abuse in the state rosters. Right now, there are 340 children in Michigan awaiting adoption, and St. Vincent alone placed 79 children in permanent, safe, and loving homes last year. But now St. Vincent faces an added challenge: a lawsuit from the ACLU against the Michigan Children’s Services Agency and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ultimately threatens to shut down its adoption program.
MN: 2 Bills Proposed to Increase Child Protection in State (Includes video)
KSTP – March 07, 2018
The first bill, SF 2989, delineates that it is the preferred practice to interview children prior to and separately from adults in the household. The second bill, SF 2847, states workers will assign cases to family assessment or investigation after fact-finding is completed.
NE: Juvenile Justice Advocacy: Working to Help Local Youth
Reader – March 07, 2018
Most of the kids Boys Town assists are referred from juvenile court, “They’re still at home, but there are some things going on where they’re at risk of having to leave. So we go into the homes and do family preservation work so kids can stay in their schools, homes and communities,” said Nick Juliano, Director of Regional Advocacy and Public Policy at Boys Town. Juliano explained kids have the best outcomes when they’re able to stay in their routines.
NE: Editorial: Right move to strengthen reporting requirements of abuse allegations
Omaha World-Herald – March 01, 2018
Nebraska lawmakers made clear this week that they want the state to step up its efforts to address sexual abuse allegations involving children in state custody.
NY: Nonprofits continue efforts to save New York state support for Close to Home program
New York Nonprofit Media – March 07, 2018
“When you’re able to bring young people to tell their story it is one of the most impactful ways to make members listen,” She said in a telephone interview. “(Justin) learned as being part of Close to Home that his mistakes don’t define him and he could leave this program and start new.”
Also: Buzz: March 6, 2018: Close to Home advocates … Nonprofit Excellence Awards … Bronxworks gets $13M: http://nynmedia.com/news/buzz-march-6-2018-close-to-home-advocates-details-on-nonprofit-excellence-awards-bronxworks-gets-13m
OK: Oklahoma Senate Could Vote on Faith-Based Protection Bill Today
Chronicle of Social Change – March 07, 2018
Foster youth advocates in Oklahoma are hearing that the State Senate will, without announcement, take up a bill to enable faith-based child welfare providers to discriminate against LGBTQ couples, and perhaps even children in the system. Senate Bill 1140 is authored by State Sen. Greg Treat (R), who is the majority floor leader.
OR: Will all mandatory reporters in Oregon follow Salem-Keizer’s teen sex reporting rules? (Includes video)
Statesman Journal – March 07, 2018
As a doctor, Elizabeth Steiner Hayward worries about her responsibilities as a mandatory reporter. Say a 17-year-old comes into her office and asks, “Doctor, my boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half, we’re thinking about having sex, can we please talk about how we stay safe?” Since Steiner Hayward is mandated by the state to report potential child abuse, “I (would) have to call child welfare. Every, single, time,” she said.
TX: Non-profit urging residents to become foster parents (Includes video)
KTSM – March 07, 2018
There are about 100 children across El Paso waiting for adoption, according to the Department of Family Protective Services. Children’s Hope officials say they frequently see people shy away from fostering in fear of heavy regulations, but say that’s simply just a stigma. To be a foster parent Children’s Hope looks for people that can offer a safe clean home and pass a thorough background check. It doesn’t matter if you’re a couple or single. Also it doesn’t matter how much money you make.
WV: Wayne County organization to work with recovering addicts, youth
Charleston Gazette-Mail – March 07, 2018
“There’s been a change in the last 10 years, though, a whole reckoning that substance abuse affects everyone,” said Don Perdue, a former West Virginia delegate who represented Wayne County for nearly 20 years. “It’s in action in your house, it’s in the mirror when you wake up in the morning. They can’t turn around and pretend it doesn’t exist – they just can’t do that anymore.”
