There is a great deal of news and many sad stories about America’s abused and neglected children this week.  Find your state here and send the article to a state legislator or other governmental official.  Best wishes, Kids At Risk Action

ID: Bill to protect children of faith healers in Idaho will not get a hearing
Associated Press – February 26, 2014
House leaders ruled out a hearing on a bill meant to curb the number of children who die because their parents choose faith healing and not medical assistance for religious reasons.

IL: Gov. Quinn’s newly appointed child-welfare director resigns amid theft scandal
Associated Press – February 26, 2014
Department of Children and Family Services Director Arthur Bishop submitted a letter of resignation to Gov. Pat Quinn’s office Wednesday. Related, ” Daughter of DCFS chief says he ignored her”

MA: Groups work to fill the space caused by parenting company’s closing
The Boston Globe – February 27, 2014
Little more than a month after Isis announced on Jan. 14 that it was shuttering its doors and canceling classes immediately, several local organizations are filling the void by continuing Isis programs or expanding offerings for new and expecting parents.

MA: Hundreds of children may be missing in state child welfare system
The Boston Globe – February 27, 2014
On any given day, as many as hundreds of children in Massachusetts’ welfare system are missing, including 134 foster children as young as 13 whom the state listed as “on the run” as of Feb. 2. Social workers stopped checking on another 13 children recently because their parents were uncooperative, rebuffing caseworkers or moving without leaving a forwarding address.

MI: Ex-foster children help push for more accountability from system
Detroit Free Press – February 27, 2014
Michigan could join a national movement to offer more pay and bigger contracts to agencies that best serve families and children – and eventually dump the agencies that fail. Also, “Michigan announces child welfare funding changes”

MI: Trial challenging Michigan’s adoption law, gay marriage ban to resume with testimony today
The Detroit News – February 27, 2014
On Wednesday, University of Michigan law professor Vivek Sankaran, also a child welfare advocate, testified about the state’s foster care system and the need for parents for thousands of children waiting for homes. Sankaran said allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt would add to the pool of potential parents. Related, “Jeanne Howard: Court could fix adoption inequity”

MI: Expert: When a parent in same-sex relationship dies, custody turns into nightmare
Detroit Free Press – February 26, 2014
When a parent in a same-sex relationship dies, the surviving partner faces a quagmire of legal hurdles to gain custody of any kids, an expert testified Wednesday in a trial that could bring gay marriage to Michigan.

NJ: State adoption open records bill up for final legislative votes today
The Star-Ledger – February 27, 2014
The bill giving adopted people their original birth certificates is up for a vote in both houses of the legislature today, moving on a fast track to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk, where its fate is uncertain.

NY: Poloncarz calls for more child protective services reform (Includes video)
WGRZ – February 26, 2014
“Since January of 2012, six children have been killed at the hands of an adult county-wide,” said Poloncarz. “Some have advised me to not speak of their deaths in this address. To hide from it as if it didn’t happen. But I cannot. We must learn from their deaths and try to create a better, safer society for everyone.”

OK: House approves bill to aid foster care parents
The Daily Ardmoreite – February 26, 2014
A bill to create a foster parent mediation program was unanimously approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Tuesday.

OR: DHS urged to review ‘Susana’ case by legislators
Statesman Journal – February 27, 2014
A trio of lawmakers urged the state Department of Human Services on Wednesday to take steps to delay the reunification of a 6-year-old American-born girl with one of her legal parents in Mexico until “all evidence has been reviewed.” Also, “Child custody plan draws reactions from Latino community”

OR: School training aims to prevent abuse
Statesman Journal – February 15, 2014
Allegations that a high school girls basketball coach had sex with a female student athlete is putting the spotlight on the school policies aimed at preventing such crimes.

PA: CYS back before commissioners to discuss Pennsylvania Permanency Initiative
The Sentinel – February 26, 2014
During a financial analysis last November, Children and Youth Services Administrator Wendy Hoverter detailed the benefits of the Pennsylvania Permanency Initiative, which Public Financial Management identified as “a best practice that helps reduce the time a child spends in temporary placement.”

VA: Fathers of children out of wedlock in VA lose rights if name not on registry (Includes video)
NBC 12 News – February 26, 2014
Checking the Putative Father Registry is all the advertising adoption lawyers are required to do when the father is unknown.

VT: DCF workers threatened after toddler’s death (Includes video)
WCAX – February 26, 2014
On Monday, angry citizens rallied outside the Department for Children and Families in Rutland claiming DCF failed the little girl. But on Wednesday, police say the threats got personal.


