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Kids At Risk Action tracks current news about child abuse & neglect bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
This is only a sampling of what should be reported – the majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.
American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of the traumatic impact of child abuse and neglect. Today, many state ward children are the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues
37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)
12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.
AR: New Arkansas Laws In Effect Monday
KFSM – July 30, 2017
Act 538: Requires lifetime registration on the Arkansas sex offender registry for a person convicted of rape when the rape involved the use of force. Act 1116: Regarding the placement of juveniles; the court shall not specify a particular provider for placement of a foster child, or when the court determines a juvenile shall be removed from his/her home, the department will try to find a non-custodial parent or other relatives to take custody of the juvenile.
Text of Act 538: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/2017R/Acts/Act538.pdf
Text of Act 1116: http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2017/2017R/Acts/Act1116.pdf
Also: New speed limit, Fantasy Sports laws take effect in Arkansas (Includes video): http://www.kait8.com/story/36004152/new-speed-limit-fantasy-sports-laws-take-effect-in-arkansas
AR: New area ‘home’ helping foster children and families
Southwest Times Record – July 29, 2017
Caldwell and her husband, C.R. Caldwell, have started the New Start for Children & Families, a nonprofit is located at 4411 Alma Hwy. between Van Buren and Alma. The single-story, 1,300-square-foot house serves as a safe haven for foster children and their families who live in Sebastian, Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott, Yell and Johnson counties.
CA: Hilton’s New Foster Youth Strategy: What L.A. Nonprofits Need to Know
Inside Philanthropy – July 30, 2017
Over the past year or so, we’ve been particularly interested in potential funding shifts at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation due to leadership transitions and an expected influx of new resources from Baron Hilton’s estate. The eventual expansion of Hilton’s grantmaking can only be a good thing for Los Angeles nonprofits, where the foundation has been a stalwart local funder. Still, any time foundations go through change and bring in new leadership-in this case, a first non-family CEO, Peter Laugharn-long-time grantees will understandably want to keep their eyes peeled for any changes that affect their funding. So far, though, Hilton has largely stayed the course-at least when it comes to its overall priorities.
CO: Leading the Way: Colorado Makes Kinship Care a Priority for Kids in Foster Care (Press release)
Annie E. Casey Foundation – July 25, 2017
In Colorado, children who could not safely remain in their own homes used to follow a well-worn pathway – one that included a stay in a residential facility. Today, this pathway is the road less traveled, and it’s been superseded by a preference for kinship care, which places kids with relatives whom they know and trust.
DC: Baby boxes proposed in D.C. as wave of states look to Finland to prevent infant deaths
Washington Post – July 27, 2017
“Baby boxes” come packed with new baby supplies and are outfitted with a firm, foam mattress so they can double as a bassinet during the baby’s first months, offering a safer alternative to co-sleeping.
FL: Demand for Foster Parents on the Suncoast (Video)
Sun News – July 30, 2017
In the Month of March, a child a day was taken from their parents.
FL: Falsifying DCF Records: Former Investigator says ‘it’s common knowledge’ (Includes video)
WPTV – July 28, 2017
A Contact 5/Palm Beach Post investigation uncovers what many investigators are calling “a crisis” inside the Department of Children and Families. Large caseloads, high turnover, low pay, voluminous paperwork, and pressure to meet performance goals – make the job impossible, child protective investigators say, and put children in a dangerous position. Even more dangerous? Cutting corners and falsifying records. It’s something former and current investigators inside DCF admit they sometimes feel forced to do, just to get the job done.
GU: Sex abuse cases up for mediation, Pacific Daily News (Includes video)
Pacific Daily News (Guam) – July 28, 2017
A federal judge on Friday agreed to temporarily halt proceedings in dozens of clergy sex abuse lawsuits so they can instead go through an out-of-court settlement process, scheduled to take place from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3.
IL: State report rips former DCFS chief over ethical, financial lapses
Chicago Tribune – July 28, 2017
A new report released Friday found ethical lapses and mistakes deemed “highly irresponsible” under the state’s former child services director, George Sheldon, who favored a circle of associates he imported from Florida after he took over the Department of Children and Family Services.
Also: Report says ex-director mismanaged Illinois welfare agency: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/us/article/Inspector-General-says-ex-DCFS-director-11640090.php
MA: Grandparents can need help with raising children
Eagle-Tribune – July 31, 2017
The number of custodial grandparents has been rising steadily over the last 40 years. In 2016 it was estimated nationwide 2.7 million grandparents were responsible for rearing their grandchildren. In many instances more than one grandchild was in the home.
MO: Foster families receive cuts from the state, then gets it right back
News-Press Now – July 30, 2017
When statewide Medicaid cuts went into effect on July 1, foster families across that state of Missouri felt the pinch. The cuts totaled a 1.5 percent reduction in Medicaid reimbursement rates, in an effort to reduce spending on the state-funded healthcare plan. Then on July 20, Greitens, who was a story proponent of the foster care system during his campaign, reversed the cuts. The reversal has foster families feeling vindicated and breathing a sigh of relief.
MO: Greitens meets pushback on Missouri foster-care spending
Associated Press – July 29, 2017
Some Republican Missouri lawmakers are questioning whether their fellow GOP governor has the authority to spend more money than legislators intended on foster-care families.
NC: There’s Hope for Increasing Number of Babies Born Opioid Dependent
North Carolina Health News – July 31, 2017
Randi Cranny, 23, was three months into methadone treatment at Johnston Recovery Services when she discovered she was pregnant. “My first thought was that I needed to quit or I needed to taper my treatment,” she said. This is the knee-jerk reaction for a lot of pregnant women in her situation. However, the medical community recommends the opposite.
NC: Families fractured by toxic cocktail. Opioid addiction linked to skyrocketing rate of kids in foster care
Herald Sun – July 29, 2017
In fiscal year 2012, the number of people entering foster care because of parental drug use was 1,531, or 31 percent of the 4,857 children in foster care that year. That number increased steadily through 2016, when 2,159 children were in foster care because of parents’ using drugs, about 38 percent of the 5,721 children in foster care. The 2016 number represents a 41 percent increase from 2012.
NE: Meth and the Impact on Nebraska’s foster care system
KLKNTV – July 30, 2017
For the first six months of 2017, the foster care review office reported more than 60 percent of children who were taken of out of their homes because of parental drug use.
OH: State Supreme court ruling puts adoption of toddler in limbo
WKYC – July 27, 2017
Five words in Ohio law may force a Tennessee couple to give back a Butler County boy they legally adopted as a newborn two years ago to the boy’s presumed biological father. That outcome is the result of an Ohio Supreme Court ruling last week that found a presumed father of a child born out of wedlock is not required to support the birth mother in order to maintain his right to contest her decision to put the child up for adoption.
OK: Will state’s makeover of developmental disabilities wait list be fair to families?
KPVI – July 30, 2017
As the number of people waiting for developmental disabilities services has reached an all-time high, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services is considering abandoning the first-come, first-served approach to the developmental disabilities services waiting list. Instead, it would prioritize the list according to need, meaning families who have waited for help for years could be moved back in line while others are shifted to the front.
PA: Frazzled child welfare workers struggle as abuse reports soar
Morning Call – July 28, 2017
There is little doubt many caseworkers could relate to the experience – if not before the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal then afterward, when new legislation meant to raise awareness also increased caseloads.
TN: Caring For Children In Crisis
Greenville Sun – July 29, 2017
They arrived with nothing but what they wore, according to a Facebook post by Free Will Baptist Ministries Foster Care, a private, Greeneville-based agency contracted by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to provide foster homes. The agency arranged immediate foster care for the three and asked for donations of cribs, clothing and other necessities to meet the emergency.
TX: New CPS workers added to Wichita Falls region (Includes video)
News Channel 6 – July 28, 2017
Child Protective Services in the Wichita Falls region is adding to it’s workforce with 15 new hires. The extra help to hire workers is thanks to funding from state lawmakers. Money was given to all the CPS regions in Texas.
WI: Know Your Madisonian: Retired county administrator devoted nearly 4 decades to human services
Wisconsin State Journal – July 28, 2017
For 42 years after his service with VISTA, Lee worked in social services, first as a social worker, then as an administrator overseeing increasingly larger staffs and budgets with the Dane County Department of Human Services.
WV: More Programs Being Developed to Assist Opioid-Exposed Babies, Addicted Moms
Exponent Telegram – July 31, 2017
In West Virginia, 33.3 babies per 1,000 are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That rate is the highest rate in the nation, and local hospitals are expanding and developing programs to address the growing epidemic. Neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, is a group of medical issues affecting newborns of mothers who use addictive drugs, including opioids, during pregnancy.
US: When Should a Child Be Taken from His Parents?
New Yorker – August 07, 2017
You will hear a knock on the door, often late at night. You don’t have to open it, but if you don’t the caseworker outside may come back with the police. The caseworker will tell you you’re being investigated for abusing or neglecting your children.
US: Supreme Court rulings reshape penalties for young offenders
Associated Press – July 30, 2017
Among the U.S. Supreme Court’s many rulings on juveniles and crime, several big cases over the last dozen years have narrowed the instances in which those who commit offenses under age 18 can be subject to the harshest penalties.
US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #7: A Federal Foster Care Bill of Rights
Chronicle of Social Change – July 28, 2017
Love proposes ushering in a federal bill of rights for youth who are placed into foster care. She proposes the following two-step process: The Department of Health and Human Services develops a working group that includes current and former foster youth, foster and birth parents, caseworkers and other agency staff, judges and youth advocates. This group will be tasked with drafting an initial Federal Foster Care Bill of Rights.
US: COPPA and Schools: The (Other) Federal Student Privacy Law, Explained
Education Week – July 28, 2017
The Federal Trade Commission, which enforces COPPA, has said that schools can, in many situations, stand in for parents and let companies collect information from young children. In some cases, companies may try to shift some of the burden of COPPA compliance away from themselves and onto schools. And it’s clear that the law places significant indirect burdens on schools and educators. Those dynamics have opened up multiple cans of worms, said Sonja H. Trainor, the director of the Council of School Attorneys for the National School Boards Association.
US: For principals, student sexting a speeding ‘freight train,’ full of peril
Education Week – July 28, 2017
And for assistant principal Deirdra Chandler, the harsh realization that responding to youth “sexting” is now an inescapable part of the job, even for leaders of kindergarten through fifth-grade schools, came after one of her young students at South Carolina’s Erwin Elementary sent out sexual imagery of another student to his friends. “It’s scary,” said Chandler, one of nearly 100 concerned school leaders who packed into a room at the annual conference of the National Association of Secondary School Principals and National Association of Elementary School Principals in Philadelphia on July 10, to discuss the dangers of sexting.
US: States Explore Trauma Screening in the Child Welfare System
Chronicle of Social Change – July 28, 2017
As trauma-informed initiatives have multiplied in recent years, more child welfare agencies are now grappling with how to properly screen for trauma. Along with access to trauma-focused, evidence-based treatments and staff training, screening is a key part of building a trauma-informed system. But that approach has until recently had relatively little traction in the child welfare field.
Information Gateway resource: Identification of Child Abuse and Neglect: State and Local Examples: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/can/identifying/state-loc-examples/
US: Trump’s travel ban is leaving these orphans stuck in refugee camps
Washington Post – July 28, 2017
The tranquil home of James Isaacs, an Episcopal priest, and wife Maggie Brewinski Isaacs, a pediatrician, sits on a hill above a creek on 5½ wooded acres in suburban Maryland. Inside, an unoccupied bedroom awaits a refugee ready to join the family, but the 16-year-old girl, blocked by the Trump administration’s travel ban, is stuck in an Ethiopian refugee camp and might never see the room.
US: Women’s “Equality”: The Criminalization of Women’s Trauma
Change-Links Progressive – July 28, 2017
Studies show that at least 85% of people with serious psychiatric diagnoses are survivors of severe trauma. There are similar rates of prior trauma for people with histories of substance abuse, foster care, homelessness, those receiving public assistance, and those facing incarceration. For incarcerated women, the percentage of them who have previously been survivors of trauma is near 100%. Violence against women and girls is all too common; some estimate that 90% of girls experience at least one major trauma before the age of 18.
US: For the sake of human trafficking victims, don’t rescind Medicaid expansion: Anne Victory (Opinion)
Plain Dealer – July 27, 2017
As we saw with Amy, the need for services doesn’t end once a victim is removed from a trafficking situation. People like her rely on Medicaid to recover and heal, and they require ongoing trauma-informed mental health and addiction services.
Australia: Collaboration proves vital for children in crisis
University of South Australia – July 27, 2017
Understanding the benefits of child protection, police, and child and family advocates and therapists working together in local communities to respond to allegations of sexual and other severe child abuse has been the focus of recent research led by the University of South Australia’s Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP).
Canada: ‘This is what reconciliation looks like’: Northern First Nations regain control of child welfare services
CBC News – July 28, 2017
First Nations in northern Manitoba have regained control over child welfare services in their communities. After 2½ years of meetings, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Manitoba government have signed an agreement that ends control of the northern authority by a government-appointed administrator.
Canada: Foster boy’s death a result of child welfare failings, Alberta judge says
Canadian Press – July 28, 2017
An Alberta judge says the death of a foster boy from abuse was a direct result of the failure of provincial child welfare to deal with his case properly. Kawliga Potts was three years old when he died in 2007 of extensive head trauma in Edmonton. His foster parent, Lily Choy, was later sentenced to eight years in prison for manslaughter.
Also: Judge blames social workers’ ‘failure’ to do their jobs for 2007 death of foster child: http://www.calgarysun.com/2017/07/28/judge-blames-social-workers-failure-to-do-their-jobs-for-2007-death-of-foster-child
International: Child abuse and neglect in the islands
Marianas Variety (Northern Mariana Islands) – July 31, 2017
According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, discrimination against women substantially influence the levels of child physical abuse and child neglect. Specifically, greater levels of discrimination against women, greater gender inequity and greater gender gaps are associated with higher rates of child physical abuse and child neglect. Experts say efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect might benefit from reducing gender inequity.
International: Gender inequality linked to child abuse, neglect: study
Press Trust of India – July 30, 2017
Children growing up in societies that experience high levels of gender inequality are more likely to be abused and neglected, a study warns. The data was based on surveys conducted by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Demographic and Health Surveys conducted by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) from 2011 to 2015. The study was published in the Journal of Family Violence. Researchers analysed data about severe physical discipline of children, such as being hit, slapped or repeatedly beaten, or child neglect from 57 countries worldwide.
International: On abuse: Francis yet to make critical clerical changes (Opinion)
National Public Radio – July 28, 2017
Pope Francis’ attempts to hold bishops accountable have meant very little because his capacity to do so is limited by the Code of Canon Law. The three bishops he forced to resign – Archbishop John Nienstedt and his auxiliary, Bishop Lee Piché, of St. Paul-Minneapolis, and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri – had breached canon law in force in the United States since 2002 that required them to comply with civil reporting laws.
CO: Tackling foster care together (Includes video)
KOAA – July 26, 2017
When we see professional athletes on the big screen we often see the upsides of fame, but what we don’t realize is that many had to overcome their own struggles to get where they are now. For several years now, former professional football player, Michael Lehan, has partnered with the local foster-adoption agency “Hope & Home” to give kids who are in the system a special opportunity to grow, connect and participate both on and off the field. Lehan’s experience as a foster child himself is why he’s doing what he does now.
FL: Video counseling for Tallahassee kids now offered
Tallahassee Democrat – July 26, 2017
Children and teens in need of mental health care can now receive it through video conferencing with licensed mental health professionals. The Children’s Home Society has launched a telepsychiatry program for kids around the state whose insurance health plan covers telemedicine, health services provided remotely.
FL: DCF investigators: ‘Children are at risk because we can’t do our jobs’ (Includes video)
WPTV – July 25, 2017
They are the Department of Children and Families’ “front-line” in keeping children safe, the first people sent into the homes of potentially abused and neglected children. They are Child Protective Investigators, what the DCF secretary calls “the most critical function that we have within the child welfare arena.” But those same investigators tell Contact 5 and our news partners at The Palm Beach Post, the department is “putting children at risk,” because investigators “are set up to fail every case.”
KS: DCF Chanute Service Center Moves to New Facility
Fox14 – July 26, 2017
The Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) is pleased to announce that the agency’s Chanute service center has moved office buildings. The new office officially opened to the public on Monday, July 24, at 203 E. 21st St. The former facility was located at 1500 W 7th St. The relocation to the 16,000 square feet office offers space efficiency and added convenience for clients and staff.
NE: Agency unveils plan to improve public services
Associated Press – July 27, 2017
Nebraska’s largest state agency unveiled its newest initiative Thursday to improve services for children, low-income families and residents with mental health problems and developmental disabilities. The plan includes 20 goals for the state Department of Health and Human Services, some of which are already in progress. Gov. Pete Ricketts described it as the agency’s “business plan” and said it was created to set specific, measureable goals and hold the department accountable.
OH: Children Services seeks levy renewal amid increasing need for services
Vindicator – July 28, 2017
Randall Muth, Mahoning County Children Services executive director, said the opioid crisis is leading to an increased demand for all services the agency offers. “Children are the invisible victims of this crisis,” he said. The growing need comes as a five-year, 0.5-mill levy that raises about $2 million annually for Children Services is set to expire at the end of this year.
OH: Commissioners OK recycling submission; approve $400,000 transfer for children in foster care
Highland County Press – July 26, 2017
Commissioners also passed a transfer resolution for Job and Family Services in the amount of $400,000 for children in foster care. “I met with Katie (Adams, executive director of JFS), and we can probably expect another similar transfer at the end of the year for kids in care,” Wilkin said. “The cost is hovering around $1.9 million annually.”
OK: Oklahoma’s oldest tribal court system still flourishing
Associated Press – July 27, 2017
The court sees many child abuse, paternity, and Indian child welfare cases. It also prosecutes crimes conducted on the Sac and Fox land, but only by Native Americans.
OR: Pathfinders of Oregon Celebrates Renewed Funding for Mentoring Inside Out (Press release)
Pathfinders of Oregon – July 27, 2017
Pathfinders of Oregon is pleased to announce the renewal of a two-year grant awarded by the Oregon Youth Development Council as part of their Youth and Community investment pledge. The grant will be used to support the organization’s Mentoring Inside Out program, which provides mentoring, case management, and school and social supports to children who have a parent involved in the criminal justice system and are at risk of school disengagement.
RI: Oversight Committee To Address DCYF’s Progress In Handling Of Children’s Cases
Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR) – July 27, 2017
Rhode Island’s child welfare agency will be the subject of a House Oversight Committee hearing later Thursday. The state Department of Children, Youth and Families is under scrutiny for its handling of cases involving vulnerable children.
Also: DCYF director on the hot seat over department training, investigations: http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20170727/dcyf-director-on-hot-seat-over-department-training-investigations
SD: Arc of Dreams: from foster care to the courtroom (Includes video)
KSFY – July 26, 2017
The Arc of Dreams Sculpture will span the Big Sioux River between 6th and 8th street in downtown Sioux Falls. This project is designed to recognize the people who made their dream come true and inspire others to dream big right here in Sioux Falls. Like the story of Sioux Falls attorney Kasey Olivier, a former foster child who is now working to inspire the next generation of girls to dream big.
TX: CPS staff saw bruises on 4-year-old girl’s face a year before fatal beating but ruled out abuse, report says
Dallas News – July 27, 2017
State investigators lay some of the blame for Leiliana’s death on CPS. “The myriad of issues found in the case at critical key moments are concerning and demonstrate a lack of action and oversight, which directly impacted Leiliana’s fate,” the Office of Child Safety wrote in its review of CPS’ history with the girl.
UT: Woman takes on role of interviewing child abuse victims
Tribune – July 28, 2017
Utah currently has 23 such centers throughout the state, where personnel are tasked with interviewing and examining children who are crime victims. For the past 13 years, Rod Layton has served as executive director of the CJC in Ogden, which has now become the fifth in Utah to hire a forensic interviewer to undertake that difficult but needed mission.
WA: Family treatment court gets grant of nearly $2 million
Columbian Courts Reporter – July 28, 2017
The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration awarded Clark County Superior Court’s Family Treatment Court a five-year grant totaling nearly $2 million. The grant, which will be available in September, will support the voluntary program’s work, in conjunction with Clark County Community Services, to provide services to adults who have active state child dependency cases, as well as their children, according to a news release.
US: HRC to Host LGBTQ Competency Webinar for Foster and Adoptive Parents (Press release)
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – July 28, 2017
All Families (ACAF) project recently launched a new webinar series for the adoption and foster care field, consisting of five webinars covering promising practices in serving LGBTQ children, youth, and families. These webinars will be offered free of charge throughout 2017.
US: House Appropriations Committee Issues Report on Departments of Labor, HHS, Education, Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2018 (Part 6 of 10) (Press release)
Targeted News Service – July 27, 2017
The House Appropriations Committee issued a report (H.Rpt. 115-244) on legislation (H.R. 3358) in explanation of the accompanying bill making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services…includes amounts for care of child support, unaccompanied minors, child care, children and families.
US: Domestic Violence Survivors Say Mandatory Reporting Laws Made Their Lives Worse
Youth Today – July 26, 2017
A survey of thousands of domestic violence survivors suggests that this kind of regret is common – for good reason. The survey found that even reaching out for help to the wrong person can make things worse – if that person is a “mandated reporter” of child abuse or other domestic violence.
Also: Report: There’s no one I can trust: The impact of mandatory reporting on the help-seeking and wellbeing of domestic violence survivors: http://lgbtqipv.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/CBLC-Mandatory-Reporting_Final-Report.pdf
US: Substance addiction changes mother’s response to infant (Press release)
Baylor College of Medicine – July 26, 2017
Maternal addiction and its effects on children is a major public health problem, often leading to high rates of child abuse, neglect and foster care placement. In a study published today in the journal Human Brain Mapping, researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Iowa found that a mother’s brain response to her own infant is modified in the presence of substance addiction.
Also: Study: Mothers with substance addictions show reduced reward responses when viewing their own infant’s face: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hbm.23731/full
Information Gateway resource: Casework Practice: Behavioral Health & Wellness: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/casework/
US: This federal training program for low-income youth is plagued by stunning crime and violence (Includes video)
Circa – July 26, 2017
A federal program designed to provide better opportunities for at-risk youth has been plagued by stunning amounts of crime and violence, according to government reports. The Job Corps program, overseen by the United States Department of Labor, racked up almost 50,000 safety and security incidents in a nearly 10-year span; including homicides, fights, drug-related incidents and more.
US: Harmful Surgery on Intersex Children (Opinion)
Human Rights Watch – July 25, 2017
Doctors in the United States continue to perform medically unnecessary surgeries that can inflict permanent harm on intersex children, Human Rights Watch and interACT said in a report released today.
Report: “I Want to Be Like Nature Made Me”: https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/07/25/i-want-be-nature-made-me/medically-unnecessary-surgeries-intersex-children-us
Also: Interview: Intersex Babies Don’t Need ‘Fixing’: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/25/interview-intersex-babies-dont-need-fixing
US: The new ‘Jane Crow’ in the foster care system separates children from their poor mothers (Opinion)
Daily Kos – July 25, 2017
One way we don’t often think of how this manifests is when it comes to parenting. Yet many women, most often women of color, find themselves the victims of children’s services agencies who can take custody of their children for child endangerment-often with little evidence to support those claims.
US: Risks of Harm from Spanking Confirmed by Analysis of Five Decades of Research
UT News – April 25, 2017
The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties, according to a new meta-analysis of 50 years of research on spanking by experts at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan.
Jordan: Yemen factions pledge to ease access to aid, agency official says
San Francisco Gate – July 27, 2017
Warring sides in Yemen’s civil war promised visiting U.N. agency chiefs to clear obstacles to aid delivery in a nation where cholera is spreading rapidly and hundreds of thousands of children are severely malnourished, the head of the U.N. child welfare agency said Thursday.
Sudan: In search of safety: South Sudanese children travel alone to reach refugee camps in Darfur
Unicef – July 27, 2017
Over 155,000 refugees from South Sudan have taken refuge in Sudan since the start of the year, including about 100,000 children. With the continued conflict in South Sudan and widespread food insecurity, Sudan expects to receive three times as many refugees in 2017 than what was expected at the beginning of the year.
AZ: Who Qualifies As Mandatory Reporters Of Sex Assaults, Crimes? (Audio)
KJZZ – July 26, 2017
To learn more about the general process – without focusing specifically on the Hamilton case – we spoke with Tempe attorney Scott Halverson.
CO: Arkansas Valley CASA ribbon cutting
BC Democrat – July 26, 2017
Introduced by Grant, Judge Mark Schifferl gave the opening remarks for the organization. He said the courts are extremely happy to have this group to support the children involved in child welfare cases. The children do better in school, spend less time in foster care and are happier than the children who are not supported by the advocates. “Six or seven years ago, we tried to get a CASA group started here, but weren’t able to do it. This time we have succeeded,” said Schifferl to the group gathered at the headquarters at 202 Harriet Street.
FL: Guest column: Children’s Commission needs to return to founding principles (Opinion)
Florida Times-Union – July 26, 2017
What is the future of the tax-supported Jacksonville Children’s Commission? It’s currently under serious discussion and changes to the ordinance are being contemplated.
HI: Prosecutors push for added protections in light of child abuse cases on Hawaii island (Includes video)
KHON – July 26, 2017
On the heels On the heels of yet another child abuse investigation, prosecutors are looking to change the law to protect children. Hawaii island prosecutors are proposing legislation to make sure parents or guardians aren’t using home schooling as a way to conceal child abuse.
