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KARA tracks current news about at risk children bringing transparency and  attention to our youngest and most vulnerable  citizens.

These pages are 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 in our communities.

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.

Donate now and support these pages &  KARA’S Traveling Child Abuse/Child Protection Exhibit


Recommend the exhibit to your college/university/museum – start the conversation where you live.


CT: Gov. Malloy To Immigrants: Be Prepared In Case Of Detention Or Deportation

Norwalk Patch – March 29, 2017

Gov. Dannel Malloy Wednesday released a “toolkit” for immigrant parents that offers a “step-by-step guide” to set up a plan for the care of their children “in the event that they are detained or deported.” The toolkit was developed by his office, several Connecticut state agencies, and relevant stakeholders, and comes on the heels of Malloy’s recommendations to school districts and law enforcement on how to handle aggressive federal immigration enforcement.

Toolkit: Immigration Resources: Connecticut Family Preparedness Plan:

Also: Gov. shares resources for families concerned about being deported (Includes video):

Also: State of Connecticut Offers Guide for Parents to Plan for Children in Event of Deportation:

DC: Missing Teens: How a Community Is Fighting Human Trafficking

Rolling Stone – March 28, 2017

Authorities maintain the number of missing kids hasn’t changed, but the community is still pushing for a way to keep at-risk youth safe.

FL: Local homeless teens overcoming the odds (Includes video)

WTSP – March 29, 2017

Teenagers are starving, bullied, raped and depressed. A new study finds those are the extreme risks students are facing when they don’t have a place to call home. Some local teens who’ve struggled with homelessness are working to overcome these odds.

GA: Adoption Law Update Lingers on Georgia Lawmakers’ Last Day

Associated Press – March 29, 2017

Changes to Georgia adoption law that proponents call long overdue await a final vote entering the General Assembly’s final day on Thursday. Conservative lawmakers added a “religious freedom” provision for private adoption agencies two weeks ago, forcing last-minute legislative maneuvers that could still send the bill to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk.

IA: County earmarks funds for child welfare program

Daily Iowan – March 30, 2017

Although Johnson County ranks 93rd in Iowa when it comes to child abuse and neglect rates, county officials continue to fight the issue by offering funds to child welfare and delinquency programs.

KY: Bevin signs two pieces of legislation aimed at improving lives of children removed from homes

Northern Kentucky Tribune – March 30, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin today ceremonially signed two pieces of recently enacted legislation that will improve the lives of children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. House Bill 180 allows youth to be temporarily placed with non-relative adults who already have a significant emotional relationship with the child. House Bill 192 allows foster children to obtain their learner’s permits and driver’s licenses without the signature of their parent or guardian.

KY: State Senate overrides Gov. Bevin’s veto of ‘Tim’s Law’ (Includes video)

WDRB – March 29, 2017

As Gov. Matt Bevin signed a pair of foster care bills into law Wednesday, some at the Capitol were focusing on one he did not approve. Senate Bill 91, or “Tim’s Law,” would have allowed judges to order outpatient mental health treatment for the severely mentally ill.

MN: Benson, Otis: It’s time to get serious about finishing the job on early education (Opinion)

Pioneer Press – March 30, 2017

We all understand the problem. Minnesota has worst-in-the-nation achievement gaps, and those gaps are evident as early as age 1. At the same time, nearly half of children are arriving in kindergarten unprepared, so our early education system obviously hasn’t been good enough. Too many of these children don’t catch up in later grades, and when that happens it has devastating consequences for Minnesota’s children, taxpayers, communities and economy.

MS: Canopy Children’s Solutions: New name, same mission, helping families

Meridian-Star – March 29, 2017

After 104 years as Mississippi Children’s Home Services, the organization rebranded itself on Nov. 19 as Canopy Children’s Solutions but its priority remains the same – the welfare of children.

ND: PATH ND and Nexus form Affiliation to strengthen and expand programs for North Dakota children and families (Press release)

PR Newswire – March 30, 2017

ND and Nexus have affiliated to provide a greater continuum of treatment services to North Dakota youth and families. Both organizations are financially sound and provide a range of services that strengthen youth, families, and communities. Dr. William Metcalfe, PATH ND CEO, said, “This new partnership will strengthen and expand the programs that PATH and Nexus provide to North Dakota children and families.

NE: Senators question HHS plan to take over relative foster care placement

Lincoln Journal-Star – March 30, 2017

Questions came up this week about Gov. Pete Ricketts’ recommendation to reduce contract funding to providers of services for foster care and adoptive and guardianship support via the Department of Health and Human Services.

NJ: Judge removes order blocking newspaper from reporting on boy

Republic – March 30, 2017

A judge has overturned an order preventing a newspaper from reporting on a child services complaint involving a kindergarten student who brought drugs to school twice. Judge Lawrence De Bello ruled Monday that he found no evidence to support the state’s argument that a reporter for the Trentonian newspaper illegally obtained the complaint from the boy’s mother.

OR: DHS Director Didn’t See Major Child Abuse Report Until A Lawmaker Sent It (Includes audio)

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) – March 30, 2017

Cases illustrate failures in the state’s CPS program that workers say is overwhelmed and understaffed by employees who often lack adequate training to performing time-consuming and challenging work. The incidents were part of an internal review by the Oregon Department of Human Services, which found a number of serious problems in the way its employees investigate cases of child abuse.

PA: Founder of organization for troubled youth sentenced to prison for stealing $195,228

PennLive – March 30, 2017

The former president of a nonprofit he founded to work with troubled youth was sentenced Thursday for stealing $195,228 over a four-year period. James M. McCloy was president for 13 years of the now defunct Susquehanna House, which provided day treatment, residential treatment, specialized and regular foster care, transitional living, independent living and alternative education in 10 locations for an average 100 disruptive youngsters.

PA: Seeking Closure in Verdict, Penn State Finds More Discord

Chronicle of Higher Education – March 30, 2017

For a brief moment last week, Pennsylvania State University leaders described the child-endangerment conviction of Graham B. Spanier, the university’s former president, as an opportunity for closure to a sexual-abuse scandal that has roiled the institution for more than five years. But that opportunity may already be lost. Within a day, the verdict provoked new turmoil. And it came in forms that had been seen before at Penn State: recriminations, calls for resignations, and signs of an internecine struggle on the university’s board. A Penn State trustee, venting over the verdict, seemed all but certain to ignite further controversy about that issue, telling The Chronicle in an email over the weekend that he was “running out of sympathy” for Mr. Sandusky’s “so-called victims.”

Also: Reasonable doubt?: Spanier jury foreman has regrets, but that doesn’t mean a mistrial:

RI: DCYF investigated fewer child abuse reports as result of policy stance, panel finds

Providence Journal – March 30, 2017

The state’s child welfare agency launched fewer and fewer investigations over the last three years into reports of child abuse — possibly with deadly results. The Department of Children, Youth and Families, experts say, has been misusing a policy under which it has classified everything from allegations of substance abuse to the death of child as an “information/referral” that does not warrant investigation.

SD: Local experts talk meth impact on community

Argus Leader – March 29, 2017

Meth use has had an impact on Sioux Falls, local experts say. A “Meth Changes Everything” Town Hall Thursday evening hopes to educate about the crime and health-related issues associated with meth use in the area. Prairie View Director Darcy Jensen will moderate a panel of local leaders, including Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead, DEA Agent Ron Deist, a recovering addict and emergency medical technician Amy Marsh.

Information Gateway resource: Community Involvement in Child Protection:

TX: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Jacksonville Progress – March 30, 2017

Child abuse is a big problem in Texas and across the nation. Child Protective Services (CPS) completed 166,753 investigations that confirmed 58,664 children were victims of abuse or neglect in Texas last year. More than two hundred children in Texas died due to abuse or neglect last year.

TX: House budget writers send budget to full House with massive healthcare cut

Texas Tribune – March 30, 2017

The House budget would add about $430 million in additional funding for the Child Protective Services and foster care systems. That’s just less than half of what child welfare officials have said they need to make serious reforms in the face of crisis. It would also add $1.5 billion for public schools if the Legislature passes a school finance reform bill championed by the House.

US: Michael Reed pushes for child abuse prevention (Includes video)

WATE – March 30, 2017

After Constance Reed died, the video received hundreds of views from people all over the country, with many saying it gave them the courage to share their own story of being abused as a child. Michael Reed set up a website called Constance’s Story to help share her story and encourage others to make sure fewer children have to go through similar situations. The website also includes a petition for “Constance’s Bill,” which would create a nationwide text alert number for children. If a child is in danger, he or she can text the word “help” to authorities.

US: Advocates back effort to aid foster children

Baptist Press – March 29, 2017

The National Adoption and Foster Care Home Study Act, introduced March 21, would enhance the matching of children and families in the foster care system by establishing a national standard and database for increased uniformity and transparency. The measure would permit foster care and adoption agencies throughout the country to gain information about potential families through a secure process.

Also: Foster care advocates voice support for proposed legislation:

US: Facing Congress, Some Sports Officials (Not All) Begin to Confront Sexual Abuse

New York Times – March 29, 2017

“The Olympic community failed the people it was supposed to protect,” said Adams, the head of organizational development for the national governing sports bodies, which exist under the umbrella of the United States Olympic Committee. “We do take responsibility, and we apologize to any young athlete who has ever faced abuse.”

US: Kids Who Suffer Hunger In First Years Lag Behind Their Peers In School

National Public Radio – March 23, 2017

Growing up in a hungry household in the first couple of years of life can hurt how well a child performs in school years later, according to a new study.

Study: Associations Between Household Food Insecurity in Early Childhood and Children’s Kindergarten Skills:


Kenya: Country to address child neglect cases

Oak Ridge Observer – March 29, 2017

The findings from a Child Protection Report of 2006-2016 show that parents are not taking their children to school; refusing to get them medical attention when they are not well; and denying them food for days as a form of punishment. The report, which the non-governmental organisation Childline Kenya released on Tuesday, had Nairobi leading with reported cases of all forms of child abuse while semi-arid regions reported the least incidents.

United Kingdom: Listen: New Data Shows A 56% Increase In Cases Of Child Abandoment, Neglect Or Cruelty (Audio)

K-FM Radio – March 29, 2017

New CSO figures show there’s been a 56 per cent increases in cases of abandonment of a child, child neglect and cruelty. The crime figures for 2016 document the large rise. Almost 100 more cases were reported last year when compared with 2015. Tanya Ward, Chief Executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance, says it may be because of an increase in the number of social workers.

CA: Search for New Los Angeles DCFS Director Includes a New First

Chronicle of Social Change – March 29, 2017

A meeting that was the first of its kind for Los Angeles County pulled together foster youth, community organizations, kinship caregivers, and other concerned citizens this past weekend to cultivate ideas and discuss what qualifications they would like to see included in the search for a new director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

FL: Duval Foster Providers Keeping Watch On Opioid Epidemic (Includes audio)

WJCT – March 29, 2017

Duval County child welfare providers are keeping a watchful eye on the opioid epidemic that’s killing people in Northeast Florida. The majority of children placed in foster care have parents who are struggling with substance abuse.

FL: Sarah Franco, Executive Director Of JAFCO, Named One Of Only Seven Trailblazing Women In Labor And Business

CityBizList – March 29, 2017

JAFCO Executive Director Sarah Franco was one of seven women identified by the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) who are considered trailblazers in labor and business. Franco, who tirelessly fights for abused and neglected children, was honored in an exhibit on display at the Government Center Lobby as well as with a detailed write-up on her accomplishments on the website, and a proclamation presentation.

KY: Bevin signs two pieces of legislation aimed at improving lives of children removed from homes

Northern Kentucky Tribune – March 30, 2017

Gov. Matt Bevin today ceremonially signed two pieces of recently enacted legislation that will improve the lives of children removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. House Bill 180 allows youth to be temporarily placed with non-relative adults who already have a significant emotional relationship with the child. House Bill 192 allows foster children to obtain their learner’s permits and driver’s licenses without the signature of their parent or guardian.

MA: EDITORIAL: Drug-abuse prevention needed more than ever

Lowell Sun – March 29, 2017

One gut-wrenching image can capsulize a problem far better than pages of testimony and countless statistics. When it comes to the devastating ripple effects of the opioid epidemic gripping this state and nation, a photo of a toddler trying to revive her unconscious mother in a store aisle speaks to the toll substance abuse has taken.

MN: Board hears highlights of 2016 HHVS report

Pilot-Independent – March 29, 2017

Highlights from the 2016 Health, Human and Veterans Services (HHVS) annual report were presented March 21 by HHVS Director Michele Piprude and Heidi Tumberg, Director of Business Management. In 2016 Cass saw higher levels of child abuse intakes; neglect was the leading category, with 450 incidents, followed by physical abuse, 188. In 2016, Cass had 573 child protection intakes, 189 child welfare, and 57, children’s mental health.

MO: Increase in gas prices associated with increase in child maltreatment

Source (Washington University in St. Louis) – March 29, 2017

Increases in gasoline prices are associated with increases in child maltreatment referral rates, finds a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.

