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KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks monthly news about at risk children bringing attention to our most vulnerable citizens.

KARA’s reporting is a small part of the abuse suffered by children each month –  the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.

American states are struggling to find answers for better foster care, trauma informed services, child protection and ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.

Today, 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)

6 – 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

Invite KARA’s INVISIBLE CHILDREN CAMPUS program to a college near you or contact KARA for our Ambassador speaking program to your community.

ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN

AZ: Demand for Foster Care Grows in AZ, Nation (Includes audio)

Public News Service – May 31, 2018

As of 2016, about 17,000 Arizona children were in foster care, out of about 400,000 nationwide. Jaia Lent, deputy executive director of Generations United, says those numbers are only a small part of the picture. “For every one child in foster care with relatives, there are actually 20 being raised outside of foster care with grandparents or other relatives,” she points out. “So we really want to be supporting the children and the family if the child can’t remain with their parents, whether they’re in foster care or outside of foster care.”

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-31/childrens-issues/demand-for-foster-care-grows-in-az-nation/a62708-1

AZ: Foster care organization to move into larger space, hold more donations (Includes video)

3 TV/CBS 5 – May 30, 2018

The non-profit Arizona Helping Hands has been giving beds and other necessities to foster families for years. Last year, they gave away a record 2,908 beds and the organization continues to grow. Now they are starting a new chapter in a bigger, more centrally located space. The old Scottsdale location is only 8,000 square feet; the new location more than doubles that –18,000 square feet. Shufelt said they no longer have to turn away big donations because they have no room to store them.

http://www.azfamily.com/story/38313145/foster-care-organization-to-move-into-larger-space-hold-more-donations

CO: Why Counties Don’t Want Colorado To Raise Temporary Welfare For Its Poorest Families

Colorado Public Radio – May 29, 2018

A state plan to increase cash welfare for the first time in nearly a decade is meeting resistance from Colorado counties. Their objection lies not with the need for an increase, but how to pay for it. The issue for counties is the plan to fund the increase. The proposal would force counties to spend the allocation on cash assistance, rather than keeping it in reserves. Counties often store part of their allocation for basic cash assistance to help pay for other programs, like child welfare or childcare assistance.

http://www.cpr.org/news/story/why-colorado-counties-don-t-want-the-state-to-raise-cash-welfare-for-its-poorest-families

FL: All About The Kids

Ocala Style – May 29, 2018

Sadly, many Marion County children have endured traumatic and unstable family scenarios, which result in removal from their homes by the Department of Children and Families. Even in the best foster care situations, these children can still struggle with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Enter Royal Family Kid’s Camp (RFKC), a week-long summer camp experience for children ages 7 to 11 who have experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment.

https://www.ocalastyle.com/all-about-the-kids/

GA: Georgia still ranks among states where childhood is most threatened

Atlanta Journal-Constitution – May 30, 2018

In 2016, about 14 million American children under the age of 18 lived in poverty. Of those, 11.8 million lived in urban areas compared to 2.3 million in rural areas, but rates of child poverty are higher in rural communities. In Georgia, 33 percent of rural children live in poverty, compared to 21 percent of urban children.

Also: Report: Growing Up Rural In America: https://www.savethechildren.org/content/dam/global/reports/2018-end-of-childhood-report-us.pdf

https://www.myajc.com/blog/talk-town/georgia-still-ranks-among-states-where-childhood-most-threatened/kejiG6DzlQHAsdmTok288I/

HI: Maui Drug Court celebrates 18 years and 600-plus lives saved (Commentary)

Maui News – May 29, 2018

When the Maui/Molokai Drug Court was in its infancy, the program participants organized a holiday party for their families. As I walked in and saw over 200 children, I was overwhelmed. It became crystal clear that the help our community provides participants through Drug Court has a direct impact on the lives of their children – Hawaii’s next generation.

http://www.mauinews.com/opinion/columns/2018/05/maui-drug-court-celebrates-18-years-and-600-plus-lives-saved/

IA: Foster Care Needs Rising Due to Opioid Addiction (Includes audio)

Public News Service (PNS) – May 31, 2018

The number of children entering foster care has been rising across the United States over the last several years, in part due to the opioid crisis, according to children’s advocates who are using today’s (Thursday’s) observance of National Foster Parent Appreciation Day to point out that even more children are being cared for by grandparents or extended family outside the foster-care system. Comments from Jaia (JAH-yah) Lent, deputy executive director, Generations United.

Also: Information Gateway resource: Kinship Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/kinship/

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-31/childrens-issues/foster-care-needs-rising-due-to-opioid-addiction/a62710-1

ID: Drug Abuse Playing Larger Role in Demand for Foster Care (Includes audio)

Public News Service – May 31, 2018

As of 2016, about 1,500 children in Idaho were in foster care out of about 400,000 nationwide. The number of Idaho children in foster care has gone down over the past decade, but the opioid crisis is becoming a big influencer on the care system.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-31/childrens-issues/drug-abuse-playing-larger-role-in-demand-for-foster-care/a62717-1

IL: Linman hopes to bring ‘Open Table’ program to Monmouth

Daily Review Atlas – May 29, 2018

According to a brochure from the Open Table, “The Open Table trains faith, government, business, and nonprofit (organizations) to work together to transform their intellectual and social capital and personal networks into tools individuals and families experiencing economic poverty can use to develop and implement plans to have better lives.” The Open Table program is now in place, or at least in the development phase, in 28 states and the District of Columbia, and in over 180 global cities and communities, according to theopentable.org. The program uses a training system, titled “Open Table University,” to help those involved learn how to address the pressing concerns of the community and how to build a network of support for those in need.

http://www.reviewatlas.com/news/20180529/linman-hopes-to-bring-open-table-program-to-monmouth

IN: Mother who posted abuse claim on Facebook challenges statements in court

Pantagraph – May 31, 2018

The involvement of a state child welfare worker in a police probe into alleged child abuse by a Normal mother may have led to admissions that should be barred from a jury, according to arguments by the suspect’s lawyer.

http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/mother-who-posted-abuse-claim-on-facebook-challenges-statements-in/article_50b8530f-ff53-58a8-b37f-c0d4192be945.html

ME: Public hearing to be held on Maine child abuse deaths report

Associated Press – May 31, 2018

A Maine oversight committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing on a report about an investigation into the state’s handling of two cases in which abused children died. The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability presented findings to the Government Oversight Committee last week. The Government Oversight Committee’s holding the hearing Thursday.

Also: Report: Maine’s Child Protection System: A Study of How the System Functioned in Two Cases of Child Death by Abuse in the Home: http://legislature.maine.gov/doc/2315

http://www.bradenton.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article212241754.html

MT: Partnership aims to boost health care for addicted pregnant women in and around Billings

Billings Gazette – May 30, 2018

While details of the partnership are still forming, the goal is to help addicted women, especially from rural areas like neighboring American Indian reservations, navigate local health care services. Foster care placements have more than doubled in recent years, he said, and although Montana “bucks the trend” on opioid abuse, drug addiction in general remains a major problem in the state, and a shortage of treatment programs compounds the problem.

http://billingsgazette.com/news/local/partnership-aims-to-boost-health-care-for-addicted-pregnant-women/article_8f0908aa-6f21-53b5-8d42-35e04b7e1108.html

NH: DCYF struggles to improve, as bad news keeps coming

New Hampshire Union Leader – May 30, 2018

The extent of the decline in the state’s child welfare system will be made clear by a federal report that Ribsam expects to be released at some point this summer. A team from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently completed the first federal child and family services review in New Hampshire since 2010.

http://www.unionleader.com/state-government/DCYF-struggles-to-improve-as-bad-news-keeps-coming-05312018&source=RSS

OK: DHS questions oversight panel’s wisdom, wants extra 60 days to relocate vulnerable children at Laura Dester center

Tulsa World – May 30, 2018

The Department of Human Services questions an oversight panel’s wisdom in requesting a judge essentially shutter the Laura Dester Children’s Center despite the state agency asking for only an extra 60 days past an “arbitrary deadline” to ensure safe relocations of the remaining kids.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/dhs-questions-oversight-panel-s-wisdom-wants-extra-days-to/article_b185b069-2de4-5288-8e3e-76848472fadc.html

PA: Tips about suspected child abuse topped 47,000 in 2017

Tribune-Democrat – May 31, 2018

The number of children across the state killed from abuse dropped from 46 in 2016 to 40 in 2017. But both the number of reports of suspected child abuse and the number of cases of abuse substantiated by caseworkers continued to climb. Child protective services received a total of 47,485 allegations of child abuse in 2017 and caseworkers substantiated that 4,836 of those cases seemed to qualify as child abuse, according to data released Wednesday by the Department of Human Services.

http://www.tribdem.com/news/tips-about-suspected-child-abuse-topped-in/article_8401b642-647e-11e8-a651-3baadfa6b564.html

PA: Free college for foster care kids in PA? (Includes video)

WOLF-TV – May 29, 2018

A local community college president hopes to give kids in foster care an opportunity to go to college. Each year, only about 20% of those who do graduate high school move on to some form of higher education. If passed, a proposed bill would allow those in foster care to attend any state owned or related colleges, universities, and community colleges entirely for free.

http://fox56.com/news/local/free-college-for-foster-care-kids

TX: Report: 1,700 Texas foster youths ran away from state care in 2017

Austin American-Statesman – May 30, 2018

More than 1,700 Texas foster care youths ran away from state care last year, and at least 35 of them became victims of sex trafficking, according to a new state report. The latest statewide figures are slightly higher than in the previous year. About 0.8 percent of Texas foster care children were runaways, on par with the national rate.

Also: Report: Annual Foster Youth Runaway Report Fiscal Year 2017: https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About_DFPS/Reports_and_Presentations/Agencywide/documents/2018/2018-05-23-Annual_Foster_Youth_Runaway_Report_FY2017.pdf

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/report-700-texas-foster-youths-ran-away-from-state-care-2017/bAUnTCNL52wFcRy7ZuhICO/

VA: Keeping Kids Safe: Childhood Trauma and Resiliency (Commentary) (Includes video)

WDBJ – May 29, 2018

“I’m a big believer in trying to find sources of resilience child by child,” Dr. J. Eric Vance, a child and adolescent psychiatrist with Carilion, said. “Teaching them attitudes of positive outlook on life, and future mindedness, even building their sense of faith,” Dr. Vance said.

http://www.wdbj7.com/content/news/Keeping-Kids-Safe-Childhood-Trauma-and-Resiliency–483982501.html

WI: Baldwin seeks input on federal opioid legislation in Superior

Superior Telegram – May 29, 2018

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin listened as local officials explained the challenges of working with grant funding that isn’t flexible, the lack of local treatment options, and the strains the crisis is putting on budgets as a result of drug endangered children, foster care placements and mental health services.

http://www.superiortelegram.com/news/government-and-politics/4452554-baldwin-seeks-input-federal-opioid-legislation-superior

WV: W.Va. DHHR, others brace for federal lawsuit over foster care

Logan Banner – May 31, 2018

State Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch said Thursday that he’s bracing for a federal lawsuit, after he told lawmakers the same thing earlier this week. The Department of Justice believes West Virginia is removing too many children from homes, without ample support for them once they are removed, Crouch said Thursday afternoon.

http://www.loganbanner.com/news/w-va-dhhr-others-brace-for-federal-lawsuit-over-foster/article_2957cc61-5799-5523-8c22-d6ee56d13b37.html

US: Family First Residential Accreditation: Get in Line Before the Wait Gets Long (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 30, 2018

One key requirement of QRTPs is that they must be accredited by a national organization. This is a long process that should be undertaken as soon as possible because time to comply with the act is running out. Do not underestimate the effort it takes to achieve national accreditation. The time to begin the process is now.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/family-first-residential-accreditation-get-in-line-before-the-wait-gets-long/31028

US: Over 10,000 migrant children are now in US government custody at 100 shelters in 14 states

Business Insider – May 30, 2018

The US Health and Human Services Department said it was holding 10,773 migrant children in custody as of Tuesday – up 21% from the 8,886 it was holding a month earlier. The surge comes in the wake of the Trump administration’s new tactic to criminally prosecute every person who crosses into the US illegally, which requires them to be separated from any children they brought with them while they’re detained.

http://www.businessinsider.com/children-in-custody-trump-administration-immigration-zero-tolerance-policy-2018-5?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=referral

US: Victims of Sexual Abuse Face a Lifetime of Costly Problems

Psychology Today – May 30, 2018

Children who experience sexual abuse are at increased risk for problems across their lifetimes, including mental health issues like PTSD and depression; chronic physical health problems like diabetes, heart disease and an increased risk for acquiring HIV, and social problems including involvement in crime. Girls exposed to child sexual abuse also have substantially lower lifetime earnings than girls not similarly exposed. These costs quickly add up.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/prevention-now/201805/victims-sexual-abuse-face-lifetime-costly-problems

US: Trump admin: Parents must be fingerprinted to get back migrant kids (Includes video)

NBC News – May 29, 2018

In an effort to crack down on illegal immigration by minors, the Trump administration will soon require fingerprints from parents coming to claim their migrant children from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), according to senior administration officials.

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/05/29/trump-admin-parents-must-be-fingerprinted-to-get-back-migrant-kids/23446215/

US: US Scrambles to Explain Accounts of ‘Missing’ Children

Voice of America – May 29, 2018

The news first broke in late April during Senate testimony by an official of the Department of Health and Human Services. In the month since, it has generated increasing public outrage over “missing children” and “toddlers being torn from their parents’ arms” on Twitter comments with the hashtag #WhereAreTheChildren. And the story has given rise to some confusion. Here’s what happened.

Also: Will ICE agents be able to live with what they’re doing to migrant children? Will you? (Commentary): http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/california-forum/article212128019.html

Also: The Case of the Missing Immigrant Children (Commentary): https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-case-of-the-missing-immigrant-children

https://www.voanews.com/a/with-or-without-parents-missing-immigrant-children/4415174.html

US: Mr. Butts and the foster-care apologists (Commentary)

National Coalition for Child Protection Reform – May 28, 2018

There is an old Doonesbury cartoon in which Mr. Butts, the anthropomorphic apologist for the tobacco industry is testifying before Congress. I thought of Mr. Butts as I read a column by Naomi Schaefer Riley in which she tries to persuade us that, when it comes to whether it is harmful to tear a child away from everyone he knows and loves and consign him to foster care – well, the jury is still out.

Also: Will Placing Fewer Children in Foster Care Fix the System? (Commentary): https://ifstudies.org/blog/will-placing-fewer-children-in-foster-care-fix-the-system

https://www.nccprblog.org/2018/05/mr-butts-and-foster-care-apologists.html

INTERNATIONAL

Ireland: Irish Leader Apologizes for Adoptions That ‘Robbed Children’ of Their Identity

New York Times – May 30, 2018

or decades, Irish society stigmatized unwed mothers, pressuring them to give up their newborns, often in shadowy adoptions. Now, the Irish government, after years of inaction, has begun pulling away the veil. On Wednesday, it apologized after an inquiry into what some activists fear was once common: falsifying birth certificates to make it appear that adoptive parents were the birth ones.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/world/europe/ireland-illegal-adoptions-apology.html

Switzerland: Child abuse cases jump by 10% in 2017

Swiss Info – May 30, 2018

The number of child abuse victims in Switzerland rose by 10% last year, according to the latest statistics collected by the Swiss Society of Pediatrics (SSP). The most common form of abuse flagged was neglect – failing to provide for a child’s basic health and protection needs – which was reported in 38% of cases. This figure was almost double that of 2016.

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/domestic-violence_child-abuse-cases-jump-by-10–in-2017/44155758

 

AL: From Alabama To DC: My Experience Fighting For Foster Youth (Commentary)

Blavity – May 29, 2018

Many siblings enter the child welfare system and are separated. Some are sent one town over, while others are sent to the other side of the state. What many don’t realize is that when siblings are separated, the government sometimes doesn’t share contact information, or even schedule visits or reunification. The child involved isn’t told how to find their sibling once they turn 18, and they aren’t told where their sibling was moved to.

https://blavity.com/from-alabama-to-dc-my-experience-fighting-for-foster-youth

CA: For many homeless families, a tough choice: Separation, or a shelter bed?

California Health Report – May 29, 2018

When Sandra Cruz became homeless five years ago, she called a shelter asking for help. The shelter offered to put a roof over her head, but on one condition – her daughter, then 16, couldn’t come with her. Shelter policy only allowed children under 13. “They told me that I needed to send her to live with a family member, and then I would be welcome with my little ones,” she said of the Orange County shelter. “I said, ‘If I’m having a hard time, what kind of help will it be if I send her over to somebody else’s house and I stay here with the other kids in another place?

https://www.mercurynews.com/2018/05/29/for-many-homeless-families-a-tough-choice-separation-or-a-shelter-bed/

FL: ROBERT DOUCETTE: Everyday heroes support Volusia’s kids and families (Commentary)

Daytona Beach News-Journal – May 30, 2018

The Children’s Home Society of Florida is best known for helping children in the foster care system, so I thought I would be volunteering with kids whose parents were absent in their lives. To my surprise, that was only a tiny part of what was happening in my community. The bigger picture was the work CHS does to keep families together.

http://www.news-journalonline.com/opinion/20180530/robert-doucette-everyday-heroes-support-volusias-kids-and-families

FL: Column: Safe sleep and sweet dreams (Commentary)

Tampa Bay Times – May 29, 2018

Recently, National Public Radio’s (NPR) Morning Edition aired a story titled “Is Sleeping With Your Baby as Dangerous as Doctors Say?” The reporter argued that American pediatricians should abandon their current safe-sleep recommendations for all babies and instead give different bed-sharing recommendations to parents based on their individual risk factors. This is a perilous approach to educating parents on safe sleep practices.

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:VZC0_v5ISCkJ:www.tampabay.com/opinion/columns/Column-Safe-sleep-and-sweet-dreams_168670665+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-b-1-ab

IA: Confirmed child abuse in Iowa is skyrocketing. Here’s why. (Includes video)

Des Moines Register – May 29, 2018

Confirmed child abuse in Iowa skyrocketed 26 percent from 2016 to 2017, the most dramatic one-year spike in at least a generation. The explosive upturn in abuse findings has widespread implications for Iowa families, social workers, juvenile court workers, drug treatment providers and state leaders wrestling with a major budget shortfall.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/investigations/readers-watchdog/2018/05/29/iowa-child-abuse-natalie-finn-sabrina-ray-deaths-huge-spike-confirmed-abuse-cases/641048002/

MN: ‘This is our responsibility’: County explores revamping 24-hour crisis services

Woodbury Bulletin – May 29, 2018

Washington County Community Services is seeking to switch up its 24-hour mental health and emergency social services responses by moving contracted services back in-house.

http://www.woodburybulletin.com/news/government-and-politics/4449677-our-responsibility-county-explores-revamping-24-hour-crisis

NE: Nebraska efforts aim to strengthen care for troubled children, and ‘it’s working,’ Ricketts says

Omaha World-Herald – May 30, 2018

Nebraska officials on Tuesday celebrated some early successes of efforts to strengthen services and support for troubled children and their families. Results so far are shared.

Also: Gov. Ricketts, Behavioral Health Leaders Highlight System of Care Successes: http://kneb.com/regional-news/gov-ricketts-behavioral-health-leaders-highlight-system-of-care-successes-2/

http://www.omaha.com/news/nebraska/nebraska-is-working-to-strengthen-care-for-troubled-children-and/article_bba623d9-6c19-5cec-b0f2-82052ef50243.html

NE: ‘A quiet wave’ of grandparents in Nebraska are stepping in to raise their grandchildren

Omaha World-Herald – May 28, 2018

According to 2016 census data, more than 10,000 grandparents in Nebraska – 2,500 in Omaha alone – were responsible for grandchildren under age 18. That’s why five years ago, after conducting a community needs assessment, the Nebraska Children’s Home Society launched a class and a support group for grandparents raising grandchildren in Omaha.

http://www.omaha.com/news/social-issues/a-quiet-wave-of-grandparents-in-nebraska-are-stepping-in/article_9e8e7252-ddc1-5f4a-b66b-a2f6ca2b809c.html

NM: ‘A line in the sand’: APD, mayor promise review, changes after child abuse case

Albuquerque Journal – May 29, 2018

The Albuquerque Police Department says it has launched an internal affairs investigation into the department’s handling of child neglect and abuse allegations tied to a high-profile child sex trafficking case.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1177857/apd-launches-internal-affairs-probe-of-child-sex-trafficking-case.html

OK: Future SCOTUS ruling could affect jurisdictional issues

Tahlequah Daily Press – May 29, 2018

The boundaries for state, federal and tribal law enforcement agencies are intertwined, as many in Cherokee County are cross-deputized to provide public safety. Non-Indians may be subject to tribal court jurisdiction if they’re involved in a child support case wherein the child has been taken into custody by Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare for abuse or neglect. (Final in a 3-part series).

Also: Outside the lines: Cross-deputization allows agencies to assist each other, First in a three-part series: http://www.tahlequahdailypress.com/news/cross-deputization-allows-agencies-to-assist-each-other/article_f184fef3-b1b4-549d-b4ef-5f3fd8c55a96.html

Also: TEAMING UP: Cross-deputization allows cooperation between agencies, tribal marshals, Second in a three-part series: http://www.tahlequahdailypress.com/news/local_news/cross-deputization-allows-cooperation-between-agencies-tribal-marshals/article_d2a62aba-1aa9-5e42-936a-5c6e268a6558.html

http://www.tahlequahdailypress.com/news/tribal_news/future-scotus-ruling-could-affect-jurisdictional-issues/article_021433af-3805-5ee3-b81c-bdacda63b51b.html

PA: EDITORIAL: Lawmakers, you have action plan. Now act (Includes video)

York Dispatch – May 29, 2018

Stress fractures have been showing in Pennsylvania’s child-welfare system since 2015, when the Legislature’s overhaul of child protection laws fully took effect. They appeared in York County with a series of consecutive provisional licenses for the local Office of Children, Youth and Families, which came precariously close to a state takeover in 2016.

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/05/29/stress-fractures-have-been-showing-pennsylvanias-child-welfare-system-since-2015-when-legislatures-o/648569002/

TX: Help needed for Lubbock foster care system (Includes video)

93.7 The Eagle – May 29, 2018

Everyday children are taken from their homes to give them a protective and nurturing place to grow up. Unfortunately the foster care system that is supposed to take care of these kids is crumbling. Currently there are more than 3,000 kids in the system just in the Lubbock region. That number is up 77 percent over the last few year according to the Texas Boy’s Ranch.

http://www.937theeagle.com/story/38301642/help-needed-for-lubbock-foster-care-system

TX: Taylor County foster agencies kicking off Foster Parent Association (Includes video)

KRBC – May 29, 2018

Texas there is a shortage of foster parents for the number of kids coming into care. Taylor County is in need and typically has a higher removal rate. A group of foster agencies have decided one way to support the foster parents and families is by having a Foster Parent Association!

http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/main-news/taylor-county-foster-agencies-kicking-off-foster-parent-association/1207052677

WY: Department of Family Services mum on Casper juvenile detention center investigation

Casper Star Tribune – May 29, 2018

The agency responsible for investigating Natrona County’s Juvenile Detention Center won’t say whether it has done so in the wake of allegations a worker there sexually assaulted a female inmate. The Wyoming Department of Family Services oversees substitute care facilities in the state, including juvenile detention centers like the Casper facility, where a then-staff member is alleged to have groped a girl being held in the facility.

http://trib.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/department-of-family-services-mum-on-casper-juvenile-detention-center/article_e221b675-da79-58ef-9d03-f326ba90a226.html

US: 5 Ways Churches Can Support Foster Care (Commentary)

Outreach Magazine – May 29, 2018

According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, in 2016, there were 437,465 children in foster care, with 117,794 waiting to be adopted. The numbers may seem overwhelming, but with more than 300,000 churches in America, I am convinced the church can make a giant impact on the system. I have been thoroughly encouraged by the amount of fellow foster parents I know that are Christians. My hope is that I will continually meet more.

http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/service-features/30019-5-ways-churches-can-support-foster-care.html

US: Montini: Feds now say 1,475 lost migrant kids aren’t lost…but don’t know where they are (Includes video) (Commentary)

Arizona Republic – May 29, 2018

The federal government says the 1,475 migrant children who were taken into custody at border and can no longer can be located are not lost. They simply don’t know where they are. Wait… Isn’t not knowing the whereabouts of these children sort of the definition of lost? Or is the government rewriting the dictionary?

https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2018/05/29/immigration-children-separate-families-hhs-trump/654333002/

US: New Law Helps States Pay for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services with Federal Foster Care Funds

National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) – May 29, 2018

As a result of Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), for the first time states will be able to use federal Title IV-E funding to pay for services to address mental health issues, provide substance abuse treatment, and provide in-home, skill-based parenting programs for a 12-month period. Title IV-E provides funding for state foster care and adoption assistance services. States electing to fund these services under Title IV-E would receive a 50 percent federal match for the services from 2019 to 2026, and then the match would revert to funding by the state’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage.

Information Gateway resource: Behavioral Health & Wellness: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/

https://nashp.org/new-law-helps-states-pay-for-mental-health-and-substance-abuse-services-with-federal-foster-care-funds/

US: Trump’s ‘zero tolerance’ at the border is causing child shelters to fill up fast

Washington Post – May 29, 2018

The number of migrant children held in U.S. government custody without their parents has surged 21 percent in the past month, according to the latest figures, an increase driven by the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” crackdown on families who cross the border illegally. Although the government has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of the new measures, the Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that it had 10,773 migrant children in its custody, up from 8,886 on April 29.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-zero-tolerance-at-the-border-is-causing-child-shelters-to-fill-up-fast/2018/05/29/7aab0ae4-636b-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html?utm_term

INTERNATIONAL

International: Perry Ohren named board chairman of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies

Oakland Press – May 29, 2018

Perry Ohren, CEO of Jewish Family Service of Metropolitan Detroit was named board chairman of the Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies, an international association. The network was founded in 2017 with the combination of the Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies and the International Association of Jewish Vocational Services.

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/business/20180529/perry-ohren-named-board-chairman-of-the-network-of-jewish-human-service-agencies

Myanmar: UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Engages with Myanmar on Better Protecting Children Affected by Armed Conflict

Relief Web – May 29, 2018

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Children and Armed Conflict, Ms. Virginia Gamba, visited Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw from 27 to 29 May 2018. The objectives of the mission included discussion around identification of challenges for the full implementation of the Joint Action Plan to end and prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers; to discuss the importance of access to conflict and crisis affected areas of Myanmar, in order to undertake objective and impartial monitoring; to advocate for the adoption of the revised draft child rights law and to stress the importance of making child protection a key ceasefire and peace-building priority.

https://reliefweb.int/report/myanmar/myanmar-un-special-representative-children-and-armed-conflict-engages-myanmar-better

United Kingdom: This Is How Women Can Lose Custody Of Their Children When Courts Believe Their Abusive Ex-Partners (Commentary)

BuzzFeed News – May 29, 2018

Survivors of domestic abuse have called for a radical overhaul in the family court system after a report, released today, found systemic gender discrimination in the family courts is putting children at risk.

Report: Domestic Abuse, Child Contact and the Family Courts: All-Party Parliamentary Group on Domestic Violence, Parliamentary Briefing: https://1q7dqy2unor827bqjls0c4rn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/APPG-Inquiry-report-domestic-abuse-child-contact-and-the-family-courts.pdf

https://www.buzzfeed.com/hannahalothman/this-woman-lost-custody-of-her-children-after-the-courts?utm_term=.msaO49EXAn#.rwoKoYj20P

AK: Despite billing errors, The Arc’s mission has not wavered

Anchorage Daily News – May 26, 2018

Our organization allows individuals to access high-quality services and programs matched to their unique needs, where they are in life and their personal goals. Health care, independent living skills, job skills and employment placement, social and recreational opportunities, foster care support, transportation and specialized day habilitation programs are among our offerings for individuals and their families.

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/05/26/despite-billing-errors-the-arcs-mission-has-not-wavered/

CA: Santa Cruz project aims to ‘ignore no more’ youth homelessneses

Santa Cruz Sentinel – May 26, 2018

According to a Santa Cruz County one-day homeless census conducted in January 2017, youth and young people younger than age 25 make up an estimated more than a quarter of the county’s total homeless population. Some 98 percent of those counted were reported as living without shelter. Services for that population, local experts say, are virtually nonexistent in the county.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20180526/santa-cruz-project-aims-to-ignore-no-more-youth-homelessneses

GU: Let’s remain vigilant to stop cycle of child abuse (Editorial)

Guam Daily Post – May 27, 2018

Now that school is out, children are spending more time at home. The vast majority of homes on island are havens where children grow up healthy and happy. Unfortunately, there are homes where children are abused or neglected.

https://www.postguam.com/forum/editorial/let-s-remain-vigilant-to-stop-cycle-of-child-abuse/article_a86a1c66-5fd0-11e8-8734-f3aab8b90c90.html

HI: Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

Hill – May 25, 2018

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill into law on Friday banning gay conversion therapy for minors. “Sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured,” Ige said to LGBT youth during the bill signing. “We accept you and love you just the way you are.”

Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Youth and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/lgbtq/

Also: VICTORY! Hawaii Enacts Legislation Protecting LGBTQ Youth from Abusive “Conversion Therapy” (Press release): https://bit.ly/2sivwgI

http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/389472-hawaii-governor-signs-ban-on-gay-conversion-therapy

IL: Koritz announces initiative to improve process in county’s child abuse cases

Clinton Daily Journal – May 26, 2018

The DeWitt County Court will begin using a new resource in the most complicated cases of child neglect and abuse. Circuit Judge Karle Koritz announced that the Macon County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program has agreed to assign a volunteer to DeWitt County to assist in such cases in which the court must determine where and with whom a child victim of abuse or neglect may be provided with the best care.

https://theclintonjournal.com/article/koritz-announces-initiative-to-improve-process-in-countys-child-abuse-cases

ME: Report says DHHS failures preceded abuse deaths of 2 girls, but lack of details frustrates lawmakers

Portland Press Herald – May 24, 2018

State child protective workers failed to follow policies and procedures in assessing the placement of a young girl who died as a result of abuse last winter, the Legislature’s watchdog agency concluded in a review released Thursday. In the case of a second girl’s death, there were widely scattered reports of potential abuse or neglect, but information that might have led to a reassessment of the child’s situation and prompted officials to intervene was not shared at critical moments, according to the report by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability.

Report: Child Protection System: A Study of How the System Functioned in Two Cases of Child Death by Abuse in the Home: http://legislature.maine.gov/doc/2315

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/24/state-failed-to-follow-procedures-and-share-information-in-deaths-of-two-girls/

MI: Foster Parents Introduce Program to Keep Foster Parents, Caseworkers Connected

Chronicle of Social Change – May 25, 2018

When Jason Bays and his wife Nikki became foster parents in Michigan, they struggled to find a software system that would easily allow them to record their children’s daily activities and share those with caseworkers and other stakeholders on a child’s case. After struggling with a few software programs for a while, Jason, whose career is in IT, decided to create his own program, which they’ve used for the last two years.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news-2/foster-parents-introduce-program-keep-foster-parents-caseworkers-connected/31004

MO: Foster care legislation had broad support

News Tribune – May 27, 2018

Bills that sought to reform and improve foster care in Missouri were among those that received broad bipartisan support in the General Assembly’s session that just ended.

http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2018/may/27/foster-care-legislation-had-broad-support/728059/

MO: How can Missouri deal with out of control Medicaid costs? (Commentary)

Colombia Daily Tribune – May 27, 2018

Although the state of Missouri’s total annual budget is about $29 billion, its annual “discretionary” budget is about $9 billion per year. Out of that comes the funding for K-12 and higher education, prisons, various other services, the state portion of Medicaid and the healthcare program traditionally intended for impoverished women and children, the disabled and the elderly. Back in January the Trump administration informed states that they could require work or job-training requirements on childless adults without disabilities who are on Medicaid. It does not apply to pregnant women, the medically frail or disabled, primary caregivers, full-time students and former foster care youth. States must make a very specific proposal to the federal government of what they intend to do, as they seek a special waiver from the standard federal rules.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20180527/how-can-missouri-deal-with-out-of-control-medicaid-costs

MS: Judge: Number of Hancock County children in foster care down by more than 100

Sea Coast Echo – May 25, 2018

On January 1, there were about 389 children in foster care in Hancock County. As of today, there are 259, Hancock County Court Judge Trent Favre said, with a “very, very minimal recurrence rate.”

https://www.seacoastecho.com/news/judge-number-of-hancock-county-children-in-foster-care-down/article_a8829f84-607a-11e8-8374-2bc6f931d534.html

NE: HHS officials seek ideas for improving child welfare in Omaha area

Omaha World-Herald – May 26, 2018

Currently, HHS contracts with the nonprofit PromiseShip, formerly the Nebraska Families Collaborative, to manage cases and provide services for children and families in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The contract, worth up to $71.5 million annually, expires on June 30, 2019. Jennifer Brantley, an HHS spokeswoman, said the agency plans to launch a new bidding process for Omaha-area case management based on feedback provided through the request for information.

http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/hhs-officials-seek-ideas-for-improving-child-welfare-in-omaha/article_01b894a0-54b0-57e8-90eb-bb7a8c61a6b1.html

NH: Dave Solomon’s State House Dome: Foster parent bill survives

Union Leader – May 26, 2018

With 70 New Hampshire children housed in out-of-state foster homes, New Hampshire is clearly in need of more foster families to house and care for its most vulnerable youth. The state once had such a robust network of foster homes, that children could be matched to one based on a variety of criteria. Now, it’s a matter of triage, according to the state’s director of the Division for Children, Youth and Families, Joe Ribsam.

http://www.unionleader.com/Dave-Solomons-State-House-Dome-Foster-parent-bill-survives-05272018&source=RSS

NH: Lawyers for abused girls to get 40 percent $6.75M settlement

Associated Press – May 25, 2018

Lawyers for two young sisters who were sexually abused by their parents while in foster care deserve 40 percent of the $6.75 million settlement they reached with New Hampshire’s child protection agency, a judge ruled Friday. That amounts to $2.7 million for attorney Rus Rilee and two colleagues who have spent four years representing the girls and their grandparents, forgoing other clients and earning no income for several years.

http://www.tribtown.com/2018/05/25/us-child-abuse-lawsuit-2/

NJ: The push to ban child marriages in N.J. just stalled. Here’s why. (Commentary)

NJ.com – May 24, 2018

A last-minute religious objection derailed the final passage of a bill Thursday that would have outlawed teenagers under 18 from getting married in New Jersey. State Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-Passaic, told NJ Advance Media he had been approached by members of the orthodox Jewish community requesting the legislation allow for religious exceptions.

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/05/effort_to_ban_child_marriage_in_nj_stalls_over_rel.html

NY: For Women of Color, the Child-Welfare System Functions Like the Criminal-Justice System (Commentary)

Nation – May 24, 2018

Like the criminal-justice system, the child-welfare system overwhelmingly pulls in poor Americans, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color. Ninety-three percent percent of the 11,500 youth in the New York City’s child-welfare system are black and Latino. “Poor people are seen as out of place and in need of supervision,” said Andrea Morrell, a professor at Guttman Community College in New York City who studies criminal justice and worked in child welfare for many years.

https://www.thenation.com/article/for-women-of-color-the-child-welfare-system-functions-like-the-criminal-justice-system/

OH: Levy defeat didn’t end funding issue (Commentary)

Findlay Courier – May 26, 2018

It’s going to take more than just talk to figure out a major funding need of the Hancock County Department of Job and Family Services. It’s a problem, after all, that voters refused to fix May 8 and isn’t likely to get better anytime soon. The 1.2-mill property tax request would have provided $2.3 million a year for 10 years to help cover the still-rising child and senior protective care costs. But the matter was soundly rejected by voters earlier this month, placing the burden back in the hands of the Hancock County commissioners.

http://thecourier.com/opinion/couriers-view/2018/05/26/beyond-talk/

OK: With state contract ending, Marland Children’s Home to transition into therapeutic foster care facility

KVPI – May 26, 2018

On May 31, the facility’s contract with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services ends. Phillips is busy not only assisting the 16 young women at the home with finding a place to go, but she’s also trying to secure a new future for the 90-year-old facility. The plan is for the therapeutic group home for abused and disadvantaged teens to transition into a therapeutic foster care facility.

https://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/with-state-contract-ending-marland-children-s-home-to-transition/article_10315f66-56f8-5ac6-8218-b0e9de5344b9.html

PA: Child advocates talk about a new campaign called Childhood Begins at Home (Includes video)

Fox 56 – May 25, 2018

“Evidence-based home visiting reduces child abuse, reduces child neglect, improves family and early literacy, improves maternal health and child health outcomes and reduces poverty,” says Joan Benso President of PA Partnerships for Children.

http://fox56.com/news/local/child-advocates-talk-about-a-new-campaign-called-childhood-begins-at-home

RI: R.I.’s $2.8-billion in Medicaid spending a ‘worthwhile investment,’ report says

Providence Journal – May 25, 2018

“Medicaid supports children in state custody by providing health coverage while they are in care and encouraging adoption of children with special healthcare needs by providing on-going Medicaid coverage. Young adults who are exiting the foster care system receive Medicaid health insurance coverage until they turn 26 ….

Also: Report: Medicaid Matters In Rhode Island 2018: http://www.economicprogressri.org/index.php/2018/05/22/medicaid-matters-in-rhode-island-2018/

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180525/ris-28-billion-in-medicaid-spending-worthwhile-investment-report-says

TX: 50 Texas foster children slept in state offices, hotels in April

Austin American-Statesman – May 27, 2018

Texas children sleeping in state offices and other temporary living situations continue to plague the state’s child welfare agency as the number of specialized foster care homes diminishes.

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/texas-foster-children-slept-state-offices-hotels-april/EHDsyHDKSbk5cTl4gaR6aL/

TX: Lack of foster parents impacts teen homelessness (Includes video)

Fox San Antonio – May 25, 2018

San Antonio is experiencing an increase in the city’s homeless population including teenagers living on the streets. “The need is out there,” said Sarah Vasquez, area director for A World For Children. “We are at a capacity crisis in terms of there’s not a lot of placements for these kiddos.”

http://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/lack-of-foster-parents-leads-to-increase-in-teen-homelessness

TX: News Roundup: In 2017, More Than 1,700 Children Ran Away From Foster Care Placements (Audio)

Texas Standard – May 25, 2018

That’s according to a new report from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Deborah Fowler, Executive Director of the nonprofit Texas Appleseed, says that in any given year, about 6000 kids are arrested for running away. “We see a pretty significant overlap between the population of kids that are being reported as runaways generally and the number of kids who are running from foster care placements. ”

http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/news-roundup-in-2017-more-than-1700-children-ran-away-from-foster-care-placements/

TX: Texas Child Protection leader slams foster care pregnancy report

Houston Chronicle – May 25, 2018

The leader of Texas child protection is slamming a recent report that found high rates of teen pregnancy in foster care, calling the data “more sensational than factual.” In a sharply worded letter, Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Henry “Hank” Whitman Jr. accused the report of potentially making it harder for the agency to find homes for older foster teens by implying the girls are more likely to get pregnant.

Report: Fostering Healthy Texas Lives: https://bit.ly/2vy1b2R

https://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-Child-Protection-leader-slams-foster-care-12943710.php

UT: Before it’s over, May is Foster Care Month: Native foster families are needed

Indian Country Today Media Network – May 26, 2018

In the State of Utah, there are an estimated 130 Native children in state custody. However, with less than 20 Native foster and kinship homes, many of the children are not able to be placed with Native families.

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/social-issues/month-may-foster-care-month-native-foster-families-needed/

WI: Push to change Wisconsin’s ‘outdated’ teen mental health law

WBAY – May 25, 2018

“Once you hit the age of 14, they consider that, related to mental health, to be at the age of consent,” said Sharla Baenen, Bellin Psychiatric Center president. In Wisconsin, at 14, a child earns the legal right to decide whether he or she should be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

The Law: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/51/13

http://www.weau.com/content/news/483700251.html

US: 1,500 Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Not ‘Lost,’ HHS Statement Clarifies (Includes video)

International Business Times – May 29, 2018

The Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary, Eric Hargan on Monday, issued a statement that “the claim that the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) are ‘lost’ is completely false.” He said the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) voluntarily made calls in 2016 as a follow up on the release of UAC. This was to ensure that the UAC and their sponsors did not require additional services. This additional step which was not done previously is being used to spread misinformation, Hargan said.

Also: HHS official offers new explanation for missing immigrant children (Includes video): https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/29/politics/hhs-responds-to-reports-of-lost-immigrant-children/index.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/1500-unaccompanied-immigrant-children-not-lost-hhs-statement-clarifies-2685193

US: Lets recognize that foster care is a job-and pay accordingly (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – May 29, 2018

We need to think about recruiting a new population-people who would not think of being foster parents unless they were paid a salary so that at least one adult per household could forego full-time work. This might bring in people who want to work with youth and might otherwise seek a job in human services. It might include mothers or fathers who want to stay home with their own children as well as their foster kids.

https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/05/29/lets-recognize-that-foster-care-is-a-job-and-pay-accordingly/

US: Parenting Advice From Uncle Sam (Includes audio)

National Public Radio – May 27, 2018

So some women, like Alice Phelps, turned to Uncle Sam for help. In October of 1916, Phelps was living on a ranch in Wyoming and pregnant with her third child. In an act that must have felt like pure desperation she pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote a letter to Julia Lathrop, the director of a government agency in Washington, D.C., some 2,000 miles away, The Children’s Bureau.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/27/611683175/parenting-advice-from-uncle-sam

US: What the legal process looks like for an immigrant child taken away from his parents (Includes video)

Washington Post – May 27, 2018

There’s been an avalanche of grim news centered on young immigrants apprehended at the border with Mexico. On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union published a report documenting abusive encounters between young people and border agents during the administration of President Barack Obama. Last month, the government admitted it had lost track of more than a thousand children who had been placed with sponsors after being caught crossing the border alone.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/05/27/what-the-legal-process-looks-like-for-an-immigrant-child-taken-away-from-his-parents/?utm_term=.9034ca9462b8

US: Anti-Sex-Trafficking Advocates Say New Law Cripples Efforts to Save Victims (Commentary)

Mother Jones – May 25, 2018

They say the law does not address issues that truly contribute to trafficking: homelessness, poverty and a broken foster care system. Instead, SESTA/FOSTA drastically limits the tools available to those who survive in the sex trade, pushing workers further underground, into the streets and the dark web, where they are easier targets for those who aim to exploit the vulnerable.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/sesta-fosta-forces-sex-trafficking-victims-streets-dark-web-w520720

US: DHS Prosecutes Over 600 Parents in Two-Week Span and Seizes their Children (Commentary)

YubaNet – May 25, 2018

Following implementation of a “zero tolerance” policy by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), where migrants who enter without inspection are referred for criminal prosecution, a DHS official announced that 638 parents who crossed with children had been prosecuted in just a 13-day span this month.

