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KARA 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 reported –  the great majority of child trauma, abuse & tragedy are never reported.

American states are struggling to find answers for saving at risk children and reversing the explosive growth of child abuse and neglect.

The U.S. is experiencing the 4th and 5th generation of abused children raising their own families without parenting skills and with serious drug, alcohol and mental health issues.

37% of children overall and 57% of Black children are reported to child protection services in America by the time they turn 18.  (American Journal of Public Health January 2017)

12 million children a year are reported to child protection services each year and in many states, 1/3 of foster children are required to take psychotropic medicines Florida reports 48% of its foster children are forced to take Prozac like drugs.


Compilation of information and writing on the Sad Stories pages are the hard work of  David Vang, Mike Toronto, Jamar Weston, Adolf Nchanj and Blaz Zlate,  Callie Benscoter, (student volunteers at Century College) Katie Frake, Boston College, Julie O, and KARA.

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AZ: Child-safety agency provides sleep boxes for infants

Associated Press – February 27, 2017

Parents involved with Arizona’s child protection agency are being provided commercially produced boxes intended for use as portable beds to provide infants with safe places to sleep and avoid preventable-sleep-related deaths.

CA: 2,500 Computers Committed To California Foster Youth; Innovative Program Adds Partners, Increases Commitments (Press release)

PR Newswire – February 27, 2017

Significant Progress Announced Toward Goal Of 10,000 Laptops For Foster Youth With Major Contributions From The Ticket to Dream Foundation, Microsoft, and California Corporations. The coalition said today it is now 25% of the way to its goal of providing a laptop to all 10,000 eligible foster youth in California after receiving new financial contributions from the Ticket to Dream Foundation and donations of computers from a number of corporations.

CA: Orange Confidential: Human Rights Commission has new executive director

Times Herald-Record – February 25, 2017

A Town of Newburgh woman, Inaudy Esposito, who spent the past decade working with Safe Homes of Orange County, is the new director of the county’s Human Rights Commission. She’s scheduled to start Wednesday. A native of the Dominican Republic and a naturalized U.S. citizen, Esposito served as Safe Homes’ Family Justice Center director. She also worked as a child protective services and domestic violence advocate and as a community educator.

FL: Editorial: Invest in Florida’s child welfare system

Tampa Bay Times – February 27, 2017

Florida’s child welfare system performs enormously difficult work on a paltry budget. That’s been the case for years, and the underfunding is as critical as ever, with the statewide opioid and heroin crisis devastating families. It’s time for Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature to seriously invest in this area to better protect the most vulnerable kids.

IA: Iowa lawmakers question child welfare protections

Quad City Times – February 27, 2017

“This process started because too many Iowa children are falling through the cracks,” Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, said of Monday’s informal hearing attended by House and Senate Democrats who are on the joint oversight panel. “The state system to protect them has been pushed beyond capacity.”

ID: Demand for child protection services runs high

Coeur d’Alene / Post Falls Press – February 27, 2017

The county’s number of requests for services for children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect increased by 35 percent in 2016, according to Idaho Supreme Court statistics.

ID: Report Confronts Gaps Between Policy Expectation and Reality in Idaho’s Child Welfare System

Chronicle of Social Change – February 25, 2017

Idaho’s Office of Performance Evaluations (OPE) published an evaluation in February 2017 that points to performance gaps between policy expectations and realities in Idaho’s child welfare system. Suggesting that this is an ongoing struggle needing to be addressed with a system-wide oversight entity, the evaluation showed gaps in four major areas: out-of-home placement, workload challenges, organizational culture, and a systems approach that hinders Idaho’s child welfare system from performing at its highest potential.


IN: Poor children ‘more likely to be in care’

BBC News – February 28, 2017

Children living in the poorest areas are at least ten times more likely to be taken into care or put on a child protection plan than those from the wealthiest areas, a study finds.

IN: What’s behind Indiana’s increase in child abuse reports?

Tribune Star – February 27, 2017

The number of Hoosier child abuse and neglect cases has risen consistently since 2011, according the Indiana Youth Institute’s annual KIDS COUNT in Indiana Data Book. The report – which also gives data on homelessness, infant mortality, youth suicide and other topics – details how children are “surviving, not thriving” through 2015 statistics and year-to-year comparisons of the various challenges they face.

Also: Report: Child homelessness, poverty drop in Indiana:

MA: Homeless Update: Bad News and Good News (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 28, 2017

A new report finds an up and down situation when it comes to homeless in Massachusetts. The bottom line: because of the high cost of housing, a higher percentage of families are impacted in the Bay State.

MT: House supports bill calling for child abuse prevention plan

Associated Press – February 27, 2017

The Montana House has endorsed a bill that would require the state health department to work with other organizations to develop a plan to prevent child abuse and neglect in the face of an increase in the number of abuse cases and the number of children in foster care.

MT: Bair Foundation advocates for improving foster care

Amarillo Globe News – February 25, 2017

Foster care reform efforts continue in Texas, as the Texas Legislature is currently considering Senate Bill 11, a legislative package outlining substantial changes to the way the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) cares for the state’s foster children. In keeping with their mission to protect children, the Bair Foundation is advocating for its passage.

NC: New investigation into abuse at Word of Faith Fellowship (Includes video)

ABC 3340 – February 27, 2017

In the report released today, former members say they were regularly punched, smacked, choked, and slammed to the floor in order to banish demons. They also say children, including babies and toddlers, were shaken, screamed at, and smacked.

Also: Members of NC church regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor, ex-congregants tell AP:

Also: Former congregants of Word of Faith church reveal years of abuse done to ‘purify’ sinners in the name of God:

NM: Court widens access to digital documents

Albuquerque Journal – February 26, 2017

Others who now qualify for access include attorney staff supervised by attorneys; out-of-state attorneys admitted by the New Mexico Supreme Court on a specific case; “justice partners” in law enforcement, corrections, compliance programs, federal and municipal judges and court staff, and any state or federal agency involved in adult, family or child welfare. Individuals who represent themselves also will be granted access to their online file.

NY: Data-Oriented Social Services Veteran Hansell Given Reins at Troubled ACS

Chief Leader – February 27, 2017

A veteran manager who’s held top-level social-service positions in the Obama Administration, state and city governments was chosen Feb. 21 as Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services, ushering in what is hoped will be a new chapter for the beleaguered agency. Mayor de Blasio named David Hansell to the post vacated by Gladys Carrión earlier this month, and both elected officials and union leaders called him a good choice.

NY: Nancy M. Santiago Joins Astor Services For Children & Families As CFO

New York City Biz List – February 27, 2017

Astor Services for Children & Families, a non-profit organization that provides children’s mental health services, child welfare services, and early childhood development programs in New York State’s mid-Hudson Valley and the Bronx, has announced the appointment of Nancy M. Santiago as the organization’s chief financial officer, effective immediately.

NY: New hope for kids aging out of foster care

New York Post – February 27, 2017

‘You learn things from the program. They teach you to write a résumé, to talk in an interview. They teach you how to keep smiling,” says Kaysanty Cabral. Perhaps this last skill seems like an easy one, but for Cabral, who spent six years in foster care before aging out of the system a couple of years ago, there weren’t so many reasons to smile.

Information Gateway resource: Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living Programs:

NY: De Blasio appoints new ACS commissioner

Times Ledger – February 25, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed David Hansell as the new commissioner to the Administration for Children’s Services. The city has a new commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services after series of incidents involving the deaths of several toddlers, including 5-year-old Michael Guzman from Jamaica, forced Gladys Carrion to resign.

OH: Increase state child welfare spending, advocates urge – February 28, 2017

Ohio’s county children services agencies need more state funding as they struggle to provide care for children of opioid-addicted parents, child welfare advocates say.

OK: Methodist Children’s Home evolved from orphanage

Tahlequah Daily Press – February 25, 2017

When an Oklahoma family court decides a child should be removed from the home, a foster home is usually sought. In Tahlequah, there is the further option of the Methodist Children’s Home, which operates under the Oklahoma United Methodist Circle of Care for Children and Youth.

OR: After almost a decade, DHS adopts rules mandated by law

Statesman Journal – February 26, 2017

The state agency in charge of child welfare services this month adopted rules on investigations into its worst cases. The move comes after the Oregon Department of Human Services failed for almost a decade to comply with state law on the matter.

TX: State Senate, House budget drafts offer little consensus on state spending

Community Impact Newspaper – February 27, 2017

There is very little consensus between the Senate and House versions of the 2018-19 state budget proposals released early in the 85th legislative session. Both sides seek additional funds for Child Protective Services, proposing roughly $260 million in the next biennium-which is surprising, according to some insiders, given the fact both chambers balked when CPS requested $53 million extra in October.