IL: Improvements promised at Joliet DCFS
Times Weekly – July 26, 2017
Sen. Pat McGuire (Joliet) on Tuesday at a General Assembly hearing continued to press the state Department of Children and Family Services for reforms following the death of Sema’j Crosby, a toddler found dead in her home in April.
KS: Dave Ranney: Foster care system faces severe problems (Opinion)
Topeka Capital-Journal – July 26, 2017
In the waning days of this year’s legislative session, Kansas lawmakers agreed to put together a task force to determine how best to shore up the state’s reeling foster care system. This is good news. Advocates for abused and neglected children should be thrilled. They’re not.
MN: The fostering process gets long and frustrating (Opinion)
Mesabi Daily News – July 25, 2017
Good things come to those who wait…and wait some more. I can only imagine how amazing of a child will be the first we welcome into our home through foster care with St. Louis County – because we have been waiting a long time.
NC: Children’s Homes of Cleveland County benefits from state funding, reforms
Shelbyinfo.com – July 26, 2017
The Executive Director of the Children’s Homes of Cleveland County (CHCC) says local youth will benefit from state funding and reforms passed by the North Carolina General Assembly this year. Margie Christopher, who has led CHCC for 29 years, says a $250,000 state appropriation and new child welfare laws will benefit children who depend on her organization.
NC: Guilford County DSS preps for NC FAST expansion
Greensboro News & Record – July 26, 2017
Employees with the Guilford County Department of Social Services are finalizing training this week in preparation for another expansion of the NC FAST system, scheduled to go live Tuesday. The move, mandated by the state, will expand the system’s reach to paperwork and case files for the county’s child protection, foster care and adoption services programs. The web-based program will replace a patchwork of older software across the state, including OneCase, the program currently used for children’s services in Guilford County.
NE: Keeping families together: Nebraska first lady helps CarePortal kickoff
Grand Island Independent – July 26, 2017
CarePortal is a new program that will allow case managers at the state Department of Health and Human Services to ask local churches to help fill the needs of vulnerable children and families. If a church can assist, CarePortal will connect the church with that family. Nebraska is the 13th state in the United States to adopt the program.
NM: CYFD settles suit over sexually abused adopted child
Santa Fe New Mexican – July 25, 2017
The state Children, Youth and Families Department has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to settle a lawsuit brought by a Washington state family who alleged the state agency failed to properly screen a Clovis-area foster couple accused of raping some of the children in their care, including a boy the couple later adopted.
OK: Prosperity Policy: The blame game (Opinion)
Journal Record – July 26, 2017
Two Republican House leaders – Speaker Charles McCall and Majority Leader Mike Sanders – issued press releases attacking DHS Director Ed Lake for the cuts. The speaker complained about DHS making cuts even after the Legislature increased its funding – ignoring that rising program enrollment, declining federal support, and costly legal obligations under the court-ordered child welfare settlement have increased DHS costs far in excess of state funding. Rep. Sanders’ statement was even more misguided. He accused Director Lake of playing politics by intentionally cutting programs that would generate the greatest public outcry to put pressure on lawmakers.
Also: Community Matters: When more money isn’t enough (Opinion): http://www.swtimes.com/opinion/20170727/community-matters-when-more-money-isnt-enough?rssfeed=true
RI: Case of 2 unattended children renews questions about state child welfare agency
Providence Journal – July 26, 2017
Three months after a relative first called the state child welfare hotline to report two young children missing, Johnston police found the 2- and 5-year-olds last week, unattended and malnourished in a van outside a mini-mart. The incident is once again raising questions about the investigative protocols used by the state Department of Children, Youth and Families – an issue of concern raised in two recent child fatality reports by the state Child Advocate’s office.
TX: Commissioners discuss future of nonprofit funding
Courier of Montgomery County – July 26, 2017
Montgomery County commissioners are expected to fund seven nonprofit organizations in the 2017-18 budget, but Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack wants county funding for those organizations phased out. While County Judge Craig Doyal agrees that nonprofit organizations should be supported by the private sector and the faith-based community, he believes the small amount of money provided by the county is worthwhile.
WV: Adoption Centers In Need Of Foster Parents Due To Increase In Children (Includes video)
WTRF – July 26, 2017
Adoption centers have been seeing an increase in foster kids and the drug epidemic may be to blame. The Children’s home Society of West Virginia has been putting up flyers and spreading the word that they are looking for foster parents.
WV: Dozens of probation officers who keep tabs on W.Va. sex offenders to lose jobs
WVVA – July 26, 2017
Thirty-nine people responsible for keeping tabs on the more than 4,400 sex offenders living in West Virginia will soon be out of a job, according an order signed on June 26, by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Justice Allen Loughry. The order effectively eliminates the Intensive Supervision Office (ISO) for Sex Offenders started by Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis as part of the Child Protection Act of 2006.
US: Joint Letter to the House Committee on the Judiciary on the “Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act” (H.R. 391) (Press release)
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – July 26, 2017
The undersigned organizations, concerned with the assistance and protection of refugees and children, strongly oppose the “Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act” (H.R. 391). The provisions included in the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 391) and the Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute offered by Representative Johnson would severely undermine access to asylum in the United States and attempts to eliminate access to protection for Central American refugees in particular.
US: Reversing fetal alcohol damage after birth
Northwestern Now (Northwestern University) – July 18, 2017
Two commonly used drugs erased the learning and memory deficits caused by fetal alcohol exposure when the drugs were given after birth, thus potentially identifying a treatment for the disorder, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study. The scientists also newly identified a key molecular mechanism by which alcohol neurologically and developmentally harms the developing fetus. “We’ve shown you can interfere after the damage from alcohol is done. That’s huge,” said lead investigator and senior author Eva Redei. “We have identified a potential treatment for alcohol spectrum disorder. Currently, there is none.”
Information Gateway resource: Medical Responses to Child Abuse and Neglect: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/collaborative-responses-to-child-abuse-neglect/medical/
Brazil: US, Brazil investigate WNC sect accused of abuse, trafficking (Includes video)
Associated Press – July 27, 2017
Ten former members of the Word of Faith Fellowship church say they have been contacted by U.S. federal and state authorities investigating allegations of abuse, forced labor and visa fraud after a series of Associated Press stories about the Western North Carolina-based evangelical sect, which has branches in Brazil and Ghana and affiliations in other countries.
Also: Brazilians detail abuses by US church, shattered lives: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/ap-us-church-brazil-instills-fear-splits-families-48828251
Also: Controversial Word of Faith Fellowship Church Accused of Working Brazilians ‘Like Slaves’: http://www.christianpost.com/news/controversial-word-of-faith-fellowship-church-accused-of-working-brazilians-like-slaves-193071/
France: Migrants in France Say Police Abuse Is Common
New York Times – July 26, 2017
“There’s nowhere else that I can think of where I’ve encountered to this extent the use of pepper spray on people who were sleeping and especially on sleeping children,” said Michael Bochenek, senior counsel to the children’s rights division of Human Rights Watch.
International: Diving into overseas adoption
Mission Network News – July 26, 2017
Adoption can be a complicated road with life-changing results, but what happens when you look overseas? Catherine Lafler, International Services Coordinator at Bethany Christian Services, says things are always changing when it comes to international adoption.
CA: New hope for children living in unstable homes
Press Democrat – July 25, 2017
Legal guardianship is a remedy officials and legal experts say will increasingly play an important role in the ongoing effort to overhaul California’s foster care system. That reform seeks to end institutional care such as group homes and instead place kids in a family setting, whether it’s with the parents with county support, extended family members or trusted nonrelatives.
Also: Legal Guardianships: A Santa Rosa woman’s path to motherhood: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/local/7223996-181/legal-guardianship-a-santa-rosa?artslide=0
FL: With thousands of kids waiting their forever homes, fewer people adopting in Florida (Includes video)
First Coast News – July 25, 2017
She says adoption trends in the state are on the decline. Rodriguez explains more restrictions for international adoptions, lowering in teen pregnancy, and more moms feeling comfortable staying single parents contribute to that.
IA: New Iowa Poll: Majority support more government oversight of home-schooled kids (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – July 22, 2017
Four years after the Iowa Legislature deregulated much of the state’s home-school process, a majority of Iowans now say the government should maintain more oversight of home-schooled students, a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll shows. The poll results come in the wake of two high-profile cases in which teenage girls were taken out of Iowa’s public school system by their adoptive parents, purportedly so they could be home-schooled.
IN: New law gives grandparents notice about adoptions
Indiana Lawyer – July 26, 2017
Karickhoff said HEA 1245 was intended to narrowly address instances where a grandparent who has a recognized right of visitation in the form of a court order would be required to be notified of an adoption petition filed by a relative. He acknowledges this represents a very small percentage of grandparents.
MI: Single mom: ‘I’m finally going to have a place to truly call my own’
Livingston Daily Press & Argus – July 17, 2017
Contrary to popular belief, Habitat for Humanity does not give away homes, but requires recipients to meet a long list of criteria, contribute 250 hours of “sweat equity” and take on a mortgage. “I’m finally going to have a place to truly call my own, that I’ve worked for,” she said. “I’m going to be paying on something that will be mine.” A single parent, Gremore manages Toyology in downtown Howell, and said it was important her new home is located in Howell; she does not want to uproot her children, Anthony 12, and Dahlia, 10. “My biological mother liked to move a lot,” she said. “Before we were finally taken away and put in foster care, we had already gone through a million different schools.”
NC: Grandparents step in as ‘silent voice’ of opioid epidemic (Includes video)
WRAL – July 25, 2017
As the number of opioid-related deaths skyrocketed nearly 75 percent in the last decade, so has the number of grandparents stepping in to care for the children left behind. More than 2.6 million grandparents in the nation fill that role. Nearly 100,000 of those are in North Carolina.
OH: County plans $6.5M move, expansion for youth drug treatment center
Dayton Daily News – July 25, 2017
A $6.5 million expansion and relocation of a Montgomery County in-patient treatment center to a nearby building should allow more youth – and particularly a greater number of girls – to get drug treatment closer to home, according to county officials.
OH: Toledo’s orphanages offered refuge for generations of children
Toledo Blade – July 23, 2017
When Elizabeth Frances Hartford died in 1950, her youngest child, Thomas, was just 4 years old. Her ex-husband would have taken up the care of her brood. But John Hartford, an alcoholic, “couldn’t support himself, let alone five boys,” his youngest son recalled recently. So Mr. Hartford turned the boys over to the Lutheran Orphans’ Home, where they would work, learn, and play their way through what the youngest brother recalls as a happy childhood.
PA: Law keeps some drug-exposed infants off child welfare radar, advocates say (Includes video)
Bucks County Courier Times – July 26, 2017
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services interpreted the federal mandate to apply only to babies whose mothers took illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs during pregnancy. As a result, health care providers aren’t required to report drug-exposed babies born to mothers who were legally prescribed narcotics – like oxycodone or heroin -replacement drugs like methadone – if they took them as directed under medical supervision.
TN: Making newborn drug exposure a legally reportable condition put problem in focus
Intelligencer – July 26, 2017
Tennessee health officials not only know the number of babies born exposed to legal and illegal drugs there, they also know the names of the drugs. In 2013, Tennessee became the first state in the USA to make newborn drug exposure a reportable health condition.
TX: Taylor County courts clogged up with CPS cases (Includes video)
KTAB – July 25, 2017
It’s a problem that’s plaguing Taylor County. An increase in child protective services cases.
Also: Taylor County Judge: ‘Explosion of Meth’ at the center of uptick in CPS cases: http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/main-news/taylor-county-judge-explosion-of-meth-at-the-center-of-uptick-in-cps-cases/774272302
TX: CASA of Collin County meets annual goal, 2016 annual report research shows
Anna-Melissa Tribune – July 24, 2017
CASA of Collin County (Court Appointed Special Advocates) recently released its 2016 Annual Report, which displayed the progress CASA made over the last year. The CASA of Collin County annual report illustrates CASA served 100 percent of children in foster care in Collin County.
Also: 2016 Annual Report: http://casaofcollincounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/AR2017DigitalVersion.pdf
UT: Inside the newsroom: Fighting opioid crisis may mean quantity time with teens (Opinion)
Deseret News – July 22, 2017
In 2015, a landmark study discussed the benefits of quality time over quantity time and served as a relief of sorts for families with both parents working multiple jobs just to pay the bills and provide opportunities for their children. The focus showed quality was more important for younger kids and gained lots of traction for parents trying to navigate family life.
UT: Mia Love: American women deserve a better system of justice (Opinion)
Salt Lake Tribune – July 22, 2017
Our state did something to fix the problem. Utah launched the “Female Offender Success Initiative” to offer gender-specific programs to help women in prison overcome drug addiction and other underlying traumas. The program has been a rousing success. A female prison population that once exceeded the 671 beds available to women now averages about 422 inmates each month, according to the Utah Department of Corrections – a nearly 40 percent drop.
US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #5: A National Standard of Care for Foster Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – July 26, 2017
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. Boyd would have Congress take several steps designed to establish, and enforce, national quality of care standards tied to funds distributed to states via the multi-billion dollar Title IV-E block grant.
US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #4: A National Foster Youth Taxonomy
Chronicle of Social Change – July 25, 2017
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. Rodgers calls for the creation of a “national foster youth taxonomy” that would serve as the central depot of information on all children who enter foster care. Foster youth who were aging out into adulthood would also be granted an account through which they can access their own personal records. She would also require states to transfer data annually to the federal government for a public report on child well-being and health.
US: House task force hears from experts about impact of addiction crisis on children, foster system
Burlington County Times – July 25, 2017
Data from a 2016 report by the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System indicates that 32 percent of all cases that required children to be removed from their parents’ home were because of parental drug abuse – the second-leading cause for removal, after child neglect. It found that in 2015 alone, 85,937 kids in the United States entered the foster care system as a result of their parents using drugs.
Information Gateway Resource: Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/treatment/
US: Children: The unseen victims of addiction
Seacoast Online – July 23, 2017
Children of addicted parents are unseen victims of a situation they do not understand and are not equipped to handle. They are often angry, embarrassed and fearful and they need help and support. “One of four kids in the United States are affected,” said Jerry Moe, national director of children’s programs at the Betty Ford Center.
US: Recovering after human trafficking
News Interactive – July 23, 2017
Trafficking crimes take many forms and often can ensnare U.S.-born citizens. But immigrants are vulnerable in unique ways, particularly those without legal status or whose visas restrict where they can work. For those living in the shadows, the fear of retaliation or deportation is especially vivid. Even if not physically forced to work, not all can summon the will to walk out the door, as Juana did eventually. And when she did, she embarked on a long ordeal before she found safety and stability.
US: Stephen Mihm: The U.S. faced, and beat, an opiate-addiction crisis 150 years ago (Opinion)
Associated Press – July 23, 2017
It’s true that there’s an opioid epidemic, a public health disaster. It’s not true that it’s unprecedented. A remarkably similar epidemic beset the United States some 150 years ago. The story of that earlier catastrophe offers some sobering lessons as to how to address the problem.
Australia: South Australia reportedly drafting laws to force passwords out of suspects
ZDNet / Australian Associated Press – July 26, 2017
State Attorney-General John Rau said the new laws will help police and the courts investigate and prosecute offences involving child exploitation material — admitting advances in technology mean police are increasingly unable to access incriminating material.
Australia: Changes provide forever homes for vulnerable Queensland kids (Press release)
State Government of Queensland – July 22, 2017
Queensland’s most vulnerable children will have a more certain and stable future under proposed changes to the Child Protection Act 1999. Child Safety Minister Shannon Fentiman said as part of the Queensland Government’s proposed changes, new provisions will require that finding a permanent and stable home forms part of the case plan for each child coming into care and a new ‘permanency care order’ will be created.
CA: Volunteers help My Father’s Arrows after setbacks
Santa Rosa’s Press Gazette – July 25, 2017
Despite setbacks, My Father’s Arrows founder Sarah Ellis remains undaunted in the foster care support organization’s mission to support children in need. “We aren’t going to let delays or distractions get in the way of our goal to create a home for these children,” Ellis said.
CA: Nonprofits Search for Asian-American Foster Parents to Fill Culture, Language Needs (Includes video)
NBC News – July 24, 2017
Nonprofits in Los Angeles are looking for more Asian-American foster parents like Spencer Sun to serve the county’s foster children with a particular focus on language ability and cultural understanding.
DC: District does an about-face on welfare reform with decision to keep helping long-term recipients
Washington Post – July 24, 2017
The policy change, which could cost D.C. taxpayers tens of millions of dollars over the next several years, seems to reflect a heightened political tolerance for the underclass in a gentrifying city that has enjoyed an economic rebirth. Advocates for the poor said the shift also results from a realization that abandoning entrenched welfare recipients would greatly exacerbate homelessness, crime, child neglect and other social problems, creating an even bigger drain on municipal spending.
FL: Child sexual exploitation up in FL year to year (Includes video)
WFTS – July 24, 2017
According to a new state report from OPAGGA, the number of sexually exploited children in Florida is on the rise. 356 cases were reported in 2016, which is 92 more cases from 2015. 15 cases were reported in Pinellas county, 36 in Hillsborough, and 15 in Polk.
FL: Children’s Home Society unveils new focus
Tallahassee Democrat – July 24, 2017
Children’s Home Society of Florida, the state’s largest provider of services to children and families, announced this month the launch of a new upstream-focused brand initiative to reshape the future for Florida’s kids. CHS’ direction focuses on delivering solutions that empower families through encouragement, education and guidance to raise safe, strong, happy children ready to realize their full potential.
IA: State must act to protect vulnerable kids (Opinion)
Gate City Daily – July 24, 2017
More children like Sabrina Ray and Natalie Finn will suffer if we don’t get moving on changes to better protect kids under state care. On June 5, the Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee met to consider how and why Iowa has failed these children, after months of public pressure and unofficial meetings organized by Senate Democrats. The official hearing was called following the starvation death of a second Iowa girl adopted out of foster care and into an unregulated “homeschool” setting.
IL: He’s Gone, But Illinois Still Steamed over Sheldon’s Mismanagement of DCFS
Sunshine State News – July 24, 2017
George Sheldon is already in Miami heading up the private adoption and child services agency, Our Kids. But his departure from Illinois doesn’t mean an end to the investigation into the mess the former Illinois Department of Children and Family Services director left behind. It goes on apace.
NV: I-Team: Families of 10 children who died had previous contact with CPS (Includes video)
Las Vegas Now – July 24, 2017
More than 240 children have died in Clark County this year. While some of the deaths are the result of illnesses or accidents, some are the result of abuse. The I-Team discovered a disturbing trend involving Child Protective Services.
NY: Following ACS deaths, Savino looks to improve flawed child welfare system
Statan Island Live – July 24, 2017
Following a series of controversial deaths involving families investigated for alleged child abuse, state Sen. Diane Savino is drafting legislation she says could prevent the worst from happening.
NY: Onondaga County planning to sue opioid manufacturers
Syracuse Post Standard – July 24, 2017
“It’s everywhere,” Knapp said. “Foster care, Medicaid, 911, Narcan, jails, the emergency responders responding to overdoses… It’s a very difficult situation. Being able to wrap ourselves around the numbers is a huge challenge.”
NY: Kids at increased risk due to critical gaps in foster home records, audit finds (Includes audio)
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle – July 23, 2017
Children in New York state’s foster care system are at increased risk of being placed in unacceptable situations due to gaps in casework records and missed or undocumented follow-up visits, according to the findings of an audit from the State Comptroller’s office.
OH: Co-founder: Despite attitude shifts, there will always be a need for Family Pride Network
Daily Reporter – July 24, 2017
The co-founder of a non-profit organization meant to assist and socialize gay parents, their children and prospective LGBT parents believes there will always be a need for the group he founded in 2014. Members share their stories of starting their own LGBT families as a means of outlining to prospective parents what they may face as they begin the process of starting a family by formerly less unconventional means – adoption, foster care, fertility therapy, etc. – with a same-sex partner or spouse.
OH: How Prevalent Is Human Trafficking In Ohio? (Includes audio)
WXVU – July 24, 2017
University of Cincinnati researchers are preparing to study the scope of human trafficking in Ohio, specifically minors under 18 and youth ages 18-21 in foster care. The last such study was in 2010.
OR: Should IQ Determine If You Can Be A Parent?
WKMI – July 24, 2017
That is the question facing the State of Oregon and two parents, Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler. For nearly four years, the Redmond couple has been fighting to prove to the state of Oregon that they are intellectually capable of raising their children. The Department of Human Services has removed both of their boys, saying the parents are too mentally limited to be good parents.
TX: Safe Haven Law gives unwanted infants a safe haven (Includes video)
KWES – July 24, 2017
It happens around the country, parents leaving unwanted infants in dumpsters or public restrooms with no care. That’s why one law is giving parents a safe and legal option without facing criminal charges. “Since the program’s inception, there have been about 2,000 babies brought in nationwide,” said Captain Kris Norred with Odessa Fire and Rescue.
UT: More Americans who hope to adopt now consider foster children. Here’s why Utah bucks the odds
Deseret News – July 24, 2017
The report says one-fourth of those in the United States who have not adopted have considered doing so. And close to 80 percent of them said they’d thought about foster care adoption, marking a 7 percent increase from the last poll, in 2012. That increase is cause for celebration, said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the foundation, started by the late owner of the Wendy’s food chain, Dave Thomas. “I think people are understanding this is viable if you are considering adopting. Maybe, even though we know some of the misperceptions are still there, it means they may be willing to dig in a little more and see who these kids are.”
VT: Teen pregnancy program abruptly loses millions from feds
VT Digger – July 24, 2017
A Vermont-based organization is losing more than $2 million in funding as a result of a Trump administration decision to abruptly discontinue dozens of teen pregnancy prevention grants. In the first year of the grant, the organization trained more than 200 professionals across the country, according to Downey. The grant was to help agencies that work on youth pregnancy prevention improve communication with parents, foster care providers, teens and others.
Also: Trump administration ends funding for teen pregnancy programs: https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2017/07/24/Trump-administration-ends-funding-for-teen-pregnancy-programs/3551500899474/
US: What Happens When Parents Get Deported
WNYC – July 25, 2017
Lizzie Presser, reporter with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute, discusses her recent story, “Losing Gloria”, which was reported in partnership with California Sunday Magazine. Roughly half a million U.S.-born children lost a parent to detention and deportation between 2009 and 2013, and the story looks at what happens to those children once their parents are gone. We’ll also hear from Angel Marin, whose family was the subject of the piece. He’ll discuss the deportation of his mother Gloria, and his experiences in the foster care system.
US: Cancer is not the biggest threat to my pediatric patients. It is their parents’ addictions (Opinion)
Huffington Post – July 24, 2017
Cancer is not the biggest threat to my pediatric patients. We can cure cancer. Almost 90% of children diagnosed with cancer will survive. The biggest threat to my patients is their parents’ addictions. Parental addiction affects one-third of my patients. One-third.
US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #3: Increasing Foster Youth Awareness of Education Opportunities
Chronicle of Social Change – July 24, 2017
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. Shepherd proposes that Congress make two amendments to Title IV-E, the section of the Social Security Act that provides a federal-state entitlement for foster care services. First, states would be required to ensure that starting at age 14, foster youth are meeting twice a year with an “educational and career expert.” Second would be a change to the timing of the transition plan that is already required for youth who are likely to age out of foster care into adulthood.
US: Drug Crisis Rattles Cherokee Nation, With More Children Born Addicted to Opioids and Moved into Foster Homes (Includes video)
Newsweek – July 24, 2017
The number of prescription opioids sold on Cherokee National tribal lands is even higher than previously thought, and the resulting addictions are tearing families apart and threatening the existence of the tribe. Almost 90 million opioid pills were dispensed in the 14 Oklahoma counties that make up the Cherokee Nation’s land last year, which means about 96 pills were sold to each adult.
Related: Drug firms knew opiates were being abused on Cherokee reservations but did nothing, lawsuit alleges: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/opiates_cherokee_lawsuit
US: Helping Immigration, Child Services, Hunger and Homelessness – Viacom, Catchafire Celebrate another Successful Year Collaborating (Press release)
Viacom – July 24, 2017
Child service agency Graham Windham – which provides foster care, family, community, and educational support programs – also teamed up with Viacom employees on a Talent for Good project.
US: How to Banish Child Sexual Groomers (Opinion)
Youth Today – July 24, 2017
Thorough background checks are strongly recommended but are not foolproof. Ironically, they may even lull us into a false sense of security. Alternatively, a vetting process that is too widespread and intrusive may cause an unwarranted sense of panic that will result in societal disquiet and fearfulness. The simple but important response is to let people who interact with children know that sexual grooming is a concern. Human service agencies, schools, sports leagues and other child-serving institutions should have regular in-house trainings.
US: New attitudes toward adoption from foster care offer hope
Washington Post – July 24, 2017
“Foster care adoption hasn’t always been an easy or pleasant conversation,” she says. “All of us in the child welfare stratosphere have worked hard to educate the public to change misperceptions about foster care adoption and heighten awareness.”
Information Gateway resource: Adopting Children From Foster Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adoptive/choices/foster-care/
US: SURVEY : More Americans Are Considering Children in Foster Care When Looking to Adopt (Press release)
Globe Newswire – July 24, 2017
According to a new national survey conducted by Nielson on behalf of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 25 percent of people who have not adopted in the United States have considered adoption. Of those individuals, nearly 80 percent have considered foster care adoption, which is up 7 percent from 2012 and an all-time high.
Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/ Survey: 2017 US Adoption Attitudes Survey: https://davethomasfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017-US-Adoption-Attitudes-WEB.pdf
US: Survey: In Past Decade, Foster Care-Adoption Gains Popularity While Private Adoption’s Rep Takes Hit
Chronicle of Social Change – July 24, 2017
In the five years between 2007 and 2012, American attitudes about adoption, and the systems that supply adoptable children, significantly dimmed. Their attitudes about the main domestic systems for adoption – private industry and foster care – dimmed by an even greater margin. One possible driver in this shift was the collapse of the American and global economies, which made the prospect of taking on children scary for more single and married adults. This was not limited to adoption; births went way down in the wake of the recession.
US: Why Some Women Don’t Actually Have Privacy Rights
City Lab – July 24, 2017
One day, when Maisha Joefield was in the bathroom, her 5-year-old wandered off to her grandmother’s apartment across the street. For this, Joefield was incarcerated and charged with endangerment; Her daughter was taken away from her briefly, and for up to a year, she endured intrusive visits from social workers. “They asked me if I beat her,” Joefield told The New York Times.
Canada: Alberta’s Child Advocate Plays the Tattered Residential School Card
Canada Free Press – July 24, 2017
The Government of Alberta’s Child Advocate, Del Graff, is all over the news again. Del and his 65 underlings at the Office of Child and Youth Advocate (OCYA) recently reported on three Aboriginal children who died shortly after being returned to their parents following time in government care. Del’s main beef is that the Government isn’t heeding recommendations spelled out in his 2016 report: Voices of Change: Aboriginal Child Welfare in Alberta.
Report: Voices for Change: Aboriginal Child Welfare in Alberta: http://cwrp.ca/publications/3145
Canada: Canada and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations working together to reform child and family services for First Nations in Saskatchewan (Press release)
Government of Canada – July 24, 2017
The well-being of Indigenous children and families is a priority for the Government of Canada. We are taking action and working with partners to help ensure that children receive the health and social services they need, when they need it.
AR: CASA of Crawford County keeps eye on foster kids
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette – July 23, 2017
Celeste Lewis, CASA of Crawford County executive director, says the national CASA program was started in 1977 by a judge in Seattle who realized he needed more information about children in his caseload in order to make the most informed decisions possible.
AZ: OPINION: Advocates help foster kids reach independence
Apache Junction / Gold Canyon Independent – July 21, 2017
At a time when our country is celebrating its independence, hundreds of kids in Arizona’s foster care system are trying to finds theirs without the guidance and direction that traditionally comes from parents.
CA: Custody fight raises thorny issue of wayward kids
Associated Press – July 22, 2017
A California woman at the center of a contentious legal battle over custody of her out-of-control daughter tried her best to take care of the teen. She looked for the girl each time she ran away from home, sent her to live with her grandparents, and called police and a child welfare agency for help, court records say. But instead of moving to find the 17-year-old delinquent, a legal determination that she did something wrong, officials said her mom could not protect her and took her away.
Also: Social Workers Can Take Incorrigible Kids From Blameless Parents, State Supreme Court Rules: https://patch.com/california/manhattanbeach/s/g6q3s/social-workers-can-take-incorrigible-kids-blameless-parents-state-supreme-court
CA: Former foster kids now in college hope to inspire Progress Ranch kids
Davis Enterprise – July 21, 2017
A visit to Progress Ranch on Monday evening was like coming full circle for Steffanie Kramer, a former foster child who graduated from Sacramento State University last year. “It’s going from being that child, like these boys, to 14 years later being a college graduate,” she said. “It provides reassurance that I didn’t go through what I did for no reason.”
CO: Almost Half of Coloradans Live in ‘Child Care Deserts’ (Opinion)
Colorado Trust – July 14, 2017
Custard is like many Colorado parents, especially working single parents, who struggle to find quality, dependable and, most critically, affordable child care for their young children. Low-income Coloradans and families of color-especially Hispanic families-are most affected by “child care deserts,” communities where the demand for child care far exceeds the number of available options, according to a report last year by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a left-leaning research and advocacy group.
CT: Kidsave Program A Channel To Finding Homes For Older Children
Newtown Bee – July 21, 2017
Ms Dale and Ms Jones are hosting Victor, a native of Colombia, for five weeks this summer through a program called Kidsave, a volunteer-driven effort to help older, orphan children find families, Ms Dale explained in a recent e-mail. “This program is the only chance for many children to have a permanent family,” she wrote. The children and host families do not discuss adoption, but enjoy time together, after which the hosting families can decide if they will pursue adoption.
LA: With new law on the books, Louisiana courts prepare to re-sentence hundreds of juvenile murderers
Advocate – July 23, 2017
A freshly signed state law, the product of two years of contentious haggling in the Legislature, is expected to turn the trickle of inmates seeking new sentences into a stream this fall as cases left on hold while lawmakers negotiated a compromise begin churning back through the criminal justice system.
MN: Small Towns Learn New Approach to Helping Abused Children (Includes Audio)
Public News Service – July 24, 2017
Instead of dealing separately with various agencies and professionals, victims are interviewed only one time. A video of that interview is used by anyone working on the case, and services are made available to victims and their families.
MN: Foster home shortage hurting kids, workers
Workday Minnesota – July 20, 2017
While counties are trying to recruit more foster families, progress is slow. And the shortage of shelters and foster homes is leading to tough choices for children, families and the workers who try to keep kids safe. “We are seeing a huge increase of frustration with our foster parents, and we have lost some very good foster parents to these frustrations,” says St. Louis County child foster care licensor Melissa Ostrofsky of AFSCME Local 66. “The stress level of foster parents and workers is steadily and consistently increasing, and there is no relief in sight.”
Information Gateway resource: Strategic Planning in Recruitment of Foster and Adoptive Parents: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-managers/strategic/recruitment/
MO: Local foster families rejoice after Gov. Greitens restores funding (Includes video)
Fox 4 TV – July 21, 2017
“Governor Greitens has sent a letter to all of us individually telling us it will be reinstated but we haven’t heard when it will be reinstated,” said Saak. And knowing that funding will soon be restored, many foster families say they can breathe a little easier now.
Also: Mo. governor cancels foster care pay cut, takes blame: http://www.smartbrief.com/s/2017/07/mo-governor-cancels-foster-care-pay-cut-takes-blame
MO: The WISH Center gives hope to pregnant women who want to quit heroin
St. Louis Magazine – July 21, 2017
Others might be afraid to approach the center, fearing that child protective services might learn of their addiction and take their child. (This is rare, says Shyken; social workers help WISH’s patients keep families together.)
NC: How severe, ongoing stress can affect a child’s brain
Associated Press – July 22, 2017
It’s no secret that growing up in tough circumstances can be hard on kids and lead to behavior and learning problems. But researchers are discovering something different. Many believe that ongoing stress during early childhood – from grinding poverty, neglect, parents’ substance abuse and other adversity – can smolder beneath the skin, harming kids’ brains and other body systems. And research suggests that can lead to some of the major causes of death and disease in adulthood, including heart attacks and diabetes.
NM: CYFD’s new ‘Pull Together Center’ features games, areas for children
KRQE News 13 – July 21, 2017
The Children, Youth and Families Department hopes to make the worst day of a child’s life a little easier with their new “Pull Together Center.”
Also: Facility eases children’s hardship: http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/facility-eases-childrens-hardship/article_745f2e57-0507-581f-b711-c3206fcad0dd.html
Also: New Mexico hopes to ease transition for children in custody: http://www.argus-press.com/news/state_news/article_c71879c8-650b-5e98-ac7c-e0dc821451d8.html
NY: Pinkerton Awards $1 Million for New York City Foster Care Program
Philanthropy News Digest – July 22, 2017
The Pinkerton Foundation has announced grants totaling nearly $1 million to eight New York City foster care agencies in support of in-house mentored internships for the young adults they serve. To help young people who often face enormous challenges in the transition from foster care to the world of work, Pinkerton, in partnership with the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, will support the technical assistance provided by the Workforce Professionals Training Institute, the Youth Development Institute, New Ways to Work, and Youth Communication.
NY: State’s top child welfare agency is doing bad job overseeing foster care providers, DiNapoli study says
New York Daily News – July 21, 2017
“The agency is not ensuring that caseworkers are making timely and frequent contact with children, their parents and their foster parents,” DiNapoli said. “While the demands on the agency are significant, oversight needs to be improved.” “This audit contains fundamental and egregious errors in the interpretation of state regulations,” the agency said in a statement.
Also: DiNapoli: OCFS Should Improve Foster Care Placement Oversight (Press release): http://www.osc.state.ny.us/press/releases/july17/072117.htm
Report (Taxpayer’s guide): http://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093017/15s79.htm
NY: Upstate Creates Pediatric Fellowship with Special Focus on Treating Child Abuse, Neglect
Newswise – July 20, 2017
Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital will offer for the first time a three-year pediatric fellowship with a special focus on treating child abuse and neglect. Upstate is one of only two institutions in New York to offer a fellowship in child abuse pediatrics; the other is Maimonidies Medical Center in Brooklyn. Thirty institutions nationwide offer the child abuse pediatric fellowship.
OK: Foster children getting access to state funds to attend private school
Oklahoma Watch – July 23, 2017
It marks first time vouchers reach beyond special needs students.
OK: Upcoming DHS budget cuts to affect low-income families
CNHI Oklahoma – July 21, 2017
Powell said DHS understands the impact and implications of the cuts, which also include a 5 percent reduction in reimbursements and subsidies to foster families, among other things, but there were no other options because of the lack of state funding and declining federal funding.
OR: Review of Keizer boy’s strangling death reveals ‘potential systemic’ problems (Includes video)
Statesman Journal – July 22, 2017
Despite leaving several questions unanswered regarding how much the agency knew about abuse Robertson inflicted on her sons, the report does include four findings on systemic problems involving DHS’s interaction with the family.
Also: Keizer Boy’s Death Reveals ‘Potential Systemic’ Problems In Oregon Child Welfare Services: http://www.opb.org/news/article/keizer-oregon-boy-death-strangle-investigation-child-welfare/
OR: Shining a light on sex trafficking Women launch effort to educate public about sexually-abused children
Curry Coastal Pilot – July 21, 2017
It is unknown if there are young children from Curry County who have been caught up in the illegal activity, but with awareness comes a more attentive ear when counselors interview at-risk youth, Wilson said. “One thing that always shocks people is that they get hold of these kids – the target group is boys aged 11 to 13 and 10- to 14-year-old girls,” Wilson said.
PA: Child Advocacy Center scheduled to open at end of month
Times Observer – July 24, 2017
At the height of the Sandusky ordeal in State College, the idea of Child Advocacy Centers became well known, said Greene. Child Advocacy Centers (CACs) are neutral, standalone agencies that operate as a single point of contact for children who’ve reported abuse and the often numerous agencies that need to become involved with that child, and his or her family, throughout the course of their case being investigated and prosecuted.
TX: Teachers, correctional officers push back against anti-union bill
Houston Chronicle – July 23, 2017
The proposal failed to gain traction during the regular session, but was reintroduced as one of 20 issues the governor wanted lawmakers to take up in the special session. The legislation would stop union payroll deductions for state workers, including educators, staff who work in Child Protective Services and prison guards. The proposal exempts first responders, including police officers and firefighters.
UT: 23-year-old taking on the difficult task of interviewing child abuse victims
Standard Examiner – July 21, 2017
Utah currently has 23 such centers throughout the state, where personnel are tasked with interviewing and examining children who are crime victims. For the past 13 years, Rod Layton has served as executive director of the CJC in Ogden, which has now become the fifth in Utah to hire a forensic interviewer to undertake that difficult but needed mission.
WA: New leadership in Pierce County brings new location for homeless youth
Tacoma Daily Index – July 20, 2017
The previous location for the drop-in center had some challenges with the space not being large enough and was a long walk for the participants to access case management and basic needs. Often a young person would be a guest at the overnight shelter and in order to receive case management, they would have to walk over a mile to get to the drop-in center. With the new location of the Drop-In Center, the young people only have to walk 1 ½ blocks over to the Young Adult Shelter.
US: SURVEY : More Americans Are Considering Children in Foster Care When Looking to Adopt (Press release)
Glob Newswire – July 24, 2017
According to a new national survey conducted by Nielson on behalf of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, 25 percent of people who have not adopted in the United States have considered adoption. Of those individuals, nearly 80 percent have considered foster care adoption, which is up 7 percent from 2012 and an all-time high.
Add Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/
US: Administrator of the Administration for Children and Families: Who Is Lynn A. Johnson?
AllGov – July 23, 2017
The next safety net chief will be Lynn A. Johnson, currently executive director of the Jefferson County (Colorado) Department of Human Services. She is President Donald Trump’s nominee to become assistant secretary and administrator of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services. ACF oversees and finances social and economic programs for vulnerable children and families, designed to “help them and develop toward a more independent, self-reliant life.”
US: Most kidnapped children are taken by a parent. That doesn’t mean they’re safe
Washington Post – July 23, 2017
Our society fixates on “stranger danger.” Popular media portrays abductors as pedophiles, serial killers and other strangers who prey on children. Parental and societal fears are fueled by the well-known murders of Danielle van Dam, Adam Walsh, Polly Klaas, Samantha Runnion and Carlie Brucia, and the stories of Elizabeth Smart, Erica Pratt and Jaycee Dugard, who lived to tell of their kidnappings. But contrary to the dominant narrative, nearly all child abductions are perpetrated by family members.
US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #2: Federal Monitoring of Juvenile Justice Involvement
Chronicle of Social Change – July 21, 2017
She would include Disproportionate Crossover Youth Contact (DCYC) as the fifth core requirement for state compliance with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA). States would have to continue to gauge DCYC and demonstrate an effort to address it where it existed. For each core requirement, states currently risk the loss of 20 percent of their JJDPA formula funding if they are noncompliant.
US: Paid parental leave is rare, but good for kids (Opinion)
Child Trends – July 20, 2017
Despite widespread public support for paid family leave, very few U.S. workers have the opportunity to take paid time off after the birth or adoption of a child. The United States has no federal policy requiring employers to offer paid family leave. Just 14 percent of civilian workers have access to paid leave of any kind through their employer, and workers making more than $75,000 per year are more likely than others to have been paid while taking leave.
Australia: Child protection staff to be embedded with Queensland Police
News Grio – July 24, 2017
The 12-month trial will be rolled out from September in Toowoomba, Townsville, the Gold Coast and four child protection staff will take up new roles at police headquarters in Brisbane, where they will have access to the Queensland Police Q-Prime database.
Canada: How a Change in Attitude Toward Adoption From Foster Care is Changing Lives Across Canada
Globe Newswire – July 24, 2017
With more than 30,000 children in Canada waiting to be adopted, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is excited to see that more Canadians are seriously considering foster care adoption, and are also embracing the idea that every child is adoptable.
Canada: Beamish sees privacy issues in new child welfare laws
IAPP (International Association of Privacy Professionals) – July 21, 2017
The new laws will give the Ministry of Children and Youth Services new and broad authority to collect, use and disclose personal information, though the privacy component of the Bill 89, the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, will be the first time children’s aid societies are bound by privacy law.
Germany: Vatican says report on abuse in Germany shows progress in fight against abuse (Includes video)
Catholic Online – July 21, 2017
“It will take time, but this kind of sensitivity that is created by publicly discussing these things of course will push, because people realize what is right and what is wrong, and they realize that they will be questioned if something goes wrong,” Fr. Hans Zollner SJ told CNA July 19.
Greece: Leaving lone refugee minors unprotected: HRW (Includes video)
Press TV – July 20, 2017
Human Rights Watch (HRW) says Greece is failing to protect unaccompanied refugee children on the Greek island of Lesbos, warning that Athens is registering lots of lone minors as adults.
Report: Greece: Lone Migrant Children Left Unprotected: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/07/19/greece-lone-migrant-children-left-unprotected
Russia: Why adoption plays such a big, contentious role in US-Russia relations
Vox – July 22, 2017
For much of the period from the mid-’90s to 2012, Russia was one of the top three “sending” countries supplying adoptable children to the US. (Nos. 1 and 2 in recent years have been China and Ethiopia.) But in late 2012, in retaliation for a US law that imposed sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations (the Magnitsky Act), Russia retaliated by barring US families from adopting Russian children.
Also: What Putin means when he says ‘adoption’ (Opinion): http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-0723-magnitsky-20170720-story.html
United Kingdom: More than 100 child refugees missing in UK after being smuggled from Calais
Independent – July 23, 2017
More than 100 unaccompanied minors known to have crossed from northern France via unauthorised routes since last August remain unaccounted for by British authorities. Of 167 children referred to UK agencies as potential victims of human trafficking after making the crossing, 104 are missing.
United Kingdom: Child Protection Improvement Programme – Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment
Scotish Executive – July 21, 2017
The Child Protection Improvement Programme will directly affect children and young people who come into contact with child protection systems in Scotland, broadly conceived, as a result of concerns being raised about their health and wellbeing. A Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment has been carried out as any emerging recommendations from the Child Protection Improvement Programme will affect the provision of child protection services across Scotland for our children and young people.
United Kingdom: Repeat child protection referrals linked to high caseloads
Children & Young People Now – July 21, 2017
A report commissioned by the Department for Education looking into the issue of repeat referrals to children’s services departments found that, after six years, more than half (55 per cent) of a sample of children who were referred to children’s services in 2010/11 returned to the system at least once.
Also: Children’s services in England: repeat referrals: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childrens-services-in-england-repeat-referrals
AZ: U.S. Supreme Court asked to weigh Havasu lawyer’s case
Havasu News – July 20, 2017
Two La Paz County children could be the subject of a hearing in the U.S. Supreme Court. The children, ages 15 and 17, were the center of a 2016 custody dispute in which the father, a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes, sought to sever the parental rights of his children’s mother. While many Arizona courts would render such a decision in accordance with the children’s best interests, CRIT maintains a higher standard for revoking parental rights, according to Lake Havasu City attorney Brad Rideout, who has advocated on the father’s behalf since 2012.
CA: Palo Alto schools focus on sexual misconduct as reports rise
Mercury News – July 20, 2017
As more complaints of sexual misconduct against students are being logged, the Palo Alto Unified School District is working to make “immediate, systemic improvements” to how the cases are handled, Board President Terry Godfrey said in a letter to the community.
CA: Parents trying to control kids can lose custody
Springfield News-Sun – July 20, 2017
The state can take wayward children away from their parents even when they are doing their best to control their kids and the kids aren’t delinquents, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
CO: Foster homes needed in Mesa County (Includes video)
KJCT – July 20, 2017
There are nearly 300 kids currently in foster care in Mesa County, and experts say we need more homes to keep up with those numbers. A recent study shows that Central Grand Junction, those in the 81501 zip code, only have four foster homes. Clifton doesn’t have any.
CT: CT Voices for Children touts early childhood education program effectiveness
New Haven Register – July 20, 2017
Connecticut’s high levels of average educational attainment compared to the rest of the nation isn’t a coincidence, argue officials with the policy advocacy group Connecticut Voices For Children, but because of financial investment in educational programs. To slash or shutter early childhood care and preschool programs in pursuit of savings is a myopic strategy that will cost the state later down the road, said Connecticut Voices for Children Executive Director Ellen Shemitz in a statement.
Also: Report: Assessing Quality in Connecticut’s Early Childhood System: http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/Quality%20of%20Early%20Care%202%20Final.pdf
DC: Orphans Visiting D.C. Are Hoping This Will Be Their Summer Of Love (Includes audio)
WAMU – July 21, 2017
During Kidsave’s Summer Miracle events, host families and other parents interested in adopting can meet the orphans and interact with them and learn more about the Kidsave program.
FL: Foster Parents Help Family Torn Apart By Addiction Reunite (Includes video)
WUSF – July 20, 2017
As Health News Florida reported last week, the opioid crisis in Manatee and Sarasota Counties is putting a strain on their foster care system. But the situation isn’t entirely bleak. Now we’ll hear from one mother whose relationship with her son’s foster parents helped her reunify her family and overcome her addiction.
HI: The Search for Peter Boy, Part 7: The Mistakes (Includes video)
Hawaii News Now – July 21, 2017
There are many who say Peter Boy’s death could have been avoided – that he was not just the victim of abusive parents, but of a social services safety net that failed him. The question: Should the state Department of Human Services, specifically Child Protective Services, also be held accountable in Peter Boy’s death?
Also: State Report: Court report: State never should have returned ‘Peter Boy’ to his parents: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/35148801/court-report-state-never-should-have-returned-peter-boy-to-his-parents
Also: ARCHIVE: Eight years later, new documents shed new light on Kema’s disappearance (Includes video): http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/35936135/archive-eight-years-later-new-documents-shed-new-light-on-kemas-disappearance
IA: Foxhoven’s Yankton Upbringing Plays Into Work Ethic, Values
Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan – July 20, 2017
Jerry Foxhoven has lived his passion for helping people throughout his entire professional career. The Yankton native was recently given an opportunity to accomplish this on a large scale by being named director of the Iowa Department of Human Services in June.
ID: Let’s put that surplus to work for Idaho (Opinion)
Coeur d’Alene / Post Falls Press – July 20, 2017
Child welfare services, including child protection, is in need of additional staff and resources to protect abused and neglected children in Idaho. The Department of Correction probation officers often have caseloads significantly higher than national standards, thus lessening the supervision of some criminals and increasing the crime risk to the community.
MD: Report highlights progress, areas for improvement in area’s foster care system
Frederick News-Post – July 20, 2017
The annual report on foster care published last week details foster care across the region based on data reported from counties in Maryland and Virginia, as well as D.C. Frederick County experienced a 33 percent decrease in the same time frame, the report stated. There were 94 children in the county’s foster care system as of Dec. 31, compared with 140 in 2008. Kim Smith, Frederick County’s foster care program manager, credited the decline to more preventive measures that help keep families together, which in turn reduces the need for children to be placed in foster care.
MI: DHHS supervisor demoted amid faked-records allegations (Includes video)
Lansing State Journal – July 20, 2017
A state supervisor accused of manipulating records to make the state’s child welfare agency appear in compliance with a federal court order has apparently been demoted.
MN: Help wanted: Drug use, policy changes up need for foster parents (Includes video)
St. Cloud Times – July 20, 2017
The number of foster parents isn’t keeping up as the number of children in protective services grows. Most of that growth in Benton County is due to drug use among parents. Half of the children in Benton County foster care last year were there because of parental drug use. That trend continued through the first half of 2017, according to county data.
Also: Foster home shortage hurting kids, workers (Opinion): http://www.workdayminnesota.org/articles/foster-home-shortage-hurting-kids-workers
MO: Governor reverses cuts to foster-care families
Associated Press – July 20, 2017
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Thursday said he’s reversing cuts to foster-care families that he had earlier approved, saying the proposal to cut their compensation had been “a mistake.” Cutting aid to families who care for foster children “was never our intention,” Greitens wrote in a letter he sent to foster-care families. Greitens said he’s now undoing a 1.5 percent funding cut those families faced.
NJ: DYFS is in the past: New NJ child welfare agency improving, monitor says
WKXW – July 21, 2017
According to the latest report by federal monitor Judith Meltzer, who was assigned to oversee those efforts, progress continues to be made to improve what is now the Department of Children and Families. Her report finds for the third consecutive monitoring period, the Department of Children and Families has reached a higher level of child welfare performance.
Also: Are N.J. kids safer? Here’s how child welfare system did on its latest report card: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/07/latest_child_welfare_system_report_card_shows_prog.html
NM: Teen sexually abused by foster parent files lawsuit against CYFD
KRQE – July 20, 2017
An Espanola teen, sexually abused by a foster parent in 2014, is now going after the Children Youth and Families Department and the center who employed the man. The lawsuit against CYFD, United Behavioral Health, Agave Health and others alleges boys had reported abuse in the past, but they were dismissed or inadequately investigated.
NY: NYC Foster Care Agency You Gotta Believe Says Farewell to Director Susan Grundberg
Chronicle of Social Change – July 20, 2017
For the past four years, Susan Grundberg has worked to help foster youth find permanent families and parents while leading the non-profit organization You Gotta Believe (YGB).
RI: Call For Independent Investigation Of School Sexual Abuse Reporting Gains Traction
Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR) – July 20, 2017
A resolution calling for an independent investigation into the handling of sexual abuse allegations at Henry Kizirian Elementary School moved forward in the Providence City Council Monday. The council’s education committee amended the resolution, placing the Providence Police Department in charge of the proposed investigation.
TX: Child abuse increases with start of school, advocates needed
Athens Daily Review – July 20, 2017
Backpacks, pencils and notebooks are filling up the aisles in stores all over Texas, reminding us that a new school year is just around the corner. The beginning of the school year can be an exciting time for most children, but it can also lead to more reports of abuse and neglect as faculty, staff and other parents notice signs of maltreatment children may have endured during their time away.
TX: County ramps up outreach in local communities
Community Impact News – July 20, 2017
State officials have been working to improve child protection and foster care in Texas ever since a federal judge declared the system broken in December 2015, citing overloaded case workers and children sleeping in offices due to lack of beds. In Harris County, officials have been reaching out to churches to try to build new partnerships with the goal of filling a variety of needs. Each year more than 29,000 children are involved with CPS in Harris County.
TX: In Texas, So-Called ‘Pro-Life’ Protection Doesn’t Apply to Trafficked Youth (Opinion)
Rewire – July 20, 2017
Many Texas legislators proudly stand upon their “pro-life” platform, claiming they are protecting human life through harsh restrictions on reproductive health access. But, as a whole, Texas lawmakers’ concern for vulnerable groups doesn’t extend beyond the abortion clinic-and it certainly doesn’t extend to young people hurt by sex trafficking.
TX: Large number of CPS cases in Taylor County related to drugs (Includes video)
KTXS – July 20, 2017
A Taylor County Welfare Board said they are not only seeing an increase in child abuse cases, but also children testing positive for drugs. Board member Sunshine Ridenour said Child Protective Services sees more than 60 percent of children under the age of 5 testing positive for drugs.
