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KARA (Kids At Risk Action) tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens. KARA’s reporting is only sampling of what should be reported – the great majority of child trauma & abuse is never known.
American states are struggling to find answers for ending adverse childhood experiences and saving at risk children by reversing the explosive growth 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
AZ: Fixing Our Foster Care Crisis
Arizona Daily Star – March 27, 2018
After peaking with nearly 19,000 children in foster care in 2016, Arizona set out to keep more families together and pull fewer kids from their homes. Some changes are taking hold, and the number of kids in out-of-home care is trending downward.
CA: Help One Child’s new executive director aims to expand services
Los Altos Town Crier – March 28, 2018
Valerie Crane, the new executive director of the Los Altos-based nonprofit Help One Child, not only works to recruit foster parents and run programs to support foster children – she and her husband have opened their home to vulnerable kids in need of a place to stay.
CO: Does Colorado need a ‘free-range parenting’ law? (Commentary)
Denver Channel – March 28, 2018
Utah recently became the first state to legalize a controversial parenting method called “free-range parenting,” giving parents more freedom to allow their children to do more activities independently without being punished for child neglect. The activities include walking to school, playing outside and staying at home or in the car. In Denver, moms watching their kids at a Washington Park playground said there has to be a balance between keeping kids safe and teaching them self-sufficiency.
Information Gateway resource: Leaving Your Child Home Alone: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/homealone/
FL: This program wants to fight LGBTQ youth homelessness – but it needs help (Commentary)
Creative Loafing – March 28, 2018
With help from local officials – as well as Cyndi Lauper’s national nonprofit True Colors Fund – leadership at Family Resources hopes to put a dent in the epidemic of LGBTQ homelessness.
HI: After Third Failing Grade on Federal Review, Hawaii Drawing Up Child Welfare Improvement Plan
Chronicle of Social Change – March 28, 2018
Hawaii is working to develop a plan to improve its child welfare system after a federal review found that the state for the third time had failed to meet several federal standards for children in its foster care system. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) conducts the periodic Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) to assess state performance on meeting certain safety, permanency and well-being outcomes for children involved in the child welfare system.
ID: How to support victims of domestic abuse (Video)
Idaho Statesman – March 28, 2018
Whether someone has asked you for help or you sense someone is in distress, here are some general guidelines to help support possible victims of abuse, be it physical, emotional, sexual, psychological or financial.
KS: House advances bill to open records of child deaths from abuse and neglect
Lawrence Journal-World – March 28, 2018
The Kansas House gave first-round approval Wednesday to a bill requiring the state’s child welfare agency to promptly disclose information about children who die from abuse or neglect, including children who die while in state custody.
KS: Senate wades into adoption policy on behalf of faith-based agencies
Topeka Capital-Journal – March 28, 2018
The Kansas Senate unexpectedly amended a sweeping adoption bill Wednesday to include language allowing the state government to contract with faith-based adoption agencies that apply “sincerely held religious beliefs” to decisions about home placement of children.
MD: Baltimore Child Abuse Center Creating Program For Jewish Youth
Baltimore Jewish Times – March 28, 2018
The Baltimore Child Abuse Center recently announced the creation of its Blueprint for Child Protection program, which will assist in training Jewish organizations like day schools, camps and synagogues to adopt new policies and procedures regarding instances of abuse.
MD: Child abuse reporting bill clears Senate, questioned in House committee
Daily Record (MD) – March 27, 2018
A bill to criminalize a failure to report child abuse if a mandatory reporter has actual knowledge cleared the Maryland Senate and was before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, where its crossfile has sat without a vote since its hearing in February.
ME: Child abuse cases Maine contracted out get new review at DHHS
Bangor Daily News – March 28, 2018
Maine’s child welfare program is revisiting six-and-a-half months of child abuse reports it received and referred to contractors who intervene in “lower-risk” abuse and neglect cases.
ME: LePage urges people to report suspected child abuse
Associated Press – March 28, 2018
Maine’s governor is urging people to report suspected child abuse in the wake of the high-profile deaths of two young girls. At a news conference Tuesday, Republican Gov. Paul LePage said anyone who suspects child abuse should speak up, especially doctors, teachers and other people who are required by law to report possible abuse.
MI: Abused, neglected children in Michigan face significant challenges in schools
Michigan News – March 28, 2018
By the time some Michigan third-graders take their standardized math and reading tests, they could already be academically disadvantaged-and schools might not even know it. Nearly one in five (18 percent) public school third-graders have been the focus of a formal investigation by Children’s Protective Services for child abuse or neglect, a new University of Michigan study found.
NE: Bill advanced in Nebraska Legislature would let state be sued for keeping wards’ history from parents
World-Herald Bureau – March 29, 2018
Lawmakers gave first-round approval Wednesday to a bill that would make state officials liable for failing to disclose a state ward’s history to potential foster and adoptive parents. Legislative Bill 729, introduced by State Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, is a response to a 2010 case in which the Nebraska Supreme Court threw out a lawsuit filed by a Gage County couple whose child was sexually assaulted by a state ward.
OH: Adoptive parents of ‘special needs’ children sue Warren County, claim they missed out on support (Includes video)
WCPO – March 29, 2018
The adoptive families of three former foster children filed a federal class action law suit against Warren County March 14, claiming through their attorney that the county denied them “vital financial support” after the adoptions.
Also: Lawsuit claims Warren County ‘stingy’ toward families of adopted special needs kids (Includes video): http://www.wlwt.com/article/lawsuit-claims-warren-county-stingy-toward-families-of-adopted-special-needs-kids/19626870
OH: Local child welfare workers trained to stop human trafficking (Includes video)
WBKN – March 28, 2018
In 2003, Lawson was introduced to human trafficking and was moved by its devastating impact on society. In order to raise consciousness about the crime, he made it a professional priority to educate criminal justice and social service professionals about human trafficking and develop appropriate responses to it in Ohio.
OK: Interim commissioner named for state Health Department
Oklahoman – March 29, 2018
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has a new interim commissioner: former Assistant Attorney General Tom Bates. He left the attorney general’s office in 2014 to become a special adviser to Gov. Mary Fallin focused on child welfare and implementation of the Pinnacle Plan, an improvement plan developed from a class-action lawsuit settlement.
Also: Oklahoma State Department of Health names new interim commissioner: http://okcfox.com/news/local/oklahoma-state-department-of-health-names-new-interim-commissioner
PA: Pittsburgh Misuses Big Data to Target Poor Children for Abuse Investigations (Commentary)
Youth Today – March 28, 2018
After Facebook and Cambridge Analytica — – can you imagine what would happen if, say, people were forced to surrender vast amounts of personal data and a big government agency could use those data to investigate them and even take away their children? Why if that ever happened the outrage would be – well, actually, it would be almost nonexistent.
TX: Nurturing foster children through ‘normalcy’
San Antonio Express-News – March 28, 2018
Eddie Murphy, Malcolm X, Marilyn Monroe, Tiffany Haddish and Simone Biles: What do these celebrities have in common? They spent time in foster care. As the foster care celebrity roster grows and more people pay attention, maybe we can figure out how to improve the system instead of simply celebrating the few who beat it.
TX: The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is holding several events in March and April in observance of Child Abuse Prevention Month
Guidry News – March 28, 2018
DFPS is participating with many partners in hundreds of child abuse awareness and prevention efforts throughout the month of April. Some events start in late March. You can find events in your city or county on HelpandHope.org, the DFPS prevention website.
VA: CON: Don’t mandate, but nudge parents hard to vaccinate their kids (Commentary)
Tribune News Service – March 29, 2018
Enforcement is also an issue. Will children be taken away from their anti-vaccine parents? Will these children be placed in foster care, vaccinated and then returned? Will their parents face a large fine or even face jail for noncompliance?
US: Genetics may make some babies vulnerable to SIDS or ‘crib death,’ study says
Washington Post – March 28, 2018
An important study published Wednesday in the Lancet shows a link between SIDS and a rare genetic mutation that would make some families more vulnerable than others.
US: Law enforcement must investigate U.S. Olympic bodies for handling of Nassar case (Opinion)
Washington Post – March 28, 2018
Why isn’t law enforcement investigating USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee? A prosecutor’s inquiry into Michigan State University has yielded important results with the arrest of medical school dean William Strampel on a range of charges, including willful negligence in the case of sexual abuser Larry Nassar. Somebody with a badge should similarly look at the USA sports organizations and seize their hard drives.
US: Children with autism less likely to be fully vaccinated, study finds
Cable News Network – March 27, 2018
Children with autism spectrum disorder are significantly less likely to be fully vaccinated than children unaffected by autism, new research finds. And the same is true of their younger sisters and brothers. “This study is showing that children with autism and their younger siblings might be at greater risk of vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Ousseny Zerbo, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.
US: Black Families Matter: How the Child Welfare System Punishes Poor Families of Color )(Commentary)
Injustice Today – March 26, 2018
The child welfare system claims to be a non-adversarial legal system dedicated to ensuring the well-being and safety of children. This claim obscures the oppressive political role it plays in monitoring, regulating, and punishing poor families and Black, brown, and indigenous families.
Canada: Maori experts back in Manitoba to help grow Indigenous-led child welfare practices (Includes video)
CBC News – March 26, 2018
Indigenous leaders from Manitoba are welcoming back a group of Maori – Indigenous Peoples of New Zealand – who have been sharing their best practices in reducing the number of Indigenous children in foster care. In Winnipeg, the group has been assisting social service provider Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre with the Family Group Conferencing Model, which was pioneered in New Zealand.
