KARA reports on the issues of child well-being

This article submitted by CASA volunteer Mike Tikkanen

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For a wealthy nation like America, it is hard to believe how bad life is for children unlucky enough to be born into troubled families living in the wrong states.

Abused and neglected kids do much better when their parents are from Massachusetts than children living in New Mexico, Mississippi or a dozen other states that provide almost no help to struggling families or at risk children.

Across the board, the Southern States seem to maintain an anti tax mantra that devalues the well-being of other people’s children.  This clear from the KIDS COUNT statistics over the years.  This is their most  recent data for 2020


Ranking dead last in the following categories;

Overall –  New Mexico

Economic well-being – Louisiana

Education – New Mexico

Health – Mississippi

Family & Community – Mississippi

Low Birth Rate – Mississippi

Children Without Insurance – Texas (in 2007 then Senator GW Bush forbid the federal government from providing insurance to Texas children)

Child & Teen Deaths – Alaska & South Dakota tie

Overweight & Obese 10-17 Year Old Children – Mississippi

Young Children Not In School (3-4 year olds) – North Dakota (also the state with most kids medicated by Prozac like drugs)

Fourth Graders Not Reading at Grade Level – New Mexico (76% of New Mexico’s children can’t read at grade level)

Eighth Graders Not Proficient in Math – New Mexico (79% of 8th graders are not able to do 8th grade math)

Not Graduating on Time – District of Columbia (now a state)

Children in Poverty – Mississippi

Teens Not Working and Not In School – New Mexico tied with West Virginia*

  • *Puerto Rico #s not included because of disruption due to hurricanes and slow recovery of its institutions.

Read state by state at risk children’s news here;

ID: A better way
Coeur D’Alene/Post Falls Press – June 30, 2020
“At-risk children need love and support,” said Navara Reardon, a Children and Family Services counselor for Heritage Health. Some of these children, through no fault of their own, have suffered physical and emotional trauma that can take a lifetime to overcome. Reardon is piloting a program new to North Idaho called Trust-based Relational Intervention.


IL: Food program to provide meals at more than 1K Ill. child care centers
WIFR – June 30, 2020
Funding is now available for the Child and Adult Care Food Program from the Illinois State Board of Education. The program assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before and after school programs, emergency shelters, and day care home providers with funding to serve meals to children. All participating child care centers must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional cost. Funding for the CACFP comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


IL: Illinois DCFS Visitation Ban May Cause Lasting Harm
Patch – June 30, 2020
Beginning Friday, DCFS will allow in-person supervised visits every other week, with a plan to transition to regular, weekly visits in mid-July. But advocates, including Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli, seek an immediate end to the policy, which they say has already caused irreparable harm to parents and children.


MI: Budget cuts and coronavirus force vital American Indian Services resource center to close after 49 years (Includes audio)
Detroit Metro Times – June 30, 2020
After nearly 50 years of serving metro Detroit’s Indigenous community, American Indian Services is closing its doors on July 10, citing financial instability amid budget cuts and the coronavirus pandemic.


MN: Child Safety First: Understanding Minnesota’s mandatory and voluntary reporting requirements involving child abuse and neglect
Minnesota State Bar Association – June 30, 2020
One way to improve the number of child abuse cases reported to the appropriate authorities is to periodically remind professionals who are mandatory reporters under the law what their responsibilities are and to encourage all other persons who witness or learn of a child being harmed or in danger to voluntarily report such information. Both mandatory and voluntary reporters of child abuse and neglect have legal protections, including confidentiality and immunity, unless the reporter does not act in good faith and knowingly files a false report.


NE: Advocates call for Nebraska to use $80 million ‘rainy day’ fund to help children in poverty
Omaha World-Herald – June 30, 2020
Nebraska has stashed away $80 million of federal funds intended to help children in poverty over the last decade, according to a new report. On Tuesday, Voices for Children and Nebraska Appleseed, two advocacy groups that focus on poverty issues, urged state officials to use the reserves that have built up in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to help those struggling families. A governor’s spokesperson said the Governor’s Office and HHS have been monitoring enrollment in ADC and reviewing options on in light of the pandemic.


NY: Combat Police Brutality by Investing in Social Services (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 30, 2020
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced recently that the city would cut the New York Police Department’s budget and reinvest that money in communities most affected by police violence. Now is also the time to invest in critical frontline services that address the underlying trauma and chronic illnesses wrought by racism and economic deprivation.


OH: New HUD program helps kids who’ve aged out of foster care (Includes video)
WEWS – June 30, 2020
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson knows some of the best ideas often come not from the top down but from the bottom up. He said one in four will become homeless within four years of leaving foster care. In an effort to find something to help, they came up with the FYI or Foster Youth to Independence program.


TX: Commentary: Zero deaths in foster care is possible
San Antonio Express-News – June 30, 2020
In 2017, Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas should eliminate child deaths in the state’s foster care system. A heartbreaking new report by court-appointed monitors is a stark reminder that Texas is falling far short of that goal.


WV: West Virginia foster care families to receive COVID-19 stipend (Includes video)
WDVM – June 30, 2020
As schools remain closed, the need for foster parents in West Virginia is greater than ever. The latest figures from the Department of Health and Human Resources for May 2020 show West Virginia has 7,233 children in foster care. Now the state is giving back, giving foster care families an additional $90 per child to help cover extra costs during the time the children have had to remain home.


US: Spotlight on child abuse and neglect response in the time of COVID-19 (Opinion)
Lancet – July 01, 2020
The call from Joht Chandan and colleagues to adopt a public health approach toward pandemic-related increases in domestic violence ought to be heeded.1 Adoption of their framework for evaluating and addressing domestic violence and child abuse and neglect can create public health benefits that far outlast the current crisis.
Also: COVID-19: a public health approach to manage domestic violence is needed https://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lanpub/PIIS2468-2667(20)30143-2.pdf


US: Child marriage is “extremely prevalent” in U.S.: “The cycle perpetuates across generations” (Includes video)
CBS News – June 30, 2020
About one in five children around the world is married, according to a new report from the United Nations Population Fund – and underage marriage is not just an issue in other countries. In the United States, more than 200,000 minors were married between 2000 and 2015; most were girls and more than 80% were married to an adult, according to data analyzed by Frontline.
Also: Against My Will https://www.unfpa.org/swop?_ga=2.254291403.298854006.1593536187-150958357.1593536187


CA: Adoptions delayed for months by coronavirus closings to get their day in court
Tribune Content Agency – June 29, 2020
Foster families whose adoption plans got derailed by court closures prompted by the coronavirus crisis are set to receive some relief, with the judicial system no longer requiring in-person hearings. That means families whose hearings were delayed in some cases until 2021 may see their adoptions become legal in the next month or two.


CO: RBC Department of Human Services prepares for official shift to Differential Response practice
Rio Blanco Herald Times – June 26, 2020
One big goal will be realized in the next few months as the department officially implements “Differential Response” or DR practice. DR is, “the overarching paradigm shift in counties to assess children for safety through partnering with families, community partners, and facilitate sustainable behavioral change within a family,” according to an informational email from Reese. It provides a much wider array of options for responses to child welfare calls.


DE: Delaware Community Foundation awards $240K in Focus Grants
Beacon – June 29, 2020
The Delaware Community Foundation announced June 29 it has awarded $240,000 in Focus Grants to programs enriching the lives of Delaware youth and Latino communities.


