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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.
This 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 4th and 5th generation 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)
6 to 12 million children a year are reported to child protection services 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.
IN: Child services agency sees improvements year after critical report
Indianapolis Business Journal – June 13, 2019
Staff turnover is down, caseload sizes are dropping and the ratio of supervisors to case managers has improved in the year since an outside review found numerous shortcomings in the Indiana Department of Child Services.
Also: Holcomb signs DCS bill, calls caseworker ‘among toughest duty in state government’ (Includes video): https://www.wthr.com/article/holcomb-signs-dcs-bill-calls-caseworker-among-toughest-duty-state-government
KY: Meade’s Foster Child ‘Bill of Rights’ Signed Into Law (Press release)
Kentucky House of Representatives – June 13, 2019
After passage of sweeping reforms to Kentucky’s foster care and adoption systems sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem David Meade in 2018, the Governor has signed into law Meade’s measure to grant statutory rights to Kentucky foster children and speed up adoption placements.
MI: Amid state Health and Human Services tech crisis, administration making major changes
Crains Detroit Business – June 13, 2019
Confronting serious problems with the functionality of critical software programs and overspending in information technology within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, top officials in the administration of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have initiated an overhaul in how the state handles IT for the department.
MS: CPS chief Dickinson: Foster care crisis squarely on my shoulders. But money, time needed (Commentary)
Clarion-Ledger – June 13, 2019
While I believe we at MDCPS have made significant improvement in our efforts to protect Mississippi’s at-risk, abused and neglected children and their families, I fully recognize that more needs to be done. But much of what needs to be done requires increased funding and more time.
NY: New York governor Cuomo signs bill to end religious exemptions for vaccines
Hill – June 13, 2019
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed legislation Thursday to end religious exemptions for vaccines.The legislation comes as the U.S. grapples with one of its worst outbreaks of measles in years. Cuomo signed the bill almost immediately after the New York state Senate and Assembly advanced the measure.
Also: New York, epicenter of measles outbreak, bans religious exemptions for vaccines: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/06/14/new-york-epicenter-measles-outbreak-bans-religious-exemptions-vaccines/?utm_term=.1330ea4761a6
OK: Geronimo and the Japanese were imprisoned there. Now Fort Sill will hold migrant children – again
Washington Post – June 12, 2019
On Tuesday, the agency announced it has chosen a military base as a temporary shelter: Fort Sill in Oklahoma, which was used during World War II as an internment camp for Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants. Before that, it was the longtime prison for Apache leader Geronimo.
OR: Child abuse fatality reviews to become more transparent, accessible (Press release)
Senate Majority Office, Oregon State Legislature – June 13, 2019
SB 832 makes key improvements to Critical Incident Review Teams. Senate Bill 832 — which passed with a 27-0 vote on the senate floor today — will strengthen and modernize the Critical Incident Review Teams process in those cases to ensure greater transparency at the time of a child fatality.
OR: SB 994 prioritizes kids’ safety in DHS mandated custody changes (Press release)
Senate Majority Office, Oregon State Legislature – June 13, 2019
SB 994: Requires background checks for noncustodial parents before DHS can place children in their care.
PA: Embattled North Philly immigrant youth center can open, judge says
WHYY – June 13, 2019
A Common Pleas court judge has cleared the way for a controversial facility to house immigrant minors to open in North Philadelphia. VisionQuest, an Arizona-based youth services company, had requested an emergency stay to begin accepting unaccompanied immigrant boys between the ages of 12 and 17 arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Plans to start receiving minors at the Grace Dix Center at 5201 Old York Road were derailed in January, when the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections issued a notice of violation. The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustments later upheld the notice, which said the center failed to seek the correct permit to open.
RI: Sen. DiPalma bill that protects families with parents that have disabilities passed by Senate (Press release)
State of Rhode Island General Assembly – June 13, 2019
Sen. Louis P. DiPalma’s (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) legislation (2019-S 0702A) that precludes the disability of a parent from serving as a basis for denial or restriction in matters involving a child’s welfare, foster care, family law, guardianship and adoption was passed by the Senate tonight. The legislation states that a parent’s disability cannot serve as the basis of referral to a hospital social worker or the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. The parent’s disability cannot serve as the basis for the denial or restriction of visitation and custody either if the child’s best interests are taken into account.
SD: Noem orders reforms at youth facilities
South Dakota News Watch – June 13, 2019
Gov. Kristi Noem has ordered the state Department of Social Services to enact a series of wide-ranging reforms intended to improve the safety of youths sent to privately run treatment facilities across South Dakota. The governor’s announcement came in response to an investigative report published by South Dakota News Watch that uncovered a decade-long pattern of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of youths at Aurora Plains Academy, a privately run, government-funded intensive residential treatment facility in Plankinton.
US: Bill Would Address Violence Against Health-Care, Social Workers (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 14, 2019
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration finds health-care workers were four times more likely than average private-sector workers to face violence in the workplace between 2002 and 2013. House Resolution 1309 would direct OSHA to require health-care and social-service employers to create and implement prevention programs.
US: Catholic bishops adopt long-promised abuse plan – for bishops to police bishops
Washington Post – June 13, 2019
Some Catholics, including advocates for more accountability, celebrated the new rules, which the bishops touted as major action. But to some aggrieved believers, the policies do not go nearly far enough, because they still place the responsibility for handling abuse by bishops in the hands of fellow bishops, despite years of coverups. “The bishops are the ones making the conclusions,” said Anne Burke, an Illinois Supreme Court justice who chaired the church’s National Review Board when the sexual abuse crisis first erupted in 2002. She called the new system enacted on Thursday “a fallacy.”
Also: U.S. Catholic bishops, under fire, meet to consider proposals to police themselves: https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/06/11/us-catholic-bishops-under-fire-meet-consider-proposals-police-themselves/?utm_term=.00a93b8a3de3
Also: There is an obvious way for the Catholic Church to reduce child sex abuse, but bishops refuse to do it (Commentary): https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/06/13/there-is-an-obvious-way-catholic-church-reduce-child-sex-abuse-bishops-refuse-do-it/?utm_term=.b308283e563c
US: Same-sex couple blocked from serving as foster parents to get their day in court
QSalt Lake Magazine – June 13, 2019
Late yesterday, a federal district court denied motions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to dismiss Lambda Legal’s lawsuit challenging discrimination in a federal foster care program. Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit on behalf of a married same-sex Texas couple, Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin, who were denied the opportunity even to apply to serve as foster parents for refugee children by a USCCB affiliate because the couple did not “mirror the Holy Family.”
US: Website Changes Foreshadowed New Trump Limits on Unaccompanied Minors Program (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 13, 2019
Changes made to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) website before May 23, 2019, foreshadowed policy changes related to unaccompanied migrant children that were not announced, even to ORR grantees, until May 30, 2019.
CA: CASA of Kern County now able to serve over 3,000 children with new advocates
Bakersfield Californian – June 12, 2019
CASA celebrated the 81st completion of the training program Wednesday evening with a graduation ceremony, where the new advocates took their oath of office and were sworn in by Presiding Juvenile Court Judge Raymonda Burnham Marquez.
CA: Grand Jury Report Finds Foster Care Staff Overworked, Allegations of Abuse
Times of San Diego – June 12, 2019
A grand jury report released Wednesday found multiple gaps in institutional safety and training in the Child Welfare Services division of San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency.
Report: Promoting Quality Foster Care in San Diego CountyWho Protects Our Most Vulnerable Children?: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/dam/sdc/grandjury/reports/2018-2019/FosterCareReport.pdf
CA: In L.A., Nine in Ten Incarcerated Youth Have a Documented Mental Health Issue
Chronicle of Social Change – June 12, 2019
After a new report found that more than 90 percent of youth in the county’s juvenile halls had an open mental health case, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors pledged to improve mental health care to justice-involved youth in county.
Report: REPORT RESPONSE ON THE OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL INVESTIGATION AND IMPROVING MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT AND SAFETY IN THE JUVENILE FACILITIES: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/137012.pdf
CO: Scholarships help local foster care system grads access college
Colorado Daily – June 12, 2019
Along with scholarships for students who were in the foster case system, the Hero Awards recognize local professionals and businesses. This year, awards went to state Rep. Jonathan Singer, a Longmont Democrat; Megan Bruce, a senior case manager at Attention Homes; and Chill Digital Marketing.
FL: Other Voices: Charges Vs. Florida deputy are a reach (Opinion)
Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel – June 13, 2019
Scot Peterson was negligent at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. But was he criminally negligent? That is a dangerous legal stretch. Along with one count of perjury, Peterson stands charged with seven counts of child neglect and three counts of culpable negligence. The charges seem more suited for parents or caregivers with direct responsibility for a child’s welfare. They are subjective. And to file them against a law enforcement officer plows risky new ground.
GA: Covington recognizes National Reunification Month
Covington News – June 12, 2019
June is the month we highlight the celebration of families being reunited. Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston helped bring that closer to home by proclaiming June as National Reunification Month within the city. While these terms may sound awkward and unfamiliar to some of us, the reunification of parents and children is the reward for months of hard work.
GA: Hearings: In One Georgia County, the Indifference to Foster Parents Stings
Chronicle of Social Change – June 12, 2019
When children are unable to remain safely at home with their parents or guardians, a state’s child welfare agency must step in and place the children in a home where they can be protected from abuse and/or neglect. For the past five years, Georgia has seen a substantial increase in the number of children who have come to the agency’s attention and need such a placement. This increase in children being removed from their homes, and placed into foster care has resulted in a shortage of foster homes.
KS: Kansas Republicans fear executive action by Gov. Laura Kelly on Medicaid expansion
Topeka Capital-Journal – June 12, 2019
Several vulnerable population groups need food assistance but fail to meet the work requirements, Siebert said. They include 18-year-olds who are leaving foster care without a family, homeless veterans, convicted felons, victims of domestic violence and people who are disabled but haven’t yet received disability status.
MA: Bill would ease health coverage access for former foster kids
South Coast Today – June 13, 2019
Most Bay State residents don’t have to do anything to keep their health insurance coverage when they turn 18 because they’re able to stay on their parents’ insurance plans. But for teens who age out of the foster care system at 18, the process can be a lot more complicated.
NC: Save the Children to Lead Head Start Program in North Carolina (Press release)
Save the Children – June 12, 2019
Save the Children, which has been operating Head Start and Early Head Start programs since 2011, has expanded into a new state, North Carolina, the nonprofit announced today. The program is located in Cabarrus County and will serve 118 children – 102 children (ages 3 to 5) in its Head Start program and 16 infants and toddlers (birth to age 3) in its Early Head Start program. The Save the Children Head Start/Early Head Start Center, located at 310 Kerr Street NW in Concord, is scheduled to start services in early September.
NE: HHS opens new north Omaha office
Omaha World-Herald – June 12, 2019
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services announced the opening of a new office at 5319 N. 30th St. in north Omaha on Wednesday.
NH: Teens call on landlords to help reduce youth homelessness
Fosters.com – June 12, 2019
Area youth called on property managers and landlords Wednesday to better support young renters to help them and their peers climb out of the homelessness they’re experiencing simply because they’ve aged out of foster care and other state systems.
NM: False alarms: When schools abuse CYFD hotline, families suffer
Searchlight New Mexico – June 12, 2019
When a state investigator showed up at Christy Cartwright’s doorstep in January, the mother of five was horrified to learn that an employee of Carrizozo Municipal Schools had reported her for child abuse. When 16-year-old Carlos became the target of homophobic bullying, the parents demanded that the school put an end to it. When a special education teacher drove Marcus, who has schizophrenia and autism, up into the mountains and left him to wander lost and alone for hours, Cartwright went ballistic. When Ashley, an 8th grader at Carrizozo Middle School, struggled for two years without a legally required update to her individualized education plan, the parents complained. Loudly. Now, the way Cartwright sees it, the school was fighting back.
NM: NM Expands Cannabis Options to Treat Opioid Addiction (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 10, 2019
Opioid-use disorder tops the list of several new qualifying conditions for people in New Mexico who want to enroll in the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. David Morgan, public information officer with the Department of Health, said New Mexico has reduced its drug-overdose mortality rate from second-highest in the nation to 17th. He said the Health Department believes expanding the qualifying conditions for cannabis use could help continue the state’s downward trend.
OH: The Father’s House transforms historic Hamilton location to support foster and adoptive families
Journal-News – June 13, 2019
Making clay to play with was a fun activity of the day Saturday at The Father’s House, as foster and adopted children spent time with their parents in a stress-free place. The goal was to help them bond and enjoy time together. “A lot of foster parents give up within the first year of doing foster care,” said Jeffery Leon, who in October moved from Kansas City with his wife, Kristina Jones, and three adopted sons to be a part of The Father’s House.
OH: Providence House hoping for additional state funding
WTAM – June 12, 2019
Providence House announced today that it is one of three organizations the Ohio Senate has allocated $750,000 to provide innovative crisis nursery services in the state. In addition to Providence House, Blessing House in Lorain County and Bridget’s Path in Montgomery County are beneficiaries of this important investment in serving children and families in crisis.
OR: Audit: Foster care changes need time, more staff
Woodburn Independent – June 12, 2019
A month before lawmakers adopt a budget, DHS hasn’t said how many workers it needs to make things better.
Also: Orego: Foster Care Gets Another Rough Audit (Audio): https://www.ijpr.org/post/oregon-foster-care-gets-another-rough-audit#stream/0
PA: Protecting the Children
River Reporter – June 12, 2019
Wayne County honored the people who care for some of its most vulnerable residents on June 6, with the commissioners’ proclamation of the first week in June as Child Welfare Professionals Appreciation Week.
RI: Key lawmaker: DCYF conduct in Warwick case ‘borderline criminal’
Providence Journal – June 12, 2019
The state child welfare agency’s egregious failure to protect the special-needs children it had placed in Michele Rothgeb’s home approaches criminality, said the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday. While Rothgeb, of Warwick, now faces a manslaughter charge in the death of one of her adopted children, 9-year-old Zah-Nae, “I don’t know if Mrs. Rothgeb is the only guilty party,” said Rep. Patricia A. Serpa, a Democrat from West Warwick. “I think it’s borderline criminal.”
Also: Report: DCYF ‘inaction’ contributes to death of foster child: https://www.abc6.com/story/40631263/report-dcyf-inaction-contributes-to-death-of-foster-child
TX: Community Based Care: A Model Designed to Meet the Needs of Foster Youth in Bexar County (Press release)
Family Tapestry – June 13, 2019
In December 2015, a federal judge in Corpus Christi deemed the Texas foster care system unconstitutional. During the 85th Texas legislative session in 2017, Governor Abbott made it a top priority to reform the foster care system. Most recently during the 86th legislative session, we saw the continuation of an effort to support a reform of the foster care system by expanding Community Based Care to additional geographical areas in Texas.
TX: CPS worker claims agency threatened retaliation after he complained about removal ‘based on’ race
Houston Chronicle – June 12, 2019
A Child Protective Services worker in Central Texas has alleged his bosses threatened retaliation after he formally accused officials of letting a black woman’s race influence the decision to take her 5-year-old son.
TX: Medical Marijuana and Child Custody (Commentary)
Texas Lawyer – June 10, 2019
If Texas legalizes marijuana, courts and family law practitioners should not presume parents are negligent or endangering their child if they are consuming marijuana as authorized.
US: U.S. will use Fort Sill Army base in Oklahoma to shelter migrant children
CBS News – June 12, 2019
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is required by law to provide shelter, health care and other services for migrant children who are either apprehended alone or with anyone other than their own parents, but the agency is grappling with an unexpected surge in such children. As a result, officials say the agency’s more than 167 shelters across the country could be insufficient to house what it’s calling an “influx” of children. In addition to Fort Sill – which during World War II was used as an internment camp for Americans of Japanese descent – the agency said in its statement that it is also considering placing another large-scale facility for unaccompanied migrant children at the Santa Teresa Land Port of Entry in New Mexico.