Study: Less Money, More Problems: How Changes in Disposable Income Affect Child Maltreatment:

NY: Parents in Custody Fights Lack Right to See Expert Reports

Pro Publica – March 29, 2017

New York State Assembly Bill 1533 does not seem to ask for terribly much: The proposed legislation would grant parents in custody proceedings the legal right to see the court-ordered expert evaluations judges use to decide the fate of thousands of families every year. No one, however, is overly optimistic the bill will become law, including its sponsor. Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein has seen the bill languish for five straight years.

OK: Prosperity Policy: What’s at stake (Opinion)

Journal Record – March 29, 2017

The Department of Human Services is one of Oklahoma’s largest and most critical state agencies. It operates a budget of over $700 million, has a 7,000-person workforce, and contracts with thousands of private providers. DHS provides care and support for the most vulnerable Oklahomans – like children who suffer neglect and abuse, individuals with developmental disabilities, and frail seniors.

OR: Child Abuse Prevention Month

Herald and News – March 29, 2017

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and various community organizations in Klamath County have joined the national movement to raise awareness and strengthen families. As part of the awareness campaign for Child Abuse Prevention Month, Susan Heitkamp, family support specialist with KLCAS said the group will promote ending child neglect and strengthening families.

PA: Paid parental leave extended to Pitt staff

Pitt News – March 30, 2017

The University of Pittsburgh announced the first paid parental leave program for staff on Wednesday, providing four consecutive weeks of paid leave to new mothers and fathers. The new benefit, which is available to benefits-eligible staff members, allows parents to take four weeks of paid leave during the 12 months following adoption, foster care or birth of a child.

PA: The lesson of the trial of former Penn State President Graham Spanier: When a child’s safety is at stake, always do more (Editorial)

Lancaster Online – March 29, 2017

Former Penn State University President Graham Spanier was convicted Friday of one misdemeanor count of child endangerment; Spanier was acquitted of two other counts. He faces up to five years in prison, and his lawyer intends to appeal.

TN: Former Department of Children’s Services Employees Sentenced for Unlawfully Accessing Confidential Information (Press release)

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee – March 29, 2017

Two Memphis women who used to work for the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS) have been found guilty and sentenced for unlawfully accessing confidential information on the Department’s computers. Lawrence J. Laurenzi, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced the sentences today.

TX: House panel hears testimony on child welfare religious liberty bill

Texas Tribune – March 29, 2017

House State Affairs Committee members heard testimony Wednesday afternoon on House Bill 3859, which would allow faith-based organizations to exercise their “sincerely held religious beliefs” when participating as providers in Texas’ child welfare system. Witnesses testifying against the bill said it could give religious groups license to use their faith as a reason to refuse to place foster children with gay couples or with families with certain religious beliefs.

Also: Faith-Based Child Welfare Providers Threaten to Stop Services if ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Doesn’t Pass:

Also: Texas House Budget Writers Send Budget To Full House With Massive Health Care Cut:

VA: Roanoke County Child Protective Services asks many questions before removing child from abusive home (Includes video)

WDBJ – March 29, 2017

At last count, more than 5,000 children in Virginia are in foster care. WDBJ7 is providing continuing coverage on this issue, including what goes into Child Protective Services’ decision to remove a child from a home.

WI: Student lands summer internship with legislator in Washington, D.C. (Press release)

University of Wisconsin – Stout – March 29, 2017

The internship program shows federal policymakers the experiences of youth in foster care so they can use their new knowledge to promote legislative change. Interns gain skills that will bolster their careers and develop the foundation to be lifelong advocates for improving the foster care system.

US: Black Women’s Roundtable Releases Annual Report

NBC News – March 29, 2017

The Black Women’s Roundtable, a national civic group, released its fourth annual report today about African-American women in the U.S., providing a “prescriptive agenda” of key political, economic, and social issues that impact the nation’s 23 million Black women, their families and communities.


US: Gymnasts testify before Congress about sex abuse claims (Video)

ABC News – March 29, 2017

Former olympians share emotional testimony.

Information Gateway resource: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect:

AR: Mayor Stewart Proclamation for Children

Newport Daily Independent – March 28, 2017

Mayor David Stewart signed a proclamation making the month of April NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT PREVENTION MONTH in Newport. Within the proclamation, Mayor Stewart noted that child abuse and neglect is a serious problem affecting every segment of our community, and finding solutions requires input and action from everyone in the community. Our children are the most valuable resources and will shape the future of Newport.

CO: Bill Could Bring Much-Needed Mental-Health Support to Child-Welfare Caseworkers

Westworld – March 29, 2017

Caseworkers face numerous challenges in their work, and child-welfare departments see high rates of burnout and turnover. Nationwide, most caseworkers don’t stay on the job more than two years. In January last year, Westword explored the child-welfare workforce in Colorado in a feature story, finding that workers often face overwhelming workloads and secondary trauma from home visits and difficult cases.


Also: Colorado Child-Welfare Caseworkers Are Often Overwhelmed, Misunderstood:

CT: Feds: ‘Systemic issues’ still hamper DCF care for foster kids

Connecticut Mirror – March 28, 2017

The Department of Children and Families often places abused or neglected youths in living situations without making a concerted effort to provide necessary supports to the youths and their caregivers. That’s the conclusion of a much-anticipated review released Tuesday by the Administration for Children and Families of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Also: Report:

FL: Foster parent recruitment goes online

TCPalm – March 28, 2017

Foster home recruitment went online earlier this month with the first of a yearlong series of social media ads designed to drive interested Facebookers to a website landing page of information and upcoming classes. The ad has reached 13,363 people in Martin and St. Lucie counties.

FL: Group takes on SIDS with sleep awareness campaign

Osceola County Reporter – March 28, 2017

A Kissimmee organization is trying to save babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, one crib at a time.

IA: Homeschool Families Share Meal, Hope for More Understanding of Homeschool Community (Includes video)

13 WHO TV – March 21, 2017

On Tuesday, hundreds of homeschool families shared a meal and pushed back at critics who say the state needs to monitor them more closely.

Also: Child Welfare Information Gateway Resource:

IL: Suit: DCFS contractor failed to monitor kids abused by caregiver

Chicago Sun-Times – March 28, 2017

A Cook County public guardian is suing a state contractor for negligence on behalf of two children who were sexually abused by a caregiver the agency was supposed to monitor.

ME: The children left behind: As one generation dies, the next one’s in peril

Portland Press Herald – March 29, 2017

When children lose parents, the onus falls upon other resources – aging grandparents and the state’s child welfare system – to care for the youngest victims of Maine’s heroin crisis.

MN: MNsure would get axe under omnibus health and human services finance bill (Press release)

Minnesota House of Representatives – March 28, 2017

Among the funding provisions are: $81,000 to allow foster children who are not wards of the state to re-enter foster care, if needed, after they turn 18.

OH: Opioid orphan grandparents ask for help (Includes video)

NewsNet 5 – March 28, 2017

In Lorain County, foster parents receive monthly checks for a daily board rate that can total more than $1000 per child. But grandparents don’t fall in the same category.

OK: DHS walking budgetary tightrope; some fear service cuts

Tahlequah Daily Press – March 29, 2017

“we are reaching a point where if we keep cutting so deep, we will get to where we are cutting into child welfare, safety and placement services. Cuts would limit options for placement.”

TX: Issuing call to action for child abuse prevention month

Greenville Herald-Banner – March 29, 2017

In Hunt County, there are currently over 200 children in the foster care system, compared to about 140 children in foster care at this time last year.

TX: Devereux hosts grand opening of renovated center

Victoria Advocate – March 28, 2017

The Devereux Community Development Center, 120 David Wade Drive, is a multiuse training center, home to Devereux’s Foster Care program.

UT: Governor Gary Herbert signs four new bills into law during visit to the Basin

Uintah Basin Standard – March 28, 2017

Van Tassell then spoke about SB0091 which details amendments to the Native American Child Welfare laws. This bill came about as a request from the seven recognized American Indian tribes in Utah, including the Ute Tribe. There are more tribal members that live off the reservation than live on it, and they became desirous to see some foster homes set up so the children could maintain their native culture of the reservation, Van Tassell said.

US: Judge throws out Arizona challenge to Indian Child Welfare Act

Navajo-Hopi Observer – March 28, 2017

In an extensive ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Neil Wake said attorneys for the Goldwater Institute had not proven that any of the children they were claiming to represent had been harmed because of the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act. And Wake said that if there is a child who may be in danger that claim can be handled by the state courts that are handling that adoption or foster care proceeding.

US: Protect Homeschooled Children from Child Savers (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – March 28, 2017

The singling out of homeschoolers is odd for other reasons as well. The children most at risk of abuse or neglect are the youngest. So the same logic behind this proposal requires that every child from birth to at least kindergarten age also be presented for periodic inspection.

Also: Protect Homeschooled Children from Maltreatment (Opinion):

US: Star gymnasts testify at Congress about sex-abuse scandal

Associated Press – March 28, 2017

Retired star gymnasts testified before Congress on Tuesday that they were sexually abused by a former USA Gymnastics doctor and recommended a bill that requires tougher sex abuse reporting for Olympic sports.


Canada: Montrealer blames Quebec government for botching international adoption (Includes audio)

Global News Canada – March 28, 2017

Quebecers who want to adopt children are often forced to look outside the province and even outside Canada. But the list of available countries for international adoption is shrinking and one woman is blaming the Quebec government for failing to develop more options.



AZ: New masterclass program invests in Arizona foster kids future (Includes video) – March 27, 2017

The Scott Foundation has been working to improve the lives of children in Arizona’s foster care system for the last decade by “emotionally teaching kids to make better choices through selfless service.” Launching this year, a new program the local nonprofit created that is truly one of a kind. It’s a four-year masterclass for teens ages 14 to 17 in the Arizona Department of Child Safety’s care.

AZ: Most federal money intended for Arizona’s poorest families goes to child-safety efforts

Arizona Daily Star – March 25, 2017

While Arizona has one of the nation’s highest child-poverty rates, federal money intended to help the poorest families is instead being spent here on foster care, adoptions and services to children who have been removed from their families.

DC: Once-missing DC teen tells her story (Includes video)

WUSA 9 – March 24, 2017

A D.C. teenager who was once classified as “missing” told WUSA9 she actually was “never missing.” “I left because I felt like my foster mother was mistreating me,” said the teen, who WUSA9 is not identifying.

Also: DC: Examining DC’s foster care system (Includes video):

Also: WATCH: DC mayor announces task force to address missing teens issue (Video):

Also: DC mayor: Number of missing kids not on rise, attention is:

Also: #MissingDCGirls: how a seldom-discussed social issue became a social media flashpoint:

Information Gateway Resource: Major Federal Legislation concerned With child Protection, child Welfare, and adoption:

FL: Move to give foster teen Keys to Independence puts Florida in spotlight (Includes video)

Orlando Sentinel – March 25, 2017

“When we started three years ago, of the roughly 2,000 kids in the state’s foster care system who were 16 to 18 years old, only about 20 of them had a driver’s license,” says Glen Casel, CEO of Community Based Care of Central Florida, the nonprofit agency that contracts with the state to manage foster care for Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. “How are you supposed to grow up and be independent if you never learn to drive?”

IA: Our View: Politics inhibiting key child welfare discussion

Daily Nonpareil – March 28, 2017

It borders on preposterous that the highly politicized atmosphere of the current Iowa Legislature is inhibiting – at least certainly seems to be inhibiting – a much-needed discussion of the circumstances that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Natalie Finn five months ago.

IL: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Chicago Daily Herald – March 27, 2017

In honor of National Child Abuse Prevention Month CASA of DuPage County, Inc. is issuing a call to action for residents and businesses of DuPage to stand against child abuse and take action to support children who have been abused or neglected.

KS: Task force on foster care in Kansas needed (Opinion)

Wichita Eagle – March 25, 2017

A state audit last year concluded the Kansas Department for Children and Families failed to ensure the safety of children in the system.

MA: Opioid crisis strains Massachusetts’ foster-care system

Associated Press – March 27, 2017

As the opioid crisis surges, a record number of parents struggling with addiction are unable to care for their children, placing more strain on an already overburdened foster care system, according to state officials. “Ideally, you’re rebuilding while your caseload remains stable,” said Maria Mossaides, head of the Office of the Child Advocate, an independent agency that monitors the state’s child welfare systems. “But we’ve been in a situation, as are I think many states, where we’re rebuilding at a time when caseload is increasing.”

NY: Auburn not-for-profit gets $44 million fed contract to help refugee children

Syracuse – March 27, 2017

The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement has awarded the Cayuga Centers a nearly $44 million grant to care for unaccompanied refugee children, the office said last week.

NY: Report ranks CPS in Monroe County among worst in NY (Includes video)

WHAM – March 27, 2017

A report released Monday shows that Child Protective Services in Monroe County is significantly below average compared to other counties in New York. According to the New York State Office of Child & Family Services, Monroe County ranked No. 54 out of 64 counties in overdue investigations.