FL: Child welfare projects, priorities for Jose Oliva, nixed from budget
Florida Politics – June 29, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed $5 million from the state budget intended for Florida State University’s Florida Institute for Child Welfare. That veto is part of more than $1 billion axed from lawmakers’ budget proposal. Child welfare was one of outgoing House Speaker José Oliva priorities.


FL: Children’s Harbor Appoints Mo Corker to its Board of Directors (Press release)
Children’s Harbor – June 29, 2020
Children’s Harbor is pleased to announce the addition of community leader Monique “Coach Mo” Corker to its board of directors. “We are thrilled to have Mo join our Board of Directors,” said Children’s Harbor Board Chair Sherry Stein. “Her strong leadership skills and community development experience will be a tremendous asset for us as we continue to serve the foster care youth in South Florida.”


GA: New Ga. early care slot to focus on babies’ mental health (May require subscription)
Rome News-Tribune – June 29, 2020
A position funded in the state budget marks a giant step forward for plans to address trauma in the youngest Georgians. Katie Dempsey, R-Rome, said that – despite major cuts due to the coronavirus-driven economic downturn – there’s a new specialized slot in the Department of Early Care and Learning. It’s the most important recommendation to come out of her Study Committee on Infant and Toddler Social and Emotional Health.


IA: Local Program Helping Young Adults Transition from Foster Care to Adulthood Extends Age Limit
WHO – June 29, 2020
According to the Youth Policy Institute of Iowa, young adults who age out of foster care do not have the social or economic stability to sustain a stable and secure life. One local program is helping foster care youth in making a smooth transition into adulthood. Iowa Aftercare Services Network is run by Youth and Shelter Services. In past years it has catered to young adults between the ages of 18 to 21. Recently they have extended its age limit to 23.


IL: Illinois DCFS highlights affirming services for LGBTQI+ youth in care and staff during Pride Month (Press release)
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services – June 26, 2020
June is Pride Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQI+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and intersex) individuals throughout history. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is taking this time to highlight ways the department provides a safe and supportive place for LGBTQI+ staff and the youth and families served by the department.


MI: CCHR Applauds State Acting on African American Teen Psychiatric Restraint Death (Press release)
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International – June 30, 2020
Citizens Commission on Human Rights International (CCHR), a 51-year mental health industry watchdog group and Rev. Frederick Shaw, head of the NAACP Inglewood-South Bay Branch, commended authorities and Michigan state agencies for quickly acting on the death. Shaw, who recently started a Task Force against racism in the mental health system, comprising African American doctors, psychologists, ministers, attorneys and advocates, said he will present evidence to members of the Michigan Black Caucus to support a ban on restraint use in all state and private psychiatric hospitals.


MI: Kids Count numbers a mixed bag for Macomb County
Voice – June 29, 2020
More kids are graduating from high school on time and less children are living in poverty in Macomb County today. Most test scores are at or above state averages. But families investigated for child abuse has jumped about 37%, an increase that is unfortunately very common across the state of Michigan.


MI: Team helps parents overcome addiction
Alpena News – June 27, 2020
Alpena parents battling addiction and at risk of being separated from their children by Children’s Protective Services may receive a referral to the Family Recovery Care Team, an arm of Catholic Human Services of Alpena. The purpose of the program, said Care Coordinator Tina LaMarre, is to provide a bridge between the family and the services they need to be whole and healthy.


NE: The Public Pulse: Child welfare concern; Thanks, MCC; Keep Americans alive (Opinion)
Omaha World-Herald – June 27, 2020
Last year’s decision to move the contract to St. Francis Ministries ignored the investment the state had in the current contractor and put the delivery of services at risk, apparently for financial reasons. The new contractor promised to provide these services at a fraction of the cost under the NFC contract. The state’s apparent desire to save dollars has resulted in a very real risk to our children’s welfare.


NH: State, Former N.H. DHHS Employee Reach $120K Partial Settlement In Whistleblower Lawsuit
New Hampshire Public Radio – June 29, 2020
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has reached a $120,000 settlement with a former employee over allegations she was retaliated against for publicly criticizing the state’s child protective services.


NY: Opinion: The Press is Stoking Fears of a Phantom Child-Abuse Crisis (Opinion)
City Limits – June 29, 2020
These articles are not based on facts. Instead, the press is misleading the public by editorializing what a drop in reports of child abuse and neglect really means without any evidence to support its claim. Here is a fact: Despite calls to the state central registry being down, the rate at which children are removed from their homes has actually increased from the same time last year. Even when parent-child visitation will be infinitely more difficult, if not impossible during the pandemic, child protective services, ACS in New York City, continues to separate children from their parents with no plan for reunification.


OR: PRESS RELEASE Senate Passes the Oregon Indian Child Welfare Act (Press release)
Oregon State Legislature – June 26, 2020
House Bill 4214 was developed following a two-year long workgroup process in response to reports of Indian children’s experience with the child welfare system.
Also: Oregon lawmakers wrap up special session on police reform, virus impacts: https://ktvz.com/top-stories/2020/06/26/oregon-lawmakers-wrap-up-special-session-on-police-reform-virus-impacts/


PA: Ellwood City child advocacy office open
Ellwood City Ledger – June 29, 2020
A local center to help children who might have suffered abuse again is available to those in need. The Ellwood City office of the Lawrence County Child Advocacy Center was closed for about two months with the municipal building being restricted due to COVID-19 precautions. But it recently reopened with the rest of the building.


PA: Records show prior CYF involvement with family of child who was abused and killed (Includes video)
WTAE – June 26, 2020
Court records show Allegheny County Children Youth & Families was involved with the family of 3-year-old Bella Seachrist. Bella’s father, stepmother and aunt are charged with abusing and then killing her. In 2017, records show CYF went to court to support giving sole custody of Bella to her father, Jose Salazar-Ortiz. A judge awarded custody to Salazar-Ortiz, who is now charged with killing Bella.


TN: COVID-19 cases spike at Tennessee Department of Children’s Services facilities
Tennessee Lookout – June 29, 2020
At least 164 children living in facilities operated or licensed by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services have tested positive for COVID-19, the biggest known outbreak in the nation linked to a single child welfare agency.


US: Yes, there IS a contagion that might lead to a spike in child abuse – and child welfare agencies are spreading it (Opinion)
NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – June 28, 2020
You know the rationale by now: The claim is that the only thing that keeps legions of nonwhite parents from unleashing savagery upon their children is ever-vigilant, mostly white, middle class professionals whose “eyes” are always on the kids. Now that these “mandated reporters” aren’t around as much, one news story after another warns of a “pandemic of child abuse.”

CA: Proposal slashes L.A. County Sheriff’s Department budget by $162 million (May Require Subscription)
Los Angeles Times – June 25, 2020
In Los Angeles County’s first proposed budget reflecting the pandemic-related economic slowdown, officials announced Thursday that public safety will bear the brunt of an overall 8% cut in spending, with the Sheriff’s Department eyed for more than 400 layoffs and $162 million trimmed from its $3.3-billion budget.


CO: Colorado’s teachers implore residents to keep an eye on kids
Pueblo Chieftan – June 25, 2020
Colorado’s teachers are calling on citizens to look out for children this summer, when calls to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline tend to decline, according to the Colorado Department of Human Services. The hotline, 844-CO-4-KIDS, can be accessed if someone suspects a child may be experiencing abuse of neglect.


