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AZ: Brewer creates panel for CPS investigation

East Valley Tribune – December 02, 2013
Saying Child Protective Services has been “hiding or not disclosing” information, Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday created a special panel of current and former legislators and outsiders to take a closer look at the agency. Also: High caseloads, turnover at CPS set stage for recent scandals:

AZ: Senate president rejects request for more CPS funding

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Your West Valley – December 02, 2013
The president of the state Senate is blasting a request for more money for Child Protective Services, saying the agency may have wasted the funds restored to it in the last two years.

CA: Audit Reveals Nearly Half of Calls to Santa Clara County Child-Abuse Hotline Went Unanswered
NBC Bay Area – December 02, 2013
An audit of Santa Clara County’s child-abuse hotline reveals anywhere from 40 to 50 percent of calls for help went unanswered. The unanswered calls continued for at least a year, according to the audit, which was ordered by the county after employees apparently tipped off people.

FL: Boynton Bridges program helping families stand on their own
Sun Sentinel – December 02, 2013
Boynton Bridges is one of 10 programs created by the Children’s Service Council to strengthen families in impoverished areas throughout Palm Beach County. The Bridge’s program focuses on bettering the “Heart of Boynton” – an area consisting of about 1,600 households living at an economic disadvantage, which officials say can affect the future of the families.,0,2606501.story

KY: Group reviewing child abuse deaths fails to make specific recommendations
Lexington Herald Leader – December 02, 2013
An external panel created to review child-abuse deaths and serious injuries did not make specific legislative or policy changes in its first annual report as required by law. The Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel decided instead to focus on improving Kentucky’s child-fatality review process. One of those recommendations includes a $400,000 budget request for two staff members, a part-time lawyer and other expenses to help the 20-member panel dig through hundreds of case files about children killed or nearly killed as a result of abuse and neglect. Some of the case files contain more than 800 pages.

MA: Shocking report of abuse: Kids harmed while in state custody
Boston Herald – December 03, 2013
Children supposedly out of harm’s way in foster homes were abused and neglected at a higher rate than their counterparts in schools or day care facilities under the state’s watch, according to an alarming new report one outraged lawmaker called “unacceptable.”

ME: LePage’s efforts to remove child labor barriers to continue in January
Bangor Daily News – December 01, 2013
Child labor in Maine has been regulated by state government since the mid-1800s and a key component of those regulations requires school superintendents to issue work permits for school-age children offered a job. Now the Department of Labor has proposed being the first contact for work permits during the summer months. Currently, applications are completed at a person’s local superintendent’s office.

MO: An adoptee searches for his roots with the help of an angel
St. Louis Post Dispatch – December 02, 2013
For the past two years, Schroeder has had the gumshoe help of Allen, through an organization that supports adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents who want to connect. Adoption Triad Connection of Mid Missouri assigns searchers like Allen, who are more commonly referred as “angels,” to help in the search for birth relatives.

NC: Union Co. commissioners dissolve board after child abuse case (Includes video)
WSOCTV – December 02, 2013
A major decision was made Monday night concerning the Union County Department of Social Services. Union County commissioners voted to dissolve the board that oversees it. The decision came after a former supervisor was arrested and accused of tying a dead chicken around an 11-year-old boy’s neck.

NY: Cayuga County Health Department marks six months of Nurse-Family Partnership
Auburn Citizen – December 02, 2013
The Cayuga County Health Department is celebrating the six-month anniversary of its Nurse-Family Partnership, an evidence-based community health program that provides nurse home visitation to low-income, first-time mothers.

PA: Baker’s bill to combat crime of child identity theft becomes law
The Daily Review – December 03, 2013
Under the new law, children under the age of 18 are now part of a protected class of victims, along with individuals age 60 or older or those who are care-dependent. Under the identity theft statute, when an offense is committed against someone of a protected class, then the grading of the offense is enhanced one degree.

PA: Penn State’s interdisciplinary effort to study child abuse
Philadelphia Inquirer – December 03, 2013
“It felt like a traumatized community to me,” Noll said last month. “It just shows you the far-reaching consequences of child abuse.” The developmental psychologist now serves in a pivotal role in the university’s burgeoning effort to become a national leader in the study and prevention of child abuse, an undertaking resulting from the scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

TX: Adoption rates raise 6.5 percent in the past year
Belton Journal – December 03, 2013
Texas has around 6,500 children in the foster care system waiting to find permanent families. According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, more children were adopted from foster care last year than ever before. A reported 5,328 children found their “forever families” from September 2012 – August 2013, and adoption rates are up 6.5 percent since last year. Though these foster kids were welcomed into safe and loving homes, there is still a need for more families to consider adoption.

US: Adoption Reform Bill Would Remove Barriers to Out-of-state Adoptions
PR Web – December 02, 2013
With only two weeks before Congress adjourns, American University economics professor Mary Eschelbach Hansen is still hopeful that a bill that would remove barriers to out-of-state adoptions will be considered more seriously by the U.S. House. The Removing Barriers to Adoption and Supporting Families Act of 2013 was introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W. VA and co-sponsored by Sen. Robert Casey, D-Pa earlier this fall.


Australia: Agencies urge action on foster care shortage (Includes video)
SBS – December 03, 2013
Foster care agencies are using the International Day of People with Disabilities to encourage people to foster children with special needs.

Denmark: Law change gives birth to a ‘co-mother’
Copenhagen Post – December 03, 2013
Both women in a lesbian couple can now be granted legal parenting rights without having to go through an adoption process.

Ghana: Urgent and effective action needed for the eradication of slavery and child labour in Ghana
IZambia – December 03, 2013
Ms. Shahinian hailed the steps taken by some of these fishing communities to ban child labour in their villages and to extend their child protection work to neighboring areas. “More community awareness raising and livelihoods are needed,” she explained. Children also work in hazardous and slavery conditions in the artisan mining sector, and in the cocoa sector – though the latter has seen significant improvements.

United Kingdom: Report offers insight into pressures faced by ‘stressed and overloaded’ social workers
ITV – December 03, 2013
Writing for ITV News, the chief executive of the British Association of Social Workers Bridget Robb says the report on social work in the UK offers an insight into how stressed, overloaded and under-resourced social workers have become.