Also: Must watch: Chris Hayes All In (Video) (Commentary): http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-administration-separating-parents-and-children-at-border-1242280003606

Also: Trump’s Crackdown On Immigrant Parents Puts More Kids In An Already Strained System: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/immigrant-children-separated-from-parents_us_5b087b90e4b0802d69cb4070

Also: Hundreds of migrant children are being separated from parents – and U.S. officials can’t keep track: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/25/us-officials-losing-track-of-separated-migrant-children.html

Also: Did the U.S. Government Lose Track of 1,475 Migrant Children?: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/1475-immigrant-children-missing/

https://yubanet.com/usa/dhs-prosecutes-over-600-parents-in-two-week-span-and-seizes-their-children/

US: Parents Treating Kids With Cannabinoid Oil Could Lose Them

Daily Beast – May 25, 2018

In April, a committee at the Food and Drug Administration took the unprecedented step to recommend for approval Epidiolex, an epilepsy drug containing a plant-sourced cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). In June, the FDA will vote on approving the drug, which has been shown in limited studies to be effective for those suffering from severe epilepsy. Maria Selva’s seven-year-old daughter, Aliana, has epilepsy and has found relief from seizures with CBD. But treating her daughter’s seizures with CBD has put Selva at significant risk, and she has mixed feelings about the FDA’s potential approval of Epidiolex. In October 2017, Child Protective Services charged Maria and her husband with “severe medical neglect,” and removed Aliana from her parents’ care.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/parents-treating-kids-with-cannabinoid-oil-could-lose-them

US: The Foster Care to Prison Pipeline: What It Is and How It Works (Commentary)

Teen Vogue – May 25, 2018

Fostered or Forgotten is a Teen Vogue series about the foster care system in the United States, produced in partnership with Juvenile Law Center and published throughout National Foster Care Month.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/the-foster-care-to-prison-pipeline-what-it-is-and-how-it-works

US: National Missing Children’s Day (Press release)

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland – May 24, 2018

Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division, announces the FBI’s continued support of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25th. Anthony states, “National Missing Children’s Day is a reminder to talk to your children about community safety and online safety. A few recommendations parents/guardians should discuss with their children are: who is safe to talk to online and in person; who is safe to get in a car with; what personal information should not be provided to others; why it is imperative that a parent or guardian always know a child’s location and who they are with; additional tips are available online at www.fbi.gov. The FBI will devote all necessary resources in order to bring a missing child home.”

https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/cleveland/news/press-releases/national-missing-childrens-day-thursday-may-25-2018

US: Understanding ‘The Full Extent Of America’s Child Marriage Problem’ (Includes audio)

WBUR – May 24, 2018

Delaware made history in May, becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban any marriage involving children under 18 years old. However, concerns about underage marriage have prompted discussions about why it’s still permitted in most states. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Fraidy Reiss (@FraidyReiss), founder and executive director of the nonprofit Unchained At Last, about child marriage in the U.S. and her own personal experience.

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/05/24/child-marriage-united-states

INTERNATIONAL

Canada: Teen mothers in foster care have high risk of losing custody of babies

Thompson Reuters Foundation – May 28, 2018

Teen mothers who are in foster care may be more likely to lose custody of their babies than adolescent mothers in different living circumstances, a Canadian study suggests. Researchers examined data on 576 teen mothers who were in foster care and 5,366 adolescent mothers who were not. Overall, the mothers in foster care were more than seven times more likely to lose custody of their babies by the time children were two years old, researchers report in Pediatrics.

http://kfgo.com/news/articles/2018/may/29/teen-mothers-in-foster-care-have-high-risk-of-losing-custody-of-babies/

Sweden: Swedish girls fearing forced marriage told to hide spoon in underwear

Thompson Reuters Foundation – May 21, 2018

A Swedish city is advising girls who fear being taken abroad for forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM) to tuck a spoon in their underwear before going through airport security. Airport staff in Gothenburg have been told how to respond in such circumstances, said Katarina Idegard, who is in charge of tackling honor-based violence in Sweden’s second biggest city.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-forcedmarriage-airport/swedish-girls-fearing-forced-marriage-told-to-hide-spoon-in-underwear-idUSKCN1IM1KU

 

AK: Despite billing errors, The Arc’s mission has not wavered

Anchorage Daily News – May 26, 2018

Our organization allows individuals to access high-quality services and programs matched to their unique needs, where they are in life and their personal goals. Health care, independent living skills, job skills and employment placement, social and recreational opportunities, foster care support, transportation and specialized day habilitation programs are among our offerings for individuals and their families.

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/05/26/despite-billing-errors-the-arcs-mission-has-not-wavered/

CA: Santa Cruz project aims to ‘ignore no more’ youth homelessneses

Santa Cruz Sentinel – May 26, 2018

According to a Santa Cruz County one-day homeless census conducted in January 2017, youth and young people younger than age 25 make up an estimated more than a quarter of the county’s total homeless population. Some 98 percent of those counted were reported as living without shelter. Services for that population, local experts say, are virtually nonexistent in the county.

http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/social-affairs/20180526/santa-cruz-project-aims-to-ignore-no-more-youth-homelessneses

GU: Let’s remain vigilant to stop cycle of child abuse (Editorial)

Guam Daily Post – May 27, 2018

Now that school is out, children are spending more time at home. The vast majority of homes on island are havens where children grow up healthy and happy. Unfortunately, there are homes where children are abused or neglected.

https://www.postguam.com/forum/editorial/let-s-remain-vigilant-to-stop-cycle-of-child-abuse/article_a86a1c66-5fd0-11e8-8734-f3aab8b90c90.html

HI: Hawaii governor signs bill banning conversion therapy for minors

Hill – May 25, 2018

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed a bill into law on Friday banning gay conversion therapy for minors. “Sexual orientation is not an illness to be cured,” Ige said to LGBT youth during the bill signing. “We accept you and love you just the way you are.”

Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Youth and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/lgbtq/

Also: VICTORY! Hawaii Enacts Legislation Protecting LGBTQ Youth from Abusive “Conversion Therapy” (Press release): https://bit.ly/2sivwgI

http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/389472-hawaii-governor-signs-ban-on-gay-conversion-therapy

IL: Koritz announces initiative to improve process in county’s child abuse cases

Clinton Daily Journal – May 26, 2018

The DeWitt County Court will begin using a new resource in the most complicated cases of child neglect and abuse. Circuit Judge Karle Koritz announced that the Macon County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program has agreed to assign a volunteer to DeWitt County to assist in such cases in which the court must determine where and with whom a child victim of abuse or neglect may be provided with the best care.

https://theclintonjournal.com/article/koritz-announces-initiative-to-improve-process-in-countys-child-abuse-cases

ME: Report says DHHS failures preceded abuse deaths of 2 girls, but lack of details frustrates lawmakers

Portland Press Herald – May 24, 2018

State child protective workers failed to follow policies and procedures in assessing the placement of a young girl who died as a result of abuse last winter, the Legislature’s watchdog agency concluded in a review released Thursday. In the case of a second girl’s death, there were widely scattered reports of potential abuse or neglect, but information that might have led to a reassessment of the child’s situation and prompted officials to intervene was not shared at critical moments, according to the report by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability.

Report: Child Protection System: A Study of How the System Functioned in Two Cases of Child Death by Abuse in the Home: http://legislature.maine.gov/doc/2315

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/24/state-failed-to-follow-procedures-and-share-information-in-deaths-of-two-girls/

MI: Foster Parents Introduce Program to Keep Foster Parents, Caseworkers Connected

Chronicle of Social Change – May 25, 2018

When Jason Bays and his wife Nikki became foster parents in Michigan, they struggled to find a software system that would easily allow them to record their children’s daily activities and share those with caseworkers and other stakeholders on a child’s case. After struggling with a few software programs for a while, Jason, whose career is in IT, decided to create his own program, which they’ve used for the last two years.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news-2/foster-parents-introduce-program-keep-foster-parents-caseworkers-connected/31004

MO: Foster care legislation had broad support

News Tribune – May 27, 2018

Bills that sought to reform and improve foster care in Missouri were among those that received broad bipartisan support in the General Assembly’s session that just ended.

http://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2018/may/27/foster-care-legislation-had-broad-support/728059/

MO: How can Missouri deal with out of control Medicaid costs? (Commentary)

Colombia Daily Tribune – May 27, 2018

Although the state of Missouri’s total annual budget is about $29 billion, its annual “discretionary” budget is about $9 billion per year. Out of that comes the funding for K-12 and higher education, prisons, various other services, the state portion of Medicaid and the healthcare program traditionally intended for impoverished women and children, the disabled and the elderly. Back in January the Trump administration informed states that they could require work or job-training requirements on childless adults without disabilities who are on Medicaid. It does not apply to pregnant women, the medically frail or disabled, primary caregivers, full-time students and former foster care youth. States must make a very specific proposal to the federal government of what they intend to do, as they seek a special waiver from the standard federal rules.

http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/20180527/how-can-missouri-deal-with-out-of-control-medicaid-costs

MS: Judge: Number of Hancock County children in foster care down by more than 100

Sea Coast Echo – May 25, 2018

On January 1, there were about 389 children in foster care in Hancock County. As of today, there are 259, Hancock County Court Judge Trent Favre said, with a “very, very minimal recurrence rate.”

https://www.seacoastecho.com/news/judge-number-of-hancock-county-children-in-foster-care-down/article_a8829f84-607a-11e8-8374-2bc6f931d534.html

NE: HHS officials seek ideas for improving child welfare in Omaha area

Omaha World-Herald – May 26, 2018

Currently, HHS contracts with the nonprofit PromiseShip, formerly the Nebraska Families Collaborative, to manage cases and provide services for children and families in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. The contract, worth up to $71.5 million annually, expires on June 30, 2019. Jennifer Brantley, an HHS spokeswoman, said the agency plans to launch a new bidding process for Omaha-area case management based on feedback provided through the request for information.

http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/hhs-officials-seek-ideas-for-improving-child-welfare-in-omaha/article_01b894a0-54b0-57e8-90eb-bb7a8c61a6b1.html

NH: Dave Solomon’s State House Dome: Foster parent bill survives

Union Leader – May 26, 2018

With 70 New Hampshire children housed in out-of-state foster homes, New Hampshire is clearly in need of more foster families to house and care for its most vulnerable youth. The state once had such a robust network of foster homes, that children could be matched to one based on a variety of criteria. Now, it’s a matter of triage, according to the state’s director of the Division for Children, Youth and Families, Joe Ribsam.

http://www.unionleader.com/Dave-Solomons-State-House-Dome-Foster-parent-bill-survives-05272018&source=RSS

NH: Lawyers for abused girls to get 40 percent $6.75M settlement

Associated Press – May 25, 2018

Lawyers for two young sisters who were sexually abused by their parents while in foster care deserve 40 percent of the $6.75 million settlement they reached with New Hampshire’s child protection agency, a judge ruled Friday. That amounts to $2.7 million for attorney Rus Rilee and two colleagues who have spent four years representing the girls and their grandparents, forgoing other clients and earning no income for several years.

http://www.tribtown.com/2018/05/25/us-child-abuse-lawsuit-2/

NJ: The push to ban child marriages in N.J. just stalled. Here’s why. (Commentary)

NJ.com – May 24, 2018

A last-minute religious objection derailed the final passage of a bill Thursday that would have outlawed teenagers under 18 from getting married in New Jersey. State Assemblyman Gary Schaer, D-Passaic, told NJ Advance Media he had been approached by members of the orthodox Jewish community requesting the legislation allow for religious exceptions.

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/05/effort_to_ban_child_marriage_in_nj_stalls_over_rel.html

NY: For Women of Color, the Child-Welfare System Functions Like the Criminal-Justice System (Commentary)

Nation – May 24, 2018

Like the criminal-justice system, the child-welfare system overwhelmingly pulls in poor Americans, a disproportionate number of whom are people of color. Ninety-three percent percent of the 11,500 youth in the New York City’s child-welfare system are black and Latino. “Poor people are seen as out of place and in need of supervision,” said Andrea Morrell, a professor at Guttman Community College in New York City who studies criminal justice and worked in child welfare for many years.

https://www.thenation.com/article/for-women-of-color-the-child-welfare-system-functions-like-the-criminal-justice-system/

OH: Levy defeat didn’t end funding issue (Commentary)

Findlay Courier – May 26, 2018

It’s going to take more than just talk to figure out a major funding need of the Hancock County Department of Job and Family Services. It’s a problem, after all, that voters refused to fix May 8 and isn’t likely to get better anytime soon. The 1.2-mill property tax request would have provided $2.3 million a year for 10 years to help cover the still-rising child and senior protective care costs. But the matter was soundly rejected by voters earlier this month, placing the burden back in the hands of the Hancock County commissioners.

http://thecourier.com/opinion/couriers-view/2018/05/26/beyond-talk/

OK: With state contract ending, Marland Children’s Home to transition into therapeutic foster care facility

KVPI – May 26, 2018

On May 31, the facility’s contract with the Oklahoma Department of Human Services ends. Phillips is busy not only assisting the 16 young women at the home with finding a place to go, but she’s also trying to secure a new future for the 90-year-old facility. The plan is for the therapeutic group home for abused and disadvantaged teens to transition into a therapeutic foster care facility.

https://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/with-state-contract-ending-marland-children-s-home-to-transition/article_10315f66-56f8-5ac6-8218-b0e9de5344b9.html

PA: Child advocates talk about a new campaign called Childhood Begins at Home (Includes video)

Fox 56 – May 25, 2018

“Evidence-based home visiting reduces child abuse, reduces child neglect, improves family and early literacy, improves maternal health and child health outcomes and reduces poverty,” says Joan Benso President of PA Partnerships for Children.

http://fox56.com/news/local/child-advocates-talk-about-a-new-campaign-called-childhood-begins-at-home

RI: R.I.’s $2.8-billion in Medicaid spending a ‘worthwhile investment,’ report says

Providence Journal – May 25, 2018

“Medicaid supports children in state custody by providing health coverage while they are in care and encouraging adoption of children with special healthcare needs by providing on-going Medicaid coverage. Young adults who are exiting the foster care system receive Medicaid health insurance coverage until they turn 26 ….

Also: Report: Medicaid Matters In Rhode Island 2018: http://www.economicprogressri.org/index.php/2018/05/22/medicaid-matters-in-rhode-island-2018/

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180525/ris-28-billion-in-medicaid-spending-worthwhile-investment-report-says

TX: 50 Texas foster children slept in state offices, hotels in April

Austin American-Statesman – May 27, 2018

Texas children sleeping in state offices and other temporary living situations continue to plague the state’s child welfare agency as the number of specialized foster care homes diminishes.

https://www.mystatesman.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/texas-foster-children-slept-state-offices-hotels-april/EHDsyHDKSbk5cTl4gaR6aL/

TX: Lack of foster parents impacts teen homelessness (Includes video)

Fox San Antonio – May 25, 2018

San Antonio is experiencing an increase in the city’s homeless population including teenagers living on the streets. “The need is out there,” said Sarah Vasquez, area director for A World For Children. “We are at a capacity crisis in terms of there’s not a lot of placements for these kiddos.”

http://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/lack-of-foster-parents-leads-to-increase-in-teen-homelessness

TX: News Roundup: In 2017, More Than 1,700 Children Ran Away From Foster Care Placements (Audio)

Texas Standard – May 25, 2018

That’s according to a new report from the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Deborah Fowler, Executive Director of the nonprofit Texas Appleseed, says that in any given year, about 6000 kids are arrested for running away. “We see a pretty significant overlap between the population of kids that are being reported as runaways generally and the number of kids who are running from foster care placements. ”

http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/news-roundup-in-2017-more-than-1700-children-ran-away-from-foster-care-placements/

TX: Texas Child Protection leader slams foster care pregnancy report

Houston Chronicle – May 25, 2018

The leader of Texas child protection is slamming a recent report that found high rates of teen pregnancy in foster care, calling the data “more sensational than factual.” In a sharply worded letter, Department of Family and Protective Services Commissioner Henry “Hank” Whitman Jr. accused the report of potentially making it harder for the agency to find homes for older foster teens by implying the girls are more likely to get pregnant.

Report: Fostering Healthy Texas Lives: https://bit.ly/2vy1b2R

https://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Texas-Child-Protection-leader-slams-foster-care-12943710.php

UT: Before it’s over, May is Foster Care Month: Native foster families are needed

Indian Country Today Media Network – May 26, 2018

In the State of Utah, there are an estimated 130 Native children in state custody. However, with less than 20 Native foster and kinship homes, many of the children are not able to be placed with Native families.

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/social-issues/month-may-foster-care-month-native-foster-families-needed/

WI: Push to change Wisconsin’s ‘outdated’ teen mental health law

WBAY – May 25, 2018

“Once you hit the age of 14, they consider that, related to mental health, to be at the age of consent,” said Sharla Baenen, Bellin Psychiatric Center president. In Wisconsin, at 14, a child earns the legal right to decide whether he or she should be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment.

The Law: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/statutes/51/13

http://www.weau.com/content/news/483700251.html

US: 1,500 Unaccompanied Immigrant Children Not ‘Lost,’ HHS Statement Clarifies (Includes video)

International Business Times – May 29, 2018

The Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary, Eric Hargan on Monday, issued a statement that “the claim that the unaccompanied alien children (UAC) are ‘lost’ is completely false.” He said the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) voluntarily made calls in 2016 as a follow up on the release of UAC. This was to ensure that the UAC and their sponsors did not require additional services. This additional step which was not done previously is being used to spread misinformation, Hargan said.

Also: HHS official offers new explanation for missing immigrant children (Includes video): https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/29/politics/hhs-responds-to-reports-of-lost-immigrant-children/index.html

http://www.ibtimes.com/1500-unaccompanied-immigrant-children-not-lost-hhs-statement-clarifies-2685193

US: Lets recognize that foster care is a job-and pay accordingly (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – May 29, 2018

We need to think about recruiting a new population-people who would not think of being foster parents unless they were paid a salary so that at least one adult per household could forego full-time work. This might bring in people who want to work with youth and might otherwise seek a job in human services. It might include mothers or fathers who want to stay home with their own children as well as their foster kids.

https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/05/29/lets-recognize-that-foster-care-is-a-job-and-pay-accordingly/

US: Parenting Advice From Uncle Sam (Includes audio)

National Public Radio – May 27, 2018

So some women, like Alice Phelps, turned to Uncle Sam for help. In October of 1916, Phelps was living on a ranch in Wyoming and pregnant with her third child. In an act that must have felt like pure desperation she pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote a letter to Julia Lathrop, the director of a government agency in Washington, D.C., some 2,000 miles away, The Children’s Bureau.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/27/611683175/parenting-advice-from-uncle-sam

US: What the legal process looks like for an immigrant child taken away from his parents (Includes video)

Washington Post – May 27, 2018

There’s been an avalanche of grim news centered on young immigrants apprehended at the border with Mexico. On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union published a report documenting abusive encounters between young people and border agents during the administration of President Barack Obama. Last month, the government admitted it had lost track of more than a thousand children who had been placed with sponsors after being caught crossing the border alone.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/05/27/what-the-legal-process-looks-like-for-an-immigrant-child-taken-away-from-his-parents/?utm_term=.9034ca9462b8

US: Anti-Sex-Trafficking Advocates Say New Law Cripples Efforts to Save Victims (Commentary)

Mother Jones – May 25, 2018

They say the law does not address issues that truly contribute to trafficking: homelessness, poverty and a broken foster care system. Instead, SESTA/FOSTA drastically limits the tools available to those who survive in the sex trade, pushing workers further underground, into the streets and the dark web, where they are easier targets for those who aim to exploit the vulnerable.

https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/sesta-fosta-forces-sex-trafficking-victims-streets-dark-web-w520720

US: DHS Prosecutes Over 600 Parents in Two-Week Span and Seizes their Children (Commentary)

YubaNet – May 25, 2018

Following implementation of a “zero tolerance” policy by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ), where migrants who enter without inspection are referred for criminal prosecution, a DHS official announced that 638 parents who crossed with children had been prosecuted in just a 13-day span this month.

Also: Must watch: Chris Hayes All In (Video) (Commentary): http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/trump-administration-separating-parents-and-children-at-border-1242280003606

Also: Trump’s Crackdown On Immigrant Parents Puts More Kids In An Already Strained System: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/immigrant-children-separated-from-parents_us_5b087b90e4b0802d69cb4070

Also: Hundreds of migrant children are being separated from parents – and U.S. officials can’t keep track: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/25/us-officials-losing-track-of-separated-migrant-children.html

Also: Did the U.S. Government Lose Track of 1,475 Migrant Children?: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/1475-immigrant-children-missing/

https://yubanet.com/usa/dhs-prosecutes-over-600-parents-in-two-week-span-and-seizes-their-children/

US: Parents Treating Kids With Cannabinoid Oil Could Lose Them

Daily Beast – May 25, 2018

In April, a committee at the Food and Drug Administration took the unprecedented step to recommend for approval Epidiolex, an epilepsy drug containing a plant-sourced cannabinoid, cannabidiol (CBD). In June, the FDA will vote on approving the drug, which has been shown in limited studies to be effective for those suffering from severe epilepsy. Maria Selva’s seven-year-old daughter, Aliana, has epilepsy and has found relief from seizures with CBD. But treating her daughter’s seizures with CBD has put Selva at significant risk, and she has mixed feelings about the FDA’s potential approval of Epidiolex. In October 2017, Child Protective Services charged Maria and her husband with “severe medical neglect,” and removed Aliana from her parents’ care.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/parents-treating-kids-with-cannabinoid-oil-could-lose-them

US: The Foster Care to Prison Pipeline: What It Is and How It Works (Commentary)

Teen Vogue – May 25, 2018

Fostered or Forgotten is a Teen Vogue series about the foster care system in the United States, produced in partnership with Juvenile Law Center and published throughout National Foster Care Month.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/the-foster-care-to-prison-pipeline-what-it-is-and-how-it-works

US: National Missing Children’s Day (Press release)

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland – May 24, 2018

Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division, announces the FBI’s continued support of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25th. Anthony states, “National Missing Children’s Day is a reminder to talk to your children about community safety and online safety. A few recommendations parents/guardians should discuss with their children are: who is safe to talk to online and in person; who is safe to get in a car with; what personal information should not be provided to others; why it is imperative that a parent or guardian always know a child’s location and who they are with; additional tips are available online at www.fbi.gov. The FBI will devote all necessary resources in order to bring a missing child home.”

https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/cleveland/news/press-releases/national-missing-childrens-day-thursday-may-25-2018

US: Understanding ‘The Full Extent Of America’s Child Marriage Problem’ (Includes audio)

WBUR – May 24, 2018

Delaware made history in May, becoming the first state in the U.S. to ban any marriage involving children under 18 years old. However, concerns about underage marriage have prompted discussions about why it’s still permitted in most states. Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Fraidy Reiss (@FraidyReiss), founder and executive director of the nonprofit Unchained At Last, about child marriage in the U.S. and her own personal experience.

http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/05/24/child-marriage-united-states

INTERNATIONAL

Canada: Teen mothers in foster care have high risk of losing custody of babies

Thompson Reuters Foundation – May 28, 2018

Teen mothers who are in foster care may be more likely to lose custody of their babies than adolescent mothers in different living circumstances, a Canadian study suggests. Researchers examined data on 576 teen mothers who were in foster care and 5,366 adolescent mothers who were not. Overall, the mothers in foster care were more than seven times more likely to lose custody of their babies by the time children were two years old, researchers report in Pediatrics.

http://kfgo.com/news/articles/2018/may/29/teen-mothers-in-foster-care-have-high-risk-of-losing-custody-of-babies/

Sweden: Swedish girls fearing forced marriage told to hide spoon in underwear

Thompson Reuters Foundation – May 21, 2018

A Swedish city is advising girls who fear being taken abroad for forced marriage or female genital mutilation (FGM) to tuck a spoon in their underwear before going through airport security. Airport staff in Gothenburg have been told how to respond in such circumstances, said Katarina Idegard, who is in charge of tackling honor-based violence in Sweden’s second biggest city.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-sweden-forcedmarriage-airport/swedish-girls-fearing-forced-marriage-told-to-hide-spoon-in-underwear-idUSKCN1IM1KU

 

CA: Assembly Signals Support for Emergency Hotline for Foster Kids (Includes audio)

Public News Service – May 25, 2018

A California State Assembly subcommittee voted Thursday to include in its budget a proposal to create a statewide hotline to help foster parents and children. The idea is to reduce the involvement of local police when there are confrontations between foster parents and children, who are often traumatized and may act out. Susanna Kniffen senior director of child welfare policy with the nonprofit Children Now says the teams could deescalate tense situations, intervening in ways that are helpful, not punitive.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-25/childrens-issues/assembly-signals-support-for-emergency-hotline-for-foster-kids/a62638-1

CA: Coding Boot Camp Gives California Foster Youth a Path to Solid Tech Careers

Chronicle of Social Change – May 24, 2018

Colmenares had always been fascinated by technology, but in foster care, opportunities to learn new computer programs were rare. The group home had restrictive policies around the use of electronic devices, he said. The facility had a computer lab, but it was usually locked because not many of the youth were interested in it, he said. This is the first time TXT, or any organization for that matter, is offering this kind of coding course exclusively for foster youth, said TXT founder Oscar Menjivar.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news-2/coding-boot-camp-gives-california-foster-youth-a-path-to-solid-tech-careers/30989

CA: California Trucking Association joins human trafficking fight (Includes video)

KCRA – May 22, 2018

They may find them at a children’s receiving home or a foster care home. They may find them at a restaurant. And yes, they may find them at a truck stop.” The California Trucking Association has joined a task force whose mission is to combat human trafficking.

http://www.kcra.com/article/california-trucking-association-joins-human-trafficking-fight/20877905

CO: Moved from school to school, fewer than 1 in 4 foster kids graduate. That’s worse than homeless kids.

Denver Post – May 24, 2018

The four-year graduation rate for foster kids in Colorado last year – 23 percent – was lower even than among kids who are homeless. And it’s getting worse. It’s now the lowest since 2013, which is as far back as researchers have studied.

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/24/colorado-foster-kids-graduation-rate/

CO: Community Partnership Project, Anchor House, Aims to Tackle Affordable Housing

ColoradoBIZ Magazine – May 22, 2018

It is projected that more than 200 young people will emancipate from foster care in Colorado in the next year. With that in mind and to address the need for affordable housing in the Denver metro area, Lutheran Church of Hope, Broomfield has partnered with Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains and Thrivent Financial to build a transitional apartment complex for youth exiting foster care without a permanent family. Called Anchor House, the building will be constructed in conjunction with Flatirons Habitat for Humanity.

http://www.cobizmag.com/Companies/Community-Partnership-Project-Anchor-House-Aims-to-Tackle-Affordable-Housing/

CO: Why some IPS schools are facing big budget cuts, and others are mostly spared from the pain

Chalkbeat – May 22, 2018

Youth in foster care have the lowest graduation rates in the state, much worse than homeless youth. One bill makes it easier for these children to make it across the finish line. It provides money to pay for transportation to allow them to stay in their home school, and it also provides flexibility in graduation requirements.

https://co.chalkbeat.org/posts/in/2018/05/22/why-some-ips-schools-are-facing-big-budget-cuts-and-others-are-mostly-spared-from-the-pain/

FL: How is Florida’s cash-strapped foster system finding success? (Includes video)

Central Florida News 13 – May 24, 2018

The number of children entering foster care is growing at a rate far quicker than any funding to help address the challenges. Florida spends less than the national average per child in foster care, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data compiled by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Florida spent about $292.70 per child in foster care in 2010. That’s less than the national average and less than states such as California and New York.

http://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2018/05/24/how-is-florida-s-cash-strapped-foster-system-finding-success-

FL: Report faults many, from judge to investigators, in tot’s cruel scalding death (Includes video)

Miami Herald – May 24, 2018

When the stresses of parenting five ungovernable youngsters became most acute, Christina Hurt reacted predictably, child welfare administrators say: She lashed out at her children. Sometimes violently. Multiple members of the child protection system knew this in the winter of 2016 when a decision was to be made on whether to allow Hurt to regain custody of the five kids, or to get custody of her then-newborn son, Ethan Coley.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/homestead/article211829689.html

GA: Sex Trafficking In ATL: What You Don’t See Behind Closed Doors

WABE – May 23, 2018

Atlanta – home to many things: the Falcons, Coca-Cola, CNN – and one of the biggest hubs of sex trafficking nationwide. This “modern-day slavery” is the second largest criminal enterprise in the world – second only to the drug trade, according to the nonprofit Out of Darkness. Every month, 7,200 men purchase sex from a minor, accounting for more than 8,000 sex acts. Another study by Georgia Cares claims that more than 90 percent of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking victims in Georgia were enrolled in school at the time of their exploitation.

https://www.wabe.org/sex-trafficking-in-atl-what-you-dont-see-behind-closed-doors/

MA: 25 Investigates: Missing and Forgotten foster kids (Includes video)

Fox 25 Boston – May 24, 2018

Abused, abandoned and forgotten: around the country, the foster system has closed cases while children are still missing. Boston 25 News spent a year investigating the failures of the foster care system and looking into the stories of children who go missing while in the foster care system.

https://www.fox25boston.com/news/25-investigates-missing-forgotten-kids-who-go-missing-while-in-foster-care/754278677

ME: OPEGA report highlights areas of concern for DHHS (Includes video)

WGME – May 24, 2018

While the “OPEGA” report didn’t reveal many specific details about the deaths of Marissa Kennedy and Kendall Chick, it did highlight almost a dozen areas of concern within Maine’s child protection system. The word of the day was frustration among legislators and OPEGA, with not many questions being answered, but within the report’s pages there’s a clear vision on what DHHS must do going forward.

Report: Child Protection System: A Study of How the System Functioned in Two Cases of Child Death by Abuse in the Home: http://legislature.maine.gov/doc/2315

Also: Our View: Report offers incomplete look at deaths of two girls: https://www.centralmaine.com/2018/05/25/our-view-report-offers-incomplete-look-at-deaths-of-two-girls/

Also: Watchdog report cites ‘poor job performance’ by DHHS in deaths of Maine children: http://wgme.com/news/local/watchdog-faults-dhhs-for-poor-job-performance-in-case-of-maine-childs-death

http://wgme.com/news/local/opega-report-highlights-areas-of-concern-for-dhhs

MI: Here’s what’s in the Nassar-related bills passed by the House (Includes audio)

Michigan Public Radio – May 24, 2018

More than 30 bills in response to sexual predator Larry Nassar are moving from a House committee to the full House and back over to the Senate today.

Also: State House Passes 27 Nassar-Inspired Bills: http://www.deadlinedetroit.com/articles/19900/state_house_passes_27-nassar_inspired_bills#.WwgDhCApA2w

Also: Sex assault prevention bills approved by Michigan House: http://www.tribtown.com/2018/05/24/gym-doctor-sexual-assault-legislation-glance/

http://michiganradio.org/post/here-s-what-s-nassar-related-bills-passed-house

MT: Montana’s foster care system sees foster family shortage (Includes video)

KECI – May 23, 2018

According to Montana foster care workers, 3,952 kids are in foster care, and they say that number is increasing. The problem is the number of foster families is not.

http://nbcmontana.com/news/local/montanas-foster-care-system-sees-foster-family-shortage

NH: Londonderry sues drug companies over opioid crisis

North Andover Eagle-Tribune – May 22, 2018

The town of Londonderry joined many municipalities across the country Monday, when it filed a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies that it alleges are perpetuating the opioid epidemic through marketing practices and should take responsibility for drug-related deaths.

http://www.eagletribune.com/news/new_hampshire/londonderry-sues-drug-companies-over-opioid-crisis/article_d24e62cc-9134-5c95-a14d-fdfea330568d.html

NY: Foster Youth in New York City: Survey Shows Indifference to Structured Activities, Severe Unemployment Challenges

Chronicle of Social Change – May 24, 2018

Nationwide, counties and states that manage foster care systems rarely conduct serious surveys of foster youth to better understand their needs and challenges. Thanks to a bill signed in late 2016 by Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City has changed that, and the results are in, and grim.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/foster-youth-ny-survey/30970

OH: Agency asks Hancock County for more money

Findlay Courier – May 25, 2018

On May 8, Findlay and Hancock County voters defeated a proposed 1.2-mill, 10-year levy that would have generated about $2.3 million annually for elderly protection, child protection and child care. The levy was defeated by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. While additional funding was rejected, the agency is facing increased demand for its services.

http://thecourier.com/breaking-news/2018/05/25/agency-asks-hancock-county-for-more-money/

OK: Philadelphia case shows need for Oklahoma adoption law (Opinion)

Oklahoman – May 25, 2018

We supported the legislation, believing needy children are better served by having many providers working on their behalf, and that there was no need to artificially restrict provider numbers. Same-sex couples can still adopt in Oklahoma; they just can’t use a Catholic organization.

https://newsok.com/article/5595819/philadelphia-case-shows-need-for-oklahoma-adoption-law?custom_click=rss

OK: Qualified foster homes needed in state

Tahlequah Daily Press – May 25, 2018

Foster Care Awareness Month is recognized each May. According to Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care, there are about 10,000 children in Oklahoma’s foster care system, and, on any given day, there are 150 children in need of a foster home. The Cherokee Nation claims that there are more than 1,550 Cherokee youth in need of qualified foster families.

http://www.tahlequahdailypress.com/news/qualified-foster-homes-needed-in-state/article_65d64e5b-aaa7-55ed-9f23-855313580c64.html

OK: Abuse and neglect’ cited as oversight panel asks judge to order Laura Dester children’s shelter closed by June 30

Tulsa World – May 24, 2018

An oversight panel unanimously asked a federal judge Thursday to essentially close the Laura Dester Children Center with an order for the shelter’s 13 remaining kids be relocated by June 30. The three contract monitors cite a “substantially” increased number of confirmed reports of special needs foster children being victims of abuse or neglect.

http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/oversight-panel-to-judge-order-the-laura-dester-children-s/article_a1708f85-fc40-5393-886c-7b8ae32f3068.html

OK: The need for Cherokee foster families continues (Commentary)

Tahlequah Daily Press – May 24, 2018

At Cherokee Nation, we continue to address the issues that have the biggest impacts on our people, including educational opportunities, health care coverage, homeownership and career development. These can affect generations of Cherokees and improve lives. One area we still are in dire need is foster and adoptive families for our Indian Child Welfare program. Our children ensure the continued existence of Cherokee values and heritage. They are our future.

http://www.tahlequahdailypress.com/news/tribal_news/the-need-for-cherokee-foster-families-continues/article_f871b8c1-bacd-5aa1-850d-ef42fe0283bf.html

PA: New push for an old idea: ‘Childhood Begins at Home’

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader – May 24, 2018

There were statistics, of course: 10,355 children in poverty in Luzerne County, only 475 of them getting help through four home-visiting agencies. Hudock was one of small crowd gathered at the Head Start center on Beekman Street for the launch of the “Childhood Begins at Home” campaign, an effort to raise awareness of four agencies: Early Head Start, Healthy Families America, Nurse-Family Partnership and Parents as Teachers.

https://www.timesleader.com/news/705364/new-push-for-an-old-idea-childhood-begins-at-home

PA: When foster care agencies discriminate against potential parents, the kids suffer most | Opinion

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 24, 2018

The Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) stood up for kids like Nicholas when it suspended referrals to two foster care agencies that reportedly deny LGBTQ couples the opportunity to foster parent, pending an investigation by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations. In making this move, DHS is rejecting discriminatory practices, for the benefit of foster children. Catholic Social Services, which has sued the city, can remain open – when it stops discriminating against LGBTQ families. For all youths, but especially for LGBTQ youths, refusing to allow LGBTQ parents to serve as foster and adoptive parents sends the wrong message and denies much-needed familial resources.

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/commentary/catholic-social-services-philadelphia-lawsuit-lgbtq-gay-foster-parents-adoption-20180524.html

PA: Rising number of addicted newborns puts strain on CYS (Correction)

Indiana Gazette – May 20, 2018

They are the youngest victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Statewide, nearly 2,000 children – 15 out of every 1,000 – are born each year with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The frequency has increased more than 1,000 percent in less than 17 years, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. And the numbers are even higher in Indiana County, where roughly 1 in 50 babies were born with NAS during the last fiscal year.

Also: Drugs may be fueling increase in CYS cases: https://www.indianagazette.com/drugs-may-be-fueling-increase-in-cys-cases/article_7650524e-6736-559b-8b82-067735b04a15.html

https://www.indianagazette.com/news/rising-number-of-addicted-newborns-puts-strain-on-cys/article_28cd8631-3a6e-51a5-b101-f6b4d76d0b18.html

TN: More foster families needed amid increase of middle Tennessee children in foster care (Includes video)

WZTV Fox 17 – May 24, 2018

The state of Tennessee has one of the highest opioid rates in the nation and perhaps the people most affected by this are children. There is a significant increase of children in the foster system with nowhere to call home.

Information Gateway resource: Diligent Recruitment: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/recruiting/diligent-recruitment/

http://fox17.com/news/local/opioid-crisis-contributes-to-increase-of-middle-tennessee-children-in-foster-care-system

WV: WV DHHR, others brace for federal lawsuit over foster care

Charleston Gazette-Mail – May 24, 2018

Not only is the head of West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources bracing for a federal lawsuit over the state’s handling of its foster care system, so are private agencies that help identify foster families and place children with them. Those agencies are contracted by the DHHR to help place children and receive regular funding for their work, said Gwendolyn Davis, director of West Virginia’s Office of Blueprints, one of these nonprofit agencies.

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/politics/wv-dhhr-others-brace-for-federal-lawsuit-over-foster-care/article_ea55692b-d699-5fde-a102-61cedbb9d01a.html

US: US bishops are complicit in our political train wreck (Commentary)

National Catholic Reporter – May 25, 2018

They noted that Kansas and Oklahoma join seven other states — Virginia, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas — in enacting such laws and that “these laws do not exclude any providers or prohibit anyone from adopting but merely ensure the inclusion of faith-based providers.” This is a close call. I remember the pain felt in the Boston Archdiocese when Catholic Charities had to stop doing adoptions because the state refused to relent on their demand that all providers accept all parent-applicants, and the Holy See refused to budge in its insistence that it could never be in the best interest of the child to place a child with a same-sex couple.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/distinctly-catholic/us-bishops-are-complicit-our-political-train-wreck

US: Advancing ACF Priorities with National, State, County and Local Partners

Administration for Children and Families – May 24, 2018

Current ACF priorities provide opportunities for alignment and major reforms across our programs. ACF has prioritized the importance of work and returning the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to its original intent. Child support programs are now encouraged to focus resources to serve non-custodial fathers and move them to employment. We are identifying innovative strategies that states and communities are using to engage families, especially those implementing Medicaid waivers to ensure that needs of recipients match resources in the community.

https://www.acf.hhs.gov/blog/2018/05/advancing-acf-priorities-with-national-state-county-and-local-partners

US: Congress Introduces Resolution to End Violence Against Children Worldwide

Ending Violence Against Children Taskforce/ChildFund International (Press release) – May 24, 2018

The Ending Violence Against Children Taskforce commends Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) for today introducing H. Res. 910, which calls for increasing and improving the United States Government’s efforts to end violence against children. Written with input by the Taskforce, the resolution condemns all forms of violence against children and youth globally – including physical, mental, and sexual violence, neglect, abuse, maltreatment and exploitation.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180524006384/en/

US: Senate GOPers, Democrats Can’t Agree on Immigration Loopholes

Hedge – May 24, 2018

At issue is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which was designed to protect children from trafficking. Trump and many Republicans contend the well-intentioned law has led to a crisis of unaccompanied children from Central America arriving at the southwest border.

https://hedgeaccordingly.com/2018/05/senate-gopers-democrats-cant-agree-on-immigration-loopholes/

INTERNATIONAL

International: What Foster Youth Need: Radical Human Connection

International Youth Foundation – May 24, 2018

Omaha, Nebraska, is a long way from Buenos Aires, Argentina, but for two former foster youth who traveled from America’s heartland to Latin America’s third largest city, the trip revealed just how much they share in common with their distant peers.

https://www.iyfnet.org/blog/what-foster-youth-need-radical-human-connection

Jamaica: Jamaican Adventists To Release Child Protection Manual to Protect Against Sexual Predators in Church

Adventist Today – May 24, 2018

The Adventist Church in Jamaica is planning to release a child protection policy manual for use in the denomination’s churches, schools and institutions. A key focus of the manual will be the screening of volunteers and workers who work with children. Plans are for the document to be released before the end of the year.

Also: Church prepares for implementation of Child Protection Policy: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/church-prepares-for-implementation-of-child-protection-policy_132063?profile=1373

https://atoday.org/jamaican-adventists-to-release-child-protection-manual-to-protect-against-sexual-predators-in-church/

 

AZ: Arizona Department Of Child Safety Empowers Caseworkers With Diona (Press release)

Diona – May 22, 2018

Diona (www.diona.com), a global provider of enterprise mobility software for government Health and Human Services agencies, today announced the results of its CIO 100 Award-winning work with the Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) to integrate Diona Mobility into its case management system. DCS deployed a “mobile first” strategy based on Diona Mobility solutions that has improved caseworker efficiency by 20 percent and is projected to save $18.7 million annually, allowing more than 1,400 caseworkers to access real-time data and information in the field.

Also: Diona Case Study: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5846e0d2b8a79b9769d88124/t/5af5a50e6d2a733614c934c0/1526633482548/Diona_Case_Study_Arizona_Dept_of_Child_Safety.pdf

http://www.wtol.com/story/38247609/arizona-department-of-child-safety-empowers-caseworkers-with-diona

CA: County to transform juvenile probation camp

Our Weekly – May 24, 2018

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has taken took a step toward turning the recently decommissioned Probation Camp Gonzales into a groundbreaking residential career and educational training center for young men aged 18-25. The facility will feature a live-in career training program where the participants, who have formerly been supervised by probation, involved in foster care, and/or are homeless, will have a job waiting for them upon successful completion of the program.

http://ourweekly.com/news/2018/may/24/county-transform-juvenile-probation-camp/

CA: Angels Foster Care Looking to Expand Its Network of Families to Help Meet Demand

Noozhawk – May 23, 2018

At any given time, about 100 of Santa Barbara County’s children younger than 5 need foster homes. Angels Foster Care volunteers provide for 20 of them, but the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization would like to expand its volunteer force to help meet more children’s needs.

