MA: Third of DCF’s social workers unlicensed
Boston Herald – January 23, 2014
More than one-third of social workers at the Department of Children and Families are not licensed to practice in their field, failing to meet basic state standards for experience, training and education, the embattled agency admitted last night.

MA: Governor boosts child welfare agency in proposed budget
Boston Herald – January 22, 2014
Roughly $9.2 million will go toward helping hire more workers under an agreement the administration struck with union officials last year to cut caseloads to 15 families per worker, and all told would push the agency’s budget to $818 million.

NE: State auditor: Nebraska has 30 days to repay nearly $22 million after child welfare experiment blunders
Omaha World-Herald – January 22, 2014
Officials said Nebraska did not properly account for federal foster care dollars during the two fiscal years ending June 30, 2012. Foley said the federal officials concurred with findings made in an audit by his office.

NY: Latest case of child abuse should lead to review of protection procedures
The Buffalo News – January 23, 2014
The beating deaths of 5-year-old Eain Clayton Brooks last year and 10-year-old Abdifatah Mohamud in 2012 forced changes in procedures by county Child Protective Services. In those cases, CPS had investigated complaints of abuse but did not remove the children from their homes.

NY: No one ages out: Housing for youth aging out of care
The Chronicle of Social Change – January 22, 2014
Maureen’s story of homelessness can be tied to New York City’s shortcomings in providing adequate housing options and aftercare services for youth aging out of care. These are the major findings of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA)’s recently released a report, “Keeping Foster Youth off the Streets: Improving Housing Outcomes for Youth that Age Out of Care in New York City.”

OH: Bill requires reports on drug-addicted babies
Associated Press – January 22, 2014
The Ohio House has approved a bill requiring hospital maternity units and newborn care nurseries and maternity homes to report the number of babies born addicted to drugs.

PA: New child abuse laws mean higher costs for Cumberland County
The Patriot-News – January 22, 2014
New legislation updating the state’s child abuse laws – spawned by the Jerry Sandusky scandal – is expected to cost Cumberland County $100,000 more annually. The most significant change is expected to increase the number of cases Children and Youth Services must investigate through the expanded definition of “perpetrator,” Wendy Hoverter, director of Cumberland County’s Children and Youth Services, said.

SC: DSS response fails to satisfy Senate
Greenville News – January 23, 2014
Wednesday’s hearing was scheduled to give DSS a chance to address issues raised last week, but new issues were raised Wednesday.

TN: Child advocates put ZIP code data to work: Coalition studies ZIP codes to help understand trouble spots, develop area-specific solutions
The Tennessean – January 23, 2014
Youth Villages is one of about a dozen agencies taking part. The agencies have two goals set by the Department of Children’s Services: improve parenting education and reduce father absenteeism in Davidson County. Related Child Welfare Information Gateway resources: Using Data to Inform Program Improvement

UT: Group of fathers file class action lawsuit, claim Utah adoption laws are unjust (Includes video)
FOX 13 News – January 22, 2014
The class action lawsuit alleges Utah’s adoption laws make it “nearly impossible” for biological fathers to gain custody of their children before the child’s mother gives the child up for adoption.

UT: When another’s child confides in you – January 22, 2014
Here are several guidelines to help you respond to the child in a responsible, kind and professional manner.

US: New PSAs raise awareness of the 31,000 older youth awaiting adoption in the U.S. foster care system
PRNewswire – January 23, 2014
In addition to the PSAs, a Facebook Chat will take place today from 2 to 3 pm ET on AdoptUSKids’ Facebook page to connect prospective parents with campaign representatives, parents and their adopted older youth. The online chat will also be an opportunity to debunk many of the top myths about foster care adoption.
CA: Child abuse program stays open – for now
U-T San Diego – January 21, 2014
The only program in North County designated as the first stop for child victims of abuse or molestation will keep its doors open this year thanks to financial support from donors. Now the move is on to find consistent funding for Forensic Health Service, which on Tuesday opened its Escondido office to its donors for a tour and a thank you.

CA: Why Calif.’s Lifeline Wireless is a Big Deal for Foster Youth
The Chronicle of Social Change – January 21, 2014
As reported in The Chronicle of Social Change last week, California has extended its emergency telephone program for low-income households to include wireless options. So why is this a big deal? We asked Cox to lay out some of the impact of the program on the lives of foster youths. Related: State OKs Free and Cheap Cell Phone Options for Low-income, Foster Youths:

CA: Merced County is behind on foster care payments
Merced Sun-Star – January 17, 2014
Some Merced County families say they haven’t received an initial reimbursement check from the county’s Human Services Agency after opening their homes and caring for foster children. County officials admit they’re behind, and say there are many reasons.

