Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (www.childwelfare.gov),
—For a more complete listing of child protection news
AL: Opelika child advocacy center aims to prevent child abuse through education
Opelika-Auburn News – June 08, 2015
Established in 1991, the child advocacy center is an independent non-profit organization that works in collaboration with DHR and local law enforcement to facilitate the treatment of children involved in cases of alleged abuse, including physical and emotional abuse, neglect and sexual abuse.
MN: Family Services Rochester announces new executive director
Rochester Post Bulletin – June 09, 2015
Family Service Rochester has promoted Director of Child Welfare and Adult Services Scott Maloney to the position of executive director.
MN: Indian couple sues to allow adoption to white family
Minneapolis Star Tribune – June 09, 2015
Now the couple is suing the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Minnesota Attorney General and a commissioner with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe to allow the adoption to go forward. In a federal lawsuit filed last week, the couple, identified only as John and Jane Doe, argue that the requirement to tell the tribe about the baby violates their constitutional right to due process and equal protection.
MO: Committee on child abuse meets at the state capitol (Includes video)
ABC 17 News – June 09, 2015
“Missouri is unique in that we don’t just have a child welfare system that stands alone and we don’t have a juvenile justice system that stands alone. Missouri has a unique component called the juvenile office,” said Tammy Walden, Chief Juvenile Officer.
MO: & KS: EDITORIAL: Volunteers needed to help endangered kids after record caseload increases in states
The Kansas City Star – June 02, 2015
Caseload numbers rise and fall for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are bad. More people could be reporting suspected child abuse, for instance. But the increases in the two-state region are too dramatic and longstanding to qualify as a blip.
NC: House unanimously passes foster-care bill
Winston-Salem Journal – June 09, 2015
The state House on Tuesday passed a bipartisan foster-care bill by a 115-0 vote that includes providing services to youth until age 21. Information Gateway Resource: Extending Out-of-Home Care for Youth Past Age 18: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/outofhomecare/
NY: Niagara’s record child abuse levels trigger more county jobs
Buffalo News – June 09, 2015
The committees approved a proposal to keep on the payroll two Head Start caseworkers who otherwise would lose their jobs at the end of the month, as the federal government is cutting off Head Start funding in the county. One of the workers will be reassigned to Child Protective Services and the other to Adult Protection, investigating abuse and financial victimization of elderly citizens.
NY: NYC nonprofit The Jewish Board picks up programs from bankrupt agency
Associated Press – June 03, 2015
Federation Employment and Guidance Services filed for bankruptcy in March. The transferred programs and services assist over 8,000 people across New York City and Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The programs are being taken over by The Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services. They include 850 apartments, six mental health clinics and three day programs for adults with mental illness. Also: NY: Meet New York’s new largest social-services nonprofit, The Jewish Board: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150529/HEALTH_CARE/150529871/meet-new-yorks-new-largest-social-services-nonprofit
OH: CASA Needs Volunteers as Neglect and Abuse Caseload Exploding
Intelligencer – June 09, 2015
Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children – known to many simply as CASA – needs more volunteers to keep up with a sharp increase in child abuse and neglect cases in Ohio County. CASA Executive Director Susan Harrison said if the current trend continues, the county’s caseload will double this year from its 2014 total of 105.
PA: Do you work with children? Seminar outlines demands on you
Chambersburg Public Opinion – June 09, 2015
Local adults who work with children can get their questions answered about Pennsylvania’s child protection laws during a free seminar on June 22.
PA: United Way to assist workers who require Act 153 clearances
Pottsville Republican & Evening Herald – June 09, 2015
“I immediately started thinking about libraries and fire departments and other organizations that wouldn?t have had to go to this level for clearances before. I started to wonder about what volunteer activities may be on the line. My mind went to the extreme, just to make sure everyone is doing it correctly,” Michelle Halabura, director of community relations at Schuylkill United Way, said Monday.
RI: 45 Kids In DCYF Care Listed As Missing
RI NPR – June 09, 2015
45 welfare agency are currently listed as missing. Rhode Island Public Radio learned about the number missing after a 14-year-old girl in the agency’s care was found in New Jersey with an alleged sex trafficker. The Department of Children, Youth, and Family says she was lured away from a group home.
VA: Workers Claim Richmond Agency Just Doesn’t Care
Courthouse News Service – June 09, 2015
A group of welfare caseworkers say they are overworked, underpaid and thoroughly disgusted with what they describe as the city’s dismissive attitude toward children at risk of domestic violence, a lawsuit filed in Federal Court claims.
WV: DHHR announces new WIC guidelines
WVVA – June 08, 2015
The Office of Nutrition Services reports an additional 7,500 West Virginians could be served under the expanded WIC guidelines. Eligibility projections indicate as many as 52,164 residents qualify for the program. Fathers, mothers, grandparents, foster parents or any legal guardian of a child under five may apply.
US: Motherlode Blog: Considering a Second Foster Child (Opinion)
New York Times – June 09, 2015
It is easy to decide these things early in the foster-licensing process. It’s easy to say what you will and will not consider. It is easy until you get that call. Until you learn that this child – this one innocent, real child – is sitting in a group home, undergoing endless rounds of evaluations while everyone around him is scrambling to find him a family.
US: States Try to Speed Up Foster Placements
Governing – June 09, 2015
The federal government plans to expand the use of a web-based tool nationwide after a pilot of the system showed good results.
US: Study examines psychotropic medication use in children, teens with Down syndrome
Medical News Today – June 09, 2015
A new study gives insight into the mental health of children and teens with Down syndrome and the behavioral medications that medical caregivers sometimes prescribe for them.
US: The Little Things That Elude Foster Youths (Opinion)
The Chronicle of Social Change – June 09, 2015
It’s embarrassing, but it needs to be said, that I’ve had a lot of little moments like those since then. From not knowing how to clean an oven, to storing food properly, to cooking, to finding out that I shouldn’t be placing bras in the dryer – needless to say, I’m still behind on basic life skills.
US: Reflecting on National Foster Care Month and Our Continued Commitment to America’s Foster Youth
White House Blog – June 03, 2015
Last month in Camden, New Jersey, President Obama said, “We can’t guarantee everyone’s success, but we do strive to give everyone an equal shot.” That is a responsibility that must belong to all of us, and a commitment we must all share, especially for our most vulnerable citizens.
Canada: Less than one-third of Manitoba kids in foster care graduate high school: study (Includes video)
Globe and Mail – June 09, 2015
The study from the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy at the University of Manitoba compared kids who have been taken into care for any length of time with peers who have had no involvement with child welfare.
India: Inter-state child trafficking ‘gang’ busted; 3 arrested
Press Trust of India – June 09, 2015
Police today claimed to have busted an alleged inter-state child trafficking gang here, which worked under the cover of an unregistered NGO based in Delhi, and arrested three persons in this connection.
Norway: Oslo warned on adoption of immigrants
West – Welfare Society Territory – June 09, 2015
An increasing number of immigrant parents are losing custody over their children because they are considered by Norwegian social services ‘unable to raise them and educate them’. The children are taken away and entrusted to Norwegian families, even for minor issues.
United Kingdom: Intervention project helps primary pupils
Ulster Star – June 09, 2015
The Early Intervention Incredible Years Programme is an initiative run by the Public Health Agency (PHA). It aims to build confidence and helps parents understand and manage their child’s behaviour better and also to help teach children how to understand their emotions, with the aim of benefitting their long-term health and wellbeing.
United Kingdom: Police ‘should allow for cultural context’ in child abuse investigations
The Telegraph – June 09, 2015
Police and social workers must make allowance for “cultural context” when investigating allegations that children have been physically abused by parents, a High Court judge has suggested. Also: NSPCC queries judge’s smacking remark: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-33074734
Vatican City: Pope Creates Tribunal to Hear Bishop Child Abuse Cases
Associated Press – June 10, 2015
Pope Francis has created a new Vatican tribunal section to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests, the biggest step the Holy See has taken yet to hold bishops accountable.