Information Gateway resource: Recruitment Strategies and Tools: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/recruiting/recruitment-tools/

https://www.noozhawk.com/article/angels_foster_care_story_2_hutton_parker_foundation-20180523

CA: California Considers a “Bat-Signal” for Foster Youth in Distress

Chronicle of Social Change – May 23, 2018

Cooper said a hotline operated by those who understand foster youth, such as the one proposed in the California legislature earlier this year, would have helped her and others who encounter abusive caregivers. It could also help caregivers reach out for help.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/california-considers-a-bat-signal-for-foster-youth-in-distress/30903

CA: Students Missing Class Is A Red Alert – But Researchers Say They Have A New Tool To Address The School-Absence Problem

Capital Public Radio (Sacramento State) – May 22, 2018

Educators consider chronic absenteeism a red alert – a blaring sign that a student might be academically at risk. But schools and parents now have a new tool to investigate the problem, in the form of open-source data collected by UC Davis and research partners Attendance Works and Children Now.

Also: Report: Seize the Data Opportunity in California: Using Chronic Absence to Improve Educational Outcomes: http://www.attendanceworks.org/policy/state-education-policy/california/seize-the-data-opportunity-in-california/

http://www.capradio.org/114988

CO: After Aging Out Of Child Welfare, Foster Youth Face Homelessness And Other Challenges (Includes audio)

Colorado Public Radio – May 23, 2018

There are kids in the foster care system who are never adopted, or placed back with their families and relatives. When they start aging out at 17, they’re often alone in the world: No home, no family, little support. Over the last five years, more than 1,500 people between the ages of 17 and 21 aged out of the Colorado foster care system, and often ended up homeless or incarcerated.

http://www.cpr.org/news/story/after-aging-out-of-child-welfare-foster-youth-face-homelessness-and-other-challenges

CO: Our view: Routt County needs more foster families

Steamboat Pilot & Today – May 23, 2018

During the month of May – National Foster Care Month – officials with the Routt County Department of Human Services are encouraging area residents to consider becoming foster parents. In a May 14 article in the Steamboat Pilot & Today, Lauren Rising, the county’s foster care coordinator, said there are currently four active foster families in Routt County with two on the way to becoming certified, and there is a need for more.

https://www.steamboattoday.com/news/our-view-routt-county-needs-more-foster-families/

CO: Sudden Closure Of Adoption Agency Leaves Dozens Of Families In Limbo

CBS4 Denver – May 23, 2018

After the agency closed, CBS4 found Adoptions by Heart actually had several complaints made against them with the Colorado Department of Human Services. Minna Castillo-Cohen is the Director of DHS’ Division of Child Welfare, the unit tasked with looking into each issue. Twenty-eight families lost thousands of dollars and countless hours because of that closure.

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2018/05/23/adoption-agency-closure-limbo/

IN: The Opioid Crisis in the Classroom (Includes video)

My Wabash Valley – May 24, 2018

The opioid crisis is not new to the Wabash Valley; and the number of abusers and deaths are climbing. “This has kind of come to a head in our society. This has been snow balling for a long time with adults,” Rick Stevens, Assistant Director of Student Services at the Vigo County School Corporation. And when it impacts adults, it also effects kids and in turn the school system.

http://www.mywabashvalley.com/news/the-opioid-crisis-in-the-classroom/1195837054

KS: Kansas steps up scrutiny of foster care contractor keeping kids in offices overnight

Kansas City Star – May 23, 2018

“Recently, Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel directed DCF staff to conduct walk-throughs of KVC offices in order to ensure children in the custody of the Secretary are safe and meeting the needs of the children,” the state agency said in a statement. “DCF continues to partner with its providers to address the need for safe placements for children.”

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article211751224.html

LA: DCFS launches new foster parent recruitment campaign

KSLA – May 23, 2018

he month of May is designated as National Foster Care month and the Department of Children and Family Services is launching a new foster parent campaign. Last year, DCFS served 7,868 children in foster care, with an average of 4683 children in care each month, according to a news release. However, only about 2,250 certified foster homes were in Louisiana. Roughly a third of children in the foster care system were reunited with their families.

http://www.ksla.com/story/38261714/dcfs-launches-new-foster-parent-recruitment-campaign

MI: Coaches will not be manadatory reporters in proposed changes to Nassar-inspired legislation

MLive – May 23, 2018

The House Law and Justice Committee will not expand mandatory reporters to include sports coaches, chair Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Twp., announced Tuesday. The issue came up in a slew of legislation inspired by the scandal surrounding ex-Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually abused hundreds of women and girls, often under the guise of providing medical treatment.

Also: The Latest: Michigan House panel passes Nassar legislation: http://www.tribtown.com/2018/05/23/gym-doctor-sexual-assault-legislation-the-latest/

Also: Scaled-back Nassar-inspired bills approved by House panel: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/05/scaled-back_nassar-inspired_bi.html

Also: Michigan House changes Nassar bills after legal settlement: https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/michigan-house-nassar-bills-legal-settlement-55356127

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/05/coaches_will_not_be_manadatory.html

MT: Montana’s foster care system sees foster family shortage (Includes video)

KECI – May 23, 2018

According to Montana foster care workers, 3,952 kids are in foster care, and they say that number is increasing. The problem is the number of foster families is not.

http://nbcmontana.com/news/local/montanas-foster-care-system-sees-foster-family-shortage

NC: Families in Crisis: Cherokee County DSS ignores state law, rips families apart (Includes video)

WLOS – May 23, 2018

What the North Carolina Health and Human Service Department now calls illegal agreements let one mountain county take custody of a hundred kids from their parents.

http://wlos.com/news/local/news-13-investigates-dss-families-in-crisis-cherokee-county

ND: Hand in hand: ND juvenile court relies on work with schools, nonprofits

Bismarck Tribune – May 23, 2018

Housing about 50 youth committed to custody of the state’s Division of Juvenile Services, the YCC in Mandan works with a sliver of those referred to juvenile court in North Dakota. The co-ed campus emphasizes structure through education and physical activity and a relational, individualized model of treatment for the kids who stay there, usually for an average of seven months.

https://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/hand-in-hand-nd-juvenile-court-relies-on-work-with/article_1ec7b2ce-862d-5297-b2c5-d8dccbdc3d1e.html

NE: Nebraska Uses Tech to Link Churchgoers to Child Welfare

Chronicle of Social Change – May 23, 2018

Many times, people express interest in helping at-risk families or kids in foster care, but they aren’t necessarily prepared to become a foster parent. In Nebraska, a new partnership is helping connect individuals in the faith community with families that may be struggling in their own community to offer assistance such as furniture and household items or help with rent and other expenses related to raising children.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/nebraska-uses-tech-link-churchgoers-child-welfare/30930

NY: De Blasio’s Foster Care System Looks Ahead in the Wake of Spats with Letitia James

Chronicle of Social Change – May 22, 2018

Like most foster care systems, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s in New York City is plagued by grim outcomes for foster youth: Many develop mental health conditions, only about half finish high school, and one in five enter a homeless shelter within three years of leaving care.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/bill-de-blasio-foster-letitia-james/30922

OH: Unions hesitate to report teachers shoving students, using racial slurs, edited ‘undercover’ videos suggest

Cleveland.com – May 22, 2018

Ohio teachers unions don’t automatically report teachers that give students bloody noses or use racial slurs, officials of three local unions say on hidden-camera videotape released Tuesday. Teachers unions say the videos were “doctored,” noting that there are multiple cuts in the videos that make it hard to tell exactly what questions the local officials are responding to. They also stress that while teachers unions are required by law to report incidents of child abuse, they were never given details of any specific case when the videos were made, and that they also have an obligation to represent their members to make sure due process is followed.

https://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/05/teachers_unions_dont_always_report_shoving_students_or_using_racial_slurs_undercover_and_edited_videos_suggest.html

PA: Auditor general action plan resonates with York County child welfare specialists

York Dispatch – May 23, 2018

In September, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released a special report titled “State of the Child” that addressed the state’s child-welfare system. It featured five critical issues in the state’s handling of child-welfare issues and offered 17 recommendations to address. DePasquale went into more detail in an action plan published May 16, consisting of 28 recommendations, eight of which were for county-run Children, Youth and Families agencies.

Report: State of the child: http://www.paauditor.gov/Media/Default/Reports/RPT_CYS_091417_FINAL.pdf

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/local/2018/05/23/auditor-general-action-plan-resonates-york-county-child-welfare-specialists/636160002/

PA: Pennsylvania Should Adopt Tuition Waiver for Those Aging Out of Foster Care (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 22, 2018

Pennsylvania House Bill 1745 aims to give foster youth an opportunity for educational success by offsetting some of the financial stress they face. This bill seeks to provide tuition to state and community colleges to help support foster youth as they embark on their educational goals.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/uncategorized/pennsylvania-foster-youth-aging-out-tuition-waiver/30954

RI: My Turn: David Caprio: Cuts threaten child welfare in R.I. (Opinion)

Providence Journal – May 23, 2018

The Department of Children, Youth and Families proposed budget in Fiscal Year 2019 is level-funded, continuing a $7 million cut from FY 2018. This cut is continued despite the fact that the department is currently spending more than budgeted, and our most vulnerable children are at risk.

http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/20180523/my-turn-david-caprio-cuts-threaten-child-welfare-in-ri?rssfeed=true

TN: Gov. Bill Haslam signs law banning Tennessee marriage of minors under 17 (Includes video)

Tennessean – May 22, 2018

The governor’s signature marks the conclusion of a months-long campaign to end child marriage in the state after the nonprofit organization, Unchained at Last, and two Democratic lawmakers brought attention to the issue in February.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/22/governor-signs-law-banning-tennessee-child-marriage/632925002/

TX: Texas’ Foster Care System Is Not the Cause of High Teen Pregnancy Rate (Opinion)

Rivard Report – May 23, 2018

Thanks to a recent report, Texas is one of the first states to know how many youth in foster care are pregnant or parents already. Of the 7,090 females ages 11 to 18 in foster care in 2017, 332 were pregnant and 218 were parents. Foster youth are approximately five times more likely to get pregnant compared with all youth.

Report: Fostering Healthy Texas Lives: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5728d34462cd94b84dc567ed/t/5ad4aa001ae6cfce64d7316f/1523886600659/fostering-healthy-texas-lives.pdf

https://therivardreport.com/texas-foster-care-system-is-not-the-cause-of-high-teen-pregnancy-rate/

WI: Milwaukee County Drug Court Committed to Reuniting Families; Giving Addicts Second Chance (Includes audio)

WUWM – May 22, 2018

It may be rare for people seriously affected by substance abuse to get a chance to start over. However, Milwaukee County’s Family Drug Treatment Court is helping families do just that – and has been for several years.

http://wuwm.com/post/milwaukee-county-drug-court-committed-reuniting-families-giving-addicts-second-chance#stream/0

US: ACLU: Misconduct claims by kids are widespread at border

Associated Press – May 23, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday released documents detailing widespread allegations of misconduct by U.S. border authorities toward children, including kicking one in the ribs, denying medical attention to a pregnant teen who complained of pain and threatening others with sexual abuse.

Report: Neglect and Abuse of Unaccompanied Immigrant Children by U.S. Customs and Border Protection: https://www.dropbox.com/s/lplnnufjbwci0xn/CBP%20Report%20ACLU%E2%80%94IHRC%205.23%20FINAL.pdf?dl=0

http://tucson.com/news/state-and-regional/aclu-misconduct-claims-by-kids-are-widespread-at-border/article_bb826185-2af9-597e-884d-5a6c612fcf77.html

US: Grassley Introduces Grant Program Aimed at Keeping Families Together (Press release)

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley – May 23, 2018

Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, introduced the bipartisan Building Capacity for Family Focused Residential Treatment Act, a grant program to help child welfare agencies, treatment centers or non-profit organizations establish evidence-based, family-focused residential treatment programs.

https://www.grassley.senate.gov/news/news-releases/grassley-introduces-grant-program-aimed-keeping-families-together

US: Indian Country Today returns. Can it protect its editorial independence? (Commentary)

Columbia Journalism Review – May 23, 2018

SCRAPPY AND RESILIENT as the population it covers, a reinvented Indian Country Today recently announced its return after a nine-month hiatus. The National Congress of American Indians acquired the site (formerly called Indian Country Today Media Network) via donation from the Oneida Nation in February, and restored its original name. During the tribe’s ownership, Indian Country Today moved away from print to daily online news publishing, and its reporters won several mainstream and Native American media awards, including Clarion Awards for coverage of violence against Native women and other issues, the Herb Block Award for editorial cartooning, and several awards from NAJA for groundbreaking reporting on the impact of the Indian Child Welfare Act, opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, and more.

https://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/indian-country-today-editorial-independence.php

US: Kids At Risk Action Demonstrates how Trauma Impacts Children and how Traumatized Children Impact our Communities (Includes video) (Press release)

Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA) – May 23, 2018

Invisible Children, Kids At Risk Action (KARA) and nationally recognized speaker, Mike Tikkanen stated that “Minnesota hospitals are turning away mental health patients because they are unable to deal with the quantity and severity of mental health problems in their community. About 1/3 of the state ward children in America are forced onto psychotropic medications and almost two-thirds of youth in Juvenile Justice use them. All the Prozac in the world will not fix children broken by trauma and abuse.

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/05/prweb15510608.htm

US: Members of Congress Pledge HELP for Separated Children (Press release)

CLASP – May 23, 2018

Today, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and colleagues in the Senate, along with Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA 40) and colleagues in the House, introduced the Humane Enforcement and Legal Protections (HELP) for Separated Children Act to protect children separated from their parents by immigration enforcement actions.

https://www.clasp.org/blog/members-congress-pledge-help-separated-children

US: Missing and Forgotten: Thousands of foster kids kicked out of the system (Includes video)

Fox 25 Boston – May 23, 2018

Child welfare workers across the country have kicked thousands of missing foster care children out of the system – including one child as young as 9-years-old, a review by 25 Investigates uncovered. Since 2000, federal records show child welfare agencies across the country closed the cases of more than 53,000 foster kids listed as “runaway” and at least another 61,000 children listed as “missing.”

https://www.fox25boston.com/news/missing-and-forgotten-thousands-of-foster-kids-kicked-out-of-the-system/755376482

US: VIDEO: Menendez Urges Judiciary Committee to Examine Root Causes of Forced Migration & Unaccompanied Minors at Senate Hearing (Press release)

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez – May 23, 2018

The Senator discussed federal anti-trafficking laws protecting children who arrive to the U.S. alone, the Trump Administration’s practice of separating children from their parents at the border, and the published findings of Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff indicating the decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador and Honduras was politicized by the Trump Administration.

Also: Menendez, Booker Cosponsor Bill to Protect Minors Left Alone When Parents are Arrested or Detained by Immigration Officials (Press release): https://www.menendez.senate.gov/news-and-events/press/menendez-booker-cosponsor-bill-to-protect-minors-left-alone-when-parents-are-arrested-or-detained-by-immigration-officials

https://www.menendez.senate.gov/news-and-events/press/video-menendez-urges-judiciary-committee-to-examine-root-causes-of-forced-migration-and-unaccompanied-minors-at-senate-hearing-

US: Anguish at Southwest border as more immigrant children are separated from parents (Includes video)

NBC News – May 22, 2018

“Five years old,” public defender Miguel “Andy” Nogueras told NBC News. “What kind of scars are we creating? The child has to be asking, where’s my mom? And that kid has to be scared. I can’t even fathom.” Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a goal to criminally prosecute 100 percent of people crossing the border illegally – including families with children. Those who are charged with improper entry – a misdemeanor on the first infraction – are jailed and separated from their children. Previously, most parents had been allowed to remain with their children in family shelters while awaiting asylum cases or deportation proceedings.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/anguish-southwest-border-more-immigrant-children-are-separated-parents-n874821

US: Catholic advocates denounce US plan to prosecute all illegal border crossings

National Catholic Reporter – May 22, 2018

Calling a new policy that will lead to the separation of more families at the border cruel and unjust, Catholic advocates and asylum experts condemned a plan they say will cause immigrants added pain and trauma without deterring them from seeking refuge in the United States or addressing the root causes of migration.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/catholic-advocates-denounce-us-plan-prosecute-all-illegal-border-crossings

US: New border policy could have unintended consequences (Commentary)

United Press International – May 18, 2018

In practice this means that the parents will generally be placed in detention to await their day in federal court, while the children will be placed with other family members already in the U.S. or put into the foster care system. The prospect of separating parents from the children has alarmed immigrant and human rights advocates, and there may be some legal questions about whether that separation is in fact “in the best interests of the child.”

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Voices/2018/05/18/New-border-policy-could-have-unintended-consequences/4571526648684/

US: Fewer antibiotics, more ADHD drugs prescribed for kids

Health Day News – May 16, 2018

American kids are taking fewer prescription medications these days — but certain drugs are being prescribed more than ever, a new government study finds. Researchers found that between 1999 and 2014, the percentage of children and teenagers who’d been given a prescription in the past 30 days dipped — from almost 25 percent, to just under 22 percent.

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2018/05/15/Fewer-antibiotics-more-ADHD-drugs-prescribed-for-kids/2741526432117/

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil: Brazil: People With Disabilities Confined in Terrible Conditions (Includes video) (Commentary)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) – May 23, 2018

Thousands of children and adults with disabilities in Brazil are needlessly confined to institutions, where they may face neglect and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Brazil should make it a priority to provide support for people with disabilities to live independently and in their communities, rather than in institutions.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/23/brazil-people-disabilities-confined-terrible-conditions

Norway: Norway to ban child marriage as it seeks to set a global example

Thomson Reuters Foundation – May 22, 2018

Norway approved a law banning all child marriage on Tuesday, with campaigners saying it would set an example to others ahead of a global 2030 deadline for eradicating the practice. The Nordic country has a minimum age of 18, but allows 16- and 17-year-olds to marry with parental consent and permission from the county governor. A government spokeswoman said very few under 18s had sought to wed in recent years.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-norway-childmarriage-lawmaking/norway-to-ban-child-marriage-as-it-seeks-to-set-a-global-example-idUSKCN1IN29D

Sudan: Freed From War: The Road to Reintegration for Ex-Child Soldiers in Sudan

Relief Web – May 22, 2018

Despite their release from armed groups or armed forces, children like Raed and Khaled* still carry the scars of conflict; the vocational training is only one aspect of their reintegration process. UNICEF-supported reintegration programmes also provide them with educational opportunities and psychosocial assistance, to allow for their sustainable reintegration in the communities.

https://reliefweb.int/report/sudan/freed-war-road-reintegration-ex-child-soldiers-sudan

 

AZ: 5 things Arizona lawmakers did for foster kids, parental rights this year (Includes video) (Commentary)

Arizona Republic – May 22, 2018

When it comes to Arizona’s children, the highest-profile action lawmakers took this session was boosting school funding. But before the #RedforEd movement had mobilized, other measures were well on their way to becoming law. Here are the top policy changes lawmakers made on child welfare, as well as a few things they didn’t approve.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2018/05/22/foster-kids-were-focus-various-bills-arizona-capitol/629287002/

CA: Allegations social workers failed children

KGTV – May 22, 2018

There are disturbing allegations that the foster system in San Diego County failed children it was supposed to protect. Critics question whether the rules of confidentiality designed to protect children are doing more to shield social services from scrutiny.

https://www.10news.com/news/allegations-social-workers-failed-children

CA: Family Fights for Custody of Tortured Fairfield Children (Includes video)

NBC Bay Area – May 22, 2018

As the Fairfield, California, couple accused of child abuse and torture sit in jail, the future of their 10 children is up in the air. Six of the children, who police say were forced to live in squalor and endured torture at the hands of their parents, have been placed with their maternal grandmother while the other four are with their aunt. They say child welfare services has now decided to put the youngest four children in the foster care system, and the couple will have to go to court to try keep them.

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Family-Fights-for-Custody-of-Tortured-Fairfield-Children-483397541.html

CA: Napa County Health and Human Services leader Himes leaving post

Napa Valley Register – May 22, 2018

Napa County Health and Human Services Agency Director Howard Himes is retiring from his post as of July 13. He has held the job since January 2014. The agency has an annual budget of more than $112 million and provides services ranging from public health to veterans assistance to child welfare to food assistance.

https://napavalleyregister.com/news/local/napa-county-health-and-human-services-leader-himes-leaving-post/article_83e24e4b-9798-5278-b8f2-642654eacc96.html

CA: CAPITOL REPORT: Providing help for foster youth should be a priority (Commentary)

WAVE – May 17, 2018

Now, the country, not just our community, faces a new epidemic. Our child welfare system is already becoming increasingly populated due to the consequences of the opioid epidemic and the current crisis is starting to devastate families and our already over-worked and under-resourced child welfare system. This time, we must apply the lessons learned from the crack epidemic: if you want successful policy, you must include the affected communities in the formulation of new policy.

http://wavenewspapers.com/capitol-report-providing-help-for-foster-youth-should-be-a-priority/

CO: Ceremony honors students who overcame adversity

Daily Sentinel – May 23, 2018

Bryant was one of 22 students whose high school graduation was honored Tuesday evening at the Western Slope Celebration of Excellence, hosted by the Mesa County Child Welfare Division at the county’s workforce center. “Tonight is celebrating these youth that have overcome some obstacles, whether abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency … (or) homelessness,” said county Child Protection Manager Joe Kellerby, who said this is the third-annual iteration of the event in Grand Junction. “(Students that) just really have been able to overcome some early life challenges.”

Also: Celebrating graduation for disadvantaged teens (Includes video): http://www.nbc11news.com/content/news/483405901.html

https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/ceremony-honors-students-who-overcame-adversity/article_8b30829e-5e4e-11e8-b87d-10604b9ffe60.html

CO: One Colorado foster child moved 46 times. Toughest cases get more attention, but resources are stretched

Denver Post – May 17, 2018

The list of Colorado foster kids predicted to have the toughest time getting adopted has 81 names. Among them is an 18-year-old boy with a mental health diagnosis who has lived in the system for nearly his entire life, through 15 placements. His parents’ rights were terminated when he was 2. Another 18-year-old boy has blown through 46 placements in the past 11 years.

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/17/colorado-foster-care-hard-place-kids/

FL: Hagan to oversee community partnership school

News Chief – May 22, 2018

Andrea Hagan has been named to oversee Polk County’s community partnership school initiative, a relatively new concept designed to break a cycle of poverty and improve student performance. As an employee of Heartland for Children, Hagan will work closely with Crystal Lake Acting Principal Kristan Fowler to provide a multiplicity of services to students and their families. Those services, to be phased in over time, include homework assistance, health care and mental health counseling.

http://www.newschief.com/news/20180522/hagan-to-oversee-community-partnership-school?rssfeed=true

ID: Idaho tribe joins lawsuit against big opioid manufacturers

Associated Press – May 22, 2018

An Idaho tribe has joined a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers and distributors. The tribe’s complaint argues resources have been depleted and health care, law enforcement and child protection officials are stretched thin combatting the widespread effects of addiction in the community.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/state/article211650844.html

IL: Editorial: Child welfare agency again quits just before neglected child dies (Includes video)

Belleville News-Democrat – May 22, 2018

“Justice for Kane” is an illusion. No one can create justice from a situation that took the life of a 2-year-old boy. Justice should have come long ago when the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was first called about neglect. Kane Friess-Wylie lived in filth. Trash on the floor, spoiled food left out and the heat about to be shut off.

http://www.bnd.com/opinion/editorials/article211576819.html

MI: Dr. DeGarmo on faith and foster care (Video)

WJBK – May 22, 2018

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. Right now, as many as a half a million children are in foster care in the United States. Dr. John DeGarmo, an expert in the foster care field, joined us on The Nine to talk to us more about foster care, and why it should be the church’s next big mission. You can hear from him in the video player above.

http://www.fox2detroit.com/good-day/dr-degarmo-on-faith-and-foster-care

NC: North Carolina Update on Health Care Legislation in 2017 (Commentary)

Williams Mullen – May 22, 2018

The North Carolina General Assembly considered several health care issues during the 2017 legislative session. Four of the more important of those issues are discussed.

http://www.williamsmullen.com/news/north-carolina-update-health-care-legislation-2017

NY: More foster parents needed, official says

Sartogian – May 22, 2018

Every May, Northern Rivers Family of Services honors foster parents. The agency, which has roughly 400 foster parents throughout multiple counties, always has a need for foster parents.”There’s never enough,” said Colleen Vogel, the Director of Recruitment and Retention. “We are always in need, and we’re not just looking for long-term placement foster homes.”

http://www.saratogian.com/general-news/20180522/more-foster-parents-needed-official-says

NY: This Bronx school threw a party for its African families. Now it’s grown into something much more

Chalkbeat – May 22, 2018

Along the way, Celebrate Africa became more than a party. Food and music are constants, but now they accompany sessions on how to identify and treat mental illness and, after the school had to make a few calls to child welfare services, tips for disciplining children at home.

https://co.chalkbeat.org/posts/ny/2018/05/22/this-bronx-school-threw-a-party-for-its-african-families-now-its-grown-into-something-much-more/

NY: Shielding predators: Church leaders oppose measures to benefit sexual abuse victims (Opinion)

Watertown Daily Times – May 17, 2018

In opposing various measures that would benefit victims of child sexual abuse, leaders of the Roman Catholic Church are once again circling the wagons. And Republican members of the state Senate have helped them. They have for years blocked legislation that would eliminate “the statutes of limitation for prosecuting child sexual abuse crimes and filing civil lawsuits for damages against individuals, public institutions, and private institutions related to child sexual abuse.

Also: The Fray: Senate GOP proposes fund for victims of child sex abuse: http://www.recordonline.com/news/20180519/fray-senate-gop-proposes-fund-for-victims-of-child-sex-abuse

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/opinion/shielding-predators-church-leaders-oppose-measures-to-benefit-sexual-abuse-victims-20180517

OH: Valley in need of foster parents

WFMJ – May 22, 2018

Due to the Opiod Epidemic, there has been a dramatic increase in the need for foster homes for children. In fact, foster care referrals have doubled over the last year. Currently, there are over 16,000 children in the Ohio Foster care system. This number expected to increase to 20,000 by the year 2020.

http://www.wfmj.com/story/38252287/valley-in-need-of-foster-parents

PA: Expert explains how to spot child abuse (Includes video)

WHTM – May 22, 2018

The recent child abuse arrests of a Harrisburg mother and her boyfriend following a large-scale search for a little girl who ran away from her school has sparked the question: where were the signs? “So often children don’t have the words to tell another adult or even their own peers what they’re experiencing,” said Jennifer Storm, Pennsylvania’s victim advocate.

http://www.abc27.com/news/local/expert-explains-how-to-spot-child-abuse/1192954007

PA: Phila. Family Court Judge Younge Absent From Bench, Replacement Judge Sending Children Back to Parents

Ladies Want More – May 22, 2018

Philadelphia Family Court Judge Lyris F. Younge, who in recent weeks has faced strong criticism from an appeals court as well as protests in the street for violating parents’ rights, is off the bench-at least for now-and another judge has taken over her cases, undoing several of her rulings that removed children from their parents.

http://www.ladieswantmore.com/phila-family-court-judge-younge-absent-from-bench-replacement-judge-sending-children-back-to-parents/

PA: Philadelphia’s unnecessary war on Catholics (Opinion)

Washington Post – May 22, 2018

At a time when more than 400,000 children are in foster care nationwide, the city of Philadelphia is threatening to cut ties with Catholic Social Services because of the group’s policy against placing foster children in same-sex households. I’m not Catholic, nor do I share the church’s belief that same-sex marriage is a sin. And defunding CSS is no good answer.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/philadelphias-unnecessary-war-on-catholics/2018/05/22/0b6b1bd6-5e0e-11e8-9ee3-49d6d4814c4c_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fa2e43ac0b9d

RI: Dealing with RI DCYF “Hell” Says Grandmother of Rescuing Grandchildren from Drug-Addicted Son

GoLocalProv – May 23, 2018

A grandmother in Rhode Island is calling out the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) after saying she “went through hell” to get her grandchildren from her drug-addicted son and partner – and wants to help other grandparents throughout New England who are going through similar situations.

http://www.golocalprov.com/news/dealing-with-ri-dcyf-hell-says-grandmother-of-rescuing-grandchildren-from-d

RI: My Turn: Anne Walters: Opioid crisis hits children, too (Commentary)

Providence Journal – May 22, 2018

The statistics are startling. More than 2.5 million people were addicted to opiates in 2015, and the Centers for Disease Control reports that opioid deaths quadrupled between 1999 and 2016. There has been far less focus on the effect of this crisis on children.

http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/20180522/my-turn-anne-walters-opioid-crisis-hits-children-too?rssfeed=true

SC: National Foster Care Month highlights desperate need for foster families (Includes video)

WCBD – May 17, 2018

May marks national Foster Care Awareness Month. It provides an opportunity for the South Carolina Department of Social Services to draw attention to the need for foster parents across the state. As of May 1, there are more than 4,500 children in foster care in South Carolina, and the state needs about 1,600 more quality homes to care for all of our children.

http://www.counton2.com/community/national-foster-care-month-highlights-desperate-need-for-foster-families/1184925547

WY: Governor Mead recognizes foster care in Wyoming (Includes video)

KGWN – May 22, 2018

Foster care in Wyoming is being recognized as Governor Matt Mead signed a Foster Care Appreciation Proclamation. Smiles were huge as foster kids and their parents had the opportunity to shake hands with the governor.

http://www.kgwn.tv/content/news/Governor-Mead-recognizes-foster-care-in-Wyoming-483268391.html

US: What sustains your breath? (Commentary)

UU World Magazine (Unitarian Universalist Church) – June 01, 2018

I’m running nonstop.” “I can’t catch my breath.” “I feel like I’m drowning.” I hear these statements daily as I work with child protection professionals. Clearly, this work is difficult. These professionals are exposed to secondary trauma on an ongoing basis: they see and hear the effects of abuse and neglect, and it is hard. But another reason for the widespread exhaustion and overwhelm in the field of child welfare work is systemic. Year after year, social workers are tasked with “just one more thing” that needs to be done, and the weight of this mountain has been crushing people.

Information Gateway resource: Workforce: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/workforce/

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/scuba-metaphor

US: GAO Gives Green Light for CHIP Cuts (Includes audio)

Public News Service – May 23, 2018

According to Shawn Gremminger, director of federal relations for the health-care advocacy group Families USA, $5 billion is from funds that states are not expected to spend, but $2 billion would come from CHIP’s contingency fund, set aside in case states spend more than expected.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-23/budget-policy-and-priorities/gao-gives-green-light-for-chip-cuts/a62631-1

US: Faith-Based Laws and Foster Care: Destined for Supreme Court? (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 22, 2018

Two more states have joined the ranks of those that have acted legislatively to guarantee the right of faith-based child welfare contractors to discriminate against parents – and in some cases children – whose lifestyles do not comport with the religious views of the organization. The text varies, but the gist is the same in each case. If a faith-based child welfare services contractor of the state wishes to pass on recruiting or training a foster or adoptive parent who is gay, or single, or a member of another religion, it can do so. And the state cannot move to end their contract for that reason.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/youth-services-insider/faith-based-laws-foster-care-headed-supreme-court/30941

INTERNATIONAL

Australia: Gymnastics Australia & Bravehearts Partner To Protect 220,000 Aussie Children! (Press release)

Bravehearts & Gymnastics Australia – May 22, 2018

In an Australian first in child protection, around 220,000 Aussie children nation-wide (91% under 12-years-old), will now be safer from potential harm following the launch of a unique joint initiative thanks to Gymnastics Australia and Australia’s leading child protection advocate, Bravehearts.This new initiative announced today will protect children through empowering and training adults at all levels of the sport with specialised child safety knowledge enabling Gymnastics Australia to play a crucial role in helping protect the most vulnerable members of the community, our children.

https://www.prlog.org/12709892-gymnastics-australia-bravehearts-partner-to-protect-220000-aussie-children.html

Bangladesh: ‘A lot of shame’: Rohingya camps brace for wave of babies conceived in rape

Washington Post – May 22, 2018

“They target those between 13 and 25,” said Roksana Akter, a midwife working for Doctors Without Borders who specializes in victims of sexual violence. As a result, many families hastily arrange marriages for unmarried girls and women who are pregnant through rape. Save the Children and UNICEF have reported an increase in child marriage in the camps. Since August, about 700,000 Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh from Rakhine state in Burma.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/a-lot-of-shame-rohingya-camps-brace-for-wave-of-babies-conceived-in-rape/2018/05/21/8bf9be3c-45b4-11e8-b2dc-b0a403e4720a_story.html?utm_term=.cf85cf5f

AZ: Arizona Passes Bill to Shield More Juveniles from Transfer to Adult Court

Chronicle of Social Change – May 21, 2018

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill that would enable the state’s juvenile justice system to hold older youths until age 19, a move that advocates hope will lower the number of teens transferred into adult court. Under current Arizona law, the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections’ (ADJC) can only hold a youth in its secure facilities or on its probation roster until the age of 18.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/stateline/arizona-passes-bill-shield-juveniles-transfer-adult-court/30933

CA: MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Friends of the Children offers mentor program for foster kids

Los Angeles Wave – May 21, 2018

“(Friends of the Children L.A.) is about building strong networks with children,” Lee said. “Networks matter. As children form networks with families, it’s important if we’re going to break cycles of poverty and get them out of the welfare system. We have to connect children with families and individuals in a meaningful way and with depth.” The nonprofit identifies kindergarten children living in poverty and matches them with an adult mentor — or friend — until the child graduates from high school.

http://wavenewspapers.com/making-a-difference-friends-of-the-children-offers-mentor-program-for-foster-kids/

CA: County strains to care for detainees’ needs

Davis Enterprise – May 19, 2018

An immigrant youth considered a danger to himself or others at Yolo County Juvenile Hall spent 12 days in the emergency room at Woodland Memorial Hospital in March because the detention center couldn’t care for him and no treatment center stepped forward to take him. Ultimately, the boy was transferred back to juvenile hall for a couple of days before a psychiatric facility in Florida agreed to take him.

https://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/county-strains-to-care-for-detainees-needs/

GU: CPS needs more foster care homes

Guam Daily Post – May 20, 2018

Foster homes and families are the largest need on Guam for the agency tasked with connecting those families with children in need of a home. According to Linda Rodriguez, who leads Child Protective Services as the human services program administrator for the Department of Public Health and Social Services, it’s the No. 1 need and issue for her department.

https://www.postguam.com/news/local/cps-needs-more-foster-care-homes/article_d33731de-5848-11e8-bce3-232c1f08c4fc.html

IN: Rising number of addicted newborns puts strain on CYS

Indiana Gazette – May 20, 2018

They are the youngest victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic. Statewide, nearly 2,000 children – 15 out of every 1,000 – are born each year with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). The frequency has increased more than 1,000 percent in less than 17 years, according to a report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. And the numbers are even higher in Indiana County, where roughly 1 in 50 babies were born with NAS during the last fiscal year.

Also: Drugs may be fueling increase in CYS cases: https://www.indianagazette.com/drugs-may-be-fueling-increase-in-cys-cases/article_7650524e-6736-559b-8b82-067735b04a15.html

https://www.indianagazette.com/news/rising-number-of-addicted-newborns-puts-strain-on-cys/article_28cd8631-3a6e-51a5-b101-f6b4d76d0b18.html

KS: Kansas child welfare agency turnover aimed at turnaround

Associated Press – May 19, 2018

The leader of Kansas’ child welfare department says the many staff changes in the agency since November are designed to turn around an agency that faced scrutiny for months over foster care problems. Some 20 administrators in the state Department for Children and Families have been fired, shifted to new jobs or promoted in the past 6½ months, KCUR-FM reports.

http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article211498924.html

KY: Trust Fund Board awards over $100,000 in grants to help prevent child abuse

WTVQ – May 21, 2018

The Attorney General’s Office administers the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board that allocates dollars from the Fund to support child sexual abuse prevention programs. The Fund is allocating over $100,000 this fiscal year cycle, with more than $70,000 going to two regional programs. The two regional programs include western Kentucky’s Child Watch Counseling and Advocacy Center and northern Kentucky’s Family Nurturing Center.

https://www.wtvq.com/2018/05/21/trust-fund-board-awards-100000-grants-help-prevent-child-abuse/

MA: Legal risk and open adoptions: A family profile for Foster Care Awareness Month

Wilmington Town Crier – May 19, 2018

May is National Foster Care Awareness Month, and the Town Crier is profiling the diverse experiences of lo­cal families who have ad­opted from foster care or served as foster families.

http://homenewshere.com/wilmington_town_crier/news/article_66f8b956-59ed-11e8-9d26-d7aafa721200.html

MN: Task force would be ‘first step’ in addressing violence against Native American women (Press release)

Minnesota House of Representatives – May 21, 2018

A bill Kunesh-Podein is sponsoring this session would create a task force aimed at developing methods for tracking and collecting data on violence against Native American women and girls, and finding reasons why they experience a disproportionate amount of violence.

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/SDView.aspx?StoryID=13433

NC: Board of Education makes changes to protect Onslow Co. students in foster care (Includes video)

WNCT – May 21, 2018

The Board of Education approved three revisions to policies Monday morning that are going to directly affect foster students by removing barriers and providing them with access to education. Those policies – enrollment, immunizations and school assignments -previously protected homeless students.

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

http://www.wnct.com/on-your-side/school-watch/board-of-education-makes-changes-to-protect-onslow-co-students-in-foster-care/1191326970

OK: Oklahoma DHS Accused Of Firing Employee For Voicing Concerns (Includes video)

News 9 Oklahoma – May 21, 2018

An Oklahoma DHS worker says the agency is placing children in unsafe foster homes. But after raising those concerns in a letter to her supervisors, she says she was fired. Dahn Gregg has been with DHS for 13 years. She has her master’s in social work. She said on Friday she wrote the letter to her supervisors about her concerns with some foster homes, that included a specific example and specific numbers. Monday morning, she was fired.

http://www.news9.com/story/38242191/oklahoma-dhs-accused-of-firing-employee-for-voicing-concerns

OK: Notes from the Chief: Need for Cherokee foster families continues

Muskogee Phoenix – May 19, 2018

At Cherokee Nation, we continue to address the issues that have the biggest impacts on our people, including educational opportunities, health care coverage, homeownership and career development. These can affect generations of Cherokees and improve lives. One area we still are in dire need is foster and adoptive families for our Indian Child Welfare program. Our children ensure the continued existence of Cherokee values and heritage. They are our future.

http://www.muskogeephoenix.com/news/notes-from-the-chief-need-for-cherokee-foster-families-continues/article_f07f24cb-8a5b-5216-b736-25b7769e4955.html

OR: Oregon child protection officials work to bring back ‘sense of hope’ (Includes video)

Statesman Journal – May 21, 2018

An audit by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office found Salem child protective services workers are assigned 21 investigations monthly – more than triple the number of cases they should be working on. Jones said the agency acquired funding for 183 positions in February. Twenty-five case aide positions were added in April and placed with the district offices hardest hit by staffing shortages.

https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2018/05/21/dhs-oregon-child-protective-services-work-bring-back-sense-hope/623227002/

OR: Local DHS staff to continue foster care walk-and-talk events

Herald and News – May 20, 2018

Staff from the DHS child welfare offices are planning to hit the streets again starting Monday, May 21. This time they’ll focus on homes at Summers Lane, Hope Street and areas of South Sixth Street nearby, according to Anna D’Olivo, foster home certifier, recruitment and retention coordinator at DHS District 11.

https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local-dhs-staff-to-continue-foster-care-walk-and-talk/article_4de49d48-18df-5040-aff1-e36759a8d3e6.html

PA: Substance abuse creating need for more foster families

Bradford Era – May 21, 2018

Currently, Somerset County has 104 children in its foster care program, a number similar to last year. Of those, 37 are in the county’s program and 25 are in contracted foster care. That care may or may not be in Somerset County. Of the 37, about 61 percent are with next of kin. Of the 31 families with children in placement, 21 are because of some sort of addiction.

http://www.bradfordera.com/news/state/substance-abuse-creating-need-for-more-foster-families/article_e9e0e1ea-9d59-5fcf-b521-4024269f2f45.html

SC: 1 in 4 aged-out foster kids in S.C. become homeless or teen moms, despite taxpayers’ millions (Includes video)

Post and Courier – May 20, 2018

One in four other women her age who grew up in South Carolina’s foster care system also had children by the time they turned 19, the fourth-highest rate in the nation. It’s just one of many disturbing statistics that lurk in the early adulthoods of children raised by the foster care system.

https://www.postandcourier.com/features/in-aged-out-foster-kids-in-s-c-become-homeless/article_006cb9e8-3000-11e7-b31e-e3f8cc72b0cd.html

SD: Finding Foster Families (Includes video)

KELO – May 21, 2018

Minnehaha County Deputy State’s Attorney Carrie Mees says meth continues to impact the foster system. Mees says just this year, she has 40 new abuse and neglect cases and more than half of them are meth-related. Since April, she has filed 21 new petitions to place a child in foster care or with a family member. 14 of those cases are meth-related.

http://www.keloland.com/news/article/news/finding-foster-families

WI: Opioid crisis leads to large increase of children in foster care (Includes video)

WSAW – May 21, 2018

“Numbers that were staying steady at about 5,600 to 6,000 children statewide and as of March 2018, we now have just over 8,000 children needing an out-of-home care placement,” Carey said. Even with a core of dedicated families, it’s not enough to keep up with the number of children entering the system. This leads to placement outside a child’s community.

http://www.wsaw.com/content/news/Opioid-crisis-leads-to-large-increase-of-children-in-foster-care-483273761.html

WV: DHHR chief says feds talking about suing West Virginia over foster care crisis

Metro News – May 21, 2018

The federal government may soon file a lawsuit against West Virginia over its foster care crisis brought on by the opioid epidemic, according to state Department of Heath and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch. “They (DOJ) think we are falling behind in terms of that effort-so we have to find more foster families-we have to find more extended families that are willing to do this,” Crouch said.

http://wvmetronews.com/2018/05/21/dhhr-chief-says-feds-talking-about-suing-west-virginia-over-foster-care-crisis/

US: One year’s losses for child sexual abuse in US top $9 billion, new study suggests (Press release)

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health – May 21, 2018

A new study found that the annual economic impact of child sexual abuse in the US is far-reaching and costly: In 2015, the total economic burden was approximately $9.3 billion and includes costs associated with health care, child welfare, special education, violence and crime, suicide and survivor productivity losses.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180521131552.htm

US: Opinion: Confining immigrant children on military bases is unnecessary cruelty

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 21, 2018

The outright cruelty of separating and incarcerating children and the threat it poses to their health is stunning. Who will care for the children? Who will educate them? Who will look after their physical and mental health needs? Will infants and toddlers become part of this incarcerated group? How quickly can families be reunited? The harm done by separation can be lasting.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/kids-families/opinion-confining-immigrant-children-on-military-bases-is-unnecessary-cruelty-20180521.html

US: Child Trafficking Prevention With Million Kids dot Org

News Blaze – May 19, 2018

Bruce Edwin of Hollywood Sentinel dot com gives here below, an exclusive interview with Million Kids dot org founder Opal Singleton, who is partnered with the Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, to help fight child sex trafficking.

https://newsblaze.com/entertainment/interviews/child-trafficking-prevention-with-million-kids-dot-org_132735/

INTERNATIONAL

India: India must not give in to the US’ ‘global bullying’ tactics (Commentary)

Guardian – May 19, 2018

The United States has been exerting diplomatic pressure on India to accede to the outdated and flawed Hague Convention. But there are plenty of good reasons why India should resist this unfair demand. It is pertinent to note at the outset that the Hague Convention does not address the cause of the so-called “abduction” of a child by a parent, typically the mother. It only provides a one-size-fits-all solution of forcing the child back to the country they left with the leaving parent. For instance, the Hague Convention does not recognise “domestic violence” as a factor in the alleged abduction.

https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/culture/india-must-not-give-us-global-bullying-tactics

 

AL: Its Foster Care Month and DHR needs more foster parents (Includes video)

WTVY – May 18, 2018

Jessica says, “I consider them super parents, they really are, because they are opening up their home and some of these kids have extra needs because, again, they are being taken from their homes.”

http://www.wtvy.com/content/news/DHR-needs-more-foster-parents-as-we-celebrate-foster-care-month–483065251.html

AZ: Faces of child welfare: Why we’re telling these stories (Commentary)

Arizona Republic – May 20, 2018

The idea is simple. The reality, though, is complex, sometimes confusing, often largely secret. That’s why we set out this year to talk to people from every facet of the child welfare system. We asked them to tell us, in their words, what happens, what works, what doesn’t.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2018/05/20/faces-child-welfare-series-arizona-child-protective-services/567345002/

CA: Fighting for survival: Santa Barbara County closing ranks on human trafficking

Santa Maria Times – May 20, 2018

Yleana Velasco, victim advocate with the County of Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, said vulnerability, like being a runaway youth, in foster care, in an abusive family situation, exponentially increases risk factors for human trafficking. “Within 48 hours of a youth running away, a trafficker will approach them. Where are they going, sleeping, eating? There’s always a trafficker there willing to exploit those needs to get something in return,” Velasco said.

https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/fighting-for-survival-santa-barbara-county-closing-ranks-on-human/article_2ff9aa6d-367c-5da7-9ec1-f7455a93f7cb.html

CO: Gov. John Hickenlooper signs foster care fixes into law in Greeley

Greeley Tribune – May 18, 2018

Until Friday, no Colorado county could spend child welfare money on kids in the foster care system once those kids turned 18. “They talked about girls emancipating too early,” Young said. “Within the day, they’re approached by people involved in human trafficking. It was stunning to me that these kids are that at-risk.” Ideally, for Young, that risk will soon dissipate, as Gov. John Hickenlooper on Friday signed that and one other bill into law at Greeley City Hall, 1000 10th St., in front of advocates, politicians and staff.

https://www.greeleytribune.com/news/local/gov-hickenlooper-signs-foster-care-fixes-into-law-in-greeley/

FL: Orlando Science Center helps foster kids relax during supervised visits (Includes video)

Central Florida News 13 – May 18, 2018

Supervised visits are often a part of foster care and the reuniting of families, but there can be a flaw with a part of that process. The flaw is location, especially because visitation rooms often have a more business-like feel. This fact prompted Community Based Care of Central Florida to connect with the Orlando Science Center.

