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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 (ACES) 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
Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of
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, and KARA.
AZ: Child-welfare officials keep a list of people they say are a danger to kids. Even when they’re not (Includes video) (Commentary)
Arizona Republic – April 29, 2018
There are 81,000 names on an internal document at the Arizona Department of Child Safety. These are people who, in theory, you don’t want around children. A Republic investigation of the little-known registry found shortcomings in the process for the accused and those it is intended to protect.
Also: Am I on the child-protective blacklist? How to find out: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2018/04/29/how-find-out-if-you-arizona-department-child-safety-central-registry-child-abuse-neglect/480234002/
AZ: Nonprofit supports foster kids through mentoring
West Valley View – April 27, 2018
Thousands of children in the Arizona foster care system need support in all areas of their lives. The nonprofit Arizonans for Children attempts to fill that void, providing vital services like free tutoring and mentoring for kids who are referred by caregivers or DES case managers.
CA: Helping former foster youth start and finish a new chapter
San Diego Union Tribune – April 29, 2018
Jim Mickelson already had a background in social work, so when his wife became president of a local university and he noticed that the former foster youth who were students on campus weren’t succeeding at the same rate as other students, he came up with a plan. Now, he’s the founder and director of ACE Scholars Services at California State University, San Marcos, which works with former foster youth under the age of 30 who were in the foster care system from the time they were 13 for at least two years.
CA: More than three dozen children have died since 2009 from abuse or neglect in Kern County (Includes video)
23 ABC Bakersfield – April 27, 2018
Tom Corson is the executive director of the kern county network for children. He says there are up to 50 child protection service referrals of suspected abuse per day in the county. Corson says about 90 percent of cases involved general neglect.
CO: Don’t hide child autopsy reports from the public (Opinion)
Denver Post – April 27, 2018
“To create a new categorical exemption for all autopsy reports of minors is not only unnecessary and overboard, it is a disservice to the public interest,” Steven Zansberg, a lawyer who has represented The Denver Post and other media outlets in open-records litigation, said in an email to the newspaper.
DE: Bill to outlaw underage marriage divides Delaware Legislature (Includes video)
Delaware Online – April 27, 2018
Rep. Kim Williams, D-Newport, introduced a bill in March seeking to close a loophole in state law that allows someone under the age of 18 to marry if they have permission from a parent and the blessing of a Family Court judge.
IL: Fontebella Maternity Home to merge with Caritas Family Solutions
Illinois Business Journal – April 29, 2018
Founded in 1947, Caritas Family Solutions is a charitable organization whose mission is to provide direct services that meet the social and emotional needs of people of all ages. Services include adoption, pregnancy care, foster care, counseling, residential treatment for abused and neglected children, multisystemic therapy for at-risk youth,
KS: Apple, Google, other tech firms oppose ‘discriminatory’ Kansas adoption bill
Wichita Eagle – April 27, 2018
A network of companies including Apple, Google and Amazon are fighting a proposal before Kansas lawmakers that would allow adoption and foster care organizations to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs. TechNet – a coalition of more than 80 technology companies – has sent a letter to legislative leaders outlining the corporations’ opposition to the bill.
KS: Kansas Lawmakers Taking Incremental Steps Toward A More Open Government (Includes index)
KCUR – April 27, 2018
Still, a bill hashed out in legislative conference committees – where differing versions of House and Senate bills are reconciled – combines some transparency measures for police activity and the deaths of children. That legislation is now set for up-or-down, amendment-free votes in both chambers before the Legislature’s scheduled adjournment.
Also: Heidi Holliday: Kansas can’t afford to repeat past (Opinion): http://www.cjonline.com/opinion/20180427/heidi-holliday-kansas-cant-afford-to-repeat-past
KY: KY Groups Address Child Abuse Prevention Beyond April (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 30, 2018
One abused child is one too many, and one month of the year focused on child abuse awareness just isn’t enough for groups in Kentucky working on this issue. They say they’ll use the momentum created during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April to continue their work throughout the year. The “Face It Movement” includes dozens of organizations coordinating their resources to address child abuse and neglect. Kosair Charities leads the initiative, and President Keith Inman said the main goals include building awareness and engaging the community.
LA: Bill to extend foster care to age 21 passes House committee
Louisiana Radio Network – April 27, 2018
A bill to allow foster kids to stay in the system until they turn 21, or graduate high school, which ever happens first, cleared a House committee. Currently, foster kids are forced out of the foster care program when they turn 18, regardless of their high school degree progress. Louisiana Budget Project Coordinator Dylan Waguespack says hundreds of kids are effected every year.
Information Gateway resources: Extending Out-of-Home Care for Youth Past Age 18: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/outofhomecare/
MN: ‘Silent Crisis:’ Local Family Shares Story of Foster Care Resource Access Challenges (Includes video)
KAAL TV – April 29, 2018
“At the point where Child Protection showed up at our door, our family was really in crisis because of the behavior of our two oldest children,” she said. “What we needed was a team-based approach to manage them, but instead we got a shaming and blaming approach that just added more meetings, more time, more stress onto our lives when we really could’ve used some help.”
MO: House approves legislation for foster care children
KPVI – April 27, 2018
This week the House approved a wide-ranging bill (HCB 11) meant to make life better for children who are in, and who leave, foster care in the state. House Speaker Todd Richardson in January created the Special Committee to Improve the Care and Well-Being of Young People, to focus on improving the state’s child welfare system. The Department of Social Services is responsible for nearly 13,000 children this year.
NE: Treating traumatized children requires care (Includes video)
KETV – April 29, 2018
Some children struggle with behavior issues so much that it impacts the course of their lives. They’ve been kicked out of preschool and grade school, they can’t get along with others and their parents have reached the breaking point. “They scream, yell, kick, bite. Their behaviors are significant, said Mark Hausmann, director of two child learning centers called Daybreak. The centers combine school with intensive hands-on mental health treatment for children whose behavior has disrupted their lives.
OH: Rehoming: How parents are trading kids in an underground network (Includes video)
KVUE – April 26, 2018
“Rehoming” is a term usually applied to pets. You pick up a stray dog at a shelter and, for one reason or another, it doesn’t fit in with your life. You drop the animal off at someone else’s house and move on. A WKYC investigation found that, not only is the same thing being done with children, all it takes is a piece of paper easily obtained on the internet to gain custody.
Also: Investigator | Crackdown on underground network of parents who trade kids (Includes video): https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/investigations/investigator-crackdown-on-underground-network-of-parents-who-trade-kids/95-546107467
Also: Rehoming: How parents with adopted foreign kids can seek the help they need (Includes video): https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/investigations/rehoming-how-parents-with-adopted-foreign-kids-can-seek-the-help-they-need/95-546853397
OK: Sexual assault and abuse: FAQs
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – April 29, 2018
Editor’s Note: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The following column was submitted by SAFE-NOW, a 501(c) non-profit organization that supplies Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in Nowata, Osage and Washington counties, and to Ray of Hope Child Advocacy Center. SAFE-NOW also provides victim advocates and emotional, social and medical support to all individuals affected by sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
OK: Advocates work to help children report abuse
Tahlequah Daily Press – April 27, 2018
One umbrella of Help-In-Crisis is child advocacy centers. There are Children’s SafeHaven Advocacy Centers in Tahlequah, Sallisaw, and Wagoner. At these facilities, staff conduct forensic interviews, offer advocacy, give peer-counseling and support, and mental health referrals to child and non-offending family members involved in child abuse investigations, according to an HIC pamphlet.
OK: Also: LGBT Adoption Bill Passes Oklahoma House, Heads To Governor’s Desk
Inquisitr – April 27, 2018
The bill would allow adoption to be denied to people who don’t fit an agency’s religious or moral criteria.
OK: Irony of Budget Plan: Largest in history, but falls short of restoring years of cuts
Miami News-Record – April 27, 2018
Joe Dorman, a former Democratic state lawmaker, 2014 gubernatorial candidate and current head of the nonprofit Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, said it is a relief that many of the agencies his group works with won’t be cut again. But in light of the decades of budget cuts, this budget shouldn’t be celebrated, he said.
Also: Oklahoma child abuse prevention programs worry about funding: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-child-abuse-prevention-programs-worry-about-funding/article/5592639?custom_click=rss
OR: Editorial: Respite care is a big aid for foster system
Corvallis Gazette-Times – April 29, 2018
“Oregon’s most vulnerable children are being placed into a foster care system that has serious problems. Child welfare workers are burning out and consistently leaving the system in high numbers. The supply of suitable foster homes and residential facilities is dwindling, resulting in some children spending days and weeks in hotels. Foster parents are struggling with limited training, support and resources. Agency management’s response to these problems has been slow, indecisive and inadequate.”
PA: Opioid addiction driving foster placements
Daily Item – April 29, 2018
Joan Benso, president and CEO, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, estimated just 3,000 of the 89,000 grandchildren cited in the legislative initiatives are in a formal kinship care arrangement. Kinship care, like foster care, provides financial assistance and counseling supports.
SC: SC must make caring for our abused, abandoned, neglected children a priority (Opinion)
State – April 27, 2018
As of the first of April, more than 4,200 children were residing in our state’s child-welfare system. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or trauma and are living in out-of-home care or with relatives. But how much better is the care they are receiving?
TN: Tennessee General Assembly passes ban on marriage for those under age 17 (Includes video)
Tennessean – April 24, 2018
The latest version of the bill, as amended in the House, would prevent children under the age of 17 from marrying in Tennessee. The Senate passed the measure 28-2. The House approved the amendment Tuesday morning, then passed that version 96-0.
Also: Democratic bill banning child marriage killed, modified Republican measure advances (Includes video): https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/03/27/tennessee-child-marriage-law-bill-republicans/464402002/
VA: Foster Care Month (Press release)
Office of Governor of Virginia – May 01, 2018
WHEREAS, through the partnerships among foster, adoptive, and kinship parents; child welfare staff; and public and private child-serving organizations, efforts are made to ensure that children are safe and their voices are heard as we work for the success of every child; NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2018 as FOSTER CARE MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.
VT: Child Abuse Prevention Month: How is Vermont protecting your kids? (Includes video)
My Champlain Valley – April 27, 2018
They’re the cases law enforcement officers say never get easier to deal with. Cases of child abuse. Reports continue to increase in Vermont. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Teresa is an advocate for Prevent Child Abuse Vermont, and a child abuse victim herself. It’s been almost 30 years since she moved to Vermont and away from a life she swore she’d leave behind. “There was a lot of physical and sexual abuse, all in relation to my surroundings,” says Teresa. “There was probably between 7 and 10 abuse cases that I went through…stepfather, uncle, neighbors, friends of friends.”
WI: Racine County Foster Care launches ‘Bring Them Home’ campaign
Racine Journal Times – April 29, 2018
The Racine County Foster Care Program has launched a new campaign to help keep Racine County foster children in the community. The Bring Them Home campaign has two central goals: to recruit and license new foster homes in Racine County and bring back local children who were placed in homes outside the county.
WV: Women addicted to opioids turn to sex work in West Virginia
NBC News – April 30, 2018
The West Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force, which includes social workers and concerned lawmakers, is trying to figure out how big the problem has become. The group aims to raise awareness about sex trafficking and fight it by developing a network of service providers, victim advocates, agencies and religious organizations to support trafficking victims – and their children, who are straining the state’s foster care system.
US: What happens when someone asks for asylum at the border
San Diego Union-Tribune – April 29, 2018
Generally, when asylum seekers come to the U.S. border, they begin a process that can take months or even years to resolve. Many spend most, if not all, of that time in detention facilities run by private prison companies contracted with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Unaccompanied children go through a slightly different process. Asylum officers interview them in person and make the first determination of whether they get asylum. If the officer does not grant asylum, then the child tries again in immigration court.
Also: Detainers, Detention and Deportation: From Presence to Personhood: https://www.llrx.com/2018/04/detainers-detention-and-deportation-from-presence-to-personhood/
Also: The Trump administration traumatizes children in the name of scaring migrants away: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-trump-administration-traumatizes-children-in-the-name-of-scaring-migrants-away/2018/04/29/fe779b50-4a5a-11e8-827e-190efaf1f1ee_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d74904771985
US: Handbook Connects Homeless Youth, Supporters to Legal Options
South Florida Gay News – April 27, 2018
Up to 1.6 million youth experience homelessness each year. While that number alone is compelling, the nonprofit True Colors Fund also said that almost half of those youth (about 40 percent) identify as LGBT. In Florida, a partnership has developed to address legal issues and options for homeless youth and their supporters. The coalition is publishing a “Homeless Youth Handbook” and companion website that is two years in the making. Law firm Baker McKenzie leads the partnership, which includes Disney, the American Bar Association’s “Homeless Youth Legal Network’s Pro Bono Project” and the Florida’s Children First organization.
Additional State Handbooks: https://www.homelessyouth.org/
US: Every time foster kids move, they lose months of academic progress
Milwaukee Times – April 26, 2018
When 12-year-old Jimmy Wayne’s parents dropped him off at a motel and drove away, he became the newest member of the North Carolina Foster Care system. Over the next two years in the foster care system, he attended 12 different schools. “I don’t even remember what I learned-no, let me rephrase that-I don’t remember what they tried to teach me-after fifth grade,” he said recently.
Information Gateway resource: Meeting Educational Needs of Children & Youth in Out-of-Home Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/education-services/meeting-needs/
US: A New Study on Child Marriage Is Changing the Conversation
Teen Vogue – April 25, 2018
Researchers are using Census data to paint a more complete picture of child marriage in the U.S. A recently published study seeks to paint a more complete picture of child marriage in the U.S. by drawing from a different source, the American Community Survey (ACS), a Census Bureau program that releases information similar to the Census on an annual basis.
Census Study: American Community Survey (ACS): https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/about.html
Also: Child Marriage in the United States: A Serious Problem With a Simple First-Step Solution: http://www.tahirih.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Tahirih-Child-Marriage-Backgrounder-1.pdf
US: Kids growing up amid changing family structures
Deseret News – April 25, 2018
Family structure has changed drastically for millions of American kids, as one-fourth of the parents with whom they live are unmarried. That’s well above the 7 percent who weren’t married a half-century ago when the Current Population Survey started keeping track. According to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center, 24 million American children – nearly a third – live with unmarried parents.
Pew Study: The Changing Profile of Unmarried Parents: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2018/04/25/the-changing-profile-of-unmarried-parents/
Bangladesh: Why this 13-year-old Rohingya refugee faces intense pressure to marry (Includes audio and video)
PBS News Hour – April 25, 2018
The majority of refugees here are women and girls. And for girls like 13-year-old Noorkais, all too often, they are married off young. Child marriage is common among the Rohingya, but insecurity and poverty is pushing many families to marry off their daughters even earlier.
Also: Pimps and traffickers prey on vulnerable Rohingya girls (Includes audio and video): https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/pimps-and-traffickers-prey-on-vulnerable-rohingya-girls
Turkey: Former child brides find brighter future at Turkey’s safe spaces
United Nations Population Fund – April 25, 2018
The 22-year-old mother of two had learned Turkish while still in Syria, and her skills only improved with time. Finally, she was able to seek help from the Turkish authorities. She reported her husband’s abuse, moved into a women’s shelter, and applied for a divorce – though she lost custody of her children. She also began to visit a UNFPA-supported women’s and girls’ safe space, which offers refugees a variety of services, including psychosocial support, classes, referrals to health care, and information on sexual and reproductive health.