FL: Judge orders removal of 3-year-old boy from Pasco foster mom who agreed to adopt him
Tampa Bay Times – June 25, 2020
Connie Going, a national foster care expert based in St. Petersburg, said the 45-year-old foster mom was heartbroken for the little boy she has raised the past 20 months and fears he will be traumatized when he is taken away from the only adult he has bonded with. Going, who has worked in child welfare for 30 years, said the turmoil the boy faces is the result of lead foster care agency Eckerd Connects’ failure to place the boy with his half-siblings when he first entered foster care. Both several years older, the siblings were already in foster care. “I’m sad,” said Connie Going. “I’m angry and very disappointed in a system that has two years to move a child into a placement with his siblings and does not do it and then acts all righteous to do it now, when he’s attached and bonded where he is.”


GA: Georgia Senate passes budget with no furloughs, smaller cuts to key programs
Augusta Chronicle – June 25, 2020
The Georgia Senate passed a $25.9 billion fiscal 2021 state budget Thursday that would avoid some of the deepest spending cuts lawmakers have been facing amid the coronavirus pandemic.The smaller reduction would allow lawmakers to cancel all furlough days for teachers and state employees and restore some of the painful reductions that had been slated for behavioral and public health, public safety, agriculture, rural hospitals and child welfare services.


IA: Ernst Speaks Directly with Iowa Child Care Providers on Virtual Town Hall (Press release)
Office of U.S. Senator from Iowa Joni Ernst – June 25, 2020
U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), a mom and champion for child care, joined a virtual town hall hosted by the Child Care Resource and Referral of Northeast Iowa today to hear directly from a number of Iowa’s child care providers and to provide an update on her efforts to address Iowa’s child care crisis.


IL: Illinois DCFS visitation ban may cause lasting harm (Commentary)
Injustice Watch – June 25, 2020
Beginning Friday, DCFS will allow in-person supervised visits every other week, with a plan to transition to regular, weekly visits in mid-July. But advocates, including Cook County Public Defender Amy Campanelli, seek an immediate end to the policy, which they say has already caused irreparable harm to parents and children. Campanelli, whose office represents indigent parents in child welfare cases, sued DCFS on behalf of four parents over the visitation policy on May 6. Though the suit was defeated in chancery court, the public defender’s office is appealing the decision.


MI: I am part of the system that killed Cornelius Frederick. Here’s how we change it (Opinion)
Detroit Free Press – June 26, 2020
Cornelius Frederick died in the hands of a foster care system intended to protect him, the life squeezed out of his 16-year-old body by employees at a Kalamazoo facility that used physical restraints against children. In a tragic echo of police-on-Blacks violence, the teen shouted, “I can’t breathe,” in his final moments.His death overwhelms me with heartbreak and outrage – and guilt, because I am part of the system that killed Cornelius.
Also: Death of Cornelius Frederick exposes deep changes needed in child welfare system (Opinion): https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/contributors/raw-data/2020/06/25/how-begin-repairing-michigans-juvenile-justice-system/3250358001/
Also: Attorney compares Michigan teen’s death at Kalamazoo facility to George Floyd’s: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/06/22/attorney-compares-teens-death-kalamazoo-facility-george-floyds/3233646001/


MN: Dahms applauds Walz’ release of COVID CARES Act funds
Journal – June 26, 2020
Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, and other government leaders praised Gov. Tim Walz’ Thursday announcement that he would distribute $841 million in federal coronavirus (CARES Act) funding to local governments. The distribution is according to the approved compromise legislation the Senate and House agreed to in the special session, according to a news release.


TX: New report places foster system at ‘Ground Zero’ of the Drug War
North Dallas Gazette – June 25, 2020
American society is in a critical moment – one of progress and revolution full of promise for the liberation for Black and Brown people that we have been working towards. Dialogue about racism, anti-Blackness, policing, the need to divest from harmful systems, and invest in communities is rightfully at an all-time high. It is within this context that Movement for Family Power, along with co-publishers the Drug Policy Alliance and NYU Family Defense Clinic, are releasing a new report on the child welfare and foster system and the drug war, “Whatever they do, I’m her comfort, I’m her protector: How the foster system has become ground zero for the US drug war.”
Also: Report: Ground Zero: Movement For Family Power: https://www.movementforfamilypower.org/ground-zero


US: Casebook PBC Releases Saas for Human Services in Four New Program Areas (Press release)
Casebook PBC – June 26, 2020
Casebook PBC, known as a leader in child welfare software innovation, has continued its expansion across human services into four additional program areas. The New York City-based software company has been quietly developing its new platform and bringing innovation to new areas of human and social services. Casebook’s configurable Software as a Service (SaaS) platform is now bringing innovation to nonprofit and state and local government organizations in Youth & Family Services, Domestic Abuse & Victim Services, Inspection & Licensing Services, and Foster Care & Adoption Services.


US: Proposed Information Collection Activity; Identifying and Addressing Human Trafficking in Child Welfare Agencies (New Collection) (Press release)
Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – June 26, 2020
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is proposing to collect data on child welfare agencies’ efforts to identify human trafficking and subsequent service delivery. The goal of the study is to better understand child welfare practice in screening for human trafficking, and the degree to which screening is related to subsequent referrals for, access to, and delivery of specialized services for children identified as trafficking victims or at high-risk of trafficking.


US: New Director, New Directions for Family Focused Treatment Association
Chronicle of Social Change – June 25, 2020
Consonant with its expanded approach to developing, promoting and supporting children in the child welfare system, the recently renamed Family Focused Treatment Association has hired its first executive director to lead the nonprofit’s transition to tackling a broader mandate under a new, landmark federal law. FFTA, formerly known under that acronym as the Foster Family-based Treatment Association, selected Ryan Dowis, an executive with long experience in the child welfare field. Dowis will guide the association as it shifts from providing treatment exclusively for foster children and youth to addressing the treatment needs of children and youth in all families.


US: Trump’s order on foster care backs partnerships with faith-based agencies
Catholic Spirit – June 25, 2020
President Donald Trump June 24 called for creating partnerships between state agencies and public, private, faith-based and community organizations “to help keep families together and, when that is not possible, to find children forever families.” His support for faith-based agencies’ involvement in foster care and adoption services was among a number of provisions included in an executive order he said was meant to “enhance our child welfare system and promote permanency for children in the foster care system nationwide “All children deserve a stable, supportive and loving home in which to grow, thrive and realize their full potential,” Trump said.


US: What Will It Take for The Child Welfare System to Become Anti-Racist? (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 25, 2020
Two years ago, I wrote a column about the history and lingering trauma from government sanctioned family separation. The impact of family separation is felt by Black families in a disproportionate way; Black children are consistently over-represented in our foster care system. Approximately one year ago, I wrote an article about the undeniable impact of systemic racism on how our system views Black and Brown families. It is a stark reality that our country, for years, has created and upheld laws which inflict trauma onto the most vulnerable. All too often, families of color are the most vulnerable, and in particular, Black families.




Jordan: Jordan: Secondary School Gap for Syrian Refugee Kids (Includes video)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) – June 26, 2020
“The vast majority of Syrian refugee children lose the chance to study and learn before they even get to high school,” said Breanna Small, children’s rights fellow at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “For years, donors have promised to prevent a lost generation, so at this year’s Brussels conference they need to move beyond pledges and ensure that secondary education is the norm and not the exception for Syrian children.” Children who do not complete secondary education are more likely to suffer other human rights abuses.