TX: Rainbow Room, a place of hope for children, in need of help
KIIITV – July 20, 2017
Kiii Anchor Rudy Trevino shared the importance of the Rainbow Room. It’s a nonprofit organization that comes to the rescue, and now it’s in need of help itself. The place is volunteer organization that focuses on the time between when a child is removed from an abusive situation and placed in foster care.
VA: Colombian Orphans Seek Adoptive Families in Loudoun
Loudoun Now – July 10, 2017
Through a program called Summer Miracles, the volunteer-driven organization Kidsave pairs the children with host families throughout the nation for one month. The goal of the program is to provide the children with a carefree summer vacation and, ideally, connect them with families looking to adopt.
US: ACLU sues for draft of Trump religious liberty order
Hill – July 20, 2017
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Trump administration for records on an executive order President Trump reportedly planned to release targeting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The ACLU said the order would have also allowed child welfare agencies that receive federal funding to put religious doctrines above the best interests of the children in their care.
US: Child Welfare Ideas from the Experts #1: Reducing Frequency of Foster Care Placements
Chronicle of Social Change – July 20, 2017
The Chronicle of Social Change is highlighting each of the policy recommendations made this summer by the participants of the Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI), a group of 12 former foster youths who have completed congressional internships. Today we highlight the recommendation of Alexis Arambul, a senior at Washington State University.
US: Russian Ban On U.S. Adoptions Becomes Embroiled In Trump Controversy (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – July 20, 2017
Americans have been banned from adopting children from Russia since 2013. NPR’s Robert Siegel and Matthew Rojansky, director of the Wilson Center’s Kennan Institute, discuss the history of the ban and how it’s still a factor in the U.S.-Russia relationship today.
US: Democrats urge swifter action from Trump on opioid addiction
Associated Press – July 19, 2017
Twenty Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, have written to the acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy urging him to “consider important initiatives that could help deliver faster relief to millions of Americans.”
Also: Cuts to Medicaid could worsen U.S. opioid crisis, governors warn: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-governors-opioids-idUSKBN19Y2XH
Also: National Strategy to Reduce Opioid Epidemic, an Urgent Public Health Priority, Presented in New Report: http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=24781&_ga=2.25678909.1432658418.1500037540-174679701.1466513127
Report: Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic (Free download with registration): https://www.nap.edu/login.php?record_id=24781&page=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nap.edu%2Fdownload%2F24781
Information Gateway resource: Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/bhw/treatment/
Israel: Israel Should Allow Adoption by Same-Sex Couples (Opinion)
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – July 19, 2017
In short, the government is saying that social prejudice could negatively affect children of same-sex couples. But perpetuating discrimination in the name of child welfare is an untenable approach. Barring children from being adopted into loving, supportive families on spurious grounds is hardly in the best interest of the child.
AR: Incoming Arkansas drug czar to have more powers
Arkansas News – July 19, 2017
Arkansas’ new drug director will be responsible for administering about $24 million in drug abuse and prevention treatment grants that previously were under the control of various Department of Human Services divisions, the agency said Wednesday.
Also: DHS Changes Approach to Address Drug Abuse (Press release): http://www.arkansasmatters.com/news/local-news/dhs-changes-approach-to-address-drug-abuse/769457355
AZ: Goldwater Institute asks U.S. Supreme Court to provide equal rights to Native American children
Southern Arizona News-Examiner – July 19, 2017
In this case, two Arizona teenagers are being subjected to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law that sets different rules for child welfare cases involving Native American children.
CA: Senator Harris Calls for Reform of Criminal Justice Policies that Impact Incarcerated Women
Los Angeles Sentinel – July 19, 2017
When I looked a little closer at the case, I realized that this person, this woman, had young children. And I realized that, of course, no one, if they are innocent, should be held in jail, and certainly not over the weekend. But for this person in particular, I realized also that it would mean that by not being able to go home, it is very possible that she could have lost her job. It is very possible that if her children were unsupervised, that Child Protective Services would come and pick them up. And all that would happen to her life if she had to stay in jail over the weekend.
Also: Inside the Legislative Fight for the Rights of Incarcerated Women: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/07/19/kamala_harris_and_cory_booker_push_new_legislation_for_the_rights_of_incarcerated.html
CA: Watchdog Group: Medicaid’s Child Psychotropic Drugging Needs Greater Oversight (Press release)
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International – July 18, 2017
The mental health watchdog Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) applauded the recent Department of Justice health care fraud crackdown but says greater oversight is needed of Medicaid billing of psychotropic drugs prescribed children, which could reduce their use and increase protections.
CO: Digital Counties Survey 2017: Winners Focus on Knowing When, How to Introduce New Tech
Government Technology – July 19, 2017
This year, the theme among the five first-place winners is not so much about a shiny, new technology as much as it is about knowing when and how to introduce it. One project he said Douglas County officials are excited about is the possibility of using predictive analytics to better serve child welfare and human services functions of the county. As it stands, the county is collaborating with the state of Colorado and academic partners to determine if and how such a tool could be utilized realistically.
IA: Surprising numbers of kids at risk for toxic stress damage
Clinton Herald – July 18, 2017
Research suggests persistent stress in young children can become toxic, causing brain changes that can interfere with learning and lead to disease in adulthood. It’s unknown how many children and adults have been harmed by toxic stress but data show that many live in circumstances that experts say put them at risk.
IL: New details emerge of former DCFS head’s controversial contracts, hires
Chicago Tribune – July 19, 2017
Weeks after former state Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon resigned and took a job with a Florida nonprofit, new details are emerging about insider contract deals and allegations of Sheldon and his top aide’s mismanagement during his tenure at the scandal-tainted agency.
IN: Caught on camera: State worker accused of distracted driving after removing kids from dangerous home (Includes video)
WTHR – July 19, 2017
The Indiana Department of Child Services removed two children from their home to protect them for possible abuse. Those kids say what happened next put them in even greater danger – and they took pictures to prove it. The photos, exposed by 13 Investigates, have triggered a state investigation, and DCS is now trying to determine if one of its employees jeopardized child safety by violating department policy and state law.
NC: Children in Foster Care in NC Surpasses 11,000 (Press release)
Children’s Home Society – July 19, 2017
In response to the increasing needs of children in North Carolina, Children’s Home Society is implementing an aggressive four-year strategic plan and realignment that will allow it to double the number of adoptions completed and the number of children served by family finding and enhanced foster care to permanency programs. CHS will triple the number of children served by child specific recruitment, designed to find permanent homes for children who have been in foster care the longest.
NJ: L.A. Parker: Children need and deserve a voice in the discussion (Opinion)
Trentonian – July 19, 2017
Having a voice, a say, an opportunity to participate matters, especially during teen years. Even as adults, at our jobs and in relationships, we desire to be heard.
NM: Suits: Española teen knowingly placed in care of sex abuser
Santa Fe New Mexican – July 20, 2017
An Española teen who endured three months of sexual abuse by a foster parent in 2014 has filed state and federal lawsuits against New Mexico’s child welfare agency, several of its employees and a state-contracted behavioral health firm, saying they knowingly placed him in the care of a man who was accused more than a year earlier of sexually assaulting foster children.
NV: Helping youth transition from foster care (Video)
KVVU – July 18, 2017
Myesha Wilson, of Olive Crest, discusses the changes happening at the nonprofit organization.
OK: Foster kids in state may soon receive vouchers to attend private schools
Lawton Constitution – July 20, 2017
The change represents the first time that a state school voucher program, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program, has been expanded beyond students who are disabled or have special needs. It could foreshadow future efforts to open the program up to more children.
TX: Broken System: Federal judge’s 2015 ruling reveals disturbing details of Texas foster care system (Video)
KSAT – July 19, 2017
State lawmakers have tried several times to fix the Texas foster care system, often with disappointing results.
TX: Drug cases overloading Abilene CPS workers
KTAB/KRBC – July 19, 2017
Abilene’s Child Protective Services office currently has the highest number of cases per worker in the State of Texas, most of which are drug related. The Head of the Child Welfare Board addressed Taylor County commissioners during budget hearings last week, saying Abilene’s CPS office has 455 children in their custody, and 40% of those children have been placed with relatives because Taylor County is low on foster homes.
TX: No place to run (Includes audio)
Center for Investigative Reporting – July 15, 2017
In Texas, the foster care system is failing the vulnerable children it’s meant to protect, leaving many without a safe place to live. Foster children often end up on the streets or in jail, which is one of the few places where they can receive treatment services.
VA: The life of a drug-addicted baby: Difficulty breathing, restlessness, seizures
Southside Daily – July 19, 2017
Why is this newborn, who just months old, fighting to merely exist? His birth came with an addiction stemming from illegal substances his mother used while he was in utero. He’s experiencing what thousands will grapple with this year across the Commonwealth – opioid withdrawals.
WI: State refused to produce child-separation data, even after counties did
Marshfield News-Herald – July 19, 2017
A state agency would not release county data to explain why children are removed from their homes in Wisconsin, information that eventually showed that parental drug abuse is a growing factor.
US: Opioid Treatment Funds In Senate Bill Would Fall Far Short Of Needs
National Public Radio – July 20, 2017
Addiction treatment specialists warn that $45 billion is far from enough to address a crisis that has escalated across the United States in recent years, killing tens of thousands of people. There also would be ripple effects from that drop in funding, Smith says – grandparents taking care of grandkids, bankruptcies because of treatment costs, and more work for each county’s department of children and youth services. Smith also worries that less treatment would mean more people would be desperate to support their habit.
US: The international adoption rate has plummeted in the US (Opinion)
TRT World – July 20, 2017
International adoptions have decreased annually from their global apex in 2004, when 22,989 children were adopted internationally by US parents, according to a new report from the US State Department. Last year, 5,372 visas were issued; a mere 23 percent of the total from 2004.
Also: 2017 State Department Report: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/aa/pdfs/2016%20Annual%20Report%20on%20Intercountry%20Adoptions.pdf
Information Gateway resource: Laws Related to Adoption: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/laws/
US: Beyond open data: Insights through analytics
GCN – July 19, 2017
More important than making data itself available, the authors argue, is recognizing the challenge of melding data into analytics. The book also looks at applications in transportation, public health, child welfare, prescription drug abuse, fraud prevention, and it methodically lays out both the depth of missed opportunities and the possibility of a brighter future.
US: USA Gymnastics hires new director of safe sport, in-house counsel amid sexual abuse scandal (Includes video)
USA Today – July 19, 2017
USA Gymnastics on Wednesday announced the hiring of a director of safe sport and an in-house legal counsel, filling positions created in response to a sexual abuse scandal that has engulfed the organization for nearly a year.
US: Case Management Instead of Jailing Asylum-Seeking Mothers, Children for Profit (Opinion)
UT News (University of Texas in Austin) – July 18, 2017
It is time to end the imprisonment of mothers and children who seek asylum protection in the U.S. after fleeing violence in Central America and other troubled countries.
Australia: Indigenous community calls for greater say in ACT foster care system
Newsgrio – July 18, 2017
The ACT Government recently announced a review into the Territory’s foster care system, to address the fact it has the highest rate of Indigenous kids in care in the country. Ms Walker said the Government needed to work with the community before families were separated.
AR: State Senate Report – July 19, 2017 (Opinion)
Ashley County Ledger – July 18, 2017
The epidemic is not only a challenge for law enforcement and drug abuse treatment programs, it is a strain on the resources of social service agencies. Specifically, it has affected foster care and child welfare programs because the spiraling abuse of opioid prescriptions has resulted in growing numbers of children being removed from their homes.
CA: AG Files Amicus in Case Involving Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth
Davis Vanguard – July 15, 2017
This spring we learned from the case of “GE,” a 14-year-old unaccompanied minor who was apparently cleared for asylum but had still been housed indefinitely at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility under the unaccompanied minor program-despite having no criminal record. Holly Cooper, co-director of the Immigration Law Clinic at UC Davis, expressed concern that unaccompanied minors have few legal remedies, and “can find themselves indefinitely detained.”
FL: More Than 2,500 Parents Responded To Tony Dungy’s All Pro Dad, Florida DCF, And FCC Saying They Would Be Willing To Foster Or Adopt (Press release)
All Pro Dad – July 18, 2017
More than 2,500 foster and adoption leads have been created in Florida through a campaign created by All Pro Dad, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Florida Coalition for Children (FCC).
FL: New Report On Florida’s Young Sex Trafficking Victims Draws Mixed Reviews (Includes audio)
WGCU – July 15, 2017
Florida continues to be third in the nation for human trafficking cases. Most involve young sex trafficking victims, and that number appears to be rising.
Report: DCF and Its Lead Agencies Have Not Resolved Issues Related to Serving Commercially Sexually Exploited Children: http://www.oppaga.state.fl.us/MonitorDocs/Reports/pdf/1709rpt.pdf
IN: Social workers in high demand
Associated Press – July 15, 2017
As record overdose deaths raise alarms, there is yet another twist to the opioid crisis: a shortage of social workers. IUPUI reported last week that the drug epidemic has helped fuel the shortage, and addiction is just part of the problem. Addicts cannot properly care for their children, so issues spill over to the child welfare system as well, said Michael Patchner, dean of IUPUI School of Social Work.
MN: In wake of state reforms, child protective services in Hennepin County struggle to keep up
MinnPost – July 18, 2017
Since 2014, Hennepin County’s GAL program has seen a 60 percent increase in cases, a result of a series of reforms passed by the state Legislature meant to improve child protection practices statewide.
MO: Greitens launches painkiller database after Missouri lawmakers don’t
St. Louis Post Dispatch – July 17, 2017
Calling painkiller abuse a “modern plague,” Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens sidestepped the Legislature on Monday to create his own version of a prescription drug monitoring program. “There are too many families that have had to deal with this,” Greitens said during an event at St. Louis-based Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefits manager. “We have to look this problem square in the eye.”
NE: State needs more foster care caseworkers, report says
KETV – July 18, 2017
Nebraska lawmakers listened Thursday as the state inspector general on child welfare detailed a shortage of foster care caseworkers, and the horror stories of children who suffered when they fell through the resulting cracks in the system.
NH: Lawmaker Wants To Create Bill Of Rights For Foster Parents (Includes audio)
NHPR – July 18, 2017
After spending two years as a foster parent, first-term state representative Sean Morrison is concerned about what he says is a lack of rights for foster families in the child protective services system.
NH: Our Turn: Tax breaks for wealthy over child protection (Opinion)
Concord Monitor – July 16, 2017
Gov. Sununu’s partisan budget spends much more on additional tax breaks for business owners and big corporations than it does on child safety and child protection. In doing so, it blatantly ignores “foundational” (basic) recommendations on child protection coming from a recent independent audit of DCYF.
NY: Bracha Graber, Who Spurred Changes in New York Foster Care, Dies at 68
New York Times – July 18, 2017
Bracha Graber, whose whistle-blowing over widespread fraud in New York City’s foster care bureaucracy in the 1990s was a catalyst for an overhaul of its practices, died on July 5 in Los Angeles. She was 68. Ms. Graber, a midlevel city official, filed a lawsuit for damages in 1993 only after being repeatedly rebuffed by her bosses and disregarded by outside investigators when she confronted them with evidence that her agency was defrauding the federal government.
NY: Westchester’s ‘Camp Morty’ Gives Kids In Need A Break From Serious Challenges (Includes video)
CBS New York – July 18, 2017
Kids who attend the camp are dealing with challenger most campers don’t face. “All the kids who come to camp here are either in homeless shelters, some kind of public assistance, they are foster care kids, or they are in child protective services,” Westchester Parks Foundation, Executive Director, Joe Stout said.
OR: IQ costs Oregon parents their kids, but is that fair? (Column)
Oregonian – July 18, 2017
The case lays bare fundamental questions about what makes a good parent and who, ultimately, gets to decide when someone’s not good enough. And it strikes at the heart of the stark choices child welfare workers face daily: should a child be removed or is there some middle ground?
TN: Reformed Tennessee foster-care program emerges from federal oversight
Times Free Press – July 18, 2017
One lawsuit, 16 years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, Tennessee’s once-troubled foster care program for thousands of children has finally emerged from a federal court’s oversight.
Also: Judge lifts federal oversight on Tennessee children services: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/nation-world/article162089438.html
Also: Judge removes longstanding federal oversight for Tennessee children services: http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/07/18/judge-removes-longstanding-federal-oversight-tennessee-children-services/488624001/
Also: TN Dept. of Children’s Services no longer under federal oversight after court decision: http://www.wsmv.com/story/35912707/tn-dept-of-childrens-services-no-longer-under-federal-oversight-after-court-decision
TX: Harris County Attorney files brief asking judge to block sanctuary cities law
Houston Chronicle – July 18, 2017
Last week, Harris County Commissioners Court opted not to join a lawsuit challenging the state’s controversial “sanctuary cities” law as unconstitutional. Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, however, has filed a brief asking a federal court to halt its implementation on Sept. 1. “S.B. 4 will do irreparable damage to this State’s child welfare process, place county attorneys charged with representing DFPS in an irreconcilable conflict, and do further trauma to children who have been placed in the State’s care. Further, there is no legitimate state purpose in treating children who have an unauthorized immigrant parent or other potential care giver differently in child welfare cases,” states Ryan’s brief, which was filed this month in federal court.
UT: Blanding addresses swimming passes for foster children
San Juan Record – July 18, 2017
A request from the foster care system was made to the Blanding City Council on July 11. City Manager Jeremy Redd presented a request to allow free swimming for foster children at the Blanding Wellness Center. Council is concerned about “where the line is” if they allow foster children to swim for free. David Palmer is worried about how it would work so people will not take advantage of the system.
UT: Op-ed: Arrest of Mormon bishop shows that only communities can protect children from abuse
Salt Lake Tribune – July 15, 2017
On June 21, Mapleton police arrested Eric Hughes, 51, for allegedly drugging and sexually abusing two boys while serving as bishop of a Mormon ward. While Hughes remains innocent until proven guilty, this incident underscores the necessity of instituting effective child protection policies in Mormon wards and communities.
WA: Murray fails to take responsibility for sexual abuse allegations; Editorial Board faults Murray
Daily (University of Washington) – July 19, 2017
On Monday, news broke that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray was found to have sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s by the State of Oregon’s Child Protective Services (CPS). After consistently denying abuse accusations since April, Murray now faces increasing pressure to step down.
Also: Editorial: Time has come for Murray to step down: http://queenannenews.com/Content/Opinion/Opinion/Article/EDITORIAL-Time-has-come-for-Murray-to-step-down/9/540/39360
US: Blaming Parents Is an Unconscionable Response to Children Fleeing Violence (Opinion)
Washington Monthly (Center for Law and Social Policy – CLASP) – July 18, 2017
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now targeting parents whose children have fled to the U.S. from violence and persecution abroad (so-called “unaccompanied minors”), with the intention of deporting the parents and potentially prosecuting them for trafficking or endangering children. The administration’s policy is to criminalize parents if they have paid a smuggler to bring children to safety in this country, a policy change that threatens American values and the legal framework for protecting children.
US: PA Representative Smucker pushes for more family adoptions (Includes video)
YourErie.com – July 18, 2017
Congressman Smucker and Representative Sewell are sponsoring legislation that passed the House last month. It would direct the Department of Health and Human Services to produce new adoption guidelines for states. The idea is to give child welfare workers more flexibility to place children with relatives by exempting some non-safety adoption rules.
Information Gateway resource: Kinship Caregivers and the Child Welfare System: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f-kinshi/
US: Reporter uncovers the hidden tragedies of children left behind when mom goes to jail
Center for Health Journalism Community News (University of Southern California) – July 18, 2017
When women are sent to prison, the child welfare system is triggered. But when mothers are sent to county jail, there is no system in place to watch their kids. So what, exactly, happens? That was the question that led Cary Aspinwall, a 2016 National Fellow, to take on an ambitious journalism project that became “Overlooked,” a deeply reported interactive story published last month in The Dallas Morning News.
Haiti: Post disaster: Protecting children in Haiti (Press release)
ACTED – July 06, 2017
Following Hurricane Matthew, which swept across the southern peninsula of Haiti in October 2016, a large number of Haitians found themselves in a situation of great vulnerability. The situation of children is particularly at risk: many have no place to stay, and access to education is compromised.
Israel: Israeli government has two months to rethink gay adoption policy, Supreme Court says
Jewish Telegraphic Agency – July 18, 2017
Israel’s Supreme Court has given the government two months to reconsider its opposition to allowing same-sex couples to adopt in the country. Welfare and Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz asked the court Tuesday for an extension to re-examine the issue, saying he wanted to seek more professional opinions.
Also: Israel, play fair with LGBT families! (Opinion): http://religionnews.com/2017/07/18/israel-lgbt-same-sex-adoption/
CA: LA County considers foster care bill of rights
Fostering Media Connections – July 17, 2017
Now as California begins to embark on a “colossal reform” of the state’s foster care system, Los Angeles County is hoping to create a way for foster youth to better understand their rights and utilize available services established for foster youth through new federal and state legislation.
CA: Sacramento County is in need of foster parents (Includes video)
KCRA – July 17, 2017
For Sacramento County’s abused and neglected children and teens, the Children’s Receiving Home is the first stop after Child Protective Services removes them from their prior living situation. The shelter is meant for short-term stays, on average about 25 to 30 days, while CPS works with the family or tries to place them with a relative or foster parent. But the demand for one of the 98 beds at the home is often too high.
CA: Spokeo connects investigators to a wealth of records, social media data
San Gabriel Valley Tribune – July 13, 2017
Spokeo, a Pasadena-based people-search platform has simplified the investigation process. The company has introduced an investigative search tool for law enforcement agencies that brings together a wealth of public records and social media data that can all be accessed from one search location. Spokeo also employs “Search Angel” volunteers who use Spokeo to help people impacted by adoption, foster care and other family separations find long-lost family members while also offering emotional support.
FL: Grace Landing recruiting churches to help foster kids
Osceola News Gazette – July 17, 2017
Its community-based, church-led initiative titled Fostering Our Future is missioned to end homelessness in Osceola County children by providing local churches with materials to engage and train foster families. “We don’t just recruit families, we recruit churches,” said Grace’s Landing Founder and Executive Director Juda Attkisson. “We train churches so they know what to do.”
IN: Education Program Broadens Foster Kid Focus (Includes video)
Inside Indiana Business – July 13, 2017
A more than 10-year-old program supporting children in foster care has branched out to boost those who have aged-out of the system. Books For Youth is a statewide collaboration with partners including Indianapolis-based Cargo Services Inc., the Indianapolis Colts and the Indiana Department of Child Services.
IN: Growing need for foster families (Includes video)
WFIE – July 13, 2017
That number is almost double what it was from just three years ago. There are ways you can help the foster system though.
MI: SAF Sues Michigan Agency Over Civil Rights Violations Against Foster Parents (Press release)
Second Amendment Foundatio – July 17, 2017
The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit against the head of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on behalf of four Michigan residents, alleging civil rights violations under color of law for enforcing restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of people who want to be foster or adoptive parents.
MO: Jasper County Sees Success with Pre-Trial Release Program Hoping to Reduce Jail Overcrowding (Includes video)
KFJX – July 13, 2017
People too poor to bond out of jail prompts the Missouri Supreme Court to commission a task force to look at the problem of pre-trial incarceration. Jasper county is ahead of the curve having adopted a pre trial -release program in May for those who can’t pay bond. Theis says some have lost jobs and even children have been put in foster care while a parent is incarcerated awaiting trial.
OH: Hamilton County sends about half of its foster kids to other counties
Cincinnati Enquirer – July 15, 2017
Every couple of weeks or so, Hamilton County child welfare workers pull out a cot between the desks and file cabinets of their downtown Cincinnati office building and put a child to sleep because they can’t find a suitable family member or an available foster home.
OH: Butler County approves executive promotions
Journal-News – July 13, 2017
The “interim” in front of Bill Morrison’s title as executive director of Job and Family Services, Children Services and Child Support Enforcement disappeared Thursday after the Butler County commissioners approved the promotion. The commissioners also installed Jennifer Strickland as the new administrator of the Care Facility.
OH: Opiate crisis creates grave need for foster care (Includes video)
WFMJ – July 13, 2017
There is a growing need for foster care in the Valley, and one of the main reasons is the opiate crisis. Trumbull County Children Services is at the Trumbull County Fair this week, hoping to reach more families willing to foster child.
OK: DHS cuts prompt political sparring as lawmakers react to House leadership’s ‘surprise’ email
Oklahoman – July 18, 2017
The House leadership team is divided on whom to blame for program cuts announced last week by the Department of Human Services. DHS said years of underfunding and growing costs will force it to cut almost $30 million from services that support children, adults and seniors. Kingfisher Republican Mike Sanders launched the first volley against the agency on Friday. He admonished DHS for cutting services that serve children and vulnerable adults in a year when the Legislature handed out an 8.2-percent appropriation boost.
OK: Agencies react to DHS reduction cuts (Includes video)
KSWO – July 17, 2017
A local Youth and Family Service Center is reacting after The Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced 30 million dollar reductions over the next fiscal year. The reductions were announced last Tuesday. They include a six-month freeze on new applications for child care subsidies, reductions to certain types of services for seniors and those with disabilities, nutritional programs, and a five percent rate cut to foster home and adoption assistance payments.
PA: Bloomsburg University debuts program with foster care teens
WOLF – July 18, 2017
Bloomsburg University debuts their Anchor Program this week. The program engages foster care teens in several counties for a week-long stay at the school. The teens have a chance get a taste of college life, academic opportunities, and learn from their college-aged mentors.