Australia: Adults surviving child abuse: the role of medical practitioners (Includes audio)
ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – February 27, 2014
Dr Cathy Kezelman, the president of Adults Surviving Child Abuse, believes medical professionals should also be able to recognise and help adults who have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.

Canada: & Romania: Tragedy and triumph: the legacy of Romania’s lost children in Canada
The Canadian Press – February 27, 2014
Simon Fraser researchers have spent the past two decades studying the adoptees’ development. They’re now beginning a new survey with the hope that, as adults, the former Romanian orphans may be able to shed light on what helped and what hampered their ability to cope with their early trauma.

India: Unwanted newborn girls in Indore being dumped, not surrendered
The Times of India – February 27, 2014
Officials associated with shelter homes in city blame it on increased transparency and too many legal procedures involved. Lack of awareness among parents also contributes to newborn girls being abandoned in ‘unsafe conditions.’

United Kingdom: Adoption agency installs projector to aid children’s therapy sessions
Milton Keynes Citizen – February 27, 2014
A voluntary adoption agency is offering a customised environment for children attending therapy sessions, thanks to the creativity and generosity of its IT support company.

GA: Safe Harbor Children’s Center offers kids and teens a fresh start (Includes Video)
First Coast News – February 25, 2014
A center for children in Brunswick helps abused, neglected or abandoned children and teens by giving them a fresh start and new hope.

KS: State Representative Gail Finney: Bill tries to define discipline (Editorial)
The Witchita Eagle – February 26, 2014
The legislation I introduced sought to statutorily define and clearly express the difference between permissible corporal discipline and impermissible child abuse for the protection of children, parents and other caregivers of children, and to provide more direction to child welfare officials, law enforcement and the judiciary for more even application and equal outcomes.

KY: KVC Launches Innovative USDA-Funded Telemedicine Project to Support Kids in Foster Care – February 26, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced it will invest in a KVC Kentucky project. The project will provide iPads to hundreds of children in foster care in order to give them a direct link to behavioral healthcare services and ongoing education via video

MN: Attorneys of the Year: Mark Fiddler
Minnesota Lawyer – February 25, 2014
Fiddler has tried headline-making cases all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, including as lead attorney for a couple who adopted “Baby Veronica” at birth.

MT: Foster parents needed for local nonprofit
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle – February 26, 2014
Youth Dynamics, a Montana nonprofit, created a foster care program to help parents and families support those children. And more foster families are needed.

NM: District attorney spearheading child welfare task force
Quay County Sun – February 25, 2014
If law enforcement, school officials, the Children, Youth and Families Department and others concerned with child welfare issues can get together regularly, children are less likely to get lost in the shuffle.

NM: Judge Alan Malott: State child-abuse statute clear in its requirements (Editorial)
Albuquerque Journal – February 25, 2014
Section 32A-4-3 is indeed a powerful law, but does it really alter what many consider has been every person’s responsibility long before 1993 – what Nelson Mandela called our debt to children everywhere?

NV: Clark County Foster Care System Evaluates New Program (Includes Video)
KLAS-TV – February 25, 2014
The Clark County Department of Family Services has been using a new system for the past two years to keep tabs on foster parents and the children they have in their homes. It’s called the Quality Parenting Initiative and is being used in several other states including California and Connecticut. Clark County hosted a two-day meeting in Las Vegas to discuss QPI’s challenges and successes.

NY: Forever Families adoption agency honored for service to LGBT people
The Pike County Courier – February 25, 2014
The Human Rights Campaign again awarded its Seal of Recognition to Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc., an adoption placement agency in Rye Brook, N.Y. The seal means Forever Families is welcoming, affirming and supportive of LGBT families, and has once again demonstrated skill and competency in 10 key areas of best practice.

NY: This Is How NYC’s Foster Care Youth Really Live
RYOT – February 25, 2014
Directed by Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza, from a script written and performed by foster care youth in New York City, Know How is a heartfelt and unflinching film inspired by the Possibility Project, a non-profit organization which offers at-risk teens a platform to transform their lives through the performing arts.

SC: Christian University Resumes Inquiry in Handling of Sexual Abuse Reports
The New York Times – February 25, 2014
An investigation into Bob Jones University’s handling of sexual abuse complaints will be allowed to resume, the university and investigators said on Tuesday, after the school endured two weeks of criticism for cutting off the inquiry, without explanation, as it neared completion.

UT: Court gives dad second chance in adoption
The Salt Lake Tribune – February 25, 2014
The Utah Supreme Court has ruled that a lower court judge erred when he refused to let a Pennsylvania war veteran amend a paternity petition aimed at stopping the Utah adoption of his daughter and dismissed his constitutional claims.