CA: Stanislaus County sees increase in foster care cases (Includes Video)
Modesto Bee – January 17, 2014
From July to September, the county saw a 21 percent increase in children entering the foster system. Stanislaus had a total of 688 youths in foster care, compared with 598 the previous year and 567 in the 2011-12 fiscal year.

GA: Adoption hearing could impact thousands (Includes Video)
WGCL-CBS Atlanta – January 21, 2014
House Bill 524 would allow adult adoptees in Georgia to access their original birth certificate. It would also give birth parents the option to let their wishes be known whether they wished to be contacted by their children in the future. Related Child Welfare Information Gateway Resources:

IL: New Courtroom for More Child Abuse Cases (Includes Video)
WIFR-CBS-TV 23 – January 21, 2014
New numbers out today show there were more than 600 new child abuse and neglect cases reported in Winnebago County last year, which has forced the courts to open another juvenile courtroom to handle the startling number of cases.

KS: More than 60 children in foster care in Harvey County
Newton Kansan – January 21, 2014
St. Francis’ Foster Care Supervisor, Joanna Bjerum and Resource Recruiter John Young shared a local look at foster care. Bjerum feels many people have misconceptions about foster care and child abuse.

MA: Contractor conclusion disputed in 11-year-old’s sex case
Boston Herald – January 22, 2014
The Patrick administration’s Department of Children and Families – facing intense scrutiny over an increasing number of cases where children under its care have been put in danger – is seeking to regain its footing by blaming an agency contractor for a controversial position in one incident. Also: Mentor Network has had troubled history in Texas:

MO: Bill would expand privileges of foster parents
Jefferson City News Tribune – January 22, 2014
Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, presented a bill to a Missouri House committee Tuesday that aims to give state employees who are foster parents the same leave privileges as those who are adoptive parents.

NY: NYC Mayor Vows Changes After Abused Boy, 4, Dies
5 NBC Chicago – January 17, 2014
A review of the case involving a 4-year-old boy found dead in a Times Square apartment after he was abused and starved has revealed several improvements needed in the child welfare system, Mayor de Blasio said Friday.–240898701.html

OK: Bill would aid foster care parents
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise – January 17, 2014
Oklahoma Rep. Pat Ownbey introduced legistation that if passed, would create a foster parent mediation program, Ownby announced recently. Ownby, R-Ardmore, said a third party is needed to help foster parents resolve conflict that occasionally arise between child welfare workers and foster parents.

OR: Court blocks release of information about DHS child abuse case
Statesman Journal – January 21, 2014
A federal district court judge ruled in favor of the Oregon Department of Human Services on Tuesday, issuing a protective order that blocks the release of information about underage victims of confessed child abuser James Earl Mooney and the caseworkers and agency charged with protecting them.

PA: Penn State to take more measures on child abuse prevention (Includes Video)
WJAC-TV 6 – January 21, 2014
The school established a multi-million dollar program for child abuse prevention utilizing international experts and abuse victims at conferences to talk about the difficult subject. Penn State is to hold a forum next week to discuss child protection in a new facility at Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

SC: DSS Takes Heat Over Alleged Caseload Reduction Policy
Free Times – January 22, 2014
The caseload-reduction policy is controversial not merely because of its alleged outcome – the preventable deaths of children – but because DSS denies it even exists, despite blistering testimony to the contrary. Related: SC Department of Social Services to respond to concerns raised before Senate panel:–XGR-DSS-Hearing

TX: New CPS Assistant Commissioner Announced
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services – January 17, 2014
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) today announced Lisa Black as the new assistant commissioner for Child Protective Services (CPS). Black has managed CPS operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth region for five years, consistently completing a higher percentage of cases on time and maintaining a higher caseworker retention rate than other metro areas. She also played a key role in the redesign of the state’s foster care system and earned praise for building a strong network of child welfare providers and advocates in her community.

VA: 12 Investigates: Sources give details of DSS child deaths (Includes video)
WWBT – January 17, 2014
12 Investigates has uncovered more problems with Richmond’s Department of Social Services in the heartbreaking stories of four babies, who’ve died in the city in just the last few months. Their families all had prior contact with Child Protective Services.