CA: California Supreme Court clarifies use of testimony by young children
Los Angeles Times – April 26, 2018
In a ruling written by Justice Leondra Kruger, the justices said a juvenile court judge should not base a decision on the accuracy of statements by a child too young to testify unless the youngster’s claims bear “special indicia of reliability.” The decision, which clarified previous court rulings, said the requirement of reliability was “designed to ensure that children are protected from abuse while guarding against the risk that children will needlessly be separated from their parents on the basis of unreliable reports that are not subject to testing in court.”
CA: Ending child abuse isn’t ‘someone else’s’ responsibility. It’s mine. And yours. (Commentary)
Fresno Bee – April 26, 2018
We have all heard the national, state and local statistics. In the United States, more than four children die every day from child abuse and neglect. In California, half a million children are reported abused every year….most often at the hands of someone the child knows and trusts.
CT: Report: In Conn., Many Homeschooled Kids In Families Accused Of Abuse
Associated Press – April 27, 2018
Connecticut’s Child Advocate Sarah Eagan reported Thursday that many children withdrawn from state public schools to be homeschooled are in families that have been accused of child abuse or neglect, and there are no state regulations to protect them. Eagan said her office wasn’t criticizing or challenging the merits of homeschooling. She said the concern is that children at risk of abuse and neglect are being pulled out of their schools for homeschooling, but not actually being educated in their homes.
CT: New Evidence Suggests Home Visiting Can Prevent Child Neglect
Chronicle of Social Change – April 26, 2018
Home visiting, one of the most acclaimed child welfare strategies in recent decades, just got another gold star from researchers, who found new evidence that the program could help prevent child neglect. The study of Connecticut’s statewide home visiting program, which uses the Parents as Teachers model, found that participation in the program reduced the likelihood of a substantiated neglect report by 22 percent.
Also: Report: Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/cecanf-final-report
FL: Opioid crisis is causing more grandparents to skip retirement to raise grandchildren new (Includes video)
WEAR – April 26, 2018
Grandparents are raising their grandchildren more than ever before and experts believe the opioid crisis is to blame. These families are known as “grandfamilies.” Florida, nearly 160,000 grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren, according to Grandfamilies.org. According to Generations United, in the United States, for every one child in foster care there are 20 children being raised by relatives.
HI: Bill will fund 4 additional Child Welfare Services case workers for East Hawaii
Hawaii Tribune-Herald – April 26, 2018
A state House-Senate conference committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that will establish a five-year pilot program to fund four more full-time Child Welfare Services case workers in East Hawaii.
KS: Kansas advocacy groups gear up for battle over adoption bill
Lawrence Journal-World – April 26, 2018
At issue is a bill that would guarantee that faith-based child welfare agencies would continue to have access to state contracts and grants, even if they refuse to place children in homes that do not reflect their sincerely held religious beliefs. House Bill 2481, which would create the “Adoption Protection Act,” is strongly supported by a number of faith-based organizations, including Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas. But the bill is also sparking strong opposition from both state and national gay rights and civil rights advocates.
KY: Terry Brooks: Bipartisan wins is oxymoron that works for kids; investments in child welfare felt across state (Commentary)
Northern Kentucky Tribune – April 27, 2018
The state budget reiterates the legislature’s commitment to vulnerable children with the strong investments made to shore up the child welfare system. Most notably, funding was included to begin reopening the Kinship Care Program, which stopped providing financial assistance to kin raising children in 2013. Funding was also included to address high caseloads, recruitment, retention, and technology for social workers impacting their ability to work on children’s cases in a timely and effective way.
ME: LePage vetoes extended funding for child abuse prevention program
Portland Press Herald – April 25, 2018
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday vetoed a bill that would protect a $2.2 million child abuse prevention program that is slated to be eliminated this fall. The state’s system to protect children is under intense scrutiny after the child abuse deaths of two girls in the span of three months. The governor said the program duplicates others. Lawmakers had passed the extension nearly unanimously.
Also: Our View: LePage veto threatens already strained child welfare system (Opinion): https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/04/27/our-view-lepage-veto-threatens-already-strained-child-welfare-system/
NC: DSS director seeks 18 new positions
Daily Reflector – April 27, 2018
The number of children in foster care custody grew 82 percent between fiscal years 2013 and 2017, she said. There are 209 children in foster care, and an additional 21 individuals aged 18-21 who are in a transitional program. State standards say one social worker should handle 16 cases. In Pitt County, the ratio is one worker to 22 cases, she said. Those cases include a growing number of children with severe problems.
NE: All Nebraskans are mandatory reporters of child abuse, here’s what you need to know (Includes video)
KLKN – April 26, 2018
In Nebraska, it’s on the shoulders of everyone to protect our children from abuse. As April is child abuse prevention month, the Department of Family Services and the Child Advocacy center are asking you to keep an eye out
OH: Hundreds of Hamilton County kids sent to state custody due to drug epidemic (Includes video)
WLWT – April 26, 2018
The heroin epidemic is putting hundreds of children in Hamilton County in foster care this year. More and more children are staying in foster care for longer periods of time while parents stand before judges due to drugs.
OK: Adoption bill dubbed ‘un-American’ by advocacy group passes House, heads to Governor (Includes video)
KOKH – April 26, 2018
The Oklahoma House passed SB 1140 60-26. The bill would allow adoption and foster care agencies to cite religion to turn away same-sex couples, single mothers, interfaith couples and children.
Also: Oklahoma House passes discriminatory SB1140: http://www.azfamily.com/story/38053647/oklahoma-house-passes-discriminatory-sb1140
OR: New Details on Harts Reveal Oregon Knew Children Were at Risk-but Left them in Abusive Home (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – April 27, 2018
In response to a public records request from multiple media outlets, the Oregon Department of Human Services released records from Child Protective Services (CPS) and police investigations of the Hart family. These records show that Oregon had extensive information about the children’s situation but still did not act to protect them.
Also: Sheriff: Search continues for missing Hart children (Includes video): http://www.koin.com/news/national/sheriff-search-continues-for-missing-hart-children/1143585144
PA: Childhood Begins at Home campaign supports safety of Washington, Greene families
Observer-Reporter – April 27, 2018
Childhood Begins at Home is a statewide campaign designed to help policymakers and the public understand the value of evidence-based home visiting as an effective way to support parents. Childhood Begins at Home is advocating for a $6.5 million increase in the state budget to expand evidence-based home visiting to an additional 800 families, and to provide funds to improve staff training.
WI: Number of foster children doubles in Wisconsin due to drug and opioid epidemic (Includes video)
WFRV – April 26, 2018
In just eight years, the number of foster children in Wisconsin has doubled, and the drug and opioid epidemic is to blame. In 2010, Wisconsin had 4,000 foster children in the state. Now, there’s 8,000.
US: ‘Worst foster parents in the world’: Federal agency says it lost track of 1,475 migrant children
Associated Press – April 26, 2018
The Health and Human Services Department has a limited budget to track the welfare of vulnerable unaccompanied minors, and realized that 1,475 children could not be found after making follow-up calls to check on their safety, an agency official said.
Also: Federal agency says it lost track of 1,475 migrant children: https://www.seattlepi.com/news/texas/article/APNewsBreak-Feds-delays-imperil-migrant-children-12865663.php
Also: Sen. Rob Portman grills HHS on handling of unaccompanied immigrant children (Includes video): http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/04/sen_rob_portman_grills_hhs_on.html
US: A Steady March Toward Child Fatality Prevention (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – April 26, 2018
Perhaps the most seismic change in federal child welfare policy can be found in the Family First Prevention Services Act, which was passed as part of a short-term spending agreement in February. The legislation restructures Title IV-E funding and, for the first time, makes resources available from the federal government to provide intervention services to help prevent children who have already been abused or neglected from entering foster care.
Also: Child Welfare Information Gateway resource: Responding to Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/fatalities/
Also: Report: Steps Forward: Progress Report on National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities: http://www.alliance1.org/web/resources/pubs/steps-forward-progress-report-national-strategy-eliminate-child-abuse-neglect-fatalities.aspx
Also: Report: Child Maltreatment 2016: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2016
CA: Trump Administration Proposes Raising Rents on Low-Income Families (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 26, 2018
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Wednesday proposed raising the rent on people who live in HUD-assisted housing and instituting work requirements. But community groups have proposed an alternative: co-op housing. Comments from Noni Session, outreach, media and communications team lead for East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative.
Also: First-Ever Evictions Database Shows: ‘We’re In the Middle Of A Housing Crisis’ (Includes audio): https://www.npr.org/2018/04/12/601783346/first-ever-evictions-database-shows-were-in-the-middle-of-a-housing-crisis
CA: Los Angeles Hopes Tech Investment Can Improve Visitation for Foster Children
Chronicle of Social Change – April 25, 2018
Los Angeles County’s child welfare agency is betting that improved technology and analysis can make its family visitation process more efficient for kids and parents. The county’s Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) will use a $130,000 contribution from philanthropic partners and $30,000 in county funds to move ahead with a plan to use high-tech mapping to improve court-ordered visitations for the 18,000 children placed in the county’s foster care system.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Home Visiting: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/prevention-programs/homevisit/
IL: As child abuse cases increase, Macon County officials seek support in community (Correction)
Herald & Review – April 24, 2018
The number of kids put under the supervision of the Macon County court system because of child abuse incidents increased 44 percent in 2017 from the year before. Organizers of a panel discussion Tuesday are working to see that trend decline.
KS: Hire 200 unlicensed workers for state’s child-welfare agency? Here’s why it may work (Commentary)
Wichita Eagle – April 25, 2018
The Kansas Department for Children and Families, already under heavy criticism for its decisions in the death of 3-year-old Wichita boy Evan Brewer and the disappearance of 5-year-old Wichita boy Lucas Hernandez (and other cases), wants neophytes watching over our state’s most vulnerable children? It does seem crazy – until considering the alternative.
Also: Kansas looks to fill child protection jobs with looser requirements, higher salaries: http://www.kake.com/story/38038609/kansas-looks-to-fill-child-protection-jobs-with-looser-requirements-higher-salaries
KS: Kansas adoption bill would protect religious liberty, not discrimination (Opinion)
Kansas City Star – April 25, 2018
Faith-based organizations have served vulnerable children in Kansas since the mid-19th century. They do not have any new agenda. They do not seek special treatment. They do not impose their beliefs or practices on anyone. They simply seek to serve. This act allows them to continue.
Also: Say no to LGBTQ discrimination in Kansas foster care law (Opinion): http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/readers-opinion/guest-commentary/article208491079.html
Also: Adoption, guns on Kansas lawmakers’ plate with fiscal issues: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article209791824.html
LA: Children’s hospital starts ‘No Hit Zone’ program to prevent violence against children (Includes video)
WWL TV – April 25, 2018
More than half of children younger than 14 who were hit and spanked, did not understand what discipline message parents were trying to teach them. The study is just one of the many reasons why one local hospital has started a campaign that they hope parents and other businesses will adopt. “You have more medical problems as an adult, health problems, mental health problems, problems with relationships, addiction,” Dr. Wetsman explained about children who were hit.
MI: Nassar-inspired bill could cost the state $54M
Detroit News – April 25, 2018
The proposal inspired by sports doctor Larry Nassar’s scandal at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics would trigger increases in Child Protective Services complaints that would cost roughly $53.6 million, a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services official said. “That’s solely staffing,” Colin Parks, manager for CPS programs and policies, said following the House Law and Justice Committee hearing.
Also: A review of the 37 bills legislators have introduced in response to Larry Nassar scandal: http://michiganradio.org/post/review-37-bills-legislators-have-introduced-response-larry-nassar-scandal
MN: Putting families first will help keep children safe (Commentary)
Winona Post – April 25, 2018
As more Minnesota families struggle with trauma, poverty, chemical dependency and the difficulties of daily life, children often suffer the consequences. Our child protection data paints an alarming picture.
NH: Bills to bolster DCYF, mental health services, get key committee backing
Union Leader – April 25, 2018
Two bills designed to address deficiencies in the state’s child protection and mental health services will go to the full House with the unanimous support of the powerful House Finance Committee. The 26-member committee voted on Wednesday to recommend passage of SB 590 and SB 592. SB 592 addresses: “Our caseloads were sometimes as high as 40 or 50 and national standards suggest 12 per worker,” Wallner said. “This doesn’t get us to 12, but it moves us in that direction.” SB 592 authorizes: $1.5 million for voluntary services to families at risk …
Also: N.H. House panel recommends more jobs for DCYF, makes cuts to Senate plan: http://www.concordmonitor.com/In-reversal-New-Hampshire-House-committee-recommends-adding-$1-5-million-and-33-positions-to-DCYF-17071699
OH: Addressing Addiction in Ohio: What’s Working and What’s Not (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 26, 2018
Nearly one in three Ohio adults has a loved one suffering from problems as the result of using prescription pain medication, according to data from the 2017 Ohio Health Issues Poll. A new report examines the scope of addiction in Ohio, and the areas that need to be addressed to combat the problem. Comments from Amy Bush Stevens, vice president for Prevention and Public Health Policy, Health Policy Institute of Ohio.
SC: Kids Fest comes to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Camp Lejeune Globe – April 26, 2018
“This event is a partnership between the Marine Corps and the community. We held it out in town so we could help spread more awareness for why this month is important,” said Megan Grabowski, a prevention and education specialist with the Family Advocacy Program. “Military members are also community members so it’s crucial that we recognize that bond and help highlight its importance.”
SC: New department aimed at helping kids that have cases with the state (Includes video)
WPDE – April 25, 2018
A new state department will investigate cases when children that are under state care or using state services are critically harmed or killed. The Department of Children’s Advocacy will help handle the case load for the Department of Social Services.
TN: Safe Babies court program to be implemented
Tomahawk – April 26, 2018
The Safe Babies Court program will be funded by a $250,000 grant. The grant allows the employment of one full-time officer to assist local families. Johnson County’s officer will be Youth Services Officer Cole Gladden. “We are very excited that Department of Children’s services approached us about the grant,” Gladden shared. “The grant is to start a Safe Babies Court program which will be a division of the Johnson County Juvenile court that deals with Infants and Families of dependency and neglect.”
TX: El Paso Center for Children in need of foster parents (Includes video)
KTSM – April 25, 2018
The El Paso Center for Children is asking for the community’s help in providing foster homes for children who may have been victims of human trafficking. According to the Department of Justice, El Paso is one of the top three locations for sex trafficking and is one of the top twenty human trafficking jurisdictions in the country.
WI: Pinwheels for Prevention highlights child abuse, neglect in Rock County (Includes video)
Fox 47 – April 25, 2018
Thousands of blue pinwheels stand tall on the Lower Courthouse Park lawn in Janesville — each one representing a child abuse case in Rock County. There are more than 3,000 pinwheels. “The child welfare system right now is very overloaded,” said Sandy Johnson, the program director for CASA of Rock County.
Also: Pinwheels blowing in the breeze put focus on curbing child abuse: http://antigodailyjournal.com/index.php?ID=29432
US: HUD wants to raise rents for those getting federal housing aid
Washington Post – April 25, 2018
Barbara Sard, vice president for housing policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said the latest proposal, if passed, could result in millions of individuals losing their homes. “The very purpose of these programs is to provide a stable home for people who otherwise can’t manage on their own,” Sard said. “Ignoring that destroys the effectiveness of these programs to prevent homelessness and keep children out of foster care.”
