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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 53% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18. (American Journal of Public Health 1.17)
12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines
ALL ADULTS ARE THE PROTECTORS OF ALL CHILDREN
Compilation of information and writing on this page is the hard work of
David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj, Josh Jedlicka and Blaz Zlate, Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.
AZ: It shouldn’t hurt to be a child (Commentary)
Eastern Arizona Courier – April 12, 2018
The world can be a scary place for those with no power and agency to effect change, and there’s no one more vulnerable than a child. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services wants to promote strong families and healthy communities to reduce abuse and neglect among children.
Information Gateway resource: National Child Abuse Prevention Month 2018: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/
CO: Pending legislation would ensure children can access mental-health treatment (Commentary)
Colorado Politics – April 13, 2018
What would you do if you had to give up your child in order to access mental health services? For some Coloradans, this is a reality. Colorado ranked 48th in the country for overall youth mental health, according to Mental Health America’s 2018 “The State of Mental Health in America” report.
Mental Health America’s 2018 “The State of Mental Health in America” report: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america
CO: This bill could help Colorado foster youth keep their school – and graduate – even when home changes (Commentary)
Chalkbeat – April 12, 2018
Mendez is hardly alone: Youth in foster care in Colorado graduate from high school at a rate that’s abysmal – and falling, unlike the graduation rates of students from other vulnerable groups. Last year, just 23.6 percent of youth in foster care graduated on time, down 10 points since 2016. The statewide graduation rate is 81 percent. People who work in child welfare have taken notice, convening a group that included teens in foster care to brainstorm ways to preserve schools as places of stability for children whose families are in crisis.
CT: The Connection in Middletown Focuses on Healing the Wounds of Trauma
Connecticut Magazine – April 12, 2018
After starting as a shelter for substance-abusing men on Crescent Street in downtown Middletown in 1972, The Connection has expanded into programs for outpatients, women, people living with mental illness, people coming out of incarceration, and for youth, covering areas of housing, addiction, child care and so on. In all, The Connection operates some 42 different programs across the state, with 535 staff, serving 6,000 clients a month, with full waiting lists.
FL: The Guardian ad Litem Program Urges Residents to Act Against Child Abuse
Nature Coaster – April 12, 2018
During National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April, the Guardian ad Litem program challenges residents of Hernando and Citrus Counties to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.
GA: ‘If one child is abused it is one too many.’
Morgan County Citizen – April 12, 2018
Child abuse rates in Morgan County have fallen below the State of Georgia’s average, but there is still much work to be done, according to Velde Hardy, director of Morgan County Family Connection.
HI: Enrollment in UH Hilo Psychology Graduate Program Resumes
Big Island Now – April 12, 2018
The M.A. in Counseling Psychology is the only program in the UH System that trains clinical mental health counselors. Mental Health Counseling is a growing field with employment opportunities in a variety of settings, including community health centers, schools and universities, drug, alcohol and vocational rehabilitation, child welfare and family assistance agencies, residential care facilities, employee assistance programs and private practice. Kim said recent events, such as school shootings, have only increased demand.
MN: Child abuse cases inch upward, minority children over-represented (Includes audio)
MPR News – April 12, 2018
Two cases of horrific child abuse have grabbed headlines across Minnesota this year and put a spotlight back on systems meant to protect kids. But statewide data show that child maltreatment cases have been increasing in recent years. And some say that children of color are over-represented in the child protection system and their families are treated unfairly by child protection workers and the courts.
Also: Black families ask Minnesota to stop taking so many of their children: http://www.ladieswantmore.com/black-families-ask-minnesota-to-stop-taking-so-many-of-their-children/
MO: This is Child Abuse Prevention Week (Audio)
J-98 / KREI – April 12, 2018
The St. Francois County Commission approved a resolution this week acknowledging Child Abuse Prevention Week. Kelly Tesson from the Children’s Advocacy Center in Farmington says they are caring for 400 abused children.
MS: Community promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month
Oxford Citizen – April 12, 2018
According to the National Children’s Alliance, almost 5 children die of abuse and neglect in the United States every day. The month of April is dedicated to child abuse awareness, getting people to understand that child abuse happens everywhere and starting conversations on how to end it.
NE: NE First Lady Susanne Shore in South Sioux City to talk “Bring Up Nebraska” program (Includes video)
KMEG – April 12, 2018
Nebraska’s first lady says it’s the responsibility of individuals to help deal with issues around child welfare in their communities. During a visit to South Sioux City, Susanne Shore touted that state’s “Bring Up Nebraska” program, which helps local community groups develop long-term, data-backed plans to help families and children in crisis.
NV: Carson City panel discusses risk factors of child abuse, neglect
Carson City News – April 12, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month nationwide and throughout Nevada. In Carson City, volunteers recently planted hundreds of blue and silver pinwheels on the front lawn of the Nevada Legislature to bring awareness to child abuse across the Silver State.
OK: Oklahoma Legislature Continues Push for Anti-LGBTQ Child Welfare Bill (Commentary)
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – April 11, 2018
Today, HRC President Chad Griffin and staff joined Freedom Oklahoma at the Oklahoma State Capitol to oppose SB 1140, a proposed license to discriminate in the provision of child welfare services. The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance SB 1140 with an amendment to the full House of Representatives for consideration–one step closer to the governor’s desk and becoming law. Throughout this session, HRC has stood alongside Freedom Oklahoma in the fight to stop SB 1140 and anti-LGBTQ legislation, engaging members and supporters through emails, texts, call programs and actions on the ground.
TX: North Texas startups compete for $100K (Includes video)
Fox4 News – April 12, 2018
North Texas social entrepreneurs competed for a $100,000 cash infusion. The startups all have a mission to improve the community in a unique way. First Three Years is focused on infants and toddlers in the child welfare system. Youth With Faces offers career programs to young men and women in the juvenile justice system. Scholarshot helps at-risk kids earn career-ready degrees with one-on-one coaching. Education Opens Doors is using technology to help students successfully navigate high school and college. The Center for Employment Opportunities is a reentry program for those with criminal records.
WV: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Inter-Mountain – April 13, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, MountainHeart Community Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making West Virginia a better place for children and families.
US: Children are the silent victims in the opioid crisis (Commentary)
Washington Examiner – April 13, 2018
We may not always think of children when we think of this, but they are a voiceless population that bears some of the worst repercussions of the opioid epidemic. The number of kids in foster care has grown 10 percent nationwide since 2012, but in some states foster care has grown by 50 to 100 percent. In 2016, there were 440,000 kids in care, with about 120,000 waiting to be adopted.
Also: NIH Report: Opioid Overdose Crisis: https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
Also: Dramatic Increases in Maternal Opioid Use and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/dramatic-increases-in-maternal-opioid-use-neonatal-abstinence-syndrome
Also: Flooding The System: A Study of Opioids and Out-of-Home Care in Wisconsin: http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/flooding-the-system_opioids-and-ohc_final-1.pdf
Also: The Foster Care Housing Crisis: https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/The-Foster-Care-Housing-Crisis-10-31.pdf
US: Border crossings up 200% over last March, Nielsen says
Cable News Network – April 11, 2018
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen on Wednesday cited a large spike in border crossing numbers in March — 200% over last year, including an 800% increase in unaccompanied children — to justify the Trump administration’s border security requests.
US: Spotting student hunger
Smart Brief – April 11, 2018
Hungry children have many faces. Some are energetic and always asking for a snack, others are tired and withdrawn or even sunken and angry. Students can be both obese and starving, too. A student of mine once lived in his mother’s car. They bought all their food from a gas station, so he consumed excessive yet nutritionally empty calories. He joined a foster family later that year, started eating three decent meals a day and lost a lot of weight.
Also: Fruit, veggie patrols headed for schools: Grant designed to see what foods students toss in trash: http://www.bostonherald.com/news/local_coverage/2018/04/fruit_veggie_patrols_headed_for_schools
Canada: Canada, Ontario, Chiefs of Ontario Sign Joint Commitment on Policy and Funding Reform for First Nations Child and Family Services in Ontario (Press release)
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada – April 12, 2018
A shared priority for Canada, Ontario and Chiefs of Ontario is to improve outcomes and opportunities for all First Nations children, youth, and families in Ontario, and to reduce the number of children and youth in care.
Europe: EU court: Child refugees can apply to bring their families
EurActiv – April 12, 2018
Refugees who enter the European Union alone as minors can apply to be reunited with their families, even if they reach legal adulthood before the end of the process, the EU’s top court ruled today (12 April).
Europe: Location-based Miniila app can help track missing children, find nearest relief services (Press release)
Geospatial World – April 12, 2018
It is crucial these children find food, shelter, access to medical assistance and other critical information provided by trusted aid organizations nearby. To facilitate this process, Shelley Taylor, the CEO of trellyz and creator of RefAid, and Missing Children Europe launched a Miniila smartphone app on April 11, 2018 at the Lost In Migration conference in Brussels. The idea behind this app is that migrant children see smart phones as necessity, using them for navigation and to keep in touch with their families back home. They often travel in groups and share other phones in the group.
AZ: New law defines when DCS can take a child without a judge’s OK (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – April 12, 2018
Without a judge’s approval, child-welfare workers and police will be able to remove a child from his family home in only two circumstances, under a bill Gov. Doug Ducey signed Wednesday. The legislation defines the “exigent circumstances” that will allow DCS staffers and law enforcement to skip the legal requirement to get the equivalent of a warrant from the Juvenile Court before taking a child out of his home. The warrant process starts July 1.
AZ: From the Arizona Daily Star investigation: Fixing our foster care crisis Part 2, Intervention series
Arizona Daily Star – April 11, 2018
Fewer Arizona children are being removed from their families, the backlog of uninvestigated child abuse reports is down dramatically and child welfare workers have manageable caseloads – all signs that the Arizona Department of Child Safety is finally on the right track, its leaders say. The state’s efforts are getting national attention. The April 2017 issue of Governing magazine heralded the recent improvements with the headline “How Arizona Fixed Its Broken Child Welfare System in Two Years.” “We have seen phenomenal improvement,” said Katherine Guffey, DCS’s chief quality improvement officer.
CA: A new life: Social Services, volunteers, and community come together to give foster youth a chance at a better life
Santa Maria Sun – April 11, 2018
In 2017, the Department of Social Services in SLO County had about 379 children in foster care; 122 ranged from infant to 5 years old, 96 were 6 to 12 years old, and 161 were from 13 to 20 years old. Department Assistant Director Tracy Schiro said that when Child Welfare Services is called to check on the well-being of a child, the main goal is to keep the child with his or her family.
FL: A Polk Perspective: Yes, we can prevent child abuse (Commentary)
News Chief – April 12, 2018
By now you may have noticed the blue pinwheels, “Wear Blue” events, or other signs that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. And if you follow the news, you already know Florida’s opioid crisis is driving a sharp spike in the number of abused, abandoned and neglected children coming into out-of-home care – nearly 32,000 statewide as of February. That’s a 13.7 percent increase over the last 2½ years.
Information Gateway resource: Child Abuse Prevention Month: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/
FL: Safe Campus To Help Young Sex Trafficking Victims Heal
WJCT – April 12, 2018
On this donated property, several acres have been cleared to construct a lodge, chapel and seven houses away from the hustle and bustle of any city. They will soon be home to several girls, ages 6 to 18, who were rescued from sex trafficking. They’ve have faced rape. Addiction. Trauma beyond imagination. It’s the first of its kind in Florida.
FL: Count of Central Florida’s homeless youth reveals ‘hidden’ population (Includes video
Orlando Sentinel – April 10, 2018
The findings come from the region’s first count of homeless youth ages 13 to 24 who live on their own. That count found 268 homeless youth in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties living in shelters, on the streets or in the woods one day last fall – a number advocates said is likely far below the true total..
Also: Youth Homelessness in Central Florida (Includes video): https://1025wfla.iheart.com/content/2018-04-10-youth-homelessness-in-central-florida/
FL: Florida Rebids Miami-Dade County Child Welfare Lead Agency Contract
Open Minds – April 08, 2018
On March 22, 2018, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) released an invitation to negotiate (SNR18FS01ITN) for the community-based care (CBC) child welfare lead agency contract for Miami-Dade County and Monroe County. The contract is currently held by Our Kids Miami-Dade/Monroe Inc., which has been the incumbent to this contract since DCF adopted the CBC model in 2003. Its current contract is valued at more than $102 million annually.
KS: 5 days of action to prevent child sexual abuse
McPherson Sentinel – April 11, 2018
McPherson Family YMCA is marking Child Abuse Prevention Month with Five Days of Action, April 16 through the 20. Five Days of Action focuses on preventing child sexual abuse by sharing tips on how adults can step up and speak out to prevent child sexual abuse.
ME: Maine House OKs emergency funding for child abuse program
Associated Press – April 11, 2018
The House unanimously approved the bill to keep funding the Community Partnerships Protecting Children program on Tuesday. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Rep. Pinny Beebe-Center of Rockland, says cutting funding for the program would jeopardize children.
MN: DFL lawmakers call for changes to child protection system’s treatment of black families
Star Tribune – April 11, 2018
Child protection workers are removing black children from their homes at a disproportionate rate, said a group of DFL (Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) state lawmakers who aim to eliminate the disparity. They proposed legislation intended to reduce the number of out-of-home placements and to keep children with family members when possible, instead of foster care or shelters.