TN: Help available for kids coping with parents’ addiction to opioids (Includes video)
WATE – July 17, 2017
“No child can be measured the same. Some kids come in and they adjust well and fine. Some kids initially come in and they appear to be fine and then days later they experience a longing or missing of their parents,” said Carren Broadnax, a resource linkage coordinator for the Knox County Department of Children’s Services.
TX: Progress made, but there’s more to do for Texas children (Opinion)
KRISTV – July 16, 2017
Our child protection system was in crisis; with high turnover and high caseloads, the foundation was crumbling as children slipped through the gaps. Under the leadership of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus, the Legislature took significant steps toward filling these gaps and began the process of re-laying a solid foundation to build on in the coming sessions.
VA: Salvation Army starting new program to address teen homelessness in Roanoke (Includes video)
WSLS – July 17, 2017
After a few renovations, the New Day Center will become a street outreach, 24-hour hotline and drop-in center targeting youth aging out of foster care and those at risk of homelessness, according to Captain Monica Seiler.
VA: Sheltered Kids And Rescued Horses Work Together In Virginia Beach Recreational Therapy Program (Press release)
Seton Youth Shelters – July 14, 2017
Since 1985, Seton Youth Shelters has served as the region’s only organization devoted exclusively to providing shelter, counseling street outreach services to youth 9-17. Seton Youth Shelters provides prevention, intervention, shelter and counseling to youth 9-17 in crisis and their families.
VT: Gobeille: Opioid crisis ‘is ubiquitous. It’s literally everywhere’
VT Digger – July 13, 2017
Gobeille said programs on the local level, such as Rutland’s Project Vision, serve as a model that other communities across Vermont are looking to replicate. He said while statewide initiatives are looking at the big picture, local programs are vital in seeing a more granular picture.
WA: Newly Released Oregon Records Bolster Allegations That Seattle Mayor Ed Murray Sexually Abused Foster Son in 1980s Portland
Seattle Times – July 16, 2017
An Oregon child-welfare investigator concluded that Ed Murray sexually abused his foster son in the early 1980s, leading state officials to assert that “under no circumstances should Mr. Murray be certified” as a foster parent in the future, according to public records obtained by The Seattle Times.
Also: Another sex abuse report raises questions, puts pressure on Murray: http://crosscut.com/2017/07/another-sex-abuse-report-raises-questions-puts-pressure-on-murray-simpson/
Also: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray after newly surfaced sex abuse documents: I’m not going to resign (Includes video): http://www.ajc.com/news/national/seattle-mayor-murray-after-newly-surfaced-sex-abuse-documents-not-going-resign/toHigHWhhPlMJxZkw9VcyO/
US: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Awards $25.5 Million in Grants in the Second Quarter of 2017, Approves New Foster Youth Strategy (Press release)
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – July 17, 2017
The board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that it approved 31 grants totaling $25.5 million during the second quarter of 2017. The board also approved a new five-year strategy for the Foster Youth Strategic Initiative, beginning with grant approvals for Graham-Windham ($720,000) and the Children’s Data Network at the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work ($825,000).
US: A child psychiatrist shortage fuels a crisis and workarounds (Podcast)
Pulse – July 13, 2017
In the U.S., not one state has a sufficient number of child psychiatrists, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. Many worry this shortage of mental health specialists, and child psychiatrists in particular, has created a crisis in real time and another one in the making.
US: Despite What Ivanka Says, the Trump Paid Leave Plan Is Not a Step in the Right Direction (Opinion)
Rewire – July 13, 2017
Ivanka Trump has been defending her father’s paid leave proposal, calling it a boon for gender equality and the nation’s most vulnerable workers. In fact, the plan would be a step in the wrong direction and exacerbate inequality, while diverting attention away from the most punitive budget provisions of our lifetime.
Also: Paid Leave is an Investment in Working Families, but Trump’s Plan Falls Short (Opinion): https://www.afscme.org/now/paid-leave-is-an-investment-in-working-families-but-trumps-plan-falls-short
US: Drawing a Larger Circle Around Families
Philanthropy Roundtable – July 13, 2017
Launched in 2002, Safe Families for Children has served almost 20,000 children in 27 different states. Over 90 percent of the children hosted through the program have been successfully reunited with their biological families; for kids who enter foster care, that number is only slightly more than half. And Safe Families costs around $10 a day per child served (private money that is evenly drawn from individual donors and foundations like the Schulze and Morgridge family foundations). Foster care costs five times that much, almost all of which comes from tax dollars.
Also: Link to article as PDF: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/file_uploads/2017_Summer_Feature_Families.pdf
US: House passes anti-trafficking bill; measure goes to Senate
National Catholic Reporter – July 13, 2017
The House passed a bill July 12 that puts more than $500 million over the next four years into efforts to fight labor and sex trafficking both in the United States and abroad. The bill – named after Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and became an abolitionist – now goes to the Senate.
Information Gateway resource: Human Trafficking: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/trafficking/
International: As Cities Grow Worldwide, So Do the Numbers of Homeless (Opinion)
Yale Global Online (Yale University) – July 13, 2017
People openly live on the streets of the world’s major urban centers – from Cairo to Washington, DC – a disconcerting reminder of homelessness. While some maintain homelessness is a solvable problem, others conclude that the condition is an enduring feature of modern urban landscapes. Many of the homeless are reluctant to be enumerated or registered. Homeless youth often avoid authorities who may contact parents or place them in foster care. Some parents may not wish to be labeled as homeless out of fear of losing custody of children. Also, some homeless persons, especially those suffering from mental disorders or substance abuse, fear arrest or confinement at a medical facility for treatment.
Israel: Government will not allow gay couples to adopt in Israel
Times of Israel – July 16, 2017
The government announced on Sunday that there are no intentions to change the law and allow gay couples to adopt in Israel. In response to a High Court petition, the state said that it was opposed to allowing same-sex couples to adopt because it would place an “additional burden” on the child.
Also: Israeli same-sex couples still may not adopt, government says: http://jewishjournal.com/news/israel/221695/israeli-sex-couples-still-may-not-adopt-government-says/
South Korea: Boxed in: S.Korea child law sees more babies abandoned
Daily Mail – July 17, 2017
Birth rates have plummeted to the world’s lowest with factors such as high child-rearing costs and a workaholic culture affecting the situation. But the number of abandoned babies has jumped in recent years in the wake of a law intended to protect children.
AK: Citizen panel digs into grand jury OCS inquiry
Daily News-Miner – July 15, 2017
The Alaska Citizen Review Panel is following up on an investigation into the inner workings of the Office of Children’s Services and allegations of failure made by Republican Rep. Tammie Wilson, of North Pole. Wilson in September suggested a grand jury investigate after accusing OCS of “legal kidnapping.”
CA: Napa’s Jenna Bolyarde: From homeless woman to homeless advocate
Napa News – July 14, 2017
Today, four years after successfully completing rehab, Bolyarde not only has a home again, but works full-time for Catholic Charities at Napa’s Nightingale Center as a site specialist. She also actively volunteers with the homeless community.
FL: Opioid use prompts increasing numbers of foster children; crisis strains system
Florida Times-Union – July 14, 2017
“In class, they teach you to let the child call you whatever they feel comfortable with,” Wood said. “It may be upsetting for the biological parent, but the child has already been through so much.”
FL: State finds rising number of children trapped in sex trade
Tampa Bay Times – July 14, 2017
Florida law enforcement agencies reported 356 cases where children were the victims of commercial sexual exploitation, including 52 in the Tampa Bay region. The majority of victims were white, female and between 14 and 17 years of age.
IL: Budget crisis puts teens with mental health problems at risk
Gant News – July 14, 2017
Now a budget crisis in that state is threatening to cut off the critical treatment that Ricky and other troubled teens receive at a highly specialized residential facility in Missouri because Illinois hasn’t paid for the grant that supports their care.
IN: Heroin problem eating bigger share of taxpayer dollars
Pal-Item – July 14, 2017
The consequences of drug addiction have been evident over and over again through startling statistics about overdose deaths, child neglect cases, babies born to heroin-addicted mothers and more.
KY: When the Mother of an Opioid-Dependent Newborn Hears, ‘You Can’t Have Your Baby’
New York Times – July 14, 2017
A day after Jay’la Cy’anne’s birth, a representative from the Madison County child welfare agency informed Ms. Clay that she would not be going home with the baby at all; the department had decided to award custody to her grandparents and specified that Ms. Clay not be allowed to stay overnight at their home with the baby.
LA: State Children and Family Services agency completes roll-out of new initiative aimed to improve foster care system
Advocate – July 16, 2017
The system is changing with the Department of Children and Family Services’ recent implementation of a new approach called the Quality Parenting Initiative (QPI).
LA: New center helps kids transition from foster care
Daily Comet – July 14, 2017
Goodwill marked the opening Friday a new office in Houma to help teens in foster care system as well as young adults who have left the system because of age requirements.
MI: Creating a better “family time” space for parents with kids in foster care
Michigan Public Radio – July 14, 2017
Family visits for kids in foster care often take place in a foster care agency’s office, which is not always the homiest setting. But a new program launching in Wayne County wants to change that.
MN: Two-part series: Impacts of opioids felt throughout county
Bemidji Pioneer – July 14, 2017
With the rise in people suffering from opioid addiction, county officials say it’s impacted numerous aspects of services, with a major example being foster care.
MO: Budget cuts hit Missouri foster Families (Includes video)
KMOV – July 14, 2017
Foster families in Missouri received letters this week notifying them of a cut in benefits, the direct result of budget cuts from the governor.
Also: Foster parents upset by funding cuts: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/foster-parents-upset-by-funding-cuts/article_876f2796-eb46-5b91-b778-346867a92d4e.html
MS: A refuge for children: Sally Kate Winters nears three decades of service
Dispatch – July 14, 2017
“Because we’ve been open now 27 years, those first kids are adults,” said Brand, who has been with the organization since it started. “They do come back to us. They bring their children to see where they grew up.
NY: Another Voice: Cuomo must veto flawed adoptee bill (Opinion)
Buffalo News – July 14, 2017
Legislation to allow access to sealed records recently passed the Assembly and Senate. But adoptees are asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to veto the “Adoptee Bill of Rights.” That’s because amendments will allow parents who signed away their parental rights to redact their names from the sealed record, or prevent the release altogether.
NY: Counties brace for impacts as ‘Raise the Age’ becomes law
Daily Star – July 14, 2017
The recently enacted legislation that boosts New York’s age of criminal responsibility to 18 years old is expected to have broad impacts on multiple agencies within county governments across the state, according to a new analysis of the measure. A report issued by the New York State Association of Counties on Thursday predicts the “Raise the Age” measure pushed through the Legislature by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will cause probation departments and agencies providing social services and mental health counseling to expand their staffs.
PA: York CYF granted more positions, but vacancies persist
York Dispatch – July 14, 2017
The agency is actively trying to fill its vacancies, Schreffler said, but they don’t have the necessary space to keep adding employees.
TX: Child advocates optimistic about Foster Care changes, which aren’t so new to Abilene
KRXS – July 14, 2017
Under House Bill 4, which aims at redesigning the foster care model, the state will contract non-profits and organizations to place and monitor children. The model known as community-based foster care isn’t new to Abilene. In fact, Taylor County (Abilene) was part of a pilot program along with 60 other counties that were testing the collaboration effort out.
WA: Keep a close eye on new state agency for children, families (Opinion)
Seattle Times – July 14, 2017
The new Department of Children, Youth and Families could make a big difference for Washington kids, but only if it fulfills its promise.
Also: Child Welfare Now a Cabinet Level Agency in Washington State: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/news-2/child-welfare-now-cabinet-level-agency-washington/27543
WA: Leaving the streets: Housing challenge gives homeless youth a shot at independent living
Spokesman-Review – July 14, 2017
Spokane is in the final weeks of a challenge to house 100 homeless young people, ages 12 to 24, in 100 days. King and Pierce counties also are participating, with backing from A Way Home Washington, an advocacy group for homeless youth.
Information Gateway resource: Housing & Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/service-array/housing/childwelfare/
US: Attorney General Becerra Files Amicus Brief in Case Involving Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth (Press release)
State of California, Department of Justice – July 14, 2017
Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday filed a friend-of-the-court brief in In re Denis G., a case involving an unaccompanied immigrant youth seeking legal immigration status. At the invitation of the Los Angeles Superior Court and the suggestion of the California Supreme Court, Attorney General Becerra weighed in on this issue of great importance regarding youth fleeing dangerous conditions in their home countries.
US: For Principals, Student Sexting a Speeding ‘Freight Train,’ Full of Peril
Education Week – July 14, 2017
Sexting may also be considered bullying, harassment, or abuse. If that’s the case, Hachiya said, principals are likely obligated under federal laws, such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, to respond to an incident. In some situations, they may also be considered mandatory reporters, with a legal responsibility to report potential abuse to authorities.
US: Immigration fears are preventing children from getting medical care (Opinion)
Daily Kos – July 14, 2017
Imagine having to choose between providing your child with essential health care and protecting the integrity of your family. This is the dilemma now facing thousands of undocumented immigrants living in the United States.
US: Russia’s ban on US adoptions gets snarled in new melodrama
Associated Press – July 14, 2017
More than four years after it was imposed, Russia’s ban on adoptions by Americans is back in the news, rekindling frustration and sadness among some of those affected by it.
US: There Is A 500 Percent Increase In Babies Suffering From Drug Withdrawal
Daily Caller – July 14, 2017
Babies are born suffering from drug addiction withdrawals at a historic pace, increasing five-fold across the U.S. between 2003 and 2012.
Belize: D.H.S.: Abuse reports must be substantiated
News 5 Belize – July 14, 2017
“In terms of the Family and Children’s Act, it specifies two entities that have responsibility to receive and to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect and that is the Department of Human Services and the police department. And so, we receive reports and then a two-track system of response is initiated whereby the Department of Human Services’ role is to look at has the abuse occurred and is the child safe, and how do we make that child safe within that environment. The police looks at whether there has been a crime committed and they follow the course, in terms of bringing justice for that child.”
Also: Foreign embassies assist with DHS cases: http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/149620
Democratic Republic of the Congo: UN refugee agency sounds alarm as displacement sees no end in Kasai region
UN News Centre – July 14, 2017
Mr. Spindler noted that during recent missions to two provinces bordering the main conflict region, Kwilu and Lualaba, UNHCR’s team met some extremely vulnerable new arrivals. “Many said that they spent weeks fleeing through the dense forest without food, drinking water, medicine or clothes and saw people dying on the way, including women and children,” he said. He warned that the risk of sexual abuse and exploitation makes the situation particularly worrying, as many children and women fled on their own and some unaccompanied minors are without proper foster care arrangements.
AZ: Take Charge America Awarded $7,500 Grant From Thunderbirds Charities to Support At-Risk Youth (Press release)
Thunderbirds Charities – July 13, 2017
Thunderbirds Charities, the charitable giving arm of the Thunderbirds – hosts of the Waste Management Phoenix Open presented by Ak-Chin Indian Community – recently awarded $7,500 to Take Charge America, a national nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency based in Phoenix, to support financial literacy and life skills education for at-risk youth.
CA: Count shows Santa Cruz County’s homeless population on rise, especially among youth
Santa Cruz Sentinel – July 13, 2017
Santa Cruz County’s count of homeless young people under the age of 25 more than doubled in two years: There were 588 reported in 2017, with just two percent who were considered sheltered. The census excludes those who are living in a hotel, doubled up in a single unit or temporarily “couch surfing” with a friend.
Also: 2017 countywide Homeless Census & Survey: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3894455-SantaCruzCounty-HomelessReport-2017-FINAL.html?sidebar=false
Also: Homeless issue entangled in definitions, assumptions (Opinion): http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/community/cambrian/cambrian-opinion/article160904164.html
CA: Nonprofits, agencies take aim at adverse childhood experiences
Del Norte Triplicate – July 13, 2017
A handful of local nonprofits and agencies have banded together to help make Del Norte County more resilient. They hope to combat the adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs, that can lead to alcoholism, suicide, heart disease and other chronic health problems. But there’s one problem – Del Norte County does not have an ACEs score.
Information Gateway resource: What is prevention and why is it important?: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/overview/whatiscap/#two
CA: Transitional housing provides a bridge to stabilizing youth in the county
VC Reporter – July 12, 2017
Hopegivers International Inc. in Ventura County came to be two years ago, when Tony Hershman and his wife were considering adopting children. They went to an informational fair sponsored by Foster VC Kids, a Ventura County program operated by its Children and Family Services (CFS) department.
CA: Schools Must Have Suicide Prevention Policies in Place for 2017-18 Schoolyear
Model Youth Suicide Prevention Policy Now Online – July 11, 2017
California school districts, county offices of education and charter schools serving students grades 7 – 12 are required to have suicide prevention policies in place prior to the start of the 2017-18 school year pursuant to AB 2246, adopted last year.
FL: New Law Strengthens Child Welfare Investigations, St. Augustine Lawmaker Says (Includes audio)
WJCT – July 13, 2017
Changes to Florida’s child-welfare system, sponsored by Rep. Cyndi Stevenson (R-St. Augustine), are finally law after two years of debate in Tallahassee. Stevenson said her 100-page measure gives investigators more power to keep kids safe.
FL: Opioid Crisis Puts Strain On Foster Care In Sarasota, Manatee (Includes audio)
WUSF – July 13, 2017
Manatee and Sarasota Counties have seen overdose deaths from drugs like heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil spike in the past few years. At the same time, the number of children being removed from their homes and placed into the area’s foster care system has skyrocketed. There’s a connection between the increases.
IL: Southern Illinois groups undergo training to better protect kids endangered by drugs (Includes video)
WPSD – July 13, 2017
The growing use of opioids and prescription drugs is a problem in Williamson County and across the country. It’s continuing to grow, while the use of other drugs such as methamphetamine remains high, according to Deputy Brian Murrah with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department.
Also: Training to Help Endangered Children (Includes video): http://www.wsiltv.com/story/35882248/training-to-help-endangered-children
Also: Training on collaboration provides hope for treating drug-endangered children: http://thesouthern.com/news/local/training-on-collaboration-provides-hope-for-treating-drug-endangered-children/article_5d22d5d4-6cbb-580f-88fe-6df8d2a5bb60.html
KY: Volunteers Sought for Foster Care Review Boards
Associated Press – July 14, 2017
Kentucky officials say they are seeking volunteers to serve on citizen foster care review boards in 71 counties. A statement from the Administrative Office of the Courts says the boards need volunteers to review cases of children placed in care to ensure they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.
KY: Estimates show 61,000 Kentucky children could lose healthcare coverage under Senate bill
Richmond Register – July 13, 2017
Of 9,461 children under the age of 18 living in Whitley County along Kentucky’s southeastern border, 7,029 are enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP. That’s 74 percent of the county’s children who now face the uncertain prospect they could lose coverage under the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act, legislation pushed in the U.S. Senate by Kentucky’s own Sen. Mitch McConnell.
LA: Sager Brown to commemorate 150th anniversary in Sept.
St. Mary Now – July 12, 2017
On Sept. 17, Sager Brown will mark its 150th anniversary in Baldwin. Founded in 1867, Sager Brown was originally established as an orphanage and school for African-American children and youth orphaned by the Civil War. Since that time, this sacred ground has transformed many times over while consistently providing outreach ministry in Baldwin and the surrounding communities.
MI: Reports Outline Opportunities for Juvenile Diversion Programs in Michigan
Chronicle of Social Change – July 13, 2017
A pair of recent reports examine the impact of juvenile diversion programs and youth arrests in Michigan. In a report from the Michigan Council on Crime and Delinquency (MCCD), authors Jason Smith and Michelle Weemhoff look at juvenile diversion programs in 69 of the state’s 83 counties, offer best practices and suggest policy recommendations to create more effective programs.
Also: Report: Restoring Kids Transforming Communities: Enhancing Michigan’s Approach to Juvenile Diversion: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/03cb01_2673303a139441de914ef30e8dee39df.pdf
Also: Report: Reducing Youth Arrests Keeps Kids Healthy and Successful: http://www.humanimpact.org/wp-content/uploads/HIP_MichYouthArrests_2017.06.pdf
MO: Fredericktown, MO foster parents concerned over budget cuts (Includes video)
KFVS – July 13, 2017
Foster parents’ budgets are getting a little tighter, and while it’s not much – it’s leaving some wondering – what’s next? Two Fredericktown, Missouri foster parents say they understand times are tight, but these cuts are to kids who need it the most.
MT: State unveils draft plan for student success
Great Falls Tribune – July 12, 2017
The state superintendent of public instruction on Wednesday introduced her department’s draft plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act, a proposal that looks at long-term goals for schools, accountability and support. It includes homeless student and foster care education, English language acquisition, student support and academic enrichment.
NC: Our view: Opioids’ child victims
Winston-Salem Journal – July 13, 2017
Among the most tragic victims of opioid addiction are the children of addicts. Whether by direct abuse, neglect or the pain of seeing their parents in a consistently diminished capacity, their worlds are filled with sorrow. And now more are winding up in foster care. The numbers in North Carolina have grown dramatically, surpassing 11,000 in May, the Journal’s Richard Craver reported recently.
NH: State Will Investigate St. Paul’s School Over Sex Abuse
New York Times – July 14, 2017
The attorney general of New Hampshire on Thursday announced a criminal investigation into St. Paul’s School, an exclusive boarding school that has been embroiled in a series of damaging reports over sexual misconduct and abuse on campus.
Also: St. Paul’s School Acknowledges Decades of Sexual Misconduct: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/22/us/st-pauls-school-acknowledges-decades-of-sexual-misconduct.html
OK: Public will feel sting from cuts to Oklahoma DHS (Opinion)
Oklahoman – July 14, 2017
Unlike most state agencies, the Department of Human Services received more money from the Legislature for fiscal year 2018 than it did the year before. Unfortunately, that increase wasn’t enough to keep all services running at FY ’17 levels, which means vulnerable Oklahomans will feel the pinch.
OR: Clackamas County commissioners to hire outside consultant to review Sheriff’s Office
Oregon Live – July 13, 2017
Clackamas County commissioners are taking an interest in how the Sheriff’s Office handled an internal affairs complaint filed against a detective convicted for botching child abuse cases.
PA: Teen Challenge targets youths struggling with addiction
Standard-Speaker – July 14, 2017
Teen Challenge offers 10 months of residential care for people struggling with their addictions. “Hopefully, we’re rebuilding systems, and then they can go back to their communities much healthier,” Angela Jakubowski, outreach coordinator, said.
TN: Teen pregnancy rates fall; credit better sex education
Daily Times – July 13, 2017
Kids raising kids is not a good idea for many reasons. That’s why it’s significant that a new state report shows pregnancies among Blount County teens has been declining in recent years.
TX: Coming soon on Reveal: How the crusade against sex trafficking left Texas kids behind (Opinion)
Texas Tribune – July 14, 2017
Texas lawmakers like to talk tough on sex trafficking. State officials and lawmakers have poured resources and time into finding, arresting and convicting pimps. But the same attention hasn’t been given to the victims.
TX: New law will outsource CPS cases
Weatherford Democrat – July 13, 2017
Caseworkers in Parker, Tarrant, Palo Pinto, Johnson, Hood, Somervell and Erath County will soon see many of their duties outsourced as a result of reforms made by the legislature to the Texas’ Child and Protective Services division. Passed by the 85th legislature this year, the new law would outsource case management duties to nonprofit organizations.
TX: Foster youths explore perks for which only they qualify (Includes video)
Corpus Christi Caller-Times – July 12, 2017
Students from 19 surrounding counties who are or have been in foster care participated in the Wednesday event. Youths were led through the university’s admissions process and filled out applications for the Education Training Voucher Program, which is the program that will pay for Galaviz’s college education.
WA: From the Top Down: In the creation of the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families, some see new hope for foster care statewide
Inlander – July 13, 2017
When Annie Blackledge first heard about a state bill that would create a new government agency for at-risk kids and their families, she was skeptical. The foster care system, she says, needs real innovation. Because of a lack of placements, the state puts foster kids in hotels, or in group homes, or sends them out of the state because there’s nowhere else for them to go.
WI: Across Wisconsin, a steep increase in kids separated from addict parents (Includes video)
Manitowoc Herald Times – July 13, 2017
The number of children separated from their parents by county authorities has climbed across Wisconsin to its highest level in nearly a decade. A USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin investigation found drug abuse is clearly driving the uptick – leaving more families in turmoil, straining public resources and creating a shortage of foster parents.
US: Toolbox: Building a Learning Culture in a Social Services Organization
Youth Today – July 14, 2017
At Graham Windham, a New York City-based child welfare agency, we have been developing a learning culture over time, an investment in improving our outcomes for children and families, while ensuring that we are able to adapt and innovate in the dynamic, evolving field of child welfare. One of Graham’s core pillars is that we grow: We are committed to continuous self-reflection and best practices, with opportunities to develop, practice and master skills with supports along the way.
US: Save Medicaid in Schools Coalition Issues Statement on Updated Senate Health Care Bill (Press release)
School Superintendents Association (ASSA) – July 13, 2017
The Save Medicaid in Schools Coalition issued the following statement today regarding the newest version of the Republican health care plan known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
US: Tell Congress to stop picking on our most vulnerable children! (Opinion)
Bulletin – July 13, 2017
We know many of the 37 million children enrolled in Medicaid today are from poor or low-income families and that 40 percent of children with special health care needs benefit from Medicaid. Among these children are almost half a million foster children, nearly 40 percent of them under age six. These children, invisible to many, are the most vulnerable of the vulnerable.