TX: Too Many Foster Children Without a Voice to Represent Their Best Interest While in Foster Care (Press release)

Everything Lubbock – February 27, 2017

CASA of the South Plains empowers community members to serve as volunteer Advocates that speak for the well-being of abused and neglected children in the foster care system. Court Appointed Special Advocates are community members just like you who ensure each foster child’s needs remain a priority in an over-burdened child welfare system while working to find safe, permanent homes for these most vulnerable children.

VA: Warner to Trump: ICE raid outside shelter hurts Virginia families

Culpepper Star Exponent – February 27, 2017

U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia, invited the Rev. Keary Kincannon, pastor at Rising Hope Mission Church to be his guest at the joint session to emphasize the importance of the immigrant community. In a statement, Kincannon said Rising Hope is committed to helping those living in poverty and on the margins of society. That’s why he has been especially vocal about a reported incident outside the church on Feb. 8 during which arrests were made.

US: America’s Opioid Crisis: How Children Are Casualties (Opinion)

Huffington Post – February 27, 2017

The opioid epidemic in the United States claimed more than 33,000 deaths in 2015, as public health officials call it the worst drug crisis in the nation’s history. Indeed, the deaths from heroin alone have surged and have claimed more lives in 2015 than homicides by guns. These drugs, these opiods, that are used to often block out pain. Whether illegal, such as heroin, or prescribed by doctors yet are also finding their way on to the black market, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, the rise in opioid use in America is both dramatic and disturbing. Yet, perhaps more disturbing is the number of children being affected by the increase of opioid use in all 50 states.

US: Parents Who Pay for Undocumented Children to Enter U.S. Could Be Prosecuted

KQED – February 24, 2017

Immigrant parents who pay smugglers to bring their undocumented children into the United States could face criminal prosecution or deportation, under new directives issued by the Department of Homeland Security this week.

US: As They Dig Deeper Into Parenting, Fathers Seek Community, Support

National Public Radio – February 21, 2017

Mohr’s sense that he’s parenting from a new and different playbook than the one that his father used is not uncommon. A survey published by the Pew Research Center last year reveals that more and more dads are staying at home to help care for their children.

Information Gateway resource: Engaging Fathers and Paternal Family Members:


Australia: UN Asks Australia to Better Protect Vulnerable Girls and Women

Latin American Herald Tribune – February 27, 2017

The United Nations urged Australia on Monday to improve the protection of vulnerable girls and women, including indigenous, asylum seekers, disabled and victims of domestic violence. Simonovic also spoke about the practice of separating aboriginal children from their families and recalled that the statistics show that aboriginals are seven times more likely than their non-indigenous peers to be linked to child protection services due to negligence and abuse.

Malaysia: When Laws Do More Harm Than Good (in child sexual abuse cases) (Opinion) (Audio) – February 28, 2017

Since Richard Huckle made headlines last year, the discussion surrounding child sexual predators and crimes have been in the forefront of news. But sadly, most complaints of child sexual abuse in Malaysia do not lead to successful prosecutions, largely due to weaknesses within the nation’s criminal justice system, police, lawmakers and child welfare. To understand why, we look into the steps and processes behind lodging a child sexual abuse case, and what flaws present themselves along the way, and how we should go about fixing them.

United Arab Emirates: UAE spares no efforts to protect and provide dignified life to children

Arab Today – February 25, 2017

Due to economic, social and security pressures, thousands of children end up carrying arms and participate in fighting. They are being used to back rebel and armed groups, to carry supplies and ammunition and even injured soldiers, gather military intelligence and conduct reconnaissance missions, cook and sometimes they are sexually abused or used as human shields,” the UAE Minister said and noted that recently more children were used to carry out suicide attacks. The UN member states should change their policies to protect children from being recruited in war, she said.


AK: Tribal Court Selected to Participate in Project to Improve Outcomes for Abused and Neglected Children

SitNews – February 26, 2017

The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Central Council) has been selected as one of six new courts to be a part of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ (NCJFCJ) Implementation Sites Project to improve outcomes for abused and neglected children and their families.

CA: Child Abuse Council Launches Investigation Into Foster Care (Includes video)

NBC Bay Area – February 24, 2017

The Santa Clara County Child Abuse Council has launched a probe into the Department of Family and Children Services following a series of reports by NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit. The advisory committee wants to find out what’s causing high turnover rates and complaints among social workers that they are not able to provide vital services to vulnerable children.

CA: Melendez introduces legislation to preserve billions in federal funding

My Valley News – February 24, 2017

Assembly Bill 536 allows counties to opt-out of any state laws that may result in a loss of federal funding. By electing not to implement a state law that jeopardizes funding, counties will then work directly with the federal government to receive allocated funding. Other examples include California’s Department of Social Services receives $7 billion from the federal government. Those programs include food stamps, child welfare, and veteran services to state a few. The same department also receives nearly $34 million to pay for health care and well-being of refugees here legally.

CA: San Diego doctors see uptick in opioid-addicted newborns

Fox News – February 24, 2017

As America’s addiction to painkillers reaches epidemic levels, the drugs are starting to affect San Diego’s smallest and most vulnerable residents — newborns. More hospitals are reporting cases of babies born addicted to opioids.

CA: State has a responsibility to get foster kids to school (Opinion)

San Francisco Chronicle – February 24, 2017

For many of California’s foster children, their school may be the most stable institution in their lives. Yet many of them face special challenges when it comes to attendance that other children don’t face. One of those challenges is the most basic one of all: It’s hard to get to school if you don’t have transportation to get you there.

CA: Strategies to help homeless to be under review

Record Net – February 24, 2017

Adopting a “housing first” model and a “no wrong door” policy are just two of the five strategies being proposed to supervisors next week to address the county’s homelessness issues.

Information Gateway resource: Housing & Child Welfare:

CO: Bill Seeks Ban on Conversion Therapy for Minors (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 27, 2017

Colorado lawmakers will consider a bill this week that would prohibit mental-health professionals licensed in Colorado from conducting so-called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy, a practice aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or suppressing gender identity, with minors.

CO: Longmont City Council reviews homeless services study

Daily Camera – February 24, 2017

Job loss was the number one contributing factor to becoming homeless, followed by a change in family situation, health issues and/or physical disabilities, substance abuse, domestic violence, and having moved here and been unable to find work.

FL: Report: 45 Percent of Florida Families are Working Poor (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 27, 2017

The ALICE Report – which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed – aims to spotlight the working poor; those who have jobs but have little or no savings and are one emergency away from falling into poverty. Lars Gilberts, statewide ALICE director with United Way of Florida, said 45 percent of families in the state now meet that criteria.

United Way ALICE Report: Florida:

FL: Aging Out of Foster Care: How Am I Going to Make A Grocery List? (Includes audio)

WUSF – February 26, 2017

When most children in the foster care system turn 18, they’re on their own?Today, we’ll hear from a young man in a Miami supportive housing program called Casa Valentina, where young people get counseling and academic support and learn about building a life and career. Deon Richards is 22 now. I spoke with him about what it was like becoming an adult as a ward of the state.

GA: Advocates For Children Gains National Accreditation

Cartersville Patch – February 24, 2017

Bartow County’s Advocates for Children and its Children’s Advocacy Center have been awarded accreditation by National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process.

IA: DHS: Kids Harmed by Opioid Epidemic

Iowa Public Radio – February 24, 2017

Iowa’s laws on drug-endangered children would be updated to address the state’s opioid epidemic under legislation the House and Senate are considering. Authorities say more kids are being affected by their caregivers’ abuse of painkillers.

IL: Immigrant children who cross border alone find themselves in Chicago shelters

Chicago Tribune – February 24, 2017

Nearly 60,000 children came across the border without their parents during the fiscal year ending in September, according to the Administration for Children and Families. Thousands landed in Illinois, where 2,300 kids last year were placed by the agency in juvenile detention centers, called shelters, as they awaited a decision on whether they’d be released to relatives in the U.S., remain in detention or be deported.

NC: AP Exclusive: Ex-congregants reveal years of ungodly abuse

Associated Press – February 27, 2017

Congregants of the Word of Faith Fellowship were regularly punched, smacked, choked, slammed to the floor or thrown through walls in a violent form of deliverance meant to “purify” sinners by beating out devils, 43 former members told The Associated Press in separate, exclusive interviews. Victims of the violence included pre-teens and toddlers – even crying babies, who were vigorously shaken, screamed at and sometimes smacked to banish demons. Those interviewed – most of them raised in the church – say Word of Faith leaders waged a decades-long cover-up to thwart investigations by law enforcement and social services officials.

NC: A Place To Call Home: Foster care crisis (Video)

WXII 12 – February 24, 2017

Right now our state dealing with a foster care crisis, with more than 10,000 children currently in foster care, and that number is steadily growing.

NE: Legislators hear testimony on bill aimed at keeping siblings in foster care together

Omaha World-Herald – February 25, 2017

What she and Lathrop didn’t tell their son, but did tell state lawmakers Friday, was that his heartbreak resulted from the state Department of Health and Human Services not following federal and state foster care laws. Those laws require siblings to be placed together in foster or adoptive homes, unless doing so would not be in their best interest.