Also: Black children are disproportionately removed from their families: Minnesota lawmakers seek legislative fix: http://www.dl-online.com/news/government-and-politics/4429947-black-children-are-disproportionately-removed-their-families
Also: Black families ask Minnesota to stop taking so many of their children: http://www.citypages.com/news/black-families-ask-minnesota-to-stop-taking-so-many-of-their-children/479327113
NY: Churchill: Teachers’ union won’t talk about the Child Victims Act (Commentary)
Times Union – April 09, 2018
The Child Victims Act is the much-discussed and long-debated bill that would extend the criminal and civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, presumably allowing more victims to come forward. Those changes are not controversial nor should they be.
OH: Pinwheels planted for child abuse prevention
Ashtabula Star-Beacon – April 12, 2018
This April, the blue-and-white pinwheels dotting the lawn of the old county courthouse in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month don’t represent reported child abuse or neglect cases in the county – rather, the “happy childhoods that we want for all children,” officials said.
OK: Organization calls on lawmakers to reject ‘un-American’ adoption bill
KOKH – April 11, 2018
A LGBTQ advocacy organization is calling for Oklahoma lawmakers to reject a bill that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to cite religion to turn away couples and children.
OK: State agencies say they have funding needs, too
Oklahoman – April 08, 2018
Teachers rallying for education have been grabbing the headlines, but other state agencies say they have funding needs, too. Following years of budget cuts, the heads of agencies that serve the state’s most vulnerable populations of mentally ill, abused children and prison inmates talk of the need for millions of dollars in additional funding.
SC: Couple accused of murder when child dies 21 years after being abused (Includes video)
News Observer – April 10, 2018
Brunswick County’s district attorney said the two people who already spent almost 12 years in prison for felony child abuse were surprised to be arrested Monday night for first degree murder. The charges come the same month as the 21st anniversary of the 1997 incident when 15-month-old David Cody Rhinehart was taken to the hospital with head trauma, a broken arm and burned skin on the buttocks and genital areas.
SC: National Child Abuse Prevention Month: Shaw promotes healthy families (Press release)
Defense Visual Information Distribution Service – April 09, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the 20th Medical Group Family Advocacy and Resiliency Programs are working with Team Shaw members to promote healthy families and relationships.
WI: Wisconsin Governor Signs Addiction Treatment, Prevention Legislation
Fix – April 11, 2018
On Monday (April 9) the governor signed two pieces of legislation that address multiple areas of the opioid epidemic. The first bill, Assembly Bill 906, establishes three grant programs, dedicating millions of dollars toward jail treatment programs, prevention programs, and law enforcement efforts to investigate drug traffickers. The second bill, AB 907, focuses on education. The legislation established a $250,000 commitment to the University of Wisconsin System to increase the number of mental health nurse practitioners and to support psychiatric nursing students who work in rural areas.
WI: Milwaukee nonprofit begins new push to end cycle of child abuse; ‘Your connection is their protection’ (Includes video)
Fox 6 – April 09, 2018
The Parenting Network, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit founded more than 40 years ago, is working to end the cycle of abuse that affects children across the nation. On Monday, April 9, officials took a step forward in keeping families strong. Silver and blue pinwheels are putting a spin on child abuse prevention — serving as a reminder that every kid deserves a safe childhood.
WV: West Virginia rate of babies born drug dependent jumps
Associated Press – April 12, 2018
The rate of babies born dependent on drugs has increased dramatically in West Virginia over the last five years, including two counties where it exceeded one out of every 10 hospital births, health officials said Wednesday.
Also: DHHR releases data on withdrawal syndrome for infants after mothers give birth: http://wvah.com/news/local/dhhr-releases-neonatal-abstinence-syndrome-county-data
US: Child Identity Protection Legislation, Introduced by Congressman Marchant, Moves Through Committee (Includes video) (Press release)
Congressman Kenny Marchant – April 11, 2018
The legislation allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue a new Social Security Number (SSN) to children age 13 and under who have had their SSN stolen due to inadvertent disclosure. The next step in the legislative process is a vote on HR 1512 by the whole House. View the Markup below.
US: The Anti-Sex Traffickers Bill Sounds Good-Until You Look a Little Closer (Commentary)
Elle – April 11, 2018
The SESTA-FOSTA package bill of 2018, which President Donald Trump signed into law on Wednesday, has been greeted as a godsend for women-and as an apocalyptic event. The bill seems simple: It makes it a criminal offense to knowingly assist or facilitate sex trafficking online, and allows online services to be prosecuted for doing so. When it takes effect, it will shut down some sites that profit from sexual assault and trafficking, crimes that are sometimes initiated over the web. The problem is that, in the process, it will also criminalize many people who want to help victims, and will endanger, and could even kill, women whose voices have been drowned out of the conversation.
US: A middle-class adoptive mom’s unusual response to being falsely accused of child abuse: “I learned a lot about the less privileged. I learned a lot of empathy.” (Commentary)
NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – April 05, 2018
It happens over and over. Foster parents and, to a lesser extent, adoptive parents complain about how badly they are treated by child protective services agencies. Decisions are made about the children in their care without consulting them, they say. They’re not treated as part of a team, they say. They’re even victimized by false allegations of child abuse, they say.
US: Predictive analytics in Pittsburgh child welfare: Was the “ethics review” of Allegheny County’s “scarlet number” algorithm ethical? (Commentary)
NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – March 29, 2018
The Allegheny County model is known as the Allegheny Family Screening Tool (AFST). In effect, it stamps children who are the subject of reports alleging child maltreatment with an invisible “scarlet number” that supposedly measures how likely they are to be abused or neglected.
Germany: Unaccompanied minor refugees in Germany: What you need to know
InfoMigrants – April 11, 2018
Children in Germany have a right to health and safety. The youth welfare office, the “Jugendamt,” is responsible for ensuring this right for all children, including unaccompanied minor refugees. If someone is identified as an unaccompanied minor, the youth welfare office becomes responsible for him or her.
Iceland: Child Welfare Director Resigns Amid Controversy
Iceland Review – April 11, 2018
The Director of the Reykjavík Child Welfare Department has resigned amid controversy surrounding former employees suspected of sexual offences, prostitution, and trafficking, RÚV reports. Halldóra Dröfn Gunnarsdóttir would not comment on her resignation, which takes effect at the end of June. The City of Reykjavík contracted two independent parties just last month to conduct a comprehensive assessment of child welfare services in Reykjavík.
CA: Life after ‘the life’: Putting families back together after trafficking
S Daily News – April 11, 2018
The Parenting Skills Group, developed and led by Blacker and fellow UCD researcher Brandi Liles, is designed for parents and caregivers who are embarking upon or already in the process of reunifying with children who have been commercially sexually exploited.
CO: Three-quarters of Colorado foster kids aren’t graduating on time. Officials say rides to school would help (Commentary)
Denver Post – April 10, 2018
The education outcomes for foster kids in Colorado are grim and getting worse: Just 23 percent graduated from high school on time last year. Among the reasons, experts and former foster kids testified Tuesday at the state Capitol, is that the majority of them change schools multiple times while they’re in care, losing ground academically each time.
IA: Child abuse reports and confirmed cases on the rise (Includes video)
KMIT – April 09, 2018
Reported and confirmed cases of child abuse have increased by 8 percent.
KS: Say no to LGBTQ discrimination in Kansas foster care law (Opinion)
Kansas City Star – April 10, 2018
Every day, I help children in foster care unite with loving families who will care for them unconditionally. Sadly, there are painful moments in my job where that just doesn’t happen. And the Kansas Legislature may make it even harder to find qualified parents for these children.
MI: CHS to use grant to help families dealing with substance abuse
Alpena News – April 11, 2018
Catholic Human Services was awarded $449,411 from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.
MN: Black children are disproportionately removed from their families; state lawmakers seek legislative fix
St. Paul Pioneer Press – April 10, 2018
Black children in Minnesota are three times more likely to become involved with child protection and be removed from their homes than white children. A group of state lawmakers say those disparities are caused by widespread inequity across Minnesota’s child-protection system that includes how initial allegations are reviewed, how parents are screened and assessed and how incidents are resolved.
MO: Foster Adopt Connect comes to southeast MO in hopes of getting more involved in fostering (Includes video)
KFVS – April 10, 2018
Statewide more than 13,000 kids are in foster care, and last year southeast Missouri had more than 1,600 enter the foster program, more than any other region in Missouri.
NC: Forsyth County names new head of Department of Social Services
Winston-Salem Journal – April 10, 2018
The board voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Victor Isler to the position. He has been serving as director of Family and Children’s Services for the Forsyth County Department of Social Services and will start his new job April 21.
NC: Scotland County DSS moves to curb child abuse
Laurinburg Exchange – April 10, 2018
Staff at Scotland County Department of Social Services came together Monday to jump start the annual child abuse prevention and awareness campaign.
NE: Editorial: Nebraska adopts needed reporting requirements on state ward abuse allegations
Omaha World-Herald – April 11, 2018
Findings last year by Nebraska’s state inspector general for child welfare about the troubling extent of sexual abuse of state wards jolted state officials. During 2013-16, at least 50 Nebraska children suffered sexual abuse while in the state’s care or after being placed in an adoptive or guardianship home, Julie Rogers reported.
NY: Abraham Cardenas’ death: State shutters Monroe County CPS diversion program, Dinolfo orders agency review (Includes video)
Democrat & Chronicle – April 10, 2018
The state Office of Children and Family Services has ordered a shutdown of a Monroe County child protective diversionary program aimed at providing supports and services for families in crisis.
OH: MHRS: What Columbiana County is doing about opiate epidemic (Commentary)
Salem News – April 11, 2018
The notorious photograph posted at Facebook by the East Liverpool Police Department in 2016 brought global attention to the opiate epidemic in our region, creating concern and controversy. The epidemic and what is being done to address it concerns everyone.
OH: Commissioners sign child abuse prevention proclamation, teaming up with local agencies (Includes video)
WNWO – April 10, 2018
On Tuesday Lucas County Commissioners issued a proclamation supporting the efforts of Child Protective Services. They’re making a continued comittment to fight the increasing number of child neglect and abuse cases in the county.
RI: Providers urge R.I. lawmakers to put more money into child services
Providence Journal – April 10, 2018
Private agencies that provide health and support services to children in state care urged some lawmakers on Tuesday to pump more money into Gov. Gina Raimondo’s proposed budget for the state’s child welfare department.
TX: Brett H. Pritchard Announces Support for Texas Child Protective Services Reform (Press release)
Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – April 10, 2018
In an online statement, The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard today announced support for a major overhaul of the Texas Child Protective Services (CPS). The firm has been serving the community of Killeen Texas for more than 18 years and has a great deal of experience in family law cases dealing with CPS. Brett H. Pritchard, the lead attorney at the firm, believes the service does an admirable job under its current mandate, but reforms are desperately needed.
TX: Waco: Event draws attention to abused and neglected children
KWTX – April 10, 2018
A crowd of about 75 people holding blue pinwheels including Child Protective Services and McLennan County Child Welfare Board staff members gathered Tuesday outside the McLennan County Courthouse to call attention to abused and neglected children in the county.
Also: A call to action: Child Abuse Prevention Month: http://www.galvnews.com/opinion/guest_columns/article_7453c0cd-8c1a-5029-a470-8b66c5e7747f.html
VA: Wythe officials confirm that Social Services director on leave
SWVA – April 10, 2018
Wythe County Department of Social Services officials confirmed Monday that Director Lewis Lafon is on leave but declined to explain why. When asked who was in charge of the department, DSS Board President Nancy Jackson said the office is operating as normal and is provided daily support from the state’s regional office in Abingdon.
WV: A rising number of children in foster care (Includes video)
WDTV – April 10, 2018
West Virginia has over 6,500 children in foster care, with only 1,300 foster families. Compared to last year, these numbers have skyrocketed, and there is one reason for that.
US: How to prevent more Hart Cases (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – April 11, 2018
Improve Vetting of Potential Adoptive Families. States that are desperate to find adoptive parents for large sibling groups or other children with special needs should not overlook obvious red flags.
Also: Multiple System Failures Allowed Hart Children to Die (Commentary): https://childwelfaremonitor.org/2018/04/09/multiple-system-failures-allowed-hart-children-to-die/
US: Cohesive neighborhoods, less spanking result in fewer child welfare visits
Michigan News (University of Michigan) – April 10, 2018
The child welfare system is more likely to intervene in households in “less neighborly” neighborhoods and in which parents spank their kids, a new study shows. Researchers at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University conducted analyses on nearly 2,300 families from 20 large U.S. cities who responded to surveys and interviews. Participating families had a child who was born between 1998-2000.
US: Helping Child Welfare Agencies Recruit Foster Care Parents
Microsoft – April 10, 2018
Home is where the heart is, they say. This is the driving sentiment for state child welfare agencies committed to helping more than 428,000 children in the U.S. find the right home with a foster family.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Foster Care: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/foster-care/
US: How to Use the Results First Program Inventory: A look at key steps for state and county partners (Commentary)
Pew Charitable Trusts – April 10, 2018
As state and local governments continue to face significant budgetary constraints, policymakers want to be sure they are making the best use of limited taxpayer dollars. Yet these leaders must frequently make budget and policy decisions without important information about the effectiveness of the programs they fund.