Also: Report: Monroe County CPS Receives Rough Feedback from State:

Also: Report: Monroe Co. CPS ranks ‘significantly below average’ in several categories:

OR: Children left in unsafe homes by Oregon social workers nearly half the time, report says

Oregonian – March 28, 2017

Oregon’s child welfare system leaves children in danger because workers routinely miss or ignore threats to kids’ safety, according to an internal state report made public Monday.


PA: Defunding Legal Services Corp. would have ‘dramatic’ impact in Pa.

Legal Intelligencer – March 28, 2017

Cases that might normally have been handled elsewhere – such as landlord/tenant cases, family law cases – won’t be. That will have an effect on parents and families and will result in more kids winding up in the child welfare system.

SC: Church, group homes get innovative to address foster care needs

Greenville Online – March 25, 2017

The routine visits around Greenville are one of many tools that Dendy, the director of foster home recruiting and licensing for Thornwell Homes for Children, and the staff at the state Department of Social Services, are employing to find more families to care for children in need. Foster care in South Carolina is in a crisis with the demand for housing outstripping availability more than two to one, local agencies who oversee foster care programs say.

TX: What Happens If Mom and Dad Get Deported?

Texas Observer – March 27, 2017

They would sign a form giving Hoff power of attorney over Tercero’s children. The form would go into effect immediately, but it would only be needed if Tercero, who is undocumented, were deported. The paperwork would be “difficult to sign,” said Tercero. “But you’re protecting your children so that CPS (Child Protective Services) doesn’t take them. My biggest fear is that they’ll be adopted.”

WA: ‘I really want him to have a different life.’ How some female inmates are raising babies behind bars (Includes video)

Tacoma News Tribune – March 25, 2017

It’s October, and Aceyn and Ezra will soon turn 1 year old inside the Washington Corrections Center for Women, where they’ve lived since they were born.

WI: Agency grapples with foster parent retention

Fond du Lac Reporter – March 27, 2017

At any given time, there are approximately 7,000 children in the foster care system in Wisconsin. Pillar & Vine currently has 22 licensed foster homes with 33 children placed in these homes, according to Jaber-Wilson. Addressing the shortage means figuring out a way to retain and attract foster parents. According to the National Commission on Family and Foster Care, 30 to 60 percent of foster parents quit fostering within their first year. Pillar & Vine believes part of the issue has to do with social workers and agencies treating foster parents as “glorified babysitters.”

Information Gateway resource: Preparing and Supporting Foster Parents Who Adopt:

WI: La Crosse County aims to tackle childhood trauma within foster care system (Includes video)

WXOW TV – March 27, 2017

Building on the momentum of sharing her message during Gov. Scott Walker’s 2017 State of the State Address, first lady Tonnette Walker is continuing to promote her initiative “Fostering Futures.” The idea behind the program is to aim to understand the effects of trauma in childhood and ask what happened to a child rather than what’s wrong with them.

WI: Pinwheels to remind of child abuse, prevention

Beloit Daily News – March 25, 2017

Three thousand pinwheels will be planted on the Rock County Courthouse lawn to represent the number of child abuse reports in Rock County each year.

US: Detention and Deportation Will Open Foster Care Floodgates (Opinion) (Requires free registration)

Connecticut Law Tribune – March 27, 2017

If President Trump follows through on his campaign promise to deport as many as 2 million to 3 million undocumented immigrants, we know that many of those being deported will be parents of children born in the United States. Consequently, child welfare advocates fear that the surge will prompt a spike in foster care admissions for those children left “abandoned.”


Romania: ‘I’d never seen anything like the suffering of children in Romania’

Evening Standard (UK) – March 27, 2017

The head of a London charity that helps vulnerable youngsters in Romania has said more “must be done”, more than two decades after she started her work.

CA: Child welfare project, additional facility funds on Butte supervisors agenda

Chico Enterprise Record – March 26, 2017

The Butte County Board of Supervisors may consider exiting a child welfare state project Tuesday and approving nearly $300,000 in “urgent” funds for some facilities in Chico and Oroville. The Social Services Department would like to exit from the Title IV-E Child Welfare Waiver Demonstration Project because of capped federal funds making the agreement more costly than the county agreed upon. Previously, the agreement was cost neutral, according to the staff report, but in 2015-2016, the project cost the county an unexpected $1.4 million more than allotted, “due to unanticipated increases in foster care assistance and administrative costs.

CA: Yolo DA receives grant funds to improve child abuse reporting system

Davis Enterprise – March 25, 2017

The California Office of Emergency Services has awarded the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office a three-year $750,000 grant to develop a computer system that will help protect child abuse victims.

CA: Update on Office of Refugee Resettlement Placement in Yolo County (Press release)

Yolo County Dept. of Health Services – March 24, 2017

The County of Yolo provides the following update in the matter of a 14-year-old Honduran child identified as G.E. in San Francisco Chronicle articles published on March 5 and 12. Media reports indicate that the child has been detained by the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility. Those reports also indicate that the child received asylum on January 10, 2017. While ORR also operates a program for children with asylee status (the Unaccompanied Refugee Minor program) that provides housing and care for such children, Yolo County understands that participation in that program is limited and entirely within ORR’s discretion.

CO: Social Services embraces family-friendly model for Moffat County

Craig Daily Press – March 25, 2017

Known as Differential Response, Moffat County became the 24th county in the state to formally adopt the new system when it went live this week.

CO: Lawmakers pitch fix for child welfare caseworker crisis (Includes video)

Coloradoan – March 24, 2017

he state task force, proposed in a House bill introduced this year in the Colorado Legislature, would focus on “workforce resiliency” programs that combat the secondary trauma experienced by caseworkers when they deal with violent and traumatic situations. Programs would include peer-to-peer meetings, mentorship and mental health services, among other things.

CO: Northwest Colorado Health: Program helps families build parenting skills

Craig Daily Press – March 24, 2017

April Anthony is Women and Family Program Manager at Northwest Colorado Health. She oversees programs aimed at supporting young families who are facing challenges with education and tools to help them build healthy futures. “Parenting doesn’t come with an instruction manual,” she said. “We have some tips and tools that work, and we are happy to share those to help families in their journey.”

CT: OPIOID CRISIS: How Did Connecticut Get Here?

Greenwich Patch – March 26, 2017

You have to be living under a rock to not know that we have an opioid crisis not only in Connecticut, but across the entire country. But just how did this crisis start. There is a general consensus in the medical community that the seed for the crisis started three decades ago when the World Health Organization identified “inadequate treatment for pain a serious public health concern” and encouraged physicians to prescribe opioid analgesics for cancer patients.

DC: Large percentage of missing teens voluntarily leave home and are located soon after, DC Police say

Fox 5 DC – March 23, 2017

“It is a critical issue, however, the teens have not just vanished,” said D.C. Police Youth and Family Services Commander, Chanel Dickerson, when she visited FOX 5 on Thursday, a day after a town hall meeting to discuss missing children cases in the District. “A large number of our missing teens voluntarily leave home and they’re found or located within a short time.”

DE: The frontline of child abuse in Delaware

Delaware Online – March 24, 2017

To make real progress, those in the trenches call for statewide action – more funding for organizations working directly with abused children; increased recognition of child abuse among all citizens through training programs run by schools, the Beau Biden Foundation and others; and better parenting skills achieved through counseling and classes.

FL: Inspiring Okeechobee: Healthy Families Florida, Small staff, mighty warriors

Okeechobee News – March 26, 2017

In a small, nondescript office building, great things are being done for families in our community. They are preventing child abuse one family at a time. In fact, most days, they don’t spend much time in the office at all. This program is Healthy Families Florida, which is a part of Helping People Succeed, whose main office is in Martin County. In July 2007, Healthy Families Florida, expanded to Okeechobee County.

FL: DFCS, churches working to recruit foster parents

Gainesville Times – March 24, 2017

Climbing higher and higher, the number of Hall County children in foster care reached 250 in February, Division of Family and Children Services foster care administrator Lindsey Bray said. “Substance abuse has always been a huge issue in our community, and I feel like it continues to go on the rise,” she said. With 23 DFCS homes and another 10 in the works, Bray and DFCS are looking to the local church community and other faith-based groups to bolster recruitment efforts.

FL: More students counted as homeless in high-cost Collier County

Naples Daily News – March 24, 2017

The toughest finding for coalition board members is the escalating number of homeless children, which rose more than 47 percent to 881 kids this year. Last year there were 597 kids without a home.

GA: Senate urged to move on ‘clean’ adoption bill

Brunswick News – March 25, 2017

“It touches tens of thousands of Georgians in an infinitely varied way, particularly in relation to the children we have responsibility for – the foster-care children that we have to care for,” Oliver said. “In my long practice of adoption, I’ve seen significant and dramatic and positive changes. And the legislation that’s brought forward in House Bill 159 respects those positive changes.”

IA: 2 abuse cases, 2 very different responses by Iowa lawmakers

Associated Press – March 26, 2017

The death of a 16-year-old Iowa girl has led to finger-pointing at the Legislature, and it’s an indication of how much has changed in the 17 years since the death of another child prompted a bipartisan inquiry and passage of legislation to protect children from abuse.

IA: Editorial: Help support services for homeless youth

Iowa State Daily – March 23, 2017

For many of us, homelessness is not something we have dealt with or will ever have to deal with. Yet, it is still an issue that faces our nation, our state and our community – and specifically affects American children. Youth between the ages of 12 and 17 are more at risk for homelessness than adults, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Also: NCSL: Homeless and Runaway Youth:

IN: Agency issues call for foster homes

Journal Review – March 25, 2017

With demand for placements outpacing the number of available qualified homes, Benchmark is looking for more foster homes to license. As many as 40 referrals from Murphy’s seven-county region land on her desk in a given week, but only a few children usually can be placed.

KY: Close loophole on reporting child abuse (Opinion)

Harlan Daily Enterprise – March 24, 2017

Under Kentucky law, any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused is required to report it. But the law allows such reports to be made to local police, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentucky State Police or a county or commonwealth’s attorney. As uncovered by Courier-Journal reporters Phillip M. Bailey and Wolfson, the law doesn’t explicitly require a police department that learns of an abuse allegation against one of its own to report it to another authority specified in the law.

KY: Opening secret files to help prevent ‘a mother’s worst nightmare’

Lexington Herald-Leader – March 24, 2017

To protect children from the people who are paid to care for them, the General Assembly this month passed a bill that will crack open confidential files at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services for prospective employers.

MN: Minors crossing to U.S. find help in Minnesota courts, but worry about changes

Star Tribune – March 27, 2017

A 16-year-old Elder Leiva crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in late 2014, unsure of what awaited him beyond the Rio Grande. Even as he settled with an aunt in Minnesota and enrolled in high school, one all-important question lingered: Would he get to stay? For many of the 1,000 Central American unaccompanied minors who’ve joined relatives in this state since 2014, the answer to that question has been yes. Some won asylum. Many more obtained legal status through a visa program for abused and abandoned children that involves appealing to local courts. A major increase in applications for that program has led to an unprecedented backlog.

MN: Hennepin County readies for $13 million child protection overhaul

Star Tribune – March 25, 2017

A year after stepping into the county’s top human services role, Jennifer DeCubellis is leading the most dramatic reform of the child protection system in Minnesota.

NH: Lawmakers Weigh Improving Protections For At-Risk Kids

New Hampshire Public Radio – March 24, 2017

New Hampshire lawmakers met Friday to discuss policy changes to better protect at-risk kids. The effort comes on the heels of an outside review that faulted the state’s child protection agency.

NY: Proposal Could Reduce Homelessness Statewide (Includes audio)

Public News Service – March 27, 2017

Advocates for the homeless are supporting a proposal called the Home Stability Support program, which they say could drastically reduce and prevent homelessness in New York state. The New York City Comptroller estimated the plan could reduce the city’s shelter population by 80 percent for families with children and 60 percent for adult families over ten years.

OH: State launches $3.5M program to help children of opioid addicts

Becker’s Hospital Review – March 24, 2017

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced the launch of a pilot program to help families damaged by parental opioid abuse on Wednesday. The START program – Sobriety, Treatment, and Reducing Trauma – will provide families dealing with parental opioid abuse access to services like intensive trauma counseling for children and drug treatment for parents.

Also: News from Ohio Attorney General’s office:

OK: Lawmakers concerned cuts could lead to federal takeover

Enid News and Eagle – March 24, 2017

Concerns are mounting that the Legislature’s ongoing budget woes could lead to a new court showdown and trigger a possible federal takeover of the state’s foster care system.

Also: DHS director warns of potential ‘unthinkable’ cuts:

OR: Legislative report: Pole truck permits, Bill of Rights for siblings of foster children

South County Spotlight – March 25, 2017

Oregon statute currently spells out a Bill of Rights for both children and parents in the foster care system. Last week we passed a Bill of Rights for siblings as well.

