Guatemala ChildrenKARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and attention to our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.  This is only a sampling of what should be known –  the great majority of child trauma & abuse never gets reported.

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India – Childline Prevented 94 Child Marriages in Ramnad.

The Hindu.

The District Childline Director states that the Childline has helped the District Child Protection Unit (CPU) and Child Welfare Committee (CWC) stopped 94 child marriages compared to 73 the previous year. The CPU and CWC have also reported that they have received 1, 825 calls through the Childline compared to 562 the previous year. In addition to the Childline, the CPU and CWC has increased its educational assistance and counselling to children having problems in school and at home.


Syria -Half a Million Children Live Under Siege in Syria.


Almost 500, 000 million Syrian children are cut off from sustained humanitarian aids and basic services. The constant and incessant air strikes leaves these children too scared to go to school or even play. The lack of safe spaces makes it even more difficult for children to live a “normal” childhood.


US: Yes, the Adoption Tax Credit is for Foster Care Adoptions

Chronicle of Social Change – December 29, 2016

Many people have been told they do not qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit because they had no expenses. This is simply not true! Have you adopted from the foster care system? Are you thinking about adopting from the foster care system? If you have answered yes to either of these questions, you need to know about the Adoption Tax Credit.

Information Gateway Resource: Grants/Loans/Tax Credit for Adoption:


Canada: Calgary Herald Christmas Fund 2016: CUPS creates healthy families

Calgary Herald – December 29, 2016

Growing from its role as a street-front health-care service in 1989, Calgary Urban Project Society is now using cutting-edge science to give stability to those in crisis.


Canada: New therapeutic program being offered to adoptive parents in Peterborough – December 29, 2016

When adoptive parents open their hearts and homes to non-biological children, they’re sometimes faced with unexpected challenges. A new therapeutic group coming to Peterborough hopes to make these challenges easier to overcome.


Europe: Lord Dubs: refugees face greater hostility than ever in 2017

Guardian – December 28, 2016

Refugees seeking sanctuary in Europe will face an increasingly hostile environment in the coming year, according to the Labour peer Alf Dubs, who predicts governments will turn their backs on those fleeing war and persecution in the face of resurgent anti-immigrant movements across the continent.

International: Unaccompanied refugee minors who were forced to fight in Syria

Jerusalem Post – December 29, 2016

Like any other sectarian war, the main actors of the Syrian war target vulnerable groups such as minors and exploit them for the sake of their own benefits. The entire refugee population is vulnerable, although there especially vulnerable groups – such as single mothers and unaccompanied minors – among them.


Israel: 3,500 files released on Yemenite children affair

Y Net News – December 28, 2016

The Israel National Archives declassified Wednesday 3,500 files relating to the Yemenite children affair- the mysterious disappearance of thousands of Yemenite babies and toddlers between 1948 and 1954.

Also: New data on missing Yemenite Children shows gross negligence, but not state-sponsored kidnappings:

Also: Israel opens database with 400,000 declassified documents on Yemenite Children Affair:,7340,L-4899736,00.html


Malawi: Reducing Child Protection Risks through Shelter Design and a Community-Based Approach in Malawi

Relief Web – December 29, 2016

In emergencies, girls and boys face increased risk to violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation. The way in which humanitarian aid is delivered can further increase these risks. Children may be exposed to harm during the chaos of a distribution or at water points or experience abuse in cramped evacuation centres.



Vatican City: Top-down turned around: Child protection goes global from the ground up

Catholic News Service – December 29, 2016

Because the church’s typical top-down approach in getting the message out may not be enough, Jesuit Father Hans Zollner is spearheading a complementary course: a global alliance built and grown from the ground up by individual priests, religious and laity along with Catholic universities, religious orders and bishops’ conferences. Father Zollner, president of the Center for Child Protection at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, told Catholic News Service in late December of the center’s plan to launch the new alliance in the coming months.


Africa – HIV Treatment Soars, but Young African Women Suffer : UN.

Yahoo News.

Despite the increase number of HIV infected people taking anti-retroviral medicine, a UNAIDS reports states that young women face a higher risk, as more than 7, 500 teenagers and young women every week last year became infected with HIV. While this takes place across Canada, these numbers are concentrated in South Africa.


Around the World, Activists Cal for an End to Violence Against Women.

United Nations Population Fund.

An international campaign aims to enable leaders, communities and individuals to help end violence against women. United Nations Population Fund has released a feature highlighting the stories of people who are demanding the end to gender based violence, empowerment, equality and justice. The feature also high lights how everyday people can help make a difference.


Nigeria – “They Would Be Taking Us In As Wives”: Boko Haram Survivors Recount Horrors, Escape.

United Nations Population Fund.

At the very young age of 12 and a half years old, Goggoji and her mother were captured by Boko Haram. Now 15, Goggoji and her 9 month old daughter fianlly managed to escaped the militant group by wandering for three days in the forest. After her previously failed attempts, Goggoji was punished either by reciving 100 lashes or kept in the hot sun for hours.  She is not receiving health care and psychological support at a UNFPA supported rehabilitation centre.


Yemen – Families Increasingly Resort to Child Marriage as Yemen’s Conflict Grinds On.

United Nations Populations Fund.

At 13 years old, a young girl was forced to leave school and get married. This is just one of several cases among families Yemen who are forced to to marry off their daughters to poverty and economic desperation. Some parents believe that marrying off their daughters will protect them from violence. Many community members believe that the conflict has made child marriages worse and almost common as a coping mechanism.’s-conflict-grinds


Nigeria – Return of Chibok Girls Highlights Needs of Women and Girls.

United Nations Population Fund.

While the kidnapping of over 7, 000 girls have taken a toll on their own person health, community infrastructure, healthy systems and schools have also experienced the effects of the militant group. Over a million people have fled their homes to escape the militant group Boko Haram. Girls kidnapped and girls in displacement settlements both are at risk as they are vulnerable to sexual violence. UNFPA has deployed counsellors for psychosocial support and provided dignity kits, containing feminine hygiene products, and reproductive health kits as health care services are bleak in displacement settlements.



Syria – With High Child Marriage Rates Among Syrian Refugees, One Girl Takes a Stand.

United Nations Population Fund.

Many Syrian families have fled to Lebanon for safety, but young Syrian girls face a further danger in the form of child marriages. Families believe that their daughters are safer when married but the reality is that they have sexual assault and abuse. A 12 year old girl was engaged but she fought her parents and her engagement was eventually ended. Although now she is attending youth programs raising awareness as a youth leader, many people of her community consider her divorced .


U.K. – FA ‘Pulled All Funding’ From Child Protection Project.

BBC News.

An internal review was slated to investigate the Football Association after allegations of sexual abuse. The study was to also review the state of child protection across all clubs. After the resignation of the FA chief executive, funding was pulled and the project was closed down three years before it was due to complete its work. The study faced considerable backlash and resistance from members of the organization.


Canada – Q&A: Former B.C. Child Protection Worker Opens Up About ‘Understaffed’ Ministry.

CBC News.

A former child protection worker comments on how being understaffed impacted the quality of relationships she was able to build with families. She further comments on the difficulty in finding a balance between policing families and supporting families. The former child protection worker also answer questions concerning the state of child protection services for Indigenous families.



Somalia – This Charity Used the Mannequin Challenge to Highlight an Important Message.

BuzzFeed News.

A non-governmental organization appeals to social media to to highlight the reality of suffering in Somalia. The charity aims to rehabilitate child soldiers and victims of child suffering, as the government takes little to no action to do so themselves. The exploitation that children often go though in Somalia is over looked by the government.


Zimbabwe – Child Protection Agenda – Agenda for the Future.

All Africa.

Zimbabwe, in partnership with international organizations, has developed a multi-phase plan to offer child protection systems in an effort to positively support families in shaping children’s behaviour and reduce the various forms of child abuse in public and private spaces.