US: Ten-step trauma intervention offers help for foster families
Clinical Psychiatry News – April 10, 2018
Trauma-Informed Parenting Skills for Resource Parents, a new intervention program, might be an answer to addressing trauma symptoms in foster homes, according to a presentation at the annual conference of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
AZ: Arizona’s Top Child Welfare Leader Goes on Offensive Against Class Action Lawsuit
Chronicle of Social Change – April 09, 2018
Arizona is currently embroiled in a class action suit, brought by New York-based Children’s Rights, that by the end of 2017 had cost the state $1.8 million, according to state records. The suit was filed in 2015, and is far from over. But Department of Child Safety (DCS) Director Greg McKay says Children’s Rights should drop B.K. v McKay, citing progress made since he was handed the reins.
CA: Homelessness tops priorities in LA County’s new budget
Los Angeles Daily News – April 09, 2018
Los Angeles County officials unveiled a $30.8 billion recommended budget Monday for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with a mission to “improve the quality of life for all county residents, particularly those struggling on the margins of society.” 3,000 families and individuals moved into permanent supportive housing in the last six months of 2017; 7,000 people moved into crisis, bridge and interim housing during that same period, according to Hamai. Other areas of major spending include child welfare, health service and criminal justice reforms.
FL: Our Opinion: Wise investments in our communities
Leesburg Daily Commercial – April 08, 2018
The Resource Center is nothing less than a bridge from a poor, struggling neighborhood to a wider world that many in Carver Heights feel alienated from – a world of jobs and recreation and self-sufficiency. Leesburg City Commissioner John Christian said the center’s opening made him feel proud to serve and live in Leesburg.
FL: Yes, we can prevent child abuse: Guestview (Commentary)
Pensacola News Journal – April 07, 2018
Our child welfare system is bursting at the seams. We read about toddlers found in a back seat, their parents dead of overdoses in the front, and we feel helpless before such tragedies. According to research commissioned by Prevent Child Abuse America, 97 percent of adults say they would take action on behalf of children, but just don’t know how.
GA: Child Abuse Prevention Month: How you can ‘Take Action to create Great Childhoods!’
Hometown Headlines – April 09, 2018
This is the second of four articles posting Mondays in April about Child Abuse Prevention Month authored by representatives from local child abuse prevention agencies. “We all can play a role in safeguarding children and this collaboration is key as we build a State of Hope in Georgia,” said Virginia Pryor, Director of the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services. “A State of Hope is about the collective impact of communities creating better outcomes for children and families.”
IN: 2nd newborn found in Indiana fire station’s baby box: ‘I was happy, ecstatic to hear the crying’
Chicago Tribune – April 10, 2018
For the second time in five months, someone anonymously placed a newborn in the station’s box, one of two in the state. The box, fire officials said, worked as it was supposed to, setting off a medical alarm on firefighters’ pagers when it was opened and keeping the baby warm and secure for the brief period of time until someone arrived at the station and, more importantly, protecting the identity of the person who dropped off the child.
KS: Kansas lawmakers approve school mental health pilot program, select KCK district (Includes video)
Fox4KC – April 09, 2018
Kansas lawmakers are signing off on a new pilot program that would expand mental health services for students. The measure, tied into the school funding bill, comes with $10 million of funding and big goals.
KY: Changes in store for foster care system
Daily News – April 07, 2018
It hasn’t garnered the attention of high-profile pension and spending bills, but legislation reforming Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system could have a broad impact on children in the system and on the public and private agencies that deal with child welfare.
LA: La. Senate panel approves ‘historic’ extension of foster care program (Includes video)
WAFB – April 09, 2018
With the budget crisis looming in the backdrop, Louisiana lawmakers have been hesitant about adding new expenses. However, after emotional testimony in Senate committee Monday morning, a panel of state senators made an exception, voting to extend the state’s foster care program.
Also: ‘We can’t abandon these children’ Louisiana bill to extend foster care age get surprise approval: http://www.wwltv.com/article/news/politics/we-cant-abandon-these-children-louisiana-bill-to-extend-foster-care-age-get-surprise-approval/289-536865326
Information Gateway resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/independent/
MD: Legislation would help monitor newborn children of drug addicts
Cumberland Times-News – April 08, 2018
Allegany County resident and new mom Elizabeth Stahlman came up with the idea while home on maternity leave in 2016. While caring for her newborn daughter, she learned a child had died from starvation in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, after both parents had fatally overdosed.
ME: High court critical of state’s handling of adoption case
Portland Press Herald – April 07, 2018
For Jonathan and Christine DeWick, though, last month’s courthouse visit to finalize their adoption of Paisley marked the end of an emotional battle that began when the girl was placed in their home less than two weeks after she was born. “We’re certainly happy that it’s over and we can start looking forward,” Jonathan DeWick said.
Also: Maine adoption fight pits two families who love a little girl. Only one could take her home: https://www.pressherald.com/2018/04/08/the-fight-for-paisley/
MN: Schools facing mental health challenge
Marshall Independent – April 10, 2018
The statistics on children’s mental health are startling – 1 in 7 U.S. children aged 2 to 8 years old has a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. One in 4 children are affected by an anxiety disorder, though 80 percent are never treated, according to the Center for Disease Control. At the Marshall Public School board meeting recently, three school counselors recently shared those statistics and revealed how mental health issues often affect students in school.
MO: Marion County Commission renews its support for CASA program
Herald-Whig – April 09, 2018
CASA is a network of volunteers who support children who are in foster care or who are going through the child welfare system. The local CASA program, which operates as a branch of Douglass Community Services in Hannibal, serves 215 children in Marion, Ralls and Monroe counties. Most of the children live in Marion County, said Sarah Conner, the program’s director.
NE: Midlands Voices: New opportunity to improve safety, well-being of Nebraska children
Omaha World-Herald – April 08, 2018
Tucked inside the funding bill Congress passed in February to end the government shutdown was an important tool Nebraska can use to improve our state’s foster care system and make our children’s well-being the top priority. As part of the federal bill, Congress included the Family First Prevention Services Act, and it’s not an exaggeration to say this is the most significant piece of child welfare reform in a generation.
NJ: Is lack of dental care child neglect? (Commentary)
New Jersey Herald – April 10, 2018
The post has generated some heavy debate, with some commenters urging Hoyumpa to immediately switch to another dentist — a later Facebook post from Hoyumpa says she has done so — while others defended the dentist and Pennsylvania law.
NJ: DoH campaign aims to stop newborn addiction
NJBIZ – April 09, 2018
The New Jersey Department of Health has partnered with several health care trade organizations to launch an awareness campaign to reduce the number of babies born addicted to opioids and other substances.
NM: Child killings in New Mexico put focus on state agencies
Santa Fe New Mexican – April 08, 2018
The case, the latest in a series of heinous, high-profile child killings in the state in recent years by a parent or guardian, revealed gaping holes in the oversight of kids who don’t attend school, raised questions about who ensures a child is in safe care when a parent is incarcerated, spotlighted weaknesses in the probation system and highlighted the need for everyone in the community to step in and report signs of abuse before it leads to tragedy. State agencies indicate they’ve taken some steps in recent weeks to strengthen the child protection system.
NV: NCJFCJ Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month (Press release)
National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) – April 09, 2018
Thirty-five years ago, in 1983, April was declared National Child Abuse Prevention Month by a Presidential proclamation. It is an opportunity to highlight a system of care for those children victimized and traumatized by abuse. The work of the NCJFCJ has several initiatives and programs so that judges in their communities can oversee positive outcomes in child welfare matters.
NY: Washington County caseworkers reducing the number of children taken to foster care
Post Star – April 07, 2018
After a year in which a record number of children entered foster care, things went back to normal last year, said Washington County Social Services Director Tammy DeLorme. For all of last year, 17 children entered foster care. In 2016, 52 children went into foster care.
OH: Here are possible ways to combat the opioid crisis
Columbus Dispatch – April 07, 2018
No single tactic will end the opioid crisis, which has intensified during the past decade. The strategies here have proved effective for keeping people alive while attacking at least one aspect of the crisis. Some are personal action items, some can be accomplished by organizations, and others require governments to act. And some are unconventional, if not controversial.
Also: Epic opioid battle moves to an Ohio courtroom: http://www.standard.net/National/2018/04/07/Epic-opioid-battle-moves-to-an-Ohio-courtroom.html
PA: Court to decide if drug use while pregnant is child abuse
Associated Press – April 09, 2018
Pennsylvania’s highest court will decide whether a woman’s use of illegal drugs while pregnant qualifies as child abuse under state law.
RI: RI Kids Count Fact Book Highlights Problems And Progress
Rhode Island Public Radio (RIPR) – April 09, 2018
Fewer children in Rhode Island are living in poverty but more face longer wait times for in-patient psychiatric care, according to the Rhode Island Kids Count 2018 Factbook released Monday. Those are among the findings in the latest annual report by the Providence-based nonprofit. The Factbook offers the most comprehensive statewide look at the wellbeing of children and teenagers.
Also: 2018 Rhode Island Kids Count Factbook: http://www.rikidscount.org/DataPublications/RIKidsCountFactbook.aspx
SC: Chesterfield County puts call out for 40 foster families
WCNC – April 09, 2018
Officials in Chesterfield County are looking for several families to open their hearts and homes to foster children. The recruitment blitz is part of a public awareness campaign to show specific needs in towns, school district boundaries and zip codes.
SC: DSS making progress in improving child welfare system
Times and Democrat – April 09, 2018
The South Carolina Department of Social Services continues to make progress in changing its culture and operations to improve the experience and outcomes for children in foster care in the state, according to a federal court monitoring report evaluating the Department’s operations. The report, filed April 6, is the second submitted to the U.S. District Court in the Michelle H. et. al. class action lawsuit.
TX: Marble Falls proclaims Child Abuse Prevention month
Highlander – April 09, 2018
The City of Marble Falls recognized April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month through a formal proclamation by mayor John Packer at the Tuesday, April 3, meeting of the Marble Falls City Council.
VT: Bill seeks ‘reasonable’ standard for foster parents
VT Digger – April 09, 2018
For Vermont foster kids like Nate Farnham, simple activities that most take for granted – field trips, sleepovers and after-school hangouts – required social worker signatures and state background checks.
US: Multiple System Failures Allowed Hart Children to Die (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – April 09, 2018
With each new discovery, we learned of another systemic failure to protect these vulnerable children. The Hart case brings together several common themes found in many cases of severe child maltreatment. Each of these themes highlights a different gap in the system that is supposed to protect our children.
Also: Hart family crash: Deceptions, missed signals preceded deaths (Includes video): https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2018/04/09/hart-family-crash-deceptions-missed-signals-preceded-deaths/499212002/
Also: Washington 911 call reveals how CPS tried contacting Hart family (Includes video): http://www.kptv.com/story/37916936/washington-911-call-reveals-how-cps-tried-contacting-hart-family
US: Experts find connection to poverty, child abuse
News-Press Now – April 07, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Some experts see a correlation between child abuse and poverty. A recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association Pediatrics found that children whose families earn $15,000 a year or less are 22 times more likely to be maltreated.
US:Sex trafficking survivors, advocates weigh in on Backpage.com closure (Includes video)
ABC 15 – April 07, 2018
As the feds moved in to seize the classified ads website Backpage.com, advocates working with sex trafficking survivors celebrated the big move. On Friday, those who logged onto the website saw a banner saying, “backpage.com and affiliated websites have been seized as part of an enforcement action by the FBI, US Postal Inspection Service and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.”
Canada: Losing children to foster care endangers mothers’ lives (Commentary)
Winnipeg Free Press – April 07, 2018
Mothers whose children are placed in foster care are at much higher risk of dying young, particularly due to avoidable causes like suicide. When a child is placed in foster care, most of the resources are focused on the child, with little to no support for the mothers who are left behind.
Norway: Norway’s Orwellian system of child protection and care (Commentary)
Sunday Guardian – April 07, 2018
Norway’s child-protection agency, the Barnevernet, is an institution vested with unlimited powers and extra-legal authority that enable it to carry out forced confiscations and frame innocent parents.
AR: Child Abuse Rates in Sebastian County Higher Than Most AR Counties (Includes video)
KNWA – April 06, 2018
Department of Human Services Area Director Melanie Cleveland said child abuse can take many forms and has been an ongoing problem for many families in the River Valley. “Every month we investigate about 115 to 120 allegations of maltreatment,” Cleveland said. “We have sexual abuse pretty rampant here and of course physical abuse. The thing that concerns us the most is the neglectful supervision.
AZ: DCS using special program to find relatives (Includes video)
ABC 15 – April 08, 2018
Arizona’s Department of Child Safety is using a special federal program to match children in its care with relatives or people they know. The program is called “Fostering Sustainable Connections.”
AZ: Most U.S. money intended for Arizona’s poorest families goes to child-safety efforts
Arizona Daily Star – April 08, 2018
While Arizona has one of the nation’s highest child-poverty rates, federal money intended to help the poorest families is instead being spent here on foster care, adoptions and services to children who have been removed from their families. Arizona spent $469 million in 2015 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or TANF funds, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
AZ: & KY: Two States Near Plans to Terminate Parental Rights at Birth in Some Drug Cases
Chronicle of Social Change – April 06, 2018
In Kentucky, a broader child welfare bill focused on family preservation also included a caveat to terminate parental rights unless a parent was willing to enroll in treatment. Arizona’s legislature has passed a bill that would put a one-year clock on reunification for parents struggling with drug addiction.