Information Gateway resource: Frequently Asked Questions for Youth:

RI: Child advocate report says notification law has been ignored by DCYF

Providence Journal – March 26, 2017

A law passed last year requiring the state to notify the public whenever a child who is the subject of a case at the Department of Children, Youth and Families dies or suffers a “near-fatality” has been ignored, according to a report commissioned by state Child Advocate Jennifer Griffith.


SC: Parents rights not being respected by DSS, advocates say

Greenville News – March 25, 2017

When the Ingrams showed up in court to proceed with the private adoption, lawyers for the South Carolina Department of Social Services showed up, too. They argued that even though the mother’s parental rights had not been terminated, she couldn’t consent to an adoption because she didn’t have physical and legal custody of the child, Trey Ingram said.

TN: Court Halts Solitary Confinement of Juveniles in TN County (Includes audio)

Public News Service – March 27, 2017

Tennessee counties may be reconsidering their use of solitary confinement for juveniles after a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Rutherford County from subjecting youths to isolation cells. The ruling comes as a result of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 15-year-old detainee who was held in confinement for five days. His attorney, Mark Downton, questioned what would happen if a parent inflicted a similar punishment.

TX: Next religious liberty fight could be over foster care

Longview News-Journal – March 24, 2017

You can’t talk about religious liberty in Texas without mentioning Lester Roloff. In the 1970s, Roloff, a Baptist preacher, was known for his homes for teenagers in Corpus Christi. A 1973 legislative report on child care in the state said members heard testimony from children previously in Roloff’s Rebekah Home for Girls about irregular meals and whippings. Roloff told lawmakers his homesshould be exempted from state interference due to his religious roots.

US: AAP issues policy statement on children in kinship care

2 Minute Medicine – March 27, 2017

There is growing evidence that children unable to live with their biological parents fare better when living with extended family rather than nonrelated foster parents. In fact, the number of children who live with relatives other than their biological parents has been increasing over the years, with substance abuse and neglect as top reasons why children are removed from their parents’ care.

AAP Statement:

US: Families Fear Federal Budget Cuts Could Make It Harder To Adopt Children (Includes video)

KSTP – March 24, 2017

Specifically, they point to the adoption tax credit, which Republican lawmakers have said is on the chopping block. Introduced in the 1990s to encourage adoption, it can provide middle-class families with upwards of $13,000 to help pay expenses.

US: How Robots Could Help Police Interview Kids Involved In Child Abuse Cases

Romper – March 23, 2017

Children can be very susceptible to suggestion and often struggle to understand that they aren’t in trouble themselves, according to resources from the Child Welfare Information Gateway. Because of this, they may be reluctant to talk to an adult (who they don’t know) and share intimate details about any abuse they’ve experienced (which, often times, they’ve been explicitly instructed not to discuss). For investigators, getting information that is usable in court is essential to taking a child abuse case to trial. Getting misinformation, or coerced responses, isn’t just dangerous for the child, but could also lead to a false conviction of an innocent party, according to New Scientist. The researchers thought that using robots would address both the issues of neutrality (because they lack any emotional involvement in the case) and may also be less threatening to children.

US: Kids Who Suffer Hunger In First Years Lag Behind Their Peers In School

National Public Radio – March 23, 2017

When infants and young kids grow up in homes without enough to eat, they’re more likely to perform poorly in kindergarten, a study shows. The younger they experienced hunger, the stronger the effect.

Also: Household Food Security in the United States in 2015:

US: Protect Homeschooled Children from Maltreatment (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – March 23, 2017

About 1.8 million children, or 3.4 percent of the school-aged population, were homeschooled in America in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. Clearly most of their parents are not abusive and want to provide the best education for their children, often at great personal sacrifice. Nevertheless, the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE) has collected nearly 400 cases of severe or fatal child abuse in homeschool settings. Many of the families had a history of past child abuse reports and child welfare involvement, according to CRHE Executive Director Rachel Coleman’s testimony before Iowa’s Government Oversight Committee.


Canada: Government tells human rights tribunal that is has complied with ruling to stop discriminating against First Nation children (Includes video)

APTN National News – March 24, 2017

The federal government told the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal that it is complying with a ruling that ordered it to stop discriminating against First Nations children on reserves. The ruling came out Jan. 2016 after a nine year battle to try and get Canada to spend as much on First Nation child welfare services as provinces spend off reserve.

China: Adoption law needs reform (Opinion) – March 25, 2017

Helping every child born in China survive and grow up healthily is a common wish of all Chinese people. However, the current adoption law which contains a number of problems has already become a stumbling block.

India: Child adoption: relevant & contextual policy required

Morung Express – March 26, 2017

Taking care of one’s own child and an adopted child are two completely different matters. As tragic as this attitude may be, it has come to fore with problems related to child adoption rising in Nagaland State. Non-adherence to law as well as the lack of a Nagaland State child adoption policy that is “relevant, contextual and culturally friendly” has led to wide lapses in ensuring child rights in Nagaland leading to increased destitution among children.


AK: Child welfare review sensible: Panel’s look into OCS claims shows importance of accountability (Editorial)

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – March 24, 2017

Child welfare review sensible: Panel’s look into OCS claims shows importance of accountability.

CA: Pittsburg Unified School District Recognized by California Department of Education for Outstanding School Attendance Review Board (SARB) (Press release)

PRWeb – March 24, 2017

Pittsburg Unified School District’s SARB program is aimed at helping students and parents receive resources needed to assist children with attending school on-time in a daily manner. Comprised of dozens of members, the SARB includes Pittsburg business owners, Deputy District Attorney of Contra Costa County, ministers, an army sergeant, Pittsburg police officers, foster parents, after school coordinator, NAACP members, mentors, parent coordinators, school counselors, child welfare advocates, and many additional school district employees.

FL: Bill will help foster children get driver’s licenses

Associated Press – March 23, 2017

Children in foster care would get help obtaining a driver’s license and auto insurance under a bill unanimously passed by the Senate. The bill passed Thursday would make permanent a pilot program that began in 2014. The program reimburses foster parents or children for driver’s education, license fees and insurance.

Also: Youth in Child Welfare System Score Win as Senator Bean’s SB 60 Passes Florida Senate (Press release):

GU: Judiciary plan aims to reduce juvenile detention

Guam Daily Post – March 24, 2017

The judiciary launched a juvenile justice reform initiative in 2014 to work on reducing Guam’s juvenile crime and recidivism rates, or repeat offense rates. The judiciary took a look at new ways to reduce the justice system’s reliance on detention. The evidence shows that juveniles or youth who spend time in youth detention facilities have a higher chance of repeating an offense.

IA: GOP lawmaker seeks probe of Iowa agency after girl’s death

Associated Press – March 23, 2017

Iowa lawmakers should look into how the state handles child protective services following the October death of a 16-year-old girl who was allegedly starved, a key Republican lawmaker said Thursday in announcing a legislative investigation.

Also: House Panel to investigate child welfare system:

MI: Schuette releases 2016 Human Trafficking Commission Report

TV 6 – March 22, 2017

Created by reallocating resources in the Attorney General’s Criminal Division, Schuette’s Human Trafficking Unit has placed an increased focus on combating human trafficking in Michigan, a priority Schuette identified upon taking office. The unit works closely with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to uncover and prosecute cases of modern-day slavery involving both children and adults.

Also: New legislation aims to help victims of human trafficking:


MO: In St. Louis, a push for greater awareness of human trafficking’s toll

St. Louis Public Radio – March 22, 2017

Statistics on human trafficking are hard to come by. But 135 cases of human trafficking in Missouri were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year. The majority of calls were made by a community member or victim of trafficking.

MT: Foster child numbers growing in Billings (Includes video)

KTMF – March 23, 2017

Proposed House Bill 517 would require a plan to be made by August 2018 that would set goals and strategies for lowering child abuse and neglect in Montana.

ND: Supreme Court justice urges legislators to study ND juvenile court system

Bismarck Tribune – March 22, 2017

Court officials are urging lawmakers to approve what they called a long-overdue interim study of the state’s juvenile court system. The proposal follows a study conducted over the past interim on the adult correctional system. “Early contact by children with the juvenile court system does not necessarily improve their chances of keeping them out of the justice system as adults,” North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Lisa Fair McEvers said.

NE: Child welfare bill advances to second round debate

Lincoln Journal Star – March 23, 2017

A bill that would extend statewide a pilot method of responding to child welfare reports advanced Thursday to a second round of consideration. Alternative response provides wrap-around resources for families who need help, and can prevent more expensive interventions, such as removing a child from the home or termination of parental rights. Both of those actions can be traumatic to the child.

NM: Martinez freezes hiring for many state departments

Santa Fe New Mexican – March 23, 2017

Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday ordered a hiring freeze for most departments under her control, even as the state government’s budget outlook brightened. State Personnel Director Justin Najaka issued a memo telling Cabinet secretaries and agency directors to cancel most recruitment. Exceptions exist for jobs in public safety, law enforcement, health and child welfare, as well as for tax collectors and wildland firefighters.

NY: Schenectady County Sees Drugmakers At Fault In Opioid Crisis (Includes audio)

WAMC – March 23, 2017

With social services stressed and law enforcement often overwhelmed, a growing number of counties in New York are choosing to bring legal action against manufacturers of prescription opioids as they grapple with the addiction crisis.

OH: Some of the youngest opioid victims are curious toddlers

Associated Press – March 23, 2017

No matter how it happens, if a 35-pound toddler grabs just one opioid pill, chews it and releases the full concentration of a time-released adult drug into their small bodies, death can come swiftly. These are some of the youngest victims of the nation’s opioid epidemic – children under age 5 who die after swallowing opioids. The number of children’s deaths is still small relative to the overall toll from opioids, but toddler fatalities have climbed steadily over the last 10 years.

OK: DHS identifies cuts ‘from the terrible to the unthinkable’ in potential 14 percent budget reduction

Tulsa World – March 24, 2017

Oklahoma Department of Human Services officials notified employees on Wednesday how a potential 14 percent budget cut would affect the agency. “The reduction scenarios at almost every level depicted can be accurately described as ranging from the terrible to the unthinkable,” DHS Director Ed Lake said in a letter sent to employees. “The point has come where real people – very vulnerable adults and children – will lose basic and high-skilled services that keep them in their own homes or communities, or worse, lose protections that keep them safe.”

OK: Foster care bill passes OK Senate

KFOR – March 23, 2017

Senate Bill 727, which proposes several improvements within the state’s foster care system, has unanimous passed the Senate.

Information Gateway resource: Achieving a Continuum of Care for Children and Youth in Foster Care:

PA: Editorial: Putting children first is right approach in adoption process

Tribune-Democrat – March 24, 2017

Currently in Pennsylvania, about 2,500 children are waiting to be adopted. But members of the state House say the adoption process is too difficult, so they passed six bills that would streamline the procedure. The measures, which await Senate approval, would “tighten the screws on parents to benefit the child,” said Frank Cervone, executive director of Support Center for Child Advocates.

RI: Scathing report calls for overhaul of RI’s child welfare services (Includes video)

WPRI – March 23, 2017

A report released Thursday by the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) suggests the state of Rhode Island is not doing enough to protect at-risk children. Upon analyzing the cases of four recent child fatalities and two near fatalities, the agency highlighted the need for drastic reform at the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).


SC: New CEO selected to lead Palmetto Association for Children and Families (Press release)

Palmetto Association – March 22, 2017

“PAFCAF’s mission is to unite the agencies and organizations that serve children in South Carolina to exchange knowledge, gain new ideas and be strong advocates for our children,” said PAFCAF Board President Robert Kimberly. “We needed someone with a proven track record of successfully bringing everyone together to serve South Carolina’s children and families. Erin Hall is the perfect person for that job.”

TX: Religious Groups See Potential Restrictions As A Barrier To Taking A Role In The Foster Care System (Includes audio)

KUTRadio – March 24, 2017

Reform of the Texas foster care system has been an elusive goal for state lawmakers. A federal judge ruled the system unconstitutional and “broken” two years ago. One proposal that has received support in the current legislative session would have the state contract with religious organizations and other non-profits to provide care for foster children. But the idea has received pushback from some of the religious groups themselves.

WI: Foster parents needed to keep kids near home (Includes video)

Stevens Point Journal – March 23, 2017

The Wisconsin foster system is in need of more good homes to house children who can’t live with their birth parents temporarily, because of crimes the parents may have committed such as abuse or neglect, or other reasons such as the parents are incarcerated or the children are disabled.


Canada: Advocates once again push federal government to comply with First Nations child welfare ruling

CBC News – March 23, 2017

First Nations child advocates are before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in Ottawa again this week, trying to force the federal government to abide by an order to provide equitable funding for child and family services on reserves.

Also: Human rights hearing on Ottawa’s First Nation child welfare failures begins:

Also: Federal government defends itself at the Canadian Human Rights:

Canada: Troubled Manitoba FN child welfare agency enters into co-management agreement

APTN National News – March 23, 2017

A Manitoba child welfare agency plunged into turmoil after the political intervention of First Nation chiefs is now being co-managed by its umbrella organization. The First Nations of Northern Manitoba Child and Family Services Authority-known as the Northern Authority-announced Thursday it entered into a co-management agreement with Island Lake First Nations Family Services.