NM: The need for foster care families on the rise in Las Cruces (Includes video)

KFOX 14 – February 27, 2017

There’s a growing need for more foster parents in Las Cruces. New Mexico’s Children Youth and Families Department report there are over 160 children in the foster care system in Las Cruces that have been deemed by a judge to have been abused or neglected.

NY: The Systematic Starvation of Those Who Do Good (Opinion)

Stanford Social Innovation Review – February 24, 2017

Despite the importance of human services and other nonprofits to employees and those they serve, many nonprofit workers do not earn a living wage. We can do better.

OH: Funds needed for epidemic’s young victims (Opinion)

Toledo Blade – February 25, 2017

Too many Lucas County children have had to enter the care of relatives or foster parents because their birth families have been blinded by their substance dependency. The number of children in LCCS custody jumped 21 percent between 2011 and 2016. The number of children placed in the custody of a relative skyrocketed 40 percent in that same time, even as the proportion of available kinship caregivers had declined.

OK: State’s current path ‘not sustainable,’ chief budget officer tells Tulsa Republicans (Includes video)

Tulsa World – February 25, 2017

“At some point,” Doerflinger said, “we have to decide what kind of state we want, and do we want to invest in things like common education. Or not. And if we’re not, let’s just be honest. “I have friends who are teachers. I have friends who are corrections workers. I have friends who are child welfare workers. At some point, we just need to tell those people we don’t care.”

RI: DCYF: We take every child neglect claim seriously (Includes video)

WPRI – February 24, 2017

“I think that DCYF, it is always in an ongoing effort for all child welfare agencies throughout the us, including Rhode Island, to improve,” said Elizabeth Burke Bryant, executive director of Rhode Island Kids Count. “So I think DCYF has been under a lot of internal review of its processes, a lot of reforms happening there.”

SC: House passes bill making adopting foster children easier for host families

Greenville Journal – February 24, 2017

The S.C. House has given overwhelming support to new bills that seek to make it easier for children in foster care to move into permanent families through adoption. The legislation was referred to the S.C. Senate Judiciary Committee in early February.

TX: Lawmakers Look to Non-profits to Fix CPS-foster care (Includes video)

KTAB – February 24, 2017

Proposals from state lawmakers suggest the best way to overhaul the state’s Child Protective Services Division is to let not-for-profit organizations take over some of the duties of CPS workers.

TX: Ramsey: If Texas wants to protect children, it takes money (Opinion)

Longview News-Journal – February 24, 2017

There’s a reason the state budget is at the top of that interconnected list. It’s not that money is the most important thing. It’s that the problems facing Texas’ most troubled kids stem, to a great extent, from the scarce resources applied to them.

TX: The Brief: Will Texas address funding to protect kids from sex trafficking? (Opinion)

Texas Tribune – February 24, 2017

Analysis: On child protection, the money might be the hardest part The safety net for Texas children has some big holes in it, and most lawmakers want that fixed. But it’s going to cost money – a harder sell in a conservative Texas Legislature.

UT: Officials: Human Traficking in Utah is Real

ABC 4 UTAH – February 23, 2017

Attorney General Reyes says there’s another problem in Utah that the legislature is currently trying to tackle. It’s called re-homing. Where parents of adopted children for some reason can’t or don’t want to care for the child anymore and hand them off to other sometimes even putting an add out on the Internet for someone to take their child.

WI: Milwaukee leaders tackle child welfare disparities

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – February 25, 2017

The child welfare challenges facing Wisconsin’s black families were front and center Saturday morning, as stakeholders and parents discussed how to help parents reunite with children, while also producing positive results for children like Joi.

WV: Child Abuse Council Launches Investigation into County Foster Care System Following NBC Bay Area Investigation

Charleston Gazette-Mail – February 25, 2017

The move to bring children from across the state to the eastern part of Kanawha County breaks with years of research that says a child in foster care is best served when kept in their own communities, several advocates say.

Information Gateway resource: Responding to Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities:

US: Kids in Need of Defense: How to Help Children Facing Deportation

American Bar Association, GP Solo – February 26, 2017

Imagine finding yourself in a courtroom in a country where you do not speak the language or understand the customs. Faced with testifying under oath, filing documents, and arguing against experienced government lawyers, you have only a translator to assist you. Now imagine in this scenario that you are 12 years old, and the outcome of the proceeding means the difference between reuniting with your mother or returning to a village where your life or bodily autonomy are threatened. For many children, this is not a hypothetical situation. Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a nonprofit organization working to connect these children with lawyers who can help them navigate the daunting immigration process.

US: Policy and Practice Changes Form Around National Strategy to Reduce Fatalities and Improve Child Safety (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 24, 2017

When the President and Congress asked the Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) to develop a national strategy to eliminate child maltreatment fatalities in 2014, we knew the task would not be easy. There was little in the way of evidence-based programs from which to learn. The myriad of policies at the federal, state and local level for defining, counting and addressing fatalities made the task all the more complicated.


Canada: Statement by the Canada Border Services Agency on housing of Canadian children in immigration holding centres (Press release)

Sys-Con Media – February 24, 2017

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) welcomes the University of Toronto’s International Human Rights Program (IHRP) report on Canadian children housed in immigration detention. As part of the Government of Canada’s new National Immigration Detention Framework, the CBSA is committed to creating a better, fairer immigration detention system for the dignified treatment of individuals. This includes avoiding detaining and housing children in detention facilities as much as possible while avoiding family separation, and using community-based alternatives to detention to limit the housing of children in detention facilities.

India: These women told tales of child abuse and won over Hyderabad

Times of India – February 26, 2017

The anticipation was palpable as the audience poured into Lamakaan much earlier than the scheduled time to catch the much spoken about theatre production Positively Shameless. And the play that put the spotlight on child sexual abuse completely lived up to the expectations.

Also: Play on child abuse touches raw nerve with audience:

South Africa: Welfare’s empty coffers a sign of big collapse: Kids in ‘grave danger’

Times (South Africa) – February 27, 2017

Child Welfare SA, which helps to protect an estimated 2 million children, has run out of money and is on the brink of collapse. About 70 employees, most of them social workers, have not been paid for two months and the national director of the organisation, Peter Cloete, says he does not know when they will be.

United Kingdom: The child abuse scandal of the British children sent abroad

BBC News – February 26, 2017

For several decades, the UK sent children across the world to new lives in institutions where many were abused and used as forced labour. It’s a scandal that is still having repercussions now.



CA: ‘FosterTech’ Magazine Explores Intersection of Foster Care and Technology (Press release)

PRLog – February 23, 2017

Today Fostering Media Connections (FMC), a nonprofit news organization released a special print magazine entitled FosterTech, which describes a some of the most exciting and vexing applications of technology in child welfare.

CA: Calaveras County prepares for In-Home Services cuts

Calavaras Enterprise – February 23, 2017

When Gov. Jerry Brown unveiled his budget proposal in January, more than $623 million in In-Home Supportive Services costs were shifted from the state onto the 58 counties. If approved, this significant change will be the largest single shift in the coming year’s budget.

CA: Los Angeles Mother Receives Large Settlement from Child Protective Services (Press release)

PRWeb – February 23, 2017

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $999,999 settlement with a mother whose two daughters were removed from her custody when their baby brother died. In a lawsuit filed against Child Protective Services, the mother was represented by Attorney Vincent W. Davis & Associates in the case.

Also: L.A. Mother Who Lost Two Children to Foster Care Wins Civil Rights Settlement:

CA: County To Implement State’s Plan To Reduce Teen Pregnancies In Foster Youth

Patch – February 22, 2017

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to implement a state program aimed at reducing teen pregnancies among foster youth.

CA: CSUF Awarded $1.4 Million to Train Child Welfare Workers (Press release)

Public – February 22, 2017

For the seventh consecutive year, Cal State Fullerton’s master of social work program has received more than $1 million in Title IV-E federal funding to tackle a nationwide shortage of child welfare workers.

KY: Feds rip Kentucky child protection system

Louisville Courier-Journal – February 23, 2017

Kentucky’s beleaguered child welfare system was slammed in a review by federal officials, who provide much of the $415 million in funds for the state to protect children from neglect and abuse.

Also: Special Report: Foster Care Crisis (Includes video):

LA: Area teacher aims to help foster children

Gonzales Weekly Citizen – February 23, 2017

Every month in Louisiana, hundreds of children are taken away from their parents and put into foster care. Approximately 400,000 children in the United States are in foster care at any given time, with more than 100,000 of them available to be adopted, according to AdoptUSKids, a part of the US Children’s Bureau that provides tools and technical assistance to help child welfare systems. The dire need for foster parents continues to rise, which is why Ascension resident Courtney Dumas and her spouse have decided to tackle the emotional task head on.

LA: State’s deficit-closing session ends with budget deal

Associated Press – February 22, 2017

Public colleges, K-12 public schools, prisons, the state child welfare agency and the TOPS college tuition program will be shielded. Some health programs will take a hit, along with the attorney general’s office, the agriculture department, the Office of Juvenile Justice and spending on legislative agencies.