Information Gateway resource: Supporting Parent/Child Visits: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/reunification/parents/visiting/

http://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2018/05/18/orlando-science-center-helps-foster-kids-relax-during-supervised-visits

GA: Foster care shortage sends children anywhere in Ga.; officials say Madison Co. homes desperately needed

Madison Journal Today – May 21, 2018

Due to a shortage of foster homes in Madison County, local children can be sent anywhere in Georgia with an opening. That’s a sad fact that local Department of Family and Children Services workers want to change. They want more Madison County families to consider helping children in their time of need. There are 33 Madison County children in foster care right now, but only six are in the county. “We just need some homes for these kids to stay local,” said Madison County DFCS director Kristy Daniels.

http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/9568-Foster-care-shortage-sends-children-anywhere-in-Ga.;-officials-say-Madison-Co.-homes-desperately-needed.html

GA: Careless Foster Care? The Conversation Starts Here (Commentary)

WABE – May 18, 2018

According to the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services, approximately 14,500 children were in the state’s foster care system as of December 2017 – 3,278 of them were teens (13-18). Nationally, more than half a million children endure the often-lengthy process of being in care, many in hopes of finding a permanent adoptive placement or going home. Only a small percentage, about 80,000, are adopted every year, according to the Adoption Network. Almost 20 percent wait five years or more. In Georgia, 40 percent of youths in care – 4,322 kids – had two or more placements in 2015.

https://www.wabe.org/careless-foster-care-the-conversation-starts-here/

KS: & OK: U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Applaud Kansas and Oklahoma for Enacting Laws that Keep Kids First in Foster Care and Adoption Services (Press release)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – May 18, 2018

By enacting laws protecting the conscience rights of adoption and foster care providers, “Kansas and Oklahoma are keeping kids first,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

Also: Oklahoma and Kansas Enact Anti-LGBT Laws: https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/05/18/oklahoma-and-kansas-enact-anti-lgbt-laws

http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-085.cfm

KY: Relatives say state isn’t making payments for foster kids

Associated Press – May 18, 2018

A group of relatives raising children removed from homes have accused Kentucky of not providing foster care payments.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article211436224.html

MI: Michigan court backs dad on parental rights, cites Indian child welfare law

Detroit Free Press – May 18, 2018

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the father of two American Indian children is entitled to withdraw his consent to terminate his parental rights because the adoption of his children has not yet been finalized.

https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/macomb/2018/05/18/michigan-indian-family-preservation-act/623396002/

MO: Missouri bill would child marriage law

Associated Press – May 18, 2018

The Missouri Legislature has voted to prevent anyone younger than 16 from being married. Proponents say changing the marriage age will help prevent human trafficking.

Also: Missouri outlawing marriage at 15, but critic calls new statute ‘a waste of paper’ (Includes video): http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article211345289.html

http://fox2now.com/2018/05/18/missouri-bill-would-toughen-child-marriage-law/

NC: DHHS Takes Over Child Welfare Duties in Cherokee County

North Carolina Health News – May 18, 2018

It’s the first time the department has used new powers granted by the legislature to take over troubled local agencies and get them back on track.

https://www.northcarolinahealthnews.org/2018/05/18/dhhs-takeover-child-welfare-cherokee-county/

ND: ‘It’s on everybody’: A look at child protection services in our area following three child deaths

Bismarck Tribune – May 20, 2018

According to court documents, a history of abuse or neglect appeared in each case; and in Burland’s case, family members say they contacted child protection services prior to his death to express concerns, but “nothing was done.”

https://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/it-s-on-everybody-a-look-at-child-protection-services/article_c9c5a3c0-5e67-5716-8ecd-d57560e7fc6d.html

NE: A look into the foster care system (Includes video)

Nebraska TV – May 18, 2018

A system in the United States that brings children to their forever home: Foster care. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, foster care affects over 500 children in central Nebraska alone.

http://nebraska.tv/news/local/a-look-into-the-foster-care-system

NE: Child Saving Institute needs more families to foster kids (Includes video)

KETV – May 18, 2018

The Child Saving Institute is trying to encourage families to become foster parents. CSI director of welfare, Lana Verbrigghe said, “There is approximately 1,500 children in foster care right now and that number continues to increase, especially for older youth and sibling groups. Omaha is in need of more foster parents to provide care for sibling groups and the older youth who are in care.” Verbrigghe said there is “an increase in children being removed from their families due to substance abuse issues and more families are needed in the community to provide foster homes for children who are being removed because of safety concerns in their own families.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/video/p/child-saving-institute-needs-more-families-to-foster-kids/vp-AAxutq4

NJ: NJ may be second state to ban marriage for those under 18 (Includes video)

NJTV – May 18, 2018

Before NJTV News was given the address of the Unchained at Last office, we had to sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure we would not disclose the location. Executive director Fraidy Reiss says that’s because of the level of danger some of their clients face. The organization helps women and girls in the United States escape forced marriages. “There are different ways that parents will force their child to marry, sometimes it’s actually at gunpoint which is what people think of as a forced marriage, but in can involve threats of violence, actual violence, telling a girl you’re not leaving the house again until you marry, or we’ve seen mothers tell their daughters, if you don’t marry this guy I’m going to kill myself,” said Reiss.

https://www.njtvonline.org/news/video/nj-may-be-second-state-to-ban-marriage-for-those-under-18/

NY: Teen Moms in Foster Care Have Their Children Removed at Alarming Rates. New York City’s Gotten Better at Avoiding That (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 18, 2018

As a teen mom in foster care with a baby of her own, New Yorker RaiLei Girard resolved never to become “known.” To be “known” meant possibly having her own child placed in foster care – to be accused of child neglect or abuse, then becoming “known” to a child welfare system that takes children from teen moms in foster care at an alarmingly high rate.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news-2/teen-moms-foster-care-new-york-city/30866

OH: Not enough foster parents in Ohio to meet growing demand (Includes video)

WCPO – May 19, 2018

Brooklyn was born May 7, 2016, in need of help and a safe place to grow up. Less than a week later, family services placed her with a pair of foster parents: Ben and Megan Ballein, who received their license to care for her just days before. Their story isn’t unusual. Hamilton County is flooded with a “staggering” number of children needing care and understocked with foster parents prepared to give it. Prospective parents whose applications are approved could easily experience similarly short turnaround times.

https://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/not-enough-foster-parents-in-ohio-to-meet-growing-demand

OR: Editorial: State should explain progress or failure in foster care

Bend Bulletin – May 18, 2018

Chronic management failures and high caseloads have meant Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) has jeopardized the safety of children in the foster care system.

http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/6248776-151/editorial-state-should-explain-progress-or-failure-in

OR: South Coast Family Harbor hopes to expand home visits and services to rural communities

World Link – May 18, 2018

According to Tracie Skinner, the executive director of South Coast Family Harbor, the center’s main goal is to keep and strengthen families to become a stronger, healthier unit. Skinner said most of the families that come to the center are referred by past participants. In addition to providing children with a personalized curriculum, the center also host classes for parents.

https://theworldlink.com/news/local/south-coast-family-harbor-hopes-to-expand-home-visits-and/article_7d5f6c4a-7249-5086-a441-aa85114e18c6.html

PA: Family Court Judge Lyris Younge under fire

Philadelphia Tribune – May 19, 2018

Mothee and other parents and grandparents who believe that Younge has denied them their rights to due process and subsequently seen their children placed into the custody of family or in foster homes in the two-plus years Young has been on the bench have turned up the pressure on her recently. With protests, they are calling for her removal from the bench. Earlier this month, the state Judicial Conduct Board got involved, launching an investigation into Younge’s handling of cases following a series of articles that appeared in the Legal Intelligencer examining alleged due process violations.

http://www.phillytrib.com/news/family-court-judge-lyris-younge-under-fire/article_a4391a0a-2963-5e6a-90be-72d88496aa5f.html

PA: Catholic Social Services, foster parents sue city, DHS

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 18, 2018

Opening a legal front in an ongoing battle, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s social services agency has accused the city of religious discrimination for suspending its foster-care placement contracts because the agency refuses to place children with same-sex couples.

Also: Philly Ban on Faith-Based Adoption, Foster Care Punishes At-Risk Kids: www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/may/at-risk-kids-suffer-needlessly-from-phillys-ban-on-faith-based-adoption-foster-care-nbsp

Also: Parents Sue Philadelphia for Banning Catholic Agency From Placing Kids With Foster Families: https://www.christianpost.com/news/parents-sue-philadelphia-banning-catholic-agency-placing-kids-foster-families-224157/

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/catholic-social-services-lawsuit-city-dhs-foster-children-20180518.html

SC: Wanted: foster families, social workers (Commentary)

Post and Courier – May 21, 2018

Only about a third of caseworkers are overseeing fewer than 25 children, a goal DSS set four years ago in response to a class-action lawsuit that alleged a wide range of deficiencies in the agency serving some 4,500 children statewide. According to a separate 2015 report by The Post and Courier, South Carolina placed its youngest wards into group homes or institutions at the highest rate of any state.

https://www.postandcourier.com/opinion/editorials/wanted-foster-families-social-workers/article_1a9a3d70-5ad6-11e8-b1d8-4f30d580d4dd.html

SC: Horry County one of the top counties in the state for number of drug addicted babies (Includes video)

WBTW – May 18, 2018

Right now, there are two drug addicted babies at Conway Medical Center and nurses said this is a problem that continues to grow. About 1,200 babies are born at Conway Medical Center each year, and nurses said more of them are born addicted to drugs. “It’s been very frequent over the last year, its even been on the increase over the past year,” said nurse Jill Toscano.

http://www.wbtw.com/news/grand-strand/horry-county-one-of-the-top-counties-in-the-state-for-number-of-drug-addicted-babies/1187898401

TX: Address foster teen pregnancy now, not later (Commentary)

San Antonio Express-News – May 19, 2018

Bexar County has the dubious distinction of having recorded the highest number of pregnancies among foster children in the state’s last fiscal year. Of the 332 births to teens in foster care, 59 were recorded in our community. Sadly many infants born to moms in foster care end up in the system within a year.

https://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/editorials/article/Address-foster-teen-pregnancy-now-not-later-12926737.php

US: Abusive parents are using homeschooling to avoid detection (Opinion)

Child Welfare Monitor – May 21, 2018

On April 25, 2018, Connecticut’s Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) issued a stunning report. Using data from six school districts, OCA found that over a third of children removed from school to be homeschooled lived in families that had been reported at least once for abuse or neglect.

https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/05/21/abusive-parents-are-using-homeschooling-to-avoid-detection/

US: Is Sleeping With Your Baby As Dangerous As Doctors Say? (Includes audio)

National Public Radio – May 21, 2018

Here in the U.S., this is a growing trend among families. More moms are choosing to share a bed with their infants. Since 1993, the practice in the U.S. has grown from about 6 percent of parents to 24 percent in 2015. But the practice goes against medical advice in the U.S. The American Academy of Pediatrics is opposed to bed-sharing: It “should be avoided at all times” with a “(full-)term normal-weight infant younger than 4 months,” the AAP writes in its 2016 recommendations for pediatricians.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/05/21/601289695/is-sleeping-with-your-baby-as-dangerous-as-doctors-say

US: Adoption connects drug-exposed kids with new families

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 20, 2018

“It’s true nationally, not just in Philadelphia, that of the children being placed for private adoptions, more of them had previously experienced substance exposure, including exposure to opioids, or were born with an addiction to opioids,” said Ryan Hanlon, vice president of the National Council for Adoptions.

http://www.timeswv.com/news/adoption-connects-drug-exposed-kids-with-new-families/article_7770f3f6-5c0a-11e8-a6d0-3f99a028aea0.html

US: How Prevention Services Could Help Youth Avoid the Foster Care System (Editorial)

Teen Vogue – May 20, 2018

Fostered or Forgotten is a Teen Vogue series about the foster care system in the United States, produced in partnership with Juvenile Law Center and published throughout National Foster Care Month. In this op-ed, Nico’Lee Biddle, an LCSW, trauma therapist and freelance speaker, explains how her family’s foster care journey may have been different if prevention services were offered before she was removed from her home.

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-prevention-services-could-help-youth-avoid-the-foster-care-system

US: New border policy could have unintended consequences (Commentary)

United Press International – May 18, 2018

In practice this means that the parents will generally be placed in detention to await their day in federal court, while the children will be placed with other family members already in the U.S. or put into the foster care system. The prospect of separating parents from the children has alarmed immigrant and human rights advocates, and there may be some legal questions about whether that separation is in fact “in the best interests of the child.”

https://www.upi.com/Top_News/Voices/2018/05/18/New-border-policy-could-have-unintended-consequences/4571526648684/

US: Strategies for stemming the opioid epidemic (Commentary)

Deloitte Insights – May 18, 2018

The opioid crisis in the United States continues to reverberate across society. While a holistic solution remains elusive, health plans and pharmacy benefit managers are evolving their use of data analytics and technology to improve prevention and treatment among their members and in their communities.

https://www2.deloitte.com/insights/us/en/industry/health-care/strategies-health-plans-pbms-to-stem-opioid-crisis-with-data-technology.html

US: Troubled girls, boys have different reasons for having risky sex: CWRU study

Cleveland Plain Dealer – May 18, 2018

Past child abuse led to risky sexual behavior for boys in the study, explained Laura Voith, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University’s Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, who helped conduct the research. That isn’t the case for girls. The study suggests that marijuana use puts girls at greater risk for risky sexual behavior, she said.

Study: Gender differences in pathways from child physical and sexual abuse to adolescent risky sexual behavior among high-risk youth: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2018.02.006

https://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2018/05/troubled_girls_boys_have_diffe_1.html

US: We Have to Stop Losing Half of Foster Parents in the First Year (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 18, 2018

Foster care is intended to be a short-term solution, while child welfare agencies work to reunify a child with his or her birth parents, place them with a trusted relative or find them a new permanent family. But while they are in foster care, children need someone to love them unconditionally, and help them to grow and flourish. Foster parents try to fill that role. Unfortunately, we lose too many of our quality foster families. Nearly half of foster parents quit in their first year of fostering due to lack of support, poor communication with caseworkers, insufficient training to address child’s needs and lack of say in the child’s well-being.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/opinion/stop-losing-half-foster-parents-first-year/30904

US: Plight of children is lost in immigration debate (Opinion)

Houston Chronicle – May 17, 2018

As a pro bono immigration attorney for children immigrants and refugees over the past five years in Houston, I am struck by how little the fear-mongering and mischaracterizations of people from Central America seeking safety, like those traveling in the recent caravan of refugees from Central America, resonates with reality.

https://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Plight-of-children-is-lost-in-immigratin-debate-12920213.php

INTERNATIONAL

Canada: Separating sick Inuit kids and parents is medical colonialism all over again (Commentary)

Guardian – May 17, 2018

In Quebec, air ambulances continue the incomprehensible practice of separating children and parents – despite no written policy demanding it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2018/may/17/separating-sick-inuit-kids-from-their-parents-is-medical-colonialism-all-over-again

United Kingdom: Inspectors praise impact of awards and ‘cakes and compliments’ initiatives for social workers

Community Care – May 21, 2018

Ofsted inspectors have praised the efforts of senior leaders at a local authority to create a “positive environment” for social workers. A focused visit of child in need and child protection services in Northamptonshire said senior leaders were working hard to change the culture of social work in the county, and managers were having “a positive impact on staff morale”.

http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2018/05/21/inspectors-praise-impact-awards-cakes-compliments-initiatives-social-workers/

 

AZ: & KY: Two States Just Made It Easier to Take Babies Away From Mothers Who Use Drugs During Pregnancy (Commentary)

In Justice Today – May 17, 2018

Terminating a mother’s rights to her newborn is an especially brutal drug war tactic that research and experience show will inflict far more harm than good on the children and families it allegedly aims to protect. Such policies are rooted in stigma and gross indifference to what the best available science tells us about how to compassionately and effectively serve pregnant women struggling with drug use disorders and their families.

https://injusticetoday.com/two-states-just-made-it-easier-to-take-babies-away-from-mothers-who-use-drugs-during-pregnancy-d6a6f426c6fe

CA: All California Kids Deserve Internet Access-Including Youth in Detention and Foster Care (Commentary)

Electronic Frontier Foundation – May 17, 2018

It would be more effective to provide incarcerated youth with educational opportunities so they don’t fall behind their peers, ensuring they have a fair shot at integrating back into society. California has an opportunity to accomplish exactly this by providing the state’s juvenile offenders with access to quality education resources though the Internet.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/05/all-california-kids-deserve-internet-access-including-youth-detention-and-foster

CA: Child Abuse Care In California Spotlights Lack Of Oversight Of Home Schooling (Includes video)

NBC – May 17, 2018

Efforts to add more oversight in California have faltered after meeting fierce opposition from parents who home school and say such regulations would interfere with their ability to educate their children as they see fit. Coleman said that while the recent California cases have received a lot of attention, her organization has charted dozens of similar incidents in the state in the past five years.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/child-abuse-case-california-spotlights-lack-oversight-home-schooling-n874801?cid=public-rss_20180517

CT: Connecticut Wants More LGBT Families to Adopt and Foster Children

Associated Press – May 17, 2018

Connecticut’s child welfare agency has launched an initiative to actively recruit members of the state’s LGBT community to become foster and adoptive parents, bucking recent efforts in some states to curtail gay adoptions.

http://time.com/5281634/connecticut-lgbt-families-adopt-children/?

IN: Needed foster parents can provide stability (Commentary)

Batesville Herald-Tribune – May 16, 2018

May is National Foster Care Month, which recognizes parents, volunteers, child welfare professionals and other community members who help children in the foster care system. In Indiana alone, more than 40,000 children were in foster care between December 2016 and December 2017, according to the Indiana Department of Child Services, and an estimated 430,000 kids and teens are in the foster care system nationwide.

http://www.batesvilleheraldtribune.com/opinion/needed-foster-parents-can-provide-stability/article_14412e0c-f85b-50bb-9afc-40ee44cd3ae5.html

KS: Adoption Protection Act on the way in Kansas (Includes video)

KSNW – May 18, 2018

Senate Bill 284 is supposed to protect faith-based groups that do adoptions in Kansas.

http://www.ksn.com/news/local/adoption-protection-act-on-the-way-in-kansas/1185939381

KY: Adam Meier Tapped As New Head Of Kentucky Health Cabinet (Includes audio)

WKMS – May 17, 2018

Governor Matt Bevin on Friday appointed Adam Meier as secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which is responsible for running almost every government-involved health program in Kentucky. The cabinet oversees the adoption system, foster care, child welfare, Medicaid, food assistance, hospital inspections, among others.

http://wkms.org/post/adam-meier-tapped-new-head-kentucky-health-cabinet

MA: I-Team: Law Change Would Add Coaches To List Of Mandated Reporters Of Sexual Abuse (Includes video)

WBZ – May 17, 2018

In Massachusetts, many people who work with kids are required by law to report abuse and neglect. But that law doesn’t apply to private coaches.

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/05/17/i-team-coaches-mandated-reporters-coaches-abuse/

MN: Initiative Launched to Recruit More Young Foster Parents (Includes video)

KSTP – May 17, 2018

Since there isn’t a one-stop-shop for foster care, MN ADOPT is launching a new, online platform called Fostering Network. It is intended to bulldoze the process – helping with the front-end lifting, providing prospective foster care couples with resources and connections to get licensed.

Also: Information Gateway resource: Recruiting and Retaining Resource Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/recruiting/

http://kstp.com/news/foster-parents-recruitment-minnesota-initiative/4904261/?cat=12196

NV: I-Team: Acting CPS director questioned about child deaths (Includes video)

KLAS – May 17, 2018

Several children in Clark County have died even after Child Protective Services or CPS has had the chance to intervene.

http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/i-team-acting-cps-director-questioned-about-child-deaths/1185668259

OH: “Keep a Promise” campaign aims to fight substance, child abuse

Toledo Blade – May 17, 2018

The new public awareness campaign “Keep a Promise” aims to raise awareness about the connection between substance abuse and child abuse, aiming to establish a central resource for those seeking help. “We know that addiction changes people and can devastate families,” she said, adding nearly 176,000 child-abuse and neglect reports were made to Ohio children services agencies last year, and substance abuse is involved in the cases of half of all Ohio children in protective custody.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2018/05/17/Officials-launch-Keep-a-Promise-campaign-to-combat-substance-and-child-abuse.html

PA: ‘We should have done more to protect you.’ Kids in placement describe abuse, isolation and lack of education

Inquirer – May 17, 2018

Yet more than 1,300 young people from Philadelphia continue to be confined in 70 similar residential placement programs that are scattered around the country, as far away as New Mexico, at an annual cost of $119,000 per child to the city and an additional $30 million to the School District – and reports of mistreatment continue.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/philadelphia/david-hess-wordsworth-sex-abuse-physical-assault-city-council-20180517.html

PA: Foster parents join Philadelphia’s Catholic Social Services in discrimination lawsuit

Catholic News Agency – May 17, 2018

A group of foster parents and social workers appeared in court on Wednesday, asking that the city of Philadelphia rescind its decision to ban a Catholic organization from placing children in foster homes. The plaintiffs of Sharonell Fulton et al. v. City of Philadelphia told a US District Court May 16 that they are being discriminated against because of their agency’s deeply-held religious beliefs.

Also: With 5,000 Children in Foster Care, Why Would the City of Philadelphia Shut Out Catholic Social Services?: https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/with-5000-children-in-foster-care-why-would-the-city-of-philadelphia-shut-out-catholic-social-services/

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/foster-parents-join-philadelphias-catholic-social-services-in-discrimination-lawsuit-17627

PA: Luzerne County Children and Youth director on board with state auditor general recommendations

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader – May 17, 2018

Luzerne County Children and Youth Director Joanne Van Saun said Thursday she supports and already had implemented some of the recommendations in the state auditor general’s new “State of the Child Action Plan.”

Also: Auditor general calls for changes to fix child protection in Pennsylvania: http://www.meadvilletribune.com/news/auditor-general-calls-for-changes-to-fix-child-protection-in/article_e0dabd47-1ad8-52ba-a7e7-d1caed0596cf.html

Report: Action Plan: State of the Child: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4464227-RPT-StateofChild-Action-Plan-051618-FINAL-DRAFT.html

https://www.timesleader.com/news/704476/luzerne-county-children-and-youth-director-on-board-with-state-auditor-general-recommendations

SC: Born addicted: Horry County leads SC in number of drug-dependent babies (Includes video)

Myrtle Beach Sun News – May 16, 2018

Twenty-four babies were born with a physical dependence on drugs in Horry County in 2017, more than any other county in South Carolina, according to data from the South Carolina Office of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs. The county has led the state the past three years in total number of babies born with the syndrome at eight babies per 1,000 births. Statewide, the rate is five per 1,000.

http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/local/article210746099.html

TX: Dozens of girls still in care facility after allegations of sexual, physical abuse surface, DA says

Action News Now – May 17, 2018

Authorities raided two children’s homes outside Houston on Wednesday after multiple staff members were accused of physically abusing underage girls in their care, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. There were also allegations that one girl was sexually abused.

Also: Allegations of abuses, neglect trigger raid at care facility: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/neighborhood/moco/news/article/Montgomery-County-officials-raid-Willis-care-12922306.php

http://www.actionnewsnow.com/content/national/483002701.html?ref=701

UT: Proposal to ban child marriage in Utah introduced (Includes video)

News4Utah – May 16, 2018

A Utah lawmaker is proposing to ban all child marriages in the state, no matter the circumstances. Currently, Utah law allows children to marry at age 15 with parental and judicial consent, and at 16 or 17 with parental permission. Rep. Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) proposed Tuesday to make any marriage under 18 illegal in the state of Utah, something that’s only been done by one other state – Delaware.

http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/proposal-to-ban-child-marriage-in-utah-introduced/1183106335

WA: Dent appointed to new Children, Youth and Families oversight board

Ellensburg Daily Record – May 17, 2018

State Rep. Tom Dent, R-Moses Lake, has been appointed to a Children, Youth and Families Oversight Board in the state House of Representatives, according to a news release. The oversight board is part of a bill passed by the Legislature in 2017, which created the new Department of Children, Youth and Families.

https://www.dailyrecordnews.com/inbrief/dent-appointed-to-new-children-youth-and-families-oversight-board/article_93274d21-5ec0-5e96-8583-3ab6628e6f1e.html

US: Delaware Has Banned Marriage Under Age 18. Other States Also Consider Limits

New York Times – May 17, 2018

State lawmakers across the country are moving to raise the minimum age to marry, out of growing concern that lax marriage laws may be contributing to sex trafficking and to children being forced to marry against their will.

Also: A Look At How And Why Child Marriage Still Happens In The US (Includes audio): https://www.newsy.com/stories/forms-of-child-marriage-legal-in-49-us-states/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/17/us/child-marriage-minimum-age-minors.html

 

CA: California abuse cases raise questions about home school regulation (Includes video)

Cable News Network – May 16, 2018

California is one of 15 states requiring that parents merely register with education authorities, according to the home education coalition, which has pushed for greater oversight. Other states with similar requirements include Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/16/us/california-home-schooling-abuse/index.html

CA: More California Community Colleges Offering Support for Foster Students (Includes video)

CBS 13 Sacramento – May 16, 2018

NextUp, formerly known as CAFYES (Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support), gives foster care students extra support as they attend community college. That support comes in the form of using “an in-person, individual approach when offering support and services, including books and supplies, child care, counseling and career guidance, educational planning, emergency housing assistance, food assistance, health services, life skills, financial literacy, mental health services, transportation assistance and tutoring.”

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2018/05/16/more-california-community-colleges-offering-support-for-foster-students/

CO: State needs 1,200 new foster families to make up for statewide shortages (Includes video)

Denver Channel7 – May 16, 2018

The Colorado Department of Human Services said it needs to add 1,247 more foster families in the next two years. The state currently has just over 2,000. 10,000 kids statewide were put in out-of-home care last year — including foster care, group homes, and residential child care facilities — and officials say that number continues to grow.

https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/cdhs-state-needs-1-200-new-foster-families-to-make-up-for-statewide-shortage

FL: Child welfare agents investigate claims abused and neglected kids are being held like prisoners

Miami Herald – May 16, 2018

Child welfare administrators are investigating a report that adolescents in a Miami Gardens shelter for abused and neglected children are being treated like virtual prisoners in a compound with a fence and a locked gate. The allegations were made by a court-ordered guardian for children in the child welfare system, Evin Daly, who said he reported his concerns to Florida’s child abuse hotline. They involve the His House Children’s Home, which houses foster kids who haven’t been able to find a more traditional home. Currently, 76 children and adolescents live at the shelter.

https://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/newsheadlines/s-2081088

GA: Georgia’s former foster children get support from unique partnership

Atlanta Daily World – May 16, 2018

The Atlanta Children’s Foundation launches its Crisis Card Program in partnership with YMCA of Metro Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to provide further support to children who have aged out of the foster care system upon turning 18. With help from sponsors, the Crisis Card Program will provide financial aid to these at-risk youths to help them avoid possible exploitation after they age out of the Georgia foster care system and are no longer supported by the state.

https://atlantadailyworld.com/2018/05/16/georgias-former-foster-children-get-support-from-unique-partnership/

KS: Kansas Child Welfare Agency Sees Administrative Turnover As Hope For Turnaround

High Plains Public Radio – May 16, 2018

Some 20 administrators in the Kansas agency managing child welfare and state assistance have been promoted, fired or shifted to other posts since November. Gina Meier-Hummel was tapped to take over the Department for Children and Families nearly six months ago and says now that the changes have been aimed at strengthening the agency as it confronts a rising caseload of children in care.

Also: A Trashed Kitchen Only Begins To Tell The Troubles Of Kansas Adoption And Foster Care (Includes audio): http://hppr.org/post/trashed-kitchen-only-begins-tell-troubles-kansas-adoption-and-foster-care

http://hppr.org/post/kansas-child-welfare-agency-sees-administrative-turnover-hope-turnaround

KS: Lyon County judge appointed to child welfare task force

Emporia Gazette – May 16, 2018

The Kansas Supreme Court appointed District Judge Jeffry Larson of Emporia to the Child Welfare System Task Force. Larson will complete the unexpired term of District Judge Daniel Cahill, who serves in Wyandotte County of the 29th Judicial District. Larson serves in Lyon County of the 5th Judicial District. His term on the task force ends January 14, 2019.

http://www.emporiagazette.com/area_news/article_a926ddca-5935-11e8-8f7d-ef85df7df861.html

MI: Michigan State University Reaches $500 Million Settlement With Nassar Abuse Victims

National Public Radio – May 16, 2018

Under the terms of the agreement, the school will pay $425 million to current claimants, with $75 million set aside in a trust fund for any future claimants who allege sexual abuse by Nassar under the guise of medical treatment.

Also: Michigan State settles with Larry Nassar victims for $500 million (Includes video): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2018/05/16/michigan-state-settles-larry-nassar-lawsuits-for-500-million/

Also: Michigan State’s $500 Million for Nassar Victims Dwarfs Other Settlements (Includes video): https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/us/larry-nassar-michigan-state-settlement.html

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/16/611624047/michigan-state-university-reaches-500-million-settlement-with-nassar-abuse-victi

NE: COMPASS, DHHS linking families in need to community churches

Nebraska TV – May 16, 2018

COMPASS and DHHS are teaming up to expand the CarePortal program. Through CarePortal, COMPASS has been empowering churches in the Kearney area to meet the needs of children in foster care.

http://nebraska.tv/news/local/compass-dhhs-linking-families-in-need-to-community-churches

NV: These women risk their lives to save sex trafficking victims in Las Vegas (Includes video)

KVVU TV – May 16, 2018

Annie Lobert and Laurin Crosson said a majority of victims are under 18, and come from the foster care system. They also said the majority of victims they help believe their trafficker is their boyfriend or fiancé and most don’t understand they’re being trafficked.

Information Gateway resource: Responding to Human Trafficking: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/trafficking/pir/responding/

http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/38208422/these-women-risk-their-lives-to-save-sex-trafficking-victims-in-las-vegas

NY: Foster Kids in NYC Tell All in First Ever Survey (Video)

4 New York – May 16, 2018

News 4’s I-Team has obtained the results of the first-ever survey of children in NYC Foster Care. The annual survey of kids age 13 and up is required under a new local law, and 46 percent of eligible youth participated — about 1,200 kids — in exchange for a $10 gift card.

https://www.nbcnewyork.com/on-air/as-seen-on/Foster-Kids-in-NYC-Tell-All-in-First-Ever-Survey_New-York-482857541.html

NY: Homelessness takes center stage at NYC budget hearing

City & State New York – May 15, 2018

David Hansell, commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services, also gave testimony before the council, and highlighted the city’s progress with implementing Raise the Age legislation and reforming the foster care system.

https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-city/homelessness-takes-center-stage-nyc-budget-hearing.html

NY: Part 1: Foster kids squeezed out of the area

Adirondack Daily Enterprise – May 15, 2018

Since the opioid epidemic hit the North Country, the need for foster homes for children whose parents are addicted, in treatment or in jail has outpaced the number of homes that can take them. Mike Mascarenas, commissioner of Essex County Department of Social Services, has been with the department for two years. When he started, there were 28 kids in foster care. Today there are 47. “That’s pretty significant,” said Mascarina. “We’ve almost doubled.”

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/news/local-news/2018/05/part-1-foster-kids-squeezed-out-of-the-area/

OH: Tidal Wave of Children Into Foster Care System

WTVG – May 16, 2018

There are so many kids going into foster care because their parents are trying to recover from heroin addiction that the system is on overload. Some are calling for changes to the timeline it takes to reunited parents with their kids, so families have a stronger chance of staying together. Shiela Gibbs works for Lucas County Children’s Services. She says the laws of reunification date back to the late eighties. “The agency has one year, 12 months to work with a family to reunify the children with them. If the parents aren’t showing any progress toward recovery then a permanent placement plan needs to be started for the child. If they’re showing progress we can ask the court for two 6-month extensions.”

http://www.13abc.com/content/news/Tidal-Wave-of-Children-Into-Foster-Care-System-482851411.html

OK: Director Of Oklahoma’s DHS Retires

News On 6 – May 16, 2018

The Director of Child Welfare Services for Department of Human Services says she’s leaving her position at the end of the month. Jami Ledoux says she is resigning in part because of the toll the job has taken on her family.

http://www.newson6.com/story/38209806/director-of-oklahomas-dhs-retires

OR: Portland voters overwhelmingly passing Children’s Levy for fourth time

Portland Tribune – May 15, 2018

Portland voters appear to have strongly backed the long-running Children’s Levy in unofficial returns Wednesday morning. The Secretary of State’s Office shows 81 percent of voters approving Ballot Measure 26-197, according to returns tallied at 8 p.m. Outgoing City Commissioner Dan Saltzman spearheaded the levy in 2002 and voters have elected to renew it ever since.

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/395596-289173-portland-voters-overwhelmingly-passing-childrens-levy-for-fourth-time

PA: Auditor general calls for changes to fix child protection in PA

CNHI – May 16, 2018

Six months after declaring that Pennsylvania’s child protection system was broken, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale rolled out an action plan to fix it.

Action Plan: State of the Child: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4464227-RPT-StateofChild-Action-Plan-051618-FINAL-DRAFT.html

Also: Auditor general releases plan to keep at-risk children safer (Includes video): http://www.abc27.com/news/local/auditor-general-releases-plan-to-keep-at-risk-children-safer/1183954915

http://www.dailyitem.com/the_danville_news/news/auditor-general-calls-for-changes-to-fix-child-protection-in/article_198d4ee8-f317-5779-956d-7ff8aea1da10.html

TX: Why did CPS stop investigating Sherin Mathews’ parents months before the 3-year-old was killed?

Dallas Morning News – May 16, 2018

When a doctor specializing in child abuse reviewed X-rays, she found the family’s explanations were inconsistent with the girl’s bone fractures, according to court testimony. She called Child Protective Services, which opened an investigation into the Richardson couple who had adopted Sherin from India in 2016. The agency eventually closed the case. Months later, Sherin was dead, her little body dumped in a culvert. Both of her parents have been charged: Wesley Mathews with capital murder and Sini Mathews with child endangerment.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/child-protective-services/2018/05/16/cps-stop-investigating-sherin-mathews-parents-months-before-killed

TX: HEART TO HEART: Visitation rooms easing foster children back home (Includes video)

KRBC – May 15, 2018

The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) plays a very important role in a child’s life, if they are removed from their home due to child abuse or neglect. To help ease that transition, they take part in what is called visitation rooms.

http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/main-news/heart-to-heart-visitation-rooms-easing-foster-children-back-home/1181803566

US: 3 UNI — An Innovative Approach to Assist Foster Children (Press release)

Christian News Wire – May 16, 2018

3 UNI for Orphans, a Miami based non-profit Christian organization brings a new approach to assist orphans and foster children locally and worldwide. 3 UNI aims to promote and connect orphan care organizations, ministries and local efforts with donors, volunteers and potential adoptive/foster families – or “connect resources to the need.”

http://www.earnedmedia.org/3uni0516.htm

US: Will placing fewer children in foster care fix the system?: How is foster care responsible for the kids who end up in prison as adults? (Commentary)

American Enterprise Institute – May 16, 2018

You’ve no doubt heard of the school-to-prison pipeline, “a disturbing national trend,” according to the ACLU, “wherein children are funneled out of public schools and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” Now, according to some experts, including those present at a recent Brookings Institution event, there is a “foster-care-to-prison pipeline.” It’s true that a shocking number of kids who have spent time in foster care or who have aged out end up incarcerated. As much as 7% of the prison population in the U.S. has spent time in the foster care system, according to Ron Haskins of Brookings. And 15% of inmates in California prisons have spent time in foster care.

http://www.aei.org/publication/will-placing-fewer-children-in-foster-care-fix-the-system/

INTERNATIONAL

South Korea: International adoptions rise on negative perception

Korea Times – May 15, 2018

With the number of domestic adoptions hitting a record low, the number of Korean children sent abroad for international adoption is rising again. Adoptions remain taboo in Korea _ a society where blood ties still take precedence over all other relationships. This is why the country still sends hundreds of children overseas every year, even though the economy faces a declining birthrate.

https://www.finanzen.ch/nachrichten/aktien/International-adoptions-rise-on-negative-perception-6196957

 

AZ: Arizona child welfare agency creates unit for child victims

Associated Press – May 16, 2018

Arizona’s Department of Child Safety says it has a new specialized unit to ensure child victims’ voices are heard. Greg McKay, director of the state’s child welfare agency, said Tuesday that the unit’s members will work with the department’s case managers, police agencies and prosecutors as criminal cases move through the court system to ensure children get adequate representation.

https://apnews.com/55e3ef5519544d769c34120bdf86dc83

CA: Delaine Eastin, Vying to Be California’s Next Governor, Talks About Key Children’s Issues Ahead of Special Los Angeles Forum

74/LA School Report/Chronicle of Social Change – May 14, 2018

This Tuesday, candidates to become California’s next governor will gather in Los Angeles to discuss issues vital to children and families, including educational equity. Our colleagues at LA School Report are co-hosting the nonpartisan governor-candidates forum at Los Angeles Trade Technical College in tandem with The Chronicle of Social Change, the Children’s Defense Fund-California, and the Children’s Partnership.

Also: The Future of California’s Children: What Top Candidates for Governor Think: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/future-california-children-candidates-governor/30846

https://www.the74million.org/article/delaine-eastin-vying-to-be-californias-next-governor-talks-about-key-childrens-issues-ahead-of-special-los-angeles-forum/

FL: You can truly make a difference by being a foster parent (Commentary)

Tallahassee Democrat – May 15, 2018

What if you had the opportunity to change the world and make a life long impact, would you do it? What if you knew that your actions changed the course of another person life?