Hungary: Law risks exposing migrant children to sex abuse: watchdog

Reuters – March 24, 2017

Hungary’s new law to detain migrants in transit zones on its southern border will put children on the move at risk of exposure to sexual abuse, the watchdog Council of Europe said on Friday in a letter to Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Hungary passed a law earlier this month to detain migrants in camps on its border with Serbia, a step which the United Nations said violates European Union law and will have a “terrible physical and psychological impact” on asylum seekers.

International: Vatican reform on sexual abuse has stalled

Catholic Culture – March 22, 2017

Three weeks have passed since Marie Collins resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), complaining that the group’s work has been thwarted by resistance from within the Roman Curia. A few days after her public announcement, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF)-which was the main target of Collins’ criticism- defended his office and denied any foot-dragging on the abuse issue. Collins quickly shot back, rebutting the cardinal’s arguments. Since, then, silence.


FL: Crisis center redo begins new CEO’s tenure at Centerstone of Florida

Bradenton Herald – March 22, 2017

Melissa Larkin-Skinner began her new career as Centerstone of Florida’s new chief executive officer Wednesday by taking charge of a $3 million expansion of the Crisis Stabilization Center at Centerstone’s Behavioral Hospital & Addiction Center.

FL: Foster homes needed in Flagler, Volusia counties

Flagler County Reporter – March 22, 2017

More than 1,000 children in three Central Florida counties are in need of a home, and a Daytona Beach-based agency is asking for people to become foster parents.

GA: Inside Shepherd’s Hill, The Christian Academy With A History Of Alleged Abuse

Establishment – March 22, 2017

Licensed for a capacity of no more than 36 students, SHA is intended for teens who are “troubled,” the word the academy uses to describe those with ADD, ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, reactive attachment disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, Asperger’s syndrome, anger management, and generally rebellious behavior. Embry believes the demonic forces operating within contemporary video games and pop music, and in the media at large, are the root cause of many of the mental and behavioral health issues affecting today’s teenagers. Students at the academy are intentionally isolated from society and undergo a mandatory media and technology fast.

Also: Part 2:

KS: KU Coach Bill Self Partners with KVC Health Systems to Help Children (Press release) (Includes video)

PRWeb – March 22, 2017

College basketball surges to its peak during the March Madness NCAA tournament, but KU Coach Bill Self still makes time for recruiting – that is, recruiting people to be foster parents. Through a televised spot, Coach Self is inviting adults to open their hearts and homes to children who are in foster care due to abuse, neglect and other family challenges.

MN: County to close mental health clinic

Winona Post – March 22, 2017

As part of an ongoing effort to reduce spending on the county’s community services department, Winona County will close a county-run medication management clinic that helps citizens with significant mental health problems stay on-track with their medications.The Winona County Community Services Department includes child protection, welfare, and public health programs.

MO: CPS weighs homeless student policy changes

Colombia Daily Tribune – March 21, 2017

The Columbia Board of Education will vote next month on a policy meant to make it easier for homeless students to attend school. Superintendent says 212 were in the district last year.

MT: New Advocates Step In to Improve Lives

Courier – March 22, 2017

Even with the addition of Buchheit and Kirkland, CASA advocates are still needed in Valley County. The number of CASAs available are low compared to the number of children in the community who need their voices heard. With these additions, headway has been made, however more people like Kirkland and Buchheit are needed.

NC: Investigation Results in Reorganization of DSS Social Work Staff

Pilot – March 22, 2017

The interim county social services director told the agency’s board Wednesday afternoon that she has implemented a reorganization of its social work staff in a move to bring caseload sizes inline with state standards.

NM: Fate of child abuse bills frustrates New Mexico official

Associated Press – March 22, 2017

The head of New Mexico’s child welfare agency is frustrated that a string of measures aimed at closing loopholes and toughening penalties for those convicted of child abuse and similar crimes failed to reach Gov. Susana Martinez’s desk.

NY: Harder for Homeless to Enter N.Y.C. Shelters, Report Finds

New York Times – March 21, 2017

More homeless families are being denied permanent shelter in New York City, and many are being forced to reapply multiple times before the city finds them eligible to enter the system – two trends that burden already fragile families, according to a new report by the Coalition for the Homeless.

OH: Attorney General DeWine releases plan to help children of drug addicts (Includes video)

WKEF/WRGT – March 22, 2017

Ohio Attorney General released details of a plan to help the children of drug addicts March 22. He announced the creation of a $3.9 million program that will help families where the kids have been hurt by their parent’s addictions to painkillers and heroin.

Also: Attorney General DeWine Announces Pilot Program for Families Harmed by Parental Opioid Abuse:

Also: State money will help children victimized by drug crisis:

Also: 14 Ohio counties to receive $3.6M for child services programs strained by opioid epidemic:

Also: Ohio START program to help kids, families victimized by parents’ heroin use:

PA: Former administrators testify at trial of ex-Penn State president (Includes video)

WHTM – March 22, 2017

Two former Penn State administrators say they should have done more following a 2001 complaint that Jerry Sandusky was seen with a boy in a team shower. Former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz testified Wednesday at the trial of ex-university president Graham Spanier.

Also: Ex-Penn State athletic director: ‘I should have done more’ to stop Sandusky:

Also: Witness says he thought Sandusky was reported (Includes video):

Also: Prosecution Rests in Trial of Former PSU President Spanier:

TX: $106B Texas budget set for floor vote

Longview News-Journal – March 22, 2017

The Texas Senate’s proposed $106.3 billion state budget is set for a floor vote next week – but it’s already being blasted by the Republican head of the House. Adopted Wednesday by the Senate Finance Committee, the budget features no extra funding for public schools but continues spending $800 million on border security and puts more dollars into the state’s beleaguered child welfare system.

TX: State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwest Texas

Statesman – March 22, 2017

A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwest Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by the wife of the former inspector general.–regional/state-freezes-bid-privatize-foster-care-northwest-texas/WNXe2RzXJM5KS3O4PwK5hN/

WA: Babies of Homelessness: The mission to help kids in Seattle

My Northwest – March 21, 2017

It’s impossible to hear the stories of Seattle’s homeless babies and not be touched by them. But one Ron and Don listener is taking the next step. Star Lalario is making it her mission to help the youngest victims of the homeless crisis through her new nonprofit Babies of Homelessness.

US: Goodlatte Statement at Markup of the Child Protection Improvements Act (Press release)

U.S. House Judiciary Committee – March 22, 2017

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today delivered the following remarks during the House Judiciary Committee’s markup of the Child Protection Improvements Act of 2017 (H.R. 695).

US: Heitkamp, Murkowski, McCollum, Cole Urge President and Key Administration Leaders to Prioritize Commission on Native Children, Appoint Members (Press release)

Office of U.S. Senator for Alaska Lisa Murkowski – March 22, 2017

U.S. Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) as well as Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) today reinforced the need to comprehensively tackle challenges facing Native American children by urging the president and key members of his administration to quickly appoint the members needed to their Commission on Native Children so it can begin its important work. The bill creating the Commission – which Heitkamp, Murkowski, McCollum, and Cole introduced – became law last fall, and will work to address complex issues facing Native children – including poverty, substance abuse, and domestic violence – and offer real solutions to address them.

US: Health and behavior problems can linger after child abuse

Reuters – March 20, 2017

Children who have suffered from abuse or neglect may have physical or behavioral health problems even after the mistreatment stops, new guidelines for pediatricians emphasize.

US: Helping Our Homeless Students

Huffington Post – March 20, 2017

Efforts are underway to bring the challenge and opportunity of student homelessness to light and to bolster efforts by communities, states and the nation to do more about it. Schools turn out to be critical access points to identify and support homeless students and help connect them to a wide range of resources they need inside and beyond school walls.

Information Gateway resource: Education Services:


China: Nationwide inspection of foster care services

SINA English – March 22, 2017

The Ministry of Civil Affairs has issued an urgent circular ordering nationwide inspections of government foster care services? including those outsourced to the private sector.

France: The horrible living conditions in Paris’ shelters for unaccompanied minors

Observers – March 22, 2017

While waiting for their asylum claims to be processed, unaccompanied minors in the French capital are often housed in deplorable conditions, in filthy, dingy shelters rank with bed bugs. Our Observer is working to document these terrible living conditions.

Germany: Criticized by UNICEF over treatment of child refugees, after accepting 350,000

Russia Today – March 21, 2017

A new report produced by the German branch of UNICEF criticizes the government for providing insufficient quality housing and schooling for the record-breaking number of minors it has accepted since 2015. “Compared to many other countries in the European Union, Germany has invested a lot in hosting the refugees in the last two years,” Sebastian Sedlmayr, head of children’s rights and education at UNICEF Germany, told Deutsche Welle. “But it’s important to flag that there are still some shortcomings.”

India: Campaign to change thinking on child marriage in Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur

New Indian Express – March 22, 2017

The awareness campaign against the social evil is being organised in a big way in different parts of the district by involving staff of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Anganwadi workers and helpers, women’s rights activists and Non-Governmental Organisations.

India: Couples prefer girls to boys for adoption

New Indian Express – March 21, 2017

People who are coming forward to adopt children in Krishna district are preferring girls to boys. According to records of the Child Protection Cell, Krishna district, the girl child adoptions are almost double the number of boys.


AK: Panel considering Office of Children’s Services investigation (Includes video)

KTVF – March 20, 2017

During its March 7th meeting, the Alaska Citizen Review Panel considered recommendations from the Anchorage grand jury to investigate and determine if the Office of Children’s Services is complying with its statutory duties. The action was in response to a request from Representative Tammie Wilson of North Pole. The panel received all materials submitted by Rep. Wilson to the grand jury.

AZ: Proposed Bill Requires Training For Arizona Foster Parents

KJZZ – March 21, 2017

House Bill 2476 requires more intensive trauma education. The bill, requires three hours of trauma-care training for every foster parent and employee of a child-welfare agency who has contact with a child placed by the agency.

CA: Immigrants prepare for a day when another might have to care for their children (Includes audio)

Southern California Public Radio – March 21, 2017

Since January, Salazar and his colleagues at the labor federation – an umbrella group for 95 unions in Orange County – have helped several hundred immigrant families complete powers of attorney documents designating someone to look after their affairs in case they’re detained by immigration authorities or deported.

CA: Will criminal charges against 4 social workers improve LA’s child welfare system? (Audio)

Southern California Public Radio – March 21, 2017

Take Two talks with Richard Gelles, professor of social policy at the University of Pennsylvania and author of, “Out of Harm’s Way: Creating an Effective Child Welfare System.”

ID: Front Porch: Parma School District to receive Pinwheel Award

Idaho Press – March 22, 2017

The award is part of the 2017 Strengthening Families Training Institute by the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, the state affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America.

ID: State Senate kills only legislation of the year on controversial faith-healing exemption

Spokesman-Review – March 21, 2017

The bill proposed a series of changes to Idaho’s existing faith-healing exemption from civil liability for child neglect, but made no changes in the state’s criminal laws, which include a religious exemption from prosecution for faith-healing parents.

ID: State to pay $1.87M to 4 kids sexually abused at day care (Includes video)

King5 – March 21, 2017

A 2004 memo from an Idaho child welfare worker said Boise police would not investigate Moore’s son Dakota Wilson, now 18, unless there were allegations of adult on child sex abuse, not child on child abuse.

IL: Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Danny Davis Introduce New Legislation: Illinois Children Traumatized

Chicago Defender – March 21, 2017

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and U.S. Representative Danny Davis on Monday unveiled the Trauma Informed Care for Children and Families Act, which is designed to address the toxic stress and trauma that impacts many children from Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods.

KS: Committee Votes to Establish Foster Care Task Force (Includes audio)

Kansas Public Radio – March 21, 2017

A Kansas House committee voted without dissent today (TUE) to establish a new task force to improve the state’s foster care system. Foster parents, law enforcement, and court officials have all been testifying that they struggle to get information and services for children in state custody. That, plus high caseloads and turnover among social workers has meant that more Kansas children are waiting to go home or be adopted.

Also: Legislators Seek Plan For Improvements To Kansas Foster Care System:

MN: More insurance protection sought for foster families

Minnesota House of Representatives – March 21, 2017

Children traumatized from neglect and abuse bring a range of survival mechanisms with them into a foster home, some of which can be incredibly destructive, Rep. Peggy Bennett (R-Albert Lea) told the House Health and Human Services Finance Committee Tuesday. HF986, sponsored by Bennett, would expand state insurance coverage for foster home providers in order to cover property damage caused by the children in their care.

OH: State attorney general program to help children of addicts

Associated Press – March 22, 2017

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is announcing a program to help families hurt by parents’ addiction to painkillers and heroin. The program to be unveiled Wednesday will aid children abused or neglected due to parental drug use in 14 southern Ohio counties.