Also: Campaign seeks to help children affected by opioid crisis: https://www.wvnews.com/theet/opinion/editorials/campaign-seeks-to-help-children-affected-by-opioid-crisis/article_90a88735-b8ab-5832-a55f-467da74bfb42.html
US: The Opioid Crisis’ ‘Frightening’ Jump To Black, Urban Areas
National Public Radio – March 08, 2018
The current drug addiction crisis began in rural America, but it’s quickly spreading to urban areas and into the African-American population in cities across the country. “It’s a frightening time,” says Dr. Edwin Chapman, who specializes in drug addiction in Washington, D.C., “because the urban African-American community is dying now at a faster rate than the epidemic in the suburbs and rural areas.”
US: Inside Game: The Key Players Behind Washington’s Biggest Foster Care Reform in Decades (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – March 07, 2018
Since the federal government started funding child welfare in 1961, almost all the billions in reimbursements sent to the states had done the opposite: They paid to put and keep kids in foster care or adoptions, rather than preventing the breakup of biological families. For years many advocates had argued that this funding mechanism had created a “perverse incentive” to tear families apart.
US: The Gifted Child in Foster Care: Lost in the Shuffle
Education Week – March 07, 2018
Trauma, schooling instability, poverty: Any one of those challenges can make it harder for gifted children to be found and to show their strengths, and students in the foster-care system often have all of those disadvantages and then some.
US: Top NIH official says medical pot research will continue despite HHS chief’s views
Talk Business & Politics – March 06, 2018
Newly confirmed HHS Director and former drug industry executive Alex Azar stated at a press conference in Ohio on opioid dependence that medical marijuana was imaginary. Azar traveled over the weekend to Dayton, Ohio to visit Brigid’s Paths, a facility for mothers and infants struggling with opioid dependence. He then participated in a roundtable with several patients and policymakers to discuss the challenges facing the nation’s opioid crisis has presented for the healthcare system, including foster care and child service delivery programs.
Also: HHS Secretary: “There really is no such thing as medical marijuana”: http://ysnews.com/news/2018/03/hhs-secretary-there-really-is-no-such-thing-as-medical-marijuana
Guatemala: Guatemalan network welcomes those fleeing gang violence
UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) – March 06, 2018
In an effort to promote safety for those on the move, UNHCR is campaigning for countries of transit and asylum to establish networks of safe spaces, offering short-term shelter and humanitarian assistance. Through interviews and psycho-social support, people who need international protection can be identified and provided with information about how to apply for asylum and seek protection.
Also: UNHCR releases draft outlining a new global refugee deal: http://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2018/1/5a71f6914/unhcr-releases-draft-outlining-new-global-refugee-deal.html
Also: Towards a global compact on refugees: http://www.unhcr.org/towards-a-global-compact-on-refugees.html
Also: The Guatemalan who is making the ‘American dream’ come true: http://aldianews.com/articles/leaders/guatemalan-who-making-american-dream-come-true/51901
International: 5 Ways To Support Native Moms On International Women’s Day
Romper – March 06, 2018
You may not know, though, that our government also sought to erase Native culture through the child welfare system. Warren told Romper, “Native children were routinely taken away and put up for adoption at such high numbers that the U.S. enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978.”
AZ: The latest on DACA: Sen. Jeff Flake fails to get Senate to pass 3-year extension (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – March 06, 2018
Sen. Jeff Flake on Tuesday tried but failed to get the Senate to pass his stopgap plan to legislatively extend for three years the imperiled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, in exchange for three years of additional funding for border security.
Also: Sen. Jeff Flake offers ‘three for three’ DACA, border security compromise (Includes video): https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2018/02/20/senator-jeff-flake-offers-three-three-daca-dreamers-border-security-compromise/355989002/
CA: CWDS Organizes User Experience Team (Press release)
Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) – March 06, 2018
The state Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) project has formed a team specifically focusing on human-centered research and design services for all digital endeavors across the project, which is developing software to replace the child welfare legacy system.
CA: In California, These Funders Want to Keep Kids Out of the Criminal Justice System
Inside Philanthropy – March 06, 2018
Reforming juvenile justice systems and ending the heartbreaking ways they can destroy young lives has been a philanthropic cause for decades. Local and regional funders are also involved in juvenile justice reform, and California is one place where this cause has drawn a fair amount of interest from grantmakers.