AR: Program seeks to reunite parents, kids in transitional housing in Mulberry
Southwest Times Record – March 28, 2018
The groundbreaking for a program that seeks to reunite children in foster care with their parents will take place next week. Reuniting Hope is an affordable and livable housing opportunity program that provides support services to biological parents and assists them with reuniting with their children. The nature of the housing will be transitional, and a case manager will coordinate services with participants to assist them in meeting the requirements of their specific case plan so they can be reunited with their children.
AZ: Integrated health care works in Arizona (Opinion)
Arizona Capitol Times – March 27, 2018
As usual, the new legislative session comes with a long list of issues. That’s especially true this year, as Arizona lawmakers endeavor to tackle everything from education funding and water policy to child welfare and the opioid epidemic.
AZ: Latest: Police reported concerns about kids before deaths
Associated Press – March 27, 2018
Law enforcement officials say they called Arizona’s Department of Child Safety in early January to report their suspicions of child neglect or abuse involving a toddler and infant whose mother has been arrested in connection with their deaths.
CA:Humboldt County agencies seek to clamp down on student attendance issues
Eureka Times-Standard – March 27, 2018
Humboldt County agencies comprised of Family Resource Centers, Law Enforcement, the District Attorney’s Office, Juvenile Probation, Homeless and Foster Youth liaisons, the Department of Health and Human Services inclusive of Child Welfare Services and Public Health, have united with local school districts and the Humboldt County Office of Education to support efforts to improve school attendance for chronically absent students. This process now includes mandatory court appearances for families who do not correct student absenteeism.
IN: Albert Lea Rep. introduces bill to keep foster youth connected with siblings
WPTA – March 27, 2018
Albert Lea Rep. Peggy Bennett presented her bill to the House Health and Human Services Reform Committee Tuesday. The bipartisan legislation – bill of rights for siblings in foster care – would create guidelines to help keep foster youth connected with their siblings, whether face-to-face or through social media. Often, children who enter into the child welfare system are separated from their siblings, the HF3626 would help to prevent that.
KY: 100 lives changed: DCCH Center for Children and Families celebrates its happy 100th adoption
Northern Kentucky Tribune – March 28, 2018
DCCH Center for Children and Families has celebrated its 100th adoption since its program began. DCCH Center has evolved over the past 170 years from a traditional orphanage to a multi-service agency serving the community with outpatient therapy, foster and adoption services, and a residential treatment facility for children ages six to 14, many of whom have experienced severe sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect.
KY: Kentucky Dignity Bill: A Game-Changer for Women Behind Bars (Includes audio)
Public News Service – March 28, 2018
Adams said one in four women entering the prison population either has an infant or is pregnant, and some are struggling with drug addiction. SB 133, which she called the “Dignity Bill,” also would allow pregnant women in prison to enter drug treatment to help them deliver a healthy baby, and end the practice of shackling pregnant women during labor.
ME: April is child abuse prevention month (Includes video)
WFVX – March 27, 2018
Every year, child abuse prevention advocates descend on the State House to lobby legislators. But now, with the mother and step-father of a 10-year-old Stockton Springs girl on trial for murder, child abuse prevention is receiving even more attention this year.
Also: Child abuse prevention advocates meet at State House (Includes video): http://www.wabi.tv/content/news/Child-abuse-prevention-advocates-meet-at-State-House-478100093.html
MI: Sexual Assault Scandal Widens at Michigan State
Associated Press – March 28, 2018
The sexual abuse scandal at Michigan State University widened on Tuesday when authorities charged a former dean with failing to protect patients from sports doctor Larry Nassar, along with sexually harassing female students and pressuring them for nude selfies.
MS: Right to Know Identity of Birth Parents Still Unaddressed
Mississippi Business Journal – March 25, 2018
Adoption laws in Mississippi haven’t changed since the 1800s, says Nash Nunnery, a Mississippi Business Journal reporter who was adopted in the mid-1950s when he was several months old. The laws that date from the time when an unwed pregnancy was considered a disgrace still linger.
NE: Negotiations continue over state budget impasse; some foresee compromise, but doubts grow (Includes video)
Omaha World-Herald – March 27, 2018
State senators are continuing negotiations to end an impasse over Title X funding in the Nebraska Legislature, prompting varying levels of optimism – and some skepticism – from lawmakers. Watermeier said he’s not willing to give up on the good things inside the main budget bill, like additional child welfare dollars and protecting the University of Nebraska budget from further cuts, to potentially start over from scratch in a special session.
NJ: Meet Gov. Murphy’s Cabinet: Department of Children and Families Acting Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer
New Jersey Business – March 28, 2018
Christine Norbut Beyer traces her career roots back to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families when it was known as the Division of Youth and Family Services.
NY: Reject ill-advised cap on funding for child welfare prevention (Opinion)
Democrat & Chronicle – March 27, 2018
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a well-known adage about the value of preventing harm. We know that preventing an ailment saves us in the long run – in health, well-being, and unnecessary costs. Prevention works for social services, as in health. Governor Cuomo’s budget proposes an ill-advised cap on funding for child welfare prevention.
NY: Victims Of Domestic Violence In Jeopardy Of Losing Their Children In New York – Fair Or Not? (Opinion)
News Blaze – March 27, 2018
It isn’t just happening in New York. Victims of domestic abuse are losing their rights to the custody of the children they love if they suffer at the hands of their domestic partner or spouse. The worst part is that the children are not only being taken from the parent who suffers the domestic abuse, but they are being placed right into the hands of the abuser. The reason is mostly economic, and many legal scholars are fighting for those who have had to give their children up to the very people who harmed them the most.
Also: Dropping Domestic Violence Charges in New York (Commentary) (Includes video): https://www.dreishpoon.com/dropping-domestic-violence-charges-in-new-york-my-wife-wants-to-drop-the-charges/
NY: Push to get Child Victims Act into state spending plan on ‘life support’
New York Daily News – March 26, 2018
The head of the state Senate on Monday all but declared the Child Victims Act dead as part of the state budget. Leaving a closed-door budget negotiating session, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk County) said while the Child Victims Act remains under discussion, he does not see it being a part of the final deal. That would be a crushing blow to abuse survivors who were hoping Gov. Cuomo’s inclusion of the measure in his budget proposal would give the issue momentum.
Also: Child Victims Act advocate hires lobbyist to keep proposal on GOP-controlled state Senate budget: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/child-victims-act-advocate-hires-lobbyist-state-senate-push-article-1.3855985
Also: Cardinal Dolan pushes Cuomo for changes in Child Victims Act: https://www.newsday.com/long-island/politics/spin-cycle/child-victims-act-cuomo-dolan-catholic-1.17546277
OH: Cuyahoga County opens investigation into DCFS handling of Aniya Day-Garrett case (Includes video)
News 5 – March 27, 2018
Cuyahoga County has convened an independent panel to review how the Department of Children and Family Services handled the case of 4-year-old Aniya Day-Garrett. Its investigation is now underway.
Also: Independent panel to review Cuyahoga County’s actions following the death of Aniya Day-Garrett (Includes video): http://www.cleveland.com/cuyahoga-county/index.ssf/2018/03/independent_panel_to_review_cuyahoga_countys_actions_following_the_death_of_aniya_day-garrett.html
Also: Panel formed by Cuyahoga County Executive to review Aniya Day-Garrett case: Panel formed by Cuyahoga County Executive to review Aniya Day-Garrett case (Includes video): http://www.wkyc.com/article/news/local/cuyahoga-county/panel-formed-by-cuyahoga-county-executive-to-review-aniya-day-garrett-case/95-532588948
Also: Cuyahoga County appoints independent panel to review Department of Children and Family Services in Aniya Day case: http://www.cleveland19.com/story/37822494/cuyahoga-county-appoints-independent-panel-to-review-department-of-children-and-family-services-in-aniya-day-case
OK: Guthrie senator, known for work on children’s issues, won’t seek re-election
Daily Oklahoman – March 21, 2018
One of the strongest voices at the state Capitol for Oklahoma’s disadvantaged youths said she won’t seek re-election this year. State Sen. A.J. Griffin announced Wednesday she will take a private-sector job, but will continue to work on similar issues that have been her defining role as chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Human Services.
OR: Many ways to help foster kids
Hermiston Herald – March 27, 2018
Whether opening up your home or being their cheerleader, there are many ways to help foster children. Children in foster care have varying needs, from a temporary place to stay to therapy for emotional and behavioral issues.
OR: Sky Lakes proposes 3-way deal to help downtown, Klamath Works (Press release)
Sky Lakes Medical Center – March 27, 2018
The Lake Ewauna site, which was ranked second out of nine sites visited by local DHS officials, would relocate the offices providing child welfare, aging, people with disabilities, and self-sufficiency programs from its current site along Klamath Avenue.
OR: Kids on the line: Local DHS tries to keep up with mounting caseload
East Oregonian – March 21, 2018
DHS workers face a challenging job – helping children and families in peril, while managing ever-growing caseloads.
TN: Tennessee lawmakers should fast track bill to end child marriage loophole (Commentary)
Herald News – March 26, 2018
It should be a relief to Tennesseans that the General Assembly has revived a bill to end an antiquated aspect of state law permitting child marriages. The bizarre loophole gives judges the option to grant marriage licenses with no minimum age – a provision Rep. Darren Jernigan, D-Old Hickory, hopes to end
Also: Stop politicizing child marriage in Tennessee and ban it (Commentary): http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/Editorial/2018/03/15/Stop-politicizing-child-marriage-in-Tennessee-and-ban-it
TX: Texas reports major progress in foster care system
Houstonian – March 28, 2018
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) reported that major progress has been made in resolving problems within the foster care system. The foster care system was considered a key priority of last year’s legislative session, deemed to be “broken” by the state.