MO: The journey to adoption

St. Louis Review – February 23, 2017

The Steins were one of six families who earlier this month received a grant from the Archbishop Robert J. Carlson Adoption Fund. Since it’s inception in 2010, the fund has distributed almost $115,000 to help offset the families’ adoption expenses.

ND: Sanctuary for Children and Families Threatened by the Indian Child Welfare Act (Press release)

Earned Media – February 22, 2017

The Christian Alliance for Indian Child Welfare declares itself a ‘Sanctuary for Children and Families’ adversely affected by the Indian Child Welfare Act.

NY: Court Orders NY Jail to Stop Putting Juveniles in Solitary (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 24, 2017

The preliminary injunction issued Wednesday was granted in a lawsuit challenging the practice of punishing juveniles held in the adult jail by keeping them in isolation for 23 hours a day. Phil Degranges, staff attorney with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said young people at the jail have been confined to solitary – sometimes for weeks and months at a time – for infractions like speaking loudly or wearing the wrong shoes.

NY: De Blasio says there’s no racial bias in the city’s child welfare system, but advocates disagree

Politico – February 22, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday there is no racial bias in New York City’s child welfare system, shocking some child welfare and parents’ rights advocates who say racism undoubtedly plays a role in the disproportionate number of black and Latino families investigated by the Administration for Children’s Services.

OH: More foster parents, funding needed to battle heroin epidemic

WCPO – February 22, 2017

A family reunion like the Kippenberg’s is a rarity in Ohio, where communities are battling unprecedented rates of heroin and prescription drug abuse. The children’s homecoming bucks a disturbing trend unfolding as the heroin scourge rips apart tens of thousands of families with record numbers of children removed from homes of drug-addicted parents.

OR: CCOs Offer Innovative Programs for Prenatal Care (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 24, 2017

Jackson Care Connect, a Coordinated Care Organization in Medford, developed its “Starting Strong” program to give new families access to parenting resources, classes, and more for children up to age 4. Riki Rosenthal, program specialist with Starting Strong, said prenatal care is an important part of keeping moms and children healthy.

OR: Finding Foster Families: Q&A with Rep. Duane Stark, R-Grants Pass (Includes video)

KTVL – February 23, 2017

Rep. Duane Stark (R-Grants Pass) introduced a bill for the 2017 legislative session that would give a voice to foster parents.

Also: Foster parent recruiters say their job is getting more challenging (Includes video):

OR: Group of Oregon senators working on series of bills to combat human trafficking (Includes video)

KPTV – February 23, 2017

A group of Oregon senators are working to combat human trafficking with a series of bills they’re proposing this legislative session.

OR: Crowdfunding site helps make adoptions possible

CNN – February 21, 2017

Matt and Tacy Riehm were reluctant to adopt, but not for the reason you might think. “When Tacy came to me and said she wanted to adopt I was … you know, I love family,” Matt said. “Family’s great, but I was really concerned about the cost.”

SD: Officials Defied a Federal Judge and Took Indian Kids Away From Their Parents in Rigged Proceedings (Opinion)

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – February 22, 2017

Nearly four decades after Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), state and local social workers and judges in Rapid City, South Dakota, are violating the rules in open defiance of ICWA, the Constitution, and now a federal judge. The reason for their noncompliance is unclear but the consequences are striking.

TX: TWC funds $1.5 million for foster youth pilot program

Sealy News – February 23, 2017

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is seeking education partners for a pilot program to help increase the number of Texas foster youth who graduate from high school. TWC announced the availability of $1.5 million in funding for the Foster Youth Dropout Recovery and High School Completion pilot program that will help current and former 16- to 25-year-old foster youth earn a high school diploma or its equivalent, with the opportunity to gain workforce skills and a pathway to employment or postsecondary education.

TX: Citing sex-trafficking series, Texas Dem urges Paxton to stop fighting foster care suit

Texas Tribune – February 22, 2017

After a Texas Tribune series exposed the connections between the state’s embattled child welfare system and child sex trafficking, the chair of the Texas House Democratic Caucus has asked state Attorney General Ken Paxton to stop fighting a federal judge’s mandate to overhaul the agency charged with protecting vulnerable kids.

TX: Lawmakers discuss CPS bills

KHOU – February 22, 2017

While most people were off enjoying Presidents’ Day, the Texas Representatives Committee on Human Services spent the day tackling one of the biggest challenges facing the state: reforming Child Protective Services (CPS). “We’re going to try really hard,” said Rep Richard Pena Raymond (D-Laredo) as the hearing on three bills started. “We’ve tried up ’til now, we’re going to keep trying to make it better.”

TX: What Texas Lawmakers Can Learn from the Last Child Welfare Crisis

Observer – February 22, 2017

Advocates warned that the reforms were flawed and came with almost no oversight. Indeed, in 2006, the rollout of the privatization pilot program was postponed indefinitely amid bickering between providers and lawmakers. A decade later, legislators are back at the Capitol promising solutions to an eerily similar crisis.

Also: Analysis: On child protection, the money might be the hardest part (Opinion):

WA: In Their Best Interest

Inlander – February 23, 2017

While a majority of states require that abused or neglected children have an attorney in dependency proceedings, Washington does not have such a law. Not having legal counsel can leave kids without a voice in the most critical conversations about their lives, say lawyers, children’s advocates and state lawmakers.

WI: Foster parents concerned companies driving foster kids not safe (Includes video)

Fox6 – February 23, 2017

A FOX6 investigation finds the state might be allowing dangerous transportation for Milwaukee children in foster care.

WV: Child Protect receives grant to train nurses to examine sex assault victims

Bluefield Daily Telegraph – February 23, 2017

An increase in the number of sexual assaults involving minors is one reason Mercer County Child Protect is searching for registered nursing to train to be Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE). The non-profit child advocacy center recently secured grant funding for the program.

WV: Drug Epidemic Creates Surging Need for Foster Families (Includes video)

WVNS – February 23, 2017

Because of the drug epidemic, the need for foster families in southern West Virginia is greater than ever.

US: Confessions of a Caseworker: We Remove Kids to Protect Ourselves (Opinion)

Youth Today – February 22, 2017

One of the things caseworkers often say is just not true. Caseworkers often claim they are “damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t.” But when it comes to taking away children, caseworkers are only damned if they don’t. It’s one of the reasons so many children are needlessly consigned to the chaos of foster care. Now, a leader of a union representing caseworkers has admitted as much.

US: Policy calls for public health approach to opioid misuse by pregnant women (Press release)

American Pharmacists Association – February 17, 2017

New guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates tackling opioid misuse in pregnant women-and subsequent cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)-from a public health standpoint, rather than relying on law enforcement.


Information Gateway resource: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome:


Australia: Catholic leader says not ‘remotely enough’ supervision to prevent child sexual abuse

Guardian – February 23, 2017

“I can’t pretend we have remotely sufficient supervision for me to be assured that they are not misbehaving again,” he told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Sydney. “I have puzzled about it this now for several years.”

Canada: Identity, belonging, purpose, key to kids well-being, says Sixties Scoop survivor

CBC News – February 22, 2017

The woman who led thousands of Indigenous adoptees to a hard-won victory in the Sixties Scoop lawsuit says she could not have done it if she had not reconnected with her roots. Marcia Brown Martel was the lead plaintiff in an eight-year court battle that ended Feb. 14, when a judge said that Canada breached its duty of care to 16,000 First Nations children in Ontario who were placed in non-Indigenous care by child welfare agencies between 1965 and 1984.


KY: “Fictive Kin” Bill Proposed to Give Kentucky Kids a Safe Home (Includes audio)

Public News Service – February 23, 2017

Tim Feeley, now a deputy secretary in Kentucky’s Health and Family Services Cabinet, is a former circuit judge. “For 11 years on Family Court bench, there were many times when I found there was a non-blood relative who was really the appropriate place, maybe a babysitter, a church member, a neighbor,” he said. “Sometimes, there’s people who are not blood relatives who the child is very safe with, very comfortable with.”

Also: Three bills advance in effort to help 8,000 children in state custody:

Information Gateway resource: Sibling Issues in Foster Care and Adoption:

MN: Le Sueur County Human Services investigating more child safety cases

Le Sueur News-Herald – February 22, 2017

During her monthly presentation Feb. 22 Le Sueur County Board of Commissioners meeting, Human Services Director Sue Rynda showed that her department has been investigating higher numbers of child welfare cases.

MS: Another Hancock youth court official resigns – the sixth in six months (Includes video)

SunHerald – February 22, 2017

Another Hancock County Youth Court official has resigned. She’s the sixth in less than six months to leave.

NC: Foster care system stretched to the limit (Includes video)

WNCN – February 22, 2017

In the last five years, the number of kids needing temporary or permanent relocation has increased by 25 percent. The driving force behind the increase is drug use, numbers show.