WA: Family and parental leave policies are new front for labor supporters

Seattle Times – March 21, 2017

Employee advocates on both the city and state levels say family and parental leave is a next top priority, and some business groups say avoiding a patchwork of local measures is the outcome they’d prefer.

US: ICWA: Goldwater Case Thrown Out of Federal Court

Indian Country Today Media Network – March 21, 2017

On March 16, the federal District Court for the District of Arizona dismissed A.D v. Washburn, a class action suit brought by the Goldwater Institute challenging the constitutionality of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). Filed in 2015, the suit alleged that Native children who are the subject of state custody proceedings are given “separate and unequal treatment” based on their race.

US: In Child Welfare, “White Supremacy” is the Hate that Dare Not Speak its Name (Opinion)

Chronicle of Social Change – March 21, 2017

CASA is the program in which minimally trained volunteers, overwhelmingly white and middle-class, are assigned to families who are overwhelmingly poor and disproportionately nonwhite. Then they tell judges if the children should be taken from those families, sometimes forever. In more than 60 percent of cases, according to a study discussed in more detail below, judges rubber-stamp every single recommendation these amateurs make.

Also: Information Gateway Resource: Racial Disproportionality and  Disparity in Child Welfare:

Also: However Kindly Intentioned: Structural Racism and Volunteer CASA Programs:

Also: Law Review Article Calls CASA an ‘Exercise of White Supremacy’:

US: Senators Lankford and Gillibrand Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Improve Foster Care and Adoption Standards Nationwide (Press release)

Public – March 21, 2017

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) today introduced the National Adoption and Foster Care Home Study Act, a bill to improve matching children and families through foster care in the United States. This bill would also create a national standard and database to achieve greater uniformity and transparency to ensure quality foster care placements. Representatives Steve Russell (R-OK), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Karen Bass (D-CA) today introduced the companion version of this bill in the House of Representatives.

US: AAP report provides guidance on managing child abuse

Healio – March 20, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics and other pediatric behavioral health organizations released a report that outlines guidance and recommendations for clinicians treating children with past maltreatment.

Also: Report: Clinical Considerations Related to the Behavioral Manifestations of Child Maltreatment:


South Africa: SANDF could step in for striking welfare workers: MEC

ENCA – March 22, 2017

The Gauteng government may be forced to resort to seeking assistance from the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to resolve staff shortages at welfare care centres if the social workers’ strike continues, MEC for Social Development Nandi Mayathula-Khoza said on Wednesday.

United Kingdom: What’s holding back Britain’s adoptions of foreign children?

New Internationalist – March 21, 2017

As a country, Britain is the lowest per capita adopter of foreign children compared to any other in the West. Statistics provided by The Hague Conference show the number has declined year on year since 2004, decreasing by 83 per cent to 2015.


AK: Panel to review Rep. Tammie Wilson’s claims of ‘legal kidnapping’ at OCS

Daily News Miner – March 19, 2017

The Alaska Citizen Review Panel, a federally mandated panel tasked with reviewing and monitoring the state’s child protective services’ policy and operation, decided at is March meeting to review claims brought forward by North Pole Rep. Tammie Wilson, according to a news release this week. Last year, Wilson publicly accused the state Office of Children’s Services of “legal kidnapping” claiming it was failing to follow child welfare laws. She called for a grand jury investigation into the matter and since has held public hearings on the agency.

AK: Citizens needed to help Alaska’s children (Opinion)

Alaska Dispatch News – March 15, 2017

A grand jury investigation of Alaska’s Office of Children’s Services requested by Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, noted that the Alaska Citizen Review Panel is “statutorily required” to address the concerns she raised. Congress mandated citizen review panels in 1996 to “provide new opportunities for citizens – not just child protection bureaucrats – to play an integral role in” child protection.

AR: JFD talks fire codes and foster homes (Includes video)

Kait 8 – March 20, 2017

A local fire department’s standard approval rates could spike as the need for foster families continues to grow. The Jonesboro Fire Department discussed fire codes and the Arkansas Department of Human Services foster and adoption standard of approval codes on Monday.

AZ: State child-welfare agency scraps secret recordings (Includes video)

KPNX – March 20, 2017

Arizona’s child-welfare agency says it’s tossing out a new policy allowing for secret recordings of adults suspected of child abuse.

Also: Lemons: DCS Director’s Memo Allows Orwellian Interrogations:

CA: Capitol Tracker: Bills hope to help foster youth

Eureka Times-Standard – March 20, 2017

To assist some of California’s foster youth, there are more than a dozen proposed pieces of legislation working their way through various state Assembly and Senate committees.

CA: Grant encourages CSUF students to be child welfare workers

Orange County Register – March 20, 2017

A $1.4 million grant will support Cal State Fullerton social work students who are committed to a career in the field, part of an effort to address a national need for well-trained child welfare workers.

Also: Information Gateway Resource: Professional Development and Training:

CA: LA County social workers, supervisors to stand trial in death of Gabriel Fernandez, 8

Los Angeles Daily News – March 20, 2017

Two former Los Angeles County social workers and their supervisors were ordered Monday to stand trial in connection with the death of an 8-year-old Palmdale boy whose case sparked public outcry against child protective services.

CA: Special L.A. Court Hopes to Better Serve Young Victims of Sex Trafficking

Chronicle of Social Change – March 20, 2017

The county’s Board of Supervisors will vote on Tuesday to execute an agreement with Children’s Law Center of California for $250,000 to cover the costs of running the courtroom, named the Dedication to Restoration through Empowerment, Advocacy, and Mentoring (DREAM) court, at Edelman’s Children’s Court in Monterey Park for one year.

CA: Eggman bill would help victims of sex trafficking – March 18, 2017

Assembly Bill 223 would call for a pilot project in three counties – San Joaquin, Alameda and Sacramento – in which the county’s probation department or child welfare agency, or both, would be required to create a program to offer services to juveniles who have been sexually exploited.

KS: Grandmother of slain boy pushes for home-school law reform in Kansas

Topeka Capital-Journal – March 18, 2017

Conway believes home schooling was one way Jones and his wife prevented anyone from knowing what was happening to Adrian, who was kept in a shower stall, routinely beaten, starved and eventually killed.

NC: County hires agency director: Former Western NC official to lead health, social services departments

Carteret County News-Times – March 18, 2017

Cynthia Holman has been named the new Carteret County Consolidated Human Services Director. Ms. Holman, who most recently served as the director of the Alexander County Department of Social Services, replaces former County Consolidated Human Services Director David Atkinson, who retired Dec. 31.

NC: New Thompson CEO has national reputation for child advocacy

Mint Hill Weekly – March 18, 2017

Will Jones begins work March 29 as president and CEO of Thompson, a provider of clinical and prevention services for vulnerable children and families across Mecklenburg County.

OR: Bill that expands rights for foster children goes to Oregon Senate (Includes video)

KTVL – March 20, 2017

House Bill 2216 makes it easier for siblings to get placed together, and creates contact plans for when children are apart.

OR: Pilot program puts homeless in residents’ backyards

Associated Press – March 19, 2017

The project, called A Place for You, is believed to be the first in the nation to recruit stable residents to address a homeless crisis that’s gotten so bad the city last year declared a state of emergency and made it legal to sleep on the street.

Also: Would YOU let a homeless person live in your backyard? Portland offers residents free tiny homes if they rent it to families who are on the street:

PA: House legislation may speed adoption

Daily Item – March 19, 2017

Adopting a child in Pennsylvania is too hard, according to lawmakers who say the state needs to streamline the process to get more of the 2,500 children awaiting adoption into loving homes as quickly as possible. The state House used its one-day session ahead of Winter Storm Stella to pass six bills intended to streamline the adoption process in Pennsylvania.

PA: State focuses on helping opioid-addicted parents kick habit, keep their children

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review – March 18, 2017

The hard reality was that her drug use could cost her custody of her child. Was it worth it? Hundreds of parents are faced with that question in Westmoreland County and across Pennsylvania, where parental substance abuse accounted for 8,423 valid child abuse allegations – 19 percent of the total, according to a 2015 report from the state Department of Human Services.

TX: Two new bills propose changes to CPS (Includes video)

KXAN – March 20, 2017

Monday, Texas lawmakers will talk about two new bills that could change the way kids are placed and treated in foster care. It’s all part of an effort to overhaul the state’s child welfare system.

VA: Probe of Rockbridge social services nearly done; new law to expand state’s role

Martinsville Bulletin – March 20, 2017

As a criminal investigation of the Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services nears a conclusion, new legislation will allow Virginia’s inspector general to assist should similar cases arise. A bill sponsored by Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, and signed Thursday by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, extends the jurisdiction of the Office of the State Inspector General to include local social services departments.

Also: McAuliffe signs legislation after child abuse reports at local dept. of social services:

US: Barletta requests update on law to help opioid-addicted babies

Wilkes-Barre Times Leader – March 20, 2017

Concerned about the protection of babies born addicted to opioids, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta Monday co-authored a letter requesting an update on provisions signed into law last year that would provide for their protection.

US: National Child Abuse Prevention Month (Press release)

United States Marine Corps – March 20, 2017

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month. As a result, the Marine Corps community engages in child abuse and neglect awareness activities across the country in April. The identified Office of the Secretary of Defense theme for 2017 is “Children Thrive in Safe, Stable, Nurturing Homes.” Everyone in the Marine Corps community has a role to play in protecting children.

US: Parents shed light on impact of national policies on adoption

Courier Tribune – March 18, 2017

According to a recent N.C. News Service article, an adoptive mother in Asheville felt compelled to check her Ethiopian-born son’s citizenship status. She discovered he was listed as a “legal alien” due to a glitch in the system after she had submitted his citizenship paperwork nearly 10 years ago.


Sudan: Concern for homeless children in South Darfur capital

Dabanga – March 19, 2017

Officials and civil sources have expressed concern at the growing phenomenon of homelessness in South Darfur, with growing marriages and pregnancies among homeless children.


AZ: Judge throws out suit challenging tribal adoption restrictions

Pinal Central – March 17, 2017

A federal judge has thrown out a bid to void federal laws that challengers claim are racist because they place the desires and rights of Native American tribes over the constitutionally protected best interests of children.

Also: Judge upholds tribal rights in adoptions:

CA: Want foster students to succeed in college? Bills make financial aid easier to get

Sacramento Bee – March 17, 2017

State lawmakers are considering legislation to help foster youths navigate the college application process. Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, introduced Senate Bill 12 to require social workers to set up an application help network for foster youths interested in college. It also would coordinate systems to automatically verify applicants’ foster youth status when applying for federal Pell Grants.

CO: CGI Wins First Three Phases of Colorado’s Agile Child Welfare System Modernization

Government Technology – March 16, 2017

The system, called TRAILS, has existed since 2001 and serves about 5,600 users across all 64 counties in Colorado and multiple state agencies, according to bid documents. According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, some components of the system have lost vendor support, resulting in HIPAA violations. About 30 percent of county caseworkers’ time in the system is spent on documentation, and it’s difficult to navigate to boot.

FL: Editorial: Make mental health a budget priority

Tampa Bay Times – March 17, 2017

he dismal state of Florida’s mental health system is often described in statistics and funding amounts. But behind those figures are human beings and their suffering – adults and children who simply cannot get treatment for psychological disorders, addiction and other problems that only get worse when left unaddressed. The result is suicide, violent crime and broken families. To neglect this gaping need is inhumane, and Florida’s leaders must make it a priority even during this tight budget year.

FL: Should adopted children have access to birth records?

News 4 Jax – March 17, 2017

Children adopted in Florida have no mechanism for obtaining their original birth certificates when they become adults, and two members of the Legislature, who were each adopted at birth, are at the center of a debate over whether to change that.

GA: Georgia Adoption Bill Raises Fears Of Discrimination (Includes audio)

WABE – March 17, 2017

The director of Georgia’s state agency for child welfare services said changes to a bill approved by a Senate panel Thursday evening could put millions of dollars in federal funding at risk.

Also: Changes To Adoption Bill Excuse Discrimination, Ga. Democrats Say:

ID: Faith Healing Bill Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Critics Say (Includes audio)

Public News Service – March 20, 2017

A bill on faith-healing had hearings today (Monday) before the Idaho Senate. Senate Bill 1182 would change the faith-healing exemption when a child is injured or killed, but still would leave parents exempt from criminal charges.

IN: Legislature eases road to learner’s permits for foster kids

IndyStar – March 16, 2017

When teenagers in Indiana try to obtain a learner’s permit, they need a signature from a parent. For those in a standard household, that’s fairly simple — but for those in the foster care system, the measure can keep them from driving until they are 18.

KY: Close loophole on reporting child abuse | Editorial

Courier-Journal – March 17, 2017

Under Kentucky law, any person who knows or has reasonable cause to believe that a child has been abused is required to report it. But the law allows such reports to be made to local police, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentucky State Police or a county or commonwealth’s attorney.

LA: Youth aging out of foster care struggle in ‘real world’

Shreveport Times – March 19, 2017

“I didn’t have any financials, I didn’t have a job, and my worker told me it was my responsibility,” she said. Bullock is one of 140 youth who aged out of the foster care system in Louisiana in 2016 – including 18 in Shreveport – and one of 884 who have aged out since 2012, according to DCFS reports.