US: As adult survivors join #MeToo, children listen – and confront their own abuse (Commentary)
Travel Wire News – March 27, 2018
While the #MeToo movement often feels like an adult conversation about the assault that grown women (and men) endure, particularly in the workplace, it’s clear that many children and young people are listening. The stories they hear on social media, through television, in school, and in conversations around their own dinner tables can feel empowering. Those stories can also traumatize, especially when young people feel they have no means to stop abuse or report it.
Information Gateway resource: How to Report Suspected Child Maltreatment: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/reporting/how/
US: Why Would Any Foster Youth Answer the LGBTQ Question? (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – March 27, 2018
In the wake of state legislation enabling some child welfare providers to discriminate based on religious beliefs, it is hard to see the upside for a youth to disclose that information to a child welfare caseworker. An answer, especially in the growing number of states that permit faith-based contractors to discriminate, could limit their access to quality services or foster homes.
Also: Feds Planning to Delay New Data on Broken Adoptions, Sexual Orientation of Foster Youth: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/youth-services-insider/feds-planning-reopen-foster-care-data-collection-process/30257
Australia: Here’s How Bad Australia’s Indigenous Incarceration Rates Are – And Ways To Lower Them
BuzzFeed News – March 27, 2018
Among its 35 recommendations are a national inquiry into child protection laws and processes that affect Indigenous kids; criminal justice targets to reduce Indigenous incarceration; changes to bail and sentencing laws; and directions that state and territory governments should abolish laws that land people in jail for unpaid fines, and introduce custody notification services for when Indigenous people are taken into custody.
Also: Pathways to Justice-An Inquiry into the Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples: Final Report: https://www.alrc.gov.au/sites/default/files/pdfs/publications/final_report_133_amended1.pdf
International: Putting an end to teenage pregnancy (Commentary)
New Times (Rwanda) – March 19, 2018
Many girls in developing countries are said to become mothers before the age of 18, due to multiple factors. In human beings, a teenage pregnancy does not remain a simple biological fact. It initiates a string of physical, mental, social and financial problems.
Scotland: Children’s Social Work Statistics 2016-17 (Press release)
Scottish Government – March 27, 2018
Two per cent of children in Scotland were being looked after by local authorities or on the child protection register on July 31 2017, according to the latest Children’s Social Work Statistics published today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The statistics which include information on children who were looked after, on the child protection register, or in secure care accommodation.
Tunisia: Child Exploitation Cases Increased By 60% in 2017 Compared to 2016
Middle East Monitor – March 28, 2018
An official Tunisian report showed that reports of child exploitation cases in 2017 have risen by 60.7 per cent compared to 2016. This came in the annual report about the activities of the Child Protection Delegation of the Ministry of Women, Family, Children, and Elders in Tunisia.
AZ: Richard Wexler: SB 1473 is a detour from real child welfare reform (Commentary)
Arizona Daily Star – March 25, 2018
Remember “crack babies”? Back in the 1980s, they were the infants supposedly doomed to a life of “certain suffering, of probable deviance, of permanent inferiority.” The predictions were accompanied by graphic depictions of infants going through withdrawal, and condemnation of their mothers for “choosing” addiction over their children. None of the dire predictions came true. And when researchers studied two groups of children born with cocaine in their systems; one group placed in foster care, another left with birth mothers able to care for them, the results were stunning: After six months, the babies were tested using the usual measures of infant development. Typically, the children left with their birth mothers did better. For the foster children, the separation from their mothers was more toxic than the cocaine.
Also: Information Gateway resource: System Reform: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/management/reform/
AZ: Star Opinion: Arizona should spend on prevention programs, over foster care
Arizona Daily Star – March 25, 2018
The Arizona Daily Star published a three-part investigative series on Arizona’s foster care crisis this month, and after a year of reporting, interviews with more than 100 local, state and national experts and families connected to the child-welfare system, the root problems – and targeted solutions – are clear. Arizona must do everything possible to prevent families from falling into crises so dire that children are removed and put into foster care.
CA: Bethel Church reacts to new bills that take aim at conversion therapy (Includes video)
Action News Now – March 26, 2018
Bethel Church in Redding has issued a statement on three new bills headed to the California Assembly regarding conversion therapy. These 3 bills are getting prepped for floor votes in the next coming weeks and they are aiming to help mental health within the LGBTQ community. The three assembly bills are AB 1779, 2119, and 2943 and all seek to prohibit any professional therapy that would guide a child towards their biological gender or sexual orientation. This practice is sometimes referred to as conversion therapy and that is particularly why Bethel Church has issued their statement. The statement says in part “these bills are troubling to us. Therefore, we have made this uncommon step of broadcasting our concern and encouraging the faith-based community in California.”
Also: Bethel Church statement: https://www.bethel.com/press/cabills/
Also: Bethel Issues Rare Urgent Call to Action Over ‘Troubling’ Bills: https://wtlmautodesk.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/bethel-issues-rare-urgent-call-to-action-over-troubling-bills/
CA: Enrollment opens for state-funded preschools
Champion Newspapers – March 24, 2018
Nine state-funded preschool programs in the Chino area are accepting enrollment for classes that start Aug. 14 for low-income families who meet eligibility requirements. First priority for enrollment is given to 3- and 4-year-olds referrals of Child Protective Services, regardless of income; children who turned 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2017; and second priority is for 3-year-olds on or before Sept. 1, 2017.
CA: Giving foster youth an extended family into adulthood
San Diego Union Tribune – March 24, 2018
Diane Cox is the co-founder and development director of Just in Time for Foster Youth, a non-profit that provides services and support for youth 18 to 27 who are transitioning out of the foster care system. “I couldn’t imagine what it would’ve been like for (my own children) to not have a safety net, guidance and encouragement. When I saw that many of the young people had subsidized housing but no furnishings, the answer seemed brilliantly simple,” she says. “I knew lots of real estate agents who could help us get donations of gently used furniture. Then, all we had to do was deliver it to the youth who needed it.
IN: Gov. Holcomb signs key bills into law
Indiana Daily Student – March 27, 2018
Senate Bill 340 also legalizes the use of “baby boxes” in fire departments. The newborn safety devices, which would allow a parent to give up a baby anonymously, were implemented in hospitals last year. This law will expand the use of them to fire stations. The baby boxes measure was originally its own bill but was added into the abortion clinics bill after it died in committee.
Also: Four new laws to combat Indiana’s opioid crisis among measures recently enacted by Gov. Holcomb: http://www.newsbug.info/news/national/indiana/four-new-laws-to-combat-indiana-s-opioid-crisis-among/article_3040b5ce-6828-541f-b914-1cc2296b99ef.html
KS: Seg. 1: New Leader Takes On Troubled Kansas Child Welfare Agency. Seg 2: Breaking Bad Habits (Audio)
KCUR – March 26, 2018
With reports of children sleeping in department offices, ignored child abuse, and missing foster children hanging over the Kansas Department for Children and Families, newly-appointed Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel has some battles ahead of her. Today, we explored what steps the agency needs to take to ensure the safety and well-being of the state’s most vulnerable kids.
MO: Trump’s Proposed Cuts Could Shutter Missouri’s After-School Programs (Includes audio)
Public News Service – March 27, 2018
For the second year in a row, the Trump administration has proposed the elimination of funding support for local after-school and summer learning programs, and it’s expected to hit Missourians hard since there is little to no state support to keep the programs going.
MO: Department awards $1.8 million to help Missouri’s youth (Press release)
Missouri Department of Economic Development – March 26, 2018
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) approved a total of $1,829,040 to strengthen programs across the state that encourage positive development among Missouri’s youth. The Youth Opportunities Program was created to broaden and strengthen opportunities for positive development and participation in community life for youth (21 years old and under), and to discourage youth from engaging in criminal and violent behavior.
MO: Missouri bill expands Medicaid for drug abuse treatment
Associated Press – March 26, 2018
The Missouri House has passed legislation that could allow women who give birth while undergoing substance abuse treatment to remain covered by the Medicaid health care program for a longer time. State law currently cuts off their Medicaid coverage 60 days after giving birth.
Also: New mothers grappling with addiction could get more help getting clean in Missouri: https://www.westplainsdailyquill.net/news/state/article_fa73ec36-c2e0-5abf-af8a-e7df94e865bd.html
MS: Child abuse report bill vetoed over ‘unintended consequence’
Associated Press – March 26, 2018
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has vetoed a bill dealing with people telling authorities about suspected abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable older people. Senate Bill 2460 would have required a person reporting abuse to provide his or her own name, address and telephone number. It said that information would be redacted at the end of an investigation.
NH: Spaulding Youth Center Honored with $40,000.00 Grant from van Otterloo Family Foundation (Press release)
Spaulding Youth Center – March 27, 2018
Spaulding Youth Center is thrilled to announce it has been honored with a grant of $40,000.00 by the van Otterloo Family Foundation to implement Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) as a key programming component at Spaulding Youth Center. Designed and presented by the Texas-based Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development, the TBRI® method of caregiving is a holistic, evidence-based, trauma-informed intervention that is specifically designed for children who come from hard places, such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, multiple home placements, violence and other traumas.
NH: Dave Solomon’s State House Dome: Real cost of boosting DCYF (Commentary)
New Hampshire Union Leader – March 25, 2018
An ambitious package of legislation designed to improve child protection and mental health services in New Hampshire cleared its final hurdle in the state Senate last week and now heads for the House. There is strong consensus about the need for these bills. They have the unqualified endorsement of Gov. Chris Sununu and sailed through the Senate in a series of unanimous votes, with an estimated price tag of $5.5 million for the package. That was the number frequently cited in recent weeks as the cost of the three bills, but the math is wrong. Lawmakers did not learn until last week that the actual cost, all of which will have to come from the existing state budget, is $8.3 million.