US: Why We Need to Focus on How Black Women Are Harmed by Police Violence (Opinion)
VICE News – July 13, 2017
There have been many studies of arrests of pregnant and birthing women showing that black women are up to ten times more likely to be referred to child welfare for actual or suspected drug use during pregnancy than white women, despite equal uses of drugs across race.
Also: Criminalizing Pregnancy: Policing Pregnant Women Who Use Drugs in the USA: https://www.amnestyusa.org/reports/criminalizing-pregnancy-policing-pregnant-women-use-drugs-usa/
US: Factbox: Five U.S. states face budget uncertainty in new fiscal year
Reuters – July 12, 2017
Connecticut, Wisconsin and Rhode Island’s legislatures have not yet passed a budget, while Massachusetts’ budget awaits action from state Governor Charlie Baker to either sign or veto it. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf allowed a state spending plan to become law at midnight Monday by not acting on the plan for 10 days. However, lawmakers are still wrestling with filling an approximately $2 billion deficit.
US: I’m a white foster parent seeing racism through my black and brown children’s eyes (Opinion)
Washington Post – July 12, 2017
As a rabbi, I have made it part of my spiritual work to fight this injustice. As an Orthodox Jew, I’ve sensed prejudice at times, but never in a way that I felt harmed me personally. I’ve never directly felt the impact of systemic racism, and have usually thought about race in the abstract. That changed after my wife, our children and I welcomed two foster children of color to our family. For the first time in my life, racism has become personal.
CA: House Passes Rep. Susan Davis’ Legislation to Protect Children and Combat Trafficking
East County Magazine – July 12, 2017
The House of Representatives passed legislation by U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) to combat sex trafficking. The Empower Educators to Prevent Trafficking Act (H.R. 2268) was included in a package of legislation – The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Protection Act (H.R. 2200).
CA: New PBS Documentary on Native American Judges Focuses on Rehabilitative Justice
Broadway World – July 12, 2017
Tribal Justice spotlights tribal courts that incorporate indigenous customs and beliefs into their justice systems. The film follows Abby Abinanti and Claudette White, chief judges in two of the more than 300 tribal courts across the country, as they navigate cross-jurisdictional issues in their courts and communities.
CA: State Says Goodbye to Group Homes for Probation Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – July 12, 2017
Whisenton’s journey is not unique. Thousands of foster families struggle to support high-needs kids like Whisenton. Once inside the California’s probation system, kids who are removed from their home are usually sent to live with either a relative, a group home or juvenile hall.
CA: San Diego Grand Jury: County Foster Care Programs Need Measurable Outcomes
Chronicle of Social Change – July 11, 2017
A recent grand jury report from San Diego County found that San Diego’s Child Welfare Service (CWS) and Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) lack a way to measure the effectiveness of county child welfare programs.
FL: Editorial: Adoption program gets needed expansion
Ledger – July 13, 2017
We applaud the effort of some local lawmakers and a Lakeland couple for improving the chances that some of the 14,000 Florida children in foster care will be able to find the loving home they crave yet lack.
FL: Ex-inspector general seeks opinion on consulting
News Service of Florida – July 12, 2017
Melinda Miguel, who resigned in April as chief inspector general, asked the commission for the advisory opinion about consulting work that would involve assessing operations of Our Kids, a community-based care agency that contracts with the Department of Children and Families to provide services in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
KS: KC Attorney Joins Saint Francis as General Counsel
KSAL – July 12, 2017
Attorney James T. Wicks has joined Saint Francis Community Services as General Counsel. Founded in 1945, Saint Francis Community Services encompasses foster care, therapeutic foster care, adoption, family preservation, residential care, and community outreach services. The organization employs more than 1,200 staff members and serves more than 10,000 clients through child welfare services in Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. It also provides supervised living and employment services for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Mississippi.
MI: Under investigation, Quincy school superintendent resigns
Len Connect – July 12, 2017
The resignation came the same day that the final investigative report of Artist and Quincy High School Principal David Spalding – both suspended with pay – was sent to the Branch County Prosecutor. The Branch County Sheriff’s Office was looking at their handling of allegations made against former QHS drama teacher and school technology director, Jason Ferrell, who is facing six counts of criminal sexual conduct with a student in 2016.
NC: Our Opinion: The foster care crisis
News & Record – July 12, 2017
Nationally, the numbers of foster children had been falling for several years. Then, between 2012 and 2015, they climbed by 8 percent. In North Carolina, we’ve seen much worse. The number of children in foster care has jumped by 28 percent, to more than 11,000 today. Closer to home, Guilford County leads the Triad – and, in fact, all of northwest North Carolina – with 560 children in foster care.
NY: Interest In Early Childhood Health Leads To Three Funders Working Together
Health Affairs Blog – July 11, 2017
Partnerships for Early Childhood Development, holds important lessons on how creative, flexible, and collaborative grant making can result in a ground-breaking initiative, with greater scale and scope than could be achieved individually. It also serves as an example of how grantmakers can model collaboration as they promote cross-sector partnerships among their grantees.
OK: New policy offers CN employees paid leave for fostering Cherokee children (Opinion)
Grand Lake News – July 12, 2017
I recently signed a human resources policy that will offer Cherokee Nation full-time employees five additional days of paid leave when a Cherokee child is placed in their Cherokee Nation Indian Child Welfare certified home. We continue to lead the way in Oklahoma and across Indian Country when it comes to progressive policies.
OR: Fans of Timbers, Thorns give makeovers to DHS rooms for kids (Includes video)
KPTV – July 12, 2017
Kids that find themselves in foster care often need to be in a place where they feel loved and comforted, and thanks to the help of some Timbers and Thorns supporters, a pair of visitation rooms at the Department of Human Services building in Beaverton now have a welcoming Soccer City vibe.
PA: County officials oppose unsealing settlement details in boy’s death
Citizens’ Voice – July 13, 2017
Luzerne County officials are opposing a motion to unseal details of a settlement with the parents of a child who died after being placed in foster care for a reason that “in-and-of-itself (is) confidential,” according to a recent court filing.
PA: “We’re not a sanctuary city”: Philly’s defense against DOJ
Al Dia News – July 12, 2017
Focusing on Executive Order No. 8-09 entitled, “Policy Concerning Access of Immigrants to City Services,” the law was enacted in November of 2009 by former Mayor Michael Nutter and ensures that any person should have access to city services without fear for their own safety or fear of deportation due to an inquiry about their immigration status. The services include health care, public school services, child welfare and more.
TN: Children’s Advocacy Center elects new executive committee, new president from Van Buren County
Sparta Live – July 13, 2017
The Children’s Advocacy Center for the 31st Judicial District has announced the results of their recent elections for the 2017-2018 executive committee, electing a new president from Van Buren County.
TX: Don’t let firms profit off misery (Opinion)
LMT Online – July 12, 2017
If there is anything to be learned from recent political events, it is that the public does not want to see corporations grow rich off the suffering of families. Yet, it’s something we see daily in Texas. It is time to end the imprisonment of mothers and children who seek asylum protection in the U.S. after fleeing violence in Central America and other troubled countries.
TX: Program prepares Texas Panhandle foster kids for life on their own
Amarillo Globe-News – July 12, 2017
In addition to personal and familial support, the PAL program offers specific skill support to teens up to 18. The program also works with young adults up to 21 through educational and vocational services, a transitional living allowance up to $1,000, aftercare room and board assistance and case management.
VA: Kaine Hosts Healthcare Roundtable
Connection Newspapers – July 12, 2017
Corinne and her son Dylan, among other concerned parents, pediatricians, and children were invited to share their stories at Sen. Tim Kaine’s (D-VA) roundtable on the Senate Republican health care proposal at the Northern Virginia Community College Medical Education Campus in Springfield. The primary focus of the roundtable was to discuss what proposed Medicaid cuts would mean for the thousands of children dependent on the program.
US: Bishops preach hope, solidarity amidst opioid epidemic
EWTN – July 12, 2017
“Oftentimes we are kind of limited in what we can do on a state level,” he acknowledged. “But at our parishes, and in our agencies in our parishes, we can continue to reach out to addicted families,” he noted, stressing, “not just those who are in recovery, but also their families.” This also involves finding foster parents for children of addicted parents, particularly those whose parents have overdosed and those who suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
US: Here’s What You Can Do to Support Foster Families (Opinion)
Relevant Magazine – July 12, 2017
Struggle is interwoven with fostering because as much as God loves and supports orphan care, the enemy hates and opposes it. This is why the people of God must step in and serve as the hands and feet of Jesus to support those who have answered the call to foster. With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to help support those who are fostering.
US: New Award to Honor Those Who Work with Transition-Age Foster Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – July 12, 2017
Last week, the Aging Out Institute (AOI) announced a new award designed to recognize individuals who are helping foster youth to succeed when they leave foster care. AOI introduced the eight judges for its inaugural AOI Best Practice Awards, including several prominent researchers and leaders of organizations dedicated to helping this population.
US: Tax consequences of domestic and foreign child adoptions (Opinion)
Accounting Today – July 12, 2017
We favor Americans adopting American children from foster care when feasible, but current U.S. tax law benefits domestic and foreign adoptions. The tax law enables adopters to replace American adoptees with foreign adoptees. As a result, Americans children are waiting longer than ever in foster care for their permanent families.
US: Theresa (Teri) Martha Covington, M.P.H., Appointed Director of “Within Our Reach,” an office established at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (Press release)
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities – July 12, 2017
Within Our Reach, an office established at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to advance recommendations from the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF), announced today the appointment of Teri M. Covington as Director.
US: For Opioids’ Youngest Victims, Is Help Too Little, Too Late?
Governing – July 01, 2017
Drug abuse is overwhelming the child welfare system at unprecedented rates. Solutions are slowly emerging. Opioids pose special challenges for child welfare agencies. Compared with addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine, the recovery period is longer and the chance of relapse is higher. Sobriety is often a requisite for placing children back with parents. But federal law mandates a short window –less than two years — for parents to undergo treatment and demonstrate that they’re sober enough to regain custody of their child.
Information Gateway resource: Topical Training for Caseworkers: Substance Abuse: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/training/curricula/caseworkers/topical/substance-abuse/
South Korea: South Korean adoptees call for end to international adoption
Korea Times – July 13, 2017
Adoptee-led organisations called on the Korean government to immediately end the “industrialised international adoption” system. The joint declaration, written at the University of California Irvine and addressed to the Moon Jae-in administration, was submitted at Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul. In light of the recent death of deported Korean adoptee Philip Clay, members further stressed the need to prevent deportation and enhance the protection of rights for all adoptees.
CA: Exhibit Examines Lives Of Local Foster Youth
Santa Cruz Patch – July 11, 2017
More than 60,000 California children currently reside in foster care. In Santa Cruz County, roughly 250 children and youth are in need of foster and adoptive parents able to care for them at any given time, and there is a strong placement need for older children, sibling sets, and children with special challenges.
CA: L.A. Supes Look to Provide At-Risk Youth with Transit-Related Career Opportunities
Chronicle of Social Change – July 10, 2017
In 2004, the Los Angeles County Education Coordinating Council was created to upgrade existing educational efforts to utilize trauma-informed care, data sharing and transition support systems. Also, the Los Angeles County Office of Education has begun to incorporate career and technical education into the curriculum used within probation camps and juvenile halls.
FL: Our children need you: Local foster care needs rise with the opioid, heroin epidemics (Opinion)
Bradenton Herald – July 11, 2017
During the past six months, Manatee Community Foundation has focused on one element of this complex issue: the children in foster care who have been removed from homes with drug addicted parents. In Manatee County, an average of 658 children resided in out-of-home care in 2015. This jumped to an average of 817 children in 2016. This year the numbers are continuing to climb.
MD: Top officials at Department of Social Services have retired
Cumberland Times News – July 12, 2017
Richard E. Paulman, the director and John Sangiovanni, the assistant director of the Allegany County Department of Social Services have retired.
OK: DHS plans to slash services, cut $30M from operating budget
Stillwater News Press – July 11, 2017
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is planning drastic cuts to services. DHS made the announcement Tuesday, proposing to cut about $30 million over the next fiscal year. Available funding is at $703.9 million, but DHS has created a budget for $733 million.
Also: DHS Budget Cuts will have immediate effects in Stephens County: http://www.duncanbanner.com/news/dhs-budget-cuts-will-have-immediate-effects-in-stephens-county/article_22e0baca-66aa-11e7-9fc9-2f55476c283f.html
SC: Considering the long-term effects of child abuse in South Carolina as a health care crisis
Charleston City Paper – July 12, 2017
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that the number of child abuse victims in South Carolina jumped by more than 30 percent between 2011-2015.
UT: Lawmaker revises bill to raise marriage age
Daily Universe – July 11, 2017
A Utah lawmaker is currently revising his bill that proposed raising the state’s minimum marriage age to 16, and is now proposing to raise the age from 15 to 18.
WA: Big wins for kids caught in foster care crisis (Opinion)
Crosscut Seattle – July 11, 2017
Lawmakers this year passed a half-dozen new laws and millions in funding to reform child welfare programs, support foster parents better, lower social worker caseloads, and help foster youth get drivers licenses and access to lawyers, among other efforts.
US: How severe, ongoing stress can affect a child’s brain
Associated Press – July 12, 2017
Mounting research on potential biological dangers of toxic stress is prompting a new public health approach to identifying and treating the effects of poverty, neglect, abuse and other adversity. While some in the medical community dispute that research, pediatricians, mental health specialists, educators and community leaders are increasingly adopting what is called “trauma-informed” care.
Information Gateway resource: Child and Youth Well-Being: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/promoting/child-and-youth-well-being/
US: Top Five Threats to Child Welfare from the Senate Health Care Repeal Proposal (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – July 11, 2017
The Senate’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to sharply cut Medicaid payments to states through so-called per capita caps can sound very abstract to social workers and policymakers coping with the day-to-day tragedies and crises of child welfare.
Canada: Indigenous children are dramatically overrepresented in Canada’s child welfare system
Vice – July 11, 2017
At the root of it all, many say, are longstanding systemic issues that continue to go ignored – from intergenerational trauma caused by government policies seeking to assimilate Indigenous people, to unequal funding that lays the groundwork for child removal.
United Kingdom: Fathers’ experiences of child protection process examined
Science Daily – July 10, 2017
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) challenges assumptions that men in child protection cases do not stay involved in children’s lives and always, or only, pose a risk of harm to their child — fathers in this study were rarely ‘absent’.
CA: A new bill would allow some former criminals to become foster parents
KPCC – July 10, 2017
A bill that would make it easier for some people with criminal histories to become foster parents is making its way through the California legislature. Senate Bill 213, authored by Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, is part of a broader effort to reduce the use of group homes for foster kids and place more with relatives. The bill passed the senate and heads to the Assembly Judiciary Committee Tuesday.
CA: Border Report: ‘There’s No Expectation of Justice’
Voice of San Diego – July 10, 2017
There’s good news and bad news for children seeking refuge in the United States, California politicians on both sides of the aisle wade into border issues and more in our weekly roundup of news from the border.
CA: Sacramento County CPS Office Used To House Children (Includes video)
WPLG – July 10, 2017
California’s Health and Human Services Agency has cited Sacramento County’s Child Protective Services Department with violating the law. The state says the county is using a business office as a residence to house children they can’t place.
FL: Children’s Trust uses social media to reach out to prospective parents (Includes video)
Local 10 – July 10, 2017
The program has helped more than 150 children find homes. “To know that these children are being exposed to this app that would give them the one thing they really want –who doesn’t want a family to love and care for you?” Sandra Camacho, of the Children’s Trust, said.
GA: To combat shortage, new state budget gives big boost to foster parents
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – July 10, 2017
Georgia starting this month is funding the biggest increase in “per diems” for foster parents in more than a decade. Why? The state has seen a surge of children needing foster care while at the same time facing a shortage in foster care homes.
IA: Editorial: Annual doctor visit for adopted kids makes sense
Des Moines Register – July 10, 2017
Now DHS is considering requiring families who receive financial adoption assistance to take children to the doctor annually. The visit would be documented and is intended to ensure kids are seen regularly by someone in the position to identify neglect or abuse.
IN: Social workers in high demand: Opioid crisis exacerbating shortage
Journal Gazette – July 11, 2017
“The demand for social workers has always been high, but it is particularly true now,” Patchner said in a news release. “There are workforce shortages in the state in mental health and addictions, in child welfare and medical social work.”
MD: Editorial: Manasseh House can help bridge gap
Carroll County Times – July 10, 2017
The newly formed nonprofit has partnered with Silver Oak to “fill in the gap,” according to Manasseh House CEO Chuck Hatter. “We are going to take over where publicly funded programs leave off. We hope to improve the odds by giving them an alternative that will either teach them a trade or help them out with future education/schooling.”
MI: Here’s what DHHS told a federal judge about falsification allegations (annotated) (Includes video)
Lansing State Journal – July 10, 2017
Current and former state child welfare workers accuse Michigan Department of Health & Human Services supervisors of faking child welfare records to make the state appear in compliance with a federal court order.
NY: New Tutoring Program Aims to Help Students in Foster Care Stay in School (Includes video)
NY1 – July 10, 2017
“The transition to foster care really made it hard for me to juggle my school work and the responsibilities of being a foster kid,” Goswami said.
NY: Recently Installed New York Child Welfare Leader Looks to Reform the System
Chronicle of Social Change – July 10, 2017
This March, former Obama administration official David Hansell took the helm of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), an agency that had found itself again in turmoil after two high-profile child deaths last year.
OH: Over 1,000 Toledo children need homes due to opioid epidemic (Includes Video)
WTOL-TV – July 10, 2017
New numbers released on Monday, show a 31 percent jump in the number of children in the area’s foster care system. The big jump is due to the growing problem of heroin addiction.
OH: DCFS & Community Partners Selected for Initiative to Help LGBTQ Youth in Foster Care (Press release)
Cuyahoga County, OH – June 27, 2017
The Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) along with key community partners have been selected for a grant from The National Quality Improvement Center to develop programs and best practices that improve the lives of LGBTQ youth in foster care.
Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Youth and Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/diverse-populations/lgbtq/
WV: Foster care system still in need of help
Exponent Telegram – July 11, 2017
“We are definitely in desperate need of families, with over 5,000 kids in foster care in the state,” said Melinda Meredith of Try Again Homes West Virginia. It’s another agency attempting to help the state’s Department of Health and Human Resources deal with the issue.
US: Durbin Calls On Labor Department To Continue Funding Youth Job Training Programs In High Poverty, High Crime Areas (Press release)
Senator Richard J. Durbin – July 10, 2017
Durbin recently introduced two bills with Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) that would expand employment opportunities for young people. The HERO for At-Risk Youth Act would provide a tax credit of up to $2,400 for businesses that hire and train youth aged 16-24 who are out of school and out of work and youth aged 16-21 that are currently in foster care or have aged out of the system. The Creating Pathways for Youth Employment Act would establish a five-year, $1.5 billion competitive grant program for youth summer employment and a five-year, $2 billion competitive grant program for youth year-round employment, with fifty percent of funding going to out-of-school youth.
US: Religious Leaders Denounce Immigration Raids Targeting Sponsors of Children Seeking Safety
Church World Service – July 10, 2017
Last week, the Trump administration began a new wave of immigration enforcement raids, targeting sponsors of unaccompanied children. The notion that the administration would go after the caregivers of children who have experienced so much trauma, not only in the countries they are fleeing, but here in the U.S., is a moral outrage.
US: State Department Pats Self on Back But We Still Don’t Know How Many Kids Are Trafficked In the U.S. (Opinion)
Huffington Post – July 10, 2017
ECPAT works to protect children from exploitation. For us the key question is, how much progress has the U.S. made in stopping child trafficking? The TIP report is dense with descriptions of the actions it has taken, combining statistics and an occasional anecdote. It is fair to say that the U.S. has done a lot since the federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act was passed in 2000. But it remains difficult to understand anything at all about what it amounts to when it comes to protecting children from sex trafficking.
US: Why Health Care is Critical for Former Foster Youth (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – July 10, 2017
The repeal and replacement of ACA would have very measurable consequences for some young adults in America, particularly young people who have experienced foster care and are among the nation’s most vulnerable population. Youth who age out of foster care experience a particularly difficult time transitioning into adulthood and health insurance is an essential to ensuring that we can achieve education, employment, and financial stability.
US: The Essential Role of Medicaid and Criminal Justice
Huffington Post – July 09, 2017
As of September 2010, an estimated 70.800 youth were held in juvenile justice residential placement facilities in the U.S. Per national health surveys, a majority of juveniles entering the justice system, including “crossing-over youth” from child welfare, has significant unmet health needs.
Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/
US: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Questions DHS Effort to Target Parents of Unaccompanied Children (Press release)
Congressman Luis Gutierrez – July 07, 2017
As stated in the letter, ‘We applaud efforts to target, make arrests and bring down these (human smuggling) criminal organizations. However, targeting family-member sponsors that seek to protect children escaping violence and abuse is completely unacceptable, reprehensible and will create a culture of fear and lack of cooperation among this vulnerable community.’
Australia: Inside child removal in Australia
Coffs Coast Advocate – July 11, 2017
It seems like the government can be damned if they do, and damned if they don’t when it comes to removing children from their homes. No one really knows what goes on behind closed doors. But when it comes to protecting Australian kids at risk of neglect and abuse, our state and territory-based child protection agencies are expected to not only find out what’s happening but to act when a serious threat of harm threatens the health, safety and wellbeing of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.
South Africa: Children’s basic human rights will be protected – GDSD
Politics Web – July 10, 2017
The Gauteng Department of Social Development (GDSD) is the custodian of all children in the province and it is mandated by section 28 of the Constitution and the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 to safeguard children’s rights and ensure their wellbeing at all times. As a caring government, we go beyond the legislative imperatives to deliver on this mandate because we are keenly aware that, as Oliver Tambo would put it: “The children of any nation are its future. A country, a movement, a person that does not value its youth and children does not deserve its future.”
United Kingdom: Study examines fathers’ experiences of child protection process
Phys.org – July 10, 2017
New research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) challenges assumptions that men in child protection cases do not stay involved in children’s lives and always, or only, pose a risk of harm to their child-fathers in this study were rarely ‘absent’.
CA: Foster children at risk in Sacramento intake center
San Francisco Chronicle – July 07, 2017
Only a few of California’s 58 counties still operate shelters for abused and neglected children, orphanage-style settings widely considered outmoded and undesirable for kids who need the care of a family home. But in Sacramento, many children aren’t even let into its last-resort foster care shelter. Instead, they sleep on the floor in a waiting room nearby.
CA: In rare move, foster family adopts 18-year-old Fresno man, finally giving him ‘home’ (Includes video)
Fresno Bee – July 07, 2017
The father of three is in court to add a fourth child to his family with the adoption of 18-year-old Carson Petersen, who has spent most of his life bouncing from home to home in the foster care system because of abuse, homelessness, addiction and death.
Information Gateway resource: Adopting an Adult: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adoptive/choices/adult/
CA: Sex trafficking survivor helps social workers ID and aid at-risk youth
Vacaville Reporter – July 07, 2017
This is Part 2 in a series on sex trafficking in Mendocino County. This article focuses on agencies that often come into contact with potential trafficking targets, like Redwood Community Services Inc., the Mendocino County Office of Education and the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency.
Pt. 1: Sex trafficking a problem in Mendocino County: http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/article/NP/20170628/NEWS/170629878
GA: Atlanta now a national poster child in homeless debate for closure of Peachtree/Pine shelter
Saporta Report – July 07, 2017
Atlanta is the national poster child chosen by a digital affiliate of The Atlantic magazine to illustrate the challenge of providing for the homeless. The news hook was the pending closure of the shelter at the corner of Peachtree and Pine streets.
IL: Lawsuit Reveals Child Welfare’s Assault on Battered Mothers, Their Children
Youth Today – July 10, 2017
According to the complaint, in what may be the single most candid statement ever uttered by a child welfare worker, a caseworker for the private agency explained how the system really works: The case, she explained, is a “maze.” Like mice in a cruel lab experiment, both parents are at the “beginning of the maze.” The children are at “the end of the maze.” She then said that “whichever parent finished his or her services first” wins – that is, he or she would get the children.
IN: Hoosier schools to check backgrounds more closely
NWI – July 09, 2017
State lawmakers put together a study committee that looked at requiring all adults who work, volunteer or coach in any Indiana public, charter and private schools that accept state dollars to undergo criminal and child abuse background checks.
KY: Drug epidemic’s smallest victims: Babies dying in their sleep (Includes video)
11 Alive – July 09, 2017
As opioids continue to claim more and more lives in Kentucky, experts say the epidemic is also increasingly ending the lives of infants put in “unsafe sleep” situations. That usually means impaired adults and babies who should never sleep anywhere other than alone, on their backs and in a crib free of blankets or pillows.
MA: In Chelsea, coalition aims to save lives on verge of unraveling
Boston Globe – July 09, 2017
It may not sound radical, but the act of actually sitting down regularly to share information about individuals that disparate agencies had separately encountered has proven to be effective in Chelsea, the first municipality in the United States to use the model, which was developed in Canada.
MN: For the youth: White Earth DOVE Program receives grant to create Child Advocacy Center
DL-Online – July 09, 2017
When a child experiences trauma–physical, sexual, emotional or otherwise–in a community that does not have a Child Advocacy Center (CAC), the child typically ends up having to tell the worst story of his or her life over and over again, according to the National Children’s Alliance. “They may have to talk about that traumatic experience in a police station where they think they might be in trouble,” the website states, “or may be asked the wrong questions by a well-meaning teacher or other adult that could hurt the case against the abuser.”