US: 1 In 5 Queer Young Adults Attempted Suicide In The Past Year, Study Shows (Includes video)
Huffington Post – June 11, 2019
The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ youth, released a report Tuesday on the mental health of queer young adults. The results are pretty horrifying: Nearly 1 in 5 LGBTQ people ages 13 to 24, and 1 in 3 transgender and nonbinary young people in the same age group, attempted suicide in the past 12 months. Approximately 39% of LGBTQ youth surveyed had seriously considered suicide in the past year.
US: Missed Opportunities in Youth Pathways Through Homelessness
Youth Today – June 05, 2019
This brief draws exclusively from one component of Voices of Youth Count, the in-depth interviews (IDI) done with 215 youth ages 13 to 25 in 5 counties in the U.S. The IDI component is the largest qualitative study of its kind on youth homelessness in the U.S. It included narrative mixed-method design and a nationally and regionally diverse sample.
Report: Missed Opportunities in Youth Pathways Through Homelessness: https://www.chapinhall.org/wp-content/uploads/ChapinHall_VoYC_Youth-Pathways-FINAL.pdf
Canada: Children’s Aid Society in Canada turned a blind eye to sexual abuse: report (Includes video)
New York Post – June 12, 2019
A now-defunct Children’s Aid Society in Canada has been accused of turning a blind eye to sexual abuse for years – with foster parents across Ontario using their homes as teenage sex dens, including one family that was described by victims as a “sex cult.”
Canada: Child marriage ‘legal and ongoing’ in Canada, researcher finds
National Post – June 11, 2019
Canada is a leader and key funder of United Nations efforts to end child marriage, which is regarded as a revealing measure of a country’s development. But there is a curious blind spot. “There’s been absolutely no reflection on the fact that it remains legal in Canada,” said Alissa Koski, who researches child marriage in Canada as an assistant professor at McGill University’s Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health.
New Zealand: Child marriage in NZ: MP calls for Immigration to stop giving partnership visas to children (Includes video)
Stuff – June 11, 2019
An MP is calling for Immigration New Zealand to immediately stop approving partnership visas for overseas children, amid concerns around forced marriage. Joanne Hayes, a National MP who pushed for a law change to require 16 and 17 year olds to get permission from a Family Court judge before marrying, said she was concerned that people married overseas were exempt from the process.
United Kingdom: Survivors Of Abuse Under ‘Same Roof’ Rule Can Apply For Compensation From Today
Huffington Post – June 13, 2019
Survivors of violent crime who have been denied compensation under the little-known “same roof” rule will be able to reapply from today as new legislation comes into force. It signifies a victory for hundreds of people who suffered sexual and physical abuse as children and whose adult lives have been blighted by what they went through.
CA: 5 things to know about California’s ‘Safely Surrender Baby’ law (Includes video)
ABC 10 – June 11, 2019
A newborn was found alive, wrapped up inside of a dumpster in Stockton Tuesday morning, according to Stockton Police. The baby was taken to the hospital where it is doing well. The infant’s teenage mother was later located, according to investigators. Under California law, parents or guardians are legally allowed to abandon a baby within 72 hours of its birth by leaving it at a safe surrender site.
CA: New office at USC devoted to safeguarding children on and off campus (Press release)
University of Southern California (USC) – June 11, 2019
In the latest move towards greater oversight and accountability across university systems, USC has established an office for Youth Protection and Programming. The office, housed under USC Risk Management and headed by veteran child abuse prevention expert Anne Calvo, will work to ensure that every unit, department and student group working with minors employs the highest standards of practice to safeguard and protect children.
DE: Schools can play a huge role in fighting child abuse – with the right training (Commentary)
Wilmington News Journal – June 10, 2019
One in ten children will be the victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18. Three in ten are under the age of eleven. Six out of ten won’t report this offense, because nine times out of ten they have been abused by someone they know, love, or trust. For some children, those who find the strength to tell someone, they turn to other trusted adults for help. Often, that happens to be a teacher or a school counselor.
GA: DICK YARBROUGH: A salute to those working to make this a better world (Commentary)
Marietta Daily Journal – June 11, 2019
Last Friday, Oglesby and a dozen other graduates of metro area high schools, technical schools and colleges in Cobb County were rightfully honored for defying the odds. All are products of foster care who aged out of the state’s Division of Family and Children Services and, as a result, foster care. Sadly, they are the exceptions. Less than half the foster youth in Cobb County, currently 521, receive a high school diploma and only about 3% go on to graduate from college or technical school. So, how did Oglesby and the others do it?
IL: Saint Viator reports allegations of inappropriate texts from former faculty member
Daily Herald – June 11, 2019
Officials at Saint Viator High School in Arlington Heights say they have reported to police and child welfare authorities recently received allegations that a now-former faculty member sent inappropriate text messages to students.
KY: Kentucky Designs New Web Portal For Foster Care Kids
Associated Press – June 12, 2019
The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services has set up a new website for transition age youth in the foster care system. The cabinet says the new website is part of a rebranding project for the state’s independent living program for youths in the system.
KY: Erasing the stigma of incarceration
Kentucky Teacher – June 11, 2019
Kids Rising Up through Support and Healing (KRUSH) has cultivated a sense of family for students that have seen their own families affected by the harsh reality of incarceration. A reality that has become far too common in the Commonwealth.
MS: Feds could take over Mississippi’s foster care after report shows children still abused, neglected (Includes video)
Clarion Ledger – June 12, 2019
The court monitor in the long-running federal lawsuit against Mississippi over its foster care system released a report Tuesday saying children in state custody are still abused and neglected. According to the report, 95 children in the custody of Child Protective Services were victims of abuse or neglect by their caregivers last year, which is more than the three times the agreed-upon standard.
Also: Report: Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services at risk of takeover for failure to protect children: https://www.knoe.com/content/news/REPORT-Mississippi-Department-of-Child-Protective-Services-at-risk-of-takeover-for-failure-to-protect-children-511151522.html
Also: Olivia Y Federal Court Report: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dEe_RoL1jYU9sNoVbzgunDeq2Gt9-DE5/view
MS: ‘Action taken’ against Mississippi social workers in fatal child abuse case (Includes video)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger – June 11, 2019
A caseworker and a supervisor who failed to twice meet the state’s 24-hour mandate investigating abuse claims involving two children – one of whom died last week following a severe beating – faced personnel action Tuesday. “We have taken personnel action against the frontline worker and the supervisor,” Lea Anne Brandon, Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services director of communication, said Tuesday afternoon.
NJ: $100 Million Sought to Ensure “Family Success” in New Jersey
TAP Into – June 11, 2019
The fact that a black youth in New Jersey is 70 times more likely to go to prison than a white one speaks to the reason the Family Success Institute (FSI) is seeking to create a state where every family and community has the resources, opportunities and support to successfully raise children from birth to young adulthood. FSI aims to give “kids from birth what they need to be successful so that they don’t end up in prison. We are working together to ensure our children are educated and everybody has the same opportunities, the same opportunities that I had,” said FSI Co-founder Jeanne Warnock.
NY: Changes Proposed for a System that Stigmatizes Parents Accused of Child Neglect (Includes audio)
WNYC – June 12, 2019
Beyond the interventions on the ground, a report of child neglect etches parents into a state registry – many argue for an arbitrarily long time, even for cases dismissed by a family court judge. That registry is officially called the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. It’s easy to get on, difficult to get off and it can restrict parents’ employment opportunities for up to 28 years.
OK: Government to use Army post in Oklahoma as emergency shelter for migrant kids
ABC News – June 11, 2019
Facing an unprecedented surge of refugees at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration will open an emergency shelter at the Army’s Fort Sill in Oklahoma for migrant children traveling without their parents.
OR: Oregon foster care workers accused of sex in front of child in 7th month of leave
Oregonian – June 11, 2019
Two Polk County child welfare workers remain on leave, more than six months after a complaint that they had sex in front of a foster child who was temporarily housed at a Dallas hotel. Their supervisor has been on paid leave for nearly four months. Meanwhile, the state has refused to release any public records of its possible efforts to terminate the employees, such as notices sent to them and records of due process proceedings.
PA: Bar child marriage (Commentary)
Citizens Voice – June 11, 2019
Pennsylvania, like about half of the others, has no minimum age for marriage. Nationally, according to census figures, at least 200,000 children younger than 18 – almost all of them girls – were married between 2000 and 2010. Some of those marriages are arranged by families, leaving a minor no say in the decision. Some are cover for sex trafficking. Studies have shown that girls who marry are subject to higher rates of sexual and physical abuse than women who marry at 18 or older. And, as many as 80% of the marriages ultimately end in divorce.
PA: Tell your legislator to support this Pa. Senate bill that keeps kids on track to a high school diploma (Opinion)
Pennsylvania Capital-Star – June 11, 2019
More than a dozen youth advocates from Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Fostering Change and Juveniles for Justice are in Harrisburg this Tuesday, June 11, with a singular purpose:To educate lawmakers on the barriers to graduation they faced because of their involvement in the foster care or juvenile justice system.
TX: New services, law increase workload for child advocates
Community Impact Newspaper – June 11, 2019
Following a service expansion and a 2018 change in Texas law, the Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center is conducting hundreds more exams annually in cases of suspected child abuse. Nurses at the center conducted 245 more exams during fiscal year 2017-18 than they did during the previous year-an increase of 345%, according to the center.
WA: Advocates seek ‘therapeutic’ way to reunite kids and parents
Chinook Observer – June 11, 2019
“People change, families reunite.” It’s a slogan being used this month as people whose children have been taken away by the state celebrate their return – and reflect on the efforts it took. The national commemoration of Family Reunification Month was marked in Pacific County last Tuesday with cake, cookies and punch at the Courthouse – and a pledge by public officials attending the event to support new ways to smooth the process.
WI: Logsdon Appointed to Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council (Press release)
Office of Milwaukee County Supervisor Patti Logsdon – June 11, 2019
Governor Tony Evers has appointed Milwaukee County Supervisor Patti Logsdon to the Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership Council. Logsdon said she is looking forward to working on issues like improving our foster care system, as well as recruiting and retaining quality social workers, which Logsdon says is critical to supporting Milwaukee County’s efforts on behalf of children and families in need.
US: Indian Child Welfare Act still under debate as Supreme Court rebuffs bid to void the act
Navajo-Hopi Observer – June 11, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court has rebuffed a bid to void a federal law that challengers claim is racist because it places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the constitutionally protected best interests of children. That, however, does not mean the justices believe the Indian Child Welfare Act is legal. Instead, they refused to disturb a lower court ruling which said that this particular case was moot because the Arizona adoptions at issue had gone through.
US: Legal representation is essential for abused children – and smart for states (Commentary)
Hill – June 11, 2019
Children are the vulnerable parties in child abuse and neglect cases, with every aspect of their lives at stake when they face removal from their families or enter a courtroom. Dependency courts dramatically shape a child’s future and have complete authority over the children in their custody.
US: The Bully in the Bunk Bed, When Aggression Goes Beyond Sibling Rivalry (Commentary)
Youth Today – June 11, 2019
Unlike peer bullying, sibling bullying can hijack the entire family dynamic, no matter the victim’s age. Sibling bullying can be physical, emotional, psychological or sexual. Even if survivors move far away from their abuser as adults, psychological and emotional wounds still need to heal. While the act of abusing a brother or sister isn’t new, in the past few years experts have begun to shed light on the problem.
Also: Sibling bullying in middle childhood and psychotic disorder at 18 years: a prospective cohort study: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/sibling-bullying-in-middle-childhood-and-psychotic-disorder-at-18-years-a-prospective-cohort-study/4B750A1729BA23DFA0CFE96B3F01A9E9
US: When Is it Appropriate to Call Child Protective Services on Another Parent? (Commentary)
Fatherly – June 11, 2019
Recognizing the signs of child abuse is neither a fun topic of discussion nor something you want to spend a millisecond considering. But seeing as more than 700,000 kids are abused in this country annually, it’s important to have Child Protection Services as a resource. But how do you know when to contact them?
US: Christian Agencies Fight for Migrant Kids’ Right to Play
Christianity Today – June 10, 2019
“These services are a child’s basic right and vitally important to the health and development of these children,” said Dona Abbott, vice president for refugee and immigrant services at Bethany Christian Services (BCS), which cares for around 200 unaccompanied minors in five states.
US: ICE Shackles Terminally Ill Patients, Uses Therapy Sessions Against Children During Immigration (Commentary)
Shadowproof – June 10, 2019
Medical professionals allege that information shared by “unaccompanied children in therapy sessions” was “accessed by immigration authorities.” Statements by children were “used as evidence in immigration court hearings.” What children share privately became part of the government’s case for deportation or “higher levels of detention.” “It is unclear whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects the children in this situation,” the report states. “However, the disclosure of such information raises ethical concerns about the privacy of those interactions with vulnerable children, especially if the medical professionals are aware that the information will be used against the child’s best interests.”
US: Trump administration moves to release migrant children faster from U.S. custody
Reuters – June 10, 2019
The Trump administration is again changing the way it vets people who want to sponsor minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone in an effort to speed up the release of thousands of migrant children currently in U.S. custody.
Australia: Healing centre to help mothers whose babies have been taken
National Indigenous Times (Australia) – June 12, 2019
Ms Eason has founded Nelly’s Healing Centre, a place for Indigenous women in Sydney to go to for community support and healing – the Aboriginal way. “We need somewhere to heal, and it needs to be culturally appropriate,” Ms Eason said. Ms Eason said she has had this vision for many years now. “I’ve wanted to do this since I was young because of the struggles I went through � I fell through the service gaps,” Ms Eason said.
Canada: Canada grapples with a charge of ‘genocide.’ For indigenous people, there’s no debate (Commentary)
Washington Post – June 11, 2019
During our conversation, Casey agreed that residential schools were terrible but then qualified her statement by saying, “At least in Canada we didn’t outright kill Natives like they did in the States.” I’ve thought about this statement for more than a decade. Why did she feel the need to implicitly defend Canada? Was Canada’s decision to try to assimilate all indigenous people into the body politic via child kidnapping and abuse actually better than the massacre at Wounded Knee in the long run?
Also: Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/
AL: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signs ‘chemical castration’ bill into law
AL.com – June 10, 2019
Gov. Kay Ivey this afternoon signed into law a bill to require sex offenders whose victims are younger than 13 to undergo “chemical castration treatment” as a condition of parole. Sen Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, who handled Hurst’s bill in the Senate, said the law will apply to a small number of offenders because many who molest children won’t be considered for parole. He believes the treatments will work for those who are.
Also: Alabama gov signs bill requiring child sex offenders to undergo chemical castration (Includes video): https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/447825-alabama-gov-signs-bill-requiring-child-sex-offenders-to-undergo-chemical
CO: Colorado is creating a network of doctors to diagnose child abuse and keep kids from slipping through the safety net
Colorado Sun – June 10, 2019
A child protection caseworker who suspects abuse needs a doctor’s opinion, and even a pediatrician who examines the child might want expert advice. But here’s the problem: in all of Colorado, there are just six physicians certified in child abuse pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics. Five of them are in Denver and one is in Colorado Springs, leaving the rest of the state without adequate expertise when it comes to informing decisions about whether a child is in danger.
FL: Keys to independence: A success in helping foster kids get driver’s licenses
Apopka Voice – June 10, 2019
Thousands of 16- and 17-year-olds currently reside in Florida’s foster care system. It has historically been difficult for them to get driver’s licenses. Only 20 young adults in the system held their license � that is until Keys to Independence was introduced. In the program, Embrace Families helps children as young as 15 by enrolling them in driver’s education courses, providing driving lessons and monitoring their progress until they earn a license. It also reimburses expenses for each child’s car insurance, which averages about $300-400 a month, as well as other fees associated with the licensure process.
LA: Foster care services extended to 21 years of age
Louisiana Radio Network – June 08, 2019
Governor John Bel Edwards signs legislation that increases the maximum foster care age from 18 to 21-years-old. The Department of Children and Family Services says by expanding the program, it will help many foster care teens transition into adulthood. DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters says for those that elect to stay in foster care, they can receive various forms of state aid.