OR: Governor Brown Will Sign New Laws to Combat Opioid Crisis
KDRV – March 26, 2018
Two bills which passed both Oregon’s House and Senate with unanimous bipartisan support are set to receive Governor Kate Brown’s signature on Tuesday, March 27.
OR: 100-day youth homelessness initiative wraps, organizers place 90 kids (Includes video)
Statesman Journal – March 24, 2018
A coalition of community advocates, government officials and Salem police officers have spent the last several months tackling one specific aspect of Marion County’s homeless crisis – youth homelessness. Their overarching goal: provide “a safe and stable place to be” for 150 unaccompanied youth between the ages of 12 and 18 within 100 days.
SC: Capitol Report: Lawmakers addressing statewide opioid crisis
Berkeley Independent – March 26, 2018
The House of Representatives approved seven bills that draw upon the work of the special House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee that was appointed by the Speaker of the House to examine the growing misuse of prescription painkillers and recommend legislative actions to counter the epidemic of ruinous addiction and fatal overdoses.
TX: News Roundup: Report Says Suspending Young Kids From School Isn’t Effective (Includes audio)
Texas Standard – March 26, 2018
In 2017, state lawmakers passed House Bill 674 that prohibits out-of-school suspensions for public school students in pre-k through second grade, except for narrow circumstances, like bringing a gun to school. Rubin says that’s a major step forward, but Texas in-school suspension rates are still concerning.
Also: Report: Keeping Kids in Class: https://bit.ly/2pISHjc
TX: Emergency foster home to open June 1
FME News Service – March 25, 2018
Once complete, Garden of Hope Central Texas will serve as an emergency shelter for foster children in Bell County. The reasoning for building such a shelter is to provide more beds for children who are removed from their homes by Child Protective Services and to lessen their traumas as these youngsters go through the system, according to Wilfredo Ocasio, Garden of Hope executive director.
TX: Office of Refugee Resettlement Ends Funding for Local Shelter for Unaccompanied Minors (Includes video)
KVEO – March 23, 2018
The International Educational Services, released a statement saying their programs will close on March 31. The Office of Refugee Resettlement said those children will be transferred to other ORR facilities no later than March 31, or released to an appropriate sponsor while awaiting immigration proceedings.
UT: Utah Just Passed America’s First ‘Free-Range Parenting’ Law (Includes video)
Huffington Post – March 26, 2018
Utah has legalized a controversial child-rearing method known as “free-range parenting” that encourages the fostering of self-sufficiency in children from a young age, which is believed to be the first legislation of its kind in the United States.
Also: A State Just Made It Legal to Leave Your Kids Home Alone: http://www.msn.com/en-ph/lifestyle/whats-hot/a-state-just-made-it-legal-to-leave-your-kids-home-alone/ar-BBKIG3y
WI: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signs $100 million school safety legislation
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – March 26, 2018
Walker’s safety plan would create an Office of School Safety in Schimel’s Department of Justice to administer the school safety grants and assist schools with their safety plans. The legislation would also require school officials to report threats, just as they must report suspected child safety.
US: Childhood trauma: Let’s invest in prevention as well as treatment (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – March 26, 2018
In the past decade, the world has discovered trauma. More and more “trauma-informed” models of care have been developed, and more and more institutions and government agencies have adopted these models, making a lot of money for their developers. Awareness of trauma and trauma-informed care took a big leap with its discovery by Oprah Winfrey, who highlighted in a 60 Minutes segment the adoption of the approach by her home town of Milwaukee.
US: World Childhood Foundation USA Appoints Two New Board Members (Press release)
World Childhood Foundation USA – March 26, 2018
World Childhood Foundation USA (WCF) today announced the appointments of Hans Vestberg and Lauren Aste to its Board of Directors. The Foundation supports programs that aim to prevent and end child sexual abuse and exploitation in the U.S. and internationally.
US: 76 Arrested in Multi-State Child Exploitation Operation Named “Operation Southern Impact II” (Press release)
Georgia Bureau of Investigation – March 16, 2018
A total of 76 people were arrested and 13 children were rescued or identified as victims during a mutually coordinated operation between eight (8) southeastern states. The planning for Operation Southern Impact II began approximately 4 months ago and culminated in 2 days of investigative actions to include search warrant executions, undercover operations, and arrests in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. A total of 222 law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies participated in the operation.
Also: 34 arrested in Georgia in Operation Southern Impact II (Includes video): http://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/crime/34-arrested-in-georgia-in-operation-southern-impact-ii/77-532144143
US: Indian Child Welfare Act attacks are a threat to tribes (Commentary)
High Country News · – March 09, 2018
Placing Native children in foster homes outside of their tribe was the natural progression of assimilation efforts following the closure of Indian boarding schools. Groups like the Goldwater Institute that push for the elimination of ICWA are, intentionally or not, contributing to the continued attack on Native existence. Such groups have attempted to capitalize on misinformation and stereotypes as a way to undermine ICWA.
Also: Who Can Adopt A Native Child? (Commentary): https://www.hcn.org/issues/50.7/tribal-affairs-the-indian-child-welfare-act-has-helped-heal-damage-from-the-boarding-school-era-but-not-every-one-wants-it-in-place
AZ: Your Turn: Arizona is neglecting its foster kids. Suing may be the only way to save them (Commentary)
AZCentral – March 25, 2018
Arizona state agencies responsible for caring for these children were in crisis, placing innocent children at risk. Too many times they said, “we’re going to fix it.” But enough is enough. After proving repeatedly that the state was not adequately caring for these children, in 2015 two public interest firms joined forces and sued.
CA: Group Calls For Senate Bill Prohibiting Hiring Anyone With History Of Child Abuse, Sexual Misconduct
Bay City News Service – March 24, 2018
Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct and Exploitation is asking lawmakers to create stricter language to eliminate educational institutions to quietly resign when they are reported for abuse, allowing them to go on to another school without their knowledge, or “pass the trash.” Senate Bill 1456 would stop the schools that have not reported these educators from concealing the person’s history of misconduct, according to S.E.S.A.M.E. President Terri Miller.
CA: Hahn appoints former foster youth to County Commission for Children and Families
Signal Tribune – March 23, 2018
Los Angeles County 4th District Supervisor Janice Hahn on Tuesday appointed Long Beach resident Tiffany Boyd to the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families. Boyd spent 10 years of her childhood in foster care as a client of the Department of Children and Families and is thought to be the first former foster youth ever appointed to the commission, according to Hahn’s office.
CA: L.A. Supervisors Demand Plan to Help “Crossover Kids,” Young People Failed by Two Juvenile Systems
Chronicle of Social Change – March 23, 2018
We know that, statistically speaking, kids who spend time in Los Angeles County’s foster care system – or any foster care system, for that matter – have worse outcomes when they reach adulthood than youth who’ve never wound up in the child dependency system at all. Over the past few years, new California state laws that are sensitive to this problem, along with community-based programs and dedicated child advocates, have helped to ameliorate those bad stats to some degree.
Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/youth/collaboration/dualsystem/
CO: Kids Count in Colorado Report: Not great for Mesa, Montrose Counties (Includes video)
KKCO/KJCT – March 23, 2018
“Mesa County is, unfortunately, lagging behind in a lot of the state-wide numbers that we see in areas that are really important to child well-being,” said Sarah Hughes, vice president, research initiatives at Colorado Children’s Campaign.
Also: Also: Kids Count in Colorado 2018: https://www.coloradokids.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/2018-KIDS-COUNT-in-Colorado-3.20.18.pdf
FL: Gov. Rick Scott signs bills on child marriage, Daylight Saving Time
Tampa Bay Times – March 24, 2018
Gov. Rick Scott signed more than 70 bills into law on Friday, including one that would limit child marriages and another asking Congress to make Daylight Saving Time year-round.
FL: ‘Hit-Free Zones’ coming to Northeast Florida (Includes video)
WFOX-TV – March 23, 2018
“Hit-Free Zones” will soon be in place throughout Northeast Florida, including a Jacksonville children’s hospital. “We’re looking to institute that here in Jacksonville at Wolfson (Children’s Hospital), the medical examiner’s office and some other locations,” said the head of the First Coast Child Protection Team, Dr. Randell Alexander. The Child Protection Team diagnoses all child abuse and neglect cases in the local area. Alexander said the mission behind the signs is simple but powerful–to bring peace in areas where there can be overwhelming stress.
FL: After 4 days of separation, tribe reunites baby with mother — fight not over (Includes video)
ABC 10 – March 22, 2018
Ingrid Ronan Johnson was two days old when the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida decided to take her from her 28-year-old mother at Baptist Hospital in Kendall. Her mother was in tears. Her father was distraught. Officers took her into tribal land to be with her grandmother. They reversed their decision four days later. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, who is aware of the sovereign tribe’s reputation for not cooperating with authorities in Miami-Dade, called the move a kidnap.
FL: County ups funding for problem-solving court programs
Ocala Star Banner – March 21, 2018
The Marion County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a plan Tuesday to increase the amount of funding that problem-solving court programs receive from the county’s general revenue fund. An additional $150,665 will be directed toward Marion County’s DUI, Veterans Treatment, Mental Health, Felony Drug and Misdemeanor Drug courts to cover operating expenses. The programs were already budgeted to receive $317,498, according to the fiscal year 2017-18 budget.
HI: Sign waving event supports, keeps light on 3-year-old who died in foster care
West Hawaii Today – March 24, 2018
Family and friends came together Friday to wave signs for 3-year-old Fabian Garett-Garcia, who died in foster care in July 2017. Their goal was to show support for the toddler’s mother and keep the public aware of the child’s untimely death, which is being investigated by Hawaii Police Department.