Also: Snapshot of violence shows county not immune from trouble: http://www.sonomawest.com/sonoma_west_times_and_news/news/snapshot-of-violence-shows-county-not-immune-from-trouble/article_12316e1e-21a7-11e8-a22b-a3b8122738e4.html
Also: Report: Violence Profile of Sonoma County: http://www.sonomawest.com/violence-profile-of-sonoma-county/pdf_7c57294e-21a9-11e8-a160-57e86535d149.html
KS: Frustrated lawmakers confront DCF leader in hearing on bill regarding child deaths
Kansas City Star – March 06, 2018
The subject of Tuesday’s legislative hearing: a bill that would require Kansas’ child welfare agency to release more information after a child’s death. But it was clear from the beginning that frustrated lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee were more interested in what could be done to keep Kansas children from dying of abuse and neglect. Specifically, they wanted to know, what could be done by the new secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families and her administration.
Also: Senator: Altered child agency records horrific, unsurprising: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article203696229.html
ME: Lawmakers may order investigation of Children’s Protective Services
Portland Press Herald – March 06, 2018
A legislative committee will decide Friday whether to launch an inquiry into Maine’s system for protecting children from abuse following the death of a 10-year-old Stockton Springs girl whom police say was beaten for months.
MO: FosterAdopt Connect opening Chillicothe office
Chillicothe News – March 06, 2018
FosterAdopt Connect specializes in solving problems for children and families involved in and affected by the child welfare system.
NC: Editorial: Adoption shows beauty of love
Burlington Times-News – March 06, 2018
Many foster parents are in the program for the right reason, and there and there are some who are not. That’s why we have homeless students. That’s unfortunately common in our Alamance-Burlington School System, where the administration estimates 700 students are technically homeless. And yet they continue to go to school, overcome odds, try to make something of themselves.
NE: Bostelman: Debate of priority bills begins (Commentary)
KNPG – March 07, 2018
Two Committee Priority Bills LB1078 and LB935 were discussed on general file. LB1078 would require the reporting of sexual abuse allegations involving those being served by the Division of Children and Family Services and placed at a residential child-caring agency as well as state wards, juveniles in probation, juveniles in detention or juveniles in a residential child caring agency to be reported to the Inspector General of Nebraska Child Welfare. TLB935 would authorize the inspection of certain tax return information and change application, reporting and record retention provisions under the Nebraska Advantage Act.
NE: EDITORIAL: Right move to strengthen reporting requirements of abuse allegations
Omaha World Herald – March 06, 2018
Nebraska lawmakers made clear this week that they want the state to step up its efforts to address sexual abuse allegations involving children in state custody. This was an important move forward, backed by a strong consensus across the range of lawmakers.
NE: Unequal Justice Juvenile Detention Numbers Are Down, But Bias Persists
Reader – March 06, 2018
Juvenile justice reform in Neb. has long been a hot topic of debate, study and legislation. A labyrinth of statutes, jurisdictions, agencies and rules makes navigating the system difficult. Youth committing even minor offenses can face detention, probation or diversion depending on who they intersect with in the system. Child welfare professionals seek rehabilitation. Prosecutors push accountability.
NJ: Help At-Risk Kids in Warren County with CASA-SHaW
WRNJ – March 06, 2018
On a Tuesday edition of the RNJ Morning Program, Morning Mike welcomed Tracey Heisler to the studio. Tracey is the Executive Director of CASA-SHaW – Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children in Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties. CASA provides volunteer advocates in court for child abuse victims who are in foster care.
NY: Schenectady County to consolidate offices
Daily Gazette – March 06, 2018
Schenectady County plans to consolidate its child welfare and juvenile justice programs into a single location in downtown Schenectady early next year. In what will start the most significant reorganization of county office space in years, the county Probation Department, Office of Children and Family Services, Juvenile Justice Center and Child Advocacy Center will relocate to 388 Broadway in a building the county will lease.
OR: TimberMill Shores preps for DHS service center
Herald and News – March 07, 2018
TimberMill Shores is getting geared up for its largest tenant: Oregon’s District 11 Department of Human Services (DHS) service center.