NC: Investigation Finds ‘Significant Failures’ in Rylan Ott Case

Pilot – February 22, 2017

An independent investigation has found “significant failures” in how the Department of Social Services handled the case of a toddler who drowned last spring four months after being returned to his mother.

NY: Mother takes home schooling case to federal investigators

Buffalo News – February 22, 2017

The mother who accuses the Buffalo Public Schools of instigating her arrest for home schooling her children is now taking her case to the federal government.

OH: Heroin epidemic having an impact on foster care system in Ohio (Includes video)

WSYX/WTTE – February 21, 2017

Attorney General Mike Dewine said it’s so bad, the foster care system is being overwhelmed.

Also: The Child Service Workers Picking Up The Pieces Of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis (Includes audio):

Also: Groups speak out for silent victims:

TX: CPS-foster care overhaul bill advances to full Texas Senate

Abilene Reporter-News – February 22, 2017

Children entering the state’s foster care system would have to be examined by a health professional within 72 hours and then be given a thorough evaluation within 30 days if a bill sent to the full Texas Senate on Wednesday is passed into law.

Also: Major CPS Reform Clears Senate Committee, Heads to Floor (Press release):

TX: Film illustrates what children experience in foster care

Amarillo Globe-News – February 22, 2017

While the film can be difficult to watch, Darrah said he hopes the community will continue to awaken to the reality of child abuse, neglect and the difficult work of the foster care system.

TX: Radney Foster, Kyle Hutton Team Up to Help Foster Children in Texas Find Homes (Includes video)

KEAN – February 21, 2017

Radney Foster and Kyle Hutton are two men on a mission with their upcoming, The Foster EP. The Texas natives hope to help spread awareness, raise funds, and find families for Texas children living in foster care.

VA: Pat Mudd closes a career of service

Arlington Catholic Herald – February 22, 2017

Much has been accomplished thanks to Mudd’s efforts. In the 1980s, she worked with statewide adoption advocacy organizations such as Adopt and lobbied the Virginia legislature. As a result, there now is state-funded medical care for children in Catholic Charities’ custody and a law requiring a home study before a child can be placed with adoptive parents.

WA: Lawsuit: Kids lived in filth for several years, officials ignored the warnings (Includes video)

KOMO – February 22, 2017

It was the worst home long-time police officers had ever seen. Three children were living in disgusting filth in Lake Stevens. The case is now the subject of a lawsuit, claiming the Department of Social and Health Services could have saved the children from their life of squalor but ignored the warnings.

US: Senator Dianne Feinstein calls for changes to Olympic sports law to protect children from abuse

Washington Post – February 22, 2017

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced Wednesday she is crafting legislation to amend the federal law that governs Olympic sports organizations in America, triggering potentially far-reaching changes in how the organizations that put together the United States’ Olympic teams deal with allegations of sexual abuse that arise from their ranks of tens of thousands of local coaches, and millions of child athletes across the country.


International: Academy Award-Nominated Film LION to Be Honored at International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children’s 2017 Gala for Child Protection (Press release)

International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children via PR Newswire – February 22, 2017

In citing the work, Ambassador Maura Harty, ICMEC President and CEO, said: “The compelling film not only tells Saroo Brierley’s story, but it also captures the tragic pain and loss suffered by missing children and their families anywhere in the world. We are grateful that Harvey Weinstein and LION unsparingly, but eloquently, helps raise awareness of this critical issue.”


AK: Congratulations, Alaska: You’re the Foster Care Capital of America

Chronicle of Social Change – February 22, 2017

Alaska’s rate of child removal in 2015 was more than triple the national average, and more than quadruple the rate in states that are, relatively speaking, models for keeping children safe.

Also: Report:

CA: San Diego County’s Answer to School Stability for Students in Foster Care (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – February 21, 2017

San Diego County’s efforts represent a possible model for other counties across the state. Here, many districts began tackling this issue in a serious, systemic way about three years ago. This has required creative and collaborative thinking, a strategic approach and inter-agency partnerships.

CO: Rural Colorado hard hit by opioid addiction crisis

Durango Herald – February 21, 2017

According to the data, the number of newborns experiencing opioid-related withdrawal symptoms increased nearly 2½ times between 2011 and 2015.

GA: John Deffenbaugh: Week in review at the House of Representatives

Northwest Georgia News – February 21, 2017

The FY 2018 budget supports critical programs aiding over 19,000 young people in the foster care system statewide through the inclusion of $10.7 million for a $10 per diem rate increase for foster parents and $14.9 million for relative foster parents caring for and raising our state’s foster children.

KS: Two Kansas school administrators charged with failing to report suspected child abuse

KMBC News – February 21, 2017

Two Kansas school administrators have been accused of failing to report suspected child abuse.

MO: Heroin epidemic putting foster care system in crisis (Includes video)

KSDK – February 21, 2017

Jefferson County Presiding Judge Darrell Missey said there’s a severe shortage of foster care homes across the state because so many kids are in need of foster care.

ND: Child Abuse Advocacy Center Claims FBI Award

Associated Press – February 21, 2017

Sanford Health Dakota Children’s Advocacy Center was tapped as the 2016 recipient Tuesday for its work with child abuse victims by helping them through the process of social services, crime investigation and mental health care.

NY: Mayor de Blasio Appoints David Hansell Commissioner of the Administration for Children’s Services (Press release)

New York City Government – February 21, 2017

Mayor Bill de Blasio today appointed David Hansell Commissioner of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Hansell, a skilled manager with decades of experience overseeing large-scale agencies and delivering effective social services for at-risk communities, comes to ACS after a nearly five-year tenure as Managing Director and head of the Global Human & Social Services Center of Excellence at KPMG.

Also: New Children’s Services Head Lays Out Plan to Prevent More Child Deaths:

OK: Schools brace for more cuts

Lawton Constitution – February 22, 2017

Without some new sources of revenue, a hole in next year’s state budget that has now grown to $880 million threatens to result in catastrophic cuts to public schools, child welfare and public health and other state agencies, Gov. Mary Fallin warned on Tuesday.

OK: ‘Are lawmakers doing enough to prevent child abuse in foster care?’ (Video)

KOCO 5 – February 21, 2017

Sheree Powell with the DHS responds to KOCO viewers’ comments about a federal report, which shows that Oklahoma led the nation in child abuse and neglect by foster parents in 2015.

OR: New child welfare offices offer more room for more services

Oregon News-Review – February 21, 2017

The new offices will allow more room for more foster care families to have visits, and with more than 400 kids in foster care in Douglas County, the need is growing.

TN: Knoxville organization helps families in crisis

WATE – February 21, 2017

The Safe Families program works together with Child Protective Services and area churches to provide a temporary home for kids. Whether their parents are struggling with a financial situation, health problems or addiction, Safe Families will match that child to a home where they can stay until they can go back home.

TX: Waco, McLennan County efforts model for state in battle against human trafficking

Waco Tribune Herald – February 17, 2017

As public awareness about the horrors of human trafficking grows, McLennan County is gaining statewide notoriety as a leader in the fight against the dehumanizing sex trade.

US: The Conversation We Need to Have About Milo: Child Sexual Abuse and the Myth of Consent (Opinion)

Huffington Post – February 21, 2017

In the world of Children’s Advocacy Centers, where we coordinate the investigation of child abuse and provide services to heal the trauma it causes, we hear it over and over-from the incest victim who has been told by her father that she “came on” to him to the child abused by his coach that truly thought that the person who exploited him loved him.

Also: Yiannopoulos: I Do Not Support Child Abuse:

US: Don’t Punish Pregnant Women for Opioid Use, Docs Say

Health Day – February 20, 2017

Prevention and treatment, not legal action, should be the focus when dealing with pregnant women who use opioids, a leading pediatricians’ group says.

Also: Report: A Public Health Response to Opioid Use in Pregnancy:

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

US: Trump takes new immigration fight to 9th Circuit

Politico – February 20, 2017

Los Angeles-based U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled on Inauguration Day that such “unaccompanied” minors are entitled to go before an immigration judge in accordance with the terms of a 20-year-old legal settlement.


Cyprus: NGO and government launch fostering programme for unaccompanied minors

Cyprus Mail – February 21, 2017

Hope For Children CRC Policy Centre, is implementing a pilot programme for fostering unaccompanied minors in cooperation with the government, it said on Tuesday. “Many unaccompanied children arriving in Cyprus, have either lost their parents/guardians or were separated from them. In order to improve the reception conditions of this vulnerable group,” the NGO said in a statement.

India: Adoption centre heads arrested over trafficking

Voice of Asia Online – February 21, 2017

Indian police said Tuesday they have arrested the heads of an adoption centre suspected of selling at least 17 children to foreign couples, the latest trafficking scandal to hit the country.