Also: Louisiana expands foster care for youth with jobs, in school: https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article231339343.html
MN: County finally sees decrease in foster care placements
Bemidji Pioneer – June 10, 2019
For the first time since 2012, the county saw a decrease in the number of children in the county’s foster care system in 2018, reaching its lowest count since 2015. In 2018, the number of children in out-of-home placement was 1,158, down from 1,262 in 2017 and 1,172 in 2016.
MO: Family treatment court gets $2 million grant
Fulton Sun – June 11, 2019
The grant, written by deputy court administrator Cindy Garrett, provides funding for up to 35 program admissions per year, as opposed to the current 10. In fiscal year 2017, some 241 Callawegians were admitted for treatment for substance abuse disorders, Garrett said. Between 2016-18, Children’s Division removed 161 Callaway County children from their homes due to their caretaker’s substance abuse.
MS: Child abuse reports preceded fatal beating: Here’s what the state did and didn’t do (Includes video)
Mississippi Clarion Ledger – June 11, 2019
Late last year, the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services received a call saying two little girls had burns on their arms and legs – the first of two reports of alleged abuse the agency received but, by its own admission, didn’t begin to investigate until days after its mandated 24-hour time frame. Seven months later, a day after the case was closed, one of the girls one would be dead and the other in critical condition in what Natchez’s police chief called “one of the worst cases of child abuse I’ve ever seen.”
Also: Suspected child abuse: Here’s what happens after a report is made (Includes video): https://www.clarionledger.com/story/news/2019/06/11/child-abuse-ms-how-to-report-what-happens-home-visits-removal-social-workers-faqs/1411795001/
NC: Amid Medicaid Expansion Debate, Some Foster Parents Lack Coverage (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 11, 2019
Memorial vigils were held across North Carolina last week to honor people who have suffered or died because they lacked health insurance. Creston resident Richard Horodyski said until last year, he hadn’t seen a doctor in more than two decades. Horodyski has worked in construction and owns a small fruit farm. He and his wife are long-time foster parents. He said many foster parents are caring for children with special needs, while not being able to see a doctor themselves.
ND: Counties prepare for social services changes
Minot Daily News – June 11, 2019
North Dakota counties are being asked to team up to streamline their social service offices for efficiency now that the state will be permanently footing their bills. Legislation taking effect July 1 redesigns social services to create no more than 19 human service zones, replacing the current 43 county social service units.
NE: Editorial: Child welfare needs to stay at a high level for Douglas, Sarpy Counties
Omaha World-Herald – June 11, 2019
PromiseShip, a consortium of private providers, has delivered child welfare services in the two counties since 2009. But the state has awarded the next child welfare contract to a different private provider, Saint Francis Ministries. If a final contract is completed, the Salina, Kansas-based provider will take over those duties starting Jan. 1, 2020. If the state moves ahead with a contract with Saint Francis, the relationship and contractual specifics need to address the shortcomings identified by the consultant, to enable innovation in service delivery.
NV: Lawmakers processed more than a dozen bills for sex assault and trafficking victims this session. What now?
Nevada Independent – June 09, 2019
During their 120 days of work, lawmakers approved bills that create the Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights, call for a coordinator of services for child victims of sex trafficking and extend the length of court-ordered protection for victims.
NY: Bill to Decriminalize Sex Work Introduced (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 11, 2019
Some Albany legislators say criminalizing sex work between consenting adults only empowers sex traffickers and it’s time for a change. A package of bills called the Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act has been introduced in both the Assembly and Senate. Opponents of decriminalization say it would promote sex trafficking, pimping and organized crime. But supporters emphasize that the bill, if passed, would leave laws against human trafficking, rape, assault, sexual exploitation of minors and sexual harassment in place.
Also: Stop Violence in the Sex Trades Act: https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2019/S6419
NY: Utica teen charged for reporting false accusations to child protective services, deputies say
Syracuse Post-Standard – June 10, 2019
A Utica teen was charged recently for reporting false accusations to Child Protective Services, according to Oneida County sheriff’s deputies.
NY: LI sex trafficking victims speak out
Newsday – June 09, 2019
Sex trafficking victims “Phoenix” and “Helen” could see two dozen clients a day during the years they provided sex for money in motels, hotels and private homes across Long Island. They are now jailed in Riverhead, where the Suffolk County’s Sheriff’s Office Human Trafficking Unit is connecting them to counseling, substance-abuse treatment, job training and other services designed to help them break free from sex work and the pimps who exploited them.
OH: Butler County expanding work program for troubled teens in $1.3M contract
Journal-News – June 11, 2019
Butler County is expanding its summer job help program for impoverished and troubled teens in a new three-year, $1.3 million contract. The program, renamed the Work Experience Program, targets underprivileged and in some cases troubled kids.
VA: Community college program gives foster youth the tools to succeed
Bristol Herald Courier – June 09, 2019
A growing program initiated more than 10 years ago at Virginia Highlands Community College is in the national spotlight for empowering foster youth to succeed academically.
WV: Effort to track foster family complaints moves forward
Register-Herald – June 10, 2019
Work is underway to give foster families and relatives taking care of the about 7,000 kids in state custody a way to file complaints about those children’s ability to receive health care and other concerns about their well-being. Within the next month or so, the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) aims to begin soliciting applications for the state foster care ombudsman position.
US: Thousands of Fathers are Imprisoned — How Do We Help Their Kids? (Commentary)
Inside Sources – June 11, 2019
There is substantial research indicating that children who have a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives will have adversities. While some studies may indicate that children are resilient and able to withstand the effect of parental incarceration, the fact remains that fragile communities, specifically black children, are affected the most by the negative outcomes of incarceration.
Also: Report: Every Second: The Impact of the Incarceration Crisis on America’s Families: https://everysecond.fwd.us/downloads/EverySecond.fwd.us.pdf
US: Youth Usually Experience Homelessness in Their Teens. The Path Starts Long Before
Chronicle of Social Change – June 10, 2019
Most youth who wind up homeless find themselves in that state in their teen years. But the path there often began in their homes, years beforehand. That is one of the big takeaways from a recent report by University of Chicago-based Chapin Hall, a research group that interviewed young people around the country about their experience with homelessness.
Also: Report: Missed Opportunities in Youth Pathways Through Homelessness in America: http://voicesofyouthcount.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/ChapinHall_VoYC_Youth-Pathways-FINAL.pdf
US: Reintroduced Bill May End Bias in Foster Care (Commentary)
Instinct – June 08, 2019
It’s no secret that while the intention of the Foster Care system in the US is good, there are many problems within it. One such problem is that many adoption agencies will not place children with same-sex prospective parents despite the parents being fully capable of taking care of children. This may be a thing of the past, reports The Advocate, as two House Representatives, John Lewis, a Democrat from Georgia, and Jenniffer Gonz�lez-Col�n, a Republican from Puerto Rico, recently reintroduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which seeks to end discrimination against LGBTQ people who wish to adopt or foster children, as well as prevent LGBTQ children from being subjected to conversion therapy.
US: Trafficking’s invisible victims: Boys trapped in the sex trade (Includes video)
Fox News – June 08, 2019
If there’s a public face to human trafficking it’s usually that of a young teenage girl, but across the country, a new type of victim is increasingly coming to the fore. More and more, young boys are being preyed upon and exploited in the sex trade, and advocates are beginning to take notice.
New Zealand: Can a computer model accurately identify kids at risk of abuse? (Audio)
RNZ – May 22, 2019
Kathryn speaks with Stanford University Associate Professor of Medicine, Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, who has evaluated the effectiveness of a predictive risk assessment tool developed by a New Zealand researcher and implemented for two years in the United States. The Ministry of Social development originally commissioned Professor Rhema Vaithianathan, Co-Director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics at AUT to develop the model.
Also: Child abuse screening tool improves accuracy: researchers: (Audio) : https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018694790/child-abuse-screening-tool-improves-accuracy-researchers
CA: ‘Worked to the bone’: Proposed cuts to Sacramento CPS, adult services may strain agency
Sacramento Bee – June 10, 2019
As Sacramento County prepares next year’s budget, some question major cuts being proposed to the county agency charged with assisting at-risk adults and abused, neglected and exploited children and families. As part of the county staff-recommended budget for 2019-20, 55 unfilled jobs in the Department of Child, Family and Adult Services would be removed, including 27 full-time social workers. The proposal comes as the agency continues its years-long struggle to address regular turnover, a notable vacancy rate and large caseloads.
FL: Polk Perspective: Anxiety and depression: What they look like and when to seek help (Commentary)
NC News Chief – June 10, 2019
Anxiety and depression most often have their onset in late childhood and early adolescence. Because of this, the detriments associated with delayed treatment and lack of support have the capacity to be far reaching by affecting education, social skills, physical health, relationships, and even the ability for long-term employment.
FL: School resource officers fit Florida’s legal definition of caregiver, Broward prosecutors say
Local 10 – June 07, 2019
After prosecutors charged a former Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy with child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury stemming from the February 2018 shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, first responders were concerned. If convicted, Scot Peterson, a former school resource officer from Broward County Public Schools, faces a potential maximum prison sentence of nearly 100 years. Investigators accuse him of failing to confront the gunman during the Parkland school massacre. Union leaders concerned about future liability and Peterson’s attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo, have said a first responder should not face the neglect and negligence charge because by definition they are not legally a caregiver.
Also: Criminalizing Parkland shooting deputy’s inaction a slippery slope (Includes video) (Commentary): https://www.htrnews.com/story/opinion/2019/06/07/parkland-school-shooting-deputy-scot-peterson-criminalizing-inaction-slippery-slope/1383078001/
IA: Newborn girl and boy are Iowa’s 36th and 37th safe haven babies
Des Moines Register – June 07, 2019
The Safe Haven Act allows parents to leave an infant up to 30 days old at a hospital or other health care facility, according to the Iowa DHS website. A parent is allowed to also contact 911 within 30 days of the infant’s birth and give up custody to the first responder of the 911 call. Infants who become safe haven babies are placed in approved foster care homes or adoptive families.
KS: FF12 looks into priests with “substantiated” sexual abuse allegations (Includes video)
KWCH – June 09, 2019
In March, Salina Catholic Bishop Gerald Vincke released the names of more than a dozen priests with substantiated sexual abuse allegations. The 14 men served the state in dozens of churches and all but two are now dead.
KY: Meade’s Foster Child ‘Bill of Rights’ bill signed into law
Commonwealth Journal – June 08, 2019
One of Speaker Pro Tem David Meade’s most passionate projects is officially law, with the announcement that Meade’s Foster Child “Bill of Rights” was signed by Governor Matt Bevin on Thursday.
MA: Bishop Rozanski welcomes new employees to safe environment office
I Observe – June 07, 2019
Springfield Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski has appointed Jeffrey J. Trant to the position of director of the diocesan Office of Safe Environment and Victim Assistance, effective June 10. Also appointed was Li-Ling Lam-Waller as compliance coordinator for that office. In an interview with iObserve, Bishop Rozanski stressed the importance of the diocese’s continuing efforts to protect children and vulnerable adults from abuse and to care for those who have been victimized in the past.
MI: Kent County expanding plan for low-income mothers
Grand Rapids Business Journal – June 10, 2019
The Kent County Health Department is expanding a program that supports first-time, low-income mothers. Denver-based Nurse-Family Partnership’s primary focus is to help minority women improve skills in the areas of maternal and child physical health, education and employment, family and friend support, and preventing child abuse and neglect.
Also: GRBJ: Kent County expanding plan for low-income mothers (Includes video): https://www.wzzm13.com/article/money/business/grbj/grbj-kent-county-expanding-plan-for-low-income-mothers/69-3cc8ce02-80c6-4c7e-963e-4fe109d214fe
MI: D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s to consolidate services to one campus ahead of expected demand spike
MiBiz – June 09, 2019
Within the next 20 years, the need for the types of services provided by D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s is projected to double. The nonprofit’s leaders are bracing for those changes via the “Together for Kids” capital campaign, a $10 million fundraising effort in its final stages that would consolidate the organization’s current locations to a new facility at its Knapp Street campus in Grand Rapids. D.A Blodgett-St. John’s currently offers foster care and adoption services, counseling for abused children, as well as residential services, which it currently manages across three locations.
NC: Carolina has heart: Elon Homes gives foster kids, young adults some stability (Includes video)
WCNC – June 07, 2019
“The objective is to help them be prepared to live independently,” said April Rainer, director of residential programs. Elon provides a home and family from infant to 18-years-old. “We also provide transitional living to support young adults ages 18-21 who are aging out of foster care,” Rainer said.
NJ: In Newark, a new high school offers a refuge to students who stumble – and, for some, a path to graduation
Chalkbeat – June 07, 2019
Powell had attended a high-performing charter school in Newark. Privately, she was still reeling from the murder of her older brother a few years back, which had sent her mother on a downward spiral and led Powell into foster care. An alternative high school, LEAD was designed for students like Powell who had tumbled off track. Most of its students would come from other high schools where they faced disciplinary problems or fell far behind in their classes, often amid turmoil outside of school – from homelessness and drug use to violence and incarceration. Some had dropped out of school before; others were on the verge.
OH: Ohio House Passes Bill to Help Recruit More Foster Parents (Includes audio)
WKSU – June 07, 2019
The Ohio House has unanimously passed a bill to offer some flexibility in state training requirements for people who want to become foster parents. This comes as the system struggles with more kids than ever and not enough foster homes.
OK: Art Therapy Strengthens Identity for Our Tribal Foster Children (Commentary)
Native News Online – June 10, 2019
Art therapy is more than simply filling in a coloring book. Cherokee Nation’s Indian Child Welfare department is expanding its art therapy endeavor for tribal foster children over the next year thanks to a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Cherokee Nation is one of only four Oklahoma entities to get NEA funding this year and will use the funding to support weekly art classes and one-on-one art therapy sessions for about 55 foster children.
OK: Edmond-based non-profit raising money for sex-trafficking victim shelter
Oklahoman – June 09, 2019
Clint Thompson had seen more than two decades’ worth of child abuse and sex trafficking as a law enforcement officer when he decided he wanted to do more to help those victims. Ten years after he launched a nonprofit called 401-Kids Inc., he is now working to raise funds for a full-term home for female victims of sex trafficking ages 15 and under.
OK: Haven for Children: The McIntosh Home officially evolves into residence for foster kids
Tahlequah Daily Press – June 08, 2019
In spring 2018, Davetta McIntosh deeded her large house on South 581 Road to be used as a children’s home, and The McIntosh Home Foundation was born. For over a year, board members, house parents, and community volunteers have worked to renovate the house so a family and foster children can live in it. The building was open to the public Friday for a ribbon cutting and celebration.
OK: After the death of 16-year old, a judge has ordered new procedures for juveniles at Oklahoma County jail
Frontier – June 07, 2019
A new order issued Thursday by Oklahoma County Presiding Judge Thomas Prince requires an assessment for all minors charged as youthful offenders held at the county jail within three days. The assessments will be used to weigh any security and health concerns before transferring them to juvenile detention.
OK: Capitol Insider: Stitt Picks Businessman To Lead DHS (Includes audio)
KGOU – June 07, 2019
Gov. Stitt has decided to replace the head of the Dept. of Human Services, one of Oklahoma’s largest state agencies, with Justin Brown, the CEO of a company that owns assisted living facilities in Oklahoma and neighboring states.
OR: Editorial: Oregon foster care still isn’t where it needs to be
Bend Bulletin – June 07, 2019
In January 2018 the Oregon secretary of state released a scathing audit of the state Department of Human Services’ child foster care program. Now, 18 months later, a follow-up report says things are better but still not good enough.
Also: Flaws in Oregon’s child welfare system still place children at risk, review finds: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/06/flaws-in-oregons-child-welfare-system-still-place-children-at-risk-review-finds.html
Also: DHS Has Made Important Improvements, but Extensive Work Remains to Ensure Child Safety: https://sos.oregon.gov/audits/documents/2019-24.pdf
TN: TN adoption legislation: where else religious interest groups are pushing copycat bills
Tennessean – June 10, 2019
Aimee Maddonna, 34, a South Carolina mother of three, was turned away by a state-funded foster care agency because she is Catholic. Maddonna went to Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville, the state’s largest foster care outlet, asking to volunteer in hopes of one day becoming a foster parent. But the initial screening was cut short after she was asked the name of her church. “I said, ‘Our Lady of the Rosary’ and her exact words were, ‘You sound like you’d be the perfect mentor but we only accept Protestant Christians.’