WA: Legislature considers extending foster care to age 21 (Includes Video)
Northwest Cable News – January 21, 2014
Each year, 500 kids age out of foster care in our state, and at 18 years old are left to fend for themselves. Many of them end up homeless or committing crimes, but the legislature is now considering extending foster care to help them become productive adults. Related Child Welfare Information Gateway Resource:

WI: Duffel Bags for Kids in Crisis (Includes Video)
WDJT-TV, CBS-58 – January 21, 2014
The organization is called Hope Faith and Love and it collects donations of comfort and personal items and places them in duffel bags. The bags are then distributed to local agencies who work with children in the Foster Care system.


AS: Child abuse law in American Samoa to be broadened
Radio New Zealand International – January 20, 2014
Lawmakers in American Samoa has approved legislation which further criminalises and expands the definition of child abuse. The bill from the Lolo Administration also criminalises the act of child neglect and amends numerous sections of the current law.

AZ: Child abuse in Flagstaff off sharply
Arizona Daily Sun – January 19, 2014
According to the Flagstaff Police Department, there were 170 incidents of child abuse, child neglect and similar crimes reported in 2013, down from 240 in 2012. Around a third of all cases resulted in at least one adult being arrested in both years.

AZ: Stiffing child welfare again
AZ Central – January 17, 2014
Her budget calls for an addition of nearly $90 million, which includes $25 million in start up money and $21.5 million to hire 212 new caseworkers and 93 criminal investigators. That’s less than Carter wanted before we got the latest evidence of how bad things are over there. It’s also Brewer’s opening gambit, so you know she’ll get less than that from the tightfisted GOP Legislature.

FL: Stronger focus on child sex slavery in Manatee County
Bradenton Herald – January 19, 2014
Florida stands at the epicenter of one aspect of modern-day slavery, ranking third in the nation for reports of children forced into the sex trade. The Sunshine State’s inviting climate and reputation as a tourist mecca attracts human traffickers and predators as well as runaways, who are easy prey. Manatee County is not immune from this deplorable exploitation of youngsters.

GM: CPS cases on the rise: Agency sees 61% increase in child abuse reports
Pacific Daily News – January 20, 2014
The growth in the number of cases is a reflection of an island that’s becoming more aware about abuse and neglect, according to Linda Rodriguez, administrator for the Bureau of Social Services.

IL: Child-abuse, neglect deaths in Illinois remain high in DCFS-involved cases (Includes audio)
Peoria Public Radio – January 20, 2014
WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times are partnering to analyze a new report from the inspector general of the state’s child welfare department. Reporters found the number of children dying from abuse or neglect remains high – even though child welfare officials had investigated the family.

MA: DCF blocking easy access to resumes
Boston Herald – January 21, 2014
The Herald yesterday appealed its public records request to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office after the DCF refused to waive the fee for producing the resumes of all agency employees hired since Jan. 1, 2012.

MA: Social worker: Bosses valued cost-saving over kids’ interests
Boston Herald – January 21, 2014
Child welfare bosses in the Department of Children and Families Plymouth office that handled the allegations of sexual assault of an autistic 11-year-old boy were more obsessed with saving money than the well-being of children in their custody, according to a former South Shore social worker.

MA: DCF removing kids at an unprecedented rate
Worcester Telegram & Gazette – January 20, 2014
The Department of Children and Families is removing children at risk of abuse from their families at an unprecedented rate, according to court data as the governor cracks down on the agency following the disappearance of a 5-year-old Fitchburg boy in DCF care whose social worker failed to carry out required home visits.

MI: Children’s Assessment Center empowers sexually abused children, helps them heal
MLive – January 19, 2014
” The center on Michigan Street NE has long had a unique approach to making children feel comfortable while talking about the ingredients of nightmares. Children are encouraged to open up to a forensic interviewer or detective in a non-intimidating environment. In-house detectives and Child Protective Services workers follow up with criminal charges and help for the families, while counselors begin the child’s healing process.

MN: Philanthropy beat: Nonprofit helps kids talk about abuse
Star-Tribune – January 20, 2014
CornerHouse marks its 25th anniversary this year as one of Minnesota’s first such child advocacy agencies, assessing children for suspected abuse, conducting “forensic interviews” and teaching professionals across the nation how to interview these fragile children.

MO: Battling child abuse and neglect in Missouri (Includes video)
Fox 2 Now – January 18, 2014
The Missouri Department Of Social Service’s Children’s Division is in charge of investigating accusations of child abuse and neglect. But, according to the Springfield News-Leader, the agency is short of money and people. So short that the newspaper says the head of the Children’s Division sent out a memo last summer ordering staff to stop any abuse or neglect investigations that take longer than 90 days. Critics say this means a lot of abused and neglected kids in Missouri will continue to be abused and neglected.