VA: Mosaic Program Helping Foster Families (Includes Video)
WSET – February 25, 2014
Foster families in the community are receiving assistance and helpful resources thanks to a local ministry.

US: Adoption, Commodification and Normalcy: Editorial
Huffington Post – February 25, 2014
Maybe I missed it in earlier issues of the country’s largest and oldest magazine on adoption, Adoptive Families, but the ads in the latest issue, Winter 2014, show the definitive commodification of adoption in the U.S.

US: Panel Charged With Eliminating Child Abuse Deaths (Includes Audio)
NPR – February 25, 2014
A federal commission to prevent children’s deaths from abuse and neglect held its first meeting on Monday. Figuring out the extent of the problem is just one challenge facing the new commission.

US: What’s the State of the Church’s Child Abuse Crisis?
PBS Frontline – February 25, 2014
More than three decades after the initial reports of abuse began to emerge, critics say that many bishops, who have authority over their areas of responsibility, known as dioceses or eparchies, seem more committed to protecting the church than preventing abuse.


Canada: Part Five in a Series: From care to where? Foster parents
The Vancouver Sun – February 25, 2014
Raising the age of government care would give youths somewhere to return to if they stumble.

Figi: Baby creates history in Fiji under new adoption convention
FIji Sun/Pac News – February 26, 2014
A childless Swedish couple with links to Fiji were ecstatic Tuesday when they became parents for the first time in a historic ceremony in Suva. They go down in the annals of Fiji as the first overseas couple to adopt a Fijian baby under the Hague Convention ratified by Fiji on August 1, 2012.

Haiti: US citizen faces trafficking charges
Associated Press – February 25, 2014
A U.S. citizen and her Haitian mother face child-trafficking charges after they were caught carrying thousands of dollars in cash and running an adoption agency without a license, a Haitian official said Tuesday.

Ukraine: U.S. Families Trying to Adopt Are Stuck in Kiev
Mashable – February 25, 2014
“The potential for violence again, well, there’s rumblings in the south and the east,” Lisa said. “We all just want to get our kids home safe. We pray for peace for this country.”

United Kingdom: Doctors should regard FGM as child abuse
OnMedica – February 26, 2014
General practitioners (GPs) need to better identify female genital mutilation and know what to do in response, the Royal College of General Practitioners has told MPs.


AZ: Legislature’s child welfare oversight panel heard report on ignored hotline calls
Associated Press – February 24, 2014
The new head of the Arizona’s child welfare agency told an oversight committee on Monday that it will be months before a solid structure at the embattled agency is set in place.–CPS-Oversight-Committee/#.Uwv__84myYk

CA: Online Extra: Political Notes: Bill aims to help CA homeless youth
Bay Area Reporter – February 27, 2014
Under the legislation, AB 2001, homeless youth would be added to the purview of the Juvenile Dependency Court. Judges would have the authority to make a determination that an unaccompanied minor is chronically homeless as a result of parental abuse or neglect.

CA: Mercury News editorial: Child abuse law still needs shoring up
Mercury News – February 24, 2014
The bill also would require the state Department of Education to develop the training program, including an online training module. These are essential changes, as demonstrated by the horror stories of unreported abuse that have come out over the past two years. But Gatto’s bill still lacks an essential provision to be effective: a penalty for failing to comply.

CA: Los Angeles’ Child Abuse Reporting System Underfunded & Underutilized
Chronicle of Social Change – February 23, 2014
Better information sharing between law enforcement and child welfare topped a list of recommendations made to Los Angeles’ Board of Supervisors by a blue ribbon commission created to reform the county’s child protective services. The county doesn’t lack for motivation on the subject; it already shelled out $2 million to build a software program meant to help child welfare agencies and law enforcement share information about suspected abuse.

MA: Embattled child welfare agency gets help
Associated Press – February 25, 2014
Erin McAleer, the administration’s director of Cabinet affairs, will be special project manager at DCF “to provide support and assistance” to Commissioner Olga Roche for the next couple of months, agency spokesman Alec Loftus told the Boston Herald.

MA: Teen In Medical Dispute Sent To Foster Care
CBS Boston – February 24, 2014
The state of Massachusetts took charge of Justina Pelletier as her parents and doctors at Children’s Hospital continue to clash over her diagnosis and treatment. Also: Battle over medical care for ailing teen takes major turn (Includes video):

MI: Trial may redefine Michigan’s gay marriage, adoption laws
Detroit News – February 24, 2014
Like many other gay and lesbian couples in Michigan, the Sheltons are invested in the outcome of a case brought by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a lesbian couple, seeking to change the state’s marriage and adoption laws. Also: Lesbian couple’s challenge to Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage starts tomorrow:

MI: Could more lawyers make Michigan’s child welfare system work better? (Includes audio)
Michigan Radio – February 19, 2014
Other states, like Washington, have tried and studied the approach of providing more and better lawyers. In that case it made the system work faster and brought more families back together.