TX: There’s a way to debate refugee asylum without victimizing unaccompanied minors (Editorial)
Dallas Morning News – June 10, 2019
There is no question that the refugee crisis on the border is a humanitarian nightmare. But let us all also agree that unaccompanied migrant minors in federal shelters should be treated with basic human respect and decency.
TX: Lawmakers overlook high rates of uninsured, foster care fixes
Austin American Statesman – June 07, 2019
Advocates were encouraged that bills addressing shortcomings in state social services, including those that would have expanded Medicaid, received public committee hearings at the beginning of the legislative session – something previous Legislatures had been loath to do. But dozens of bills – including those that would have extended Medicaid coverage for new mothers, prepared older teenagers to make the transition out of foster care, and instituted trauma-informed care across the child welfare system – died in large part because they carried hefty price tags.
TX: New Texas jail will house 1,600 immigrant youths, won’t be subject to child welfare licensing requirements
ABA Journal – June 07, 2019
A complex that once housed oil field workers in southwestern Texas will soon become a massive jail that holds up to 1,600 immigrant children who arrive in the United States without their families. Because the new jail in Carrizo Springs, Texas, will be designated as an “emergency shelter,” it will not be subject to the state’s child welfare licensing requirements, Mark Weber, a spokesman for the Office of Refugee Resettlement, told the Associated Press.
Also: 3,000-Bed Jail for Immigrant Children Opening in Texas: https://www.courthousenews.com/3000-bed-jail-for-immigrant-children-opening-in-texas/
Also: Trump Administration Says It Will Open New Mass Facility on Border to Hold Unaccompanied Children: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/06/trump-hhs-new-mass-border-facility-unaccompanied-migrant-minors-children.html
TX: Social work in line with biblical principles, HPU educator insists
Baptist Standard – June 07, 2019
After working eight years in secular social work higher education, Rachel Derrington knew she was called to something more. “I always recognized the parallels between social work values and ethics and Jesus’ teachings, but I couldn’t figure out a way to combine the two,” she said. Derrington joined the Howard Payne University faculty in 2018, moving from the University of Denver where she was an adjunct faculty member and curriculum developer.
VA: 16 cases of mumps confirmed at ICE detention center in Virginia
WJLA – June 07, 2019
Sixteen cases of mumps have been confirmed among detainees at the ICE detention center in Farmville. An ICE spokesperson said that any detainees who had been in contact with someone who had “confirmed, probable or suspected” mumps would be separated from the general population for 25 days following the most recent exposure.
WI: Racine County launches ‘Bring Them Home Campaign’ for foster children (Includes video)
WTMJ 4 – June 07, 2019
In 2017, Racine County saw a spike in the number of children placed in foster homes outside of the County. To held reduce the number of children placed in other counties Racine Human Services Department launched the Bring Them Home Campaign in 2018.
Information Gateway resource: Philosophy and Key Elements of Family-Centered Practice: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/famcentered/philosophy/
US: Bill would end discrimination and help children in foster care (Commentary)
Philadelphia Inquirer – June 10, 2019
Here’s a Jeopardy! clue for you: Number of states that currently allow state- licensed child-welfare agencies to turn away qualified citizens because they are Catholic, Jewish, single, or LGBTQ. Correct answer: “What is 10?” One in five American states allow foster and adoption agencies to turn away potential parents who do not share the same beliefs and practices as they do; in most of them, that applies equally to taxpayerfunded agencies performing those services on behalf of the state.
US: Can You Reshape Your Brain’s Response To Pain? (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – June 10, 2019
Around 50 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Most of us think of pain as something that arises after a physical injury, accident or damage from an illness or its treatment. But researchers are learning that, in some people, there can be another source of chronic pain. Repeated exposure to psychological trauma, or deep anxiety or depression – especially in childhood – can leave a physical imprint on the brain that can make some people, like Jeannine, more vulnerable to chronic pain, scientists say. (We are not using her last name for reasons of privacy.)
US: Homeless in College: Students sleep in cars, on couches when they have nowhere else to go
USA Today – June 10, 2019
Three years ago, Kyshawna Johnson, 23, had a lot more than homework on her mind as she pursued an associate’s degree at Citrus College in Glendora, California. She also worried constantly about where to park overnight, since she was living in her car. Johnson, of Citrus College, lived with her grandmother when she was a teenager, but when her grandmother no longer received funds from the foster care system for keeping her, Johnson was told she had to leave. She then briefly lived with an aunt and uncle but had to move out when their landlord said she couldn’t stay.
US: Miami Republican says spike in border crossings led to cutbacks for migrant children (Includes video)
Miami Herald – June 07, 2019
As Democrats attack the Trump administration for cuts to legal aid, education and recreational activities at detention centers for migrant children around the country, a Miami Republican says a funding shortfall at the Department of Health and Human Services left the agency with no other choice. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s chief of staff said in an interview that a massive spike in border crossings in the past six months strained resources at the federal agency responsible for overseeing detention centers, including the largest one in the country in Homestead.
US: Survivors Of Sexual Abuse By Nuns Want Greater Visibility For Their Accusations (Includes audio)
National Public Radio – May 30, 2019
Victims of sexual misconduct by nuns, such as Cahill, say their claims have been swept aside in the larger reckoning around sexual abuse by male Catholic leaders. That’s in part because church leadership has historically treated misconduct by diocesan priests as separate from accusations against members of religious orders, both male and female. Survivors also say the lack of awareness about sexual abuse by nuns can make it harder to come forward.
Canada: B.C. paying foster parents instead of supporting struggling families, experts say
Kamloops Matters – June 09, 2019
When it comes to child welfare, social work experts and parents in B.C. say we’re investing in the wrong end of the system – pouring money into foster care instead of offering adequate support to vulnerable families, many of whom are Indigenous. “We’re willing to give strangers just about anything to look after kids,” says Jeannine Carriere, a social work professor at the University of Victoria, who is Métis. “But we have this blockage when it comes to supporting families.”
International: Worst place in ASEAN for children
ASEAN Post – June 08, 2019
With the exception of Singapore, none of the ASEAN countries are doing so well in terms of providing a great place for their children to live in. Countries that are, at least, somewhat safe include Brunei, Malaysia, and Thailand. Still, plastered all over the news are cases involving child trafficking, paedophilia, child sexual abuse, and even illegal organ harvesting.
International: It’s not just girls – one in 30 young men were married as children
Guardian – June 07, 2019
Central African Republic has the highest rate of boy grooms, followed by Nicaragua, Madagascar, Nauru and Honduras.
Nepal: As World Makes Gains Against Child Marriage, Nepal Struggles to Catch Up
New York Times – June 06, 2019
In many parts of the world, the battle against child marriage is being won, with global rates dropping significantly over the last decade, largely because of progress in South Asia. But the story is complicated in Nepal, one of the region’s poorest countries, where activists say these marriages are increasing in some villages.
Also: Child Marriages Worsen In Nepal: http://theowp.org/child-marriages-worsen-in-nepal/
CA: Foster Care Struggles To Implement New Law (Includes audio)
KAZU – June 06, 2019
A big change is happening at foster care group homes in California. By the end of this year, they are no longer supposed to be a place where a kid can stay until adulthood. Instead, a new law requires all foster children be placed with families. But implementing this law is proving difficult.
KY: House Bill 158 signed into law, creating Foster Child Bill of Rights
WBKO – June 06, 2019
Governor Matt Bevin signed House Bill 158 into law this week that in part codifies a foster child bill of rights. The law lays out 16 specific rights for children in care, including adequate food, clothing, and shelter, along with a safe, secure, and stable family.
LA: Governor Edwards signs bill extending foster care to age 21
KLFY – June 06, 2019
Governor John Bel Edwards today signed legislation to extend foster care to age 21 for all youth in care on their 18th birthday. Senate Bill 109, authored by Sen. Regina Barrow and included in the Governor’s legislative package, follows through on the recommendations of a legislative task force, which found that extending the age of care would help improve outcomes for foster youth.
Also: Final Report on Extending the Age of Foster Care to 21: http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov/assets/docs/searchable/Reports/SCR_10_Aging_Out_Report_020119.pdf
MA: Auditor says DCF needs to do more to help kids aging out of system (Includes video)
WCVB – June 06, 2019
DCF is an agency that has struggled to keep children safe throughout the years. An audit that reviewed 2014-15 data found at that time that DCF didn’t report all incidents of abuse and neglect properly to district attorneys for investigation, didn’t report all critical incidents to the Office of the Child Advocate for review and didn’t investigate some occurrences of serious bodily injury to children in its care.
NH: Opioid crisis, system shortfall hurts New Hampshire children
Associated Press – June 06, 2019
Last year, the Chase Home served 65 children in its residential program, 60% of whom were referred from the abuse/neglect protection side of the Division for Children, Youth and Families, while 40% came for juvenile offenses. Until five years ago, 90% of the Chase Home’s residents were there for juvenile offenses. “A key component is the amount of resources the Chase Home sucks up as a result of this opioid crisis,” said Craig Dennis, director of operations. “We get kids off the street who literally have the clothes on their backs. They come with nothing. The Chase Home absorbs a tremendous amount of costs there.”
OK: A new boss for Oklahoma DHS (Commentary)
Oklahoman – June 07, 2019
There may be no more difficult job in state government than running DHS. It’s Oklahoma’s largest state agency, with roughly 7,000 employees, and it oversees a broad array of services for the state’s most vulnerable populations, ranging from child welfare and adult protective services to food stamps and assistance for those with developmental disabilities.
PA: House passes bill that would make it illegal in Pa. to marry before you turn 18
Penn Live – June 05, 2019
An effort to set 18 as the minimum age to get married in Pennsylvania won passage in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday. By a vote of 195-0, the measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.
TX: News Roundup: Most Texas Children That Flee Foster Care Are Found, But Some Were Trafficked And Exploited (Includes audio)
Texas Standard – June 06, 2019
The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services released a new report this week that finds 1,843 children and youth in the agency’s care were reported as missing in Fiscal Year 2018. DFPS was responsible for over 52,000 kids during that period. Nearly 86 percent of the children and youth who went missing had been located by August 31, 2018. Of those who were still missing by that date, 64 of the young people had exited DFPS conservatorship. Another 197 were still missing and had been gone an average of 11 weeks and 2 days.
Also: Report: https://bit.ly/2wDvlPF
WI: More foster homes, services available in Chippewa County
Eau Claire Leader-Telegram – June 06, 2019
After starting a campaign last September to address a need for more foster families in Chippewa County, organizers say they’ve added 10 new foster homes and three new respite homes have been licensed.
US: ‘Although My Indian Identity Isn’t Simple, It’s Mine’: Readers on Adoption That Crosses Cultural Lines
New York Times – June 07, 2019
In the more than 700 comments posted on our site, we heard from adoptive parents and adoptees, Native Americans, foster parents, child welfare workers, and readers intimately familiar with life on tribal lands. Here is a selection of those comments. They have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
US: Catholic Church spent $10.6 million to lobby against legislation that would benefit victims of child sex abuse
CBS News – June 06, 2019
“At the most basic level, we were inspired by frustration,” says attorney Gerald Williams, a partner at Williams Cedar, one of four law firms that jointly commissioned the report. “We represent hundreds of people, who have truly been victimized by clergymen in the Catholic Church. We’ve heard a lot about the church’s desire to be accountable and turn over a new leaf. But when we turn to the form where we can most help people and where we can get the most justice – the courts of justice – the church has been there blocking their efforts.”
Also: US Catholic Church Reports Big Rise in Sex-Abuse Allegations: https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2019-05-31/us-catholic-church-reports-big-rise-in-sex-abuse-allegations
US: Child Welfare Advocates Say Recreation Is Necessary For Migrant Children (Commentary) (Includes audio)
NPR – June 06, 2019
The Department of Health and Human Services says it can no longer fund education, recreation and legal services for migrant youth in federal custody. Experts say that’s dangerous.
Also: The Trump Administration Is Making Conditions Even Worse For Migrant Children: http://www.mtv.com/news/3126561/migrant-shelters-english-classes-soccer/
Also: Migrant Kids In NYC Shelters Face Cuts From Trump Administration: http://gothamist.com/2019/06/06/nyc_shelters_migrant_kids.php
US: Cinderella treatment for teens in foster care (Commentary)
Daily Hampshire Gazette – June 06, 2019
“There is a misconception that when kids are in foster care, everything is paid for,” said Noryn Resnick, who started Fitting for the Future five years ago so that teens and young adults in foster care could pick out prom wear, interview outfits and other clothing free of charge. The sad truth, Resnick says, is that many guardians can only provide shelter, food and a bed. Items that many families take for granted, such as a formal dress or a suit and tie, are often luxuries that teens in foster care simply do not have access to and can prevent them from participating in school events.
US: US opens new mass facility in Texas for migrant children
Associated Press – June 06, 2019
The federal government is opening a new mass facility to hold migrant children in Texas and considering detaining hundreds more youths on three military bases around the country, adding up to 3,000 new beds to the already overtaxed system. The new emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, will hold as many as 1,600 teens in a complex that once housed oil field workers on government-leased land near the border, said Mark Weber, a spokesman for Office of Refugee Resettlement.
US: These three military bases may soon house unaccompanied immigrant children
Military Times – June 05, 2019
Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma, may be the closest of the three to receiving the children. They have already received initial assessments from the Department of Health and Human Services, but there are steps remaining in the approval process, said Defense Department spokesman Army Maj. Chris Mitchell. Fort Benning, Georgia, is also being considered, and HHS officials were reportedly scheduled to tour vacant property at Fort Benning today to determine its suitability for potential future use to house the children.
Also: Trump admin considering using military base to hold up to 5K undocumented children: https://thehill.com/latino/447340-trump-admin-considering-using-military-base-to-hold-up-to-5000-undocumented-migrant
US: These Men Say the Boy Scouts’ Sex Abuse Problem Is Worse Than Anyone Knew
Time – June 01, 2019
On Thursday, a group of attorneys said they’d collected information from at least 428 men and boys whose accounts of rape, molestation and abuse indicate the Boy Scouts’ pedophile problem is far more widespread than the organization has previously acknowledged.
Georgia: Georgia’s early marriages: destinies blackened in white dresses
OC Media – June 05, 2019
Because of her age, Sanubar is not officially married. Nine other people live in the house where she was brought as a bride. It is a heavy burden on her fragile shoulders to be in the service of such a large family. She says she often has conflicts with her mother-in-law for not being able to manage all the housework.
CA: Terry McLaughlin: Despite good intention, state bill infringes on religious liberty (Commentary)
Grass Valley Union – June 05, 2019
The seal of confession is one of the most sacrosanct of Catholic beliefs. Penitents rely on this unbreakable guarantee of confidentiality to freely confess and seek reconciliation with God. The sanctity of the confessional is unquestionable and it is central to the Catholic faith and the constitutional right to the free expression of religion.
CA: Homelessness Rises In Los Angeles Amid Statewide Swell
Huffington Post – June 04, 2019
The number of homeless people in the California city increased 16 percent from last year, part of a spike in homelessness across the state in recent years.
GA: Georgia Universities, Family Services Agency Partner on Child Welfare
Diverse – June 05, 2019
The schools of social work at the University of Georgia and Georgia State University and the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services are teaming up for the next four years in an initiative aimed at boosting the state’s capacity to provide high-quality child welfare services. Their collaboration – one of eight proposals nationwide chosen by the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) – will involve evaluating the agency and creating a leadership training program for its employees.
KY: Gov. Bevin to hold signing ceremony on foster children’s bill
WTQV – June 05, 2019
On Wednesday, Gov. Matt Bevin is scheduled to sign a foster children’s ‘bill of rights’ into law. The governor is scheduled to join other officials this afternoon for the ceremonial signing.
KY: Opioid crisis drives need for foster families (Includes video)
WDRB – June 05, 2019
Morton said Jefferson County needs to double its number of foster homes to be able to care for the increasing number of children pouring into the system each day.