Yemen: Yemeni children face deadly hunger and aid shortages as COVID-19 pandemic spreads – UNICEF (Press release)
UNICEF – June 26, 2020
Millions of children in Yemen could be pushed to ‘the brink of starvation’ due to huge shortfalls in humanitarian aid funding amid the COVID-19 pandemic– according to a new UNICEF report marking more than five years since conflict escalated in the country.
Also: Report: Yemen 5 years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19 (Released 26 June 2020 at 00H01 GMT): https://weshare.unicef.org/Package/2AM408PC3MVJ


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Australia: Australia’s Stolen Generation.
Medium – June 29, 2020
The Stolen Generation of Australia refers to the aboriginal children taken from their families during the period 1910 to 1970. This was part of a policy called Assimilation, which is based on the assumption of black inferiority and white superiority. This proposed that indigenous people should be allowed to die out through natural elimination or be assimilated into white community. This was carried out by Australian Federal and State government agencies and church missions, under acts of their respective parliaments.

HI: Child abuse bill advances
Hawaii Tribune-Herald – June 25, 2020
The state Senate Committee on Human Services on Tuesday recommended passage, with amendments, of a House measure that would require the clergy, commercial film and print image processors, and commercial computer technicians to report suspected child abuse and neglect. House Bill 1942 was introduced by Rep. Linda Ichiyama, an Oahu Democrat. The version of the bill presented to the committee by Puna Sen. Russell Ruderman, the committee chairman, was one proposed by the state Department of Human Services that removed a provision which would exempt clergy from reporting information about suspected abuse acquired during confessions.


IL: Lawmakers to Pritzker: don’t withhold payments to non-profits (Includes video)
WMBD – June 24, 2020
Illinois Republicans in Washington D.C. and state Democrats are aligning for a common goal. The two groups are sending letters to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office. They want the administration to reconsider keeping funds from social service agencies. Two state departments are reportedly reducing or delaying state funding to those agencies who received the Federal Paycheck Protection Program.


MA: Springfield Diocese will institute series of reforms after sexual abuse claims against the late Bishop Christopher Weldon deemed credible
MassLive – June 24, 2020
Bishop Christopher Weldon’s name will be removed from Mercy Medical Center’s rehabilitation center, all honorable references, memorials and photographs of him will be removed from Catholic properties and his remains buried at the entrance of the Gate of Heaven Cemetery will be exhumed and moved to a less prominent location in the cemetery and his grave marked with an ordinary size stone. But the biggest change announced by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Springfield on Wednesday will be to create a new system to handle complaints of clergy abuse that calls for welcoming survivors’ accusations and examining them thoroughly and with compassion, said The Most Rev. Mitchell Rozanski, bishop of the diocese.


ME: New study shows need for more investment in challenged youth in Androscoggin County
Sun Journal – June 24, 2020
A new University of Southern Maine study on the services available in Androscoggin County to help challenged youths shows that while many services exist, greater investment would “dramatically” help the county and reduce the cost of incarceration and other response services.
Also: Report: Assessing Community Assets and Opportunities – A Case Study of Asset Mapping in Androscoggin County: https://cec47d12-75a7-45a9-98a1-99f79c71ca5b.filesusr.com/ugd/d5b6af_5b274cc8d77b406d88bbd894470ebe6f.pdf


MI: 3 Children’s Home Staffers Charged In Death Of 16-Year-Old
KEDM – June 25, 2020
Three former staff members of a Michigan youth home have been charged in the death of a 16-year-old Black boy who died last month after employees sat on his chest, abdomen and legs in an effort to restrain him.
Also: Charges announced against staff at facility where teen died after being restrained: https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/06/24/charges-against-youth-services-staff-where-teen-died-kalamazoo/3254085001/


NY: NYC students in foster care need their own education department point person, advocates say
Chalkbeat New York – June 24, 2020
The pandemic, advocates say, has highlighted the need for a senior-level education department staffer to focus full time on this group of students as the city plans for the fall. In a letter sent Wednesday, more than 20 advocacy and legal groups pleaded with New York City schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to appoint “a high-level senior leader focused specifically” on the needs of students in foster care.


OH: Takoda: Dayton police implement policy changes after death
Dayton Daily News – June 25, 2020
Dayton Police recently implemented policy changes to address how it conducts child welfare checks in response to the 2019 death of a 10-year-old boy.


OH: Ottawa County Juvenile Court to work with Kennedy National Resource Center
Beacon – June 24, 2020
The Ottawa County Juvenile Court has been awarded a grant by the Supreme Court of Ohio to receive training and technical assistance from the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice. Court staff and community partners will work with a team from the RFK National Center for the next year to learn research based techniques and best practices to improve outcomes for dual status youth.


OK: Hughes appointed to serve on National CASA/GAL council
Muskogee Phoenix – June 24, 2020
CASA for Children of Muskogee, Sequoyah and Wagoner counties announces the appointment of Suzanne Hughes, executive director to the Tribal Leadership Council of the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)/Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Association for Children.


WV: Payment to foster care providers for Covid-19 response
Register-Herald – June 25, 2020
Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Bureau for Children and Families will soon issue a one-time payment to foster care families and providers as part of the state’s ongoing response to Covid-19. This payment will provide in-state foster families, child placing agencies, as well as residential and emergency shelters additional financial help for costs related to the pandemic over the past several months.


WV: Foster care families, facilities to receive coronavirus payment
Metro News – June 24, 2020
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Children and Families will be providing one-time payments to foster care families as part of the statewide response to the coronavirus. The payment will go to in-state foster families, child-placing agencies and emergency shelters. The payment will be based on the number of children in a home or facility at the end of the month, and payments will be delivered in July.


US: Proposed Information Collection Activity; Case Plan Requirement, Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, (OMB #0970-0428) (Press release)
Administration on Children, Youth and Families – June 25, 2020
The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is requesting a 3-year extension of the information collection-Case Plan Requirement, Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, (OMB #0970-0428, expiration 3/31/2021).


US: During Coronavirus, High-Quality Legal Representation Can Be a Lifesaver for Families
Chronicle of Social Change – June 24, 2020
June is National Reunification Month. A time when the child welfare community celebrates families who overcome great obstacles to be together. This year, there likely will be many fewer family reunifications to celebrate. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted our nation’s child welfare system, which in the best of times struggles to reunite the families it is tasked with helping. The pandemic is reinforcing what we already know – access to a high-quality legal representation team can be the difference between traumatic and prolonged family separation and families receiving the support they need to keep their children safe at home.


US: Executive Order on Strengthening the Child Welfare System for America’s Children (Press release)
Office of the President of the United States Donald J. Trump – June 24, 2020
Every child deserves a family. Our States and communities have both a legal obligation, and the privilege, to care for our Nation’s most vulnerable children.
Also: President Trump Signs Historic Child Welfare Executive Order (Press release): https://www.acf.hhs.gov/media/press/2020/president-trump-signs-historic-child-welfare-executive-order
Also: What’s Actually in The Trump Executive Order on Child Welfare (Commentary) (May require subscription): https://chronicleofsocialchange.org/analysis/what-actually-in-trump-executive-order-child-welfare/44792
Also: Trump signs child welfare system executive order: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2020/06/25/Trump-signs-child-welfare-system-executive-order/2061593057785/
Also: President Trump backs faith-based agencies in new executive order on foster care: https://www.deseret.com/indepth/2020/6/24/21302453/president-donald-trump-executive-order-faith-based-foster-care-children-adoption-lgbtq-couples


US: Secretary Ben Carson Announces New Foster Youth Housing Vouchers for Nine States (Press Release)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – June 24, 2020
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson today announced nearly $200,000 in the most recent round of grants for HUD’s Foster Youth to Independence (FYI) Initiative. Nine housing authorities will receive this funding continuing HUD’s efforts to assist young adults transitioning out of foster care.