AR: Report: Arkansas Foster Kids Moved Around More Than Other States (Includes video)
KNWA – May 30, 2015
The state of Arkansas is using a $400,000 grant to improve recruitment and retention of foster parents and volunteers. Arkansas outpaces other states in the number of different homes foster children are placed in, according to a new report from Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. Information Gateway resource: Supports for Foster Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/resources-foster-families/supports/
AZ: Lawmaker wants more safeguards when DCS reunites kids with parents
Arizona Republic – June 08, 2015
Rep. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, would like DCS to keep “high risk” cases like Alexandra’s open longer after reunification and to reopen old cases when new allegations are substantiated. Brophy McGee said she is exploring whether to introduce legislation in 2016 that would require people to continue counseling, parenting classes and, when necessary, drug testing if it could prevent more children suffering the same fate as Alexandra.
CA: Foster care system shifts to relatives, but doesn’t offer support (Includes audio)
89.3 KPCC – June 08, 2015
With more than half of the foster children in Los Angeles County living with relatives, Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said the system isn’t doing enough to support them.
CA: Senate passes sweeping reforms to curb psych medications in foster care
San Jose Mercury News – June 03, 2015
In a major step toward curtailing the excessive use of psychiatric drugs on foster children, the California Senate on Thursday approved a package of bills that is already being eyed as a model in Washington, D.C., and across the country. Information Gateway resource: Use of Psychotropic Medications: Research and Reports: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/mentalhealth/effectiveness/psychotropic/reports/
CO: Human services leader Reggie Bicha gets national recognition
Denver Post – June 08, 2015
“Reggie [Bicha] has proven himself to be an innovator and leader within the health and human services field,” Raquel Hatter, president of the APHSA board and commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services, said in a statement. Bicha received the 2015 State Member Award for his service to APHSA, the organization announced Saturday.
CT: Court: Transgender teen’s rights violated in transfer to prison from child welfare agency
Associated Press – June 08, 2015
Connecticut’s second-highest court ruled Monday that a transgender girl’s due process rights were violated last year when she was transferred from the custody of the state’s child welfare agency to a state prison — a detention that sparked an outcry from civil liberties advocates.
GA: Next chief will have hands full at Human Services
Northwest GA News – June 08, 2015
Much of the turbulence buffeting Human Services has involved DFCS supervision of child welfare services for the state, especially in the wake of gruesome child deaths. Fallout from the deaths helped spark state hiring of more caseworkers and Deal’s creation of a council to review the child welfare system. For a long time, the twin burdens of high caseloads and stagnant pay had led to low morale among DFCS employees.
GM: Gay couples in Guam start applying for marriage licenses (Includes audio)
Associated Press – June 08, 2015
A federal judge on Friday struck down Guam’s prohibition on same-sex marriage, making it the first U.S. territory to legalize same-sex marriages.
IL: A Faster Way for Some Illinois Kids to Find a Forever Family (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 09, 2015
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has been chosen for an interstate program that uses a web-based system to expedite adoptions for children moving across state lines. Andrew Flach with DCFS says placements are sometimes hampered by out-of-date technologies and procedures.
MN: Crow Wing County selected for program to help at-risk youths and families
Brainerd Dispatch – June 08, 2015
Crow Wing County will participate in the Multi-System Collaboration Training and Technical Assistance Program offered through the Center for Coordinated Assistance to States, with support from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
NH: Granite State Holding Steady: Getting Summer Meals to Hungry Kids (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 09, 2015
As the school year draws to a close, the Granite State is getting an average grade when it comes to making sure kids don’t go hungry during the summer months. Report: http://frac.org/pdf/2015_summer_nutrition_report.pdf
OK: Some Question Pinnacle Plan’s Effectiveness On Oklahoma’s DHS (Includes video)
News on 6 – June 08, 2015
The Laura Dester Shelter, built by a coalition of community groups for more than $12 million, is set to close by the end of the year. DHS has had a number of public hearings in Tulsa to discuss the issue, but the question still remains, where will the children go?
PA: Federal lawsuit seeks to free teen from shelter
New Castle News – June 09, 2015
A Pittsburgh attorney through a federal lawsuit is striving for a 14-year-old boy’s release from the Krause Youth Shelter. An emergency petition filed Thursday in Western District Court on behalf of a Westmoreland County man — identified as K.T.– seeks to have the man’s son released and placed either in his care or in foster care of relatives or friends.
PA: Pa. considers revising part of background checks law for those working with kids
NewsWorks – June 08, 2015
It’s no surprise that Pennsylvania legislators passed a law after the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal that expanded checks for anyone who has direct contact with children. But some lawmakers, now saying the law went too far, are trying to retreat on some of the protections. Related: Bill Aims To Clarify Child Protective Services Law; Critics Worry It Would Weaken Measure: http://wesa.fm/post/bill-aims-clarify-child-protective-services-law-critics-worry-it-would-weaken-measure
SC: Spartanburg area agencies seeing more child abuse victims
Spartanburg Herald-Journal – June 07, 2015
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties could outpace last year by 14 percent if they continue receiving referrals at the current rate.
US: How Josh Duggar and Dennis Hastert could change the laws on sex crimes
Washington Post – June 08, 2015
Two days after former House speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) indictment became public, a small group of sexual abuse survivors gathered at Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago. The group, made up of members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), was there say thank you to prosecutors for exposing Hastert’s alleged crimes.
US: Marijuana exposure rising among young children
Medical News Today – June 08, 2015
From 2006-2013, the rate of marijuana exposure in the US among children younger than 6 rose by 147.5%, according the results of a new study conducted by researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
US: Mom who uses medical marijuana faces up to 30 years in prison
Washington Post – June 08, 2015
With a wave of legalization measures in recent years, marijuana in some form is now legal in 38 states. But in the 12 where it is not — a swath of the west and Midwest, including Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas, and in the rust belt states of Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania — parents whose use of the drug would be legal elsewhere are losing their children and often seen as irresponsible parenting pariahs. Related: Marijuana legalisation may put children at risk: http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/233598807
US: More than one in four U.S. kids exposed to weapon violence
Thomson Reuters Foundation – June 08, 2015
All told, more than 17.5 million children in the U.S. are witnesses to, or victims of, assaults with weapons — far exceeding the number of kids who have diabetes or cancer. The experiences put them at increased risk for depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders as well as difficulties with school, work and relationships.
US: National Guardsman gets life sentence in case linked to ‘re-homing’
Reuters – June 03, 2015
An Ohio National Guardsman who participated in an underground network used to send unwanted adopted children from family to family was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole for raping and sexually abusing three young girls in his care.
Canada: First Nation children in child welfare system a ‘systemic problem’ (Includes audio)
CBC News – June 08, 2015
A Mi’kmaq health official in Nova Scotia says there’s still a troubling pattern of placing First Nations children in government-supervised care, years after the last residential school shut down.
United Kingdom: Facebook Apologizes For ‘Baby Yoga’ Video But Hopes to Raise Awareness of Child Abuse
Tech Times – June 08, 2015
The video and Facebook’s initial response to the disturbing footage have drawn criticism from the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). For Facebook, the decision to allow the video on its site came as the social networking company sought to strike a balance between raising awareness and leaving the upsetting content uncensored.
AK: New Regulations for Indian Child Welfare Act Promise ‘Clarity’ for Alaska Tribes (Includes audio)
KNOM Radio Mission – June 05, 2015
New regulations are coming for a federal law that seeks to keep Alaska Native and American Indian children in foster care within their family and tribes?and tribal sovereignty experts say it could have major implications for foster care in Alaska.
AZ: Is DCS getting better at protecting kids?
AZCentral – June 05, 2015
The biggest improvement is the new transparency. I hope the days of bunker mentality at DCS are behind us. It’s a sad truth that so much of what we learn happens because of child fatalities.
CA: In Hollywood, foster care students try to finish high school
Associated Press – June 06, 2015
Tucked below the Hollywood sign, on a street where tourists stop to pose for pictures, is Beachwood House, a pale blue two-story home for foster kids without one.
CA: Mendocino County children “at risk,” grand jury finds
Ukiah Daily – June 05, 2015
Describing the agency charged with protecting local children as caring but understaffed, the Mendocino County grand jury declared in a recent report that there is “a disaster waiting to happen” in regard to the Family and Children’s Services Agency.