NJ: Court ruling highlights danger of leaving kids alone in cars
Burlington County Times – January 20, 2014
Last week, a New Jersey appeals court upheld state actions taken in May 2009 against a woman who left her sleeping 19-month-old child unattended in a locked car while she went into a South Plainfield shopping mall. A security guard for the Middlesex Mall spotted the child in the locked, running car and called the police.

NM: Top court to review abuse reporting case
Albuquerque Journal – January 21, 2014
When the Legislature amended a law to say “every person” has a duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect, did it mean literally everybody or just the categories of professionals it listed? The court granted review at the request of the state Attorney General’s Office after a trial court and the New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled against prosecutors in an Albuquerque criminal case. The 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office criminally charged a man who had disclosed alleged abuse of a child in his family during professional counseling sessions with a social worker.

NY: New York child aid officials missed signs that boy was at risk, review finds
CNN – January 18, 2014
On nine occasions, New York City child welfare caseworkers visited the home of 4-year-old Myls Dobson without even realizing that the boy’s father was in jail, according to a review of the case. The child later died after being tortured.

OH: Secrets and Lies: A New Ohio Law Opens the Adoption Closet
Justia – January 21, 2014
Under a newly enacted law, adult adoptees in Ohio can now seek access to their original birth certificates. With this change, Ohio joins a small number of states that have made an about-face in thinking about the role of secrecy in adoption, and have joined the gradual shift towards greater openness.

OH: Another effort to reform Butler Children Services – January 20, 2014
Butler County Children Services launched a study last week to overhaul the embattled agency that has weathered decades of criticism – and had seven children die on its watch since 1984.

OH: OSU Law School Fights To Raise Awareness On Human Trafficking (Includes video)
NBC 4 – January 19, 2014
According to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office the average age of human trafficking victims is 13-years-old. It is an issue the Moritz College of Law at OSU is tackling through its own programs as well as a week long program aimed at educating about the problem.

OK: Proposal Takes DHS Out of Foster Care in Some Cases
Public Radio Tulsa – January 20, 2014
Legislation unveiled would empower parents who are in crisis to find a home for their children without the involvement of the Department of Human Services, according to the bill’s author.

OK: Companies offer benefits to employees adopting children
The Oklahoman – January 19, 2014
Adoption assistance is growing in popularity as a corporate perk, studies show. In Aon Hewitt’s 2013 survey of 1,000 major U.S. employers, 52 percent offered an adoption benefit, up from 12 percent in 1990.

OR: Program aimed at helping foster kids
Statesman-Journal – January 17, 2014
“When attorneys have more time, we have a better outcome. While it takes about three to five years to know for certain, we do know we’ve had better permanency outcomes a year sooner than before, and about 300 kids go home who wouldn’t have previously,” Ballew said of the Parents Representation Program.

WA: Senate considers help for foster kids after KING 5 series (Includes video)
KING 5 – January 20, 2014
The majority of states guarantee that some or all foster children be appointed an attorney to give the child a voice in court proceedings and to protect the child’s legal rights. Washington state has no such law on the books. Former foster children told KING not having that support made their experience in the system more fearful and confusing. Series: Washington lags behind nation in rights for foster kids:

US: More Moms Losing Kids in Family Court Drug Wars – January 21, 2014
Women across the country are often tested for drugs without consent and punished with government interventions when results are positive. Advocates say “test and report” is the “stop and frisk” of the curtained world of juvenile protection agencies.

US: Inspired by ‘Dispiriting’ Work: A Child Welfare Worker’s Thoughts
Social Justice Solutions – January 19, 2014
Most people who work outside the field of child welfare tend to assume that my work is dispiriting. They hear the words “foster care” and immediately think “at-risk youth,” a loaded term that conjures only negative images. They imagine that I am out every day fighting the good fight, doing charitable work for the needy. The truth is I have the best job in all of New York City.
AZ: Advocate: Lots of Hard Work Ahead at Former CPS (Includes audio)
Public News Service – January 15, 2014
Children’s Action Alliance president Dana Wolfe Naimark said she feels strongly that CPS reform needs to include increased prevention and family support services in the community, starting with child-care assistance.