MA: Religious exemption under scrutiny amid measles outbreak
Patriot Ledger – June 03, 2019
In the wake of two confirmed cases of measles in Massachusetts, both with connections to the South Shore, one state lawmaker is pushing to end a religious exemption that allows parents to opt out of vaccinating schoolchildren.
NE: New Child Welfare Agreement Reached
KIOS – June 05, 2019
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is turning to a Kansas company to handle child welfare cases in the Omaha area. State officials announced yesterday that they will award a five-year, 197-million-dollar contract to the Salina, Kansas-based St. Francis Ministry. The new contract is less than two-thirds as expensive as the current agreement with Omaha-based PromiseShip.
NY: New York Child Welfare Advocates Want Parents to Have Representation When Their Children Removed
Youth Today – June 05, 2019
“I would have liked an attorney from day one, not just when I landed in court. It would have been a little better,” Montauban said. Child welfare reform advocates agree, and are forming an alliance of activists and practitioners to advocate for more timely representation statewide for parents accused of abusing or neglecting their children.
OR: Oregon Foster Care Improvements Lacking (Commentary)
1190 KEX – June 05, 2019
Secretary of State Bev Clarno released a follow-up report on recommendations made to the Department of Human Services in the January 2018 audit on foster care in Oregon. In the original audit 24 recommendations were made, and while each concern has been acknowledged by DHS, only eight have been fully implemented. Extensive work remains to improve child safety in foster care and the child welfare system.
Also: State report: Foster care system will take years to fix: https://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/state-report-foster-care-system-will-take-years-to-fix/article_76fb3f6f-8283-5eb5-b19d-183a2f247b7c.html
Also: Oregon’s Child Welfare Problems Persist, Audit Shows: https://www.opb.org/news/article/oregon-child-welfare-dhs-audit/
Also: DHS Has Made Important Improvements, but Extensive Work Remains to Ensure Child Safety: https://sos.oregon.gov/audits/documents/2019-24.pdf
Also: Oregon child welfare agency fails to complete most recommendations in 2018 state audit (Includes video) : https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2019/06/05/oregon-child-welfare-agency-fails-finish-most-goals-2018-audit-of-foster-care-and-work-culture/1342053001/
TX: Hardin Simmons University offers free tuition for select students (Includes video)
KTAB/KRBC – June 05, 2019
“I started thinking about what we do at the university. These students are coming out of foster care, orphanages or bad situations,” said Bruntmyer. “We at Hardin Simmons always talk about how we’re family, why can’t we be that forever family?” With the help of the Board of Trustees and facility members, the university rolled out a program to help unaccompanied students. Each year admissions would choose 12 students who are on their own to receive a full ride.
WA: Juvenile Justice Reform Sets Us On a Path to End Youth Homelessness (Commentary)
Route Fifty – June 05, 2019
In Washington state, thousands of young people are locked up annually for “status offenses” and find themselves homeless when leaving detention. A new law seeks to change that.
WI: GOP cuts back on Governor Evers request for child welfare funding
Wisconsin Radio Network – June 05, 2019
The state’s Joint Finance Committee discussed funding for the Department of Children and Families last night. They’ve approved less funding than the governor requested.
US: Exclusive: Homeland Security watchdog finds ‘egregious’ conditions at ICE facilities in 2018
CNN – June 06, 2019
The Department of Homeland Security inspector general found expired food and dilapidated bathrooms during unannounced visits to four immigrant detention facilities in 2018, according to a not-yet-released report obtained by CNN. The kitchen at one facility was in such poor shape — with open packages of raw chicken leaking blood over refrigeration units — that the kitchen manager was replaced while the IG inspection was ongoing.
US: Foster Care Crisis Opens Door to Second-Chance Parents
Stateline – June 06, 2019
A young mother plays with her 3-year-old daughter while visiting her at the home she’s staying at with her grandmother in Jasper, Georgia. Across the United States, the opioid epidemic is fueling a surge of children being taken into foster care. Some states have started passing laws making it easier for parents to have their parental rights reinstated after they’ve been terminated.
US: YouTube’s Algorithmic Pedo-Failure (Commentary)
Forrester – June 06, 2019
Yesterday after intense pressure the platform decided to demonetize channels that promote hate speech and discrimination. And in a terrifying story on Monday, the New York Times reported that YouTube’s recommendation engine surfaces videos of partially clothed children to viewers who’ve watched similar videos or erotic content in the past. These videos may seem innocuous in and of themselves, but consider who’s likely to be binge-watching them along with erotic content to such a degree that the behavior trains YouTube’s algorithm, and one thing becomes clear: YouTube is enabling pedophilia.
Also: On YouTube’s Digital Playground, an Open Gate for Pedophiles (Commentary): https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/03/world/americas/youtube-pedophiles.html
US: Battle Pits Native American Tribes Against White Couple Over Adoption of Native Child in Case With Potential Affirmative Action Implications
Root – June 05, 2019
In a case that may have implications for race-based affirmative action and other similar remedies offered to address centuries of racial discrimination in this nation, Native American tribes have banded together against a white couple over who should have custody of a Native American child.
US: Better Supporting Youth Aging Out of Care Would Reap Rewards for All of Us
Youth Today – June 05, 2019
Imagine we could make sure that every young person transitioning out of foster care was able to graduate from high school and go on to college or post-secondary training, live in safe and stable housing and have opportunities to work and delay parenting until they are ready — the minimum that we want for our own children. If we knew that support would pay off in $4.1 billion for our country’s economy over the life span of each wave of 23,000 young people leaving foster care every year, wouldn’t we make it happen?
US: Bill to Ban Bias in Foster Care and Adoption Reintroduced
Advocate – June 05, 2019
Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives today reintroduced the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, aimed at prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ people who seek to adopt or foster a child, and, in a new provision, preventing LGBTQ young people in the child welfare system from being subjected to conversion therapy.
US: Border apprehensions surge by 45% amid education cuts for migrant children
United Press International – June 05, 2019
he United States experienced a surge of apprehensions at the Southwest border in the month of May, detaining more than 144,000 people as the Trump administration announced cuts to programs for unaccompanied migrant children.
US: Rep. John Lewis pushes to eliminate sex, gender identity discrimination in child welfare system (Includes video)
11 – June 05, 2019
“The ‘Every Child Deserves a Family’ Act puts the happiness and well-being of our children front and center,” Lewis said.
US: Report Card Shows Legal Counsel for Foster Youth is Improving
Chronicle of Social Change – June 05, 2019
There is much work left to do, but the number of states that fail to legally support children in child welfare cases has significantly declined in the past decade.
Also: 4th ed. A Child’s Right to Counsel: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/2b5285_aa4a099876dd40ee853d6861e8ba8b5b.pdf
US: Trump Administration Cuts English Lessons and Playground Access for Detained Migrant Children
New York Magazine – June 05, 2019
There are currently more than 13,000 migrant children housed in over 100 shelters across America, where, as they await a caseworker to pair them with a sponsor, kids attend English classes, receive legal aid, and go outside at least once a day to play on an athletic field. But on Wednesday, the Trump administration announced that those luxuries would soon be cut: In a statement, the Health and Human Services Department declared that shelters housing migrant youths will “begin scaling back or discontinuing awards for U.A.C. (unaccompanied minor) activities that are not directly necessary for the protection of life and safety, including education services, legal services, and recreation.”
Also: Trump administration to stop paying for some migrant services at AZ shelters: https://www.azmirror.com/blog/trump-administration-to-stop-paying-for-some-migrant-services-at-az-shelters/
Also: Trump Administration To Deprive Migrant Kids In Shelters Of English Lessons, Legal Aid: https://www.yahoo.com/huffpost/migrant-children-shelters-english-lessons-012422843.html
Also: Education, legal services, recreation for unaccompanied minors in shelters canceled by Trump admin: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/education-legal-aid-recreation-for-unaccompanied-minors-in-shelters-canceled-by-trump-administrati
US: Why Some Grandparents Raising Grandkids Can’t Get Government Help (Commentary)
Forbes – June 05, 2019
Christine has been raising her grandson, who’s now 5, for the last three years, since Child Protective Services (CPS) removed him from his mother’s care for child neglect. She lets out an exhausted sigh as she relays the struggles of feeding her grandson. “What would really be helpful to us is food stamps, but they (the federal government) shrug us off because we don’t have custody. That’s not fair. In order to provide proper nourishment and food, sometimes you feel like you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul in order to have a food budget.”
Canada: Canada’s indigenous try to break vicious cycle tearing families apart (3rd article)
Christian Science Monitor – June 05, 2019
For generations, Native Canadians’ own government treated them with appalling cruelty. So today, they are speaking out, making changes to a foster-care system they say perpetuates old problems and thinking.
Ethiopia: Expanding foster care changing Ethiopian communities
Mission Network News – June 06, 2019
Bethany Christian Services’ successful foster care program in Ethiopia is growing. Currently, they serve in five cities and have a goal to expand their efforts to five more cities and place 1,000 children in loving, Christian homes by the end of 2023.
Pakistan: Women in Pakistan face child marriage, domestic abuse, and ‘honor killings’
Hot Air – June 05, 2019
Child marriage, a long-held norm in the country, remains a serious concern. More than half of the women respondents in one province surveyed by the Bureau of Statisticsbelieve that it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife under certain circumstances. These attitudes, the agency claims, are not much different in the rest of the country.
CA: Attorney General Becerra Seeks Preliminary Injunction to Stop Trump Administration’s Harmful “Healthcare Refusal Rule” (Press release)
Office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra – June 04, 2019
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed a motion for preliminary injunction to block the Trump Administration’s “Healthcare Refusal Rule” from taking effect while litigation continues. The new rule allows any individual, entity, or provider-from doctors to front office staff-to deny basic healthcare, including emergency care, based on religious or moral objections.
CT: Counseling service looking to expand footprint in CT
Milton Standard-Journal – June 05, 2019
A business that offers counseling services for troubled youth may be looking to expand its footprint at the Northumberland County South Campus in Coal Township. In April, the county commissioners approved entering into an agreement with Diversified Treatment Alternative Centers to lease three buildings at the campus.
DE: Delaware’s Innovative Addiction Programs are Honored
Legal Reader – June 04, 2019
The state of Delaware has the fifth-highest overdose rate in the nation. State legislators are working toward “increasing access to treatment; expanding prevention programs; and offering wraparound services such as stable housing.” To recognize some of these efforts, the national nonprofit Addiction Policy Forum has honored eight Delaware innovative addiction programs.
Also: Eight Delaware programs honored for innovative efforts to curtail opioid epidemic: https://whyy.org/articles/eight-delaware-programs-honored-for-innovative-efforts-to-curtail-opioid-epidemic/
MT: Gazette opinion: How 1 lawsuit changed Montana child abuse laws
KPVI – June 04, 2019
Last fall, a civil lawsuit filed against a former Custer County High School athletic trainer and the school district sought a measure of justice for 19 men who alleged that they were molested by James “Doc” Jensen under the guise of athletic conditioning. The lawsuit rocked Montana, and led to remarkably swift and wide-ranging government action in the months since the allegations were first reported in The Billings Gazette in September.
NE: Kansas-based Saint Francis Ministries will take over child welfare services in Omaha area
Lincoln Journal Star – June 04, 2019
The state announced Tuesday it intends to replace the private contractor for child welfare services in Douglas and Sarpy counties with Kansas-based Saint Francis Ministries. The $39.2 million annual contract will last five years, with an option for two additional years, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release.
Also: DHHS to partner with St. Francis Ministries on child welfare cases (Includes video): https://www.wowt.com/content/news/DHHS-to-partner-with-St-Francis-Ministries-on-child-welfare-cases-510834631.html
OH: Governor DeWine addresses inaugural Ohio START Summit
Highland County Press – June 04, 2019
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine Tuesday spoke at the Inaugural Ohio Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) Summit that brought together Ohio START caseworkers, supervisors, administrators and family peer mentors involved in the pilot program. Governor DeWine launched this innovative program in 2017, during his time as Ohio Attorney General, with a mission of helping entire families impacted by child maltreatment and parental substance abuse disorders.
OK: New law requires DHS background checks for court-appointed advocates
Ada News – June 04, 2019
A new law requiring an additional background check for people who want to become advocates is a major step forward for the 22nd Judicial District’s Court Appointed Advocates program, the program’s executive director said Friday
OR: & WA: As Washington Pulls Foster Kids From Facility, Oregon Children Remain
Oregon Public Broadcasting – June 04, 2019
This is not the first time Washington officials have moved swiftly to remove children from an out-of-state treatment facility due to safety concerns, while Oregon’s foster youth remained. After a report showed that Clarinda Academy, in Iowa, was causing harm to the youth who were placed there, Washington stopped sending children in their custody to the facility.
VA: Every year, children are diverted away from foster care and placed with relatives. Nobody knows what happens next. (Commentary)
Virginia Mercury – June 03, 2019
There is an inherent conundrum built into child welfare. Social workers are trying to protect kids, but separating them from their parents is traumatizing, even if it’s for their own safety. And reams of research shows that, if they have to be removed from their homes, children do best when they’re placed with family members. (Last in a two-part look at kinship care in Virginia.)
Also: Impact of Kinship Care on Permanency Outcomes: https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/relatives/impact/
Also: Part 1: ‘They forgot about us:’ Thousands of families are doing the same work as foster parents in Virginia, without the support: https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/06/02/they-forgot-about-us-thousands-of-families-are-doing-the-same-work-as-foster-parents-in-virginia-without-the-support/
WI: ‘Odd wording’ in law leads to dismissal of felony sexual assault charge against former UW doctor (Commentary)
Wisconsin State Journal – June 05, 2019
Dane County prosecutors dismissed a felony sexual assault charge against a former University of Wisconsin doctor Tuesday, agreeing with the doctor’s attorneys that a “poorly drafted” state law under which the charge was filed doesn’t apply to the facts of the case. Thom still faces a misdemeanor fourth-degree sexual assault charge for the incident at a UW Health clinic in December 2016 and pleaded not guilty to the charge Tuesday.
WI: Budget committee approves increase for child welfare services amid opioid, meth epidemics
Cap Times – June 04, 2019
The Wisconsin Legislature’s budget committee voted Tuesday to approve an additional $30 million for child welfare services funding in state and federal dollars, exceeding the increase Gov. Tony Evers sought over the next two years. But in all, the approximately $126 million total raise the Joint Finance Committee signed off on for the Department of Children and Families is nearly $66 million less than the increase Evers wanted.
US: Trump’s adoption rollback collides with foster youth day (Includes video)
Roll Call – June 05, 2019
“Every single resource that you pour into your child needs to be poured into us.” That’s what Racquell Perry would say to Congress if given an audience with all 535 lawmakers. She didn’t get that Tuesday, but at least she came close. Perry, 29, was one of more than 100 former and current foster youth following members of Congress, making their presence known in the halls of the Capitol with bright blue sashes and an urgent mission.
US: Who Can Adopt a Native American Child? A Texas Couple vs. 573 Tribes
New York Times – June 05, 2019
Zachary, or A.L.M. as he is called in legal papers, has a Navajo birth mother, a Cherokee birth father and adoptive parents, Jennifer and Chad Brackeen, neither of whom is Native American. The Brackeens are challenging a federal law governing Native American children in state foster care: It requires that priority to adopt them be given to Native families, to reinforce the children’s tribal identity.
US: Everything You Need to Know About Foster Care, Explained
Good Housekeeping – June 04, 2019
Foster care is a system of caregiving for children who cannot safely live with their biological parents. It’s intended to be temporary, although under certain circumstances, some children can remain indefinitely. Foster care is its own selfless act, and if you’re considering it for your family, here’s what you need to know.
US: International Adoptions – Important Information to Know (Commentary)
HG.org – June 04, 2019
International adoption is often tricky depending on the country the family is inviting the child from or taking the child to when the family wants to either acquire a youth or give one up to an international foreign family. Certain countries may require additional processes or more details and better medical records before ever letting the child enter or exit the country.
US: What It’s Like to Be a Disabled Parent in an Inaccessible World (Commentary)
Rewire News – June 04, 2019
Parenting is hard work. But for parents with disabilities, the challenges can feel insurmountable-not because of the parent’s disability itself, but because they are raising children in a society not built for them.