CA: Editorial: A smart plan to reduce arrests among the state’s most vulnerable children
San Francisco Chronicle – April 06, 2018
The Chronicle’s investigation of the unreasonable arrests of abused and neglected children in California’s residential foster care shelters has spurred calls for change in Sacramento. Last month Assemblyman Mike Gipson, D-Carson (Los Angeles County) introduced a bill, AB2605, which would impose a three-year moratorium on arrests for minor offenses in foster care shelters and group homes.
CA: Millions sought to stem arrests at California foster care shelters
San Francisco Chronicle – April 06, 2018
A California lawmaker is calling for $22.7 million in state funding to help prevent unwarranted arrests of abused and neglected children in the state’s residential foster-care facilities – a disturbing practice exposed in a Chronicle investigation last year.
CA: Role of probation department in helping protect our children (Commentary)
Plumas County News – April 06, 2018
As Mandated Reporters, when we recognize a situation or receive information that indicates possible child abuse or neglect, we ensure this information is immediately relayed to Child Protective Services so swift action can be taken to aid the child or children and to help prevent any future victimization. Our mission is helping to protect the community and to reduce recidivism which includes giving due regard to the protection and welfare of children.
FL: Drug firms react to Palm Beach County suit, deny causing opioid crisis
Palm Beach Post – April 06, 2018
Some of the companies being sued by Palm Beach County have acknowledged the devastation of the opioids epidemic, but they stopped short of admitting any role in creating or worsening it.
Also: Opioid crisis takes toll on Central Florida’s foster care system (Video): https://www.wftv.com/video?videoId=728360210&videoVersion=1.0
IA: & NE: & SD: Resources for children of abuse, and caregivers (Includes video)
KTIV – April 06, 2018
One staple resource for children of abuse, is the Mercy Child Advocacy Center. Abused children in Siouxland have been seeking help at the Mercy Child Advocacy Center for nearly 30 years. Specially trained people at the center do forensic interviews with a child of abuse.
Information Gateway resource: Resources for Foster Families: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/outofhome/resources-foster-families/
IN: Bartholomew County set to launch special court to help drug addicted parents (Includes video)
Fox 59 – April 06, 2018
A central Indiana county is creating a new way to deal with cases that involved drug-addicted parents. Bartholomew County is ready to launch the Family Recovery Court to help support people going through treatment and ensure more stability for their children.
IN: Foster care gap wide for Boone County children
Reporter.net – April 06, 2018
With only 45 licensed foster families in Boone County, many of the county’s 97 children living in foster care must reside elsewhere.
KS: Pressure still on in House to approve ‘religious freedom’ protection for adoption agencies
Lawrence Journal-World – April 06, 2018
Some Kansas House members said Friday they are coming under increased pressure to pass a bill they have already rejected twice to allow faith-based child welfare agencies to receive state contracts and grants for foster care and adoption services, even if they refuse to place children in certain homes based.
KY: Local adoption, foster care workers say HB1 will help children in Kentucky (Includes video)
WLKY – April 06, 2018
Local adoption and foster care workers said a bill passed this week in Frankfort that will help children caught in Kentucky’s strained child welfare system. House Bill 1 passed with bipartisan support. The bill overhauls every aspect of the child welfare system, from the time a child is removed from a family until they are adopted or returned to their biological family.
MI: These are the changes state lawmakers are asking for to prevent another Larry Nassar
MLive – April 06, 2018
On Thursday afternoon, state lawmakers tasked with investigating Michigan State University’s handling of its former doctor Larry Nassar unveiled a six-page letter detailing their findings. Lawmakers concluded MSU failed to protect its students and patients from Nassar, both in terms of the school’s policies and in its handling of a 2014 Title IX investigation filed by Amanda Thomashow about Nassar’s inappropriate behavior during treatments.
NC: Advocates: Community support needed to curb child abuse
Daily Reflector – April 07, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time that traditionally has focused on raising awareness about the problem of child abuse. This year Pitt County Social Services staff wants to focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. On Friday, more than a dozen social workers walked with pinwheels and signs reminding the community that everyone has a role in preventing abuse and neglect.
OH: Cost of foster care services rising
Findlay Courier – April 09, 2018
Children being protected by Hancock County Children’s Protective Services are being sent to Youngstown, a four-hour drive from Findlay, because that’s the closest foster care placement available.
OH: Gubernatorial Candidates Asked to Foster Hope for Ohio’s Children (Includes audio)
Public News Service – April 09, 2018
With the gubernatorial primary just a month away, children’s advocates in Ohio have a message for the candidates: it’s time to “Foster Hope for Ohio’s Children.” That’s the name of a set of policy recommendations released by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio that call for statewide leadership and reforms to improve the lives of children and families. Scott Britton, the association’s assistant director, said Ohio lawmakers stepped up and invested an additional $15 million in the last budget for child protection. Unfortunately, he said, a lot more is needed.
OH: What The Opioid Crisis Is Costing The Mahoning Valley (Includes video)
Idea Stream – April 06, 2018
The local governments suing drug companies over the opioid crisis say addiction has cost them-not just in damage to people’s lives, but in dollars and cents. It’s hard to come up with a price tag, though. Numerous different agencies handle prevention, treatment and response to overdoses. The federal government, state of Ohio, foundations and local communities are all paying for the epidemic.
PA: Bay gives overview of the kind of abuse local children face
Bradford Era – April 06, 2018
Mikele Bay painted a grim picture of what many children in McKean County faced last year. In 2017, 179 children and families were served by the Children’s Advocacy Center of McKean County, said Bay, director of the center. Of that number, 58 percent of cases dealt with sexual abuse, and 100 percent of victims knew their offender.
PA: Lawmakers need to support this commonsense effort to keep kids safe | Opinion
Penn Live – April 06, 2018
Right now, evidence-based, home visiting programs are supporting the development and safety of our most vulnerable children and their families in Pennsylvania. These programs, funded with state and federal resources, focus on several critical areas: reducing child abuse and neglect and improving family health, education and economic security. Unfortunately, not enough families have access to them.
PA: State could offer help for grandparents parenting again
CNHI State Reporter – April 06, 2018
Legislation that would launch a navigator program to guide grandparents who find themselves parenting their grandchildren is in the works in the state Legislature. The state House Children and Youth committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the legislation, which would create the Kinship Caregiver Navigator Program.
PA: 16 Investigates: Smiles 4 Keeps Letter (Includes video)
WNEP – March 23, 2018
Most people don’t like going to the dentist to begin with but this letter dated nine days ago appears to warn parents that if they don’t make a dental appointment for their children soon, they could get a visit from a Children and Youth investigator. In a letter addressed to ‘Dear Parent’ Smiles 4 Keeps writes, “Failure to bring your child for dental care is considered neglect. Smiles 4 Keeps has not reported your child’s outstanding dental treatment as of yet.”
Also: Mandatory child abuse reporting laws: An appalling letter from a dentist – and the awful law that made it possible (Commentary): https://www.nccprblog.org/2018/04/mandatory-child-abuse-reporting-laws.html
SC: SC agency making progress on foster care, report says
SC Now – April 06, 2018
According to a report prepared by federal court-appointed monitors, the South Carolina Department of Social Services continues to change to its culture and operations to improve services to foster children. The report, filed April 6, as the department completed its first year under a federal court monitoring system that requires it to progress toward benchmark targets, is the second submitted to the U.S. District Court of South Carolina in the Michelle H. et. al. class-action lawsuit.
Also: “Too Little Has Changed” for Children and Families Served by South Carolina Child Welfare System, Latest Report Finds (Press release): http://www.childrensrights.org/press-release/too-little-has-changed-for-children-and-families-served-by-south-carolina-child-welfare-system-latest-report-finds/
TN: Judge Guffee and team have positive impact on juvenile justice (Commentary)
Williamson Herald – April 06, 2018
Judge Guffee has used her own personal time to complete the Foster Parent “PATH” training and home study process to fully understand what foster parents go through to become a licensed foster parent, which in itself takes an incredible amount of time and dedication. She participates in the PATH Panel for new foster parents completing the PATH training in Williamson County, which gives new foster parents a chance to ask questions not only to the Department of Children Services and experienced foster parents, but a Juvenile Judge.
UT: Here’s how Child and Family Services handles reports of abuse, neglect
KSL – April 06, 2018
Though Utah Division of Child and Family Services Director Diane Moore admits her department might not offer the most glamorous or highest-paying jobs, she says it does boast some of the most important and rewarding jobs in the state.
VT: Bill seeks ‘reasonable’ standard for foster parents
VT Digger – April 08, 2018
For Vermont foster kids like Nate Farnham, simple activities that most take for granted – field trips, sleepovers and after-school hangouts – required social worker signatures and state background checks. “I never went to friends’ houses, and they always asked me why, and I never even wanted to tell them why because they wouldn’t be able to comprehend it,” recalled Farnham, now in his late teens. A bill moving through the Legislature aims to change that. H.589, which has received House and Senate approval, adopts a “reasonable and prudent parent standard” that limits foster parents’ legal liability for making everyday child-rearing decisions.
WA: Washington Dept. of Social and Health Services sued for allowing ‘crazy drunk’ to watch children (Includes video)
KIRO – April 06, 2018
For two years, beginning in 2001, Konnie Baughman, of Seattle, was paid by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to care for 4-year old Toby Kropp and his 1-year old sister. This week, the now-21 year old Kropp, who now uses his adoptive parents’ last name, sued the department for negligence.
WV: Child abuse affects 1-in-4 girls
Record Delta – April 09, 2018
“If you think about that, as a teacher looking out into your classroom, that’s 25 percent of the girls, and (the proportion) is 1 in 6 for boys,” Harvey said. “And as far as abusers go, it’s not ‘stranger danger,’ like it used to be; it’s the primary caretakers or the parents or the uncles or people like that. It all comes down to the fact that we expect children to tell us what’s going on, but 90 percent of the time, they’ll never tell us what’s going on.”
WV: Additional CPS positions coming to NCWV
Exponent Telegram – April 06, 2018
North Central West Virginia will not be left out of the state’s recently announced increase in Child Protective Services positions. Recruitment of an additional 48 Child Protective Services caseworkers is expected to begin within the next three to four weeks, said state Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch.
US: Data can tell stories that transform the world (Commentary)
SAS – April 06, 2018
For SAS, using data for good to address issues such as poverty, health, human rights, education and the environment is part of our mission. From child welfare to combatting opioid abuse, from behavioral health to providing better educational opportunities for children, the power of data to improve the world is profound.
US: MI: Pinwheel gardens to be planted for child abuse prevention
Holland Sentinel – April 06, 2018
In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, several Ottawa County organizations will be honoring the victims of child abuse with a ceremony on Tuesday, April 10.
Also: MI: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: http://www.thenewsdispatch.com/features/article_d91a9acf-dd41-5747-9454-2a279ba10437.html
Also: MO: Here’s why you should wear blue Friday: http://www.kmov.com/story/37895862/heres-why-you-should-wear-blue-friday
Also: NC: Supporting caregivers is key in preventing child abuse (Press release): https://mountainx.com/blogwire/supporting-caregivers-is-key-in-preventing-child-abuse/
Also: NC: Child Abuse Prevention Month marked across NC: http://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/coastal/news/2018/04/06/child-abuse-prevention-month-marked-across-nc
Also: GA: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: http://augustafreepress.com/april-is-child-abuse-prevention-month/
US: Northern Arapaho tribe joins opioid lawsuit
Wyoming News Exchange – April 06, 2018
The Northern Arapaho Tribe has joined a growing list of governmental entities nationwide in suing opioid manufacturers and their distributers. The tribe ultimately aimed for its case to become consolidated in the Northern District of Ohio, which has now absorbed more than 400 other federal cases.
US: Organizations Release Statement on Passage of Child Protection Improvements Act
Recreation Management – April 06, 2018
The American Camp Association, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, and YMCA of the USA are grateful that the Child Protection Improvements Act (CPIA) was passed as part of the recently enacted omnibus spending bill.
US: Sessions orders ‘zero tolerance’ policy to prosecute migrants at border (Includes video)
Houston Chronicle – April 06, 2018
Prosecuting migrants allows the government to detain them in federal prisons, where there is more capacity than immigrant detention centers, before deporting them after they have served their sentence. It also enables the administration to separate families, as children cannot be held in federal prison, necessitating their placement in foster care.
US: Trump has the same Central American migrant problem as Obama (Commentary): https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-has-the-same-central-american-migrant-problem-as-obama/2018/04/05/c49c78c4-3830-11e8-8fd2-49fe3c675a89_story.html
US: Sex ads website Backpage shut down by U.S. authorities
Reuters – April 06, 2018
U.S. law enforcement agencies have seized the sex marketplace website Backpage.com as part of an enforcement action by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a posting on the Backpage website on Friday. “Today, Backpage was shutdown. It’s a huge step. Now no child will be sold for sex through this website,” tweeted Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Heitkamp helped draft legislation passed by the Senate last month that makes it easier for state prosecutors and sex-trafficking victims to sue social media networks, advertisers and others that fail to keep sex trafficking and exploitative materials off their platforms.