ID: Local adoption agency tries to put an end to decrease in international adoption (Includes video)
KIFI/KIDK – March 23, 2018
In recent years, international adoptions have decreased significantly. If these trends keep up, in a few years we may no longer see any international adoptions. One local adoption agency is hoping to change that by getting this issue on the White House’s radar.
IL: Visiting nurse program works to strengthen families
Journal Star – March 23, 2018
Julia Jakubowski took prenatal classes, but she still had questions for the nurses from Illinois Family Connects when they visited her Peoria home three weeks after the birth of her daughter. Marla Laugherty and Amanda Petty provided a bit of support. “It was just nice to have someone come to my home,” said Jakubowski, 24. “You go to the doctor’s office, but those visits are pretty spread out.”
IN: Child abuse and neglect cases on the rise in Evansville (Includes video)
WFIE – March 23, 2018
In the past week, we have see that Evansville Police arrested about a dozen people for child abuse and neglect. Three of those arrests happening in the last 24 hours, and many of them related to drugs or alcohol. The people who pick up the pieces for these kids say they cannot ignore the obvious increase.
IN: Pinwheels for Child Abuse Prevention Month
Goshen News – March 23, 2018
Anyone driving by Child and Parent Services (CAPS) next week will notice something new: a field of bright blue and silver pinwheels whirring in the breeze. As a nonprofit focused on eliminating child abuse and neglect, CAPS is planting the pinwheels to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheel Planting day is an annual tradition at CAPS, and is free and open to the public. The yearly crop of pinwheels is a visual reminder of what CAPS does all year long.
Also: Howard Co. events planned for Child Abuse Prevention Month, including Elizabeth Smart speech: http://www.kokomotribune.com/news/local_news/howard-co-events-planned-for-child-abuse-prevention-month-including/article_b9376498-2ed6-11e8-9094-37b837d4848f.html
MA: Two Promoted to Vice Presidents at Berkshire Children and Families (Press release)
iBerkshires – March 23, 2018
Berkshire Children and Families has announced the promotions of Gina Blake to vice president of programs in the Berkshires and Stephanie Steed to vice president of programs in the Pioneer Valley. Blake has 20 years of experience working with children and families in residential treatment facilities, the foster and adoptive processes, and home visiting support programs. Steed has worked with children and families for 25 years with the majority of her career working with foster parents and children involved in the child welfare system.
ME: Legislative body OKs subpoenas in child abuse investigation
Associated Press – March 23, 2018
A legislative watchdog in Maine is issuing subpoenas to schools and state education agencies as they probe the state’s response in the cases of two girls who recently died following abuse. The Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability aims to produce a “rapid response” report within months on the handling of the deaths of Marissa Kennedy and another girl, 4-year-old Kendall Chick, who died in December in Wiscasset. The office is also working on a report on Maine’s child welfare system.
Also: Watchdog agency probing girls’ deaths seeks records showing how apparent abuse cases were handled: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/03/23/agency-to-issue-four-subpoenas-in-child-abuse-deaths/
Also: Our View: LePage’s lack of candor makes probes necessary: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/03/26/our-view-lepages-lack-of-candor-makes-probes-necessary/
ME: Legislators asked to block changes to child protective programs
News Center Maine – March 23, 2018
That program works in neighborhoods in several areas of the state to help families avoid problems that could lead to abuse. It also helps parents get children back after they have been taken away by the state. Dozens of people showed up at a public hearing Friday in Augusta to block the proposed budget cut.
Also: Public hearing held on bill aimed at protecting Maine children: http://wgme.com/news/local/public-hearing-to-be-held-on-bill-aimed-at-protecting-maine-children
MI: How Life Outside of School Affects Student Performance in School
Education Next – March 26, 2018
This report presents findings from a unique partnership between the University of Michigan and the State that allowed us to match the universe of child maltreatment records in Michigan with educational data on all public school children in the state.
MI: Judge Allows Families to Join Fight Over Michigan Adoption Rule
Courthouse News Service – March 23, 2018
A federal judge ruled Thursday that Christian foster families may intervene in same-sex couples’ challenge of a Michigan policy allowing state-funded private adoption agencies to turn away gay and lesbian prospective parents for religious reasons. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services contracts out public adoption and foster care services to independent private agencies and pays them with taxpayer funds to perform this government function.
MN: Detroit Lakes battles high rate of homeless youth (Includes video)
WDAY – March 23, 2018
On any given night, more than 100 students in the Detroit Lakes School District don’t know where they’ll be going to bed or if they even have a place to sleep.
MN: Report: Guardian Ad Litem Program Overwhelmed, Lacks Standards and Oversight (Includes video)
KSTP – March 23, 2018
“This has resulted in a lack of advocacy for children affected by abuse and neglect in our state,” said Crysta Parkin, Chair of the state’s Guardian ad Litem Board. The board oversees all of the state’s 550 guardians ad litem.
Also: Guardian ad Litem Program 2018 Evaluation Report: https://www.auditor.leg.state.mn.us/ped/pedrep/galprogram.pdf
MS: Lawmakers hope to find more money for troubled foster care program (Includes video)
Clarion Ledger – March 23, 2018
The agency tasked with protecting the state’s more than 5,500 foster care children, already facing noncompliance with a federal order, would receive further cuts under the Legislature’s current budget recommendation.
Also: $49M deficit, but Child Protection Services has a plan (Includes video): https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/politics/2018/01/23/49-m-deficit-but-child-protection-services-has-plan/1057495001/
MT: Caseworkers Get Resources to Better Help Children in Trauma
Associated Press – March 23, 2018
Montana Child and Family Services caseworkers have a new resource to access expert advice in cases where children have experienced extreme trauma, Gov. Steve Bullock announced Thursday. Pilot program will give caseworkers clinical insight and recommendations while allowing them to discuss the challenges they face.
NC: Study details opioid problem in Burke, western NC
News Herald – March 25, 2018
The NORC at the University of Chicago and the Appalachian Regional Commission released a study this week on opioid deaths in the region and the socio-economic factors that may contribute to them. And the news isn’t good for Burke County.
Also: Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool: http://www.norc.org/Research/Projects/Pages/appalachian-overdose-mapping-tool.aspx
Also: New Data Visualization Tool Enables In-Depth, County-by-County Look at Impact of Opioid Epidemic in Appalachian Region: http://www.norc.org/NewsEventsPublications/PressReleases/Pages/data-visualization-tool-enables-in-depth-look-at-impact-of-opioid-epidemic-in-appalachia.aspx
NC: Substance abuse taxing county foster care system
Times-News – March 24, 2018
Most children in foster care are there due to a number of factors, according to Kevin Marino, social work program administrator with the Henderson County Department of Social Services. “Substance abuse opens the door for the other factors,” Marino said. “It leads to unemployment, homelessness, domestic violence, and it strains the family’s support system.
NC: Opioid overdose cases jump 40 percent in NC emergency departments
Winston-Salem Journal – March 20, 2018
North Carolina’s hospital emergency departments experienced a nearly 40 percent increase, to 5,745, in opioid overdose cases from 2016 to 2017. The state Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday the majority of cases involved individuals who were white (85 percent), male (62 percent) and between the ages of 25 and 34 (39 percent).
NE: Nebraska Budget Vote Fails (Includes video)
KLKNTV – March 23, 2018
Following today’s session Governor Pete Ricketts released a statement saying, “By filibustering the mainline budget, some State Senators are putting vital state services for our children at risk. Because of an influx of children into our child welfare system, funding will run out in May. It is absolutely critical that the Legislature move the budget forward, which contains new child welfare funding, and get it to my desk. With only days left in the session, the clock is ticking.”
NJ: Darkness To Light: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training (Press release)
Summit Area YMCA – March 24, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Summit Area YMCA is joining Ys across the country to increase awareness of how to recognize the signs and prevent child sexual abuse.
NY: Raise the Age, opioid epidemic challenge Social Services
Press-Republican – March 25, 2018
John Redden has been reappointed Clinton County Department of Social Services commissioner. “John is a top-shelf individual,” County Legislature Chairman Harry McManus (D-Area 1, Champlain) said at a recent meeting. Implementing the Raise the Age legislation, which increased the age of criminal responsibility to 18 instead of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, has many unanswered questions, he said. The opioid and heroin epidemic will continue to put significant pressure on the child welfare system, he said. And the lack of state funding for mandated programs, which places more pressure on counties to cover the shortfall, is always difficult, Redden.
NY: New York City Leaders Want to Place Half of Foster Youth With Relatives
Chronicle of Social Change – March 23, 2018
Leaders from across New York City government released a plan yesterday to significantly expand placements of foster youth with close relatives and family friends, along with 15 other recommendations for improving outcomes for foster youth.
OH: New treatment program for pregnant women addicted to opioids (Includes video)
IndeOnline – March 25, 2018
As the state’s opioid crisis deepened, CommQuest Services found itself treating more and more pregnant women who were using heroin and similar drugs. Not only do expectant mothers who use opioids risk a fatal overdose, children born to opioid-addicted mothers can endure severe withdrawal symptoms and long hospital stays. So, when a pregnant woman who is using opioids contacts one of CommQuest’s centers in Canton, Massillon or Alliance, the race is on to get her stabilized on medication within 24 hours.
OH: Summit County Children Services encourages people to wear blue on April 11
Akron Beacon Journal – March 23, 2018
Summit County Children Services is urging people to wear blue on April 11 to raise awareness for child abuse prevention. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The child welfare agency says it received more than 10,000 calls regarding the safety and well-being of children last year.