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/family/2018/05/15/foster-parents-change-lives-one-child-time/611470002/

IN: Foster parents desperately needed for Hoosier children (Includes video)

RTV6 – May 15, 2018

The number of children in Indiana’s welfare system right now is more than double what it was five years ago which has created a critical need for foster parents in the state.

https://www.theindychannel.com/news/local-news/indianapolis/foster-parents-needed-for-hoosier-children

IN: Indiana lawmakers create study committee on child welfare

Associated Press – May 15, 2018

Legislative leaders announced Tuesday that they will convene a summer study committee to examine systemic challenges faced by Indiana’s embattled child welfare agency. The announcement comes as Democrats have repeatedly attacked majority Republicans for calling a one-day special session this week to complete some unfinished priorities – but doing nothing legislatively to address widely reported problems at the Department of Child Services.

https://www.whio.com/news/local/indiana-lawmakers-create-study-committee-child-welfare/LqXQMlNahNU0xCMxlFbf2O/

KS: Child, adult welfare agency chief visits

Atchison Globe – May 15, 2018

Halfway through a statewide tour of her agency’s various regional offices, the state’s leader on child and adult welfare policy made a stop recently in Atchison. “We often talk in this agency about what we do, but more important is why we do it,” she said during her address. “We want kids to feel safe. We want kids to grow up in their own communities, where they were born or where they have family. We want them to eventually get gainful employment there.”

http://www.newspressnow.com/news/state/child-adult-welfare-agency-chief-visits/article_755665fe-6068-5a35-a795-07d8c4892028.html

LA: Dept. of Children and Family Services launches new foster parent program

FOX 44 – May 15, 2018

The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services announced the official launch of a new foster parent recruitment campaign Tuesday, in conjunction with National Foster Care Month celebrated annually in May. “We recruit and certify new foster homes every year, but we always need more. The need is especially critical for families willing and able to take in sibling groups, youth and medically fragile children,” said Marketa Garner Walters, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services, in a news release.

Also: Louisiana Fosters: Louisiana’s Children – Our Children (Includes video): http://www.louisianafosters.la.gov/

http://www.brproud.com/news/local-news/dept-of-children-and-family-services-launches-new-foster-parent-program/1180506931

LA: Senate passes Louisiana operating budget with deep cuts

Republic – May 15, 2018

A more than $28 billion Louisiana operating budget that would make steep cuts across government to protect health programs for the elderly and disabled won the backing Tuesday of a divided state Senate. The proposal would steeply cut state financing to public colleges, eliminate the food stamp program, close the veterans cemetery program, shutter parks and museums, shrink spending on the child welfare agency and scale back public safety programs. The TOPS program would cover only 70 percent of college tuition costs.

http://www.therepublic.com/2018/05/15/la-xgr-louisiana-budget-9/

MD: Maryland Bans LGBT ‘Conversion Therapy’ for Minors (Includes video)

Newsweek – May 16, 2018

Maryland has joined a growing number of states to ban gay “conversion therapy” for minors, with Governor Larry Hogan signing the measure into law Tuesday.

Also: Gay ‘Conversion Therapy’ Is Now Illegal In Maryland: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/maryland-outlaws-gay-conversion-therapy_us_5afb185ce4b0200bcab94bf2

Also: VICTORY! Maryland Enacts Legislation Protecting LGBTQ Youth from Abusive “Conversion Therapy” (Commentary): http://www.hrc.org/blog/maryland-enacts-legislation-protecting-lgbtq-youth-from-conversion-therapy

Also: Report: Conversion Therapy And LGBT Youth (Executive Summary): https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Conversion-Therapy-LGBT-Youth-Jan-2018.pdf

http://www.newsweek.com/maryland-bans-gay-conversion-therapy-minors-928197

MN: Foster parent recruiters join forces across 4 counties

St. Cloud Times – May 15, 2018

Valerie Steele, a Licensing and Resources recruiter for Wright County, and other foster parent recruiters are working together and increasing their efforts in Central Minnesota, because the need for foster parents is so great.

https://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2018/05/15/foster-parent-recruiters-join-forces-across-4-counties/608222002/

MN: House votes to extend advisory councils (Press release)

Minnesota House of Representatives – May 15, 2018

Sponsored by Rep. Tony Albright (R-Prior Lake) and Sen. Paul Utke (R-Park Rapids), HF3404/ SF3143* would extend the Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Committee, the American Indian Advisory Council and the American Indian Child Welfare Advisory Council to 2023, and the Formulary Committee to 2022. If the Legislature did not act, each would expire this year. Passed by the House 127-0 Tuesday, it now goes to Gov. Mark Dayton. The Senate passed it 64-0 May 8.

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/SDView.aspx?StoryID=13391

MO: Call the weddings off: Missouri must toughen its child bride law (Commentary)

Kansas City Star – May 14, 2018

Missouri’s lenient marriage laws have made the state a magnet for child weddings, including marriages that may involve the bride’s rapist. That fact should shock every Missourian.

http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article211126244.html

NH: DHHS blasts report critical of Sununu Youth Services Center

New Hampshire Union Leader – May 15, 2018

The Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday vehemently rejected a watchdog’s report accusing the Sununu Youth Services Center of routinely, dangerously and illegally restraining children detained at the facility.

Report: Unlawful Use of Physical Restraint at Sununu Youth Services Center Manchester, NH: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KMbS1adZlm3x6buYVX1jsnQKibbwIuix/view

http://www.unionleader.com/social-isues/DHHS-blasts-report-critical-of-Sununu-Youth-Services-Center-5152018

NH: New Hampshire Girl Scout Wins Child Marriage Fight

Brides – May 15, 2018

When Cassandra Levesque, a Girl Scout from New Hampshire, found out that her home state allowed child marriage for girls and boys as young as 13, she was appalled. But instead of just balking at the reprehensible law, she got involved in what has become a nationwide fight against child marriage.

https://www.brides.com/story/new-hampshire-girl-scout-wins-child-marriage-fight

NY: Family Court Referee Recognizes Foster Care Awareness Month

Oswego County Today – May 15, 2018

May is Foster Care Awareness Month and Family Court Referee Thom Benedetto wants Oswego County residents to have a greater awareness of how critically important foster parents are to making a wonderful difference in the lives of children and youth whom they support, as well as ways the system can be improved in the county.

https://oswegocountytoday.com/family-court-referee-recognizes-foster-care-awareness-month/

OH: Cuyahoga County to make changes to children’s services following death of 4-year-old girl (Includes video)

WKYC – May 15, 2018

The Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services has announced its first series of changes following the alleged murder of a 4-year-old girl earlier this year.

Also: Cuyahoga County launching new children services initiatives after death of Aniya Day-Garrett: http://www.cleveland19.com/story/38196876/cuyahoga-county-launching-new-children-services-initiatives-policies-following-death-of-aniya-day-garrett

https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/cuyahoga-county/cuyahoga-county-to-make-changes-to-childrens-services-following-death-of-4-year-old-girl/95-552318220

OK: Oklahoma’s child welfare director will resign, calling it ‘one of the most difficult jobs in state government’

Oklahoman – May 16, 2018

Oklahoma’s director of child welfare services announced her resignation Tuesday, citing the stress of her job and the pressure of implementing a 2012 legal agreement. Jami Ledoux has led the child welfare wing of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services for four years – three years as a director after one year as an interim director.

https://newsok.com/article/5594785/oklahomas-child-welfare-director-will-resign-calling-it-one-of-the-most-difficult-jobs-in-state-government

SC: More people will be required to report child abuse with new bill (Includes video)

WSPA – May 11, 2018

South Carolina lawmakers have been working all session to protect the most vulnerable citizens, children. They’re in the works of passing two bills into law aimed at preventing child abuse and increasing the review into child deaths.

http://www.wspa.com/news/more-people-will-be-required-to-report-child-abuse-with-new-bill/1172442610

UT: Lawmaker proposes raising Utah’s marriage age to 18 (Includes video)

Fox 13 – May 15, 2018

A state lawmaker is seeking to ban anyone under 18 from getting married in Utah. Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake City, filed a bill for the 2019 Utah State Legislature, raising the legal marriage age in Utah to 18 and above. In an interview with FOX 13, Rep. Romero said she was doing it to help safeguard the state’s youth from sexual abuse.

http://fox13now.com/2018/05/15/lawmaker-proposes-raising-utahs-marriage-age-to-18/

WA: Foster care homes needed as more children affected by opioid crisis

Snoqualmie Valley Record – May 15, 2018

According to recent data, there are more children in foster care this year than there have been in the last nine years. Washington state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) backs those numbers.

http://www.valleyrecord.com/news/foster-care-homes-needed-as-more-children-affected-by-opioid-crisis/

US: From Beauty Salons to Foster Homes, Denise Goodman Explains How to Crack the Recruitment Code

Chronicle of Social Change – May 15, 2018

Denise Goodman has been trying to figure out how to recruit foster parents for a long time. In a recent conversation with The Chronicle, Goodman shared why recruiting foster parents is so much different than it used to be, why most foster parent retention efforts go wrong and some unexpected places where recruiters should look for foster parents.

Also: Information Gateway resource: Recruiting and Retaining Resource Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/recruiting/

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/analysis/denise-goodman-foster-parent-recruitment-and-rentention/30831

US: Homeland Security boss defends separating immigrant families

Associated Press – May 15, 2018

The head of the Department of Homeland Security defended the Trump administration’s practice of separating children from parents when the family is being prosecuted for entering the U.S. illegally, telling a Senate committee Tuesday that removing children from parents facing criminal charges happens “in the United States every day.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/homeland-security-boss-defends-separating-immigrant-families/2018/05/15/8c0f2632-587e-11e8-9889-07bcc1327f4b_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.d

US: Tribes continue to rely on key lawmakers for help with funding (Includes audio)

Indianz – May 15, 2018

With few people in their corner in the Trump administration, tribes are once again relying on Congress to fulfill the federal government’s trust and treaty responsibilities. “Please reject the proposed 27 percent cut for the Indian Child Welfare Act,” said Deana M. Bovee, the chairwoman of the Susanville Indian Rancheria, based in California. The reduction is contained in Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request for the BIA. We estimate that we have an unmet need of over 300 percent and and increase is needed to meet the minimum ICWA- related needs for our tribal children and families,” Bovee continued, noting that her tribe handles an average of 12 Indian Child Welfare Act cases a month.

https://www.indianz.com/News/2018/05/15/tribes-continue-to-rely-on-key-lawmakers.asp

US: Trump administration preparing to hold immigrant children on military bases

Washington Post – May 15, 2018

The Trump administration is making preparations to hold immigrant children on military bases, according to Defense Department communications, the latest sign the government is moving forward with plans to split up families who cross the border illegally.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-preparing-to-shelter-migrant-children-on-military-bases/2018/05/15/f8103356-584e-11e8-b656-a5f8c2a9295d_story.html?utm_term=

INTERNATIONAL

Canada: New Children, Youth and Families Act Protects Children and Youth and Supports Families (Press release)

Newfoundland, Labrador, Canada – May 15, 2018

New legislation to promote the safety and well-being of children and youth will begin second reading in the House of Assembly today. The new Children, Youth and Families Act will replace the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act. The new act builds on the principles of the previous act and is child and youth-centred, family-focused and culturally responsive.

http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2018/cssd/0515n03.aspx

India: Kolkata Gives collaborates with NGOs for fundraising (Press release)

Kolkata Gives – May 16, 2018

Kolkata Gives is a philanthropic platform in Kolkata that connects non-profit organizations with credible donors. It creates a stage where people who want to do some good can get in touch with organizations who doing successful work for the underprivileged. Kolkata Gives has partnerships with some of the top best NGOs. It is arranging a fundraising event for the public where people can provide their support to these non profit organizations.

https://www.prlog.org/12708638-kolkata-gives-collaborates-with-ngos-for-fundraising.html

Italy: Italy leads the way in foster care for unaccompanied minors

ANSA – May 14, 2018

‘Profuce’ project, an initiative to support the foster care of unaccompanied minor migrants, has been launched in Italy. It has been widely agreed that the foster care system in Europe must be strengthened in order to deal with the high number of unaccompanied minor migrant arrivals. This is the objective behind the project, “Profuce,” aimed at promoting foster care for unaccompanied children across Europe. The project involves increasing the number of foster families, as well as providing new tools to parents and social workers for taking care of unaccompanied minor migrants.

http://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/9225/italy-leads-the-way-in-foster-care-for-unaccompanied-minors

 

AK: Discriminating against couples who want to adopt? We can do better (Commentary)

Anchorage Daily News – May 13, 2018

The legislation Minnery can hardly wait to push next year would “protect” adoption agencies who discriminate against same-sex couples who want to give forever homes to children.

https://www.adn.com/opinions/2018/05/12/discriminating-against-couples-who-want-to-adopt-we-can-do-better/

CA: Parents arrested after 10 kids found in ‘squalor,’ California police say (Includes video)

KTXL – May 15, 2018

Two people were arrested after police in Fairfield say 10 kids were rescued from “horrible” living conditions. Hurblut said he believed the children had been home-schooled, but couldn’t say if authorities had been contacted in the past about their living conditions.

Also: Prosecutor: Children tortured “for sadistic purposes”: http://www.wlns.com/ap-top-news/police-10-kids-taken-from-california-home-mom-denies-abuse/1178643629

Also: ‘Torture occurred in this house’: Parents charged after police find 10 children living amid feces, garbage: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/05/14/torture-occurred-in-this-house-parents-charged-after-police-find-10-children-living-in-feces-garbage/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories-2_calif-

Also: Mom Denies Abuse After 10 Kids Removed From California Home (Includes video): https://kmir.com/2018/05/14/mom-denies-abuse-after-10-kids-removed-from-california-home/

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2018/05/14/parents-arrested-after-10-kids-found-in-squalor-california-police-say/23434701/

CO: Stapleton parents who say they were unfairly accused of child neglect want parent protection laws

NBC 2 Denver – May 14, 2018

The couple is now calling for a change. They are in the process of gathering support and created the Facebook page Free Range Kids Colorado in hopes of bringing a “free-range” parenting law to Colorado. The law was just passed in Utah, making it the first state to let parents give their kids more freedom to be on their own without fearing they’ll be charged with a crime. The child can’t be in imminent danger of being harmed.

Also: Information Gateway resource: Ethical Practice & Client Rights: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/ethical/

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/38182809/stapleton-parents-who-say-they-were-unfairly-accused-of-child-neglect-want-parent-protection-laws

GA: Local legislators play key roles in laws aimed at guarding the rights of children, the disabled and elderly

Rome News-Tribune – May 14, 2018

A foster care initiative sponsored by Dempsey limits the public release of foster parents’ personal information while requiring the state to provide caregivers with more information about a child. It also allows the Division of Family and Children Services to help foster children between the ages of 18 and 21, instead of ending the safety net abruptly on graduation.

http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/rome/news/local/local-legislators-play-key-roles-in-laws-aimed-at-guarding/article_655636fe-57d2-11e8-b025-1badf4b5b97c.html

IA: I9: Mandatory reporter amendment added to budget bill awaits Governor’s signature (Includes video)

KCRG – May 15, 2018

In the wake of high profile abuses of children in Iowa, lawmakers want to know ways to improve Iowa’s mandatory reporter law. That law requires people like doctors, teachers and counselors to report signs of child or elder abuse to the state.

http://www.kcrg.com/content/news/I9-Mandatory-reporter-amendment-added-to-budget-bill-awaits-Governors-signature-482589891.html

ID: Court-appointed advocates have heavy caseload with little help

Idaho Press Tribune – May 12, 2018

Guardian ad Litem workers became a federal requirement in the 1980s, when new rules mandated children must have a court-appointed special advocate when entering into foster care, said Christina Walker, the 3rd District program’s executive director. These advocates work closely with attorneys, judges, families and children while determining the child’s needs.

Also: Advocates For Kids Face Heavy Caseloads In Western Idaho: http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/advocates-kids-face-heavy-caseloads-western-idaho#stream/0

https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/court-appointed-advocates-have-heavy-caseload-with-little-help/article_08a2b292-203b-584c-b4cc-a288cfd41cf0.html

ID: Idaho Youth Ranch in trouble and failing to help children, say former employees

Idaho Statesman – May 12, 2018

When her husband said he wanted to work for the Idaho Youth Ranch, the Boise woman was apprehensive. It didn’t have a good reputation among nonprofits, she said. Her husband followed his heart anyway and took a job there in 2016 – getting an up-close look at what the couple and many former employees say has become a dysfunctional business and has lost touch in recent years with its mission to help at-risk children and teens. “As a community member, I had no idea they served such few kids in residential treatment, for the amount of fundraising they take from the community,” the woman told the Statesman in an interview. Her husband no longer works for the nonprofit.

http://www.idahostatesman.com/news/business/article210474644.html

IL: Teaching the ‘whole child’ takes the whole community at proposed wrap-around center for Peoria Public Schools

Peoria Journal Star – May 12, 2018

Center for Youth and Family Solutions envisions counseling, parenting classes and supervised visits between biological parents and foster children, all at the school. The child welfare agency serves more than 100 families, including 30 foster families.

http://www.pjstar.com/news/20180512/teaching-whole-child-takes-whole-community-at-proposed-wrap-around-center-for-peoria-public-schools

IN: Study: Opioid crisis costs Indiana $11 million daily

Johnson County Daily Journal – May 15, 2018

Total marginal costs for neonatal abstinence syndrome – when infants experience withdrawal symptoms after losing access to their mother’s drugs after birth – totaled more than $36 million in 2016. An estimated 5,243 Hoosier children were in foster care due to parental opioid misuse as of 2016.

http://www.dailyjournal.net/2018/05/15/study_opioid_crisis_costs_indiana_11_million_daily/

NM: N.M aids families with housing, but pilot program ends

Searchlight New Mexico – May 12, 2018

“I was really mad,” recalls C.J.’s mother, Carlotta Preece. “I mean, CYFD came to the motel room, and I snapped at them. They asked me, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘I need a home.’ ” They got one, thanks to Keeping Families Together, a pilot project that addresses the intersecting problems of homelessness and child abuse and neglect. It is the first time New Mexico has turned to housing as a tool to reduce the state’s long-standing epidemic of child abuse.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/new-mexico-aids-families-with-housing-but-funds-running-out/article_0ab594dd-bd2c-577d-8c4f-0ae77a3712e0.html

OK: Majority of Oklahoma DHS workers dropped from lawsuit

Seymour Tribune – May 14, 2018

A federal appeals court has dismissed most of the social workers in a lawsuit that alleges the Oklahoma Department of Human Services failed to protect children from decade-long abuse by a couple.

http://www.tribtown.com/2018/05/14/ok-oklahoma-child-abuse-lawsuit/

OR: Housing Crisis Places More Kids in Foster Care (Includes video)

KDRV – May 14, 2018

Research from the Department of Human Services 2017 report reveals foster care has increased 40 percent over the last two years due to inadequate housing. It also found that housing instability played a factor in 17 percent of the removals of children from their family. That means 200 more children were affected over the last two years.

Also: Oregon 2017 Child Welfare Data Book: http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/CHILDREN/CHILD-ABUSE/Documents/2017-Child-Welfare-Data-Book.pdf

http://www.kdrv.com/content/news/Kids-In-Foster-Care-Increase-Amid-Housing-Crisis-482560031.html

OR: New apartments will assist underserved population

Keizertimes – May 12, 2018

In the Catholic faith, St. Monica is the patron saint of mothers and Catholic Community Services will soon be carrying out her work in Keizer. On Wednesday, May 14, from 4 to 6 p.m. the organization will celebrate the opening of the St. Monica Apartments at 151 Apple Blossom Avenue N.E. The apartments will serve young, pregnant women and young mothers who have outgrown foster care or have no other alternatives for housing.

http://www.keizertimes.com/2018/05/12/new-apartments-will-assist-underserved-population/

OR: We all want lawyers representing foster children to be present and accountable: Guest opinion

Oregon Live – May 12, 2018

We recognize that Oregon’s decades-old system of contracting for public defense services, along with a disastrous combination of high caseloads, low compensation for cases, and insufficient oversight, does not promote or reward quality work in every case.

Also: In Oregon, lawyers for foster children don’t even have to show up: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/04/in_oregon_lawyers_for_foster_c.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/05/we_all_want_lawyers_representi.html

RI: Settlement OK’d in decade-long lawsuit against DCYF

Providence Journal – May 12, 2018

But even as the judge finalized the agreement – dictating the strict path that the Department of Children, Youth and Families must now follow, with monitored checkpoints along the way – some of the DCYF’s contracted providers of child care cautioned that the agency’s perennially underfunded budget poses a roadblock.

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180512/settlement-okd-in-decade-long-lawsuit-against-dcyf

WV: Surge in child abuse, neglect cases as opioid epidemic worsens (Includes video)

WCHS/WVAH – May 14, 2018

In Kanawha County, there were 44 juvenile neglect cases in 1995. Ten years later, in 2005, the number of cases more than tripled to 165. By 2015, that number more than doubled to 367. Just one year later in 2016, that number again almost doubled to 656. So far in 2018, there have already been 240 juvenile neglect cases, which is almost the total number of cases for all of 2010.

http://wchstv.com/news/local/surge-in-child-abuse-neglect-cases-as-opioid-epidemic-worsens

US: Adoption is more than a plot device (Commentary)

SYFY Wire – May 14, 2018

Being adopted is a part of me and it doesn’t go away when I consume media. I cringe when I see bad representations of adoption, thinking not just of myself, but all 1.5 million adopted children living in the US. How we represent adoption in genre, and in general, impacts these children and the adults they grow up to be.

http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/adoption-is-more-than-a-plot-device

US: The role of the child advocacy center

Pittsburgh Catholic – May 14, 2018

The National Children’s Advocacy Center has been credited with having further transformed the United States’ response to child sexual abuse allegations with the creation of the first child advocacy center. In 1985, the NCAC demonstrated the need for a single child forensic interview specialist conducting the interview for the MDT, which eliminates separate interviews and interviewers – and most importantly, reduces the burden on the child.

http://www.pittsburghcatholic.org/columns/the-role-of-the-child-advocacy-center-49773034?profile=1020

INTERNATIONAL

United Kingdom: Richer parents more likely to use ‘connections’ to avoid social worker interventions, finds child neglect report

Independent – May 14, 2018

Richer parents are more likely to use their “powerful social connections” to avoid interventions by social services, a report into child neglect in affluent families has found.

Also: Report on an Exploration of How Social Workers Engage Neglectful Parents from Affluent Backgrounds in the Child Protection System: http://democracy.cityoflondon.gov.uk/documents/s90828/Neglect%20linked%20to%20affluence.pdf

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/social-work-report-child-neglect-rich-families-abuse-city-of-london-a8351336.html

United Kingdom: General Practitioners Fail to Recognize Dental Neglect

Dentistry Today – May 11, 2018

Abused and neglected children often also endure high levels of tooth decay. While dental care is free to all children in the United Kingdom, many of them aren’t registered with a dentist. In the absence of a dentist, then, the general practitioner (GP) usually is the first point of medical contact.

http://www.dentistrytoday.com/news/industrynews/item/3274-general-practitioners-fail-to-recognize-dental-neglect

 

AK: Bill to Improve Lives of Alaska Foster Youth and Families Sent to Governor to be Signed into Law (Press release)

Office of Representative Les Gara – May 11, 2018

The Alaska Legislature passed comprehensive legislation sponsored by Representative Les Gara (D-Anchorage) to improve Alaska’s foster care system. House Bill 151 establishes new training and workload standards for caseworkers in the Office of Children’s Services. Lower caseload levels are widely recognized to lead to better health and outcomes for children and families. HB 151 has broad support from children’s advocacy groups and adopts major, comprehensive national best practice standards. The bill passed the Alaska State Senate Wednesday by a unanimous 18-0 vote. The bill was co-sponsored by 18 members of the Senate.

http://www.sitnews.us/0518News/051118/051118_foster_care.html

AR: Restore Hope Alliance to address recidivism, foster care

Hot Springs Sentinel-Record – May 13, 2018

Gov. Asa Hutchinson will be in Hot Springs on Thursday to help Restore Hope Arkansas Inc. launch the initiative in Garland County to address prison recidivism and the child foster care crisis, and the associated issues they create.

http://www.hotsr.com/news/2018/may/13/restore-hope-alliance-to-address-recidi/

AR: NWACC Gets National Recognition for Child Abuse Prevention Efforts (Includes video)

North West Arkansas – May 11, 2018

Child abuse cases continue to rise and students at Northwest Arkansas Community College are getting top notch training to bring those numbers down. NWACC is the first community college to get national recognition for it’s Children’s Advocacy’s Studies Program.

http://www.nwahomepage.com/news/nwacc-gets-national-recognition-for-child-abuse-prevention-efforts/1174267687

AZ: Catholic Charities helps prospective parents overcome fear of fostering

Catholic Sun – May 11, 2018

While countless Americans will be celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend, some 18,000 Arizona children long for a stable mother/parent figure in their life. While the community routinely hears about the need for foster care families, especially during Foster Care Awareness Month, few accept the challenge to become licensed. The first step is often the what slows prospective parents down the most: the fear to foster.

http://www.catholicsun.org/2018/05/11/catholic-charities-helps-prospective-parents-overcome-fear-of-fostering/

CA: If child abuse is so rampant, why are prosecutions so rare for those who fail to report it?

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin – May 11, 2018

If you work with children in your job, California law requires you to report suspected child abuse. But few people are ever prosecuted for failing to alert authorities about their suspicions. From 2012 to 2017, fewer than a dozen workers in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties were charged by county prosecutors with violating the so-called mandated reporter law. And because violations are only a misdemeanor, those who are prosecuted and convicted virtually always receive light sentences instead of jail time.

https://www.dailybulletin.com/2018/05/11/if-child-abuse-is-so-rampant-why-are-prosecutions-so-rare-for-those-who-fail-to-report-it/

CA: Weak Law Enforcement Leaves Foster Children At Risk (Includes video)

KPIX – May 11, 2018

The story of Mariah’s death is extreme but it’s not unique. Inspection records of foster homes KPIX obtained from the state show hundreds of foster children are molested, beaten, locked in closets and denied food and clothing. During the past five years, 27 children in California have died from abuse and neglect in foster care.

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/05/11/weak-law-enforcement-foster-children-risk/

CO: Collaboration to provide better outcomes

Journal-Advocate – May 13, 2018

Communities function best when they work together and that’s the goal of YouthLink of Logan County, according to Rhonda Conger, who serves as the program’s coordinator. According to Conger, in 2004 the Colorado state legislature passed a bill that collected funds from divorce filing fees and channeled it to the county level to help needy families and youth. “What’s unique about that is it’s not like a grant. That money is legislated by the state and set aside every year for collaborative management programs at the county level,” Conger said.

http://www.journal-advocate.com/sterling-local_news/ci_31874941/collaboration-provide-better-outcomes

FL: “I want to raise them,” local woman denied motherhood not by fertility, but law (Includes video)

First Coast News – May 11, 2018

In most cases, child removal in Florida must be signed off by a judge based on evidence of abuse or neglect. Abuse of one child in a household can result in removal of all siblings currently in the home at the time. The 2014 law, appellate attorney Nick Martino said, allows child protective services to remove future children without any evidence of new abuse.

https://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/i-want-to-raise-them-local-woman-denied-motherhood-not-by-fertility-but-law/77-551283607

GA: Nation’s first nonprofit surgical center for female genital mutilation victims opens in Atlanta

Georgia Sun – May 11, 2018

“Beyond surgery, these patients need psychological counseling and special care for the trauma they experienced,” states Dr. Bloodworth. The center has psychiatrists and clinical psychologists on staff to provide these services. The World Health Organization estimates there are 500,000 victims of female genital mutilation currently residing in the United States.

https://www.underthegeorgiasun.com/2018/05/11/nations-first-nonprofit-surgical-center-for-female-genital-mutilation-victims-opens-in-atlanta/

IL: Illinois bill to raise penalties for assault on DCFS workers

Associated Press – May 07, 2018

Measures to increase penalties for assaults against Illinois Department of Child and Family Services employees that were spurred following a caseworker’s death are seeing slow progress.

http://www.thestate.com/news/business/national-business/article210618114.html

KS: INSIGHT KANSAS: A step backward on adoptions (Commentary)

Hays Post – May 11, 2018

Kansas’ foster care and adoption systems are so bad that some homeless children sleep in state offices. Others disappear for weeks. Reports of abuse and neglect are themselves neglected. Sometimes, children die while waiting for someone to notice. Columnist and adoption advocate Chapman Rackaway wrote, “Excessive paperwork, extreme costs, delays and the opportunities for the unscrupulous to take advantage of potential adoptees prevent many from even considering the process seriously, or force the committed to shift to international adoptions.” That was in 2013. None of it has improved.

https://www.hayspost.com/2018/05/11/insight-kansas-a-step-backward-on-adoptions/

KY: Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Elizabethtown against foster parents and agency (Includes video)

WDRB – May 11, 2018

The family of a 4-year-old boy who died while in foster care has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges Hunter Payton’s foster parents, Billy Embry-Martin and his husband, Travis Embry-Martin, are responsible for the child’s death.The civil suit is also seeking damages from foster agency Necco.

Also: Family files wrongful death lawsuit after son dies in foster care: http://www.wlky.com/article/family-files-wrongful-death-lawsuit-after-son-dies-in-foster-care/20666614

http://www.wdrb.com/story/38173535/wrongful-death-lawsuit-filed-in-elizabethtown-against-foster-parents-and-agency

MI: For Kids’ Sake: Wyatt’s Law seeks to address child abuse and neglect

Oakland Press – May 11, 2018

Wyatt Rewoldt suffered brain injuries, head trauma, a skull fracture, broken ribs, and eye injuries at the hands of his father’s female companion in 2013. He was only 12 months old. Legislation is pending that would create Wyatt’s Law, a package of bills to require convicted child abusers to be listed on a searchable, public registry. A state Senate committee has passed the legislation, but the full Senate has yet to vote. A separate version of the legislation is pending in the state House.

http://www.theoaklandpress.com/special-news-reports/20180511/for-kids-sake-wyatts-law-seeks-to-address-child-abuse-and-neglect

MO: Demand for area foster parents soaring

Hannibal Courier-Post – May 11, 2018

While the number of children removed from area homes in the past five years has increased by 73 percent, the amount of foster homes have remained stable.

http://www.hannibal.net/news/20180511/demand-for-area-foster-parents-soaring

NJ: Child Protect seeks on-site exam room to reduce stress for victims

Bluefield Daily Telegraph – May 14, 2018

A forensic examination is often necessary when investigators suspect that a child is the victim of sexual abuse, but this requires them taking them to a local hospital. A new project will reduce this stress by putting these examinations, law enforcement and interviews under one roof.

http://www.bdtonline.com/news/child-protect-seeks-on-site-exam-room-to-reduce-stress/article_c46104d4-571f-11e8-9fa3-3750658973d1.html

NY: Mothers Are Incarcerated at Record Rates, Yet Prison-Nursery Beds Go Empty (Commentary)

Jezebel – May 13, 2018

Green was in prison, nine years into a 15-year prison sentence at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, New York’s maximum-security women’s prison. She had gotten pregnant on a recent visit through the prison’s Family Reunion Program, which allows incarcerated people to spend a night or two with their family members in a trailer with a more home-like setting than a prison visiting room. The couple agreed that Green’s husband, who has a disability and uses a wheelchair, would have a hard time caring for a newborn by himself. Plus, Green wanted to breastfeed her baby. They decided that she would keep the child with her for the first year.

Information Gateway resource: Reunification and Visits With Parents Who Are Incarcerated: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/reunification/incarcerated/

Information Gateway resource: Child Welfare Practice With families affected by Parental Incarceration: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/parental_incarceration.pdf

https://jezebel.com/mothers-are-incarcerated-at-record-rates-yet-prison-nu-1825829952

OH: Cleveland Clinic, parents clash over girl’s brain tumor treatment; court to decide

Cleveland Plain Dealer – May 13, 2018

Cleveland Clinic specialists say chemotherapy is the only way to treat Zara Ali’s tumor, save her failing eyesight and possibly her life. Her parents have resisted. They’ve been doctoring their daughter with “natural and holistic medicine,” gentler remedies they believe will heal her.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/05/cleveland_clinic_parents_clash.html

OK: Governor Mary Fallin Signs Controversial Adoption Bill

News 9 – May 11, 2018

Governor Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 1140, which protects child-placing agencies that block adoptive parents who do not meet the agencies’ religious or moral standards. The bill sparked backlash from the LGBTQ community because it grants legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that don’t want to place children in homes with same-sex couples.

Also: Gov. Fallin signs controversial adoption bill (Includes video): http://www.koco.com/article/gov-fallin-signs-controversial-adoption-bill/20668066

http://www.news9.com/story/38173191/governor-mary-fallin-signs-controversial-adoption-bill

OR: Changes for Oregon’s struggling foster care system: Longtime manager will be replaced

Oregonian – May 11, 2018

Direct oversight of Oregon’s foster care system will soon change hands for the first time in 17 years. The shakeup follows a critical state audit in January and a steady stream of multimillion-dollar lawsuits that allege foster children were placed and left in harm’s way.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/05/changes_for_oregons_struggling.html

OR: Lawyers For Foster Kids (Audio)

Oregon Public Broadcasting – May 11, 2018

We sit down with Oregonian/Oregonlive reporter Hillary Borrud to discuss her reporting on the statewide system governing lawyers who represent foster kids in the child welfare system. And we’re joined by Amy Miller, acting deputy director of the Office of Public Defense Services, to talk about a pilot program that started in 2014 has improved outcomes for kids in the participating counties.

https://www.spreaker.com/user/oregonpublicbroadcasting/lawyers-for-foster-kids

PA: GUEST COLUMN: Montgomery County launches ‘Childhood Begins at Home’ campaign

Mercury – May 12, 2018

Here in Montgomery County, our Children and Youth program office continues to place tremendous focus on family engagement efforts to ensure that children are being adequately cared for in their homes and avoid foster care placement. That means embracing supportive programming that educates at-risk families on ways to avoid child abuse and neglect. It’s important to provide this type of support so all children in our county can live safe, happy, and productive lives.

http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20180512/guest-column-montgomery-county-launches-childhood-begins-at-home-campaign

TN: Special report: State investigated abuse involving 460 Tennessee schools. Was your child’s one of them? (Includes video)

Tennessean – May 13, 2018

Between January 2016 and August 2017 DCS investigated allegations at more than 460 Tennessee public and private schools, including public charter schools, according to data obtained by the Network. These cases encompass possible abuse or neglect during school hours, at school events or off-site when school employees were involved. That’s an average of more than one investigation initiated per day during that time frame, including summer months when students are not in school.

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/investigations/2018/05/13/child-abuse-schools-tennessee-department-childrens-services/586523002/

TX: COMMENTARY: Foster care and Texas teen pregnancy rates

McAllen Monitor – May 13, 2018

Thanks to a recent report, Texas is one of the first states to actually know how many youths in foster care are pregnant or parents already. Of the 7,090 females ages 11 to 18 in foster care in 2017, 332 were pregnant and 218 were parents. Foster youth are approximately five times more likely to get pregnant compared to all youth.

http://www.themonitor.com/opinion/columnists/article_04c83c74-54ad-11e8-83f8-c3847a7b9967.html

UT: Utah parents can now raise their kids “free-range”

Quartz – May 11, 2018

In March 2018, Gary Herbert, the governor of Utah, signed the so-called “free-range kids” bill, which went into effect yesterday (May 8). The law re-defines “child neglect” to allow for a more common-sense understanding of the constraints of parental supervision. It will no longer be considered a crime in the state of Utah for parents to let their kids do things like walk to school alone or play outside without supervision.

https://qz.com/1275970/utahs-free-range-parenting-bill-puts-a-national-movement-in-the-spotlight/

VA: Virginia battles human trafficking: A ‘crime that hides in plain sight’

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star – May 13, 2018

Human trafficking-a $150 billion global criminal enterprise, according to the International Labor Organization-is increasingly on the radars of law enforcement, politicians and nonprofits across the country. Statistics show the problem is worse in Virginia, and in the Richmond area, than in many other states and localities.

http://www.fredericksburg.com/news/crime_courts/virginia-battles-human-trafficking-a-crime-that-hides-in-plain/article_c615db67-d28d-5fa9-945d-ab2e390c8e01.html

VA: Holding Unaccompanied Alien Children in Alexandria

Alexandria Gazette Packet – May 11, 2018

The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center (NVJDC) essentially rents excess bed space to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contract entails holding up to 30 UAC until they’re placed with sponsors or returned to their country of origin. NVJDC is one of only three facilities with comparable security in the country.

http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2018/may/11/holding-unaccompanied-alien-children-alexandria/

WV: Court: Kids can’t inherit from parents with no will, rights

Associated Press – May 13, 2018

West Virginia’s Supreme Court says children cannot inherit from a biological parent’s estate if that parent has no will and had their rights terminated.

http://www.macon.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article211053694.html

US: Evaluation of the Effects of a Mentoring Program for Youth in Foster Care on Their Criminal Justice Involvement as Young Adults

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention – May 14, 2018

The evaluation of the “My Life” mentoring program for youth in foster care found less criminal offending in early adulthood among male participants.

Report: Extending A Randomized Trial of the My Life Mentoring Model for Youth in Foster Care to Evaluate Long-Term Effects on Offending in Young Adulthood: http://www.corrections.com/system/assets/0000/1319/NCJRS.pdf

http://www.corrections.com/news/article/48171-evaluation-of-the-effects-of-a-mentoring-program-for-youth-in-foster-care-on-their-criminal-justice-involvement-as-young-adults

US: Family Living Focus: Into entanglements: Relatives raising children

Journal – May 14, 2018

It’s not an isolated situation, in fact it’s quite common to find grandparents and other relatives raising children in their extended families. It’s estimated that a significant percentage of the households with children under 18 years of age have grandparents as the primary caregivers of the children. And that’s just grandparents. Other relatives including aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters have also taken on the parenting in many families.

http://www.nujournal.com/life/lifestyle-columns/2018/05/14/family-living-focus-into-entanglements-relatives-raising-children/

US: “Steady March Toward Child Fatality Prevention” Leaves Many Endangered Children Unprotected (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – May 13, 2018

The Hart case may have been unusual in the sheer number of system failures involved, but none of the specific features of the case is unusual.

https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/05/13/steady-march-toward-child-fatality-prevention-leaves-many-endangered-children-unprotected/

US: Opioid epidemic leaving grandparents to raise grandchildren (Includes video)

CBS News – May 13, 2018

The growing opioid crisis has been declared a public health emergency. It’s sparked a parallel crisis you rarely hear about: the impact on children neglected by addicted parents. More than one million American children now live with grandparents, primarily because of their parent’s addiction to opioids and other drugs: heroin, crack, meth and alcohol. Grandparents are putting off retirement and plowing through savings to rescue their grandchildren from dangerous situations.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/opioid-epidemic-leaving-grandparents-to-raise-grandchildren/

US: Today’s talker: Let’s keep children in their family, if they can’t be with their mothers (Commentary)

USA Today – May 13, 2018

President Trump signed into law the Family First Prevention Services Act, which prioritizes keeping families together and puts more funds toward at-home parenting classes, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment – and puts limits on placing children in institutional settings such as group homes. Children raised in institutions experience devastating consequences. When deprived of a family, kids are vulnerable to abuse, susceptible to attachment disorders and mental health problems, and lose an average of 10 IQ points. Orphanages are no place for children to grow up.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/13/lets-keep-children-their-family-todays-talker/605773002/

US: Indian Child Welfare Act (Audio)

KYUK – May 11, 2018

Valerie Andrew, AVCP Department of Child Welfare Services Director, stopped by for Coffee at KYUK to discuss the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and let us know about AVCP’s monitoring and expression of tribal rights in native child welfare cases. We also put a call out to potential foster parents in the delta region as we currently see about ten percent of foster care being delivered by homes outside of our local community.

http://kyuk.org/post/indian-child-welfare-act

US: Prisons are allowing mothers to raise their babies behind bars. But is the radical experiment in parenting and punishment a good idea?

Washington Post – May 11, 2018

Prison nursery programs remain rare nationwide, but eight facilities in as many states have opened them amid dramatic growth in the number of incarcerated women. The bold experiment in punishment and parenting has touched off a fierce debate.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/05/11/feature/prisons-are-allowing-mothers-to-raise-their-babies-behind-bars-but-is-the-radical-experiment-in-parenting-and-punishment-a-good-idea/?no

US: Undocumented Parents Trying to Reunite With Their Children May Face Deportation Under New Proposal

Immigration Impact – May 11, 2018

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may soon be checking the immigration status of all potential sponsors of children who arrive unaccompanied at the U.S border, as well as any adult members of the potential sponsor’s household. The new proposal to expand screening likely will have a chilling effect on immigrant communities, leading to unaccompanied children languishing in shelters or foster care and ultimately preventing family reunification.

https://yubanet.com/usa/undocumented-parents-trying-to-reunite-with-their-children-may-face-deportation-under-new-proposal/

US: Adoption Across Racial and Ethnic Lines: ‘These Relationships Are Always Going to Be in Flux’ (Includes video) (Commentary)

New York Times – May 10, 2018

“At this point, one thing I’m really advocating for is counseling and therapy from the moment the child is able to discuss these things, because I think it’s such an ongoing process of discovering their identity,” Ms. Eigbrett said to one viewer, after being asked to explain how the differences can affect an adoptee’s relationship with an adoptive family. “And I think these relationships are always going to be in flux no matter how much love there is.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/reader-center/adoption-across-race-ethnic-lines.html

US: Sex-abuse lawsuits illustrate USOC’s difficult path

Associated Press – May 10, 2018

Two lawsuits filed recently against the U.S. Olympic Committee illustrate the peril the federation finds itself in over its handling of decades’ worth of sex-abuse cases, while shining a light on the murky relationship the USOC has with the sports organizations it oversees.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/entertainment/celebrities/article210864969.html

US: This state has fully banned child marriage. It’s still legal everywhere else (Includes video)

Centre Daily Times – May 10, 2018

Delaware is first state in the U.S. to fully ban the marriage for anyone who isn’t a legal adult, a historic decision that opponents of child marriage consider a big victory. Loopholes still exist in the other 49 states, which is why Delaware is the first to ban child marriage outright. But in Missouri, where brides and grooms as young as 15 can marry with a parent’s approval, there are virtually none. The Kansas City Star reported that the state is the easiest in the U.S. to get married as a child, according to an analysis of child marriage statues in the country. The state doesn’t have a minimum age to marry, but anyone under the age of 14 needs a judge’s approval. Eight states allow children 15 or younger to get married only if the bride is pregnant or has already given birth, the Star reported.

http://www.centredaily.com/news/nation-world/national/article210898719.html

INTERNATIONAL

International: Child marriage numbers falling, says Unicef

BBC News – March 06, 2018

There has been a significant drop in the number of child marriages worldwide, the United Nations children’s agency says. Unicef estimates that 25 million child marriages have been prevented in the past decade.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-43297085

United Arab Emirates: Human trafficking drops by 57 per cent

Gulf Today – May 12, 2018

The crime of sexual exploitation came at the top of all forms of exploitation in the complaints filed at the Human Trafficking Crimes Monitoring Centre, with 19 incidents during the past three years. Last year the Department for the Protection of Children and Women dealt with 73 child abuse cases, 17 per cent of which was educational neglect; making parents a primary source of abuse suffered by children.