US: Six children involved in fatal California crash adopted from Houston-area (Includes video)
San Antonio Express-News – April 06, 2018
The woman who drove a family vehicle over a cliff in California last month had adopted her six children out of foster care in the Houston area and likely received more than $270,000 in state money to help care for them. Records also show that Jennifer Jean Hart and her spouse, Sarah Hart, had been accused several times of abuse and neglect involving the children over the years and that at one point Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to domestic assault.
Also: A timeline leading up to the Hart family’s fatal crash off a cliff: https://www.local10.com/news/national/a-timeline-leading-up-to-the-hart-familys-fatal-crash
Also: Sheriff says Hart family crash wasn’t an accident: ‘I’m calling it a crime’ 15 hours ago (Includes video): http://keprtv.com/news/local/sheriff-says-hart-family-crash-wasnt-an-accident-im-calling-it-a-crime-04-05-2018
US: Parents shouldn’t need a ‘free-range children’ law to raise their kids (Opinion)
Press-Enterprise – April 05, 2018
In an era when Americans are reasonably torn between protecting their kids’ freedom and their kids’ security, it can feel like parents get the short end of the stick either way. Some culture warriors want kids free from the authority of their moms and dads. Others want to put them under greater government authority. Still others want both.
Ireland: Latest: Children’s Rights Alliance calls on Government to renew efforts to relocate young refugees
Irish Examiner – April 05, 2018
The Children’s Rights Alliance has today called on the Government to continue to prioritise children in its approach to accepting refugees. “We are deeply concerned at the conditions faced by child refugees making the perilous journey to Europe. “These young children are often hungry, may never have attended school and have been exposed to serious abuse and trauma both in their country of origin as well as in transit.
AZ: Ducey signs bill to cut off parents’ rights to drug-exposed babies after one year (Includes video)
Arizona Republic – April 05, 2018
Senate Bill 1473 could change the state policy on how to handle families dealing with drug abuse. The legislation also would let courts consider foster parents – if they have cared for an infant or toddler for at least nine months – as equal to the child’s family members when deciding who gets to adopt.
CA: Millions sought to stem arrests at California foster care shelters
San Francisco Chronicle – April 05, 2018
A California lawmaker is calling for $22.7 million in state funding to help prevent unwarranted arrests of abused and neglected children in the state’s residential foster-care facilities – a disturbing practice exposed in a Chronicle investigation last year.
FL: Fewer kids in Florida live in poverty but state ranks 40 overall for child well-being
Naples Daily News – April 05, 2018
New Florida Kids Count data shows modest improvement statewide for children getting out of poverty and for students graduating on time, but more needs to be done to improve their future, according to program officials.
Also: Report: 2018 Florida Child Well-Being Index: https://bit.ly/2EpSDtN
Also: New KIDS COUNT survey shows child welfare data (Includes video): http://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Kids-Count-survey-shows-child-welfare–478927353.html
FL: With communication method debunked, charges against autistic boy’s father are dropped
Miami Herald – April 05, 2018
Special education professional Saul Fumero had been using a controversial method called the “hand-over-hand” technique with J.C. During hand-over-hand practice, the specialist guides the child’s hand as they write. The allegations against Cordero emerged from several of these collaborative sessions.
Also: How a teacher’s ‘junk science’ landed a dad in jail on charge of raping his autistic son: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/crime/article204034704.html#storylink=cpy
GA: Protect Georgia’s Youth this Child Abuse Prevention Month (Press release)
State of Georgia – April 05, 2018
Every April, we advocate for our children’s safety. They are Georgia’s most valuable asset, and also its most vulnerable. It’s our responsibility, as a community, to help our children grow up in safe environments and reach their potential.
IN: Adoption bill signed into law
Flyer Group – April 05, 2018
HEA 1091 will increase transparency and accountability during adoption proceedings. This legislation requires an adoption agency to submit a report to prospective adoptive parents containing contact information of other agency employees, giving them a place to voice concerns, ask questions and receive feedback during the adoption process.
MA: What Happens When A Child Can’t Afford Lunch?
WBUR – April 06, 2018
MLRI, a statewide nonprofit poverty law and policy center, conducted an inventory of 154 Massachusetts public school districts over a six-month period that do not provide universal free school meals. They found that the policies of many Massachusetts school districts towards families with unpaid school meal debt can be punitive towards children.
Also: Report: Denying Food and Shaming Children: Unpaid School Meal Policies in Massachusetts: http://www.mlri.org/uploads/48/1f/481f9f9228712df0601b29be77ad90dc/MLRI-School-Meal-Debt-Report-March-2018.pdf
MD: Donna L. Harrington, professor and associate dean at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, dies
Baltimore Sun – April 05, 2018
In addition to her teaching and mentoring of students, Dr. Harrington was director of the Ruth H. Young Child Welfare Center in Baltimore from 2000 to 2006, and was Ph.D. program director from 2007 to 2013. She was associate dean for doctoral and post-doctoral education from 2013 to 2017.
MI: House inquiry into MSU’s response to complaints about Nassar: This was an institutional failure
WJRT – April 05, 2018
A House inquiry into Michigan State University’s response to complaints filed against former physician and convicted sex offender Larry Nassar reveal that from 2014, at least 243 survivors reported abuse to the MSU Police Department.
Also: House inquiry finds MSU enabled environment ‘ripe for abuse’: http://statenews.com/article/2018/04/house-inquiry-nassar
Also: Michigan State failed to protect students, patients from Nassar, state House inquiry finds: http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2018/04/michigan_state_failed_to_prote.html
MI: Report: Michigan has one of the largest populations of homeless students in US
ClickOnDetroit – April 05, 2018
The University of Michigan released a study this week showing more than 36,000 children in Michigan public schools are facing homelessness and/or housing insecurity.
Also: Report: A Snapshot of Homelessness and Housing Instability in Michigan Schools: http://poverty.umich.edu/research-publications/policy-briefs/homelessness-michigan-schools/
MS: GTR organizations bring awareness to child abuse
Starkville Daily News – April 05, 2018
In honor of Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention month, which is nationally recognized in April each year, Golden Triangle residents dedicated to stopping child abuse spoke at Starkville Kiwanis on Tuesday. Abigail Stricklin, outreach coordinator for Sally Kate Winters Family Services in West Point, said SKW serves as a hybrid organization that provides social services for children. SKW began 28 years ago with the shelter service that provides emergency shelter for children in foster care, and from there SKW began providing the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program, transitional living programs and became part of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Mississippi.
NY: New York Budget Spares City’s Child Welfare System. Juvenile Justice Reform Efforts Not So Much
Chronicle of Social Change – April 05, 2018
New York City’s child welfare system funding survived the state legislature’s efforts to close a $4.4 billion deficit, but the city will be on its own to handle ballooning juvenile justice costs, imperiling sweeping reform efforts from recent years.
OH: YWCA offering rape crisis, human trafficking support
Paulding Progress – April 04, 2018
The YWCA in Van Wert has extended their rape crisis and human trafficking program to Paulding County. They are working with the staff at the Paulding County Hospital to be advocates for patients who are victims of sexual assault. The YWCA also has staff trained in human trafficking awareness. These staff members are willing to go into the community and teach groups about sex trafficking and how they can help.
OK: CASA on front line to prevent child abuse
Tahlequah Daily Press – April 06, 2018
During the calendar year 2017, CASA volunteers served 71 abused children in the three court systems of CASA’s service area; the cases of 35 of those children were closed and the children were placed in safe, permanent homes.
TX: April is Child Abuse Prevention month, here’s how to get involved
San Angelo Standard-Times – April 04, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention month and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Tom Green County is encouraging people to help spread awareness.
UT: Utah is about to become the first state with a free-range parenting law; what does it mean for you?
Deseret News – April 05, 2018
In May, Utah will become the first state to bestow statutory blessing on such activities as allowing kids to play outside, walk to schools and parks or engage in other activities independently, without fear of launching a child welfare investigation because a passerby disapproves.
VA: Age-appropriate lessons about child sex abuse coming to Virginia schools
WTVR – April 04, 2018
Virginia is taking a step toward teaching children how to recognize and prevent child abuse, abduction, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation after Gov. Ralph Northam signed a bill to include age-appropriate instruction in those areas in the state’s family life education curriculum.
US: KVC Health Systems Leads Charge in Developing Better Foster Care Software (Press release)
PRWeb – April 06, 2018
Today, KVC is about halfway into a multiyear effort to rebuild its legacy system into a modern, mobile-friendly, user-friendly suite of software called KVC Care™. Right now, Care is used in Kansas and Nebraska and will soon expand to the other states where KVC operates – Missouri, Kentucky and West Virginia. But KVC sees that as just the beginning.
US: Paths to Success for Young Parents in Foster Care
Youth Today – April 05, 2018
The circumstances of youth in foster care coupled with the challenges of being an adolescent parent means that adolescent parents in foster care require a great deal of guidance and support. However, few, if any, evidence-based interventions for adolescent parents were designed for or tested with youth in foster care. That said, there are a number of steps that child welfare systems, child welfare professionals and other service providers can take to improve the outcomes and wellbeing of young parents in foster care and their children.
US: There’s no such thing as an ‘opioid-addicted’ newborn (Commentary)
Washington Post – April 03, 2018
Heartbreaking media reports abound regarding how pregnant women who use opioids allegedly “pass down addiction to unborn children.” But news stories that describe any baby as “born addicted” (for example see here and here) not only misunderstand addiction but also foster hysteria that can have unintended negative consequences.
International: Can You Really Change Men Who Abuse?
Slate – March 30, 2018
When men experience violence as kids, they’re 2.5 times more likely to use it against partners when they’re older. In other words, sons are more likely to be abusers later if they see their fathers acting violently toward their mothers. How do we get fathers around the world to shift their attitudes and change their behaviors-and not just if they have daughters? It’s a tall order. But new research from the global nongovernmental organization Promundo suggests a way forward.
Study: Gender-transformative Bandebereho couples’ intervention to promote male engagement in reproductive and maternal health and violence prevention in Rwanda: Findings from a randomized controlled trial: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0192756
Mexico: As more women are incarcerated in Mexico, so are their babies
KERA – April 05, 2018
According to a survey by the Mexican Human Rights Commission, there were 618 children living behind bars in Mexico in 2016. That’s compared with 396 children in custody in 2013. It’s an alarming but unsurprising trend, considering that the number of women going to prison for drug-related crimes in Mexico has skyrocketed in the last few years.
AK: Tribe Signs Funding Agreement to Expand Child Welfare Services (Press release)
Tlingit Haida Central Council – April 02, 2018
The funding agreement is the first of its kind and will allow Tlingit & Haida’s Tribal Family & Youth Services department to assume responsibility of conducting diligent relative searches on tribal citizen children that enter into the State’s child welfare system as a result of a child abuse, neglect or sexual abuse investigation. Under the funding agreement, searches will be completed for tribal citizen children that reside in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Compact service area which includes the communities of Craig, Haines, Juneau, Kasaan, Klawock, Saxman and Wrangell.
CA: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
Antelope Valley Times – April 04, 2018
As part of a campaign to encourage residents to step forward and report children at risk of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and neglect, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Also: April is celebration of children, and need to protect them: https://www.dailyrepublic.com/solano-news/fairfield/april-is-a-celebration-of-children-and-need-to-protect-them/
FL: Former supervisor of Manatee sheriff’s child protection division opts to retire after demotion and facing suspension
Bradenton Herald – April 04, 2018
A former supervisor in the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Child Protection Investigative Division has retired to avoid a demotion and discipline after an internal affairs investigation concluded he had been inappropriate and demeaning toward child protective workers. His supervisor was suspended and reassigned after a related internal affairs investigation concluded he did nothing to stop the behavior and participated in the berating of others.
FL: More foster parents needed as opioid epidemic surges in Florida
First Coast News – April 04, 2018
As the opioid epidemic continues to grow, so does the number of children entering Florida’s foster care system. Right now in Jacksonville, more than 800 kids are in foster care.
FL: Number of kids in Florida’s foster care system continues to rise (Includes video)
News Service of Florida – April 04, 2018
The number of kids entering Florida’s foster care system has grown nearly 14 percent in the past two and a half years. Child welfare experts say the spike is likely due to the state’s opioid epidemic, which is affecting many parents.
GU: Vatican verdict against Guam archbishop likely not for sexual abuse, say canon lawyers (Commentary)
National Catholic Reporter – April 03, 2018
A Vatican tribunal’s guilty verdict last month against a Guam archbishop, hailed by some as the first instance of the Catholic Church successfully prosecuting a bishop accused of abusing minors, appears likely not to have been made in direct relation to allegations of sexual abuse by the prelate. A number of prominent canon lawyers say the punishment announced for Agana Archbishop Anthony Apuron – removal from office and a prohibition from living on the U.S. island territory – simply seems too lax to indicate the bishop was found guilty of abuse.
ID: Hundreds march in downtown Boise to demand an end to child abuse (Includes video)
KTVB – April 04, 2018
Hundreds of people hit the streets of downtown Boise Wednesday in a stand for children – and against abuse. Chanting “No excuse for child abuse,” the group marched from the Grove Plaza to the Idaho Statehouse for the Idaho Child Abuse Prevention Rally.