Canada – Ottawa Police Failed Boy in Torture Case, Victims’ Advocate Says.

CBC News.

Initially, an 11-year-old boy was returned to his home by police after a neighbour called suspecting the child was being abused. The police said that the boy and his father just had a little argument and the child was living in a happy, healthy home with lots of food. More than a year later the parents of the child were arrested, the father was found guilty of aggravated assault, sexual assault causing bodily harm among other charges. The stepmother was also found guilty of her charges. Questions still remain about how police handled the initial call by the neighbour. An executive director of a victim services group calls for more training for front line officers in dealing with domestic violence.


Malaysia – Just 1% of Child Abuse Cases in Malaysia Result in Convictions.

Channel News Asia.

Of the 12, 987 cases of child sexual abuse cases in a 4 year period, 2189 cases were filed, resulting in only 140 convictions. Child welfare groups call on the nation’s criminal justice system, police, and lawmakers to be more transparent in reporting child abuse cases so that awareness of the issue is raised. Some officials says that the secrecy surrounding real numbers is due to not wanting to make the country look bad.



Sex, Drug Abuses spur Calls to Check Volunteers Helping Migrants in Europe.

Channel News Asia.

With the influx of refugees and immigrants volunteers are acting on their own accord to help ease the transition, but there is a lack of regulation or background checks. With the high number of volunteers it is almost impossible for officials to keep track of who are affiliated and regulated volunteers. After a convicted pedophile was found actively participating in online groups and saying that he planned on visiting a camp to do ‘charity work’, a manager of an accountancy body called this incident a wake up call. The lack of regulation and background checks leaves unaccompanied children at a greater risk.


Democratic Republic of Congo – ‘I Was Forced to Kill my Best Friend’, Former DRC Child Soldier Says.

Channel News Asia.

Now 28, a forcibly recruited child solider recounts the story of being abducted, blind folded and forced to kill his best friend as an initiation. After fleeing to Canada, he calls on the international community to back up talks of child rights with actual steps to fulfill these goals. A British charity War Child reveals that 40% of child soldiers are girls, who often join militia groups for food, money, for protection against violence or because their families cannot afford to pay school fees.


Myanmar Child Rape Cases Surge 40 Percent: State Media.


Of the children who are vulnerable to abuse, many of them are sold or forcibly recruited for labour or for fighting. A culture of silence and victim blaming along with a great lack of transparency means that the number of reported child molestation cases could be higher. Many of cases of child abuse are often perpetrated by those closets to the children and their families.


After Abuse as a Girl, UN Albinism Expert Aims to End Ritual Murders.

The United Nations first expert on albinism recounts her story of growing up and being bullied and abused for having albinism. Now as a lawyer in Canada and an expert for the UN, her priority is bringing an end to brutal attacks on people with albinism. She states that children are attacked by family members which subsequently leads to many of these abuse cases going unreported.




Pope’s Sex Abuse Panel to Help New Bishops Improve Child Protection.

Channel News Asia.

Pope Francis vowed a zero tolerance approach as he sets up a training system for Catholic bishops to receive training on how to deal with child abuse. After the scandal involving a French monsignor, and other scandals where priests were shunted from parish to parish instead of being defrocked and handed over to the police, an panel of experts renew a commitment to the protection of minors.


Myanmar Exorcist Pleads Guilty to Beating 3 Kids to Death.

CTV News.

After telling the parents of three children that they were possessed by evil spirits, a Burmese exorcist was accused of beating and injuring the children. All the children were under five years old. The man accused could face the death sentence is found guilty.


Kenya – Naivasha Locals Raid Witch Doctors Havens After Kids Mysterious Deaths.

The Star.

The missing reports and subsequent deaths of two missing children sparked local residents accusing traditional leaders or witch doctors of being behind the the mysterious murders of the missing children. A youth leader states the the raid was an attempt to comb out the fake healers and to find out who exactly is behind the disappearance of the kids.


Indonesia – Nestle and Kellogg ‘Profit’ From ‘Appalling’ Child Labour Abuse in Palm Oil Plantation: Amnesty International.

The National Post.

Palm oil, sourced from Indonesian plantations, are used in the products of nine multinational companies including Unilever, Nestle, Kellogg and Procter & Gamble. Despite strong labour laws, the plantations run by a Singapore based company uses children as young as eight years old to work in hazardous conditions in the palm plantations in Indonesia. An official at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association states that companies would not consciously hire underage labour, rather companies do not forbid children who want to work and help their parents.





Ireland – Putting Children in Shelter Against International Law.

The Irish Examiner.

Among issues of housing rights, a report on child protection looks into the state of cyber protection, children’s digital rights, the operation of the child protection system, sex education for children and young people about consent, and children’s right to play.


India – Imagination vs. Knowledge.

The Statesman.

Plan India, a member of Plan International, held an art exhibition to highlight the issues affecting the lives of vulnerable children. The art depicted children living and working on the streets, children affected by HIV/AIDS and children victimized by commercial sexual exploitation, among other dangerous and difficult circumstances.


Colombia Outrage Over Killing of Young Girl.

BBC News.

Hundreds of people gather in protest against the aggravated femicide, torture, abduction and rape of a seven year old Indigenous girl in Colombia. Protesters worry that the suspect will escape justice as he comes from a wealthy and prominent family in Colombia.


Canada – Ontario Unveils Revamped Child Protection Laws at Queen’s Park.

CBC News.

A new child welfare legislation will replace the old Child and Family Services Act which has been in place since 1985. One of the new features of the legislation is that it will ensure more culturally appropriate services, particularly for Indigenous and black children and youth. This comes on the heels of complaints from children and youth services, and also advocacy groups, who ask why Indigenous and black children are overrepresented in the child welfare system and why they receive sub-standard care while in the system.




Thailand – Let’s Make Thailand a Safe Haven for Kids.

Bangkok Post.

Despite past efforts of raising awareness and curbing human trafficking, Thailand nevertheless lacks collaboration and information sharing amongst the isolated efforts. Thailand on a legal level needs improvement in prosecuting offenders as many charges are either dropped or never filed. Thailand further faces the problems that tourism brings; while tourism may be great for the economy, resort towns and high tourism areas see high numbers of expat paedophiles.


Syria – As East Aleppo Falls, Accounts of Carnage – Then a Cease-Fire.

National Public Radio.

Children are trapped in buildings and being shot on the spot as the battle in Aleppo worsens. The U.N. Secretary General acknowledges and expressed alarm over the reported atrocities, but makes no effort to assign blame or responsibility to any party. Negotiations continue between Turkey and Russia in an attempt to evacuate civilians trapped in Aleppo.


Lebanon/Syria – New Survey Reveals Extent of Hardship and Abuse Experienced by Syrian Children Working on Streets of Lebanon.


Children, aged between six and ten years old, are sent by their families to work on the streets of Lebanon as they have no other choice. While working long hours 6 days a week selling CDs, tissues or gum, many of the children have said they experienced some sort of violence or sexual harassment.


India – For Battling the Evil of Child Marriage.

The New India Express.

Almost married off at 14 to a stranger 10 years older than her, a young girl has carved her own path and has now set up an organization to campaign against child marriage.


The Trouble with Tourists.

Harvard Political Review.

Children participate in the tourism industries of several countries not only by selling trinkets and souvenirs on streets but through the sexual abuse of children which has become a growing practice that goes unnoticed. A global study, conducted by End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism, has noted that the majority of perpetrators do not travel with the intention or sole purpose of committing these crimes. They rely on stereotypes and a sense of anonymity and impunity when engaging in the sexual abuse of minors.


Canada/U.S. – Wed, Global Travel Have Increased Child Sex Abuse in Tourism, Study Says.

The Star.

The tables have turned for Canada and the United States as both countries where once thought of as source countries for abusers, but are now also increasingly becoming destinations of child abuse. Indigenous women and children are particularly vulnerable to the situational type of offenders who are not seen as a typical person who would exploit a child. Canadian cities close to U.S. boarders, and cities hosting trade conventions, concerts and remote workplaces, are the problem spots where the sexual exploitation of children takes place.