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/2ba7a952-e576-486e-a1e5-2a9de44fe0f1.aspx

United Kingdom: More than 1000 cases of forced marriage in UK last year, report says

Guardian – May 10, 2018

Nearly 1,200 possible forced marriage cases were flagged up to a specialist service last year, figures show. Of the 1,196 reports handled by the government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU), more than a quarter involved victims below the age of 18, while one in five related to male victims. The total number of cases registered in 2017 was down by 19% on the previous year, but officials said the fall did not represent a decrease in prevalence of forced marriage in the UK.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/may/10/more-than-1000-cases-of-forced-marriage-in-uk-last-year-report-says

 

DE: Delaware becomes first state to ban child marriage

Hill – May 10, 2018

Delaware has become the first state to ban child marriage.

http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/387212-delaware-becomes-first-state-to-ban-child-marriage

GA: Combating South Georgia’s foster care crisis (Includes video)

WALB – May 10, 2018

May is National Foster Care Awareness month. Many children in southwest Georgia desperately need foster care and it is a full-on crisis in our community. Over 1,000 children are in desperate need of a foster parent.

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

http://www.wfxg.com/story/38157479/combating-south-georgias-foster-care-crisis

IL: Foster Mom Fights To Change DCFS Regulation Following Death Of Foster Child (Includes video)

CBS Chicago – May 10, 2018

Antonia lived with Castleberry’s family the last six years of her life, but when she died, Castleberry couldn’t afford to bury her. That’s when she learned DCFS wouldn’t cover the cost.

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2018/05/10/foster-child-burial-dcfs/

KS: Governor Colyer Signs Kansas Transparency Measures

KMUW – May 10, 2018

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer says the state’s government will be more transparent with the new rules for releasing information he signed into law Thursday. The new rules will speed up disclosure of body cam footage of police shootings, and the state’s child welfare agency will have to release more information when a child dies in state custody or following reports of abuse.

http://kmuw.org/post/governor-colyer-signs-kansas-transparency-measures

MI: No evidence of fudging child welfare numbers, say experts

Associated Press – May 10, 2018

Experts say there’s no evidence that Michigan child welfare workers manipulated statistics to keep a state agency in compliance with a legal agreement on caseloads. Court-appointed monitors investigated after the Lansing State Journal last year quoted employees as saying numbers had been altered at the Department of Health and Human Services.

http://www.islandpacket.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article210891724.html

NC: Half of Yadkin’s foster children without advocate in court

Yadkin Ripple – May 10, 2018

Of the 51 abused and neglected Yadkin children currently in foster care, half are without a volunteer Guardian ad Litem. National statistics show that children with a GAL advocate spend less time without a permanent safe and healthy home.

https://www.yadkinripple.com/news/9981/half-of-yadkins-foster-children-without-advocate-in-court

NM: Homeless Youth Program Boosted

Albuquerque Journal – May 10, 2018

The newest Behavioral Health Initiative program, touted by Bernalillo County officials on Thursday, aims to prevent youth homelessness in the county. The Youth Transitional Living Services program is designed to fill services gaps for youths living with a behavioral health condition.

https://www.abqjournal.com/1170508/county-program-hopes-to-curb-youth-homelessness.html

NY: Senate Republicans propose Child Victims Act compromise

Times Union – May 10, 2018

State Senate Republicans proposed legislation on Thursday that would compensate victims of child sex abuse with public money in lieu of payoffs from perpetrators or institutions where the crimes may have occurred. The bill from Sen. Catharine M. Young, R-Cattaraugus County, would end the statute of limitations for the criminal prosecution of certain sexual offenses and provide restitution for child victims using a $300 million asset forfeiture fund controlled by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, according to a press release.

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Senate-Republicans-propose-Child-Victims-Act-12905027.php

OR: Respite care a big aid for foster system (Commentary)

Corvallis Gazette-Times – May 10, 2018

The best foster parents, of course, have an inkling of the responsibilities that they’ve taken on, but those duties still can be overwhelming. That’s where a new program, Planned and Crisis Respite Care, comes in handy. The program is run by Morrison Child & Family Services, based in Portland, which for the last year has been developing a respite program in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties.

https://www.argusobserver.com/opinion/respite-care-a-big-aid-for-foster-system/article_dc1ab63e-5471-11e8-b1b3-5ff744d05937.html

PA: Calls Growing Louder For Reform After Controversial Rulings In Family Court (Includes video)

CBS 3 – May 10, 2018

Protesters allege that Judge Lyris Younge, among others in the court system, violate due process and rip apart families by silencing them in cases where children could end up in foster care.

http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2018/05/10/reform-rulings-in-family-court/

PA: Supreme Court to consider if drug use during pregnancy is abuse

Daily Item – May 10, 2018

The state Supreme Court is considering whether a woman’s drug use while pregnant can be considered child abuse of the baby she was carrying. The case, appealed to the state’s top court after a Superior Court ruled that it can be considered abuse, is being closely watched for its implications on how county agencies deal with the surge in drug use by expectant mothers during the opioid epidemic.

http://www.dailyitem.com/the_danville_news/news/supreme-court-to-consider-if-drug-use-during-pregnancy-is/article_9282c301-4e28-5d53-af34-8d0d0d8a37b3.html

RI: Court approves settlement in child welfare complaint

Associated Press – May 10, 2018

A federal court has approved the settlement reached by the state and child advocates in a class-action lawsuit that alleged systemic abuse and neglect of nearly 2,000 children living in state custody. Under the terms, the state Department of Children, Youth and Families must work toward achieving 12 goals.

http://www.islandpacket.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article210863889.html

US: New federal law will change foster care system

Herald Dispatch – May 11, 2018

For the first time, the Family First Act caps federal funding for group homes, also known as “congregate care.” Previously, there were no limits, Cooper said. The federal government won’t pay for a child to stay in a group home longer than two weeks, with some exceptions, such as teens who are pregnant or parenting.

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/new-federal-law-will-change-foster-care-system/article_965d539e-8435-50be-9ba9-9ad2b3aa744d.html

US: $200 Million Venture to Help Youth Aging Out of Foster Care Hits New York, Pittsburgh

Chronicle of Social Change – May 10, 2018

The Tennessee-based Youth Villages, one of the largest nonprofits in the country, has awarded New York City and Pittsburgh major funding to implement a promising support program for young adults who have recently left foster care. The two-city expansion is part of Youth Villages’ ambitious, amply funded plan to provide YVLifeSet (or comparable support) to every youth aging out of foster care nationwide. Pittsburgh and New York will receive roughly $2.6 million combined over the next three years to provide intensive guidance to 17- to 22-year-olds on housing, education, employment, health and relationships.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/subscriber-content/national-expansion-aging-out-foster-youth-new-york-pittsburgh/30801

US: College-based center focuses on child protection

Community College Daily – May 10, 2018

Whenever a serial child molester or sex trafficker is caught, there’s a good chance the investigators were trained by the National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC), based at Fox Valley Technical College in Wisconsin. The NCJTC trains about 25,000 law enforcement and related specialists a year, thanks to about $9 million a year in grant funds from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and other offices in the U.S. Justice Department.

http://www.ccdaily.com/2018/05/college-based-center-focuses-child-protection/

US: Dr. Phil Stresses Family-Based Treatment in Child Welfare Response to Opioid Epidemic

Chronicle of Social Change – May 10, 2018

TV talk show host and psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw said at a Capitol Hill briefing Wednesday that efforts to treat the drug-addicted parents must be about more than just detox. “We cannot just detox them and put them right back into their situation,” McGraw told a panel of Congressmen, which was organized by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.). Underlying stressors “must also be addressed to not leave triggers in place that bring on relapse.”

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/youth-services-insider/dr-phil-stresses-family-based-treatment-child-welfare-opioid-epidemic/30810

US: New Federal Kinship Funding, a Prelude to Family First Act, Up for Grabs

Chronicle of Social Change – May 10, 2018

The 2018 budget deal, which was reached in March and runs through October, includes $20 million for development of kinship navigator programs, which provide referral and advocacy services to family members who take in children related to a child welfare proceeding.

Also: State, Tribal and Territorial Agencies Administering or Supervising the Administration of Title IV-E of the Social Security Act: http://www.grandfamilies.org/Portals/0/Documents/ACYF-CB-PI-18-05%20FY%202018%20Kinship%20Navigator%20Funds.pdf

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/subscriber-content/new-federal-kinship-funding-leadup-family-first-act/30809

US: Resources and Support for Runaway, Homeless, and Transitioning LGBTQ Youth

Medium – May 10, 2018

Revised legislation has since added LGBTQ-specific services and transitional and independent living resources, as well as subsidies for higher education for children in the child welfare system. Today there are a number of valuable resources and tools to assist LGBTQ youth, enabling them to properly transition from foster care and to come in off the streets.

https://medium.com/th-ink/resources-and-support-for-runaway-homeless-and-transitioning-lgbtq-youth-44dc98ecedd3

US: Rushing foster kids into quick adoptions isn’t always in their best interest (Commentary)

Los Angeles Times – May 10, 2018

This tragedy could be written off as an isolated incident to be mourned. But the story also reflects the dangers of our foster care system’s obsession with adoption. The system sprints towards finalizing an adoption, then presumes success, hoists its trophy and takes its victory lap.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-sankaran-adoption-20180510-story.html

US: Sex-abuse lawsuits illustrate USOC’s difficult path

Associated Press – May 10, 2018

Two lawsuits filed recently against the U.S. Olympic Committee illustrate the peril the federation finds itself in over its handling of decades’ worth of sex-abuse cases, while shining a light on the murky relationship the USOC has with the sports organizations it oversees.

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/entertainment/celebrities/article210864969.html

 

AZ: Rights Groups Seek Fairness for Jailed AZ Women Who Can’t Afford Bail (Includes audio)

Public News Service – May 10, 2018

“If you are a rich person, you can easily bail yourself out, while, if you’re a poor person, you’re going to get stuck,” Nicole Hale, a mass-liberation organizer with LUCHA (Living United for Change in Arizona) states. “You’re not going to be able to pay that, and then that puts you at risk of losing your job. “If you’re a mother, you’re talking about losing custody of your children, and you’re talking about showing up to your court date in orange clothing and chains, which is not going to help in the case.”

Information Gateway resource: Child Welfare Practice With families affected by Parental Incarceration: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/parental_incarceration.pdf

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-10/human-rights-racial-justice/rights-groups-seek-fairness-for-jailed-az-women-who-cant-afford-bail/a62464-1

CO: Alone in the world: Foster kids in Colorado leave system with no home, no family, little support (Includes video)

Denver Post – May 09, 2018

Emancipation is the worst way to exit foster care, aside from running away or dying. It means a child wasn’t reunified with parents, wasn’t adopted and wasn’t set up with a legal guardian. Kids who emancipate are turned loose to figure out life on their own, often after years as wards of the state.

Also: Aged Out: A note about this series from reporter Jennifer Brown: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/09/aged-out-colorado-foster-care-system/

Also: “This is youth homelessness.” 105 sit on waiting list for foster youth housing vouchers: https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/09/colorado-foster-care-youth-housing-vouchers-homelessness/

https://www.denverpost.com/2018/05/09/colorado-foster-care-youth-age-out-system/

FL: Child protection investigator quit after he was accused of lying about a case. He says he was overworked

Bradenton Herald – May 09, 2018

A child protection investigator has resigned from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office after an internal affairs investigation began looking into allegations that he lied to his supervisor about his handling of a child sex abuse case.

http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article210767614.html

FL: Kids in foster care aren’t getting the care they need. That’s why we’re suing DCF (Commentary)

Miami Herald – May 09, 2018

Florida’s foster care system is broken. In Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, where children are in the legal custody of the Florida Department of Children & Families (DCF), we found so much harm being done to foster children that nothing short of a lawsuit could fix it. Imagine yourself in the shoes of a 16-year-old girl, “L.T.” During her four years in foster care, she was moved 25 times among foster homes, group facilities and institutions, only to return to her case manager’s office to sleep in a chair until another place would accept her.

http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article210784354.html

FL: The opioid crisis here is real – and big (Commentary)

Your Observer – May 09, 2018

Manatee County has the highest opioid death rate in the state. Even so, local efforts to combat it are making some progress.

https://www.yourobserver.com/article/the-opioid-crisis-here-is-real-and-big

KS: Welfare agency announces changes after another death in Wichita

Associated Press – May 08, 2018

The head of the Kansas Department of Children and Families says the agency is making more changes in the Wichita area after another child death. Secretary Meier-Hummel said Tuesday in a news release that the agency will be “implementing corrective action plans.” The announcement came after court records showed that relatives of 2-year-old Anthony Bunn reported concerns to the agency before the toddler died last week. His mother and her boyfriend are jailed on suspicion of murder.

http://www.kake.com/story/38144096/welfare-agency-announces-changes-after-another-death-in-wichita

MO: St. Louis gets 2nd housing program for homeless young adults

St. Louis Public Radio – May 09, 2018

Dodson said the board made the investment into the facility, because many young people who age out of the foster care system are left without the support they need. According to a 2015 behavioral needs assessment by the St. Louis Mental Health Board and the Washington University Brown School, 50 percent of young people who leave the system will likely be homeless for at lease one night within the first two years of aging out of foster care.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/st-louis-gets-2nd-housing-program-homeless-young-adults#stream/0

NC: National Foster Care Month: More than 400 children are in foster care in New Hanover Co. (Includes video)

WECT – May 09, 2018

May is National Foster Care Month and the New Hanover County’s Department of Social Services is hoping to raise awareness for the need of foster parents. More than 400 children are currently in foster care in New Hanover County.

http://www.wect.com/story/38150885/national-foster-care-month-more-than-400-children-are-in-foster-care-in-new-hanover-co

NY: Rochester educating thousands of children who escaped natural disasters, who’s paying for it? (Includes video)

WHEC – May 08, 2018

Rochester is still helping thousands of people who came to our city because they fled natural disasters. But, no one apparently budgeted the millions of dollars it takes to look after them. In Rochester there are 582 displaced students from natural disasters.

http://www.whec.com/news/rochester-educating-thousands-of-children-who-escaped-natural-disasters-whos-paying-for-it/4896575/

PA: New PA Law Clarifies When Grandparents Can Seek Custody (Commentary)

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell and Hippel LLP – May 09, 2018

The Pennsylvania legislature recently passed a bill that expands who can request custody of a child. The law clarifies when grandparents can seek custody of their grandchild. It also addresses who can request custody of a minor child when the parents of that child cannot be located.

https://www.jdsupra.com/post/documentViewer.aspx?fid=b64eb43d-0d60-42e3-9b6a-150d931d250f

TN: Opioid crisis spiking cases of babies born drug dependent, Knoxville adoption agency says (Includes video)

WBIR – May 09, 2018

Not sleeping, digestive problems, developmental disabilities all yet another set of symptoms of the opioid epidemic. Local adoption agencies say they are seeing more children in the foster care system, and they’re blaming the opioid crisis.

https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/opioid-crisis-spiking-cases-of-babies-born-drug-dependent-knoxville-adoption-agency-says/51-550539239

TX: Child abuse and neglect cases on the rise (Includes video)

Valley Central – May 09, 2018

A local foster and adoption organization continues to see an increase in the mistreatment of children in high-poverty communities across the Valley. In 2017, Child Protective Services confirmed that 5,000 cases of neglect and abuse took place in high-poverty communities in the Valley alone.

http://valleycentral.com/news/local/child-abuse-and-neglect-cases-on-the-rise

TX: Lufkin woman’s non-profit organization helps foster care children across East Texas (Includes video)

KTRE – May 09, 2018

Just a year ago, Bags of Love started out in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties. Soon, Ferguson moved out her organization from her home and into an office at the Life Gate Church in Lufkin. The non-profit has delivered more than 800 bags to cities across East Texas.

Also: Bonham couple opens ‘The Isaiah Closet’ for foster kids: http://www.kxii.com/content/news/Bonham-couple-opens-The-Isaiah-Closet-for-foster-kids-482107251.html

http://www.ktre.com/story/38154316/lufkin-womans-non-profit-organization-helps-foster-care-children-across-east-texas

VA: Governor signs bill making changes to foster care rules

WWBT – May 09, 2018

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill Wednesday allowing those 14 and older to tell a judge whether they want their birth parents to regain custody. If a child expresses this preference, social services will conduct an investigation of the parent, and if appropriate, restore parental rights.

Also: Va. foster care teens can now request to live with biological parents: http://wtvr.com/2018/05/09/va-foster-care-bill/

http://www.nbc12.com/story/38152513/governor-signs-foster-care-bill

US: Families Torn Apart: Two Generations at Risk? (Includes video)

Ivanhoe Newswire – May 10, 2018

As many as eleven million undocumented immigrants are living in the United States. The biggest fear for many is deportation and separation from loved ones. Now researchers at the National Institutes of Health studying the mental health risks of World War II evacuation efforts say the impacts of early childhood separation may be far-reaching.

https://www.ivanhoe.com/positive-parenting/families-torn-apart-two-generations-at-risk/

US: For The Babies Of The Opioid Crisis, The Best Care May Be Mom’s Recovery (Includes audio)

Kaiser Health News – May 10, 2018

It seems a typical preschool pickup, but it’s not. The University of North Carolina Horizons Program is a residential substance use disorder treatment center where mothers can bring their children. The kids attend school or day care while mothers take classes and go to therapy sessions.

https://khn.org/news/for-the-babies-of-the-opioid-crisis-the-best-care-may-be-moms-recovery/

US: Alaska nominee pressed to straighten up federal agency in turmoil (Includes video)

Anchorage Daily News – May 09, 2018

Many Alaskans heralded the White House announcement in October that the president intended to nominate Tara Sweeney to an assistant secretary position overseeing the bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education. The agencies facilitate services, contracts and grants for 2 million Native Americans in 567 tribes, including 229 in Alaska. The two bureaus manage tribal courts, Indian child welfare, schools, roads, lands and money held in trust by the federal government for tribes and Native people.

https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2018/05/09/alaska-nominee-pressed-to-straighten-up-federal-agency-in-turmoil/

US: Lawsuit alleges government unlawfully drugs unaccompanied minor immigrants

ABA Journal – May 09, 2018

Advocates for immigrant minors have recently alleged in federal court that the government is giving powerful psychiatric medications to immigrant minors without the permission of parents, guardians or a court. In a memorandum supporting their motion to reopen Flores v. Reno, the plaintiffs argue that administering psychiatric medications is part of a broader program to avoid releasing the children and teens.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/lawsuit_alleges_government_unlawfully_drugs_unaccompanied_minor_immigrants

US: Preventing child abuse and neglect fatalities (Commentary)

Hill – May 09, 2018

National Foster Care Month has been recognized for more than 20 years as a time to celebrate the voices of foster youth and to bring awareness to the challenges that they face. During this month, organizations in Iowa and across the country work together to support and recognize youth in foster care, as well as put forward solutions to help our nation’s kids.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/386807-preventing-child-abuse-and-neglect-fatalities

US: Tribes are taking the lead in battle against opioids

High Country News – May 09, 2018

It was also a moment of reckoning for the Seneca Nation, a tribe of only 8,000. Having survived numerous wars, famine, disease epidemics, the violent breakup of their territories and the consequent legal struggle to achieve sovereignty, the tribe now faced an existential crisis – one that had been brewing in the shadows long before anyone grasped its impact or could organize a response. No longer a discrete series of isolated incidences, opioid addiction had taken on a genuine sense of urgency.

https://www.indianz.com/News/2018/05/09/high-country-news-tribes-are-taking-the.asp

INTERNATIONAL

Ghana: World Vision Reveals Child Abuse Making Poverty Generational In Ghana

Modern Ghana – May 09, 2018

Mr Edward Owulah, the Krachi Cluster Programmes Manager, World Vision, says the increasing cases of child abuse is making poverty to become generational in the country. He said cumulative cases of violence against children in homes, schools and cases of child marriage were making it difficult for some Ghanaian children to break the poverty cycle.

https://www.modernghana.com/news/852618/world-vision-reveals-child-abuse-making-poverty-generational.html

Philippines: Better investment, stronger coordination committed for national, local child protection

Relief Web – May 09, 2018

The Council for the Welfare of Children, UNICEF and NGO partners joined Congress and local governments today to commit to investing in a multi-sectoral strategy action plan to end violence against children in the Philippines. Sen Loren Legarda and Rep Karlo Nograles, Senate and House Committee on Finance Chairs respectively, with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio representing local government executives, urged all levels of legislative and executive agencies to support child protection councils in addressing high prevalence of physical, psychological, sexual violence and online abuse of Filipino children.

https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/better-investment-stronger-coordination-committed-national-local-child-protection

 

AZ: AZ Bill Would Prevent Teens from Being Tried as Adults in Court (Includes audio)

Public News Service – May 09, 2018

A bill awaiting Gov. Doug Ducey’s signature would give courts more time to try youth offenders as juveniles. Advocates say this would be an important step to ensure that young people receive age-appropriate treatment in Arizona’s criminal justice system.

https://www.publicnewsservice.org/2018-05-09/juvenile-justice/az-bill-would-prevent-teens-from-being-tried-as-adults-in-court/a62452-1

CA: County seeking solutions for foster youth

Record Net – May 08, 2018

As part of the fight against homelessness, officials are seeking better outcomes and more support for San Joaquin County’s foster youth, a population prone disproportionately to landing on the streets once its members age out of services. “This is a really critical component to the prevention of homelessness,” said Supervisor Kathy Miller, chairwoman of the county task force that has been working to find solutions to the crisis-level problem.

http://www.recordnet.com/news/20180508/county-seeking-solutions-for-foster-youth

CA: Students honored for completing PUSD’s college-career prep program

Pleasanton Weekly – May 08, 2018

The program supports students in foster or kinship care in applying for college, work and financial aid. This is the second year of the program, with 18 students recognized at the Thursday luncheon. “This year we had a 99% success rate with 18 seniors graduating,” said Brenda Montgomery, a youth development specialist with the district and the program’s coordinator. She cited statistics showing that two-thirds of youth who grow up in foster care never graduate high school, and said the students being recognized had “incredible resilience.”

https://www.pleasantonweekly.com/news/2018/05/08/students-honored-for-completing-pusds-college-career-prep-program

CA: California lawmakers move to limit opioids for minors

Associated Press – May 07, 2018

A bill to limit how much opioid medication doctors can prescribe to children cleared a major hurdle in the California Legislature on Monday. The Assembly voted 53-0 to advance a bill to limit doctors from prescribing more than five days’ worth of opioid drugs to minors. AB2741 makes exemptions for situations including medical emergencies, hospice care and other instances where doctors deem a longer prescription medically necessary. It now goes to the Senate.

http://www.sacbee.com/news/article210665724.html

CO: Colorado bill closing youth autopsies to public advances

Associated Press – May 08, 2018

Colorado lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill removing autopsy reports involving minors from public documents available under the Colorado Open Records Act, acceding to coroners’ arguments that releasing the reports is an invasion of privacy for survivors and could induce copycat teen suicides.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article210716224.html

FL: Opinion: Take action to help abused, traumatized kids

Tallahassee Democrat – May 08, 2018

Even though April – Child Abuse Prevention month – is over, it is still our responsibility to care for our children. Our child welfare system is bursting at the seams. The number of children entering the system has increased by almost 15 percent within the last two years. Many of these children are victims of the drug crisis, and our local area is not immune.

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2018/05/08/take-action-help-abused-traumatized-kids/590569002/

IL: Children’s Home and Aid launches new program to fight substance abuse (Includes video)

WREX – May 08, 2018

One local agency says it’s part of an experiment with DCFS to help end the opioid epidemic. Its Intact program helps counsel families instead of sending the child into foster care, a process some say could be traumatic for a child.

http://www.wrex.com/story/38145183/2018/05/08/childrens-home-and-aid-launches-new-program-to-fight-substance-abuse

KS: KU part of grant project to support Native American families with children in, at risk of entering child welfare system

University of Kansas – May 08, 2018

The consequences of parental substance abuse for children and communities can go far beyond a temporary intervention by social services. University of Kansas researchers are part of a grant project that will work to support Native American parents and children at risk of entering or in the child welfare system with an evidence-backed, culturally adapted parenting skills training program.

http://news.ku.edu/2018/04/24/ku-part-grant-project-support-native-american-families-children-risk-entering-child

KY: University of Kentucky gets big boost to help pregnant women in opioid fight (Includes video)

Lexington Herald-Leader – May 08, 2018

The University of Kentucky has received almost $5 million to expand and improve a program to help pregnant women with opioid dependence problems before, during and after delivery. The Perinatal Assistance and Treatment Home (PATHways) program is currently based in Lexington, helping pregnant women with medication, peer support and health services to reduce the number of babies born with an opioid addiction. The program continues after birth with peer counseling and health services.

Also: Addiction Treatment and Foster Care of Newborns Affected by New Law (Press release): https://www.prlog.org/12707313-addiction-treatment-and-foster-care-of-newborns-affected-by-new-law.html

Also: Louisville Addiction Treatment and Foster Care for Newborns Affected by New Law: https://www.drugaddictionnow.com/2018/05/08/louisville-addiction-treatment-foster-care-newborns-affected-new-law/

http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/article210626234.html

MI: Editorial: May is Foster Care Awareness Month

Daily Press – May 09, 2018

During National Foster Care Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) wants to stress the important role that foster parents can play in a child or teen’s life.

http://www.dailypress.net/opinion/editorial/2018/05/may-is-foster-care-awareness-month/

MI: House Reps have reservations about Nassar-inspired bills

Michigan Live – May 08, 2018

Victims of ex-Michigan State University Dr. Larry Nassar testified in the House Law and Justice Committee on Tuesday in favor of a package of bills, facing questions from representatives who still have concerns.

Also: Senate Bill 871, Summary As Passed By The Senate: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billanalysis/Senate/htm/2017-SFA-0871-C.htm

Also: Senate passes scaled-back bills targeting sexual assault after Nassar scandal: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/03/senate_passes_scaled-back_bill.html

http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/05/house_reps_have_reservations_a.html

MT: State child protective services hires new administrator

Helena Independent Record – May 08, 2018

Marti Vining, who has been a regional administrator in central Montana for the Child and Family Services Division for the last seven years, will be the new division administrator.

Also: Child and Family Services has new administrator, deputy: http://www.tribtown.com/2018/05/08/mt-endangered-children/

http://helenair.com/news/government-and-politics/state-child-protective-services-hires-new-administrator/article_57fbb0da-4955-5135-bbf2-5f2712a8c958.html

NM: 4 CYFD employees on leave in connection with child abuse case (Includes video)

Associated Press – May 08, 2018

Four New Mexico child welfare workers have been placed on leave in connection with the handling of a case involving a 7-year-old girl who authorities say was forced into prostitution and pickpocketing. The Albuquerque Journal reports state Children, Youth and Families Department officials confirmed Monday that four case workers in the child protective division were placed on paid administrative leave while the case is investigated.

http://www.koat.com/article/4-cyfd-employees-on-leave-in-connection-with-child-abuse-case/20525400

NM: New Mexico Celebrates First-Ever Tax Credit for Hiring Foster Youth

Chronicle of Social Change – May 08, 2018

“This tax credit law is so important for New Mexico and for foster youth, but it’s more important for the country,” Gasca-Gonzalez said. “The country has been talking about this for years, and you all have made it happen. I see you as pioneers, because we can use this as a model for the rest of the country.”

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/new-mexico-foster-youth-employment-tax-credit/30735

OH: Children Services levy wins by more than 1,000 votes

Marietta Times – May 09, 2018

With the cost of foster placement to Washington County Children Services rising exponentially, an independent committee promoted a 0.55-mill levy to support the program. On Tuesday, voters showed their approval: the measure passed by more than 1,000 votes.

http://www.mariettatimes.com/news/2018/05/children-services-levy-wins-by-more-than-1000-votes/

OH: Cuyahoga County voters approving two-year renewal of health, human services tax

Plain Dealer – May 08, 2018

A two-year renewal of one of Cuyahoga County’s health and human services taxes is receiving strong support by voters. The 3.9-mill tax is one of two that fund health and human services, including foster care, services at the MetroHealth System, programs for senior citizens and support services for those suffering from mental illness.

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/05/cuyahoga_county_voters_approving_two-year_renewal_of_health_human_services_tax.html

OK: Adoption bill stirs controversy (Includes video)

KTUL – May 08, 2018

Adoption is at the center of controversial Senate Bill 1140, which would allow private child placing agencies to incorporate religious standards into their business practices.

Also: Oklahoma families vow to fight adoption bill that has been dubbed ‘un-American’ (Includes video): http://ktul.com/news/local/oklahoma-families-vow-to-fight-adoption-bill-that-has-been-dubbed-un-american

http://ktul.com/news/local/adoption-bill-stirs-controversy

OK: Opioid epidemic threatens the children – and future – of Cherokee Nation

Lily – May 03, 2018

Nikki Baker-Limore never thought she would see anything worse than methamphetamine hit her community. But the executive director of the Indian Child Welfare Act office for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma says she has: opioids. Now she’s leading the effort to help protect the tribe’s children from the drug’s devastating effects.

https://www.thelily.com/opioid-epidemic-threatens-the-children-and-future-of-cherokee-nation/

OR: DHS ignored girl who reported grandfather’s abuse, $6m suit says

Oregonian – May 08, 2018

A $6 million lawsuit filed against the Oregon Department of Human Services accuses child welfare workers of failing to intervene after a 7-year-old girl reported that her grandfather was sexually abusing her.

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/05/6_million_lawsuit_dhs_ignored.html

PA: Appeals court criticizes ‘judicially created parental alienation’ in case of baby with broken ribs

ABA Journal – May 08, 2018

A state appeals court has accused a Pennsylvania judge of “judicially created parental alienation” and a failure to provide due process when she kept a baby in “protracted foster care” after receiving no explanation for broken ribs and then terminated parental rights. The judge, Lyris Younge of Philadelphia Family Court, abused her discretion when she refused to place the child known as N.M. in the care of a grandmother, according to the May 4 decision by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/appeals_court_criticizes_judicially_created_parental_alienation_in_case_of#When:13:00:00Z

PA: Guest Column: Childhood Begins at Home campaign launches in Pennsylvania

Mercury – May 08, 2018

Here in Montgomery County, our Children and Youth program office continues to place tremendous focus on family engagement efforts to ensure that children are being adequately cared for in their homes and avoid foster care placement. That means embracing supportive programming that educates at-risk families on ways to avoid child abuse and neglect. It’s important to provide this type of support so all children in our county can live safe, happy, and productive lives.

http://www.pottsmerc.com/opinion/20180508/guest-column-childhood-begins-at-home-campaign-launches-in-pennsylvania

PA: Love in the time of opioids: Adoption connects drug-exposed kids with new families

Philadelphia Inquirer – May 07, 2018

“It’s true nationally, not just in Philadelphia, that of the children being placed for private adoptions, more of them had previously experienced substance exposure, including exposure to opioids, or were born with an addiction to opioids,” said Ryan Hanlon, vice president of the National Council for Adoptions.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/addiction/love-in-the-time-of-opioids-adoption-connects-drug-exposed-kids-with-new-families-20180509.html

TX: Lubbock lawmakers attend discussion on foster care

Rock 96.9 – May 08, 2018

“The number one thing is we’re not seeing…all the beds we want to see,” Burrows said. “I think that’s going to be making sure — whether it’s through appropriations — because that’s a big bill we pass to make sure we’re actually holding the agency’s feet to the fire and correctly implementing what we actually did. I think that’s extraordinarily important.”

http://www.rock969.fm/story/38145059/lubbock-lawmakers-attend-discussion-on-foster-care

TX: Why Do Children in Foster Care Become Pregnant At A Much Higher Rate? Well, It’s Complicated (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – May 08, 2018

Texas children in foster care are getting pregnant at a rate five times higher than children who are not in the system. That was the shocking bottom line of a report released last month by the non-profit policy organization Texans Care for Children.

http://hppr.org/post/why-do-children-foster-care-become-pregnant-much-higher-rate-well-it-s-complicated

VA: Human trafficking: Virginia battling a ‘crime that hides in plain site’

WRIC – May 08, 2018

Robin Foster had worked with abused and neglected children for years, but it wasn’t until she came face to face with a trafficking victim that she fully recognized the dimensions of the crisis that brought a 17-year-old to a hospital emergency room early one morning.

http://www.wric.com/news/virginia-news/human-trafficking-virginia-battling-a-crime-that-hides-in-plain-site/1167465727

US: Children of the Opioid Epidemic

New York Times Magazine – May 09, 2018

Of the estimated 2.1 million Americans currently in the grip of opioid addiction, many are women of childbearing age. The young-adult population has been hardest hit, proportionately, with nearly 400,000 adults ages 18 to 25 suffering from addiction to prescription painkillers (the vast majority) or heroin.

Also: Information Gateway Resource: Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/treatment/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/09/magazine/children-of-the-opioid-epidemic.html

US: A blank slate: Why thieves want your child’s identity (Includes video)

KBOI – May 08, 2018

“Any place that keeps children’s social security numbers like schools, hospitals, when they have data breaches then those children can be at risk of having their information stolen, resold and their identity compromised.” Ayers said. She says children in the foster care system are even more susceptible.

http://idahonews.com/news/local/a-blank-slate-why-thieves-want-your-childs-identity

US: The awful TV portrayal of the foster system is damaging to kids nationwide (Commentary)

SYFY Wire – May 08, 2018

If Oliver Twist were written today, he’d probably be in foster care. Being “in the system” is the new orphanage, the entertainment shorthand for “abused and neglected.” Social services undeniably have problems, but TV’s overwhelmingly negative view of both fostered youth and foster homes worsens them by perpetuating a stereotype of irretrievably damaged kids and cruel, greedy parents. No one wins here: neither the kids who need care nor those discouraged from giving it.

http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/the-awful-tv-portrayal-of-the-foster-system-is-damaging-to-kids-nationwide

 

AL: Trial begins for Montgomery Family Court Judge Anita Kelly (Includes video)

WSFA – May 07, 2018

The Judicial Inquiry Commission, which investigates complaints against Alabama judges, filed a more than two hundred page complaint against Kelly in 2017, alleging she violated six Cannons of Judicial Ethics, citing six charges connected to systemic delays in her family court proceedings.

http://www.wtvm.com/story/38133505/trial-begins-for-montgomery-family-court-judge-anita-kelly

AR: Community Matters: Foster care children, families need support (Commentary) (Includes video)

Southwest Times Record – May 06, 2018

The opioid epidemic, as is now painfully obvious, has become out of control. It has enslaved lives, destroyed lives, and claimed lives; not only the lives of those who have fallen victim to their addictive and dependency creating habits, but also the lives of those who are the most vulnerable — the children who are dependent on those persons to provide and care for them. The opioid epidemic is playing a larger and larger role in the deconstruction of American, and to hit closer to home — Arkansan — families.

http://www.swtimes.com/opinion/20180506/community-matters-arkansas-foster-care-children-families-need-support

CA: Case of 13-year-old sex trafficking victim sadly isn’t unusual in Orange County, officials say

Behind the Badge OC – May 05, 2018

Far from an aberration, Diane’s story is an ugly reality that regularly plays out in all areas of Orange County: minors being coerced into commercial sex by human traffickers who prey on them. In 2016, the latest year in which figures are available, the OCHTTF assisted 234 people who exclusively were victims of sex trafficking. Of these victims, 74 of them – 32 percent — were minors, according to the 2017 OCHTTF Victim Report.

Also: Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force: https://www.egovlink.com/ochumantrafficking/

http://behindthebadgeoc.com/cities//case-13-year-old-sex-trafficking-victim-sadly-isnt-unusual-orange-county-officials-say/

CA: Need better postpartum depression services

Napa Valley Register – May 05, 2018

Babies are society’s most vulnerable persons. Helpless and innocent, they undoubtedly deserve our collective attention and protection. But women are people too, and they also deserve protection-a perspective that is often lost when debates focus narrowly on the innocent baby (or fetus). We know from extensive biopsychosocial research that a mother and her baby function as a dyad, an interdependent unit whose physical and psychological health are deeply entwined.

https://napavalleyregister.com/opinion/letters/need-better-postpartum-depression-services/article_7e181ce2-eac0-5e8d-af6c-5d7634c2e9e7.html

GA: Dougherty County child abuse registry case to go before Georgia Supreme Court

Albany Herald – May 05, 2018

Among the cases on the Georgia Supreme Court docket for Wednesday is a case in which the Georgia Department of Human Services is appealing a Dougherty County court ruling declaring the state’s Child Abuse Registry unconstitutional.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/local/dougherty-county-child-abuse-registry-case-to-go-before-georgia/article_5599d3fc-28ad-5b38-b75f-32a491d83a0c.html

KS: Kansas Department for Children and Families announces Wichita regional director (Press release)

KSNW – May 07, 2018

Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel announced that Family Preservation Services Program Administrator Thomas Buell has been promoted to serve as the Wichita Regional Director.

http://www.ksn.com/news/local/kansas-department-for-children-and-families-announces-wichita-regional-director/1164798787

LA: Born addicted: Louisiana’s rate of newborns dependent on opioids is rising, pregnant women lack treatment options

Advocate – May 05, 2018

Kemper’s agony has become more common among Louisiana newborns amid a national opioid addiction epidemic. The rate of Louisiana babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome quadrupled between 2005 and 2015, the most recent year on state records. OB-GYNs and neonatologists also acknowledge that some prenatal care providers are hesitant to take on addicted patients. State health officials and hospital administrators have discouraged providers from cutting off prenatal care for pregnant addicts, worried that turning away mothers will result in more unhealthy children.

http://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_a157bb42-4d9a-11e8-b271-03082af75e27.html

MA: Juvenile court investigators stymied by low pay

Boston Globe – May 07, 2018

Last week, however, Gagne sent an e-mail to juvenile court administrators saying she would no longer accept investigations. Along with a growing number of her colleagues, she is frustrated that state lawmakers have not raised the investigators’ pay of $30 an hour since 1987, when Ronald Reagan was president. Court investigators say the stagnant hourly wage has made it harder to attract highly skilled professionals willing to do the work and contributed to an exodus from the field. At a time when the courts are struggling with a high number of child abuse cases due to the opioid crisis, any drop in the number of investigators could delay the handling of such cases, prolonging the amount of time children spend in foster care.

http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/05/07/juvenile-court-investigators-stymied-low-pay/CIwFEepllPzzTu97A2d0DI/story.html

MA: Museum of Science, Boston Partners With DCF and the Wonderfund to Give 20,000 Foster Children and Family Members Free Access to Programs, Exhibits and Educational Opportunities (Press release)

Business Wire – May 07, 2018

The Museum of Science, Boston and Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) have unveiled a new partnership that gives every child in foster care in Massachusetts- and their families- free access to the Museum, its programs and exhibits, as well as scholarships for summer classes and career readiness opportunities for teens. The Museum and the DCF came together through the Wonderfund, the recently reestablished private charity providing support and enrichment to children engaged with the DCF.

http://www.4-traders.com/news/Museum-of-Science-Boston-Partners-With-DCF-and-the-Wonderfund-to-Give-20-000-Foster-Children-and–26532572/

MO: St. Louis adoption agency concerned about plummeting international adoption numbers (Includes video)

KMOV – May 07, 2018

A St. Louis adoption agency is sounding the alarm on the plummeting number of international adoptions, leaving some families in limbo. Last year the State Department issued 4,700 visas to children adopted abroad. In 2002 that number was close to 23,000. That’s about an about an 80 percent drop in 15 years.

http://www.kmov.com/story/38132054/st-louis-adoption-agency-concerned-about-plummeting-international-adoption-numbers

MO: Foster child bill passes House

Sedalia Democrat – May 05, 2018

With last week’s passage of HCB-11 in the Missouri House, Rep. Chris Dinkins, R-Annapolis, believes the state is well on its way to providing a better life for children who are living in or are preparing to leave foster care.

https://www.sedaliademocrat.com/news/state/foster-child-bill-passes-house/article_2233946b-71a8-5254-9fd6-97a7a2e4d27a.html

NC: Staff adjusts proposed budget to add staff, pay raise

Reflector – May 08, 2018

Pitt County Social Services Director Jan Elliott said last month her department needed 18 additional social workers because of increased scrutiny and greater demand of services in the areas of adult protective services, adult guardianship, child protective services and foster care. Funding for two of the positions was required by the state and there was money available for them, Scott Elliott said. Another four, in the areas of foster care and child protective services, required adding $113,623 to the budget, Elliott said.

http://www.reflector.com/News/2018/05/08/Staff-adjusts-proposed-budget-to-add-staff-pay-raise.html

NM: Investigation reveals serious abuses within treatment foster care system

Carlsbad Current Argus – May 06, 2018

Det. Chris Blea, who led the Farmington Police Department’s four-month investigation, said he didn’t understand how La Familia-Namaste, the Albuquerque-based agency licensed by New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department to place children and oversee the safety of foster homes, could possibly have missed what he believed was ongoing abuse.

https://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2018/05/06/new-mexico-foster-care-system-serious-abuses-farmington-police-department-la-familia-namaste/584282002/

NY: NYU College of Dentistry Partnering with NYC Administration for Children’s Services to Provide On-site, Easy Access Dental Care to Kids in Foster Care (Press release)

Aegis Dental Network – May 07, 2018

The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) is partnering with NYU College of Dentistry to provide dental screenings to children in foster care onsite at the Nicholas Scoppetta Children’s Center via a mobile dental care program. As part of this partnership, NYU College of Dentistry will offer weekly, 30-minute educational sessions on oral health at the Children’s Center, followed by screenings and restorative treatment (fillings).

https://www.aegisdentalnetwork.com/news/2018/05/7/nyu-college-of-dentistry-partnering-with-nyc-administration-for-childrens-services-to-provide-on-site-easy-access-dental-care

NY: What more can we do? When it comes to our kids, don’t stop asking that question (Includes video) (Opinion)

Democrat and Chronicle – May 05, 2018

Monroe County is not the only place where tragedies like these happen. On average, between four and seven children die of abuse and neglect in America every single day. Other communities are grappling with the same, seemingly insurmountable problems that we are, such as skyrocketing reports of abuse related to the opioid pandemic and other societal woes. Child Protective Service units are chronically understaffed. Budgets are tight. Caseworkers are burning out at exceptionally high rates, causing massive turnover and instability.