Also: HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose raising rent for low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/04/25/hud-secretary-ben-carson-to-propose-raising-rent-for-low-income-americans-receiving-federal-housing-subsidies/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.63118719ed6d
US: ICE isn’t following its own handbook on how to deport kids
Reveal – April 25, 2018
An internal federal immigration handbook’s regulations outlining how minors “aging out” of custody are supposed to be treated contrasts starkly with realities on the ground, according to immigration advocates and a federal judge’s ruling.
Iceland: Review shows that Icelandic society is taking firmer steps to tackle the diverse forms of child abuse and neglect that its children are exposed to
Acta Paediatrica – April 24, 2018
Qualitative and quantitative research revealed that the prevalence of different forms of child abuse, child neglect and intra?familial conflicts in Iceland was similar to, or higher than, global and Nordic estimates.
India: Indian Police Use New Facial Recognition Tool to Locate Thousands of Missing Children
Observer – April 25, 2018
The New Delhi police recently implemented a new facial recognition pilot program to track down lost children. And in less than a week, the system was able to locate almost 3,000 missing kids.
Ireland: Ireland horrified by government’s failure to protect sexually-abused foster children
Irish Central – April 25, 2018
An abuse victim of 29-year-old Keith Burke has called for a commission of investigation into why foster children were left placed in a Galway home after abuse claims were deemed “credible.”
AK: Foster Parent Appreciation Month (Press release)
Office of the Governor of the State of Alaska Bill Walker – April 24, 2018
I, Bill Walker, Governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim May 2018 as: Foster Parent Appreciation Month in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to recognize and celebrate foster parents in their communities and to consider whether they can help care for some of the most vulnerable members of our society by becoming a foster parent.
AR: Fort Smith display seeks to raise foster care awareness (Includes video)
Southwest Times Record – April 25, 2018
“I feel like our community as a whole wants to do something about the whole child welfare crisis, but just doesn’t know how deep the need is,” Family Alliance Executive Director Matt Whitson said of the display. “If they know the need, then they will rally around that need to support families and children in crisis.”
AZ: Week of the Young Child puts the focus on kids and families
Tribune-News – April 25, 2018
The towns of Snowflake and Taylor, along with cities and towns across the state, recently signed proclamations that declared April 16-21 the Week of the Young Child. Research shows that 90 percent of a child’s brain develops by age five. This rapid development makes those first five years critical in a child’s life. What happens during those years can shape them for a lifetime.
FL: State names 9 Medicaid health plans but challenges loom
News Service of Florida – April 24, 2018
Florida officials on Tuesday announced the names of the nine health plans the state wants to ink contracts with to provide health care to nearly four million poor, elderly and disabled residents. If the agency’s decision stands, Sunshine Health Plan will operate in all 11 regions of the state. Sunshine Health would offer Medicaid beneficiaries access to a traditional plan as well as a separate “child welfare” specialty plan.
FL: Owner of Fort Myers day care where kids found abandoned surrenders child care license (Includes video)
WINK – April 23, 2018
The owner of Royal Crown Academy day care in Fort Myers will no longer be able to provide child care services. The day care was under investigation after children inside were left alone for a period of time Saturday. Four children, ranging in age from nine months to four years old were discovered Saturday with no one supervising them.
GA: As child abuse cases increase, Macon County officials seek support in community
Herald & Review – April 24, 2018
The number of kids put under the supervision of the Macon County court system because of child abuse incidents increased 44 percent in 2017 from the year before. Organizers of a panel discussion Tuesday are working to see that trend decline.
IN: State Child Services busts budget
Journal Gazette – April 25, 2018
The Department of Child Services has already spent $284 million more than was budgeted for this fiscal year in its attempts to keep up with an exploding child welfare system. Lawmakers gave the agency $125 million more for fiscal year 2018 than its previous budget. And the Indiana Office of Management and Budget had identified $324 million in excess dollars that could be shifted to DCS if needed.
KS: Is the new Kansas child welfare leader already losing support? (May require subscription) (Commentary)
Kansas City Star – April 24, 2018
Gina Meier-Hummel accepted the job of secretary for the Kansas Department for Children and Families under a storm cloud. Meier-Hummel’s grace period probably hasn’t expired yet. But concerns are emerging.
Reports About Foster Care and Adoption in Kansas: http://www.kslpa.org/search.php?keyword=foster+care&submit=go
KS: To Ease Welfare Load, Kansas List Exposes Parents Behind On Child Support
KMUW – April 11, 2018
Kansas is looking to prod parents to catch up on their child support, arguing that doing so could chip away at the the cost of welfare. The Department for Children and Families website launched a child support evaders page Wednesday that features pictures of 10 delinquent parents. It includes notes on what they owe, where they were last seen, and a link to report their whereabouts.
Also: Child Support Evader’s List: https://dcfforms.dcf.ks.gov/childsupportevaders/Pages/default.aspx
KY: David Meade and Glenna Bevin: Children, families came first in 2018 legislative session (Commentary)
Northern Kentucky Tribune – April 25, 2018
While numerous policies beneficial to all Kentuckians were passed in the 2018 session, children and families were the major winners. The record of accomplishment on their behalf in 2018 alone was extraordinary. Not only did we work together to make significant reforms to Kentucky’s adoption and foster care systems, but social workers received significant raises and overburdened family courts received long-sought relief.
KY: NOE: Keeping your family strong
Richmond Register – April 24, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Let’s use this time to reflect on this problem and to recognize the importance of good parenting. Every family has strengths, and every family faces challenges. Protective factors are the strengths and resources that families draw on when things get tough.
Information Gateway resource: 2018 Prevention Resource Guide: Keeping Your Family Strong: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/strong_ts_2018.pdf
ME: Watchdog delays review of state response before child deaths
Associated Press – April 24, 2018
A legislative watchdog in Maine says it needs more time to probe the state’s response in the cases of two girls who recently died following abuse. The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability aims to produce a “rapid response” report on the handling of the deaths of 10-year-old Marissa Kennedy, who died in February in Stockton Springs, and another girl, 4-year-old Kendall Chick, who died in December in Wiscasset.
MN: Federal lawsuit hopes to change way state, county ‘unfairly’ take away children –especially in black families
St. Paul Pioneer Press – April 24, 2018
Dwight Mitchell says spanking his child led to Dakota County social services tearing his family apart. Mitchell filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against the county and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. He hopes the case will result in widespread changes to the child-protection system that will keep other parents from unfairly losing their children.
Also: Civil Rights Lawsuit Targets State’s Child Protection Laws (Includes video): http://kstp.com/news/civil-rights-lawsuit-targets-state-child-protection-laws/4879071/?cat=1
Also: Father who temporarily lost custody sues, alleging Dakota County racial bias: https://www.twincities.com/2018/04/24/mn-dads-lawsuit-says-dakota-county-legally-kidnapped-his-son/
Also: Black parents charge Minnesota child protective services with ‘kidnapping’: https://rollingout.com/2018/04/24/black-parents-charge-minnesota-child-protective-services-with-kidnapping/
MS: More children are awaiting foster care (Includes video) (Press release)
Canopy Children’s Solutions – April 24, 2018
Advocates are asking more Mississippians to consider becoming foster parents. MPB’s Ashley Norwood reports.
MT: State honors work supporting vulnerable children
NBC Montana – April 24, 2018
Hogan says the event recognizes the need for partnerships to prevent child abuse and neglect, because the department cannot do it alone. Especially this year, after budget cuts to DPHHS.
NC: Robeson County DSS trying to adjust to new NC requirements
Robesonian – April 24, 2018
The Robeson County Department of Social Services may have to hire more people in order to meet new state child welfare check standards. The department’s board of directors learned Tuesday that every building on the property where a welfare check is being conducted must be inspected. In the past DSS personnel were required to inspect only the child’s home.
NY: Abraham Cardenas: What more could have been done? (Commentary)
Democrat & Chronicle – April 24, 2018
The heartbreaking life and death of Abraham Cardenas, a first-grader at Brockport’s Barclay Elementary School, is a sobering reminder that good intentions – and a system designed to protect vulnerable children – do not always prevent tragedy.
OR: Oregon officials knew of Hart family child-abuse allegations but did not intervene, records show
Washington Post – April 24, 2018
Oregon child-welfare officials knew in July 2013 that Jennifer Hart – who last month drove her wife and six adopted children off a California cliff into the ocean – had already faced abuse allegations in another state, according to records from their investigation released Monday.
Also: DHS releases documents on child abuse, neglect investigation into Hart children (Includes video): http://ktvl.com/news/local/dhs-releases-documents-on-child-abuse-neglect-investigation-into-hart-children-jen-sarah-devonte-hannah-ciera
Also: Hart family crash: Alarming details revealed in 2013 Oregon child welfare records: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/04/hart_family_crash_oregon_relea.html#incart_most-read_
Also: Oregon DHS silent after Hart family documents released: http://katu.com/news/local/oregon-dhs-silent-after-hart-family-documents-released
TX: Group brings awareness to human trafficking (Includes video)
RNN Texoma – April 24, 2018
Human Trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal activity in the world. In fact, a child is sold every two minutes somewhere around the world. “Over 300,000 victims of human trafficking are currently in Texas,” Texoma Child Abuse Prevention, member Catherine Earley said.
US: Federal judge blocks Trump admin’s cuts to Planned Parenthood in teen pregnancy prevention case
Hill – April 25, 2018
A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration from cutting short grants awarded to Planned Parenthood through a federal teen pregnancy prevention program. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice issued a permanent injunction Tuesday evening preventing the administration from ending the grants two years earlier than originally planned, saying that doing so would cause public harm.
US: New study indicates that large-scale implementation of the Parents as Teachers home visiting results in a 22 percent reduction of child abuse and neglect (Press release)
Pennsylvania Parents as Teachers – April 24, 2018
New research published this month in Child Abuse & Neglect, The International Journal found that Parents as Teachers® evidence-based home visiting model demonstrates a significant decrease in cases of child maltreatment when home visiting services are delivered through a scaled-up, statewide home visiting program.
US: Redesigning Maternal Care: OB-GYNs Are Urged to See New Mothers Sooner And More Often
National Public Radio (NPR) – April 23, 2018
Doctors would see new mothers sooner and more frequently, and insurers would cover the increased visits, under sweeping new recommendations from the organization that sets standards of care for obstetrician-gynecologists in the U.S. As ProPublica and NPR have reported, more than 700 women die every year in this country from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth and more than 50,000 suffer life-threatening complications, among the worst records for maternal health in the industrialized world. The death rate for black mothers is three to four times that of white women.
Also: Report: Optimizing Postpartum Care: https://www.acog.org/Clinical-Guidance-and-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Obstetric-Practice/Optimizing-Postpartum-Care
US: Thousands of unaccompanied kids are still being caught at the border. They need help (Commentary)
Sacramento Bee – April 23, 2018
We were halfway through an interview at a shelter for unaccompanied, undocumented minors on the U.S.-Mexico border, where the child had been living since being caught by border patrol agents. A few moments later, his dimpled smile disappeared as he explained why he really came to America – to escape physical abuse and gang violence.
India: Hyderabad: Rescued child labourers sent back to Bihar
Business Standard – April 24, 2018
Up to 43 child labourers who were rescued from Hyderabad were sent back to Bihar on Tuesday. “We have sent them along with police, child protection unit, and women and child welfare department,” he added.
United Kingdom: Home Office faces court action over asylum children
Guardian – April 24, 2018
The British government will face legal action on Wednesday over extensive delays in child asylum cases amid mounting criticism of the way the Home Office is dealing with thousands of unaccompanied minors in the UK.
CA: Los Angeles’ Vast Child Welfare System Has a Lot to Teach Rest of Nation
Youth Today – April 23, 2018
The system’s sheer enormity – 30,000 children and their families – is staggering. But apart from its massive size, the issues that plague LA’s system are not unique. The overrepresentation of black families in the system, for example, or the obstacles facing kids who age out of the system without a permanent home are national issues. LA’s child welfare system is the national system in a microcosm.
Also: Los Angeles School District Fighting Trauma With Wellness Centers: https://youthtoday.org/2018/04/los-angeles-school-district-fighting-trauma-with-wellness-centers/
CO: Colorado Leads Nation with Bill to Pay for Foster Youths’ Rides to School
Chronicle of Social Change – April 23, 2018
A $2.9 million bill aimed at improving the educational success of students who are foster youths cleared a key committee in the Colorado legislature in April. If the bill is signed by the governor, Colorado will be the first state to legislate the implementation of a federal law that compels school systems to ensure that, among other things, foster kids have a ride to school.
FL: Budget agreement might end session
Tahlequah Daily Press – April 22, 2018
Bills signed by Gov. Mary Fallin this week include: HB 2552: Outlines rights to placement, safety, privacy, communication and personal growth for foster children within the Department of Human Services Child Welfare. Passed without dissent.
IL: ‘Don’t Panic’: Chicago Officials Hope to Save Lives With Safe Haven Law
WTTW – April 23, 2018
“You’re afraid. You can’t keep this baby,” the pamphlet begins. “You just want someone to take it, keep it safe, and make sure it gets a good home. “Don’t panic,” it continues. “There are people who will help you with NO QUESTIONS ASKED.”
IN: Child homicides put heat on state agency
Journal Gazette – April 22, 2018
When Mary Beth Bonaventura resigned as director of the Indiana Department of Child Services in mid-December, she blamed internal cost-cutting moves and policies that would “all but ensure children will die.”
Also: Information Gateway resource: Responding to Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/fatalities/
KS: Changes proposed for Kansas child welfare system
Associated Press – April 23, 2018
Kansas’ top child welfare official is proposing additional spending and says her agency needs to hire workers who are not licensed social workers to conduct investigations. Department for Children and Families Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel outlined initiatives Monday that would cost $24 million over three years.
Also: Kansas DCF plans to hire 200 unlicensed staff to perform child-welfare investigations: http://www.cjonline.com/news/20180423/kansas-dcf-plans-to-hire-200-unlicensed-staff-to-perform-child-welfare-investigations
Also: DCF to seek additional $24.3M over 3 years; plans to hire 200 unlicensed social workers: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/apr/23/dcf-seek-additional-22-million-over-three-years-pl/
Also: Kansas Asks Public to Weigh In on New Child Welfare Contracts: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/kansas-seeks-public-comment-child-welfare-contracts/30580
MI: Number of Huron welfare cases decreases
Huron Daily Tribune – April 21, 2018
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently released FY 2016 Huron County statistics, which were shared with the Huron County Board of Commissioners. Those 2016 statistics are the latest figures available. Children in foster care increased from 31 in FY 2012 to 59 in FY 2016, although the number decreased from 76 in FY 2015.
MN: After boy’s tragic death from abuse, improve child protection training (Opinion)
Minneapolis Star Tribune – April 23, 2018
Minnesota lags when it comes to resources for this type of training. The state has far fewer workers dedicated to this than “peer” states such as Colorado and Pennsylvania, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare. It also spends far less than these states on child welfare training. While Pennsylvania dedicates $354 for each child receiving a child protection response and Colorado spends $111, the Minnesota sum is $71.
MN: Editorial: For the sake of children – and families
Pioneer Press – April 22, 2018
Disparities and inequities among Minnesotans – in education, employment, housing, health and more – make troubling headlines regularly. A St. Paul lawmaker is drawing attention to others affecting some of the state’s youngest residents.