International: To end child marriage, Somali mindsets must change
World Bank – June 25, 2020
Increasing access to education and changing the mindset can end child marriage in Somalia. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund report, the prevalence rate of early marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa – more specifically in Somalia – is one of the highest in the world. The majority of the victims are girls with little or no formal education, and girls from low-income families who cannot afford to send their children to schools.
Also: Report: Child Marriage: Latest trends and future prospects: https://data.unicef.org/resources/child-marriage-latest-trends-and-future-prospects/

AZ: Timber Mesa Fire Stations are a “Safe Haven” for Babies
White Mountain Independent – June 23, 2020
Timber Mesa Fire & Medical District employees recently received training from the Arizona Safe Baby Foundation that will assure that its employees are prepared in the event a parent(s) choose to surrender an infant (less than 72 hours old) to a Safe Baby Haven. The Safe Baby Haven Foundation was developed to give parent(s) of a newborn child, a safe option when they have made the decision to surrender the child to the State.


AZ: Former Arizona official pleads guilty in Utah adoption scheme
Deseret News – June 19, 2020
More than eight months after his arrest in the multistate illegal adoption scheme, Petersen admitted Tuesday to defrauding one Utah family and smuggling three women to Utah. Petersen, 44, resigned from his job in Arizona as Maricopa County’s assessor in January. He pleaded guilty in that state Thursday to collaborating to get state-funded health care for adoptive mothers, even though he knew the women didn’t live in Arizona.


CA: California Budget Deal Extends Millions of Dollars in Aid for Aging-out Foster Youth
Chronicle of Social Change – June 23, 2020
Thousands of young adults in the California foster care system will receive additional financial support and housing help as they struggle to survive the recession and the coronavirus pandemic, under a budget deal this week between lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.


GA: Albany Housing Authority receives grant to assist young adults leaving foster care (Includes video)
WALB – June 23, 2020
Every year thousands of teenagers age out of the foster care system and the federal government is stepping in to help. A new federal program called Foster Youth to Independence was set to help young adults. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, has awarded over $160,000 to the Albany Housing Authority.


GA: Human trafficking bill passes General Assembly
Capitol Beat News Service – June 23, 2020
Legislation that would let victims of human trafficking petition the courts to vacate convictions for crimes committed while they were being trafficked gained final passage in the Georgia House of Representatives Tuesday. The House unanimously passed The Debbie Vance Act, named for a survivor of human trafficking. Like others who have emerged on the other side of human trafficking, she faced obstacles to moving on with her life, said Georgia Rep. Bonnie Rich, R-Suwanee, who presented the bill on the House floor.


KY: MSU Social Work graduates join essential front line work in Kentucky child welfare (Press release)
MoreHead State University – June 23, 2020
The Public Child Welfare Certification Program (PCWCP) was implemented by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and undergraduate social work programs to better serve the children and families in Kentucky.


MI: Report: ‘Six to seven male staff on’ Lakeside resident
WOOD – June 23, 2020
An investigation into the death of Cornelius Fredericks found not only that several staff members held the teen down during an improper restraint, but any justified physical altercation also would not have been consistent with his treatment plan.


OH: Cuyahoga County Council approves $3 million settlement to father of Aniya-Day Garrett
News 5 Cleveland – June 23, 2020
Cuyahoga County Council approved a $3 million settlement to the father of Aniya-Day Garrett during its June 23 meeting.


PA: Glen Mills leaders broke child-abuse law, state auditor finds
Philadelphia Inquirer – June 24, 2020
Leaders at the Glen Mills Schools failed to comply with child-abuse laws while lacking policies and training related to reporting abuse, according to a new report from the state auditor general.
Also: Report: Glen Mills Audit Report: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6955208-Glen-Mills-Schools-Audit-Report-06-22-20-PA.html


TX: Foster care is still broken. Fix it already. (Opinion)
Dallas Morning News – June 24, 2020
Another troubling report emerged last week about the Texas foster care system. Court-appointed monitors Deborah Fowler and Kevin Ryan submitted a 363-page report to U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack that called the state’s system “disjointed and dangerous,” in which “harm to children is at critical times overlooked, ignored or forgotten.”


TX: Governor Abbott Appoints Jones And Mata To Family And Protective Services Council (Press release)
Office of the U.S. Governor of Texas – June 23, 2020
Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Cortney Jones and Enrique Mata to the Family and Protective Services Council for terms set to expire on February 1, 2025. The council is charged with studying and making recommendations to the commissioner regarding the management and operation of the Department of Family and Protective Services.


US: Netflix Revisits the Brave Gymnasts Who Exposed a Pedophile
Daily Beast – June 23, 2020
The new doc “Athlete A” explores the USA Gymnastics scandal, when officials covered up the horrific behavior of team doctor Larry Nassar, who sexually assaulted over 500 girls.


US: Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention; Minimum Standards of Character (Press release)
Bureau of Indian Affairs – June 23, 2020
This interim final rule updates the minimum standards of character to ensure that individuals having regular contact with or control over Indian children have not been convicted of certain types of crimes or acted in a manner that placed others at risk. These updates reflect updates made to the list of crimes by amendments to the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act.


US: Virtual Parental Visitation Could Have Unintended Consequences for Abuse Survivors
Atlantic – June 23, 2020
In March, A learned from the agency supervising her son’s court-mandated visitations with his father-her abusive ex-husband-that their visits would have to go virtual because of the coronavirus outbreak. She started preparing by taking out all her extra bed sheets and attempting to cover the windows. She couldn’t take any chances. Even a glimpse outside her New York City windows could be enough to help the man who’d violently abused her discover her address.

CA: California considers extending foster care for young adults until pandemic emergency ends
California Health Report – June 22, 2020
In April, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that allows young people in foster care who are turning 21 to remain in the system through June 30. But some advocates and legislators worry that won’t be long enough and want the governor to continue allowing young adults on the brink of aging out to stay in foster care until the pandemic is over.


DC: D.C. to Permanently End Placements for Homeless Families at Quality Inn
Washington City Paper – June 22, 2020
D.C. will permanently discontinue its contract next month with the Quality Inn, a motel on New York Ave. NE that Department of Human Services officials have used for years as a place to temporarily shelter homeless families. Noah Abraham, a deputy administrator at the Department of Human Services who oversees the agency’s programming for homeless families, notified child welfare advocates and service providers of the change in a June 15 email.


HI: Will Our Lawmakers Fight Domestic Violence?
Honolulu Civil Beat – June 22, 2020
Even if they manage to stay safe, survivors still face the daunting challenge of figuring out how to cope after losing their homes, their jobs, and the ability to provide for their families while also trying to address the trauma and circumstances of their abuse.


IN: Children’s Commission To Adopt Equity Guide For Decision-Making
WVPE – June 22, 2020
Indiana’s Commission on Improving the Status of Children will adopt an equity guide in the coming weeks that will help steer its decision-making. The commission, comprised of many state agencies and officials, aims to study and recommend improvements for child welfare.


KY: U.S. District Court says CHFS social workers have no qualified immunity in Nikkie Holliday’s lawsuit
Northern Kentucky Tribune – June 23, 2020
As “qualified immunity” for police and other public employees comes to the forefront nationally, the practice as it applies to state social workers has been dealt another blow in the U.S. District Court in Covington by Senior Judge William Bertlesman. The judge has ruled in the case of Maureen ‘Nikkie’ Holliday versus the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services social workers who imposed a restrictive “Prevention Plan” the single mom was coerced into signing. It required her to have strictly supervised contact with her four-year-old daughter. The threatened penalty was foster care for her child. Bertleman has ruled that Holliday’s due process claims and her emotional distress claims are legitimate and that the social workers are not entitled to qualified immunity.