IN: From homelessness to college (Includes video)
Journal Gazette – June 07, 2015
“We have a generation that is literally raising themselves because many of them have aged out of the foster care system as well. You have a growing culture of young people fending for themselves, by themselves and for themselves,” Coley said.
MA: Berkshire Children & Families launches Family Resource Center in Pittsfield
Berkshire Eagle – June 06, 2015
On Friday, more than 100 representatives of agencies who work with young people, as well as local and state officials, attended an open house program for the new Family Resource Center operated through Berkshire Children & Families.
MA: Creating Community-Based Alternatives to Incarceration: A Win-Win for Parents and Children (Opinion)
Truth Out – June 06, 2015
A bill to create community-based sentencing alternatives for non-violent primary caretakers of dependent children (House Bill #1382) was filed a few months ago in Massachusetts. The mover behind this bill was Andrea James, a formerly incarcerated woman and founder of Families for Justice as Healing. According to James, the goal of the bill is “alleviating the harm to children and primary caretaker parents caused by separation due to incarceration of the parents, while reducing recidivism and strengthening family unity and communities.”
MI: County eyes first performance-based child welfare system
Grand Rapids Business Journal – June 05, 2015
The first-of-its-kind performance-based child welfare system in Michigan will be considered by Kent County commissioners at their meeting this week. The county’s Department of Health and Human Services has partnered with the 17th District Court, Network180 and five private agencies to create the system, aimed at helping families in a “precarious” housing situation where the children may be at risk of removal to foster care by court order.
MN: Catholic Archdiocese in Minnesota Charged Over Sex Abuse by Priest
New York Times – June 05, 2015
Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges on Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen. Also: Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis charged with ‘failing to protect’ clergy abuse victims: http://www.startribune.com/archdiocese-charged-with-failing-to-protect-clergy-abuse-victims/306290431/ Also: Charges brought against Twin Cities archdiocese for failing to protect children: http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/charges-brought-against-twin-cities-archdiocese-failing-protect-children
MS: Online group Anonymous protests DHS in Hancock County (Includes video)
WLOX – June 05, 2015
A group of protesters on Friday aired grievances against the Hancock County Department of Human Services and nationwide Child Protection Services. Friday’s protest was part of the “International Day of Protest,” which was organized in part by the group “Anonymous.”
NJ: Adopt policies that protect children from sexual abuse (Opinion)
NJ.com – June 07, 2015
In recent weeks, we have been reminded yet again that the issue of child sexual abuse continues to hide in the shadows of our society and in our home communities. It’s something we don’t want to admit could ever exist in our own family, neighborhood or community — yet the statistics and stories confirm that it is a serious public health epidemic that affects thousands of children in New Jersey every year.
NY: Group home where NYC teen rape suspects lived is closed amid investigation into attack
Associated Press – June 05, 2015
Child welfare officials say the home will remain closed until the agency that operates the facility, Boys Town, can demonstrate it can safely supervise residents there.
OH: Changes planned for Hamilton County child welfare agency in aftermath of 2-year-old’s death
The Republic – June 05, 2015
Hamilton County’s Job and Family Services will increase training, reduce caseloads and conduct more extensive family assessments, officials said.
TN: Stressed Tennessee Children Dealt Bad Hand with “ACEs” — How to Help
Public News Service – June 08, 2015
The Volunteer State is one of five states recognized in a recently released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the prevalence of what experts call an adverse childhood experience, or ACE.
TX: Families claim Texas Baptist Home failed to protect kids
WFFA 8 – June 07, 2015
Texas Baptist Home for Children says it has a mission to protect abused and neglected children. Tell that to Bryan and Austin Cook of Cleburne. They say they were molested by the same 13-year-old boy in one of the Waxahachie foster homes run by the Baptist agency. They say their cries for help were repeatedly ignored and discounted.
WV: Editorial: More locally based mental health services needed
Herald Dispatch – June 06, 2015
Families often have difficulty getting treatment and services at the community-based mental health centers in their areas, which leads to an inordinate number of children being placed in psychiatric hospitals or other institution away from home.
US: Arguments to ban same-sex marriage run counter to reality (Opinion)
Detroit Free Press – June 06, 2015
Running through many of the legal briefs filed with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage bans is a recurring theme: Same-sex marriage is bad for kids.
US: Duggar sex abuse scandal can be a teachable moment (Julie Mack column)
MLive.com – June 06, 2015
This devastating scenario unfolded in the Duggar family of “19 Kids and Counting” TV fame. As the world now knows, the perpetrator was their oldest son, Josh, and the details were documented in a 2006 police report that became public two weeks ago. Also: What Should the Duggars Have Done?: http://www.thestranger.com/blogs/slog/2015/06/05/22341874/savage-love-letter-of-the-day-what-should-the-duggars-have-done
US: Even where it’s legal for parents to smoke pot: What about the kids?
Reading Eagle – June 06, 2015
The stakes are high for both parents and kids. Even where the drug is legal, parental pot-smoking can be considered as a factor in child neglect cases, just like alcohol. As a result, some parents have been accused of endangering their children and had them taken away by Child Protective Services.
US: & Canada: Canada Just Confronted Its ‘Cultural Genocide’ Of Native People. Why Can’t The U.S. Do The Same? (Opinion)
Huffington Post – June 05, 2015
Throughout Indian Country, there are many experiences like Westerman’s, which Native Americans must patch together to create a vague picture of the nation’s legacy of abuse against Native children and families. It’s a legacy that the United States would prefer to forget. Canada, on the other hand, has acknowledged that it can no longer hide from its past, beginning a process that has put Native people like my grandmother on a path toward healing.
US: & TX: Judge Darlene Byrne Named Judge of the Year by National CASA
Nevada Business – June 05, 2015
Judge Darlene Byrne of the 126th Judicial District Court in Travis County (Austin), Tex. was named Judge of the Year at the 2015 National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Awards of Excellence.
US: 6 Tools to Help Protect Children from Sexual Abuse
Huffington Post – June 05, 2015
In light of the Duggar abuse scandal, protecting children from sexual abuse is on many parents’ minds. Avoiding all risk is unlikely, but there are steps parents can take to minimize their child’s risk of sexual abuse. These tools will also help children get help if victimization occurs.
US: Families Fight Native American Adoption Rules
Courthouse News Service – June 05, 2015
The Indian Child Welfare Act prevents Native Americans from choosing the best adoptive family for their children, parents and adoption agencies claim in Federal Court.
Australia: Child neglect cases across Australia increase; services failing to support at-risk children
ABC Radio Australia – June 05, 2015
Rates of child neglect and emotional abuse are on the rise across Australia but the problem is being largely ignored, child protection groups warn.
Canada: Chief seeks justice for kids
Vernon Morning Star – June 07, 2015
Secwepemc chiefs insist there must be reconciliation and justice for families impacted by the child welfare system and Indian residential schools.
India: Foster care finally comes for children in India
Bangalore Mirror – June 06, 2015
Foster care finally comes for children in India For the first time, the concept of foster care will get to see the light of day in India. The Union ministry of women and child development (WCD) circulated the first-ever guidelines to the state governments following a national consultation on June 3. Children whose one or both parents are in jail or are unable to take care of their wards due to a terminal illness can also be now taken up for foster care, the guidelines, accessed by Mirror, say.
AZ: Ducey demands changes to Child Safety Department
Arizona Sonora News Service – June 05, 2015
At a press conference on Tuesday, Ducey announced that he fired the director of the Arizona Department of Child Safety, Charles Flanagan, and replaced him with Greg McKay, the investigator who uncovered that the agency had left more than 6,500 cases of abuse uninvestigated.
CA: San Rafael foster care agency closes after 30 years
Marin Independent Journal – June 04, 2015
Catholic Charities St. Vincent’s Foster Family Agency is transferring the 18 families and 20 children in its care to Santa Rosa-based Alternative Family Services, said spokesman Todd McCormack.
CT: Stiffer penalties for mandated reporters
Greenwich Time – June 04, 2015
A bill strengthening penalties for those who work with children but fail to report child abuse cleared its final legislative hurdle Wednesday when the state Senate unanimously approved it.