The Philippines – Strengthening: Child Protection Systems in the Philippines: Child Protection in Emergencies.

Relief Web.

The typhoon which stuck the Philippines three years ago highlighted the impact such consequences of climate change can have on children, i.e. separation from families, displacement, and increasing vulnerability to violence and abuse. The typhoon exposed the weaknesses in child protection systems and their responses in emergency events. UNICEF has supported local community based systems and institutions in an effort to establish partnerships that would channel resources directly to those who are in need.


Bangladesh – Hugh Step Backwards on Child Marriages in Bangladesh.

Human Rights Watch.

With one highest rates of child marriages in the world, and the highest in Asia, Bangladesh’s parliament faces a crucial responsibility to ensure that a proposed law putting girls at a great risk of child marriage is not passed. The drafted legislation permitted marriages under the age of 18 for girls in special circumstances, such as accidental or unlawful pregnancy.



Pakistan – Universal Children’s Day Being Observed Today.

Dunya News.

While the public and private sector holds seminars and conferences to observe the UN Universal Children’s Day, the President of Pakistan reaffirms the country’s commitment to protecting and promoting children’s rights. The President highlights the country’s duty as an Islamic Republic to provide equal access to development opportunities without discrimination.


Tunisia – Tunisian Girl, 13, is Forced to Marry a 20-Year-Old ‘Rapist’ Relative Who Got Her Pregnant.

Daily Mail.

In the Tunisian Criminal Code, sex with a girl under 15 without the use of force is punishable by six years in prison. A judge, however;  relied on that same legislation which also allows a rapist to halt proceedings against them by marrying the victim. The Prime Minister announces that 2017 will be the year of the child as the country strives to improve the lives of children particularly their education.


Turkey – Tourism’s Dark Side: Child Sexual Abuse in Turkey.

Hurriey Daily News.

Turkish tourists are detained in countries such as Kenya, Cambodia, and Uganda as they organize sex tours and are the consumers of sex services. In Turkey, girls from low income families are lured into working at salons and are later forced into prostitution.


Tanzania – Child Marriage ‘Major Problem.”

All Africa.

Three young women give their stories of having to marry at very young age. They describe the health consequences of having children at 16 years old and what it is like trying to fight for their rights and a better quality of life.




Costa Rica – In Costa Rica, From Teen Mom to Girls’ Rights Advocate.

United Nations Population Fund.

Few of the over a thousand pregnancies a year, amongst adolescent girls, are planned. Whether planned or not, many girls are forced to drop out of school which leads to even further detrimental consequences. The BA1 project is a program aimed at training and counselling adolescent mothers so as to prevent further unintended pregnancies. Through the program a young mother was able to become an advocate and is involved in other youth programs to counsel and be a role model for other young girls.


Pakistan Signs Convention to Prevent Parental Abductions.


The Pakistani government has signed a convention which they argue will better enable Pakistani children abducted and stranded abroad to return to Pakistan. Children are sometimes abducted and taken abroad by parents when marriages end in separations or divorces. Current laws makes it easier for a legal parent to bring in or take a child out of the country without the consent of other the other legal parent.


UN’s Ban on Child Labour is a ‘Damaging Mistake.’

The Guardian.

A UN convention banning child labour has been criticized by researching arguing that age appropriate work is beneficial to the developing and developed world. They argue  that there is not sufficient access to education for children to turn to when they are banned from working. Scholars argue that taking a simplistic approach by completely banning children from working will negatively affect children and their families, as not all children fit the stereotype of exploitive and hazardous labour.


Japan – Dispatches: A Gift From Japan to Its Children.

Human Rights Watch.

The Health, Labour and Welfare Minister of Japan is accredited with improving Japan’s alternative care system. One crucial aspect amended is that children will now be guaranteed a family setting rather than institutions where the probability abuse and neglect is high. This is a turn of events as past decisions had prioritized the interests of adults and adult matters rather than the happiness and protection of children.


Malawi – Good News for Child Protection in Malawi.

Human Rights Watch.

Many children, ages 16-18, are often not protected by child protection laws but are instead neglected because of conflicting laws defining the age of a children. Harmonizing the various definitions of childhood could result in more children receiving services they are entitled to.


Syria/Russia – School Attack a Possible War Crime.

Human Rights Watch.

Civilian infrastructure and school buildings, with children inside, were attacked by Russian/Syrian airforces resulting in the death of 30 school children. News channels had reported that attacks were carried out with military objectives. Witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch claim, to their knowledge, that the attacks concentrated in school complexes had no military objectives in or near the schools. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, over a million children had to flee the country and are subsequently out of school; thousands of children remaining in the country are also out of school because schools have been closed due to destruction, use for military purposes, or to shelter displaced people.


Nepal’s Child ‘Love Marriages’ Need Regulation Too.

Women’s eNews.

While arranged child marriages have decreased, love marriages among children have risen. These love marriages come with their own consequences, including girls dropping out of school, healthy risks an elevated threat of domestic violence. The government of Nepal is hesitant to intervene in this type of situation as the extent to which the government can intervene is not clear. What is known is that there should be age limits to protect children from both physical and psychological danger.


Kyrgyzstan Ups Fight Against Child Marriage.

Human Rights Watch.

The President of Kyrgyzstan introduced criminal sanctions for people who conduct or facilitate religious marriages of children under 18. Critics argue that this solves only one aspect of the problem of child marriages. The cultural practice of bride kidnapping is where women and girls are abducted by the person, or family of the person, wanting to marry the girl. The girl is taken back to the person’s home and person’s family tries to convince, almost to the point of forcing, the girl to agree to the marriage. Bride kidnapping often leads to domestic violence and unregistered marriages; having the marriage unregistered affords no marital rights to the girl which makes it difficult for the girl to leave an abusive relationship.



The Philippines – Regulate Small Gold Mines, Too.


While the Philippine Environment Secretary has ordered audits and suspensions for major mining farms in the Philippines, the small scale gold mines and their harmful effects for children, the environment and communities are overlooked. It is possible that as gold is a major source of income for the Philippines, the government does little to ensure regulations that protect the environment and children.


Ending Child Marriage Everywhere – Including in the West.

Human Rights Watch.

Despite having a minimum age of 18 for marriage, many American states and other Western countries permits marriages of children under the age of 18. Because such marriages are less visible than in Africa and Asia, girls married at a very young age have little to no access to aid and face barriers in escaping an abusive marriage.


France’s Le Pen Calls for Foreign Children to be Denied Free Education.

Human Rights Watch.

A candidate for a French political party argues that not all children should be afforded rights established by the French constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Le Pen maintains that migrant children living on French territory should not have access to free education and health care.


Iran – Execution Looms for Iranian Child Bride.

Human Rights Watch.

The legal minimum age for a girl to get married under Iranian Civil Code is 13. Married at the age of 15, a young woman was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering her husband when she was 17. Her execution was delayed because she was pregnant and because Iranian law prohibits the execution of a pregnant women.



Japan’s Chance at an LGBT-Inclusive Curriculum.

Human Rights Watch.

LGBT youth reported experiences of harassment, bullying, and dropping out of schools in Japan. Elementary and junior high school health curricula does not reference homosexuality or transgender people and does not address the development of gender identity, apart from the stereotyped news reports or anti-gay slurs. This leads to the question of whether there is such a thing as an appropriate health curriculum that would be LGBT inclusive which also respects religious beliefs of parents.


Albania Sings Safe Schools Declaration, Protecting Schools During War.

Human Rights Watch.

The Safes Schools Declaration is a political commitment to protect children’s right to education by protecting schools from military use during armed conflict. Albania’s follow through in integrating the principles and guidelines into policy and legislation is very important because it illustrates that the continuous education of children in wartime is essential. It also has practical implications as Albania participates in international coalitions serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.