OH: Cuyahoga County Council to consider $3 million settlement to father of Aniya-Day Garrett
NEWS 5 Cleveland – June 22, 2020
Cuyahoga County Council is considering a proposed $3 million settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the father of Aniya Day-Garrett, the 4-year-old girl who was killed by her mother and mother’s boyfriend in 2018.


PA: Lawsuit claims Westmoreland children’s bureau abused its power
Pittsburgh Tribune Review – June 22, 2020
A lawsuit that claims a were harassed and threatened by child welfare caseworkers will be litigated in Westmoreland County. Court documents filed Monday revealed the six-count lawsuit originally filed last year in Somerset County was transferred to Westmoreland, where allegations of conspiracy, negligence and abuse of power were raised against the county agency that conducted a child welfare investigation in response to criminal charges that were filed against the doctor.


US: Submission for OMB Review; National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (OMB #0970-0424)
Administration for Children and Families – June 23, 2020
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is requesting a 3-year extension of the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS) collection (OMB #0970-0424, expiration 02/28/2021). There are no changes requested to this data collection.


US: Supreme Court’s LGBTQ ruling could have ‘broad implications,’ legal experts say (Commentary)
NBC – June 23, 2020
The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia – which was widely praised by LGBTQ advocates but condemned by social conservatives – will likely have broad ramifications that go far beyond employment protections, according to several legal experts.


US: Being Black in Foster Care Means Surviving an American Nightmare (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 22, 2020
This moment is important to all sectors. Child welfare advocates must interrogate the system and its complicity in creating and maintaining anti-Black racism and how they work in tandem with the police state to cause injury to Black people, especially Black mothers who have been criminalized for being poor. Dismantling racism is not Black people’s responsibility, it is a problem for white people to solve.


US: Now Is the Time for Abolition (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 22, 2020
Black children are over-surveilled, over-policed and over-removed by the child welfare system. Once involved in this system, the trauma and harm that results from foster care causes irreparable damage to Black children, and serve as a source of their ongoing and continued oppression. As a field, we have known this for decades. And now it is time to abolish these systems in favor of something that is inherently anti-racist and truly prioritizes support, not dissolution, of families.


US: The Fed Is Providing the Real Forecast for What Child Welfare Needs To Do (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 22, 2020
Why should child welfare agencies that are anxious to take advantage of the primary prevention opportunities within the Family First Prevention Services Act be interested in what the Federal Reserve has to say? Because the Fed’s reliable data can inform our approach to working with families facing severe economic pressure. And quite frankly, the child welfare community could benefit from fresh sources of information.


US: Will the racial justice reckoning ever reach child welfare? (Opinion)
NCCPR Child Welfare Blog – June 21, 2020
It should be obvious that it is racist to assume that the moment mostly white, middle class “eyes” are averted form overwhelmingly poor disproportionately nonwhite children their parents will unleash savagery upon them in pandemic proportions. Endless calls to ratchet up the child welfare surveillance state only drive families away from seeking help and overload child protective services workers, so they have even less time to find children in real danger.
Also: Child welfare and race: The award for tone deafness goes to NPR’s Fresh Air (Opinion): https://www.nccprblog.org/2020/06/child-welfare-and-race-award-for-tone.html




International: World: A generation to protect: Monitoring violence, exploitation and abuse of children within the SDG framework
UNICEF – June 22, 2020
A critical component of the 2030 Agenda is that every child is protected from violence, exploitation and harmful practices. This marks the first time that protection of children from these rights violations has formally been included in a global monitoring framework with timebound targets.
Also: Report: A generation to protect: Monitoring violence, exploitation and abuse of children within the SDG framework: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/A-Generation-to-Protect-publication-English_2020.pdf

CA: Father’s Day: 4 Stories of Gay Dads and Their Foster Families
Advocate – June 21, 2020
In Los Angeles County alone, there are approximately 20,000 children and youth in foster care at any given time, making it one of the largest foster care systems in the country.Older children, sibling sets, those with disabilities, and youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are often in care longer and less likely to be adopted. Thanks to the help and partnership of quality resource families, Extraordinary Families, which works with many LGBTQ+ parents and kiddos, is helping to find safe and nurturing families for all children in foster care.


CA: Voices for Children launches public service announcement to recruit volunteers (Press release)
Del Mar Times – June 21, 2020
With the community’s children at greater risk of abuse and neglect during the COVID-19 crisis, Voices for Children recently announced the launch of a new public service announcement to raise awareness of the needs of children in foster care and to recruit volunteers to support this vulnerable population.


CA: Riverside County budget cuts could cause layoffs, slashed services
Press-Enterprise – June 18, 2020
Some Riverside County employees could face layoffs while public services — from child welfare investigations to animal services to criminal defense for indigent defendants — could suffer if budget cuts to bridge a projected $100 million shortfall are imposed in full.


CT: Grant money available for child guardians
Connecticut Post – June 20, 2020
With the coronavirus crisis leaving many families in financial straits, city Probate Judge Gerald M. Fox has reminded child guardians that they might be eligible for grants to help with food, housing, transportation and even summer camp and other enrichment activities.


FL: Embrace Families applauds Congressmen for helping foster youth gain independence with driver’s licenses (Press release)
Embrace Families – June 21, 2020
Embrace Families enthusiastically supports the Foster Youth and Driving Act (H.R. 7042) recently introduced by Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) and Congressman Don Bacon (R-NE) to promote access to driver’s licenses for foster youth. Modeled on the successful Keys to Independence, or K2I program in Florida, the Foster Youth and Driving Act would create grants to help foster youth overcome the financial and practical obstacles that often prevent them from obtaining their permits and driver’s licenses.


FL: Behind closed doors: Mental health issues compounded by COVID-19 quarantine
St. Augustine Herald – June 20, 2020
The shutdown caused by the coronavirus has been stressful for everyone no matter what path in life they’re on. But for those with substance dependency, rocky relationships, mental health issues and other challenges, the quarantine added another layer of stress that left unchecked, experts fear, could lead to worse outcomes.


FL: Foster mother helps biological mother reunify her family (Includes video)
WINK – June 18, 2020
June is National Reunification Month.The child welfare system works hard to get children back with their biological parents when it’s in their best interest. We learned about how a bond between two mothers made it possible for one Southwest Florida family. It was a tough start for mother Maria Jiganu and her twins Anastasia and Anthony.


MI: State ending ties with company after teen’s restraint, death
Associated Press – June 21, 2020
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to no longer work with a company that provided staffing for a facility where a 16-year-old died this year while being wrongly restrained. Whitmer said in a statement late Saturday that Sequel Youth and Family Services cannot provide services for facilities licensed by the state agency.
Also: News Civil rights lawsuit filed on behalf of teen killed at Kalamazoo youth home: https://www.wxyz.com/news/civil-rights-lawsuit-filed-on-behalf-of-teen-killed-at-kalamazoo-youth-home
Also: Boy who died at Kzoo youth home a ‘Sour Patch Kid’: https://www.woodtv.com/news/kzoo-and-bc/boy-who-died-at-kzoo-youth-home-a-sour-patch-kid/
Also: Gov. Whitmer issues statement on Lakeside Academy death: https://wkzo.com/news/articles/2020/jun/21/gov-whitmer-issues-statement-on-lakeside-academy-death/1031567/


MN: Minnesota inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women looks to Canada for guidance
Express Informer – June 21, 2020
A state inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women in Minnesota is taking lessons from Canada on how to make sure its upcoming report doesn’t end up gathering dust on a shelf. Minnesota’s task force is trying to do in just 15 months much of what Canada’s $92 million federally-funded national inquiry accomplished in four years. It has reached out to Marion Buller, the former chief commissioner of the national inquiry, for advice.