MN: Success story wants college to save more foster kids
St. Paul Pioneer Press – February 22, 2014
“The thing that did the most for me was going to college — more than any social worker, more than any group therapy, any of that,” he told me last week. “It opened up career avenues, broke the cycle of poverty.”

OH: Children Services may get new assistant director
Today’s Pulse – February 24, 2014
Overhauling Butler County Children Services is proving to be an immense task, the agency’s executive director Jerome Kearns said Monday. Kearns informed the county commissioners on Monday that he would like to promote the agency’s ombudsman, Bill Morrison, to the position that is currently held by Adam Jones. Jones will remain the assistant director of Job and Family Services.

VA: Health Department grant helps Va. Shore’s first-time moms
Delmarva Now – February 23, 2014
A new program at the Eastern Shore Health District is helping first-time mothers have a healthier pregnancy, become better parents and set goals to improve their own and their family’s lives. Called the Nurse-Family Partnership, the free program was made possible on the Eastern Shore by a three-year, $807,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Health.


Canada: Foster parent of ex-Lev Tahor kids speaks out
The Canadian Jewish News – February 25, 2014
When Eluzor and Vita Moscowicz welcomed five young foster children into their home about six months ago, they were shocked by their appearance and demeanour. The kids, ranging from infancy to seven years old, had been entrusted to them by Quebec’s youth protection officials after they were removed from the controversial Lev Tahor chassidic sect, then based in Ste-Agathe des Monts, Que.

Canada: Cutting off care abruptly adds to teens’ troubles
Vancouver Sun – February 24, 2014
Vancouver counsellor says losing supports all at once reinforces ‘attachment trauma’ that afflicts many kids in foster care.

China: Baby Trafficking Ring Shut Down in China
Epoch Times – February 24, 2014
An unusual business was shut down by police in China recently, after men were discovered buying unwanted babies from teenage mothers, and then selling them to couples wanting to adopt, often for a tidy profit.

India: Lok Sabha polls: Child rights forums urge parties to include children’s welfare in manifestos
Times of India – February 24, 2014
Child rights forums in Puducherry have released a children’s poll manifesto urging the political parties to evolve their manifestos by taking a cue from their document ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Kyrgyzstan: At least 17 foreign companies to be engaged in adoption of children from Kyrgyzstan News Agency – February 25, 2014
The Ministry of Social Development finished reception of 17 applications from foreign companies engaged in international adoption in the Kyrgyz Republic, the press service of the ministry informs.

CA: Abuse support group in jeopardy of shutting down
Daily Press – February 20, 2014
Carole Voll, a licensed marriage and family therapist, is the Our Children Project’s coordinator. She said the program, which serves approximately 55 children and their families every year, needs to come up with $5,000 by March 1 or face possible closure.

CA: Los Angeles cardinal unlikely to face charges
Associated Press – February 19, 2014
The nation’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese has agreed to pay $720 million to clergy abuse victims over the past decade and released internal files that showed Cardinal Roger Mahony shielded priests and ordered a surrogate to withhold evidence from police, yet Mahony and other archdiocese leaders are unlikely to face criminal charges.

KS: Editorial: Foster Parents Bill of Rights should be supported
Topeka Capital-Journal – February 23, 2014
Senate Bill 394 would establish a Foster Parents Bill of Rights and create a state foster care advisory board composed of foster or adoptive parents and up to two representatives of statewide foster care and adoption associations.

MA: Gov. Deval Patrick calls in cavalry for DCF
Boston Herald – February 24, 2014
Gov. Deval Patrick has quietly dispatched a member of his inner circle with a team of experts to oversee changes at the embattled Department of Children and Families – even as he has expressed confidence in Commissioner Olga Roche and resisted calls for her to resign. Also: MA: Patrick says forcing DCF chief to resign not helpful to youths:

MI: Child Protection Registry is moving to secretary of state’s office in 2 months
Associated Press – February 22, 2014
A Michigan program that families can use to block adult-oriented ads from kids’ email, cellphones and instant messenger accounts is being moved to a different state agency. Also: Families Encouraged to Register on the Michigan Child Protection Registry:–Michigan-Child-Protection/#.UwosVs4myYk

NC: Lawmaker outraged at DSS, examines policy
Elkin Tribune – February 20, 2014
A state lawmaker expressed outraged after learning of a report that minors already victims of a sexual abuse case in Wilkes County were allegedly subjected to additional sexual abuse in Yadkin County, after being placed in the home of a convicted child abuser by social workers.