South Africa Official Brushes Off Children with Disabilities.

Human Rights Watch.

A South African Deputy Minister for Social Development does not address the inclusion of, or lack there of, children with disabilities in mainstream schools. Research by Human Rights Watch and other organizations also discredit claims by the Minister that children with disabilities are allowed the same chances in education. Research shows that many children are wrongfully placed in special schools and are denied the same chances in education.



India: Rise in baby trafficking in India cuts adoption numbers and fuels trade

Reuters – December 28, 2016

An increase in baby trafficking in India is reducing the number of children available for adoption and fuelling the lucrative trade as more couples wait to adopt, government officials said on Wednesday.

Norway: India intervenes in Norway child abuse row

Borneo Bulletin – December 28, 2016

India’s foreign minister on Tuesday urged Norway to return a five-year-old boy to his Indian-origin parents after authorities took the child into their custody over suspected abuse.



Greece: Sebastopol’s Schoolbox Project carves out safe space for child refugees

Press Democrat – December 24, 2016

The Elliniko refugee camp outside of Athens is a complex of abandoned 2004 Olympic Games venues and the former Ellinikon International Airport. This is where the Sebastopol-based Schoolbox Project has been located since Oct. 31, just outside the international arrivals area at the old airport, where families once waited for loved ones to return.


Japan: Rising Numbers of Child Abuse Cases: Increasing Awareness to Social Ills

Modern Tokyo Times – December 26, 2016

Statistics are clearly open to many interpretations but certain underlying factors, both positive and negative, are behind the growing rise of reported child abuse cases in Japan. Equally important, the number of cases highlights the need to employ more professional people and support networks in this essential social welfare area. If not, then growing caseloads for individual workers will lead to mistakes and lack of real attention because of overwork.


US: 10 New Year Resolutions For Foster Care (Opinion)

Huffington Post – December 22, 2016

With more children in foster care now than in years past, the foster care system in the United States is in need of attention, and in some ways, in need of change. While not everyone can be a foster parent, everyone can help a child in foster care in some way, and in some fashion. Here are 10 ways, or 10 New Year Resolutions, for the foster care system for this New Year.


US: 4 Infrastructure Requirements for Any Big Data Initiative

FedTech – December 22, 2016

Agencies must select Big Data analytics products based not only on what functions the software can complete, but also on factors such as data security and ease of use. One popular function of Big Data analytics software is predictive analytics – the analysis of current data to make predictions about the future. Predictive analytics are already used across a number of fields, including actuarial science, marketing and financial services. Government applications include fraud detection, capacity planning and child protection, with some child welfare agencies using the technology to flag high-risk cases.


US: A Better Way to Build Modern Safety-Net Systems (Opinion)

Governing – December 22, 2016

Driven largely by federal policy direction and financial incentives, the past several years have seen a wave of efforts to modernize state health and human services systems, some of which were built as long ago as the 1970s and ’80s. The recent federal initiatives have spurred states to act on long-held visions for replacing outdated systems that support core safety-net programs with more efficient, streamlined, businesslike ones.

Information Gateway resource: Engaging Communities in System Reform:


US: Needed: A New Vision of Foster Care (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – December 21, 2016

The number of children in foster care has increased for the third straight year. Foster parent shortages have been reported in at least 24 states, with children staying in offices and hotels. The move by some states to close residential programs will only exacerbate these shortages. At the same time, many current foster homes are failing to provide the nurturing and attention that their wards so desperately need.

US: Who are the real champions for children? (Opinion)

Hill – December 21, 2016

The fact is that children are far too often an afterthought in Congress. This is highlighted by the fact that the federal share of funding dedicated to children’s programs dropped from 8.45 percent in 2010 to just 7.83 percent in 2015, and the share is projected to drop even further over the next decade.


Nigeria: Lagos goes tough on child abuse – December 22, 2016

Lagos Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday announced ratification of the first ever Executive Order establishing a Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy in Nigeria, just as he said the Policy was designed as a catalyst for driving awareness and commitment of all stakeholders, including every member of the community towards the protection of children.



US: 1 in 3 children investigated for abuse/neglect by 18

Public – December 20, 2016

The first academic study to estimate the cumulative lifetime risk of a child maltreatment investigation, completed by researchers at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, reveals that 37 percent of U.S. children prior to their 18th birthday are the subject of an investigated child neglect and abuse report – and 53 percent of black children.


US: The Impact of Child Abuse Can Last a Lifetime: MedlinePlus Health News

HealthDay News – December 19, 2016

The traumatic effects of child abuse and neglect can persist for decades, often with substantial economic consequences, researchers report. “We found associations of child neglect and abuse with adult socioeconomic circumstances at age 50,” said lead author Snehal Pinto Pereira.

Also: How Child Abuse Affects Individuals In Later Life (Includes video):

Information Gateway resource: Impact of Child Abuse & Neglect:



Canada: Children’s Aid workers on verge of strike in Nipissing and Parry Sound

CBC – December 20, 2016

Representatives of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), were in mediation talks with the CAS Tuesday. Those broke off without resolution, according to the President of CUPE Local 2049, Debbie Hill.


International: Aleppo Evacuation Update/ Urgent Child Protection (Press release) (Includes Aleppo Evacuation Report from the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations):

Relief Web – December 20, 2016

Thousands of people from Aleppo were evacuated today through the enormous efforts of 14 NGO’s bringing the total to approximately 20,000 evacuated. The majority of the evacuees were children, women and families. Among the children was Bana Al Abed, the seven-year-old girl, who’s twitter account went viral (@alabedbana), providing updates about the horrors of living in besieged Aleppo.


Kenya: Alarm over mushrooming illegal children homes

Kenya News Agency – December 21, 2016

The Children’s department in Kiambu County is worried over mushrooming of illegal children homes with over 350 children rescued from such homes in 2016. Subsequently, the department has embarked on a massive crackdown of illegal children homes and so far several proprietors have been arrested and prosecuted for committing the offence.





US: Adult homeless strategies, poor fit for youths

NACo – December 19, 2016

After an uncertain stretch on the streets, a young person makes it into a shelter, then finds himself rapidly re-housed – placed in an apartment by himself. And that’s not always good news.

Also: Information Gateway resource: Research on Youth Outcomes:


US: Marijuana for morning sickness can harm your unborn child

Reuters Health – December 19, 2016

Pregnant women who use marijuana to treat their nausea may be harming their unborn children, according to a warning from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).


Australia: Adoption In Australia At Lowest Level Ever – December 20, 2016

Adoption in Australia has dropped to its lowest level on record – with less than 1% of children in out of home care being taken in to more permanent homes – according to a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.


Australia: Nicole Kidman calls for adoption discussion as she hits the red carpet for film Lion (Includes video)

Daily Telegraph – December 19, 2016

Nicole Kidman says it is time Australia talks more openly about adoption. Speaking at the Sydney premiere of the highly acclaimed new film Lion, the actor said she hoped the movie about a young adopted boy from India created a more positive dialogue on the issue.

India: Accenture gives 22 weeks leave for adoption, surrogacy


ET Tech – December 20, 2016

Accenture has increased the adoption leave its staff can take to 22 weeks from the current eight and added surrogacy leave, also of 22 weeks, as a new category, making the company one of the first in India to equate surrogacy and adoption leaves to maternity leave practices.

International: UNICEF marks 70th anniv, recommits itself to child welfare

Business Standard – December 19, 2016

UNICEF today commemorated its 70th anniversary by celebrating its achievements for the world’s most vulnerable children and also recommitting to the cause of children.


Russia: Moscow has no plans to give US citizens permission to adopt Russian children

TASS – December 21, 2016

Russia is not considering the possibility to give US citizens permission to adopt Russian children, Kremlin Spokeman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.