MN: Special session ends without agreement on policing overhaul, other key issues (Press release)
Minnesota House of Representatives – June 20, 2020
But there were some bills upon which both bodies of the Legislature agreed with strong bipartisan support that are on their way to the governor’s desk for his signature: An omnibus human services bill, SSHF11*/SSSF9, contains a variety of provisions related to child care, custody, support, foster care, disability services, community supports, civil commitment, maltreatment of minors, child protection and child support.
Also: Omnibus human services bill passes House, heads to Senate: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/SessionDaily/Story/15353


NH: Expert: ‘Our kids are counting on us to keep them safe’
Keene Sentinel – June 20, 2020
With the COVID-19 pandemic putting more stress on families than ever and removing common community safety nets for spotting child abuse and neglect, such as schools and doctors’ offices, children are more vulnerable to harm right now, according to Cathy Brittis, program manager for the Child Advocacy Center at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.


NY: Black parents march to demand racial justice in NYC child-welfare system
New York Daily News – June 20, 2020
Black families marched Saturday to demand justice in New York City’s child-welfare system, which they say disproportionately punishes Black parents. Christine Gottlieb, co-director of NYU Family Defense Clinic, said Black families are five times more likely to be investigated by ACS and 14 times more likely to be separated from their children than white families. ACS acknowledged that racial bias has been an issue in child-welfare enforcement, and stressed that the agency is doing what it can to fight the problem.


OR: Police, coronavirus and taxes: Read the proposals Oregon lawmakers are considering for Wednesday special session
Oregonian – June 20, 2020
Changes to child welfare investigations and oversight, including allowing abuse screeners to temporarily close at screening reports of third party abuse not concerning people most frequently in contact with the child and requiring state licensing of all out-of-state programs used by the state.


TX: Drug Testing the Whole Family
Chronicle of Social Change – June 21, 2020
Last year, Taylor County removed children at four times the rate of the rest of the state, and at ten times the rate of Texas’s largest county. “It’s often treated as some mystery, but the situation in Taylor County is very, very simple,” Magee told the committee. “In 2013, Taylor County’s numbers were pretty similar to the rest of the state. Shortly after that, Taylor County started doing something different in how they handle investigations.” They started drug testing a lot of people – including children.


US: 3 ways the foster care system can emerge stronger after the coronavirus pandemic (Opinion)
AZCentral – June 21, 2020
There has been a significant drop in reports of child abuse and neglect during the coronavirus pandemic. Many fear that as we emerge, the child welfare system will be flooded as the impacts of family stress become public again. In preparation, state foster care departments must improve their operations to better serve foster parents and assist social workers with complex cases.

CA: Adoptions delayed for months by coronavirus closings to get their day in court
Los Angeles Times – June 18, 2020
Foster families whose adoption plans got derailed by court closures prompted by the coronavirus crisis are set to receive some relief, with the judicial system no longer requiring in-person hearings.That means families whose hearings were delayed in some cases until 2021 may see their adoptions become legal in the next month or two.


CA: DA’s Police Reform Proposals Stop Short of Addressing Prosecutions (Commentary)
Voice of San Diego – June 18, 2020
In public schools, educators and other employees are required by state law to report potential abuse of children to police or child welfare authorities. But Voice of San Diego has found that not much happens to employees who don’t report abuse.


FL: Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill to bolster child welfare
News Service of Florida – June 19, 2020
One of the bills signed Thursday is dubbed “Jordan’s Law,” after Jordan Belliveau Jr., a 2-year-old boy who was murdered in 2018 in Pinellas County. Jordan’s mother was charged in the murder. The bill (HB 43), sponsored by Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, will make a series of changes in the child-welfare system, such as expanding communications between the Department of Children and Families and law-enforcement agencies, according to a House staff analysis. Also, it will require training for law-enforcement officers and a variety of people in the child-welfare system to recognize and respond to head trauma and brain injuries suffered by children.
Also: Governor Signs Jordan’s Law – Measure Designed To Improve Child Welfare System: https://www.tbreporter.com/children-and-families/governor-signs-jordans-law-measure-designed-to-improve-child-welfare-system/


IN: Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center Recognized By Kosciusko Community Foundation (Press release)
Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center – June 13, 2020
The Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center of Kosciusko County has been recognized by the Kosciusko County Community Foundation as a 2020 Community Funds Grant recipient. Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center was formed in April 2020 to provide a multi-team approach in conducting forensic interviews of victims under the age of 18 years of age who have experienced physical, mental or sexual abuse.


MA: It’s time to raise the age (Opinion)
CommonWealth Magazine – June 13, 2020
It’s time to break the logjam on Beacon Hill and raise the age of juvenile court jurisdiction above 18. Racial and ethnic disparities exist in both the juvenile and criminal systems, but, according to a 2016 Prison Policy Initiative study, African Americans are six times more likely to enter Massachusetts jails and prisons than whites. This is one of the highest rates of disparity in the country. Treating emerging adults in a juvenile court system with a focus on positive youth development and a Department of Youth Services with much lower recidivism rates is good public policy and more consistent with racial equity.


MD: Families’ Lawsuit Claims Child Abuse At Church Day Care
Patch – June 13, 2020
In 2019, the families of five children aged 4 and 5 attended the Glen Mar Early Learning Center, an extension of the Glen Mar United Methodist Church in Ellicott City. The families believed their children were safe there, but according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of those children, an employee sexually abused them during naptime and possibly elsewhere at the facility. The lawsuit does not list the employee as a defendant and the worker has not been criminally charged. Court papers implicate the school’s former director, Lynda Celmer, who the families said was aware of the incidents but failed to report the abuse even though she was a mandatory reporter.


MI: In a First, Parent Successfully Appeals Michigan Judge’s Removal of Child to Foster Care (May require subscription)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 18, 2020
A Michigan parent on Thursday became the state’s first to successfully appeal a judge’s decision to remove a child into foster care, a ruling that the family’s advocates hailed as “an important first step” toward ensuring that judges don’t put families through the trauma of separation without showing sufficient cause.


MI: MDHHS Suspends License of Kalamazoo Facility Where Youth Died After Being Wrongly Restrained by Staff; Department moves to forbid restraints of youth to protect children and prevent future tragedies (Press release)
Michigan.gov – June 18, 2020
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has begun the legal process to revoke the license of Lakeside for Children in Kalamazoo after a thorough investigation of the death of a youth who was wrongly restrained by staff. MDHHS has already terminated its contracts with Lakeside to care for youth in the state’s foster care and juvenile justice systems. Following the tragic death at the facility, all 125 youth were removed and placed in other appropriate settings based on their individual needs.


MI: When coronavirus closed schools, some Detroit students went missing from class. These educators had to find them.(Includes video)
NBC News – June 14, 2020
Principal Jacqueline Dungey was searching for one of her kindergartners She’d called every number she had for his family. She’d sent urgent notes to his parents. She’d reached out to a social worker who’d worked with his family in the past. But more than a month after the coronavirus threat forced the New Paradigm Loving Academy in Detroit to move its classes online, the little boy, Legend, hadn’t been in touch with his teachers. His family had not shown up for the meals the school distributes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No one seemed to know where he was. Dungey was determined to find him.