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/05/05/brook-stagles-child-abuse-monroe-county-cheryl-dinolfo-solutions/581999002/

OH: Tuscarawas County joins suit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

New Philadelphia Times-Reporter – May 07, 2018

Tuscarawas County will join federal litigation against manufacturers and distributors of prescription opioids. Last year, Ohio was the second state to file suit against opioid manufacturers and distributors. At this point, 17 states have joined the effort, Styer said. More than half of the counties and many municipalities have filed suit.

http://www.timesreporter.com/news/20180507/tuscarawas-county-joins-suit-against-opioid-manufacturers-distributors

OR: Other Views: Respite care offers hope for foster system

Medford Mail Tribune – May 05, 2018

That’s where a new program, Planned and Crisis Respite Care, comes in handy. The program is run by Morrison Child & Family Services, based in Portland, which for the last year has been developing a respite program in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. The program’s title pretty well summarizes its goals: The program aims to give parents or foster parents who have children in therapy due to behavioral issues some time to decompress.

http://www.mailtribune.com/opinion/20180505/other-views-respite-care-offers-hope-for-foster-system

SC: Hundreds of Midlands homes still needed for foster care, thousands of children still in DSS system (Includes video)

WIS – May 07, 2018

As of May 1st, there are more than 4,500 children in foster care in the Palmetto State and it needs about 1,600 more homes for the children still in the system. In the Midlands, South Carolina Department of Social Services says they need about 330 more foster families. According to DSS, more than 50 percent of the children that come into care in Richland County have been placed in homes outside of the county.

http://www.wistv.com/story/38131208/hundreds-of-midlands-homes-still-needed-for-foster-care-thousands-of-children-still-in-dss-system

UT: Why Utah now has first ‘free-range’ parenting law

BBC News – May 06, 2018

On Tuesday, Utah will become the first state in the US to have a “free-range” parenting law. Victoria Oldridge takes a look at how the law came to be and the debate over what’s an appropriate amount of freedom for children. When Alexander Meitiv dropped his two children – 10 and six – off at a local park near their Maryland home to play for the afternoon in late 2014, he was not expecting the firestorm that would follow. A bystander called 911 after noticing the children walking home by themselves. Police stopped them and brought them back to the Meitivs’ home.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43997862

US: Lawsuit accuses US Olympics, taekwondo stars of sex trafficking (Includes video)

CNN – May 08, 2018

The US Olympic Committee is once again being accused of ignoring reports of sexual assault at the expense of female athletes. Four women who trained with Olympic gold medalist Steven Lopez and his brother, former Team USA coach Jean Lopez, accused the pair of assault, rape and other misconduct in a federal lawsuit filed Friday in Denver, Colorado.

Also: Information Gateway resource: State Agencies and Organizations That Combat Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation: https://www.childwelfare.gov/organizations/?CWIGFunctionsaction=rols:main.dspList&rolType=Custom&RS_ID=161

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/07/us/taekwondo-lopez-brothers-lawsuit/index.html

US: Groups Seek to Help LGBTQ Families Fill the Foster Parent Shortage

Chronicle of Social Change – May 07, 2018

The laws are part of a growing trend of so-called religious exemption laws, which allow government-funded organizations to refuse to work with otherwise qualified families if working with those parents violates their religious beliefs. Family Equality Council has launched the Every Child Deserves a Family campaign partly as a response to the rapidly growing number of states passing such laws. They are currently working to get the Every Child Deserves a Family Act through Congress, and are working on attracting more Republican co-sponsors.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/subscriber-content/groups-seek-help-lgbtq-families-fill-foster-parent-shortage/30702

US: Math Can’t Solve Everything: Questions We Need To Be Asking Before Deciding an Algorithm is the Answer

Electronic Frontier Foundation – May 07, 2018

Across the globe, algorithms are quietly but increasingly being relied upon to make important decisions that impact our lives. This includes determining the number of hours of in-home medical care patients will receive, whether a child is so at risk that child protective services should investigate, if a teacher adds value to a classroom or should be fired, and whether or not someone should continue receiving welfare benefits.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/05/math-cant-solve-everything-questions-we-need-be-asking-deciding-algorithm-answer

US: Sessions vows to prosecute all illegal border crossers and separate children from their parents (Includes video)

Washington Post – May 07, 2018

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Monday that the Justice Department will begin prosecuting every person who illegally crosses into the United States along the Southwest border, a hard-line policy shift focusing in particular on migrants traveling with children. “If you cross the border unlawfully — then we will prosecute you,” Sessions said. “If you smuggle an illegal alien across the border, then we’ll prosecute you — If you’re smuggling a child, then we’re going to prosecute you, and that child will be separated from you, probably, as required by law.

Also: ‘Inhumane’: Advocates Decry Family Separation at Border (Commentary): https://www.thedailybeast.com/inhumane-advocates-decry-the-separation-of-families-at-border

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-says-justice-dept-will-prosecute-every-person-who-crosses-border-unlawfully/2018/05/07/e1312b7e-5216-11e8-9c91-7dab596e8252_story.html?u

US: White House to request Congress rescind $15 billion in spending

Hill – May 07, 2018

Nearly half of the $15 billion – $7 billion – will come from two accounts in the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The White House sees the cuts as uncontroversial because the money represents unspent funds from expired programs, such as a fund to reimburse some state expenses in fiscal 2017.

Also: Trump is asking Congress to claw back $15 billion from children’s health, ObamaCare: http://theweek.com/speedreads/771994/trump-asking-congress-claw-back-15-billion-from-childrens-health-obamacare

http://thehill.com/policy/finance/386555-white-house-to-ask-congress-to-claw-back-15-billion-in-spending

US: Here’s how ICE sent children seeking asylum to adult detention centers

Reveal from the Center for Investigative Journalism – May 03, 2018

One teen arrived in the United States in 2015 seeking asylum after his father was murdered in Somalia. Another fled Afghanistan last year after the Taliban killed his father and the Islamic State group killed his brother. But instead of building new lives in the U.S., both ended up in adult detention centers based on the opinion of the same University of Texas dentist – who never met them or examined their teeth.

https://www.revealnews.org/blog/heres-how-ice-sent-children-seeking-asylum-to-adult-detention-centers/

US: Opioid epidemic’s collateral damage: Children and caregivers need more support (Commentary)

Philadelphia Inquirer – April 27, 2018

As our nation continues to reel from a decades-long opioid epidemic that has devastated families and communities, the public health response has focused on reducing fatal overdoses and treating addiction. Those are of course necessary and noble actions, but we must also be dedicated to strengthening supports for children in these families – the bystanders to this epidemic who are just as impacted yet rarely seen, save for haunting images of being stranded in minivans while their parents succumb to overdoses in the front seat.

http://www.philly.com/philly/health/health-cents/kinship-care-in-the-opioid-epidemic-the-overlooked-caregivers-of-the-overlooked-victims-20180427.html

INTERNATIONAL

Denmark: A single mother who lost her children in Denmark

Guardian – May 07, 2018

Maya had three children, two girls and a boy, born in the span of four years. One day, when her husband had beaten her and she had bruises all over her body, she finally made up her mind to leave him. Along with her children and taking her parents’ advice, she went to a shelter for women. Within days of arriving in that shelter, Maya was confronted with the Child Protection Services of Lyngby. Maya’s son, Elias, is still with a Danish foster family. He is now 15. In order to get him back, Maya underwent a “forældrekompetenceundersøgelse”, which is a “test” of parenting ability.

https://www.sundayguardianlive.com/culture/single-mother-lost-children-denmark

South Africa: Mental well-being during pregnancy and motherhood

Randfontein Herald – May 06, 2018

World Maternal Mental Health Day, which was celebrated on 2 May aimed to spread the awareness of mental or psychiatric disorders that are prevalent in the perinatal period (the first 1 000 days of life), to ensure access to mental health care during this vulnerable time. According to Akeso Crescent Clinic, untreated disorders affecting the mother at this time can have harmful effects on the infant, which is why early detection – and intervention – is important.

https://randfonteinherald.co.za/274314/9am-sunday-6-may-mental-well-being-during-pregnancy-and-motherhood/

 

CO: Commentary: Who would it help to seal children’s autopsy reports in Colorado?

KUSA-TV – May 02, 2018

A bill that would seal children’s autopsies in Colorado is moving its way through the state legislature.

https://www.9news.com/article/news/local/next/commentary-who-would-it-help-to-seal-childrens-autopsy-reports-in-colorado/73-548306008

FL: State: Here’s how to fix Eckerd Connects’ care for foster teens

Tampa Bay Times – May 04, 2018

The agency that runs child welfare in Hillsborough County has come under fire from the state for failing to provide enough stability for teenagers in foster care and for its management of its finances. The Florida Department of Children and Families announced Friday that it is requiring “specialized oversight” of Eckerd Connects to address “deficiencies.” DCF plans to send two experts to work on-site at Eckerd to improve how it recruits foster parents and places teenagers, and to identify administrative costs that could be cut.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/State-Here-s-how-to-fix-Eckerd-Connects-care-for-foster-teens_167950328

FL: Grandparents stepping up for children of opiate addicts (Includes video)

Fox 13 – May 03, 2018

Child welfare systems across the country are straining to place children of opioid-addicted parents in safe homes. The addiction to heroin, fentanyl, and opioid-based pain pills is a problem that continues to affect many families. To keep young victims of the crisis out of the foster care system, grandparents and other relatives are stepping forward to take on the task of becoming parents.

Information Gateway resource: Working With Kinship Caregivers: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/kinship.pdf

http://www.fox13news.com/health/grandparents-stepping-up-for-children-of-opiate-addicts

IN: Indiana Installs ‘Safe Haven’ Boxes For Mothers to Abandon Babies In

NBC News – May 06, 2018

About 40,000 new infants are abandoned every year, but luckily the number of abandoned infants and children continues to decrease in the United States. It’s unfortunate that such a significant amount of newborns/children are left to fend for themselves but it looks like the state of Indiana is making the abandonment process safer for both children and parents.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/indiana-installs-safe-haven-baby-boxes-abandoned-newborns-n568811?cid=sm_fb?cid=sm_fb

IN: 7 Facts About Indiana’s Foster Care Crisis

Damar Foster Care Services – May 04, 2018

Damar Foster Care Services is a fully licensed, not-for-profit child placement agency that works on behalf of children who are unable to live at home to recruit, prepare and support quality foster parents – they can help you find the information to become the parent children desperately need.

Also: Caseworker who fostered, then adopted, sees troubling trend in child services: http://www.newsbug.info/news/national/indiana/caseworker-who-fostered-then-adopted-sees-troubling-trend-in-child/article_cf02961c-dbe6-5f4a-97ec-119ee33b3d94.html

https://www.indystar.com/story/sponsor-story/damar/2018/05/04/damar-facts-indiana-foster-care-crisis/578504002/

KS: Kansas bill protects adoption agencies that cite religious beliefs to keep kids out of LGBT homes (Includes video)

ABC News – May 04, 2018

Faith-based agencies in Kansas will likely be allowed to provide adoption or foster care services for the state even if they refuse to place children in homes that conflict with their “sincerely held” religious beliefs, including those with gay, lesbian or transgender parents.

Also: DISCRIMINATION IN KANSAS: Legislature Sends Anti-LGBTQ Child Welfare Bill to Governor’s Desk: http://www.hrc.org/blog/kansas-legislature-sends-anti-lgbtq-child-welfare-bill-SB284-to-governor

Also: Passage of Kansas adoption bill allowing religious veto draws mixed reactions: http://fox4kc.com/2018/05/04/passage-of-kansas-adoption-bill-that-would-allow-religious-veto-draws-mixed-reactions/

Also: Kansas, Oklahoma Advance Discriminatory Adoption Bills: https://www.advocate.com/politics/2018/5/04/kansas-oklahoma-advance-discriminatory-adoption-bills Also: Faith-based Adoption Agencies Prevail in Kansas and Oklahoma Legislation: http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/may/faith-based-adoption-agencies-prevail-in-kansas-and-oklahoma-legislation

Also: Oklahoma, Kansas approve religious veto on LGBT adoptions: https://www.apnews.com/2a773056578c4728a06ae98982095dc6/Oklahoma,-Kansas-approve-religious-veto-on-LGBT-adoptions

https://abcnews.go.com/US/bill-protects-adoption-agencies-cite-religious-beliefs-kids/story?id=54934004

KY: Big changes are coming for kids in foster care. ‘You don’t get your first year back.’ (Includes video)

Lexington Herald-Leader – May 04, 2018

Reunification with family is twice as likely to be the identified goal of child-welfare cases in Kentucky as adoption. Nobody was interested in hearing what the girls or the foster parents had to say in court about the girls’ best interests, she said. Changes are coming for the thousands of Kentucky children who are – like those two girls – removed from their homes each year for their own protection and then forced to live indefinitely in legal limbo.

http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article210129544.html

KY: New law makes it easier for state to take babies exposed to drugs by their mothers

Lexington Herald-Leader – May 04, 2018

To deal with an explosion in the number of Kentucky newborns exposed to dangerous, addictive drugs by their pregnant mothers, lawmakers this year added a section to House Bill 1, a measure that otherwise streamlines the foster care system. The section – which becomes law in July, along with the rest of HB 1 – expands the definition of child abuse in Kentucky to include neonatal abstinence syndrome.

http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article210402579.html

MA: Youth outreach expanded in annual Cape homeless count

Cape Cod Times – May 06, 2018

The Homeless Prevention Council is enlisting Cape Cod Community College and the Hyannis Youth and Community Center in an effort to reach homeless youth during an annual count that started April 23 and ends May 13. Only five out of 74 Cape respondents age 16 to 24 met the criteria for homelessness during last year’s Massachusetts Youth Count – a number that seems suspiciously low, said Hadley Luddy, executive director of the Homeless Prevention Council in Orleans.

http://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20180506/youth-outreach-expanded-in-annual-cape-homeless-count

MD: Fostering success: New community program aims to improve outcomes for parents with young children in foster care

Frederick News-Post – May 04, 2018

Grau credited the overall reduction in foster care participants to the department’s focus on finding permanent homes for the children — preferably reuniting them with their birth parents or, if not, a relative or another adopted family. But those efforts can’t cancel out the rise in substance-exposed babies, which Grau called a major reason for the increase in infants and toddlers entering the foster care system.

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/crime_and_justice/courts/fostering-success-new-community-program-aims-to-improve-outcomes-for/article_b673b77f-0335-52aa-8e4c-4826e8fc1793.html

MI: Advocacy center sees 46 percent increase in child victims

Holland Sentinel – May 06, 2018

Between 85-90 percent of the cases involve criminal sexual conduct against children.

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20180506/advocacy-center-sees-46-percent-increase-in-child-victims

MI: Report: Abused or neglected, more Michigan kids are dying (Audio)

Michigan Public Radio – May 04, 2018

More children in Michigan are dying because of abuse or neglect compared to a decade ago. Back then, the state settled a federal lawsuit, promising to improve its child welfare system. The state has spent millions of dollars on that effort. Those are the findings from a report published earlier this week by Justin A. Hinkley, a reporter for the Lansing State Journal. Hinkley joined Stateside today to explain where this problem began and what’s behind the increase in child deaths today.

Report: More Michigan kids die despite 10 years of trying to fix the system meant to protect them: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2018/05/03/michigan-dhhs-reform-child-abuse-neglect/513993002/

Also: Editorial: Child welfare still seriously flawed: https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/opinion/editorials/2018/05/06/editorial-michigans-child-welfare-system-still-seriously-flawed/581824002/

http://michiganradio.org/post/report-abused-or-neglected-more-michigan-kids-are-dying

MN: Catholic Charities to Shut Down Programs, Evaluate Older Policies (Includes video)

KSTP – May 04, 2018

Catholic Charities plan to shut down some familiar programs within the next three months as the agency takes a look at policies decades old. County Commissioner Mike Opat told us they are getting 50 reports of child neglect or abuse every day. “We are working with many agencies as we try to make child protection more of a child wellbeing system,” he said. “Hopefully get on the front end of when children are in trouble so we can avoid removing them from the home,” he said.

http://kstp.com/news/catholic-charities-to-shut-down-programs-evaluate-older-policies/4894050/?cat=1

MO: Missouri lawmakers focused on foster care, sales taxes and Gov. Greitens

KY3 – May 06, 2018

The legislation would allow abuse investigations outside the state, update background checks on foster families, expand treatment for children in foster care, and much more. Neely says the changes would help foster kids who are falling through the cracks. The bill sailed through the House, and is in the Senate now.

http://www.ky3.com/content/news/Missouri-lawmakers-focused-on-foster-care-sales-taxes-and-Gov-Greitens-481877551.html

MO: Missouri marriage laws criticized for being lenient

KOMU – May 04, 2018

“As more states continue to raise their marriage age, I think it’s important that we set that age so that we don’t become a tourist attraction for people who have bad intentions for young women,” said Rep. Jean Evans, R-Manchester, the bill’s sponsor. According to Evans, research has shown border cities and those with airports are the most highly-concentrated areas for child marriages. She said Kansas City, St. Louis and the bootheel of the state receive the most marriage license filings.

http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-marriage-laws-criticized-for-being-lenient

MT: $20-million settlement: Great Falls-Billings Diocese abuse litigation nears end

National Catholic Reporter – May 04, 2018

Terms of a negotiated $20 million payment to settle 86 sex abuse claims against the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings, Montana, are scheduled to be presented in U.S. Bankruptcy Court May 8. If approved by Judge Jim D. Pappas, the scheduled video hearing will mark the end of nearly seven years of litigation and mediation for the diocese.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/great-falls-billings-diocese-abuse-litigation-nears-end

NC: Rural areas not immune to human trafficking

Athens Daily Review – May 04, 2018

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security defines human trafficking as a “modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain.” And it’s happening in Henderson County.

http://www.athensreview.com/news/rural-areas-not-immune-to-human-trafficking/article_fbf8c25a-4fdc-11e8-a8e2-07951deec638.html

NJ: New Jersey could ban marriage for those under 18

Christian Daily – May 05, 2018

New Jersey lawmakers are pushing a bill that will ban marriage for those under the age of 18. The measure hopes to prevent minors from becoming child brides. Under the current law, teenagers below 18 years old may still be allowed to marry provided that there’s parental consent. Teens under 16 years old, on the other hand, could marry with parental consent and an approval from a state judge.

https://www.christiandaily.com/article/new-jersey-could-ban-marriage-for-those-under-18/62324.htm

NY: Despite reform effort, Child Protective Services remains mired in disarray (Includes video)

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – May 04, 2018

Beginning in 2015, the agency was on the state Office of Children and Family Services’ radar for chronically overdue child safety assessments, incomplete investigations, poor recordkeeping, slipshod follow-up and chronic understaffing. Even now, the agency remains plagued by chronic staff shortages and high turnover, low morale and burdensome paperwork, and it is struggling to fulfill the basic function of shielding the most vulnerable of children from drug abuse, maltreatment or even death.

https://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2018/05/04/cps-monroe-county-disarray-brook-stagles-child-protective-services-child-abuse/525508002/

OH: Therapeutic foster care changes lives

Bowling Green Daily News – May 06, 2018

Therapeutic foster care is designed to furnish safe and nurturing care for people from birth to age 21 in a more structured home environment. A cost-effective alternative to residential treatment, this program provides children who have significant emotional, behavioral or developmental disabilities with home environments that best meet their needs for living, learning and growing.

http://www.bgdailynews.com/community/therapeutic-foster-care-changes-lives/article_f282ee24-ed48-5d17-ac08-3f54d2983137.html

OK: New budget won’t offset decade of cuts for some state agencies

News OK – May 06, 2018

Armed with a record $7.6 billion state budget and $474 million in new taxes and revenue hikes, Oklahoma lawmakers voted this year to boost spending for some agencies that have spent years cutting staff and services. The new funding, plus money taken from other DHS program areas, has been used to pay for reforms agreed to as part of a settlement to a federal class-action lawsuit over the abuse of children in state care, said Sheree Powell, agency spokeswoman. The agency has added about 900 child welfare employees, but has done away with about 1,200 other positions since 2015

http://newsok.com/new-budget-wont-offset-decade-of-cuts-for-some-state-agencies/article/5593498?custom_click=rss

OK: Oklahoma has shortage of foster families

Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – May 04, 2018

What could be more influential for children than that moment of removal? It is the arms that welcome them to where they are going and promise to help them process where they have been. Foster families serve as temporary placement for children needing out-of-home care due to abuse or neglect. Foster families provide a safe and nurturing home and are committed to working with birth families to reunite children with their families.

http://www.examiner-enterprise.com/news/20180504/oklahoma-has-shortage-of-foster-families

OK: Oklahoma, Kansas approve religious veto on LGBT adoptions

Associated Press – May 04, 2018

State lawmakers in Oklahoma and Kansas have approved legislation to grant legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that cite their religious beliefs for not placing children in LGBT homes. Supporters of such measures argued that the core issue is protecting a group’s right to live out its religious faith, while critics saw them as attacks on LGBT rights. Both Oklahoma and Kansas have GOP-controlled legislatures and governors, but in Kansas, the proposal split Republicans.

Also: Kansas, Oklahoma Advance Discriminatory Adoption Bills (Commentary): https://www.advocate.com/politics/2018/5/04/kansas-oklahoma-advance-discriminatory-adoption-bills

Also: Faith-based Adoption Agencies Prevail in Kansas and Oklahoma Legislation (Commentary): http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2018/may/faith-based-adoption-agencies-prevail-in-kansas-and-oklahoma-legislation

Also: Oklahoma bill supports religious objections to same-sex adoptions: https://religionnews.com/2018/05/03/oklahoma-lawmakers-pass-religious-veto-on-same-sex-adoptions/

https://www.apnews.com/2a773056578c4728a06ae98982095dc6/Oklahoma,-Kansas-approve-religious-veto-on-LGBT-adoptions

OR: Despite DHS Statement, Little Change Apparent in Oregon Child Protection Practice Since Hart Case (Commentary)

Child Welfare Monitor – May 07, 2018

In a cover letter accompanying the records of its interactions with the Hart family-the six children and their adoptive parents who are all presumed dead after their van drove off a cliff on -the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) tacitly acknowledged that it botched an opportunity to rescue the six children from years of suffering and a tragic death. DHS also suggested that such a catastrophic error would not happen today because policy and practice have changed. But available evidence raises questions about whether vulnerable children are any safer in Oregon today than they were in 2013.

Also: The Hart Children: Curse of the Adoptee: https://medium.com/@micheleleavitt/the-hart-children-curse-of-the-adoptee-958dde356621

https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/05/07/despite-dhs-statement-little-change-apparent-in-oregon-child-protection-practice-since-hart-case/

OR: Oregon foster care system troubled (Commentary)

World Link – May 06, 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.

Oregon Secretary of State Audit: Foster Care in Oregon: Chronic management failures and high caseloads jeopardize the safety of some of the state’s most vulnerable children: http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Documents/2018-05.pdf

http://theworldlink.com/opinion/editorial/oregon-foster-care-system-troubled/article_576e0207-4f26-5b2b-b1b2-a1cb33000b56.html

OR: Ore. pilot program cuts caseloads for foster system lawyers

Oregonian – May 04, 2018

In three Oregon counties, the state has departed radically from its usual approach to providing legal help to foster children and their biological parents: It limits lawyers to 80 clients and pays them based on how much time they devote to each case.

http://www.sunherald.com/news/business/article210470844.html

PA: Efforts pay off for home visiting programs

Scranton Times-Tribune – May 06, 2018

Many parents benefit from strong family supports and adequate resources. Yet, for some parents, especially those who are young and of modest means, parenthood is often more complicated. Evidence-based home visiting programs can help. These programs educate families on the importance of regular well-child visits, which improve the long-term health and development of children.

http://thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/efforts-pay-off-for-home-visiting-programs-1.2333730

PA: Foster care agency settles lawsuit over death of Philly 10-year-old

Metro – May 04, 2018

Northeast Treatment Centers is paying a $5 million settlement to end a lawsuit that said they didn’t adequately inform foster parents about kid’s medical condition.

Also: Settlement in Ethan Okula civil case highlights the kids we need to reach | Mike Newall: http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/mike_newall/ethan-okula-settlement-nadeem-bezar-department-human-services-philly-mike-newall-20180504.html

https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/philadelphia/foster-care-agency-settles-lawsuit-over-death-philly-10-year-old

PA: Kids to grandparents, families caught up in opioid crisis

Associated Press – May 04, 2018

Keeley doesn’t realize that she represents the next front in the battle against the opioid epidemic. She’s part of a wave of children whose innocent years have been complicated — often tragically — by the pills, heroin and fentanyl that have surged through the hills of Appalachia, even reaching this street in little North Vandergrift, Armstrong County. Kids like Keeley have endured trauma and instability, and likely have inherited a vulnerability to addiction, putting them at risk. Child welfare systems, meanwhile, are straining to meet the needs of kids whose parents haven’t recovered.

http://www.fresnobee.com/news/article210210364.html

RI: One State’s Opioid Success Story

Governing – May 01, 2018

In Rhode Island, the Corrections Department now provides medical addiction treatments to criminals while they are still incarcerated. The results have been striking. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of deaths among recent ex-prisoners dropped by 61 percent. That was enough to bring down the total number of overdose deaths in the state as a whole by 12 percent, even at a time when opioids are driving up the death rate in most places.

Also: NCSL’s ‘deep dive’ on opioids: http://www.ncsl.org/bookstore/state-legislatures-magazine/opioid-deep-dive-state-policy-updates.aspx

http://www.governing.com/topics/health-human-services/gov-opioids-prisoners-released-methadone.html

SC: Child abuse investigators in South Carolina carry caseloads more than 125 percent over capacity

Charleston Post and Courier – May 06, 2018

A federal judge has ordered the S.C. Department of Social Services to appear in court next month after court-appointed experts concluded “too little has changed” at the embattled agency. Among the several problems identified: agency employees charged with investigating allegations of child abuse in “out-of-home” settings are particularly overburdened.

Also: DSS workers still responsible for too many children, risking their safety, senators say: https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/dss-workers-still-responsible-for-too-many-children-risking-their/article_7275c142-4fc1-11e8-80bb-ef47e210711d.html

https://www.postandcourier.com/health/child-abuse-investigators-in-south-carolina-carry-caseloads-more-than/article_1d495c66-4a20-11e8-9420-ff53610ade07.html

SC: Horry County in need of more foster care homes (Includes video)

WBTW – May 04, 2018

DSS said more kids are being put into the foster care system. They’re working on their 90 day recruitment plan. DSS said they need 140 more foster homes here Horry County.

http://www.wbtw.com/news/grand-strand/south-carolina-department-of-social-services-in-need-of-more-foster-care-homes-in-horry-count/1160378671

TX: Child protective services says Amarillo needs more foster parents (Includes video)

News Channel 10 – May 04, 2018

According to Child Protective Services, it’s becoming harder to find foster homes for children in the Amarillo area. “We are in bad need of foster homes here locally,” said Robinson. “A large part of the Texas Panhandle is very rural, so some of the smaller towns don’t have foster parents where we can have children stay in their local community once they’ve experienced a traumatic event.”

http://www.newschannel10.com/story/38116834/child-protective-services-says-amarillo-needs-more-foster-parents

TX: Texas must take advantage of federal funds to keep kids out of foster care (Commentary)

Dallas Morning News – May 04, 2018

In 2016, almost 20,000 children in Texas entered foster care, and more than one-fifth of them were infants. During the 2017 legislative session, our Texas lawmakers took steps to address our state’s child welfare crisis by passing legislation to reform the system, including improving payment and retention of caseworkers and increasing access to medical care for children in foster care. While these policy changes are important first steps to strengthen families, we now have a major opportunity to bring in federal resources to help even more Texas families under a new federal law, the Family First Prevention Services Act, which I urge our state to take up without delay.

https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2018/05/04/texas-must-take-advantage-federal-funds-keep-kids-foster-care

WI: Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker: Trauma-informed care paramount to helping children

Herald Times – May 04, 2018

Manitowoc County Human Services Department is involved with Fostering Futures to gain more understanding about how to utilize trauma informed care to help the children of Manitowoc County more effectively. “Wonderful work is being done for children, parents and families affected by addiction every single day in Wisconsin, and I am so grateful to know amazing people like each of you who are out there tirelessly advocating for them,” Walker said. “I know that together, we can make a difference for all the children and families in Wisconsin.”

https://www.htrnews.com/story/news/2018/05/04/wisconsin-first-lady-tonette-walker-trauma-informed-care-paramount-children-manitowoc-opioid-crisis/582056002/

US: Judge considers ban on separating families at border (Includes video)

Associated Press – May 04, 2018

A federal judge asked pointed questions of the Trump administration and the American Civil Liberties Union on Friday over a proposed ban on U.S. immigration authorities separating parents from their children at the border.

Also: Immigrant Children Going Before An Immigration Judge Alone: http://www.kveo.com/news/local-news/immigrant-children-going-before-a-federal-judge-alone/1158411271

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/state/california/article210501419.html

US: More mandatory reporting won’t keep children safe from predators (Commentary)

Washington Post – May 01, 2018

Since details of disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar’s abuse of young athletes came to light, legislators have been searching for ways to prevent such horrific, ongoing abuse. In particular, the revelations that multiple responsible adults may have been aware of the abuse and yet failed to report it – recently, Olympic champion McKayla Maroney said that she informed a coach after Nassar abused her in 2011 – have fueled calls for statutes expanding mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/05/01/more-mandatory-reporting-wont-keep-children-safe-from-predators/?utm_term=.ecf02564bf95

INTERNATIONAL

Bangladesh: ‘Game-changer’ phone app aims to end child marriage in Bangladesh

Reuters – May 06, 2018

The mobile app being rolled out by Plan and the Bangladesh government aims to prevent it by allowing matchmakers, priests and officers who register marriages to verify the bride and groom’s ages through a digital database. “If we could get the people involved in the initial stages of marriage on side as well, then there would be no one to solemnize, no one to register and no one to arrange a marriage for a child,” said Soumya Guha, a director at Plan Bangladesh.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bangladesh-gender-child/game-changer-phone-app-aims-to-end-child-marriage-in-bangladesh-idUSKBN1I8029

 

CA: Agreement promises to protect child welfare (Commentary)

Del Norte Triplicate – May 03, 2018

When asked for details that led up to the decision, Department of Justice Press Secretary Tania Mercado said in an email that DOJ staff learned that county Child Welfare Services had sent response letters to individuals who had called to report possible child abuse. An example of the letter was provided, which compiled a short list of penal code violations regarding the false reporting of an emergency situation, and detailed whether those violations are considered felonies or misdemeanors.

http://www.triplicate.com/news/6212024-151/agreement-promises-to-protect-child-welfare

CO: Bill exempting child autopsies from records act advances

Associated Press – May 03, 2018

A Colorado House committee has passed a bill that would remove autopsy reports on minors’ deaths from the state’s Open Records Act. The House Judiciary Committee voted 8-3 on Thursday to refer the bipartisan bill to the full House.

http://www.heraldsun.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article210429519.html

DE: Delaware Expected To Be The First State To Ban Child Marriage Outright

WUNC – May 03, 2018

The Delaware Senate voted unanimously Thursday to become the first state in the U.S. to ban child marriage, no exceptions. Legislation prohibiting minors from marrying under any circumstance is headed to the governor’s desk where he is expected to sign it.

Also: Underage marriage ban poised to become law (Includes audio): https://delawarestatenews.net/government/underage-marriage-ban-poised-to-become-law/

Also: First State ban on child marriage clears General Assembly (Includes audio): http://delawarepublic.org/post/first-state-ban-child-marriage-clears-general-assembly

http://wunc.org/post/delaware-expected-be-first-state-ban-child-marriage-outright#stream/0

GA: Dougherty Co. teacher case heads to supreme court (Includes video)

WALB – May 03, 2018

A ruling by a Dougherty County judge is raising concern about a potentially flawed system by a state agency. It comes after a group of Dougherty County teachers and administrators were placed on a child abuse registry by an investigator with the Division of Children and Family Services. Now it will be argued before the state’s highest court.

Also: Information Gateway resource: Mandated Reporting: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/reporting/mandated/

http://www.wfxg.com/story/38108590/dougherty-co-teacher-case-heads-to-supreme-court

KS: Decried As Discriminatory, Kansas Legislature Passes Protections For Religious Adoption Agencies

Kansas News Service – May 04, 2018

The Kansas Legislature has narrowly approved a controversial measure allowing faith-based adoption and foster care agencies in Kansas to be reimbursed by the state for placement services, even if they turn away prospective parents who don’t fit their religious beliefs.

Also: Faith Leaders to Kansas Legislators: Do Not Allow Child Welfare Agencies to Discriminate (Press release): http://www.pfaw.org/blog-posts/faith-leaders-to-kansas-legislators-do-not-allow-child-welfare-agencies-to-discriminate/

Also: Senate completes passage of faith-based adoption, foster care bill: http://www.cjonline.com/news/20180504/senate-completes-passage-of-faith-based-adoption-foster-care-bill

http://kcur.org/post/decried-discriminatory-kansas-legislature-passes-protections-religious-adoption-agencies#stream/0

KS: Southeast Kansas Sheriff’s Deputies Driving Hours To Get Kids A Place to Sleep

KMUW – May 03, 2018

In the past, the Cherokee County sheriff’s office was able to lean on local resources to keep those kids closer to home. Local foster homes, local family members or other adults the kids trusted could offer them a home for a few days. Cherokee County Undersheriff Terry Clugston said that started changing in January. In the past month, the department has been transporting children to Andover – or occasionally as far away as Topeka – at least once a week.

http://kmuw.org/post/southeast-kansas-sheriff-s-deputies-driving-hours-get-kids-place-sleep

MI: More Michigan kids die despite 10 years of trying to fix the system meant to protect them

Lansing State Journal – May 03, 2018

Records show state employees and contractors frequently violate the laws and policies meant to protect kids from harm and often fail to intervene when they should. The ombudsman has written more than 500 suggested improvements to the child welfare system over the last decade, including 155 related to child deaths.

https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/local/watchdog/2018/05/03/michigan-dhhs-reform-child-abuse-neglect/513993002/

NC: Social Services has new director

Chronicle – May 03, 2018

Victor Isler, the new director of Forsyth County Department of Social Services, said he looks to the “small miracles” his agency does for inspiration. Isler became director of the department last week, after nearly four years as its Family and Children Services director. Forsyth DSS has a nearly $50 million budget and about 500 employees. It provides a multitude of services including adoption and foster care, child protective services and adult care, along with Medicaid and food stamp enrollment.

http://www.wschronicle.com/2018/05/social-services-new-director/

NH: Effort to raise NH marriage age to 16 passes unanimously in Senate, expected to become law

Concord Monitor – May 03, 2018

The vote was quite a turn from last year, when Levesque watched helplessly from the House gallery as legislators tore apart the first bill she pioneered as part of a girl scout project that would have raised the marriage age to 18.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/Child-marriage-passes-in-New-Hampshire-Senate-17276892

NH: New Hampshire House approves funds for DCYF, mental health services

Concord Monitor – May 03, 2018

A pair of bills intended to shore up funding for the state’s Division for Children, Youth and Families and mental health services passed the House Thursday – but only after significant reductions from what the Senate had originally approved. Senate Bills 592 and 590 will go back to the Senate after voice votes in the House. The first, SB 592, would add more than 30 new positions to DCYF, which has been shaken by a pair of high-profile deaths of children under its watch. The bill contains more than $4 million intended to help restore services, reduce workloads and prevent future child fatalities.

http://www.concordmonitor.com/New-Hampshire-House-approves-funds-for-DCYF-mental-health-services-17276623

OH: Cuyahoga County seeking foster parents as the number of children in custody increase

Cleveland.com – May 03, 2018

The attorney general’s office estimated that half of the children in foster care are there because of substance abuse from one or both parents. And nearly 3,000 more kids are in the system now than they were seven years ago, when the opioid crisis emerged, the office said.

http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2018/05/cuyahoga_county_seeking_foster_parents_as_the_number_of_children_in_custody_increase.html

OK: DISCRIMINATION IN OKLAHOMA: Legislature Sends Anti-LGBTQ Child Welfare Bill to Governor’s Desk (Opinion)

Human Rights Campaign – May 03, 2018

Today, HRC condemned the Oklahoma legislature for passing SB 1140, a bill that would allow child welfare organizations — including adoption and foster care agencies — to turn away qualified Oklahomans seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection.

Also: Taxpayer funded discrimination, Oklahoma SB1140 on its way to Gov. Fallin (Commentary): http://www.azfamily.com/story/38109528/taxpayer-funded-discrimination-oklahoma-sb1140-on-its-way-to-gov-fallin

http://www.hrc.org/blog/oklahoma-legislature-sends-anti-lgbtq-child-welfare-bill-to-governors-desk?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss-feed

OR: Lawsuit Alleges Oregon Failed To Care For Foster Kids

Oregon Public Broadcasting – May 03, 2018

The lawsuit alleges the state has a pattern of placing vulnerable children with foster parents who are financially dependent on state money they receive for housing the children. It also argues there is a lack of accountability within DHS.

Also: Workplace culture at the heart of DHS problems (Commentary): http://pamplinmedia.com/pt/9-news/394486-287510-workplace-culture-at-the-heart-of-dhs-problems

https://www.opb.org/news/article/foster-care-oregon-abuse-lawsuit-dhs/

TX: More foster families desperately needed in Central Texas (Includes video)

KPLC – May 03, 2018

Arrow Child and Family Ministries and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services hope they can find more foster families, the more locally they can get to sign up, the better. According to DFPS, in McLennan County 50 out of the 214 children are staying with families locally. 149 out of the 326 children from Bell County in foster care are staying in temporary homes in that area.

http://www.kplctv.com/story/38108910/more-foster-families-desperately-needed-in-central-texas

TX: Texas’ social services czar resigns, amid heat over contracting mixups

Dallas Morning News – May 03, 2018

State social services czar Charles Smith, a longtime aide to Gov. Greg Abbott, is retiring from state government – the latest to leave the sprawling Health and Human Services Commission under duress over contracting problems.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-politics/2018/05/03/texas-social-services-czar-resigns-amid-heat-contracting-mixups

US: Early Treatment Program for Opioid-Dependent Newborns Significantly Reduces Cost While Maintaining Medical and Safety Outcomes (Press release)

Joint Commission – May 03, 2018

Findings showed no significant differences between the two groups regarding medical and safety outcomes, or child protective services involvement. However, the traditional care NAS infants were more likely to be treated in a higher-level nursery or to have emergency department visits, and the median per-birth charges were approximately $8,204 lower for MAiN infants.

Also: Early Treatment Innovation for Opioid-Dependent Newborns: A Retrospective Comparison of Outcomes, Utilization, Quality, and Safety, 2006-2014: https://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/article/S1553-7250(17)30299-4/pdf

Also: Management of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: The Importance of a Multifaceted Program Spanning Inpatient and Outpatient Care (Commentary): https://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/article/S1553-7250(18)30155-7/pdf

http://www.sectorpublishingintelligence.co.uk/news/1975602/early+treatment+program+for+opioiddependent+newborns+significantly+reduces+cost+while+maintaining+medical+and+safety+outcomes

US: Separating parents from their kids at the border contradicts everything we know about children’s welfare (Commentary)

Los Angeles Times – May 03, 2018

Recently though, I met a little girl in a border town in Texas who will forever stand out in my mind. Unlike the patients I’ve treated in my exam room, I was helpless to comfort her. The little girl was a toddler, her face splotched red from crying, her fists balled up in frustration, pounding on a play mat in the shelter for unaccompanied children run by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. No parent was there to scoop her up, no known and trusted adult to rub her back and soothe her sobs. The staff members at the center tried their best, and shared my heartbreak while watching this child writhe on the floor, alone. We knew what was wrong, but we were powerless to help. She wanted her mother. And the only reason she could not be with her mother was because immigration authorities had forcibly separated them when they crossed the border into the United States.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-kraft-border-separation-suit-20180503-story.html

 

AK: Walker and Mallott: Alaska is making progress on sexual assault awareness, child abuse prevention (Commentary)

Juneau Empire – May 01, 2018

Rates of child abuse and sexual assault remain unacceptably high in all parts of our state, inflicting lifelong damage on thousands of Alaskans. April marks 2018’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. As it draws to a close, we must do better. The future of our state depends on it.

http://juneauempire.com/opinion/2018-05-01/walker-and-mallott-alaska-making-progress-sexual-assault-awareness-child-abuse

AZ: Arizona Department Of Child Safety (DCS) Receives CIO 100 Award (Press release)

IDG – May 01, 2018

IDG’s CIO today announced The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) as a recipient of the 2018 CIO 100 for implementing mobile technology innovations into its case management system using Diona solutions. “We have been committed to making DCS a leader in technology,” said DCS Director Greg McKay. “This award highlights how Arizona is at the forefront of applying technology to improve the lives of our most vulnerable children and their families.”

http://www.tickertech.com/cgi/?a=news&ticker=a&w=&story=201805201805011017PR_NEWS_USPR_____DA82164

CA: LA County Poised to Develop Vermont Manchester Project

Los Angeles Sentinel – May 03, 2018

One of its most innovative components is a state-of-the-art vocational and college preparatory boarding academy that will allow students from the County’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems, as well as youth from surrounding communities, to graduate with the skills needed for careers in transportation.

https://lasentinel.net/la-county-poised-to-develop-vermont-manchester-project.html

CA: California Department of Justice Enters into Agreement with Del Norte County to Protect the Safety and Welfare of Children (Press release)

California Office of the Attorney General – May 02, 2018

The agreement announced today follows the Office of the Attorney General’s review of Del Norte County DHHS’s practice of sending letters discussing criminal penalties for “false reporting” of suspected child abuse or neglect to persons who had come forward to report abuse or neglect. California DOJ concluded that this practice discourages the reporting of child abuse and neglect, and directly conflicts with the goals and the spirit of California’s child protection laws.

https://oag.ca.gov/news/press-releases/california-department-justice-enters-agreement-del-norte-county-protect-safety

CA: Independent Living Skills Program helps foster youth in Mendocino County achieve self-sufficiency

Ukiah Daily Journal – May 01, 2018

To help address the problems of homelessness, education and job training amongst foster youth in Mendocino County, the Independent Living Skills Program meets for classes every Tuesday at the Arbor Youth Resource Center to help young adults learn the life skills needed to be successful members of the community.

http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20180501/independent-living-skills-program-helps-foster-youth-in-mendocino-county-achieve-self-sufficiency

CA: Unplanned Pregnancies More Likely With Foster Kids, Study Shows (Audio)

City News Service – May 01, 2018

Teens in foster care are 2 1/2 times more likely to become pregnant than their non-foster care peers, Los Angeles County officials said today, highlighting the efforts of a private-public partnership to change those statistics.