FL: Communities Foundation awards more than $57,000 to 13 non-profits
Times-Union/Jacksonville.com – June 04, 2015
The awards, seven of which were to first-time recipients, were made in a competitive grants cycle that targets specific needs, the foundation said. The process is designed to build financial and organizational capacity to not-for-profit service organizations, the foundation said.
MA: Pizza And Talk Put Girls At Risk At Ease With Police
Cape News – June 04, 2015
From a staff perspective, Ms. Smith said that interactions with police have been positive. Officers, she said, have done a “wonderful job” of persuading residents to return to the program. But most of the young women have acquired negative perceptions of police based on their experiences.
MI: Bill Would Add to Regulations on Homeschooling
Heritage Foundation – June 04, 2015
Legislation has been introduced in the Michigan Legislature that would enact stricter regulations on homeschooling in the state. The legislation follows the deaths of two Detroit children whose mother explained their absence from a traditional school by claiming they were being homeschooled.
MN: Concerns over child protection linger
Winona Post – June 04, 2015
The repeated requests for more child protection staff in recent years have come amid a period of staffing cuts. Since 2010, the County Board has been trying to cut staff and taxes, not add new positions and payroll expenses. Under that policy, the county has reduced its staff significantly and many county departments now function with fewer staff members than they did five years ago.
MN: Mille Lacs Band hosts summit on crisis for Native American children
NNCNOW.com – June 04, 2015
The Mille Lacs Band recently hosted a summit on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) due to a high rates of Native American children born addicted to opiates.
NC: Growing need for foster parents across New Hanover County (Includes video)
WECT – June 04, 2015
There is always a need for foster parents, but New Hanover County’s Department of Social Services is reaching out to the community to try to increase the number of licensed foster families across the area.
NY: Two Lose Jobs at Brooklyn Group Home Where Rape Suspects Lived
New York Times – June 04, 2015
Two workers at a group home for boys in Brooklyn have been fired after an investigation revealed that they were falsifying logbooks intended to keep track of residents, a person familiar with the case said on Thursday. New York City’s child welfare agency closed the home on Wednesday, two days after officials say the three boys attacked a woman they met at an Internet cafe in Lower Manhattan.
PA: Investigation says CYS failed boy who starved to death (Includes video)
WHP CBS21 – June 05, 2015
An eight month investigation into how a boy starved to death revealed major problems with the organization that is supposed to protect children in Dauphin County. Also: Dauphin County Children & Youth Services director: ‘Serious mistakes’ were made: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/06/dauphin_county_children_youth.html Also: DA to release grand jury probe of how child welfare agency handled Jarrod Tutko Jr. case: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2015/06/da_to_release_grand_jury_probe.html
PA: Jump in “kinship” foster care placements is good news, say experts
WITF – June 04, 2015
Last year, 24 percent more children were placed in kinship foster care homes compared to 2012.
RI: Lawmakers Hear Progress Report From Embattled Child Welfare Agency
Rhode Island Public Radio – June 04, 2015
Department of Children, Youth, and Families officials told a joint senate committee Wednesday they’re making progress addressing 20 recommendations lawmakers issued in January. Jamia McDonald was appointed to oversee those changes. Among a long list of initiatives underway at the child welfare agency, McDonald told committee members DCYF is working on improving the way new cases are handled and on moving more children out of group homes.
WV: Center investigates child abuse cases in southern West Virginia (Includes video)
WVVA – June 04, 2015
Child Protect of Mercer County operates its child advocacy center in Princeton. From the street, it looks like an average home, and that’s one of the ways the group is making child abuse victims more comfortable when sharing their story.
CA: Authorities Investigate Child Abuse Claims At Police-Run Boot Camp (Includes video)
FOX 11 Los Angeles – June 03, 2015
Authorities are investigating claims that seven children from Southern California suffered physical abuse while attending a police-run boot camp on the Central Coast.
CA: State Senate approves faster reporting of possible child abuse or neglect
Orange County Breeze – June 03, 2015
Legislation authored by Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-San Dimas) that will lead to faster reports of possible child abuse and neglect cases received unanimous support during a recent Senate Floor vote and will now move to the State Assembly.
CA: State Senate passes sweeping reforms to curb psych medications in foster care
Santa Cruz Sentinel – June 03, 2015
In a major step toward curtailing the excessive use of psychiatric drugs on foster children, the California Senate on Thursday approved a package of bills that is already being eyed as a model in Washington, D.C., and across the country. Information Gateway Resource: Use of Psychotropic Medications: Research and Reports: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/mentalhealth/effectiveness/psychotropic/reports/
CA: Urgent need for foster parents
Ukiah Daily Journal – June 03, 2015
As required by law and monitored by the Juvenile Dependency Court, Family and Children’s Services makes every effort to locate a home that is able to keep the children in their same school and with their siblings and that is culturally matched to the children.
HI: Mother of murdered 5-year-old pushes for notification law
KHON – June 03, 2015
The Talia Law, or the Talia Williams Child Abuse Notification Act, would require that the military immediately report any child abuse or suspicion of child abuse to state child protective services. Also: HI Congressional Delegation interested in Talia’s Law (Video): http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/29233988/hi-congressional-delegation-interested-in-talias-law
IL: Local Mom of 6 Advocates for Better International Adoption Process (Includes video)
Nexstar Broadcasting – June 03, 2015
Illinois is one of a few states with requirements specifically for international adoptions. Now, state lawmakers are trying to remove unnecessary hurdles from the process.
MO: St. Charles County foster care mom gets suspended sentence for serious injuries to infant in her care
St. Louis Post-Dispatch – June 03, 2015
A former St. Charles County foster mom got a suspended 14-year prison sentence Wednesday in a case where an infant in her care nearly died.
MO: Taking a closer look at foster care (Includes video)
KSPR – June 03, 2015
Kids and teens in foster care are in the news, after a missing teen from Kansas City who was in foster care, ended up dead in a drive by shooting.
NC: Child Abuse Prevention Services announces new director
Citizen-Times – June 04, 2015
Geoff Sidoli will serve as the new executive director of Child Abuse Prevention Services. The licensed social worker will start at the nonprofit focused on abuse prevention, counseling and personal safety education July 1.
NC: House panel OKs foster care bill
Winston-Salem Journal – June 03, 2015
The House Health committee voted unanimously to recommend Senate Bill 423, titled “Foster Care Family Act.”
NE: World-Herald editorial: Child welfare on the mend
We Vote Nebraska – May 27, 2015
Provide stipends for undergraduate and graduate social work students who are committed to working in the field of child welfare services. Also: Full text of Act: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/104/PDF/Final/LB199.pdf
NY: & Morocco: American Agency to Organize 5th Annual Meeting on Adopted Children in Morocco
Morocco World News – June 03, 2015
The first Muslim adoption agency in the United States will hold its fifth annual reunion and gathering for parents who have adopted children from Morocco for the first time this year after it began operating formally as New Star Kafala.
OH: Ex-foster child: Reunion with parents misguided
TheNewsOutlet.org – June 04, 2015
There is a difference between being raised by parents and being raised by a government agency.
OH: Many foster kids find themselves homeless at 18
TheNewsOutlet.org – June 04, 2015
When Tasha Jones turned 18, she didn’t get a birthday party. She got her emancipation papers and a slap of reality.
RI: Testimony focuses on obstacles facing DCYF workers
Providence Journal – June 04, 2015
Frontline workers at the Department of Children, Youth and Families continue to be hampered by dated technology that reduces their productivity and engagement with needy youth, the agency’s acting director told members of a Senate panel on Wednesday.
WI: Social Services launches new approach
Action Reporter Media – June 03, 2015
Alternative Response, launched June 1, is an initiative directed at providing immediate resources to families involved in cases of child neglect and mistreatment.
US: Don’t Misunderstand Lexie Gruber’s Foster Care Experience (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 03, 2015
As a former foster care social worker in the District of Columbia, I was very affected by Lexie’s testimony. But I have concerns that it could be used to justify major new restrictions on group homes.
US: Strengthening Child Welfare Systems by Resisting LGBT Discrimination
Center For American Progress – June 03, 2015
Laws allowing adoption agencies that receive federal or state funding to discriminate based on religious beliefs use religion as a political weapon at the expense of children and youth who need permanent, loving homes. This group includes very young children, as well as youth who are older than 18 but still in the foster care system. These religious exemption bills come at a time when the number of children and youth in foster care is increasing for the first time in nearly a decade. As of 2013, there were more than 400,000 children and youth in foster care.