AZ: GRIC to argue child custody case before state Supreme Court

Casa Grande Dispatch – February 20, 2017

The Arizona Supreme Court has granted the petition for review filed by attorneys for the Gila River Indian Community giving them an opportunity to argue before the justices in a controversial case involving the future of a Native American child being permanently removed from the community.

AZ: Mentor program helps foster kids step into adulthood (Includes video)

ABC 15 – February 20, 2017

Arizona had more than 700 teens who “age out” of the foster care system each year, according to Arizona’s Children Association, a group that offers support services to foster families. ACA runs the THRIVE Mentor Program to provide one-on-one support to these teens. Program administrators hope to reduce rates of homelessness and pregnancy among these youth, while also increasing graduation rates and life skills.

CA: Ventura County foster kids get help transitioning

Ventura County Star – February 20, 2017

They’ve had to grow up fast, but Daniel Nava and Francisco Nunez, both 18, are ready to tackle the world. Both men grew up in the foster care system, which historically terminates services when a child turns 18. For Nava and Nunez, however, the support of various Ventura County agencies has given them hope.

CO: Kyle: How the Coloradoan investigated child abuse (Includes video)

Coloradoan – February 18, 2017

Over the next few weeks, you will read the results of a monthslong investigation into notable child abuse cases. Through them we examine the state of child welfare in Larimer County.

NC: Editorial: Foster parents badly needed

Gaston Gazette – February 20, 2017

Foster care for abused, neglected and dependent children is in a “state of crisis” in North Carolina, according to state officials and others studying the issue.

NV: Bill would mandate LGBTQ training for Nevada foster families, social workers

Las Vegas Review Journal – February 20, 2017

Foster parents and social workers would be trained in gender identity and understanding the needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth under a bill heard Monday the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services.

Also: Young LGBTQ Nevadans ask lawmakers for change in foster care:

NV: Nevada lawmaker wants more protections for parents who give up an infant child

Las Vegas Review Journal – February 20, 2017

Senate Bill 2 states that any emergency services provider, including the hospital where the child was born, cannot provide identifying information to a child welfare agency about the parent who surrendered the child.

NV: Underage women common in Vegas sex trafficking

Associated Press – February 19, 2017

A yearlong academic study of sex trafficking in Las Vegas is providing a glimpse into a shadowy world beneath the neon glow where underage girls, threatened by pimps, solicit for business in casinos, on streets and online.

NY: New child services commissioner to be named (Includes video)

WABC – February 21, 2017

A new commissioner is expected to be named Tuesday to the New York City’s embattled Administration for Children’s Services. Mayor Bill de Blasio will name David Hansell as the head of the department. He has worked in government for New York mayors Rudy Guiliani and Michael Bloomberg, and Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s administrations. Hansell also helped oversee federal child welfare programs.

NY: The Children’s Home of Jefferson County Gets $1.5M Adoption Grant

Warner Cable News – February 20, 2017

The Children’s Home of Jefferson County (CHJC) has been awarded $1.5 million in funding through the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to extend services to families with adopted children and help ensure the permanency of the adoptions for the next five years.

NY: Family Service Rochester experiences data breach

Rochester Post Bulletin – February 18, 2017

Family Services Rochester has notified individuals that portions of its computer systems that contained personal information had been compromised.

OH: More grandparents returning to parental role

Toledo Blade – February 19, 2017

For a multitude of reasons – illness, deployment, death, employment transfers, incarceration, domestic violence, and substance abuse including the current heroin crisis – more grandparents are having to step in and make room in their homes for their grandchildren and to take another turn in a parental role.

PA: Controller finds issue with DHS child service grant monitoring

Philadelphia Tribune – February 18, 2017

City Controller Alan Butkovitz released a report identifying weaknesses and “significant deficiencies” regarding the Department of Human Services’ lack of oversight for government grants going to children and youth services for fiscal year 2015.

TX: Bill would put money behind ‘kinship care’

Dallas Morning News – February 20, 2017

A Dallas County lawmaker wants to put more of the state’s wallet behind efforts to persuade relatives to take in abused and neglected children. Sunnyvale GOP Rep. Cindy Burkett has proposed a major bump in state payments for “kinship care.”

TX: Lawmakers weigh privatizing Texas foster care system

Austin American-Statesman – February 20, 2017

The Texas House Human Services Committee weighed legislation Monday that would hand over control of services in the foster care system to private contractors. Many child welfare advocates applauded while others were skeptical about a bill filed by state Rep. James Frank, R-Wichita Falls, that would restructure the state’s troubled foster care system so that nonprofits – and not the state – would provide case management.–regional-govt–politics/lawmakers-weigh-privatizing-texas-foster-care-system/Lj0dT8mU7tEeedN8dHymGO/

TX: Testimony heard on bills aimed at fixing state’s broken CPS system

CBS Austin – February 20, 2017

HB 5 by State Representative James Frank, (R-Wichita Falls), would remove the Department of Family and Protective Services out from under the Health and Human Services Commission, making it a stand-alone agency. Another bill authored by Rep. Frank was met with the most opposition Monday. HB 6, would implement statewide, community-based foster care. The goal is to keep kids closer to home by making placement decisions on a local level, rather than a state level, but some expressed concerns about privatizing foster care.

TX: Texas child welfare agency adding 400-plus new staff members

Associated Press – February 20, 2017

The head of Texas’ troubled foster care system says emergency state funding helped hire 441 new employees in December and January, a two-thirds increase over the same period the previous year.

Also: CPS takes big step toward goal of hiring 828 new staff members:

TX: How rhetoric, broken child welfare system feed Texas’ sex trafficking

Longview News-Journal – February 18, 2017

Like too many children in the state’s care, she disappeared into the underworld of sex trafficking. Mia was still missing a year later, in 2014, when a massive class-action lawsuit against the state’s long-term foster care system went to trial. Lawyers had named Mia the lead plaintiff on behalf of all 12,000 children in the system. Federal District Judge Janis Jack would later rule the state had mistreated those children so severely that it violated their civil rights.

Also: 300,000+ Victims of Human Trafficking in Texas:

Also: Texas leaders won’t commit to more resources for sex-trafficking victims (Opinion):

UT: Ogden to host first refugee foster care orientation

Standard Examiner – February 18, 2017

Catholic Community Services places in foster care children who are from Honduras, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Burma, said Danielle Stamos, director of public relations and marketing for Catholic Community Services.

VA: Drug/DWI Court helping improve lives for 10 years

Mesabi Daily News – February 18, 2017

“One of the best things about treatment court programs (drug courts) is not only what we do for our participants, but what we do for their families,” she said. “Many of the people we see are struggling to regain custody of their children.”

WI: Teen Reach: Milwaukee T.R.A.C. program provides hope for at-risk children in foster care (Includes video)

Fox 6 – February 18, 2017

Elizabeth and Jerry Bloodworth with Kenosha T.R.A.C. visited the WakeUp studios to talk about the program “Teen Reach Adventure Camp.” It benefits foster children providing mentoring and safe, positive experiences.

US: On the Knife’s Edge: Using Therapy To Address Violence Among Teens (Includes audio)

National Public Radio – February 21, 2017

In moments of anger, it can be hard to heed the advice to take a deep breath or count to ten. But public health researcher Harold Pollack says that “regret comes almost as fast as anger,” and that five minutes of reflection can make all the difference between a regular life and one behind bars. This week, Harold Pollack and Jens Ludwig tell us about the research they do at the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab. They worked with a program called BAM (Becoming a Man) to look at what happens when teenagers participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT.

US: AAP: Treatment, Not Punishment, Best for Opioid Abuse in Pregnancy

Medscape – February 20, 2017

A public health approach, not a punitive response, is the best course of action when addressing opioid abuse during pregnancy, said the American Academy of Pediatrics. This is a counseling-based approach that not only emphasizes primary prevention, but promotes screening and improved access to treatment for women with substance use disorders, reported Stephen W. Patrick, MD and Davida M. Schiff, MD, of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention.

US: Crowdfunding site helps make adoptions possible (Includes video)

Cable News Network – February 20, 2017

For many families, like the Riehms, choosing to adopt was not enough. That initial financial barrier often keeps wanting families and adoptable children apart. Hank’s solution was for a broader community to carry that burden together, rewriting the old adage to say “It takes a village to adopt a child.” In 2012 he launched AdoptTogether, a crowdsourcing funding platform that helps families raise money for adoptions. Once a family’s profile is vetted, their page goes live. It can then be shared far and wide on social media.

US: DHS memos describe aggressive new immigration, border enforcement policies (Includes video)

Cable News Network – February 20, 2017

The guidance will tighten immigration laws on asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors entering the country and could send individuals awaiting immigration proceedings in the United States back to Mexico.

Information Gateway resource: Immigration and Child Welfare:

US: When Faith Healing Kills Kids (Opinion)

Daily Beast – February 19, 2017

After falling sick, some children in the U.S. are only offered prayers by their parents-and some states allow it.