US: Wraparound Support is Key to Keeping Families Out of the Child Welfare System, Report Says
Route FIfty – June 04, 2019
Families with unstable housing are more likely to interact with the child welfare system. That’s because families who experience homelessness and inadequate housing are particularly vulnerable to struggles with meeting other basic needs as well, including food, healthcare, and childcare.
Also: Report: Does Supportive Housing Keep Families Together?: https://www.urban.org/research/publication/does-supportive-housing-keep-families-together
Canada: Canadian Inquiry Calls the Murder and Disappearance of Indigenous Women Genocide (Commentary) (Includes video)
Truthout – June 04, 2019
A chilling national inquiry has determined that the frequent and widespread disappearance and murder of Indigenous girls and women in Canada is a genocide that the government itself is responsible for. The findings were announced by the Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls at a ceremony on Monday with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the families of victims.
CA: Meet the Women Fighting for Gender Equality in Addiction Treatment
Pacific Standard Magazine – June 03, 2019
Meet the Women Fighting for Gender Equality inA gender-targeted approach to harm reduction and drug treatment could help close the gaps between how male and female drug users can work toward recovery. Female drug users are more likely than their male counterparts to perform sex work and to experience intimate partner violence associated with drug use. They are at elevated risk for HIV, and have additional challenges in pregnancy and the strong stigma that comes with being a mother who uses drugs.
FL: FIU Program Is Lifeline for Homeless, Former Foster Care Students (Includes video)
NBC Miami – June 03, 2019
FIU’s Fostering Panther Pride program is a lifeline for students coming out of foster care or homelessness. Currently, 165 students are in FFP. The university provides them with fully outfitted dorm rooms which stay open during holidays and breaks in school, when other students are going home to their families.
Also: Fostering Panther Pride: http://sas.fiu.edu/fpp/
FL: Former Florida Foster Kids Get Help With Adulting
News Service of Florida – June 03, 2019
Dozens of former foster youth, ranging from 18 to 24 years old, are participating in workplace readiness training this week. Abby Phelps with the Department of Children and Families says most kids who have aged out of foster care don’t have parental figures to look to for career guidance, and this program is trying to fill the gap.
LA: Legislators act on bills related to foster care, domestic violence, elder care
LSU Manship School News Service – June 03, 2019
Senate and House committees on Wednesday considered bills to improve youth foster care programs and implement safe haven infant drop boxes in the state. A bill sponsored by Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, would establish an extended foster care program for young adults up to age 21. Louisiana’s current foster care system ages out children when they turn 18.
LA: Stephanie Grace: Proposed child marriage law would’ve protected kids, but lawmakers regressed instead (Commentary)
Advocate – June 03, 2019
The apparent failure of an effort to sharply curtail child marriages, which happened over the weekend when the House basically amended the meaning right out of it, doesn’t actually make things worse. But by first backing new limits on these unions and then backing off, lawmakers whiffed on a chance to protect younger teens from either voluntarily entering a legal arrangement – or far worse, being pressured or even forced into one by an adult – before most sane people would deem them ready to make such a life-altering decision.
ME: Senate unanimously passes funding bill for Ombudsman’s Office (Includes video)
WABI – June 03, 2019
A bill to increase funding for the office that provides oversight on the child welfare system got unanimous approval Monday in the Maine Senate.
NC: Commissioners give go-ahead on grant applications
Daily Reflector – June 04, 2019
The $2.7 million, five-year grant being sought by social services will be used to work with children who are being cared for in foster care and who are with their families. It will fund multiple training programs for foster care families and for staff who work with children at risk for abuse, said Jan Elliott, social services director.
NC: I-Team: NC parents worry about lack of child care (Includes video)
WTVD – June 03, 2019
According to data obtained by the ABC11 I-Team, more than 3,000 licensed child care centers and homes have closed since 2005, a 35 percent decrease in less than 15 years. The population of children under six in North Carolina, meanwhile, has grown by more than 40,000.
NH: DCYF bills signed into law after Sununu, Senate standoff
WMUR – June 03, 2019
It’s a case of finger-pointing on both sides, and the stakes were anything but trivial. But the bottom line is that on Monday, Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a bill that would provide about $6 million in state funding to add 77 positions to the Division of Children, Youth and Families.
NY: Job: Become A Child Protective Specialist
Harlem World Magazine – June 04, 2019
Working as a Child Protective Specialist is a great opportunity if you are a recent college graduate or a seasoned professional. Extensive training, coaching and professional development is available.
OH: Portman’s bipartisan legislation would provide work opportunities for foster youth (Commentary)
Ripon Advance – June 03, 2019
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) on May 23 cosponsored a bipartisan bill that would incentivize employers around the nation to hire youth transitioning from the foster care system. Sen. Portman introduced the Improved Employment Outcomes for Foster Youth Act, S. 1651, with bill sponsor U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to include foster care transition youth as members of targeted groups for purposes of the work opportunity credit, according to the congressional record.
OK: Oklahoma Department of Human Services director replaced
Oklahoman – June 04, 2019
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is getting a new director. Gov. Kevin Stitt is replacing Ed Lake, who held the job almost seven years, The Oklahoman learned Monday. The governor is expected to announce his choice Tuesday morning.
OR: Many Oregon Children Face Serious Medical, Social Problems
Lund Report – June 03, 2019
Many Oregon children face a combination of serious illness plus family or other social problems, such as parental incarceration, domestic violence, mental illness or drug and alcohol abuse, says a new study that will be presented to the Oregon Health Policy Board on Tuesday.
Also: Health Complexity in Children – Statewide Summary Report: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/dsi-tc/ChildHealthComplexityData/Statewide-Summary-2019-March.pdf
OR: Opinion: Oregon courts need full funding
Oregonian – June 03, 2019
Whether it is a child welfare case, a criminal charge, an eviction proceeding, a domestic violence protective order, or a child support matter, each day Oregon courts see scores of people impacted by a lack of education, trauma, behavioral health challenges, and poverty. These are many of the same clients that our nonprofit community serves every day, which is why many of our community partners rely so heavily on our courts.
OR: Homelessness Crisis: The Other One Percent
Oregon Business – May 31, 2019
True to its name, the One Percent Project asks businesses to donate 1% of overall profits to fight homelessness. “Some women are homeless because they’re in abusive relationships, and have to choose between staying with their abuser and being homeless. They might need different things than someone who has aged out of foster care or someone facing structural racism.”
PA: Second-ever LGBT State of the Union champions progress, considers new controversies (New Residence Opens for LGBT Youth)
Philly Voice – June 04, 2019
A new organization was added to the SOTU this year – Project HOME’s Casarez Residence, named for the late Gloria Casarez, the first executive director of the Office of LGBT Affairs. The residence, which offers 30 units for LGBT youth, is helping the most at-risk young people in the city get a head start where they can pursue education and employment in a safe space.
PA: Children and Youth reunites family (Requires free registration)
Gettysburg Times – June 03, 2019
Two young children placed in another state’s foster care system were recently reunited with relatives thanks to the hard work of Adams County Children and Youth Services (CYS).
TN: Housing choice voucher closed, Memphis Housing Authority not accepting applications (Press release)
WJKT – June 03, 2019
A false post to Facebook was made over the weekend indicating the MHA was accepting housing choice voucher, aka section 8, applications through the HUD’s Family Reunification Program (FUP) from the public. The Family reunification Program is an exclusive partnership between MHA, the TN Department of Children’s Services (DCS) Shelby County Region and the Community Alliance for the Homeless to administer FUP vouchers to keep child welfare involved families safely together, to prevent and reduce homelessness and to provide safe, stable housing for families and youth. MHA only accepts referrals for FUP vouchers from DCS. The waiting list for the Housing Choice Voucher program is closed and is not scheduled to reopen any time soon.
WA: ‘Nothing short of miraculous’: Excelsior sees dramatic dip in youth runaway reports
Inlander – June 03, 2019
It appears the issue with kids running away from Excelsior has turned around. Data from the Spokane Police Department shows a drastic drop in runaway reports and calls in 2018. There were 910 runaway reports in 2017, according to SPD data. In 2018, there were only 65.
Also: The Long Way Home: https://www.inlander.com/spokane/the-long-way-home/Content?oid=3864168
US: MIL-OSI USA: Representatives Woodall and Smith Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve International Adoption (Press release)
Office of U.S. Congressman for Georgia Rob Woodall – June 04, 2019
Today, U.S. Representatives Rob Woodall (R-GA) and Adam Smith (D-WA) introduced the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2019, which provides a much-needed fix to the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
US: Pregnant women with substance use disorders need treatment, not prison (Commentary)
STAT News – June 04, 2019
More than 210,000 women spent Mother’s Day 2019 in America’s prisons and jails. Two-thirds of them are mothers of young children; an unknown number are pregnant. Many of them have substance use disorders with a significant history of trauma and mental health problems. Some have been incarcerated solely for the alleged crime of substance use during pregnancy, and many have lost custody of their children because there aren’t enough treatment centers for women and their kids.
Also: Report: USA: Criminalizing pregnancy: policing pregnant women who use drugs in the USA: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/amr51/6203/2017/en/
US: Capitol Hill Briefing Tomorrow on Counsel for Kids, Parents in Child Welfare Courts
Chronicle of Social Change – June 03, 2019
A group of legislative caucuses on vulnerable youth and on legal issues are jointly offering a congressional briefing tomorrow on a hot topic of late in child welfare: the legal rights of parents and children in dependency court proceedings.
US: Lesbian, Gay Youth at Higher Risk for Self-Harm
HealthDay News – June 03, 2019
An alarming number of teens practice self-harm, but lesbian, gay and bisexual teens may be more than twice as likely as their straight peers to cut, hit or bruise themselves, new research warns.
US: Explainer: What’s going on with faith-based adoption agencies? And what will happen next? (Commentary)
Deseret News – June 02, 2019
Four years ago, the Supreme Court said LGBTQ couples could marry in every state. Did it also give them the right to adopt from any agency? That question plagues officials across the country, who must decide whether faith-based adoption agencies that refuse to serve same-sex couples should still be allowed to partner with the government to place kids in new homes. LGBTQ and religious freedom rights advocates clash over what’s best for prospective parents and vulnerable children.
US: New Report Calls for Policies and Practices to Promote Positive Adolescent Development and Close the Opportunity Gap
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine – May 16, 2019
The changes in brain structure and connectivity that occur between the ages of 10 and 25 present adolescents with unique opportunities for positive, life-shaping development, and for recovering from past adversity, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The Promise of Adolescence: Realizing Opportunity for All Youth provides recommendations for capitalizing on these opportunities, and for addressing inequities – in education, health care, child welfare, and the juvenile justice system – that undermine the well-being of many adolescents and leave them less able to take advantage of the promise offered by this stage of life.
Canada: ‘Canadian Genocide’: Report Seeks Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
Global Citizen – June 03, 2019
After almost three years of gathering thousands of testimonies across Canada, the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report Monday at a ceremony in Gatineau, Quebec. The report, entitled “Reclaiming Power and Place,” refers to the violence against these women and girls a race-based “Canadian genocide.” It issued 231 calls of justice – recommendations of actions the governments and citizens must take to put an end to the violence.
Also: Report: Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/
Finland: Child marriage ban takes effect in Finland
Yle – June 01, 2019
Persons under the age of 18 may no longer be married in Finland, as the ban on the practice of special exemption came into effect on Saturday. Only persons aged 18 years or older may now be married. The Ministry of Justice has previously been able to confirm about 10-30 exemptions to the Marriage Act. The justification for the exemption in couples aged under 17 years has been pregnancy, the ministry said.
AZ: Arizona DCS causes father to lose rights to his child, court finds
Arizona Republic – May 29, 2019
Sloppy work, lack of evidence and outright lies caused a father to lose parental rights to his daughter, the Court of Appeals argued in an opinion that criticizes the work of nearly everyone involved in the four-year-long case. The Department of Child Safety, not the father, is to blame for circumstances that led to a juvenile-court decision last year to sever the father’s parental rights, the appeals court wrote.
CA: Empower Yolo: Providing victim services in detention facilities
Davis Enterprise – June 01, 2019
Empower Yolo has served survivors in detention facilities since 2008. However, its advocacy efforts have been largely unfunded since 2013, with only a few staff supporting survivors. This new funding allows for the expansion of services for victims currently incarcerated and will increase services to include more discharge planning, court accompaniment help, advocacy and support with community partners such as Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Health and Human Services Agency, the Public Defender’s Office, Victim Witness, the District Attorney’s Office, Child Welfare Services and more.
CA: California lawmakers threaten to break confidentiality of confession to find abusers (Commentary)
Religion News Service – May 31, 2019
Breaking with a long tradition of clerical privilege, California is edging toward requiring priests and other church employees to inform authorities if they learn of a case of child sex abuse during the sacrament of confession.
CA: Los Angeles Hopes to Avoid Moving Backward on Education for Foster Students
Chronicle of Social Change – May 31, 2019
Big changes may be ahead for the nearly 3,600 foster youth currently enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Last week, the district announced that it will start producing regular data reports on how students in foster care are faring in school and how often they are changing schools – a key issue for foster youth who are frequently forced to change placements far from home.
CA: Native American Tribes in California – Tribal Visitation Rights When One of Their Children Is Adopted.
HG.org – May 31, 2019
The Native American Tribes in California may have certain visitation rights even if the child adopted is no longer on a reservation or available to the tribe to visit with locally. These rights can extend to ensure a better relationship with the youth that has a Native American cultural background that only the tribe can help nurture.
FL: Column: Death by ignorance — what really killed Baby Jordan and Baby Will? (May require paid subscription) (Commentary)
Tampa Bay Times – May 31, 2019
Ignorance of the basic science of brain injury, the leading cause of death and disability from child abuse, poses a continued threat to Florida’s child welfare system.
FL: Immigrant Advocates Ask Court To Release Unaccompanied Minors Detained In Florida
Nevada Public Radio – May 31, 2019
The allegations come in a motion filed in federal court in Los Angeles by attorneys for the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law and other groups. They say that the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement is detaining as many as 2,350 unaccompanied minors in a secure facility in Homestead, Florida, and routinely failing to transfer the minors to a licensed facility or release them to adult sponsors as required.
Also: Lawyers Allege Illegally Long Stays and Widespread Mistreatment at Homestead Shelter: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/lawyers-say-homestead-shelter-for-migrant-children-violates-20-day-rule-under-flores-agreement-11185746
GA: Department of Family Services faces foster parent shortage (Includes video)
WTOC – May 29, 2019
A haunting reality in Chatham County with too many children in foster care and not enough foster parents. The shortage is forcing these children to be placed in counties across Georgia, hundreds of miles from their homes.Ultimately, moving these kids far away from their legal guardians lowers the chances of a successful reunion.
ID: Guest opinion: Uphold children’s rights in Idaho
Idaho Press – May 31, 2019
The past three years have shown increasing interest in children’s welfare in Idaho. Now, more than ever, children at risk need help. During this past legislative session alone, lawmakers considered proposals on teen marriage, on female child genital mutilation, on sex education options, and so on. There’s a long list of measures, some successful and some not, that affect the well-being of Idaho children.
IL: Illinois’ Intact Family Services: What happens when family preservation trumps child safety? (Commentary)
Child Welfare Monitor – June 03, 2019
Illinois’ child welfare services to families that are allowed to keep their children have major systemic flaws that put children at risk. Most importantly, there is extreme reluctance to remove children from their homes and place them in foster care. Those are the findings of a review from Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago that was commissioned by the Governor in the wake of several deaths of children whose families were being supervised by the state.
Report: Systemic Review of Critical Incidents in Intact Family Services: https://www.chapinhall.org/wp-content/uploads/Systemic-Review-Critical-Incidents.pdf
IL: Illinois Senate directs Auditor General to evaluate care to LGBTQ youth in DCFS
Central Illinois Proud – May 31, 2019
The Illinois Senate on Friday passed Senate Resolution 403, which directs the Auditor General to evaluate the care provided to LGBTQ children and youth in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
IL: Recap: Lawmakers take action to improve DCFS:
WICS/WRSP – May 31, 2019
As lawmakers wrap up their time in the capital city, we wanted to know what progress they made toward improving the Department of Children and Family Services and child welfare in Illinois.