NC: Toll of human trafficking gains notice of lawmakers, law enforcement
Carolina Journal – July 10, 2017
In 2016, 181 cases of human trafficking were reported in North Carolina, landing it among the top 10 states for trafficking in the U.S. the National Human Trafficking Hotline reports. But that data isn’t close to representing the real numbers, said Lanie George, founder of Redeeming Joy, a Charlotte area home for women who have escaped sex slavery.
NC: Number of children in NC foster care system reaches 10-year high (Includes video)
WNCN – July 07, 2017
The number of children in North Carolina’s foster care system has reached a ten-year high. More than 11,000 children are waiting to find a home, pushing an already strained system to the limit. It’s something CBS North Carolina has been tracking.
Related: Adoption agency works to thin ranks of NC children in foster care: http://www.wral.com/adoption-agency-works-to-thin-ranks-of-nc-children-in-foster-care/16807513/
Related: Foster care placements rising in Triad; parental opioid addiction contributing to upswing: http://www.journalnow.com/news/elections/local/foster-care-placements-rising-in-triad-parental-opioid-addiction-contributing/article_fa316a11-c015-555a-bdec-95da55a482c5.html
NH: Bill of rights sought for foster parents
New Hampshire Union Leader – July 09, 2017
“They’ve been talking about a foster parent bill of rights since 2010, and it’s never happened,” said first-term state Rep. Sean Morrison, R-Epping, alluding to the Division for Children, Youth and Families, which administers the foster care program in New Hampshire. “I want to sponsor a bill and put it up for legislation so it becomes law. Right now, we are flat out told: You have no rights.”
NJ: Assemblyman Jerry Green Announces New Housing at Plainfield YMCA for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care
Tap Into Net – July 07, 2017
The Plainfield YMCA is set to undergo construction that will create affordable housing for youth transitioning out of the foster care system, Assemblyman Jerry Green has announced.
NY: S.O.U.L. Sisters Empowers Black Girls Most Impacted by Inequality
Youth Today – July 10, 2017
The group was initiated by S.O.U.L. Sisters Leadership Collective, a nonprofit that works to empower black girls who are “most impacted by oppression.” The organization – which serves girls in New York City and Miami with a budget of $200,000 – creates space for girls to express themselves and examine their lives in the context of larger social issues.
OH: Governor Slams ‘Anemic’ Funding To Treat Opioid Addiction (Press release)
Executive Intelligence Review – July 03, 2017
The opioid epidemic continues to ravage the American population. On July 1, The Washington Post reported alarming details on how the U.S. foster care and social services system is completely overwhelmed by the number of babies born to drug-addicted mothers, without the resources to provide adequate foster care and other forms of assistance.
OK: New Cherokee Nation policy offers employees paid leave for fostering Cherokee children
Muskogee Phoenix – July 07, 2017
Cherokee Nation has created a workplace policy emphasizing the importance of protecting our children, one of our core values as Cherokee people and part of our history and heritage going back generations.
PA: CCAP Details Data Breach Affecting Children & Youth Cases
Gant News – July 08, 2017
Some local children may have had their personal information exposed in a recent data security breach, according to the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. The breach involved a third-party vendor and affected approximately 1,800 child welfare cases statewide. GANT News partner WJAC-TV has reported 69 cases were affected in Clearfield County.
TX: Toyota’s $1 million grant to mobilize Collin County women, children battling homelessness
Dallas News – July 07, 2017
Nearly 3,800 people in Collin and Dallas counties are homeless, and more than a quarter of them are unsheltered, according to annual homeless census data.
UT: Influx of foster kids, shortage of foster parents
Central Utah Daily Herald – July 09, 2017
Ideally, every kid placed in foster care could immediately be placed in a loving home for as long as needed. That is not always possible, in large part because there are not enough foster parents to match the growing number of foster kids in Utah.
Related: Photos: Foster care shortage throughout Utah: http://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/photos-foster-care-shortage-throughout-utah/collection_172de3d3-5533-52e1-bb60-406b63210d95.html
WA: Inslee signs bill to fund pilot project on legal representation for foster kids
Inlander – July 07, 2017
Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill Thursday – Senate Bill 5890 – that makes improvements to the state’s foster care system, including a total of $1.4 million over the next two years for the project to test legal representation for foster kids.
WI: U.S. Supreme Court orders stay on the Wisconsin Unborn Child Protection Act (Includes video)
WEAU – July 07, 2017
Opponents to the law say it may prevent pregnant women who are struggling with an addiction from seeking prenatal care because they’re afraid of being incarcerated.
US: Immigrant minors entering US illegally entitled to bail hearings
Asian Journal – July 07, 2017
A federal appeals court unanimously ruled on Wednesday, July 6 that minors who enter the United States illegally without their parents must not be detained or released without a court hearing.
Also: 9th Circuit: Detained Immigrant Children Entitled to Court Hearing (Includes audio): https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2017/07/07/9th-circuit-detained-immigrant-children-entitled-to-court-hearing/
US: New Podcast Series Advocates for Foster Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – July 07, 2017
The Foster Movement Podcast brings awareness to the difficulties associated with life in the foster care system, thanks to a revolving set of guests involved with care and hosts Jason Weber and Diego Fuller.
Podcast series: https://cafo.org/podcasts/
Bermuda: Removing children from ‘homeless’ parents fosters legacy of ill will (Opinion)
Royal Gazette – July 07, 2017
The Bermuda Housing Corporation should increase the use of rent-geared-to-income housing. As many as 30 families are threatened with eviction from Bermuda Housing Corporation properties. We recognise the difficulty in dealing with families who accumulate large rental arrears. While there are bound to be a few who take advantage of the situation, our experience is that most of the families who have extensive arrears are single mothers who are either unemployed, or who have part-time or low-paying jobs. These mothers often have barely enough income to feed and clothe their children, and even the reduced rent in many of these dwellings proves to be too much.
International: Prof studies how world sees child survivors of war
Williamsburg Yorktown Daily – July 08, 2017
“The tension between protecting the privacy of child refugees and advertising their stories in order to raise awareness and funds is something that non-profits today must address, just as child welfare organizations did right after the Holocaust,” said Kirsh. “People are much more likely to donate to a cause if the issue has been personalized. Not with a generic story, but with specific details of a real individual in need. But, it’s important to make sure that such details are not used in a sensationalized way.”
United Kingdom: Child Neglect: The Hidden Torment
Parenting Without Tears – July 10, 2017
It’s a very sad fact that in the UK one child in every ten has experienced neglect. The NSPCC says neglect is the most common reason for taking child protection action, and around 30 per cent of calls received by their helpline are from people concerned that a child they know is being neglected.
United Kingdom: Focus on children’s services: Providing a safe home through fostering and adoption
Swindon Advertiser – July 07, 2017
When it becomes impossible for a child to stay with their family it’s the council’s army of foster carers who step in to fill the void and to make the difficult experience as comfortable as possible.
Zimbabwe: Child abuse prevalence cause for concern (Opinion)
Chronicle – July 08, 2017
Child abuse and neglect affect children’s health now and later, and costs to our country are significant.
CA: SF’s homeless youth share need for 24-hour drop-in center, jobs, no police harassment
San Francisco Examiner – July 07, 2017
San Francisco’s young homeless residents have a few ideas about what they need, and The City is listening. Since October, youth who were homeless or formerly homeless were provided with a $25 gift card to attend meetings and tell The City what it could do to better help them; as many as 30 people would show up.
CA: CWDS Picks Contractor for CWDS Agile Revamp
Techwire – July 06, 2017
The California Child Welfare Digital Services project, which the state government’s technology officials are treating as a pilot for agile methods, has awarded an early contract for development operations to CivicActions. The CWDS project involves overhauling eight pieces of the state’s child welfare system, including functions such as case management and foster home licensing. The state is adopting an agile approach to setting up the new system that revolves around a pool of vendors.
CA: Knicely Done: A fresh start for single mothers and their children (Includes video)
WOWT – July 06, 2017
“Our women come out of domestic abuse, drug rehab or are reunited with children,” said Restored Hope case worker Nicole Millon. “They have everything the system has to offer.except stable housing. We provide that.” Generally the women stay in the facility for at least a year while their lives stabilize.
IA: DHS Director Jerry Foxhoven Reveals Proposal to Improve Foster Care System
WHO-TV – July 06, 2017
The process of reforming the Department of Human Services is underway after the department’s new director has unveiled his first proposal to identify children in abusive situations.
Also: New DHS chief: GRC ‘essential’: http://www.nonpareilonline.com/news/local/new-dhs-chief-grc-essential/article_d4dc666c-62ad-11e7-bb70-0bd234c83d56.html
IN: State Department of Child Services Appoints Jessica Maxwell Director in Randolph County (Press release)
Indiana Department of Child Services – July 06, 2017
The Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS) has appointed Jessica Maxwell the new office director for the Indiana DCS Randolph County office. In her new role, Maxwell will set goals and objectives for child welfare management helping to ensure children are protected from abuse or neglect. Also, she’ll oversee a staff of 17 while also handling general office operations.
KY: State drug epidemic’s smallest victims: Babies dying in their sleep (Includes video)
Courier-Journal – July 06, 2017
These deaths are among a growing group of Kentucky’s smallest and largely unnoticed casualties of the state’s substance abuse epidemic.
ME: What’s open, what’s not during the shutdown
Portland Press Herald – July 01, 2017
The governor’s office and state agencies have released lists showing that only key services will continue, to protect the public’s safety and welfare: …The Office of Child and Family Services will make scheduled July 5 child care subsidy and child welfare payments… The Office of Child and Family Services will be staffed to receive calls related to child abuse and neglect and respond to the needs of children in foster care and adults under public guardianship or conservationship…
MI: County Board OKs funding for high-risk youth
Midland Daily News – July 07, 2017
A trial program that began two years ago has been so successful that it is now being implemented permanently. However, that success has resulted in the need for additional funding of about $190,000.
MI: I-Team Report: Unique recovery home for families (Includes video)
WNEM – July 06, 2017
“The whole family gets to recover and not just the adults,” explained Kim Shewmaker, Flint Odyssey House Program Operations Director. The program touts itself as the only treatment center in the state of Michigan that offers recovery housing for the entire family. Something Shewmaker said is hugely beneficial.
MS: Gov. Bryant receives 2017 Champion for Children honor
Choctow Plain Dealer – July 05, 2017
A coalition of Mississippi childcare agencies presented Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant with the 2017 Champion of Children’s Award on June 28 in recognition of his leadership, commitment and advocacy for protecting at-risk children.
NM: Local advocacy group nurtures, supports child welfare victims of circumstance (Includes video)
KRQE – July 06, 2017
The New Mexico Child Advocacy Network (NMCAN) is dedicated to supporting and nurturing children who are both unable to return home and left unadopted by giving them tools for success in life.
TX: Child Welfare Advocates: Reforms Signal Hope for State’s Child Protection System
Rivard Report – July 07, 2017
Child and family welfare workers from local organizations gathered at the San Antonio Area Foundation’s offices Thursday to hear a recap of the successes for foster care and child protection that took place during the 85th session of the Legislature.
Also: Changes at the state’s beleaguered child protection agency just got a major boost: http://www.expressnews.com/news/local/article/Changes-at-the-state-s-beleaguered-child-11270817.php
UT: State transracial adoptions prevalent despite national decline
Daily Universe – July 06, 2017
International adoptions like the Palmers’ are on the decline in the United States, according to a January 2016 Child Welfare Information Gateway report. Despite these declining numbers, transracial adoptions are becoming more and more common in the United States, according to Rainbow Kids, an adoption and child welfare advocacy group.
Information Gateway Resource (Report): Trends in U.S. Adoptions: 2008-2012: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/adopted0812.pdf
VT: Vermont Parks Forever supports foster families
Stowe Reporter – July 06, 2017
Vermont Parks Forever raised $3,000 to purchase state park passes for 100 Vermont foster families this year. The nonprofit foundation supports expanding access to and enhancing the state parks.
WI: Proposed law would make it easier for state to charge child neglect (Includes video)
WMTV – July 07, 2017
The proposal would allow the state to charge parents with felony child neglect if they expose their children to the distribution, manufacture or use of drugs but some are saying that won’t help fix families.
US: A Hidden Population: Youth Homelessness Is on the Rise
Pew Charitable Trusts – July 07, 2017
They are the nation’s invisible homeless population, undercounted for years, hiding out in cars and abandoned buildings, in motels and on couches, often trading sex for a place to sleep. And now, for a complex variety of reasons, the number of youth – teens and young adults – living on the street appears to be growing.
US: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Selects entellitrak to Help Manage Child Protection Efforts (Press release)
MicroPact, Inc. – July 06, 2017
MicroPact, Inc. and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® today announced that they will be jointly developing a consolidated case management system for NCMEC. Built on entellitrak, MicroPact’s low-code application development platform for case management and business process management, the system will modernize and extend NCMEC’s abilities to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization.
US: The myths behind human trafficking
Grosse Point News – July 06, 2017
Most vulnerable to traffickers are boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 14. Low self-esteem or social isolation, frequent internet and social media use, conflict with parents or low family cohesion, history of physical and sexual abuse in the home and periods of homelessness or history of running away are all risk factors, according to Aufdemberge.
US: What the Cosby and Sandusky cases teach us about reporting sexual assault (Opinion)
Garnet News – June 22, 2017
Our legal system is mostly designed to deal with crimes shortly after they have occurred. However, the laws in most states do not match up with the reality of victims’ experiences.
Also: Close Encounters: A Feminist Legal Theory Analysis of the State Treatment of Female Child Sexual Abuse Victims: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2989898
Canada: ‘It’s a way of moving forward’: Innu leaders praise announcement of inquiry into children in care
CBC News – July 06, 2017
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Aboriginal leaders have agreed that an inquiry will be held into the treatment of Innu children in the child protection system.
Also: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): http://www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2017/exec/memo_understanding.pdf
Canada: Canada announces funding for child protection, women’s economic empowerment and humanitarian assistance in the Democratic Republic of Congo
SocioLingo Africa – July 06, 2017
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced $97 million in funding to improve child protection, promote growth that works for all and provide crucial humanitarian assistance in the DRC and the region. The Minister made this announcement as she concluded a two-day visit to the DRC, as part of Canada’s re-engagement with Africa and its commitment to work together to address issues facing the continent.
Thailand: Tham Hin Temporary Shelter Profile (May 2017)
Relief Web – July 07, 2017
Tham Hin camp was established in 1997 following the arrival in Thailand of thousands of Myanmar citizens fleeing armed conflict and persecution in Southeast Myanmar. Since its inception, the camp has continued to receive Myanmar nationals seeking asylum. UNHCR Activities: …Ensure child protection through the promotion and application of the Child Protection Framework
Report from UN High Commissioner for Refugees: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/THI_May2017.pdf
United Kingdom: 1.8 million pounds to support vulnerable children (Press release)
Information and public services for the Island of Jersey – July 06, 2017
The Chief Minister has agreed to allocate an extra £1.8 million for projects to support vulnerable children for the next three years. This latest allocation will support six initiatives from 2017-2019. They include extra staff for the Youth Enquiry Service and the Children’s Change Programme, a pilot psychotherapy service for parents and babies and a full time staff member to establish on-island social work training.
United Kingdom: British couple claims racial discrimination during adoption process (Includes video)
CBS News – July 06, 2017
A British couple is taking legal action against a government adoption agency for alleged discrimination. Reena and Sandeep Mander said they were told they couldn’t adopt because the available babies were white and they are of Indian heritage. In short, white babies go first to white couples, though the Manders say they didn’t care what color their baby would be. They were pushed to the back of the line, right from the start.
CA: County Social Worker Builds Trust with Native American Communities (Press release)
San Diego County, CA – July 05, 2017
Chapman is a County social worker assigned to the Health and Human Services Agency’s Indian Specialty Unit. On any given day, she finds herself anywhere from Manzanita to Santa Ysabel to Barona working with the tribal communities on the county’s 19 federally recognized sovereign reservations. San Diego County is home to more Indian reservations than any county in the United States, and the Indian Specialty Unit social workers interact exclusively with that population.
CA: One Startup’s Quest to Help Local Government Find Its Own Citizens
Government Technology – July 05, 2017
California’s Agile Pilot Project Awards Key Contract to CivicActions: The Gov Tech 100 company will serve in a DevOps role for the eight-part Child Welfare Digital Services project, helping to coordinate the work of the various vendors working on it. The effort is highly watched because it is serving as a pilot test for agile development at the state’s tech offices.
CA: Police step in when shelters can’t help homeless mom and tot
San Francisco Gate – July 05, 2017
“I don’t want to see a 2-year-old sleeping in the Tenderloin – it’s not right,” said Officer Kevin Lyons, one of several cops who paid to put the young girl and her mother in a neighborhood motel. Capt. Teresa Ewins of Tenderloin Station followed up with in a email to Sam Dodge, deputy director of the city’s year-old Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, looking for answers.
CT: Federal monitor: Too many foster children’s needs still unmet
Connecticut Mirror – July 05, 2017
Too many Connecticut children in foster care are not receiving the mental health services, child care and housing supports they need, partly because the programs are not available and wait lists persist, the federal court monitor overseeing the state’s child welfare agency reported Wednesday.
Also: Juan F. v. Malloy Exit Plan Status Report, June 2017: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3886922/Status-Report-4th-Quarter-2016-and-1st-Quarter.pdf
IA: DHS may require doctor visits in state subsidized adoptions following child deaths (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – July 05, 2017
Families that receive state financial assistance to adopt children will be required to document annual doctor visits under a new policy being considered by Iowa’s Department of Human Services.
Also: New rule considered for parents getting subsidies for adopting foster kids: http://www.radioiowa.com/2017/07/05/new-rule-considered-for-parents-getting-subsidies-for-adopting-foster-kids/
IL: Youth Group Wins $10,000 Grant for Inspiring Confidence Among Homeless and Foster-Care Youth (Press release)
Allstate Foundation – July 06, 2017
Sixteen-year old twin sisters Amy and Amber Haskill know this well because they grew up in foster care until they were adopted by the Haskill family. The pain of that experience led them and their brothers, 17-year-old Logan Haskill and 15-year-old Liam Haskill, to start QC Closet2Closet (Closet2Closet), a nonprofit dedicated to dressing homeless and foster-care youth.
IN: Our Opinion: A wake-up call to protect children (Requires free registration)
Times-Mail – July 05, 2017
Statistics showing the number of children removed from homes because of alcohol or substance use on the part of parents are more than disturbing.
LA: DCFS advises parents of water safety during summer months
Louisiana Radio Network – July 06, 2017
A two-year-old boy is now the fourth child to die in a rash of drownings in Tangipahoa Parish. The state Department of Children and Family Services is advising parents about water safety during the summer months. Mona Michelli with the DCFS Division of Child Welfare says this is a time to be vigilant.
MD: State Medicaid Initiatives To Combat Opioid Epidemic In Effect
Garrett County Republican – July 06, 2017
The Maryland Medicaid Program implemented July 1 two initiatives to combat the opioid crisis in Maryland with key tactics: To prevent opioid-related substance use disorders and to reduce the risk of overdose, the department is reforming policies to curb opioid prescribing in the Medicaid program. In coming years, Maryland’s health department will work to phase in additional services under residential substance-use disorder treatment, including…Individuals involved with the child welfare system (January 2018).
MO: Foster care, pro-life bills reflect compassion (Opinion)
Pathway – July 05, 2017
Gov. Eric Greitens recently signed a bill into law that will safeguard children across the state, especially those in foster care. Known as Senate Bill 160, sponsored by Reps. Diane Franklin (R-Camdenton) and Cloris Brown (R-St. Louis) along with Sen. David Sater (R-Cassville), the new law is designed to ensure the protection of children from human traffickers, making the act of sex trafficking of minors a form of child abuse. It also bans people who have been convicted of sex crimes against children from coming within 500 feet of children’s museums.
NH: New law gives grandparents custody preference
Associated Press – July 05, 2017
Grandparents will get preference in child-custody cases involving drug or alcohol abuse under a New Hampshire law, a first in the country.
OH: Children Services caseworkers receive Narcan training in Trumbull County
WFMJ – July 05, 2017
First, it was Emergency Medical Technicians, then police officers who received special training to administer the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan. Now, caseworkers at Trumbull County Children Services are learning how to give the drug that has proven over and over again to save lives.
OH: Two appointed assistant prosecuting attorney
Huber Heights Courier – July 05, 2017
Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck, Jr. announced that Thomas J. Brodbeck and Thomas R. Schutzman have each been appointed to the position of assistant Montgomery County prosecuting attorney. Attorneys in this division also prosecute adults for misdemeanor criminal charges involving the abuse of neglect of children.
OR: State’s Legislature: Robbing Peter to pay Paul (Opinion)
Oregon Live – July 05, 2017
If throwing a little more money at school funding to make ourselves feel better comes at the expense of health care, child welfare, anti-poverty programs and housing assistance, then we work at cross-purposes.
PA: Statewide data breach affects Adams County
Gettysburg Times – July 06, 2017
A statewide data breach reached Adams County Children and Youth Services, compromising 53 people’s personal information, officials said Wednesday at the commissioners’ meeting.
PA: Judge keeps former Penn State leaders’ sentences intact in first appellate reviews
PennLive – July 05, 2017
A senior judge from Berks County has issued a batch of new orders in the cases of the three former Penn State administrators convicted of leaving kids at risk by failing to act more aggressively against Jerry Sandusky in 2001. In short, none of the new orders by Berks County Senior Judge John Boccabella dramatically change the sentences he imposed last month.
PA: Today’s Editorial: Center shines light on dark crisis
Daily Item – July 05, 2017
The opening of a new $11 million Center for Healthy Children at Penn State University is clearly an illuminating action plan emerging from the horrific child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and the subsequent cover-up of allegations by Penn State administrators.
SD: Making Adoption Affordable (Includes video)
Keoland TV – July 05, 2017
If you’ve ever considered adoption, but were scared it would cost too much, there’s an almost free alternative in Sioux Falls. Children’s Home Society works with families and the state to find a forever home for kids. With as many as 180 kids up for adoption in South Dakota at any given time, it’s a desperate need.
TX: ‘Recipe for Discrimination’: Legal Battle Brews Over New ‘Religious Refusal’ Child Welfare Law
Texas Observer – July 05, 2017
A new Texas law meant to shield child welfare providers who deny services based on religious beliefs could strap the state with more legal problems than the providers ever faced, critics say.
US: Detained Immigrant Children Are Entitled to Hearings, Court Rules
New York Times – July 06, 2017
Undocumented immigrant children detained by federal authorities are entitled to hearings to determine whether they should remain confined, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
Also: 9th Circuit: Unaccompanied immigrant children entitled to bail hearings: http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/07/05/immigrant-kids-bail-hearings-240249
Also: Federal court says unaccompanied immigrant minors have right to bond hearings: http://thehill.com/homenews/news/340774-federal-court-says-unaccompanied-immigrant-minors-have-right-to-bond-hearings
US: Health care for foster and adopted children is a real concern (Opinion)
St. Louis Post Dispatch – July 06, 2017
As I read about the various attempts to replace Obamacare in Congress, I’m left wondering if our elected officials in Washington have forgotten about children like me, children like my brothers and sisters, who are left at the mercy of adult strangers. For politicians, it seems like Medicaid is a toy, the ultimate proverbial political football. For us, Medicaid was a lifeline.
Information Gateway resource: Collaborating Toward Well-Being Outcomes: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/well-being/collaborating/
US: Alliance for Children’s Rights Names Next CEO
Chronicle of Social Change – July 05, 2017
The Alliance for Children’s Rights announced today that Laurie Rubiner, a long-time political staffer and advocate in Washington, D.C., will become the advocacy organization’s new CEO.
US: Foster care system flooded with children amid opioid epidemic: 5 things to know
Becker’s Hospital Review – July 05, 2017
The opioid epidemic has contributed to a dramatic increase in the number of children in foster care over last two years, according to The Washington Post. Here are five things to know.
International: Coroner calls for changes to treatment of child refugees after death of teenager
Guardian – July 05, 2017
A coroner has called for changes to the way Home Office officials in Calais and Dunkirk deal with vulnerable child refugees after a 17-year-old Kurdish refugee fled Isis in Iraq only to be crushed under the wheels of a lorry while trying to seek sanctuary in the UK.
AR: Fort Smith foster care homes to be opening soon
Southwest Times Record – July 04, 2017
Four new homes for children in foster care will be ready as early as July 31, the executive administrator of the Arkansas Division of Free Will Baptist Ministries said. The neighborhood-like Young Children’s Home is at Chaffee Crossing and will house up to 32 children – up to eight children in each of the four houses, executive administrator Bob Moody said. Free Will Baptist Ministries, the owner of Maggie House in Charleston, is also behind the new development at Chaffee Crossing.
FL: Advocates Happy With New Child Welfare Law Taking Effect Saturday (Includes audio)
WUSF Public Media – June 30, 2017
One of its many provisions ensures parents do not get their kids back unless they meet certain conditions. “And, if there’s a new condition that happens, that’s included,” Zepp continued. “Nor if a child has already been removed from a parent and they become pregnant, those unborn children are now protected. Not meaning that we’re going to violate anybody’s rights, but there’s a healthy set of eyes on that parent. So, that was huge.”
GA: DFCS Director Cagle announces senior leadership changes
Georgia Department of Human Service – July 03, 2017
Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS) Director Bobby Cagle announced changes to the Division’s senior leadership team today. Cagle has tapped Virginia Pryor, the Division’s deputy director for Child Welfare, as chief of staff. As chief of staff, Pryor will oversee day-to-day operations for Child Welfare and the Office of Family Independence and System Reform.
IL: Children in care of DCFS at lowest point in 27 years
Chicago Sun-Times – July 05, 2017
After a spike in the late 1990s, the number of children under the legal guardianship of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is at its lowest point in 27 years, records show.