NJ: & PA: Bills in Pa., N.J. would open adoption records – February 23, 2013
Perry has worked with the New Jersey Coalition for Adoption Reform and Education (NJ CARE) over the last decade for passage of the adoptees’ birthright bill. The measure would allow adopted adults over 18 in New Jersey to secure their original birth certificates from the state registrar. Pennsylvania sealed records in 1925 in the interest of preserving birth parents’ anonymity. In 1984, the state enforced additional restrictions on adoptees’ ability to access their original birth certificates by closing loopholes in the Vital Records Code.

NM: Lawmakers fail to clarify abuse reporting law
Associated Press – February 21, 2014
The state’s embattled child welfare agency said Friday it’s concerned about the Legislature’s failure to clarify a law requiring the reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect to authorities.

NV: Plan accelerates permanent placements for foster children
Las Vegas Review Journal – February 21, 2014
“Our goal here is not to break up families,” Family Court Judge Frank Sullivan said Thursday during a 72-hour preliminary protective hearing to determine whether the child should go home or remain in protective custody. The court attributes the improvement to the Court Improvement Program, a federally funded program to improve family court processes through data and collaboration with child welfare agencies.

NY: Hackley School Tells Parents of Accusations of Abuse From the ’60s
New York Times – February 20, 2014
Another prominent private school in the New York area has acknowledged accusations of long-ago sexual abuse of students, joining a small group of schools that have grappled in recent years with claims of abuse that happened decades earlier.

OH: Child-abuse cases; Protectors must heed parental rights, too
Columbus Dispatch – February 23, 2014
A few years ago, two northern Ohio parents successfully sued a caseworker in federal court for violating their rights on an initial visit, and the decision reinforced that the Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure applies in child-welfare cases, too, O’Leary said. “There is a fine line between child safety and protecting the constitutional rights of parents,” she said.

OH: Faith-based community crucial cog for Children Services
Journal-News – February 21, 2014
About 10 representatives from churches and faith-based organizations throughout Butler County gathered with Children Services staff Thursday for a brainstorming session about how they could work in concert to improve the lives of foster children. Children Services is in the midst of an organizational overhaul aimed at reducing the number of children under the agency’s care and fine tuning operations to prevent the mishandling of cases and mistakes that have maligned the agency and its social workers during the past decade.

OK: DHS director seeks $33 million in funding
Centre Daily Times – February 24, 2014
The director of Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services is asking lawmakers to appropriate almost $33 million in state tax dollars to operate the agency through the end of June.

OK: DHS cuts backlog of child abuse cases by 82 percent
Tulsa World – February 21, 2014
DHS implemented a backlog-reduction plan in early September that included overtime for front-line workers, reassignment of staff, assistance from other divisions, weekly monitoring, and outside help from a contracted vendor.

OR: Why foster children are often placed with relatives: Guest opinion [by Lois Day, director of Oregon DHS Child Welfare]
The Oregonian – February 23, 2014
A recent guest opinion by Thomas Kriewall, “How Oregon Department of Human Services keeps kids in foster care”, falsely portrays the structure of the child welfare system as “scripted” and “formulaic.” While there is a well-defined administrative structure that sets parameters to Oregon’s program, our daily work is guided by the child’s best interests.

TX: CPS brings prom to foster care teens (Includes video)
KFDM-TV News – February 22, 2014
High school students in foster care received the royal treatment today. Foster youth from fifteen different counties attended the ninth annual Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Prom Project. Guys spent their day getting hair cuts and browsing for suits, while the girls picked out dresses and had a spa day.

TX: CPS: Infants in foster care had bruises, broken bones (Includes video)
KXAN – February 21, 2014
Child Protective Services removed 6-week-old twin infants from their foster home last week after they were found with bruises and broken bones. At the time, the siblings were under the care of a foster family overseen by the foster care agency Arrow Child and Family Ministries.

UT: Embattled Utah adoption center loses its license
Salt Lake Tribune – February 21, 2014
A Utah business that has been at the center of numerous disputed adoptions has lost its license to operate in the state.

UT: Teens in foster care lobby lawmakers for ‘normalcy’ law
Deseret News – February 21, 2014
Teens in foster care told members of the House Health and Human Services Committee they would like the state to change the law to empower foster parents to decide whether children in their care can take part in typical childhood events such as extracurricular activities, attending school dances, learning to drive or simply going to a sleepover at a friend’s house.

VA: New Richmond DSS head asks auditor to investigate department (Includes video)
WTVR – February 20, 2014
David Hicks asked Richmond City Auditor Umesh Dalal to conduct an audit of the Administration and Finance, Economic Support and Independence, and the Comprehensive Services Act. Specifically, Hicks asked Dalal to look into DSS’s finances, the efficiency and effectiveness of programs, and the agency’s compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations.