MS: Unexplained bone fractures: Where Child Protection Services and health care collide (Includes video)
Clarion Ledger – April 23, 2018
In child abuse cases, fractures are common, found in 25 to 50 percent of abused children, according to the report. They’re also the most common type of accidental injury, accounting for between 8 and 12 percent of pediatric injuries.
Also: It is not always child abuse: multiple fractures due to hypophosphatemic rickets associated with elemental formula use: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5538045/pdf/CCR3-5-1348.pdf
NY: Report: New York Should Use Family First Act As “Tailwind” for Curbing Congregate Care (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – April 24, 2018
New York’s state government was one of the few to openly oppose the Family First Prevention Services Act, a sweeping new federal law rewriting rules for funding the child welfare system. But a major child welfare philanthropy in the state is arguing that the law provides “the tailwind needed” to improve New York’s foster care system, with an eye on placing more foster youth in the homes of relatives and improving support for all foster families.
Also: The Family First Act: The Tailwind Needed to Increase Family-Based Care In NY: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/ae2c76c1-f0db-4db8-92e2-d61ceed462bd
OR: Oregon DHS investigated Hart family in 2013, knew of other abuse allegations, documents show (Includes video)
KGW – April 23, 2018
Oregon’s Department of Human Services investigated reports of neglect involving the Hart family in 2013, newly released documents from DHS and West Linn Police show. Oregon DHS also learned of several detailed abuse and neglect allegations from Minnesota, where the Hart family previously lived, the documents reveal. Even so, Oregon officials determined there was not enough evidence about the new allegations to continue with their investigation.
Also: Oregon DHS docs show agency knew of previous Hart family abuse allegations (Includes video): http://www.kptv.com/story/38023625/ore-dhs-docs-show-agency-knew-of-previous-hart-family-abuse-allegations
Also: After troubling allegations, Oregon officials found ‘insufficient evidence’ in Hart family case in 2013: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/oregon-officials-found-insufficient-evidence-in-hart-family-case-in-2013/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=Referral&utm_campaign=RSS_all
Also: TIMELINE: The 2013 Oregon DHS Hart family investigation: http://www.koin.com/news/washington/timeline-the-2013-oregon-dhs-hart-family-investigation/1136867286
PA: Adopting a baby without a wedding ring (Commentary)
Erie Times-News – April 22, 2018
Yet, according to U.S. Census figures, more than 10 million families with children under the age of 18 have only one parent. No one can tell me that all those families are failures because they don’t have both a mom and a dad.
SC: Lawmakers set to pass law forming an office of child advocacy
Berkeley Independent – April 23, 2018
Bill S.0805 that will form the Department for Child Advocacy, which was proposed and passed in the state senate now sits in the state House of Representatives. The bill should have a final reading during the legislative week that starts on April 24. The department will play a role in checks and balances and will be the single authority to set protocol statewide.
SC: Placing children in homes of family members could get easier
WSPA – April 23, 2018
The kinship care bill would require the Department of Social Services to talk with a family about becoming a licensed foster care provider, which would allow them to get a monthly stipend to cover extra costs.
TX: CASA of Collin County appoints new director
Allen American – April 23, 2018
For Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Collin County’s new executive director, the organization’s mission is personal. As an infant, Tricia Clifton was removed from her home and moved to multiple foster homes until being placed for adoption at 18 months. She understands firsthand the magnitude of CASA’s mission to promote and protect the best interests of children who have been abused and neglected. Clifton is committed to serving as their voice within the court system as an advocate did for her when she was a young child.
TX: FOREVER FAMILY: Biological grandparents save their grandkids by adopting them (Includes video)
KENS5 – April 22, 2018
The Eisenbergs stepped up to adopt their grandkids and save them from being adopted by another family or possibly getting split up.
WI: Child protection needs to be a community effort
River Towns – April 23, 2018
Protection and keeping children safe in the community does not fall solely on one group, organization or person; some believe the responsibility to keep a child safe falls to the responsibility of the entire community. April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and Pierce County Human Services Director Ronald Schmidt believes the responsibility of protecting children is widespread.
US: Opioid Crisis Part 1: New federal report shows child welfare impact (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – April 24, 2018
After more than a decade of decreasing, the national foster care caseload rose by 10% between 2012 and 2016. Many public officials and commentators have blamed this increase on parental substance use, especially due to to the opioid crisis, but evidence has been lacking on the national level to support this conjecture. A new report from the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides new evidence linking substance abuse with increasing foster care caseloads. It also highlights the daunting challenges facing those professionals at the interface of child welfare and substance abuse in hard-hit areas, and highlights the urgency of helping them meet these challenges.
Report: Substance Use, the Opioid Epidemic, and the Child Welfare System: Key Findings from a Mixed Methods Study: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/258836/SubstanceUseChildWelfareOverview.pdf
US: These States Want to Make LGBT Adoption as Hard as Possible (Commentary)
Daily Beast – April 24, 2018
Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado will weigh legislation that would allow religiously affiliated child placement agencies to turn away same-sex couples, citing ‘religious freedom.’
US: Bill authorizes $50 million to prevent and treat opioid epidemic
High Plains Journal – April 23, 2018
U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, and Susan Collins, R-ME, recently introduced The Community Action Opioid Response Act of 2018 to support community prevention and treatment efforts for low-income families impacted by the opioid epidemic. This bipartisan legislation would establish a new, competitive grant program to help Community Action Agencies and Community Action Partnerships to grow and support effective community efforts to identify and respond to the causes and consequences of opioid misuse and addiction. A companion bill was introduced in the House by U.S. Reps. Betty McCollum, D-MN, and Lloyd Smucker, R-PA.
US: Taken from their parents: There is nothing right about this (Includes video) (Commentary)
Cable News Network – April 23, 2018
t’s hard to imagine a policy crueler than one reported by the New York Times on Saturday. A review of government data found, and federal officials confirmed, that about 700 migrant children had been taken away from their parents at the southern border since October. More than 100 were younger than 4. Department of Homeland Security officials said the agency did not split families apart to deter illegal immigration, but rather to “protect the best interests of minor children crossing our borders.” This practice is inhumane.
Also: Hundreds of Immigrant Children Have Been Taken From Parents at U.S. Border: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/20/us/immigrant-children-separation-ice.html
Indonesia: Indonesian President Jokowi to Ban Child Marriage
Human Rights Watch – April 23, 2018
Jokowi told Zakiah that he was committed to ending child marriage. He said two ministries, the Coordinating Ministry for Human Development and Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, are now preparing a presidential decree to amend the 1974 Marriage Law. It was a bold statement in a country in which child marriage is widespread. According to UNICEF, 14 percent of girls in Indonesia are married before age 18, and one percent marry before age 15. The 1974 Marriage Law permits women and men to marry at 21 but allows girls to marry at 16 and men to marry at 19 with parental permission. Parents can also ask religious courts or local officials to authorize marriages of girls even earlier, with no minimum age in such cases. UNICEF reported that more than 90 percent of these exemption requests are accepted.
Also: Viral photo prompts Indonesian government moves towards banning child marriage: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-women-child/viral-photo-prompts-indonesian-government-moves-towards-banning-child-marriage-idUSKBN1HV0RC
Also: Indonesian government moves toward banning child marriage: http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2018/04/24/indonesian-government-moves-toward-banning-child-marriage/
United Kingdom: The Yorkshire Post says: Online safety. Social media not doing enough (Opinion)
Yorkshire Post – April 23, 2018
Bullying and abuse are all too prevalent, especially of the young, and there are insufficient safeguards to protect children from being exposed to inappropriate material.
AL: CAC’s executive director retires after 20-plus years of helping abused children
Dothan Eagle – April 21, 2018
For more than 20 years Sherryl Walker has served as the executive director of the Southeast Alabama Child Advocacy Center. But now, Walker is ready to start a new chapter in her life.
AR: Audit flags Arkansas Department of Human Services record-keeping
Arkansas Democrat Gazette – April 14, 2018
Several divisions of the Arkansas Department of Human Services have failed repeatedly — and in one case purposely — to properly track spending and manage some federally funded programs, legislative auditors reported Friday. Human Services Department officials blamed high staff turnover and technology changes for many of the 20 deficiencies found in an annual audit report on expenditures of federal awards. They pledged to work hard over the next fiscal year to ensure that infractions are corrected.
AZ: Ducey: Arizona gay couples can again adopt, foster together (Includes video)
AZ Central – April 22, 2018
Married same-sex couples will be allowed to adopt and foster Arizona children together, effective immediately, according to a statement Gov. Doug Ducey issued Wednesday night.
AZ: Should the Second Amendment trump foster-home safety rules? (Includes video)
AZ Central – April 22, 2018
After lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to cut all gun-safety rules for foster homes, DCS says it will re-examine the rules with an eye toward giving foster parents quicker access to guns in emergencies.
AZ: How prevalent is child abuse in Arizona?
12 News – April 19, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Many Arizona residents are not aware of just how prevalent child abuse and neglect are within our state. Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse, and we are responsible for protecting them. You may be a child’s only advocate at the time you report. Many Arizona residents are not aware of just how prevalent child abuse and neglect are within our state. Approximately 18,000 children were being cared for by the foster care system between April to September 2016 due to some child abuse and neglect.
CA: Planted pinwheels raise awareness about child abuse prevention month
Oakland Press – April 23, 2018
To bring more awareness to Child Abuse Prevention Month, a pinwheel ceremony was held at the county board auditorium, which included the planting of a pinwheel garden outside the county courthouse, 1200 N. Telegraph Road. Pinwheels for Prevention is a national campaign, organized by Prevent Child Abuse America, that celebrates coaches, teachers, mentors, and parents that have made a positive difference in the life of a child. Pinwheels are the national symbol for the great childhood all children deserve.
CA: Opinion: Ending Human Trafficking Is a San Diego Community Responsibility
Times of San Diego – April 22, 2018
While some risk factors make young people more vulnerable to trafficking, there is no single profile of a trafficking victim and no community is immune. According to Carrie Hessler-Radelet, president and CEO of San Diego’s Project Concern International, recruitment of children into sex trafficking happens everywhere, including malls, trolley stops, parks, churches and even schools. In a recent study by Point Loma Nazarene University and the University of San Diego, all participating San Diego County high schools confirmed recruitment taking place on their campuses.
CA: Lawmakers move to limit gay conversion therapy in California (Includes video)
Associated Press – April 19, 2018
Selling or advertising gay conversion therapy may soon be classified as a fraudulent business practice in California under a bill passed Thursday by the state Assembly.
Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Youth and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/lgbtq/
CO: Proposed law would limit access to juvenile autopsy records
Steamboat Pilot & Today – April 22, 2018
The lawmakers who introduced the bill have expressed concerns over the privacy of families of children who have died. Those against the bill include media advocates, who have cited past instances where juvenile autopsy reports played a crucial role in reporting on cases that included the JonBenet Ramsey murder, the Columbine High School shootings and the Aurora movie theater shootings.
CO: Mesa County needs more foster parents for teens (Includes video)
KKCO/KJCT – April 20, 2018
In Mesa County, there are more than 250 children in foster care. There’s a big need for foster parents, but it’s even harder to find safe homes for teenagers. Foster Care of Mesa County, CASA, and Foster Alumni Mentors are teaming up to spread the word.
DE: House approves ban on underage marriages
Delaware State News – April 19, 2018
The Delaware House of Representatives passed a measure Thursday that would prohibit marriage involving minors, with the bill moving forward solely on Democratic support. House Bill 337 now goes to the Senate. Twenty-three members supported it in the House, while 11 voted against, six abstained and one was absent. Rep. Gerald Brady, D-Wilmington, went “not voting,” making him the only Democrat present not to vote in favor.
GA: Could controversial adoption bill dash Atlanta’s Amazon HQ2 bid? (Includes video)
CBS46 – April 20, 2018
A new report cites an Amazon official who said Atlanta is out of the running for the company’s second headquarters, HQ2. The report said it could be because of a policy that is not supportive of gay rights. This all came out in the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos. We’re learning Friday Atlanta could be on the chopping block as a contender for the new Amazon headquarters because of an adoption bill that many say would have made it harder for gay couples to adopt.
Also: Atlanta bid for Amazon HQ2 gets new political problem: Georgia adoption bill (Includes video): https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/23/atlanta-bid-for-amazon-hq2-didnt-need-georgia-anti-lgbt-adoption-bill.html
HI: Ige announces program to divert homeless from jail
Honolulu Star-Advertiser – April 19, 2018
Under a new program announced Wednesday by Gov. David Ige, homeless people who commit minor crimes could receive social services instead of going to jail. The state has awarded a $200,000 contract to the the CHOW Project and Life Foundation to launch a pilot program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, which will allow police to contact a social worker for those who commit minor offenses.
IL: First Steps Program helps new young mothers
Herald-Whig – April 21, 2018
Raquel Kroencke is a believer in the First Steps Program at Cornerstone: Foundations for Families. The parent education program, which is affiliated with Healthy Families Illinois, targets young mothers who are expecting or are within three months of having given birth and are at risk for challenges in parenting, including child abuse and neglect.
IL: Child sexual abuse numbers breaking records (Includes video)
WCIA – April 20, 2018
More children than ever before are coming forward to report being sexually abused. The Child Advocacy Center of Champaign County (CAC) says there were record-breaking numbers last year, and they’re on track to break that record this year. There were 233 children who walked into the center last year. This year, they’re already on track to serve 300 kids.
KS: Children and Families must get more aggressive (Commentary) (May require registration)
Wichita Eagle – April 23, 2018
When we talk about the DCF’s failures, we must not limit the conversation to these high-profile cases. We must wade into the sea of available data – identifying other potential issues at the agency and integrating these talking points into our regular conversations. Let’s begin now. The State Child Death Review Board and the Children’s Bureau at the federal Office of the Administration for Children & Families both provide annual reports that are accessible online. Both reports provide a treasure trove of data to help us monitor DCF’s performance. Some of this data is quite intriguing.
KY: New Law a Game Changer for Kentucky Kids (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 23, 2018
Kentucky’s child-welfare system is set to get a major overhaul, which could be a game-changer for the more than 8,000 children in foster care. With the passage of House Bill 1 this session, new reforms will help strengthen how the commonwealth supports children impacted by abuse or neglect. The new law creates tighter timelines for the termination of parental rights, so children are not left in the limbo of the court system. And it establishes a Child Welfare Oversight and Advisory Committee to focus primarily on improving the foster-care and adoption process.
KY: Jeff Rubin: Silent crimes against children, women and elderly need to become less silent (Commentary)
Northern Kentucky Tribune – April 21, 2018
April is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time that places the spotlight on two issues I find disturbing, both for the nature of the crimes and the helplessness of the victims. That’s why the recent report on child maltreatment released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau got my attention. The report cites Kentucky as the second highest state in the nation for child abuse. Disturbing as that may be, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when you include domestic violence or abuse that includes the elderly as well as the young.
Report: Child Maltreatment 2016: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2016
MD: Children have a right not to be forced into marriage (Opinion)
Baltimore Sun – April 20, 2018
Diana Philip’s commentary, “Marriage is a human right, don’t strip it from teens” (April 16), mischaracterizes the three-year campaign to end child marriage in Maryland and ignores the compelling drivers behind it. The Tahirih Justice Center, which has served Maryland survivors of violence since 1997 and has specialized forced marriage expertise, joined many other Maryland supporters, including former child brides, in urging legislators to close loopholes in current law.