United Kingdom: Britain can’t just pretend that child refugees are someone else’s problem (Opinion)

Times – February 21, 2017

Doing our bit to help vulnerable children is not a party political issue but a basic human value, and something we have been very proud of in the UK. By working together, we hope to ensure that the British government continues to offer a system that works for, not against, children seeking safety.




CA: County Supes Push DCFS To Make Back Payments To Foster Parents by Mid-March

Patch – February 16, 2017

Citing hundreds of missed county payments to foster parents and children since December, the Board of Supervisors pushed child welfare staffers Tuesday to come up with a plan to make all back payments by mid-March. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Janice Hahn recommended weekly reports on the matter.

Also: Missed Payments to L.A. County Foster Parents Prompt Supervisors’ Call for Inquiry:

CO: Investigation: Child abuse cases overburden system (Includes video)

Coloradoan – February 17, 2017

Child abuse charges have generally held steady or increased slightly in most Colorado counties in recent years. The Coloradoan explores the topic more deeply in its series, “At risk: Child Abuse in Larimer County.” Jason Pohl.

Also: At risk: Child abuse in Larimer County:

CO: New facility would bring child victim services closer to home

Summit Daily News – February 17, 2017

It’s never easy for investigators to ask victims of abuse difficult questions about their experience. Cases involving children and teens are even more delicate, and without the proper training and facilities, investigators can risk re-traumatizing victims – or having their interviews picked apart in court.

DC: The District of Columbia Passes the Nation’s Most Expansive Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

JD Supra – February 17, 2017

The Act will create the most generous paid family and medical leave benefit in the nation by guaranteeing D.C. employees up to a combined 16 weeks of paid family, medical, and parental leave in a 52-workweek period (“Universal Paid Leave”), starting on July 1, 2020.

FL: Former child investigator arrested for falsifying records

Associated Press – February 17, 2017

A former Florida child protection investigator is being charged with two counts of falsifying records. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested 27-year-old Brittanee Carter on Thursday. Records show she worked for the Department of Children and Families until February 2016.

GA: House Approves $25 Billion State Budget (Includes audio)

WABE – February 17, 2017

Under the spending plan, teachers and other state employees would get 2 percent pay raise starting the next fiscal year. The budget also calls for child welfare caseworkers to receive 19 percent pay raises. The budget now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

IN: DCS talks about protocol for investigating child abuse cases (Includes video)

WTHR – February 17, 2017

“There are often times that there are differing information between the parents’ statement and someone else. So, the case manager has to pull all of that together, create a timeline and make a determination on whether the child is safe in the home or not,” said Peggy Surbey.

Information Gateway Resource: Making and Screening Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect:

KS: Program helps kids aged out of foster care

Wichita Falls Times Record News – February 17, 2017

Phased In is a transitional living program for 18-year-olds “aging out” of the foster care system. The project is a collaboration of churches, the community and the state of Texas so that demographic can learn basic living skills, prepare to be self-sufficient and have stable lives.

MA: Volunteer cuddlers provide a calming touch for babies

Recorder – February 17, 2017

A rocking chair is prominent inside Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s birthing center – that’s where volunteer cuddlers provide human touch, which some mother’s aren’t able to give.

MT: Panel OKs increase in foster care funding, with a catch

Associated Press – February 17, 2017

A legislative panel on Friday approved a $6 million increase over the next two years for Montana to deal with the growing number of children in foster care, though it kept mostly intact the overall cuts proposed for the state health department’s two-year budget.

MT: State not doing enough for children, elderly, agency director says

Bozeman Daily Chronicle – February 17, 2017

A joint appropriations subcommittee wrapped up its work Friday on the budget for the state Department of Public Health and Human Services, drawing criticism from the agency director for cutting budgets for the elderly, children and people with disabilities.

ND: Results released from North Dakota Child and Family Services Review

Minot Daily News – February 18, 2017

A recent review of North Dakota’s child welfare services found strengths and weaknesses, accordng to a press release from the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

NM: Report focuses on policy changes aimed at improving child well-being in N.M.

Santa Fe New Mexican – February 19, 2017

A new report on the well-being of children in New Mexico has found that some key policy changes – such as expanding access to child care assistance, increasing investments in early childhood programs, enacting a higher statewide minimum wage and overhauling the tax system – could significantly lift the state from its status as one of the worst places in the nation to raise a kid.

Report: Enhancing Child Well-Being in New Mexico:

NY: Exclusive: ACS workers say case load too high, blame for child deaths is unfair (Includes video)

WABC TV – February 17, 2017

City workers tasked with trying to protect thousands of kids in crisis are speaking out for the first time — not hidden in the shadows — on camera in what can only be described as a plea for help.

Also: Embattled NYC children’s services agency’s caseloads on the rise:

OH: Will Ohio protect its children? (Opinion)

Beacon Journal – February 17, 2017

Advocates for public children services agencies in Ohio are lobbying lawmakers for a substantial boost in funding in the next state budget. They propose a $30 million annual increase to the current yearly allocation of $45 million. Still, the amount, needed to cope with the devastating effects of the opiate epidemic on children, is modest in the context of the governor’s two-year budget proposal of roughly $67 billion.

OH: FBI raids Strongsville-based international adoption agency as part of criminal probe – February 14, 2017

The Cleveland FBI raided an international adoption agency based in Strongsville Tuesday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation, a spokeswoman confirmed. The visit by federal agents to European Adoption Consultants came less than two months after the U.S. State Department barred the company from conducting international adoption services for three years.

OK: Sunbeam Family Services receives grant from Arnall Family Foundation

Edmond Sun – February 19, 2017

Sunbeam Family Services has received a three-year $717,000 grant from the Arnall Family Foundation, which will allow the organization to increase its focus on infant and early childhood mental health. Oklahoma ranks 39th in the nation for overall child well-being with a high percentage of infants and toddlers living in environments with chronic stress, chaos and violence.

PA: Too often, abused children remain voiceless and forgotten (Opinion)

Intelligencer – February 20, 2017

In the spring of 2011, well before Pennsylvanians were shocked by the serial child sexual abuse perpetrated by former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky, dozens of organizations called on Pennsylvania’s governor and General Assembly to create a Task Force on Child Protection and Accountability. Five years later, dozens of new laws have been enacted. Still, a key metric is unmet: The public’s confidence is not restored.

PA: State Department of Human Services launches video series

WHP CBS21 – February 17, 2017

Representative Ron Marsico announced Friday that the State Department of Human Services will launch a short Youtube series called Protecting Our Children.

TX: Solutions: What Texas can do to help child sex-trafficking victims (Opinion)

Texas Tribune – February 20, 2017

Over the past week, we’ve exposed how Texas leaders who crusade against sex trafficking have done almost nothing to help child trafficking victims. We asked those closest to the issue how they would begin addressing the problem. Here’s what they said.

TX: Governor is right on track (Opinion)

Abilene Reporter-News – February 19, 2017

While much of what we hear coming about of Austin for the 85th legislative session fails to make the top of our to-do list, the governor has zeroed in on a priority. Among his four “emergency objectives” listed in his State of the State address is fixing Child Protective Services. The state of how we help children in need in Texas is not good.

TX: Don’t privatize Child Protective Services (Opinion)

My San Antonio – February 17, 2017

Everyone is frustrated with the problems at Child Protective Services and looking for a solution. If a doctor misdiagnoses what ails a patient, though, and consequently prescribes the wrong remedy, you can end up killing the patient. We may be on the verge of doing just that.

US: DHS memos propose stricter deportation guidelines for asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors

Week – February 19, 2017

Two memos proposing stricter deportation guidelines for asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors have been sent from Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to the White House for approval, McClatchy reported Saturday afternoon. The documents are dated Feb. 17 and have yet to receive final go-ahead from the president.

US: Georgia Families Appeal to Tillerson for Help Reversing Russian Adoption Ban

Global Atlanta – February 17, 2017

The law was approved by the Kremlin, which couched it as a move to protect the well-being of Russian children. The law was named after Dima Yakovlev, a child adopted by American parents who died after being left in a hot car for nine hours.

US: Senator seeks tougher law after USA Gymnastics’ handling of sex abuse cases (Includes video)

Indianapolis Star – February 17, 2017

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Friday that she will introduce legislation that would require Olympic national governing bodies to immediately report sexual abuse allegations to authorities.

US: USA Cycling Opens Investigation into Missy Erickson’s Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Bicycling – February 17, 2017

Last month, six-time American national champion Missy Erickson came forward to speak about the sexual and emotional abuse she experienced as a junior racer. In response, USA Cycling has opened an independent investigation into her claims.


Europe: Child-Refugee Crisis

New Yorker – February 27, 2017

Wasil was stunned by the conditions of the Jungle. The camp, a forty-acre assemblage of tents, situated on a vast windswept sandlot that had formerly served as a landfill, didn’t seem fit for human habitation. “I did not come here for luxury,” Wasil told me, in excellent English, which he had learned from his father. “But I can’t believe this is happening in Europe.” A chemical plant loomed nearby. There was no running water, and when it rained the refugees’ tents filled with mud and the camp’s rudimentary roads became impassable.