IN: Opioid Epidemic Increases Demand for Social Workers
Tristate – July 03, 2017
A degree in social work has become an even hotter ticket due to rising demand for social workers. The demand is due in part to the opioid drug epidemic. Last May, a survey of Social Work undergraduate students at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) found 100% said they either had a job or were furthering their education.
MI: New Midland organization targets human trafficking
Midland Daily News – July 03, 2017
The Chazaq Movement is a private, non-profit organization that provides services to victims or survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The organization will be offering a group home setting and other services such as individual and group therapy, trauma informed care, recreation, life skills, education and a safe community. She continued, “There weren’t any resources for them to go for housing. There is available counseling and services but not a safe place for them to go to receive all of those services. Many of them end up in foster care that’s not equipped or they end up in the juvenile center because of other crimes that are associated with it.”
MO: Editorial: Gov. Eric Greitens’ decisions are aimed at helping one person – Greitens
Kansas City Star – July 03, 2017
In a flurry of bill-signings and statements, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens cut the wages of thousands of Missouri workers, made it easier to discriminate, blocked help for some 8,000 elderly and disabled residents, hammered Missouri’s beleaguered universities, cut Medicaid payments to health care providers and slashed spending for a department charged with protecting children.
NC: Children in Foster Care in NC Surpasses 11,000 – Children’s Home Society Intensifies Response (Press release)
Children’s Home Society of North Carolina – July 05, 2017
In response to the increasing needs of children in North Carolina, Children’s Home Society is implementing an aggressive four-year strategic plan and realignment that will allow it to double the number of adoptions completed and the number of children served by family finding and enhanced foster care to permanency programs. CHS will triple the number of children served by child specific recruitment, designed to find permanent homes for children who have been in foster care the longest.
NC: Toll of human trafficking gains notice of lawmakers, law enforcement
Carolina Journal – July 05, 2017
In 2016, 181 cases of human trafficking were reported in North Carolina, landing it among the top 10 states for trafficking in the U.S. the National Human Trafficking Hotline reports.
NH: State faces challenges matching foster kids with families
Concord Monitor – July 05, 2017
As the state’s opioid crisis drives more children each year into state protection, New Hampshire is facing a serious shortage of foster families able to give abused or neglected kids a safe place to stay. Families must go through rigorous screening, including passing a background check and a time-intensive home study, before they can get licensed by the state. While state data shows interest in becoming a foster parent is at a five-year high, the Division for Children, Youth and Families hasn’t been able to keep up.
NH: Grandfamilies 3: Legal challenges a hurdle for some who seek guardianship
Concord Monitor – July 04, 2017
It’s a familiar struggle for grandparents dealing with a child with addiction – sometimes they are forced to cut ties with their own child in order to care for the grandchildren.
OH: Locals fear Medicaid cuts would hurt opioid fight
Tribune Chronicle/Associated Press – July 05, 2017
Republicans in the Ohio House and Senate argue the state’s budget includes nearly $180 million in funding to combat the opioid crisis, “on top of the nearly $1 billion already spent by the state annually on drug abuse and addiction.” “Included is $60 million in funding for child protective services and programs to support children in drug-affected families …”
PA: Some Erie County OCY cases part of statewide data breach
Erie Times-News – July 03, 2017
The data breach was reported in May and involved what’s known as Child Accounting and Profile System databases maintained by Avanco International, a Fairfax, Virginia-based company. Officials with the Erie County Office of Children and Youth said that fewer than 30 Erie County children had their identities compromised as part of a recent data security breach involving a third-party vendor that affected approximately 1,800 child welfare cases statewide.
TX: Fewer foster children forced to sleep in CPS offices
Seymour Tribune – July 03, 2017
Associate State Protective Services Commissioner Kristene Blackstone tells The Dallas Morning News that CPS housed just one foster child at a CPS office during one recent weekend. That’s after having been known to sleep a dozen foster children or more nightly in state buildings and hotels until new foster homes could be found for them.
WA: New state agency aims to boost families
Walla Walla Union Bulletin – July 03, 2017
A new department created in the final hours of the 2017 legislative session is expected to have a long-term approach for helping at-risk families. The new Department of Children, Youth and Families combines the state Department of Early Learning with programs that have historically operated under the Department of Social and Health Services, along with other agencies, the Children’s Administration, juvenile-justice programs and ombudsman services, according to an announcement.
WI: Counties send fewer teens to troubled Wisconsin juvenile prison amid federal investigation
USA Today/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – July 04, 2017
Nineteen months after agents and lawyers raided Wisconsin’s youth prison over allegations of inmate abuse and other crimes, the number of people housed there remains far below pre-raid levels.
US: The secret reason child-welfare agencies fail
New York Post – July 04, 2017
The most obvious problem is simply retention. According to a report from the Child Welfare Workforce Institute, yearly turnover rates nationally can exceed 30 percent. While low pay and high levels of stress are frequently cited as reasons people leave these jobs so quickly, the truth is much more varied and systemic.
Information Gateway resource: Addressing the Workforce Crisis: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/workforce/addressing/
US: Youth-led Advocacy Groups Empower Foster Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – July 04, 2017
The independent programs vary from one state or chapter to another. However, across all the organizations youth find the opportunity to connect through meetings, trainings, phone calls and multi-day conferences geared toward creating legislative goals that are meaningful to them. And, perhaps even more importantly, they find a community.
US: Deportation a ‘Death Sentence’ to Adoptees After a Lifetime in the U.S.
New York Times – July 02, 2017
Phillip Clay was adopted at 8 into an American family in Philadelphia. Twenty-nine years later, in 2012, after numerous arrests and a struggle with drug addiction, he was deported back to his birth country, South Korea. He could not speak the local language, did not know a single person and did not receive appropriate care for mental health problems, which included bipolar disorder and alcohol and substance abuse. On May 21, Mr. Clay ended his life, jumping from the 14th floor of an apartment building north of Seoul. He was 42.
Russia: ECHR ruling on U.S. nationals’ complaint over Russian adoption ban takes effect
RAPSI – July 04, 2017
The ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in favor of U.S. nationals, who had complained of violating their rights by banning them from adoption of Russian children, became effective.
Spain: ‘Risky’: how minors play cat-and-mouse in Melilla in bid to get to Spain (Includes video)
El Pais – July 02, 2017
More than 90% of these 600 unaccompanied minors proceed from Morocco. They hear stories – through Facebook or word of mouth – of others who managed to arrive at promised lands by playing the game. Without Spanish or European nationality, it is effectively their only hope of being able to live anywhere in the North.
AL: Acres of Hope builds future for homeless women and their children
Auburn Journal – June 30, 2017
Acres of Hope is a spiritually based program that provides long term housing for homeless women with children. Residents are able to live on site for up to two years and during that time they are required to go through programs to prepare them for success once they “graduate.”
AZ: DCS to foster families: Please do more. Foster families: We’ve been trying! (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – June 30, 2017
In a letter emailed to more than 4,000 foster homes, the director of Arizona’s child-welfare system asked families to “expand their horizons,” “do more” and take in older children and teenagers. But instead of triggering a new wave of openhearted fostering, the request left some foster parents perplexed and enraged – because they say they have been trying to do exactly that, and have been shut down by the very agency now asking for help.
Also: Arizona Foster Parents Decry Email Asking Them to ‘Do More’: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/arizona/articles/2017-06-30/arizona-foster-parents-decry-email-asking-them-to-do-more
AZ: Roberts: One Arizona foster child’s DCS nightmare (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – June 30, 2017
According to the lawsuit, filed earlier this month in Pima County Superior Court against the Department of Child Safety and a pair of adoption agencies (Christian Family Care and Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona), the girl was taken from her biological mother in April 2013 “based on a fear of potential harm.”
CA: How does CPS decide when to sever kinship ties, adopt children out to strangers? (Opinion)
San Francisco Bay View – July 02, 2017
Child welfare and modern adoption laws were developed in the mid-1800s based on the premise that certain people were unfit to raise children and that those children were better off with more affluent families. “Child-saving,” they called it. As it turned out, “child-saving” often had more to do with poverty, or “dependency” as they used to call it, than actual abuse, neglect or parenting deficiencies.
CA: Youth council inspiring homeless teens, young adults
Oroville Mercury-Register – July 02, 2017
The Butte County Youth Advisory Council was formed this February to provide youth with leadership and lobbying opportunities. But it’s also offering young people who have experienced homelessness, poverty, incarceration or a negative history with the foster care system with resources and a community, Sherman said.
CT: Malloy prepares CT for life without a new state budget
CT Mirror – June 30, 2017
When the new fiscal year begins Saturday, Connecticut will owe hundreds of millions of dollars more for things like: Medicaid services bound by federal entitlement rules; Court-ordered child welfare services.
IN: New Laws Take Effect July 1
Eagle County Online – June 30, 2017
Two new laws will help young adults who have aged out of the Indiana foster system. SEA 497 allows individuals who were in foster care to remain on Medicaid until they turn 26-years-old without having to re-apply each year.
Also: New Laws Will Help Ind. Foster Children Starting Adult Life: http://eaglecountryonline.com/local-article/new-laws-will-help-ind-foster-children-starting-adult-life/
LA: State workers to get raises, redesigned pay scales
Associated Press – June 30, 2017
“State employees, including our law enforcement and child welfare workers who have been overworked and underpaid for too long, will see a modest increase under this plan,” the Democratic governor said in a statement. “Overall, this will result in a more efficient pay system that saves Louisiana money.”
MA: Lawmakers grapple with state shortfall
Associated Press – July 01, 2017
A large portion of state spending is non-discretionary – Medicaid, for example, which consumes about 40 percent of the total annual budget. State lawmakers would be loath to cut into many other areas, such as state aid to public school districts, support for the state’s child welfare agency or spending on addiction treatment.
MD: Medicaid Initiatives to Combat Opioid Epidemic Rolling Out July 1
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene – July 01, 2017
In coming years, Maryland’s health department will work to phase in additional services under residential substance-use disorder treatment, including: * Services for pregnant women (January 2018); * Drug-exposed newborns (January 2018); * Individuals involved with the child welfare system (January 2018)
ME: How you could be affected by a state government shutdown
Portland Press Herald – June 29, 2017
No information was available on whether child protective services workers or staff who process Medicaid or other benefit applications would be on the job in the Department of Health and Human Services.
MO: New accessible housing projects flooded with applicants
Columbia Daily Tribune – July 02, 2017
The agency is using low-income housing tax credits from the federal government, and awarded through the Missouri Housing Development Commission, to finance the project. Though the primary applicants have disabilities, tax credit requirements open up leasing to other qualified individuals – victims of domestic violence, young adults aging out of foster care and others at risk of homelessness.
MO: Governor signs budget, cuts $250M in spending
Associated Press – June 30, 2017
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is cutting more than $250 million in spending for the fiscal year that begins Saturday, including money for K-12 school buses, higher education and social services.
NC: NCSU group pushing to help NC revamp foster care system (Includes video)
WRAL – June 29, 2017
In 2015, the federal government said the state’s child welfare program missed the mark on all but one of 21 federal standards. Former foster child Marcella Middleton says the problem comes down to the decision makers. “They make decisions, and they are missing the key people that need to be there,” Middleton said.
NE: Head of Nebraska’s child welfare and economic assistance programs to step down Aug. 4
Omaha World-Herald – July 01, 2017
Doug Weinberg has been director of the Department of Health and Human Services Children and Family Services Division since August 2015. Ricketts said he has named Matt Wallen, who is chief of staff to HHS CEO Courtney Phillips, as Weinberg’s replacement.
NE: State Supreme Court: State isn’t legally liable for sexual assault committed by foster child
Omaha World-Herald – July 01, 2017
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state cannot be held liable for a foster child’s sexual assault of a Gage County boy. But the boy’s parents, who brought the case, say they plan to take their fight for changes in the child welfare system to the Legislature.
Also: Court answers if state can be sued for HHS worker lying about foster child’s history of sexual abuse: http://journalstar.com/news/local/court-answers-if-state-can-be-sued-for-hhs-worker/article_3b0fe433-3fda-51d4-9eda-c1f061192d00.html
NJ: New Jersey political standoff shuts down state government
Reuters – July 01, 2017
During the shutdown, state police, prisons, child welfare services, NJ Transit and other health and safety operations will continue to function, Christie said in an executive order signed in Trenton just before midnight.
NM: From hardship to hard time: Female prison rate rises in US
Seymour Tribune – June 30, 2017
Hylton, 40, has struggled to recover ever since, although the months following her release from a New Mexico prison last fall have brought a chance at breaking the cycle of addiction, arrests and child custody hearings.
NV: St. Jude’s seeks more volunteers to bring siblings from broken families back together
Las Vegas Sun – July 02, 2017
St. Jude’s puts on these events and a summer camp to maintain or help build bonds between siblings who’ve gone through the trauma of a broken family. You might not think an afternoon of splashing around makes a difference, but relationships can fall apart because of lost contact, even escalate to permanent estrangement, according to the 2013 Child Welfare Information Gateway report on sibling issues that arise in foster care and adoption.
Information Gateway resource: Sibling Issues in Foster Care and Adoption: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/siblingissues/
NY: Senate passes legislation to help children
Daily News – July 03, 2017
The New York State Senate passed a series of bills recently that continues its longstanding commitment to protecting children from abuse and improving their well-being.
NY: Washington County expanding efforts to keep teens out of jail
Post Star – June 30, 2017
For years, Washington County has managed to keep most juveniles out of jail by creating individual plans for each child who is detained. Now, the county will dramatically expand that program to include 16- and 17-year-olds in response to the state’s new Raise the Age policy.
OH: Missing children, missing photographs
Columbus Dispatch – July 02, 2017
Flores, who founded Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution (SOAP), questions whether state agencies have the resources and incentive to obtain photographs or adequately investigate every case that comes across their desks. “Do we need an independent agency to hunt down photos?” Flores said. “A lot of these kids are in foster care or runaways, and it seems like nobody cares about them.”
OH: There’s an ongoing terrorist attack in Ohio (Opinion)
Washington Post – June 30, 2017
Like other forms of terrorism, the opioid attack will have a generational impact, in this case in a foster-care crisis being left in its wake. In December 2015, our newspaper reported that “a focused crackdown on drug abuse by local law enforcement – a focus applauded by nearly everyone – has led to the unintended consequence of more children who are left homeless.”
OR: Politics and math: how Oregon lawmakers closed a $1.8 billion budget gap
Oregonian – July 02, 2017
The state is poised to invest more in child welfare after cases of abuse, neglect and state oversight failures gained public attention. Still, Gelser cited several concerning cuts in the human services budget. “We’re cutting our family support program in half, which provides essential supports to children and families that have intellectual and developmental disabilities to help them stay at home,” Gelser said.
OR: Time for Oregon’s foster children to check out of hotels: Editorial
Oregonian – June 30, 2017
The Oregon Department of Human Services’ highly questionable practice was highlighted in a lawsuit last year. And appropriately, it drew much concern from the public and lawmakers. So much so, agency Director Clyde Saiki decried the “hoteling” of foster children in a hearing before lawmakers last September.
TX: Some 20,000 Texas kids need homes. But will a new law turn families away? (Includes video)
Star Tribune – June 30, 2017
At issue: Many adoption agencies are faith-based and likely will oppose the couple’s move to be foster parents because Franklin is transgender. And the new law that goes into effect Sept. 1 would allow that.
Also: Why we’re cautiously optimistic about CPS improvements (Opinion): https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/2017/06/30/cautiously-optimistic-cps-improvements
Also: Ashby believes child welfare legislation ‘highlight’ of session: http://lufkindailynews.com/news/local/article_7a01c726-5ecc-11e7-b0be-5383a35f121f.html
TX: TEXAS VIEW: Time for policies to help kids
Dallas Morning News – June 30, 2017
Dallas Morning News reporter Cary Aspinwall’s disturbing investigation revealed there are at least dozens of children like the Booker siblings in North Texas, overlooked because no one in the criminal justice system is responsible for the safety of children whose parents go to jail. At one point, Kylia found herself in charge of a household and caring for her two younger sisters, at age 12.
WI: Counties feel strain of families destabilized by opioid epidemic
Superior Telegram – July 01, 2017
“What’s been happening recently is that a parent is overdosing either on heroin or opiates. We’ve had quite a few kiddos who have found their parents unconscious and called law enforcement,” she said.
WV: ‘It’s not as scary as people want you to think it is’: An increasing demand of foster families needed across the state
Exponent Telegram – July 02, 2017
Over the past few years, the need for foster parents has continued to increase in West Virginia. Agencies and foster parents alike are trying to educate the public about the need and how to become foster families.
US: The opioid crisis is straining the nation’s foster-care systems (Includes video)
Washington Post – July 01, 2017
The trend in Maine is echoed in foster-care systems throughout the country, especially in rural areas that have been hit hard by addiction. Many are becoming overwhelmed as the opioid crisis has forced more and more children into state custody.
Also: The Drug Crisis Is Pushing Nearly Half A Million Kids Into Foster Care: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/01/the-drug-crisis-is-pushing-nearly-half-a-million-kids-into-foster-care/
US: Top Five Threats to Child Welfare from the Senate Health Care Repeal Proposal (Opinion)
Georgetown University Health Policy Institute – June 30, 2017
The Senate’s proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to sharply cut Medicaid payments to states through so-called per capita caps can sound very abstract to social workers and policymakers coping with the day-to-day tragedies and crises of child welfare. But these disastrous changes could take a major step toward becoming law after the July 4 recess when the Senate will return to its bill. The dangers of these changes are very real to abused and neglected children, their birth, adoptive, and foster parents, as well as state agencies and providers.
US: Trump Administration Accused Of Using Immigrant Kids As ‘Bait’ To Catch Parents (Includes video)
Huffington Post – June 30, 2017
Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed that their “surge initiative” against human smuggling operations, first reported by McClatchy on Thursday, is targeting, among others, those who pay for unaccompanied minors to be brought into the U.S. without authorization.
Australia: Child abuse victim speaks out against Cardinal Pell and Catholic Church
New Zealand Herald – July 02, 2017
Smith said he wanted the Catholic Church to do more for victims of abuse. “They need to pay more attention to what we’re saying… and sit down for a better compensation deal for us that helps us with lifetime counselling and liftetime healthcare.”
Australia: Foster carer shortage creating crisis for older children and teens in NSW
ABC News Australia – July 02, 2017
Teenager Alex Cross-Bennett knows his life could have taken a very different path if he did not have a foster carer – and he is one of the lucky ones, with a desperate shortage of carers for foster children his age in NSW.
International: Charges against Vatican cardinal revive questions about Pope Francis’ handling of child sexual abuse by priests
Washington Post – July 01, 2017
The Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal ensnared one of Pope Francis’s top lieutenants on Thursday, underlining the halting progress the reformist pontiff has made in addressing decades of abuse by the clergy even as Cardinal George Pell declared himself innocent of the charges against him.
Ireland: Number of homeless children in Ireland hits record high
News Talk – July 02, 2017
Earlier this year, the Government vowed to end by July the use of hotels and B&Bs as long-term accommodation for homeless families. However Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted they will miss that deadline.
Also: There Were 3,000 Homeless Children In Ireland Last Month: https://lovin.ie/news/there-were-3-000-homeless-children-in-ireland-last-month
CA: New State Budget Boosts Benefits for Foster Children (Press release)
Los Angeles County Department of Child & Family Services – June 29, 2017
The budget creates the Emergency Child Care Bridge, a new program to support the implementation of the Continuum of Care Reform, and will assist the state and counties in the recruitment of new resource families.
KY: New Kentucky Laws Concerning Schools, Cops, Kids Kick In Thursday
Eagle Country – June 29, 2017
House Bill 180 allows youth to be temporarily placed with non-relative adults who already have a significant emotional relationship with the child.
LA: State civil service compensation redesign approved by Governor John Bel Edwards (Includes video)
Fox 44 – June 29, 2017
“Under this new plan, all state employees, including our law enforcement and child welfare workers who have been over worked and under paid for too long, will see a modest increase under this plan. Overall, this will result in a more efficient pay system that saves Louisiana money.”
MI: Problems continue for Michigan’s child welfare database (Includes video)
Lansing State Journal – June 27, 2017
The state’s troubled child welfare database lacked the necessary controls “to ensure that all cases are actively managed and all children and families receive necessary services,” auditors reported Tuesday.
NH: Addiction crisis increases need for foster families (Video)
WMUR – June 30, 2017
Opioid crisis puts stress on foster care system.
NJ: Annual count finds fewer homeless people in South Jersey (Includes video)
Courier-Post – June 28, 2017
“While the slight decrease in homelessness in New Jersey is a positive result, the reality is that the size of the homeless population has remained relatively the same from 2016 to 2017,” said Taiisa Kelly, a senior associate at Monarch Housing Associates and head of the Ending Homelessness Team that coordinated NJCounts 2017.
NV: Woman sues Clark County over granddaughter’s death
Las Vegas Review Journal – June 29, 2017
In her lawsuit, Bernadine Morimoto blasts the government bodies tasked with managing and overseeing child welfare services. She asserts that her granddaughters were abused by their father for months after social workers first received the case.
NY: NYC Pays Private Firm $51K for a Month of Monitoring Embattled Administration for Children’s Services (Video)
NBC4 NY – June 29, 2017
Earlier this year, the I-Team was the first to report that an independent monitor ordered by Gov. Cuomo to oversee the city’s embattled Administration for Children’s Services began its work without a contract, charging pricey hourly fees – as much as $550 per hour – to be billed to NYC taxpayers.
OR: Retired DHS caseworker calls unplacement issue a ‘crisis’ (Opinion)(Includes video)
Fox12 – June 29, 2017
A retired Department of Human Services caseworker shared an inside perspective on the practice of hoteling foster kids just days after court documents showed it was still being done in Oregon. FOX 12 learned the state agency is continuing to house children in hotels for weeks, or in some cases months, despite a lawsuit calling on them to stop.
TX: Harris County attorney files declaration against SB4 (Includes video)
Fox 26 – June 29, 2017
The dread of separating families is why Harris County attorney Vince Ryan has filed a declaration in Federal Court to stop SB4, Texas’ controversial immigration law. Tiffany Reedy with the Harris County Attorney’s office says, “Senate Bill 4 is going to force more American children whose parents are undocumented into the Foster Care system.”
VT: Vermont Parks Forever Purchases State Park Passes for Foster Families (Press Release)
Vermont Department for Children and Families – June 28, 2017
For the second year in a row, Vermont Parks Forever – the nonprofit foundation that supports expanding access to and enhancing Vermont State Parks- raised $3,000 to purchase state park passes for 100 Vermont foster families.
US: For Opioids’ Youngest Victims, Is Help Too Little, Too Late?
Governing – June 30, 2017
Opioids pose special challenges for child welfare agencies. Compared with addiction to cocaine or methamphetamine, the recovery period is longer and the chance of relapse is higher. Sobriety is often a requisite for placing children back with parents. But federal law mandates a short window –less than two years — for parents to undergo treatment and demonstrate that they’re sober enough to regain custody of their child.
US: Immigration ‘surge initiative’ to target parents, relatives who smuggled their children into U.S.
Washington Times – June 30, 2017
A new “surge initiative” aims to identify and arrest the adult sponsors of unaccompanied minors who paid coyotes or other smuggling operations to bring young people across the U.S. border, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials confirmed Thursday.
US: “Stop-and-Frisk” for Caregivers: How Expanded Mandated Reporting Laws Hurt Families (Opinion)
Truthout – June 29, 2017
Eighteen states now have “universal” reporting requirements, making all residents mandated reporters to child protective services, with exceptions in most states for defense attorneys and in some states for clergy. More such bills are in the works around the country.
US: Homeless LGBTQ youth struggle to escape harassment at shelters
Think Progress – June 29, 2017
LGBTQ youth need shelters to be safe from harassment and sexual assault. But too often, shelters fail to protect them.
US: How the Opioid Epidemic Harms Youth and Families
Chronicle of Social Change – June 29, 2017
The second most common cause for entry into foster care system nationwide, parental substance use disorder consistently jeopardizes child health and safety. An uptick in the use of opioids and other substances has led to a rise in the number of children being removed from their homes due to parental substance abuse.
US: New CHAMPS Campaign to Focus On State-Level Foster Care Improvement
Chronicle of Social Change – June 29, 2017
A large group of funders, advocates and service organizations are spearheading a new campaign to improve the quality of the foster care system in dozens of states.
US: The Fight for Racial Equity in Child Welfare Continues (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 29, 2017
While some will argue about whether racial disproportionality is a function of poverty or implicit racial bias, there should be a shared sense of urgency around the disparities that occur after youth are placed in the child welfare system’s custody. Children of color are less likely to return home to their families, more likely to age out of care, and are disproportionately placed in congregate care facilities.
US: “Trauma on Trauma on Trauma”: For Refugee Children, the Journey Is Only the Beginning (Opinion)
Truthout – March 29, 2017
Hundreds of thousands of other women and children have made the perilous journey to escape gang-related violence in Central America’s northern triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and many have been similarly ensnared in one of three US immigrant-family jails.
US: Double Punishment: After Prison, Moms Face Legal Battles to Reunite With Kids
Truthout – February 26, 2017
In 2013, an estimated 19,858 (8 percent) of the children who entered foster care in the US did so because of a parent’s incarceration. Child welfare advocates believe that number does not include cases in which a parent is incarcerated just before or at any time after a child’s foster care placement or cases in which a parent was not the child’s primary caregiver. Moreover, this estimate does not include cases in which the caseworker did not select incarceration as the cause of foster care placement.