Also: Marriage is a human right, don’t strip it from teens (Opinion): http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-op-0417-marriage-ban-20180413-story.html
Also: Effort to limit teen marriage in Maryland failed amid concerns from abortion rights, women’s groups: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-marriage-age-20180412-story.html
ME: Kendall Chick and Marissa Kennedy died of child abuse. How can Maine ensure it never happens again? (Commentary)
WCSH-TV – April 21, 2018
For both of these young girls living in Maine, their chance to grow up was taken from them allegedly by their own caretakers. Lawmakers have authorized a probe into the state’s handling of any abuse complaints regarding both girls that Governor LePage called a ‘comedy of errors’. The results of this investigation by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability is expected to be finished sometime in May, its results released in a written report.
MI: Law gives safe, legal option to parents who don’t want to keep their newborn
MLive – April 20, 2018
For up to 72 hours after the birth, a baby can be brought to a police station, fire station or turned over to Emergency Medical Services (EMS), but must be turned over to a person at those locations and not left alone. The law allows a parent to surrender an infant without breaking any laws or giving any identifying information.
MN: Racism in Child Protective Services is Tearing Minnesota Families Apart
Care2 – April 22, 2018
According to state data, black children in Minnesota are disproportionately involved with child protective services and-due to racial bias-more likely to be removed from their families than white children. Data shows that black families in Minnesota are three times more likely to be involved with child welfare services. The outcome of that involvement is typically more devastating on a variety of measures and likely to have damaging and permanent effects.
MN: Minnesota’s approach to child protection makes children less safe (Commentary)
Minn Post – April 20, 2018
In 2016, the most recent year for which comparative data are available, Minnesota took away children at the sixth highest rate in the country, even when rates of child poverty are factored in. Minnesota took away children at a rate more than double the national average. It took away children at more than triple the rate of states that have been cited repeatedly as national models for keeping children safe. And it took away children at more than six times the rate of New York City.
MO: Parents could temporarily give up custody of children under Koenig’s proposed law
Columbia Missourian – April 22, 2018
Parents facing crisis situations could give custody of their children to individuals through private organizations without fear of legal repercussion under legislation being considered by the House. Two Senate bills enacting such a change, along with other reforms, made their debut earlier this month in a Missouri House of Representatives committee hearing.
NC: DSS fights child abuse
Carteret County News-Times – April 21, 2018
Pam Stewart has investigated hundreds of child abuse cases in her 28 years with the County Department of Social Services. The DSS social work program manager said it’s never easy, and she hopes for a day when there will be few cases to handle. “We are constantly looking for solutions,” said Ms. Stewart, during a telephone interview Wednesday. “We’re looking for ways to address mental health and substance abuse issues, and offer sustainable and affordable parenting classes. Parenting is difficult enough, but when there is substance abuse or untreated mental health issues, it’s even harder.”
NE: Trump Child Welfare Official Impressed with Nebraska’s Child Abuse Prevention Program
Chronicle of Social Change – April 20, 2018
The Bring Up Nebraska program drew a top Trump child welfare official to the Cornhusker State last week to learn more about its statewide plan to prevent child abuse and neglect. The initiative brings local community resources together to help at-risk families and children with challenges that could lead to a call to the child abuse hotline.
NH: N.H. child advocate office could get more authority under bill
Associated Press – April 22, 2018
A proposal to strengthen New Hampshire’s new office of the child advocate has the support of the division it monitors, though the governor is reserving judgment for now. Lawmakers created the watchdog agency as part of larger effort to reform the Division for Children, Youth and Families, which has been under scrutiny since two toddlers under its supervision were killed in 2014 and 2015. A legislative committee last week unanimously backed an amended bill to expand the office’s reach and ability to share information.
NY: ACS pilot program helps young people prepare for life as they age out of foster care
New York Daily News – April 23, 2018
Helping young people aging out of the foster care system deal with those obstacles is the goal of YVLifeSet, a new pilot program the city will launch next month. YVLifeSet, launched by Tennessee-based organization Youth Villages, will be rolled out at two nonprofits that serve ACS: this year at the Children’s Aid Society, where Jimenez gets services, and next year at New York Foundling.
NY: Legislators express reservations over Child Protective Services proposal
Buffalo News – April 23, 2018
A plan by Erie County administrators to address low wages in Child Protective Services has received a chilly reception from county lawmakers.
OH: Opiate epidemic straining central Ohio foster care systems (Includes video)
WCMH-TV – April 18, 2018
The opioid epidemic continues to hit central Ohio hard. According to a map by created by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) and the Centers for Disease Control in 2016, two central Ohio counties, Franklin and Licking, are said to have both high overdose deaths and high number of children entering into foster care and those numbers continue to rise.
OK: Ownbey legislation provides security for children in state custody
Daily Ardmoreite – April 20, 2018
On Tuesday, Gov. Mary Fallin signed a bill creating a foster child bill of rights. House Bill 2552, authored by Rep. Pat Ownbey, establishes certain rights for children in Department of Human Services’ custody with regard to their placement, safety, privacy, communication, and personal growth. The measure also directs DHS and child placing agencies to develop grievance procedures for children in custody.
PA: Mural painters share message about child abuse prevention
Reading Eagle – April 21, 2018
The mural, a project of the Children’s Home of Reading and Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance, is intended to raise awareness of child abuse prevention.
PA: Despite some progress, counties await answers to child protection woes
CNHI News Service – April 20, 2018
Advocates and county officials await a promised action plan for fixing the state’s struggling child protection system from Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. Susan Woods, a spokesperson for the auditor general, said those recommendations are expected in mid-May. The system is challenged by the state’s push to make sure abuse doesn’t get ignored in the wake of the molestation scandal that put former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in prison.
TX: Groundbreaking ceremony for Texoma foster home (Includes video)
KTEN – April 20, 2018
According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, there are more than 800 girls ages 12 to 18 in the foster care system in this region. “What we’re doing here is creating a community of foster homes, so these girls can support each other, our foster parents can support each other, and the total focus will be on the teenage girls and their success,” said Geary Girls Ranch founder and president Susie Black Holamon. “We have programs and counseling and all things put in place.”
VT: Senate Budget Writers Eye Mental Health
VT Digger – April 20, 2018
The $5.84 billion budget the House passed last month invests in several new services for people who need psychiatric care, including housing with supportive services and a 24-hour-a-day “warm line” – a free emergency support line for Vermonters who need help with mental health issues. Kitchel said she would consider using some of the tobacco settlement money for efforts to boost the state’s workforce or improving court processes for child welfare.
WA: King County Moves Juvenile Justice Under Public Health Management (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 23, 2018
Sean Goode is the executive director of Choose 180, a diversion program for youths charged with low-level crimes that partners with the county. “More than anything else, it creates an ideological shift within the county that allows people to begin to consider what else crime could be – that there’s other responses beyond law and order to be able to really meet the needs of these youth and young adults that are most disproportionately impacted by our justice system,” he explains.
WI: Officials: Child abuse a big problem in Marathon Co. (Includes video)
WAOW – April 20, 2018
Leaders are speaking out on child abuse as the problem grows in central Wisconsin. “The problem is real and the problem is here,” said Patrick Schmidt with the Marathon County Citizen Review Panel. Dozens gathered outside the Marathon County courthouse Friday afternoon for an event to increase awareness and stand in solidarity to the commitment to prevent child abuse and neglect.
US: Immigration policies hurt efforts to stop human trafficking, Katherine Yoo says (Commentary)
El Paso Times – April 22, 2018
Statistics on the number of victims of human trafficking are notoriously unreliable because of widespread underreporting. The U.S. State Department most recently estimated that between 14,500 and 17,000 people, mostly women, are trafficked into the U.S. annually. An estimated 70 percent of them are undocumented at some point during their time here.
US: Silent no more: Inside the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal
NBC News – April 22, 2018
USA Gymnastics tried to silence top athletes after they reported being molested by team doctor Larry Nassar and as they pushed to meet with law enforcement officials, the gymnasts and their family members told NBC News. Claims that the sports federation stressed discretion above all else are bolstered by text messages, emails and other materials reviewed by NBC News during a months-long investigation for a special edition of Dateline that aired Sunday.
US: Arapaho tribe’s opioid lawsuit merged with Ohio case
Wyoming News Exchange – April 20, 2018
The Northern Arapaho Tribe’s lawsuit against opioid manufacturers has been joined with nearly 600 other cases that have been consolidated in the federal court for the Northern District of Ohio. Along with the Arapaho litigation, lawsuits from two other Indian tribes were also consolidated in the Ohio court on Wednesday morning.
US: Foster kids, wronged by the courts (Commentary)
American Enterprise Institute – April 20, 2018
Why do our courts make decisions about the fate of children on a timeline designed for adults?
US: Sex Trafficking Re-entry Programs Must Involve the True Experts: Survivors (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – April 20, 2018
I was shocked to learn that the researchers featured in the April 11, 2018, article, “Life After ‘The Life’: Putting Families Back Together After Children are Trafficked,” indicate that they do not believe Survivor-Leaders (Experiential Experts) should help co-lead their Parent Skills Training Class for parents of children victimized by child sex trafficking. Dawn Blacker and Brandi Liles, who run the UC Davis program, hold that only clinicians and parents ought to lead the Parent Skills Class.
US: Research shows effects of brain trauma on children (Commentary)
Newnan Times-Herald – April 19, 2018
New science clearly shows us the lasting damage trauma does to the developing brains of children – some damage lasting even into adulthood – as well as the best sources for recovery.
US: Trump officials urged to act on opioids
Portsmouth Daily Times – April 19, 2018
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) pressed top Trump administration officials to do more to address the opioid epidemic. Brown highlighted Ohio successes in keeping families together and treating Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. He urged top officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to follow Ohio’s example and support similar programs at the federal level.
US: Casey Expands on His Law to Protect Opioid Dependent Infants, Introduces New Bill to Ensure Plans of Safe Care for All Affected Infants (Press release)
Office of US Senator Ben Casey – April 18, 2018
Each day, as the opioid crisis continues to ravage our communities, more and more infants are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or are otherwise affected by substance abuse. In an effort to help these children, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced the Supporting Infant Plans of Safe Care Implementation Act of 2018. This legislation will provide much needed resources to states for implementation of the 2016 law, plus additional guidance and technical assistance from the federal government to help states meet the requirements of the law.
AK: We’re making headway in Alaska against child abuse. This is how.
Anchorage Daily News – April 19, 2018
Children thrive when they are connected to their family and culture. To that end, DHSS has made great strides to improve our child welfare system and reduce the number of kids removed from their homes. For the first time since 2012, more children are leaving OCS custody each month than entering the system. This means we are strengthening families and finding more permanent homes for children who come through the OCS system.
CA: Nourishment was Scarce in Her Foster Home, but Plentiful at L.A. Kitchen
Chronicle of Social Change – April 19, 2018
In operation since 2014 with a budget of $3.5 million, L.A. Kitchen reclaims potentially wasted food, trains the unemployed for jobs and provides healthy meals to people in need. Its job training component, Empower L.A., teaches transition-age foster youth and formerly homeless and incarcerated people food preparation and readies them for the workforce.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/
CO: Colorado Senate set to kill conversion therapy ban… again
Boulder Weekly – April 19, 2018
The bill would prohibit state-licensed mental health professionals from practicing conversion therapy on minors. California was the first state to ban the practice in 2012, and as of March 28 of this year, 11 states plus the District of Columbia have enacted a similar law or regulations – and the dominoes continue to fall. This year, nearly 50 such bills have been introduced in 24 states.
FL: Alachua County struggling to find local families for foster children
Independent Florida Alligator – April 20, 2018
Partnership for Strong Families, a community-based child welfare agency that cares for about 5,000 children in 13 counties, including Alachua, reports there are about 80 children in need of homes in Alachua, said Patty Carroll, director of community relations and recruitment for the agency. There are about 55 licensed foster homes in the county, and many of these homes have a one-to-two child limit.
IN: New facility offers residential services for teen human trafficking victims (Includes video)
Fox 59 – April 18, 2018
There’s nothing else like it in the state, and now, a new facility in Henry County will be a home for young victims of human trafficking. In 2016, there were 178 teen human trafficking victims in the state. Nearly all of them were girls. Last year alone, Restored Inc., an organization that connects victims with services, helped more than 80 teenagers.
ME: DHHS Warns of Individual Impersonating Child Protective Services Caseworker (Press release)
Maine Department of Health and Human Services – April 19, 2018
The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) recently received notice of an individual allegedly impersonating a DHHS Child Protective Services (CPS) Caseworker. This was an isolated incident in Southern Maine. It is important to remember that all DHHS employees are issued an identification card (ID) when they are hired and are instructed to keep their card on them during work hours.
NH: Meyers: Audits Ongoing for All Drug Treatment Centers in N.H. to Ensure Proper Services
NHPR – April 19, 2018
Jeffrey Meyers, Commissioner of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services, says his agency is beefing up oversight of substance use disorder treatment centers that have been struggling to stay afloat or that have closed altogether after financial struggles – a situation the state can ill afford in the midst of the opioid crisis.
NJ: Endangering Children In God’s Name (Commentary) (Includes video)
WBUR – April 20, 2018
If you think family law is different, that parental religion trumps child welfare, think again. Christian Scientists, whose faith may make them one of the rare churches questioning vaccination, have been convicted of manslaughter, deservedly, for withholding life-saving treatment from their children for religious reasons. Foregoing treatment and gambling with your own life as an adult is one thing; rolling the dice with a child who can’t make his or her own decision is another.
NY: Why NY’s investment in dismantling MS-13 has national implications (Commentary)
Police One – April 18, 2018
Any gang-prevention strategy must address unaccompanied children from Central America who are particularly vulnerable to MS-13 recruitment and victimization.
OK: Top Child Welfare Organizations Stand in Opposition to Dangerous Anti-LGBTQ Legislation in Oklahoma (Commentary)
Human Rights Campaign – April 19, 2018
Some of the country’s top child welfare organizations joined the opposition to the anti-LGBTQ bill SB 1140, which is currently under consideration in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The following parties joined a letter explaining their reasons for opposing the legislation: the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom Oklahoma, the Child Welfare League of America, the North American Council on Adoptable Children, the National Center for Adoption and Permanency, Foster Club, and Voice For Adoption.
Also: Child Welfare Leaders Sign on to Letter Urging States to Ban Conversion Therapy: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/child-welfare-leaders-urging-anti-conversion-therapy-laws/30542
PA: Despite some progress, counties await answers to child protection woes (May require free registration)
Tribune-Democrat – April 20, 2018
Advocates and county officials await a promised action plan for fixing the state’s struggling child protection system from Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. The system is challenged by the state’s push to make sure abuse doesn’t get ignored in the wake of the molestation scandal that put former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in prison.
TX: Too many children give birth while in the state’s care (Editorial)
Houston Chronicle – April 19, 2018
As part of the overhaul of the state’s foster care program, spurred by pressure from the courts and reports of widespread problems, Gov. Greg Abbott and Commissioner of the Department of Family and Protective Services Henry “Hank” Whitman should focus on making sure that foster parents, local nonprofits, medical professionals and caseworkers are able to provide the instruction that girls and boys in state custody need to make good decisions about their reproductive health. These youth may have access to birth control, but in many cases there’s uncertainty about whether parental consent is needed. Caseworkers should know and communicate to these youth their rights.
Also: Report: https://bit.ly/2vy1b2R
VA: Virginia to receive nearly $10M to fight opioid crisis
Associated Press – April 19, 2018
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday its second year of funding through the Opioid State Targeted Response program. Virginia is getting $9.76 million.