ME: Legislators asked to change adoption law (Includes video)

WLBZ 2 – March 16, 2017

Since 2007, Maine has allowed adult adoptees to access their original birth certificates. Previously, adoptees could only see their “amended” certificates, listing the names of the adoptive parents but not the birth parents. Lawmakers in the Judiciary Committee on Thursday began studying a bill to allow children under age 18 to access their original birth records.

MI: GRBJ: Organization aims to help older foster kids

Grand Rapids Business Journal – March 18, 2017

“California did an initiative where they started getting these kids on TV, and they had a high success rate of getting these kids adopted,” she said. “I thought why aren’t we doing that here in Michigan?”

MI: Bill would add protection for state’s children (Opinion)

Daily News – March 17, 2017

Mandated reporters are the population of people who report most of the cases of suspected abuse and neglect that Child Protective Services receives because they are trained to identify signs of these situations, which makes it their duty in the state of Michigan. Since children spend most of their time in school, it only appears to be sensible that adults who are working in schools would be mandated reporters. Unfortunately, only those who are administrators, teachers or counselor are legally obligated to report any signs of neglect and abuse in Michigan.

MI: In Search of Muslim Foster Families

Altmuslim – March 17, 2017

Foster care agencies do their best to place foster children in homes that would be the best fit for the children. However, Muslim children are rarely, if ever, placed in Muslim homes.

MN: Child protection cases on the rise

Wadena Pioneer Journal – March 17, 2017

Mike Willie gave a dismal report to the Wadena County Commissioners March 7. Willie, social services supervisor for the children and family services unit of Wadena County Human Services, reported on the number of intake cases in foster care and the high caseload of foster care workers.

NV: Senate to hear legislation that would protect LGBTQ youths in foster care

Las Vegas Sun – March 18, 2017

Coming of age is difficult for any adolescent, but foster children who are at the intersection of coming of age and coming out often feel lost and without anyone to turn to for direction. Only 13 states and the District of Columbia have laws with specific protections for LGBTQ youth in foster care. Nevada is not one of them, but the state soon could be if AB99 passes.

NY: How to Reform the Failing Child Welfare System

WNYC – March 17, 2017

Richard Gelles, former dean and chair of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice and the author of Out of Harm’s Way: Creating an Effective Child Welfare System (Oxford University Press, 2017), explains the major problems in the child welfare system, which still leaves too many children at risk for harm, and offers solutions on how to fix the broken system.

OK: State makes progress on foster care program, but more work is to be done (Opinion)

Tulsa World – March 18, 2017

It’s sometimes difficult to recognize progress for Oklahoma as it deals with the constant series of problems stemming from the intentional underfunding of state government. In that darkness, however, is some good news.

TX: State office will bring 40 new jobs

Texarkana News – March 20, 2017

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services will open a new office this fall at 3103 Summerhill Road in Texarkana. It will be a processing center for the department’s Statewide Intake, those who answer calls about abuse, neglect and exploitation and start cases for Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services and Child Care Licensing.

TX: Federal judge in Texas foster care suit scolds CPS leaders for withholding information

Dallas Morning News – March 17, 2017

The federal judge in a lawsuit over Texas foster care has chided state officials for rebuffing information requests and has vowed to stick to her previously stated timetables for fashioning remedies that will overhaul the system, two plaintiffs’ lawyers said Friday.

TX: State purchasing director on leave – again – amid contract questions

Austin American-Statesman – March 17, 2017

A purchasing director of Child Protective Services has been placed on administrative leave as officials launch an investigation into a pending contract involving a nonprofit where the director’s husband works, the American-Statesman has learned.–regional-govt–politics/state-purchasing-director-leave-again-amid-contract-questions/HXVQisHQgxXmkwJqAEDy6H/

VA: Editorial: Virginia’s arbitrary adoption barrier

New Haven Register – March 18, 2017

Virginia officials talk a good game when it comes to rehabilitating criminal convicts. In practice, they fall short. The state remains one of the nation’s most mean-spirited when it comes to restoring voting rights to convicted felons, a process that is automatic or nearly so in most states, and Republicans would like to make the rules still more stringent. Virginia is no more forgiving – we would say, no more humane – in determining who may, or rather may not, adopt children.

WA: School Grant Helps Refugee Families Integrate in Washington State (Includes audio)

Public News Service – March 20, 2017

A grant program is helping refugee students travel the long emotional distance from their homes to integrate into schools and their communities in the United States. The Office of Refugee Resettlement distributes Refugee School Impact Grants to 38 states, including Washington, and helps students who recently have arrived in the country get on their feet.

WI: La Crosse fights against student homelessness

La Crosse Tribune – March 17, 2017

Johnson is not alone in struggling with homelessness. Last year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction reported 180 homeless students in the La Crosse School District, the highest number reported at the school during the 13 years the DPI has collected data, and more than a third of the total homeless student population in the region that year.

US: What Might Work To Improve Outcomes Of Youth Aging Out of Foster Care (Opinion)(May require registation)

Open Minds – March 18, 2017

The “outcomes” for the 24,000 youth in the foster care system that enter adulthood each year don’t look good – they are less likely to graduate college, are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed, and have limited financial resources.

US: Abuse accelerates puberty in children: Kids who experience sexual abuse develop a year earlier than their non-abused peers

Daily Mail – March 17, 2017

Scientists say that young girls who are emotionally and physically abused hit puberty eight to 12 months earlier than their non-abused peers.

US: As states embrace mandatory reporting to curb child abuse, dissenters voice doubts

Center for Health Journalism – March 17, 2017

Legislative good intentions often have unintended consequences. Shortly after the package of new laws went into effect in 2015, the state hotline started getting hammered with calls. “Child-abuse calls go unanswered as new regulations cause personnel problems for Pa. agency,” read a 2015 PennLive headline. Despite forced overtime and eventual staff increases, the state’s problems have continued. By spring of last year, the headlines from Pennsylvania hadn’t gotten any rosier: “Child welfare system at a ‘breaking point and will soon be in crisis,’ caseworker says.”

US: Nations have separated children from parents before. It never ends well (Includes video) (Opinion)

Washington Post – March 17, 2017

The Trump administration has already proposed a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, a ban on travel from six countries, a shutdown of the refugee program and extensive detentions and deportations of undocumented immigrants. This month, officials floated a new tactic: splitting families up.

US: Report Looks for Ways to Better Engage Young Fathers in the Child Welfare System

Chronicle of Social Change – March 17, 2017

In the effort to emphasize the importance of paternal parenting, young fathers and those who are involved with the child welfare system have often been neglected, according to the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP). In a new report, the needs and barriers facing young fathers are identified, especially those who are transitioning to adulthood after time spent in the foster-care system.

Report: Changing Systems & Practices to Improve the Lives of Young Fathers, Their Children and Their Families:

Information Gateway Resource: The Importance of Fathers in the Healthy Development of Children:

US: Study: Many US Community College Students Lack Food, Shelter

Voice of America – March 17, 2017

A large number of community college students across the United States faces hunger and homelessness, according to a new study by the University of Wisconsin’s Hope Lab. The study found that two-thirds of students go hungry, up from about half back in 2015.

US: Who Counts as a “Homeless” Child? It Matters

Rooflines – March 17, 2017

The McKinney-Vento act is the only federal legislation designed to improve the lives of homeless people. One of the major things it does is declare that homeless children can stay enrolled in the same schools, even without proof of residency, providing some consistency for kids who desperately need it. Until recently, this included children in foster care.


Australia: Report says 1,100 complaints of child abuse made against Australia’s Anglican church

Reuters – March 17, 2017

The head of Australia’s Anglican Church expressed sorrow and shame after a government report published on Friday said close to 1,100 people had filed child sexual assault claims against the church over a 35-year period.

Canada: Advocates concerned about unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Canada

Regina Leader-Post – March 16, 2017

While official statistics are hard to come by, experts say they’re hearing more and more stories about unaccompanied minors who are allowed in Canada without a parent or caregiver. According to the Canada Border Services Agency, refugee claims filed for minors 17 years old or younger have increased steadily in recent years. The number of youth asylum seekers jumped from 2,011 in 2015 to 3,400 in 2016.

Syria: Whole of Syria: Child Protection Snapshot, January – December 2016

Relief Web – December 31, 2016

The child protection sector in Syria is comprised of approximately 58 partners including, UN, INGO, Syrian NGO and government agencies operating in 13 governorates.

Turkey: EU-UN cash transfer plan for education aims to reach 230,000 refugee children in Turkey

United Nations News Center – March 17, 2017

The European Union and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have launched a large-scale cash transfer project to increase the number of refugee children attending school in Turkey.

Joint Press release:


AZ: Foster parents must adapt to tougher DCS safety inspections (Opinion)

Havasu News – March 15, 2017

In January of 2016, Arizona’s Department of Child Safety revised its rules for life safety inspections. With the new administrative code – which includes more detail about animals, firearms and other safety precautions – inspection deficiencies “skyrocketed,” said DCS life safety inspections unit manager Thea Bish.

CO: CGI Wins First Three Phases of Colorado’s Agile Child Welfare System Modernization

Government Technology – March 16, 2017

Colorado has chosen CGI to complete the first three phases of a modular contract to replace a heavily integrated child welfare system. The system, called TRAILS, has existed since 2001 and serves about 5,600 users across all 64 counties in Colorado and multiple state agencies, according to bid documents. According to the Colorado Department of Human Services, some components of the system have lost vendor support, resulting in HIPAA violations. About 30 percent of county caseworkers’ time in the system is spent on documentation, and it’s difficult to navigate to boot.

CO: State funding fends off Human Services layoffs in Larimer County

Reporter-Herald – March 16, 2017

A move by the Colorado General Assembly’s Joint Budget Committee this week may have saved between five and seven jobs of child welfare workers in Larimer County – at least, for now. The committee saved Larimer and other counties in the state from having to pay for an accounting error at the state level that goes back to at least 2003, according to Larimer County Human Services Deputy Director Heather O’Hayre.

GA: Senate alters adoption bill, prompting discrimination charge

Associated Press – March 16, 2017

Private adoption agencies that receive state funding could refuse to provide services based on religious faith and other priorities under a last-minute change swiftly approved Thursday evening by Republicans in a Georgia Senate committee.

IN: Legislature eases road to learner’s permits for foster kids

Evansville Courier & Press – March 16, 2017

When teenagers in Indiana try to obtain a learner’s permit, they need a signature from a parent. For those in a standard household, that’s fairly simple — but for those in the foster care system, the measure can keep them from driving until they are 18.

ME: Forum: Education continues on Wabanaki plight

Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal – March 16, 2017

In 2015, a report focusing on Maine Wabanaki children and decades of discriminatory practices in the child welfare system was meant to spark changes and begin the healing process for the state’s native tribes. For Wabanakis and members of Maine-Wabanaki REACH, a group tasked with implementing the report’s recommendations, that process is far from over.

NE: Bill Seeks to Lower Child Welfare Case Loads

Unicameral Update – March 15, 2017

A bill aimed at reducing child welfare caseloads was considered March 14 by the Appropriations Committee. LB189, introduced by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, would appropriate $500,000 in general funds in each of the next two fiscal years to the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The funds would be used by DHHS solely for recruitment and retention of child welfare caseworkers to ensure that state caseload standards are met and maintained.

OH: Foster Parents wanted-Click for details with Mercer County children’s services (Audio)

WCSM – March 16, 2017

Mercer County is in need of foster parents to assist area children in crisis. Tonya Siefring is a foster parent and a case worker for Mercer County Children’s Services.

OH: Heroin’s young victims: More children in foster care due to heroin epidemic (Includes video)

WKRC – March 14, 2017

More children are being removed from their homes in Ohio than ever before. There’s new evidence that Ohio’s heroin epidemic has a lot to do with it. Some people on the front line of child welfare want to know why the state isn’t putting more resources into helping those children.

OR: Rep. Piluso’s Foster Youth Sibling Bill of Rights Passes Oregon House (Press release)

Office of State Representative for Oregon Carla Piluso – March 16, 2017

House Bill 2216, the Foster Sibling Bill of Rights, passed the Oregon House this morning on a unanimous vote. The bill defines rights for foster siblings, including the right of foster youth to live in homes where foster parents have been trained on the importance of sibling relationships, require more privacy for sibling communication, be notified in a timely manner if a sibling experiences a catastrophic event, and develop a contact plan if siblings are not placed in foster care together.

Information Gateway resource: Sibling Groups:

TX: House leaders push for withdrawing $1 billion more from state savings account

Texas Tribune – March 16, 2017

Entities that face budget cuts absent a cash infusion include the state’s public education system, pensions for retired teachers, and the Texas child welfare and foster care system charged with protecting vulnerable children from abuse and neglect, Zerwas said.