Malawi: How Madonna Managed to Beat the Law of Adoption

All Africa – February 14, 2017

The judge also expressed concern that without the ‘residence’ check, uncontrolled inter-country adoptions could ‘actually facilitate trafficking of children’: ‘Anyone could come to Malawi and quickly arrange for an adoption that might have grave consequences on the very children that the law seeks to protect’.

Russia: Economic Crisis Increases Return of Adopted Children in Russia

Moscow Times – February 17, 2017

The number of adoptive families in Russia’s northern Komi Republic dropped by nearly one hundred in 2016, the region’s Deputy Labor Minister Alexei Zezegov said at a local government meeting on Wednesday. Families are returning adopted children to the region’s orphanages, Zezegov explained, because they don’t have enough money to raise them.

United Kingdom: Catholic church’s child protection body would have broad secrecy powers, inquiry told

Guardian – February 19, 2017

The church announced late last year it would create Catholic Professional Standards (CPS) to lead its efforts on child protection. But the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse heard on Monday that CPS would have broad powers to keep the audits from being published.



AL: OUR VIEW: Technology can provide evidence, peace of mind

Gadsden Times – February 16, 2017

Thanks to an alert – and alarmed – parent and a day care equipped with security cameras, a former worker will spend two years in prison.

AR: Working 4 You: Mentoring Ourselves Out of Foster Care Crisis (Includes video)

KARK – February 16, 2017

What if foster parents did not just foster children, but became a resource for their parents? What would it look like if community groups and non-profits were cleared to help take on the caseloads of overburdened DHS staff? One foster parent believes the state should find out.

AZ: DCS responds to questions regarding scalded child’s Foster placement (Includes video)

KVOA – February 16, 2017

Investigators also say before she was adopted, Madison had been in foster care with a man now convicted of child sex-crimes. How could all of this happen? The Arizona Department of Child Safety has responded to our questions.

AZ: Homeless youth invisible in Southern Arizona

Arizona Sonora News – February 16, 2017

“Homeless youth, is one of those things that sort of perplexes people,” said Kristyn Conner, director of development at Youth On Their Own, a dropout prevention program in Tucson. “It is out of sight and out of mind. With adult homelessness, you can see it. But with homeless youth, it is different because they aren’t actually living on the streets as much as their adult counterparts.”

Information Gateway resource: Services for Youth: Homeless and Runaway:

CA: L.A. County supervisors call for action on missed payments from child protection agency

Los Angeles Times – February 16, 2017

Los Angeles County supervisors this week called for an inquiry into the “root cause” behind hundreds of missed payments from the county’s child protection agency to foster care parents, group home managers and others depending on public assistance.

Also: County Supes Push DCFS To Make Back Payments To Foster Parents by Mid-March:

CA: Panel presents state of foster care in Humboldt County

Eureka Times-Standard – February 16, 2017

There are currently 317 children in foster care in Humboldt County, according to panel member Deb Engs, a project manager for the county Department of Health & Human Services Child Welfare Services division. There are only 63 licensed foster care homes through the state. Many of the local foster children are not placed there.

CA: Why do more L.A. County black children end up in foster care? Experts clash over the reason

Los Angeles Times – February 16, 2017

Black children account for eight out of 100 Los Angeles County children, yet they make up 28 out of 100 foster children, according to Department of Children and Family Services data.

CO: Dailey: Salida del Sol failed as a ‘mandatory reporter’ (Opinion)

Greeley Tribune – February 16, 2017

The recent handling of concerns about the behavior of a teacher at Salida del Sol was not in accord with the Weld County Child Abuse Protocol. Nowhere in Colorado law nor in the protocol was it stated that concerns about abuse or neglect had to be provable or indicative of criminal behavior. How to appropriately respond to the concerns is not the job of the reporters but of human service and/or law enforcement experts, the latter of whom would consult with the office of the district attorney as needed.

FL: In Plain Sight: Human Trafficking fastest growing crime in the United States

WMBB – February 16, 2017

Human Trafficking is the fasted-growing crime in the United States. It affects every age, ethnicity, and community including Northwest Florida.

IL: Too Long to Wait: 13 News Digs Deeper into the Illinois Foster Care System (Includes video)

WREX – February 16, 2017

Foster care in Illinois has a long list of issues. No one knows that better than MsWhitney Holt.

IN: Ryan: Foster care program success for Onarga Academy’s boys (Opinion)

Times-Republic – February 17, 2017

Kids do better when family is involved with their upbringing, and Onarga Academy’s foster care program gives its kids another parental figure to care for them.

KY: Foster care panels need volunteers in 37 Kentucky counties

Associated Press – February 17, 2017

The Administrative Office of the Courts said in a news release that volunteers are needed to review cases of children placed in care because of dependency, neglect or abuse. The panels work to ensure the children are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible.

MO: State Supreme Court commission focuses on racial and ethnic fairness (Includes video)

KOMU – February 16, 2017

The Supreme Court of Missouri Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness met with community members on Thursday to talk about bias in the civil, criminal and juvenile justice systems. Commission members put together recommendations for preventing bias in the judicial system at previous meetings. Now, the commission is sharing those recommendations with the public for feedback.

NE: Melanie Williams Smotherman and Richard Wexler: State backslides on foster care (Opinion)

Omaha World-Herald – February 17, 2017

Everyone should be shocked by the fact that the inspector general of Nebraska Child Welfare, Julie Rogers, has identified 36 cases of children consigned to the “care” of the state, only to be sexually abused in foster care. But no one should be surprised.

NY: County Jail Leads Way In Budget Overages

Post-Journal – February 17, 2017

Legislators also approved to move funds to cover increased handicapped preschool education tuition costs, which totaled $380,000, and foster care costs, which totaled $300,000.

OH: Boost funding to an Ohio foster care system increasingly burdened by the opioid crisis: editorial – February 17, 2017

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been in the thick of the battle against deadly opioids, signing a bill this year to tighten restrictions on prescription opioids, speaking at conferences about heroin and even sending an Ohio Highway Patrol superintendent in April to Trumbull County after beleaguered officials there begged for help in quelling a rising tide of opioid overdoses and deaths.

OK: Latchkey kids: How young is too young to be left alone? (Includes video)

KTUL – February 16, 2017

Every day children are walking or staying home alone. Oklahoma is one of several states that has no age requirement for latchkey children. That leaves the decision and the responsibility on parents.

OR: Lutheran Community Services gets land use approval for PMH facility

CentralOregonian – February 14, 2017

The Prineville Planning Commission granted the organization a conditional use permit, which will enable them to provide mental health services for Crook County residents at the approximately 50,000 square-foot building. In addition to Lutheran Community Services uses, Willard said they have begun reaching out to other community nonprofits such as KIDS Center and allied government organizations like the Department of Human Services and child welfare to share the location as a social services hub targeting children and families.

RI: DCYF nominee tells Senate panel she backs more front-line workers

Providence Journal – February 16, 2017

Trista D. Piccola, Gov. Gina Raimondo’s pick to head the Department of Children, Youth and Families, received unanimous consent from the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday night after saying she’s considering whether the agency needs more front-line workers.

TX: Legislators continue debates outside Capitol

Daily Texan – February 17, 2017

Two Democratic and two Republican Texas lawmakers butted heads Thursday night over issues including sanctuary cities, school finance, the Rainy Day Fund and Child Protective Services.

TX: When it comes to helping sex-trafficking victims, success is elusive

Texas Tribune – February 17, 2017

By the time kids like Sarah get picked up by police, they’ve already endured a lot. Then they’re thrown into juvenile lockups that either don’t recognize their trauma or don’t have the resources to treat it.

TX: CASA Volunteers Helping Local Children in Need

WTAW – February 16, 2017

In January, Governor Greg Abbott named four emergency items in his State of the State Address, including reforming Child Protective Services. Locally, Voices for Children recruits and trains Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA volunteers, to help children in the foster care system.

UT: Tribune Op-ed: We need to focus on funding social services in schools

Salt Lake Tribune – February 16, 2017

The talk about funding education during a legislative session usually circles around Utah’s low per-pupil spending, the state’s high proportion of school-aged kids, the high proportion of taxes dedicated to education and the reluctance of lawmakers and their constituents to support tax increases. These concerns are balanced by a genuine support for improving Utah’s education system, consideration of a modest property tax increase and measures for greater accountability.

US: Foster Care Today Is Failing, And It Doesn’t Have To Be

Chronicle of Social Change – February 16, 2017

California is not alone. Throughout the nation, our current foster care system is suffering from a shortage of foster homes, unacceptable delays and failure in achieving permanence for our children in limbo, and the continuing reliance on yesterday’s solutions to address today’s changed family lifestyles.

US: U.S. appeals court strikes down Florida law in ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ case

Reuters – February 16, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of a group of medical and child welfare organizations opposing the law, praised the decision.