IN: Camp to unite siblings in separate foster care homes comes to central Indiana (Includes video)
WTHR – May 30, 2019
Camp to Belong is for siblings in the foster care system who live in different homes. The idea is to strengthen sibling bonds across households. “Sibling relationships, we know, are actually some of the longest relationships we are going to have in our lifetime,” Leah Edge, co-director of Camp to Belong Indiana, said. “So for kids in foster care to be able to have those relationships that are going to be a support for them later in life, is pretty critical to their mental well-being, to their health, their success.”
KS: Horizons opens new home for youth in crisis (Includes video)
Hutchinson News – June 03, 2019
Open since late February, and licensed by the state as an attendant care house, the home is enabling professionals to treat and stabilize children locally so they can return home or go back to school sooner, rather than being shipped hours away to a state treatment center in Hays. The operation is just one of three new programs launched by professionals at Hutchinson’s Horizons Mental Health Center in the last year to provide a continuum of mental health care for children in the community.
KS: FF12: DCF child welfare investigators face high caseloads
KWCH – May 31, 2019
The names resonate in communities in Kansas. Zaiden Javonovich, Evan Brewer, Tony Bunn, Lucas Hernandez and Caleb Blansett are just a few of the children who died under the care of their parents or guardians. In light of those and many other cases, people in the community have been questioning the Kansas Department for Children and Families wondering how caseworkers handle these cases and if they’re overworked. FactFinder 12 has heard from many complaining of high caseloads and burnout within DCF.
LA: Lawmakers advance foster care, child welfare measures
LSU Manship School News Service – May 31, 2019
Bills that aim to improve youth foster care programs and implement safe haven infant drop boxes in the state are headed toward final votes in the Louisiana Legislature.
MI: Michigan Launches Online Child Abuse Reporting System
9&10 News – June 01, 2019
If you are ever in the unfortunate situation of needing to report child abuse, the state of Michigan has created a new way to do so. The Michigan Online Reporting System is for people legally required to report abuse like doctors, teachers and religious leaders
NH: Opioid crisis, system shortfall wounds New Hampshire’s children
Fosters.com – June 02, 2019
One lived in a car infested with lice. Others were exploited by their parents, forced to engage in sexual intercourse with adults in exchange for drugs. Some arrived with scabies and hoarding habits from unclean living and severe food insecurity. All byproducts of New Hampshire’s opioid crisis, they’re the largely invisible victims, often raised in traumatic environments where adverse childhood experiences inflict irreversible harm.
RI: Rep. Casimiro bill that tracks academic performance of foster care youth passes House (Press release)
State of Rhode Island General Assembly – May 29, 2019
Rep. Julie A. Casimiro’s (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) legislation (2019-H 5964A) that directs superintendents to create an annual report on the academic progress of foster care youth passed the House of Representatives tonight. “Youth in our foster care system have already gone through so much turmoil and heartbreak during their short lives so it is imperative that we do not allow them to fall by the wayside in our educational system.”
TX: & AR: Turning Lives Around
Texarkana Gazette – June 02, 2019
Bowie County operates felony and misdemeanor specialty courts meant to help those whose law-breaking behavior is rooted in chemical dependency or mental illness. The programs range from the most intensive treatment conducted in a lock-down prison setting to an out-patient approach. Across the state line in Miller County, Ark., similar drug court programs are available for defendants whose criminal conduct is driven by drug abuse.
TX: Dozens of children aging out or adults who aged out of the foster care system (Video)
KFDA – May 31, 2019
Dozens of children aging out or adults who aged out of the foster care system.
WA: Who is Responsible for WA’s homeless teens? Often, no one (Commentary)
Crosscut – May 31, 2019
The state offers few resources to support minors who have been kicked out of their homes or who run away.
US: College Hunger No Laughing Matter: Part 1 of 2 (Includes audio)
Public News Service – June 03, 2019
Jokes about starving college students relying on ramen noodles, rice and other cheap foods are no laughing matter, as recent research uncovers the broad scope of campus hunger. In a survey released by Temple University, 45% of student respondents said they had been food insecure in the past month, meaning they were unsure of the source of their next meal.
US: 18 and On Your Own: A New Way to Ease the Transition From Foster Care
Governing – June 01, 2019
Aging out of the system brings tough challenges that states are trying to help young adults overcome.
US: “I have spent a lot of time crying”: Migrant children describe life at Homestead shelter (Includes video)
CBS News – May 31, 2019
The girl from Guatemala worries not only about herself, but others around her at the nation’s largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children, in Homestead, Florida. Identified only by her initials, B.M. describes seeing children cutting themselves amid fits of tears. She said she tells them “not (to) think about the future or getting out to their families. But that’s hard to do.”
US: Ethics Over Economics: Building a Better Adoption System Amid Baby ‘Shortages’ (Commentary)
Rewire News – May 31, 2019
Advocating for ethical adoption practices does not mean denying the deep bonds of love that can form in adoptive families. But every adopted child deserves to grow up secure in the knowledge that their first/birth parents, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy or uncertainty about parenting, were able to weigh all options. And every pregnant person deserves to decide on the best course for themselves, without being subject to overt or subtle pressure, trickery, or coercion from professionals with vested interests.
US: Foster Care Resources for Tribes (Press release)
Administration for Children and Families – May 31, 2019
The White House has designated the month of May as National Foster Care Month. As the proclamation mentions, there were 443,000 youth that were placed in resource homes across the country in FY 2017. While the data for American Indian/Native Alaska children in foster care can vary from state to state and from tribe to tribe, it is important to share that there is a tremendous need for resource homes and to have resource parents who can support and meet the needs of children.
US: HRC Foundation and National Partners Launch Project THRIVE (Press release)
Human Rights Campaign – May 31, 2019
HRC Foundation and more than 16 of the nation’s largest national organizations committed to the well-being of young people are launching Project THRIVE, a groundbreaking multi-year campaign that will focus efforts coast-to-coast on improving the lives of LGBTQ youth at home, in school and in their communities.
US: Protecting LGBTQ Youth and Families from Harmful Legislation
Human Rights Campaign – May 31, 2019
Against the backdrop of National Foster Care Month, HRC and our partners have been hard at work to fight back against harmful child welfare-related legislation in states around the country. These “licenses to discriminate” in the provision of child welfare services seek to enshrine discrimination into law by allowing taxpayer-funded government contractors to refuse to work with LGBTQ individuals, same-sex families or other qualified prospective parents who don’t meet a contractor’s religious criteria.
US: Shadow removals: How safety plans allow CPS to avoid judicial oversight (Commentary)
Hill – May 31, 2019
An investigative report by WDRB in Louisville, Kentucky recently exposed a particularly innovative – although likely illegal – method that the state’s child protective services caseworkers came up with to remove children from their families without court approval. While the Kentucky practice is shocking for its utter brazenness, it is a symptom of the larger problem of the child welfare system’s disregard for the most basic constitutional rights.
Also: Kentucky workers accused of illegally removing children from homes: https://www.wdrb.com/in-depth/sunday-edition-kentucky-workers-accused-of-illegally-removing-children-from/article_5b42179c-474f-11e9-b44e-5b1688808fe4.html
US: Showing appreciation for foster parents today, and every day (Commentary)
Brookings Institution – May 31, 2019
May 31st is Foster Parent appreciation day. There are many ways to recognize and thank the foster parents who work every day to provide a stable home for the children and youth in foster care. To celebrate foster parent appreciation day and national foster care month, CHAMPS has prepared a list of ideas that child welfare agencies, legislators and other community-based organizations can reference to show their support for foster families.
US: U.S. high court won’t use ‘moot’ AZ case to decide legality of Indian Child Welfare Act
Arizona Daily Star – May 31, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed a bid to void a federal law that critics say places the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the constitutionally protected best interests of children.
US: Michelle Obama Shares The Sweetest Tribute To ‘Sesame Street’ (Includes video)
Huffington Post – May 30, 2019
Michelle Obama was honored Wednesday for her work with the Joan Ganz Cooney Award – named after the program’s creator – at the Sesame Workshop’s 50th Anniversary Benefit Gala in New York City. “Sesame Street,” produced by the nonprofit organization Sesame Workshop, often seeks to tackle difficult or taboo issues. Episodes in recent years have included a character who is in foster care and another who is homeless. The show has also helped to explain the concept of blended families to children.
US: Bill aims to protect Korean-American adoptees from deportation
United Press International – May 29, 2019
Tens of thousands of international adoptees in the United States, many of them of Korean descent, are under threat of potential deportation because of neglected paperwork. Adoptees legally adopted by U.S. citizens need better protection, and a new law could lift them out of immigration limbo, said Jenny Town, a leading analyst in Washington on North Korea affairs, and managing editor of 38 North.
US: Grassley, Wyden Op-ed: Foster Youth And Families Need Our Support
Office of U.S. Senator for Iowa Chuck Grassley – May 29, 2019
Parenting is the single most challenging, rewarding, thrilling and terrifying job a person can undertake. Each of us have five kids of our own so we understand the highs and lows very well. We recognize the importance of having a parenting and family support system with which to share joyful moments, as well as to lean on during times of hardship. We’ve been fortunate to have strong support systems, but that isn’t the case for everyone. May is National Foster Care Month, a month dedicated to acknowledging the efforts of individuals and groups to help children in the foster care system. It’s also an opportunity for Congress to recommit to doing more.
US: DHS Cites Insufficient Resources in Deaths of Migrant Children (Video)
Voice of America – May 24, 2019
The Trump administration has blamed the escalating humanitarian and security crisis at the southern U.S. border for the deaths of several migrant children. The head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told a Senate panel Thursday that the number of arrivals has accelerated in recent months, making it hard to process families and unaccompanied children. VOA’S Zlatica Hoke reports the deaths of the children while in U.S. custody have caused a public outrage.
Also: Migrant Surge Accelerates at US-Mexico Border: https://www.voanews.com/a/migrant-surge-accelerates-at-us-mexico-border/4929854.html
US: Public Housing Agencies Oppose HUD’s Plan to Evict Immigrant Families
Governing – May 21, 2019
There’s a problem with the Trump administration’s proposal that Secretary Ben Carson defended before Congress on Tuesday. Local authorities don’t want to enforce it.
Canada: New federal investment will help improve women’s economic security in Ottawa (Press release)
Canadian Department for Women and Gender Equality – June 01, 2019
We know that change takes time, but it also takes precious financial resources and a lot of groundwork. We help thousands of families to cope in a fast-paced society that is becoming increasingly complex and demanding in terms of what it expects from the average Canadian family. We have to adapt every day to these changes and are very grateful for the Government of Canada’s long-term investment in our organization’s project.
Canada: Opioid crisis forces another State of Emergency in Fort Albany
Net News Ledger – June 01, 2019
Since 2010 and likely longer, the remote northern Ontario community of Fort Albany have been experiencing a barrage of health and social crisis. Between 2010-2013, the community’s suicide crisis reached epidemic proportions and a State of Emergency had been declared. Illicit drugs and alcohol were identified as the major contributor for the mounting, premature deaths in the community. The pivotal moment came on May 27, 2019 when community members called a meeting between the Chief and Council to address the current health and social crisis in the community demanding “real action” on the illicit drug and alcohol problem.
International: We need a more sustainable solution to the global orphan crisis (Includes audio) (Commentary)
Christian Post – June 01, 2019
I understand why people think orphanages effectively address the global orphan crisis. According to UNICEF, there are around 140 million orphans currently in the world. And orphanages can provide a place where children are safe with basic needs met. They have toys, clothing and shelter. They go to school. They sometimes have a swing set.
Yemen: A nightmare within a nightmare: Taking on sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises
United Nations Population Fund – May 28, 2019
When Maram* showed up at her parents’ house, battered and bruised by her husband, her mother urged her to be less stubborn, more obedient – anything to avoid a divorce.
AL: ‘One of the worst abusers’: An Alabama case highlights the state’s physical child abuse problem
Advance Local – May 30, 2019
While child abuse and neglect take different forms, more than half of Alabama’s child abuse and neglect victims – 52 percent – experience physical abuse. That’s nearly three times the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ 2017 Child Maltreatment report.
AZ: Aviva Children’s Services To Be Acquired By Easterseals Blake Foundation (Press release)
Easterseals Blake Foundation – May 30, 2019
On May 24, 2019, the Board of Directors of Aviva Children’s Services (Aviva) entered into an Agreement to move their operations under the auspices of Easterseals Blake Foundation (EBF) effective July 1, 2019. Aviva will maintain its non-profit status as wholly owned subsidiary of Easterseals Blake Foundation. Formed in 1978, Aviva has been a premier family visitation center for children in the care of child welfare agencies throughout Pima County.
AZ: Pima County Juvenile Court implements Crossover Youth Practice Model
KOLD – May 30, 2019
The Pima County Juvenile Court Center (PCJCC) is implementing the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM), designed to address the unique needs of youth who are involved within the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. CYPM focuses on reducing the number of youth crossing over. It aims to help youth who are at higher risk for a wide range of life-long struggles, including abuse, educational and behavioral challenges, recidivism and neglect.
CA: Peace4Kids marks 20 years of empowering foster youth
Los Angeles Wave – May 30, 2019
Peace4Kids is the only program of its kind geared toward foster children in the communities of Watts, Compton, Willowbrook and South Gate, and its Core Saturday Program provides creative educational courses, activities, field trips, life skills and mentorship to youth ages 4-25. In 2006, the organization began training youth on how to advocate for system reform by educating them on policy issues, introducing them to key stakeholders, and advancing its strength-based research agenda.
CA: Report outlines Humboldt County health woes
Eureka Times-Standard – May 30, 2019
The report accounts for negative childhood experiences that have adverse impacts on child development. These “adverse childhood experiences” (or ACEs) include abuse, neglect and household dysfunction — risk factors for future behavioral trouble. Countywide domestic violence calls to law enforcement are 1.6 times the rate of that in California and child maltreatment rates in the county have surpassed the state rate since 2012, continuing to rise with general neglect, the most common form of maltreatment in the region. Children are placed into foster care in the county, meanwhile, at a rate two times that of the state.
CA: At ‘Freedom House,’ a pattern of neglect
Los Angeles Times – May 22, 2019
Schey opened Casa Libre, or Freedom House, in late 2002 in a historic mansion near MacArthur Park, saying it would care for “the most vulnerable” children. But Casa Libre has been cited by state officials 143 times for failing to meet standards for state-licensed group homes, and 89 of those were for issues that posed “an immediate risk to the health, safety or personal rights of residents,” a Los Angeles Times investigation found.
FL: Report: Nearly 70,000 FL Kids Lost Medicaid, KidCare Coverage in 2018
Public News Service – May 31, 2019
More than 69,000 fewer children in Florida were enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) between the end of 2017 and the end of 2018, according to a study released Thursday by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Comments by Anne Swerlick, policy analyst and attorney, Florida Policy Institute; and Tricia Brooks, senior fellow, Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.
Also: Report: Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment DeclineSuggests the Child Uninsured Rate May Rise Again: https://ccf.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Enrollment-decline-final.pdf
HI: She’s Fought Nearly Three Years To Adopt Her Grandson. Hawaii Keeps Saying No (Commentary)
Honolulu Civil Beat – May 30, 2019
When a child is put in foster care, for instance, child welfare workers try to locate relatives within 30 days and convene meetings with family members who might take custody. DHS tells foster parents that the placement is temporary until the child can be reunified with parents or a suitable relative is found. Hawaii law specifies that a relative who wants to foster a child should be given an application within 15 days, and that if the application is denied, the department should give reasons. t the same time, the number of foster children placed with blood relatives declined in Hawaii after 2016. That led the state to review its practices to determine the cause of the drop.
IA: Iowa infant becomes 35th safe haven baby since law was enacted in 2002
Des Moines Register – May 30, 2019
An Iowa baby has become the 35th newborn in the state handed over to the Department of Human Services using the state’s safe haven procedures. The Safe Haven Act allows parents to leave an infant up to 30 days old at a hospital or other health care facility, according to the Iowa DHS website. A parent is allowed to also contact 911 within 30 days of the infant’s birth and give up custody to the first responder of the 911 call. Infants who become safe haven babies are placed in approved foster care homes or adoptive families.