WA: Bethel teacher who didn’t report child abuse at home did not break reporting law, court says
Tacoma News Tribune – April 19, 2018
A Pierce County teacher did not violate the state’s mandatory reporting law when she didn’t report allegations that her own children had been abused in her home, the Washington State Supreme Court said Thursday. She argued that she didn’t learn of the alleged abuse in her role as a teacher, and then-Superior Court Judge Brian Tollefson dismissed the charges.
US: IQVIA™ Institute for Human Data Science Study: U.S. Prescription Opioid Volume Declined 12 Percent in 2017 – Largest Drop in 25 Years (Press release)
IQVIA – April 19, 2018
The study, Medicine Use and Spending in the U.S.: A Review of 2017 and Outlook to 2022, shows that prescription opioid volume had increased annually since 1992, peaking in 2011. Then a series of regulatory and legislative restrictions combined with tighter clinical prescribing guidelines and greater reimbursement controls resulted in average 4 percent per year declines from 2012 through 2016.
Also: New Data: Americans Filling Far Fewer Opioid Prescriptions: https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/articles/news/2018/04/19/280489/new-data-americans-filling-far-fewer-opioid-prescriptions/
US: Northern Arapaho Tribe’s Opioid Lawsuit Moved To Federal Court In Ohio
KTWO – April 19, 2018
A lawsuit by the Northern Arapaho Tribe against six pharmaceutical companies and three drug distributors has been transferred to a federal court in Northern Ohio.
CT: Private Connecticut school uncovers cases of student abuse
Associated Press – April 18, 2018
Two former teachers at a prestigious Connecticut private school sexually abused at least eight students during their tenures, the school’s current headmaster said.
FL: Editorial: Improving foster care in Hillsborough
Tampa Bay Times – April 19, 2018
A new foster care provider in Hillsborough County is poised to take over operations in May, only months after its predecessor was fired for what was alleged to be a pattern of failing to supervise at-risk children in its care. Many of the case managers who worked for the previous provider are likely to stay on, which prompts the question: What will the leading community care provider in the county, Eckerd Connects, and its new subcontractor, Directions for Living, a Pinellas nonprofit, do differently to ensure that this won’t happen again?
FL: Children’s Harbor Names Tiffani Dhooge COO (Press release)
CityBizList – April 18, 2018
Tiffani Dhooge has been named Chief Operating Officer of Children’s Harbor, the nonprofit agency that provides a safe harbor and support to at risk children, youth and families, keeping brothers and sisters together while in the foster care system.
FL: Yes, we can prevent child abuse | Guest column (Commentary)
TCPalm – April 17, 2018
By now, you may have noticed the blue pinwheels, “Wear Blue” events or other signs announcing that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. And, if you follow the news, you already know Florida’s opioid crisis is driving a sharp spike in the number of abused, abandoned and neglected children coming into out-of-home care – nearly 32,000 statewide, as of February. That’s a 13.7 percent increase over the last 2-and-a-half years.
Information Gateway resource: National Child Abuse Prevention Month: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/
IL: Police in Illinois Are Helping Substance Abusers Get Into Rehab Instead of Arresting Them
Youth Today – April 18, 2018
Ronald Reagan didn’t start the war on drugs but he did his best to finish it. Law enforcement budgets soared, the jails were packed and the war was carried as far afield as Latin America and Afghanistan. So it might count as one of history’s minor ironies that here in Dixon, just a few blocks from Reagan’s boyhood home, the local police have called a ceasefire in the war on drugs.
IN: Pinwheels for Prevention focuses on community’s role in preventing child abuse
Washington Times-Herald – April 18, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Child abuse does not discriminate. It doesn’t only happen to children in big cities or those from low-income families. It doesn’t recognize race or religion. Every year, dozens of Hoosier children, including those living in Daviess County, become victims of child abuse or neglect.
KS: Child welfare computer system taken down after “suspicious traffic”
WIBW – April 18, 2018
The company that runs the state’s child welfare services took its entire computer network offline Monday after finding suspicious traffic on it. In a blog post Wednesday, KVC Health Systems explained its IT team took the network down “within minutes” of spotting the problem. The outage knocked offline employees’ email, applications, as well as the shared files. It even affected some phone lines.
KY: RUBIN: Silent crimes need to become less silent (Commentary)
Richmond Register – April 18, 2018
April is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time that places the spotlight on two issues I find disturbing, both for the nature of the crimes and the helplessness of the victims. That’s why the recent report on child maltreatment released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau got my attention. The report cites Kentucky as the second highest state in the nation for child abuse.
Report: Child Maltreatment 2016: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2016
ME: Painful and Pointless – Maine House votes to ban conversion therapy
KPVI – April 19, 2018
After intense debate last Thursday, lawmakers in the Maine House voted 76-68 to pass a bill banning the scientifically discredited practice known as conversion therapy.
MI: Michigan State is finding new ways to victimize the survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse (Includes video) (Commentary)
Think Progress – April 18, 2018
A night of celebration soon turned into one of frustration, when the host began by talking about how challenging the year has been for the Spartans, how the university won’t let one man – Nassar, it was implied – bring it down, and how hard it has been for Nassar’s survivors. “I’m fuming at this point,” Lemke told ThinkProgress. “He’s comparing how hard of a time it’s been for Michigan State for the past 16 months with how hard of a time it’s been for the survivors – some for over 20 years.”
MI: Amended Child Protection Law Benefits Tribes
JD Supra – March 09, 2018
On March 7, Gov. Snyder signed legislation to amend the Child Protection Law, allowing the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to share information from an Indian child’s protective services case with tribal representatives.
NJ: Op-Ed: We Need to Take the Trauma Out of Childhood
NJ Spotlight – April 19, 2018
Thousands of children in New Jersey have been through traumatic events that can have profound long-term consequences. It’s our job to help them. Childhood should not be a time of trauma. Yet, for far too many kids it is: Nearly 34 million children across the United States have experienced traumas that can have terrible long-term physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral health consequences.
OK: Bill Strengthening Child Protection Statutes Signed Into Law (Press release):
Oklahoma State Legislature – April 18, 2018
House Bill 2552 by Rep. Pat Ownbey establishes certain rights for children in Department of Human Services’ (DHS) custody with regard to their placement, safety, privacy, communication, and personal growth. The measure also directs DHS and child placing agencies to develop grievance procedures for children in custody. “The governor’s signature on this important piece of legislation means children across our state will now have a statutorily enforced set of rights that are found in one place,” said Ownbey, R-Ardmore. “Before this measure, most of these rights were found in policies at one agency or another, but now children and foster parents will have easy access to this information.”
TX: ‘We failed’: Texas social services czar apologizes profusely for contract flubs
Dallas Morning News – April 18, 2018
Gov. Greg Abbott’s top appointee over social services profusely apologized to legislators Wednesday for his agency’s failure to take care of the basics as it awards lucrative health-insurance and other contracts to private companies.
TX: Foster agency helping high volume of children with a parent who drove drunk (Includes video)
News 4 San Antonio – April 18, 2018
The actions of parents who drive drunk with children in their vehicle is adding to the growing number of children in need of foster care. In some cases, the children are able to be placed with other family members but if that is not an option, they wait with the increasing number of kids waiting in foster care. Sarah Vasquez, Regional Director of ‘A World For Children,’ say they work with the victims of this crime often.
TX: Timeline: Before and after the 2008 raid on the FLDS’ Yearning for Zion Ranch
San Angelo Standard-Times – April 18, 2018
Texas Child Protective Services spokeswoman Marleigh Meisner is surrounded by members of the media during a news conference at the Upper Colorado River Authority headquarters in April 2008 as she announces 401 children from the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado are in protective custody.
WI: Child Advocacy Center provides support to kids affected by abuse
WSAW – April 18, 2018
It’s more than halfway through Child Abuse Prevention month, and the Marshfield Clinic is providing support to kids affected by abuse or neglect. The Child Advocacy Center allows children who are brought in by Child Protective Services and law enforcement to be interviewed and given a physical exam just once, in the same place to make it less traumatizing.
WI: Organization hopes to raise awareness for child abuse (Includes video)
WEAU – April 18, 2018
All across the state, the Wisconsin Court Appointed Special Advocates Association encouraged everyone to wear blue on April 18. It is part of the first annual “I am for the Child Day”, which aims to bring awareness to children in the court or child welfare system.
WV: Rate of addicted babies casts shadow in Mountain State
Dominion Post – April 18, 2018
In two counties – Marshall and Lincoln – the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) exceeded one out of 10 hospital births. Statewide, the DHHR said, the rate of NAS is 50.6 for every 1,000 live births.
US: Anti-vaccine misinformation denies children’s rights (Commentary)
Seattle Times – April 18, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that at least 97 children in the United States died from influenza during this flu season. Even though the influenza vaccine helps protect children from dying, most deaths this season occurred in unvaccinated children.
US: Catholic Whistleblowers want ‘substantial revisions’ to church’s sex abuse policies
National Catholic Reporter – April 18, 2018
A Catholic watchdog group is challenging the U.S. bishops to make “substantial revisions” to their nearly two-decade-old policies regarding sexual abuse of minors, and to include abuse survivors and the laity in the process.
US: Disability, Race and Reasons: What We Know, and Don’t Know, About Disparity in School Discipline
Chronicle of Social Change – April 18, 2018
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this month on school discipline with a topline finding that “black students, boys and students with disabilities were disproportionately disciplined (e.g., suspensions and expulsions) in K-12 public schools.” Education officials in California told GAO that “homeless and foster youth frequently miss school because of all the transitions and instability in their lives.” In Texas, the report said, “officials also reported attendance issues with students who are homeless or in foster care because they lack transportation and clothing.”
Report: Discipline Disparities for Black Students, Boys, and Students with Disabilities: https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/690828.pdf
US: How victims of child maltreatment fare in school
Thomas B. Fordham Institute – April 18, 2018
Although there is much research about “achievement gaps” between wealthy and poor students and the effects of “toxic stress” on academic outcomes, a recent study sought to examine the depth at which such issues as homelessness, domestic violence, neglect, and abuse can affect students in school, as well as the prevalence of the problem across schools and demographic groups.
AZ: Arizona Legislature Considers Funding Changes To Kidscare (Includes audio)
KJZZ – April 17, 2018
Arizona’s health care coverage for children has been up and down. As far back as 2010, lawmakers froze enrollment in the state’s program KidsCare because they said there wasn’t enough funding available. The program applied to children from lower-income families who couldn’t qualify for coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
CA: CASA spreads the “Light of Hope”
Calavaras Enterprise – April 17, 2018
In addition to CASA, which moved into the county less than a year ago, recent updates to the California Child Welfare Core Practice Model and the implementation of new legislation have instigated a shift in focus within local agencies to reuniting families through communication and support.
CA: Travis Allen still thinks California legalized child prostitution. He’s still wrong. (Opinion)
Daily Breeze – April 17, 2018
Back on December 29, 2016, Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, authored a piece for the conservative Washington Examiner with the provocative headline “California Democrats legalize child prostitution.” In a sorry reflection of how easy it is for misinformation to circulate, the piece went viral. Allen appeared on shows like The O’Reilly Factor. It was a big hit for Allen. But that’s really all it was, because, in fact, California didn’t legalize child prostitution.
CA: United Way Campaign Aims To Help Children Aging Out Of Foster Care (Includes audio)
Capitol Public Radio – April 17, 2018
The United Way California Capital Region is accepting donations this week in person and online to help provide some basics for foster children who are aging out of the system and have little-to-no support.
CO: Child Abuse Hotline Teams Up With Pediatricians (Includes video)
KREX – April 17, 2018
Health care professionals around the Grand Valley are taking an extra step to help in the fight against child abuse and neglect. In a single day Mesa County Department of Human Services answers an average of 30 phone calls. “Locally we have four dedicated call takers that are on the phone,” said Nicci Surad, part of the Child Welfare Receiving & Outreach Team, picking up calls placed to the organizations Child Abuse Hotline –to help out children who are or have been victims of child abuse and neglect.
CO: Mayor proclaims April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Brush
Fort Morgan Times – April 17, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month in Brush, according to the proclamation Mayor Rick Bain read upon the city council’s approval. “While children are our most precious resource, they are also our most vulnerable,” the mayor read, continuing, “children have a right to thrive, learn, and grow to their full potential.”
FL: Officials working to keep tabs on 2,000 foster children in a time of change
Tampa Bay Times – April 18, 2018
Around 2,000 foster children were under the watch of case managers at Youth and Family Alternatives, which was fired in February by Eckerd Connects, which runs foster care in the Tampa Bay area. Now, officials are scrambling to ensure there is no disruption in the level of care for those children, most of whom will soon become the responsibility of Directions for Living, a Pinellas non-profit.
FL: New agency fills post-adoption services void
Ocala.com – April 17, 2018
Adoption2Action provides services to families in the 5th Judicial Circuit, which includes Marion, Lake, Sumter, Citrus and Hernando counties.
GM: Official: Homelessness, child abuse on the rise
Guam Daily Post – April 18, 2018
Additional services to homeless families, especially those with minor children, would help, said Linda Rodriguez, administrator of the Department of Public Health and Social Services Bureau of Social Services Administration. “We see homelessness rising,” Rodriguez said. “We see child abuse cases rising.”
IL: DCFS releases abuse data after delay
WAND – April 17, 2018
Department of Children and Family Services released data on child abuse in Illinois Monday, amid complaints the Department had stopped posting monthly status reports online.
Also: Data Release Report: https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/newsandreports/Documents/ESS_Protective_Services_20180417.pdf
IL: Illinois House likely won’t hear bill to raise penalties for assaulting DCFS workers
Northwest Herald – April 15, 2018
A state bill aimed at delivering a harsher punishment for battering a Department of Children and Family Services or Adult Protective Services worker isn’t likely to be heard by legislators this year. House Bill 4586 was introduced in February by state Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, in response to an attack on veteran DCFS worker Pamela Knight, 59, of Dixon in September.
Also: Lawmakers consider state-worker safety after beating: http://www.therepublic.com/2018/04/17/xgr-il-state-worker-safety/
Also: ‘We need to be protected’ – Dixon woman’s family on hand as lawmakers step up effort to restart stalled bill that would protect DCFS workers: http://www.saukvalley.com/2018/04/17/we-need-to-be-protected-dixon-womans-family-on-hand-as-lawmakers-step-up-effort-to-restart-stalled-bill-that-would-protect-dcfs-workers/aa34p82/
IN: Child neglect cases highlight importance of reporting suspected abuse (Includes video) (Commentary)
Fox 59 – April 17, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. In Hancock County, there have been a handful of child neglect cases in the last few years that bring awareness to the importance of protecting children. The May 2015 death of Zoey Wagoner is still on the minds of many in the community. The 1-year-old was found with bruises and severely abused. Her parents were later convicted of child neglect.
MD: 2-1-1 funding brings health and HR services to all of Maryland
Bay Net – April 17, 2018
The Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention announced Fiscal Year 2018 funding to support 2-1-1 Maryland in its efforts to serve Maryland citizens, including those who have been incarcerated and are preparing for reentry into the community. By dialing 2-1-1, Marylanders are connected to more than 5,000 health and human services-related programs, including substance abuse and addiction services, child protective services, domestic violence counseling, legal aid, reentry programs, and much more. Services are provided in more than 180 languages and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through an online database and telephone hotline.