US: Adopting Abroad: Rule Changes Hurting International Adoptions
WHO-TV – February 23, 2014
The Hague Adoption Convention tried to streamline the process by helping families get better access to birth records and upfront fees associated with adoptions. It was supposed to help prevent child trafficking but attorney Shayla McCormally says it’s played a part in international adoption rates dropping.

US: Expert examines link between child abuse, alcoholism
Marietta Daily Journal – February 23, 2014
Parental alcoholism is often a factor in child abuse and neglect. It’s compounded by the risk that as adults, these children model their behavior on their parent – including drinking alcoholically. Golay, who specializes in addictions counseling, says that in her many years in practice, she saw one common misconception among her alcoholic patients: They all believed that their drinking didn’t affect anybody but themselves.


Bahrain: Alarm over rising child abuse cases
Gulf Daily News – February 23, 2014
“We registered 61 cases among children related to physical abuse and followed up another 92 cases,” said the centre’s psychotherapist and counsellor Dr. Sharifa Swar.

India: NGOs help rescue abandoned kids
Deccan Herald – February 22, 2014
Over 60 children are picked up by these NGOs daily at the City Railway Station and Majestic Bus Stand. But the City has grown by leaps and bounds, and child traffickers have found a hundred ways to hoodwink NGO workers and the police.

Kazakhstan: International adoption: Sick children are healthy?
Tengri News – February 22, 2014
Kazakhstani orphans are falsely diagnosed with heavy illnesses to be later adopted by foreigners while childless Kazakhstanis continue to wait for their chance of adoption, Tengrinews quotes Kanat Seidgapbarov of the Prosecutor General’s office as saying.

Romania: & US: Orphans’ Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child’s Brain (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – February 24, 2014
More than a decade of research on children raised in institutions shows that “neglect is awful for the brain,” says Charles Nelson, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital. Without someone who is a reliable source of attention, affection and stimulation, he says, “the wiring of the brain goes awry.” The result can be long-term mental and emotional problems.


AS: New child abuse law in American Samoa broadens definition
Radio New Zealand – February 21, 2014
The Governor of American Samoa has signed a law that further defines and criminalises acts of child abuse and neglect.

AZ: Arizona Senate passes bill requiring outside review of Child Protective Services
Associated Press – February 21, 2014
The bill adopted on a 29-0 vote Thursday earmarks $250,000 to hire a group to conduct the review and now goes to the House. SB1386 is available at–CPS-Review

CA: A mature intellect focused on young minds
The Chronicle of Social Change – February 11, 2014
An interview with Patrick Gardner, the lead attorney in a landmark settlement substantially expanding mental health services for California’s most vulnerable children. He launched Young Minds Advocacy, a non-profit organization that will monitor and spur the implementation of mandates set forth in the Katie A. v Bonta settlement, and use other levers to expand mental health services for children in or at risk of entering the child welfare system in California and other states.

FL: Panel stresses accountability for community-based care agencies
The News Service of Florida – February 20, 2014
The Senate panel charged with reforming Florida’s child-welfare system rolled out its latest proposals this week – including increased accountability for the state’s 19 community-based care lead agencies.

MA: & TX: Martha Coakley: Reform in Texas was too broad
Boston Herald – February 21, 2014
Attorney General Martha Coakley, under scrutiny for what some perceived as conflicting messages about child welfare in her dual roles as state defender and gubernatorial candidate, said she stands by her record of “protecting children” but acknowledged her job responsibilities and personal views may not always jive.

MA: With DCF under scrutiny, requests to remove children from troubled homes rise sharply (Includes audio)
WBUR – February 21, 2014
Last month, the number of requests to take kids away from their families was nearly double what it was a year ago.

NM: ‘Omaree’s Law’ fails to get vote in Senate
Albuquerque Journal – February 21, 2014
A child-protection proposal spawned by the recent death of an Albuquerque boy didn’t clear the Legislature before adjournment, but House leaders said Thursday that they’ll keep trying to figure out how to improve the system.

NM: Omaree Varela case, low pay affecting CYFD morale: CYFD gave back $3 million to state because of open jobs (Includes video)
KOAT – February 20, 2014
Target 7 recently took a look at the department that has employees fleeing.

NV: Union sues Clark County for not reinstating worker to child abuse hotline job
Las Vegas Review-Journal – February 21, 2014
Clark County has failed to abide by an arbitrator’s decision ordering it to reinstate a fired employee to his job handling calls on the county’s child abuse hotline, court records show.