AZ: Latino legislators pushing child protection, immigration issues
KTAR – January 14, 2014
“The children of Arizona are our most vulnerable population. Plain and simple, it is our job to protect them,” said State Senator Anna Tovar. “Sadly, in this instance, we failed miserably, and it’s time to make this right.” Tovar said she’s encouraged by Gov. Brewer’s plan to replace CPS with a cabinet-level agency but that she wants to hear more details of the plan.

AZ: One-on-One with the man taking over CPS (Includes video)
KPHO Phoenix – January 14, 2014
“It in and of itself will not equal a complete overhaul. There are many things that have to happen to meet that definition. It does a number of things. One, it puts it under the direct supervision of the governor through the director of the entity. That raises the level of the scrutiny the agency gets. And number two it allows CPS and DCYF, in this new format, to focus on their work and not be confused all of the other aspects of DES, a much larger agency,” Flanagan said.

CT: Public’s Views Sought On Mental Health Care For Kids (Includes video)
Hartford Courant – January 14, 2014
Improving mental health services for children and making sure kids with emotional problems don’t fall through the cracks will be the focus of at least a dozen public forums across the state in the coming months, state officials said Tuesday.,0,3073198.story

FL: Plan by Gov. Scott to restore DCF money hailed, but some say it’s only a start
Miami Herald – January 14, 2014
The millions of dollars in new money for DCF announced by Gov. Scott could help offset cuts from past years – and shore up a political liability. Also: Child protection funding: Increase is a necessary investment in families:

GA: City Councilmember Charged With Failure to Report Suspected Child Abuse
Atlanta Daily World – January 14, 2014
A Riverdale City Councilmember who was just sworn in for a repeat term on Monday has been charged with a misdemeanor. Authorities have charged Councilwoman Cynthia Stamps-Jones, who also works as a counselor at King Elementary in College Park, with letting child abuse go unreported.

GA: Speed of foster care fix troubling for some
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – January 14, 2014
A plan to put private organizations in charge of Georgia’s approximately 7,000 foster children is moving too fast for some child advocates who want more study before overhauling the system.

IN: Can parents sue DCS? Yes, divided justices rule
Indiana Lawyer – January 01, 2014
A sharply divided Indiana Supreme Court decision that a family may sue the state’s child protection agency for negligence is sure to resonate within the Department of Child Services, attorneys familiar with the case said. “The whole purpose of this appeal was to try to hold the Department of Child Services accountable for its failure to abide by statutory requirements,” said Adam Sedia of Rubino Ruman Crosmer & Polen LLC of Dyer, who successfully argued the case decided in a 3-2 opinion Nov. 26.

MA: DCF hides list of accused foster parents: Agency tracks data as part of secret registry
Boston Herald – January 15, 2014
State child welfare officials – under fire for mishandling cases, losing a child under state watch and placing children in abusive foster homes – refuse to tell the public how many foster parents they added to their secret list of more than 40,000 alleged child abusers.

NC: Tucker implores state to run Union County DSS until it is ‘on solid footing’
Charlotte Observer – January 14, 2014
N.C. Sen. Tommy Tucker, a Waxhaw Republican who represents Union County, was incredulous after Black told a joint committee of lawmakers that his office doesn’t have the authority to intervene in Union County. Black said the county Human Services Department director requested the state investigate its operations, identify any deficiencies and make recommendations. DSS is part of the Human Services Department. By law, Black said the state could only take over if Union’s human services and DSS directors weren’t cooperative, and they found children in danger.

NJ: State court finds leaving child along in car is abuse
NBC40 – January 14, 2014
A state appeals court on Tuesday found a mother didn’t exercise the minimum degree of care required by state law when she left her sleeping 19-month-old child in a locked car with the engine running and windows opened an inch while she shopped in a South Plainfield store in 2009.

OH: Principal made bad choice on reporting child neglect, abuse
Salem News – January 15, 2014
After Lynett Gorman checked to be certain her son had not been involved in an April 2012 party at which alcohol was served to minors and sexual activity occurred, she assumed she had done her duty as a parent. Unfortunately, she had not fulfilled her responsibility to other children. Gorman, the principal of Pugliese West Elementary School in Jefferson County, was indicted last year for failing to report child abuse or neglect. As an educator, she is required by Ohio law to report such situations.–child-neglect–abuse.html?nav=5003

OK: Cherokees narrow placement rules for Indian children
Tahlequah Daily Press – January 14, 2014
The tribal resolution, which passed unanimously, states: “In any adoptive placement of a Cherokee child under state law, a preference shall be given, in the absence of good cause to the contrary, to a placement with a biological parent or parents; a member of the child’s extended family; other members of the Cherokee Nation; or other Indian families.”