OR: Gov. Kate Brown expects child welfare fixes in three to six months (Includes video)
Statesman Journal – March 06, 2018
Gov. Kate Brown said she hopes $14.5 million approved by Oregon lawmakers for new recruits at the state child welfare agency will start to reverse high caseloads and staff turnover rates within the next three to six months.
OR: Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson Recognizes the Struggles of Many Foster Parents in the State
Chronicle of Social Change – March 06, 2018
Last month, Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson (R) released an audit of the state’s child welfare system, which has lost almost half its capacity in the past five years. According to the report, Oregon lacks an adequate supply of foster parents to take care of some foster children, leading to the contentious and costly practice of what the agency refers to as “unplaced foster youth” spending some nights at hotels and offices. The report also took to task the Department of Human Services – which oversees about 7,600 children in Oregon’s foster care system – for management failures that have left some children at risk, as well as for a high rate of social worker turnover.
Also: Report: Foster Care in Oregon: Chronic management failures and high caseloads Jeopardize the safety of some of the state’s most vulnerable children: http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/documents/2018-05.pdf
RI: DCYF ends contract with BV group home
Providence Journal – March 06, 2018
Five days after a group of lawmakers asked why Rhode Island was still doing business with a Pawtucket group home company that one state representative described as “a criminal enterprise,” the state’s child welfare director has cancelled its contract.
Also: DCYF cuts ties with embattled Pawtucket group home agency (Includes video): http://wpri.com/2018/03/06/dcyf-cuts-ties-with-embattled-pawtucket-group-home-agency/
SC: Dire need for foster care homes in Lexington, Richland counties (Includes video)
WIS – March 06, 2018
The number of available foster care homes in Richland and Lexington counties isn’t keeping up with the increasing number of children entering the system daily.
WA: Powered by Tens of Thousands of Voices from Washington State & Nationwide, Early Childhood Education Advocates Join Senator Murray to Deliver Petitions, Push for Expanded Access to Affordable, High-Quality Child Care (Press release)
Office of U.S. Senator for Washington State Patty Murray – March 06, 2018
Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate education committee, underlined her commitment to helping working families access affordable, high-quality care at a meeting with moms, kids, early childhood educators, advocates and child care center directors from organizations including the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), MomsRising, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).
US: Indian Child Welfare Act under conservative fire (Commentary)
High Country News – March 06, 2018
Now, a conservative Arizona think tank, the Goldwater Institute, is pushing hard to destroy some of the main parts of The Indian Child Welfare Act. It claims that the law is “race-based,” and therefore unconstitutional, and that it deprives non-Indian people of the chance to adopt Indian children. ICWA has survived numerous such challenges over the years, but with a president who has shown little support for Native Americans, this effort might finally topple it.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA): https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/americanindian/icwa/
Australia: Deporting the innocents: The UK’s forced child migration program and Australia
Independent Australia – March 07, 2018
Dr Binoy Kampmark discusses the recently released UK Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. after the Second World War, some 8,300 children were sent to far-flung destinations as part of the UK’s child migration policy, ending up in Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia and Canada. Over an extended period of time, tens of thousands of unfortunates made the journey.
Ireland: Education Update: Deadline for Child Safeguarding Statement Approaching (Press release)
Law Offices of Mason Hayes & Curran – March 06, 2018
The remaining provisions of the Children First Act, 2015 came into force on 11 December 2017. The Department of Education and Skills Circular 0081/2017 provides guidance to school authorities and school personnel on the new statutory obligations under the Act and the continued application of best practice as outlined in the updated Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2017.
Also: Report: Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools 2017: https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Information/Child-Protection/child_protection_guidelines.pdf
AR: Suit alleges rights violations in DHS custody cases
Northwest Arkansas Democratic Gazette – March 06, 2018
Two state caseworkers routinely took children away from their parents and violated families’ civil rights for years, a federal lawsuit says. The Arkansas Department of Human Services employees, Chelsea Smith and Stacy Houck, are accused of “seizing” children and placing them in state custody without ensuring that parents get hearings in those cases quickly enough.