US: Left Behind: Trump’s Immigration Plans Could Spur Uptick in Foster Care Numbers

Chronicle of Social Change – December 19, 2016

Many of the people being deported will be parents of children who are U.S. citizens, born into the rights and protections of this country. Child welfare and immigration reform advocates fear that the surge in deportation will prompt a spike in foster care admissions for children in this circumstance.



US: Heroin Epidemic Drives Spike In Foster Care, Could Cause Orphanages To ‘Come Back’

Daily Caller – December 18, 2016

The opioid epidemic crippling the U.S. is wreaking havoc on the lives of the children of addicts and beginning to overwhelm state foster care programs.

Information Gateway resource: Heroin/Other Opioids and Child Welfare:


US: Opioids May Interfere With Parenting Instincts, Study Finds

New York Times – October 13, 2016

Some of the most troubling images of the opioid crisis involve parents buying or using drugs with their children in tow. Now new research offers a glimpse into the addicted brain, finding that the drugs appear to blunt a person’s natural parenting instincts.®ion=Marginalia&pgtype=articl



Nigeria: One out of every four girls suffers sexual abuse, says child protection stakeholders

Nigeria Daily News – December 17, 2016

Stakeholders in the child protection sector have decried the towering spate of child sexual abuse in the country and called for a support system devoid of bottlenecks for victims, saying one in four girls and one in ten boys now experience the menace before age 18.



US: ICWA: Federal Judge Orders Changes In Seventh Circuit Handling Of Hearings (Includes audio)

SDPB – December 16, 2016

A federal judge has ordered Seventh Circuit and Pennington County officials to stop violating the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Information Gateway resource: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA):


United Kingdom: Impact of Child Abuse Persists Deep into Middle Age

Medpage Today – December 19, 2016

Abuse and neglect during childhood are linked to poor mid-adulthood socioeconomic outcomes, with greater risk for those who experienced multiple types of maltreatment, researchers reported.


United Kingdom: Government ‘too slow to improve child protection services’

Family Law Week – December 16, 2016

The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a report in which it has found that there is no credible plan to improve child protection services and grow quality social work force.




US: Black children really suffer when a parent is in prison. And too many parents are. (Opinion)

Fusion – December 15, 2016

On Thursday, The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC, released a report on the effects of incarcerated parents on black children-and, surprise, it’s pretty horrible.

Report: Mass incarceration and children’s outcomes:

Information Gateway resource: Supporting Children and Families of Prisoners:


US: SPECIAL REPORT: Should corporal punishment be allowed in public schools? (Opinion) (Includes video)

KPLC TV – December 15, 2016

Thirty-one states have outlawed corporal punishment. Nineteen still permit it, including every state in the South. Following the Obama Administration’s announcement, we posed the question on the KPLC Facebook page asking your thoughts. Reaction was mixed but mostly in favor of it.



International: Migration: Key findings from the U.S., Europe and the world

Pew Research Center – December 15, 2016

If all of the world’s international migrants (people living in a country that is different from their country or territory of birth) lived in a single country, it would be the world’s fifth largest, with around 244 million people. Overall, international migrants make up 3.3% of the world’s population today.


United Kingdom: Children ‘left at risk by government reform delay’

BBC News – December 15, 2016

“Urgent” action is needed to end the variations in the quality of help for vulnerable children in England, the Public Accounts Committee says. The MPs called for the publication of detailed plans to transform child protection services.



US: HHS Now Able to Definitively Link More Foster Children to More Parental Substance Abuse

Youth Today – December 15, 2016

New data in a recent Health and Human Services report shows both that the number of youth in the foster care system has risen for three straight years, and that the main culprit is parental drug abuse.

Report: The AFCARS Report:


US: Study Finds large differences in mortality rates between U.S. counties

Medical News Today – December 15, 2016

In an analysis of U.S. cause-specific county-level mortality rates from 1980 through 2014, there were large between-county differences for every cause of death, although geographic patterns varied substantially by cause of death, according to a study appearing in JAMA.



Canada: Premier Notley denies hypocrisy over child welfare conflicts

Edmonton Journal – December 14, 2016

In 2008, there was no public reporting of children who died in care – not the numbers, not the circumstances – and the children’s advocate was buried inside a ministry.

Also: In a rare political move, Alberta’s opposition parties banded together to boycott the panel investigating the child welfare system:

United Kingdom: More than 1,700 calls to football abuse hotline in three weeks

i News – December 15, 2016

More than 1,700 calls have been made to the NSPCC’s football abuse helpline since it was launched just three weeks ago, it has been revealed.




US: UNL grant will study retention rates for child welfare workers

Lincoln Journal Star – December 14, 2016

Michelle Graef, a research associate professor at UNL’s Center on Children, Families and the Law will lead a five-year effort funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration and the Children’s Bureau to study ways to improve retention.


US: ‘Talia’s Law’ aimed at protecting children on military bases

Hawaii News Now – December 13, 2016

After Congressional approval earlier this week, the president is expected to sign “Talia’s Law,” which will require military officials to report all child abuse to state authorities.


US: McMartin: Child Welfare’s Prelude to #Pizzagate

Chronicle of Social Change – December 13, 2016

The 2016 election campaign and its aftermath have been awash in fake news stories created by everyone from right-wing extremists to clickbait entrepreneurs. But we seem especially vulnerable when purveyors of fake news add two magic words: child abuse.

US: Study Raises Concern of Significant Under-Reporting of Child Abuse Within U.S. Army (Press release)

PR Newswire – December 13, 2016

Only 20 percent of medically diagnosed child abuse and neglect cases in U.S. Army dependent children between 2004 and 2007 were found to have a substantiated report with the Army’s Family Advocacy Program (FAP) – the agency responsible for the investigation and treatment of child abuse – according to a new PolicyLab study.


US: The Alarming Rise Of Children In Foster Care

Huffington Post – December 13, 2016

For many years, there had been a decrease in the number of children being placed into the foster care system in the United States of America. Yet, for the past three years, there has been just the opposite; there has been a national increase in the number of children being placed into foster care.


US: The New Strategy for Raising Money for Kids: Just Ask Voters

Governing – December 13, 2016

Amid Donald Trump’s largely unexpected victory on Election Day, it was easy to miss an emerging trend in local elections: In about a dozen communities around the country, voters approved tax hikes for children’s services and measures that will keep policymakers from dipping into those funds for other purposes.


S: Top Five Threats to Child Welfare from ACA Repeal (Opinion)

CLASP – December 13, 2016

Proposals by the Congress and President-elect to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA)-including the Medicaid expansion-to turn Medicaid into a block grant, and to cut resources, all can sound very abstract to social workers and policymakers coping with the day-to-day tragedies and crises of child welfare. But should Congress make good on any of these threats-which could happen as early as January 2017-the dangers are very real to abused and neglected children, their birth, adoptive, and foster parents, as well as state agencies and providers.

US: UMD Leads American Indian Child Welfare Act Project (Press release)



Business North – December 13, 2016

UMD’s Department of Social Work has received a significant federal grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create a better delivery system for the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), a federal law that seeks to keep American Indian children with American Indian families.


US: Obamacare’s Demise Could Be Quicker Than Republicans Intend (Includes audio)

National Public Radio – December 12, 2016

An estimated 20 million people have obtained health insurance over the last three years via provisions in the Affordable Care Act. Some get coverage through the insurance exchanges, but millions are covered because of the expansion of Medicaid in most states, and because the law allows young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance policies up to age 26.


Canada: New legislation misses key commitments critical to fixing Child Protection Services and settling labour unrest (Press release)

Market Wired – December 13, 2016

On the brink of yet another potential strike or lockout in Children’s Aid over workload issues, the Wynne government has introduced legislative changes to child protection services that ignore key commitments critical to addressing the problems that put kids at risk of falling through the cracks, says Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario.