Argentina: Second Argentine Judge Resigns Over Disputed Child Abuse Ruling
NDTV – June 04, 2015
A second Argentine judge resigned Wednesday for co-authoring a ruling that reduced a child abuser’s sentence on grounds the victim was a homosexual who had already been abused by his father.
Child Welfare in the News
CA: Overmedicating Children in Foster Care
Los Angeles Sentinel – May 28, 2015
On any given day, nearly one in four children in foster care is taking at least one psychotropic medication — more than four times the rate for all children.
CO: Hickenlooper gives strong defense of CDHS chief
Colorado Statesman – May 28, 2015
Gov. John Hickenlooper this week lauded Colorado Department of Human Services Director Reggie Bicha and his staff as being “among the best in the United States” after an overwhelming majority of lawmakers recently blasted Bicha’s job performance.
CO: Guest Commentary: Retool administration of Colorado’s social programs
Burlington Record – May 25, 2015
A letter signed by more than 80 lawmakers and sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper earlier this month calling for leadership change in the department at first glance appears understandable given the performance issues of programs housed in CDHS.
FL: Child Welfare Professionals Day
Miami Times – May 27, 2015
There was no shortage of local officials when Congresswoman Frederica Wilson convened a meeting in the courtyard of the Judge Seymour Gelber and Judge William E. Gladstone Miami-Dade Children’s Courthouse. The day marked the hard fought battle to bring to fruition the recognition of child welfare professionals. Information Gateway resource: Evidence-Based Practice Considerations for Child Welfare Professionals: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/practice-improvement/evidence/considerations/
MA: CHD: Foster care program delivers love, support to prepare children for adulthood
Mass Live – May 28, 2015
The Springfield-based CHD provides a foster care program to connect prospective foster parents with children in need.
MT: Report: Montana among US leaders in finding families for kids in need (Includes video)
MTN News – May 27, 2015
Montana is among the best states in the nation at finding finding families for kids who have had to be removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect, according to a new study. A report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says Montana places 90% of such children in family settings – such as foster families or actual kin – compared to a national average of 84%.
NC: DSS partners in homeless coalition
Times-News – May 28, 2015
The Homeless Coalition, formally organized in March 2012, grew out of the efforts of Christine Craft, who was a homeless student case manager in the school system at the time. She was concerned about the number of children who had no fixed residence.
TX: Access to records for adults who were adopted scuttled in the Senate
Austin Statesman – May 28, 2015
A widely supported effort to give adults who were adopted access to their birth records — and the potential to find birth parents or their genetic health risks — was upended in the Texas Senate Wednesday.
VA: Appalling failure in children’s services (Opinion)
Virginian-Pilot – May 29, 2015
When they finally were discovered, staffers didn’t follow up on any of the messages left by people calling a number reserved for reports of child abuse and neglect.
US: & CA: Bass teams up with former foster youth for 4th Annual ‘Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day’
Los Angeles Sentinel – May 28, 2015
Los Angeles’ Briana Smith went to Capitol Hill to spend the day with Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif) for the 4th Annual “Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Day.” On May 20, Ms. Smith joined more than 60 other foster youth alumni from across the country who traveled to Washington to shadow members of Congress to get a behind-the-scenes look at the House of Representatives and to share their experiences in the child welfare system as a way to influence policy around foster care.
US: A Digital Solution to the Overprescription of Medications for Foster Children
Huffington Post – May 28, 2015
While sometimes appropriate, these high rates suggest widespread overprescribing. Fortunately, a number of technology-enabled information-sharing initiatives may soon address the gaps in information and lapses in oversight that contribute to this problem.
US: Children in Child Welfare System Need Permanent Families
Education News – May 28, 2015
Rob Geen, director of policy reform and advocacy at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charity “devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes,” has asked an important question: “If you suddenly couldn’t care for your children, what would you want for them?”
Canada: Opinion — ‘Bold’ approach offers hope for child welfare
CBC News – May 28, 2015
According to the Assembly of First Nations, the number of indigenous children in care across Canada is equal to or even greater than the number of children who were taken during the height of the residential schools.
International: The cost of abuse
World – May 29, 2015
Since 2004, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reported the annual costs related to child abuse settlements, therapy for victims and offenders, attorneys’ fees, and child protection.
Morocco: Sharia Rejection of Adoption Condemns Many Orphans to Institutions (Includes video)
VDare.com – May 28, 2015
An interesting item from PBS Newshour described the sharia version of adoption, if it can be called that. When a western couple adopts, the commitment is total just as if the child were the natural offspring. But what’s called adoption in Islam — “kafala” — actually resembles a foster family arrangement. The child retains the biological family name and is never seen as a full part of the new family.
Uganda: Fraud and deceit at the heart of Uganda adoptions to United States
Reuters – May 28, 2015
Ugandan families have been bribed, tricked or coerced into giving up their children to U.S. citizens and other foreigners for adoption, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation has found. Also: Top countries for U.S. adoptive parents: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-3101403/Top-countries-U-S-adoptive-parents.html
AZ: State leaders say Arizona Department of Child Safety not improving
KPHO/KTVK – May 27, 2015
A year after the new agency was established, people tied into the state’s child welfare system say things are not getting better, and in fact, they are actually worse.
CO: Former Denver Human Services worker sentenced for misconduct
Associated Press – May 27, 2015
A former Denver Human Services caseworker accused of falsifying reports in the case of a 2-month-old girl who was hospitalized with skull fractures and later died has pleaded guilty.
CO: Gov. Hickenlooper Honored For Foster Care Leadership (Includes video)
KCNC-TV – May 26, 2015
Hickenlooper was honored to help raise awareness about foster care and the important role it plays in the community. May is National Foster Care month.
GA: DFCS worker hired despite criminal past (Video)
11 Alive – May 27, 2015
DFCS is under the microscope again for hiring a child protection investigator with a troubled past.
GA: Walker Co. DFCS Director Removed; Other Changes To Child Welfare Reform (Includes video)
WTVC – May 27, 2015
A Walker County child services director has been removed from the job after complaints from employees and the community, according to Georgia Division of Family and Children Services officials.
IL: Helping Kids In Foster Care Track Their History (Includes audio)
WUIS 91.9 – May 27, 2015
Lifebooks are a place to collect bits of history like that, but there’s another purpose: The books are designed to give kids a way to talk about the trauma they’ve been through. Like, at the top of one page is this prompt: “Why I don’t live with my birth parents anymore.”
IN: DCS seeks Greater Lafayette foster parents
Lafayette Journal & Courier – May 27, 2015
As drug use among parents increases, more and more children are in need of foster care, said James Wide, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Child Services.
MD: Free range parent suing the state of Maryland
WSJV – May 27, 2015
Danielle Meitiv is now preparing to sue the state of Maryland saying, “People need to be held accountable… our constitutional rights as parents and as a family were violated numerous times, our children were illegally detained and frankly terrified, and that’s not okay.”
NC: State Senate Bill Proposes Expansion Of Foster Care
Rhino Times – May 28, 2015
Barringer’s bill would increase foster care participation to age 19 and require that those wishing to be qualified for the additional year of benefits be either enrolled in school or working at least 80 hours per month. The bill does not change the rate of payment.
OH: Foster care emancipation bill gathering momentum
Dayton Daily News – May 27, 2015
The latest version of a legislative solution to turning teens in foster care out on their own too soon is headed for an Ohio House vote soon, after receiving overwhelming support in two committees. Information Gateway Resource: Legal Issues for Youth in Foster Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/casework/legal/teens/
TX: Court Order Sought to Free Birth Certificates (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 28, 2015
A civil rights case has been filed against the Texas Department of State Health Services and key officials for denying parents without proof of legal immigration status birth certificates for their U.S.-citizen children.