OK: Seniors affecting lives of children through foster grandparent program
Chickasaw Nation – March 24, 2018
The Chickasaw Nation Foster Grandparent Program is providing senior adults with the opportunity to mentor young children in child care and school environments, not only making a lifelong connection with the children but also fulfilling their own emotional needs by giving back. The program pairs seniors with young children in south-central Oklahoma local public schools, the Chickasaw Nation Child Development Centers and Head Start Centers.
PA: A Conversation with Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Youth Network
Philadelphia Sun – March 23, 2018
According to a study from the Pew Charitable Trust, Philadelphia’s 25.7 percent poverty rate is the highest among the nation’s 10 largest cities. About 400,000 residents – including roughly 37 percent of the city’s children under the age of 18 – live below the federal poverty line, and nearly half of those residents are in deep poverty, defined as 50 percent below the federal poverty line.
PA: Christine M. Flowers: Protecting the rights of adults can sometimes hurt the rights of kids (Commentary)
Philadelphia Daily News – March 22, 2018
Americans are all about our rights: the right to own a gun, the right to have an abortion, the right to be called by whatever pronoun we want. We are a righteous crew. Knowing that, I wasn’t surprised to learn that a same-sex couple was angry when a faith-based organization called Bethany Christian Services refused to consider them as foster parents.
SC: SC Senator pushing for bill that would create a statewide child advocacy department to help DSS (Includes video)
WBTW – March 22, 2018
South Carolina state senator Katrina Shealy is working to crack down on child abuse across the state by forming a bill that would create a statewide child advocacy department dedicated to helping agencies like DSS with their investigations.
TX: Foster children suing state faced unemployment, homelessness and trafficking after leaving the system
San Antonio Express-News – March 25, 2018
She’s fighting to change the system, as one of nearly a dozen foster children named in a 2011 class-action lawsuit against the state that alleges abuse, too many moves and a lack of caseworker contact in foster care. “I feel like a dead person walking in a body,” said Alyssa, who is just over 5½ feet tall and has straight, auburn hair hanging down her back. “I don’t want anybody else feeling that way. I mean, you get taken from your home, you are supposed to be put in a better place, not tortured.”
Also: Bounced through 21 placements and separated from her little sister, Dallas woman now challenging Texas foster care: https://www.expressnews.com/news/local/politics/article/Bounced-through-21-placements-and-separated-from-12780574.php
TX: Going blue to prevent child abuse
Greenville Herald-Banner – March 25, 2018
Blue ribbons, blue pinwheels, blue shirts and more will be on display for national “Go Blue Day,” in which everyone is being asked to wear blue in support of child abuse prevention. Representatives of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Hunt County, the Hunt County Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), Child Protective Services (CPS), along with Hunt County judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officials plan to wear “No Excuse For Child Abuse” T-shirts and will meet for a photo opportunity in at noon April 6 in front of the Hunt County Courthouse.
TX: Sweeping changes at Texas DFPS bring pay raises, smaller caseloads for caseworkers (Includes video)
KSAT – March 23, 2018
Foster care in Texas was deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge, who ordered that changes be made. In response to the crisis, Whitman that, before the Texas Legislature convened, he accepted a lawmaker’s offer to dramatically increase the agency’s funding. “It helped cover the hole in the bucket that was draining,” Whitman said.
WA: McKinley Elementary sets new course to help students affected by trauma
Yakima Herald Republic – March 25, 2018
Children suffering trauma – such as domestic violence or a drug or alcohol addicted parent – are marred by emotional turmoil. They struggle to learn, get along with others and frequently find themselves in trouble, a path that often leads to jail or even prison. Schools are seeing increasing numbers of children dealing with trauma, which equates to more detentions, suspensions and even expulsions.
US: Ruben Navarrette: Immigrants’ legality can’t supersede their humanity (Commentary)
Washington Post – March 26, 2018
You hear anti-immigrant pundits on television talking about how farmers want “open borders” so they can keep wages low and exploit immigrants while denying jobs to Americans. It’s one of those colossally ignorant statements that comes from city folks who think that milk comes from the supermarket. With unemployment in California at a mere 4 percent, most of the folks who want to work are working. Meanwhile, those who don’t want to work have the whole day free to call into talk radio shows and complain about how there are no jobs.
US: Federal funding boost for opioid crisis not nearly enough, critics say
San Francisco Chronicle – March 25, 2018
Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, a Rhode Island Democrat who served on President Trump’s opioid commission last year, said there are clear solutions but that Congress needs to devote more money to them. “We still have lacked the insight that this is a crisis, a cataclysmic crisis,” he said.
US: Child Care, Child Protection Get Big Boosts in Omnibus Spending Deal
Chronicle of Social Change – March 23, 2018
The 2018 spending deal reached this week, which blows through the caps on spending put in place in 2013, brought massive infusions of cash into several youth and family services programs. Congress boosted the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) by $2.3 billion. The $5.2 billion appropriation for this year is an 84 percent increase from 2017.
US: Foreign adoptions by US families drop by 12 percent
Associated Press – March 23, 2018
The number of foreign children adopted by U.S. parents dropped more than 12 percent last year, accelerating a decline that’s now continued for 13 years, according to new State Department figures. Sharp drops in adoptions from China and Congo more than offset notable increases from many countries, including India, Colombia and Nigeria.
US: Schiff, Bishop Applaud Signing of Bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act (Press release)
Congressman Adam Schiff – March 23, 2018
Today, Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Mike Bishop (R-MI) applauded the final passage and signing of the bipartisan Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA). CPIA ensures youth-serving organizations in every state can access FBI background checks for prospective staff and volunteers.
US: Suzanne Lawrence, Special Advisor for Children’s Issues On the Release of the Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption
U.S. Department of State – March 23, 2018
You’ve seen that the report has a lot of numbers in it. The overall number of adoptions to the United States in Fiscal Year 2017 was 4,714. And that does represent a decline of 658 from the previous year. And again, to provide some context for this year’s numbers, I think the most important thing to note is that this is a decrease in intercountry adoptions, which is a global trend over the last decade. Other receiving countries report similar reductions in the number of children adopted internationally.
Report: Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption: https://travel.state.gov/content/dam/NEWadoptionassets/pdfs/Annual%20Report%20on%20Intercountry%20Adoptions%20FY2017.pdf
US: The Trump Administration Is Making It Harder to Stop Foster Children From Being Trafficked
Rewire News – March 23, 2018
Last week, the administration delayed an Obama-era rule that would have made it easier to collect data crucial to improving the lives of sex trafficking victims in the foster care system.
Canada: Indigenous children continue to pay a steep price (Commentary)
Frontier Centre for Public Policy – March 25, 2018
No amount of funding plans or reorganization can solve this problem as long as alcohol and drug abuse persists in First Nations communities.
International: War and disasters leaving more children at the mercy of traffickers – Nobel laureate
Reuters – March 23, 2018
Children are more vulnerable now than ever due to conflicts and natural disasters with millions without homes or families, leaving them easy prey for human traffickers, Indian Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi warned on Friday.
Also: Joining hands: Saving children and humanity, The deep moral deficit in society is manifest in the lack of political will, and minimal or no sense of urgency in ending modern slavery: http://news.trust.org/item/20180323104532-bsdcu
AL: Opinion: Juvenile justice reform will give judges options to help young people change course (Includes video)
Montgomery Advertiser – March 22, 2018
Multisystemic Therapy program (MST) is a home-based, family-driven treatment model for youth involved in the juvenile justice system. Time and time again, it’s been proven to reduce anti-social behavior and recidivism through three decades of clinical research. Legislation being considered this week would bring juvenile justice reform to the state and make programs like MST available to more young people and families throughout Alabama. Last week, HB225 supporting this vital reform was passed by the House of Representatives, and the Senate now is considering SB148.
AZ: SB1452 would hurt the children it is meant to help (Opinion)
Arizona Capitol Times – March 22, 2018
And when researchers studied children born with cocaine in their systems; one group placed in foster care, another left with birth mothers able to care for them, the results were stunning: After six months, the children left with their birth mothers typically did better on standard measures of infant development. For the foster children, the separation from their mothers was more toxic than the cocaine.
CA: Grand Jury Questions Case Loads For Child Welfare Social Workers In Ventura County
KCLU – March 22, 2018
Now, a new report by the 2017-2018 Grand Jury is questioning the county’s response. The Grand Jury says the agency lacks clear cut standards, and that the way the statistics are used mask excessive caseloads. The report also asserts that the hiring of more social workers, and a multi-year drop in the number of cases should have helped ease the caseload issue.
Also: 2017-2018 Ventura County Grand Jury report: https://vcportal.ventura.org/GDJ/docs/reports/2017-18/GrandJuryReport_2017-2018_ChildWelfareSocialWorkerCaseloads.pdf
Information Gateway resource: Child Protection Casework Practice: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/responding/child-protection/
CA: Homeless families have a friend at Morongo Unified School District
Hi-Desert Star – March 21, 2018
An outreach coordinator for Morongo Unified School District, Hamilton’s job description is deceptively simple: to make sure homeless children are getting an education. To meet that goal, however, takes working in a web of nonprofits and government agencies, tugging on strings and urging families along to help their children. He was hired 13 years ago under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. This federal law requires school districts to make sure homeless or unaccompanied children up to 21 years old have equal access to education.
CA: Jehovah’s Witness abuse files remain secret after court settlements
Reveal from the Center for Investigative Journalism – March 21, 2018
Judges in both cases had penalized the Watchtower millions of dollars for refusing to hand over documents detailing the organization’s knowledge of child sexual abuse going back decades in congregations across the U.S. The documents contain the names of what are likely thousands of abusers who were never reported to police. Instead, congregation leaders sent detailed logs of alleged abusers to headquarters.