IL: Agency transitioning Central Illinois foster care children to other providers
Pantagraph – May 30, 2019
Some Central Illinois children in foster care and in intact family services are transitioning to other agencies as Children’s Home & Aid ends those two services in the Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana areas because of stagnant reimbursement rates by the state.
IN: Department of Child Services Announces Scholarship Program Recipients
WBIW – May 31, 2019
Twenty-five Indiana Department of Child Services employees received financial support to further their studies as part of the 2019 Child Welfare Scholars Program. DCS, in partnership with the Indiana University School of Social Work, offers scholarships to current employees working toward earning their master’s degree in social work (MSW).
KY: YouthBuild raising $1.9M to help more struggling young adults attain self-sufficiency
Insider Louisville – May 31, 2019
YouthBuild Louisville annually helps 35 young adults on their path to self-sufficiency by providing them help with education, housing, counseling, job and life skills, such as getting glasses and learning how to obtain and fill a prescription. Thanks to an ongoing capital campaign, the organization hopes by this fall to nearly triple the number of annual participants.
MI: Families On Hold: How the LGBTQ Rights v. Religious Freedom Debate Affects Adoption and Foster Care (Commentary)
Sojourners Magazine – May 30, 2019
“Our country’s values have long recognized that the fact that another venue will serve you does not erase the stigma and humiliation of discrimination,” she said. “If an agency chooses to accept taxpayer dollars and provide this critically important government service, they have to put needs of the children first, whatever their beliefs or biases.”
SC: Lesbian couple sues after foster agency turns them away
CNN – May 30, 2019
A lesbian couple in South Carolina is challenging the state’s practice of letting taxpayer-funded foster care agencies reject prospective parents who don’t share their religious beliefs. The couple sued Thursday, accusing the state and the Trump administration of violating their constitutional rights by letting agencies use religious criteria to screen out would-be foster families.
Also: LGBTQ couple sues Trump administration, SC governor over foster care: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/lgbtq-couple-sues-trump-administration-sc-governor-over-foster-care/ar-AAC9leL
Also: ACLU joins discrimination suit against SC (Includes video): https://www.wspa.com/news/aclu-joins-discrimination-suit-against-sc/2039882773
Also: LGBTQ organizations sue Trump administration and S.C. after group denied lesbian couple’s foster care application: https://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/TheBattery/archives/2019/05/30/lgbtq-organizations-sue-trump-administration-and-sc-after-group-denied-lesbian-couples-foster-care-application
WI: County social workers submit personal stories to the Governor and Legislature about the frontlines of the Wisconsin child welfare crisis (Press release)
Wisconsin Counties Association – May 30, 2019
According to WCA, the complexity of the cases social workers respond to has increased as well, as alcohol and drug addiction adds an additional level of involvedness to a case. All of this leads to increased turnover and secondary trauma for county social workers; but, more importantly, leads to increased time in out-of home care for children, delaying how long it takes for a child reach permanency.
WV: State plans drastic changes for children with mental health problems
Register-Herald – May 30, 2019
West Virginia plans to expand health care services for children with mental health problems and their families, following a United States Department of Justice investigation. In 2015, the Department of Justice sent then-Governor Earl Ray Tomblin a letter, stating that West Virginia was keeping too many kids with serious mental health problems far from their homes, in residential facilities and psychiatric hospitals, often out of state.
US: National American Indian Organizations Praise US Supreme Court Decision Not to Hear ICWA Case
Native News Online – May 31, 2019
The Protect ICWA Campaign–the National Indian Child Welfare Association, the National Congress of American Indians, the Association on American Indian Affairs, and the Native American Rights Fund–applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny review in Carter v. Sweeney and protect Native children and families.
US: 2018 was deadliest year on record for leaving kids in hot cars (Includes video)
WQOW – May 30, 2019
In 2018, 52 children died from being left in hot cars, making it the deadliest year on record, according to Kids and Cars.org. Kids and Cars.org said a car can act like a greenhouse, and on a hot day heat up by 20 degrees in just 10 minutes.
US: Report: Hundreds of migrant children held longer than legally allowed by Border Patrol
Washington Post – May 30, 2019
Many of the nearly 2,000 unaccompanied migrant children being held in overcrowded U.S. Border Patrol facilities have been there beyond legally allowed time limits, including some who are 12 or younger, according to new government data obtained by The Washington Post.
US: Supportive Housing Can Help Keep Families Together (Commentary)
Urban Institute – May 30, 2019
Many families who come to child welfare agencies after a report of child abuse or neglect are experiencing homelessness or severe housing instability. Nearly 11 million households (PDF) nationwide are paying too much for rent, and about 1.4 million people use homeless shelters and transitional housing over the course of a year. There is no place in the country where there is enough affordable housing.
Also: Report: The State of The Nation’s Housing 2018: https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/Harvard_JCHS_State_of_the_Nations_Housing_2018.pdf US: Supportive Housing Can Help Keep Families Together
US: Trump Proposed Allowing Anti-Gay Discrimination in Adoption Just Before the Holiday Weekend
Rewire – May 30, 2019
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is considering the repeal of Obama-era policies that ban adoption and foster care agencies from receiving federal funding if they refuse to work with LGBTQ couples.
AK: Child welfare compact negotiations fail
Cordova Times – May 29, 2019
Tribal co-signers say their efforts to negotiate with the state of Alaska, as called for in the Alaska Tribal Child Welfare Compact, have so far failed because the state presented them with unreasonable and unworkable ultimatums.
AZ: Victims, advocates combat sex trafficking in Arizona (Includes video)
Cronkite News – May 29, 2019
Ferguson, now 20, said she watched as other young women she lived with were forced to have sex with men they didn’t know. “There is so much that’s going on in this world that people don’t know about � and I feel like a lot of people choose not to know about it. They choose not to know about sex trafficking,” Ferguson said.
CA: Homelessness in Los Angeles: A racial issue (Commentary)
Pasadena/San Grabriel Valley Journal – May 29, 2019
The false hope to become a Hollywood star leaves many on the streets and representing broken dreams. While this scenario is familiar to “Hollywood,” the sad aspect of the homeless epidemic in L.A. is that the majority of homeless people are of African-American descent. Many are veterans, and teenagers who got kicked out because they’re LGBTQ, or left because they came from broken homes.
CA: Troubled Child Welfare Agency Needs Change, County Leaders Say
California News Wire Services – May 29, 2019
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors called Tuesday for a detailed plan to implement recommendations of a state audit finding that child welfare workers fail to act quickly enough to keep children safe, including a strategy for hiring more senior staffers. Supervisor Kathryn Barger recommended that DCFS Director Bobby Cagle work with the Office of Child Protection and the county’s CEO to analyze the audit recommendations and figure out the cost of implementing them.
DC: SANDERS: Winner’s Circle – A Place for Children in Foster Care (Commentary)
Washington Informer – May 29, 2019
May is National Foster Care Awareness Month – a time to celebrate the voices of foster youth and to bring awareness to the challenges that they face. During this month, organizations such as Youth Villages, a national nonprofit based in Memphis, Tennessee, work to support and recognize youth in foster care, as well as put forward solutions to improve the child welfare system as a whole.
FL: Students In Broward County’s Children’s Harbor Program Walk The Stage In Graduation Ceremony (Includes video)
CBS Miami – May 28, 2019
It is graduation season and in Broward County, teens in the Children’s Harbor program walked across the stage Tuesday night. Despite challenges they faced in the foster care system, this night was about celebrating their accomplishments.
HI: The House That Love Built
MidWeek – May 29, 2019
It is said that youth is not a time of life but a state of mind. No one understands that better than the folks at Hale Kipa, where for a half-century they have focused on the affectations of adolescents.Started in 1970 as a shelter for runaway girls, the social services organization has evolved into a valued community resource that addresses troubled teens and their protective environments.
IA: Iowa continues to shed state workers: Gone are 3,000 jobs affecting worker safety, abused kids, flood victims (Includes video)
Des Moines Register – May 28, 2019
By sheer numbers, the deepest staff reductions from 2011 to 2018 happened within Iowa’s Department of Human Services, which lost 1,058 workers from its 4,998 in 2011. That included the elimination of at least 558 field operations workers, figures from the state show, a category that comprises social workers and income maintenance employees.
IL: Prosecutor: Despite active investigation, DCFS apparently never entered home where two children died in fire
Herald-Whig – May 29, 2019
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services had an open investigation on the family who lived in the northwest Quincy home where two children died in an October 2018 fire.
KY: KYA: Increased Federal Child Care Funds Provide Needed Boost
SurfKY News – May 28, 2019
new infographic from Kentucky Youth Advocates and several key Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children partners highlights how the recent federal investment in child care is fueling local economies and offering opportunities to working families.
LA: Lawmakers consider bills to improve foster programs, implement safe haven boxes
KATC – May 29, 2019
Senate and House committees on Wednesday considered bills to improve youth foster care programs and implement safe haven infant drop boxes in the state. A bill sponsored by Sen. Regina Barrow, D-Baton Rouge, would establish an extended foster care program for young adults up to age 21.
MA: Boston Children’s Hospital, DCF team up to recruit foster parents
Boston Herald – May 28, 2019
Boston Children’s Hospital has launched a collaboration with the state Department of Children and Families to help recruit foster and adoptive parents. The hospital will provide DCF foster parent recruiters with space on the Boston and Peabody campuses for monthly information sessions that are open to BCH staff and the public.
ME: Maine Gov. Janet Mills Signs Legislation Protecting LGBTQ Youth from “Conversion Therapy” (Commentary)
Human Rights Campaign – May 29, 2019
HRC celebrated Maine Governor Janet Mills signing into law L.D. 1025, which protects LGBTQ youth from the dangerous and debunked practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” The bill was passed with strong bipartisan support and makes Maine the 17th state in the U.S. to protect youth from this egregious practice.
NJ: ACLU-NJ Welcomes New Policy Director Sarah Fajardo, Seasoned Advocate and Analyst
Insider NJ – May 29, 2019
The ACLU-NJ today announced the addition of Sarah Fajardo as the organization’s policy director. Fajardo began leading the ACLU-NJ’s policy program in April, drawing from her near-decade’s experience guiding public policy in the nonprofit and government sectors.
NM: New Mexico says it must reduce income range for child care help
Santa Fe New Mexican – May 29, 2019
Less than a month after New Mexico’s child welfare agency announced it was increasing low-income families’ access to child care assistance under the settlement of a class-action complaint against its former chief, the department is proposing a big step back.
NY: Amid Record Rates Of Student Homelessness Advocates Call On Mayor To Increase Funding
Harlem World – May 28, 2019
Today, Christine C. Quinn President & CEO of Win (formerly Women in Need) – the largest provider of shelter in New York City from Harlem to Hollis for homeless women and their children, joined Executive Director of Advocates for Children of New York (AFC) Kim Sweet, Associate Executive Director of Policy and Planning for Citizens’ Committee for Children (CCC) Raysa Rodriguez and Councilmember Mark Treyger at New York City Hall to call on the City to fund and baseline at least 100 social workers for schools with the highest concentration of students living in shelter – an important increase at a time when city schools have a record number of students who are homeless.
OH: Warren County case helps adoptive parents of children with special needs
WCPO – May 30, 2019
Warren County has agreed to pay $100,000 and allow the adoptive families of 82 children with special needs a chance to get more financial aid as part of a class-action settlement from a 2018 lawsuit that accused the county of lying to families and underpaying them.
OR: & UT: Oregon officials say they were overly trusting of Utah foster program
Oregonian – May 29, 2019
Oregon’s child welfare regulators relied too much on assurances from a for-profit program in Utah that it was a safe and therapeutic place to send foster children, a top official told lawmakers on Tuesday. “We were not as knowledgeable about what was going on,” Deputy Child Welfare Director Jana McLellan said. “I think we were taking the word that was given to us and sharing that.”
PA: Attorney General Appeals Decision to Overturn Spanier Conviction
StateCollege.com – May 29, 2019
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is asking a federal appellate court to reinstate former Penn State President Graham Spanier’s conviction on a child endangerment charge.
TX: Voices: Caring for the vulnerable: Three ways churches can engage foster care (Commentary)
Baptist Standard – May 29, 2019
This spring, I attended a Department of Family and Protective Services Advisory Committee on Promoting Adoption of Minority Children quarterly meeting. Committee members reported African-American and Latino children are less likely to be adopted within 12 months of entering the foster care system, readily seen in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth.
TX: TSTC instructors spread awareness for free college program (Includes video)
KTAB/KRBC – May 28, 2019
Daniel Diaz and Demetri Jones spend day in and day out teaching students about the art of industrial maintenance at TSTC, but it’s how the two are marrying their home lives with their jobs that’s making the real difference. “We’ve been foster parents for about two years now,” said Jones. “We’re here to give these kids a chance.” One of those opportunities, higher education, Diaz and Jones now using their platforms to tell others about a program that allows foster children to schools like TSTC for free.
VA: Virginia’s first lady visits Abingdon for summit on childhood success
Washington County News – May 28, 2019
“We believe that all children should have access to opportunities they need to succeed, no matter who they are or where they live,” Northam told the morning session. Northam, an educator and former pediatric therapist, remains an advocate for improving early childhood education.
WV: Hazards come with leaving a child alone in a hot car
WVNS – May 28, 2019
Hot temperatures can lead to health hazards for anyone. However, leaving a child alone in a hot car is detrimental for their health. The heat can cause a kids’ organs to fail, and that could potentially result in death. Lieutenant Jeremy Halsey with Princeton Police Department said it does not take long for a car to become hazardous to a child’s health.
US: Hearings: More Money for Legal Counsel Won’t Fix Broken Court Processes (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – May 29, 2019
A recent policy change at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now allows for child welfare systems to draw federal funds to help pay for the legal counsel of all children and birth parents involved in the child welfare systems. I do believe that this is a great idea, however I am skeptical about whether this bill will be as transformative as some in the field expect. I am sharing my experience with the hope that it will illustrate how simply providing children and birth parents with lawyers may not make the impact many are anticipating.
US: US Supreme Court denies review of Arizona child welfare case
Associated Press – May 29, 2019
The U.S. Supreme Court has denied review of an Arizona case challenging a law that gives preference to American Indians in adoptions of Native children.The order this week leaves in place a lower court ruling that dismissed a complaint from a Phoenix-based, right-leaning think tank.The Goldwater Institute sought to keep two children with ties to the Gila River and Navajo tribes from being removed from their non-Native foster parents.
US: Doug Collins’ bill to aid international adoptions has passed the House
Dawson County News – May 28, 2019
Adoption legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville, passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday, and the bill aims to help families navigate the process of international adoption. The Intercountry Adoption Information Act requires the Secretary of State to include in its annual report information about countries that have issued new restrictions on adoptions to the United States.
US: Proposed Immigration Changes Already Having Effects, Research Finds
Route FIfty – May 22, 2019
A proposed rule change that could make it harder for immigrants to obtain green cards if they access social safety net programs is already discouraging non-native residents from applying for those services, according to new research from the Urban Institute.
Also: With Public Charge Rule Looming, One in Seven Adults in Immigrant Families Reported Avoiding Public Benefit Programs in 2018: https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/public-charge-rule-looming-one-seven-adults-immigrant-families-reported-avoiding-public-benefit-programs-2018
Australia: Queensland child protection workers facing traumatic stress (Audio)
ABC News (Australia) – May 28, 2019
A study of child protection workers across Queensland has found many commonly face traumatic stress as part of their work, but find it hard to seek help.
Canada: ‘Why Are So Many of Our Girls Dying?’ Canada Grapples With Violence Against Indigenous Women
New York Times – May 30, 2019
Tina’s death in 2014 – and the acquittal of a white man in her killing – was one of an increasing number of deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls that has shocked Canadians in recent years. The violence galvanized the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to open a $54 million national inquiry three years ago that promised to get at the root causes of the violence.