NC: COVID makes complicated foster care system more so
North Carolina Health News – June 19, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the lives of families into turmoil. School’s been canceled and parents are now teachers, even as they may have lost jobs or are trying to work from home. There’s no child care, no playdates, even playgrounds are closed and grandparents inaccessible. Now imagine all that, and that your child is also part of the foster care system, with the added emotional work, therapy visits and frequent communication with county social workers who monitor the well-being of your charge.


NH: NH ranks among nation’s best for child well-being
New Hampshire Business Review – June 18, 2020
According to a first-ever comprehensive ranking of U.S. counties released by nonprofit Save the Children, New Hampshire ranks third in the country for states whose children have the most protected childhoods.


OH: Warren County case highlights version of human trafficking
Journal-News – June 13, 2020
“When most people think of human trafficking, they think of groups of young females being kidnapped, perhaps internationally, and sold around the country/world. Those situations do occur, but the much more frequent occurrence is what we see in the Barron case,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said.


US: Supreme Court blocks Trump from ending DACA in big win for Dreamers (Includes video)
NBC News – June 18, 2020
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S.


US: The LGBTQ community scores a win this week, but the fight isn’t over (Opinion)
Hill – June 18, 2020
On Monday, in a landmark win for the LGBTQ community, the United States Supreme Court affirmed that sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination are prohibited under Title VII, meaning a person cannot be fired for being LGBTQ. This much-needed victory comes at a unique moment in our history that is challenging antiquated paradigms and highlighting the importance of the work ahead.


US: Another group sues DeVos, DOE over Title IX rules
Holland Sentinel – June 13, 2020
Another group has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over changes to Title IX rules.The National Women’s Law Center filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts on Wednesday, June 10, seeking an injunction before the rules go into effect in this August.Title IX is a federal law that states no person shall be discriminated against, excluded from or denied benefits in education on the basis of sex. It also requires institutions to timely report instances of sexual discrimination, harassment or violence.


US: Some families have been kept apart by coronavirus. These families are still waiting to meet
Cable News Network (CNN) – June 13, 2020
Across the world, families who were on the brink of adopting a child have had their futures together postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. Adoption systems in many countries have been hit hard as social distancing restrictions meant the closure of courtrooms and clinics, while travel bans have made connecting with a surrogate or transferring a child between households far more difficult. Most international adoptions have been put on hold after countries closed their borders and canceled visa applications, according to agencies who spoke to CNN.


US: Why You Shouldn’t Conceal Your Mental Health Problems from Your Children (Opinion)
Medium – June 13, 2020
Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people each year. According to The Mental Health Foundation, 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents. So it’s no surprise many parents struggle with their mental health every day. And it’s no surprise we don’t talk about it.


US: How to Talk to Your Transracially Adopted Child About Race (Commentary)
What To Expect – June 12, 2020
It’s essential for every parent to talk to their children about race and racism, but these conversations will look a little different — and can feel more complicated — if you’re raising adopted children of a different race.


US: States Are Using the CARES Act to Improve Child Care Access during COVID-19 (Press release)
Child Trends – June 08, 2020
Child care plays a vital role in our nation’s economy. COVID-19 has largely shut down child care programs and schools across the nation, presenting challenges for working parents. Child care closures are a particularly acute problem for frontline and essential workers.
Also: Brief: States Are Using the CARES Act to Improve Child Care Access during COVID-19: https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/CARESActandStates_ChildTrends_June2020.pdf




Sweden: School May Be Key to Improvement for Kids in Foster Care
Psych Central – June 13, 2020
New Swedish research shows that children in social care, or out-of-home (OHC) care, tend to have poorer mental health and lower academic scores than those who live with their parents. However, the findings show that OHC kids do have trust in the school staff, which can act as a strong pathway for helping them improve.


Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (https://www.childwelfare.gov), a service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb). It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in a resource, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children’s Bureau, or staff.
We are always eager to get your feedback or to know how you are using Child Welfare in the News. To comment on this service, contact cwn@childwelfare.gov.


US: With Child Welfare, Racism Is Hiding in The Discretion (Commentary)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 21, 2020
But more than 60% of the cases CPS caseworkers investigate involve only “neglect.” State laws usually define neglect as lack of adequate food, clothing and shelter. While a few of those cases might involve parents who intentionally withhold those material items from children, the vast majority will be parents who were simply too poor to provide them. Combine such a broad definition as neglect with racial bias, and you get a system full of children of color traumatized by family separation inflicted in the name of “saving” them. In 2018, Black children were 14% of the general population. But they were 23% of the foster care population.


Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (https://www.childwelfare.gov), a service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb). It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in a resource, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children’s Bureau, or staff.
We are always eager to get your feedback or to know how you are using Child Welfare in the News. To comment on this service, contact cwn@childwelfare.gov.


Iran: Iran: Child Protection Law Positive, But Insufficient (Commentary)
Human Rights Watch – June 23, 2020
Iran’s recently approved law to protect children and adolescents is a small positive step forward but falls short of the fundamental reforms needed to meaningfully protect children’s rights, Human Rights Watch said today.


Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (https://www.childwelfare.gov), a service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb). It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in a resource, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children’s Bureau, or staff.
We are always eager to get your feedback or to know how you are using Child Welfare in the News. To comment on this service, contact cwn@childwelfare.gov.


US: White Privilege in Child Welfare: What Racism Looks Like (Opinion)
Chronicle of Social Change – June 23, 2020
The notion that Black children need White protection from their own families was established in the 1800s. Structural racism was built into the system to exclude Black children from the nation’s emerging orphanage system, intentionally separating them. The Black community was not included in planning, and staffing was predominately White. We should not be shocked that a separate system for Black children has survived into 2020.


International: UNICEF Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 5 – May 2020
UNICEF – June 24, 2020
In child protection, 17,487 people accessed UNICEF integrated child protection services in emergency services across the country. This included 5,880 children and 2,153 caregivers who accessed communitybased psychosocial support through child friendly spaces, club activities and parent support sessions.
Also: Somalia Humanitarian Situation Report No. 5: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/UNICEF%20Somalia%20Humanitarian%20Situation%20Report%20No.%205%20-%201-31%20May%202020.pdf


International: Worldwide, children living in institutional care do better with families, Lancet commission says
Catholic News Agency – June 24, 2020
The millions of children separated from their families around the world would do best in a family environment, not institutional care, and leaders should prioritize a collaborative, well-managed shift toward family-centered care, according a report from a commission based in the Lancet Group of medical journals.


Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (https://www.childwelfare.gov), a service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb). It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in a resource, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children’s Bureau, or staff.
We are always eager to get your feedback or to know how you are using Child Welfare in the News. To comment on this service, contact cwn@childwelfare.gov.


International: Coronavirus puts millions more at risk of child marriage and FGM: U.N.
Thomas Reuters Foundation – June 30, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is reversing progress on ending child marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), jeopardising the futures of millions of girls, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday. An additional 13 million girls could be married off and two million more could undergo FGM in the next decade, beyond what would have been expected, as COVID-19 disrupts global efforts to end both practices, UNFPA said.
Also: Report: Against my will – Defying the practices that harm women and girls and undermine equality: https://bit.ly/2YJWBLd


Child Welfare in the News is distributed at no charge by Child Welfare Information Gateway (https://www.childwelfare.gov), a service of the Children’s Bureau/ACF/HHS (https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb). It features news stories on topics of interest to child welfare and related professionals. Inclusion does not imply endorsement of any view expressed in a resource, and opinions or views do not reflect those of Child Welfare Information Gateway, the Children’s Bureau, or staff.
We are always eager to get your feedback or to know how you are using Child Welfare in the News. To comment on this service, contact cwn@childwelfare.gov.

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