US: How Investing In Preschool Beats The Stock Market, Hands Down (Opinion)

National Public Radio – December 12, 2016

There’s a growing body of research on the value and importance of high-quality early education programs – especially for disadvantaged kids. But there’s surprisingly little research on its impact over time. This paper helps change that. Heckman and his co-authors examine the many ways in which these high-quality programs helped participants thrive throughout life.


Also: Preschool brings bigger than expected economic returns, economists say:

US: Infants Dependent on Opioids Rising Faster in Rural Areas, Study Finds

ABC News – December 12, 2016

The numbers of infants born affected by opioids is rising, especially in rural areas, according to a new study published today in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics.


US: Juvenile detention centers struggle with transgender inmates

Associated Press – December 12, 2016

Young transgender people are too often sent to girls’ or boys’ lockups based on their anatomy, not their gender identity, and can end up suffering psychologically and getting picked on by other inmates or staff members, according to advocacy groups. Even when they are assigned to detention centers that correspond to their gender identity, they are often victimized.


US: New ICWA Rules Go Into Effect For Native American Foster Care, Adoption Proceedings

KJZZ and Associated Press – December 12, 2016

Family court judges will now be required to ask whether a child is Native American as part of all foster care and adoption proceedings. That’s one of several new regulations family courts will have to follow under the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Information Gateway resource: Tribal Court Considerations:


US: Part One: Smart Solutions For Vulnerable Families Start With Context

Huffington Post – December 12, 2016

If the goal of child welfare is to keep children safe, Shafir’s research suggests anger management classes might do more harm than good. Instead, helping parents change their situation is the smarter solution. Increasing parents’ financial support, for example, or creating community centers with easy access to social services and providing a chance for neighbors to support one another.


US: Substance Abuse Not Only Factor in Growing Foster Care Numbers

Chronicle of Social Change – December 12, 2016

In its press release announcing the new data, ACF reported that parental substance abuse may have contributed to the growth in the foster care population. The percentage of removals where parental substance abuse was cited as a contributing factor increased by 13 percentage points between 2012 and 2015. However, changes in policy and practice may also have contributed to increasing foster care entries in at least three states.

Also: Number of children in foster care increases for the third consecutive year (Press release):


Canada: Derek Nepinak to address damaging delays of child protection hearings

CBC News – December 12, 2016

The grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs will have a say in how court delays in child protection hearings hurt First Nations families. Derek Nepinak has been granted intervener status in an upcoming Court of Appeal case by the province’s Child and Family Services agency (CFS).


United Kingdom: Cut funding for orphanages to stop sex abuse, says J.K. Rowling’s charity

Thomson Reuters Foundation – December 12, 2016

Orphanages around the world often operate as centres for child trafficking and sexual abuse, and donors such as Britain, the United States and the European Union must cut funding to them, said a charity founded by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.


United Kingdom: Racist abuse derails Facebook campaign to foster child refugees

RT – December 12, 2016

The Facebook campaign, run by Leicestershire County Council in October and November, was ended abruptly because of bigoted trolling by members of the public, according to the Leicester Mercury.

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US: Making sure young immigrants are protected (Opinion)

Times Ledger – December 12, 2016

Donald Trump, as a candidate, made conflicting statements about immigration while campaigning, leaving the future of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) ambiguous. His rhetoric on immigration, ranging from the fanciful “border wall” to a call to end birthright citizenship, has activists convinced that the program’s days are numbered.


US: Custody in crisis: How family courts nationwide put children in danger

Salon – December 11, 2016

In many cases across the country, family courts ignore evidence of sexual or physical abuse, putting kids in peril.


US: Child advocates: Pass foster care reform

Winston-Salem Journal – December 10, 2016

A version of the proposal – known as the Family First Prevention Act – had been passed in June by the U.S. House with bipartisan support. The proposal was scheduled to come up for a vote last week in the U.S. Senate but never did. Now, it appears as if it won’t come up again until Congress reconvenes next year, according to Karen McLeod, the president and chief executive of Benchmarks, an advocacy group based in Raleigh.


US: Congress Passes Spending Package But Child Priorities Remain Undone (Opinion)

Youth Today – December 09, 2016

With work on its last must-pass priority nearly complete, Congress will adjourn in the coming weeks without finishing work on a number of bills related to children. Without action, the bills will need to be re-introduced in the new Congress to have a chance at passage. The bills include child welfare, child nutrition, juvenile justice and education legislation.

Also: Senator Blocks Foster Care Reform To Protect Religious Group’s Profits:

Information Gateway Resource: System Reform:


US: Silicon Valley Mobilizes to Hack Foster Care

Chronicle of Social Change – December 09, 2016

Early next year, when it hosts its own “Hack Foster Care Summit,” Silicon Valley will pick up the baton in the third leg of what is becoming a national effort to better use technology to improve the lives of children and youth in foster care. Back in May the Administration for Children Youth and Families convened the first ever White House Foster Care hackathon, which has sparked follow up events in New York, Santa Clara, Los Angeles and likely Massachusetts.

US: The Largest-Ever Survey Of Transgender People In America Has Some Disturbing Findings

Self – December 09, 2016

Stangio says societal rejection and discrimination is a big problem for members of the transgender community, leading to poverty and unemployment. “When you are more likely to be rejected by your family, rejected by so-called social welfare systems like foster care, public assistance, and shelter assistance, denied employment, and profiled by police, it pushes you to the margins of society,” he says. “This all creates a cycle of unemployment, poverty, incarceration.”


US: Udall, Heinrich Urge Passage of Foster Care Reforms to Help Growing Number of Children Affected by Opioid Abuse Epidemic (Press release)

PublicNow – December 05, 2016

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined 23 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to congressional leaders urging them to include strongly supported reforms to the foster care system in any end-of-year budget agreement. The Family First Prevention Services Act would allow states to use federal foster care funds to pay for programs that improve home life, such as mental health services and in-home parenting programs, which are crucial in light of the growing number of children in the foster care system whose families are affected by the opioid abuse epidemic and other substance abuse problems. The programs would enable more children to stay in their homes or with extended family and prevent children from being placed in group homes unnecessarily.


Canada: Assembly of First Nations Stands with First Nations Children in Supporting Presentation to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Seek Relief in Complaint Against Canada (Press release)

PR Newswire – December 09, 2016

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is today expressing steadfast support for First Nations children as the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the Society) is set to appear before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to call for action on the decision by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to end discrimination in its provision of First Nations child and family services on reserve.


Greece: Sexual Exploitation and the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Relevant – December 09, 2016

So far this year, over 2,500 refugees have died somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea in their desperate voyages to places like Athens. Those who do survive the journey find they left one hell only to find another. Without adequate government support, the mass influx of asylum seekers to Athens created a slum where its labyrinth of streets bring together a precarious mix of ethnic rivals, foreign illnesses and abject poverty.


Japan: Could easier adoptions stem child abuse in Japan?

Japan Times – December 10, 2016

In his book “Kichiku no Ie” (“House of Brutality”), Kota Ishii explains that the Japan Pediatric Society assumes that official statistics about infant and toddler killings are the tip of the iceberg. The real number of child killings is probably three to five times higher, because doctors who evaluate the deaths of very young children in emergency situations are reluctant to accuse parents of abuse, even if they suspect as much.



United Kingdom: British schools ‘under pressure’ as education chiefs warn hundreds of children will arrive from Calais’ Jungle camp

Sun – December 10, 2016

Over 750 children have been brought over to the UK to start a new life after the Calais Jungle was demolished, but only 103 councils have volunteered to give them school places.





US: A missed opportunity: Congress fails to pass needed foster care reforms (Opinion)

Register-Guard – December 09, 2016

At first glance, the Family First Prevention Services Act looked to be about as close to a slam-dunk as a piece of federal legislation can be in these contentious times. So what went wrong?