MI: State Child Wellness Report: Calhoun County ranks toward bottom (Includes video)
WWMT – April 17, 2018
Poverty continues to plague kids in Michigan, according to the new Kids Count numbers released Tuesday.
Also: Kids Count 2018: Poverty Affects MI Childhood Literacy (Includes audio): http://wkar.org/post/kids-count-2018-poverty-affects-mi-childhood-literacy#stream/0
Also: 2018 Kids Count In Michigan Data Book: http://www.mlpp.org/kids-count/michigan-2/2018-kids-count-in-michigan-data-book
MN: Family of slain child says multiple people called Otter Tail County social services
Grand Forks Herald – April 17, 2018
The family of a 6-year-old boy slain in Fergus Falls says it knows of multiple people who called social services in Otter Tail County to warn of possible abuse by the child’s accused killers, but says nothing was done.
NC: Editorial: DSS Reform Needs Greater Specificity (Requires free registration)
Pilot – April 18, 2018
North Carolina means this year to reform how social services are delivered across its 100 counties. Right now, each county administers those services, everything from investigating child abuse to handling food stamps. The nature of what that reform will entail and how it will be organized are still unknowns, as are the criteria by which counties will be judged. But each county is mandated to sign off on “performance contracts” by June – without knowing what those contracts will stipulate.
NY: Respect, Listen: A Longtime Child Welfare Worker on What Works
Represent – April 18, 2018
MyraMae King spent about 40 years working in the child welfare field before she retired in 2012. She came to the Represent office recently to talk about what works and what doesn’t in foster care. She is tiny, with purple hair, and looks younger than she is. She became very animated when she talked about helping children.
Also: The System Hasn’t Served My Family. I Have Ideas To Improve It (Opinion): http://www.representmag.org/topics/foster+homes/The_System_Hasn%E2%80%99t_Served_My_Family.html?story_id=FCYU-2018-04-04b
Also: Fixing Foster Care (Opinion): http://www.representmag.org/topics/foster+homes/Fixing_Foster_Care.html?story_id=FCYU-2018-04-04a
Also: Foster Care: A Weird Ride (Opinion): http://www.representmag.org/topics/foster+homes/Foster_Care:_A_Weird_Ride.html?story_id=FCYU-2018-04-26
Also: 5 Things Foster Parents Should Do (Opinion): http://www.representmag.org/topics/foster+homes/5_Things_Foster_Parents_Should_Do.html?story_id=FCYU-2018-04-16
OH: Historic Changes to SNAP Could Mean More Hunger in Ohio (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 18, 2018
Controversial changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are expected to be discussed as the U.S. House Agriculture Committee marks-up the 2018 Farm Bill today (4/18). A strict work requirement is among the proposals hunger-fighting organizations say could hurt already struggling Ohioans.
OH: Female inmates learn about support outside Lucas County jail
Toledo Blade – April 12, 2018
For several hours Thursday evening, she and other female inmates at the Lucas County jail learned about various health and social services available to them once they are released to help them get back on their feet. “I want to get better, I have children.Honestly, I kind of need to stop everywhere,” Ms. Gensler said, surveying the available booths.
TX: CASA calls for more advocates during National Volunteer Week
Beeville Bee-Picayune – April 17, 2018
There is an epidemic in our community. An epidemic that last year affected nearly 200 confirmed victims in Bee, Live Oak and McMullen counties and more than 64,000 children in Texas. This is the number of innocent children who were victims of abused and neglect at the hands of the ones they loved and trusted.
TX: Culberson Votes to Protect Children from Identity Theft (Press release)
Office of U.S. Congressman for Texas John Culberson – April 17, 2018
Representative John Culberson (TX-07) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5192 – Protecting Children from Identity Theft Act and H.R. 1512 – Social Security Child Protection Act of 2018. “Unfortunately, children are at the highest risk for fraud. With no credit history, our kids, particularly those under 14, are susceptible to criminals that routinely establish synthetic identities based on a valid Social Security Number (SSN) and a false name. ..”
TX: Mother of 4 indicted for interfering in CPS case
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal – April 17, 2018
Crystal Munoz is charged with a state-jail felony count of interfering with child custody, which carries a punishment of six months to two years in a state jail. Lubbock County prosecutors believe Munoz refused to return the children to state custody in December after she violated violated the terms of an agreement with Child Protective Services officials.
VA: Pittsylvania County Department of Social Services to undergo assessment after complaints
Danville Register & Bee – April 17, 2018
The state will step in to assess criticisms lodged against the Pittsylvania County Department of Social Services after several current and former employees have complained in recent months about a hostile work environment at the agency. The assessment will look at the county agency’s administration of public assistance programs, the agency’s child welfare services, financial performance, and human resources areas, Simpson said.
US: Improving the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Press release)
U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee – April 17, 2018
The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee met today to review the Housing Choice Voucher Program and three legislative proposals that would improve mobility among families, foster kids and individuals recovering from opioid addiction within the program.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Housing Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/housing/
US: Jay Berlin Named Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers
Chronicle of Social Change – April 17, 2018
Jay Berlin, who in 1978 founded the Northern California nonprofit Alternative Family Services, was named Public Citizen of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the country. The award is NASW’s top honorific for non-social workers, and goes to a person who has made “a significant contribution to an area or population of concern to the social work profession such as at-risk or vulnerable populations; quality of life in communities; social issues.”
Australia: Lost in a flawed system: Australia’s ‘stolen’ children (Includes video)
Aljazeera – April 17, 2018
A decade after Australia’s stolen generations apology the number of indigenous children in out-of-home care has doubled.
Fiji: 4566 calls received on Child Helpline
Fiji Broadcasting Corporation – April 18, 2018
The Ministry for Women and Children has received 4566 calls relating to sexual abuse through its Child Helpline from 2012 to 2017. Minister, Mereseini Vuniwaqa says of these figures, 2017 recorded the highest number of 1145 cases.
United Kingdom: Leading doctors call on government to ban solitary confinement of children and young offenders
Independent – April 18, 2018
Leading doctors have called on the government to abolish the solitary confinement of children and young people in the youth justice system, warning that it can have a “profound” impact on their health.
AK: National Child Abuse Prevention Month protects JBER youth (Press release)
JBER Public Affairs – April 14, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson members to increase awareness, protect children and strengthen families. “Many children suffer from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and neglect every day,” said Jennifer Frysz, 673d Medical Group Family Advocacy Outreach manager. “As a team, we need to do better to communicate and take proactive measures to prevent child abuse.”
AZ: Is KidsCare headed for another freeze? (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – April 16, 2018
Supporters of the children’s health insurance program KidsCare introduced a bill this year to eliminate a requirement that the state freeze enrollment if federal funding for the program drops by as little as a penny.
CA: California Bill Would Help More Foster Youth Claim Financial Aid
Chronicle of Social Change – April 16, 2018
A new bill in the California legislature, Senate Bill (SB) 940, would make it easier for foster youth entering college, like Mountain, by giving them greater access to the Cal Grant, a big source of financial aid to students in California that is rarely used by foster youth. It will extend the enrollment window for current or former foster youth until age 26 – the current cap is one year after high school graduation – and allows students to finish school in eight years instead of four.
Information Gateway resource: Educational Assistance: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-people/assistance/
CA: Should California force schools to reveal when teachers are accused of sexual misconduct? (Commentary)
Bay Area News Group – April 16, 2018
Among educators, it’s known as “passing the trash” – quietly releasing a teacher or employee accused of sexual impropriety with children without warning other schools that may want to hire them. It is an issue that has resonated in the Bay Area: Graduates of a San Jose girls school have accused administrators of allowing a former theater director who admitted fondling a student to get a job at another school where he later was convicted on sex charges.
DC: D.C. is misspending millions of dollars intended to help the city’s poorest students
Washington Post – April 14, 2018
The money is intended to provide extra academic attention and social services to boost the academic performance of children who lag behind their wealthier peers. But D.C. Public Schools uses a big chunk of the money to plug holes in the budget, covering routine costs such as paying the salaries of art teachers and aides.
IN: Bloomington paints the city blue for Child Abuse Prevention Month
Vidette – April 16, 2018
During the month of April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, communities are encouraged to increase awareness and provide education and support to families through resources and strategies to prevent child abuse and neglect. This April is the 35th anniversary as it was first designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month by President Ronald Reagan in 1983.
MI: Report: Number of black kids living in poverty dips
Detroit News – April 17, 2018
While Michigan continues to recover from the Great Recession, one group has lagged behind. The number of black children living in poverty has dropped but still remains alarmingly high, according to the 2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book. It has fallen from 48 percent in 2010 to 42 percent in 2016.
Also: 2018 Kids Count in Michigan Data Book: http://www.mlpp.org/kids-count/michigan-2/2018-kids-count-in-michigan-data-book
MN: COMMENTARY: Putting families first will help keep children safe
International Falls Journal – April 15, 2018
As more Minnesota families struggle with trauma, poverty, chemical dependency and the difficulties of daily life, children often suffer the consequences. Our child protection data paints an alarming picture. In just the past few years, the number of child abuse and neglect reports assessed and investigated is up by 25 percent, and drugs and alcohol are often at the heart of the problem.
MT: What works to prevent child abuse and neglect in Montana? (Opinion)
Missoulian – April 15, 2018
This annual campaign is more important than ever as Missoula and Montana continue to witness a shocking increase in child abuse cases, leading to a record number of children in state custody and significant burdens on local law enforcement, county prosecutors and the state Department of Health and Human Services.
NC: New Class action against Cherokee County DSS moves to federal court
WLOS – April 16, 2018
The class action lawsuit filed against Cherokee County DSS has been moved to federal court. The NC Department of Health and Human Services took over the agency several weeks ago. The lawsuit claims child welfare workers removed potentially hundreds of kids from their homes illegally.
NM: ‘No truly acceptable choice’ left for girl
Albuquerque Journal – April 15, 2018
Last summer, the Court of Appeals ruled she shouldn’t have been permanently taken away from her parents – at least not in the way the Lea County courts and state Children, Youth and Families Department did it. A Lea County district judge is now tasked with figuring out which family arrangement is least harmful for the girl: return to the parents she doesn’t remember or stay with the adoptive family.
NY: As Buffalo diocese prepares to pay victims, its primary source of money: parishioners
Angel Queen – April 16, 2018
The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone says donations to Catholic Charities annual fundraising drive are not being used to compensate clergy sexual abuse victims. But donations from parishioners throughout the diocese are used to pay insurance premiums and settle insurance claims.
NY: Our view: Time to rally around homeless youth
Erie Times News – April 16, 2018
Volunteers, service providers and experts battling homelessness in Erie County first began sounding the alarm four years ago. The ranks of homeless youth – kids forced to stay at the homes of friends or relatives, bed down in shelters, hotels or motels, or on the streets – were on the rise.
NY: The fight over pay and turnover at Child Protective Services
Buffalo News – April 15, 2018
Amy Allison worked as a Child Protective Services caseworker for seven years before deciding she couldn’t do it any more. She lasted longer than most. When she asked to use vacation time to ease the stress, she was repeatedly denied. There were not enough co-workers to investigate the unending stream of child abuse and neglect cases pouring in. “I left mainly for my health,” said Allison, 45.
OK: Red flags abounded at Oklahoma state Health Department (Video)
News OK – April 16, 2018
In late October we found out the Oklahoma Department of Health was in a jam with having overspent by $30,000,000. The Department had overspent for years and had run out of ways to shift money around.
TX: Study: Texas Foster Care System has High Teen Pregnancy Rate (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 17, 2018
Teen girls in Texas foster care are almost five times more likely to become pregnant than other teens, according to a new study. The “Fostering Healthy Texas Lives” report says the high pregnancy rate is jeopardizing teens’ health and education and puts them at high risk of having their baby removed by Child Protective Services.
Also: Report: Fostering Healthy Texas Lives: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5728d34462cd94b84dc567ed/t/5ad4aa001ae6cfce64d7316f/1523886600659/fostering-healthy-texas-lives.pdf
Also: For girls in the Texas foster care system, teen pregnancy is 5 times more likely: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/main-news/for-girls-in-the-texas-foster-care-system-teen-pregnancy-is-5-times-more-likely/1125594778
TX: Child Protective Services launches Alternative Response program in Bexar County (Includes video)
Fox San Antonio – April 16, 2018
For nearly ten years Child Protective Services investigator Nancy Velez has been investigating cases a particular way. She recently became a part of the Alternative Response team. “I was one of those that was very doubtful about it, ” said Velez. Velez says she soon realized those doubts turned into real results.
TX: How ‘Sherin’s Law’ Can Make Texas Children Safer (Commentary)
D Magazine – April 16, 2018
Two North Texas women are fighting to hold parents accountable for their children’s safety. Shanna Poteet Rivera, an advocate for victims of human trafficking, and Reena Bana, an investigator with a background in criminology profiling and forensic science, were both drawn to the case of Sherin Mathews, a 3-year-old girl found dead of “homicidal violence” last year in Richardson. The story of the adopted young girl from India echoed around the world, as allegations of abuse by her adoptive parents surfaced.
WI: Wisconsin to start family treatment court to address drugs
Associated Press – April 15, 2018
A new family treatment court in Wisconsin aims to help children by more intensely addressing their parents’ drug addiction. Kenosha County is launching a Family Drug Treatment Court, the Kenosha News reported . The court will have new substance abuse treatment programs for parents who’ve had their children taken into foster care. Parents will be required to routinely go before a judge to discuss their progress.
US: Child Marriage Occurs in the US and Threatens the Wellbeing of Girls and Boys Nationwide, UCLA Researchers Report
Newswise – April 17, 2018
Until now, there’s been inadequate information about whether child marriage is a substantial problem in the United States, or whether it’s a problem at all. According to a new report by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, approximately 78,400 children in the U.S. are or have been married. The study will be published in the June issue of Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Study: Child Marriage in the United States: How Common Is the Practice, And Which Children Are at Greatest Risk?: https://doi.org/10.1363/psrh.12055
US: ‘Does She Know Her Real Mom?’ The Complexities of Open Adoption
U.S. News and World Report – April 16, 2018
When I tell people that we have an open adoption with my daughter’s biological family, they tend to widen their eyes. Sometimes people ask in a hesitant voice, “So, does she know who her real mom is?” There is so much to unpack in that one question! I usually smile and start with, “Well, I am her mom, and I’m definitely real. And she does also know ‘M,’ her biological mother.” It’s understandable that people are curious. After all, the definition of practicing an open adoption has as many interpretations as there are adoptive families.
US: Indian tribes fear being killed off by opioid epidemic
Washington Times – April 16, 2018
While much of the country is suffering, American Indians are particularly reeling from the opioid crisis. Some tribes say it amounts to an existential crisis.
US: Parents in the Deadly California Cliff Crash Were Allowed to Keep Home-Schooling Despite Abuse Claims
Time – April 16, 2018
The parents who drove off a California cliff with their six adopted children were allowed to continue home-schooling them despite repeated allegations of child abuse across three states. The crash that killed Jennifer and Sarah Hart and at least three of their children, has become the latest high-profile case in which alleged child abuse coincided with home schooling. New details reveal that child welfare officials, who reportedly interviewed the family in 2013, did not pursue a case against the Harts despite their children being in violation of state home-schooling laws.