Teen pregnancy rates in LA County’s foster care system are shockingly high. Here’s what’s being done (Includes audio): https://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2018/05/01/62816/teen-pregnancy-rates-in-la-county-s-foster-care-sy/

https://kfiam640.iheart.com/content/2018-05-01-unplanned-pregnancies-more-likely-with-foster-kids-study-shows/

CO: Colorado bill to allow LGBTQ discrimination by adoption agencies fails in Senate

Gazette – May 01, 2018

A measure that would have let Colorado faith-based adoption agencies discriminate based on religious beliefs failed to clear the state Senate Tuesday. Senate Bill 241 died on a voice vote on second reading, with few votes in favor and a loud chorus of “nos.”

http://gazette.com/colorado-bill-to-allow-lgbtq-discrimination-by-adoption-agencies-fails-in-senate/article/1625277

CO: Denver Post: Don’t hide child autopsy reports from the public (Opinion)

Journal-Advocate – May 01, 2018

The state House of Representatives should reject an unwise and overly broad bill restricting the release of autopsy reports on minors. The bill, unfortunately, already passed the Senate. The county coroners pushing the legislation say it will protect the privacy of families, but there are already ways to block the release of these reports when necessary. Coroners, for instance, can petition state courts to exempt the release of an autopsy if they can show it wouldn’t be in the public interest. The rules balance privacy against the people’s right to know.

http://www.journal-advocate.com/sterling-editorials/ci_31846944/denver-post-dont-hide-child-autopsy-reports-from

CT: GOP offers compromise CT budget, taps tax windfall to bolster key programs

CT Mirror – May 02, 2018

In a major move toward a bipartisan budget compromise, Republican legislators recommended more funding for social services, higher education, transportation and municipalities – and agreed to help pay for them by tapping about $300 million of this spring’s income tax windfall.

https://ctmirror.org/2018/05/02/gop-offers-compromise-ct-budget-taps-tax-windfall-bolster-key-programs/

FL: Opioid crises weighs on Guardian ad Litem program

Tallahassee Democrat – May 01, 2018

“It isn’t about a desire to care for their children. Substance abuse issues take away these parents’ ability to care for their children,” says Child Advocacy Manager Supervisor Tammy Harris. “They are unable to provide basic needs for their children, from food to personal care to supervision.”

https://www.tallahassee.com/story/life/family/2018/05/01/opioid-crises-weighs-guardian-ad-litem-program/570219002/

GA: New online mapping tool offers help for Georgia families

Cross Roads News – May 02, 2018

A handy online tool has been developed to help Georgia residents find support organizations and resources near their home. Prevent Child Abuse (PCA) Georgia has developed an interactive map of resources available to support families, which is now live at http://abuse.publichealth.gsu.edu/map/.

http://www.crossroadsnews.com/news/new-online-mapping-tool-offers-help-for-georgia-families/article_9bfd9190-4e43-11e8-ab6d-67b8c2bf821b.html

GA: Cases of Georgia kids in foster care jump to record high of 15,000 (Includes video)

WSB-TV – May 01, 2018

There are more foster kids in the Georgia system today than ever before. The new director at Georgia’s Department of Family and Children Services said they are reaching out to help more children in crisis.

https://www.wsbtv.com/news/local/cases-of-georgia-kids-in-foster-care-jump-to-record-high-of-15000/742076271?utm_source=homestream&utm_medium=site_navigation&utm_campaign=homestream_click

HI: Hawaii legislators send bill banning conversion therapy to governor

Metro Weekly – April 30, 2018

Hawaii lawmakers have finally agreed on a compromise that bans conversion therapy on minors in the Aloha State, reports Hawaii News Now. The prohibition on conversion therapy only applies to licensed counselors or therapists acting in a professional capacity, and does not apply to counseling from a pastor or religious advisor.

Also: Hawaii Legislature Sends Bill to Protect LGBTQ Youth from “Conversion Therapy” to Governor Ige (Commentary): https://www.hrc.org/blog/hawaii-passes-bill-protecting-lgbtq-youth-from-dangerous-conversion-therapy

https://www.metroweekly.com/2018/04/hawaii-legislators-send-bill-banning-conversion-therapy-governor/

IL: UPDATE: DCFS working to protect social workers (Includes video)

WBBM – May 02, 2018

Protecting a child cost a state social worker her life. Pam Knight suffered a brutal beating at the home of a suspected child abuser. It’s my goal now to help her coworkers,” said her husband, Don Knight. “I don’t want her co workers to end up this way. He says DCFS workers need immediate police backup who can cross jurisdictions. Pam Knight had police backup in Whiteside County, but when she had to cross into Carroll County, she could not get one.

Information Gateway resource: Domestic Violence and Worker Safety: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/domviolence/casework-practice/worker-safety/

http://www.wifr.com/content/news/Dixon-DCFS-worker-dies-after-September-attack-473441453.html

IL: Editorial: Shift resources for mentorship for foster kids

Daily Herald – May 01, 2018

Our love for our kids is without limit. But what of the kids who don’t have such caring parents? Even the best of foster parents can do only so much for their charges. And once those foster kids turn 18, they’re on their own as far as the state is concerned. The financial support evaporates. And unless they’re being fostered by family members, the emotional support likely suffers, too.

https://www.myjournalcourier.com/opinion/article/Editorial-Shift-resources-for-mentorship-for-12880136.php

IN: Doctors Call CPS on Indiana Parents for Using Cannabis Oil Treatment on Ailing Daughter

People – May 02, 2018

In March, Indiana legalized low-THC cannabidiol oil as long as it meets requirements regarding labeling and THC percentage, according to the Indianapolis Star. However, the state’s law doesn’t allow its use for children with the rare form of epilepsy. Believing the oil to be completely legal for Jaelah, Lelah and Jade excitedly told doctors in September about the success of the treatment. Lelah says the medical officials seemed to be on board with the oil. According to the mom of five, one doctor even said “If it’s working, use it!” However, Lelah adds, the doctors soon changed their tune and contacted Child Protective Services. And, she says, CPS officials were at their home the next day.

http://people.com/human-interest/jaelah-epilepsy-cannabis-oil-treatment-jerger

KS: Bill opening records on child abuse deaths, police videos, goes to Kansas governor

Lawrence Journal-World – May 01, 2018

A bill that would expand public access to records about children who die from abuse or neglect, as well as audio and video recordings of fatal shootings by law enforcement officers, is now on its way to Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Also: Kansas passes bill to open state secrets on child deaths, police shootings: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article209883924.html

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/may/01/bill-opening-records-child-abuse-deaths-police-vid/

KS: New Chief Public Policy and Community Engagement Officer at Saint Francis

KSAL – May 01, 2018

A nationally renowned child welfare practice and policy expert and former legislator is joining the leadership staff at Saint Francis Community Services. According to the organization, Dr. Page B. Walley is the Chief Public Policy and Community Engagement Officer.

https://www.ksal.com/new-chief-public-policy-and-community-engagement-officer-at-saint-francis/

KS: Hundreds tell DCF leader how to improve system for Kansas’ abused, neglected kids

Kansas City Star – April 30, 2018

Kansas’ new child welfare leader asked the public to provide ideas on how to improve private foster care contracts and fix the system meant to protect the state’s most vulnerable kids. Hundreds of people weighed in.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article210175514.html

ME: Lawmakers override veto, make overdose reversal drug available to Mainers of any age: The naloxone bill is among the 11 of Gov. LePage’s 20 vetoes that the Legislature overturned Wednesday.

Portland Press Herald – May 02, 2018

Lawmakers also voted to override LePage’s veto of a bill dealing with the placement of children removed from their parents’ custody, an issue that has come up following two recent child deaths. The bill, L.D. 1187, directs child welfare agencies to place children with siblings when possible, and to prioritize placement with an adult relative rather than an unrelated caregiver as long as the relative passes a background check and becomes licensed as a foster home.

https://www.pressherald.com/2018/05/02/lawmakers-override-veto-make-overdose-reversal-drug-available-to-mainers-under-21/

MI: Expert: Abuse reporter law created troubles in Pa.

Detroit News – May 01, 2018

A bill that would increase the penalty for those in Michigan who failed to report child abuse or neglect could have unintended consequences, a University of Michigan law professor said Tuesday. The testimony before the House Law and Justice Committee concerned legislation, inspired by the Larry Nassar abuse scandal, that would increase the penalty for mandatory reporters who fail to report child abuse or neglect from a misdemeanor to a two-year felony.

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/01/michigan-abuse-reporter-law-troubles/34440879/

MN: ‘Bill of Rights’ for foster care sibling protection gets House support

Minnesota House of Representatives – May 02, 2018

The bill would establish a set of rights for foster care children, including the right to be placed with their siblings when possible and to visit their siblings. Child welfare agency staff would be required to give a copy of the bill of rights to children upon entry into foster care. The bill does not specify any ramifications if the rights are violated.

http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/SDView.aspx?StoryID=13318

NH: DCYF employee declines controversial promotion (Includes video)

WMUR – May 02, 2018

“Our focus needs to be on DCYF’s mission and efforts to transform the child welfare system, and my appointment has become a distraction,” Sherry Ermel said in a written statement. “I have dedicated my career to the children and families of New Hampshire, and given the transformational efforts underway within DCYF, I have decided to decline the deputy director position.” Brookline police arrested Ermel in November after she was accused of throwing a ceramic mug full of water at her wife. Ermel was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence simple assault.

http://www.wmur.com/article/dcyf-employee-declines-controversial-promotion/20128442

OH: Senator visits area to discuss opioid crisis

Marietta Times – May 02, 2018

Portman is touring the state to discuss a bill he introduced in the U.S. Senate to reauthorize and substantially expand the federal government’s actions in response to the crisis.

http://www.mariettatimes.com/news/2018/05/senator-visits-area-to-discuss-opioid-crisis/

OH: The Judge Who Helped Make Toledo Juvenile Justice Ready for Primetime (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 01, 2018

Last month, Vice put juvenile justice front and center with a one-hour HBO documentary hosted by Michael K. Williams, star of the network’s acclaimed series “The Wire.” The special – Raised in the System – uses Lucas County, Ohio, as a primary example of a system trying to reduce the use of incarceration in working with juvenile offenders, limiting lockup to only the cases involving very high-risk youth. At the helm of that reform has been Judge Denise Navarre Cubbon, lead judge for the county’s juvenile and child welfare courts.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/child-welfare-2/judge-that-helped-make-toledo-juvenile-justice-ready-for-primetime/30661

PA: JAFCO Seeking Potential Foster Parents

Jewish Exponent – May 02, 2018

Foster care isn’t traditionally a priority in the Jewish community – and there often isn’t a major need for it – but child abuse and neglect does exist, making the lack of it a potential concern, according to Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options (JAFCO). Jews aren’t immune from mental health and substance abuse issues, resulting in parental breakdowns, noted Sarah Franco, executive director of the Sunrise, Fla.-based JAFCO, which expanded into Philadelphia four years ago and also works with developmentally disabled individuals. That’s why JAFCO launched a program called One Shul, One Child that it hopes will serve as a safety net.

http://jewishexponent.com/2018/05/02/jafco-seeking-potential-foster-parents/

SC: South Carolina in critical need of foster parents (Includes video)

WMBF – May 02, 2018

The start of May brings the start of Foster Care Awareness month. In South Carolina, the need for foster parents is critical. Across the state and in the Lowcountry there are not enough foster homes for the kids who need them. In South Carolina, officials with DSS said there are over 4,600 kids in foster care, and the state needs an additional 1,500 foster homes for them.

http://www.wmbfnews.com/story/38089846/south-carolina-in-critical-need-of-foster-parents

SC: Foster Care bill passed into law creates “watchdog” to protect children (Includes video)

FOX Carolina – May 01, 2018

These two Upstate foster care fathers have worked to a pass a bill, creating an independent watchdog role called “State Child Advocate.” Bracken and Ingram have also created an entirely new agency, the Department of Child Advocacy. The department would cost the taxpayer not a cent more, but re-create countless benefits for kids.

http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/38079759/foster-care-bill-passed-into-law-creates-watchdog-to-protect-children

TX: SO WHAT? Brand Encourages Local Foster Children

Focus Daily News – May 02, 2018

Just in time for Foster Care Awareness Month, Incentives for Kids, Inc is unveiling a new campaign to encourage area foster children called, “So What?”

http://www.focusdailynews.com/2018/05/02/so-what-brand-encourages-local-foster-children/

TX: Voices: The church must do more to protect children from abuse (Commentary)

Baptist Standard – May 02, 2018

During the month of April, many of us observed Child Abuse Awareness Month. Perhaps you participated as well by wearing blue or buying a pinwheel for your yard. Even if you missed the awareness month, it is not too late to get involved because the work against child abuse does not end when May begins. According to the Child Advocacy Centers of Texas, there are 65,000 confirmed cases of child abuse or neglect each year in Texas.

https://www.baptiststandard.com/opinion/voices/church-protect-children-abuse/

TX: ‘Baby Moses’ law allows parents to leave infants at a fire station – no questions asked (Includes video)

Houston Chronicle – May 01, 2018

Monday’s story had a quick resolution: The child’s grandmother, who has custody, came to claim the boy in time for the 10 p.m. news broadcasts. But when babies are abandoned at fire stations across the country, the families usually don’t return – and the laws that govern those cases have roots in Houston.

https://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Baby-Moses-law-allows-parents-to-leave-12879747.php

VA: Child court program coming to Tazewell (Includes video)

Morton Times-News – May 02, 2018

A program that saves millions of state and local tax dollars annually while working for children from troubled homes will come soon to Tazewell County. All CASA needs to start is a downtown Pekin office and 50 to 60 volunteers willing to be the voice for abused and neglected children in court proceedings after they’ve been removed for their welfare from their homes.

http://www.mortontimesnews.com/news/20180502/child-court-program-coming-to-tazewell

WI: Metcalfe Park Residents Oppose Group Home

Urban Milwaukee – May 02, 2018

Travis and other MPCB members became concerned last spring when they learned that a vacant building at 3628 W. Wright St. on the corner across from Travis’ home, was being considered for a temporary living facility for 12- to 17-year-olds taken from their homes by Milwaukee Child Protective Services, a division of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF), because they were in immediate danger. The group home would serve as an assessment center, evaluating children’s needs and finding them the most appropriate permanent placements.

https://urbanmilwaukee.com/2018/05/02/metcalfe-park-residents-oppose-group-home/

WI: More kids in foster care need more foster parents (Includes video)

2 WBAY – May 02, 2018

Like the public service announcement says, “When you don’t have a safe place to go home to, nothing in your world seems right.” Every year, more children face the reality that nothing in their world seems right because of circumstances they can’t understand or control.

http://www.wbay.com/content/news/More-kids-in-foster-care-need-more-foster-parents-481576531.html

US: Without family, U.S. children in foster care easy prey for human traffickers

Thomson Reuters Foundation – May 03, 2018

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. children live in foster care, prey to predator sex traffickers who may find their young victims at bus stops, shopping malls or street corners as well as on social media and online chat rooms. Often removed from abusive or negligent families, girls and boys in foster care are at high risk, said Dorchen Leidholdt, legal center director at Sanctuary for Families, which advocates for domestic violence and sex trafficking survivors.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trafficking-fostercare/without-family-u-s-children-in-foster-care-easy-prey-for-human-traffickers-idUSKBN1I40OM

US: As International Adoptions Plummet, More Providers Drop Out

Chronicle of Social Change – May 02, 2018

Last month, the State Department announced that eight of the remaining estimated 160 international adoption providers had halted work, some by choice and others because of failure to complete renewal of their accreditation with the government. Intercountry adoption has been on a downhill slide for a number of years, seeing an almost 80 percent decrease in the number of adoptions since 2004. The path to this point is woven with country closures for political reasons (Russia), concerns about unethical practices (Guatemala) and growing domestic adoptions in some countries (China). These declines have also made it more financially challenging for agencies to continue facilitating intercountry adoptions.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/adoption/international-adoptions-plummet-more-providers-drop-out/30678

US: Donald Trump, Family First Act Fan (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – May 02, 2018

In February, President Trump signed into law the Family First Prevention Services Act, a bill that increases federal funds for services to stave off the use of foster care while cutting down federal support for congregate care.

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/youth-services-insider/trump-promotes-family-first-act-foster-care-proclamation/30687

US: Hundreds of Children Detained for Months Due to New Rule Requiring Scott Lloyd’s ‘personal Approval’ for Release (Includes video)

Newsweek – May 02, 2018

Hundreds of immigrant children in the custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) have been delayed from reuniting with their families for months due to a new Trump administration policy, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) has revealed. The policy, instituted by ORR Director Scott Lloyd-who took charge of the agency in March 2017-requires that his “personal approval” be given before any immigrant child under “heightened supervision” can be released.

http://www.newsweek.com/hundreds-immigrant-children-detained-months-because-they-now-need-scott-lloyds-908046

US: This New Federal Law Will Change Foster Care As We Know It

Pew Charitable Trust: Stateline – May 02, 2018

The law, called the Family First Prevention Services Act, prioritizes keeping families together and puts more money toward at-home parenting classes, mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment – and puts limits on placing children in institutional settings such as group homes. It’s the most extensive overhaul of foster care in nearly four decades.

http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/blogs/stateline/2018/05/02/this-new-federal-law-will-change-foster-care-as-we-know-it

US: IRS Issues FAQ Guidance for Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit (Press release)

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) – May 01, 2018

The IRS released additional guidance on the employer credit for paid family and medical leave (FML), amended under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97), in response to practitioner questions.

http://ima-net.org/irs-issues-faq-guidance-for-paid-family-and-medical-leave-tax-credit/

US: More mandatory reporting won’t keep children safe from predators (Opinion)

Washington Post – May 01, 2018

While an expansion of mandatory reporting may seem logical, there is simply no evidence that it works. There is, however, plenty of reason to believe that increased reporting often further intensifies racial and socioeconomic disparities in child welfare involvement, including which children are removed from their homes.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2018/05/01/more-mandatory-reporting-wont-keep-children-safe-from-predators/?utm_term=.68d2d4dbc465

US: Why Early Intervention Is So Important for Children’s Mental Health Issues

Healthline – May 01, 2018

Everyone agrees that treating children early on for mental health issues is crucial, but barriers to diagnosis and treatment can make that difficult.

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/early-intervention-important-for-childrens-mental-health-issues

US: Forced marriage is not just a foreign problem (Includes video)

Daily Kos – April 29, 2018

Jada’s father, an American convert to Islam, told her to remain on his right side as they walked down a Jeddah street in Saudi Arabia. Only twelve, and visiting for the first time from their home in New Jersey, she complied, explaining later that she was unknowingly being carefully placed in the position taken by women who were for sale into marriage. Her father had decided to marry her to a Saudi. According to the Tahirih Justice Center, thousands of American women are forced into marriages every year. Tahirih runs one of the only forced marriage programs in the country. And they have worked with nearly 400 girls and women to help them either avoid or escape a forced marriage.

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

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/1755478

INTERNATIONAL

Australia: Lost in a flawed system: Australia’s ‘stolen’ children (Includes video)

Al Jazeera – April 17, 2018

Australia has a dark past when it comes to removing indigenous children from their families. In 2008, then-prime minister Kevin Rudd apologised for last century’s government policies that saw more than 100,000 indigenous children removed from their homes and placed in institutions or with white families.

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/lost-flawed-system-australia-stolen-children-180416061426605.html

Jordan: Child marriage on the rise among Syrian refugee girls in Jordan (Includes video)

Al Jazeera – April 18, 2018

Child marriage among Syrian refugee children, primarily girls, is on the rise, according to data from Jordan’s court system. The percentage of child brides in Syrian marriages in Jordan rose from 15 percent in 2014 to 36 percent this year.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/04/child-marriage-rise-syrian-refugee-girls-180418084029464.html

 

CA: How to spot the signs of child abuse and take action (Includes video)

KBAK/KBFX – May 02, 2018

“The safety of our children is a community responsibility,” she said. “Please keep your eyes and your ears open.” Signs of abuse can be physical, like bruises, marks or burns.

http://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/how-to-spot-the-signs-of-child-abuse-and-take-action

CO: Senate Bill 223 will hide autopsy records and hurt kids (Commentary)

Colorado Springs Independent – May 02, 2018

No doubt Cuneo, who lived in El Paso County, would have paid for her crime whether the media got involved or not. But the repeated failures of the state’s child welfare system – which allowed little Alize to stay in an abusive home even after Cuneo had been reported repeatedly for abuse – likely would have flown under the radar were it not for the media. And the fact that Alize was part of a larger, disturbing pattern was only uncovered due to an investigative series by The Denver Post and 9News.

https://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/senate-bill-223-will-hide-autopsy-records-and-hurt-kids/Content?oid=12041549

FL: Intersection: Children’s Welfare In Orange County (Audio)

WMFE – May 01, 2018

The push for a special taxing district to raise money for children’s programs in Orange County has sparked a political skirmish over the best way to fund child welfare. A study commissioned by the Children’s Trust shows there are gaps in the system of care for children, including a packed waiting list for subsidized childcare. Dr. Thomas Bryer, a professor at the School of Public Administration at UCF and one of the authors of the study, joins Intersection to discuss the unmet needs of children and how to meet those needs.

http://www.wmfe.org/intersection-childrens-welfare-in-orange-county/86315

IL: Barrington nonprofit Let it Be Us, others react to increasing need for foster parents in Illinois

Pioneer Press – May 01, 2018

Let it Be Us, a Barrington-based nonprofit that focuses on the adoption and education of children within the Illinois foster care system, wishes there were more families like the Reddins willing to take on the challenges as the need for foster parents increases in the area.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/barrington/news/ct-bcr-let-it-be-us-tl-0503-story.html

IL: May is National Foster Care Month (Video)

WSIL – May 01, 2018

May is National Foster Care Month, and in Illinois there are nearly 14,000 children in foster care, and there aren’t enough foster homes in Southern Illinois. The number of children placed in foster care across Illinois has increased. Last year The Illinois Department of Child Family Services reported 16,726 kids in foster care. As of now there are 14,000 children in foster care, and that number is expected to grow.

http://www.wsiltv.com/story/38088240/may-is-national-foster-care-month

MA: Walsh begins 4-month plan to lessen youth homelessness in Boston

Daily Free Press – May 01, 2018

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and members of the Boston Youth Action Board, a coalition of children who were previously affected by homelessness or housing instability, partnered to unveil a planning process Friday with the goal of counteracting and terminating youth homelessness in the city.

https://dailyfreepress.com/blog/2018/05/01/walsh-begins-4-month-plan-to-lessen-youth-homelessness-in-boston/

NH: DCYF employees, governor’s office express concern over new deputy director (Includes video)

WMUR – May 01, 2018

A spokesman from the governor’s office said the office has questions and concerns for the Department of Health and Human Services after a Division of Children, Youth and Families employee who was arrested on a domestic violence charge last year got a promotion. Sherry Ermel is now the deputy director of DCYF, but some employees said they have concerns. Two current employees, who did not want to be identified, said this promotion may hurt their relationships with the families they serve.

http://www.wmur.com/article/dcyf-employees-governors-office-express-concern-over-new-deputy-director/20118629

NY: Child Protective Services Visited Home Of Doomed Mamaroneck Girl Day Before She Died (Includes video)

CBS New York – May 01, 2018

Police visited the home with an order to remove the child from her mother’s care, but left when the mother refused. A source told CBS2’s Aiello on Tuesday that police contacted Westchester County Child Protective Services. Some in the neighborhood questioned why Gabriella wasn’t removed from her mother’s custody Friday, pursuant to the judge’s order.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2018/05/01/gabriella-boyd-mamaroneck-cynthia-arce-westchester-cps/

PA: Child advocacy centers serve vital role

News-Item – May 02, 2018

The Child Advocacy Center in Sunbury is one of those organizations that we wish didn’t have to exist, but we’re sure glad it does. That contradiction is born of the fact that the center serves child victims of abuse.

https://www.newsitem.com/articles/child-advocacy-centers-serve-vital-role/

PA: Report charges racism is rampant in Haverford and its schools

Delaware County Daily Times – May 01, 2018

Parents stated there is the perception that the school guidance counselors are more likely to call child welfare services on parents of color without reason and that school assignments and curriculum that are not inclusive or historically accurate.

http://www.delcotimes.com/general-news/20180501/report-charges-racism-is-rampant-in-haverford-and-its-schools

SC: South Carolina in critical need of foster parents (Includes video)

WCSC – May 01, 2018

The start of May brings the start of Foster Care Awareness month. In South Carolina, the need for foster parents is critical.

http://www.live5news.com/story/38089846/south-carolina-in-critical-need-of-foster-parents

SD: May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month

Black Hills Pioneer – May 01, 2018

The month of May recognizes the need for, and the importance of, foster families through Foster Parent Appreciation Month. “Foster Parent Appreciation Month is a time to celebrate foster parents who have opened their homes and devoted their time to helping children cope during difficult situations,” Tia Kafka, communications director for the state Department of Social Services (DSS), said.

http://www.bhpioneer.com/local_news/may-is-foster-parent-appreciation-month/article_e050012a-4d62-11e8-818c-27c83cbe1348.html

TX: ‘The Whole Mess Is Before Them’: U.S. Court Of Appeals Takes Up Texas Foster Care Case (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – May 01, 2018

Texas is back in federal court making the case before a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals over the state’s foster care system.

http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/the-whole-mess-is-before-them-u-s-court-of-appeals-takes-up-texas-foster-care-case/?_ga=2.79773847.1489331995.1525268147-1438880481.1525268147

VT: Vermont Senate Unanimously Approves $5.85 Billion Budget

Off Message – May 01, 2018

The Vermont Senate gave unanimous approval Tuesday to a $5.85 billion budget that would make large investments in mental health care and child welfare in 2019, while passing over several of Gov. Phil Scott’s proposals.

https://www.sevendaysvt.com/OffMessage/archives/2018/05/01/vermont-senate-unanimously-approves-585-billion-budget

US: At what age are you an adult in America? (Commentary)

Crosscut – May 01, 2018

The adulthood debate is generating a re-look at institutions like marriage, especially “child” marriage, around the country. Many states allow child marriages, meaning at least one of the partners is a juvenile, under the age of 18.

https://crosscut.com/2018/05/what-age-are-you-adult-america

US: Bishop Chairmen, Ecumenical and Interfaith Leaders Strongly Support Legislation Keeping Kids First in Adoption and Foster Care (Press release)

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – May 01, 2018

t the start of National Foster Care Month, three bishop chairmen, faith leaders, and numerous nonprofit organizations sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady urging the committee to give a high priority to the enactment of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881) this year.

Also:

http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-072.cfm

US: HRC Marks National Foster Care Month with Continued Fight Against Anti-Adoption Bills in KS & OK (Press release)

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – May 01, 2018

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, marked the first day of National Foster Care Month by redoubling its efforts to fight against the proposed anti-LGBTQ child welfare bills in states including Kansas and Oklahoma. These bills would allow child welfare organizations — including adoption and foster care agencies — to turn away qualified prospective parents seeking to care for a child in need, including LGBTQ individuals, same-sex couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. HRC is on the ground battling these discriminatory bills, which most harm the youth in the child welfare system looking for a loving, permanent home.

http://www.hrc.org/press/hrc-marks-national-foster-care-month-with-continued-fight-against-anti-adop

US: It’s All Relative: Supporting Kinship Connections (Press release)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau – May 01, 2018

When a child can no longer remain in the care of a parent, placement with a relative or family friend-referred to as kinship care -is the preferred option.

Information Gateway resource: Kinship Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/kinship/

https://www.hhs.gov/blog/2018/05/01/its-all-relative-supporting-kinship-connections.html

US: President Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 2018 as National Foster Care Month (Press release)

Office of U.S. President Donald J. Trump – April 30, 2018

During National Foster Care Month, we reflect on the dedication of foster and kinship caregivers, faith-based and community organizations, and child welfare professionals who are improving the lives of children and youth in foster care throughout the country. Our Nation is deeply indebted to these selfless and compassionate Americans. We also observe this month, with sadness, the plight of innocent children who are in foster care because their lives have been disrupted by neglect or abuse.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/president-donald-j-trump-proclaims-may-2018-national-foster-care-month/

INTERNATIONAL

United Kingdom: Falklands annual Safeguarding Report calls for Islands to be “Model of Best Practice”

Merco Press – May 01, 2018

Last week the Falkland Islands Government published their annual report on safeguarding and child protection issues in the Islands. The Government is obliged legally to publish an annual report on such matters, a requirement brought into law in 2014 after a number of historic issues were discovered and investigated in recent years. This document looks to summarize activities in this field over the past year and does not provide any details on individual cases.

http://en.mercopress.com/2018/05/01/falklands-annual-safeguarding-report-calls-for-islands-to-be-model-of-best-practice?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=rss&utm_content=politics&utm_campaign=rss

 

AR: Parents on opioids breaking families, taxing foster care

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – April 29, 2018

The influx of opioid painkillers in Arkansas has burdened the state’s foster care system, with more children being removed from homes because of parental drug use than in previous years, officials say.

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/apr/29/parents-on-opioids-breaking-families-ta/

IL: 30 local agencies get grants to fight child abuse, neglect (Includes video)

WPSD – April 30, 2018

In 2015, there were 66,866 referrals for child abuse and neglect in Illinois, according to the Child Welfare League of America. Court Appointed Special Advocates of Williamson County said child abuse reports have increased statewide in Illinois from 2013 to 2014. The Poshard Foundation gave 30 agencies the tools to help children through $100,000 in grants.

http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/04/30/30-local-agencies-get-grants-fight-child-abuse-neglect/

KS: Editorial: Shortcomings demand scrutiny of DCF funding boost

Topeka Capital-Journal – April 28, 2018

This is the climate first-year DCF Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel has been tasked with changing. She has apparently gained the trust of Gov. Jeff Colyer, who supports the funding proposal. The additional funding would conceivably help attract applicants to fill vacancies Meier-Hummel said totaled “30 percent of our child protection services.” Raises for licensed social workers on staff would also be administered as part of the funding package.

Also: Child Welfare Information Gateway resource: Funding: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/funding/

http://www.cjonline.com/opinion/20180428/editorial-shortcomings-demand-scrutiny-of-dcf-funding-boost

MD: How neighborhood quality could impact your child’s behavior

Click 2 Houston – May 01, 2018

According to experts, neighborhoods with abandoned homes and garbage-filled lots could be more than just eyesores for those living nearby. New research suggests the perceived quality of a neighborhood may influence a child’s behavior through his or her teen years and possibly beyond.

Also: A Neighborhood’s Quality Influences Children’s Behaviors Through Teens, Study Suggests: https://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2017/a-neighborhoods-quality-influences-childrens-behaviors-through-teens-study-suggests.html

Also: Neighborhood Quality Impacts Kids’ Behavior (Press release): https://www.childtrends.org/videos/neighborhood-quality-influences-kids-behavior/

https://www.click2houston.com/health/how-neighborhood-quality-could-impact-your-childs-behavior

MI: State spreads awareness of safe delivery law for newborns

Marquette Mining Journal – April 29, 2018

Agencies across the state are spreading the word about Michigan’s Safe Delivery Law, which legally allows biological parents to surrender an infant 72 hours old or less to an on-duty employee inside a hospital, fire department or police station, or by calling 911 and surrendering an infant to an EMT or paramedic.

http://www.miningjournal.net/news/front-page-news/2018/04/state-spreads-awareness-of-safe-delivery-law-for-newborns/

MN: New frontiers in racial bias

Western Free Press – April 29, 2018

We have a disparity in the race of parents whose children are protected against abuse. Black parents have their children protected against neglect and abuse at three times the rate of white parents. To put it another way, black children are protected from parental abuse at three times the rate of white children.

http://westernfreepress.com/new-frontiers-in-racial-bias/

MS: Same-sex couple stonewalled day before they were to bring home adoptive daughter (Includes video)

Clarion-Ledger – April 30, 2018

On their way home from the hospital, the women received a call from CPS. The Youth Court judge had changed his mind. Ashley said the woman on the other end of the phone raised her voice, saying, “You’re not going to get that baby.” CPS doesn’t have full control over where a child goes – judges across the state do. Judge McPhail did not return calls to the Clarion Ledger, but it is not common for judges to discuss their cases or decisions.

Also: Mississippi Youth Court judge denies lesbian couple adoption of new baby – and the reason is absurd: https://www.rawstory.com/2018/04/mississippi-youth-court-judge-denies-lesbian-couple-adoption-new-baby-reason-absurd/

https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2018/04/30/same-sex-couple-stonewalled-day-before-they-were-bring-home-adoptive-daughter/474463002/

NH: Foster parents’ bill of rights up for Senate vote

Union Leader – April 30, 2018

HHS would have to consult with foster parents prior to releasing identifying information to the child’s parent or guardian; be available to help foster parents 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and notify foster parents of all court proceedings. In addition to the three rights in the House version, the Senate restored a requirement that the foster parent be treated with consideration and respect; that they get reasonable notice of any plan to remove a child from the foster home, including the reason; and that they get timely notice of scheduled meetings and appointments involving the foster child, among other things.

http://www.unionleader.com/state-government/Foster-parents-bill-of-rights-up-for-Senate-vote-04302018&source=RSS

NM: Family, services play crucial role in aiding at-risk child

Santa Fe New Mexican – April 28, 2018

Social scientists call this bag of troubles “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. When ACEs pile up, they create stress that is so toxic it actually changes the way a child’s brain functions, resulting in behaviors – drug and alcohol abuse, depression, risk-taking – that set the stage for a life of failure and unhappiness. The more risk factors, the greater the likelihood the child will repeat the patterns. It’s a theme of New Mexico’s history and its stagnation in measurements of child well-being.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/family-services-play-crucial-role-in-aiding-at-risk-child/article_0aa9bc0b-3d91-577c-9fa8-768c2921f504.html

OH: Sheriff Russell Martin: Protect vulnerable child victims of opioid crisis (Opinion)

Columbus Dispatch – April 28, 2018

According to the 2016 national survey on Drug Use and Health, 891,000 people between the ages of 12 and 27 are abusing opioids. The news is especially bad here in Ohio, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the Feb. 12 Dispatch (https://bit.ly/2nTXXjP). That CDC data showed more than 5,200 residents died of overdoses between June 2016 and 2017, a 39 percent increase over the year that was studied before. That’s an average of 14 deaths a day.

http://www.dispatch.com/opinion/20180428/sheriff-russell-martin-protect-vulnerable-child-victims-of-opioid-crisis

OK: CCFI works to prevent, reverse impact of adverse experiences on children

Norman Transcript – April 30, 2018

Brooks said children are more likely to have adverse experiences in Oklahoma than any other state, which means the need is great. CCFI focuses on prevention through their Bringing Up Babies program, which is a “free, voluntary program offered to pregnant and parenting individuals, including teen parents, to create healthy and stimulating home environments for their children,” according to the organization’s website. CCFI offers counseling services, divorce and co-parenting services, assistance for parents referred by child welfare or the court system, a baby pantry with diapers, and the Boys & Girls Club after school program.

http://www.normantranscript.com/news/local_news/ccfi-works-to-prevent-reverse-impact-of-adverse-experiences-on/article_45513fd2-abdd-5858-8274-ec2cd81aef6f.html

OK: Foster, adoption bill could face legal challenge

Enid News and Eagle – April 30, 2018

An advocacy group for the LGBTQ community has promised to sue the state of Oklahoma, if one version of a bill modifying the state’s adoption and foster care program is signed into law.

Also: Oklahoma advances adoption bill that could discriminate against gay couples: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/oklahoma-advances-adoption-bill-could-discriminate-against-gay-couples-n870186

http://www.enidnews.com/oklahoma/news/foster-adoption-bill-could-face-legal-challenge/article_2d2b8032-eb34-5607-94ec-f9f426ec5c62.html

OR: Lawsuit accuses state of failing to protect 3 abused children from unfit foster parents

Oregonian – April 30, 2018

A lawyer for three children who were abused or mistreated in a foster home has filed a $100 million civil rights lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Human Services, alleging the agency failed to protect them from unfit foster parents.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2018/04/lawsuit_accuses_dhs_of_failing.html

OR: Guest column: Central Oregon speaks up and supports children (Commentary)

Bend Bulletin – April 28, 2018

Over 50,000 blue ribbons have made their way across our community as part of the National Blue Ribbon Campaign, aimed at bringing our communities together and highlighting the critical role adults play in protecting children from harm. MountainStar and KIDS Center would like to thank you for stepping up and creating a safer community for our children. Commissioners in all three counties passed proclamations declaring April Child Abuse Prevention Month as part of their ongoing commitment to this issue.

http://www.bendbulletin.com/opinion/6196153-151/guest-column-central-oregon-speaks-up-and-supports

OR: Stories From Inside Oregon’s Troubled Foster Care System (Includes audio)

Oregon Public Broadcasting – April 26, 2018

For the last few months, we’ve been having a series of conversations about Oregon’s child welfare system, following a scathing audit. We’ve heard from administrators, caseworkers, critics and foster parents to try to get a handle on a really complex system. We’ve been asking how it works, where it’s failing and what it would take to fix it.

https://www.opb.org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/foster-care-oregon-survivor-story-child-welfare/

PA: Finding Foster Families: Officials struggle to meet demand

Daily Item – April 29, 2018

A good foster home can solidify a fractured foundation for children removed from the custody of their parents or guardians. Increasingly, though, a good foster home is hard to find. Child welfare professionals across the Susquehanna Valley agree there’s a shortage of foster homes. That lack of options forces some children far beyond their hometowns, in some cases by hundreds of miles.

http://www.dailyitem.com/news/finding-foster-families-officials-struggle-to-meet-demand/article_31e3064e-4b3e-11e8-afc0-07884459190e.html

RI: Expert: R.I. DCYF should use more foster families

Providence Journal – April 30, 2018

“Over the past few years, we have been getting some attention,” said Piccola. “We want to be and are keeping the child the top priority with a focus on family and community.” Piccola said that there were 180 new families recently added to the foster-care system due to a change in methodologies.

http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180430/expert-ri-dcyf-should-use-more-foster-families

SC: South Carolina, Under Lawsuit Settlement and Needing 1,500 Foster Homes, Could Become 20th State To Create Ombudsmans’ Office (Commentary)

Chronicle of Social Change – April 30, 2018

South Carolina is set to become the 20th state to establish an autonomous office to hold its child welfare agency accountable. If Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signs the bipartisan S. 805, the Palmetto State will establish a new Department of Children’s Advocacy using funds transferred from the agency it will monitor, the Department of Social Services (DSS).

https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/featured/south-carolina-lawsuit-settlement-needing-1500-foster-homes-become-20th-state-create-ombudsmans-office/30653

TX: News Roundup: Hearing In Appeal Of Texas Foster Care Decision Begins This Week (Includes audio)

Texas Standard – April 30, 2018

Texas is back in federal court over a seven-year-old class action lawsuit involving long-term foster care. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack ordered sweeping changes to the state’s system. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton immediately appealed that decision to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals where a panel of three judges is considering the case.

Also: AG Paxton Defends Texas Legislature’s Foster Care System at the 5th Circuit (Press release): https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/news/releases/ag-paxton-defends-texas-legislatures-foster-care-system-at-the-5th-circuit

http://www.texasstandard.org/stories/news-roundup-hearing-in-appeal-of-texas-foster-care-decision-begins-this-week/

TX: Spike in child abuse removal cases in Bexar County (Includes video)

KENS5 – April 30, 2018

The latest statics released by Child Protective Services (CPS) reports that more than 2,300 children and teens were removed from their homes for incidents including sexual abuse, child abuse and neglect in 2017. It marks the most removals for Bexar County in ten years.

http://www.kens5.com/article/news/local/spike-in-child-abuse-removal-cases-in-bexar-county/273-547483513

TX: Top Man at CPS says changes made last year making an impact (Includes video)

Fox 29 – April 30, 2018

At his request a newly-created position is now helping multiple agencies share information at a faster, more transparent way than ever before, according to some officers of the court we spoke to. Special Investigators are mostly former Law Enforcement Officers who do the job that case workers were simply not trained for.

http://foxsanantonio.com/news/local/new-top-dog-in-charge-of-more-than-30-thousand-texas-children-on-any-given-day

TX: New judge named to Child Protection Court of the Permian Basin

MRT – April 28, 2018

Dean Rucker, presiding judge of the Seventh Administrative Judicial Region of Texas, has appointed Midlander Ellen Griffith as associate judge of the Child Protection Court of the Permian Basin.

https://www.mrt.com/news/article/New-judge-named-to-Child-Protection-Court-of-the-12872128.php

WV: W.Va. receives grant to increase rehab services for mothers, infants

Register-Herald – May 01, 2018

West Virginia has received a $500,000 grant to increase rehabilitation services for mothers and infants. Gov. Jim Justice announced the grant from the Pfizer Foundation Monday, saying it will help the “most vulnerable of our citizens” affected by the drug epidemic. The project will be based in Cabell County and will integrate infant treatment services offered through Lily’s Place with addiction services and support for pregnant and postpartum mothers delivered through the MOMS program at Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital.

Also: Lily’s Place receives Pfizer grant: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/lily-s-place-receives-pfizer-grant/article_2a607a89-9ae5-5b4e-8778-fcacab05290d.html

http://www.register-herald.com/news/w-va-receives-grant-to-increase-rehab-services-for-mothers/article_1f1a6302-825d-5ad1-8ff9-84892b43978f.html

US: Anti-LGBT Bills in US States Could Derail Adoptions (Commentary)

Human Rights Watch – April 30, 2018

Lawmakers in Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma have all advanced bills that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents based on the agencies’ religious convictions.

Also: Outrage Continues Over Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Bill in Kansas: http://www.hrc.org/blog/outrage-continues-over-anti-lgbtq-adoption-bill-in-kansas?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss-feed

Also: Oklahoma advances adoption bill that could discriminate against gay couples: https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/oklahoma-advances-adoption-bill-could-discriminate-against-gay-couples-n870186

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/04/30/anti-lgbt-bills-us-states-could-derail-adoptions

US: Fostering Hope: Rising above Adversity in the Child Welfare System (Press release)

Crixeo – April 30, 2018

National Foster Care Month was first established by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. Since the creation of National Foster Care Month, it has been designated as a time to acknowledge the hard work of the individuals, organizations and communities pulling together to improve the lives of America’s most vulnerable children.

Also: National Foster Care Month 2018: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/

https://www.crixeo.com/fostering-child-welfare-system/

US: Migrants from Central American caravan face a long road to asylum in U.S.

Los Angeles Times – April 29, 2018

Those who remained in the group – now about 345 people – arrived by bus this week in Tijuana. Both the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security have pledged to send additional staff to the border to process those claiming asylum as quickly as possible.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-caravanqa-20180429-story.html

 

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