VA: City’s interim Social Services director steps down
Richmond Times-Dispatch – January 13, 2014
Tonya Vincent, a former deputy chief in the Richmond Police Department who led the department for less than a year, worked her final day in the position last Friday, according to city officials. The precise circumstances of her departure are not yet clear. Vincent was named interim director last May after former Social Services director Doris D. Moseley retired in the wake of a scathing auditor’s report that painted a picture of major dysfunction inside the department. Also: Did interim city social services director make progress before resignation?:

US: New study reveals childhood abuse prolongs depression recovery
All Voices – January 14, 2014
Earlier this month, University of Toronto researchers released a report in the journal Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology that suggests recovery from adult depression is significantly delayed in adults who were abused as children. It did not matter if the abuse was physical, mental or a result of neglect: The study illustrated an average delay of nine months in the recovery process for people who survived abusive situations while growing up.


Indonesia: NGOs criticize draft child protection bylaw
Jakarta Post – January 15, 2014
Luh Anggreni, deputy chairman of Bali Legal Aid Institute (LBH), regretted that the lawmakers had not involve NGOs in the drafting process. “The draft lacks academic research and is too general, with most of the contents similar to the Child Protection Law,” she said of the bylaw, which is targeting preventing young people from being sexually and physically exploited and abused.

United Kingdom: Adoption scorecards and thresholds published
UK Government – January 14, 2014
Recently, Ofsted published data which showed a 34% rise in the number of approved applications between 2012 and 2013. This is hugely encouraging, but with 6,000 children who have been approved by the courts for adoption still waiting to be placed, we need to go further and we need to go faster. Which is why we’re maintaining such a strong focus on reforming the adoption system.

United Kingdom: Children of domestic abuse victims increasingly being taken into care
The Guardian – January 14, 2014
The Family Rights Group says that cuts to local domestic abuse and family support services, compounded by welfare reforms, mean families are more likely to be split up because they can no longer get specialist help. Data suggests that domestic violence has outstripped parental mental illness or drug and alcohol misuse as the most common underlying factor behind child protection intervention.

United Kingdom: UK courts must not decide the fate of foreign children, says top judge
Daily Mail – January 14, 2014
Judges and social workers were yesterday warned that they must not seize control of the lives of foreign children. No court can order a child from Europe to be taken from their parents or given up for adoption, said Britain’s most senior family law judge, Sir James Munby.



China: China to bolster child protection laws following series of abuse cases
South China Morning Post – January 21, 2014
China plans to roll out new laws by the end of this year to increase protection of minors in the wake of a series of child abuse cases last year, a report said. The Supreme People’s Court, the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and several other related departments are working together to establish a legal mechanism that would deprive abusive or negligent parents of their custody rights in the event of such cases, Xinhua reported on Monday.

France: France suspends adoptions of children from CAR
UPI – January 18, 2014
France has halted adoptions of children from the Central African Republic, saying ongoing violence in the country may endanger the children.

Pakistan: Progress made: Children in Sindh inch closer to rights protection authority
International New York Times – January 21, 2014
The long-awaited Sindh Child Protection Authority will be made operational in a few days as social activists and the social welfare ministry have inched closer to finalising its rules and regulations.

Russia: Domestic Adoptions Policy Showing Results, Astakhov Says
Moscow Times – January 21, 2014
The number of Russian orphans and abandoned children has dropped from 140,000 to a little under 107,000 in the past five years, due to state policies encouraging domestic adoptions, children’s ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said Monday.

Russia: Moscow to continue adoption discussions with Washington
Russian Legal Information Agency – January 21, 2014
The issue with child adoptions and official Russian access to children already adopted by American parents persists, and Moscow will continue to discuss it with its partners in the US, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a news conference.

United Kingdom: As the Vatican is confronted by the UN, we must remember that the best evidence in child abuse cases will come from victims themselves
The Independent – January 16, 2014
It is worth bearing in mind that, no matter whether the Catholic Church disclose the full information or not, the best data about what has been going on behind closed doors will come from the victims.

Vatican City: Pope Francis Reacts to Roman Catholic Church Child Abuse Probe, U.N. and Victims Insist More Needs to be Done
Latin Post – January 20, 2014
United Nations child protection experts are cracking down on Vatican delegates regarding how Roman Catholic officials handled the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by bishops and priests, saying they still need to speak up and reveal more information in order to prosecute the sexual perpetrators. Also: VoR debate: Can the Vatican deal credibly with child abuse scandal?(Includes audio):