Also: Drunk, drugged and possibly on the run: The Hart family’s final days: http://wgno.com/2018/04/16/drunk-drugged-and-possibly-on-the-run-the-hart-familys-final-days/
AR: Jury finds former DHS worker guilty of sexual assault
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – April 13, 2018
Jorge Alcon, 71, faces from five to 20 years in prison, a fine up to $15,000 or both. Alcon worked for the state Department of Human Services as a program assistant and provided transportation and supervision for visitations. The girl was in foster care.
AZ: Open Hearts Family Wellness earns accreditation for best practices
AZBusiness Magazine – April 13, 2018
Open Hearts Family Wellness has achieved national accreditation from The Council on Accreditation (COA). The COA is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Founded in 1977 by the Child Welfare League of America and Family Service America. COA accreditation is an objective, independent, and reliable validation of an agency’s performance.
CA: Friends of the Children Hires Leader for New Los Angeles Branch
Chronicle of Social Change – April 13, 2018
Friends of the Children, a nonprofit that provides paid, intensively trained mentors to at-risk youth for more than a decade-long stints, has just named an executive director for their new Los Angeles affiliate. The hire, Thomas G. Lee, has previously worked with foster youth in Los Angeles County. Most recently, he ran the Los Angeles Youth Collaborative, a project of the legal aid group Alliance for Children’s Rights that is dedicated to coordinating other public, private and nonprofit entities to provide training, employment and other opportunities to foster youth between ages 16 to 24.
FL: Single parents, same-sex couples recruited in ‘critical’ need for foster homes (Includes video)
Orlando Sentinel – April 14, 2018
In the three years since, Arauz – who now lives in Orlando and teaches sixth-grade history at a private school – has fostered 10 kids, including one who has become his adopted son. And this year, the two joined a Central Florida campaign to recruit “nontraditional” foster parents for what has become a critical need.
Information Gateway resource: Working With Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Families in Foster Care and Adoption: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_profbulletin.pdf
FL: Child Marriage Banned in Florida After One Woman’s Story Inspired Change
Jacksonville Free Press – March 19, 2018
Sherry Johnson lived a very troubling childhood and early adult life. In 1971 she was forced to marry a Tampa church deacon who raped her and subsequently had six children by the man. Now, 47 years later Johnson is the hero and inspiration for a bill that had just passed in Florida, banning children under the age of 17 to marry. Johnson reportedly sat in the house gallery and watched as the bill swept through chambers 109-1.
KS: Taxes, guns and beer: How Kansas lawmakers could affect your life
Wichita Eagle – April 13, 2018
The future of a bill that would allow adoption and foster care organizations to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs remains uncertain. The Senate passed the bill. The House rejected it and voted to create a conference committee to find a compromise. But some lawmakers say the House may vote again on the bill. If they approve it, it would go to the governor.
KY: Advocates say state’s wrong to reject foster care payments to relatives
Bowling Green Daily News – April 14, 2018
When Logan County grandmother Kimberly Guffy agreed to care for her 3- and 5-year-old grandchildren full time, she did so to keep them out of the state’s foster care system. Now Guffy says she’s been prevented by the state from becoming a foster parent and receiving financial assistance, despite a federal court ruling that says she should be eligible. The situation has prompted her to file a lawsuit in Logan Circuit Court against the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to bring them into compliance with the ruling.
KY: Report: Kentucky child abuse rate second highest in the nation
Richmond Register – April 13, 2018
Kentucky’s 2016 child abuse rate – more than double the national average – was the second highest rate in the nation. Almost 20 of every 1,000 children in the state were abused, according to the “Child Maltreatment 2016” report released recently by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Children’s Bureau.
Child Maltreatment 2016: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/cb/resource/child-maltreatment-2016
KY: WATTS: April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Richmond Register – April 13, 2018
For most of us, Easter is a time of reflection, rebirth, and celebration with our children and loved ones. This year, Easter also began National Child Abuse Prevention Month – a well-suited season to discuss how our communities can encourage the healthy development of children in loving and supportive environments.
MA: Guest Column: Pinwheels focus attention on abused children
Daily Record – April 14, 2018
The spring Pinwheels are twirling again this year at the Kinney Building on Burbank Road. The Kinney building is the home of Wayne County Children Services (WCCSB) and the Pinwheels are to commemorate April as child abuse prevention month. WCCSB is the county agency that is charged with responding to allegations of abuse and neglect of children.
MI: How Michigan State’s culture fostered a sexual predator and masked assaults (Includes video) (Commentary)
MLive – April 12, 2018
What led the university to harbor a sexual predator for nearly two decades wasn’t one big failing. It was a series of institutional blind spots, miscalculations and cultural problems that created one of the biggest crises in the university’s 163-year history.
Also: Legislators submit plan to better protect kids after Nassar scandal: http://statenews.com/article/2018/04/legislators-submit-plan-to-better-protect-kids-after-nassar-scandal
Also: Lawmakers release Nassar-inspired bills to combat sexual abuse: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/lawmakers_release_nassar-inspi.html
MI: Part 3: Hard work of reunification often entails rehab, intensive home services
Arizona Daily Star – March 16, 2018
Research cited by a 2011 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report “specifically tie(s) poor post-reunification services to an increased risk of harm to children after reunification, repeat maltreatment, and high numbers of re-entries to foster care.”
MN: State training academy proposed for overwhelmed child abuse workers
Minneapolis Star Tribune – April 14, 2018
It would correct what many child welfare advocates see as a long-standing gap in Minnesota’s decentralized system for protecting vulnerable children.
MN: Child abuse cases inch upward, minority children over-represented
Minnesota Public Radio News – April 13, 2018
Earlier this week, Hayden and Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, stood with child protection advocates and several black parents at the Capitol to announce legislation they believe is part of the solution. The House and Senate bills seek to prevent “the arbitrary and unnecessary removal of African-American children from their families.”
MO: Missouri considers unprecedented addiction help for moms
Associated Press – April 14, 2018
The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that would extend Medicaid for new mothers struggling with addiction, a notable expansion for a state that did not expand Medicaid after the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.
MS: Planting Pinwheels: ‘Garden’ Recognizes Children During Abuse Prevention Month
Southern Miss Now – April 13, 2018
It sounds counterintuitive, Karie Chatham admits, but when the number of reports of abused children go up, it’s actually a good thing. Chatham and colleague Riley Herrin of the Kids Hub Child Advocacy Center in Hattiesburg teamed up with the University of Southern Mississippi School of Social Work to recognize abused children by planting a “pinwheel garden” on campus earlier this month.
ND: ‘Haven House’ to provide comfort for foster children (Includes video)
KFYR – April 12, 2018
It may look like an ordinary house, but it’s actually turning into a safe haven for children. “It’s helping to fulfill a huge need that we have in the community, and it’s not going to take care of the entire need, but it’s sure going to help a lot,” said Kathy Molland, foster home and daycare licenser for Williams County.
NJ: Licking County continues to set records for children in its care
Newark Advocate – April 13, 2018
The higher parents are on drugs, the higher the cost to care for their abused and neglected children. Licking County continues to set records for children in its care, and the needs of those children are greater than ever, due to the ongoing drug epidemic plaguing the state and nation.
NM: Breaking the cycle: Smart intervention can save young sex-trafficking victims (Commentary)
Albuquerque Journal – April 15, 2018
Now police, social workers, juvenile jail staff, nurses, etc. are receiving better training to identify what a child sex worker sounds and looks like. Where this teenager, historically, would only be labeled a defiant drug addict and left to largely figure out her own problems, deputies intervened and were able to build a criminal case. Her case included multiple suspects, prosecutions and work with advocates to other adults in the youth system to help ensure her success.
NY: Man headed to prison for threats to shoot CPS caseworkers
Post Star – April 13, 2018
A Cambridge man put on probation last year for threatening to shoot Child Protective Services caseworkers is headed to state prison after he was found to have violated the terms of probation.
OK: Tulsa experiment: Can investing in children early reverse poverty cycle?
Christian Science Monitor – April 13, 2018
Billionaire George Kaiser’s foundation aims to match tens of thousands of low-income families with the social services they need, from nursing and birth control to childcare and early education. The Monitor is following three families, and others like them, over the next year to see the challenges and opportunities that they encounter.
OR: ‘Punishment seemed unnecessarily cruel’: Hart family friend seeks change to honor children (Includes video)
KATU – April 13, 2018
A woman who says she was close with the Hart family has started a petition to protect children from the abuse she says the Hart children endured at the hands of Jen and Sarah Hart. The kids she says were “regularly punished” by the two women.
PA: Can Washington fix the opioid crisis? (Includes video) (Commentary)
Washington Examiner – April 15, 2018
For at least 1,200 people in Philadelphia last year, the pursuit of heroin and other opioids cost them their lives. Too many opioids in the body can make breathing slow or stop, causing overdose or death. In many of these deaths, the drug has been laced with fentanyl, an opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Just a salt-shake amount into the palm is enough to kill someone, and many drug users don’t know they’ve taken fentanyl, or that the hit they just bought contains a higher amount than the last time they used.
PA: Watson bill to help ‘grandfamilies’ affected by opioid crisis passes House committee
Buck’s Counter Courier Times – April 14, 2018
A trio of bills designed to help grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren passed the state House Children and Youth Committee. The family dynamic known as “grandfamilies” is growing along with the opioid crisis, according to Gov. Tom Wolf and legislators.
TX: 874 children in Bexar County waiting to be adopted
News 4 San Antonio – April 13, 2018
Hundreds of children in Bexar County are waiting to be fostered or adopted but local foster care agencies say there are not enough foster parents to keep up with need. Statistics filed for the 2017 fiscal year show 874 children were waiting for adoption.
TX: Attorney: Taking Hart children from their biological family was “injustice” (Includes video)
CBS News – April 13, 2018
Celestine’s attorney, Shonda Jones, told KOIN that she thought the fact that the children were removed from her client’s care after a single mistake was an “injustice.” She described the children’s aunt as a hard-working woman who would have been a good influence on the children.
TX: Go Blue! for Child Abuse Prevention Month
Freestone County Times – April 13, 2018
Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships among agencies, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, and the business community. Everyone in Freestone County is encouraged to become more aware of child abuse prevention and should consider helping parents raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment.
WI: Former foster parent pleads guilty to sexually assaulting teens in his care
Kenosha News – April 13, 2018
A former foster parent pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually assaulting foster children who were in his care and now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison.
WV: The ongoing work to keep children safe from child abuse in Smyth County
SWVA – April 13, 2018
The Smyth County Department of Social Services is joining with the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. According to Helen D. Holman, a senior social worker with the local department’s Child Protective Services, 39 children ranging in age from babies to 18 are currently in foster care and the agency is looking into 237 active referrals of abuse and neglect.
US: An Overlooked Approach to Child Abuse Prevention (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – April 16, 2018
There is no lack of research on the connection between pregnancy timing and child maltreatment. There is a strong association between child maltreatment and the mother’s age at the birth of the child.
US: 5 Groundbreaking Bills to Protect Child Wellbeing in the US
Independent Voter Network – April 13, 2018
Indiana’s SB0230, establishes that the division of Mental Health and Addiction is responsible for suicide prevention. It creates a mandate for the state to educate healthcare workers about how to cope with the risk of suicide through research-based training. Teachers are included in those who will be trained. Illinois bill HB0281 applies to medicine to treat mental conditions. Psychotropic drugs have evolved a great deal since the early days of Prozac and Xanax, but it is still important to consider whether they are necessary in treating children.
US: Editorial: National registry might have saved Hart children
Bend Bulletin – April 13, 2018
In reality, the six adopted children of Jennifer and Sarah Hart were the victims of mistakes just about everywhere they lived, and officials in one state had no easy way to uncover reports of problems in another. They should. There needs to be a national registry of child abuse investigations.
US: GOP rep.: ‘A lot of the attractive children are not making it to the border’ (Includes video)
Cable News Network – April 13, 2018
A Texas congressman suggested in a Thursday hearing that human smugglers target immigrant children based on attractiveness. Republican Rep. John Carter made the comment at a hearing about US immigration and border agencies in an exchange with fellow Texas Republican Rep. John Culberson and officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
US: Policing Matters Podcast: Responding to reports of child abuse (Audio)
Police.com – April 13, 2018
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. Police are among the people who are “mandatory reporters” of suspected abuse or neglect. Abuse can take many forms – from physical harm to emotional damage. One relatively unknown form of child abuse is Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is becoming prevalent in the United States. In this podcast segment, Jim and Doug discuss how police should respond to reports of FGM.
US: Hatch, Wyden to Hold Finance Hearing on How to Improve Medicare, Medicaid Response to Opioid Epidemic (Press release)
United States Senate Committee on Finance – April 12, 2018
“The opioid epidemic has devastated individual lives, families and communities across the nation,” Hatch said. “It is no surprise that one in three Medicare beneficiaries receives an opioid prescription, about a quarter of individuals with an opioid use disorder is covered under Medicaid, and more and more children are being placed in foster care as a result of the crisis…”
Bahamas: Child Protection Month begins with clarion call to report child abuse
Bahamas Weekly – April 13, 2018
As the Minister of Social Services and Urban Development the Hon. Lanisha Rolle formally launched Child Protection Month, she sounded an appeal to the public to report cases of child abuse. “Our social workers however, cannot advocate alone. They need the help of our communities. Isolation in silos will not advance children’s protection but a unified (effort) will,” she said. “The job of protection of our children is all of ours to perform. We need everyone who lives and works around children in any capacity as parents, grandparents, neighbors, health care professionals, lunch vendors, passersby on the streets to all join in the fight to protect our children.”
Also: Child Protection Month begins with call to report child abuse: https://thenassauguardian.com/2018/04/14/child-protection-month-begins-with-call-to-report-child-abuse/
Canada: Canada Kidnapped Native Children to ‘Kill the Indian’ in Them
Reason – April 14, 2018
One of the most disturbing and compelling works of investigative journalism this year, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation’s Finding Cleo unpacks generations of failed government policy and the toxic white paternalism that fueled them in both Canada in the United States, all in the quest to answer one question: Where is Cleo? What happened to the little Cree girl who was forcibly taken from her Saskatchewan family in the 1970s, exported like a product to the United States, and somehow lost to everyone who had known and loved her?
Also: Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/findingcleo
Canada: New First Nations child welfare agency aims to reverse decades of children being seized
CBC – April 13, 2018
Seven Mi’kmaq First Nations in New Brunswick have created a new child welfare agency aimed at preventing children from being taken away from their homes and families. The long-promised consolidation comes nearly 11 years after the death of Mona Sock, a 13-year-old girl who was placed in a foster home with a sex offender.
India: WB plans to set up child protection committees at villages
Press Trust of India – April 14, 2018
The West Bengal government has plans to set up child protection committees at the grassroot level to protect children from being abused, Women and Child Development Minister Dr Sashi Panja has said.
Italy: Jesuit report details asylum seekers’s woes in Italy
Church Times – April 12, 2018
The precarious lives of asylum-seekers in Italy are detailed in a new report published by the Centro Astalli, a Jesuit centre that offers support to refugees and migrants.
Also: Annual report on migration to Italy reveals increasing difficulties for those in need: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2018-04/refugees-annual-report-centro-astalli.html
South Sudan: South Sudan’s refugee flow is often a children’s crisis
Associated Press – April 15, 2018
The flood of South Sudanese refugees from the country’s 5-year civil war has been called a children’s crisis. More than 60 percent of the well over one million refugees who have poured into neighboring Uganda are under the age of 18, government and United Nations officials say. More than two million people have fled South Sudan overall.