TX: State briefs: House OKs family department bill without gay adoption limits
Courier of Montgomery County – May 27, 2015
The Texas House has passed a bill reorganizing a state family agency–without divisive rules allowing private child welfare agencies to block gays and same-sex couples from adopting children on religious grounds. Also: Analysis: Votes Count, but the Rules Can Count More: http://www.texastribune.org/2015/05/27/analysis-votes-count-so-do-rules/?utm_source=texastribune.org&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=Tribune%20Feed:%20Main%20Feed
VT: Legislative Wrap: Child protection reforms topped criminal justice agenda
VTDigger – May 25, 2015
Lawmakers put the safety of children first in legislation that emerged from the six-month study committee. The intent language of the bill requires that the department focus “on the best interests of the child,” and emphasizes that children must be placed in a safe, nurturing environment with their parents, or other caregivers. The bill also requires the state to provide adequate training for DCF employees and funding for proper management of the burgeoning caseload of children in the state’s care.
WI: Camp invests in lives of foster children
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune – May 27, 2015
RFKC is a one-week resident summer camp designed for the foster child and other at-risk children in Portage, Wood, Waupaca and Marathon counties. Information Gateway Resource: Respite Care Programs: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/programs/respite/
US: Senate Finance Hearing: Too Down on Group, Too Rosy on Foster Parents (Opinion)
The Chronicle of Social Change – May 27, 2015
I am not advocating for group homes as a replacement for inadequate foster homes. But some young people need residential care as a short-term intervention. And for foster youth who can be placed with a family, we need to find loving, caring foster parents who can meet their therapeutic needs. This may require increasing compensation and training for foster parents dealing with older and more troubled youth.
Canada: Child protection group warns against ‘sextortion’ scheme
CBC News – May 27, 2015
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection urged parents to be forthright with their children by urging them to come forward with their concerns and never complying with threats.
Canada: Manitoba legislature committee told child welfare crisis-line getting busier
The Canadian Press – May 27, 2015
In 2011-2012, TigerTel spent an average of 152 minutes per month taking calls when ANCR had no one to answer the phone. Usage has steadily climbed since then to 1,162 minutes per month in 2014-2015.
Nepal: Government bans child adoption
E Kantipur – May 27, 2015
In order to curb child trafficking in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MoWCSW) has banned child adoption. The ban implies to both international and local child adoption.
MN: Law brings new transparency for child protection records
Minneapolis Star Tribune – May 26, 2015
Following Brandon Stahl’s reporting on failures of child protection, the Legislature enacted sweeping reforms that include greater public access to case histories when children are killed or suffer life-threatening injuries as the result of abuse or neglect. Previously, those records were only available if the person responsible was charged with a criminal offense.
MO: Longtime Children’s Place president and CEO David Matson steps down in August
Kansas City Star – May 26, 2015
Later this year, Matson will step down as CEO of The Children’s Place, located along the Trolley Track Trail in Brookside. After six years on the board of directors and seven more as top man, Matson is credited with turning the agency around. Along the way, Matson and his wife, Sue, provided foster care in their Leawood home to some 30 kids whose family circumstances were so unsettled they needed a temporary home.
NE: World-Herald editorial: Child welfare on the mend
Omaha World-Herald – May 27, 2015
NFC is the only remaining nonprofit group managing Nebraska child welfare cases in the wake of the mishandled, underfunded privatization effort begun in 2009. It’s good to see NFC’s contract renewed. The nonprofit group, respected by local judges and stakeholders, has achieved significant progress in recent years.
NY: Group that put face on adoption gets significant gift
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – May 26, 2015
Some of the money from the $600,000 gift will go toward CAP’s efforts to prepare foster children for adoption, says Reaves, a Rochester native and a former commissioner of Rochester’s Department of Recreation and Youth Services.
TX: Faith Anxiety and Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples (Opinion)
Texas Monthly – May 26, 2015
Although public support for adoptions by same-sex couples has increased at a faster pace than support for same-sex marriage, anxiety among social conservatives and faith-based adoption agencies also has risen, especially while the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether gay marriage is a constitutional right. Faith-based adoption agencies in other states have shut down rather than place children with same-sex couples.
TX: McKinney lawmaker abandons bid to protect faith-based groups
Dallas Morning News – May 26, 2015
Sanford’s bill would bar the department or any other state entity from taking an “adverse action” against a religiously affiliated child-placing agency that refuses to, for example, place youngsters with gay foster or adoptive parents or allow teenage girls in state care to obtain birth control and abortion-inducing pills. Also: Texas House abandons measure protecting child welfare agencies that bar gays from adopting: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/062418dee48d4255a010f8f517ad2db2/TX–Gay-Adoptions-Texas
TX: State Senate approves bill boosting foster care training
Associated Press – May 26, 2015
The Senate has approved mandating 35 hours of training for potential foster care parents, more than double what some are now required to have.
VA: Governor McAuliffe Signs Child Care Safety Bill
NBC 29 News – May 26, 2015
The bill requires fingerprint-based background checks for some child care providers and reduces the licensing threshold for child care home providers from 6 unrelated children to 5 unrelated children.
WY: Foundation critical of State’s approach to foster children
Associated Press – May 26, 2015
The report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation says 27 percent of kids in state custody end up in group homes of institutions as opposed to foster parents. The national average is 14 percent.
US: Elusive and Unsettling: Child and Youth Homelessness in America (Opinion)
Huffington Post – May 26, 2015
Although the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has included underage youth in its annual Point-In-Time study in the last two years, the number counted remains inaccurately low, pointing to trends in the population that will require new and innovative engagement techniques. It is clear that children and youth simply do not come forth for services, tend to stay “doubled up,” and often choose to hide in plain sight, trying hard to blend with other young people in order to avoid being identified.
US: Equality in Marriage May Not Bring Equality in Adoption
The Atlantic – May 26, 2015
Yet, the adoption landscape in the United States is so fractured that a win for same-sex marriage might not translate to an immediate win for same-sex adoption. Legal experts say it will take time for certain states to adjust to a federal ruling that would require them to recognize gay marriages?and thus, gay adoptions?including those performed out-of-state.
US: Adoptees decry re-homing as states move to end practice
Washington Times – May 25, 2015
Adam Crapser, a Korean-American adoptee who also was re-homed — in his case, dropped off at a state agency — faces deportation because none of his parents completed his U.S. naturalization papers. Re-homing is “devastating in so many ways,” Mr. Crapser told The Washington Times in an email. “I know I am one of many, and I’m 40 years old now. My life is only to provide a future and life for my children and wife.”
Australia: ‘Systemic deficiencies’: Auditor-General slams DHHS child protection failures
The Age – May 27, 2015
Auditor-General John Doyle found that DHHS’s early-intervention system was characterised by “systemic deficiencies” and a lack of oversight, and said the department’s capacity to respond to the emerging crisis was hampered by its failure to keep or analyse proper records from the agencies it relies on to deliver early-intervention services to children and families.
NEPAL: Ban on children traveling alone as activists warn of human trafficking
Turkmenistan News.net – May 26, 2015
Battered by a series of deadly earthquakes since last month, the Nepal government on Tuesday said that children travelling need to be accompanied by their parents or legal guardian to prevent trafficking of homeless kids in the country.
AR: Founder of faith-healing clinic that ‘treated’ Josh Duggar resigned over accusations he sexually harassed 30 teens and young women
Daily Mail – May 22, 2015
The facility, in Little Rock, Arkansas, which offers faith-based healing has been criticized by some who have attended their programs and also come under fire after a scandal involving founder Bill Gothard. Gothard was accused in 2014 of sexually harassing women who worked at his ministry, including teenagers, and not reporting cases of child abuse.
CA: Chumash Administrator Veronica Sandoval Named to County’s Child Welfare Safety Net Task Force (Press release)
Noozhawk.ocm – May 25, 2015
Veronica Sandoval, the administrator for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and a tribal descendant, has been appointed to Santa Barbara County’s Child Welfare Safety Net Task Force.
CO: County human services to get funds for new hires
Daily Sentinel – May 25, 2015
The Colorado Department of Human Services will allocate four additional case management positions to Mesa County in the fiscal year that begins July 1 — one more position than the county originally hoped to gain. A Child Welfare Workload Study released last August recommended the addition of 574 case managers total in counties across the state.