IN: Pinwheel gardens bloom across county: April designated Child Abuse Prevention Month
Flyer Group – April 04, 2018
You might see it at your local library or school. You’ll see it at the county government building, the courthouse and the sheriff’s office. But what are those eye-catching pinwheel gardens? The month of April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month by the Hendricks County Commissioners and Prevent Child Abuse Hendricks County is growing its pinwheel gardens to engage the community and keep people informed.
KS: Investigators report increase in child sex crimes in 2017 (Includes video)
KSNW – April 05, 2018
The Exploited and Missing Child Unit investigates cases of abuse and neglect, and children who go missing. It’s the largest law enforcement investigative group in Sedgwick County, utilizing several different agencies. The unit, which includes social workers, a DCF supervisor and members of homeland security, has seen about a twenty six percent increase in rape with victims 13 and under from 2016 to 2017.
KS: Governor, state leaders call attention to child abuse prevention
Great Bend Tribune – April 04, 2018
Governor Jeff Colyer, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel, Kansas Children Service League (KCSL) President Dona Booe, DCF Social Worker Tina Westbay and children from the Adventures in Early Learning Center participated in a “Pinwheels for Prevention” Monday at the State Capitol Building. The event highlighted the dedication of Kansas social workers and emphasized a community-based approach to preventing child abuse.
KY: April proclaimed ‘Child Abuse Prevention Month’
Springfield Sun – April 04, 2018
Child abuse cases in Kentucky are on the rise. Nearly 57,000 reports met criteria for investigation by Child Protective Services (CPS) in 2017, according to data from CPS and the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services. That number is up from around 54,000 the year before.
OK: DHS highlights National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Tahlequah Daily Press – April 04, 2018
To spotlight National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Department of Human Services in Tahlequah participated in “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” campaign, as trees in communities across the state are decorated with to raise awareness for child abuse prevention.
TX: Governor Abbott Names Chair And Appoints Nine To Family And Protective Services Council (Press release)
Office of the U.S. Governor of Texas – April 04, 2018
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Dorothy Jean Calhoun, Aureka Simpson, and Janice Washington to the Family and Protective Services Council for terms set to expire February 1, 2019. Additionally, the Governor appointed Omedi “Dee Dee” Arismendez, Greg Hamilton, and Davina Hollin for terms set to expire February 1, 2021, and appointed Liesa Hackett, Bonnie Hellums, and Matt Kouri for terms set to expire February 1, 2023. Kouri will serve as the presiding officer of the council. The council is charged with studying and making recommendations to the commissioner regarding the management and operation of the Department of Family and Protective Services.
TX: Midland Co. is in need of more foster homes for foster children (Includes video)
KWES – April 04, 2018
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and the Midland County Child Welfare Board is getting ready for their 10th annual Blue Ribbon Run. It raises money to help foster children in Midland County while also raising awareness.
TX: Time does not stand still for foster children (Includes video) (Commentary)
My San Antonio – April 04, 2018
Murphy was one of nearly a dozen foster children who filed a 2011 lawsuit by New York-based Children’s Rights to overhaul a system that too often breaks children. Her motivation was simple. She said she didn’t want any other children to experience such living hell. Seven years later, Murphy and other plaintiffs are adults and the state continues to fight the lawsuit. Arguments will soon be heard before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
UT: Foster parents sought for refugee children
Intermountain Catholic – April 06, 2018
For nearly 30 years, minors who are refugees, asylees, special immigrant juveniles and victims of human trafficking have been helped through the Refugee Foster Care Program of Catholic Community Services of Utah. “This is the only program in the state of Utah and only one in a handful across the country,” said Danielle Stamos, public relations and marketing director of CCS.
UT: Utah’s “Free-Range” Parenting Law Said to Be First in the Nation
Washington Post – March 28, 2018
The measure, sponsored by Utah state Sen. Lincoln Fillmore (R), exempts from the definition of child neglect various activities children can do without supervision, permitting “a child, whose basic needs are met and who is of sufficient age and maturity to avoid harm or unreasonable risk of harm, to engage in independent activities …”
WI: Walker signs foster care legislation in La Crosse (Includes video)
La Crosse Tribune – April 05, 2018
Just four months after their submission to the Legislature, Gov. Scott Walker signed a package of 11 foster care bills into law Wednesday, paving the way for increased funding, streamlined processes and smoother transitions for foster children and families.
Also: Gov. Walker signed bills to improve lives of foster families: http://www.waow.com/story/37882698/2018/04/04/gov-signed-bills-to-improve-lives-of-foster-families
US: Advocates Express Concern, Hope about Revolutionary Changes to Foster Care System
Youth Today – April 04, 2018
The Family First Prevention Services Act was quietly slipped into a larger budget package that passed both houses of Congress in February. Among other things, it allows states to use funding under Title IV-E of the Social Security Act for programs and services designed to keep youth out of foster care. Although the bill and several like it have been the subject of reform efforts for several years, the act’s passage caught many advocates off guard.
US: Chris Palusky, New President at Bethany Christian Services, Talks ‘Fierce Love’ and Foster Care
Chronicle of Social Change – April 04, 2018
Today, there are approximately 1,200 children in Bethany’s foster care program nationwide and in 2016 it had almost 1,200 licensed foster homes. Through the organization’s domestic foster care program in 2016, there were 291 family reunifications, 92 legal guardianships and 369 adoptions from foster care.
US: Why Oregon didn’t tell Washington about Hart family child welfare issues (Includes video)
KING 5 – April 04, 2018
There is no national database for child welfare cases and states don’t always tell each other when a family involved in child welfare cases moves to another state. The family moved from Minnesota, to Oregon, and then to Washington. In each state, either neighbors or teachers reported possible child abuse and authorities investigated the complaints.
Also: Extensive search launched for missing Hart children in California (Includes video): http://www.kptv.com/story/37878464/extensive-search-for-missing-hart-children-begins-in-california
Also: Troubling Questions Surround The Texas Adoption Of Devonte Hart And His Five Siblings: https://kysdc.com/3646154/troubling-questions-surround-the-texas-adoption-of-devonte-hart-and-his-five-siblings/
Also: Family whose SUV plunged off cliff had troubling past riddled with abuse allegations: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/04/04/family-whose-suv-plunged-off-cliff-had-troubling-past-riddled-abuse-allegations/484738002/
Also: Former friend of family killed in cliff plunge says she reported abuse in 2013: https://nypost.com/2018/04/04/former-friend-of-family-killed-in-cliff-plunge-says-she-reported-abuse-in-2013/
CA: Child abuse cases drop in San Francisco
San Francisco Examiner – April 03, 2018
Over the past 15 years, child welfare advocates have recorded an overall 67 percent reduction in substantiated cases of child abuse in The City.
CA: Recalling judges in Contra Costa and San Francisco counties (Opinion)
San Francisco Bay View – April 03, 2018
Without meaningful and consistent oversight, there can be no justice. There is too much money at stake in our child welfare, family court and criminal justice systems.
CA: How LA County Began to Face Its Big Problem With Youth Being Sex-Trafficked (Includes video)
Youth Today – March 29, 2018
Michelle Guymon is a hero in the world of child sex trafficking prevention. Seven years ago, she had no idea Los Angeles County had a child sex trafficking problem. Now Guymon is director of the Child Trafficking Unit for the Los Angeles County Probation Department and is part of the group that aims to make LA’s efforts to combat child sex trafficking a model for the nation.
CO: CASA of Larimer County asking northern Colorado residents to act against child abuse
Windsor Now – April 03, 2018
Throughout the month of April, CASA of Larimer County is partnering with businesses across Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor to raise awareness and support for abused and neglected children in the communities. According to a news release from CASA of Larimer County, at any given time, there are over 800 children in foster care in Larimer County. According to data from the Colorado Department of Human Services, 1,799 children were involved in open cases of child maltreatment in 2017 and the community is seeing a rise in substantiated neglect cases.
CO: Montezuma Social Services director resigns amid questions; commissioners silent
Cortez Journal – April 03, 2018
The director of Montezuma County Social Services has suddenly resigned, and the matter is being investigated by the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s office. Josiah Forkner took over as director in October 2014, overseeing a department of 30 employees managing an array of state and federal social programs. County administrator Melissa Brunner confirmed Thursday that Forkner resigned on Wednesday, but gave no reason for his resignation.
FL: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month: Pinwheel Gardens increase awareness
Citrus County Chronicle – April 02, 2018
During 2017, more than 1,900 children were verified victims of child abuse, neglect and abandonment in Circuit 5 -Citrus, Hernando, Lake, Marion and Sumter counties. The Florida Child Abuse hotline received 11,877 reports of child abuse in Circuit 5 during 2017. Typically, child abuse and domestic violence occur behind closed doors, making it a social ill difficult to readily identify. During the month of April, child advocates rally to raise awareness and increase child abuse prevention efforts in the community.
ID: Guardian ad Litem program in Caldwell gets new home (Includes video)
KTVB – April 03, 2018
There are seven of these court-appointed special advocate groups all across Idaho. One for each judicial district. The program’s Executive Director Christina Walker says just last year, the 3rd District Guardian ad Litem Program — which serves Adams, Canyon, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, and Washington counties — advocated for nearly a thousand children in protective custody.
KY: Foster care and adoption reform bill goes to governor
WTVQ – April 03, 2018
A bipartisan legislative initiative to reform Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system has been delivered to the governor to be signed into law. House Bill 1, sponsored by House Majority Caucus Chair David Meade, R-Stanford, and Rep. Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, reforms the state’s foster care and adoption system to ensure that a child’s time in foster care is limited and that children are returned to family whenever possible. The legislation is based on recommendations of the state House Working Group on Adoption, which met most of last year.
KY: Kentucky Senate’s budget proposal sets aside millions for child welfare and social workers
Louisville Courier Journal – April 02, 2018
“It’s a great budget for social services,” said Michelle Sanborn, president of Children’s Alliance, an association of private organizations that help care for such children. “We’re thrilled. Child welfare is a system that has been neglected.”
MN: Child abuse prevention advocacy agency opens satellite office in Rogers
Star Tribune – April 02, 2018
To confront rising numbers of abuse and neglect reports, Hennepin County’s leading child abuse protection advocacy agency is opening a satellite office in Rogers. The announcement came as the county’s top officials gathered Monday to kick off National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The agency, CornerHouse, helped law enforcement and social workers by conducting more than 500 forensic interviews with abused children last year.
NC: Mooresville Exchange Clubs plant flags to raise awareness of Child Abuse Prevention Month
Mooresville Tribune – April 03, 2018
On March 31, members of both the Mooresville-Lake Norman Exchange Club and the Evening Exchange Club of Greater Mooresville/Lake Norman gathered at the John Franklin Moore Park in downtown Mooresville to place child abuse prevention flags. The special flags are flown during the month of April, which is designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month, to raise awareness of the children who have died in North Carolina due to abuse and neglect.
NV: County has a fifth of needed foster homes (Commentary)
Record-Courier – April 03, 2018
Pursuant to best practices, Douglas County needs at least 25 foster homes to adequately serve the population. It currently has five. Douglas County is blessed to have Austin’s House and 5 other foster homes. Yet, in 2017 there were 39 children in foster care in Douglas County and 21 of those children were placed in foster homes outside of Douglas County at some point during the year. Let’s solve this problem in 2018.
PA: Volunteers place blue flags at Capitol to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month (Includes video)
Patriot News – March 31, 2018
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and volunteers turned the Capitol blue on Saturday to draw awareness to the issue. A total of 4,416 blue flags were placed in on State Street and around the front of the State Capitol. Each flag symbolizes a child who was affected by child abuse in 2016.
Also: Harrisburg lights up in blue for Child Abuse Prevention Month: http://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/04/harrisburg_lights_up_in_blue_f.html
Also: Child Abuse Prevention Events (Press release): http://www.pa-fsa.org/About-Us/Understanding-Child-Abuse-Neglect-in-Pennsylvania/Child-Abuse-Prevention-Events
Also: Wear blue on Friday for National Child Abuse Prevention Month: https://eparisextra.com/blog/2017/04/05/wear-blue-on-friday-for-national-child-abuse-prevention-month/
Also: Carnival aims to bring awareness to child abuse in Centre County: http://www.centredaily.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/article207779029.html
TX: Abilene police chief: 36 cases of child abuse investigated in March alone
KTXS – April 03, 2018
In March alone, the Taylor County Child Advocacy Center conducted 36 forensic interviews. The majority of the 36 cases investigated in March — 22 — involved sexual abuse. Ten were children who were physically abused. Three witnessed violent crime and one child was the victim of an attempted abduction.
TX: Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo County raising awareness about child abuse cases (Includes video)
KGBT – April 03, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and The Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo County in Edinburg is shedding light on the rising number of child abuse cases in the Rio Grande Valley. According to Texas Child Protective Services, the state reported over 40,000 child abuse victims. Over 1,000 children were interviewed by center social workers just in Hidalgo and Starr counties.
TX: Fundamentalist Baptist pastor arrested on charges he failed to report child abuse
Star-Telegram – April 03, 2018
Robert A. Ross, the pastor of Open Door Baptist Church in Mesquite, is in the Mesquite jail. Bond has been set at $2,500. Ross learned about that church member Steven Winn was sexually assaulting a 15-year-old on Feb. 1 and failed to immediately report it to police, according to a release from the Mesquite Police Department.