FL: DCF chief tells panel to find out why so many Hillsborough kids are in foster care
Tampa Bay Times – March 05, 2018
In the world of foster care, they’re known as “night-to-night” placements. The sadder every-day translation? Foster children with no place to go. Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Mike Carroll said Monday that as many as 38 Hillsborough children have fit that description over the past six months.
GA: Georgia Governor Nathan Deal Signs Adoption Reforms Into Law
WLTZ – March 05, 2018
Gov. Nathan Deal today signed HB 159, legislation sponsored by Rep. Bert Reeves, to enact comprehensive reforms to Georgia’s adoption code.
Also: Governor signs sweeping adoption changes into law: http://www.wral.com/governor-signs-sweeping-adoption-changes-into-law/17394502/
Also: Gov. signs Rep. Reeves’ adoption overhaul bill: http://www.mdjonline.com/news/gov-signs-rep-reeves-adoption-overhaul-bill/article_4bd9040e-20cd-11e8-aa5d-b3ba6a93879a.html
GA: JUDY ELLIOTT: The State of the Judiciary: A farewell from Chief Justice Harris Hines (Commentary)
Marietta Daily Journal – March 03, 2018
There is no future in lost and troubled young Georgians becoming hardened criminals. Accountability courts, drug courts, mental health and veterans’ courts receive high marks from Chief Justice Hines. Georgia’s judges have been willing to commit time and patience to low-risk offenders who have made mistakes and have supported programs offering them a second chance.
ID: Idaho Governor Proclaims School Breakfast Week (Includes audio)
Public News Service – March 06, 2018
A proclamation from Gov. Butch Otter will be read today (Tuesday) at Capital High School to recognize Idaho School Breakfast Week. The week highlights the importance of breakfast to get kids ready to learn.
IN: Many legislators seeking changes to DCS
Herald Bulletin – March 05, 2018
Among 14 bills introduced to the Indiana General Assembly concerning DCS, there has been unanimous support for Senate Bill 431, which would provide immunity from liability to people or health care providers who assist in an investigation by DCS resulting from a report of child abuse. Also, the bill was amended to provide immunity for reports of animal abuse if seen by the caseworkers or others investigating reports of child abuse in the home.
KY: State providing financial assistance to family foster caregivers
WTVQ – March 05, 2018
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) is allocating additional resources to determine eligibility of financial assistance payments to certain relative and fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their home by CHFS.
ME: What happens when child abuse is reported in Maine
Bangor Daily News – March 04, 2018
“Really, you’re out there not only trying to figure out what’s going on in the family, but also to be perceived as enough of a resource to help them,” said Mark Moran, a licensed social worker who was a child protective caseworker from 2001 to 2006 and is now the family service and support team coordinator at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. “It’s one of the dynamics that make child protective work particularly difficult. You’re trying to juggle multiple roles at the same time.”
MN: Rosario: Grandmothers on front lines of opiate crisis need to be heard and helped (Commentary)
Pioneer Press – March 03, 2018
The opiate epidemic’s “a terrible thing that is affecting many families,” Pat Rosebear told me last week, talking about her personal tragedy and the communal tragedy taking place in too many communities in this state and nation. In the Native American community, she said, “it’s horrible.”
MO: Gov. Greitens recommend more money for foster care services (Includes video)
KY3 – March 05, 2018
Child welfare advocates in Missouri are keeping a close eye on the appropriations process in Jefferson City this legislative session as Governor Greitens has proposed more than an 11 million dollar increase in funding for foster and adoption services.
MO: Missouri State Senator plans to use $80 million in new CHIP money for programs in “crisis mode”
Missourinet – March 02, 2018
Gov. Greitens announced yesterday that $80 million in new funding is coming in now that Congress has renewed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through 2023. The Medicaid program, which covers kids from low-income families, includes an increased federal match with the recent reauthorization that lasts for two years. Since it won’t affect eligibility for CHIP benefits, states can use the extra money for other purposes.