IN: Governor signs 4 laws combatting Indiana’s opioid crisis
Seymour Tribune – March 22, 2018
Like many states, Indiana has been struggling to contain the opioid epidemic, which has caused the number of overdose deaths to skyrocket and has led to a surge of children in foster care.
KS: Editorial: Adoption bill a terrible idea
Lawrence Journal-World – March 23, 2018
The Adoption Protection Act bills should never make it out of committee. Hopefully, lawmakers recognize the chilling message it would send if they approve a bill giving organizations permission to openly discriminate against families in the adoption process.
KY: Seeking justice for victims of online sex trafficking (Commentary)
Kentucky Today – March 22, 2018
Last year, 82 cases of human trafficking were reported to helplines in Kentucky, and more than 400 cases have been reported in our state since 2007, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Throughout the country, the hotline saw a staggering 13% increase in cases last year alone. That spike has materialized, in large part, because of the growth of sex trafficking online. It’s past time to take action to stop the perpetrators of online trafficking and give the victims and their families the justice they deserve.
LA: Housing Plan for Foster Care Youth Moves Forward Thanks to $386K Grant (Press release)
Business Wire – March 22, 2018
MacDonnell United Methodist Children’s Services will convert the vacant Keener building on its Houma, Louisiana, campus into 10 apartment units to be occupied by children who have aged out of the state’s foster care system. The Keener Renovation for Aging Out Youth project was made possible thanks to a $386,640 Affordable Housing Program (AHP) grant from Synergy Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). Renovations are expected to begin in May.
MT: Governor Bullock Announces New Partnership to Provide Consultation on Complex Child Protection Cases (Press release)
State of Montana Newsroom – March 22, 2018
Governor Steve Bullock today announced a new partnership with Billings Clinic, the University of Montana’s Center for Children, Families and Workforce Development, and the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) to provide case consultation on complex child protection cases.
Also: Caseworkers get resources to better help children in trauma: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/business/health-care/article206457349.html
NC: State officials assume operations of Cherokee County child welfare services
Fetch Your News – March 22, 2018
According to a statement from Kelly Haight, press assistant for the NCDHHS office of communications, “DHHS initiated an investigation of child welfare services in Cherokee County after learning that the Cherokee Department of Social Services had been using ‘Custody and Visitation Agreements’ in removing children from parents and placing them in other homes without the required oversight of the court system. Subsequent information gathered during DHHS’ investigation revealed a systematic lack of adequate training, supervision and capacity to deliver appropriate child welfare services beyond the use of the Custody and Visitation Agreements.”
NC: Child welfare, foster care and civil liberties: When CPS resorts to blackmail (Commentary)
NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – March 19, 2018
Reporters in North Carolina exposed the practice of child welfare agencies blackmailing families into giving up all their rights and letting them take away children with no court review at all.
NY: ACS, Foster Care Task Force issue 16 reform recommendations (Includes video)
WABC – March 22, 2018
The Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and New York City’s Foster Care Task Force have announced 16 recommendations aimed at making improvements in foster care.
Also: NYC Foster Care Task Force Issues 16 Recommendations To Further Improve Outcomes For Youth And Families (Press release): http://on.nyc.gov/2FVRekD
Also: Task Force Report: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/acs/pdf/testimony/2018/TaskForceReport.pdf
NY: Head of child welfare agency says cuts could hurt foster kids
New York Post – March 22, 2018
The head of the city’s child welfare agency called on state officials Thursday to withdraw $170 million in cuts, warning that could hurt foster kids. He said the cuts could have a serious trickle-down effect on 16 recommendations made by a new task force to bolster services for foster kids.
Also: ACS commissioner warns state cuts could hinder foster care change: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/acs-commissioner-warns-state-cuts-hinder-foster-care-change-article-1.3890365
PA: Senators Pushing Reform Of Pennsylvania’s Child Welfare System
BCTV – March 22, 2018
Sens. Lisa Baker, R-20th, and Judy Schwank, D-11th, who lead the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, are looking to establish an Interbranch Commission on the Child Welfare System to help create safer conditions for the thousands of children who find themselves in need of loving, nurturing homes.
TX: Study finds two-thirds of homeless in Abilene are school-age children
Abilene Reporter-News – March 21, 2018
Abilene is home to an estimated 329 homeless, most of which are school-aged children, according to a study presented to the Abilene City Council Tuesday evening. Of that figure, 217 are school-age minors who are “unaccompanied” by a parent or legal guardian and who often rely on extended family and friends.
WA: Treehouse to Provide Auto Insurance at No Charge Statewide for Youth in Foster Care (Press release)
Treehouse – March 22, 2018
Treehouse, a nonprofit which gives youth in foster care a childhood and a future, announced the statewide launch of its latest program, Driver’s Assistance. The program provides automobile insurance and driver’s education at no charge to youth across Washington, and even covers the cost of permits and driver’s licenses.
US: Bill to Help Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Due to Opioid Crisis Passes Senate (Press release)
Office of U.S. Senator from Maine, Susan Collins – March 22, 2018
Today, U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging Chairman Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ranking Member Bob Casey (D-PA) celebrated the U.S. Senate’s passage of the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act (S. 1091), which would create a federal task force charged with supporting grandparents raising grandchildren as the opioid epidemic increases their numbers. The U.S. House of Representatives must pass the legislation before it becomes law.
US: Congress Approves $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill, Averting a Shutdown
New York Times – March 22, 2018
The spending bill “invest(s) robustly in critical priorities like child care, transportation infrastructure, national security, election protection, medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, veterans’ health services and much more,” said Representative Nita M. Lowey of New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
Also: Senator Capito Votes to Deliver Resources for Critical West Virginia Priorities (Press release): https://www.capito.senate.gov/news/press-releases/capito-votes-deliver-resources-for-critical-west-virginia-priorities
US: Friends of Children launching program to help young adults out of foster care (Includes video)
WWLP – March 22, 2018
The nationwide program called FOCUS pairs those who have aged out of foster care with adults who provide resources for young men and women entering adulthood.
Australia: Sydney archdiocese steps up efforts to combat human trafficking (Includes audio)
Vatican News – March 22, 2018
He says that while the Holy See, in 2016, announced it would move to slave proof its supply chains, Sydney is believed to be the first archdiocese to implement this as a public policy. He adds that it’s part of the vision of Pope Francis to bring about the eradication of modern slavery and trafficking by 2030.
Europe: EU Court Backs Kids’ Removal From Religious Communes
Courthouse News Service – March 22, 2018
The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday endorsed a move by German authorities to place children of members of the Twelve Tribes commune in foster care after news outlets reported the parents punish their children by caning.
AZ: Tuition break for foster kids is a no-brainer. But who pays the bill?
Arizona Republic – March 21, 2018
Children in Arizona’s foster-care system would join the ranks of students who get free state college and university tuition under a proposal at the Capitol.
Information Gateway resource: Educational Assistance: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adopt-people/assistance/
FL: $ 6.2 Million in New Funding for Combating Human Trafficking in Florida
Madison News – March 21, 2018
Today, Governor Rick Scott highlighted efforts to fight human trafficking in the Securing Florida’s Future budget, including $6.2 million in new funding for the Expansion of Human Trafficking Services by expanding in-home treatment through community wraparound service teams, specialized therapeutic foster care and emergency services. Since 2013, Governor Scott has invested more than $45 million specifically for combatting human trafficking in Florida.
IA: Iowa Senate confirms Human Services chief
KPVI – March 22, 2018
Jerry Foxhoven, who has guided the state’s Department of Human Services and its controversial privatized Medicaid delivery system for nine months, won confirmation of the Iowa Senate on Wednesday by a 38-11 margin. A well-known leader in child protection and family law, Foxhoven was tapped last June by Gov. Kim Reynolds as her choice to succeed Chuck Palmer as the leader of the state agency in charge of caring for Iowa’s most vulnerable residents.
Also: Iowa Senate confirms DHS director: http://www.thegazette.com/subject/news/government/iowa-senate-confirms-dhs-director-20180321
KS: Opponents turn out against faith-based adoption bill
Lawrence Journal-World – March 21, 2018
Child welfare advocates and a leading gay rights organization spoke out Wednesday against a bill that would protect faith-based adoption agencies from being denied state contracts or grants if they refuse to place children with certain families based on the groups’ “sincerely held religious beliefs.”
Also: Kansas weighs protections for faith-based adoption agencies: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article206242734.html
KY: Kentucky wrongly rejecting families for foster care payments despite ruling, critics say
Louisville Courier-Journal – March 21, 2018
Paula Grant, a disabled grandmother raising three children removed from a meth home, was excited to learn she might be eligible for foster care payments under a federal court ruling that became final in October. But Grant said she was crushed when Kentucky recently rejected her request for payments of up to $750 per month per child because of a technicality – her grandchildren had been determined to be “dependent” rather than neglected or abused, classifications used in removing a child from a home.
ME: Lawmakers fight to keep four child protection services funded (Includes video)
WGME – March 20, 2018
State lawmakers say they will be introducing a bill on Monday that could help save four child protection and abuse prevention programs from losing all state funding. Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) representatives say the collective of programs, known as the Community Partnership for Protecting Children (CPPC), will lose its combined $2.2 million in funding on September 30. Members of the programs say the news was a surprise.
Also: Maine children in danger risk getting caught up in child welfare whiplash: http://bangordailynews.com/2018/03/21/opinion/editorials/maine-children-in-danger-risk-getting-caught-up-in-child-welfare-whiplash/
MO: Hundreds of Missouri’s 15-year-old brides may have married their rapists
Kansas City Star – March 19, 2018
From 1999 to 2015, more than 1,000 15-year-olds married in Missouri. Of those, The Kansas City Star’s review of data shows, more than 300 married men age 21 or older, with some in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Assuming they had premarital sex, those grooms would be considered rapists.