TX: No effect locally following state hiring freeze (Opinion)

Sealy News – March 16, 2017

It’s coming up on two months since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to tighten their belts to the last notch and hunker down until August for an imposed hiring freeze. Supposedly, the freeze will save about $200 million that could be used for other priorities and emergency items set out during Abbott’s State of the State Address on Jan. 31. The governor listed four emergency items as top of the list for lawmakers during the 85th legislative session: Child Protective Services, banning sanctuary cities, implementing meaningful ethics reform and a resolution calling for a Convention of States.

UT: No Place Like Home (Includes video)

ABC4 Utah – March 14, 2017

House Bill 199 is known as the “High Needs Child Bill.” It closes a legal loophole that currently allows custody of a child to be transferred without any regulated vetting process. “We use the term re-homing,” says Attorney General Sean Reyes

WA: Bill to create new Department for Child Services passes House

Columbia Basin Herald – March 16, 2017

The house passed a bipartisan bill to separate services DSHS provides for children, such as early learning, juvenile services and child welfare programs, into a new state agency. HB 1661 was sponsored by Rep. Ruth Kagi, D-Seattle along with several others which are designed to reform foster care and child services.

WA: Judge’s Decisions Reveal Extent of Scandal at a Washington State CASA (Opinion)(Includes video)

Chronicle of Social Change – March 16, 2017

The most comprehensive study ever done of the program found that it does nothing to make children safer. The study also found that CASA prolongs foster care and reduces the chances children will be placed with relatives instead of strangers.


Guatemala: Death toll in Guatemala fire rises to 39 girls; key official ordered not to leave country (Includes video)

Associated Press – March 12, 2017

The president has blamed the government’s “rigid” and “insensitive” system for dealing with troubled youths and has promised to reform protective services for some 1,500 minors currently living in youth shelters around the country.


AL: Crackdown on pregnant marijuana users

Birmingham News – March 15, 2017

Although states across the country have relaxed penalties for marijuana use – new moms in Alabama still face harsh punishment for lighting up, which is often detected in hospital drug tests after birth and passed along to police. Dozens of women have been charged with felony chemical endangerment of a child since 2006 for using marijuana during pregnancy, according to a 2015 analysis of court data by and ProPublica.

CA: Molestation Settlement in Nearby Morgan Hill: Abuse Training At Schools Mandatory

Los Altos Patch – March 15, 2017

On March 15, attorneys for the Morgan Hill Unified School District and the families of three girls who were molested by a fifth-grade teacher between 2012 and 2014 finalized the non-monetary terms of a $8.25 million settlement. Along with paying each girl $2.75 million in a structured settlement, the school district will now be required to train its staff on how to identify possible predators and to teach students a sexual abuse prevention curriculum.

Also: Morgan Hill School District Finalizes Settlement Over Child Molestations:

CA: L.A.’s Plan to Tackle the 6-Million Hour Gorilla: Foster Care Visitations

Chronicle of Social Change – March 14, 2017

Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) issued a report last week estimating that the department spends two million staff hours facilitating another four million hours of “visitation” every year. When a child is removed from the custody of his or her parent due to abuse and neglect, a key part of the reunification process is ensuring that child can visit with his or her parent.

FL: Report: Delinquency down in Florida, despite a host of challenges

Clay Today – March 15, 2017

“Florida’s communities are seeing a more troubled child needing intensive services and multiple interventions, as well as ‘crossover youth,'” Craig-Myers told March 13, referring to minors who have had contact with both child welfare programs and the juvenile justice system. “Florida still leads the nation in prosecuting children charged with nonviolent offenses as adults.”

Information Gateway resource: Youth Involved With Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare:,6191?

GA: Senate OKs $49 billion budget, cuing up House talks

Associated Press – March 15, 2017

Big-ticket items have been uncontroversial this year, including a 19 percent raise for state employees who oversee child welfare cases and the continuation of 20 percent raises for state law enforcement, including those with the Georgia State Patrol and Bureau of Investigation.

IA: Safe Families provides safe homes for kids in crisis situations (Includes video)

WQAD – March 15, 2017

On any given day 428,000 children are in foster care but one local organization is working to reduce that number for every at risk child in the Quad Cities. The organization helps families in crisis situations by placing children with a volunteer host family while the parent gets back on their feet.

ID: Two new faith-healing bills introduced; neither would lift exemption from criminal charges for parents

Spokesman-Review – March 15, 2017

The first one, from Dan Sevy, who’s a member of a faith-healing sect, would provide further consideration for faith-healing parents in Idaho, by directing courts, when they order emergency medical treatment for a child in cases of neglect, to consider other forms of treatment beyond medical care. The second one, from Sen. Dan Johnson, R-Lewiston, would make a series of changes to Idaho’s faith healing exemption laws, but would leave in place the exemptions from criminal prosecution for parents whose children suffer serious injury or death, making changes only in civil provisions.

MA: Bills would protect Massachusetts medical marijuana patients from losing job over drug test

Mass Live – March 15, 2017

The bill would also protect medical marijuana patients from discrimination in education, housing and child welfare and custody cases.

MD: New Maryland technology designed to bring social safety net into the 21st Century

Smart Cities Council – March 14, 2017

It was after riots in Baltimore that Maryland’s administration became focused on the need for a statewide revamp of technology infrastructure to transform how it delivers human services. A release from Gov. Hogan’s office indicates that while the state had data showing areas of poverty, areas of high unemployment and areas with transportation challenges, that data wasn’t able to be used in a way that could help officials determine how to best direct resources.

ND: Social workers stand up for most vulnerable

Wahpetan Daily News – March 15, 2017

There is a group of people who do the hard and important work in a community, standing up for millions of people every day. They work with children, families and veterans. They with the poorest and most vulnerable people in society. They work with people battling chemical dependency, with mental health issues, with employment and education issues. They work with the people nobody wants to talk about. They are professional social workers and this month is designated as Social Work Month, a time to learn about the profession and celebrate the important work they do.

NE: Child welfare providers object to proposed Health and Human Services cuts

BH News Service – March 15, 2017

Pickel and others gathered Tuesday at the State Capitol to sound off about cuts to HHS proposed by Gov. Pete Ricketts and supported by department officials. Tuesday was the second of two days of public hearings set aside on the budget for the state’s largest agency. Doug Weinberg, the director of children and family services for HHS, argued that the administration’s budget reflects the realities of the state’s current economic situation.

NJ: No child brides in N.J.: Senate approves ban on minors getting married – March 13, 2017

The Senate approved the legislation by a 26-to-5 vote, four months after the Assembly approved the bill. It now goes to Gov. Chris Christie who will decide whether to sign (A3091) into law. New Jersey would be the first state in the nation to remove all exceptions that require minors to wait until they are 18 years old to get married.

NM: State Moves to Support Students in Foster Care

National Center for Youth Law News – March 01, 2017

SB 213/HB 301 sponsored by Senator Gay Kernan and Representatives Gail Chasey and Doreen Gallegos, ensures that our most vulnerable students-including students in foster care, students involved in the juvenile justice system, and homeless students-have supports and opportunities to graduate. The bills passed their respective houses without opposition and have the support of the Children, Youth and Families Department, and the Public Education Department.

NY: Raise the Age NY Campaign Statement on One-House Budget Resolutions (Press release)

Public – March 15, 2017

In response to the New York State one-house budget resolutions released, the Raise the Age NY Campaign issued the following statement: ‘We thank the Assembly for their continued commitment to passing comprehensive raise the age legislation and for making it a priority in their one-house budget resolution. We are encouraged to see the Senate include raising the age of criminal responsibility, and hope the Senate makes the necessary changes in their final budget to reflect comprehensive reform,’ said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children; Naomi Post, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-New York and Paige Pierce, CEO of Families Together in New York State.

Press release: Assembly Budget Includes Funding for Vital Human Services:

NY: Homeless Teens Are 3 Times More Likely To Attempt Suicide, Be Hurt By Partners (Includes video)

Huffington Post – March 14, 2017

“The stark differences between homeless teens and their housed peers are cause for alarm,” researchers say.

OR: More foster homes needed in Jefferson County

Madras Pioneer – March 15, 2017

Many children are being sent out of the county due to lack of local foster homes. Jefferson County is in need of foster homes, and has had to place more than 30 children out of county due to lack of homes in this area. The number of Jefferson County foster children increased from 34 in 2014, to 84 in 2016.

OR: Workers union joins fray on child welfare

Statesman Journal – March 15, 2017

Calls to improve Oregon’s child welfare system grew louder Wednesday as one of the largest public employee unions released a report saying caseworkers are overburdened and the agency needs more staff.

PA: Mandated reporters critical to stopping child abuse, experts say

Centre Daily Times – March 15, 2017

Sandusky’s conviction and the five-year drama around the three administrators’ cases has brought attention on the role of the mandated reporter.

Also: Graham Spanier’s last stand may be Jerry Sandusky scandal’s final criminal trial (Opinion):

SD: Gov. Dennis Daugaard Signs Religious Adoption Protections

Associated Press – March 13, 2017

South Dakota joined three other states Friday that have enacted laws giving broad legal protections to faith-based organizations that refuse based on their religious beliefs to place children in certain households.

TX: Child welfare workers fear legislative push to outsource their jobs

Texas Tribune – March 16, 2017

Former and current caseworkers say a plan to move case management services to nonprofits could be problematic and that no one in power is listening to their concerns.

TX: Backed by Rep. Wray and others, Texas House passes critical CPS reform legislation

Waxahachie Daily Light – March 15, 2017

An overwhelming approval of Texas House Bills 4 and 5 showed the commitment Texas House members, including Rep. John Wray, have made to correct issues with Child Protective Services. Both bills were passed Thursday.

TX: Illegal immigration dominates foster care debate in the House

Statesman – March 01, 2017

Illegal immigration took center stage in the Texas House Wednesday during consideration of a bill to boost pay for low-income foster parents caring for a foster child who is a relative.–regional-govt–politics/illegal-immigration-dominates-foster-care-debate-the-house/t6cgOjLuSfNR3r5Yd9mtxJ/

WA: New children and families state agency bill passes House

Associated Press – March 15, 2017

A measure requested by Gov. Jay Inslee to establish a new state agency called the Department of Children, Youth and Families has passed the House. House Bill 1661 was voted out of the House Wednesday on a bi-partisan 77-19 vote, and now heads to the Senate. Inslee’s plan seeks to improve the delivery of services to children and families within juvenile justice programs, foster care services and other child-welfare programs.

US: Marchant Introduces Legislation Protecting Children from Identity Theft

Office of U.S. Congressman for Texas Kenny Marchant – March 15, 2017

Today, U.S. Congressmen Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24) and Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35) introduced the Social Security Child Protection Act (HR 1512). The legislation allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to issue a new Social Security Number (SSN) to children age 13 and under who have had their SSN stolen due to inadvertent disclosure.

US: Loebsack backs legislation to help homeless children

Ottumwa Courier – March 14, 2017

Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) has teamed with an Ohio Republican to reintroduce legislation aimed at helping homeless minors. The Homeless Children and Youth Act is an attempt to establish a more accurate system for the federal government to measure the problem of youth homelessness. That, in turn, should lead to better means for helping those people.

Also: Bill aims to help homeless kids by cutting red tape:

US: Finding Safe, Supportive Homes for Teens in Foster Care

National Center for Youth Law News – March 01, 2017

NCYL recently kicked off a 50-state study to identify state laws and regulations that either help or hinder placement of foster teens in safe, supportive homes before they age-out of the foster care system.


Australia: Foster care: Fewer Queensland children being placed with relatives

Courier Mail – March 15, 2017

Queensland foster parents are carrying the heaviest burden in the country, with many juggling two or more children in need of care. They are also stepping up to care for strangers as fewer Queensland children are placed with relatives. The revelation comes amid a foster carers recruitment drive and government promises to pay for foster children’s child care in a move designed to appease foster families.

Canada: Advocates concerned about unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Canada

Canadian Press – March 16, 2017

The mother – who Clarke wouldn’t identify to protect her from any possible reprisals back home – was denied entry under the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement, which stipulates that an asylum seeker must make their claim in the first safe country in which they land. But her children were allowed into Canada under the care of their aunt, because of an exception that permits entry for those who have a blood-relative in the country.

Canada: Manitoba chiefs order child welfare agency board to suspend reformist director

APTN National News – March 16, 2017

Chiefs with a northern Manitoba tribal council have taken the extraordinary step of forcing the suspension of the official in charge of running a child welfare agency responsible for four northern First Nations. It remains unclear exactly why chiefs with the Island Lake Tribal Council moved to place the Island Lake First Nations Family Services executive director on administrative leave with pay while ordering a “full review on the administration practices and the delivery of services” of the organization.

Canada: Canada and First Nations Leadership Council continue discussions on advancing First Nation child and family services in British Columbia

Canada NewsWire – March 15, 2017

Today, as part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing efforts to rebuild nation-to-nation relationships, Minister Bennett met with the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) to discuss the work of improving First Nations Child and Family Services in British Columbia. Solutions brought forward by First Nations are instrumental in helping ensure that every child and family receives access to the care they need when they need it.