NY: WFUV/New York Strikes A Chord For Children In Foster Care (Press release)
WFUV – March 05, 2018
FORDHAM UNIVERSITY Triple A WFUV/NEW YORK returns with another of its award-winning public service campaigns. This time it’s turning attention to organizations working with the foster care system in the NEW YORK metropolitan region. The campaign is spotlighting 14 organizations that work to support children in the system, and families or individuals who want to get involved with fostering or mentoring children.
Also: Strike a Chord: Children in Foster Care: http://www.wfuv.org/strikeachord
OH: Parenting reboot: Crisis is calling grandparents to action (Includes video)
Canton Repository – March 03, 2018
Some 124,000 children in Ohio live with a relative with no parent present, according to Grandfamilies.org, a national collaboration between the American Bar Association, Generations United and Casey Family Programs. Kinship caregivers face emotional and financial burdens but get a fraction of the financial help given to foster parents. In Carroll County and other rural communities, a lack of nearby counseling services, daycare providers and medical clinics makes the task more challenging.
Information Gateway resource: Kinship Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/kinship/
PA: Numbers from Pennsylvania paint picture of opioid impact on newborns
Providence Journal – March 05, 2018
At least three babies a day were born dependent on opiates and other narcotics at 37 Pennsylvania hospitals during the first 43 days of a state of emergency declared in response to the opiate and opioid epidemic.
RI: Analysis: As Rhode Island and Districts Struggle With ESSA Rule, Social Workers Are Ferrying Foster Kids to School (Commentary)
74 – March 05, 2018
Rhode Island’s foster care system is using social workers – already strained by a devastating opioid epidemic – to give foster kids rides to school. It’s a stopgap measure, a byproduct of Rhode Island’s fitful efforts to implement a federal education law that requires school districts to make sure foster youth are transported to school. In many districts, this isn’t happening, and in some, social workers have stepped up to temporarily fill the gap.
TX: CPS: 172 Texas children died from abuse, neglect in 2017
Austin American-Statesman – March 05, 2018
In the fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 172 children died in Texas from neglect or abuse, a 23 percent decrease from the year before, according to new data released by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
Also: Fiscal Year 2017 Child Maltreatment Fatalities and Near Fatalities Annual Report: http://bit.ly/2oOeZiR
TX: North Texas parents retain guardianship of 18-year-old with severe austism treated with marijuana (Includes video)
San Antonio Express-News – March 05, 2018
A North Texas judge declared the parents who were treating their severely autistic 18-year-old daughter with marijuana were fit to remain her legal guardians.
US: Victims of Spousal Abuse Are Losing Their Children to Social Services
Pacific Standard – March 05, 2018
Across the country, there are hundreds of instances where children are removed from the custody of a parent who has suffered from domestic abuse at the hands of a partner.
US: Americans left behind by deportation (Commentary)
New York Times – March 03, 2018
America’s historic uneasiness with interracial marriage and mixed-race children has found a new incarnation in the persecution of families with mixed legal status. There are nearly 6 million citizen children who live with at least one undocumented parent, and perhaps millions of other Americans who are married to undocumented immigrants.
South Africa: Hundreds of children still awaiting foster care placement in Gauteng
African News Agency – March 04, 2018
A shocking 925 children are still waiting to be placed in foster care by the Gauteng social development department, the Democratic Alliance said on Sunday. According to the department’s third quarter report, the delay in placing children in need of foster care in foster care homes was due to the delay in placing adverts and obtaining relevant reports from psychologists and psychiatrists, as well as obtaining the relevant legal documents from prospective foster parents, DA spokeswoman Refiloe Nt’sekhe said.
United Kingdom: Adopted children must have closer ties to their birth families (Press release)
University of Huddersfield (UK) – March 05, 2018
RESEARCH headed by a University of Huddersfield professor has caused an influential social work organisation to call for a major review of UK adoption law, so that children who have been adopted could retain much closer contact with their birth families.
Also: The role of the social worker in adoption: ethics and human rights: https://www.basw.co.uk/adoption-enquiry/docs/The%20Role%20of%20the%20Social%20Worker%20in%20Adoption%20Enquiry.pdf