US: A North Carolina Senator Wants to Block a Foster Care Reform Bill

Teen Vogue – December 08, 2016

Each day, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care in the United States, according to Children’s Rights. On average, kids remain in the system for two years, and 7% remain for five or more years. In 2014 alone, more than 22,000 people aged out of foster care without permanent families – something, Children’s Rights reports, leads to a greater chance of homelessness, unemployment, or incarceration.


US: A Prison Sentence Impacts Many (Opinion)

Whitman Wire – December 08, 2016

There are many victims of America’s unjust system of mass incarceration, but there is a particular demographic that is deeply affected yet often goes unacknowledged: the children of those who are incarcerated.

Information Gateway resource: Supporting Children and Families of Prisoners:


US: What Parents Need To Know About Having A Foster Child And How It Could Change Their Life For The Better

Parent Herald – December 08, 2016

For those of you who don’t know what foster parenting is, with the help of LACDCFS, this means that one could temporarily provide a haven or home for a child until such time that he or she can reunite with his or her biological family. It is far different from adoption because this requires less paperwork. Although you would still need to be qualified to be a foster parent before being able to offer any child your home or care.

US: Reunification: The Ultimate Goal? (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – December 07, 2016

The thing I heard the most from adults during my time in the system was that “the ultimate goal is reunification,” but never did I hear about how the state supports that process, or doesn’t.


Canada: Ontario introduces ‘historic’ changes to child-protection laws

Toronto Star – December 08, 2016

Advocates, child protection workers and youth are praising the introduction of historic provincial legislation that puts the needs of Ontario’s most vulnerable children at the heart of every decision about their care.

United Kingdom: UK football sex abuse: 83 suspects and 98 clubs involved in inquiry

CNN – December 09, 2016

There are now 83 potential suspects and 98 teams involved in the inquiry into historic child sexual abuse in English football, the National Police Chiefs’ Council revealed.


US: Foster Youth Demand Action as Landmark Foster Care Reform Bill Hangs In The Balance

Washington Sun – December 07, 2016

Dozens of foster youth, family advocates, and health and human services leaders gathered at the U.S. Capitol to call on Congress to prioritize the safety of children and pass the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)-the most significant attempt to reform the foster care system in a generation-while they still have the chance. Despite the widespread, bipartisan support for the legislation, its future remains uncertain due to intense lobbying by special interest groups in the final weeks of the 114th Congress.

Information Gateway resource: Laws and Policies That Promote Systems of Care:


US: How this woman became a voice for children in foster care (Opinion)

Christian Science Monitor – December 07, 2016

We are not there as legal experts. We are the voice of the children. We learn about the situation that led to a child’s removal from the home and about the particular challenges the child is facing, and we recommend to the judge what is best for that individual child.

This essay is part of an occasional series provided by our partner organization, which is building a movement to tap the skills and experience of those in midlife and beyond to improve communities and the world. Read more stories and share yours at


US: Wyden Asks Congress to Pass Historic Bipartisan, Bicameral Child Welfare Reform Bill (Press release)

Office of U.S. Senator for Oregon Ron Wyden – December 07, 2016

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today voted against the 21st Century Cures Act because Republican leaders stripped bipartisan, bicameral child welfare legislation out of the final bill. Wyden then asked for unanimous consent that the Senate pass the Family First Prevention Services Act, which has the support of almost 500 child welfare organizations across the country, including the Children’s Defense Fund, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Catholic Bishops.


Canada: Canada’s record on First Nations child welfare to face scrutiny in Washington (Includes video)

CBC News – December 07, 2016

Canada’s treatment of First Nations children will be debated on the world stage Friday, with the federal government poised to appear before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington to defend the current state of the child welfare system.


United Kingdom: Law change gives unmarried fathers parental responsibility (Press release)

Island of Jersey, Home Affairs Department – December 02, 2016

An amendment to the law relating to parental responsibility has come into force today. It means unmarried fathers, who are registered as their child’s father (and therefore named on the birth certificate), will automatically acquire legal responsibility for making decisions about matters affecting their child’s welfare (parental responsibility).



US: Making the Case for Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Stanford Social Innovation Review – December 06, 2016

Evidence-based practice has great potential to improve social outcomes, but only if we do a better job marketing and adapting it to address the specific problems at hand.

Information Gateway resource: Evidence-Based Practice:


Uganda: This former Ugandan child soldier is accused of war crimes. But is he also a victim? (Opinion)

Washington Post – December 06, 2016

More than two decades ago, Dominic Ongwen was a boy on his way to school in northern Uganda when he was abducted by the brutal rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army and turned into a child soldier. On Tuesday, he took a seat before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for the first day of a trial in which he is charged with 70 war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, torture and sexual slavery, mostly committed in attacks on camps for internally displaced people.


United Kingdom: Football Association to increase scope of child sex abuse review as Queens Park Rangers in spotlight

KL.FM 96.7 – December 06, 2016

The Football Association is to increase the scope of its investigation into child sex abuse allegations – as another club reveals it is looking into claims about a former employee.

Vatican City: Commission launches child protection website

Catholic News Service – December 06, 2016

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has launched a beta version of its website in English and has included its template for local guidelines on preventing sexual abuse, resources for a day of prayer for the victims and survivors as well as a mailing address to contact commission members. The website — — eventually will include versions in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and French, the commission said in a statement Dec. 6.



US: Senators Urge Passage Of Foster Care Reforms To Help Children Affected By Opioid Abuse Epidemic (Opinion)

KRWG – December 05, 2016

U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich joined 23 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to congressional leaders urging them to include strongly supported reforms to the foster care system in any end-of-year budget agreement. The Family First Prevention Services Act would allow states to use federal foster care funds to pay for programs that improve home life, such as mental health services and in-home parenting programs, which are crucial in light of the growing number of children in the foster care system whose families are affected by the opioid abuse epidemic and other substance abuse problems.

Also: Controversial child welfare measure stripped from health reform bill (Opinion):

US: Some fear proposed rules will gut number of foreign adoptions

Springfield News-Sun – December 04, 2016

Adoptions in U.S. have plummeted because of costs, corruption and restrictions in countries such as Russia.


Gambia: The Gambia, UNICEF Launch Child Protection Strategy 2016-2020 (Press release)

United Nations Children’s Fund – December 06, 2016

The Islamic Republic of The Gambia recently launched the National Child Protection Strategy 2016-2020, developed with technical and financial support from UNICEF. The Strategy, along with its costed Plan of Action, is the result of a series of consultations and engagements led by the Department of Social Welfare, with critical input from the Child Protection Sub-Committee and a wide range of child protection actors, community members, care-givers and children.



Greece: More Than 1,200 Unaccompanied Child Refugees Waiting for Suitable Accommodations

Greek Reporter Greece – December 02, 2016

More than 1,200 unaccompanied child refugees are on waiting lists for a place in suitable accommodations, an associate of the migration policy ministry Alkis Souliotis said on Friday, at an event organized by the “Doctors of the World” in Athens. In total, about 2,500 unaccompanied children live among the 62,000 refugees and migrants who remain in Greece, with 286 of those living in closed detention centers and another two locked up in police stations, Souliotis said.



US: A Sweeping Reform Of The Foster Care System Is Within Reach But Hanging By A Thread

Huffington Post – December 02, 2016

Responding to an outcry from a sprawling network of group homes in North Carolina, Sen. Richard Burr (R) led a surprise rebellion this week against a sweeping reform of the child welfare system that had already passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous voice vote.


US: Don’t Call Kids Prostitutes – Count the States Protecting Them (Opinion)

Huffington Post – December 02, 2016

I was at first infuriated, then deeply unsettled, by the headline and language of a Washington Post story last month that described two girls between the ages of 12 and 15 who were drugged and forcibly held against their wills as “prostitutes.” Describing children in this way is appalling, and betrays an ignorance of the applicable law and a horrifying insensitivity to the suffering these young survivors endured.