TX: The raid on the YFZ Ranch, 10 years later
San Antonio Express-News – April 03, 2018
The April 3, 2008 raid resulted in one of the largest child welfare cases in Texas history, sparking controversy over whether and how the state could remove hundreds of children from their families without individual investigation.
VA: Families Forward Virginia: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month (Press release)
Families Forward Virginia – April 03, 2018
Families Forward was established in 2017 with the merger of Prevent Child Abuse Virginia, CHIP of Virginia and Early Impact Virginia. Families Forward supports the work of 50 local affiliates to prevent child abuse. More than 50,000 children in Virginia were reported to Child Protective Services for suspected child abuse or neglect in 2017, according to the Virginia Department of Social Services.
US: Court: Trauma Impedes Native American Education Programs, Feds Must Address It
Chronicle of Social Change – April 03, 2018
A federal court has ruled, for the first time, that the federal government is obligated to meet the mental health and wellness needs of Native American students as part of its educational obligations to those children.
US: The Devonte Hart Case Highlights a Profound Racial Disparity in the Treatment of Child Abuse
Slate – April 03, 2018
The criminalization of poor black and brown mothers’ parenting practices is a well-documented phenomenon dubbed “Jane Crow.” According to the Los Angeles Times, black children enter the foster care system at a rate five times higher than their white counterparts “and linger there, without being returned to their parents or being adopted, two months longer than white children.” All six of the Hart children were adopted out of Texas foster care; because Texas adoption records are closed, it’s unknown why they were removed from their birth families in the first place.
Romania: New draft bill aims to simplify adoptions in Romania
Romania Business Insider – April 04, 2018
A draft bill submitted to the Parliament by MPs from opposition parties Save Romania Union (USR) and the People’s Movement Party (PMP) aims to simplify adoptions in Romania. For example, according to this bill, the authorities will stop to third-degree relatives when trying to find the family of the child given for adoption, and will no longer look for fourth-degree relatives as they do now.
CA: Drugging Our Kids: Big drop in drugged foster kids in California (Includes video)
Mercury News – April 01, 2018
After years of efforts to crack down on the rampant use of psychiatric drugs in California’s foster care system, the number of youth prescribed the potent medications is plummeting – a major turnaround in how the state cares for some of its most vulnerable children.
CO: DHS And Community Partners Join Efforts To Strengthen Families And Keep Kids Safe (Press release)
City and County of Denver, Co. – April 02, 2018
Denver Human Services is partnering with 19 community organizations to promote the strengthening of families and child safety as part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month activities in April.
Also: Information Gateway resource: Public Awareness & Creating Supportive Communities: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/communities/
IN: Special legislative session unlikely to address issues at Indiana child services agency
Northwest Indiana Times – April 03, 2018
That’s the message from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, who both recently said any legislative changes needed to improve the state’s child protection agency can wait until next year. Holcomb believes it would be premature for the Indiana House and Senate to act on DCS issues in May when the independent agency review he ordered following the surprise December resignation of DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura won’t yet be complete.
KS: Why Kansas let Adrian and Evan die (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – April 03, 2018
Dianne Keech, a former Kansas child welfare official and currently a child safety consultant, was asked by the Wichita Eagle and Fox News to analyze case files regarding the highly-publicized deaths of Adrian Jones and Evan Brewer. I asked Ms. Keech to prepare a guest blog post about the factors contributing to the deaths of Evan and Adrian.
Also: Report: Adrian Jones and Evan Brewer call us to be brave (Commentary): https://onedrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=441877C3DFA74642!3129&ithint=file%2cdocx&app=Word&authkey=!AAorfpc2tdTAjQ0
KS: KDCF announces plan to shorten foster parent training process
KVOE – April 02, 2018
The Kansas Department for Children and Families has announced a two-weekend training approach as part of a pilot program in Shawnee County involving Call to Care and the Kansas Children’s Service League. That’s a far cry from the 10-week training period now in place.
KY: Opioid treatment program helps keep families together
Centre Daily Times – March 31, 2018
Poole is now a supervisor in the Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams program, which is funded primarily by the state. It’s an intensive program for parents who have had their kids taken away because of substance abuse and the resulting neglect or mistreatment of the children. The goal is to create a faster process to reunite those families.
MD: Maryland needs to stop forcing foster children to pay for their own care (Commentary)
Catonsville Times – April 02, 2018
The Maryland Department of Human Resources (DHR) hired a private company to help search for poor foster children who are disabled or have dead parents – in order to take their money for state revenue. Under this “revenue maximization” strategy, DHR requires its foster care agencies to target children who might be determined disabled or whose parents have died, apply for Social Security disability and survivor benefits on their behalf, and then apply to gain control over the children’s money as representative payee. Then, although obligated to only use the benefits for the children’s best interests, the agencies ignore their fiduciary role and take every payment from the children.
MO: Legislation focusing on protecting children advance in the Missouri legislature
Sedalia Democrat – April 02, 2018
FOSTER CARE LEGISLATION: Four bills were approved by committee and recommended to pass in the House. Five other bills related to foster care are in committees.
NC: Investing in children: Local non-profit encouraging people to get involved with child abuse prevention
McDowell News – March 31, 2018
This April, the NC Guardian ad Litem Program has a message for all McDowell County residents: “You’re doing great things for children, keep it up!” April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the NC Guardian ad Litem Program is spreading the message that everyone can invest upstream in children and families to give children the safe, stable, nurturing environments and relationships they need to thrive.
NH: Child protection: Progress made, challenges remain (Commentary)
Seacoast – April 02, 2018
Child abuse is connected to so many of society’s most stubborn and complex problems: drug and alcohol addiction, mental health, sexual and domestic violence, poverty and lack of knowledge to name a few. Children, the most vulnerable members of our society, don’t have the skills or resources to protect themselves when they’re exposed to these destructive forces. While much progress has been made, the people of New Hampshire collectively still have a long way to go until we can say we are doing all we can to protect all our children.
NH: Child protection is her top priority
Seacoast Online – March 31, 2018
Moira O’Neill had been in New Hampshire for less than a month when a February murder-suicide in Derry took the life of 6-year-old Preston Edmunds. O’Neill, the state’s first-ever director of the new Office of the Child Advocate, said there were missed signs. The father was overwhelmed; he’d asked for help, but the voluntary services the family could have qualified for weren’t funded by the state at that time.
NY: IBO claims state budget proposal pushes out key juvenile justice program
Times Ledger – April 03, 2018
The city Independent Budget Office is claiming Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal will not only provide major setbacks for child services, but also affect its juvenile justice programs. Not only did the IBO’s new report double down on the Administration for Children’s Services’ statements made in February claiming the city agency would be underfunded by $129 million, but the cuts would also take $31 million from ACS’s Close to Home program, which places juvenile delinquents within the city.
TX: Child abuse prevention: How to spot the signs of abuse (Includes video)
KAUZ – April 02, 2018
There are many signs to look out for regarding child abuse. They can range from physical to emotional. Changes in school performance, eating habits, how a child interacts socially, hygiene, and knowing about topics that are beyond what they should know for their age are all signs to look out for. April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Reports of child abuse and neglect have risen in Wichita Falls this year. Child Protective Services says knowing the signs of abuse is important.”
TX: IES closes Valley centers
Brownsville Herald – March 31, 2018
IES has yet to publicly acknowledge why it is closing its operations, and the Office of Refugee Resettlement – which decided not to renew the nonprofit’s grant funding – won’t provide any reasoning behind that decision. The only statement offered, after repeated requests for comment last week, said that IES has operated short-term emergency shelter care, residential care and foster care programs since 1988, and has successfully served thousands of children in its shelter and foster care programs, describing itself as a model program for other agencies providing similar services.
WA: & CA: & MN: Timeline of family’s child welfare concerns before SUV found off California cliff (Includes video)
KGW – April 02, 2018
Authorities in Oregon, Washington and Minnesota all received reports of child welfare concerns involving the Hart family prior to the family’s fatal crash on the California coast, records and interviews show.
Also: Authorities Now Believe The Crash With Devonte Hart And His Five Siblings Was ‘Intentional’: https://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2018/04/02/authorities-now-believe-the-crash-with-devonte-hart-and-his-five-siblings-was-intentional/
WV: An increasing number of children are tragic victims of the state’s opioid crisis
WV Metro News – April 02, 2018
Nearly every day we see more evidence of the worsening opioid crisis in West Virginia. A recent review of child custody cases before the State Supreme Court graphically illustrates what is happening in our state.
WV: Suspect arrested for threatening to ‘shoot and kill everyone’ at DHHR
WOWK – April 02, 2018
A man was arrested Monday for allegedly threatening to “shoot and kill everyone inside” the DHHR office in Nicholas County. According to a criminal complaint, George Leonard Barnes, 29, of Swiss, WV, contacted a Child Protective Services worker at the Nicholas County DHHR Office regarding a case involving Barnes.
WY: Northern Arapaho Tribe Sues Drug Companies Over Opioid Epidemic
AM 1400 – April 02, 2018
The Northern Arapaho Tribe has sued six pharmaceutical companies and three drug distributors that do business in Wyoming for the harm done to tribal members by the opioid crisis, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Monday.
US: Arizona Says It Lives Up to Foster Youth Education Law, But Can’t Prove It. Can Others?
Chronicle of Social Change – April 02, 2018
A major federal law passed in 2015, called the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), required states to solve the mobility problem for foster youth by December of 2016. It mandated child welfare and education departments work together to pay for transportation to a foster youth’s “school of origin,” defined as the school the student attended at the time they entered foster care. Prior reporting by The Chronicle found that at least 10 states have either outright failed or are struggling in their implementation of the law. The situation raises questions about whether other states claiming compliance are truly ensuring a stable education path for foster youth.
US: Dentists can help mitigate, prevent child abuse, neglect (Press release)
American Dental Association – April 02, 2018
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and offers an opportunity for dental professionals to reflect on their role in recognizing abuse or neglect. Dentists in every state are mandated reporters of child abuse. Frequently, young children who have been abused have head, neck and oral injuries, making dentists key in identification of abuse, Dr. Casamassimo said.
US: Johnston: Free-range parenting fosters more independent adults (Opinion)
University Daily Kansan – April 02, 2018
While there are many different parenting styles, on the independence-dependence axis, there are two extremes: helicopter parents and free-range parents. Both styles have their pros and cons, but as long as parents maintain a level of awareness of what their children are doing, free-range parenting is preferable.
US: If it’s April Fools, it must be Child Abuse Hype and Hysteria Month (Commentary)
National Coalition for Child Protection Reform – April 01, 2018
Get ready for a seemingly endless stream of cookie-cutter news stories and Astroturf op ed columns (the kind written by national groups with blanks to fill in to make them sound home-grown) touting “Child Abuse Awareness Month” – based on the bizarre premise that the American people are blissfully unaware of child abuse.
US: Expert Panel Reliable And Accurate in Identifying Injuries in Young Children
Health Medicine Network – March 31, 2018
When a child is brought to a pediatric emergency department with an injury, it can be difficult for physicians to precisely identify whether the injury is the result of abuse or an accident. One approach is to employ the opinion of a panel of pediatric injury experts
AK: Online tool to help track the opioid information in Alaska
KTUU – March 31, 2018
Tracking the overdose deaths and information regarding the opioid epidemic, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services released an Opioid Data Dashboard on Friday.
Also: Akaska Opiod Data Dashboard: http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Director/Pages/heroin-opioids/data.aspx
AL: Child Protect reports substantial spike in cases following spring break (Includes video)
WSFA – March 30, 2018
It’s been a difficult week at Child Protect, a children’s advocacy center in Montgomery, as they’ve likely seen a record number of cases following spring break. Jannah Bailey, the Executive Director of Child Protect says they generally see a spike in cases following spring break, this year the number has been staggering. This week they’ve served nearly 20 additional child victims compared to years past.
CA: New Employment Laws Pose Compliance Challenges in California (Commentary)
Bloomberg Law – March 31, 2018
Whereas the state law previously had a coverage threshold like the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, applying only to employers with at least 50 employees, the expanded law now requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of baby-bonding leave within one year of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
Information Gateway resource: Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/f_benefi.pdf
CA: CC2, Solano’s safe place for abused children, celebrates two years in operation
Vallejo Times-Herald – March 30, 2018
The Courage Center 2 – Children’s Advocacy Center – is “a safe-space for all children of all ages suffering from abuse,” District Attorney Krishna Abrams said. “We invite everyone to come and see the space, to learn more about the programs and services the center offers and to meet the advocates who provide children with the tools and support necessary to begin their recovery.”
CA: Local Non-Profit Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Advocates For Children In Los Angeles County (Press release)
Alaska News Desk – March 30, 2018
Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) announced today that Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Ellen Cervantes, has been appointed to represent the 5th District as a member of Los Angeles County’s Policy Roundtable for Child Care Development (Roundtable). CCRC is delighted to support her on this new venture as she continues her dedicated work in support of early childhood education, child development and community relations.
CT: Bill would allow adoptees access to birth certificates
Milford Mirror – March 20, 2018
Republican state Rep. Charles Ferraro and his challenger for the Milford seat come November, Democrat Cindy Wolfe Boynton, may have differences, but they share a common story. That story has both of them advocating, along with others from Connecticut, for passage of House Bill 5408, which aims to help individuals adopted prior to 1983, and their adult children or grandchildren, obtain an uncertified copy of an original birth certificate.