CO: Colorado human services director Reggie Bicha pledges better communication (Includes video)
Denver Post – May 24, 2015
Colorado human services director Reggie Bicha, in his first interview since more than 80 state lawmakers delivered the governor a letter of no-confidence, said he will “repair relationships” that have “clearly broken down.”
FL: Child Welfare Reform Bill Signed Into Law
Bradenton Times – May 26, 2015
On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott signed 44 pieces of legislation that include efforts to have greater protections of children. The changes include stronger investigations of child deaths and stronger background checks for employees of organizations that work closely with children.
HI: Family Programs Hawaii celebrates decade of service
Hawaii Tribune-Herald – May 23, 2015
The nonprofit organization, together with the Department of Human Services and other community providers, have reduced the number of children entering the foster care system by 58 percent in two years.
IA: Program provides beds for children
Des Moines Register – May 24, 2015
“We heard from our partner agencies that there was a huge need for low-income families for beds for their kids,” said Randy Kuhlman, United Way chief executive officer. “Our No. 1 priority when we heard that, because our focus is so much on youth, was addressing that whole issue with kids sleeping on floors.”
MD: ‘Free-range’ mom: ‘The proof is in the kids’ (Video)
Washington Post – May 25, 2015
Parents Danielle and Alexander Meitiv discuss the conflicts they’ve faced with Montgomery County Child Protective Services (CPS) over their decision to raise their children according to the so-called “free-range” parenting movement.
MI: Faith-based adoption rules hurt kids (Opinion)
Detroit Free Press – May 26, 2015
Rather than focusing on the needs of foster youth, these harmful adoption restrictions put the preferences of service providers above the best interests of our most vulnerable kids.
MI: Foster Month: Michigan to Limit Options for Kids in Need of a Home? (Includes audio)
Public News Service – May 26, 2015
A controversial package of bills (HB 4188, HB4189, HB 4190) could make it more difficult to connect these children with a family. The measures would allow state-funded adoption agencies to deny placement based on “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
NC: Senate panel looking at foster care
Winston-Salem Journal – May 23, 2015
The bills would allow someone who turns 18 to continue to receive foster-care services until age 19. It also allows someone who opted out of services at age 18 to opt back in to age 19. Also: Bills address foster care (Opinion): http://www.journalpatriot.com/opinion/bills-address-foster-care/article_77dfeae0-02fd-11e5-a6d7-fb7b9097ddee.html
NJ: Black Mothers Judged Unfit at Higher Rate than White Mothers in NJ (Includes audio)
WNYC – May 26, 2015
Jameelah lost custody of her newborn son in the delivery room after she tested positive for marijuana. The baby was returned four days later after the state determined he wasn’t in imminent risk of harm ? that?s the standard the state is supposed to prove in order to place a child in foster care.
NY: State grant focuses on child abuse prevention, treatment
Rome Sentinel – May 23, 2015
The Madison County Department of Social Services and Family Counseling Services have received an $80,374 grant from the state Office of Children and Family Services to focus on child abuse prevention and treatment. The two-year projects allows a behavioral health technician to work alongside caseworkers to identify and support the behavioral needs of both adults and children involved in child protective services.
SC: Hospitals seeing more babies born into drug dependency
Spartanburg Herald-Journal – May 23, 2015
It’s called neonatal abstinence syndrome, which occurs when infants are exposed to drugs in utero. It threatens the lives of these small infants, puts additional stress on medical staff and financially affects the community. It’s also preventable.
SD: Judge at center of ICWA lawsuit in South Dakota stripped of title
Indianz – May 25, 2015
A South Dakota judge who is at the center of a landmark Indian Child Welfare Act lawsuit has been demoted. Judge Jeff Davis was stripped of his title as presiding judge of the 7th Circuit last week. But he insists the move had nothing to do with the ICWA case, telling The Rapid City Journal that he was demoted as the result of a dispute with South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson, who issued the order.
TN: Foster care effort sets Tennessee apart, researchers say
The Tennessean – May 12, 2015
A Tennessee foster care program has done something never before documented by researchers: made life better, at least a little bit, for a group of foster children who turned 18 and left state care. Add Information Gateway Resource: Resources for Youth in Transition: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/resources/
TX: Madeline McClure: Texas can reduce need for foster care (Opinion)
El Paso Times – May 26, 2015
May is National Foster Care Month. May is also National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. The pairing of these May campaigns is presumably unintended, but nevertheless both have much in common. So much, in fact, that think they ought to be merged. I envision a single National Foster Care Prevention Month.
TX: House to weigh protecting adoption agencies that don’t give kids to gay couples
Houston Chronicle – May 25, 2015
The Texas State House is scheduled to consider legislation Tuesday that would protect faith-based welfare agencies that do not allow same-sex couples to adopt children or let foster parents give their children contraception. Also: Amendment: Gays could be denied as foster or adoptive parents: http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/05/amendment-gays-could-be-denied-as-foster-or-adoptive-parentss.html/
UT: By Putting Housing First, Utah Reduces Homeless Population by 91% (Includes video)
Good News Network – May 21, 2015
The turnaround in Utah means that only 178 people remain chronically homeless in the state — so few that Utah?s housing officials know them all by name.
WA: Foster father who raped child had criminal record; DSHS to pay $1.75M
Seattle Times – May 22, 2015
The state Department of Social and Health Services has agreed to pay $1.75 million into a trust set up for a boy who was molested by his foster father between 2007 and 2008.
WV: Editorial: Less reliance on group homes for children a step forward
Herald Dispatch – May 25, 2015
Earlier this year, West Virginia adopted a juvenile justice reform strategy aimed at trying to reduce the number of youth who run afoul of the law and provide better help for those who do.
US: Lutheran Services in America Selected by The Annie E. Casey Foundation to Participate in Provider Exchange (Press release)
PR.com – May 26, 2015
Lutheran Services in America (LSA) announced it has been invited by The Annie E. Casey Foundation to participate in the Provider Exchange®, a network of child welfare providers that commit their work to improve the lives of children and families. The LSA cohort of providers will create evidence-based practices and outcomes-guided programs to improve the well-being and lives of at-risk youth and families across the United States.
US: Child Watch: Overmedicating Children in Foster Care (Opinion)
Black Press USA – May 25, 2015
On any given day, nearly one in four children in foster care is taking at least one psychotropic medication — more than four times the rate for all children.
US: Congress to Consider Scaling Down Group Homes for Troubled Children
MSNBC – May 25, 2015
Grüber was one of roughly 57,000 children who live in group homes for foster youth across the country. Many child advocates believe that’s far too many. The Senate Finance Committee, which authorizes roughly $12 billion a year for child welfare programs, held this week’s hearing to examine alternatives.
US: Matthew Scraper: ICWA opponents wrong to cite blood quantum (Opinion)
Indianz – May 25, 2015
Matthew Scraper, a member of the Cherokee Nation, questions opposition to a new Indian Child Welfare Act regulation proposed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
US: Study: High altitude may boost babies’ risks for SIDS deaths
Associated Press – May 24, 2015
The causes are unknown but certain conditions linked with reduced oxygen levels seem to increase risks, including brain-stem abnormalities, mothers smoking during and after pregnancy, respiratory infections and stomach sleeping.
US: Trafficking in Native Communities
Indian Country Today Media Network – May 24, 2015
Although attention to human trafficking has grown in the last few years, trafficking is not a modern crime. Trafficking has existed in Native communities for centuries, since the earliest point of contact with Europeans.
AZ: Arizona foster care system critically short on families
Arizona Republic – May 22, 2015
There is a crisis in Arizona and the Department of Child Safety doesn’t have a place to put the children. There are more than 17,000 kids in foster care. The foster care system is critically short of families to provide shelter for kids who were removed from unsafe homes.
AZ: Judge tosses child-welfare workers’ lawsuit
Arizona Republic – May 21, 2015
The workers were part of a specialized team formed to help the agency deal with a mounting backlog of work. They reviewed case files and deemed that more than 6,000 of them did not merit a full-blown investigation, designating the files “NI” for “not investigated.”