Also: Married Young: The Fight Over Child Marriage in America: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/married-young-the-fight-over-child-marriage-in-america/
MS: ‘Galactic Trouble’ for Foster Care Ahead? (Commentary)
Jackson Free Press – March 21, 2018
Since 2004, the State has fought a federal lawsuit, which a child-welfare advocacy group, A Better Childhood, brought on behalf of the children in Mississippi’s foster-care system. So far, Mississippi has avoided receivership in the case, improving outcomes by licensing more foster homes, implementing an information systems strategy and working on improvements listed in the settlement agreement in 2017. By December, the agency was violating one provision of the settlement agreement.
NY: When Family Preservation Is Fatal (Audio)
City Journal – March 21, 2018
In the Summer 1997 Issue of City Journal, Saffran wrote an article entitled “Fatal Preservation,” which chronicled attempts by New York’s social-services agencies to keep children with their troubled and abusive parents. The policy proved tragic for kids like six-year-old Elisa Izquierdo, killed at the hands of her crack-addicted mother in 1995. Elisa’s mother had regained custody of her daughter over the opposition of relatives and teachers. Too many other New York City children have met similar fates. More than 20 years later, Saffran finds that, on balance, little has changed.
OH: The need for foster parents continues to climb in Lucas County (Includes video)
WNWO – March 21, 2018
Last year, there were more than 1,000 cases of child abuse and neglect in Lucas County. While no child in the system is without a home, the demand for foster homes has been on a steady increase over the last few years.
OR: ACE study shows big impact on physical and mental health outcomes
Oregon News-Review – March 21, 2018
From 2014-2016, child abuse and maltreatment rates tripled in Douglas County from 10.4 per 1,000 to 32 per 1,000 – a staggering increase. It is the same upstream epidemic that is driving our current statewide crisis in the foster care system described in an audit by Secretary of State Dennis Richardson.
OR: Oregon pays $1.3 million settlement after placing foster child with self-described sex addict
Oregonian – March 21, 2018
Oregon’s child welfare agency has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle a lawsuit brought on behalf of a girl who was allegedly sexually abused by her Gresham foster father in 2014.
SC: Two Upstate fathers create bill to fight for SC kids (Includes video)
Fox Carolina – March 21, 2018
“On a daily basis, DSS does good work. We see families heal, and children go home and children find stability, but like any system, it’s prone to error. Right now, when it goes off the rails and it’s not working well, who do you call?” Bracken asked. The fathers said there’s no one to pick up that call. They feel there’s no “Checks and Balances” in place when it comes to DSS, foster care or juvenile detention cases. “Right now, there’s no one to contact if you have experienced a difficulty within the system. There’s really no independent group who you can contact,” Ingram said.
TN: U.S. judge dismisses Tennessee’s refugee resettlement lawsuit
Reuters – March 19, 2018
The judge called the prospect of a Medicaid funding loss “speculative,” and said Tennessee had taken no steps to deny Medicaid or other benefits to refugees. He also said Tennessee could not have been surprised that a growing number of refugees might boost state health care costs, and that it has “always been foreseeable” that periodic international humanitarian crises might cause an influx.
TX: Texas buys more time to avoid obeying judge’s foster care ruling – though things are murky
Dallas Morning News – March 21, 2018
The department, which runs foster care, won’t be required to obey her order until April 30 at the earliest – and perhaps not before summer, if at all. But a complete cold shoulder from the “stay panel” would have in effect signaled that the appellate judges had at least peeked at Jack’s ruling – and weren’t favorably impressed.
VA: Roanoke Salvation Army to open center for at-risk foster kids (Includes video)
WDBJ7 – March 22, 2018
Roanoke’s Salvation Army is tearing down one homeless shelter and creating a new center to help prevent homelessness. Captain Monica Seiler showed WDBJ7 the New Day Center which is currently under construction in their facility in southeast Roanoke. Seiler said it will be aimed at serving at-risk youth, particularly those who age our of the foster care system.
VA: EDITORIAL: Kinship care for at-risk children
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star – March 21, 2018
SB 636 establishes a kinship guardianship assistance program “to facilitate child placements with relatives and ensure permanency for children for whom adoption or being returned home are not appropriate permanency options.” Children have to be eligible for foster care, and those over the age of 14 must be consulted and demonstrate “a strong attachment” to the prospective kindship guardian who, in turn, would commit to their permanent care.
VA: New Functional Family Therapy Program Reduces Recidivism in Virginia
Correctional News – March 21, 2018
As rehabilitation and therapy are becoming more prevalent in jails as an attempt to reduce recidivism, so are the number and variety of programs intended to accomplish this. The recent investment by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in a new evidence-based family therapy program called Functional Family Therapy (FFT) is yet another exciting example of how to improve the correctional system.
VA: Virginia Beach in need of foster homes for children
WVEC – March 21, 2018
There are more than 200 children in foster care in Virginia Beach and only 60 approved foster care homes which leaves a lot of children without families. “Whenever a child is separated from their family, it creates trauma. And through our program we’re trying to provide that temporary safe haven for the children,” said Ryan Jones from the Virginia Beach Family Services Office.
WA: Rep. Dent’s foster parent ‘Bill of Rights’ signed into law
Columbia Basin Herald – March 21, 2018
House Bill 2785 will provide an official list of foster parent rights and responsibilities to foster parents. Dent, R-Moses Lake, introduced the bill after meeting with a foster parent group in central Washington and discovering many of the concerns and requests they had were already established in Washington’s foster parent laws.
WI: The Need For Social Workers Continues To Grow (Includes audio)
WXPR – March 21, 2018
“….due in part to the difficulty of this work, we struggle with a shortage of social workers. To address this, the state Department of Children and Families and the Wisconsin County Human Service Association have created recruitment videos to give a realistic picture to the people thinking of getting into social work, particularly the area of child welfare….”
US: Lawmakers reject Trump cuts with increases for Indian programs
Indianz – March 22, 2018
The bipartisan appropriations measure, unveiled as Washington’s #SnowDay came to a close on Wednesday, clocks in at a whopping 2,232 pages. Buried within it are provisions that provides nearly $3.1 billion for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the agency responsible for some of most critical programs on reservations, and more than $5.5 billion for the Indian Health Service, which oversees the delivery of health care to more than 2.2 million Native Americans.
US: OPINION: We must stop the criminalization of mental illness in schools
Hechinger Report – March 22, 2018
We can all agree that safety in schools is paramount, but by focusing on the intersection of violence and mental health, we are missing the point. Our society is failing to effectively address the tremendous need for mental health supports for our children.
US: Psychologist group gives mixed review to president’s opioid plan
Industrial Safety and Hygiene News – March 21, 2018
Calls for more emphasis on nonpharmacological treatments, opposes death penalty for opioid traffickers: Evans called on policymakers to prioritize work in the following areas: Improving the service delivery system by making administrative and infrastructure changes, including by strengthening the enforcement of mental health and substance use parity laws, reforming payment systems, changing child welfare system processes so that families affected by opioid addiction are kept together, and improving the availability and quality of services provided by drug courts.
US: Public Consulting Group Acquires Hornby Zeller Associates (Press release)
Public Consulting Group – March 21, 2018
Public Consulting Group, Inc. (PCG) announced today that its public sector research and IT solutions practice is growing with the acquisition of Hornby Zeller Associates, Inc. (HZA). Based in Troy, New York and with offices in four states, HZA is a leader in using rigorous analysis to answer questions posed by government and non-profit agencies. Its work encompasses the fields of child welfare, public health, mental health, substance abuse, courts, adult and juvenile corrections, and early childhood and family support.
US: Together Facing the Challenge: Program Supports Foster Parents, Keep Youth Connected to Biological Families
Chronicle of Social Change – March 21, 2018
Biological, foster and adoptive families often face many issues and challenges, and agencies work to support them. Together Facing the Challenge (TFTC) is an evidence-based training and coaching model developed to train agency staff working in foster care on the core elements embedded within this trauma-informed curriculum.
Australia: Stolen, imprisoned, given a criminal record: Australia’s shameful treatment of the Stolen Generations revealed
NITV – March 22, 2018
“How can a child neglect itself?” says Aunty Vickie Roach as she flicks through a stack of papers on the front step of her home near Wollongong, New South Wales. “And in what alternative universe can that child be criminalized? It’s crazy”, she says, shaking her head. Roach, a Yuin woman and respected writer and justice activist, is looking through files from her childhood in 1960s Australia, but what’s written there feels like it happened in another world.
Canada: Refugee wins stay in case challenging Canada’s deportation process
Reuters – March 21, 2018
Abdoul Abdi, 24, faces deportation after serving a prison sentence for violent crimes. In foster care since age 7, the former Somali refugee had not obtained Canadian citizenship because child services did not file an application on his behalf. The Immigration and Refugee Board decided to postpone a deportation hearing until a federal court weighs in, according to Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, and decide whether it is reasonable or lawful to deport someone who is deportable because of government inaction – a decision that could alter the fate of hundreds of children.
Europe: EU’s Migration Challenges: Refugees’ Fundamental Rights & Border Fences Scrutinized
EU Bulletin – March 21, 2018
The European Agency for Fundamental Rights specifies five persistent challenges for migration to the European Union: access to territory, reception conditions, asylum procedures, unaccompanied children and immigration detention. Its latest report assessed the rights of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in member states from October 2016 to December 2017 and concluded that, despite some improvements in a few countries, “several issues persist – and some have even deteriorated”.
Also: Migrant rights increasingly flouted in Europe, report says: https://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/migrant-rights-increasingly-flouted-in-europe-report-says/
Report: Migration to the EU: five persistent challenges: https://bit.ly/2HX4tOa