US: The Great and Misunderstood Challenges of Adoption (Opinion)

National Review – December 02, 2016

Adoption is hard. There is no easy path, whatever those who sit in judgment of adoptive families might think. As my pastor says, every single adoption begins with brokenness. Every single one. In the best case, a mother voluntarily gives away her own child, which is heart-rending even when done for the purest of reasons.

Add Information Gateway resource: Lifelong Impact of Adoption:



Canada: Child protection wait times will be cut from months to weeks: judge

CBC News – December 05, 2016

Changes are coming within Manitoba’s court system that would shorten the length of time child protection matters take to get to court. A new scheduling model aims to hear cases within weeks rather than months. The changes were delivered in a speech by Chief Justice Glenn Joyal on Friday at a child protection conference.


India: Child Welfare Committee asked to expedite adoption process

Pioneer – December 04, 2016

There were over a dozen couples, some of them travelled from Sweden and Malta, who embarked on a new journey of life where they are all set to experience the parenthood. They felt proud to share their joys of adoption and seek blessings from Justice D N Patel, Executive Chairman of the Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority (JHALSA), the chief guest of the programme.


Ireland: Children with intellectual disabilities discriminated against by Child and Family Agency Tusla – report claims

Irish Mirror – December 04, 2016

They also deemed working with Tusla “incredibly frustrating” at times. The damming report also highlighted concerns for the safety of children with intellectual disabilities.


United Kingdom: Britain shocked by growing soccer child-abuse scandal

Yahoo – December 03, 2016

What began last month as a harrowing account of child abuse suffered by a former professional English soccer player has lifted the lid on what could be one of the worst pedophile scandals Britain has ever known.

Also: South Wales Police begins inquiry into allegation of child abuse in football:

United Kingdom: DfE report proposes ‘forced privatisation’ of child protection services

Children & Young People Now – December 02, 2016

Councils should be compelled to outsource children’s services including child protection work as part of efforts to improve standards, a government-commissioned report has suggested.

Study: The potential for developing the capacity and diversity of children’s social care services in England:


US: What is the ‘Right to Lie’ Case? Court Case Claims Social Workers Have Immunity from Perjury Charges If They Lie to Remove Children From Their Homes (Includes video)

Inquisitr – December 02, 2016

A court case known as the “Right to Lie” case would establish whether social workers are legally immune from perjury charges if they lie to the courts in order to remove children from their families – and it is now one step away from the Supreme Court.


US: Alumni Perspectives: Bringing awareness to adoption in the U.S.

The Stamford Crimson – December 01, 2016

Of the approximate 150,000 adoptions in the United States every year, about 14 percent are from other countries. However, in the minds of many Americans, international adoptions make up the majority of adoptions. There is very little focus on the 65,000 private adoptions handled by adoption agencies each year, but I would argue that they are some of the most important.


US: Practices to Build Better Partnerships Between Foster Parents and Agencies

The Chronicle of Social Change – December 01, 2016

A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation looks at ways child welfare agencies can improve foster parent recruitment and retention. Report:


US: Trump’s plan intended to reduce high cost of child care through tax breaks

EdSource – December 01, 2016

Tax deductions and rebates are at the heart of President-elect Donald Trump’s child care policy proposal, which would offer the most help to high-income families, some help to middle-income taxpayers and less to low-income parents.


US: 21st Century Cures: A real plan for our national health (Opinion)

The Hill – November 30, 2016

21st Century Cures is a real plan that provides states with much needed resources to address the heroin and opioid epidemic in our communities.


US: Data show youth aging out of foster care face greater barriers to adult success (Press release)

U.S. Administration for Children and Families – November 30, 2016

Newly released data show that youth aging out of foster care are faring well in some outcome measures but a significant number experience homelessness, early parenthood and lack of medical insurance. By age 21, young people surveyed reported positive gains in many protective factors, yet there is evidence that current and former foster youth continue to face challenges that can be barriers to adult independence.

Information Gateway resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living:


US: Why is it so expensive to adopt a child?

The Washington Post – November 30, 2016

Across the world, there are thousands of children in need of homes. In America, there are thousands of families looking for children to adopt. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right? Until you look at the price tag.

Australia: Government MPs reject Opposition child protection spokeswoman Rachel Sanderson’s Bill to prevent forced child marriages

The Courier Mail – November 30, 2016

A bid to better protect South Australian children from being taken overseas for forced marriages has failed after the State Government blocked it.


Canada: Canada says it isn’t liable for the removal of Indigenous children from homes in the Sixties Scoop

VICE News – December 01, 2016

The Canadian government says it isn’t liable for any loss of identity or tradition, and on Thursday Crown lawyers asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. “I heard from leadership that spoke of taking this out of court,” said Brown Martel, a member of the Temagami First Nation near Kirkland Lake, Ont., who was 9 years old when she was taken from her home in 1972. “But actions speak louder than words.”


Canada: Why Adopt? An Interview with Shaikh Faraz Rabbani on the Subject of Adoption in Islam

MuslimLink – December 01, 2016

November is Adoption Awareness Month. Throughout the month, Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario spread the message that every child deserves to have a forever family’ in the hopes of encouraging more families to open their homes to children in care.


International: New Guidelines for the Investigation of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy Launched

Newswise – November 30, 2016

The guidelines, Sudden unexpected death in infancy and childhood, have been published by The Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) and The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and draws on research by Dr Peter Sidebotham and Dr Joanna Garstang from the University’s Warwick Medical School.



US: Celebrating LGBTQ Adoptive Families During National Adoption Month

Human Rights Campaign – December 01, 2016

In connection with HRC’s celebration of Transgender Awareness Week we were thrilled to share the story of Quinn, a transgender parent in Florida, and his partner who together adopted Tristan. We also shared the story of Deasia and Nikki, the first same-sex couple to wed in Guam, who adopted a transgender child after first serving as the child’s foster parents.

Information Gateway resource: Working With LGBTQ Families in Adoption:


US: Too Many Kids, Not Enough Foster Parents (Includes audio)

Public News Service – December 01, 2016

Country singer Jimmy Wayne has a message he’s sharing across the country – thousands of children need help, and he was one of them. Years after he was taken in, Wayne has written songs and a book on the topic, and also appears at public events around the country in an effort to recruit more foster parents.



US: Open Adoption Is More Complicated Than Picture Painted by Media, the Industry (Opinion)

Rewire – November 30, 2016

With National Adoption Awareness Month drawing to a close, we urge viewers to reconsider our culture’s portrayals of adoption. The continual framing of adoption as an unqualified good is not only inaccurate, but also damaging.


US: Tackling child abuse linked to faith or belief

Health Canal – November 30, 2016

Only 33% of professionals and members of community and faith-based organisations are confident they could identify indicators of faith or belief linked child abuse, a new study has revealed. Report:


India: Child labour, trafficking- key concerns of ‘Vulnerable Children’ in India

ANI – December 01, 2016

A consolidated report on the situation of vulnerable and excluded children from India, comprising 28 states and four union territories, was recently presented at the National Conference on ‘Plan For Every Child’ for Children in Difficult Circumstances.


New Zealand: Child Abuse and Family Structure (Press release)

Scoop Independent News – November 30, 2016

The Conservative Party of New Zealand welcomes the report from Lindsay Mitchell on Child Abuse & Family Structure. Whilst the report only confirms what we were already aware of, that family structure is vitally important to the welfare of children, we hope that it will initiate discussion and bring change in the way we promote families.

Report: The Impact of Family Structure and Family change on Child Outcomes: A Personal Reading of the Research Literature:



Rwanda: Mobile phones to support child protection initiatives

The New Times – December 01, 2016

The National Commission for Children (NCC), in partnership with Tigo Rwanda, has given child protection volunteers (Inshuti z’umuryango) in Muhanga District mobile phones to facilitate their work.


United Kingdom: Hundreds in foster care to become eligible adolescents

The Irish Times – December 01, 2016

Hundreds of children currently in foster care will be eligible for adoption under the proposed legislation before the Dail, according to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. Katherine Zappone.