OH: Lisa and Cleveland Cox: Couple who gave back their adopted son waive dependency hearing: State will keep custody of 10-year-old for now
WCPO – February 19, 2014
The hearing lasted not much more than 10 minutes but it will take months for them to earn their child back.

OK: Lawmakers hear debate on adoption reform bill
Tulsa World – February 20, 2014
Several key players from both sides of the epic custody battle for Veronica met again Thursday, not at a courthouse this time, but at the state Capitol to debate an adoption reform bill that some supporters call “Veronica’s Law.”

TX: Dallas CASA moves toward new facility, aims to double number of advocates
The Dallas Morning News – February 21, 2014
By 2019, Dallas CASA wants to have a volunteer advocate for every child in the Dallas County foster care system, which would make it the first program in a major metropolitan area to do so.

TX: Lawmakers looking at fixes for foster care system, case tracking
Texas Public Radio – February 20, 2014
Members of the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services are aiming to improve the state’s foster care system — this week’s discussion comes on the heels of a report that startled lawmakers. Also, “Texas senators split on how to address sharp rise in foster child deaths”

UT: Myths and facts about foster care adoption (Includes video) – February 19, 2014
By Kathy Searle, Utah Director of Programs, The Adoption Exchange.

WI: Records: Appleton school district’s response to 2011 child abuse allegations frustrated police
Post-Crescent Media – February 20, 2014
More than 500 pages of documents show the school district’s efforts to substantiate whether child abuse happened in Mary Berglund’s classroom left police with a far tougher road when they were brought in to investigate 19 days after allegations were first reported.

US: The extended family of my two open adoptions
The Atlantic – February 21, 2014
Most adoptions in the U.S. today are open; The author is taking the opportunity to create a big, loving-if complicated-family.

US: After parents’ deportation, U.S. children face mental struggles
New America Media – February 18, 2014
Researchers who have examined the mental health problems connected to forced family separations find a daunting web of factors at play, including economic conditions, family relationships, trauma, and childhood upbringing.


Australia: Sibling separation in foster care a new ‘stolen generation’
The Age – February 21, 2014
Children’s Court solicitors described the rate of sibling separation as being at ”epidemic” levels in Victoria, saying foster carers were not equipped to take on multiple children removed from the same home due to abuse and neglect.

Canada: The costs and benefits of extending foster care to age 24
The Vancouver Sun – February 20, 2014
Th Vancouver Sun replicated an Ontario cost-benefit analysis, plugging in B.C. numbers where available and using Ontario figures when B.C. numbers were not available. Here are the results. Related, “On her own at age 19 after aging out of foster care”

Germany: German court rules against allowing same-sex couples to adopt
DW.DE – February 21, 2014
A top German court has ruled against giving same-sex couples the right to adopt children, dismissing the case on procedural grounds. The ruling comes after Berlin extended adoption laws for gay couples last year.

India: Sunni authority insists adopted children cannot inherit property
Mail Online India – February 20, 2014
Although Darul Uloom Deoband has no problem with Muslim couples adopting a child, the Sunni Islamic seminary has said that such a child wouldn’t be the heir apparent of the family that has adopted.

AL: Additional children accuse Ala. pastor of abuse
Associated Press – February 19, 2014
Former Highland Park Baptist Church pastor, Jeff Eddie, is being held on $1,030,000 bond on 31 counts of sodomy, sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

AZ: Foster family: CPS dropped off kids and disappeared (Includes video)
CBS5 – February 19, 2014
The case worker told Studzinski the family would receive money to provide food and clothing for the children, and that she would be in contact. “I haven’t heard from her since she dropped the kids off,” he said. Eight days later, after six calls placed to the case worker and four to two supervisors, Studzinski is still waiting for some guidance.

CT: DCF pushes for safer sleeping conditions for infants (Includes video)
FOX CT – February 20, 2014
Infants dying from unsafe sleep conditions was the leading cause of death of children in families known to the child-protection system over the last three years, officials said Wednesday. In response, the Department of Children and Families plans to announce Thursday that it will markedly increase its focus on unsafe sleep environments and embark on a broad public-awareness campaign.

FL: County’s foster care agency facing crisis (Includes video)
CBS 12 News – February 19, 2014
According to data obtained from ChildNet, there was a 100% increase in children removed from homes in Palm Beach County over the last four months as compared to the same time last year.

IA: Divided committee in Iowa Senate OKs bill to establish state juvenile facility for girls (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – February 19, 2014
The bill approved Wednesday establishes a publicly administered State Training School for juvenile delinquent girls, but it does not specify a location. It also requires state training schools for boys and girls to develop service treatment plans that recognize individual treatment and educational needs of youth and to consider options to best help them transition to adulthood.