Information Gateway resource: When Your Child Wants to Search for Birth Relatives: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/search/childsearch/
FL: Leon County’s idea of forming Child Services Council meets early opposition (Includes video)
WTXL – March 30, 2018
“A Children’s Services Council may be a potential solution to long-standing problems, but before a new independent government body should be established, our community deserves a deliberate evaluation of the issues, opportunities, and objectives.”
GA: Poignant Pinwheels Advocates observes National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Daily Tribune News – March 31, 2018
In observance of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Advocates for Children representatives installed the public display on the grounds of the Bartow County Gold Dome Courthouse in Cartersville Wednesday. Along with pinwheels, the exhibit features numerous signs expressing positive messages, such as “Great childhoods last a lifetime” and “Let love and kindness be what children learn from you.”
GA: Georgia denies older survivors of child sexual abuse a chance to sue
Atlanta Journal-Constitution – March 30, 2018
Older Georgians who were sexually abused as children will not be able to sue anytime soon, after legislation to extend the civil statute of limitations foundered in this year’s General Assembly. The Hidden Predator Act emerged from months of emotional and legally technical hearings as two very different bills, one version in the House of Representatives and another in the Senate. In the end, the two chambers were unable to resolve their differences before the 2018 legislative session ended at midnight Thursday.
IL: Illinois DCFS and community partners kick-off April as Child Abuse Prevention Month, support great childhoods for all Illinois youth (Press release)
Illinois.gov – March 30, 2018
The public is invited to join the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Prevent Child Abuse Illinois, other child welfare stakeholders, elected officials and more for a month-long observance to share child abuse and neglect prevention awareness messages and to help promote prevention efforts across the country during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
Also: Public Invited to Observe Child Abuse Prevention Month in April: http://www.myradiolink.com/2018/03/30/public-invited-to-observe-child-abuse-prevention-month-in-april/
IN: New Indiana law outlines foster parent’s bill of rights (Includes video)
Indiana Statehouse Newsroom – March 30, 2018
The Department of Child Services is under fire. But changes are coming to the system plagued by issues. Governor Holcomb recently signed a bill, promising a bill of rights for foster parents.
Also: New Indiana law creates bill of rights for foster parents (Includes video): http://wishtv.com/2018/03/30/new-indiana-law-creates-bill-of-rights-for-foster-parents/
IN: Need for foster parents highlighted by pinwheel display in Indianapolis (Includes video)
RTV6 – March 29, 2018
Pinwheels were planted in the lawn outside The Villages social service agency in Indianapolis on Thursday to raise awareness of the need for foster parents. Currently, there are 29,000 children in the Indiana child welfare system.
KY: Editorial: Bevin right to champion adoption, foster care
Journal-News – March 28, 2018
We often disagree with policy decisions made by Gov. Matt Bevin but today we salute him for being the champion of improving the lives of children in Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system. Legislation to revamp the system, House Bill 1, is assured of passage in the waning days of the 2018 session and the bulk of the credit goes to the governor and his wife, who are adoptive parents themselves.
ME: DHHS at least owes Maine people compliance with the law (Commentary)
Bangor Daily News – March 31, 2018
Throughout the LePage administration, the Legislature has continued to fund public health nursing positions, but the administration hasn’t filled them as nurses left a program that DHHS leadership was actively working to dismantle. As the number of babies born exposed to drugs in utero grew, the number of public health nurses available to follow up with them and their parents after they left the hospital dwindled.
MN: Ababiy: Now is the time to improve Minnesota’s student to counselor ratios (Commentary)
Minnesota Daily – April 02, 2018
At any given time, there are 200 children in foster care in Marion, Monroe and Ralls counties. These children come into the child welfare system through no fault of their own. In Northeast Missouri, court and CASA officials are seeing the misuse of and addiction to opioids – including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl – as one of the primary reasons the numbers are rapidly increasing.
MO: A call to action for Marion County residents amid Child Abuse Prevention Month
Hannibal Courier-Post – March 30, 2018
In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Douglass Community Services – Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is issuing a call to action for residents of Marion County to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.
NC: Report: Outlook hard for kids
Wilkes Journal-Patriot – March 30, 2018
The 2018 edition of an annual report on child welfare shows that poverty and related issues remain major problems for children in Wilkes County, despite improvement in some areas. The “Data Card” report is from NC Child, a statewide nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy organization.
Report: North Carolina Child Health Report Card 2018: http://www.ncchild.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-CHRC-007-FINAL.pdf
NE: Attempt to link bottle clubs to sex-trafficking bill fails in Nebraska Legislature
Lincoln Journal Star – March 29, 2018
Pansing Brooks’ bill would allow human trafficking survivors to ask a judge to set aside their conviction and seal their criminal record for crimes of prostitution and others they committed while under a trafficker’s influence. She amended the bill to ensure the request to set aside crimes was done after the sentence for the crime was served.
NY: N.Y. Rabbis Create Interfaith Toolkit To Urge Action On Human Trafficking
Times of Israel – March 28, 2018
The New York Board of Rabbis, which in recent years has participated in several communal activities designed to combat modern-day slavery and human trafficking, has produced a digital resource with many biblical readings and discussions about the Jewish views on slavery.
Interfaith Toolkit to End Trafficking: https://www.unicefusa.org/interfaithtoolkit
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.
PA: FCFP announces four scholarships for non-traditional students
Sun Gazette – April 02, 2018
The Taylor J. Ertel Scholarship Fund for Foster Children, created in ’93 by Allen and Catharine Ertel in memory of their adopted son, Taylor J. Ertel, assists Pennsylvania residents placed in foster care by a child welfare agency during their lives …
PA: New court option planned to keep families together
Daily Item – March 30, 2018
Northumberland County is poised this coming week to become the fourth county in Pennsylvania to introduce a family treatment court. The first day of court for the first family is scheduled for April 5 in front of county Judge Paige Rosini, the judge who will oversee the program. The date also coincides with April being National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
TN: Democrats’ bill banning child marriage killed, modified Republican measure advances (Includes video)
Tennessean – March 27, 2018
Just before the Democratic measure was expected to return before the Senate Judiciary Tuesday, Sen. Ken Yager, R-Kingston, presented an amended caption bill that would prevent marriages of minors younger than age 16. But the measure would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to get married with parental consent.
TX: Audit: State lacks oversight of new foster care model
San Antonio Express-News – April 01, 2018
In the new model, a contractor manages foster care providers within a certain region, instead of the state. The Legislature approved expansion of the model last session as a way to improve the embattled foster care system, which is facing a long-running class-action lawsuit by foster children who claim they faced abuse, constant movement and over medication.
Also: Audit Report: http://www.sao.texas.gov/reports/main/18-022.pdf#page=2
TX: Community invited to wear blue for child abuse awareness
Killeen Daily Herald – March 30, 2018
To highlight the importance of April as Child Abuse Awareness Month, Communities in Schools of Greater Central Texas is holding “Wear Blue,” an evening of awareness and support on April 6.
TX: News Roundup: More Than 100,000 Calls Per Year To Abuse Hotline Go Unanswered (Includes audio)
Texas Standard – March 30, 2018
Each year, more than 100,000 callers trying to report potential child or elder abuse and neglect in Texas hang up before reaching a hotline operator. That’s because of long wait times.
WA: & CA: & MN: Still no cause in mysterious crash that killed family that once lived in Minnesota
Associated Press – March 30, 2018
Accident-reconstruction investigators are trying to figure out what caused an SUV carrying a family to plunge off a California cliff in a deadly wreck that happened shortly after child-welfare authorities went to their home to investigate possible abuse.
Also: Boy In Viral Protest Hug Photo Missing After Family Car Plunges Off Cliff: https://www.essence.com/news/devonte-hart-ferguson-photo-missing
Also: Devonte Hart, Boy From Viral Protest Photo, Told Neighbor He Was Being Starved To Death: https://www.essence.com/news/devonte-hart-viral-photo-neighbor-starved
Also: Family that is feared dead in SUV plunge had troubled home life, neighbors say: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/family-that-is-feared-dead-in-suv-plunge-had-troubled-home-life-neighbors-say/2018/03/30/67ffde24-3459-11e8-8bdd-cdb33a5eef83_story.html?utm_term=.f5bc691fcd28
Also: Fatal CA cliff crash appears ‘intentional,’ authorities say (Includes video): http://www.wtol.com/story/37856618/fatal-ca-cliff-crash-appears-intentional-authorities-say
Also: Court docs: Speedometer in Woodland family’s car ‘pinned’ at 90 mph in deadly California crash: http://www.azfamily.com/story/37854618/court-docs-speedometer-in-woodland-familys-car-pinned-at-90-mph-in-deadly-california-crash
WI: Pinwheel display raises awareness for child abuse in Northeast Wisconsin (Includes video)
WBAY – April 01, 2018
More than seven million kids come to the attention of Child Protective Services every year, according to a 2015 Children’s Bureau report. The Willow Tree Cornerstone Child Advocacy Center in Green Bay is bringing awareness to how often child abuse happens in Northeast Wisconsin by displaying pinwheels on their property. The pinwheel is a national symbol introduced back in 2008 by Prevent Child Abuse America. Blue represents the national color for child abuse prevention.
WV: Just for Kids to host National Child Abuse Prevention events
Register-Herald Reporter – March 31, 2018
In recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Just for Kids Advocacy Center will host two events to bring awareness and prevention.
US: Child advocates: ‘Free-range parenting’ sacrifices safety for freedom
Daily Item – March 30, 2018
A newly passed “free-range parenting” law in Utah allows parents to give their children more freedom, but local child advocates oppose it. Pennsylvania doesn’t have a law on the books indicating at what age a child may be left alone at home, but Gownley said her office often receives calls from concerned residents about unattended children. “Free-range parenting” became a national issue in 2008 when Lenore Skenazy wrote a 2008 column for the New York Sun about letting her then 9-year-old son ride the subway home alone.
Also: Brian O’Neill: The theory and practice of ‘free-range’ kids these days (Commentary): http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/brian-oneill/2018/04/01/The-theory-and-practice-of-free-range-kids-these-days/stories/201804010015
US: Losing children to foster care endangers mothers’ lives
Medical Xpress – March 30, 2018
Mothers whose children are placed in foster care are at much higher risk of dying young, particularly due to avoidable causes like suicide. When a child is placed in foster care, most of the resources are focused on the child, with little to no support for the mothers who are left behind.
US: Medicaid: Linchpin in State Strategies to Address Opioid Epidemic (Commentary)
JD Supra – March 30, 2018
The federal government has responded to the crisis by declaring a public health emergency and making over $500 million of OUD-targeted funding available to states last year. While critical, these dollars (and the programs they fund) pale in comparison to the scale and scope of resources the Medicaid program brings to states to combat the opioid epidemic and other substance use disorders (SUD).
Also: Blunt announces $2.55 billion more for health programs targeting opioid epidemic: https://www.westplainsdailyquill.net/news/local/article_3f3a7854-341e-11e8-b8a5-3f6a3eb329a9.html
US: Opioid Abuse Isn’t ‘Victimless.’ What About the Kids? (Opinion)
Bloomberg – March 30, 2018
When parents cycle in and out of treatment, their children are left in limbo. Some states are losing patience. The Donald Trump administration is being widely criticized for its get-tough approach to the nation’s opioid crisis. Targeting negligent doctors and pharmacists, and focusing on reducing the illegal drug trade — a war that includes President Trump’s call to execute convicted drug dealers — will not do much for those suffering from addiction, the critics say.
US: U.S. government ordered to allow abortion access to detained immigrant teens
Washington Post – March 30, 2018
A federal judge issued a nationwide order temporarily preventing the government from blocking access to abortion services and counseling for teens detained in immigration custody, saying current administration policy and practices probably are unconstitutional.
Also: Court rules that government can’t block immigrant teens from abortion: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/court-rules-that-government-cant-block-immigrant-teens-from-abortion
US: Utah’s ‘free range’ law necessary in today’s punitive parenting culture (Opinion)
Hill – March 30, 2018
This week, parents in one state can breathe a sigh of relief. Utah Governor Gary Herbert has made parenting a lot easier by signing a bill that legalizes “free-range” parenting.
Australia: Aboriginal children need loving, safe and culturally appropriate homes (Commentary)
ABC News Australia – April 01, 2018
Recent arguments about the removal of Indigenous children from their families fail to appreciate the complexity of the issue. Reducing the debate to oversimplified understandings of the factors that contribute to the devastating disparity in outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children will only further entrench this inequality.
Ethiopia: An adoptee reflects after Ethiopia bans international adoptions
Seattle Globalist – March 13, 2018
The horrifying story of Hana Williams, a 13-year-old adoptee from Ethiopia who died in 2011 after a long pattern of abuse at the hands of her white adoptive parents, was heartbreaking for individuals in the Ethiopian community. International adoptions from Ethiopia have dwindled since then, and this January, the Ethiopian Parliament officially passed legislation banning foreign adoption.
United Kingdom: ‘Treated like criminals’: Britain’s frontline services fail slavery survivors
Thomson Reuters Foundation – March 29, 2018
As Britain clamps down on human trafficking and slavery, frontline medics and police officers often lack awareness and even the empathy required to support survivors, experts said. At least 13,000 people across Britain are estimated by the government to be victims of forced labour, sexual exploitation and domestic servitude – but police say the true figure could be in the tens of thousands with slavery operations on the rise.