CA: California lawmakers block effort to make child death records secret
Los Angeles Times – May 22, 2015
A state Senate budget committee on Thursday blocked an effort to gut key provisions of a groundbreaking 2008 law that requires child protection services to release case records after a child dies from abuse or neglect. Also: Advocates Worry Bill Could Make It Harder To Find Out Cause Of Foster Children Deaths: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2015/05/21/advocates-worry-bill-could-make-it-harder-to-find-out-cause-of-foster-children-deaths/ Information Gateway Resource: Child Death Review Teams: State and Local Examples: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/fatalities/review-teams/examples/
CA: Raley’s Partners With iFoster To Launch Foster Youth Hiring Program
Shelby Report – May 21, 2015
iFoster has partnered with Raley’s Family of Fine Stores to develop a new hiring program for foster youth. To date, the organizations have placed seven youths in Raley’s stores in the Sacramento region, with a goal of expanding the program to other stores.
CO: Your Healthy Family: Yoga helping foster parents relieve stress (Includes video)
KOAA – May 21, 2015
Foster parents in Colorado Springs are finding yoga helps them deal with added stress that comes from raising children who’ve been exposed to trauma. Information Gateway Resource: Resources for Foster Parents and Caregivers: https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/resources/parents/
FL: Giving up time: Volunteers give back to their community
WFLA – May 22, 2015
“Without a Guardian Ad Litem I don’t think you could make it through the Department of Children and Family system you need that person who is a voice for you who can vouch for you and put your thoughts into better words,” said Reshayla Nelson, who was formerly in the DCF system.
FL: Gov. Rick Scott okays 44 new laws including changes to child welfare, juvenile sentencing
Tampa Bay Times – May 21, 2015
Lawmakers made a series of tweaks to child-welfare laws, including requiring stricter background checks for employees of organizations like Boys and Girls Club. Teams that respond to and investigate child deaths will also be made stronger, said Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.
GA: Georgia needs more foster parents (Includes video)
WALB – May 21, 2015
17% of the more than 75,000 children in the foster system end up in group homes or institutions.
IN: Child abuse, neglect deaths go up
Journal Gazette – May 22, 2015
Forty-nine Hoosier children died from neglect or abuse during fiscal year 2013–including a significant number of drownings. The number of deaths rose 44 percent, up from 34 the year before. Of the 49 deaths, 14 were the result of abuse and 35 were from neglect.
KS: Kansas House Balks At Setting Up Alternative To Foster Care
Associated Press – May 22, 2015
Kansas House members are uneasy about a proposal to allow parents to temporarily give up custody of their children to others as an alternative to putting the youngsters into foster homes overseen by the state.
KS: Kansas House balks at setting up alternative to foster care
Associated Press – May 21, 2015
Kansas House members are uneasy about a proposal to allow parents to temporarily give up custody of their children to others as an alternative to putting the youngsters into foster homes overseen by the state.
ND: Child Abuse and Neglect on the Rise
KFYR-TV – May 21, 2015
More than 12,000 incidents of child abuse and neglect were reported to the Department of Human Services in 2014.
OH: CWRU researchers look at sibling relationships and maternal warmth to help abused children
Hudson Hub Times – May 21, 2015
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have begun studying 1,700 children from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) database to understand how mothers and siblings can protect abused children who have witnessed family violence.
PA: Bucks County lawmaker introduces bill that would exempt emergency responders from background clearance fees
Bucks Local News – May 21, 2015
Flanked by first responders from the Newportville and William Penn fire companies, State Rep. Tina Davis (D-Bristol Township) on Thursday introduced legislation that would exempt first responders from state and federal background clearance fees totaling more than $47.
SC: Live 5 News Investigates: Foster parent home inspection process under fire (Includes video)
WCSC – May 22, 2015
A new report is critical of South Carolina for placing too many foster children in group homes. But a young couple in Summerville willing to become foster parents says it is nearly impossible to become a licensed foster parent in this state.
US: Many Children Placed in Group Homes Unnecessarily, Report Finds
Philanthropy News Digest – May 22, 2015
Although the rate of group placement ranges from as low as 4 percent in Oregon to as high as 35 percent in Colorado, the report calls for changes in policy and practice to limit the use of such placements to situations in which caseworkers cannot find an appropriate family quickly. Report: http://www.aecf.org/resources/every-kid-needs-a-family/
US: Protecting Foster Youth Must Be a Priority All Year Long (Commentary by TN US Rep. Diane Black)
Roll Call – May 22, 2015
This May marks National Foster Care Month and is an important opportunity to open a dialogue about the need to reform our foster care system and protect the more than 400,000 children in its care.
US: War of Words: ICWA Hearings Reignite Ancient Clash Over Indian Children, Part 1
Indian Country Today Media Network – May 21, 2015
T hroughout the day, one after the other, witnesses on both sides had pulled back and forth in a tug-of-war regarding perhaps the most seminal issue confronting American Indian tribes in the 21st century: The right to raise their own children in their home communities.
US: Children’s Bureau Invests in a More Efficient System for Foster Care Placement (Includes audio)
Administration for Children and Families – May 21, 2015
This week, the Children’s Bureau announced our investment in a new web-based tool to help states place foster care children with families quickly and with more efficiency.
US: Sharing Data Key to Improving Foster Care Outcomes
Government Technology News – May 21, 2015
States that share data among child welfare and education agencies have a better chance of lessening some of the barriers foster care students face and improving student success, according to a report by the Data Quality Campaign and the Legal Center for Foster Care and Education. Report: http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/files/DQC%20Foster%20Care%20Mar24.pdf
Committee on Rights of the Child reviews the report on Honduras
United Nations Office at Geneva – May 21, 2015
The Committee on the Rights of the Child today concluded its consideration of the combined fourth and fifth periodic report of Honduras on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and its two initial reports under the Optional Protocols on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the involvement of children in armed conflict.
Canada: Deadline Approaching To Get Kids Out Of Hotels
CJOB – May 22, 2015
Manitoba’s family services minister tearfully promised to put an end to the practice of placing foster kids in hotels after a girl was seriously assaulted downtown in March. Irvin-Ross says the province has told Child and Family Services agencies to avoid putting children in hotels at all costs by June 1st. Also: Child welfare agencies must stop putting kids in hotels: minister: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/child-welfare-agencies-must-stop-putting-kids-in-hotels-minister-1.3082665?cmp=rss
China: A “Monopoly” on Children: China’s Arduous Adoption Process
Harvard Political Review – May 22, 2015
Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs shows a steady decline in adoption rates, from a peak of almost eight thousand adoptions from China in 2005 to just over two thousand in 2013. Meanwhile, some estimate the number of Chinese orphans to be almost one million as of 2014.
Gambia: CPA Trains Community Monitors of Child Sex Tourism
African News Wire – May 21, 2015
Child Protection Alliance (CPA), a child rights NGO, recently organised a daylong workshop for ‘Neighbourhood watch groups’, community-based oganisations set up to monitor child sex tourism in the tourism areas.
Ghana: Cabinet approves ratification of Convention on Protection of Children
Modern Ghana – May 22, 2015
Ghana’s Cabinet has also approved the ratification of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption and amendments to the Children’s Act in respect of adoptions.
Solomons: Solomons Urged To Continue Fight Against Family Violence
Pacific Islands Report – May 21, 2015
The visiting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG), Marta Santos Pais along with the Solomon Islands Government are pushing to fight against violence against children. The visit into the country supplemented this effort, urging the government on a five year programme on eliminating violence against children.
South Africa: Child Protection Week launched in CT
Eyewitness News – May 22, 2015
Western Cape Social Development MEC Albert Fritz has launched the start of Child Protection Week in the province today.
South Korea: Once among the biggest sources of infants for international adoption, South Korea is stemming the flow. But at a cost
The Economist – May 23, 2015
South Korea has sent overseas around 200,000 of its orphaned or abandoned children, three-quarters of them to America…however, now wants to show that it can look after all of its children.
United Kingdom: More babies with ‘special guardianship orders’ as adoptions fall
BBC News – May 22, 2015
The measure sees a child placed with extended family, friends or foster parents until they reach 18 instead of being adopted or fostered.
United Kingdom: British probe into child sex abuse reveals 1400 suspects (Includes video)
EuroNews – May 21, 2015
‘Operation Hydrant’ has been set up to allow detectives to establish an over-arching investigation into historical crimes by those in powerful positions.