KS: Child welfare group opposes spanking bill
The Topeka Capital-Journal – February 19, 2014
A Kansas group specializing in adoption services, foster homes and anti-child abuse efforts is voicing opposition to a bill that would allow parents and teachers to spank children.

KS: Former senator pushes foster care ‘Bill of Rights’
The Topeka Capital-Journal – February 19, 2014
The legislation would create a state foster care advisory board, give foster parents more access to information about the child’s medical and psychiatric background, and more input into placement decisions.

MA: & TX: AG Martha Coakley opposed child welfare reform
Boston Herald – February 20, 2014
Attorney General Martha Coakley’s kids-first campaign platform is taking on water, child advocates say, after it was revealed her office voluntarily backed Texas officials in a lawsuit against the Lone Star state’s embattled child welfare system.

MD: Bill closing sexual abuse loophole hits snag (Includes audio)
WAMU – February 19, 2014
If a part-time teacher or coach at a public or private school has sex with student aged 16 years or older, they might be fired, but they couldn’t be charged with a crime under current state law. A bill currently being debated in the Maryland General Assembly would change that.

NC: State reports show problems at local DSS agencies (Includes video)
WBTV – February 19, 2014
From the reports, we found several cases where social workers missed family visits, filed inaccurate documents, failed to grasp the harm children faced, and had communication gaps with children.

NM: CYFD bill passes both chambers (Includes video)
KRQE – February 19, 2014
The bill, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla of Bernalillo, would require CYFD to produce a report about how it places and removes kids from homes and much more.

NY: The support that homeless families need
Governing – February 20, 2014
From 2007 to 2009, the Keeping Families Together (KFT) program in New York City provided 29 families with a safe, permanent place to call home, along with the services and support they needed to stay together. By the end of the pilot, there were no child removals from the KFT families, and the number of open child-welfare cases had fallen by 61 percent.

PA: ‘Fostering’ knowledge about child welfare
The Daily Pennsylvanian – February 19, 2014
The Child Well-Being and Welfare specialization at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, which will enroll its first class this fall, will train students in a yearlong program to work with children in foster care.

PA: Commissioners expected to approve increase for foster parents
Observer-Reporter – February 19, 2014
Greene County commissioners are expected today to approve an increase in the per diem rate of in-county agency foster parents.

SC: Child abuse, neglect a leading public health crisis
Herald-Journal – February 19, 2014
Written by Jennifer S. Parker, director of the Center for Child Advocacy Studies, professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina Upstate.

TN: DCS touts plans for technology in budget hearing
The Tennessean – February 20, 2014
Jim Henry, commissioner of the Department of Children’s Services, said placing tablet computers in the hands of field agents will boost productivity and reduce the time they spend filing reports. Tennessean investigations of DCS records in child-death cases have found numerous instances of late or improperly filled-out paperwork.

UT: Bill for sexual-abuse prevention training advances
The Salt Lake Tribune – February 19, 2014
Elementary schools in Utah would be able to provide instruction on preventing child-sexual abuse under a bill that won unanimous support in a House committee Wednesday.

UT: Father sues ex-girlfriend, Utah lawyers, adoptive parents for stealing custody of his daughter
The Salt Lake Tribune – February 19, 2014
Six years after his daughter was placed for adoption in Utah without his knowledge or consent, Robert Manzanares is still fighting back.

WA: Protecting foster kids from sex trafficking [Opinion]
The Seattle Times – February 19, 2014
The state must do more to track down runaway foster kids who are more susceptible to being coerced by sex traffickers into prostitution, writes columnist Thanh Tan. Also, “Prevent Washington’s foster kids from running away”


Australia: Child-protection information set to be outsourced overseas
The Age – February 20, 2014
The IT system for the client and case management of some of Victoria’s most vulnerable will be managed by a private company, possibly overseas, under changes made by the Napthine government, raising concerns about child protection service delivery.

India: People from any religion can adopt a child: Supreme Court
Live Mint and the Wall Street Journal – February 19, 2014
Irrespective of their religious background, people are free to adopt children, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday paving the way for adoption of child by persons hailing from Muslim community even though it is not allowed under their personal law.

United Arab Emirates: Child protection initiative rolls out on Sunday
The Gulf Today – February 20, 2014
The community Development Authority (CDA) has announced the launch of a comprehensive children protection campaign on Sunday, aimed at raising awareness on children’s rights.

United Kingdom: MSPs defend child welfare plan (Includes video)
itv News – February 19, 2014
Ministers have been defending plans to appoint a named guardian to monitor the welfare of every child in Scotland.